Electroville News and Blog

The Web @ 30

It was back in March 1989, 30 years ago, that the World Wide Web as we know it was created by a computer scientist at the CERN particle physics lab near Geneva, Sir Tim Berners-Lee. From Proposal To Reality Sir Tim Berners-Lee wrote a proposal in March 1989, entitled...

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Tech Tip – Check Your Screen Time on Apple Devices

If you’d like to be able to get a report about how you or your family members use your Apple devices, apps, and websites, how much time is spent on them, and (for example) set limits on your child's device, there’s an app in the new iOS 12 to help you do it.  Here’s...

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Cash Under Threat

A new report has concluded that with the recent steep fall in the use of cash, particularly by young people, the government and regulators need to step in to ensure that cash remains a viable method of payment in the future. The ‘Independent’ Research The independent...

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Fingerprint Bank Card

RBS is reportedly about to hold trials of a new, more secure biometric bank card where customers can use their fingerprint instead of a PIN to verify purchases. April The trial, which will involve some 200 RBS and NatWest UK-based customers, is due to begin in...

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Businesses Delayed Security Breach Disclosure

An FoI request to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has revealed cause for concern over whether businesses on the run up to the implementation of GDPR were preventing, detecting and responding to security threats and breaches in a good and compliant way....

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Warning: Serious Windows 7 Bug Reported

Google has warned those who are still using Windows 7 that they are at risk of hackers being able to take over their computer by exploiting the combination of a flaw in the Window 7 OS and Google’s Chrome Browser. Google Alert The threat to Windows 7 comes from...

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Chatbot Supports Students

Lancaster University has announced that it has launched a chatbot “companion” for students which allows them to ask almost any question about their university experience, from student life, and welfare, to academic studies and more. Ask L.U. The chatbot service,...

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New, Free Windows 10 Microsoft Office App Launched

Microsoft has announced the launch of its new “Office” app for Windows 10 which is an update to the former My Office app, will come preinstalled on Windows 10 machines and will provide access to an online version of Office for those who don’t have a subscription for...

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DNS infrastructure Under Attack

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has issued a warning that the DNS infrastructure is facing an “ongoing and significant risk” and has urged domain owners to deploy DNSSEC technology. ICANN ICANN is one of the many organisations involved...

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Form-Jacking Attacks Hit High Profile Companies

Research by Security Company Symantec has revealed that high profile companies such as BA and Ticketmaster are among the many thousands of businesses whose websites are being targeted with "form-jacking" attacks every month. What Is Form-Jacking? Form-jacking involves...

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Targets Of A Rise In Extortion Scams

A report by cyber-crime researchers is warning professional people and those in higher level management positions that extortion scams are on the rise with higher earners as the obvious targets. Report The report, from researchers at risk protection firm Digital...

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Browsers Slowed By Adverts and Analytics

Research by developer Patrick Hulce has shown that around 60% of the loading time in a browser is caused by JavaScript code that is used to place adverts or analyse what users do. Analysed Pages The researchers analysed data from desktop and mobile versions of a...

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Scooter Hack Threat

An investigation by researchers at Zimperium® found a security flaw in the Xiaomi M365 electric scooter (the same model that is used by ridesharing companies) which could allow hackers to take control of the scooter’s acceleration and braking. Xiaomi M365 The Xiaomi...

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Potential Jail For Clicking on Terror Links

The new UK Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019 means that you could face up to 15 years in jail if you visit web pages where you can obtain information that’s deemed to be useful to ‘committing or preparing an act of terrorism'. Really? The government...

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Could 5G’s High Frequency Be Dangerous?

5G may be the next generation of mobile internet that could provide new and innovative opportunities and boost to new industries, but there have been some concerns that its high-frequency mmWave spectrum could pose new health risks. Long-Held Concerns Ever since there...

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Google Live Transcribe To Help Hard of Hearing

Google has announced the introduction of its ‘Live Transcribe’ app for Android which allows people who are deaf or hard of hearing to see a live, near real-time written display of conversations on their phone. Live Transcribe The Google Live Transcribe app offers deaf...

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$180 Million Password Taken To The Grave

115,000 customers of the of Canadian digital platform Quadriga are believed to be owed C$250 million, but C$180 ($137.21 million) in cryptocurrencies have been frozen after the platform’s founder, who was the only person with the password to the platform’s stored...

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Windows 10 Error Messages Soon To Make More Sense

Starting with the April 2019 update, Microsoft will be adding “Learn more” links to its error code messages in a bid to enable users to see what the code means, plus the chance to fix the error on the spot. Resolved During Installation The “Learn More” links will be...

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Tech Tip – How To Send Large Files For Free

If you need to send a file online, but that file is too big to send by email, there are several simple, effective and secure alternatives.  Here are some suggestions: - Use file compression to shrink the file size anyway before sending/transferring. For example,...

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Apple’s Video-Calling ‘Eavesdropping’ Bug

Apple Inc has found itself at the centre of a security alert after a bug in group-calling of its FaceTime video-calling feature has been found to allow eavesdropping of a call’s recipient to take place prior to the call being taken. Sound, Video & Broadcasting As...

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Research Reveals Top-Selling Car Keyless Theft Risk

Research by consumer Group Which? has revealed that hundreds of popular models of car are vulnerable to “keyless theft”. Keyless Car Theft Keyless car entry systems enable owners to unlock the doors of their car with the brush of a hand if the key fob is nearby. If...

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Register Now Or Lose EU Research Grants Post-Brexit

The UK government is urging organisations that benefit from European Union (EU) research funding to sign-up to a UK-led replacement scheme now in order to guarantee that their Horizon 2020 project funding can continue after Brexit. What Is Horizon 2020? Dating back to...

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Tech Tip – Drag & Drop Tasks To Your Calendar

In Windows 10, the Tasks experience in Outlook.com (powered by 'To-Do') means that when looking at your inbox, you can save time and create tasks by dragging and dropping an email to your task list. You can also easily schedule items by dragging a task to your...

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Google’s £44 Million GDPR Fine

Google has been fined a massive 50 million euros (£44m) for breach of GDPR dating back to May 2018 and relating to how well people were informed about how Google collected data to personalise advertising, and the matter of consent. Who? Google (Alphabet Inc) has been...

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ICO Urges Businesses To Prepare For No-Deal Brexit

In a Westminster eForum event on GDPR practice in London, the director of strategic policy at the Information Commissioner’s Office, Jonathan Bamford, is reported to have urged businesses to prepare for a no-deal Brexit in terms of planning to stop interruption...

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Tech Tip – Phishing Quiz

Identifying a phishing attempt may be harder than you think and being able to spot one is an important part of maintaining your cybersecurity defences in the modern business environment.  Here’s a little phishing quiz from Google that can help you to spot the...

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£15K Fine For Ignoring Data Access Requests

SCL Elections, the parent company of the now defunct Cambridge Analytica which was famously involved in the Facebook profile harvesting scandal, has been fined £15,000 for failing to respond to a data access request from a US citizen, and for ignoring an enforcement...

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Fake News Fact Checkers Working With Facebook

London-based, registered charity ‘Full Fact’ will now be working for Facebook, reviewing stories, images and videos, in an attempt to tackle misinformation that could “damage people's health or safety or undermine democratic processes”. Why? The UK Brexit referendum,...

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Reddit Locks Out Users Over Security Concerns

Online community Reddit shut some users out of their accounts and forced password resets due to “unusual activity” which may have been a ‘credential stuffing’ attempt by hackers. Reddit California-based Reddit, founded in 2005, is a kind social network / online...

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Over Half Of Us Will Buy Food Online By 2021

A study by Capgemini has found that more than half of UK consumers will order their groceries from online retailers by 2021. 40% Now The study found that a massive 40% of customers already do their grocery shopping online, and that 43% of customers shop for food...

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Tech Tip – Make Text Bigger!

Even though Windows 10 has scaling options that can make things generally easier to see, you may want to keep the screen resolution how you like it, but also have the ability to make fonts much bigger.  The Windows 10 October added a separate control for scaling...

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Contactless Card Fraud Has Doubled

The UK’s fraud reporting service, Action Fraud, has reported that contactless card fraud doubled in 2018 to £1.8m stolen compared with £711,000 in 2017. Average Theft Amount Increased The latest Action Fraud figures have also revealed that the average theft through...

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Warning – TV Licensing Scam Operating

Action Fraud, the UK’s Cybercrime reporting centre, has warned that fake TV licence payment scam emails have generated 5,247 complaints between 1st October and the end of December, with 1,983 complaints in December alone. What Emails? According to Action Fraud, the...

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Apple Blames China In Revenue Warning To Investors

On 2nd January, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, issued a revenue warning for this quarter to investors, and pointed to challenges in China as being one of the main downward driving forces. Letter Bearing in mind that Apple is one of America’s (and the world’s) tech giants, and...

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Drone Laws Promised After Airport Chaos

The chaos caused to flights from Gatwick just before Christmas (and latterly, Heathrow) by drone sightings near the airports has prompted Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, to announce new counter-drone measures to be taken to protect UK airports. Increased...

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London Police Facial Recognition Trial

It has been reported that the police are conducting a trial of a facial recognition system in Soho, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square over two days in the run-up to Christmas in a bid to identify people among the Christmas shoppers who are wanted by the police or...

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Warnings of Printer Chip-Frying

Swedish YouTube vlogger, PewDiePie, is reported to have inspired some of his 77 million followers to hack 50,000 printers to promote his YouTube channel, and to draw attention to vulnerabilities in their printer firmware that could even be exploited by hackers to...

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Smart Botnet Detection Needed

For businesses to maintain an effective cyber defence, the ability to prevent, detect and stop smart botnets in real-time is now an important consideration. What Is A Botnet? A botnet is a term for multiple malicious mini-programs working together to take over large...

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Does Your Business Take Cash?

Cashless businesses that only take contactless card payments, such as cafes and bars may be growing in number in major cities but despite their apparent convenience for their target market, they are also attracting accusations that they are discriminatory. Cashless...

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02 Outage – What Happened

After last week’s major O2 4G mobile network outage which left millions of customers with no network data access has been blamed on an expired software certificate that 3rd party supplier Ericsson had installed for some customers at business-critical part of the...

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5G Explained

Whereas most carriers use low-band spectrum or LTE, which offers great coverage area and penetration, it is getting very crowded, and peak data speeds only top out at around 100Mbps. 5G, on the other hand, offers 3 different Spectrum bands, which are: Low-band...

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Automatic Broadband Compensation Is Nigh

After Ofcom announced back in November 2017 that broadband and landline customers will automatically be able to get compensation from their providers when things go wrong without the need for a claim, it appears that an £8-per-day deal agreement has finally been...

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SIM Swap Scam Warning

A recent investigation by BBC TV’s Watchdog Live revealed evidence that some mobile phone shop staff are not conducting proper ID checks for replacement SIM requests, thereby enabling some customers to become victims of SIM swap scams. What is a SIM Swap Scam? SIM...

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Tech Tip – Hands-Free Voice Control For Your Phone

Google’s Voice Access App (for Android 5 or later) lets you navigate your entire phone just by using your voice and Google’s voice assistant. If you’d like to make controlling your smartphone an easy, hands-free experience here’s how: - Install the Google app and the...

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Data Protection Trust Levels Still Low After GDPR

A report by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) has shown that as 42% of consumers have received communications from businesses they had not given permission to contact them (since GDPR came into force), this could be a key reason why consumer trust in...

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£385,000 Data Protection Fine For Uber

Ride-hailing (and now bike and scooter-hiring) service Uber has been handed a £385,000 fine by the ICO for data protection failings during a cyber-attack back in 2016. What Happened? The original incident took place in October and November 2016 when hackers accessed a...

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New Hashtags Feature For Google Maps

Google has begun the global rollout of its new ‘hashtags’ feature in Google Maps, which allows users to add hashtags to the end of the reviews they write, thereby helping others to find local attractions and businesses. How It Works When using Google Maps e.g. to find...

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Mobile Networks Faster Than Wi-Fi

A report by OpenSignal has highlighted how the fact that smartphone users in 33 countries get faster average download speeds using a mobile network than Wi-Fi means that mobile operators and smartphone makers need to ensure that consumers’ smartphones aren’t simply...

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Bitcoin and Other Crypto-Currencies Hit New Lows

After losing 74% of its value so far this year, Bitcoin’s value, and that of other crypto-currencies have continued to fall this month as a sell-off takes place in what some see as the natural course for the market, and as another opportunity to buy crypto-currencies...

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Free VPN Tools May Be Linked To China

A new investigation by Metric Labs of the top free VPN (Virtual Private Network) apps in Apple's App Store and Google Play has revealed that more than half are run by companies with Chinese ownership. What’s A VPN? A ‘Virtual Private Network’ (VPN) is generally used...

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Business Concerns Over ‘Secondary Data’

A study by data protection and management company ‘Cohesity’ has shown that most companies store up to 10 copies of their 'secondary data' in different locations and must use multiple products to manage it. The Problem With Secondary Data Secondary data (not...

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Make Skype Calls Through Your Amazon Echo

On Monday, the Microsoft Skype blog announced that Skype calling is now available on Amazon Alexa devices using a simple voice command and that Alexa customers can now call most landlines and mobiles internationally using Skype, as well as benefitting from 200 free...

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Which? Survey Reveals Best & Worst Online Retailers

The results of a new survey by consumer watchdog ‘Which?’ has revealed the UK’s best and worst online retailers, according to the experiences of 10,000 Which? members over 6 months. Homebase, Red Face…In a Bad Place Unfortunately for Homebase, which is currently...

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Blockchain To Stop Counterfeit Disk-Drive Products

Data storage solutions company Seagate Technology (Seagate), and IBM are reported to be working together and using blockchain and advanced cryptographic product identification technology to reduce disk-drive product counterfeiting. What’s The Problem? The problem for...

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Facial Recognition For Border Control

It has been reported that the UK Home Office will soon be using biometric facial recognition technology in a smartphone app to match a user’s selfie against the image read from a user’s passport chip as a means of self-service identity verification for UK border...

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