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All you need to know about PORN sites. |Must Read

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Watching porn online entails an unsettling paradox: We want and expect our viewing habits to be totally private. Yet we know the modern digital economy is built on constant surveillance of our browsing habits.

That’s why potential and current porn viewers need to know what data adult sites can collect about them—and what they do with it. Men’s Health recently reached out to digital privacy and security experts, major porn sites, and adult industry figures to find answers to these questions.

“Porn websites are no more anonymous than any other website,” says Dylan Curran, director of tech for the digital security firm VFT Solutions. Like most sites, they log information on your IP address, the type of device and browser you’re using, and how your machine has interacted with the site in the past, stored in cookies. Sites can also choose to track what you click, how long you play videos, stay on a page, and other basic usage information. This holds true even if you’re using a browser’s private or incognito mode, which just prevents your computer from building a local history of pages you’ve visited.

But do they know who I am?

In theory, some porn sites could, with a little digging, use other digital databases to connect an IP address, browser fingerprint, or device to a named individual, says Rob Shavell, co-founder of online privacy firm Abine. They could also create comprehensive data files on named individuals’ porn viewing habits on their sites, which they could potentially sell to others.

However, streaming giants Pornhub and xHamster told Men’s Health they don’t use this data to identify specific individuals. (Users can and do at times opt into providing them more personal, identifiable info.) MindGeek, the firm behind Pornhub—and, by one 2018 estimate, 80 per cent of all mainstream online porn traffic—has told reporters in the past that it does not sell this data, or its analytics, to others.

Major porn sites do use data to get a sense of user demographics, so they can serve you content others in your demo-like. Companies like MindGeek that own streaming sites and film studios can also use that info to guide movie production. Cookie data also allows them to funnel content that they think you specifically will enjoy directly toward you—even if in theory they don’t know who you are, and just know your IP address or browser information.

Shavell notes that it’s hard to know from the outside which porn companies, of the thousands out there with ever-shifting privacy policies, may be involved in worrying identified data collection, “and which ones are just using the data on us to optimize our next visit” on their sites.

However, most porn companies do have a vested interest in protecting their patrons’ privacy, lest a PR disaster costs them a huge amount of their trust, user bases, and current or future profitability.

A study by Carnegie Mellon University, Microsoft Research, and the University of Pennsylvania looking at 22,484 porn sites in March 2018 found that 93 per cent sent user data out to an average of seven different external entities. That’s actually not bad by modern digital standards; as of 2018, YouTube sent data onwards to about 20 other parties. But it is hardly assuring to worried users.

Pornhub, xHamster, and other big porn sites told Men’s Health that they try to make sure any information they send on to third parties remains anonymous. However, it is not clear that every third party offers the same type or level of data anonymization. Daly Barnett of the Electronic Frontier Foundation notes that sometimes, even if you’ve scrambled one piece of a user’s data, like their IP address, an entity could still, in theory, identify them using other bits of info. And many third-party services have long been incredibly opaque about what they collect and how they use it beyond their core services.

Widespread HTTPS encryption prevents them from reading the full, after-the-slash, URL for a page their customer was on. However, as of 2018, only 17 per cent of porn sites had HTTPS security. So many porn sites still leak information about users’ searches, page views, and so on to ISPs. Then they can, in many jurisdictions, sell that information on to other firms or hand it over to the state.

The natural concern is that some of our porn data will, through one or more diffuse channels, end up in the hands of data brokers, companies that suck up all the info they can find on individuals. These brokers create dossiers on people, which they then sell on to everyone from credit rating agencies to marketing firms to other individuals. Even a few bits of fragmentary info on our viewing habits, anonymous in abstract, when sucked into a data broker’s massive archives could be used to build at least broad profiles on the sexual proclivities and porn viewing habits of named individuals.

Few big name data brokers, due to legal, company policy, or PR considerations, could work with porn data even if they wanted to. But there are, Barnett notes, many small, largely unregulated data brokers who use dubious sourcing to hoover up everything on us that they can. He says he hasn’t seen sexual information appear in their profiles yet, but he “wouldn’t be surprised” if they had it stashed away, or were selling it very discreetly. And while there may not be many corporate buyers interested in granular breakdowns on individuals’ porn habits, as these profiles become cheaper, more robust, and more widely accessible, Shavell argues there is a clear, growing market for them: individuals looking for dirt on people with whom they have an axe to grind.

So what do I do now?

What’s a guy to do to protect against the as-of-yet speculative, but still palpable, risk of your porn data leaking into the world? Unfortunately, the experts’ Men’s Health consulted for this piece said there is no one tool or tactic, or even one surefire set of tactics, that can fully mitigate this risk.

With that in mind, Barnett notes that one of the easiest steps to take to secure yourself is making sure that you are using a browser that places a premium on security. Browsers like Firefox, Iridium, and Tor take pains to build privacy protections into their systems, he says. You can also install one of many free browser extensions to block many third-party trackers from reading your most of your data, make HTTPS protections run on non-encrypted sites, or even provide real-time alerts on the snooping tactics a website you are visiting is employing and suggestions on how to react to them. It also doesn’t hurt, Barnett adds, to use a VPN and an ad blocker, and to clear your browser’s cookie cache to limit the amount data sites can glean.

Shavell also recommends limiting the number of porn sites you browse—ideally down to one—to minimize the avenues your data could leak through. If you decide to create an account on that site, or limited pool of sites, to access paid or premium content, he adds, make sure to use a throwaway email address created specifically to register for with site and anonymized payment, like a virtual credit card and phone number. The more personal data you willingly give when registering, the more direct and clear the risks—and not just of gradual data leakage. There have been numerous cases of hacks and data breaches exposing registered porn site users’ emails, passwords, and credit card info, all of which can be used for identity theft, to call out an individual for their habits in sextortion scams (a fairly common racket), or for social shaming.

No matter what we do, ultimately we all have to accept the fundamental paradox of online porn: If we want to adult content privately online, there’s always a risk that we’ll be caught out on it publicly. That risk is incredibly low. But it is real. It can be mitigated, but never eliminated. We either need to accept that or go back to buying porn in hard copy from a store 30 miles from our homes in cash while wearing a hoodie and shades. Given the choice, most of us will eat the risk.

Source: ghanaweb

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ON THE VIRG- Lionel Messi beat Van Dijk to Ballon d’Or by just SEVEN points as full results are revealed

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LIONEL MESSI beat Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk to the Ballon d’Or by just seven points to win a record sixth gong.

The Argentine created history last night by moving one ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo who came third in the rankings.

The Portuguese was never in the running to take the top gong and instead it was Van Dijk who came agonisingly close to becoming the first Liverpool ace to win it since Michael Owen in 2001.

In the end it came down to just a couple of votes from the 176 international journalists who participated.

Each journalist has to pick their top three with a point system of five for their best, three for second and one for third.

Messi picked up 686 points, seven ahead of Van Dijk’s total with Ronaldo third on 476.

Liverpool players dominated the top 10 with Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Alisson third, fourth and seventh respectively.

Kylian Mbappe had 89 points while Riyad Mahrez rounded off the top 10 with 33.

Messi’s total was less than last year’s winner Luka Modric who picked up 753 points.

Van Dijk, who many thought deserved the trophy after winning the Champions League, remained gracious after being pipped to the award.

He said: “You need to respect greatness.  It was an amazing year — but there’s a couple of players who are a bit unnatural.

“I was close but there was someone a bit better.

“I never thought I’d be up for a Ballon d’Or until I was actually nominated.

“It shows a lot about how my career’s been. I came late but never gave up on my dreams.

“I had to work hard every step of the way so to be here makes me so proud.”

Messi has previously won the award in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015.

The Barcelona star added: “Ten years ago I received my first Ballon d’Or, guided by my three brothers.

“And today I receive my sixth, guided by my wife and children.

“As my wife explained, you must never stop dreaming but always work to improve and continue to enjoy. I am very lucky, I am blessed.”

Ronaldo did not attend the glitzy do in Paris and instead showed up at the 2019 Gran Cala del Calcio do in Milan to pick up the Best Player in Serie A gong.

When asked if Ronaldo’s absence meant he had one fewer rival to beat to claim the crown, Van Dijk joked: “Was he a rival then?”

But the tongue-in-cheek response prompted an almighty rant from 34-year-old Ronaldo’s older sister Katia Aveiro on Instagram.

She wrote: “I think there are people living completely frustrated and unrealistic!

“It is well known that Ronaldo will not win tonight’s prize. Although he has won important collective titles… but this is another conversation.

“Now, dear Virgil, where you are going, Cristiano Ronaldo has gone and come a thousand times.

“You see, my dear Virgil, that Cristiano Ronaldo was a tri-champion in the country where you have been playing for years and you still haven’t got your hand on the trophy.

“Now, Virgil, win titles from those who really count and then we’ll talk.

“When you have a handful of them, the really important ones, you might be able to sit at the table with Cristiano.”

Source: thesun

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Shatta Wale celebrates 2020 Grammy nomination

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Ghana’s award-winning dancehall artiste, Charles Nii Armah Mensah, popularly known as Shatta Wale, has reacted to his possible Grammy Award win in 2020.

The ‘Gringo’ hitmaker took to the micro-blogging platform, Twitter, to thank his fans and American pop icon, Beyoncé for paving the way for his Grammy nomination for ‘Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media’.

Not long ago, Shatta Wale was featured on Beyoncé’s Lion King: The Gift album and the buzz went worldwide with Shatta Wale trending number eight on Twitter for the first time.

His song ‘Already’ garnered the highest votes when Billboard made a poll on their website querying which song on the Lion King album made numbers.

With regards to the Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media category, the Grammy award in 2020 will be given to “to the artist(s) and/or ‘in studio’ producer(s) of a majority of the tracks on the album.

“In the absence of both, award to the one or two individuals proactively responsible for the concept and musical direction of the album and for the selection of artists, songs and producers, as applicable. Award also goes to appropriately credited music supervisor(s),” per Grammy’s Website.

In the light of this, Shatta Wale has his fingers crossed on winning a Grammy award next year.

He tweeted “At long last my name has entered #GRAMMYs, thanks to the Beehive team!!!! Patience is truly the key!!! Pah pah pah pah.”

However, others nominated in the same category were Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ by (various artists); ‘Rocketman’ by Taron Egerton; Spider-Man: Into the spider-verse by (various artists) and A Star is Born by Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper.

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Amakye Dede, Samini Slated For ‘Giants Unplugged’ Concert

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Amakye Dede and Samini will headline the maiden edition of a charity concert dubbed ‘Giants Unplugged’.

Being organised by Primeval Media, in collaboration with John Agyekum Kufuor (JAK) Foundation, the event is slated for December 7 at the Fantasy Dome, Trade Fair Centre in Accra.

The purpose of the concert is to raise funds to support the construction of an ultra-modern Kufuor Centre for Leadership & Governance at the University of Ghana and also support the Kufuor Scholars Programme (KSP).

The concert is expected to attract thousands of personalities, including politicians, music stakeholders, celebrities as well as music fans.

The event would be a massive one, as some of the crème de la crème in Ghana’s music would join Amakye Dede and Samini on stage to deliver a world-class stage performance.

Some of the artistes billed to perform at the event are Kofi Kinaata, Efya, Bisa Kdei, Adina, Kaakyire Kwame Appiah, Dada KD, Lucky Mensah, among others.

With his excellent showmanship, Amakye Dede is expected to thrill music fans with an innovative style that has endeared him to millions of people throughout the country.

He promises to prove his worth and why he remains Ghana’s biggest highlife musician in Ghana today.

His stage performances and singing skills have earned him breathtaking credentials as one of the most thrilling highlife musicians in Ghana today.

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