| Cult of Mac

Get a fantastic Black Friday deal on secure Private Internet Access VPN

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Private Internet Access gives you the secure VPN you need for safe web surfing.
Private Internet Access gives you the secure VPN you need for safe web surfing.
Photo: Private Internet Access

An encrypted virtual private network is one of the best ways to keep your online activities completely private. Plus, a VPN also can open up access to restricted content all over the world.

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This post is brought to you by Private Internet Access.
Right now, you can score an amazing Black Friday deal on a leading service, Private Internet Access — 83% off the two-year plan! Read on for more about the deal Cult of Mac readers can get, and what makes PIA such a great choice.

Apple apps secretly track users, lawsuit claims

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Read Epic Games' reasonable idea for opening up the App Store
A proposed class-action lawsuit claims Apple applications, including the App Store, surreptitiously track users.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A class-action lawsuit filed in California alleges that, “Apple’s assurances and promises regarding privacy are utterly false.”

The lawsuit is based on the work of a security researcher who claims that many of Apple’s own applications send detailed analytics information to the developer even after users ask them to stop.

Cloudflare goes all in on Apple’s CAPTCHA alternative

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Apple Automatic Verification will help save us from CAPTCHA hassles
Apple users may be freed from CAPTCHA with the help of Cloudflare's Turnstile.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple’s Automatic Verification system for websites is getting a big boost from Cloudflare. The web security company just unveiled Turnstile, a free alternative to those irritating CAPTCHA image tests. This has Apple’s system built in.

Turnstile, now in open beta testing, is available to anyone, not just Cloudflare customers.

Why you should never use the browser in Facebook and Instagram

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Why you should never use the browser in Facebook and Instagram
You can always count on Meta apps to suck up as much users data as possible.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The web browser that Meta built into the iPhone Facebook and Instagram applications can collect far more information about users than they probably realize. It can “track every single interaction with external websites,” according to a developer.

But users don’t have to stay in this sketchy browser. Leaving it is easy – here’s how.

Use Hushed to get a second phone number for burner calls

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Don't cell your phone privacy short and get this app for a second private phone number.
Call off the random texts and unwelcome calls by using a Hushed private phone line.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Sometimes you need to call co-workers, businesses, Craigslist sellers all sorts of people you might not want having access to your personal number and the ability to reach you at all hours of the day. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wanting a little privacy, and with a Hushed Private Phone Line, you can get that privacy without getting a whole new iPhone. For a limited time, this app which functionally gives you a second phone number is on sale for $24.99 (Reg. $150). 

SpyBuster app keeps iPhone data out of Russia’s hands

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The app helps you weed out iOS apps that may be transmitting data to Russia or Belarus.
The app helps you weed out iOS apps that may be transmitting data to Russia or Belarus.
Photo: MacPaw

The new SpyBuster iOS app scans your iPhone for other apps that may be surreptitiously sending your data to Russia or Belarus.

The privacy-oriented app comes from Ukraine-based developer MacPaw, which released a version of SpyBuster for macOS in the spring of 2021, not long after Russia invaded Ukraine.

How to keep menstrual cycle-tracking data private on iPhone

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Is your cycle tracking data secure?
Is your cycle-tracking data secure?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

The iPhone Health app’s Cycle Tracking feature provides a simple solution for logging menstrual cycles. If you menstruate, it’s an effective way to monitor your overall health and estimate when you’re most likely to get pregnant.

Given the personal nature of Cycle Tracking data, you need to be sure that it’s stored securely, away from prying eyes. The good news is, Apple’s security for health and fitness data is very robust. There are just a few things you need to know to ensure your data is safe.

Browse safer and faster with Control D

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This simple tool can protect your family online.
Customize your family browsing with this simple tool.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Usually, if you want to expand how you use the internet and protect your family online, you need a virtual private network. But those can be complicated to use — and expensive to boot.

Alternatively, Control D packs many of the control and safety features of a VPN into a much simpler solution. For a limited time, you can get a two-year subscription to this unique service for just $30 (regularly $48).

Protect your browsing habits for life with this decentralized VPN hardware

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This hardware VPN does it all.
This VPN can travel with you wherever you go.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Whether you primarily use the internet for casual browsing or work remotely full-time, you have data that needs protection. Unfortunately, even your simple browsing data is worth something to companies and trackers. And without the proper equipment, there’s not much you can do to protect yourself.

The Deeper Connect Pico can block those nosey third parties from observing and stealing your data. And for a limited time, this hardware VPN is on sale for $248.

Safari becomes second browser to surpass 1 billion users

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Safari now has more than 1 billion users.
Safari now has more than 1 billion users.
Photo: Apple
WWDC22 - Brought to you by CleanMyMac X

Apple’s Safari web browser recently topped 1 billion users, a new study indicates, making it the second browser to do so. Even so, it still lags well behind Google Chrome in popularity.

“1,006,232,879 internet users (19.16% of all internet users) now use the Safari browser, making it the second browser with over a billion users,” the Atlas VPN report said.