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Thu
25
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Hackers Hacked My Email, Demand Bitcoin (Scam)

Infopackets Reader Sam G. writes: " Dear Dennis, I get emails from hackers a few times a week saying that they have cracked my email account. As proof, they have supplied me with the correct password for the account. The message goes on to say that ... they have planted a Trojan on my computer which allows them to spy on me. Here's where it gets interesting. The hackers say I have been visiting websites of people in the buff. They are demanding I pay them bitcoin (worth $831) to keep this quiet, otherwise they will send images from the purported site I've visited and also a picture of me on my ... (view more)

Thu
06
Sep
John Lister's picture

New Firefox to Block Unwanted Tracking, Cryptojacking

Firefox is getting a series of updates to boost performance, privacy and usability. Unwanted tracking tools and browser hijackers are among the targets of security updates. Two of the biggest measures deal with websites that track user activity ... online, potentially to make site content more relevant, but more commonly to deliver targeted advertising. Version 63 of Firefox, due in September, will by default block ad trackers if they take a particularly long time to load, in turn making pages slow to appear. This setting is purely to do with the load time of the tracker rather than what it ... (view more)

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
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)

Wed
30
May
John Lister's picture

Country Plans to Ban Facebook for a Month

Papua New Guinea is set to ban Facebook for a month. Unlike with bans in more authoritarian countries, it's designed to research cyber crime laws rather than stifle debate - or so the official explanation goes. However, the country's government have ... warned it might need to create a "more conducive" site that meets local laws. The government says its necessary to block access to the site while it investigates if and how Facebook helps users breach the Cyber Crime Act passed in 2016. The act was an attempt to update numerous laws to cover activity that was often already illegal in the "real ... (view more)

Tue
27
Mar
John Lister's picture

Facebook Admits: We Log All Your Calls and SMS History

Facebook users have been shocked to discover it stores the phone numbers of people who've never signed up to the site, along with the SMS and voice call histories of some users. But Facebook insists that users have explicitly given permission for ... such data storage. The site's data storage and sharing policies came back under the spotlight with the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, when a journalist revealed that information gathered about users and their friends for a psychological study was shared without permission for use in political ad targeting. Since then, many users have been taking ... (view more)

Thu
15
Feb
John Lister's picture

Thousands of Sites Hit By 'Cryptojacking' Scam

Visitors to more than 5,000 websites had their computers hijacked to earn money for scammers. But the attack would have earned them less than $25 - and they aren't getting paid anyway. The attack involved compromising screen reader software called ... BrowseAloud. Websites can add the software to their site to make it easier for visitors with vision problems to browse the pages. Because the software is so widely used, compromising it was an effective way to reach a large number of computers - regardless of whether the owners needed to use a screen reader. The software is particularly popular ... (view more)

Fri
19
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: 'This site can't be reached. The connection was reset.' Error

Infopackets Reader 'Emmy-Lou' writes: " Dear Dennis, I am having trouble accessing eBay. The error message I get is: 'This site can't be reached. The connection was reset.' Other times, it is 'This site can't be reached. eBay unexpectedly closed the ... connection'. On the page with the error message, it says to: 'Try: Checking the connection, checking the proxy and the firewall, and Running Windows Network Diagnostics'. The official error message is ERR_CONNECTION_RESET (but sometimes it is ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED ). Can you help? " My response: Troubleshooting this error message can be rather ... (view more)

Tue
12
Dec
John Lister's picture

Former Exec Slams Facebook for 'Destroying Society'

A former Facebook executive says the site is responsible for "ripping apart the social fabric of how society works." Chamath Palihapitiya says the problem isn't restricted to the US. Speaking at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Palihapitiya ... said he felt "tremendous guilt" about his role as Facebook's vice president of user growth. Talking about the way Facebook tried to get users to stick around on the site, he echoed the comments of former colleagues in likening it to psychological manipulation. Social Media Works Like Drug He referred to "dopamine-driven feedback loops", referring ... (view more)

Tue
22
Aug
John Lister's picture

Far Right Website Sparks Free Speech Debate

A company that protects websites from online attacks has stopped serving a far right website. But the man who made the decision says he feels uneasy about making such decisions. Cloudflare is designed to protect against denial of service attacks, in ... which people try to bring down a website by flooding it with bogus requests until it's inaccessible to legitimate traffic by real people. It's a tactic often used by hacker groups protesting against the organizations running the site, though it's also been used as a form of cyberwarfare. To combat such attacks, data going to and from ... (view more)

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