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21
Maintenance Notice
Posted by S2C Staff on 21 July 2017 10:26 AM
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Jul
14
WHAT'S NEW IN TECHNOLOGY FOR JULY 2017
Posted by S2C Staff on 14 July 2017 12:29 PM

Automakers & Cybersecurity Pros Collaborate to Tackle Growing Threat

Automakers & CybersecurityOver the past three or four years, Internet-connected vehicles have become the norm. Accordingly, cybercrooks have turned their attention to cars and trucks, looking for ways to gain access to vehicular navigational systems and to hack into drivers’ smart phones and iPads. Last year, recognizing the ever-increasing potential for breaches, automakers in the United States joined forces to battle the threat, tapping the expertise of some of the nation’s leading Internet security experts. Here’s an update on what these efforts have yielded.

  • Self-driving vehicles have opened up a whole new area of concern. White-hat hackers have shown – in controlled situations – how vehicles could be hijacked to harm their occupants or generate mayhem on a busy highway. These security specialists have demonstrated how vehicles – especially the new breed of semi-autonomous or driverless vehicles – might be tracked and manipulated remotely by cybercrooks. The demonstrations have shown how cybercrooks could take control of a vehicle’s headlights, navigation, speed, windshield wipers, blinkers and radio. In some instances, hackers can remotely take control of brakes and/or steering.
  • So far, no vehicle has been hacked into by a cybercriminal, but security experts and researchers have shown automakers how it could happen, and car manufacturers have taken the threat seriously. Cars with advanced connectivity – which includes prototype driverless or semi-autonomous vehicles – are potentially more vulnerable. Twenty years ago, the average car had about 1 million lines of code; today, cars can have 10 million lines of code, or about as much as a modern aircraft. Automakers have already felt the financial sting of this new cyberthreat. Major manufacturers are busy recruiting white-hat hackers to identify potential issues. For example, Fiat Chrysler recalled 1.4 million Jeep Cherokees after white-hat hackers exposed vulnerabilities in the vehicle’s IT circuitry.
  • There is strength in industrywide initiatives. Nearly all automakers based in the United States banded together last year in an industrywide effort – the Automotive Information Sharing and Analysis Center – to develop best practices to combat potential cyberthreats, to develop secure hardware and software, and to draw up guidelines on how to respond to hacking incidents. The industry group’s membership is responsible for about 98 percent of the vehicles on U.S. roads.  
  • The challenge to strengthen cybersecurity in vehicles extends beyond car manufacturers.  The notable gig economy transport company, Uber, as well as Didi, a Chinese company like Uber, have both been on the forefront of research to develop safer software and hardware and uncover potential security issues. The possible motivations for hackers to hijack vehicles are many and go beyond compromising highway safety. Smart phones and/or other portable computers that are linked to vehicles’ dashboard technology also present a potential entry point into other data centers housing confidential business and personal data.

Savvy consumers will recognize that the vehicles we drive are now a big part of the Internet of Things, and will take measures to shore up security on any personal devices they connect to their dashboards. Automakers will need to be constantly proactive to identify vulnerabilities in computers installed in new model vehicles.


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May
1
WHAT'S NEW IN TECHNOLOGY FOR MAY 2017
Posted by S2C Staff on 01 May 2017 01:44 PM

What Impact Will the Repeal of Online Privacy Laws Have on You?

Online Privacy Law 2017

The recent repeal of an Obama-era law that would have required Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to obtain users’ permission before sharing their personal data with marketers and other third parties has created dissent within the technology sector. Not surprisingly, major ISPs like AT&T and Comcast backed the repeal effort, arguing that the law was unfair and that they would have been subject to stricter controls than companies like Facebook and Google. Consumer advocates believe the repeal will be detrimental to online privacy.

The repealed law, which was passed in October 2016 and included new rules created by the Federal Communications Commission, had yet to go into effect, so consumers probably won’t notice much difference. ISPs have been in the practice of monitoring network traffic – which means they can see which devices you use and which websites you visit – and sharing that information with third parties such as advertisers. An overview of how this might affect you follows.

Is This Repeal a Big Deal?

Many consumer advocates involved with internet privacy issues believe this is a big deal. The new FCC rules would have created much stronger privacy protection for internet users. The law, which was passed just before President Trump’s election, would have required ISPs to get a clear go-ahead from users to share personal data – including precise location information, financial data, health information, Social Security numbers, app usage history, as well as information on the users’ children. In addition, the new legislation would have allowed users to protect less sensitive personal data such as email addresses.

Why has the New Administration Repealed It?

The new FCC chief, Ajit Pai, has said that the repeal would help level the playing field, citing that the new rules would have benefited “one group of favored companies over another group of disfavored companies.” He vowed to protect consumer privacy through a “consistent and comprehensive framework.” This response did little to reassure advocates of internet privacy rights. A group known as Fight for the Future issued a statement decrying Congress’ move, saying “…they care more about the wishes of the corporations that fund their campaigns than the safety and security of their constituents.” This group has launched a billboard campaign to identify the members of Congress who backed the repeal.

What Can You Do to Safeguard Your Data Online?

Some privacy advocates are recommending that consumers use a virtual private network (VPN) to hide their browsing history and data from internet service providers. A VPN can also mask your location. If you wish to explore this option, be aware that VPNs are linked to service providers, which means it is incumbent on you to find a VPN whose privacy policies match yours. There is software available that also can hide your location and identity. These solutions have their issues, too. Some broadcasters – like Netflix – block VPN users from accessing their content. Software that hides your location and identity might slow your browsing down somewhat.

Internet privacy has been a hot issue for some time. These latest moves are likely to keep the topic in the headlines in the months ahead.


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Apr
19
Whats New in Technology for April 2017
Posted by S2C Staff on 19 April 2017 11:53 AM

Free Up Space on Your iPhone

If you keep a lot of data on your iPhone without a periodic cleanup, you’ll reach a point when you don’t have available space for the apps you want to access most. The default settings in your phone contribute to the overload in many instances. In some situations, you can free up storage by overriding these defaults to better suit your needs. For others, you’ll need to better manage your storage capacity. Here’s how:

  1. Figure out what is eating up your storage. This way you’ll make informed decisions about what is important to you to keep and what isn’t. Open up Settings then follow General to Storage and iCloud to Storage to Manage Data. This will let you see how much space your photographs, videos, podcasts and music are using. Your apps will be ranked according to how much space they require.
  2. Delete Text Messages. By default, your iPhone stores all your text messages. If you are an avid text user, this gobbles up significant storage space. There are two easy ways to address this – either get in the habit of deleting messages manually, or change the default to delete messages every 30 days. You can do this by going into your Settings and tapping on Messages. Scroll through until Message History pops up. Here’s where you will find the option of keeping Forever, 30 Days or 1 Year. Pick whichever works best for you.
  3. Hone in on Photos. This is where most of us use lots of storage space. Try these tips:
    1. Avoid inadvertently using the Burst mode, which takes a series of super-fast shots (and often happens by accident if your finger lingers just a split second too long on the screen button) by using the volume control button to take a shot rather than the sensitive screen button.
    2. Avoid saving duplicate copies of High Dynamic Range (HDR) photos by opening Photo & Camera in Settings. Scroll to the bottom and deselect the box next to Keep Normal Photos.
    3. Turn offautomatic Photo Sharing in Photo & Camera and manually turn on this feature only when you really want to share pictures.
    4. Rely on the iCloud Photo Library to store your pictures rather than your mobile device and turn off the Photo Stream setting on your phone. Your photos will remain stored on other devices (iPad and/or computer) that are linked via iCloud.
  4. Delete iBooks you are not reading currently and consider consolidating your music collection via the cloud with iTunes Match. You might want to keep your current page-turner on your iPhone, but do you really need your entire library to be duplicated on your phone? You can selectively remove copies from your phone (Delete this copy) without deleting them from your iPad. In a similar way, iTunes Match (less than $24 a year) stores every track you have and lets you selectively download onto your iPhone only when you want to hear specific tracks. There’s no need to have your entire music collection stored on your phone at all times.
  5. Clean up your Browser. If you use Safari, your mobile phone may be storing web history you don’t need. Access Safari through Settings and click on Clear History and Website Data. To clean up Google Chrome, open the app, access History and Clear Browsing Data.

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Mar
16
Firefox and Chrome Security Warnings & Google SSL Mandate
Posted by S2C Staff on 16 March 2017 05:16 PM

What? Not Secure? 

It was secure yesterday?

There is a movement in the Tech world to change how login pages are rated in some of your favorite browsers.

What is the issue?

  • Chrome and Firefox are now showing a small warning about web pages with login forms when the main URL of the website does not have an SSL certificate.
  • Symantec reported at HostingCon Los Angeles on April 5th that in 12 months Google was planning a new algorithm to downgrade all web pages that are not under and valid SSL certificate.

What is the problem with the login box?

The IT community's conflict is that the browser can see the SSL in the embedded login page/box but it does not show that information to the end user.  The browser can also see that the page embedding the login pages/box is not using an SSL.

Because of this, embedded login pages/boxes with SSLs are now caught in the middle of this somewhat controversial movement. Although an embedded login page/box with SSL is secure.

But according to Symantec in 12 months it probably will not matter as Google with try to push the world wide web toward using SSL for all web pages. 

Google Reading Firefox Reading Blog Post About the Topic

Cliff Notes for non-techies

How do I get this warning removed from my website?

Chrome
Firefox
IE   No Message - has not been adopted

Your Options

1. Get ahead of the curve and Buy an SSL certificate today and have it installed on your website.

See All Certificates Buy a Cert & Have Us Install It

2. Remove all iframe embedded login pages/boxes from your website and link to a URL SSL secured login page instead. This option may require custom login pages to be built and it will not meet Google's new mandate coming in the next 12 months.


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