Smartphone and tablet owners are facing an increased security threat, as criminals target their devices, with one in six global smartphone owners suffering a cyberattack. Even with the increased number of threats faced, many devices still don't have any type of anti-virus and anti-malware software installed. A tremendous amount of data is now being kept on mobile devices, especially as users log into mobile banking and email accounts, and malware is being designed to target this data.
"The rapid rise in demand for online banking and retail combined with very little security on devices has created a massive opportunity for cybercriminals leaving many people and businesses extremely vulnerable," said Ori Eisen, 41st Parameter founder.
At the very least, consumers should install some form of anti-malware protection on their smartphone or tablet. Ensuring these products are also password-protected is an important step to help keep out some criminals, along with being careful on clicking suspicious links and downloading apps from unknown sources.
As companies and governments struggle to reduce the threat of cybercrime, it seems the criminals behind these attacks are only becoming even more organized. The threats have evolved from 1990s and 2000s, while groups realized the revenue they would be able to generate from their activities. Trying to identify and arrest criminals launching attacks over the Internet remains extremely difficult, with multiple governments potentially involved in a single investigation, cybersecurity researchers warn.
"One of the biggest challenges is to figure out who has jurisdiction," said Larry Bridwell, a global security specialist, in a recent interview with ConsumerAffairs. "A US consumer might have their credit card stolen from a server in Canada, controlled by a hacker in Eastern Europe."
The Chinese and Russian governments are largely blamed for funding state-sponsored groups, but the actual criminals involved can be found around the world - the United States, Eastern Europe, South America and Asia are popular locations for large amounts of cybercriminals.
If you check for your local police department on Twitter, Facebook or some other social media platform, it's likely you can find them being relatively active. Law enforcement officers are able to communicate with citizens in an informal manner, while also receiving tips and information regarding local activities. In fact, 82 percent of recent survey respondents think digital tools assist in improving police services, while 79 percent would choose digital interaction over face-to-face communications.
"Social media has been called by some the 21st-century method of walking the beat and interacting with citizens to gain the information needed by police to keep the community safe and solve crime," said Glenn Springfield, the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office public information officer. "People are so much more comfortable using their computing, staying behind their screen and not having to talk to somebody. Some people are shy and don't want to call the police."
In addition to interacting with citizens interacting with police via social media, don't be surprised if the local police agencies are more proactive in tracking social media. Keeping active on the Internet allows law enforcement to be more proactive while collecting information for investigations.
The use of mini-drones has captured the attention of military contractors, but have great potential in the private world and commercial industry.
It wasn't too long ago when drones in the private sector were extremely expensive, but as technological advances develop, the overall price is continuing to drop. In addition, there is a booming private sector dedicated to the design and sale of drones that can be easily flown by citizens. In the future, drones will continue to expand away outside of military and government use, and will develop even further among private citizens.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently drafting guidelines that will outline private drone use - but until then - the market is still essentially a new-age version of the wild west.
The New Mexico Spaceport Authority is trying to attract new customers willing to launch commercial flights from Spaceport America, but those efforts hit a bump in the road when Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo suffered a "serious anomaly" that left one test pilot dead. With the Virgin Galactic flights delayed, New Mexico could lose up to $1.7 million per year, as authority officials try to find new temporary revenue streams.
Leasing the facility for outside functions such as photo and video shoots, fashion shows and similar activities will help ease the financial bleeding - but the true benefit could be from UP Aerospace and other future rocket launches. SpaceX's tests of a reusable rocket is expected to begin in spring 2015, which will add much-needed revenue.
The State of New Mexico has invested almost $220 million into space tourism, but lawmakers are increasingly concerned about the state's investment.
Rockstar Games was able to resolve problems that some Grand Theft Auto V players on the Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 game consoles reported at the start of the weekend. Despite posting a workaround, it appeared most gamers simply waited until Rockstar Games was able to fix the problem for them.
The Xbox One GTA V Title Update 1.03 was released on Saturday afternoon, and was focused just on improving server stability.
The Xbox One and PS4 have proven to be popular among gamers, but certain game studios appear to be having trouble releasing video games that don't need immediate improvements. GTA V was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on September 17, and released for the PS4 and Xbox One on November 18 - a PC version will be released on January 27.
Canada is in a "statistical tie" with Australia and the Czech Republic as nations with the most technologically literate students, according to the International Computer and Information Literacy Study. Researchers tested around 60,000 students in grade 8 from 20 nations, and the international average came out to 500.
As part of the study, participants were tested on their ability to collect, create, manage and exchange information while using a PC - and teachers were also gauged to determine how confident students are while engaging with technology in the classroom.
"The study results provide valuable information on where students in this province stand with understanding and using information and communications skills compared to other countries," said Susan Sullivan, Newfoundland's education minister, in a statement. "The results will help the provincial government make informed decisions about using technology to enhance teaching and learning."
Popular image board Reddit has made their "Ask Me Anything" platform an extremely popular way for celebrities, politicians and persons of interest to talk to members of the public through an 'ask and tell' type scenario. However, there are times when this simple instance of self-promotion can go extremely wrong, or very right. The last time we saw such a blowout in /r/IAmA was that of Woody Harrelson's PR agent pretending to be him, which was a massive contrast to hilarious offerings like lil Jon's "sleep or police".
As described in a wrap-up Reddit post by Reddit user Fluffy017, "it goes about as well as you'd expect". The general population of Reddit can be seen as 'internet activists', with many instances being reported of them achieving things such as financing Kickstarter campaigns all the way to getting a NASCAR car sponsored by their popular 'Doge' meme.
Net Neutrality is a hot topic among this online board and defined as defined as "the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication." Basically meaning, certain companies could receive an unfavorable advantage simply due to their positioning. market share or who's income they decide to supplement.
Phone manufacturer Sonim now has its XP6 smartphone, a Google Android-powered device, available for AT&T, so subscribers have another choice when choosing ruggedized devices. The device has a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 CPU, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, and push-to-talk support.
"When people talk about working smarter not harder, they think of the person working behind a desk, not the ones delivering a load of concrete or loading cargo on a flight," said Tom Burton, Sonim GM, in a statement. "Together with AT&T, we will change that paradigm so that employees in the field don't have to sacrifice the productivity enhancing services and feature benefits of smartphones due to their geographic location or work function."
The phone is available for $149.99 with a two-year contract, or $524.99 without a phone contract.
30 years later, Susan Kare has listed reproductions of the famous Apple Mac Pirate Flag on her website for sale. Originally flying back in 1983, these hand painted copies will be sold at a price of up to $2,500 US.
Kare was originally assigned the painting of this flag near the beginning of Apples existence, the design said to be inspired by a slogan of the late Steve Jobs to inspire his team. It was an amalgamation of three sayings tied into one and read: "Real artists ship. It's better to be a pirate than join the navy. Mac in a book by 1986."
Steve Capps, a Macintosh programmer suggested that Jobs convert this into a symbol - a flag. The birth of this object has been described as: "LA few days before we moved into the new building, Capps bought some black cloth and sewed it into a flag. He asked Susan Kare to paint a big skull and crossbones in white at the center. The final touch was the requisite eye-patch, rendered by a large, rainbow-colored Apple logo decal."