Category: Internet

A Behind-The-Scenes Look Into Identity Theft

A Behind-The-Scenes Look Into Identity Theft

Summary: Identity theft has become a real concern in today’s tech-friendly society.

Rather than holding up a bank, criminals have learned that it is easier, less risky, and more rewarding to steal money through identity theft. As an avid Internet user, it’s important that you understand the dangers of having your personal information available for all to see.

First off, what exactly is identity theft. Well to be frank, it’s the stealing of personal information that allows another individual to take on your identity. The more personal information the thief steals from you, the more susceptible you become to theft.

Email Phishing

Criminals like to utilize the email platform to begin their heist. With your email address in hand, a criminal will be able to send you a phishing email to try and lure you to a site where you enter personal information like your name, bank account, and credit card details. As you should already know, be wary of these sites. Or, you could simply ignore the email.

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Malware

Additionally, criminals can do further damage by visiting their social media profile. If the thief has infiltrated your PC with malware, he can have access to personal information like login usernames, passwords, credit cards, and other stored data that you have on your PC – and it’s highly unlikely your computer is secure as a mission critical video wall would be. As stated before, the more information that is available to the thief, the more successful he’ll be when impersonating you online.

Cyber Criminals Work Together

To gather as much information as possible from you, cyber thieves often trade personal information with each other to complete a picture of the victim. The more complete the picture is, the more valuable the target becomes. And, once all the pieces of personal information are put together, he can do essentially anything he wants.

P2P File Sharing – Is It Really That Bad?

P2P File Sharing – Is It Really That Bad?

The first thing you should know is that file sharing and the technology are not illegal. The problem arises when users share what they are not supposed to share.

The technology itself is there to facilitate quick sharing of vital and free to distribute files. This may include research documents, photographs, videos and even music. However, the tag of free to distribute should be on the file that is being shared. The only other way you can share is if you exclusively own the rights to the file; such as a photograph you took of your dog, kitchen, etc.

The P2P architecture was designed to bring down the costs in acquiring servers. Storing all files on s single or multiple file servers is a costly business. Whereas storing them on a multitude of PC’s is cheap and effective. Unfortunately, the abuse of the system is what has given the system itself a bad name. Now, P2P is predominantly associated with Piracy and that has blackened its name forever.

Any form of media that you can think of can be found on file sharing networks worldwide. Movies, music, textbooks, images, etc. can be found easily by even a six year old. Tackling this problem is not easy. Sadly the very nature of the service’s architecture is what makes policing it almost impossible. With the files being scattered all over the world and residing on multiple computers, hunting each one down and bring legal action against a user is never ending work.

Do You Really Need a Screensaver?

Do You Really Need a Screensaver?

Before LCD monitors became prevalent, screensavers were an essential part of any computer setup. This was because of a design flaw in CRT monitors. If an image was displayed for a long time, phosphor burn-in would occur. This simply means that if someone worked on MS-Word the entire day, the main interface would be left imprinted, more or less permanently, on the screen.

Screensavers were invented to avoid this issue by keeping constantly moving images or black screens on screen. But monitors have come a long way and the role of screensavers has now changed. The following are some of the reason you might want to install a screensaver.

1. Distraction – Dancing babies, koi carp swimming across you screen, the One Ring tumbling towards Mount Doom etc are all great distractions if you need a short break.

2. Security – Sometimes we forget to logoff or lockdown the computer when we step away from it. Having a screensaver that auto-locks the computer and requires a password to continue can be a lifesaver.

3. Promotions – If the computer screens in your office are visible to customers, it would be wise to put your products and services on rotation as a screensaver.

4. Uniformity – If you don’t have any products to promote or do not wish to use that method, you can always put your company logo as the official screensaver. This will help to avoid any embarrassing incidents involving inappropriate screensavers with customers.

5. Streaming info – Using a screensaver that pulls up RSS feeds might be useful in some circumstances.

What Happened to Google TV?

What Happened to Google TV?

In 2010 Google launched Google TV, a Smart TV setup box to access internet via TV and also watch TV over the internet. It adds interactivity to watching TV.

Physically it came via a set-top box or special TV sets that have the technology built in. Several manufacturers offered it such as Intel, Sony, and Logitech. The OS on the either methodology was Android.

The OS featured a home screen where users can bookmark channels, photo albums, music, etc. The interface looked very Boxee-like and would allow you to run applications and other features. Since Google opened the source code for Google TV for developers, so there were tons of useful (as well as useless) apps.

Google TV also featured the Chrome browser with the very latest flash plugin. Apart from using the browser for the usual needs, you could search for your favorite TV show and this is what the whole Google TV concept is mainly about. The results for your search would display links to the show on Hulu, download links on Amazon, links to the show on FOX’s website and even the TV schedule. When you saw it on the schedule, you can set it to be recorded on whatever DVR device you possess through the Google TV interface.

Google TV stopped in June 2014 and replaced by Android TV, which is far superior system.  Google has partnered with Sony, Philips and Sharp to offer this built in in their TV sets.

Buying an External Hard Drive

Buying an External Hard Drive

An External Hard Disk is a worthwhile investment for any computer user. If you are an avid downloader of content (legally, of course) then storing movies and mp3s on your computer is going to take up a lot of Hard Disk Drive (HDD) space. This is fine until you encounter the day when the HDD crashes. Backing up your data can save you the frustration and anger when that happens and this is where an external HDD really comes into play.

When looking to buy an external drive, you have to consider the two types available -Solid State Drives (SSD) and HDD’s. SSDs have no moving parts in them, so vibrations and small impacts will not do any harm to them. However, as long as you treat your HDD carefully there is very little chance of anything happening to it either. Of the two, HDDs are easier on your wallet.

You should decide on the size of the external drive, depending on how much data you want to backup or transfer out of your computer. If these are mainly documents that will be stored, then even a 100GB drive is enough. Otherwise, if you do need more space, 1TB and 2TB drives have recently become more affordable.

If you can afford to wait a while, USB 3.0 drives will be out in the near future offering staggering transfer rates. But in the meantime, external drives come in USB 2.0, Firewire and eSATA flavors. You should choose one of these depending on the connectivity you have on your computer and the availability of external power as some of these devices require that.

Just remember that the cost of an external drive is peanuts compared to the cost you will encounter at a data retrieval service should your HDD crash.