Stories by Ian Paul

Bush family email hacked: Here's a security refresher

Thanks to an anonymous hacker self-identified as Guccifer, we now know that former President George W. Bush likes to paint self-portraits in the bath. That's one of the tidbits revealed when at least six email accounts belonging to Bush family members were hacked and their contents shared online. The high profile hack underscores, once again, the importance of a strong password when it comes to your email account - whether you are the former President of the United States or an average Jane or Joe Gmail user.

Ian Paul | 08 Feb | Read more

Adobe releases emergency patch for Windows and OS X systems

Adobe recently released an emergency update for Flash Player on all platforms after two zero-day bugs were discovered in the wild targeting Windows and Mac OS X computers. The vulnerabilities allowed hackers to hijack both Windows PCs and Macs. Adobe recommends all users to update their systems as soon as possible.

Ian Paul | 08 Feb | Read more

Oracle releases Java fix, but security concerns remain

Oracle released Java 7 update 11 (Java 7u11) on Sunday following a warning from the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) advising users to disable the software due to a serious and previously unknown security vulnerability. Even with the available fix, CERT, part of the Department of Homeland Security, is still advising users to disable Java on their systems unless running the software is "absolutely necessary."

Ian Paul | 14 Jan | Read more

Instagram updates privacy policy, inspiring backlash

Users and critics are growing concerned over privacy rights after Instagram recently posted online changes to its terms of service and privacy policy. The new Instagram rules aren't set to go into effect until January 16, but users are concerned over how their photos could end up in advertisements on Instagram, and possibly Facebook, Instagram’s parent company. This latest privacy flap highlights, once again, the continuing tension between privacy concerns and using a free service that lets you connect with others across the globe.

Ian Paul | 18 Dec | Read more

Facebook holds vote on right to vote, data-sharing policy

Facebook opened the polls Monday for its latest user vote that could see Facebook users lose the ability to vote on future changes to the social network's privacy and site governance policies. The site's latest vote also concerns other changes to Facebook's data usage policies and its statement of rights and responsibilities. You can download the proposed revised documents from Facebook's site governance page.

Ian Paul | 04 Dec | Read more

Privacy groups ask Facebook to back off privacy changes

Two consumer interest groups are asking Facebook to withdraw its proposed changes that would, among other issues, remove the ability for users to vote on modifications to Facebook's data usage and privacy policies. The company also wants to change how you filter incoming messages on Facebook, and Facebook wants to freely share user data between companies it owns, such as Instagram.

Ian Paul | 27 Nov | Read more

Microsoft offers one-click workaround for IE vulnerability, permanent fix coming Friday

Microsoft has issued a one-click security workaround for Internet Explorer as a stopgap measure until the company releases a full security update for its Web browser on Friday. The new "Fix it" solution helps protect users of Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8, and 9 from a recently disclosed memory corruption issue that several security experts have seen in active use. The vulnerabilities could allow a hacker to gain remote access to your system with the same user privileges as you including the ability to install or remove programs, modify files, and create new user accounts.

Ian Paul | 20 Sep | Read more

Dump Internet Explorer until Microsoft issues patch, security experts warn

If you use Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 or 9 as your default browser on a Windows PC, security experts are advising you to use a different Web browser until Microsoft patches a critical vulnerability in IE. Microsoft on Monday confirmed that hackers were actively exploiting an IE vulnerability that could allow an attacker to take over your PC. The exploit does not affect users running IE10 on the Windows 8 Release Preview.

Ian Paul | 18 Sep | Read more

Mobile security threats rise

Security threats to your mobile device lurk as malware, fraudulent lures such as SMS spoofing, and toll fraud, but they're all becoming favorites of digital crooks as people move away from using PCs and toward smartphones and tablets, according to a new report.

Ian Paul | 07 Sep | Read more

Dropbox Two-Step Verification: Hands On

Two-step account verification is a hot topic after hackers nearly wiped out the digital life of tech journalist Mat Honan recently, and Dropbox is the latest online service to enable the added security measure.

Ian Paul | 27 Aug | Read more

Apple and Amazon hacks: How to minimise your risk

Could you avoid an epic hack against your personal data and online accounts similar to the recent attack against former Gizmodo writer Mat Honan? Hackers bent on breaking into Honan’s Twitter account wreaked havoc on the technology writer’s personal computing devices and online accounts. The bad guys remotely wiped his iPad, iPhone, and Mac, and deleted his Google Account. The attack cost Honan most of his personal data (he didn’t backup the information) including family photos that may be unrecoverable.

Ian Paul | 07 Aug | Read more

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