Category Archives: Security

The 5 Worst Things That Happened in Tech 2012

worst tech

While 2012 has been a decent year for the technology industry, it has not been without its share of blunders and failures. With any luck, 2013 will be a better year for the companies involved in these five worst tech snafus.

1. Maps for iOS take a wrong turn

Like any popular gadget, the release of the iPhone 5 had fans of the major smart phone platforms lining up on both sides of the fence. One of the touted features of the new phone was the iOS 6 version of Maps. In fact, Apple was so confident in the app that it removed any pre-installed mapping apps from their competitors from the device at launch.

 

Unfortunately, Maps was full of errors. Some of them were simply visual. However, in some cases, entire cities were missing, placed in the wrong country or improperly named. Other errors were potentially more dangerous, such as the improper address listing for Washington DC’s Dulles Airport reported by CNNMoney or the recent case of drivers in Australia ending up lost in the wilderness and having to be rescued.

 

2. Facebook’s IPO launch does a belly flop

From the start, Mark Zuckerberg was pumping up crowds of investors. ZDNet reported that over 1,000 Facebook employees would be millionaires after the company went public. Employees were planning to retire and even travel to space. Speculation ran rampant and insiders and industry investors were lining up for shares in the company.

 

Then the string of changes to valuation and risk assessment reports started flooding in. By the time of the IPO launch date, interest was waning and serious concerns surfaced. All of this was capped off with a $15 billion class action user tracking lawsuit on the day of the launch. A NASDAQ technical issue also prevented trading for nearly a half hour that day. In the end, the shares reached values that were just a fraction of the proposed price.

 

3. Hackers walking in a password wonderland

LinkedIn, Last.fm and eHarmony were all victims of security breaches this year. An estimated 6.4 passwords were leaked from LinkedIn alone. With the sheer amount of information transmitting over the Internet and being stored and analyzed on corporate servers, the need for proper data security is greater than ever.

 

Unfortunately for the companies involved, there were also concerns of improper securing of many of the password databases. In the end, all of the companies lost reputation and some users shifted to alternate platforms. Though there have been no firm numbers released on the financial impact on users who’s credentials were compromised, you can certainly bet that the incidents cost the companies a hefty sum.

 

4. RIM keeps the world waiting for Blackberry 10

Once a leader in business phones and an innovator in new cellular phone technologies, RIM has fallen behind both Apple and the Android competition. In the spring, as the financial state of the company condition continued to decline, they pushed out word of the new Blackberry 10.

 

With its new styling and similar feature set to current smartphones, it could help RIM reacquire a foothold in the mobile market. Unfortunately, it has now been delayed into the first quarter of 2013. This leaves the possibility of RIM’s disappearance, making the worst tech lists of 2013 higher than ever.

 

5. Windows 8 leaves many running for the door

Microsoft’s latest Windows offering is once again changing up the interface users have come to know and love. From the lack of a start menu to the touch-centric Metro UI, these changes are receiving less than stellar reviews from some users and industry professionals. Whether Windows 8 and the Surface tablet become late bloomers or simply flop remains to be seen in 2013.

Top Security Applications for iPhone

iphone-4s

The iPhone is an extraordinary device, one of the game-changers that comes along every few years which not only makes life easier for its users, but also happens to turn an entire industry on its head. Now in its 4th iteration, the iPhone still commands plenty of attention from consumers, app developers, and tech pundits. Another group has also turned its eye towards the iPhone, one which has a more nefarious agenda than the others — hackers. 

One of the reasons that hackers are increasingly targeting smart devices like the iPhone is the lack of built-in anti-malware protection, allowing control of the device through such simple tactics as an SMS text message.

Fortunately, the security industry has responded to the need for iPhone protection with easy-to-use and affordable software. Here are a few recommended top security applications for iPhone

Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes made its mark by being able to detect and handle malware on desktop and laptop PCs that other software just didn’t detect very well, such as keyloggers and rootkits. iPhone users can now enjoy the same protection on their handsets and avoid viruses, Trojans and other unwanted code which can infect a phone while browsing.

For those unfamiliar with Malwarebytes, a free version is available for unlimited use, with more advanced features unlocked for a small fee.

Find My iPhone

Find My iPhone is an iPhone location tracker which utilizes the device’s location services to pinpoint the exact spot where it is, should it become lost. Simply log into your account from any device, including a friend’s smartphone, and you can not only see where you phone is, but also sound an alarm (even if the phone is in Silent mode) and send a message to whoever has your phone.

Should you determine that your phone is lost forever, and you have sensitive information on it, the software will allow you to remotely lock the phone or even wipe out all of the data, keeping prying eyes away from your email, pictures and documents.

Webroot Mobile & Tablet Security

Webroot is an antivirus vendor that has recently switched all of their products to a cloud-based model, meaning real time protection without having to fill up your internal storage with huge signature file downloads. Instead, a less than 1 mb agent installs in seconds on your phone, which filters all of your traffic and documents against an enormous, continuously updated signature file database which offers real time protection without slowing down your device like traditional antivirus software.

Mobile Active Defense

Spam is often accompanied by links to malicious websites, phishing scams and dangerous attachments. Preventing spam from ever reaching your inbox is therefore a very smart step in keeping your device secure.  Mobile Active Defense ameliorates the spam problem by filtering each email through its servers before being forwarded to your phone. With over 100 updates to its database daily, the software remains up-to-date on the latest Nigerian lottery, Canadian pharmacy and Russian dating site scam to keep you protected.

With more and more of our personal and corporate lives residing on our mobile devices, it pays to be proactive and invest in tools such as security applications for iPhone to ensure data does not fall into the wrong hands.

How Mobile Monitoring Apps Can Monitor or Track any Mobile?

mobile monitoring apps

Mobile monitoring has become a necessity with the widespread use of smartphones. This is because these types of mobile phones are loaded with various features and applications as well results and data generated is also large.

Circumstances that call for mobile monitoring apps

In order to protect sensitive data, mobile owners resort to mobile monitoring apps. Moreover, there are situations where quietly placing a mobile under observation becomes vital. To name but two instances, one includes instances when parents suspect their children are abusing phones given to them and when a mobile phone is stolen and tracking its location becomes necessary.

How mobile monitoring apps monitor any mobile

Typically, mobile monitoring apps such as Cell phone spy / Mobile Spy are designed to support most of the popular smartphone models like iPhone, Android, Blackberry and so on. The user who wants to monitor a mobile phone, which could be his own or belongs to someone else, can buy a suitable application. After this, he is usually asked by the app to create a server account by entering a User ID and Password. This account becomes the key to access the mobile related data logs. By signing into this account as often as needed, users can go through all activities that have happened and all data that has been exchanged from the device.

After the account registration, users can download and install the application onto the mobile which is to be monitored. He must get physical access to the phone to carry out this step. Monitoring applications are generally camouflaged or concealed well and are meant to stay invisible to the user. Even when the data is being passed on from the mobile to the corresponding server account, there is no intrusion to the mobile’s usage.

Following the installation, users can pick the criteria which he or she wants tracked. This could be merely call and SMS tracking or it could be the entire gamut of mobile data and activities. Once the criteria to be monitored are set up, the mobile monitoring app is active and begins its functions.

Information that can be monitored and tracked

It is possible to monitor everything that takes place around a smartphone with a professional monitoring app. Calls and text monitoring, photos and video monitoring, location tracking with GPS, monitoring email like Gmail, YouTube and other sites visited, recording messenger chat logs, Contacts and Notes monitoring are some things which can be accomplished with a mobile monitoring app running on a mobile.

Other features that might be available include blocking applications and uninstalling apps remotely. In the event of mobile theft, there could be options to send silent SMS commands to know the present GPS location and the latest SIM information, to lock the device or wipe out the smartphone data. Some advanced mobile monitoring software like Mobile Spy provide live screen options using the mobile instrument’s screen and can be watched like a TV screen. A call can also be triggered from the mobile.

It is evident that mobile monitoring apps make a lot of sense to users both from the personal perspective of protecting data and from the perspective of observing somebody else’s mobile.