Archive for September, 2011
Friday, September 30th, 2011
According to the recent release of Symantec’s Norton Cybercrime Report 2011, global cybercrime costs nearly $400 billion and affects 431 million adult victims annually.
With so much at stake and society relying even more on nearly 24/7 online access, Internet privacy has become an increasingly vital commodity. There are numerous computer security programs you can add to your computer to assist you in protecting your personal information.
Here are some tips on protecting your privacy on the internet:
•Realize the cost/benefit anytime you provide your personal information online. “For instance, social media, such as Facebook, may allow you to connect with friends and family across the country,” Blevins said. “At the same time, you are potentially giving up lots of private information about your personal life.”
•Be aware of the privacy settings on all social media that you use, and check them frequently in case the operator has changed them.
•Use the “cookie” notices on your web browser. “All cookies aren’t necessarily bad, especially for websites that you like to visit frequently,” said Blevins. “However, you don’t have to accept all cookies, especially for new sites, or those you may not trust.”Use an email address and login ID that does not include personal information. “For instance, you may think that you are leaving an anonymous post or comment that just includes your login ID,” he said. “However, if your login ID includes your last name and the year you were born, it may be easy to infer who is the author of your post.”
•Beware of any site that offers you some prize for providing your personal information. “Most likely it will be used for direct marketing purposes, but it might also be used for fraudulent activity.
•Make a habit of reading and reviewing the privacy policies of all sites with which you do business.
Friday, September 30th, 2011
The selling of counterfeit goods has long been a problem for many manufacturers, but this scam has a new twist. Unlike the numerous street vendors you see on the streets of New York selling fake goods, these retailers actually opened stores that used the name “Apple,” making them seem as though they were Apple owned stores. Fake Apple products were then sold in these stores. Names such as, “Apple Story and Fun Zone” were being used.
Apple has reached an agreement with the Flushing, New York store owners to stop using the Apple name and to hand over all goods with Apple packaging or the Apple logo. The items in question include cases and headphones branded with the Apple logo. Apple intends to destroy the fake goods.
“Apple representatives visited the Apple Story and Fun Zone stores on multiple occasions over several weeks and purchased an assortment of cases and stereo headsets bearing one or more of the Apple trademarks, but which are not made or authorized by Apple,” Apple said in its original August filing. (more…)
Friday, September 30th, 2011
A group of British phone-hacking victims plan to ask U.S. courts to look into possible “corrupt practices” at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., a lawyer said Friday. The move could broaden the scope of a scandal that has shaken the mogul’s international media empire.
British attorney Mark Lewis told The Associated Press that he had retained American lawyer Norman Siegel, who represents the families of many of those killed on Sept. 11, 2001, to take on News Corp. in the United States. Lewis predicted that the first hearing could occur within two or three months. But Siegel downplayed the prospect of immediate action, telling AP that he’d only been asked “to explore whether there’s legal options that can be brought.” Lewis “asked us to do the research, that’s what we’re doing,” Siegel said.
Lewis wouldn’t give details of his planned legal action, although he did say the case being pursued was not related to rumors that Sept. 11 victims were hacked by reporters at the News of the World tabloid.
News of the World Tabloid, shut down in July by News Corp, is accused of systematically intercepting private voice mail of Britons.
Lawyers will be looking at News Corp.’s liability for actions by its subsidiaries. “It will raise issues of corporate governance and control by the parent company over its subsidiaries,” said Lewis.
Read more@ msnbc
Thursday, September 29th, 2011
Isis Brantley got her hair checked out at the Atlanta Airport. Isis Brantley, a hairstylist, was rocking her signature haircut while going through security to make her American Airlines flight, Dallas’ KXAS reports. Brantley, it should be noted, has not cut her hair since she was 12 (she is now 53).
Brantley became angry at the TSA after agents who stopped and searched her afro while she went through security at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport.
“I just heard these voices saying, ‘Hey you, hey you, ma’am, stop. Stop — the lady with the hair, you,” Brantley told the Dallas KXAS radio station. She then claims that TSA agents stopped her so they could “check for weapons.” A female agent started “digging in her scalp.”
Last week, she told the press that the TSA at Atlanta’s Airport stopped her to search in her Afro for bombs and she said, “Why would I hide a bomb in my afro?”
The TSA released a statement to the news station saying, “Additional screening may be required for clothing, headwear or hair where prohibited items could be hidden. This passenger left the checkpoint prior to the completion of the screening process. She was offered but refused private screening.”
But Brantley says that “they have never done that to me before.” A TSA agent apologized to her regardless.
Thursday, September 29th, 2011
I don’t know about you, but personally, I have been frustrated for some time with what seems like constant changes to Facebook’s interface. Once I get comfortable with the newest changes, they mix-it-up again. Like most people, I am very busy and don’t have time to “relearn” how to navigate this site. It goes along with my frustration of having to relearn Microsoft’s latest software programs. I understand the need for improvements, but it seems to me that things don’t necessarily get improved and it becomes just another excuse to change things just for the sake of changing them. I guess some people need to justify their jobs. Please make it stop!
I must not be alone, because excerpts from the following msnbc article show other users feel the same.
Every year or so — and sometimes more often — Facebook manages to miff a vocal percentage of users by changing the look and feel of its site. As it adds new features, it invariably takes away things that people have grown attached to. It’s no different with the changes unveiled this week. Some have already gone live while others will be coming to your Facebook page soon.
Here are some questions and answers on Facebook’s latest transformation.
Q: Why does Facebook keep changing things? I liked it the way it was.
A: At its heart, Facebook is a technology company that wants to keep improving its products so that people keep using it and it doesn’t grow stale. Sometimes, the changes are things people ask for. Other times, engineers try to anticipate new ways people will want to use Facebook. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t. Facebook also tends to change its site so that it encourages users to share and interact more, whether that’s with each other or with businesses, public figures and the like. This has often raised concern among privacy advocates.
Q: What is the scrolling, Twitter-like list of my Facebook friends’ activities doing on the right side of the new layout?
A: Facebook calls this the “ticker” — not to be confused with, but similar to, Twitter. The idea is to show a live feed of everything going on with your Facebook friends and pages you follow as it is happening. There will be information here that doesn’t appear on your regular news feed, such as songs your friends are listening to on the music service Spotify, news stories they are reading or, eventually, even movies or TV shows they watched on Netflix.
OK, maybe I am rude, but I don’t need to know what my friends are doing in “real time.” Seriously, am I the only one who doesn’t have all this free time to spend monitoring the activities of others? In turn, I seriously doubt that anyone cares what I am doing in real time either.
Q: Does Facebook care about angering its users with the changes?
A: Facebook has said in the past that the percentage of users who complain about its changes is small. But a small percentage of 800 million users is still a big group. And even with angry users taking to social media to complain, the growth of Facebook’s user base, not to mention how much people are sharing on the site and beyond, is growing at a staggering pace. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday Facebook passed a milestone recently where it had 500 million of its users logged in at once. So while a lot of users may hate the changes, it is not driving them away. The company is betting it knows what people want.
Read more Q&A’s@ msnbc
Thursday, September 29th, 2011
The father-in-law of a missing
Utah woman (Susan Powell) pleaded not guilty last Friday to charges of possessing child pornography and of secretly videotaping
her, other women and young girls without their knowledge. Powell was arrested at his home on Thursday.
Steven Powell, 61, entered the pleas in court in Washington state and the judge has set bail at $200,000.
Powell was charged with 14 felony counts of voyeurism and one count of possession of child pornography. Police said they found “thousands of images of females being videotaped without their knowledge, including Susan Powell,” on tapes and discs seized from his home during an Aug. 25 search as part of their investigation into her disappearance. “The photographer focuses on the women’s buttocks, breasts,” Lindquist said in a statement. “Many images were of minor females.” The images included shots of two girls who were as young as 8 and 10 years old at the time. Those girls lived near Steven Powell from June 2006 to August 2007. In a statement issued late Wednesday, West Valley City, Utah police, who are investigating Susan Powell’s disappearance, said Steven Powell’s arrest was not related to the missing persons
Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
Timothy Noirjean, of Woodbury, Minnesota, was charged with identity theft after allegedly hacking into women’s Facebook accounts, in February and March of 2010, in order to steal photos which he subsequently posted on porn sites. The computer hacker apparently pilfered photos of thirteen women ranging in age from seventeen to twenty-five. Police also discovered over 200 other women’s email addresses and security information, along with additional folders containing women’s names and pictures. Unfortunately, authorities said they’re unable to remove the stolen images from the various sites.
A few ways you can protect yourself is to set your privacy settings on Facebook so that only your friends can view your site, hide your email address and any other personal information that someone could use in identity theft, don’t friend anyone you don’t know, and install computer tracking software. This software is fairly inexpensive and helps you monitor who has been using your computer. Even if you aren’t computer savvy enough to understand how to interpret the results of the software, it will be helpful information if you should ever need to track down a computer hacker who has accessed your computer. (more…)
Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
Daycare centers in Sweden have started using GPS systems and other electronic tracking devices to keep tabs on children during excursions — a practice that has raised ethical and practical questions.
Some parents are worried day care centers will use the technology to replace staff. Others wonder whether getting children used to being under surveillance could affect their idea of privacy when they grow older.
Monica Blank-Hedqvist, the principal of a daycare center in the city of Borlange told The Associated Press Wednesday her staff have been using such devices during supervised walks in the forest: the kids wear vests with transmitters that staff can track on a screen.
“It is excellent, it has been only positive for us,” Blank-Hedqvist said.
The devices are used as extra security by three preschool teachers watching around 20 children, to quickly discover if one of them strays away from the group, she said.
Par Strom, an author and commentator on issues related to technology and privacy, told news agency TT he is of two minds about the tracking.
“On the one hand I can see the practical advantages in some situations. At the same time you get children used to constant surveillance at a very young age,” he said.
Not everyone is convinced the tracking systems can increase security for their children.
This story was written by Malin Rising from the Associated Press
Read more@ newsyahoo