To the festive edition of QBN, welcome!
I am writing QBN two counties away from my home abode at a friends home where I have enjoyed a welcome change of scenery in Devon!
I feel glad to be unshackled from my previous work world by not being tied to an office five days a week because of phone and computer constraints as we all were before this new work place portability became possible.
Along this line, some new generation domestic SMART devices have appeared in recent times and have attracted concerns.
Internet of Things (IOT) – Unwrapped
For these things you need to be aware that in common with pets, the joy of having IOT’s comes with a need to be responsible for having them, or trouble is guaranteed.
I have mentioned these networked WiFi connected IOT’s before from the viewpoint that they can be a bit concerning if not carefully set up by users. Changing the default administrative password is an absolute must to secure them from miscreants as is checking occasionally if a new firmware upgrade is needed for device(s) to plug security holes in them.
Its no good if your toaster becomes a traitor or your light bulbs a liability, is it?
Worse still is that WiFi capabilities extend to the playrooms of the innocent as well, even children’s toys can be ‘Smart’ and so the risk to privacy can be more worrying.
I won’t dwell at this time on another concerning risk posed by a growing body of concerned scientists and health practitioners on WiFi emissions from devices like IOT, and in particular those from toys and baby monitors. I will only say that when Lloyds of London no longer exclude claims for harm associated with WiFi emissions from many types of device to human health then I will no longer mention it.
Though the gift buying season is largely over (unless you are buying now for next Christmas), I also offer you this …
Mozilla to the Rescue!
“This gift-giving season, Mozilla is helping you choose gadgets that respect your online privacy and security” How do you know if that gift comes with privacy included?
We did the research to help you decide. Because Santa should be the only one watching you this holiday season”.
If you have got these devices already in your home there is a repository of good advice here
A new and much better Firefox ‘broke cover’ in November and is giving its competitors a real run for their money and is a ‘country mile’ ahead of them!
In fact according to this Slant browser comparative website page, ‘Young Foxey’ out performs Google Chrome and leaves other browser donkeys gasping!
According to Mozilla:–
“It’s fast. Really fast. It’s over twice as fast as Firefox from 6 months ago, built on a completely overhauled core engine with brand new technology from our advanced research group, and graced with a clean, modern interface. Today is the first of several releases we’re calling Firefox Quantum”
Naturally Mozilla have taken a lot of care to ensure compatibility with plug-ins in their new browser and so some old and not yet updated versions won’t work with the new one. The new Firefox will automatically disable any non compatibles it finds when installing for you.
Before updating you could visit this Mozilla webpage where the status of your plugins is reported to you and updated versions offered.
Mozilla are busy working to get full compatibility with screen readers for visually impaired users, and to help you have offered an Extended Support Release (ESR) version to keep compatibility.
You can read all about it here
Download – You can download the speedy young fox here
GDPR – General Data Protection Regulations
Effective 25th May 2018
“The aim of the GDPR is to protect all EU citizens from privacy and data breaches in an increasingly data-driven world that is vastly different from the time in which the 1995 directive was established.
Although the key principles of data privacy still hold true to the previous directive, many changes have been proposed to the regulatory policies; the key points of the GDPR as well as information on the impacts it will have on business can be found here.
My own view at this pre regulation stage is that as it is intended that USA and other non EU states businesses holding data on EU citizens will also be subject to GDPR, the UK exit from the EU might not be a route of escape from its reach. Article
I like its ‘Privacy by Design’ concept and that we become controllers of our own data!
This checklist from the Information Commissioners Office is a good starting place on how to approach GDPR. https://ico.org.uk/media/1624219/preparing-for-the-gdpr-12-steps.pdf
Well that’s it for now, have a Happy New Year!
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