Author Archives: thegaryhawkins

Fake Facebook Email

A breakdown of a scam that starts with an email that looks like it has come from Facebook

Facebook Scam Email
I received an email that at first appearance looks to be from Facebook but the first clue that it’s fake is that it arrived at an email account that I’ve never used with Facebook (like I’d trust them with anything meaningful! pah). Here I take a look at the  scam, the players and the played…
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Privacy Apps Don’t All Measure Up

A look at several mobile apps (for Android and iPhone) that make empty promises to protect your privacy

Privacy App IconsThe best advice when it comes to privacy and photos and videos is “don’t take a photo that you don’t want your boss/parents/grandparents to see” but this advice is rarely heeded. In a cheap attempt to profit from people’s privacy worries there are several apps on the market that promise to protect your dignity from prying eyes. Here I take a look at several such apps and demonstrate how they fail to measure up…

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DNS and Web Security

What is DNS and why it is important for security on the web.

Decorative Image, PC Firewall WebLast week a pretty big mishap slipped by with only the briefest mention in techy news circles. The Domain Registrar for Ireland was compromised resulting in web traffic looking for the Yahoo and Google Irish websites being redirected to unofficial counterfeit websites. You’ll be forgiven if this doesn’t mean much to you but suffice to say it could have been very very serious. In this post I’ll explain what this means to the average web user…

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Android Advertising Networks

An eye opener on advertising networks and what they can do with your Android mobile phone

Google Android LogoCoinciding with some recent news articles on Android, privacy, applications and advertising networks, I’ve come across an app that I’ve found very insightful. The app is Ad Network Detector from Lookout who also provide the Security and Antivirus protection that I use for my Android handset.  I thought I’d share my findings so you can decide whether it’s useful to you or not…
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Google and Privacy

A review of recent changes to Google’s privacy policy

Google LogoOn Thursday 1st March Google made some changes to their privacy policy and although they’ve done a lot to forewarn the public, the changes are so controversial that they are being legally challenged in some countries. This post takes a look at what the changes mean to you and what to do about them…

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WiFi Security

Some quick pointers on how to stay safe when using wireless networks

Decorative Image - wirelessIn recent years wireless networking (WiFi) has become so common place that you’ll find it in most homes, businesses and social venues like cafés, bars and hotels. Some areas have begun rolling out metropolitan networks covering shopping centres, air ports or whole city centres.  The convenience of wireless networks however comes with a trade-off in security that is often taken for granted or overlooked entirely. Here I’ll go over a few quick fixes to help you stay safe…

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Banking Security – Part 2

A look at the misplaced confidence, trust and liability that surrounds the consumer banking industry.

Decorative Image - bankIn last week’s post we looked over the physical security around the use of bank and credit cards. This week we focus on remote banking services such as telephone and internet, the security measures that are enforced and why they often aren’t worth the effort. These posts are not seeking to suggest a solution but are intended to raise awareness of the risks in the hope that you might be better equipped to spot a problem and deal with it should you be so unfortunate.

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Banking Security – Part 1

A look at the misplaced confidence, trust and liability that surrounds the consumer banking industry.

Decorative Image - bankBank accounts. Everybody has one, many people have several. They vary from every day current accounts, savings accounts, credit accounts and various other guises. We trust faceless corporation’s with our hard earned money because we have very little choice if we want to be part of the modern world. Many of us never question the trust and confidence we place in these banks and hopefully we will never have need to do so. These posts are intended to shine a little light on what most of us take for granted…

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Staying Safe with Shopping Online

Top tips for staying safe and avoiding scams while shopping on the web, particularly relevant for the Christmas period.

Decorative Image - christmas giftsIn the weeks before Christmas more and more people are avoiding the manic high street crowds and buying gifts for friends and family on the web.  As the shopping transactions increase so does the malicious activity and crooks are quick to exploit people who wouldn’t normally shop online and who might not be savvy to the risks. Here I’ll outline some quick tips for how to lessen the risk of being conned but the number one rule as I’ve mentioned previously is to pay attention…

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Public vs Private

A look at the difference between public and private forums, and why the problem is not what people think it is.

Decorative Image - Public SpeakerFollowing a previous post on giving away too much information and some recent scare news here is my opinion on the differences between public and private content, in particular some common misconceptions and misplaced blame…

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