Why We Need Patches

A brief look at why we need to patch our computers.

Decorative Image - BugMany people treat a computer in the same way as a car or washing machine; if it’s not broke don’t fix it. Unfortunately there are varying degrees of broken and only when it gets to ‘really broken’ do we tend to notice.  Here I take a look at why we should make the effort to patch a computer even when there appears to be nothing wrong.

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Myths and Legends

Clearing up some common misconceptions about web and IT security.

Decorative Image - AlienThere are a lot of opinions bouncing around the web that through Chinese whispers or repetition have become sudo-facts. In this post I hope to dispel some of these popular myths.  Unfortunately there are not always simple solutions to life’s problems but being aware of them is often enough to help. Continue reading

WhatApp Mobile Messenger

Details of another mobile app that demands too many privileges.

WhatApp Messenger PermissionsI came across this application a few months back; I wasn’t impressed with it then and nothing has changed.  A friend sent me a text message this morning singing its praises and suggesting I install it.  Unfortunately that friend is not very tech savvy and was all too quickly impressed by the shiny shiny marketing to bother looking at the details. Continue reading

Pii and Tmi, Giving the game away

Why you should be cautious about giving away too much personal information.

Decorative Image - Info iFollowing an earlier post about giving away privileged access to your informationI’d like to outline how you can unwittingly give away bundles of seemingly innocent information that could be used against you.

(For those of you wondering, Pii stands for Personally Identifiable Information and Tmi stands for Too Much Information)

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Hacking in the News

Clearing up some common misunderstandings and inaccurate reports in the news.

Decorative Image - NewspaperIn recent months there has been a lot of coverage on web and IT security breaches but unfortunately the news outlets don’t always get it right.  Sometimes this is because of a lack of understanding from the ‘journalist’ which might be understandable in the more complex cases, if it weren’t their job to research and report on facts.  Sometimes it’s outright sensationalism and scaremongering when ratings and sales take priority over reporting the news.

In this post I hope to clear up some of the common mis-informations that crop up in the news…

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Giving permission and sharing too much

Why you should be cautious about giving web and mobile applications too many permissions.

Decorative Image - permissionsConsider you pay by credit card at a restaurant; you’re sharing your credit card information with them and you’re probably happy to do so. If the restaurant then asks for your date of birth, home address, and permission to use your card whenever they like, you’d probably hesitate. Yet people do this all the time on the web without thinking twice.

Here I’ll try to show how we can unwittingly give away too much, why this might be bad, and how to spot when things aren’t quite right.

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Safer web browsing

A quick look at the setup I use to browse the web more safely than the average Joe.

Decorative Image, PC Firewall WebI don’t often make recommendations because such things have a way of back firing. Instead I’d like to outline a few bits of my setup that helps me to browse the web with a little extra piece of mind. If you feel like trying any part of this then please acknowledge my usual software disclaimer.

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Facebook Android App Permissions

Details of the permissions and privileges that you need to hand over to Facebook in order to use their mobile app, outline with Android.

Facebook Android App PermissionsThe Facebook App for Android has changed quite a lot since I originally wrote this article so I figured I should update to reflect the changes in permissions that the app now requests. There are some improvements and looking back I think I was a little harsh in my judgement with a knee-jerk reaction but the problems remain that the permissions seem too lenient, there is no justification of why the Facebook app needs these permissions, and the only choice we have is to accept them all or not at all.

 

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Picking Apart Passwords

Clearing up some misconceptions on passwords and some suggestions on picking stronger passwords.

Decorative Image, password textIf you want to interact with a website rather than just browsing, you’re probably going to have to create an account and that account is probably going to be protected with a password.  Some websites ask for more information than the average census but a username and password will be the basics.

Typically then we each deal with several passwords on a daily basis but passwords are not without risk.  Here I look at the problems with passwords and a few tricks for picking strong yet memorable passwords…

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