This picture says it all, as seen in my local Hemköp.
Sweden is becoming increasingly cashless. Credit and debit cards are now by far the most common mode of payment while mobile payments have become as common as cash. A parliament committee has proposed that the largest banks should be forced to handle cash in an effort to halt the development. This year, only 13 percent of Swedes paid for their most recent purchase in cash, down from 39 percent in 2010. Read the full story.
According to the National Institute on Economic Research, Sweden’s growth rate will peak at 2.4 percent this year and then come to a halt in 2019. Moreover, while the unemployment rate is expected to continue to sink in the coming year and dip to 6.2 percent, it will then start to rise, the Institute’s latest prognosis states. Read the full story.
The battle for which party will lead the next Swedish government drags on. Support for the far-right Sweden Democrats rose significantly in the election on 9 September (it is now the third-biggest party with 17.5% of votes and 62 parliamentary seats), while mainstream parties both on the left and the right declined. Read the full story.
If you’re like me you’re used to reading your favorite websites in the US without blinking. Then last May, GDPR happened and all of a sudden certain websites didn’t want me any more. Their teams hadn’t gotten their GDPR acts together. So I was locked out. There are also privacy issues to consider. Then I remembered something about VPN. Here’s what you need to know:
In 2017, the U.S. Congress rolled back Internet privacy rules, giving service providers free reign to track, store and sell browsing data. In July, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) issued a warrant to DreamHost, asking for a list of everyone who visited DisruptJ20.org — a site used to plan protests at President Trump’s inauguration. Both events raise important questions about online privacy, and many consumers are turning to Virtual Private Networks (VPN).
Yikes, right? Right!
The General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union and the European Economic Area. It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas.
What? Read more here.
Virtual private network: a system or technology that uses a public network, usually the Internet, to transmit encrypted data between a private network and a remote authorized user. When you connect to a VPN, you create a secure, encrypted tunnel between your computer and the VPN remote server. The data is essentially gibberish to anyone who intercepts it. Your ISP, government or hackers won’t know which websites you visit. And conversely, the websites you visit won’t know where you are.
I repeat: the websites you visit won’t know where you are.
It may be tempting to turn to a free VPN provider, but many simply don’t deliver a great experience. Some sell your data (anonymized) to advertisers in order to survive. Other VPN services run ads. Some may be free and secure but are painfully slow.
It can also be tricky to pick a good paid VPN service. For example, a provider may offer secure connections and ultimate privacy, but a limited number of server locations. Your browsing data may not be as anonymized as you’d like.
Here are some questions you should ask when considering a VPN provider:
That last question can be really tricky. If you pay for the VPN service with a credit card or PayPal, how private will it be? If you’re after ultimate privacy and security, look for a service that accepts payment from anonymous services like Bitcoin.