John Simek

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So much of our lives is captured on the electronic devices we use. It is not surprising that more and more information is processed on smartphones as opposed to actual computers. No matter what your device of choice, you should remove any personal information prior to disposal. Unfortunately, too many people don’t know how to properly remove their information or perhaps they don’t care. Dark Reading reported that Josh Frantz, a security researcher at Rapid7,…
The bad guys are constantly looking at ways to get users to click on links or open attachments in an attempt to install malware or otherwise compromise personal information. Barracuda Networks spent three months analyzing 360,000 emails and identified the twelve most common forms of subject lines targeting users. These studies are fascinating in that they give insight into what users think is important enough to do something stupid. The top subject lines contained some…
Just because an app is in Google Play, Microsoft store or Apple’s app store doesn’t mean it is safe or even works as the manufacturer claims. A recent study by AV-Comparatives tested 250 Android anti-virus apps available in the Google Play store. Only 80 of the apps detected over 30% of the malicious apps and had zero false positives. Pretty scary. Further details of the testing showed that 138 apps detected less than 30% of…
Dropbox took a page from the Evernote playbook and decided to shoot itself in the foot or perhaps both feet. Users of the free Dropbox service are now limited to only three devices. Those users that currently have more than three devices will be allowed to continue to use the service, but will not be allowed to add any additional devices. Once you disconnect devices and fall below the threshold, you won’t be able…
Another problem for a cloud storage provider. Dozens of companies leaked sensitive data because of misconfigured Box accounts. It was fortuitous that Sharon and I gave a presentation on cloud computing this week so we had current information for the audience. According to an ITPro Today report, Box.com exposed information such as passport photos, Social Security and bank account numbers, technology prototype and design files, employee lists, financial data, customer lists, IT data and…
If you want to protect your data, encryption is your friend. If you are not already using a secure messaging service, you should take a look at ProtonMail. According to a posting on Tech Crunch, Russia blocked access to the service. The block coincided with protests against government efforts to restrict the Internet. Apparently, Russia (like our own government) isn’t happy that it can’t monitor encrypted traffic. News flash…that’s exactly the point. Encrypted communication is…
A drive-by download is where malware gets installed on your computer by just visiting a website. No user interaction is required. Bleeping Computer reported that Google is planning to add automated prevention of all downloads initiated from within ad frames for its Chrome browser. As stated in the report, “Ad frames are iframes “marked as ads by the Chromium ad detection infrastructure AdTagging,” Google’s ad detection infrastructure which matches “resource requests against a filter list”…
The battles and arguments continue to this day. Apple fans continue to tout the iPad Pro as a laptop replacement in direct competition to Microsoft’s Surface Pro. CNET tested both devices for various functions and features to determine fitness as a replacement for your laptop. The first criteria is the operating system. Windows 10 runs on the Surface Pro while iOS runs on the iPad Pro. Having Windows 10 means you can run full versions…
Anybody that has heard Sharon and I do a presentation knows that we are not a fan of biometric locking of your phone. Besides the failures of technology, law enforcement can compel you to unlock your phone with something about you (fingerprint, facial recognition, iris scan, etc.), but not (in the vast majority of jurisdictions) with something you know (PIN or password). Our advice still stands, especially since BGR reported that you can unlock a…
It is just amazing that examples of common sense are fewer and far between. Comcast has added to the world of stupidity by removing the requirement for a password and setting the default to four zeros. Naked Security reported that in 2017, Comcast launched Xfinity Mobile: a wireless service that runs on Verizon wireless and Comcast’s own Wi-Fi hotspots. In order to make it easy for customers to switch over from another carrier, some genius…