Articles

Thu
30
Mar
John Lister's picture

Congress: Internet Firms Can Share (Sell) Your User Activity

Congress has voted to ditch rules that would have made it harder for broadband companies to share personal user data with third party companies. The vote means Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations will not take effect. The rules were ... adopted by the FCC last October and covered broadband and wireless providers, but not websites such as Google or Facebook. Had they taken effect, the rules would have meant Internet providers could not share key data - for example with advertisers - without the explicit consent of customers. This data included browsing history, details of the apps ... (view more)

Wed
29
Mar
John Lister's picture

Docs.com Users Warned to Check Sharing Settings

Users of Microsoft's Docs.com have been warned to review security settings on their account. Researchers found it was all too easy to search and find personal data contained in documents mistakenly made public. Docs.com is designed to make it easy ... to share documents with other users over the Internet, including PDF files and those in Office formats, regardless of the device and operating system they are using. The site includes a search feature that lets a user look for text in any document on the service to which they have access - something that's designed to make it much easier ... (view more)

Tue
28
Mar
John Lister's picture

Amazon's High-Tech, Cashier-less Grocery Store Delayed

Amazon's plans for convenience stores without checkouts or cashiers have taken a knock. Initial test show the system doesn't work properly if more than 20 or so customers use the store at once. The Amazon Go store works through a dedicated ... smartphone app and a technology similar to that used in hotel minibars. When a customer picks up an item from the shelf it will automatically be added to their virtual shopping cart (as well as their real one), though if they put it back on the shelf it will be removed. Instead of paying for the items at the check out, the customer simply walks out ... (view more)

Mon
27
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Device I/O Error (and Recover Data)

Infopackets Reader Phoebe A. writes: " Dear Dennis, Today I tried to free up some space on my C drive by moving files over to my external hard drive, but Windows gave me an error message, stating that 'Error during copy: the request could not be ... performed because of an I/O device error'. I've also tried using 'TeraCopy' to copy files over, but it keeps freezing on the same files. Can you help? " My response: If you receive an error that says "the request could not be performed because of an I/O device error" when trying to copy or move a file, that usually (but not always) indicates bad ... (view more)

Fri
24
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

Explained: When to Encrypt your Hard Drive, and When not to

Infopackets Reader Scott writes: " Dear Dennis, I'm thinking of turning on disk encryption for my Windows 10 computer. I've never done this before. Is there anything to be concerned about or to be aware of? " My response: This is a good question. ... The truth of the matter is that if you encrypt your entire C drive using Windows BitLocker or a third party utility, it's going to slow your system down quite a bit. The reason for this is because every single file written to the drive must be encrypted, and then decrypted when read - including your operating system files. Constantly encrypting and ... (view more)

Thu
23
Mar
John Lister's picture

Email Scammer Takes $100 Million

A man has been arrested after allegedly scamming two US companies into sending him more than a hundred million dollars online. He posed as a legitimate computer manufacturer and issued bogus requests for payment. The companies haven't been named, ... but prosecutors say one is a "multinational technology company" and the other a "multinational online social media company." Evaldas Rimasauskus was arrested in Lithuania last week and has been charged in US courts with one count of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identify theft, and three counts of money laundering. Bogus ... (view more)

Wed
22
Mar
John Lister's picture

Man Jailed Over a Year for Not Disclosing Password

A US court says a man must provide the password to unlock two hard drives that prosecutors say contain unlawful images. The court rejected his appeal that to do so would breach his fifth amendment rights, which roughly translate to: "No person shall ... be held to answer for a ... [crime], unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury." The case is an unusual twist on the more common disputes about how the fourth amendment -- which deals with searches and seizures -- applies to technology. In this case the man claims that handing over the password could incriminate him. The ... (view more)

Tue
21
Mar
John Lister's picture

Advertisers Ditch Google Over Extremist YouTube Videos

Google has apologized to businesses whose ads appeared next to extremist videos on YouTube. It follows several major brands and the British government dropping Google advertising over the affair. The Times newspaper reported that videos from ... extremist groups had appeared beside advertising from many a host of big businesses and government agencies. That not only meant embarrassment but could mean that the advertisers were unwittingly -- if indirectly -- contributing to extremist groups. Content Classification Confusing Google's Matt Brittin told a conference that he wanted to " ... (view more)

Mon
20
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

Explained: Do I need a Third Party Firewall?

Continuing on with last week's article, David L. writes: " Thanks for your help in identifying the culprit that was causing random Blue Screens of Death ( BAD_POOL_CALLER ) on both mine and my wife's system. Question: I have been using ZoneAlarm for ... many years and it has been good to me. If I decide to stick with the Windows Firewall per your recommendation - what happens if hackers find an exploit in the Windows Firewall that allows them into my system? Yes, ZoneAlarm has caused my Blue Screens of Death (BSOD) and it costs money upfront (versus the Windows Firewall which is free) - but why ... (view more)

Fri
17
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: BAD_POOL_CALLER Blue Screen of Death

Infopackets Reader David L. writes: " Dear Dennis, I have a VERY perplexing problem! My wife and I are trying to publish a book online a website (CreateSpace.com) - unfortunately, both her system and my system are crashing with blue screens of death ... (BSOD) error: BAD_POOL_CALLER. I am using Mozilla Firefox on my machine, and she is using Edge. I've called Microsoft and talked to their support for over 4 hours but they were unable to help - and in fact, my system is operating even worse than before! You've done work for me in the past and I need to have you connect to my system and tell me ... (view more)

Thu
16
Mar
John Lister's picture

Twitter, Facebook Users: Review Account Settings

A major "hack" of prominent Twitter accounts has raised awareness of a big security loophole. The problem isn't with Twitter itself, but rather third party tools. This morning several thousand accounts belonging to public figures and major ... organizations and businesses posted identical messages. The tweets included a swastika symbol and references to Nazi views in Germany and the Netherlands and are thought to relate to an ongoing political spat between the Netherlands and Turkey. (Source: bostonglobe.com ) There's never a good time for accounts to be hijacked in such a way, ... (view more)

Wed
15
Mar
John Lister's picture

Adult Toy Tracked User Activity, Prompts Lawsuit

The makers of a remote controlled device for personal pleasure have agreed to pay $3.75 million after allegedly collecting data on how the device was used. Standard Innovations has not formally admitted any wrongdoing. The company makes several ... models in the We-Vibe line, each designed for intimate female use. Some of them include a Bluetooth connection that in turn connects to a smartphone. That allows the user or a partner to remotely control the operation and settings of the device, with an option for partners in long-distance relationships to operate the device over the Internet. ... (view more)

Tue
14
Mar
John Lister's picture

Malware Preinstalled on Many Android Phones

Android phones from a variety of companies have reached business employees with malware already installed according to researchers. How and why it got there is not yet confirmed. The report comes from Checkpoint, a security company. It says it was ... examining devices used by staff at two businesses: one a "large telecommunications company" and the other a "multinational technology company." (Source: checkpoint.com ) While it's not unusual to find malware on employee phones during some checks -- that's partly the purpose of hiring services such as Checkpoint. ... (view more)

Mon
13
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Can't Delete 'C:\System Recovery' Folder

Infopackets Reader Barry P. writes: " Dear Dennis, I have an HP computer running Windows 10 (previously upgraded from Windows 8), and it's running very slow. I'd like to reinstall Windows - but before I do that, I want to back everything up onto ... external hard drive. I want to keep the backup as small as possible - as such, I noticed that I have a 'C:\System Recovery' folder with 'C:\System Recovery\Repair' and 'C:\System Recovery\Repair\Backup' subfolders. The 'C:\System Recovery' folder is taking up 40GB of data and I'd like to know if it's safe to delete. I have another machine here and I ... (view more)

Fri
10
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Keyboard Won't Work: Corrupt, Missing Drivers (Code 39) - This Works!

Infopackets Reader Alan B. writes: " Dear Dennis, I rebooted my laptop recently, and now my keyboard has completely stopped working. I looked at the status of my keyboard under Device Manager and it reports that my keyboard is a 'Standard PS/2 ... Keyboard' with an error code 39. The specific error message is: 'Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware. The driver may be corrupted or missing. (Code 39)'. I have scoured the Internet and have tried various registry 'fixes' online, but nothing works! You fixed my computer a few years back using your remote desktop support service, and ... (view more)

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