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With the growing number of people suddenly working from home, Zoom meetings have almost become a way of life. Whether it’s for office use, educational, or just friends and family, the app has seen a huge spike in its userbase. Zoom is easy to use and available on all the major platforms, making it one of the go-to apps for a lot of people.

However, growing security and privacy concerns led to the app coming under the microscope. Zoom has put a plan in place to improve its security, but in the meantime here’s what we can do to make sure our Zoom calls are as safe as we can make them.

► How to Zoom meeting: Set up, join, host, schedule, and more

Enable End-to-End Encryption

End-to-End Encryption is widely dubbed as the gold standard of encryption and security. This encryption protocol makes sure that no one, except for the ones communicating, is allowed to read a single bit of data that’s being transmitted. Zoom has faced a lot of criticism for not being up to the mark in terms of encryption, and this new addition is a befitting reply to the doubters. The feature is still in beta, and you’d miss out on cloud recording, phone/SIP/H.323 dial-in, and more, but it’s still the best way to go for industry-grade security.

To enable End-to-End Encryption, go to ‘Settings,’ then ‘Security,’ and finally, toggle on ‘Allow use of End-to-End Encryption.’ You’ll be asked to enter your phone number and enter the verification code. Ultimately, you’ll need to set the default encryption type to ‘End-to-end encryption’ and hit ‘Save.’

Securing Zoom Rooms

Zoom’s public meeting ID’s allow for any user with the ID to “gate crash” the meeting. The FBI was alerted by a number of sources about strangers Zoombombing meetings with disruptive material.

The following steps can be employed to protect yourself, and your meetings from unwanted external interruptions.

Private ID

This is an obvious one. Refraining from posting meeting ID’s in public forums and instead, sending them directly to the attendees will reduce the chances of strangers finding your meeting. This is especially helpful if you already know your roster for the meeting.

Yes, this is not always feasible, especially when it is a public event like a Webinar. In such cases, having prospectives ‘Request’ for an ID helps you track who has acquired the meeting ID.

Screen sharing

Screen sharing allows users to share their personal screens with everyone in a meeting. Since there is no way to restrict what can be shared on a screen, there have been numerous reports of offensive material having been shared in a meeting.

Luckily Zoom lets you decide who can share their screen in a meeting; All the participants, Only the host, or no one.

If you don’t want anyone to be sharing their screen, simply toggle off screen sharing by going to the settings tab, selecting In Meeting (Basic) and toggling Screen sharing to OFF. The other screen sharing options are in the same location.

Waiting rooms

Understanding that it is not always possible to keep Meeting room ID’s private, Zoom has introduced ‘Waiting Rooms’. This additional bit of security is intended to keep users who are not welcome, out of the meeting.

Waiting rooms are a handy addition to the Zoom environment in which they allow the host of the meeting to check the attendees off the roster before allowing them in. You can see why this would come in use when screening for Zoombombers.

To toggle off Waiting Rooms, however, you have to make sure that your meetings are Passcode protected. Zoom has ensured that users must have either Waiting Room or Passcode enabled, for added security.

As mentioned above, another way users can infiltrate a meeting is by cycling through meeting ID’s till they find an active one. This added security function eliminates that threat. Keeping uninvited users out can be as simple as locking the meeting once all the participants have arrived.

On the downside, however, once a meeting is locked, not even users who have the password can get in. So it is best to make sure everyone is present before locking the meeting.

Most of these security settings mentioned above can be accessed from the Security tab at the bottom of the call screen.

Turn Off Autosave for chats

Following the idea of disappearing chats, Zoom allows users to toggle the option on/off. If your meeting is confidential and you would not like anyone to save the chats that occur during the period of the meeting, it is a good idea to turn OFF Zoom’s auto-save function.

Toggling the function off still allows the host to save the chats in a meeting when they so choose but prevents chats from ALL meetings being saved by default.

Under the settings tab, select In Meeting (basic) and toggle Autosaving chats to OFF.

Virtual image/video backgrounds

In order to protect the identity of your ‘home’ work environment, Zoom allows users to superimpose themselves on a virtual background, thus cutting out any background noise. Fun as it looks, this helps users gain a little more privacy while working from home.

To know more about changing your virtual backgrounds, check out our article.

Allow only authenticated users to join meetings

Zoom offers the ability to create Authentication profiles which lets hosts decide which participant can join a meeting. As an administrator, you can enable the option to only add authenticated users to enter a meeting session by going into Account Settings and enabling the option adjacent to “Only authenticated users can join meetings”.

You can choose between two methods for authentication – Sign in to Zoom and Sign in to Zoom with specified domains. “Sign in to Zoom” can be selected if you wish to allow anyone into the meeting who has signed into their Zoom account. By selecting the “Sign in to Zoom with specified domains” option, only users with a certain domain(s) will be able to join the meeting.

Require registration for attendees

In addition to creating authentication profiles, Zoom also allows you to require registration from users who wish to join your meeting. If a meeting requires registrations, participants will need to mention their e-mail, name, and answer questions that the host set for them. To enable the requirement of registration, the meeting host should be a licensed user, meaning they should be using any of Zoom’s paid plans.

You can check the “Registration: Required” checkbox when scheduling a meeting to decide if you want to approve participants on just signing up or after you allow them to. You can then proceed to pick questions or designing custom ones to ask anyone who signs up for joining the meeting.

Enable image and audio watermarks for your meetings

In order to protect the information that is being shared during a meeting session on Zoom, you can add watermarks to your video feed, shared screens, and your audio. Watermarks on Zoom are available in two different ways on Zoom – image and audio.

If you’re sharing your screen with other members of a meeting, a part of your email address will show on across your shared screen as well as your video feed. With audio watermarks, Zoom will plant an inaudible audio sound that will have your personal information to help detect if a participant recorded the meeting. You can enable image and audio watermarks by heading over to Account Settings on Zoom.

Disable joining before the host

Zoom has an option for hosts to allow attendees to join the meeting before they enter it themselves. While allowing other participants to join before the host could be convenient, it’s not the best option in terms of security. If you disable the “Join before host” inside Zoom Account Settings, the participants who enter the meeting will see “The meeting is waiting for the host to join” dialog on the screen and will only be able to join the meeting session once the host logs in to the session.

Do NOT allow removed participants to rejoin

Zoom offers the option to allow participants who were previously present in the meeting to get back into the meeting. However, if you wish to keep the meeting session safe and secure, you might want to disable the “Allow removed participants to rejoin” option under the ‘In Meeting (Basic)’ section inside Zoom Account Settings. This will prevent previously removed meeting participants and webinar panelists from entering the meeting again.

Security is of the utmost importance when dealing with online interactions. We hope you employ these practices into your day to day meetings. Stay safe, and don’t forget to lock your Rooms!

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How To Secure Your Website From Hacking & Manual Actions

Security threats and search engine penalties are critical issues that can hurt your rankings and your bottom line. You need to avoid them from the outset.

To achieve great SEO results, you need to learn the basic steps you can take to ensure that your website is well-protected and properly optimized.

I had the pleasure of moderating a Best of SEJ Summit webinar on June 27, presented by Eric Kuan, Webmaster Relations Specialist at Google.

Kuan talked about website security and manual actions, and how webmasters and SEO professionals can avoid getting hacked and penalized.

Here is a recap of the webinar.

How to Keep Your Website Secure

According to Google, the number of hacked sites increased by approximately 32 percent in 2024 compared to 2024.

Thankfully, in 2023, the search engine was able to reduce webspam with over 80 percent of hacked sites removed from search results.

While Google is making significant progress in combating website hacking, you shouldn’t be complacent. Aggressive hackers prey on vulnerable websites, and if you don’t secure your outdated site now, you might be the next target of their attack.

Common Types of Website Compromises

Spam

Hacked spam is the most common type of website compromise. Spammers inject content into a legitimate website in order to drive traffic to a malicious or deceptive site.

Hackers might redirect content to pharmaceutical, gambling, or pornographic websites that can cause real damage to your actual site. They are attempting to leverage the reputation of your site in order to get their bad content to rank.

Malware

Malware is any piece of software that was written with the intent of doing harm to data, devices, or people.

Malware can directly affect your website users, which is why Google provides strict warnings.

Credit Card Skimming

Credit card skimming is a fairly new security threat that affects ecommerce platforms. This is one of the most dangerous compromises for consumers because credit card data is stolen.

There’s a potential threat that malicious code was injected onto a site that skims credit cards so when users are typing in their credit card credentials, either they get moved to another page (i.e., a phishing page) or there’s some type of system that stores that credit card information and sends it to the person who hacked the site.

If you have an ecommerce site and you noticed anything unusual, look into your platform and check if there’s something going on.

Having your users’ credit card information stolen can hurt your reputation if you don’t address this immediately.

Crypto Mining

Recently, crypto mining instances have been on the rise.

Crypto mining hackers inject one or two lines of JavaScript on to your site and start using your users’ resources in order to mine for cryptocurrencies.

This has reportedly caused a lot of issues with mobile phones and devices with limited processing power.

While there are legitimate ways of using crypto mining, a lot of times, hackers will inject it onto your site without you knowing. It’s going to negatively affect your users’ experience and your brand.

Make Web Security a Priority

Always put web security at the top of your list.

Hackers are constantly looking for exploits. Check your log files constantly so you can spot and fix any compromises right away.

Pay attention because only a single weak link is needed to break the entire chain. You can do 98-99 percent right in website security but if you neglect that 1-2 percent, you’re still vulnerable to compromises. Hackers can exploit that one weak link and undo all the security measures you’ve done.

Whether you’re a small or a big brand, you can get affected by website compromises. No one is 100 percent immune to these types of security issues.

A Quick Word on Social Engineering (Phishing)

The most believable phishing sites trick almost half of the users. Thus, you need to make sure that everybody who has access to your website is really well educated about phishing threats and that they understand that there are people out there trying to steal your website credentials.

Around 20 percent of the compromised accounts are accessed within 30 minutes after being phished. After you’re phished, you have a really small window of recovering your site and changing all your passwords.

Again, you want to make sure that prevention is there. You don’t want to be fixing things after the fact. You want to be preventing things before they happen.

Why Should You Care?

If your site is hacked, a lot of damage can happen:

Users cannot access your site.

You and your user’s data will be compromised.

Your brand’s reputation will be affected.

Aside from the above damages, fixing a hacked site, finding the vulnerability and re-securing lost data can be extremely difficult.

Hackers will constantly try to keep a hacked website hacked. Therefore, they will do things that can prevent you from spotting the compromise, such as cloaking and file injection.

The best thing way to avoid this inconvenience is to secure your website properly.

What Can You Do?

Here are the steps you can take to avoid your website from getting hacked.

1. Sign up for Search Console

Once you’ve added and verified ownership of your site in Search Console, Google will send you critical website notifications such as vulnerability and hacking warnings that you need to pay attention to.

Google is also constantly creating new documentation to help webmasters. Recently they put out this guide that outlines what can be done to recover from a hacked website.

2. Keep Security at the Forefront of Your Strategy

Talk to everyone who works on your site – developers, marketers, SEO professionals, etc. – and make sure that they understand the importance of security.

3. Back up Your Site Regularly

This is one of the most effective ways to recovering your site when it has been compromised, but not all webmasters do it. If you have a backup of your site, it will be easier to revert it to its original state prior to getting hacked.

4. Keep Software Updated

Keeping your software updated is the easiest thing you can do to prevent your site from being compromised. Most of the compromises Google sees are from outdated software such as content management systems (CMS), plugins, etc.

If you’re using a CMS or ecommerce platform, sign up for their newsletter and be on the lookout for emails saying you need to update the software due to security risks.

Talk to the people who are working on your site because sometimes making updates to the software can cause certain plugins to break or become incompatible.

5. Consider Investing in Security Software

If you’re not an expert in securing your site or you think you need an added layer of protection, you can invest in a security software.

6. Use Two-Factor Authentication

If you have any type of username/password combinations that you want to keep secure, use two-factor authentication.

It gives you a second layer of security in this age where countless of major account login data leaks are happening.

A Quick Word About HTTPS

HTTPS is about encrypting the information transmission of your website, which is a good practice that can help keep user data secure. This is related to, but different from, securing your website from intrusion.

Google urges using HTTPS everywhere. If you have limitations, then use it on any sensitive data that gets passed like passwords or credit cards.

Starting near the end of July 2023, Google’s Chrome 68 browser will notify if sensitive info is being passed on non-secure connections. See the Google Security Blog for additional tips and details.

How to Avoid Manual Actions What is a Manual Action?

A manual action is an adjustment of a site that is manipulating Google search. Manipulative behavior is:

Anything done to trick search engines.

Deceptive behavior (e.g., cloaking, unnatural links, scraping content).

Not limited to a specific set of rules.

What Should You Do? Check Webmaster Guidelines

Make sure to follow and understand Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Don’t resort to manipulative behavior to game the search engine – it will do you no good.

Don’t Be Overly Concerned with Manual Actions

If you’re building a good website for your users, you aren’t going to get penalized.

A manual action is reserved for webmasters trying to do something tricky in order to manipulate search rankings.

Improve Ranking by Focusing on Your User’s Needs & Technical SEO

Talk to your users about how you can improve their experience on your website. Google focuses on bringing users to sites that would be most helpful for them. Therefore, if you listen to what your users need and give them what they want, you should have no difficulty in ranking well.

You should also make sure that your website’s technical SEO components are on point so that Google understands it properly.

What Is a Reconsideration Request?

A reconsideration request is a request to have Google review your site after you fix problems identified in a manual action notification.

Reconsideration requests are manually reviewed by the Google Webmasters team.

Characteristics of a Good Reconsideration Request:

Demonstrates understanding of the problem.

Details how the problem was solved.

Characteristics of a Bad Reconsideration Request:

Submits a blank site.

Doesn’t detail what was changed.

Completely tears down a site.

If you aren’t aware of the problem, get help from experts.

Resources Key Takeaways

Prioritize web security.

Follow Webmaster Guidelines.

Don’t worry unnecessarily about manual actions.

Video Recap: Google on Website Security and Manual Actions [Webinar]

Watch the video recap of the webinar presentation and Q&A below.

Here’s the SlideShare of the presentation as well.

Join Us For Our Next Webinar! KPIs, Metrics & Benchmarks That Matter For SEO Success In 2023

Reserve my Seat

How To Raise Hand On Zoom

While video conferencing apps have definitely brought people together and have helped mimic working conditions, they lack the personal interactions that stem from physical meetings, like how do you catch the host’s attention when you are on a call with 50 other people.

What is Raise Hand on Zoom

Zoom has an interesting way of allowing users to interact with the host of the meeting by providing nonverbal feedback. One of these feedback options allows participants to raise their hand in a meeting, while simultaneously alerting the host. This way, you can request to speak up or share your concerns during a meeting if you have been muted by the host.

At the time, besides Zoom, only Microsoft Teams allows users to use the ‘raise hand’ feature during meetings. Google is expected to roll out a Hand raising feature for its Meet users in a future release giving participants in a meeting a chance to speak upon raising their hand.

RELATED: How to record a Zoom meeting without host permission

How to Raise Hand on Windows PC and Mac

If you happen to be attending a Zoom Meeting from your Windows PC or Macbook, follow this guide to learn how to provide nonverbal feedback to the host by raising your hand.

Step 1: Launch Zoom and join a meeting as a participant (not a host).

Step 3: Select the ‘Raise Hand’ option inside the Participants panel from the right-hand side of the screen.

There’s a keyboard shortcut! Alternatively, you can use keyboard shortcuts to Raise your hand on Windows and Mac. Press the “Alt + Y” key on either of the systems to toggle Raise Hand option ON or OFF.

The Raise Hand button will only be visible if you’re not a current host of the meeting. If you had previously left a meeting and the current host hasn’t re-assigned you back as the host, you can access the Raise hand button inside your Participants panel.

Note: Zoom allows only one type of nonverbal feedback to be active at a time.

RELATED: How to show profile picture on Zoom

How to Raise Hand on Android and iPhone

If you are using the mobile version of the Zoom app, follow this guide to learn how to provide nonverbal feedback to the host by raising your hand.

Step 1: Launch the Zoom app and join a meeting as a participant and not a host.

Step 2: To raise your hand to speak up, tap on the ‘More’ button from the meeting controls at the bottom right corner of the screen and then select the ‘Raise Hand’ option from the popup menu.

The meeting host will now be notified that you raised on your hand, regardless of the device they’re using Zoom on.

RELATED: 11 Fun Zoom Games!

How to Raise Hand on a Phone call

Zoom allows users to dial into meetings directly from a phone, without the use of an application. In such cases, if the participant wishes to raise their hand while in a meeting on a phone, they must dial *9 on their phone’s dial pad.

To lower their hand, the participant must once again dial *9 in the phone’s dial pad.

Where is the Raise Hand icon

When a participant has raised their hand in a meeting, a small hand icon appears next to their name. Zoom lists the participants in the order in which their hands were raised.

On your phone (Android or iOS), if you’re checking whether anyone or yourself raised your hand during a meeting, tap on the ‘Participants’ tab from the bottom of your screen. In the next screen, check for a blue hand icon adjacent to a participant’s name on this list. When such an icon appears, it means that the user has raised their hand to speak up.

Raise Hand option missing?

There can be two reasons for a user not being able to see the Raise hand icon.

When in fullscreen mode, Zoom minimizes the bottom toolbar to create an immersive experience.  If you don’t see the bottom toolbar while in a meeting, here’s what you can do:

On mobile devices, simply tap the screen of your Zoom meeting and the toolbar will appear. Now you can select the ‘Participants’ tab and select ‘Raise hand’.

If the host has disabled nonverbal feedback for the meeting, the participants will not see the option to ‘Raise Hand’ or any other feedback. Ask the meeting’s host to enable Nonverbal feedback under his Zoom settings on the web to enable Raise Hand feature.

How to enable Nonverbal feedback in a meeting

Zoom allows participants to express themselves without audio or video through Nonverbal feedback features. Nonverbal feedback is available in the form of buttons inside the Participants panel and one of them is the ‘Raise hand’ feature. Thus, it’s important that you (as a host) enable Nonverbal feedback to allow participants to raise their hands during the meeting.

Note: Only the host can enable or disable Nonverbal Feedback in a meeting.

To enable Nonverbal feedback in a meeting, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Visit chúng tôi and sign in with your username and password.

Step 3: In the ‘Meeting’ tab scroll down to ‘Nonverbal feedback’. Toggle the button on or off to enable or disable the participants to provide nonverbal feedback.

How to lower your hand on Zoom

Whether you are a host acknowledging a participant or a participant who accidentally raised their hand (hey, it happens), follow these steps to lower a hand in a Zoom meeting.

How to lower a participant’s hand

If you’re using Zoom on a phone, you can lower a participant’s raised hand by tapping on the ‘Participants’ tab in the meeting screen, tapping on the user’s name, and then selecting the ‘Lower Hand’ option from the popup menu.

How to lower hand yourself

If you’re the one who used the ‘Raise Hand’ feature to speak up during a meeting but you now want to undo it, you can do so using the ‘Lower Hand’ button that will appear in place of the ‘Raise Hand’ button.

There’s a keyboard shortcut! Alternatively, you can use keyboard shortcuts to Lower your hand on Windows and Mac. Press the “Alt + Y” key on either of the systems to toggle Lower Hand option ON or OFF.

When using Zoom on your phone (Android or iOS), you can lower your hand by tapping the More button from meeting controls at the bottom right corner and then selecting the ‘Lower Hand’ option.

How to find all the participants who Raised Hands-on Zoom

Alternatively, you can also simply check out the ‘Participants’ menu to find the Raised Hand icon next to the participants who raised their hand.

RELATED: How to change your name on Zoom

How To Eliminate Malware From Your Mac

How To Eliminate Malware From Your Mac (2023) How to Eliminate Malware using Intego Antivirus?

Intego Antivirus is one of the best malware removal programs that not only help you to provide Mac malware protection but is also effective for enhancing the speed of your machine.

This software is a fast and powerful tool that helps you to protect your Mac from various kinds of threats like malware and viruses. Its malware definitions are also constantly updated to ensure that not even the latest strains of the Mac virus can bypass your security. Intego Antivirus will give you multi-layer security to make sure your Mac stays safe and secure.

How to Use Intego Antivirus For Mac?

Step 1: Download and install the Intego Antivirus.

Step 3: Navigate to the VirusBarrier module and initiate the Full Scanning process to find and remove new, old and existing threats, such as malware infections, trojan horse, worms, rootkits, adware, spyware, etc.

Step4: Once the scan is complete, you will see all threats displayed in the same window.

Read Also: Low Storage on Mac? Here are The 10 Best Mac Cleaners

Tips and Tricks To Remove Malware From Mac Run Your System Software Update:

First and foremost, which you can do is to troubleshoot your Mac is to run a system software update. Because when you’re running your machine on outdated version then you might issue related to the performance of the computer. Moreover, updating your computer is one of the easiest and simplest way to fix minor bugs and issues automatically.

Follow the below steps to update your system software:

Step 1: Go to Apple icon, you can navigate the icon at the top-left corner of the screen.

Step 2: Choose the App Store to access the Mac App Store from the available drop-down list.

Step 3: Hit the Updates tab from the upper Mac App Store window.

Step 4: Install the latest update. Now, you will be prompted to enter your Apple ID and password to install the update as an admin.

How to Automatically Download New Updates?

If you’re using macOS Sierra or later version, then you can avoid the pain of manually downloading new updates. All, you need to do is enable Automatic Install in System Preferences which is going to help you to automatically download new updates in the background & install them overnight, so you don’t need to compromise on your routine.

Follow the below steps to automatically download new updates:

Step 1: You need to open Mac App Store and then go the App Store from the top left corner of the Menu bar.

Step 2: Choose Preferences.

Step 3: Now, you will notice Automatically check for updates, where you need check all the following boxes.

Must Read : How to remove PUP from Mac

Find Out Errors On Your Disk:

If software updates are not working for you then you can go for checking your hard drive. With the help of Apple’s Internet Recovery partition, you can easily repair and sort out your cranky drive by following the straightforward method. To get rid of malware on Mac, do the same:

Step 1:  Firstly, you need to restart your machine.

Step 2: While restarting your machine, you need to hold -down Command + R till the time your computer is not completely awake.

Step 3: Once the reboot process is completed, you will notice you’re in Internet Recovery Partition, where you need to choose Disk Utility.

Step 4: Select Continue.

Step 6: Choose Run to implement the recently made changes.

Step 7: Now, you will see there is a progress bar checking on its hard drive to verify whether you’ve errors or not.

You can also directly access the Disk Utility app which is default app of Mac. You can run disk utility scan by access the app.

Step 1: Open Finder.

Step 2: Go to Applications.

Wrapping Up:

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How To Hide Browsing History From Your Isp

How to hide browsing history from your ISP [Privacy Guide]

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Most ISPs are required by law to collect and store your data for a limited period of time. But many ISPs throttle your bandwidth to slow you down when torrenting or streaming, for example.

Find out how to block ISP and take control of your online privacy in 5 easy steps: using a VPN, Tor,  HTTPS, new DNS settings, and a secure search engine.

Discover everything about ISP, including the sneaky ISPs that enforce bandwidth throttling.

Return to our Security VPN Hub to learn how a VPN improves your online privacy and security.

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To fix Windows PC system issues, you will need a dedicated tool

Fortect is a tool that does not simply cleans up your PC, but has a repository with several millions of Windows System files stored in their initial version. When your PC encounters a problem, Fortect will fix it for you, by replacing bad files with fresh versions. To fix your current PC issue, here are the steps you need to take:

Download Fortect and install it on your PC.

Start the tool’s scanning process to look for corrupt files that are the source of your problem

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readers this month.

In a lot of cases, Internet service providers are required by law to collect and store customer data for a limited period of time, so that legal investigation agencies can counteract cybercrime.

An ISP may also throttle network bandwidth if you’re engaged in streaming or torrenting activities.

Throttling can also be used to force you into upgrading to more expensive subscription plans with superior Internet speed.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that most privacy-concerned users are constantly looking for solutions to hide their browsing history from their ISP.

For instance, if you ever tried to use a web browser in incognito or browsing mode, know that it won’t prevent your ISP from monitoring your data.

Google Chrome clear explains this:

But we’re here to guide you on the right path and show you how to improve your online privacy by concealing your browsing activity from your Internet service provider.

How can I hide my browsing history from my ISP?

A VPN service offers the easiest way to stop ISP tracking on Windows 10, Mac, Android, iOS, and any other platform.

You can use a virtual private network solution to hide the fact that you’re browsing, torrenting, gaming, or streaming, thanks to encryption.

Instead, consider investing in a premium VPN service since it will tremendously help you on the long haul.

And we can’t think of a better candidate than Private Internet Access. It provides 256-bit military-grade encryption through OpenVPN.

You can also check out WireGuard, a newer, faster and just as secure protocol if you’re looking to block ISP spying on your computer.

When using a VPN, it’s essential to understand that you’re basically trusting the VPN provider with your data, instead of your ISP. That’s why you must opt for a VPN service that offers a zero-logging privacy policy.

Private Internet Access is a prime example in this case. It’s one of the few VPN services that proved its no-logging claims in court (twice).

More about PIA:

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You DNS servers are responsible for translating the domain names you enter in your browser address bar into IP addresses. It’s the way in which computers communicate with each other over the web.

Here’s how to change your DNS settings on Windows 10:

In our example above, we used the Google Public DNS servers because they’re free, fast, and secure. You can also try CloudFlare or OpenDNS.

If you have IPv6 connectivity, make sure to also modify your IPv6 DNS server addresses.

However, if you’re the owner of a trustworthy VPN service like Private Internet Access (buy here), you don’t have to do anything.

That’s because PIA runs its private DNS servers as soon as you connect to a VPN server. It enhances your online privacy since you’re already encrypting your data traffic with a VPN.

The Tor anonymity network amplifies your online privacy and stops your ISP from seeing what you browse or download. It’s particularly great for users looking to defeat government censorship.

Tor encrypts and reroutes your data traffic through multiple nodes all over the world before it reaches its destination. It makes sure that no one can understand who you are or what you’re doing on the Internet.

All you have to do is download the Tor Browser, fire it up, and surf the web as if you’re using a regular browser.

If you’re worried that your VPN provider may not be truthful about its no-logs claim, you can install the Tails operating system, which is based on Tor.

Tails redirects all computer traffic through Tor. So, after installing your VPN service and connecting to a VPN server on Tails, your ISP or VPN provider will not be able to track you down.

HTTPS websites use SSL certificates to provide end-to-end encryption. It’s one of the best ways to protect your computer from eavesdroppers.

Using HTTPS instead of HTTP is also a great way to prevent your ISP from monitoring your data usage. And the simplest way to enforce HTTPS pages is by installing a web browser extension.

For example, Private Internet Access (buy here) has a browser addon with an integrated HTTPS feature. Otherwise, you can set up HTTPS Everywhere.

Keep in mind that an HTTPS browser extension won’t work outside of the web browser, such as torrent clients. A VPN is better in that case.

In 2023 alone, Google made almost 135 billion US dollars in ad revenue. It made it happening by collecting your data and creating attractive ad opportunities for third-party marketing agencies.

Your ISP also has a big role in this. But you can block IPS and Big Data companies from monitoring you by turning to a secure search engine as an alternative to Google, Yahoo!, and others.

Conclusion

You can also change your DNS settings, join the Tor anonymous network, access only HTTPS websites, and resort to a secure search engine like DuckDuckGo.

Your connection is not secure – websites you visit can find out your details:

Use a VPN to protect your privacy and secure your connection.

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Zoom Audio Not Working? Here’s How To Solve It

Zoom is one of the most popular remote collaboration apps out there. The service is being used by many companies during this time of lockdown, and chances are, if you are working from home then you’ve probably used it too.

Apart from offering the ability to experience HD audio and video, Zoom also comes with tons of features like virtual backgrounds, screen sharing abilities, and a comprehensive whiteboard.

Yet, even with its glorious repertoire of features, Zoom is not a flawless service. Like every other service out there, Zoom, too, is susceptible to bugs of all kinds — auditory included. If you have been using Zoom for a while and have recently started encountering audio issues in Zoom then you have landed at the perfect webpage.

We have compiled a list of some of the most common reasons that cause audio issues on Zoom and all the possible fixes for them. So without further ado, let’s get started.

Zoom Audio not working?

If the other participants in a Zoom meeting cannot hear you, here are a few solutions you can try. Basically, it is making sure that you haven’t accidentally muted yourself during a meeting, and that the microphone is enabled and working on your device.

Share Audio

Here’s how to make sure Audio is enabled on your device while in the meeting.

On Phone:

Step 1: During a Zoom meeting on your mobile device, tap on the screen to bring up the calling options at the bottom of your screen. Now select ‘Join Audio’ in the bottom left corner of your screen.

Step 2: Now select ‘Call via Device Audio’.

This will enable the app to use your device’s microphone which should solve your audio issues.

Unmute yourself

Check if you aren’t accidentally muted in the meeting that you have joined. To do this check the microphone in the bottom left corner of your screen on your Zoom meeting screen, whether you are on a PC or phone.

Fix Zoom Computer Audio

If the above solution does not work for you, then chances are that the proper input device has not been selected on your system. This could especially be the case if you are using an external microphone on your PC or Mac. To check if the correct audio input device has been selected, follow our simple guide below.

For Windows users

If you are able to use your microphone then the correct device has been selected. You can verify this by looking at the Input level bar which will respond to your audio levels when you are testing the microphone.

For Mac users

Step 3: Now make sure your mic is turned on and adjust the volume using the slider below if needed.

Step 4: If you are unable to get any response, then select a different input device and try again.

You should now be able to use audio during your Zoom meetings.

Confirm microphone permission

Head over to your settings app and navigate to the settings for the Zoom application. Open the permissions menu and ensure that Zoom has the permission to use your smartphone’s microphone.

If it does not, then grant this permission and try connecting to your Zoom meeting again. You should now be able to use your microphone easily in case the permission was not granted before.

Disable ‘Always Mute My Microphone’ on your phone

Zoom has a failsafe feature that disables your microphone every time you join a meeting. If you are unable to pass audio through to your meeting members then this setting could be enabled on your device. Follow the following steps to ensure that ‘Always Mute My Microphone’ is toggled off in Zoom settings.

Step 1: Tap on the ‘Settings’ icon in the bottom left corner of your screen and select ‘Meeting’ from the settings menu.

Step 2: Now ensure that ‘Always Mute My Microphone’ is toggled off. If it is toggled on, simply tap on the switch to toggle it off.

Can’t get audio from the Zoom meeting?

Here’s a list of common solutions if you are unable to hear anybody on a Zoom meeting.

Make sure Speaker is ON

Tap the screen during a Zoom meeting and you will see a speaker icon in the top left corner of your screen. If it shows that the speaker is disabled, then tap on it again to enable your speaker.

Turn Bluetooth off

If your device is connected to a headphone or speaker via Bluetooth, then the audio output is being played on that Bluetooth device. If the Bluetooth device is in another room or at a low volume, you won’t notice this. Hence, make sure headphones aren’t connected, or simply turn off the Bluetooth so that the output remains available to the device’s speakers.

Connect headphones

If this does not solve your issue, there might be a hardware issue with your device. You can verify this by connecting headphones to your mobile device. If you are able to get audio in your headphones then it is likely that your device is having a hardware failure.

Common solutions to all the problems

Restart Zoom

On PC:

If you are unable to solve the audio problem and are sure that your mic is working properly and are able to use audio in other applications, then there is a high chance that the Zoom application is glitching out. Simply close the application and start it again.

This will clear any leftover cache files and start the application again. Joining the meeting again will also solve any connection issues that might be preventing you from using your audio during Zoom meetings.

On Android:

► How to force close an Android app

Restart your device

If nothing seems to work for you and you are experiencing persistent audio issues during your Zoom meetings, then you should try restarting your device, whether that a compute, a mobile phone, or a tablet.

This will clear the cache of your device, delete temporary files and restart extensions, plug-ins, and startup services that might be interfering with the functionality of the Zoom app.

Once the device is restarted, simply launch Zoom again and try connecting to the concerned meeting. You should now be able to use Zoom without any audio issues interrupting your experience.

Get the latest version available

Zoom has been continually working on its desktop client and mobile apps to bring you the best experience possible. Due to this, there are constant updates being released in order to fix the bugs and get rid of any underlying issues while introducing new features. If none of the above works for you, then you should try updating your Zoom desktop client or mobile app.

If you are having issues with the mobile app and are on the latest version, then you can try uninstalling and reinstalling the app. This will perform a clean installation on your device which should get rid of any underlying issues with the app.

► Find the latest versions of the Zoom app for every platform here

Clear the cache of the Zoom app on your smartphone

If none of the above methods seem to work for you, then clearing the cache of the Zoom app on your mobile device might fix these issues. Let’s see how you can clear the cache for the Zoom app on your smartphone.

Step 1: Open the ‘Settings’ app on your mobile device and head over to ‘Apps & Notifications’.

Note: This could also be called ‘Manage Apps’, ‘Installed Apps’, or simply ‘Applications’ depending on your mobile device manufacturer.

Step 2: Now scroll the app list to find Zoom and tap on it to open your settings for Zoom.

Step 3: Now tap on ‘Storage & Cache’ and select ‘Clear cache’ at the top of your screen under the Zoom app icon.

Now try restarting the application again. You should now be able to use audio again during your Zoom meetings without any issues.

Restart your browser if you are using the web client

Many browsers might also interfere with the underlying function of your Zoom meeting which might prevent you from using your audio device. Simply close the application and restart it again.

A simple way to exit a browser is to use the exit/quit option under the Menu/More button of the browser. See the example for the Chrome browser below.

You can also use a special command to completely exit Chrome. Open your Chrome browser and type in ‘chrome://restart’ in the URL bar and press enter. This will restart the browser completely and reset all the extensions as well which might be interfering with your audio connection.

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