Are you considering selling your old laptop or smartphone? As some of us may be aware, deleting files or data from these mobile devices is not enough. The truth is that some of what we think are "files" in these devices are actually "shortcuts," and deleting these from the devices will not delete the files themselves. Nowadays, personal computers and mobile devices, such as smartphones have replaced the old paper-file method for storing or even doing work. If you are thinking about selling or donating your personal laptop or any of your mobile devices, there are some precautionary steps you may want to take in order to ensure that any personal or sensitive information does not get left behind. Sensitive information left behind can be retrieved and pose a serious problem.

"Botnet," has become commonplace terminology in the world of cyber-security. This term is used to refer to a network of private computers (or bots) infected with malicious software and controlled as a group without the owners' knowledge. Major breach and hacking events over the past few years have awakened many to the potential dangers created by hackers with the ability to utilize other individual's computers remotely.

A recent study done by a cyber security firm known as F-Secure, found that 58 new threats to the Mac operating system were discovered between April and December of 2011. It is a commonly perpetuated falsehood amongst consumers that viruses and malware are only issues for PC platforms, not Macs. Unfortunately, this is a fallacy. Viruses are like any program; they have to be written with platform specific languages, with instructions written for that machine, operating system, type of processor, etc. What this means in simple layman's terms is that in order to infect a Mac, you must develop software designed for a Mac.

M86 Security, a global expert in real-time threat protection recently published a security review on the most recent trends they are seeing in cyber-threats during the second half of 2011. After probing e-mail threat tendencies and the Web in general the report makes some interesting assertions. Most notably, taking note of spam trends, the study found that while spam emails on average diminished significantly from September to December of last year, the total amount of e-mail junk having malevolent attachments increased to over 5 percent from not even 1.

In today's world of commerce and travel, we're all used to many public places offering free wifi to consumers. Open wifi connections are convenient. They allow us to leave the office and do work outdoors, do homework at a coffee shop rather than at home, or access important information almost anywhere. But though open wifi connections are great in public, they can lead to serious problems at home. Even today, thousands of homes do not have a firewall or security password on their wifi connection. These homes are broadcasting internet access, sometimes as far as a block away. Not only does this allow their neighbors to acquire free internet access, it can allow anybody within range to view the files that are on your computer, and download sensitive information such as your banking formation, tax documents, social security number, stored pictures, and anything else on your computer.

Imagine these scenarios:

You are on vacation and you open your laptop in your hotel room. You log into the public wifi network, and quickly agree to the Terms and Conditions (without reading them of course), and start to do your normal Internet activities. For just a second, you have a fleeting thought: "Is my computer at risk?" And then you begin your normal Internet activities and quickly forget all about it.

When it comes to web browsers, you have options. The ultimate goal of any web browser is to provide people with a better Internet experience. Regardless of your preference, ask yourself what makes for a better Internet experience?

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