Spot phishing scams and don’t take the bait

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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Can you recognize a phishing scam email when you see one? Do you know what signs to look for to identify a phishing attack, and avoid becoming a victim? In honor of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, PhishMe has developed an infographic with helpful tips to keep you safe and secure.

PhishMe points out the usual, common-sense things you should do to avoid getting compromised—by either phishing scams or malware exploits. Don’t open unknown file attachments or click on links in suspicious emails, and don’t enter your credentials on login pages linked from email messages.

Hopefully that goes without saying at this point for emails you receive from unknown sources. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that you aren’t expecting a package from UPS, or you haven’t actually conducted business that would involve a suspicious email with a cryptic “invoice” attached. Don’t let curiosity get the best of you. You can be fairly sure it’s not legitimate—and even if it is, you know it’s not for you. Just delete the message.

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Report: Huge spike in mobile malware targets Android, especially mobile payments

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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Two very predictable traits drive cybercriminals: First, they tend to focus on targets with the highest odds of success. Second, they prefer attacks that generate profit. A new joint report from Kaspersky Lab and INTERPOL underscores how these two factors contribute to concerning trends in mobile threats. 

The Mobile Cyber Threats report analyzes mobile malware data collected from Kaspersky’s cloud-based Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) during the period of August 1, 2013 through July 31, 2014, for over 5 million Android smartphones and tablets protected by Kaspersky security products.

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that Android is by far the biggest target for mobile malware. Recent data from IDC indicates that Android comprises about 85 percent of the overall mobile platform market, with iOS a distant second, and the remaining crumbs being shared among Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and other platforms. From a pure numbers perspective, malware designed for Android has the greatest odds of success. Android is also a more open platform, which exposes it to great potential for exploit.

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Survey: BYOD security remains spotty, with users unaware or unmotivated about risks

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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Many organizations have embraced the concept of BYOD (bring your own device), allowing employees to use their own personal smartphones and tablets at work. A new survey from BitDefender, however, suggests that BYOD policies and controls have a long way to go in order to be more secure.

The BitDefender study, conducted by Millward Brown, surveyed 1,045 Internet users in the United States, aged 18 and over, during August of 2014. The results of the survey should be a wake-up call for companies to examine their BYOD policies, and ensure that adequate security controls are in place to safeguard corporate data and resources.

Based on the survey responses, it seems that BYOD has transcended from a trendy buzzword to an accepted norm. The concept of connecting personal mobile devices to a company network or data is widely accepted, and half of the employees who are allowed to use their own smartphone, tablet, or laptop take advantage of that policy.

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Survey finds generation gaps in adoption of new tech

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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Wearable tech and Internet-of-Things (IoT) gadgets are all the rage. A new survey from Acquity Group, though, illustrates how different generations are embracing these new developments.

The study defined three age groups: Millennials (ages 18-25), Generation X (ages 26-35), and Baby Boomers (over age 45). (I guess that group between age 36 and 45 just isn’t very interesting). Overall, Acquity Group found that younger consumers are most likely to adopt connected technologies in the long run, but older consumers are more likely to own certain products already.

For example, 53 percent of Millennials plan to buy some sort of in-home IoT technology in the next five years, compared to only 32 percent of Baby Boomers. When it comes to wearable tech, 36 percent of Millennials plan to adopt wearable tech gadgets in the next five years, while only 25 percent of Baby Boomers indicated as such.

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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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