Web

Pew: 22% of Americans have changed email, social media, cell phone use post-Snowden

Smartphone privacy Snowden NSA
If you’ve changed the way you use personal technology, digital communication channels and online resources to protect your privacy after former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden leaked documents detailing the U.S. government’s surveillance programs, you’re not alone. A new survey conducted by Pew Research Center finds that more than 1 in 3 U.S. adults who have heard about the surveillance programs have taken at least one step to hide or guard their information from their government.

The report, titled “Americans’ Privacy Strategies Post-Snowden,” summarizes responses from American adults about their thoughts and responses to the revelations about the government’s information collection activities. Overall, 87 percent of respondents said they had heard something about the surveillance programs – 31 percent said they heard a lot about them and 56 percent said they heard a little about them.

Of this group, 34 percent (30 percent of all U.S. adults) have taken at least one step to hide or shield their personal information from the U.S. government. Examples of measures taken include changing privacy settings on social media outlets (17 percent), using social media less often (15 percent), avoiding certain apps (15 percent), uninstalling apps (13 percent), speaking more in person rather than online or via phone (14 percent), and avoiding the use of certain terms in online communications (13 percent).

The Pew report also notes that 25 percent of respondents aware of the surveillance programs (about 22 percent of all U.S. adults) have changed the patterns of their use of technological platforms “a great deal” or “somewhat.” Email use was the most influenced by the Snowden leaks, followed by search engine use, social media use and cell phone use.

Pew surveillance use of technology

“One potential reason some have not changed their behaviors is that 54% believe it would be ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ difficult to find tools and strategies that would help them be more private online and in using their cell phones,” according to Pew. For example, the report notes that 53 percent of respondents have not adopted or considered using a search engine that doesn’t keep track of their search history and 13 percent are unaware of the existence of such tools.

The survey also found that search engines are the technological platform that concerns them the most when it comes to surveillance, followed by email messages, cell phones, social media and mobile apps.

Pew surveillance digital behavior

In a video interview for The New Yorker Festival in October, Snowden advised people to “get rid of Dropbox” and recommended apps like RedPhone and Silent Circle as alternatives to regular SMS tools.

This Pew Research Center report shares findings based on 475 surveyed adults (18 years of age or older) living in the U.S. between Nov. 26, 2014 and Jan 3, 2015.

Smart Home

Booth babes, banned sex toys, and other mishaps at CES 2019

From female sex toys bans, to fake Tesla/robot collision stories, there was some weird stuff going on at CES 2019 this year. Here are some of the biggest mishaps and flubs at the world's biggest tech show.
Mobile

Here’s how to download podcasts and listen to them on Android or iOS

Podcasts have become a cultural staple. Here's how to download podcasts and listen to them on your Android or iOS device, and which apps to use if you're looking to get the most out of the format.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Social Media

Nearly 75 percent of U.S. users don’t realize Facebook tracks their interests

Did you know Facebook tracks your interests, including political and multicultural affiliations? According to a recent Pew study, 74 percent of adult users in the U.S. have no idea Facebook keeps a running list of your interests.
Deals

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.
Web

Shutdown makes dozens of .gov websites insecure due to expired TLS certificates

The US government shutdown is causing trouble in internet security. As the shutdown enters day 22, dozens of government websites have been rendered insecure or inaccessible due to expired transport layer security (TLS) certificates.
Social Media

A quick swipe will soon let you keep bingeing YouTube on mobile devices

The YouTube mobile app has a new, faster way to browse: Swiping. Once the update rolls out, users can swipe to go to the next (or previous) video in the recommended list, even while viewing in full screen.
Computing

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.
Business

Cathay Pacific messes up first-class ticket prices — again

A couple of weeks ago, an error on Cathay Pacific's website resulted in first-class seats selling for a tenth of the price. On Sunday, January 13, the airline made the error again. The good news is that it'll honor the bookings.
Computing

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.
Social Media

YouTube to crack down on dangerous stunts like the ‘Bird Box’ challenge

YouTube already bans content showing dangerous activities, but new rules published by the site go into greater detail regarding potentially harmful challenges and pranks, including certain blindfold- or laundry detergent-based stunts.
Computing

Pinning websites to your taskbar is as easy as following these quick steps

Would you like to know how to pin a website to the taskbar in Windows 10 in order to use browser links like apps? Whichever browser you're using, it's easier than you might think. Here's how to get it done.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.