6 June 2018
A duo of artists known as KairUs curious about private data breaches and e-waste created an exhibition of artworks entitled “Forensic Fantasies”. Highlighting some key issues and effects related to e-waste dumps in places like Ghana, a topic we’ve covered before, they look at some interesting intersections of technology, the environment, and society.
30 May 2018
Not so long ago we were all anxiously biting our nails over the impending threat of the WannaCry cyberattack, which affected over 300,000 computers worldwide. Even though the ransomware attack was resolved in a matter of days, it swiftly incurred billions of dollars in damages. The reality is, it hasn’t been too long since this major attack, and threats to your own cybersecurity measures are as prevalent now as they were then. It’s important to take precautions when it comes to protecting confidential corporate information, but just what do those precautions entail?
25 January 2018
While the majority of Americans were asking Santa for new tech, we were busy building a contingency plan to protect our existing devices. In December, we were all wishing for things. In January, it’s time to take action to protect our technology and sensitive data from prying eyes, ears, and keyboards.
20 December 2017
Our tech support and data recovery specialists have assembled a practical wish list for your cyber safety, so you can have the most wonderful time all year, every year (approved by The Big Guy, himself).
29 November 2017
2017 has been a particularly bad year for data debacles and cybersecurity breaches. Fortunately, federal and state governments, and companies—large and small—recognize that lasting, legislative change is required to prevent future cyber attacks and protect everyone’s data.
As we enter the season of giving, here’s what governments and businesses are offering to remedy past mistakes. The gift that keeps on giving? Progress in the form of policy change.
24 October 2017
Self-driving cars. Artificial intelligence. Smart home technology. Voice-activated home assistants. Virtual reality. The stuff of popular science fiction is no longer fiction. The future isn’t ahead; it’s already here.
Once again, it’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM).
26 September 2017
“Based on the information provided, we believe that your personal information may have been impacted by this incident.”
Sound familiar? You and 143 million other people in the United States, the UK, and Canada.That’s right – Americans weren’t the only ones affected by the massive Equifax data breach.
It’s been quite a year for data breaches (many a result of escalating and evolving ransomware), but this situation was largely precipitated by Equifax’s negligence. Companies who feel they are taking extensive preventative measures can always do more. Being on the defense is not the same as mounting an offense.
17 August 2017
Whether it’s coming to a grinding halt or a gradual slowdown, there’s no doubt about it: summer is approaching its end. But while the temperatures are decreasing, hackers are increasing their efforts targeting networks and users of all ages. Cyberattacks span payment card fraud, unintended disclosure, hacking, malware, insider leaks, and ransomware—these are only a few of the most common approaches.
Different age groups vary in online behavior and thus, are susceptible to different online scams, threats, and pitfalls. Understanding risk factors is the first step toward protecting yourself.
21 July 2017
Overall, a previously burgeoning startup marketplace has been in decline since 2016. Dark Reading cites the startup slowdown a result of reduced funding from venture capital firms. However, one industry continues to boom, despite the overall decline: cybersecurity.
23 June 2017
More and more, businesses are looking for ways to blend brick-and-mortar stores with online services. The company that rules the online marketplace? Amazon. But Bezos is branching out.
19 May 2017
Ransomware isn’t new, but it’s been all over the news recently. Just last weekend, hackers launched a massive cyberattack that crippled hundreds of thousands of computers around the globe. Known as WannaCrypt—also called WannaCry or Wanna Decryptor—it is a particularly damaging brand of virus known as ransomware.
13 February 2017
With Data Privacy Day and Safer Internet Day behind us and Valentine’s Day just ahead, it’s time to take what we learned and apply it.
16 January 2017
The New Year carries the promise of infinite potential. Yet again, individuals are engaging in the common practice of resolution-making. But the percentage of people who see these resolutions through to conclusion is shockingly low.
The proliferation of technology has made time more precious than ever. Our lives move faster, so we need to accomplish more in a shorter period of time. We’d like to offer 7 security resolutions that you should make — and achieve — in 2017.
22 November 2016
Maybe data, perhaps, means a little bit more.
The tell-tale signs of Black Friday and Cyber Monday are riddled with exclusivity and immediacy, prompting consumers everywhere to swipe, slide, insert, and scan their way to the best deals.
However, while consumers are cashing in their hard-earned dollars, hackers are capitalizing on consumers.
21 October 2016
As the landfills pile up around the world, how safe is it for our discarded tech to end up in e-waste ‘mountains’?
This gallery of pictures from The Guardian gives a brief visual glimpse of the challenges of e-waste recycling and global efforts to reduce waste focusing on recycling operations in Guiyu, China.
19 October 2016
“In 2016, there have been 454 data breaches with nearly 12.7 million records exposed.”
If this statistic doesn’t scare you, it should.
October is dominated by Halloween: pumpkin carving, cider drinking, costume searching, candy eating, and Trick-or-Treating. Most people don’t realize that October is shared by another important event: National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
21 September 2016
Lists confirm it: we are lazy when creating passwords. The sheer number of accounts, applications, and devices we own almost guarantees poor password quality. Employ these tips and best practices to fortify and protect your numerous accounts and devices.
15 July 2016
The mobile app, Pokémon Go, is a global phenomenon.
Comfortably seated at No. 1 on mobile download charts for both iOS and Android users, the app has made virtual reality mainstream, prompting users to get off the couch and go explore the real world, but through a virtual lens.
However, people can collect a lot more than Pokémon.
We break down the basics of the game and look into some potential risks and threats to your data privacy, cybersecurity and more.
16 May 2016
Ransomware is all the rage—and not in a good way. Cybersecurity experts are calling these virtual attacks an ‘epidemic’ of epic proportions.
In fact, its exponential growth over the past few years has left individuals, companies, and industries feeling both enraged and powerless.
Why? Well, because the only protection against ransomware is caution.
19 April 2016
“April showers bring May flowers,” as they say. April also brings with it the frenzy of spring cleaning. This is the time of year when everything must sparkle, fit neatly into its predetermined spot, or go curbside. Everywhere and everything is fair game: your home, your garage, the interior and exterior of your car, your fridge, your office, and…your data.
Just like the clutter in your closet or garage, your data can be disorganized, old, poor quality, or redundant. Fortunately, de-cluttering your data will make your life (and business) run more smoothly in the long-term.
24 March 2016
If you have a computer that you are getting rid of you need to take special care of the data you have stored inside it. Whatever information you have saved on the hard drive inside: photos, documents, financial files, passwords, emails — personal information, does not simply go away if you hit delete or drop stuff in the Recycle Bin.
Ben Popken at NBC did a video showing some low-tech solutions to this problem. He trashes hard drives with everything from hammers and baseball bats, to submerging in water and burning with fire. Watch the video after the jump.
16 March 2016
Filing cabinets and safety deposit boxes are old-school. In this technological age, our personal, most valuable information is secured somewhere in the digital universe. It might be saved on an external hard drive or on an internal server. It might live in the Cloud, in an encrypted file, or in a Dropbox folder. Wherever your data is located, there’s no way to be sure it’s 100% safe or secure.
Disaster is inevitable. Sometimes it’s a fender bender or a stolen credit card. Other times, it’s a Big Data disaster.
Big Data is a recent ‘hot topic’ in the tech world. It is:
“A term that describes the large volume of data – both structured and unstructured – that inundates a business on a day-to-day basis. But it’s not the amount of data that’s important. It’s what organizations do with the data that matters. Big data can be analyzed for insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business moves.”
The second part of this definition is the critical piece; it’s not the amount of data, but what can be done with the data.
8 February 2016
Threats to the security and safety of your data are all around. Many people are familiar with the most common Internet dangers, such as Phishing scams, stolen passwords, browser vulnerability, and hackers. However, there’s another, more duplicitous danger at work. In recent years, Insider Threats have become a huge Cybersecurity concern.
9 December 2015
Increasingly more people are opting to do their holiday shopping online rather than subject themselves to the chaos of crowded malls this time of year. Saving people time and energy over the hectic holiday season is no doubt a great benefit brought by the evolution of the internet, but it doesn’t come without its own unique set of evils.
Recent incidents of cybersecurity and data theft have brought light to the risks consumers face when sharing and entrusting their sensitive data with corporations and third party institutions. Malicious intentioned cyber criminals continue to develop new, tech-savvy ways to hack into people’s private accounts for the purpose of stealing sensitive information.
Protect your data while doing your holiday shopping online this month with these tips and safety precautions.
10 September 2015
No matter what your stance on the Ashley Madison cyberattack or where your interest lies, there is one important lesson that everyone should be taking from the incident: your data is not as safe as you think it is. The apparent vulnerability of sensitive data submitted online is cause for alarm and serious consideration.
12 June 2015
It’s a connected digital world and as far as information technology goes threats from hackers to our data are always prevalent and evolving. Break-ins to computer systems have put IT departments on guard for data theft and espionage for years. One new corporate sector target is becoming a clear favorite for cybercriminals though. According to security firm research – the energy industry is now the sector with the highest number of reported attacks.
25 February 2015
With the rise in popularity of cloud-based data storage, more people are asking where and how information is actually stored by cloud providers. More precisely, what exactly is the ‘cloud’, and how secure is storing and sending information through the virtual network? It’s important to have a basic understanding of how your information is being handled–particularly the aspects of a service provider that you should be cognizant of in order to ensure the safety and privacy of your data.
26 November 2014
In a rush to modernize and increase technological access sometimes the looming threats to privacy and safety of personal healthcare information are not given as much attention. A recent story exemplifies a growing real threat.
22 April 2014
On the occasion of Earth Day, we reflect on a lurking issue – E-Waste. Often underestimated in size, global technological growth also produces an amazing amount of waste annually. When you think about the amount of devices that you have gone through, from PC hard drives to cellphones, and then multiply it by your neighborhood, city, country….where do all those electronics go?
31 January 2014
Back in July during peak moments of the Edward Snowden leak scandal explosion around the world, the UK’s Guardian newspaper was embroiled in a battle with government about the information in the paper’s possession. Government officials and the GCHQ spy agency threatened injunctions against the paper. Finally staff decided they had to destroy all the computers to prevent their journalists being carted away and measures being taken against the paper.
See footage of the destruction after the jump
18 December 2013
New report numbers out of the United Nations’ StEP Initiative proclaim e-waste as one of the world’s fastest growing streams of waste production. StEP(Solving The world’s E-waste Problem) was set up to tackle the growing and often underestimated problem of electronic waste. According to figures, last year 50m tons of e-waste was generated. This is following the predicted trend that in the next four years e-waste will grow 33%.
25 July 2012
Used electronic devices are often discarded in the cheapest way possible to some of the world’s poorest countries. Watch a recent TV report on location in Ghana that gives a glimpse into the conditions of the scrap yard/slums that e-waste is being collected and dumped in.
12 July 2012
The mountain of electronics we have and eventually need to get rid of is always growing. The need to dispose of old electronics like cellphones and tvs as well as computer hardware in laptops and desktops shows no sign of slowing. But that does present some challenges with regards to how to minimize the amount of e-waste we produce as well as the impact and threat to sensitive information.
The movement to promote E-cycling is strong in Ontario, Canada.
Check out this promo video about drop-off locations:
When you drop-off an old computer for e-cycling, what information is still on the hard drive inside it? We made CBL Data Shredder for this sole purpose. Keep reading to find out more.
19 April 2012
Good news this week comes in an update from the Consumer Electronics Association on their ‘eCycling’ initiative reporting a big increase in electronics recycling – up 53% in the past year! Are you one of the growing number of people that are seeking out drop-off locations for used computers and electronics? Be reminded that you should wipe any hard drive before discarding or recycling it to protect yourself from any potential privacy threats or criminal activity.
8 February 2012
The only thing we love almost as much as getting back our customers’ data is preventing it from falling into the wrong hands. The privacy of your information and importance of protecting data is a crucial part of what we do and of our digital society today. Getting rid of old hardware is one challenge, but what about the files and data stored on computers? Friend of Platter Chatter and tech reporter extraordinaire, Marc Saltzman, recently highlighted some key points about safely deleting data in Costco Connection magazine.
24 June 2009
PBS Frontline aired a feature about the Digital Dumping Ground in Ghana where so-called e-waste is being dumped last night. The footage revealing, exposed not only the disastrous environmental and social impact the giant amounts of electronic equipment waste is having on Ghana, but also a further side-effect: the risk of unwiped data being discovered and used for criminal activity from discarded hard drives!