Internet News

The difference between cybersecurity and cybercrime, and why it matters

A Texas woman in her 50s, let’s call her “Amy,” met a man online calling himself “Charlie.” Amy, who lived in Texas, was in a bad marriage. Charlie said he was a businessman and a Christian, and wooed her. “He was saying all the right things,” Amy later told the FBI. “He was interested in me. He was interested in getting to know me better. He was very positive, and I felt like there was a real con...[Read More]

Millions of South African’s ID numbers and other personal information leaked

Almost 30GB of information that includes roughly 30 million ID numbers, estimated income, age, occupation, previous address and other personal data has been spotted online by data security researcher Troy Hunt. It’s clearly the biggest data leak in South African history, but what’s far less clear is where the data came from, and whether its appearance online is due to malice, negligenc...[Read More]

World War Three is being waged in cyberspace

My introduction to advanced communication technology (i.e. the Internet and World Wide Web) came in 1999. Having grown up in the two-channel universe of the 1960s and ‘70s, I was agog at the power it represented. The technology was nascent at that time — not many web pages yet existed — but I could still see the potential for good. Here was a technology that I felt could really save the world. I a...[Read More]

How marketers use algorithms to (try to) read your mind

Have you ever you looked for a product online and then been recommended the exact thing you need to complement it? Or have you been thinking about a particular purchase, only to receive an email with that product on sale? All of this may give you a slightly spooky feeling, but what you’re really experiencing is the result of complex algorithms used to predict, and in some cases, even influence you...[Read More]

The recent spate of hacked websites is a reminder that you need to protect your online security more than ever

All 3bn of Yahoo’s accounts were hacked in 2013, the search giant revealed last week, triple the previously stated 1bn, making it the biggest data breach so far. This followed the staggering hack of US credit agency Equifax last month, exposing the personal details of 145.5m Americans, including their credit cards details and social security numbers. It’s a stupendously big deal and confirms...[Read More]

Can you be hacked by the world around you?

You’ve probably been told it’s dangerous to open unexpected attachment files in your email – just like you shouldn’t open suspicious packages in your mailbox. But have you been warned against scanning unknown QR codes or just taking a picture with your phone? New research suggests that cyberattackers could exploit cameras and sensors in phones and other devices. As someone who researches 3-D model...[Read More]

Toddlers and touchscreens: a parent’s guide

Mixing toddlers and touchscreens can be a tricky – not to mention sticky – situation for today’s parents. Adults often find themselves glued to their smart phones and tablet – and aren’t sure what to do when it comes to sharing those devices with their children. Should they follow the (somewhat surprising) example of Apple founder Steve Jobs, and ban them completely? Or is it better to go the way ...[Read More]

Twitter’s new 280-character limit trial is a risky strategy

Social media site Twitter is trialling longer, 280-character limits to help users “easily express themselves”. At first glance this announcement might seem like nothing but a nice new feature. But this new step exemplifies two ways in which Twitter continues to tread a fine linebetween success and failure. Firstly, what this move demonstrates is how difficult it is to get the balance between being...[Read More]

Make it a double – Twitter testing out 280-character tweets

Well this is going to prove contentious. Twitter is testing a brand new feature that, depending on your point of view, could be just what the service needs. Or will finally bring about that doom folks have been prophesying for years. What could this feature possibly be? A direct link into Skynet’s neural systems, which then reads every tweet? That might actually set off the robot apocalypse,...[Read More]

Could Snapchat’s biggest selling point now be its downfall?

When Snapchat launched in 2011, ephemerality was its unique selling point. Its self-destructing photo and video messages were a stark departure from established social media platforms, which encouraged users to construct and populate content-laden profiles. Disappearing “Snaps” may have gained traction initially as a discrete way of sexting, but their transient nature turned out to have a broader ...[Read More]

The only safe email is text-only email

It’s troubling to think that at any moment you might open an email that looks like it comes from your employer, a relative or your bank, only to fall for a phishing scam. Any one of the endless stream of innocent-looking emails you receive throughout the day could be trying to con you into handing over your login credentials and give criminals control of your confidential data or your identity. Mo...[Read More]

The internet of things is sending us back to the Middle Ages

Internet-enabled, or internet of things, devices are so common, and so vulnerable, that hackers recently broke into a casino through its fish tank. The tank had internet-connected sensors measuring its temperature and cleanliness. The hackers got into the fish tank’s sensors and then to the computer used to control them, and from there to other parts of the casino’s network. The intruders were abl...[Read More]

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