Monday, January 26, 2015

SCAM ALERT: fake court notice email making its rounds.

Internet scammers are sending emails claiming to come from a real law firm called Baker & McKenzie. The email states you are scheduled  to appear in court and should click a link to view a copy of the court  notice. The email is not from Baker & McKenzie and has no connection  to the firm. It is an attempt by cyber criminals to trick you into  trying to prevent a negative consequence. If you click on the link, you download and install malware.

In the recent past there have been a series of these court appearance malware attacks that claim to be from law firms or government entities.  If you get one of these scams, do not click any links or open any  attachments, delete these emails.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Jimmy Kimmel shows just how easy it is to steal someone's password.

Did you know that "password123" is the most common password used in the US?
Even though we all know better, human beings will forever insist on using insecure, awful passwords. Awful passwords that, apparently, we are more than happy to broadcast on national television.
Jimmy Kimmel's producers went around the streets of LA under the guise of assessing people's password security, which they were able to do by getting them to reveal their super secret passwords directly into the microphone. We don't know their email address or anything, so it's not the worst thing in the world. But perhaps they should go home and at least turn two-factor authentication on?

Source: YouTube

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Hey kids - forget your homework at home? There's an app for that!

Remember when you forgot to bring your homework that one time and Mr. Jones from sixth grade wouldn't believe you didn't just slack off? If Google's new Classroom app existed back then, you could have just asked someone at home to take a picture and submit it through the application. Yup, Google has just released an iOS and an Android Classroom app, and it does a couple more things other than giving you the option to take pictures of your (or your kids') assignments to submit. When installed on a phone, it comes up along with the list of apps you can share with from within another program. You can, for instance, upload drawings or PDFs from within an art app or Google Drive. It also caches its contents upon launch, so teaches can access a student's work even offline.

Other than the new mobile app, Classroom for desktop now shows teachers a list of assignments, giving them a clear view of what they've already reviewed and what they've yet to look at. Even the most competent educator can get overwhelmed by years of student-submitted work, though, so teachers can now archive past classes in the program if they want.

Source: YouTube / engadget

Monday, January 5, 2015

A false copyright message is rapidly spreading across Facebook. Don't waste your time copy & pasting.

"In response to the new Facebook guidelines, I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, professional photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!"

You may have seen that very message pop up -- perhaps time and time again -- in your Facebook feed. The message has been making the rounds on the social network. It encourages people to copy and paste the text and post it on their own walls if they want to be placed "under protection of copyright laws."

It's a frightful message and those worried that Facebook will own their photos or other media are posting it -- unaware that it is a hoax. Here's the truth: Facebook doesn't own your media and there is no such thing as the Berner Convention.

"We have noticed some statements that suggest otherwise and we wanted to take a moment to remind you of the facts -- when you post things like photos to Facebook, we do not own them," Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said in a statement. "Under our terms (, you grant Facebook permission to use, distribute, and share the things you post, subject to the terms and applicable privacy settings." 

Brad Shear, a Washington-area attorney and blogger who is an expert on social media, said the message was "misleading and not true." He said that when you agree to Facebook's terms of use you provide Facebook a "non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any content you post. You do not need to make any declarations about copyright issues since the law already protects you.  The privacy declaration [in this message] is worthless and does not mean anything."
Facebook users cannot retroactively negate any of the privacy or copyright terms they agreed to when they signed up for their Facebook accounts nor can they unilaterally alter or contradict terms instituted by Facebook simply by posting a contrary legal notice on their Facebook walls.

This isn't the first time a message like this has popped up on Facebook. A similar message made the rounds in June and a few years ago as well. 

Bottom line? Don't bother copying, pasting, and posting. It was a hoax before and is still a hoax now.