Prevent identity theft with this interactive site

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Preventing identity theft starts with you—making sure you’re aware of the threats out there, and how to avoid them.

Choice Loans, a financial lending service based in the UK, has put together a site that can help. It’s an interactive guide to various types of identity fraud, complete with 16 things you can do to detect or respond to them.

The site covers a broad swath of risks. It shares detailed information about computer viruses and malware, con artists and fraud, credit card fraud, online shopping, card skimming, card-not-present fraud, stolen credit or debit cards, mail theft, man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks, cell phone scams, online password theft, passport fraud, pharming, phishing scams, pyramid schemes, shoulder surfing, and more.

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Apple Pay could put an end to data breaches

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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The retail data-breach epidemic highlighted by Target now has other famous victims, including UPS, Home Depot, and Dairy Queen. If you've used a credit card sometime in the past year or two, there's a very good chance your information has been compromised or exposed by at least one of these data breaches. If you use Apple’s new Apple Pay system, though, such worries just might be behind you.

The current point-of-sale (POS) system carries a number of risks when it comes to processing credit card transactions. As we’ve seen with the data breaches mentioned above, the POS system itself can be compromised. There are also stories of restaurant workers using card skimmers, or card skimmers being surreptitiously attached to card swiping mechanisms at gas stations. Basically, any transaction that involves handing your physical card to someone, or reading the data from the magnetic stripe on the back of the card, could lead to your credit card data's compromise in some way.

NFC (Near Field Communication) technology enables mobile devices to communicate wirelessly with a POS system, no physical card required. NFC itself isn’t new, but Apple Pay has better security, broader support, and the clout of the Apple brand behind it. In other words, Apple Pay might actually catch on, and make wireless payments with a mobile device mainstream.

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iOS

The new, more productive iOS 8: Spotlight and Notification upgrades make it well worth downloading

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Yesterday Apple unveiled the new iPhone 6 smartphones and the upcoming Apple Watch. The new iPhones will be available soon, but even before they hit the street, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 8, will roll out. 

Of the many new and updated features in iOS 8, two in particular will help people be more efficient: the new Spotlight search, and Notification Center. Both help you find what you need to find, and do what you need to more simply, and with fewer swipes and taps.

First, let’s look at Spotlight. In iOS 7, when you swipe down the middle of the screen to use Spotlight, the search field displays text that reads “Search iPhone” (or “Search iPad,” as the case may be). In other words, it's a quick way to find apps, messages, contacts, or other information, but only as long as it resides on your device.

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Internet Explorer steals the Patch Tuesday spotlight again

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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It’s hard to imagine that we are already three-fourths of the way through 2014—at least as measured by Microsoft Patch Tuesdays. Today, Microsoft released four new security bulletins, but only one of them is Critical. Guess which one?

Yes. Internet Explorer. Once again Microsoft’s web browser takes center stage as the most crucial of the Patch Tuesday security bulletins. Microsoft resolved a grand total of 42 separate vulnerabilities this month, but 37 of those 42 are addressed in MS14-052—the cumulative update for Internet Explorer. One of the flaws fixed by MS14-052 is publicly known and actively under attack in the wild, which is why this security bulletin is Critical.

“The bulletin fixes zero day vulnerability CVE-2013-7331, which can be used to leak information about the targeted machine,” says Qualys CTO Wolfgang Kandek in a blog post. “CVE-2013-7331 allows attackers to determine remotely through a webpage the existence of local pathnames, UNC share pathnames, intranet hostnames, and intranet IP addresses by examining error codes. This capability has been used in the wild by malware to check if anti-malware products or Microsoft’s Enhanced Mitigation Toolkit (EMET) is installed on the target system and allows the malware to adapt its exploitation strategy.”

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The game is not yet over for Gameover Zeus botnet

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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If you've ever watched a horror movie, you know the trope where the hero seemingly kills the monster, but as soon as he turns his back to walk away the monster regains consciousness and attacks again with renewed vigor. According to the latest report from F-Secure, that's the sort of scenario we might be looking at with the Gameover Zeus botnet.

Gameover Zeus, or GOZ, is a massive botnet that was effectively knocked out of commission through a concerted multinational effort dubbed “Operation Tovar” involving the U.S. Department of Justice, law enforcement, foreign government agencies, and private security companies. The botnet was the driving force behind CryptoLocker ransomware, which encrypts all the data on the compromised system and demands a ransom payment from the user to purchase the decryption key.

But according to Sean Sullivan, security advisor for F-Secure Labs, All Operation Tovar did was cut off the head of the botnet. The takedown took out the command-and-control structure, but compromised machines remain compromised, and the broader threat is still out there.

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Citrix ShareConnect extends the power of your PC to your tablet

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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In an ideal world, a tablet would be an extension of the PC—a device that is more portable, yet still enables users to continue work done while on the go. Tablets like the iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab do work in that capacity to an extent, but not seamlessly. Citrix is changing things, though, with the launch of Citrix ShareConnect, which it calls a remote access innovation that extends the promise of mobile workspaces on any device.

How does Citrix plan to achieve that goal? Citrix ShareConnect enables users to access and edit files stored on their desktop PCs, or run processor-intensive or industry-specific desktop applications directly from an iPad or Android tablet.

With ShareConnect, users don’t have to figure out how to save or sync files or find compatible alternatives to get work done. Users can simply use the applications and data they always use and pick up where they left off as they switch from desktop to tablet and back again.

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Report: Businesses at risk from unreported mobile device theft

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Part of a company embracing mobile devices is ensuring tools are in place to remotely wipe sensitive data from a smartphone or tablet if it is lost or stolen. A new study from Kaspersky Lab identifies an obvious and concerning fact, though—those tools offer little value if the missing device isn’t reported.

Kaspersky Lab surveyed nearly 4,000 IT professionals regarding mobile device security concerns. The results illustrate the challenges facing IT managers and an apparent disregard among users for securing mobile devices or protecting business data.

When a smartphone or tablet is lost or stolen, every minute counts. If the device wasn't locked at the time of its loss or theft, whoever is in possession of it may still be able to access the applications and data it contains. IT personnel can only take steps to lock down the device and erase sensitive data if they know the device has been compromised in the first place.

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