*It’s Easy to Safely Delete Private Data

TechViews News   …..

When you hit delete on a file, in most cases, those 1s and 0s aren’t actually erased. Just because the file has been deleted doesn’t mean it’s gone. The operating system just marks the space they’re taking up as free for new stuff. So until a new file overwrites that particular space on the hard drive it can still be recovered.

If you want those files permanently erased, as in gone forever, you need to do more than simply delete them. What third-party eraser tools do is wipe over your sensitive files with random data, so not even the best recovery utility on the planet can bring them back.

Or at least that’s true for traditional hard drives. Modern solid-state drives (SSDs), and the flash memory in mobile phones, don’t work in the same way. If you are using a SSD drive, deleted files are harder to recover once they’ve gone beyond the Recycle Bin or Trash anyway.

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*Netgear routers shown to have a serious security flaw

Declan Dunn, TechViews.org   …..

Cybercriminals seem to be everywhere. And after the massive take-down of almost one third of the American Internet in October by simply using home wi-fi devices, a focus is now on the security of home routers.

A vulnerability has been discovered in certain Netgear routers that allows unauthenticated webpages to pass from input directly to the command-line interface. It would allow a remote hacker to inject arbitrary commands, which would then be executed by the system.

In simple terms, if you are using one of the following home routers, a hacker can almost take total control of your home wi-fi gadgets.

Netgear has acknowledged this vulnerability and is testing their products. Here is a list of router models that have been confirmed to contain the flaw.

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*Protect your IoT Home Network

By Declan Dunn, TechViews.org   …..

Remember the massive DDoS attack a couple of months ago that was targeting home & business IOS devices? Most people never knew that their simple wireless home security cameras, or remote baby monitors, or home computer network, or even their remote control thermostat could be used for something so devastating.

It’s all because we now have hundreds of thousands (and growing) items connected to the Internet through Wi-Fi that is accessed from insecure home routers.

You may not think about it, but constantly-connected devices like thermostats, NAS devices, TVs, kitchen appliances, and home automation systems pass data to and from the internet all the time.

We call all of these gadgets the “internet of things,” but like other internet-connected devices, they’re vulnerable to the rest of the world. That means you need to take a few precautions before you set them up.

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*Testing & Validating Your Backups – 13 Reasons Why You Should Do It

TechViews.org   …..

Today, most individuals and businesses have developed healthy backup habits.

But despite this, we’re still seeing a steady increase in the number of serious data loss incidents. This is important in case of computer crash, a nasty virus or malware, or even ransomware. Any of those events could happen to any individual person or any company.

Amongst this new breed of data loss incident, the most common variable is failure to actually run regular, periodic backups. And right behind that is a reluctance to test those backups, if they even exist. Although most leading backup experts advise their clients to test backups on – at least – an annual basis, people are still neglecting to perform these regular tests.

And because of this, we’re now seeing an alarming trend where both individuals and organizations might have many years worth of data, which may or may not have backups on file, but have no idea if these backups can actually be restored.

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*Malware may turn your computer into an eavesdropping device!

TechViews.org   …..

Malware can turn your computer into a perpetual eavesdropping device by covertly turning speakers or headphones into a microphone, scientists have warned.

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Israel have showed how most PCs and laptops today are susceptible to this type of attack using a malware called SPEAKE(a)R.

“The fact that headphones, earphones and speakers are physically built like microphones and that an audio port’s role in the PC can be reprogrammed from output to input creates a vulnerability that can be abused by hackers,” said Yuval Elovici, director of the BGU Cyber Security Research Centre (CSRC).

“This is the reason people like Facebook Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg tape up their mic and webcam,” said Mordechai Guri, head of Research and Development at the CSRC.

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*Spotify App is Destroying Hard Drives

By Declan Dunn   …..

It’s well known that current solid-state drives (SSD) have a finite number of write and erase cycles. This means an SSD is limited on how many times you write and rewrite data on it until it’s headed to the recycle bin. And even standard HDD hard drive disks have a limited life as well, just not as short or sensitive as SSD drives.

But a piece of common software is increasing the likelihood that your SSD drive with meet it’s end-of-live sooner rather than later.

Spotify, the popular music-streaming application is reportedly doing just that – by writing hundreds of needless gigabytes locally to computers where it’s installed, it is slowly killing hard drives and SSDs everywhere. Even worse, the software is said to write these useless bits of data even when the application is idle or set specifically not to store local data.

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