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Your Latest IT News Update

Cash Under Threat

A new report has concluded that with the recent steep fall in the use of cash, particularly by young people, the government and regulators need to step in to ensure that cash remains a viable method of payment in the future.

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Fingerprint Bank Card

RBS is reportedly about to hold trials of a new, more secure biometric bank card where customers can use their fingerprint instead of a PIN to verify purchases.

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Businesses Delayed Security Breach Disclosure

An FoI request to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has revealed cause for concern over whether businesses on the run up to the implementation of GDPR were preventing, detecting and responding to security threats and breaches in a good and compliant way.

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Serious Windows 7 Bug Reported

Google has warned those who are still using Windows 7 that they are at risk of hackers being able to take over their computer by exploiting the combination of a flaw in the Window 7 OS and Google’s Chrome Browser.

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Chatbot Supports Students

Lancaster University has announced that it has launched a chatbot “companion” for students which allows them to ask almost any question about their university experience, from student life, and welfare, to academic studies and more.

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Tech Tip – Save Your Passwords Securely on Mobile Devices

If you’d like to be able to save all your login credentials in a secure and safe manner on your mobile device, an app like the ‘LastPass’ password manager may prove very helpful.  It’s one of many such apps, but it’s been rated highly.

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Your Latest IT News Update

New 1TeraByte (Yes, TeraByte) MicroSD Cards Launched

Both Micron and Western Digital’s SanDisk brand have announced at the Mobile World Congress that they are launching the first 1TB microSD cards.

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Nest Locking Customers Out Over Suspected Security Breach

Nest Labs, the US manufacturer of smart home products is reported to have been locking some customers out of their accounts over possible password breaches.

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Response To Freedom of Information Requests Concerning Brexit Involves ICO

Two government departments and a Kent-based Brexit planning group are reported to have given local councils advice on how to avoid releasing information about the no-deal Brexit plans, prompting UK. Gov and the ICO to intervene.

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Potential £ 1 Million Court Bill Over £1 Uber Receipt

A millionaire barrister who raised crowdfunding money to fight ride-sharing company Uber in court over a £1.06 VAT receipt has lost attempts to limit his court costs liability and could face a £1 Million legal bill.

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New, Free Windows 10 Microsoft Office App Launched

Microsoft has announced the launch of its new “Office” app for Windows 10 which is an update to the former My Office app, will come preinstalled on Windows 10 machines and will provide access to an online version of Office for those who don’t have a subscription for Office 365.

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Tech Tip – How To Disable Ad Tracking In Windows 10

Although many websites say they rely upon ad-revenue to provide free content, and some ads can be relevant, as web users we may still feel uneasy about allowing our online behaviour to become tracked, and too many ‘interest-based’ targeted adverts can be annoying and disruptive.  There is an easy way in Windows 10 to disable advertising ID/‘interest based’ adverts.  Here’s how

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Your Latest IT News Update

New York’s Governor Orders Investigation Into Facebook Over App Concerns

The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, has ordered an investigation into reports that Facebook Inc may be using apps on users’ smartphones to collect personal information about them.

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Discovery of Microphone in Google’s Nest Guard Prompts Backlash

The discovery of a microphone in Google’s Nest Guard product that was not listed in tech spec has been put down to an erroneous omission by Google, but it has also caused a backlash that escalated to the US Congress.

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DNS infrastructure Under AttackThe Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has issued a warning that the DNS infrastructure is facing an “ongoing and significant risk” and has urged domain owners to deploy DNSSEC technology.

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Form-Jacking Attacks Hit High Profile Companies

Research by Security Company Symantec has revealed that high profile companies such as BA and Ticketmaster are among the many thousands of businesses whose websites are being targeted with “form-jacking” attacks every month.

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Targets Of A Rise In Extortion Scams

A report by cyber-crime researchers is warning professional people and those in higher level management positions that extortion scams are on the rise with higher earners as the obvious targets.

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Tech Tip – How To Put YouTube Videos on Automatic Repeat

If you’d like to put a YouTube video on repeat play e.g. because you want to watch or show a work / instructional video, or even listen to your favourite music on a loop while working on your laptop, there are two easy ways to do it.  Here’s how:

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Your Latest IT News Update

Crypto-Mining Apps Discovered in Microsoft Store

Security researchers at Symantec claim to have discovered eight apps in the Microsoft Store which, if downloaded, can use the victim’s computer to mine crypto-currency.

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Research by developer Patrick Hulce has shown that around 60% of the loading time in a browser is caused by JavaScript code that is used to place adverts or analyse what users do.

Scooter Hack Threat

An investigation by researchers at Zimperium® found a security flaw in the Xiaomi M365 electric scooter (the same model that is used by ridesharing companies) which could allow hackers to take control of the scooter’s acceleration and braking.

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Potential Jail For Clicking on Terror Links

The new UK Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019 means that you could face up to 15 years in jail if you visit web pages where you can obtain information that’s deemed to be useful to ‘committing or preparing an act of terrorism’.

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Kellogg’s Uses Virtual Reality To Sell More Cornflakes

Breakfast cereal manufacturer Kellogg’s has been working with third-party VR companies to help it determine the best way to display its new products in stores.

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Tech Tip – Encrypting Documents Stored on Google Drive

If you use Google Drive to store files in the cloud but worried that Google doesn’t provide a true password protection feature, you may want to encrypt your files before uploading them.  Here’s how:

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Your Latest IT News Update

Man Fined After Hiding From Facial Recognition Cameras

A man was given a public order fine after being stopped by police because he covered his face during a trial of facial recognition cameras in Romford, London.

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Google has announced the introduction of its ‘Live Transcribe’ app for Android which allows people who are deaf or hard of hearing to see a live, near real-time written display of conversations on their phone.
$180 Million Password Taken To The Grave115,000 customers of the of Canadian digital platform Quadriga are believed to be owed C$250 million, but C$180 ($137.21 million) in crypto-currencies have been frozen after the platform’s founder, who was the only person with the password to the platform’s stored funds, died in December 2018.

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Large Rises in Amazon’s Web Services (AWS) Revenues, Fuelled By Public Cloud Demand

A massive 45% growth in the revenue of Amazon’s Web Services (AWS) in the fourth quarter has been fuelled by big profits in Amazon’s public cloud arm.

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Windows 10 Error Messages Soon To Make More Sense

Starting with the April 2019 update, Microsoft will be adding “Learn more” links to its error code messages in a bid to enable users to see what the code means, plus the chance to fix the error on the spot.

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Tech Tip – How To Send Large Files For Free

If you need to send a file online, but that file is too big to send by email, there are several simple, effective and secure alternatives.  Here are some suggestions:

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Your Latest It News Update

Apple’s Video-Calling ‘Eavesdropping’ Bug

Apple Inc has found itself at the centre of a security alert after a bug in group-calling of its FaceTime video-calling feature has been found to allow eavesdropping of a call’s recipient to take place prior to the call being taken.

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Research Reveals Top-Selling Car Keyless Theft Risk

Research by consumer Group Which? has revealed that hundreds of popular models of car are vulnerable to “keyless theft”.

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Register Now Or Lose EU Research Grants Post-Brexit

The UK government is urging organisations that benefit from European Union (EU) research funding to sign-up to a UK-led replacement scheme now in order to guarantee that their Horizon 2020 project funding can continue after Brexit.

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Millions of Taxpayers’ Voiceprints Added to Controversial HMRC Biometric Database

The fact that the voiceprints of more than 2 million people have been added to HMRC’s Voice ID scheme since June 2018, to add to the 5 million plus other voiceprints already collected, has led to complaints and challenges to the lawfulness of the system by privacy campaigners.

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Too Much Time In Front of a Screen Adversely Affects Child Development Says Study

Psychologists from the University of Calgary have published a study in the JAMA journal of Paediatrics, which found that 2-5 years old who engaged in more screen time received worse scores in developmental screening tests.

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Tech Tip – Drag & Drop Tasks To Your Calendar

In Windows 10, the Tasks experience in Outlook.com (powered by ‘To-Do’) means that when looking at your inbox, you can save time and create tasks by dragging and dropping an email to your task list. You can also easily schedule items by dragging a task to your calendar. Your tasks then travel with you on the To-Do app.

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Your Latest IT News Update

Naming and Shaming of Companies With Poor Cyber Security

A report from the Cyber Security Research Group and the Policy Institute at King’s College London, has suggested that the government could help combat high cyber-crime levels by naming (and shaming) companies with poor cyber-security.

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Google has been fined a massive 50 million euros (£44m) for breach of GDPR dating back to May 2018 and relating to how well people were informed about how Google collected data to personalise advertising, and the matter of consent.
Biggest Personal Data Breach Puts Password Effectiveness In The SpotlightPassword-based authentication has long been known to be less secure than other methods such as multi-step verification or biometrics, but a massive leak of a staggering 87GB of 772.9 million emails, 21.2 million passwords and 1.1 billion email address and password combinations recently shared on hacking forums has brought the inherent weaknesses of password authentication into sharp focus.

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ICO Urges Businesses To Prepare For No-Deal Brexit

In a Westminster eForum event on GDPR practice in London, the director of strategic policy at the Information Commissioner’s Office, Jonathan Bamford, is reported to have urged businesses to prepare for a no-deal Brexit in terms of planning to stop interruption in data flows from Europe.

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No More Windows 10 Mobile Support – Microsoft Suggests Switching

Microsoft has formally announced on its support pages that, as of December 10th 2019, Windows 10 Mobile users can no longer expect security updates and support, and Microsoft recommends that customers then move to a supported Android or iOS device.

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Tech Tip – Phishing Quiz

Identifying a phishing attempt may be harder than you think and being able to spot one is an important part of maintaining your cybersecurity defences in the modern business environment.  Here’s a little phishing quiz from Google that can help you to spot the signs that can enable you to tell a real email from a phishing email.

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Your Latest It News Update

Contactless Card Fraud Has Doubled

The UK’s fraud reporting service, Action Fraud, has reported that contactless card fraud doubled in 2018 to £1.8m stolen compared with £711,000 in 2017.

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Warning – TV Licensing Scam Operating

Action Fraud, the UK’s Cybercrime reporting centre, has warned that fake TV licence payment scam emails have generated 5,247 complaints between 1st October and the end of December, with 1,983 complaints in December alone.

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Apple Blames China In Revenue Warning To Investors

On 2nd January, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, issued a revenue warning for this quarter to investors, and pointed to challenges in China as being one of the main downward driving forces.

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UK Government Warns ‘No Deal’ Brexit May Mean A .COM Replacement For Your .EU

The UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has issued advice to holders of .eu domains that, in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, they may need to switch to another top-level domain such as .com and may also need to seek legal advice.

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Drone Laws Promised After Airport Chaos

The chaos caused to flights from Gatwick just before Christmas (and latterly, Heathrow) by drone sightings near the airports has prompted Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, to announce new counter-drone measures to be taken to protect UK airports.

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Tech Tip –  Prepare For Microsoft’s ‘’Reserved Storage’

The next big update of Windows 10 (in April) will mean that Microsoft will reserve 7GB of your device’s storage in order to accommodate its future ‘quality updates’ or new versions of the OS.  Measures you can take to check that you will have enough reserved storage space or to avoid storage space problems include:

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Your Latest It News Update

Concerns Over Huawei and ZTE Equipment and Software

A statement from the Czech National Cyber and Information Security Agency (NCISA) has warned network operators that using software or hardware made by Chinese telecom equipment suppliers Huawei and ZTE could represent a security threat.

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London Police Facial Recognition Trial

It has been reported that the police are conducting a trial of a facial recognition system in Soho, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square over two days in the run-up to Christmas in a bid to identify people among the Christmas shoppers who are wanted by the police or the courts.

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Warnings of Printer Chip-Frying

Swedish YouTube vlogger, PewDiePie, is reported to have inspired some of his 77 million followers to hack 50,000 printers to promote his YouTube channel, and to draw attention to vulnerabilities in their printer firmware that could even be exploited by hackers to ‘fry’ a printer chip.

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Smart Botnet Detection Needed

For businesses to maintain an effective cyber defence, the ability to prevent, detect and stop smart botnets in real-time is now an important consideration.

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Rumours That ‘Microsoft 365’ Package Is On The Way

There have been rumours among some IT commentators that Microsoft may soon be offering a single subscription-based, Windows 10-style service named ‘Microsoft 365’ that offers home ‘power users’ a combo of its popular software including the operating system, MS Office, Skype, and even OneDrive.

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Tech Tip – Find Out When You’re Visiting A Site That’s Been Hacked

If you use Google Chrome and you’d like to make sure that you know when you’re visiting a site that’s been hacked and you’d like to set up a watch list for sites that you regularly visit, or those that store personal data, here’s a handy browser extension that could help.

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Your Latest IT News Update

Google Chrome’s ‘Incognito’ Mode Not So Incognito

Research by Internet Privacy Company DuckDuckGo is reported to have produced evidence that could show that even in Incognito mode, users of Google Chrome can still be tracked, and searches are still personalised accordingly.

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Does Your Business Take Cash?

Cashless businesses that only take contactless card payments, such as cafes and bars may be growing in number in major cities but despite their apparent convenience for their target market, they are also attracting accusations that they are discriminatory.

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02 Outage – What Happened

After last week’s major O2 4G mobile network outage which left millions of customers with no network data access has been blamed on an expired software certificate that 3rd party supplier Ericsson had installed for some customers at business-critical part of the network.

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5G Explained

Whereas most carriers use low-band spectrum or LTE, which offers great coverage area and penetration, it is getting very crowded, and peak data speeds only top out at around 100Mbps.

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Automatic Broadband Compensation Is Nigh

After Ofcom announced back in November 2017 that broadband and landline customers will automatically be able to get compensation from their providers when things go wrong without the need for a claim, it appears that an £8-per-day deal agreement has finally been reached between Openreach and five of the UK’s internet service providers.

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Tech Tip – Create A Travel Itinerary in Bing

If you’re planning a trip to an exciting destination you can now create your own travel itinerary in the Bing search engine. Here’s how:

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