Archive for August 16, 2019

College Students Putting Personal Information In Jeopardy: McAfee

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 16, 2019 by itnerd

Today, as students across Canada prepare to start or return to college, McAfee revealed new findings indicating that many are not proactively protecting their academic data. A survey of 1,000 Canadians, ages 18-25, who attend or have attended college, unveiled
only  15%  take extra steps to protect their school and academic records compared to 72% of students who proactively protect their bank or financial information. The survey also uncovered a discrepancy between students’ observations and actions regarding cybersecurity; the majority (81%)  of respondents confirm that they know someone who has been affected by a cyberattack, whether it be themselves, or a friend/family member. Yet, approximately a third (37%)  claim they do not think they will be a victim of a cybercrime in the future.

Compounding the issue, data from McAfee Labs indicates cybercriminals are actively targeting the education sector, with publicly disclosed attacks increasing 50% in Q1.

Online safety programs, protection overlooked

While educational institutions are careful to promote physical safety by implementing various programs, only a third  (33%) of Canadian students claim they have learned how to keep personal information safe through school resources. Interestingly, students learn the most about cybersecurity best practices from the news, as 40% say that is their top source of cybersecurity education.

To amplify the potential risks, many students fail to secure all their devices, although
they are equally as vulnerable. More than half (57%) of students have installed cybersecurity software on their personal computers – but only  approximately a third (30%)  have smartphone protection, and even less (12%)  have tablet protection. Meanwhile, nearly one in five (18%) students  do not use any cybersecurity products
at all.

Cyberattacks targeting education are on the rise

According to data from McAfee Labs, cyberattacks targeting education in Q1 of 2019 have increased by 50% from the previous quarter. This rise in cybercriminal activity targets all parties, as the most popular attack vectors aim for students and institutions alike. From January through May of 2019, more than 70% of attacks utilized account hijacking and malware.

However, while cybercriminals are seeing an opportunity to target education, students appear unfazed. According to the recent McAfee survey, 40% of Canadian students do not consider cybersecurity to be “extremely important” to them. McAfee’s tips for students to protect their personal data:

1. Never reuse passwords. Use unique passwords for each one of your accounts, even if it’s for an account that doesn’t hold a lot of personal information. Use a password manager to simplify your password management needs.

2. Always set privacy and security settings. Anyone with access to the internet can view your social media if it’s public, so protect your identity by turning your profiles to private in order to have control over who can follow you. You should also take the time to understand the various security and privacy settings to see which work best for your
lifestyle.

3. Use the cloud with caution. If you plan to store your documents in the cloud, be sure to set up an additional layer of access security (one way of doing this is through two-factor authentication) to keep your data available and secure.

4. Always connect with caution. If you must conduct transactions, especially those financial in nature, on a public Wi-Fi connection, use a virtual private network (VPN) to help keep your connection secure.

5. Discuss cyber safety often and with due seriousness. It’s just as important for families to discuss cyber safety as it is for them to discuss privacy on social media. Talk to your family about ways to identify phishing scams, what to do if you may have been involved in a data breach and invest in security software that scans for malware and untrusted sites that protects your entire family.

Research methodology  McAfee conducted research into cybercriminal activity during back to school season, and within the education sector. The education sector includes universities, public schools and community colleges.  McAfee additionally commissioned 3Gem to conduct a survey of 1,000 adults in Canada, ages 18-25, who attend or have attended college, on their behaviors and sentiments regarding cybercrime in July 2019.

TekSavvy Comments On CRTC Decision to Lower Wholesale Broadband Internet Rates

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 16, 2019 by itnerd

In regards to yesterday’s announcement that the CRTC promotes competition for broadband Internet services by setting lower wholesale rates, TekSavvy’s Andy Kaplan-Myrth, VP, regulatory and carrier affairs, has issued the following statement:

“For years, incumbent carriers inflated their wholesale rates and, as a result, TekSavvy and other competitive Internet service providers struggled to compete. TekSavvy has been ringing alarm bells about this for years and today, after a lengthy process, the CRTC set realistic final rates that will allow wholesale-based providers to effectively compete.

Canadians want to pay less to connect, and the government has sent a clear signal about the importance of telecom competition. Today’s CRTC decision reflects those values and, at the same time, validates competitors’ arguments that wholesale-based providers were overcharged for years before the Commission started to make these adjustments.

Providing competitive internet services requires properly costed input rates, speed matching through access to fibre, and parity in services and service quality. This decision is one important step toward a fair framework for wholesale-based competition, and TekSavvy looks forward to continuing to fight for FTTP services and a level playing field for service quality.”

Review: Garmin Edge 830 Cyclocomputer

Posted in Products with tags on August 16, 2019 by itnerd

Frequent readers of this blog know that my wife and I ran the Garmin Edge 520 cyclocomputers to allow us to measure our performance and to navigate courses at home and on road trips. That’s worked well for us over the last few years, but this year we felt that we needed to up our game. Thus we got the Garmin Edge 830 which has a number of things going for it. Here are the key things in my mind:

  • It is a touchscreen which makes it insanely easy to navigate and can be used with full finger gloves as the screen is pressure sensitive.
  • On-device route creation which allows you to create routes on the fly.
  • Turn-by-turn navigation
  • Customisable apps
  • Strava integration. You can sync your data with Strava for free. But on-device Strava Live segments requires a Strava Summit membership, and your smartphone needs to be connected to the device.
  • Group messaging and tracking assuming that all the people in your group have compatible devices and share their info with you.
  • The device displays notifications from incoming calls and text messages from your phone….. Though you can’t answer them from the device which is understandable.
  • There’s a bike alarm function. Activate the alarm on the device and if someone moves your bike then the Edge 830 will send a notification to your smartphone.
  • Performance monitoring insights that give information on your VO2 max, recovery status, training load, heat and altitude acclimation, and your nutrition and hydration status after rides.
  • The device displays notifications from incoming calls and text messages

The Edge 830 has both on board WiFi and Bluetooth connections so it’s possible to directly pair the device to any WiFi network. Once connected, the device will automatically link to Garmin’s servers where it can sync your device so that it can upload your ride data as well as check for firmware updates. Which is something that you should do as Garmin has improved the functionality with every firmware update (which is version 4.10 as I write this). It’s very easy to set up its basic functions using the Garmin Connect app which is available for iOS and Android. From there you can add sensors like speed sensors, cadence sensors, and power meters so that you can get the most out of your training and riding.

One key feature is the incident detection feature, which alerts a pre-defined contact that you’ve had an accident and serves up your location to them. You also get the ability to send them a message saying that all is well if the incident is minor or you set this off by accident by say dropping your bike. It requires that the device is paired via bluetooth with and connected to your phone and only iOS and Android phones need apply. One thing that I note is that it is sometimes too easy to set off this feature on really rough roads.

The turn-by-turn navigation is fantastic on the Edge 830. The on-screen map, when zoomed in, provides excellent levels of detail and accurate guidance instructions with ample warning — both audible and visual — when a turn is approaching. Though if you design your own routes, I would strongly suggest that you turn off the popularity routing feature which uses rides that are uploaded to the Garmin Connect service to determine the best route. The reason I suggest this is that it will take you off your intended route and that will drive you nuts. It also has problems distinguishing between different road and path types and it has a penchant to take you on the most traffic-dense roads or, in total contrast, the least suitable paths, trails or tracks for your defined parameters. In other words, stick to designing your own routes which is what I do.

Any other gripes? The price. This is not a cheap cyclocomputer. The Garmin 830 goes for $550 Canadian which is not cheap. But the argument that I would make is that this is a higher end cyclocomputers used by pros and serious cyclists. Having said that, if this price is too much for you, there’s the Garmin Edge 530 which is $130 Canadian less and does most of what the Edge 830 does. Though you give up the touchscreen and some of the advanced routing functions of the Edge 830. Which means that you’re more reliant on buttons which might make it harder to navigate its functionality. For my money, I’d take the Edge 830 and benefit to from the ease that the touchscreen offers.