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SpaceX reportedly tells workers to ditch Zoom over privacy concerns

SpaceX has reportedly told its workers to stop using Zoom for teleconferencing as it has concerns over the software’s safety.

With an increasing number of people now working from home due to the coronavirus outbreak, Zoom has seen a huge uptick in usage in recent weeks. But this has also resulted in greater scrutiny of the collaboration tool’s security and privacy policies, with some experts slamming the software for not being up to the job.

Some companies have already ditched the software, including SpaceX, which this week told its workers to switch to other means of communication, according to a memo seen by Reuters.

Sent to employees on March 28, the message said: “We understand that many of us were using this tool for conferences and meeting support. Please use email, text or phone as alternate means of communication.”

It added that the decision to stop using Zoom had come amid “significant privacy and security concerns” about the teleconferencing software.

The decision by SpaceX was followed by a warning from the FBI’s Boston office earlier this week advising people to avoid making meetings on Zoom public and to keep links to meetings as private as possible. It said was issuing the advisory after receiving multiple reports of what’s become known as “zoombombing,” where hackers disrupt Zoom meetings with inappropriate material that could include violent imagery or pornography.

NASA, which is gearing up for a historic mission with SpaceX in May, has also banned its staff from using Zoom, according to Reuters.

Adding to Zoom’s woes, investigative news outlet The Intercept recently published a piece saying that the teleconferencing software fails to deploy end-to-end encryption, which would serve to protect conversations on the platform from those outside a meeting. This is despite claims on the company’s website that end-to-end encryption is part of the service.

Instead, it deploys what is known as “transport encryption,” which means the Zoom service has the capability to access the unencrypted video and audio content of Zoom meetings. “So when you have a Zoom meeting, the video and audio content will stay private from anyone spying on your Wi-Fi, but it won’t stay private from the company,” The Intercept said.

An expert in the field told The Intercept that for effective end-to-end encryption, Zoom would need “some extra mechanisms” in place, adding, “It’s doable, it’s just not easy.”

Zoom, based in San Jose, California, has also come under fire in recent days over accusations that it’s been sharing some user data from its iOS app with Facebook, a matter that reportedly prompted New York Attorney General Letitia James to send a letter to Zoom questioning its privacy practices. The company says it has now updated the app so that it no longer sends data to Facebook.

In a statement sent to Digital Trends on Tuesday, a company spokesperson said: “Zoom takes its users’ privacy, security, and trust extremely seriously. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working around-the-clock to ensure that hospitals, universities, schools, and other businesses across the world can stay connected and operational.”

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Boost Mobile Buyer’s Guide (October 2020)

Just about everyone knows the names of the “Big Four” top-tier wireless service providers: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. But, for every one of these major network operators there are a number of others with their own rates, customer service, and phone selection.These prepaid Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) license towers from the big names in the space.Let’s take a closer look at Boost Mobile and learn about it the brand, its rates, and features.About Boost MobileFollowing the Sprint and T-Mobile merger, DISH has acquired Boost Mobile. Boost Mobile operates in the United States with a nationwide CDMA/LTE network for coverage. It offers pre-paid rate plans which means no long term contracts or obligations.Taxes and fees are included and include unlimited talk, text, and data. Additionally, the come with mobile hotspot capabilities and unlimited music streaming.What deals does Boost offer? Boost Mobile offers a four-line rate plan for $100 when switching from another carrier. Each line gets unlimited data, talk, and text and provides for up to 1GB of hotspot.Which major prepaid carrier has the best $40 rate plan?What are Boost’s rate plans?Boost does not charge for going over your allotted data and taxes are included in the cost. Each plan comes with unlimited data, but only a set amount of it is high speed.$35/month: Unlimited talk, text and 3GB of high-speed data$35/month: Unlimited talk, text and 6GB of high-speed data (Walmart Exclusive)$50/month: Unlimited talk, text, and 35GB high-speed data w/ 12GB hotspot$60/month: Unlimited talk, text, and 35GB high-speed data w/ 30GB hotspotAlthough Boost offers multiple plans with “unlimited” data there are differences between each. Consumers can choose the option that works best for video and music, international calling, and customer service needs. For instance, some may not care whether video is streamed at 1080p or if audio is at 1.5Mbps.5 Plans Under $50Boost recently revised its plans to create five options which cost less than $50 per month. Each comes with its own amount of data and some of them are for new, in-store customers.$10/month: Unlimited talk, text, and 1GB 4G LTE, mobile hotspot (New in-store customers only)$15/month: Unlimited talk, text, and 2GB 4G LTE, mobile hotspot (New in-store customers only)$25/month: Unlimited talk, text, and 5GB 4G LTE, mobile hotspot (New customers only)$35/month: Unlimited talk, text, and 10GB 4G LTE, mobile hotspot$45/month: Unlimited talk, text, and 15GB 4G LTE, mobile hotspotThe $HRINK-IT! plan rewards subscribers for making on-time payments. The price drops five bucks after three payments; it drops another five after six payments. In short, you start out at $45/month and get to $35/month after paying your bill on time for half of a year.SEE: How to unlock your Sprint phoneCan I do multiple line accounts at Boost Mobile?Customers interested in family plans or multiple lines can do so with discounted pricing. As of today Boost Mobile offers a $20 discount when adding a line to one of the unlimited plans.There are currently two rate plans which offer Boost subscribers unlimited data, one for three-line accounts and one for four lines.Other Boost features and offeringsBoost Mobile provides a handful of extras (Boost Extras) to its customers, most of which can pair with the various rate plans. Details include international calling, extra data, HD video streaming, and phone insurance.Boost Mobile offers a $25 referral credit for anyone you have sign up for its service. Both get an account credit once your friend activates, pays for an eligible monthly plan and registers their new number.A Boost Perks mobile app lets customers save money with partner brands such as AMC, Papa John’s Sams’s Club, Costco, and others.What phones does Boost offer?Take a peek at the current lineup of Android phones offered through Boost and you’ll find familiar names from brands like LG, Samsung, and Motorola. There are also devices from the likes of Coolpad, ZTE, and Wiko, too.As we often see with a lot of prepaid providers, phone selection is a mixed bag, leaning more more toward affordability as opposed to performance. With that said, we do recognize there are some incredibly robust and current models, including the Samsung Galaxy S20.For those looking to save money there are also a handful devices which are certified pre-owned, meaning that although they were once used by someone else, they come with a guarantee/warranty.Can I use my own phone with Boost Mobile?You can often use your current CDMA phone, especially if it was previously paired with Sprint. Head to Boost’s website to check whether your specific model is supported. Also, we’re seeing a growing trend of unlocked phones with support for Sprint/Boost bands.

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