John Lister

Wed
05
Aug
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Internet Speeds Drop Despite Streaming Tweaks

Average broadband speeds have dipped during 2020, almost certainly because people spent more time streaming video. It's a reversal of normal trends but could have been a lot worse. The figures come from cable.co.uk, which includes a speed testing ... feature. It says normally the global average figures measured by such tests will rise by at least 20 percent each year, which is largely because of improved infrastructure. However, across tests in 114 countries, speeds are actually down 6.31 percent from the beginning of the year. Only two regions (the Baltics and Carribbean) had an average rise, ... (view more)

Tue
04
Aug
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Windows 10 Slowdown: Microsoft Wants Your Help

Microsoft wants to hear from users whose computers slowed down after a recent Windows 10 update. It was a particularly unfortunate issue, as the update cannot be uninstalled. You may remember we reported on the problem in late June. It was with an ... update titled KB4559309 that was designed to replace the original version of the built-in Edge browser with a new version that used similar code to Google Chrome. It still isn't clear what caused the problem, but some users reported a host of slowdowns affecting general computer use, web page loading and gaming. The problem didn't seem ... (view more)

Thu
30
Jul
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PayPal Warns: Watch Out for Email Scams

PayPal has released a list of tips for avoiding scam emails. It follows officials in the UK receiving more than a thousand reports of phishing emails in just one day. The reports were about a series of fake emails claming to be from PayPal . They ... followed a familiar format of claiming the recipient's account had been limited because of a violation of the company's Acceptable Use Policy. (Source: countypress.co.uk ) The messages included a link supposedly pointing to PayPal for the user to log in and confirm their identity. In fact the link took the user to a fake page designed to trick them ... (view more)

Wed
29
Jul
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Microsoft Tackles Annoying Website Notifications

Microsoft is making two changes to make notifications less disruptive but still useful. The changes affects Microsoft's Edge browser and follow in the footsteps of changes made in Chrome and Firefox. The first change affects standard notifications ... which appear at the top of the screen. They bring information from a website even when the user doesn't have it open. For example, a video streaming site might display a notification when it uploads a new episode of a series the user has watched in the past. Browser makers have struggled to get the balance right between satisfying users who find ... (view more)

Tue
28
Jul
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Windows 10 Security Measures May Not Start Up

Windows 10 users have been warned to watch out for an error message that could mean their PC is less secure than normal. Thankfully the glitch can be fixed with a simple restart. The problem affects two key security measures, one of which may be ... used on company networks and the other is more likely to be harnessed by expert users. In both cases, it's worth employees pointing out the error message to company IT staff if it appears. Microsoft says one of two messages will appear if the error is triggered: "ERROR_VSMB_SAVED_STATE_FILE_NOT_FOUND (0xC0370400)" or "E_PATHNOTFOUND (0x80070003)" ... (view more)

Thu
23
Jul
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T-Mobile Tackles Spam And Scam Calls

T-Mobile says it will give customers free scam-blocking tools to protect against misleading and fraudulent calls. The measures will also cover Metro and Sprint users. The program, dubbed Scam Shield, involves a range of tactics to combat bogus ... calls. The logic is to increase the chances of success against any particular attack. (Source: t-mobile.com ) Two of the features come via a dedicated smartphone app that analyzes incoming calls. The first, Scam ID, tries to identify calls that may be using a bogus identity or making unwanted marketing calls. Spam Calls Auto-Blocked Users can choose ... (view more)

Wed
22
Jul
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Smart Devices May Be Governed by Laws

Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are considering laws to tighten cyber security for the so-called Internet of Things (IoT). The rules would cover devices that aren't traditional computers or phones but still connect to the Internet. The ... United States Congress is considering the Internet of Things Cyber Security Improvement Act. It's been examined by a Senate committee and is currently awaiting a date to be examined by the Senate as a whole. However, there's no guarantee it will be heard before the end of the year and newly elected or re-elected Senators taking their seats. Agency To ... (view more)

Tue
21
Jul
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Android Hit By New Banking Malware

A new strain of Android malware targets both social media accounts and online banking. It's a reminder of the risks of installing software from outside of the official Google Play store. The malware is dubbed BlackRock and appears to ultimately ... derive from the code used in an attack called LokiBot. Now thought to be inactive, LokiBot attempted to gain access to financial accounts through banking and related apps. One technique involved using automated scripts to login to a PayPal account and transfer money to the scammers. (Source: threatfabric.com ) BlackRock looks to take the same tactics ... (view more)

Wed
15
Jul
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Windows 10 May Get Key Security Boost

Microsoft is testing a new Windows 10 security measure that could neutralize a malware technique. It's called Kernel Data Protection and will protect part of a computer's memory from tampering. The idea is to protect two key software parts of a ... computer: the operating system kernel and drivers. The kernel is the most central part of a system and acts a little like a central command point, deciding what the computer does at any precise moment. Meanwhile, drivers control the way the operating system communicates and interacts with hardware devices. Within the computer's memory, the kernel is ... (view more)

Tue
14
Jul
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'Winky Face' Email Takes Control of PCs

An email with a "winky face" for a subject line has helped a malware campaign become one of the most widespread in the world. It's a scam to expand the reach of the Phorpiex botnet which distributes spam and malware from infected machines to others ... online the Internet. According to researchers at security company Check Point, Phorpiex jumped from the 13th most detected malware campaign in May to the number two slot last month. It reports that one in 50 organizations suffered at least one attempted breach from Phorpiex last month. (Source: zdnet.com ) Ransomware, Botnets and Blackmail The ... (view more)

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