Despite the chaos and fallout of the past two years, the vast majority of Americans still believe the internet is a positive thing in their lives. That’s according to a recent Pew Research Center survey conducted in January. The survey found that 88 percent of US adults believe the internet has been mostly positive for them personally. However, when asked if the internet is good for society as a whole, the numbers are somewhat lower. About 70 percent believe that the internet remains a positive thing for society. This figure has declined “by a modest but still significant 6 percentage points since early 2014.” There has been a corresponding rise among those who say that the internet’s impact “is a mix of good and bad” (8 percent to 14 percent), while the percentage of those who believe the internet is bad has remained constant at around 14 or 15 percent. That nets out at 30 percent who say the internet is a mixed blessing or bad for society. The decline in positive sentiment is sha..
Unless you’ve been living under a rock this entire time, you’ve probably heard and already been blasted with emails related to GDPR, the EU’s data privacy regulation. Companies must keep customers informed about how their data is processed and assure them that they will from now on do their best to protect it. Apple is one of the companies trying to comply with GDPR that goes into effect tomorrow, May 25. The company has released the Data and Privacy portal where you have access to everything Apple knows and stores about you, including online history, Apple ID accounts, iCloud data, contacts, photos, documents, music and store history. Once they log in, users have clear instructions how to download their data. Because they can download as much as 25GB, the download process may take as much as a week. If interested in the data, users are advised to hurry with the download because otherwise the data will be deleted from Apple’s database in two weeks. Since users will most likely downlo..
A citizen of the former USSR who had been living in Riga, Latvia faces three charges related to his operation of “Scan4you,” an online counter-antivirus service that helped hackers dodge anti-malware solutions, the US Department of Justice has announced. Court records reveal that, between 2009 and 2016, 37-year-old Ruslans Bondars operated Scan4you, a service that allowed malware developers to scan their malicious code against known AV solutions protecting millions of systems owned by major U.S. retailers, financial institutions and government agencies. For instance, Scan4you helped the author of a credit card heist who made off with approximately 40 million credit and debit card numbers, as well as some 70 million addresses, phone numbers and other personal data of U.S. citizens. One retailer, particularly badly hit by the operation, suffered damages of $290 million. The bad actors behind Citadel, a malware strain used to infect over 11 million computers worldwide, also leveraged S..
Facebook is rolling out updates to its dynamic ads for auto dealerships, giving them a lead-gen feature that feeds leads directly into the dealership’s CRM system. The ads — which are created using the dealership’s vehicle catalogue and include a call to action to complete a lead-gen form — will now send the leads directly to a CRM system so that a sales representative from a dealership can follow up. Facebook says the new ads will help dealerships design more locally relevant ad campaigns that put a spotlight on available automobile inventory. At least two dealerships — Hub City Ford in Louisiana and an RV dealership — have beta-tested the new ads. Hub City Ford used the ads to target people who had visited their website, prompting them to sign up for a test drive. The campaign delivered 154 leads that resulted in 34 car sales — the business’s best sales period to date. Camping World, the RV dealership that was part of the beta run, used the ads in an attempt to reduce lead-gen cost..
LJZ / Shutterstock.com Since suspending Cambridge Analytica for using an app to exploit user information nearly two months ago, Facebook says it has now suspended an additional 200 more apps. Following the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, Facebook said it would begin a thorough audit and investigation of all apps on its platform with access to large amounts of user data. The company says it has now investigated thousands of apps and the result, so far, has been the suspension of 200 apps that are now pending an investigation. Here’s Facebook’s comment regarding the apps that have been suspended: To date thousands of apps have been investigated and around 200 have been suspended — pending a thorough investigation into whether they did in fact misuse any data. Where we find evidence that these or other apps did misuse data, we will ban them and notify people via this website [“How can I tell if an app may have misused my Facebook information?“]. It will show people if they or their ..
A survey of over 500 security professionals has revealed, rather disconcertingly, that most believe governments should regulate the way social networks handle our data, and even install encryption backdoors to that end. At the same time, most experts also berate governments for their lax understanding of social media and digital privacy. Deeply contrasting results were revealed by the survey conducted by Venafi at RSA Conference 2018, with the help of 512 industry professionals willing to answer questions about the current state of affairs in cyber security. Surveyors wanted to learn how industry experts view the increasingly blurry lines between cyber security, privacy threats and government regulation. So they asked participants: should governments regulate the collection of personal data by social media companies? Some 70% of respondents said governments should indeed regulate social media companies’ collection of personal data to protect user privacy. Meanwhile, 72% said bureauc..
If you believed all the headlines you would think the problem is more serious than it really is. “Beware the ‘Black Dot of Death’ that will obliterate your iPhone with one text message”, reads The Metro newspaper. “Warnings about WhatsApp ‘text bomb’ that could destroy your phone.” says the Liverpool Echo. And “This WhatsApp ‘text bomb’ is destroying recipient’s phones” claims the Birmingham Mail. Yes, it is true that so-called “text bomb” vulnerabilities are capable of crashing normal operations on your Android or iPhone, but to claim that your phone is “destroyed”? Well, that’s crazy. The problem first emerged six days ago, when a Reddit user claimed that a specially-crafted text message could crash a number of messaging apps including WhatsApp. At first sight that message looks fairly harmless – a sentence followed by a laugh-until-you-cry emoji, surrounded by quotation marks. But secretly hidden between the emoji and the final quote mark are thousands of hidden characters that..
The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) is out with its Q4 and 2017 year-end state of the digital advertising industry report. In a repeat of the past several years, digital advertising revenue is up. There was growth across formats and devices. And while the IAB doesn’t name names, Facebook and Google continue to suck up most of the oxygen in the room. The data for the IAB report is collected from IAB member companies and publicly available corporate data by PwC. Overall, digital ad revenue grew 21.4 percent to $88 billion in 2017. To put that in perspective, PwC says the revenue change in digital seen last year is greater than in the newspaper industry as a whole. Digital video increased overall share in 2017, chipping away at search, to $11.9 billion, up 33 percent from $8.9 billion in 2016. Search still continued to grow at 17.5 percent in 2017, to $40.6 billion. Banner revenues, which includes banners, sponsorships and rich media, totaled $27.5 billion in 2017, up 23 percent f..
Since 2006, Fuel Cycle has made its living as an online audience research platform, helping brands get opinions from actual or would-be customers. Now it is heading in a new direction, having launched a Fuel Cycle Exchange (FCX) that integrates third-party analytical and other tools via an API. The Los Angeles, California-based company compares this effort, which it describes as the first of its kind, to Salesforce’s AppExchange, where outside applications are integrated into the CRM platform. Except, of course, Fuel Cycle is here playing the role of Salesforce. [Read the full article on MarTech Today.]
IBM is banning all removable storage, company-wide, in a new policy that seeks to avoid financial and reputational damage stemming from a misplaced or misused USB drive. IBM global chief Information security officer Shamla Naidoo told staff in an internal e-mail that the company “is expanding the practise of prohibiting data transfer to all removable portable storage devices (eg: USB, SD card, flash drive).” Although some departments already had this policy in place for a while, “over the next few weeks we are implementing this policy worldwide,” Naidoo said, according to The Register. The reason for the radical new policy is simple and well justified in a world laden with data breaches: “the possible financial and reputational damage from misplaced, lost or misused removable portable storage devices must be minimized,” the CISO clarified. Avid readers will remember that Stuxnet was written to “hop” from terminal to terminal through USB drives moving between them as attack vectors...