Study: Apps ‘Hijacking’ 12 Million Smartphones

Some 12 million smartphones have mobile apps that secretly run a barrage of hidden advertisements in the background — roughly 700 per hour — that gobble up to 2GB of data per day and shorten battery life in its host device. Advertisers lose even more: an estimated $1 billion this year in bogus commissions paid to fraudsters for simulated clicks of those ads in “what they believe to be real consumers viewing their ads,” says David Sendroff of Forensiq, an …

Ransomware: $18 Million and Counting … in Only 15 Months

Catherine Heslep was logging off Gmail when her computer was hijacked, another victim of ransomware. “Your files have been encrypted,” the message on the screen proclaimed. “You will not be able to access them without an encryption code.” “The cost for the code was 60 bitcoin, which translates to $700,” she says. Getting no response, the cybercriminals issued another ominous warning the next day: “If you don’t believe us, pick five files and we’ll decrypt them to prove it. You …

Mac Attack (and More): The Latest in the Tech Support Scam

For six years, telephones have been ringing off the hook with alarming but bogus news: There’s a dangerous virus on your computer, and the caller – a self-described technician with Microsoft, “Windows” or an antivirus software company – says he can remove it … for a price. But now, it’s not just PC users at risk for the notorious tech support scam. Mac users (and the machines themselves) are also vulnerable – and this time, fix-it fraudsters don’t even have …

How to Spot a Bot When Dating Online

One of the most common complaints of online daters is that their dates misrepresent themselves – sometimes even telling bald-face lies about being bald! I’m sorry, but if I am not attracted to bald men and you’re wearing a discreet toupee in your online photo, I won’t be thrilled when you show up for a date hairless. Petition online dating sites to help stop scammers » A date might also appear much older in person than his online photograph or …

Tapping Into Help for Hearing Loss by Smartphone

I used to have perfect hearing, although I could select what I didn’t want to hear. But now that I’m getting older, I am becoming more concerned about my hearing. I am also a recent cancer survivor, truly thankful for every day that I wake up. One side effect of my chemo treatment is auditory nerve damage. I can still hear well enough so I don’t need a hearing aid. But it got me thinking: How do you hold a …

Connected Cars: Safety and Fun Are Driving Innovation

News last week that a North Carolina woman died in a head-on car crash while posting selfies and Facebook updates brings home the hope for “connected cars.” More cars connected to the Internet, the argument goes, would help, not distract, drivers. With hands-free, eyes-on-the-road communication and entertainment as the norm, we might hear fewer such horror stories. Related: Top Ten Technologies for Mature Drivers We’re definitely moving toward connected cars. The market for hardware, software and apps that connect cars …