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Google pulls scanning and ads from education apps

In addition to its consumer and business services, Google is also in the business of providing apps for education with apps such as Gmail, Drive, Docs, spreadsheets and YouTube for Schools. These apps, according  to the company, serve more than 30 million students, teachers and administrators. Disclosure: I’m co-director of ConnectSafely.org, a non-profit Internet safety organization that receives financial support […]

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Facebook adding more user-control of app privacy

This post first appeared on Forbes.com Speaking at Facebook’s F8 developers’ conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that “Over the years one of the things we’ve heard over and over again is that people want more control over how they share their information, especially with apps.”  He added, “If people don’t have the tools  they need to feel comfortable using your apps […]

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Illustrated guide to Microsoft’s defense on latest Internet Explorer security flaw

This post first appeared on Forbes.com Microsoft has released a new advisory about the “zero day’ security flaw affecting Internet Explorer. The advisory says that the risk affects all versions since 6, up to the most recent (11). Calling it a “remote code execution vulnerability,” Microsoft warns that “An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain […]

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A taste of Turkish Internet censorship

This column first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News ISTANBUL, Turkey — Today’s column was supposed to be about alternatives to the broken user-name and password systems, but as I was doing my research, I hit upon an obstacle that required me to change topics. I had planned to comment on a report about a security […]

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Anonymous apps and services are not synonymous with ominous

I’ve heard a lot of consternation about apps and sites that let users post anonymously and, indeed it is possible to use services like Whisper, Ask.FM, Secret, and Yik Yak to be annoying, mean, or downright cruel. But the same can be said for any tool that enables social interaction, whether it’s a social network, […]

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Facebook’s ‘Nearby Friends’ feature: What you need to know

This post is adapted from one that first appeared on Forbes.com Facebook is rolling out a new feature for its mobile app that allows you to  share your approximate location with friends. The opt-in feature (it’s turned off by default) enables you to find and be found by nearby friends. The feature can be turned on […]

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Identity theft a problem from cradle to grave — Kids most vulnerable

by Larry Magid April 8, 2014 was a scary day. Microsoft ended support and security updates for Windows XP, leaving millions of users vulnerable to hack attack from what will soon be an out-of-date operating system riddled with vulnerabilities. But by the end of the day, we had something else to worry about. Security researchers […]

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How to protect your family from Heartbleed security flaw (slideshow)

First, don’t panic. This is a serious problem but you need to put it into perspective. While there is clearly a vulnerability, there are so far no reports of the flaw being exploited. And even though this flaw has been around for the past two years, almost all the major sites have fixed it — […]

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Beware of Heartbleed inspired phishing scams

I haven’t seen any examples yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see phishing attacks based on the Heartbleed flaw. As you’ve likely heard, researchers have discovered a flaw in the most popular encryption scheme called OpenSSL, that could put passwords and other private information at risk. Almost all experts are advising people to change their […]

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Are sites you use vulnerable to Heartbleed security flaw?

Update: CNET has posted a list of Heartbleed status for top 100 sites A flaw in the most popular web encryption system could leave people vulnerable to data theft according to security researchers. That little padlock in the lower right corner of a browser window or the letters “https” in the address bar are supposed […]

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