The older generation is increasingly embracing technology to stay connected and remain independent, but technology can be intimidating for some seniors due to fears associated with people having access to personal information. As this article in The Tennessean points out, “computer use among Americans age 65 and older has doubled in the past 10 years, and Internet usage among that age group has more than tripled. Nearly half of people age 75 and older own a cellphone. Seniors are the fastest growing demographic on Facebook.”
Tagged: Mobile Devices
According to one security company’s analysts, there are several cybercrime predictions that you should prepare for in the coming decade. The group that has made these predictions, Kaspersky Lab, says the problem of privacy protection will be one of the key issues of the decade.
Check out this article and video from a CBS news affiliate in Atlanta, which shares the “not-so-hot part about WiFi hotspots,” and why unencrypted devices are easy for hackers to crack. Check out the video for a glimpse of people working “triple-fisted” at the café (that would be working at a table with a smartphone, laptop, and a tablet). Also hear why a security expert thinks public hotspots are now easier than ever for hackers to infiltrate, thanks to tools like Firesheep.
Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal has asked executives at Apple, Google, Nokia, Blackberry maker Research in Motion, Skyhook, and Microsoft about how they collect data from private wireless networks to create maps of WiFi service. Citing privacy concerns, Blumenthal wrote in the letter that “attempting to document the locations of personal wireless networks in individuals’ homes without their knowledge or consent raises issues of what constitutes a reasonable expectation of privacy for an ordinary citizen.” This article on Bloomberg.com explains more about the Senator’s issues, as well as other wireless news affecting the big search and smartphone providers.
Three computer researchers say they have discovered a major privacy flaw with Android smartphones that may lead to attacks over unencrypted WiFi networks. This article on CNN points out that “users of Android devices running versions 2.3.3 and below could be susceptible to attack when they are connected to unencrypted WiFi networks. Anyone else on that network could gain access to, modify or delete Android users’ calendars, photos, and contacts.” Just 3% of Android users have the latest versions of the operating system, but a Google spokesperson says the company is working on fixing the problems for all users.
The Federal Trade Commission recently had a meeting with Congress to explain how it is protecting consumers’ privacy on mobile devices. The FTC said it is working to create solutions that protect consumers without stifling technology innovations, but what exactly does that mean for the millions of smartphone and tablet users out there? Check out five highlights from the testimony you need to know.
Back in 1986 – when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerbeg was two years old – Congress passed the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. It enacted guidelines for when law-enforcement investigators needed to search data stored on a computer. The 1986 ECPA has not really been updated at all since. It does not address social networks like Facebook, Skype, or Twitter, nor does it deal with smartphone security. This essay on The Huffington Post points out that “what’s really frightening is that the Justice Department is asking Congress not to update the law. Law enforcement likes that most of our electronic communications are offered only feeble privacy protections.”
Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs claims the iPhone does not track user location. He instead casts the blame on Google, saying the search giant tracks those who have an Android phone. In an email exchange quoted in The Guardian, Jobs responds to a question about whether Google tracks users or not by saying, “Oh yes they do. We don’t track anyone. The info circulating around is false.”
A niche medical news site, ihealthbeat.org, suggests that federal health IT officials should address the prevalence of health data breaches that result from “unencrypted data at rest,” such as information stored on laptops, mobile devices, and USB drives. An overwhelming number of breaches are caused by thefts or losses of this unencrypted data, according to government reports cited in the article.
An article on a site called Thinq says a new geolocation information aggregator “aims to gather public information on a targeted individual via social networking services in order to pinpoint their location. It’s remarkably efficient at its job, even in its current early form, and certainly lives up to its name when you see it in use for the first time.” The article points out that although Twitter’s geolocation setting is optional, images shared via a smartphone records the location information anyway and “Creepy finds these photos, downloads them, and extracts the location data.”
Filing your taxes? There’s an app for that. Actually, there are a few apps for that. These days time is a precious commodity and the ability to file your taxes through your Smartphone seems like a dream come true. You are now able to snap a picture of your W-2 with your Smartphone, have the information automatically entered and then submitted to the federal government. It doesn’t get much easier than that. Convenience though, often goes hand in hand with a lower level of security and these Smartphone apps are no exception. In order to understand the risks of using these apps one must look at just what is available, what the risks of usage are, and how to protect oneself.