Shortened URLs: Safe? Or Sabotaged?

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Before you click that shortened URL, know the (harsh) facts.

Short links, shortened URLs, tiny URLs: Whatever you call them, they’re everywhere. More than 200 link-shortening services—including the popular Bitly, TinyURL, Google URL Shortener, and Twitter’s link service—turn millions of long, unwieldy URLs into short, spiffy links.

The convenience factor is clear. Sometimes you don’t want a four-line link filled with crazy characters cluttering your email or Facebook post. Platforms like Twitter have rigid character counts ...

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Is the Internet of Things Safe? How to Protect Your Devices.

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The Internet of Things connects us and our devices in amazing ways. But it can also wreak havoc on our world.

If you’d never heard of the Internet of Things (IoT), you likely know it now. On Friday, October 21, a massive Distributed Denial of Service attack pummeled popular sites like Google, Twitter, PayPal, the New York Times, and Spotify—crippling them for hours and frustrating millions of users.

The strike targeted the servers at a DNS-services company ...

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How to Recognize Social Engineering Attacks

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Clever hackers are getting so devious that even IT folks fall for their ploys. Learn how to identify and avoid social engineering attacks.

Social engineers prey on human nature, attacking people’s vulnerabilities—fear, greed, naiveté, and kindness—to get what they want.

And what do they want? Your money, your credentials, your intellectual property, your contact list….

It’s easier to manipulate humans than it is to figure out how to hack your software. This makes social engineering attractive to crooks.

Tricksters may strike via phone, ...

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Why You Need Strong Passwords & How to Create Them

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Think creating strong passwords is a pain? It’s really not. And getting hacked is far more painful.

The call to create tough-to-crack passwords gets louder every year. And still, scores of people ignore it.

Case in point: Computerworld’s list of the worst, most common passwords for the last five years. Topping the chart in 2015 were:

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345678
  4. qwerty
  5. 12345
  6. 123456789
  7. football
  8. 1234
  9. 1234567
  10. baseball

Not terribly creative—and worse—easily hackable.

Weak passwords pose a huge security risk, enabling crooks to break into private accounts.

Things get worse when people use one ...

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Malware on Social Media: It’s Spreading

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It’s easy to be relaxed and unguarded when roaming around Facebook. But with the rise of malware on social media, you better amp up the vigilance.

Email phishing and spear phishing attacks are a popular way for cyber scammers to spread malware. But social-media platforms pose significant threats, too.

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and the like are goldmines of juicy information for crooks.

Once they gather enough personal details from your profile and posts, they can target you with ...

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Why You Need to Switch to HTTPS

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Choosing to encrypt a website is becoming less and less of a choice for site owners. The switch to HTTPS is quickly becoming non-negotiable.

Thank the big players out there for making it highly desirable—if not mandatory—for HTTP sites to go HTTPS.

For example:

  • Google has clearly stated that HTTPS is an important ranking factor. No one wants to get lost in the search shuffle.
  • In 2017, WordPress—the open-source website-creation tool used by millions—will require hosts to make HTTPS available ...
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Sharing Too Much Information on Social Media?

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Overexposing your personal life can be risky business.

We live in a share-happy world. What we eat for lunch, where we go on vacation, whom we hang out with, and how hungover we are—these are all things we freely post on social media.

But when does harmless chitchat become potentially dangerous oversharing that can hurt our families, our finances, our homes, our jobs, and our reputations? When are we sharing too much information on social media?

It’s important to warn students, ...

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YouTube Restricted Mode Replaces YouTube For Schools

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Schools have more—and less—control over the videos their students view.

The popular YouTube for Schools—which housed more than 400,000 educational videos from the likes of PBS, TED, and Khan Academy—is defunct. After a five-year run, Google announced its demise in July 2016.

Now, says Google, schools must use YouTube Restricted Mode to control the gazillions of videos their students can watch.

Why? What’s the difference between YouTube for Schools and YouTube Restricted Mode?

There’s been a huge change. YouTube for ...

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SecureSchool Internet Filter Can Now Filter Chromebooks Off Campus

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New capability solves a major problem faced by K–12 schools: Giving students monitored Internet access when working on school-issued laptops at home and elsewhere.

Internet filtering for Chromebooks outside of school was once a near-impossible feat.

But SecureSchool has a game-changing new feature customers may not know about. Using the Chrome Management Console, IT admins can now configure their schools’ Chromebooks to enable SecureSchool content filtering off campus.

With their cloud-based platforms and low cost, Chromebooks are surging in popularity in K–12 schools ...

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How to Keep Students Safe Online

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So much lurks in cyberspace that can harm kids. Here’s how to keep your students safe online.

Thanks to CIPA (Children’s Internet Protection Act), schools that request E-Rate funding are required to put Internet filters and other safety features in place to shield students from pornography and other inappropriate images. But keeping students safe online isn’t that easy.

Blocking websites, monitoring email, limiting Internet usage, and monitoring kids’ cyber activity is just the beginning. To steer clear of dangers like cyberstalking, ...

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