A few of you recently asked me some writing-related questions, and I wanted to answer them in a brief blog post. I plan to write additional blog posts that dig into writing topics in-depth, but this should suffice for now.
Read some quick tips after the jump: Continue Reading »
Internet users are under attack and we can’t expect privacy online. Very few of us have true privacy when accessing the Web, and we sometimes take extreme methods to get it.
In reality, we face threats not only from rogue hackers and organized hacker groups, but there is an ever present threat that is often overlooked: federal governments. Following mass surveillance programs unveiled by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, we have been provided a rare glimpse of a rather complicated, and unnerving problem.
Security firm Kaspersky Lab recently unveiled some more frightening news about sanctioned hacking operations. A recent story I wrote for eTeknix highlights security risks Google Android and Apple iOS users face, courtesy of HackingTeam – a company with clients such as governments and law enforcement.
In the ongoing evolution of the hacker community over the past 10 years, the addition of state-sponsored threat actors has accelerated. Governments often rely on cybercriminals to either launch attacks to disrupt behaviors of political rivals, or to conduct cyberespionage.
When we think of state-sponsored hacking activity, most of the attention goes straight towards China and Russia, but let’s not forget Iran and the United States also take part.
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Trying to keep networks and infrastructure safe from cyberattack – with a specific focus of clamping down on foreign-based threats – is a constant struggle for security professionals. The number of cyber intrusions has greatly increased over the past few years, with sensitive employee and customer data stolen and offered for sale by criminals.
As users struggle to keep their own personal data secure, companies likewise are unable to keep their infrastructure secure from attack. In addition to the cost of data breaches, lost man hours to repair problems, and potential fines, the biggest issue following a data breach: customer trust. However, companies might dodge a bullet until stolen data is being used for identity theft, fraud, and other illegal practices.
Additional thoughts and expert input available after the jump: Continue Reading »
Microsoft has announced 45 new entertainment apps that will be available for Xbox 360 and Xbox One gamers, with support for Twitter, Showtime, and HBO all in the mix. This is a whopping news announcement from Microsoft, as the industry is just five days away from the E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles.
Here is what Microsoft said in a press release:
”Xbox fans are spending more time than ever on the console, spending more than five hours a day on Xbox One. Today as we announce new commitments from dozens of our partners, including deep integration with experiences like Twitter and Vine, we hit an important milestone in our journey to deliver unique experiences on Xbox. We’re thrilled to break new ground in social TV experiences like we’re doing with Twitter on Xbox One.”
A full list of apps and services is available on the Microsoft website. This is a solid move by Microsoft – with the Xbox One struggling in global sales when compared to the Sony PlayStation 4 – it’s important for the company to try to keep gamers engaged.
Sorry, Microsoft – but I am a PC gamer, and that won’t change anytime soon. After weathering the storm “PC gaming is dying” storm a few years ago, the Xbox One and PS4 just aren’t appealing enough for me to want to own. However, both consoles are very respectable and I wish both companies the best as the fight rages on.
The Internet is a wonderful place, but adolescents in teenagers reveal somewhat staggering cyberbullying statistics. I wrote this story at TweakTown, but wanted to make sure everyone saw the full release. Here it is:
SANTA CLARA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–McAfee, part of Intel Security, today released findings from the company’s 2014 Teens and the Screen study: Exploring Online Privacy, Social Networking and Cyberbullying. The annual study examines the online behavior and social networking habits of U.S. preteens and teens. The most significant finding from this year’s study reveals that 87% of youth have witnessed cyberbullying versus last year when 27% of youth witnessed cruel behavior online. This behavior was perceived to result in anger and embarrassment, leading to a broader theme about how online behavior is impacting their offline lives. The study highlights how risky online activity can follow them offline and possibly make them even more susceptible to cyberbullying.
“By uncovering our youth’s online behavior activities, parents, guardians, teachers and coaches can be more aware of cruel behavior that can potentially take place offline”
“Parents must discuss online activity with their children to better ensure their safety and security offline,” said Michelle Dennedy, chief privacy officer at McAfee. “Whether a child is a victim or an instigator of cruel behavior such as cyberbullying, the negative behavior can deeply affect their identity and their reputation.”
Full release and additional thoughts available after the jump: Continue Reading »
FREMONT, CALIF., USA – June 2nd, 2014 – Patriot, a manufacturer of computer memory, USB drives, flash cards and mobile accessories, introduces a reinvention of mobile wireless charging with its FUEL iON family. FUEL iON offers unrivaled wireless charging speeds as well as protection for smartphones.
Wireless charging took a large step forward eliminating the need for cords and making charging as easy as setting your phone down. The down side was the lack of charging speed. FUEL iON tackles that problem and more by delivering speeds as fast as corded charging, surpassing the speeds for induction charging. FUEL iON offers multiple charging bases, phone cases, and car chargers to suit every user’s lifestyle.
Full press release and additional thoughts available after the jump: Continue Reading »
The Alameda City Council has approved $80,000 in funding to equip four Alameda Police Department squad cars with license-plate readers.
The thought of license-plate readers immediately stirred privacy concerns, and the type of collected information probably won’t ease those concerns. The scanners will take photos of license plates, date and time of the image, and GPS coordinates to the vehicles. All store information will be deleted after six months, assuming a police investigation isn’t underway, according to city officials.
Here is what Alameda Vice Mayor Marilyn Izzy Ashcraft said: “We drive down public streets, road and highways all the time, and our license-plate numbers are not protected information. There is no expectation of privacy, I would argue.”
This is a slippery slope that will raise privacy and snooping concerns – but with many cars stolen from Alameda, and stolen vehicles being abandoned on the island, could be an effective tool for the police.
Samsung held a media event in San Francisco this morning to announce the Simband, an open reference design platform. Instead of developing it as a standalone wearable product, Samsung wants to get startups, university researchers, and medical professionals involved in the project – trying to accelerate digital health initiatives.
Hopefully one day, Simband can be used to collect continuous biodata that is stored in an online cloud, which can be shared easily with your healthcare provider.
Read the full story to learn more and see some video footage: Continue Reading »
Many of us woke up this morning to hear major news that eBay suffered a data breach and users should be changing their passwords. eBay isn’t the first major site to be hacked – and certainly won’t be the last – but is a perfect time for security companies to step up and offer additional advice.
Avast Software quickly had insight to help try and keep users more secure. Here is what Avast COO Ondrej Vicek had to say:
The eBay breach is yet another password issue like Heartbleed. It is really important that people take this seriously. Data from our recent survey shows that nine out of ten people intended to change their passwords after Heartbleed, but only 40% took action. This careless attitude is completely irresponsible; people have to take the initiative to protect themselves.
People should change their passwords every three to six months and choose complex passwords containing upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Moreover, each account, especially accounts containing personal information and credit card details should have its own password. In a situation like this you really don’t want your PayPal and eBay accounts to have the same passwords.
Additional thoughts available after the jump: Continue Reading »
Sports company Zepp Labs today launched the first consumer technology giving tennis players and coaches the ability to capture and analyze swings in 3D, using their smartphone or table for data analysis. The Zepp multi-sport sensor is attached to the tennis racket handle, make a serving motion just like normal, and the 3D results are sent wirelessly.
The Zepp multi-sport sensor has a $149.99 MSRP and can be purchased from Best Buy, Verizon, Zepp.com and Tennis Warehouse.
Additional information available after the jump: Continue Reading »