Category Archives: Privacy

Instagram adds post notifications to help you stalk better

instagram logo

Instagram has added a new feature in their current release called Post notifications that allows you to get notified the moment someone posts a new photo.  You can think of this much like following someone with an added bonus.  Instead of them just appearing in your regular feed (or you having to manually visit their profile) you instantly know when a new picture was uploaded.

Instagram Post Notifications

To access this new feature you go to the persons profile you are wanting to be notified about.  Click the three dots in the upper right corner and the above menu will appear.  From there simply turn on post notifications. You will then get a separate prompt from mentions of your name, and comments or likes on your pictures letting you know they have a new photo to view.  Of course normal block and privacy rules apply.

So does this really mean more stalking? It does remove the need for someone to constantly refresh your page or profile. Mainly if you are public. Understandably a person would block someone they did not want following them. But how do you know someone is not trying to suddenly show up at places you are. It is all about posting smart and controlling what and when you share something.

Skype is storing your file transfers in their cloud now – where and how long?

Skype logo

With the recent changes of Skype moving to a cloud based architecture some of you may be seeing a link when sending file transfers. These transfers used to be peer to peer. Skype has not issued any statement or documentation where or how long these file transfers are stored.

Skype File Transfer URL link

As part of Skype’s move to a cloud-based architecture, pictures sent via chat are now uploaded to the cloud. All of our Skype clients are currently moving to this new cloud-based architecture, and once we complete the rollout, your pictures will show (as normal) inside the conversation. For the moment, to view the picture that your contact sent, all you have to do is click the link and log in.

As Skype declares above, they are storing your files in their cloud and then presenting them to you inline or as a link. I am curious about the architecture behind this and the availability of the images long term. Can the images be found using simple URL replacement? Are they protected with some form of attribute so only those that were in the chat get get access? Or can anyone with the link that can authenticate into Skype get the file or image? launches for SxSW and accesses your contacts logo first entered the iTunes store in February 2014 and are preparing for a SxSW appearance for the first time. A privacy policy for the app worries us. They collect both anonymous and identifiable information.

The service is a video sharing platform that records the reaction of the receiver and sends it back to the sender. For example I record a skating video (maximum time is 16 seconds) with a person falling. I send the video to a friend via the app. When they watch the video it is simultaneously recording their reaction to the video. This recording is then sent right back to me for viewing.

What was interesting was the access and information it needed when performing these features

How to revoke and block third-party Instagram app access to your account

instagram logo

How do you revoke and block third-party app access to your Instagram account? Here are the steps required. Instagram has numerous third-party applications that people are allowing access to their account by loading them on their devices and via the web.

Everytime you add another application, it prompts you to log in using your Instagram username and password via their authentication API. By doing this, you are then giving certain rights to that application.  Some rights you may give are:

  • Access your basic information (Includes photos, friend lists & profile info)
  • Like photos
  • Comment on photos
  • Follow/Unfollow other users

Keep in mind some of these apps only do the above with your express permission, while others may do it automatically.  You have to pay special attention to what permissions the third-party app is looking for. To start checking what apps have what access and to revoke third-party access you need to access your Instagram account via the web.

Instagram login box

Once logged in, click on your image and name in the upper right and select Edit Profile. You will then get a list of options on the left side that allow everything from changing your password, editing your profile and managing applications.  That is where we are headed.