Don’t fall for the Facebook privacy notice hoax

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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Have you posted the notice to your Facebook timeline to proclaim your copyright ownership of all content? Have you seen others from your social network posting such a notice? If you haven’t already, don’t bother. It’s a hoax.

It’s not even a new hoax. It’s a resurgence of an old hoax that many users fell for earlier this year when Facebook became a publicly-traded company. The previous hoax implied that the change from a private company to a public one somehow changed the rules of the privacy agreement and put your posts and photos at risk unless you posted a copy and paste of a disclaimer establishing your copyright ownership.

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With shopping scams on the rise, watch for these threats

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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Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, which means only one thing—the glorious chaos we call the Holiday Shopping Season will soon be upon us. Holiday shopping also means a spike in online scams, fraud, and malware, so you need to be aware of the risks and threats, and exercise some common sense to avoid a cyber-Grinch incident.

Intrepid shoppers will line up for Black Friday deals that have spilled over to Thanksgiving Thursday. You can now start your Black Friday shopping between the turkey feast and the pumpkin pie, before the football games are even over on Thanksgiving Day. The definition of “Friday” aside, holiday shopping will officially be underway. Black Friday will be followed by Cyber Monday, and many shoppers will turn to their mobile devices to find great deals, so it’s primetime for cybercriminals.

Be careful what apps you install and what you click on from your mobile device.
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US teens lead the way for shady, risky online behavior

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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What does your teen do when he or she is online? Do you know? Teens in general partake in riskier online behavior than your average user, but according to a recent study from McAfee—Exploring the Digital Divide—teens in the United States are even more likely to engage in shady online activities.

The new report is a follow up to McAfee’s “The Digital Divide: How the Online Behavior or Teens Is Getting Past Parents”, released earlier this year. The original survey focused solely on the United States, but the new one expands the scope to include teens in European countries for comparison.

The results might be a bit discouraging for parents of US teens. Teens in the United States lead in almost every category of shady online behavior. Nearly a third of US teens have used the Web to intentionally surf for porn. US teens also “lead” in using mobile devices to cheat on tests, and are tied for second in using the Internet as a platform for cyber bullying—only half a percentage point behind the Netherlands. Go USA?

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Here's how to secure your email and avoid becoming a ‘Petraeus’

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 was a shock when David Petraeus—a respected and highly-decorated Army general—abruptly stepped down from his post as the director of the CIA earlier this week. It was even more of a jolt to learn that his resignation was due to an extramarital affair. But, the real story might be the fact that the affair came to light more or less accidentally as a result of poor email and privacy practices.

First, a little background on how things went down. The affair between David Petraeus and his biographer Paula Broadwell seems like something from the Showtime series “Homeland,” or perhaps a James Bond plot line, but the events that led to the FBI investigation that uncovered the affair are a bit more “Fatal Attraction.”

Broadwell sent anonymous threatening emails to another woman she considered to be competition for Petraeus’ affection, and that woman—Jill Kelley—initiated the investigation that eventually unraveled the affair and led to the downfall of one of this generation's greatest American heroes.

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Attention shoppers: Patch IE now before you shop online

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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Today is the eleventh Patch Tuesday of 2012, but the first since the official launch of Windows 8 and Windows RT. There are six new security bulletins—a couple of which are particularly urgent, especially for anyone planning to do any online shopping this holiday season.

There are four security bulletins rated as Critical, one Important, and one Moderate. The Critical security bulletins address issues with Internet Explorer, Windows kernel-mode drivers, the .NET framework, and flaws in Windows shell code that can allow remote exploits.

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Out of date, vulnerable browsers put users at risk

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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Is your browser up to date? According to the results of a new survey from Kaspersky—a security software vendor—nearly a quarter of the browsers currently in use are out of date. Surfing the Web with a vulnerable browser is a recipe for disaster.

The Web browser has evolved to become the primary software used on many PCs. People access their email, surf websites, create documents and spreadsheets, access cloud-based file storage and sharing sites, and share with others on social networking sites—all through the browser. Attackers no this as well, which is why it is exceptionally risky to use a browser with known vulnerabilities.

Kaspersky gathered anonymous data through its cloud-based Kaspersky Security Network. Kaspersky researchers analyzed the browser usage data from millions of customers around the world, and uncovered some concerning trends.

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Study finds 25 percent of Android apps to be a security risk

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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According to a new report from Bit9—a security vendor with a focus on defending against advanced persistent threats (APT)—there is a one in four chance that downloading an Android app from the official Google Play market could put you at risk. Bit9 analyzed 400,000 or so apps in Google Play, and found over 100,000 it considers to be on the shady side.

Does that mean that the sky is falling, and everyone with an Android smartphone or tablet should abandon it immediately? No. The research by Bit9 illustrates some issues with app development in general, and should raise awareness among mobile users to exercise some discretion when downloading and installing apps, but it’s not a sign of any urgent crisis affecting Android apps.

Use discretion rather than blindly
granting permissions to apps.
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