Category Archives: Security

Sleep vs Hibernate

I’ve been using Windows 7 for a while now and haven’t had a chance to really dig into the differences between Sleep, Hibernate, and Hibernate Sleep. This article from How-to Geek, however, answered all my questions in just a few minutes. If you have the same questions, here you are.


Getting Ready for Facebook’s Timeline

I have not yet moved to Facebook’s Timeline, but I know my time is coming. For me, it’s just been timing — I haven’t had any lately. So, I was happy to find this article by Kim Komando that laid out what I should do when Facebook tells me they will be switching my profile. Hope it helps you, too!

In the meantime, I’ll be looking for a cover photo to use. 🙂

Full URLs in Firefox

If you keep up with Firefox updates, then you may have noticed that the full URL is no longer shown. For most people, this may not be a problem, but for those of us that are more technically inclined, we like to see it all.

The change is the removal of the protocol section of the URL. So, instead of seeing:

we see:

To change it back, you can use “about:config.” CNET has directions — it’s quick and easy!

Video Explains Viruses, Worms, Trojans

Common Craft has, once again, created an excellent video that explains, in simple terms, a subject that isn’t so simple. This time, they’ve tackled “Computer Viruses and Threats,” specifically discussing the differences between viruses, worms, and trojans. Watch for yourself:

Google’s Data Centers

Google opened another data center in South Carolina. As its newest, they’ve created a video that highlights its security features. If you’ve never read about them, here’s your chance to see them. You’ll understand the reasons that large universities, companies, and governments have turned parts of their data over to Google – it’s difficult to match their security.

[from Slashdot]

Self-Erasing Drives

Toshiba is coming out with a set of hard drives that will automatically erase itself if connected to an unknown device. You can choose whether the wipe the entire drive or just parts of it.

How Much Does Your Cell Phone Company Know About You?

Remember a story a couple of years ago about a German politician, Malte Spitz, who asked for and received 6 month’s worth of his personal data from his cell phone company? He received 35, 831 pieces of information about himself. He then turned it over to Zeit Online, a German newspaper site. They added to this information his Twitter posts and created an interactive map of where he went and what he did for the 6 months.

Germany apparently has a privacy law that provides for obtaining this information,  I’m not sure if the United States has something similar. If it did, we probably would have seen something similar from a US citizen.

[from beSpacific]

Security & Smartphones

A survey from Ponemon Institute, and sponsored by AVG, of how US smartphone users view their mobile security. Enlightening to see how much less concern people have for smartphone security than they do desktop/laptop security – even if they have tied their smartphone to the desktop.

A few interesting tidbits from the survey:

  • 84% of us use the same smartphone for personal and business. This means we may have personal and confidential information at risk.
  • 66% keep a moderate or significant amount of personal data on our smartphones.
  • 67% are concerned about receiving marketing and promotions; only 44% are concerned about a virus attack.
  • Less than half of smartphone users use keypad locks or passwords; only 29% have considered installing anti-virus software on their smartphone.
  • 10% turn off Bluetooth when the smartphone is not in use.

There’s a lot more in the survey. It underlies the premise that people don’t understand the security risks inherent in having a computer in their pocket.

Smudge Attacks

With the proliferation of touchscreens, we’ve all noticed a proliferation of smudges on those screens. You can’t just wipe them on your clothes to clean these screens – it takes a little more than that.

Researchers were wondering if sensitive information could be decoded from these smudges. For example, on Android phone, you don’t type in a password, but swish across the screen in a specific pattern. When people use the phone, it normally touches their face, thereby getting oils on the screen. When you touch or swish across the screen, it could leave marks which can later be enhanced.

More research needs to be done, but you can see from the photo that – at least in this case – deciphering the pattern is relatively easy. So, if you have a touchscreen that you use for sensitive information, just be careful!

[from PCPro]

Google’s Multiple Sign-In

How wonderful is this — I don’t have to log in and out of Google accounts all day long! At least for some of their services.

Let me explain. Currently, I’m working with 4 Google accounts — one for work and three for volunteer work I do for the community. I am constantly in and out of these accounts daily. Logging in and out has been the most frustrating part of it — looking up passwords when the browser doesn’t remember.

But now, I can turn on multiple sign-in for these Google services:

  • Calendar
  • Code
  • Gmail
  • Reader
  • Sites
  • Voice

This takes care of most of it, but adding Docs and Groups would be nice additions.

[from Google Operating System]