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Five best practices for securing mobile devices and everything they touch

mobile security

In the span of just one year from 2012 to 2013, smartphone thefts in the U.S. nearly doubled to 3.1 million, and another 1.4 million were lost, according to Consumer Reports. For businesses and other organizations, every one of those losses and thefts could enable multiple security breaches. That’s because confidential data stored on the phone isn’t the only asset that’s vulnerable. As a trusted device, that phone also has access to corporate networks and the data stored on them.

More than half of North American and European companies are developing a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, Forrester Research says. These policies implicate security risks because, for example, employees are reluctant to give their IT departments the power to remotely erase their smartphone or tablet when it’s lost, stolen, or the employee separates from the company. Part of employees’ fear is that the device will be wiped by mistake, costing them irreplaceable personal data such as photos.

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What’s the value of an API?


We've seen a big expansion in the use of APIs recently with big companies like IBM keen to stake their claim to a slice of the revenue opportunity they provide.

But what's an API really worth? Software quality company SmartBear has produced an infographic which sets out to answer that question.

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Hilton Hotels answers allegations of card-stealing malware

Faceless cyber criminal hacker

We heard earlier this week that Hilton Hotels had been hit with malware designed to steal personal data and, even worse, credit card information. The breach affected point-of-sale systems. Sounds familiar? This same sort of beach happened to a number of major targets in 2015, mostly retail chains like Target and Home Depot.

Hilton has now responded to the issue and admits there was a problem. It's advising customers to keep a close eye on transactions on their accounts. Though customers are generally not held responsible for fraudulent charges it's a major hassle to go through.

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Malwarebytes exposes adware that disables antivirus


Malwarebytes has issued a detailed report explaining the various tricks Vonteera adware uses to compromise your PC -- and it makes for uncomfortable reading.

Unwanted adverts, unknown Windows services, modified shortcuts, forced installation of uninstallable Chrome extensions, even a way to prevent you running antivirus software -- it’s all here.

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SAP's customers are tired of hearing buzzwords

Tired, Exasperated, Frustrated man at mac

SAP customers are growing tired of vendor buzzwords and hype, desiring more practical advice on digital products, according to a recent survey.

Research conducted by the UK & Ireland SAP User Group found that 80 percent of respondents were skeptical of terms such as "digitalization" and "digital transformation". Fifty-eight percent of SAP customers also believe that vendors over-hype their terminology.

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AMD kills support for many popular graphics cards -- is yours on the death list?


Time moves forward, not backwards. Try as we may, we all get older, and eventually, die. Yeah, it is sad, but such is life. This same concept applies to technology. As time marches on, both hardware and software will become obsolete eventually; this leads the way for the latest and greatest. Companies cannot be expected to support products forever -- end of life is always a possibility.

Sadly, quite a number of AMD graphics cards have reached end of life today. In other words, the manufacturer will no longer support them. To make the situation particularly harsh, however, the company is abruptly stopping driver development without warning. If you own one of these cards, you will never get a new driver again after today.

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Microsoft confirms the Windows 10 November Update WAS pulled -- and this is why

Secret Tell Surprise Shock

Over the weekend we spotted that the Windows 10 November Update (aka Threshold 2) had been removed from the Media Creation Tool (MCT), and had seemingly disappeared from Windows Update too. We asked Microsoft why this was, and the software giant responded by saying it had decided to remove the November Update from the MCT (giving no actual reason for the decision) but that the update was still available through Windows Update.

This didn’t ring entirely true -- the November Update seemed more like Schrödinger's Update: both simultaneously mandatory, and not available -- but Microsoft had no further comment to make. Today, however, the company admitted to us that there was a problem with the update, and that was the real reason for its disappearance.

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Monitor what’s running on your PC with apps tracker


Apps tracker is an open source tool that logs which programs are being run on your PC, and for how long.

The program is portable, so there are no intrusive drivers or Windows services to worry about. Just launch it, click the window close button and it minimizes to your system tray.

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Windows 10 uninstalling user programs without permission

Angry PC user

Windows 10 is a decent operating system, but it’s very much a work in progress, and one that’s definitely not without problems. It has some very rough edges (which are slowly being addressed), various annoying bugs (ditto), and of course, it spies on users.

The November Update (aka Threshold 2) fixed some issues (if you were able to get it) but also caused some new problems too. We reported previously how it had reset privacy settings and default apps for some users, but worse than that it appears the update has been uninstalling some third party desktop programs without asking.

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Adware uses Android's accessibility features to install malware

Aggressive Android app ads annoy and interfere

There’s an adware out there which uses features for the visually impaired to install malicious apps on an Android-powered device. The worst part is that it doesn’t use a vulnerability in the system, but instead abuses a service’s legitimate features.

Researchers from mobile security provider Lookout have spotted the abusers and published a blog post about it.

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The cost of cybercrime in UK reaches £1.6 billion

Faceless cyber criminal hacker

Norton by Symantec has released the findings from its Cybersecurity Insights Report. This online survey was conducted across 17 markets and took into account the responses from 17,125 consumers over the age of 18.

Norton’s report has revealed how heavily British consumers have been affected by cybercrime and the stark differences between the ways in which Baby Boomers and Millennials protect themselves online.

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Android Pay announces support for special education with each purchase


Charity is something everyone should be concerned with, providing they have the means to contribute. Of course each place donated to needs a bit of investigation to see where the money is really going. Most aren't an issue, but there is the occasional shady operator, some of which we've seen outed in the past.

Depending on your opinion Google is a reliable source for such things. The company pumps a lot of money into supporting movements and clean energy and now it is aiming at special education.

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Microsoft messes up its gender diversity by ditching female employees


Every technology company is keen to develop as diverse a workforce as possible -- even if only for appearances. Microsoft, like Google and Apple, has taken to publishing its diversity figures, and the latest report is rather mixed.

While Microsoft says that racial diversity has increased slightly, the same cannot be said of the gender balance. The overall percentage of woman at the company has dropped by 2.2 percentage points, and Microsoft has an excuse straight from the 'my dog ate my homework' school of thought: restructuring its phone hardware business meant dumping a lot of women.

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EE might block ads at cellular network level

no ads ad block

EE is looking to start a debate on a particularly sensitive topic -- online ads on mobile platforms. According to a news report by Tech Radar, the British mobile network operator and internet service provider is weighing its options on the idea of blocking advertising on a network level.

Chief executive Olaf Swantee said it’s an important debate about customer control.

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Xiaomi announces the affordable Redmi Note 3 phablet, Mi Pad 2 slate

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

With its new Redmi Note 3 and Mi Pad 2, Xiaomi wants to convince consumers that they do not have to spend a lot of money on a smartphone or tablet to get premium features. The Chinese maker is now offering a fingerprint sensor and/or metal build on devices priced well below the $200 mark.

The new Redmi Note 3 phablet has a metal build and a fingerprint sensor, but a price tag of only $141. Those are typically found on high-end devices costing upwards of $300 or $400. Meanwhile, its second-generation slate, Mi Pad 2, has similar specs to Apple's Retina display-equipped iPad minis, which kick off at $269, but at a price starting at just $157.

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