IT round-up

IT round-up for small businesses and home computer users

Here’s a round-up of some of the latest tech info and issues and this week, it’s mostly, but not all, about security and hacking.

Record levels of online fraud in 2016

The fraud prevention service Cifas has reported that Identity Fraud in the UK reached record levels in 2016 with 25,000 victims aged under 25 out of a total of almost 173,000 recorded frauds. The statistics were collected from 277 banks and businesses and 88% of all frauds occurred online. There’s more on this here.

Young people at risk despite parental controls and filters

A new study published in The Journal of Paediatrics has cast doubt on the effectiveness of parental controls and content filters as a means of protecting teenagers online. Researchers from the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University analysed Ofcom data on 515 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15, and found that the use of content filters in the home – in use in a third of the households involved – “did not appear to mitigate the risk of young people having unpleasant online experiences and that technical ability to bypass these filters had no observed effect on the likelihood of such experiences”.

The most popular cybercrimes revealed

From the Telegraph:

  1. Phishing – The aim is to trick people into handing over their card details or access to protected systems. Emails are sent out that contain either links or attachments that either take you to a website that looks like your bank’s, or installs malware on your system. A report by Verizon into data breach investigations has shown that 23pc of people open phishing emails.
  2. Identity theft – According to fraud protection agency Cifas, the number of victims rose by 31pc to 32,058 in the first three months of 2015. Criminals use online ‘fraud forums’ to buy and sell credit cards, email addresses and passports.
  3. Hacking – In a Verizon study of security breaches there were 285 million data exposures, which works out to about nine records exposed every second – 26pc of these attacks were executed internally within organisations.
  4. Online harrassment – Over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, while 73pc of adult users have seen someone harassed in some way online and 40pc have experienced it.

Changes to Google hangouts

Whether you use them for business or personal communication Google have announced they are revamping Hangouts.

The main Hangouts text chat service will receive a Slack-style upgrade, completed with threaded conversations and both web and dedicated app interfaces, to become Hangouts Chat. Meanwhile, the video/voice conferencing capabilities will get a new, less fiddly front end in the form of Hangouts Meet, which is live now. More on this here.

And finally ….

Do you read the Ts and Cs (Terms and Conditions) when you visit a website?  Perhaps you would if they were presented like this graphic novel produced by US artist Robert Sikoroyak?