Report finds iOS apps riskier than Android apps

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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How many apps do you have on your smartphone or tablet right now? Well, take that number, and multiply it by 0.9. That’s about how many of your apps are a potential security concern according to a new study from Appthority.

The Appthority Reputation Report for Winter 2014 was compiled using data from the cloud-based Appthority App Risk Management Service. Appthority performed static, dynamic, and behavioral app analysis of 400 paid and free apps spanning iOS and Android to assess the relative security and risky behavior of the most popular apps.

Appthority found that 95 percent of the top 200 free apps on iOS and Android exhibit at least one risky behavior. That number drops to 80 percent for paid apps—an improvement, but four out of five paid apps exhibiting risky behavior is hardly something to cheer about. Appthority also discovered that iOS apps are riskier overall than Android apps—91 percent contain risky behavior as opposed to 83 percent on Android.

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Yahoo Mail hack teaches a valuable lesson

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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Yahoo Mail was hacked. Details are sketchy in terms of just how many Yahoo Mail accounts have been compromised. Yahoo suggests that the attackers most likely gained access to the data through a third-party database outside of Yahoo control. Regardless of how the compromise occurred, there is a lesson to be learned here…again.

Hacks happen, but If you've followed basic security practices and aren’t using the same login credentials for multiple sites and services, a compromised Yahoo Mail shouldn't put anything at risk other than your Yahoo Mail account. 

Passwords lose their efficacy if you just use the same one for every site and service.

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Retailer data breach trend not likely to end soon

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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Three major retail chains have recently admitted being victims of massive data breaches that compromised sensitive data from over 100 million customers. Sadly, though, Target, Nieman-Marcus, and Michael’s are just the beginning of a trend that isn’t likely to fade away any time soon.

Verizon's annual Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) from May of 2013 found that 24 percent of the confirmed data breaches in 2012 affected the retail and restaurant sector—second only to the financial sector. In all, there were 156 confirmed data breaches in the retail and food services industries. 

In all three of the recent high-profile cases, attackers were apparently able to plant malware on point-of-sale (PoS) systems to gather credit card information from unsuspecting shoppers. The Target breach affected as many as 110 million customers, Nieman Marcus 1.1 million, and the scope of the Michael’s breach is still a work in progress. There’s a very good chance other retailers have been compromised as well and just haven’t discovered it yet.

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South Korea wireless speed leaves U.S. service in the dust

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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Wireless service providers in the United States are constantly battling each other over which has the largest or fastest wireless network. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile are just big fish swimming in a small pond, though, because none of them can come close to what wireless providers are delivering in South Korea—not even on their best day.

In South Korea, LG Uplus is rolling out 300Mbps wireless service. Meanwhile SK Telecom will reportedly demonstrate 450Mbps wireless at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Those speeds are four to six times faster than the theoretical maximum speeds of U.S. wireless providers and 10 times faster or more than real-world speeds achieved by most US wireless customers.

The current marketing campaign for Verizon centers around its 4G/LTE coverage. The commercials show random people trying to make sense of different maps of the United States that depict the 4G coverage for the major wireless providers. Verizon—because it seems to have the broadest coverage—is the only one instantly recognizable as a map of the United States. The question, though, is what does that coverage get you?

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LogMeIn just logged everyone out of free service

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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LogMeIn shocked customers today with a notice announcing the end of LogMeIn Free

According to the notice posted to the LogMeIn blog, users will have seven days to upgrade to a premium access account. The grace period begins the next time a user logs in to their account. Users who do not subscribe to a premium account service within the seven-day window will lose access to the LogMeIn service.

pcw

LogMeIn lets you remotely access and use a PC from your mobile device.

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Target breach notifications are a perfect example of what not to do

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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Hopefully your company will never be the victim of a massive data breach. If it is, though, and customer data is compromised, make sure you don’t follow Target’s lead when it comes to notifying customers. Target’s customer notification efforts are wrong on almost every level.

Customers are conditioned to not click on links in email messages. In the wake of a massive data breach like Target experienced, phishing scams often try to exploit the heightened awareness by sending out emails that look very legitimate.

Security experts warn users to specifically avoid such emails following a data breach, and remind users that a legitimate, reputable company would not send you an email and ask you to click on a link.

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Never get caught without a charging cable

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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I don’t know if anyone has coined a term for it yet, but there is some variation of Murphy’s Law at play that ensures your smartphone or tablet will run out of power when you need it most. Finding a power source is generally pretty simple, but without the proper charging cable for your device you may still be out of luck. 

Depending on your device, you might be able to borrow a cable from a friend or random stranger. MicroUSB is fairly ubiquitous, but the Lightning cable used for current iOS devices is harder to come by. Regardless of which connection your device uses you don’t want your ability to recharge to be dependent on the kindness of strangers, and you don’t want the burden of having to carry a long charging cable around in your pocket.

chargecard

The Nomad ChargeCard fits nicely in a credit card slot in your wallet.

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