data

Fri
31
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Explained: VPN vs Proxy; What's the Difference?

Infopackets Reader Bill K. writes: " Dear Dennis, Thanks for your excellent and concise explanations regarding VPNs (virtual private networks). I read with interest the latest article, ' Difference Between VPN Server and VPN (Service) ' and also ' ... Do I need a VPN? Are VPNs Safe for Online Banking? '. I was wondering if you could explain the difference between a VPN vs Proxy ? Which one is better? Can I use a Proxy with bit torrent or browsing the web anonymously? " My response: In this case, the term "proxy" refers to a "proxy server", which is a special use server online the Internet that is ... (view more)

Tue
21
Aug
John Lister's picture

Skype Offers Secret Calling, End-to-End Encryption

Skype has added a new "private conversations" feature. Calls made this way will be encrypted so that it's impossible for anyone to usefully intercept or listen in. The data for such calls will use end-to-end encryption. That means the data is ... encrypted on one user's device and kept that way throughout its journey over the Internet until it reaches the other user's device. If the data is intercepted, it won't be of any use. The system will work on a "conversation" basis rather than a call-by-call basis. One user must select the feature, which will then send ... (view more)

Thu
16
Aug
John Lister's picture

Experiment Unveils Google Location Tracking

Google has been tracking mobile device users movements even when they have "Location History" switched off. It turns out users need to turn off a less well-known setting to stop tracking altogether. The issue doesn't just affect devices running ... Android. Some iPhones are also affected if they have Google apps such as Maps or Search running. In theory, switching off the Location History setting on your device or in a Google account will prevent the company tracking and storing location information. The immediate effect is visible as the timeline feature in Google Maps will stop updating. ... (view more)

Thu
02
Aug
John Lister's picture

Gov't Staff Revert to Typewriters After Ransomware Attack

Staff of a local government in Alaska have switched to typewriters after a ransomware attack crippled their computer network. Officials are currently rebuilding the system from scratch. The attack hit Matanuska-Susitna Borough, which covers the ... region just north of Anchorage. The problems began on July 24, though officials believe the malware may have been on the system for several weeks before activating. IT staff spotted the ransomware attack thanks to antivirus software , but had to start manually removing some of the more sophisticated elements. They also reset all passwords as a security ... (view more)

Tue
31
Jul
John Lister's picture

Chrome Security Warnings Revamped: What You Need to Know

If you use Google's Chrome browser, you may have started seeing warnings that a website is not secure. Here's what it means and what's changed. What's the change? Google has changed the way it displays information about websites in the space on the ... left of the address bar at the top of the Chrome display. Originally this space was only used to indicate when a website was secure via a padlock symbol. Later on Google gave this more emphasis, adding the word "Secure" and marking both in green to stand out. Until now, the fact that a website isn't secure hasn't been explicitly stated: it's just ... (view more)

Tue
17
Jul
John Lister's picture

Courts: Facebook Accounts Can Be Inherited After Death

A German court has ruled that Facebook accounts can be inherited. It's the latest attempt to solve the problem of what happens to online data after somebody dies. The ruling came from the Federal Court of Justice, Germany's highest court, and ended ... a six-year legal process. It began with the death of a 15-year-old who died when she was hit by a train. Her parents asked Facebook to give them access to her account, meaning they could see the contents of private message exchanges. They said they wanted to find any clues as to whether the death was suicide or an accident. As well as giving the ... (view more)

Tue
19
Jun
John Lister's picture

iPhones to Make 911 Calls More Effective

iPhones will now automatically share precise location details with 911 operators during emergency calls. It's part of an overhaul of the emergency phone system for the mobile age. The change will come in iOS12, the next edition of the Apple ... operating system, which will be released this fall. It means that by default the location is transmitted when the phone makes an emergency call. Apple says the data collected and shared in this process will only ever be used for emergencies. (Source: theverge.com ) Precise Location Uses Multiple Sources It builds on a 2015 Apple feature called Hybridized ... (view more)

Wed
23
May
John Lister's picture

Microsoft: New Processor Bug Could Leak Data

Both Microsoft and Google are warning of another bug in computer processors. It's similar to previous bugs known as 'Spectre' and 'Meltdown'. For now the new issue has the less dramatic codenames 'Speculative Store Bypass Variant 4' and ... 'CVE-2018-3639'. As with Spectre and Meltdown , it involves a processor function known as speculative execution that's meant to improve computation processes. Unlike some bugs, it's classed as a low risk to users but is significant because of the sheer number of computers that could be affected. The processor is the part of the computer that physically carries ... (view more)

Thu
03
May
John Lister's picture

Facebook Fires 'Stalker' Engineer

Facebook has fired an engineer accused of misusing private data to 'stalk' women online. He is thought to be a security engineer who abused his 'privileged access' level to data. One of the engineer's alleged victims was the founder of a cyber ... security company. She's made public the conversation she had with the Facebook engineer, in which the man talks about being a security analyst. He wrote: "... I also try to figure out who hackers are in real life... [so, I'm a] professional stalker." It appears the pair were conversing after being connected through the dating app Tinder. To make ... (view more)

Mon
30
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

Explained: Absolute Best way to Limit Data on Android

Infopackets Reader Sam G. writes: " Dear Dennis, I work from home and also own an Android smartphone, which I use to communicate (via text messages) with friends and family. Because I am home all the time, I use WiFi on my phone instead of data. ... Therefore, I purchased a very cheap 'pay as you go' data plan for when I'm away from the office. The problem is that my data is being eaten away by apps on my phone whenever I'm on the go. I have tried disabling 'background data' on my Android phone to limit which apps can use data, but this is incredibly time consuming because each data permission is ... (view more)

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