Security

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Dear Lifehacker, I always take my thumb drive wherever I go. I'm also a bit absentminded. I want to guarantee my thumb drive gets returned to me if I ever lose it. My idea is to have malware hidden on the drive in a specific folder labelled 'porn101' or 'myprivatefiles'. If the person opens that file, it will automatically encrypt their computer and ask them to email me to get the unlock code. (I will give it to them once they return the thumb drive to me, of course.)

Which brings me to my question - is this legal? It's not like I'm demanding money or anything. I just want my property back!

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It's likely that you've got details of your whole life stored on your phone — the people you know, the banks you've used, the videos you've wasted hours watching — and you don't necessarily want that info getting out into the wider world. If you're keen to lock down your handset against unwelcome visitors, you need to take a few steps.

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Twitter introduced an updated privacy policy this week that has users worried about how their private information is being tracked, stored and used. In the policy, the micro-blogging platform announced its plans to discontinue a privacy preference it previously honoured, store your cookies for a longer period of time, and change how Twitter shares your private data.

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Browser cookies are one of those technical bits of the internet that almost everyone has some awareness of. They're also probably one of the most misunderstood aspects of browsing. Today we're here to clear up the confusion.

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Last September, a bunch of major websites were rendered 404 when the Mirai botnet surfaced. By attacking hundreds of thousands of unsecured IoT devices Mirai was able to attack DNS provider Dyn resulting in hundreds of online services dropping like flies. Persirai borrows some code from Mirai but "improves" upon it.

Shared from Gizmodo

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You've spotted an app, site, or service you like the look of, it's completely free to use, and so you're ready to sign up — but how can you tell the service is above-board and legit? That you're not going to be subject to nefarious dark pattern tactics or see you or your teens sensitive data shared with advertisers. Before joining a service that seems to good to be true take the steps below. Common sense and a little digging can usually save you from the shadiest apps.

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Ever needed to hand your phone to a kid? Even if you don't want to, sometimes you're trying to keep them quiet at a restaurant, or calm them down at the doctor's. But handing over an unlocked phone is just asking for the kid to delete all your home screen shortcuts (or, worse, work emails). Fortunately there's a way to fix this.

Shared from Gizmodo

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Your existence is scattered across the internet. You likely have accounts at forums you haven't been to in a decade, and social media services so bereft of users they resemble graveyards. And each and every one of those accounts is a potential avenue into your private life for a hacker. So you need to secure them.

Shared from Gizmodo

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You may have noticed in your travels around the internet that your browser's address bar occasionally turns green and displays a padlock — that's HTTPS, or a secure version of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol, swinging into action. This little green padlock is becoming vitally important as more and more of your online security is eroded. Just because your ISP can now see what sites you browse on doesn't mean they have to know all the content your consuming.