security

iPhones now require a passcode to be entered once every six days

iPhones now require a passcode to be entered once every six days

One of my favorite features to come to the iPhone was the fingerprint reader. I've had laptops in the past with the feature, but I never really found myself using it very often. However, with a smartphone, it's so nice to just press and hold my finger for a second or two, rather than tapping in a passcode. A recent change to iOS means that you'll have to start using your passcode a little more often than before, though.

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2012 Linkedin hack is back to haunt 117 million users

2012 Linkedin hack is back to haunt 117 million users

Remember way back in 2012, when Linkedin was hacked? It's been a few years, so if you don't remember, that's understandable. Back then, roughly 6.5 million users had their passwords shared online, thanks to a hacker that was able to obtain them. Thankfully, the released passwords didn't have the account email addresses listed with them, which meant that there were likely no unauthorized logins to the site.

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August Doorbell Cam gets integration with Nest Cam

August Doorbell Cam gets integration with Nest Cam

The August Doorbell Cam now works with Nest, marking the second “Works with Nest” announcement today (Belkin’s Wemo Switches have also added support). In this case, the August Doorbell Cam will work with the Nest Cam to keep track of activities that happen both inside your home and outside your front door, offering a more complete sense of who might be near — or in — your house. Video from both cameras are available within the August app.

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Social media accounts now part of federal background checks

Social media accounts now part of federal background checks

Employers have long relied on the practice of checking job applicants' social media accounts as part of the application process to help determine if they'll be a good fit for the company. Now the federal government will do the same as part of their background and security clearance investigations. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper announced the new policy on Friday, and it highlights the fact that our social media presence is more and more seen as a reflection of our character.

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Windows 10 Mobile will soon have fingerprint support

Windows 10 Mobile will soon have fingerprint support

Some time this summer, Microsoft will add fingerprint support to Windows 10 Mobile, giving mobile users another security option. Microsoft recently confirmed the planned fingerprint support at the WinHEC conference, saying that it’ll be available as part of Windows Hello, the Windows 10 feature in which a device recognizes its owner using facial recognition and more.

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An Apple Passbook driving license for the UK is in the works

An Apple Passbook driving license for the UK is in the works

Drivers in the UK could eventually take their driving license out of their physical wallet and store it in Apple's Passbook instead. The work-in-progress feature - which would see license information stored digitally in the iPhone's virtual wallet - was teased by the CEO of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the UK's equivalent of the US's DMV.

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Microsoft axes contentious Windows 10 Wi-Fi sharing feature

Microsoft axes contentious Windows 10 Wi-Fi sharing feature

One of the themes that Microsoft has tried to push with Windows 10 is how the latest OS tries to make life easier for users by making decisions for them. While an almost nice goal, that usually meant Windows 10 added or enabled features sometimes without the user's consent or even knowledge. One of those conveniences was Wi-Fi Sense, which supposedly made it easier to share Wi-Fi access, meaning passwords, with people in your social networks who happen to also be in the same area. Unsurprisingly, it was a controversial feature that Microsoft is now removing almost a year later, but for a different reason.

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FBI: Maybe we have, maybe we haven’t, wiretapped an Amazon Echo

FBI: Maybe we have, maybe we haven’t, wiretapped an Amazon Echo

Take a count of how many microphones are around your right now -- your phone, of course, which is probably always listening, and your laptop most likely. Your TV? Perhaps, if it's new enough. Your wireless speaker probably has a microphone, too, for speakerphone functions. Your smartwatch might have a microphone. There are even smart refrigerators cropping up with integrated microphones (for voice commands, not spying), and, of course, dedicated personal assistants like Amazon Echo and Tap. How many of those microphones has the FBI tapped?

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Viking Horde malware uses Google Play Store to infect Android devices

Viking Horde malware uses Google Play Store to infect Android devices

Android owners might want to be extra cautious about the apps they download, for a little while. There's a new piece of malware in the wild, and it's turning phones and tablets alike into a part of a large botnet. The worst part about the new Viking Horde malware is that it appears to be coming from a number of apps available on the Google Play store.

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The feds are ramping up for war on bad mobile security

The feds are ramping up for war on bad mobile security

Apple, Google, and a host of other smartphone makers and US carriers have found themselves the subject of a mobile security investigation. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have kicked off a joint inquiry to figure out how smartphones and other devices are kept secure and up-to-date, given the increasing number of hacking attempts and the amount of personal data users now generally carry around in their pockets or purses.

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Android N splits up mediaserver to prevent future Stagefrights

Android N splits up mediaserver to prevent future Stagefrights

The Stagefright security exploit definitely sent the Android world in a tumble. It put Android security and integrity under a microscope and increased the scrutiny of Android fragmentation and the dismally slow rollout of critical security updates. For its part, Google addressed the latter issue by starting monthly security updates, at least for its own Nexus devices. Some, but sadly not even most, OEMs followed suit. And in Android N, Google is further minimizing Stagefright's effects by dissecting mediaserver into a few more pieces.

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Qualcomm code bug leaves Android open to attack

Qualcomm code bug leaves Android open to attack

Android has acquired, warranted or not, the reputation of being a relatively less secure mobile platform. In some cases, it's attributed to the freedoms that the operating system affords developers and users. At other times, the weakness can be found inside Android's core, like the Stagefright flaw. This time, an equally frightening and far reaching security hole has crept into the Android codebase via one of Google's own partners. In introducing new networking features like tethering for its chips, Qualcomm inadvertently created a way for hackers to gain access to private user data, potentially affecting thousands, if not millions, of Android devices out in the wild.

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