What Is ‘Surveillance for Hire’?

After Meta (Facebook) recently reported alerting 50,000 people that it believed were being targeted by “surveillance-for-hire” entities, we take a look are who these entities are and what they do. Meta’s Report Following months of investigation, Meta recently informed 50,000 people that they were being targeted by seven “surveillance-for-hire” entities / “cyber mercenaries” who were targeting people in...

Google : ‘No Jab, No Job’

CNBC recently reported that it had viewed a Google memo, circulated to employees, that they would lose pay, and eventually be sacked if they didn’t comply with the company’s Covid-19 vaccination policy. Until Dec 3 To Declare Status, And Until Jan 18 To Comply According to CNBC, the document circulated by Google’s leadership warned employees that...

Christmas Cons

In this article, we take a look at some of the latest known online scams so that you can avoid falling foul of cybercriminals this Christmas. Christmas – A Great Opportunity For Scammers The extra spending at many different online shops, often for large amounts, and the requirement for delivery before the big day makes...

A Peek at Metaverse

Meta (Facebook) has released a social VR experience called ‘Horizon Worlds’, giving users the first real look at the ‘Metaverse’ described by Mark Zuckerberg in the company’s recent re-brand announcements. What Is Horizon Worlds? Horizon Worlds (which launched via invite-only in beta last year) is a free, virtual space app that has been built with...

What Is A Password Manager?

In this tech insight, we look at challenges to using passwords, what password managers are, and why they are still so important. The Limitations and Challenge of Passwords Passwords have long provided a practical way to log in to websites, platforms, apps and other access gateways yet using passwords comes with many limitations and challenges,...

Teams App Blocked Emergency Call

It was recently discovered that a bug in the Pixel 3 phone meant that users who had the Teams app installed (even though they weren’t logged in) couldn’t call the US emergency 911 number. What Happened? A Reddit user reported that they had needed to call an ambulance for their grandmother who appeared to be...

Email Security

In this tech insight, we take a look at the many threats to email security that businesses face and what businesses can do to mitigate them, together with what help is available to help tackle those threats effectively. Email Accounts For Most Security Breaches Prioritising email security is important because most cyber-security breaches involve email,...

World’s First “Living Robots” Can Now Reproduce

US-based scientists have reported creating “living robots” that can now re-produce. Next Step From Last Year Last year, a team of US scientists reported creating ‘living robots’ which were actually bundles of stem cells from African clawed frogs. The researchers discovered that they could ‘program’ these cells to accomplish certain tasks, hence the robot comparison....

Tech Tip – Using Windows ‘Hello’ For Easier and Safer Device Sign-In

Microsoft Hello offers a way for Windows 10/11 users to get a more personal (and secure) way to instantly access Windows 10 devices using a PIN, facial recognition, or fingerprint. Here’s how to set it up:   – In your device, Select “Start > Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options”.   – Select “Manage how...

Security Stop-Press : GoDaddy “Security Incident” Could Affect 1.2 Million

In this week’s security update, GoDaddy has reported a hack/data-breach on its managed WordPress hosting service which could mean that the details of 1.2 million users may have been exposed. Reports indicate that an intruder gained access on Nov 17 by using a stolen password. GoDaddy says that it has blocked the unauthorised third-party from its system,...

Self-Powered Mobile Masts Could Beat Remote Off-Grid Challenges

Vodafone’s announcement that it aims to deploy self-powered ‘Eco-Tower’ mobile masts across the UK could mean connections for remote areas as well as environmental benefits. Wind and Solar Powered The new masts will be self-powered, using wind turbine technology, combined with new solar and battery technologies developed through Vodafone working with renewable energy technology specialist Crossflow...

Hamster Crypto-Croaks

Max, a.k.a. “Mr Goxx”, the hamster that found Internet fame through outperforming many human cryptocurrency-traders, has died. Experiment With ‘Wheel’ Results The hamster’s life as a crypto trader was down to him being used as part of an experiment by an anonymous German lecturer and prototyping specialist duo who set out to demonstrate the randomness...

Hybrid Working Results In Move Off-Premise For Tech Infrastructure

Research by Zen Internet has revealed that hybrid working is causing businesses to question whether they now need enough on-premise tech infrastructure to support a full capacity office. Most Business Have Hybrid Working Plan The research conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Zen Internet showed that 93 per cent of businesses already have a hybrid...

Facebook (Meta) to Integrate Workplace with Microsoft Teams

Facebook/Meta has announced that it is integrating Workplace with Microsoft’s collaboration app Teams to enable users to share information more easily between the two platforms. What Is Workplace? First announced in 2016, originally Facebook’s internal messaging board, and formerly known as ‘Facebook At Work’, Workplace is the work-focused version of Facebook’s social app. The app...

Do People Lie More Online?

In this article, we look at whether there is evidence to suggest that people lie more online, and what the message is for businesses.  Lying  Just 3 years after the World Wide Web was introduced to the public domain, a report was published by University of Virginia psychologist Bella M. DePaulo (DePaulo, Kashy, Kirkendol, Wyer, and Epstein) which revealed that most people,...

Microsoft Unveils ‘Loop’ Collaborative App

Microsoft has unveiled the new ‘Loop’ collaborative app which it describes as “a flexible canvas with portable components” designed for assisting with new hybrid working patterns. Background Microsoft says that the new app is part of a “reimagining” of Office, and a response to the new opportunities created by new (hybrid) working patterns that can make Office more of...

MacOS Monterey Has a Serious Memory Leak Problem, and the Cause Has Been Found

The cause of a memory leak in Apple’s recently-released macOS Monterey that has been plaguing users since it’s early November release has been found, and while its effects can be devastating avoiding the bug will be simple for most users.    Users who installed macOS Monterey when it became generally available in late October started noticing some serious...

Crypto ATM Scammers

An FBI announcement has warned that scammers are now directing victims to use physical cryptocurrency ATMs and digital QR codes to complete payment transactions. What Are Cryptocurrency ATMs? A cryptocurrency ATM is a physical kiosk/terminal/device that connects to a cryptocurrency network (e.g. bitcoin) and allows customers to purchase crypto tokens with deposited cash. Cryptocurrency ATMs...

WAP … WEP … What ???

In this tech insight, we take a brief look at the WEP and WAP security protocols, and what happened to them. What Is WAP? Developed by Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia, and Unwired Planet, and introduced back in 1999, Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) was a security standard for devices with a wireless Internet connection on a mobile...

“Your Call Is Important To Us”

In this featured-article, we look at the traditional frustrations that occur when customers encounter (some) phone systems and how technology is helping to bring better experiences. Spending Time On Hold Being put on hold and spending time waiting has long been known to frustrate customers, cause stress, and lead to them hanging up. Even though...

Massive Rise In HTTPS Attacks

The latest “ThreatLabz: The State of Encrypted Attacks,” 2021 report has shown a 300 per cent increase in online attackers using HTTPS to cloak their activities and blend in with other traffic. HTTPS HTTPS, the encrypted version of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), enables secure communication over a computer network, using Transport Layer Security (formerly,...

Facebook Re-Branded As ‘Meta’

After one of the most publicised re-brands in history, as Facebook changes its name to ‘Meta,’ we look at the reaction in the media and the marketplace, and the issues for the company going forward. ‘Meta’ … ? Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced at Connect 2021 last week that the company had brought together its...

Smart Doorbells And UK Law

In this insight, we look at ‘smart’ doorbells and how the outcome of a recent legal case has highlighted the legal responsibilities that owner/operators of smart doorbells have under UK law. Smart Doorbells Smart doorbells, such as Eufy, Ring, Nest Hello, Arlo, Vuebell, IseeBell, and more are Internet-connected replacements for traditional doorbells. Smart doorbells use...

What Is A Digital Twin?

In this insight, we look at what a digital twin is, what the benefits of using one are, and which industries commonly use digital twins. What Is It? A digital twin is an accurate virtual model of a physical object that uses data gathered from sensors on the physical object to run simulations, study performance...

There’s Gold In Them Thar Phones

The Royal Mint has signed an agreement with Canadian start-up Excir to recover gold and other precious metals from old smartphone and laptop circuit boards. Precious Waste Mountain A recent assessment by the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) forum has concluded that this year’s worldwide mountain of waste electronic and electrical equipment will total...

Scam Calls : A Significant Update

This week, we heard the good news that the big phone networks have agreed to automatically block foreign scam calls, and we heard the bad news that an Ofcom survey has revealed that 45 million people in the UK were targeted by scam text messages or phone calls this summer! The Challenge The challenge has...

30 Countries Pledge To Act On Ransomware

The international Counter-Ransomware members from 30 countries have issued a joint statement outlining their intent to take action to counter the growing threat posed by ransomware. What Is Ransomware? Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts the important files on a computer and the user (often a business/organisation) is given a ransom demand, the...

Apple : What is ‘Sideloading?

In Apple’s new “Building a Trusted Ecosystem for Millions of Apps” white paper, it describes the threat posed by ‘sideloading’ on its App Stores. Here’s what you need to know.  Sideloading Sideloading normally refers to transferring a file between two local devices without the use of the internet e.g., by connecting your computer to a smartphone or...

Monetising Movement (Your Geo-Data)

In this feature, we take a look at how a multi-billion-dollar market obtains, uses, and sells our location data. Report A GVR report estimates that the global location intelligence market was worth USD 12.2 billion in 2020. This market uses our phone/device location data. There are many different interlinked players in this market ecosystem from...

What’s Going On With Facebook?

After experiencing two outages in a week, one lasting more than six hours, and a whistleblower at a Senate Committee hearing alleging potentially harmful effects from Facebook’s algorithms, some are asking ‘what’s going on with Facebook?’ Whistleblower Recently identified former Facebook employee turned whistleblower, Frances Haugen, was found to be behind a series of leaks reported...

Proposed Ban For Mass Facial Recognition & ‘Predictive’ Policing

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution calling for a ban on the use of AI-based predictive policing systems and the processing of biometric data that leads to mass surveillance. Areas The resolution seeks to ban the use of facial recognition technology and AI in several key areas: – Police use of facial recognition technology...

What Is The ICO?

In this tech-insight, we look at the role of the Information Commissioner’s Office, and how it can be a source of valuable compliance information and help to businesses. What Is It? The Information Commissioner’s Office is the UK’s independent, non-departmental public body set up to uphold information rights in the public interest. The ICO also...

Networks Angered By Ofcom’s Openreach Decision

Independent broadband network providers (altnets) have been angered by Ofcom’s decision to take no action over anti-competition concerns about (BT) Openreach’s “Equinox” offer. What Is Equinox? The Equinox Offer from BT’s Openreach essentially proposes that big ISPs can buy discounted wholesale Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband products. Openreach’s Equinox Offer gives ISPs (e.g., TalkTalk or Sky) cheaper/discounted...

Amazon To Start Selling Cyber Insurance

Amazon has entered the B2B insurance market through a partnership with Superscript and is offering cyber insurance to small and medium-sized businesses in the UK. Cyber Insurance? Cyber insurance protects businesses (and individuals providing services for businesses) by helping with the compensation costs that can arise from Internet-based risks and handling data. For example, businesses may...

QR Codes … A Security Risk?

In this tech-insight, we take a look at what QR codes are used for, review some well-known security risks, and outline what action you can take to protect yourself from malicious QR codes. Quick Response (QR) Codes A QR code is a machine-readable (e.g., by smartphones), matrix barcode invented in 1994 by the Japanese Toyota...

Domain Security

After a recent report found that poor domain security has left most Global 2000 companies vulnerable to the threats of phishing and brand abuse, we take a closer look at domain security and how businesses can maximise their protection against popular threats. CSC Research – Domains Dangerously Under-Protected Recent research by US-based CSC, which describes...
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