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Why are we tracked online and should we worry? – Free Malaysia Today

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PETALING JAYA: The world is more connected than ever, and that’s in large part due to the rapid evolution of the internet.
While this has brought about services that have become nearly essential to our lives like e-commerce, streaming, and social media, it also means that we all leave a larger digital footprint than ever before which companies can take advantage of.
With this in mind, FMT asked an expert why companies track you, if you should be worried and what you can do if you want to minimise how much information they collect.
SL Rajesh of the International Association for Counter-Terrorism and Security Professionals knows the importance of cybersecurity as well as anyone and understands why being tracked or having one’s data captured can be a matter of great concern.
However, he said there was little to worry about in the vast majority of cases.
“Ultimately, these companies want to make money, and doing nefarious things with your information is not the best way to do that,” he told FMT.
“Companies generally want to gather data because they can monetise the information. A company like Google, for example, will have all this data about its users, which perhaps a clothing shop would be interested in accessing so it can target its marketing strategy to specific customers it’s looking to capture.”
How it happens
The connected world we live in gives our devices unprecedented insights into our routines and interests, which can then be leveraged.
Rajesh said: “Let’s say you click on a random advert for BMW. Now, whichever company is tracking you knows you have an interest in BMWs. It can also assume you are in the income bracket that allows you to afford that sort of car and will advertise other products that other people in your income group tend to look for, like watches and jewellery.
“Same thing if you go to a certain shop often. Because your phone has GPS, companies will be able to see that you tend to go to the same Thai restaurant in Ampang and might start suggesting other Thai restaurants or other eateries in that same area since it knows you’re there often and like that sort of food.”
His clients often complain to him that they suspect their phones are listening to them because they get ads for things they have never looked for online but only spoken about, but he said this was highly unlikely.
“You think these companies have nothing better to do?” he said with a laugh. “Billions of users, and you think they want to listen to your conversation with a friend? It’s more likely you don’t remember looking an item up or somebody you knew searched for it instead and advertisers were able to assume you’d have interest in a product based on those other factors.”
Be safe
He said it was worth practising good “tech hygiene” online even if most instances of data tracking were not malicious.
“The worry is when you are being tracked by less reputable companies. Google or Facebook (now Meta) would have no interest in doing criminal things with your data, but make sure you aren’t visiting unsafe sites.”
Certain websites display a padlock symbol next to the URL, which indicates a secure site. “So be more careful if a site doesn’t have that,” Rajesh said.
“Also don’t give away your personal information if you have doubts about the site. Don’t click on suspicious links or adverts.
“Just be aware of the risks of being online.”
When you finish browsing, it’s also a good idea to clear your cookies, which are small packets of information a website uploads to your browser to help identify you in future.
If you’ve ever revisited a site to find you’re still logged in, that’s because the site has identified that you already have an account with it. It recognises the cookie from your last session.
Advertisers can also place cookies on a site with the operator’s permission, again, to gather user data for better targeting.
Rajesh said clearing cookies was a simple step worth taking “if it gives you peace of mind”.
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Quinn by MCL Land is a jewel in Wangsa Maju offering the buyer great facilities, wonderful access and the promise of appreciation.
Medklinn is the pioneer in sterilising technologies and products that are chemical-free and sustainable for more than 15 years.
Besides fixed deposits, insurance plans, unit trusts and stocks/equities, investing in property can be very rewarding.
Grab supports MDEC’s campaign to give businesses the chance to go digital while offering more variety for consumers.

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Do you know how to earn money on YouTube? Make online videos pay – HT Tech

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Being a content creator on YouTube is no easy task, as many have discovered over the years. In fact, to earn money online, the going can be tough. money Merely owning a camera and a high-speed internet connection is not enough to earn money on YouTube and there is no way to know if your content will perform well on YouTube. However, for those with perseverance and enough patience, having a channel with regular content can help you earn money on YouTube. Here is how to earn money on YouTube.
YouTube Partner Program
If you want your YouTube videos to make money on the platform, you must apply to the YouTube Partner Program. However, not all users who apply are accepted –  they must fulfil certain requirements before they are accepted. For example, you must live in a valid region where the program is available, have a linked AdSense account, and no active Community Guidelines strikes against your channel. You must also have over 1,000 subscribers and over 4,000 valid public watch hours over the last 12 months at the time of applying to be in the YouTube Partner Program.
Also read: Looking for a smartphone? Check Mobile Finder here.
YouTube Premium revenue
While the YouTube Partner Program can net you a decent amount of revenue assuming you have enough views on your videos, content creators can also make their videos available on YouTube Premium. This will allow users who have subscribed to the Premium version of YouTube to access your content without ads and you can earn a small portion of the membership fees depending on how many views you get.
Channel memberships
Thanks to the Merch shelf feature, content creators can lock some content behind a paywall of sorts that allows for members-only access to badges, emoji and other goods on the platform. These memberships can only be enabled if you have a Community tab, you have more than 1,000 subscribers, you’re part of the YouTube Partner Program, and your channel is not marked as Made for Kids or has similar ineligible videos.
Merch shelf
Eligible creators on YouTube can showcase their own branded merchandise that can be sold by a retailer. According to Google, the shelf shows up on the main videos tab, and shows up to 12 products to viewers. You will need to have over 10,000 subscribers to set up a merch self on the platform, which is not something every YouTube creator will find easy to reach.
Follow HT Tech for the latest tech news and reviews , also keep up with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.
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How to share a Google Doc privately – The Verge

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Make sure you know whom you’re sharing it with
Recently, I got Slacked by a colleague who was really annoyed and had to let off a bit of steam. It seems that a writer had shared a new Google Docs article with them (a usual way of submitting a freelance piece), and when my colleague opened the article, they found another, unknown person was already reading it — somebody who was definitely not on our staff.
What had happened? The writer, probably in too much of a hurry to share the document with specific people, had simply made it public so that anybody could have access to it. This not only made the article available to anyone before it had been properly edited and published — something no publication wants — but opened it up to all sorts of mischief.
Mischief like what happened in June 2021, when another editor accidentally tweeted the link to an editable document to their followers. (The Verge’s site was temporarily down, and it seemed like a good idea to publish news to Google Docs in the meantime.) Merriment ensued.
So obviously, allowing anyone to view, comment on, or edit a Google Doc can lead to problems, especially if the link to that document is passed around. Interestingly, when you first create a Google Doc, the software’s default is that this is a private document, only to be shared if you explicitly request it. (There can be exceptions; if this is a business account, the administrator may have changed the default so that it is automatically shared by others in your company.) So usually, you have to consciously make the document completely public.
So here’s how you can share your Google Docs document — carefully.
First, go into the document you want to share and click on the large Share button in the upper right corner.
You’ll get a pop-up window headed “Share with people and groups.”
Begin typing the person or groups’ name into the field just below that. If that person is in your contact list, their name will appear; if not, you can type in their full email address. You can type in more than one name; however, this means that all those you’ve added will be given the same type of access to the document. (We’ll talk about access in a sec.)
When you’ve added at least one name, you’ll see a box to the right that says “Editor.” Click on that for a drop-down menu that lets you select the type of access that the people / group can have to your document. These include:
It’s usually a good idea to select the most restrictive type that’s practical enough for your use case. For example, if you’re writing a document together with several others, you’ll want to give them editor status; but if you don’t want them to make any changes without your approval, then commenter status is better.
(Expert tip: if the people you’ve shared with have changed the document but didn’t tell you what they changed, go to “File” > “Version history” > “See version history.” You’ll see a color-coded rundown on the right showing when the document was edited and by whom; click on the date, and the changes will be visible in the document, together with the color associated with the different users.)
You can also tweak the amount of access that editors, commenters, and viewers have to your document by selecting the settings icon (a cog wheel) in the upper right corner of that pop-up box. By unchecking the boxes in the settings pop-up, you can prevent editors from being able to change your permissions or share the document, and you can prevent editors and commenters from being able to download, print, and copy the document.
Once you’ve finished adding the people you want to share with, make sure the “Notify people” box is checked if you want to send them an email letting them know about the document; a field below that lets you type in a personal message that will be added to Google’s canned email.
But wait, there’s more.
There is a “Get Link” section below the “Share with People and Groups” section that lets you copy the link to your document (for example, if you’d rather text the link to one of your permitted sharers). The default is called “Restricted,” which means the only people who can see the document are those you’ve shared it with. But you can also use the “Get Link” section to make the link more accessible to more people.
To do that, click on “Restricted” and change it to “Anyone with the link.” That means anyone who has the link — whether you’ve sent it, or a friend has sent it, or it’s been posted to Twitter — can access the document. (Even here, however, you can adjust access so that people have either Viewer, Commenter, or Editor rights.)
Sharing a document is also possible — if slightly more awkward — on a mobile device.

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Stripe Helps Creators Boost 'Internet GDP' With Help of Platforms, Payments and Subscriptions – pymnts.com

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The platform economy, combined with the creator economy, is primed to help artists, musicians and podcasters, among others, turn their talents into money.
As Lily Q. Jolly, product lead for Stripe Express, told PYMNTS in an interview, making it easy to pay creators — in the way they want to be paid, and through subscriptions — will add significantly to the “GDP of the Internet.”
To that end, Spotify said this week that it is broadening its podcast subscription offerings, underpinned by Stripe’s payment infrastructure, to include paid monthly content. Podcast Subscriptions, now tied to Stripe Connect, supports currencies and payments across 34 countries, from Austria to the U.S.
Read Also: Stripe Teams With Spotify to Drive Subscription Monetization for Creators
Jolly stated that the creator economy, though relatively nascent, has seen creators across dozens of platforms (in partnership with Stripe) earn about $10 billion in revenue, and enabling more individuals to earn “livable wages” (in the U.S., that’s at least $69,000 annually).
As Jolly noted, the creator space is a slice of the economy that barely existed a few years ago. Until recently, the creators themselves spread their offerings across a slew of platforms, navigating different payment systems and currencies.
“They are trying every which way to make a living out of this,” she said.
The pact with Spotify follows linkups where Stripe has powered tipping on TikTok and Twitter on its Super Follows paid subscriptions.
Read Also: TikTok to Allow Users to Tip Favorite Creators
In terms of the mechanics, cross-border payments can be sent and received in different currencies, while other Stripe offerings such as invoicing and Stripe Billing help bill for the subscriptions.
Monetizing the Content 
With the pact, she said, “Spotify has leaned in really hard when it comes to enabling their creators to monetize what they do.”
Streamlining payments and pivoting toward subscriptions can make it easier for creators to experiment while making money online. Recurring revenues from subscriptions can be a lifeline. The Subscription Podcast with Spotify enables creators to make money in a predictable way. As she noted, “we all enjoy being able to have a sense of how much money we are going to make.”
“The goal is to be as broad as we can,” she said, with presence in countries with less-developed banking and payments infrastructure.
With the subscription model, she said, creators can offer and monetize content that their followers love, routinely, versus having to nudge their audience every single time a new podcast comes out.
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