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Bleep does what snapchat didn’t

Private messaging isn’t really private, at least not unless you encode it. The people at bittorrent know a little more than most do about privacy- and have released a product called “Bleep” which is their entry into true, encrypted private messaging. Of course, both you and your friend have to have the same app installed and figure out a way to find each other.
Bleep functions on a peer-to-peer (or P2P) model, meaning that the messages are being sent directly from one user to the next. Without a middleman, it’s virtually impossible to tell who is talking to whom, and what they are saying. It also offers end-to-end encryption, making sure that your conversation stays truly private.

To get started with Bleep, all that is required is choosing a nickname. You can share your Bleep key (under Settings:Profile) wherever you like: forum post, twitter page, etc. And no one will have any of your other details. Optionally, you can verify your email addresses and mobile numbers with Bleep, which will let your friends discover you through Bleep when they open an account.

In Your Hands, Instead of the Cloud.

Bleep’s logo represents a folded note – a message passed directly, hand-to-hand. In our implementation, we keep messages and the encryption keys for images stored on your local device, not the cloud. For messages and metadata, there is no server for hackers to target and because you hold the keys, images can’t be leaked to haunt you later. We’ve solved serverless peer-to-peer messaging, including the ability to get offline friends your messages when they come back online.

Source: Bleep Now Publicly Available Across All Major Platforms | The Official BitTorrent Blog

The problem with snapchat’s privacy was a simple screen grab could end your privacy- or taking a photo of the device with another device- Bleep brings new levels of security with its “whisper mode”

For parts of a conversation that you’d like to keep temporary, tapping “Go to Whisper” on your phone sends messages and pictures that disappear from devices after they’ve been viewed (25 seconds); holding shift on PC and Ctrl on Mac while hitting send does this on your desktop. You can switch back and forth between normal and whisper messages seamlessly, so you don’t lose the flow of your conversation.

Screenshot, or Not?
Whisper messages have additional protection for screenshots. If a friend manages to capture the screen, they won’t be able to capture who said what, since nicknames are blocked out. And if you forget who you’re whispering with, you tap the “eye” to display the nickname, but the conversation gets blurred. They can capture the conversation or the sender, but not both at the same time.

No matter what- the old maxim holds true- once it’s on the internet- it’s never private.

Read a review here: http://www.macnn.com/articles/15/05/17/new.p2p.instant.messaging.app.helps.keep.conversations.private.128638/

 

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Surf the web anonymously and why

You are being watched online, and it’s not just the NSA. All those products you visited on Amazon that show up in your Facebook feed- those are “remarketing” campaigns- built from tracking your browsing.

Emails you open from a retailer include tracking codes- so when you visit the site, they know who you are- and then customize the site to sell you more.

Or- want to scope out the competition? Why let them know you’ve been looking?

The easiest way to use Tor is to download the Tor Browser. This is a modified version of Firefox along with a bunch of other software that connects you to the Tor network.

Once you’ve downloaded the installer, you have two options: You can just install the software or you can check the installation file’s GPG signature first. Some people like to check the installation file to make sure they’ve downloaded the proper version of the browser and not something that’s been tampered with.

But checking the GPG signature is not a painless process and requires an additional software download. Nevertheless, if that’s something you’d like to do, the Tor Project has a how-to explaining what’s required.

Source: ? How to use the Tor Browser to surf the web anonymously | PCWorld

There are also sites that allow you to do a one off anonymous cloak- like http://www.covertbrowsing.com/ go there, and browse away.

The other end of things is to use a private VPN network that unlinks you from your ISP’s IP. Most of these are services that you pay for- where you “tunnel” all your internet traffic to their servers that become your “home base” IP. Some have cute names, like www.hidemyass.com but, sometimes, that’s not really what they do: read this post: What everybody should know about HideMyAss

People use VPN in order to access content that’s not available on their continent- like Chinese nationals looking for information on democracy- or for American Football fan ex-pats who want to stream NFL games to Europe. Its traditional use is to be a secure way of connecting to their work from remote locations.

But, in the end, remember anything you do online is never private, no matter how careful you are.

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WIX, Squarespace, Weebly or WordPress?

WordPress is an open source content management system. To explain that to a novice, who may be considering WIX, Squarespace or Weebly to build a website, that means the code that is used to build your site is free and open to the public. The other three commercial sites used proprietary code to build the sites and manage the content. This means they lock you into their platform.  Want to move your site- too bad.

Now, for your first site, you’re just trying to get something online quick. They all say “free” however each has conditions. Face it, there is no free lunch. Suppose you hit the big time and draw a ton of traffic- with WIX or Squarespace, you’ll be paying and paying as the resources are limited. With WordPress- moving your site to more robust hosting is not an issue- and you literally have unlimited options on where to host it.

The main draw of the commercial website builders is their promise of “drag and drop” site building. WordPress hasn’t got a true drag and drop or WYSIWYG editor out of the box- but some of the premium theme developers include tools that come real close. There are several “builder” plugins that will add this kind of functionality to WordPress themes as well. Most of them are premium plugins, but not outrageously expensive (under $100).

When it comes to extensibility- there are literally tens of thousands of plugins available for WordPress. Everything from managing team sports, to restaurant menus, to real estate listings, to ecommerce. Throw in the fact that over 20% of the Internet is now on WordPress, and you have to start wondering why you would look at anything else.

Granted, the closed ecosystem of the proprietary site builders guarantees to eliminate the headache of plugin conflicts or theme issues- but, if you are careful about selecting widely used plugins, pick a proven premium theme- you’ll end up ahead with WordPress. Also consider that WordPress is the preferred platform of most SEO companies due to it’s graceful framework for grouping your content via categories, tags, posts and pages. The proprietary site building companies may offer support, but their plumbing isn’t anywhere near as proven as WordPress when it comes to getting to the top of Google.

We’ve been using WordPress since 2004- and teaching it since 2005, which of course means we’re biased, but, considering the sheer numbers of people using and customizing the platform on a daily basis- it’s only bound to get better faster than any proprietary system. WIX, Weebly and SquareSpace don’t have a tens of thousands of developers working on improving their platform every day, WordPress does. There are also answers to any WordPress question just a quick google search away.

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