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Category Archives: Security and Safe Computing

Goodbye XP


On April 8, 2014 Microsoft ended the support of its operating system, XP.  XP has been around for twelve years but now Microsoft has decided “to invest our resources toward supporting more recent technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences”, their website says. XP was not only used in home PCs but ...

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The dangers of the Heartbleed bug


Last week, the Heartbleed bug made world headlines in its discovery. Heartbleed is a bug that affects OpenSSL, an encryption technology that is one of the most common on the internet. While it is unclear whether any information has been stolen through the Heartbleed bug, security experts are worried because the bug went undetected for ...

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Do contactless cards need extra protection?

Guest post by Andréa Black, a student in Professor Lynn Heinrichs’ information security class. You may already have one or more contactless cards in your purse or wallet.  They are the cards that do not need to be physically swiped at a card reader but can simply be waved near the reader to process a transaction ...

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Beware of the malware

Guest post by Brandon Mitchell, a student in Professor Lynn Heinrichs’ information security class.  What is malware? We may have all heard the term malware before, but it is not for sure that everybody knows exactly what it is.  Malware is malicious software used to attack or gain access to computer systems without the knowledge of the ...

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Security considerations when using Dropbox


Despite the belief that cloud storage platforms such as Dropbox are secure, when using these servers you could be putting your data at risk. When thinking about information security, Dropbox poses many risks or potential threats. In the past Dropbox has had several security breaches in which personal information was compromised or made available by hackers. One of the security risks of Dropbox is that anyone who has access to certain files can also share them, which becomes an even bigger issue because of the fact that Dropbox does not encrypt any of their files. Users are advised to encrypt their own files, which is very time consuming. If you are an avid Dropbox user there are some ways you can prevent security threats.

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Two-step verification: something you know and something you have


Guest post by Jeff Stern, a student in Professor Lynn Heinrichs' information security class. If a hacker were to log into my email account, they could get data about my financial information, confidential research information and private conversations. For this reason, I have activated two-step verification to protect my account with extra security and encourage you ...

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Watch for scams this tax season

Taxes - Illustration

It's that time of year to file taxes and for some to receive an anticipated refund.  Criminals have found ways to get to your refund and even file your taxes.  Be prepared this season by knowing what the scams are and how to avoid them.  The Internal Revenue Service has recently released a dozen of ...

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Is face recognition the new password?


When we enter a username and password to get into a system or web application we are trying to authenticate.  Once the correct information is entered access is allowed.  How can the system or application know for sure it has given access to right person?  We all know usernames and passwords can be guessed, stolen ...

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Privacy on the go

We live in a world where technological advances have given us the ability to communicate, work, study, be entertained, and be informed all while on the go.  Whether traveling, waiting in a doctor's office, standing in line at the grocery store, or waiting for a table at a restaurant, mobile devices allow us to stay ...

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5 questions to ask social media service providers

How has social media influenced your life?  The number of social media service providers such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, has exploded in the last 10 years.  Social media has given us new ways to communicate.  Responding to a forum, tweeting, updating a status, finding a childhood friend, or cultivating professional relationships are just some ...

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