data

Tue
10
Feb
John Lister's picture

Samsung Smart TV Listens; Data Shared 'Third Party'

Samsung has caused outrage after careful examination of its Smart TV terms and conditions suggest it might listen in on conversations and then pass on details to a data collection agency. The company insists any chat that the television does ... overhear would be treated with the utmost confidence. The controversy involves Samsung's range of televisions that include an Internet connection for features, such as online video access. Some models also include the ability for users to control the television using voice commands, rather than by remote control. Samsung says it may transmit the audio ... (view more)

Wed
28
Jan
John Lister's picture

FTC: Smart Gadgets a Huge Security Risk

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has warned that the boom in Internet-connected home gadgets could increase security risks significantly. It's put together consumer advice and says it will work on applying the law to this new area of tech. The FTC ... has published a report on the " Internet of Things ". That's something of a vague term, but the commission defines it as any physical object that can connect to the Internet. Today, the Internet of Things doesn't simply apply to computer and smart phones -- it also applies to billions of other objects, including cameras, home ... (view more)

Tue
30
Dec
Brandon Dimmel's picture

Hacker Exposes Flaw in Fingerprint Security Systems

To many, the use of fingerprint readers as a way of password protection may represent the future of high-tech security. But a hacker has recently demonstrated that it's really not that difficult to bypass the security system -- all it takes, in ... fact, is a high-quality digital image. There's no denying that fingerprint passwords are becoming more and more common. They can be used to access PCs and thumb drives, but are becoming most prevalent in the smartphone world, where a quick dab of the finger gives one access to their mobile device. It seems like the perfect security system; ... (view more)

Mon
22
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

Missing Windows DVD? How to Download and Reinstall

Infopackets Reader 'Bob T.' writes: " Dear Dennis, I am trying to reinstall Windows on my computer but I can't seem to find my Windows DVD anywhere. In fact, I'm not even sure if my computer came with an install disc. Should I download Windows from ... a torrent website? Can I use a DVD or USB drive to reinstall Windows? What do you suggest? " My Response: You can download a copy of MS Windows 7, 8, or 10 for free from Microsoft and install it from DVD or USB, though the steps for installing from USB are a little more involved for Windows 7. At the time of writing this ... (view more)

Tue
11
Nov
Brandon Dimmel's picture

Windows Blamed for Home Depot Hack; Execs Get Macs

The Home Depot recently revealed that its systems had been hacked, leaving approximately 56 million customer credit cards and 53 million email addresses vulnerable to cybercriminals. Now, the retailer is apparently blaming Microsoft's Windows ... operating system (OS) for its security vulnerabilities, and has reportedly switched many top-ranking employees to Macintosh computers and iPhones. The Home Depot announced additional findings of its security breach on November 6, 2014. In the days that followed, customers whose data was affected received an email from the company, which read: " ... (view more)

Fri
07
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

Best Way to Reinstall Windows, User Data, Patches?

Infopackets Reader 'rseal54' writes: " Dear Dennis, I have a 6 year old Gateway computer with Windows Vista operating system and Service Pack 2 installed. I have a question regarding reinstalling Windows; I want to save all my data and installed ... programs to an external hard drive, then do a clean reinstall of the operating system. Is it possible to reinstall Vista with all the latest updates [automatically applied during the reinstall without using Windows Update]? Also, how do I get back all the items that were saved on the external hard drive? " My Response: That's an ... (view more)

Fri
24
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

Should I disable the Windows Page File or Swap File?

A visitor chatted with me on the web site other day, and he had a question about the Windows Page file. He wrote: " I have a question in regard to optimizing Windows and its 'page file'. I have Windows 7 Professional (64 bit) with a 1 terabyte (TB) ... hard drive, and 8 gigabytes of RAM. My system uses a newer generation Intel processor (Core i5 or Core i7). My question is: do I really need a page file when I have 8GB of memory? In your opinion, which is better: having Windows manage my page file, or should I define a custom page file, or use no page file? " My Response: The short answer is that ... (view more)

Wed
08
Oct
John Lister's picture

Windows 10 Malicious Keylogger Claims 'Overblown'

Reports that Windows 10 Technical Preview contain spyware-like features have been dismissed as overblown. However, the issue should raise awareness of some of the limitations of using preview software. Several news outlets have made startling claims ... about Windows 10 Technical Preview, suggesting it collects confidential data; some have gone as far to suggest that the operating system contains a keylogger . That's a nasty feature found in some malicious software that tracks what you type on your keyboard, looking for sensitive information such as passwords or financial account details, ... (view more)

Mon
29
Sep
Brandon Dimmel's picture

FBI: Mobile Phone Encryption Puts Americans at Risk

The Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) director believes encrypting information on smartphones makes Americans less safe from violent criminals. In fact, James Comey suggests that smartphone companies may be marketing the feature in a way that ... actually encourages criminal behavior. Largely in response to the scandal involving the National Security Agency (NSA) and Edward Snowden , the world's largest mobile phone technology companies have introduced encryption systems designed to help users protect their data against government snooping. Last week Google announced it would enable ... (view more)

Mon
22
Sep
Brandon Dimmel's picture

Healthcare.gov Remains Unstable, Vulnerable: Report

A new report from a government auditor suggests that the United States Healthcare.gov web site is missing basic security features. The most alarming findings include ineffective cyber security controls, such as resilient passwords and stable ... security patching. Healthcare.gov represents the central hub of the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act, which is intended to offer U.S. citizens an easier method of finding and acquiring health insurance. However, since the site's launch in October 2013 it has suffered from stability problems, with issues lingering well into 2014. ... (view more)

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