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Entries in Data security (6)

Wednesday
Mar202013

Forget a New York Minute - What Happens in an 'Internet Minute'?

Image credit: IntelWhat happens across the Internet in one minute? A lot -- really, more than our minds can even process.

But in an effort to attempt to capture it all, Intel's fascinating blog post, What Happens in an Internet Minute?, explains just what happens in 60 short seconds. Here's a sample:

  • 204 million emails are sent
  • There are 6 million Facebook views
  • 30 hours of YouTube videos are uploaded
  • 47,000 apps are dowloaded
  • 100,000 new tweet are published

And it's only going to get more mind-boggling. After all, in just two short years, the number of networked devices worldwide will be twice the human population.

 

Wednesday
Feb012012

Celebrate National 'Change Your Password' Day!

Thomas Baekdal via MSNBCIn an effort to prevent online security breaches--and because, let's face it, we could always use another national holiday--Gizmodo has deemed Feb. 1 National Change Your Password Day.

Sure, the name is lame. And yes, changing passwords--and then keeping track of those new passwords--is tedious. But it's more important than you may realize, according to Gizmodo:

The thing to understand is that the biggest threat to your security isn't some creep sitting in front of your email login screen, randomly bruteforcing his way into your account. Nope, you're up against compuaters that can run thousands of encrypted passwords by dictionaries of several languages, everything in the World Fact Book, and Wikipedia in a matter of minutes.

As the image above illustrates, these computers are far too skilled at hacking most passwords. Your best bet? For important log-ins, like banking websites and personal email, opt for a password with six or more random characters. Make sure it uses mixed case and includes letters, symbols and numbers.

Having trouble remembering all your complex passwords? Try a password management application, like LastPass, KeePass, 1Password or Keeper.

Monday
Dec052011

Computer Vision Algorithms Used to Solve DARPA De-shredding Challenge

Last month, DARPA challenged the world's geeks to solve a seemingly unsolvable riddle: How do you reassemble documents that have been shredded into more than 10,000 tiny pieces? Turns out computer vision technology is the answer.

A small San Francisco-based team, called "All Your Shreds Are Belong to Us," correctly reconstructed each of the five challenge documents and solved their associated puzzles. The team used custom-coded computer-vision algorithms to suggest fragment pairings to human assemblers, who would then verify whether the pieces fit.

It was no small feat: the winning team spent nearly 600 man-hours developing algorithms and piecing together the documents.

And what, you're wondering, was the point? DARPA explained the significance of this achievement on its website:

The Shredder Challenge represents a preliminary investigation into the area of information security to identify and assess potential capabilities that could be used by war fighters operating in war zones to more quickly obtain valuable information from confiscated, shredded documents and gain a quantitative understanding of potential vulnerabilities inherent to the shredding of sensitive U.S. National security documents.

So, shredded documents are no longer secure? Great. I wonder what company will be the first to develop the new in-home document burner?

Tuesday
Aug022011

The View from Above: InHardFocus Round-up (August 2, 2011)

AR bridges real world and digital content: Layar, a company working in the Augmented Reality space, has just released Layar Vision, an app that reveals layers of content and interactivity on real world objects, reports Ubergizmo. As the video above demonstrates, this app will enable its user to interact with everyday objects, specifically printed materials, in order to access valuable digital content such as coupons, a Twitter feed or location-based data. In a lot of ways, one can compare Layar Vision’s technology to QR codes, as both increasingly work to break down the walls between the offline and online worlds.

Bringing the game to your living room: Football fans of England’s Premier League may have something new to cheer about – according to The Guardian, the league is in talks with Sony and EA to create an “immersion technology” that will allow viewers at home the ability to get their heads in the game, virtually. While still at the earliest stages of development, this feature could allow someone to plug in from across the globe, choose viewing locations around the stadium and experience 3D representations of the in-game action, all from the comfort of one’s lounger. 

Facing criticism, Microsoft restricts its location data: On Friday, we discussed Microsoft’s Live.com open database and the concerns it poised for location privacy. Following similar public criticism (and corresponding action) of Google and Apple,  Microsoft has now restricted access to its database after CNET pointed out that one could determine location of devices on account of their ability to tether Wi-Fi. 

Friday
Jan282011

Happy Data Privacy Day! Time to Protect Your Stuff

In case you didn't know--and we seriously doubt you did--today is National Data Privacy Day!

To recognize the importance of data privacy, Opera recently conducted a survey of Internet users' online privacy concerns in the United States, Russia and Japan. Several of the results might surprise you:

Even as the recession creeps on, Americans are more nervous about having their Internet privacy violated (25 percent) than declaring bankruptcy (23 percent) or losing their jobs (22 percent).

An eyebrow-raising 35 percent of Americans said they're afraid of the government watching them, while only 15 percent showed concern over social networks collecting their information. A shocking 16 percent said they don't worry about data privacy at all.

Fifty-four percent of U.S. respondents believe a desktop PC is the most secure device on which to access the Internet. Three percent said a mobile phone is safer, but 31 percent believe neither is safe. 

To protect their data online, 80 percent of Americans use anti-virus software, 61 percent use safe passwords (oh, sure) and 47 percent delete their browsing history. 

Perhaps not surprisingly, privacy concerns seem to correspond directly to age group: 30 percent of users aged 18-29, 33 percent of those aged 30-43, 39 percent of those aged 44-53, and 50 percent of those aged 54-64 are worried about their privacy.  

Remember, there's always more you can do to protect your data online. Even if you fall into the category of Web surfers who think they have nothing to hide, it's vital for you to be aware of the threats to your privacy, financial security and physical safety.