online

Fri
09
Sep
Dennis Faas's picture

Explained: My PC is Infected / Locked, has 1-800 Number. Is it a Scam?

Infopackets Reader "AJ" writes: " Dear Dennis, After having a conversation with Microsoft tech support yesterday, I realized that I was scammed. I took necessary steps to cancel credit card. I do not do business on my machine - just communication ... with friends, etc. I do see that the techs that took my money have done some work on my computer and it seems to run a lot better. Question: is it still harmful to leave my computer as-is, or should I hire another tech to clean my machine again? The people that took my money also gave me their phone numbers so that I can be in contact with them at ... (view more)

Tue
09
Aug
John Lister's picture

Hulu Abandons Free Service; to become Subscription Only

Hulu is ditching its free TV service, though it will still be available in a different form. Analysts believe the move was forced on it by the television industry. Up until now, Hulu users had three options for streaming video online. The free, ... basic service let users watch many network and cable shows the day after broadcast - but only if users watched commercials. In most cases, the five most recent episodes of a show were available online. Customers can also pay $7.99 a month for a "limited commercials" option, or $11.99 a month to cut out commercials altogether. Both of these ... (view more)

Fri
25
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

Explained: Do I need a VPN? Are VPNs Safe for Online Banking?

Infopackets Reader Janie T. writes: " Dear Dennis, I wanted to know if I should use a VPN (virtual private network) to connect to my bank website. A service I came across called saferweb.com claims that they will encrypt my connection, but I don't ... know if they can be trusted or not. What do you think? PS: I love your daily infopackets letters - they are very informative. " My response: This is a good question. When visiting saferweb.com I noted the following statements on their site: "Safer Web gives you an extra layer of security against Internet hackers. By hiding your IP, we keep your ... (view more)

Wed
03
Jun
John Lister's picture

US Patriot Act Replaced To Limit Online Snooping

President Obama has signed a law that will limit the government's power to collect data from the public's online and telephone activities. The USA Freedom Act should make it harder for officials to simply collect data in bulk. The Act replaces the ... measures in the 2001 Patriot Act , which extended the government's surveillance powers as a response to the September 11 attacks . That led to the National Security Agency launching a program by which it effectively collected as much data as possible and held on to it so that it could then look back for details on particular individuals ... (view more)

Thu
02
Apr
John Lister's picture

Survey: Are Smartphones a Vital Tool in 2015?

A newly-published study shows that the average person could manage without a smartphone for many common tasks. However, for a select group, smartphones are the only realistic option for accessing online services. The report comes from the Pew ... Research Center, which brought together several surveys, each of around 2,000 smartphone users. The results provide very differing meanings, depending on how they are viewed. (Source: pewinternet.org ) Most Tasks Achievable Without Phones On one hand, the study suggests smartphones are by no means vital for many everyday tasks. Participants were asked if ... (view more)

Thu
05
Mar
John Lister's picture

Supreme Court Could Rethink Online Sales Tax

A Supreme Court judge says its time to re-examine laws that make it difficult or impossible to impose sales tax on many online sales. The decision could mean some states start collecting the tax without waiting for the law to change. Justice Anthony ... Kennedy made the comments in a Supreme Court ruling on a case involving the way Colorado attempts to collect sales taxes from companies based outside the state that sell goods to Colorado residents. At issue is Colorado's policy that any firm which does not collect and pay such taxes must provide extensive paperwork anyway. The ruling itself ... (view more)

Thu
26
Feb
John Lister's picture

Report: Only 37.9 Percent of World Population Online

A recent article published by Facebook suggests that less than 40 percent of the world's population has an Internet connection. While that figure continues to increase each year, the rate of growth has now slowed for four consecutive years. The ... figure combines data from multiple sources around the world, plus Facebook's own activity logs. The data suggest that as of December 2014, approximately 37.9 percent of people in the world use the Internet, even if that involves going online as little as once a year. In 2010, the number of people using the Internet grew by 14.7 percent year on ... (view more)

Wed
18
Feb
John Lister's picture

Microsoft Cloud Gets Data Privacy Promise

Microsoft has signed up to an international standard for protecting customer privacy with online data. Among other measures, Microsoft promises to tell customers when the government demands access to their data. The company has followed ISO standard ... number 27018, which are guidelines set forth by the International Organization for Standardization. It's an attempt to set internationally recognized rules and regulations for the way "personally identifiable information" is handled in cloud services, and where data is stored or processed online rather than on the user's own computer ... (view more)

Thu
01
Jan
Brandon Dimmel's picture

Report: Online at Work Productive, but Stressful

Today, most business offices depend on a range of technologies, from desktop and laptop computers to smartphones and even tablets -- most of which are connected to the Internet. Now, a new study suggests that although today's workplace technology ... helps to increase productivity, it also lengthens the amount of time spent at work. The study, which was carried out by the Pew Research Center, involved surveying 1,000 adults between September 12 and September 18, 2014. The researchers focused most of their attention on just over five hundred participants who said they worked full- or part-time ... (view more)

Wed
17
Sep
John Lister's picture

Judge: Firms Can't Ban Online Negative Reviews

California has passed a law that means companies can no longer ban customers from writing negative reviews on websites. Even attempting to do so could mean they firms face a financial penalty. The new law follows a protracted court battle that ... concluded this summer after an online gadget seller tried to "fine" a couple $3,500 for leaving a negative review on an independent website. A court eventually ordered KlearGear to pay more than $300,000 to the couple after its attempts to collect the "debt" hurt their credit rating. KlearGear had been trying to enforce a clause in ... (view more)

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