John Lister

Fri
10
Apr
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WhatsApp Attempts to Slow Spread of Fake News

A messaging service owned by Facebook is to change its policies to reduce the risk of people passing on bogus information. The WhatsApp changes follow a "significant increase" in forwarded messages since the COVID-19 pandemic began. WhatsApp lets ... users form and join multiple chat groups: for example, one for work colleagues, one for personal friends and one for neighbors. One key feature is that it's relatively simple to forward a message from one group to another, which means information can spread rapidly. That's particularly problematic when it comes to false and even dangerous information ... (view more)

Wed
08
Apr
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Windows Update Notifications Changing

Windows 10 users will soon get slightly clearer notifications when an update is ready. They will also get a reminder of the risks of updating a laptop running on battery power. The notifications will appear in the Windows 10 Action Center, located ... at the bottom right of the screen. Scheduling Updates Easier As well as telling users an update is ready, it will give the chance to click on one of three options. Two options are already familiar: to update immediately ("Restart Now") and to delay the update until later that night ("Restart Tonight"). The latter option simply reschedules for an ... (view more)

Tue
07
Apr
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Chrome Cookie Change Put on Hold due to Pandemic

Google has temporarily reversed a change intended to increase security and privacy in the Chrome browser. It says it can't risk disrupting websites when so many people are more reliant on the Internet than normal. The change was to the way Chrome ... handles third-party cookies . These are small text files placed on a computer when it visits a website. Unlike standard cookies, they aren't accessed by the site in question, but rather a third-party and are often associated with unpopular behavior such tracking a user's activity across the web to build up a profile of their interests to target ... (view more)

Wed
01
Apr
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Edge Browser Gets New Features, Based on Chrome

Microsoft has unveiled a range of new features for its Edge browser. They include vertically arranged tabs, enhanced cut and paste, and warnings of potential password breaches. Edge has been somewhat light on new features recently as Microsoft has ... been concentrating on major behind-the-scenes changes. The browser used to run on Microsoft's own code but is now based on Chromium , the same open source code behind Google's Chrome. Microsoft hopes that will tempt over some Chrome users who should be able to use many of their existing browser extension tools in Edge. However, it's also adding some ... (view more)

Tue
31
Mar
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VPN, Proxy 'No Internet' Bug Fix Released for Win10

Microsoft has fixed a Windows 10 bug that meant some users, particularly those running VPNs or proxy servers, couldn't get online. It's an optional update designed only for those who experienced the problem. The bug came to light last week, which ... was about as bad timing as it gets given the increase in the number of people now working from home. As is now a familiar issue, it seems to have been introduced by a previous update to Windows 10. The problem appears to have affected people running either proxy servers or virtual private networks. Though they use different techniques, both are ... (view more)

Mon
30
Mar
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Hackers Infect Routers; Deploy COVID-19 Malware

A new attack on Internet users combines multiple tactics into a nasty strategy. The scam includes hacking routers, redirecting users to bogus sites, and preying on fear to trick people into installing malware. The first step in the attack involved ... the hackers taking control of home and small business routers, with Linksys and D-Link models targeted. Exactly how they are doing this isn't certain, but it appears to involve a brute force attack through the optional feature that lets users access their router settings from any Internet-connected computer. Brute force is effectively an automated ... (view more)

Thu
26
Mar
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Windows 10 to Only Get Security Fixes

Microsoft is switching to a "security updates only" model for Windows from May until further notice. The idea is to limit the risk of creating bugs while many people are working from home without IT support staff. The change affects what are known ... internally at Microsoft as C and D updates. Those roll out on the third and fourth week of the month and contain previews and testing of new features that are planned for a main release the following month. Microsoft will continue with the B update on the second Tuesday of each month, unofficially known as Patch Tuesday. However, this will now only ... (view more)

Wed
25
Mar
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Critical Security Flaw Hits Windows 7 and 8 Hardest

Microsoft has warned users of a significant unpatched security flaw in Windows. It's offered some key steps to take while the problem is being fixed. The problem affects all currently supported versions of Windows, though Windows 7 and 8 machines ... are affected 'critically' according to the Microsoft advisory bulletin. Attacks on Windows 10 machines are considerably more constrained due to its enhanced security features. Microsoft says its currently only aware of targeted attacks on Windows 7 machines, though that could change now the bug has been made public. (Source: microsoft.com ) Adobe ... (view more)

Tue
24
Mar
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Warning: Windows Defender May Break (Workaround)

Windows 10's built-in security tool Windows Defender has stopped working properly for some users. There's a workaround for those who want added peace of mind. Exactly what's causing the problem isn't yet clear, but some users are finding both manual ... and automatic scans produce messages such as: "Items skipped during scan: The Windows Defender Antivirus scan skipped an item due to exclusion or network scanning settings." In other cases, the error message reports that the entire scan was skipped. The message isn't proving particularly helpful as it's not clear what items are actually being ... (view more)

Thu
19
Mar
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Google Pauses Chrome Updates

Google says it won't be adding any new features to the Chrome browser and operating system for the moment. It's switching to security updates only, a move prompted by changing work patterns. Announcing the move, Google wrote: Due to adjusted work ... schedules at this time, we are pausing upcoming Chrome and Chrome OS releases. Our primary objectives are to ensure Chrome continues to be stable, secure, and work reliably for anyone who depends on them. We'll continue to prioritize any updates related to security, which will be included in Chrome 80. (Source: chromium.org ) Chromebook Use May Rise ... (view more)

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