A designer and a NASA scientist team up to fight a $244 billion problem that’s hiding in plain sight

source: fastcompany.com  |  image: pixabay.com

 

The debut project from Brooklyn-based Betterlab takes aim at a condition that affects a third of people worldwide.

 

earsightedness doesn’t sound that scary, but more and more people around the world are suffering from its clinical name: myopia. Because of myopia, China can’t find enough pilots, while the world is losing $244 billion in productivity a year, and that’s just the beginning: By 2050, more than half the world’s population is projected to have myopia—and as many as 10% of that group will go blind from the condition.

The problem was once primarily genetic, but new cases are increasingly attributed to kids getting too much screen time and too little sunlight for the eyes to develop properly. And while research has found that preventing myopia isn’t much more complicated than spending enough time outside, a new pair of glasses developed by designer Todd Bracher and a former NASA scientist aims to fix myopia without forcing anyone to change their behavior, take drugs, or wear special prismatic lenses. They were a finalist in our recent World Changing Ideas awards.

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Anatomy of a Phishing Scam As Told Through Scamming the Scammer

 

image - phishing

source: blog.avast.com. |  image:  pixabay.com

to view all images associated with this blog post, go to Avast.com

Here’s a “scam the scammer” SMS conversation to highlight some of the red flags to look out for the next time your “boss” messages you.

Sometimes it feels like scammers are coming at you from every direction these days. They’re on the phone. They’re on SMS. They’re on social media. Sorting the real from the nonsense can feel like a full time job but, for some people, that “job” turns into fun.

That’s what happened recently when a professional woman in New York City decided to play around a little bit with her “boss,” (spoiler: not her boss) who was making odd requests via text. And while “scam the scammer” situations like this one are often hilarious, they’re also a great way to learn about the methodology that scammers use to trick people into giving them money. 

So let’s take a look at the following “scam the scammer” SMS conversation to highlight some of the red flags to look out for the next time your “boss” messages you. 

1. They set up a situation where you can’t talk to them on the phone.

“Josh” makes it clear up front that he can’t talk on the phone. Obviously there are some situations where this is legitimate — like if he was actually Josh and was actually at a conference — but “Cris,” as an employee, would likely know if her boss was out of office. The scammer is hoping that Cris doesn’t know her boss’ schedule.

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DoD Identity Awareness, Protection, and Management (IAPM) Guide

 

Click the image above to view this amazing guide & resource

 

HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE The Identity Awareness, Protection, and Management (IAPM) Guide is a comprehensive resource to help you protect your privacy and secure your identity data online. The IAPM Guide is divided into chapters detailing key privacy considerations on popular online services, mobile apps, and consumer devices available in the market today. Each section provides you with tools, recommendations, and step-by-step guides to implement settings that maximize your security. The guide is updated periodically. While some of the chapters in the IAPM Guide deal with technical issues, they do not require a technical background to follow. The U.S. Department of Defense creates this guide to provide recommendations for readers to keep their identities private and secure online. Please note the information presented here is subject to change.

 

Firewall: Definition, technology and facts

source: livescience.com  |  image: pexels.com

 

Learn how a firewall filters out cyber-threats, while still letting you access everything you want to look at online.

 

A firewall is a  online security measure to protect your computer from viruses and other malicious attacks. You can use the internet to communicate with around 4.9 billion people worldwide, according to the International Telecommunication Union, and access more knowledge than at any other time in history. 

The downside is that everybody also has access to you. This includes hackers and viruses that want to steal your data, take control of your computer or even destroy it.

To stop this from happening, a firewall controls the data flowing between your computer and the internet, according to the Canadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering. Think of this like a border guard checking your passport when you go on holiday. A firewall inspects data to make sure it has the right permissions. If it does, it can pass through — if it doesn’t, it’s instantly blocked.

 

FIREWALL SECURITY: YOUR FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE

A firewall works at your computer’s ports. When we’re talking about computer networking, a port isn’t the same as a jack or socket you plug your monitor into. Rather it’s a virtual entry point where your computer exchanges information with other networks. 

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source: tpr.org  |  image:  pixabay.com  |  contributed by Artemus FAN Steve Jones

 

The BBC has resurrected an old school way of broadcasting in order to reach people in the crisis area of Ukraine: Shortwave radio. What is shortwave, and why has the BBC decided to begin using it again?

It’s almost a forgotten technology in the United States, except for some Americans of a certain age, or maybe their parents or grandparents or even great grandparents.

Shortwave was used extensively during World War II and the Cold War. For many years, shortwave broadcasts were spread around the world over Voice of America. Russia had Radio Moscow and other countries had their own shortwave broadcasts.

What exactly is shortwave radio?

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It’s a lesson in platform responsibility.

 

source: Inc.com  |  image: pexels.com  | contributed by Artemus FAN Steve Page

Apple’s AirTag trackers are one of the most useful, yet controversial products the company has introduced in a long time. They’re great for sticking in or on things you might lose, like your keys, for example. I have several, and they’re great. I don’t tend to lose things, but there have been a few times when they give me extra peace of mind, knowing that my backpack isn’t going to accidentally disappear. 

The problem is that, simply put, AirTags work too well. Everything about them is perfect for something you want to track. They’re small, they’re very accurate, and they exist in an ecosystem of a billion iPhones capable of transmitting their location back to you.

As a result, they’re also ripe for abuse. A New York Times article this week demonstrated just how easy it is to track someone using an AirTag. That might not seem like a problem if you’re talking about your son riding his bike, but it gets problematic quickly when you think about the nefarious possibilities. 

War in Ukraine Brings Out Scammers Trying to Exploit Donations

source: cnet.com | Photo by Katie Godowski from Pexels

 

The world has responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with an outpouring of support for the Ukrainian people. That hasn’t escaped the notice of scammers, who are all too willing to take advantage of people’s desire to help.

One scam email sports a logo in the blue and yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag. It asks for donations to a humanitarian organization in the form of US dollars and a handful of cryptocurrencies. Other bogus emails ask recipients to send money to help children or to buy weapons for the Ukrainian military.

Fake charity websites are popping up, too. Researchers at ESET, a Slovakia-based antivirus company, said they’d discovered a handful of sites using the colors of Ukraine’s flag and dramatic images of soldiers and explosions. The websites solicit “aid,” ESET said, but they don’t provide specifics as to how the money will be used.

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Apple AirTags can be used to track you. How to protect yourself.

 

source: cnet.com  |  image by apple.com

 

AirTags can be used to stalk someone’s location. Here are some tips to safeguard against the risk.

Apple’s AirTag tracking devices promise to help you locate lost keys, bags or other items — but there’s also a risk that someone  could use one of the small discs to try to track you.

Apple has built-in certain protections to discourage unwanted tracking, but it’s still possible for someone to slip an AirTag into your bag or car without your consent and track your location. And unfortunately, there are few ways to detect if someone is using an AirTag (or any similar device, like a Tile or Samsung SmartTag tracker) to follow you. 

“Location tracking is a serious concern for survivors and a common tactic of abuse,” said Erica Olsen, director of the Safety Net Project at the nonprofit National Network to End Domestic Violence. “Apple is getting a lot of attention because of the size of their network, which can make these devices more precise than other similar tracking devices. We are concerned about all possible tracking options because of the safety risks.” 

So what can you do to try to protect yourself from being tracked by an AirTag? 

New tech, old privacy concerns 

AirTags use a combination of sensors, wireless signals and Apple’s extensive Find My network to help people locate lost items. Apple built in several safeguards to prevent the devices from being used to track people — an industry first. However, many have noted that those protections may not be enough to protect victims

At launch, these included a notification that says “AirTag Found Moving With You” — but only if you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch running iOS or iPadOS 14.5 or later. In June, Apple said it was working on an Android app to notify those users of unwanted AirTags traveling with them as well, to be released later this year. 

Apple also initially had AirTags make a noise if separated from their owner after three days. With the update, that alarm will sound at a random time inside a window lasting between 8 and 24 hours. 

The privacy concerns around AirTags are part of a larger issue, Olsen said. 

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Be Careful If You Get a Strange USB Drive in the Mail – It Might Be a Virus

 

source: idropnews.com, contributed by Artemus founder, Bob Wallace  |  image: pixabay.com

 

Cybercriminals have found a novel way to install malicious software on your computer. Instead of using online tools, they’re sending USB drives directly to victims in the mail throughout the United States.

According to the FBI, a cybercrime group is mailing out physical USB drives hoping that the potential victims connect them to their computers.

The cybercriminals used the United States Postal Service and United Parcel Service to send all the USB drives. But they didn’t send just drives. They also made sure to impersonate the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The messages claimed that the USB drives contained a COVID-19 warning. Other mailed USBs claimed that they were from Amazon and that they had an Amazon gift card inside.

This is nothing new since cyber attackers have often used phishing to impersonate big companies and organizations to make you trust them.

According to the report, these USB drives contain malware known as BadUSB attacks. This malicious software lets the cybercriminal control the computer with the USB drive to do things like create new commands on the computer, install different types of malicious software, or redirect traffic.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this happened. Back in 2020, there was another attack with a similar process, and cybercriminals sent out a bunch of USB drives in the mail.

That time, the mail claimed that it was a gift card from Best Buy, but in reality, it was also a BadUSB malware that was used to install malware and exploit other vulnerabilities in many organizations’ PCs. They also were used to deploy many ransomware strains like BlackBatter and REvil.

Needless to say, you need to be careful of what you get in the mail and what you plug into your computer. Even if the package is addressed to you, you should avoid at all costs plugging one into your computer.

If the USB drive comes from a company or a person you’re familiar with—and you trust– try contacting them to make sure they actually sent you the USB drive. Even then, if it isn’t actually anything important, you should try to avoid using the USB drive in your computer to prevent any possible cyber attacks.

 

IRS Will Require Facial Recognition Scans to Access Your Taxes Online

 

source: gizmodo.com, contributed by Artemus FAN, Stephen Page  |  image:  stockvault.com

You will have to submit sensitive government documents, your Social Security number, credit history, and a face scan to ID.me, a third-party company.

 

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to clarify that you can still file and pay taxes without logging into an IRS account or providing biometric data. This contradicts information an IRS spokesperson previously provided to Gizmodo. See the full details in the frustrating correction below.

Online tax filers in the United States will soon be required to submit a selfie to a third-party identity verification company using facial recognition tech in order to access their IRS accounts.

Starting this summer, according to an IRS spokesperson, users with an IRS.gov account will no longer be able to log in with a simple username and password. Instead, they will need to provide a government identification document, a selfie, and copies of their bills to Virginian-based identity verification firm ID.me to confirm their identity. That change, first noticed by Krebs on Security, marks a major shift for the Internal Revenue Service, which previously allowed users to access their IRS accounts without submitting personal biometric data.

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