What is Dropbox? And Why Should You Be Using It?

Even though it is totally free, Dropbox is one of our very favorite web applications here at Gadgets and Technology News.

dropbox

We’re constantly surprised though by how many of our readers have never even heard

of Dropbox so I decided to write a review to explain what Dropbox is and how you can benefit from it.

In short, Dropbox is a safe and secure disk drive in the sky where you can keep copies of your documents, photos and videos.

To get started with Dropbox, you simply sign up for a free account and download the software to your computer. This then gives you an additional folder (often on your desktop) and any files you put in this folder are automatically saved to your ‘disk drive in the sky’.

So why is this useful?

Here’s just a few ways that we use Dropbox…

1/ A Secure Backup

Too many people have all of their important files, photos etc on their computer but with no backup copy. If your computer dies… and they easily can do … or your hard-drive gets corrupted, then you could lose everything on your computer. All those important holiday photos gone forever as well as emails, downloads and important documents with no way of recovering them.

dropbox3

There are of course lots of ways of creating an automated backup (such as with an external hard drive or an automated online backup service such as our favorite Carbonite) but many don’t want the extra expense of this and so simply don’t have any backup!
With Dropbox, you can simply copy all of your important documents to your Dropbox folder and as if by magic, you have a backup of them ‘in the cloud’ which you can retrieve at any time and from any computer.

2/ Your Files Available to you Anywhere

Not so many years ago most people were lucky to have one computer. These days many people with have all or a selection of a desktop, a laptop or netbook, an iPad or other tablet, and an iPhone or other Smartphone (which is essentially a tiny but powerful computer).

So, what happens if you have a file on your desktop computer but need it on your iPad or iPhone? Again this is where Dropbox comes in!

Once you have your free Dropbox account you can download the software onto any computer or laptop, and access your files from there. There are also apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry so you can access your files from there too. And with the Dropbox website you can even access your files from any computer anywhere in the world as long as you can get internet access.

3/ Share Files with One Person or Lots of People

If you have a number of photos or large files that you need to send to a friend then what do you do? Many people will try to email them but often email hosts have a 10MB limit and it can take ages to do too. Maybe you could put them on a CD or memory stick …. but not so easy if your friend lives hundreds of miles away!

With Dropbox, you have two options:

dropbox

1/ Within the Dropbox folder on your computer you can create a subfolder that you can easily and securely give access to your friend (or a number of friends). Any files you add to this subfolder will be accessible to them immediately and they can also add files to the folder on their computer that will be accessible to you.

It’s perfectly secure though, as only the person or people that you have given authority to will be able to access the subfolder and of course they will only be able to access that subfolder and not anything you put in your other Dropbox folders.

2/ Within your Dropbox folder there is a subfolder called ‘Public’. If for example you put a photo in this subfolder and then right-mouse-clicked on it, you would be given a public link to that photo. For example, here’s a public link to the Gadgets and Technology News logo: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1360536/New-Gadgets-Logo200w.jpg Once you have this link, you can give it to anyone you like and they will be able to download that file. You could for example, email the link to a number of friends so they could download your photo.

So there are three great uses for Dropbox. There are certainly more that you’ll discover when you join but I think that’s plenty to get you started. It’s totally free so please do give Dropbox a try… we know you’ll love it as much as we do!

As we said Dropbox is totally free for up to 2GB of storage space but we’ve got a special link that will give you a further 250MB of space for free too.

Just click here now to get your Free Dropbox

Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant to be shut down

California-Nuclear-Plant-Closure

Closing the plant should be cheaper than operating the facility through 2044 as planned, meaning the utility probably won’t have to increase rates, PG&E; said. PG&E; plans to retrain workers during the plant’s decommissioning process and offer a severance package.

The latest twist writes a beginning of the end of the nuclear plant at Diablo Canyon, whose development in the late 1970s and early 1980s inspired an award-winning motion picture, “The China Syndrome”, and an entrenched collection of anti-nuclear citizens’ action groups in San Luis Obispo County.

Diablo Canyon has been in operation since 1985. That estimate presupposed that the plant would be replaced by natural gas. “In District 4 alone, this closure will affect more than 400 head-of-household jobs”. But the closure isn’t all good news.

Not all environmentalists will be happy to see Diablo Canyon go.

(PG&E;), labor unions and various environmental groups to replace the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in California with zero-emissions energy – including wind and solar power – within nine years.

The last reactor there shut three years ago but is becoming an even more acute potential terrorist target than it was when EnviroReporter.com’s 2013 exposé Black Swan SONGS was published, due to plans to place spent nuclear fuel in thin-skinned metal containers in direct site of Pacific waters. The commission meets next week. “This is an absolutely historic agreement”, said Damon Moglen, a senior strategist with the Friends of the Earth, who participated in the negotiations.

CPUC confirmation that PG&E;’s investment in DCPP will be recovered by the time the plant closes in 2025.

Federal regulators had been weighing whether to extend Diablo’s operating life for another 20 years after its initial licenses expire in 2024 and 2025. It also recently doubled energy efficiency goals, and it has championed Community Choice Aggregation, a state policy that enables local governments to aggregate electricity demand within their jurisdictions to procure alternative energy supplies while maintaining services from an existing transmission and distribution provider.

PG&E; will immediately cease any efforts on its part to renew the Diablo Canyon operating licenses and will ask the NRC to suspend consideration of the pending Diablo Canyon license renewal application pending withdrawal with prejudice of the NRC application upon California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approval of the Joint Proposal Application. “That’s wrong, of course, and now we have the proof”. “Given the state policies, this is the best decision for us”.

In Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power disaster struck after an earth quake when risky levels of radiation flowed out damaged reactors. On Tuesday, members expressed disappointment.

“It lays out an effective roadmap for a nuclear phase-out in the world’s sixth largest economy, while assuring a green energy replacement plan to make California a global leader in fighting climate change”, Picha said. PG&E;’s decision highlights the shift in our nation’s energy landscape – one that is moving more and more toward a clean, renewable energy future.

“We don’t believe we need the full output of Diablo”, Williams said.

Canon Develops Feature Upgrade For The World’s First 4K DSLR, The EOS-1D C

Canon today announces the development of a new feature upgrade for the ground-breaking EOS-1D C. The upgrade has been developed taking into account feedback from the European professional video community, and adds support for 25p recording at the camera’s maximum 4K resolution.

Designed for the motion picture, television and high-resolution production industries, the EOS-1D C is the world’s first DSLR to support 4K video capture. It offers a unique, highly portable package optimised for ultra-high quality recording, delivering exceptional low light performance and film-like dynamic range from a highly-compact body that can be used in a wide-range of shooting situations.

canon COS-1D c

The EOS 1D-C captures 4K (4,096 x 2,160) video using 8-bit motion JPEG compression, with the ability to simultaneously output an uncompressed Full HD (1920×1080) YCbCr 4:2:2 signal to an external recorder via its HDMI terminal. Full HD video can also be recorded direct to CF cards at frame rates of up to 1080/60p, whilst Canon Log Gamma ensures video is rich in exposure latitude and dynamic range – offering outstanding freedom for video professionals during shooting, and for colourists in post-production.

The new feature upgrade will be available free of charge from April 2013.

 

Electronic Cigarette Free Trial Kits Released

E-cigaratte

E cigarettes are scientifically less harmful than tobacco cigarettes and mos

 

t tobacco alternatives. http://electroniccigarettehub.org releases a new electric cigarette kit with ‘Try Before You Buy’ guarantee.

The beauty of electronic cigarettes lies with the fact that there are no dangerous tars or other toxins present in it that can cause many diseases attributed to tobacco smoking, in either the smoker or the second-hand smoker. It has been reported on numerous occasions that heavy smokers who used electronic cigarettes have quit smoking and switched to this safer alternative.

Liz Davis from State College, PA quit regular cigarettes after using electronic cigarettes. In her own words, “After one month of smoking electronic cigarettes, I no longer had the craving to smoke regular cigarettes. Four months later, I stopped smoking completely. I just keep an electronic cigarette on hand in case of an urge.”

Click Here To Get A Free E Cig Trial Kit That Liz David Used To Qelectronic cigaratteuit Smoking

An e cigarette is made up of three main components: a battery, an atomizer and a cartridge containing nicotine suspended in a liquid state consisting of propylene glycol and water. The liquid mixture inside the cartridge is vaporized and enters the users’ body upon sucking the e cigarette. But unlike real tobacco cigarettes, these e cigarettes filter the nicotine from harmful chemicals and carcinogenic substances making it a much healthier and cleaner dosage.

According to Dr Kishore Deva, a Pretoria doctor who quit smoking using e cigs over a six week period, “Around 10 to 15 e cig puffs are equivalent to the same amount of nicotine delivered by a tobacco cigarette”. He added that the nicotine, present in e-cigarettes, is not responsible for the health risks that tobacco cigarettes hold.

Dr. Michael Siegel, an established professor in Boston University of Public Health also supported the benefits if smokeless cigarettes over regular cigarettes and said that the amount of volatile compounds in vapor cigarettes is in very less number as compared to other alternatives where the numbers are soaring high.

Click Here To Quit Smoking With A Free Electronic Cigarette Trial Kit

An electronic cigarette smoker said, “I was a three pack per day smoker for nearly forty years. Electronic cigarettes have allowed me to quit smoking for the first time in my life. I feel better than I have in years. Since using the e cigarette and stopping the smoking of traditional tobacco cigarettes, my quality of life has greatly improved.”

All smokers trying to quit smoking can go to http://electroniccigarettehub.org to get a free e cigarette trial starter kit. On the website, readers can find out more about the free trial kit, buy an electronic cigarette, or read the best electronic cigarette review.

Cloud Security – New Report Available “Securing Cloud Services”

cloud securityEly, England, 5 September 2012 – A new book from IT Governance Publishing, the specialist publishing arm of IT Governance, is helping companies protect business information in the Cloud.

Securing Cloud Services: A pragmatic approach to security architecture in the Cloud explains how to establish an appropriate set of controls to manage the risks.

The book’s author, Lee Newcombe, is an experienced enterprise architect currently working at Capgemini, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services.

Newcombe says: ‘There are many benefits to Cloud Computing, which include reducing, or even removing, the need to invest in the hardware, software and staff needed to support equivalent on-premise services. However, the flexibility the Cloud brings in IT service deployment, alongside an opaqueness in the delivery of those services, introduces security risks that need to be understood and addressed.’

Alan Calder, Chief Executive of IT Governance, adds: ‘Plenty of material simply states the risks of adopting the Cloud model. Securing Cloud Services, however, not only identifies the risks, but also reveals how to use architectural techniques to derive appropriate ways of managing those risks.’

Securing Cloud Services is aimed at all business decision makers who work with Cloud services, from senior IT stakeholders to enterprise architects and information security professionals.

Securing Cloud Services can be ordered online now, in multiple formats, for £29.95 (usually £39.95) at www.itgovernance.co.uk/products/3896 (UK) or for $39.95 at www.itgovernanceusa.com/product/2571.aspx (US).

– Ends –

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
80:20 Communications
+44 (0)20 7664 6310

Susie Lunt
slunt@8020comms.com

Marc Cornelius
mcornelius@8020comms.com

NOTES TO EDITORS:

IT Governance Ltd is the single-source provider for books, tools, training and consultancy for governance, risk management and compliance. The company is a leading authority on data security and IT governance for business and the public sector. IT Governance is ‘non-geek’, approaching IT issues from a non-technology background and talking to management in its own language. The company’s customer base spans Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia. More information is available at:http://www.itgovernance.co.uk.

Lee Newcombe is an enterprise architect with commercial experience at numerous high-profile companies, including Capgemini. He has been writing about, presenting on, and working with Cloud technologies since 2007.

HAUPPAUGE LAUNCHES NEW APP TO WATCH LIVE TV ON AN iPAD

Hauppauge Digital, Inc., the world’s leading developer and manufacturer of TV tuner products for personal computers, has announced the launch of the ‘WinTV Extend for iPad’ application optimised for Apple’s iPad. ‘WinTV Extend for iPad’ allows Hauppauge WinTV Extend customers to use a native iPad application to watch live TV on their iPad, either in the home via Wi-Fi or around the world via Wi-Fi or 3G.

live on ipad

HAUPPAUGE LAUNCHES NEW APP TO WATCH LIVE TV ON AN iPAD

Users of Hauppauge’s ‘WinTV Extend for iPad’ can watch their favourite TV programs on their iPad in the home via their Wi-Fi network, or outside of the home any place their iPad has an Internet connection. For example, a user can be in their kitchen at home watching live TV on their iPad, or they can be in a hotel in another country and watch TV from home as long as they have either a Wi-Fi connection in the hotel or are on a 3G network.

 

The Hauppauge live TV system has two pieces: a TV transmitter which runs on a home or office PC, and the ‘WinTV Extend for iPad’ TV receiving application which runs on the iPad.

The live TV transmitter can be any one of the popular Hauppauge WinTV TV tuners. These PC-based TV tuners plug into a Windows based PC and connect to a user’s TV source, such as a cable or satellite TV or an over-the-air TV antenna. The WinTV TV tuner uses Hauppauge’s ‘WinTV v7.2’ application, which formats the live TV program into a form which can be watched on an iPad, and then transmits the formatted TV signal to the new Hauppauge ‘WinTV Extend for iPad’ application.

Hauppauge had previously used a Safari browser to receive the live TV signal from the WinTV TV tuner. The new ‘WinTV for iPad’ application delivers enhanced TV watching features such as a better iPad screen format, easier navigation of TV channel lists, landscape and portrait TV watching modes, the ability to play previously recorded TV programs and better network utilization on both 3G and Wi-Fi networks.

The ‘WinTV for iPad’ app is available at no charge from the Apple store. To find the ‘WinTV Extend for iPad’ app, seach for ‘WinTV’ on the Apple store.

In addition to watching live TV, a user who has recorded TV programs onto their PC’s hard disk drive using ‘WinTV v7.2’, can watch those recordings on their iPad. Like live TV, these pre-recorded TV programs can be watched either via a Wi-Fi connection in the house or anywhere the user has an Internet connection.

An overview and screen shots of the ‘WinTV for iPad’ app are available here:

http://www.hauppauge.com/wintv_for_ipad

Any user of a Hauppauge WinTV-HVR TV tuner, or who uses the HD PVR or Colossus HD receivers, can upgrade to’ WinTV v7.2’ at:

http://www.hauppauge.eu/boutique_us/fiche_produit.cfm?ref=01300&type=5&code_lg=lg_us&num=0

Canon Launches New Premium Office All-In-Ones – PIXMA MX715, PIXMA MX895

Canon Launches New Premium Office All-In-Ones – PIXMA MX715, PIXMA MX895

Canon UK today announces the launch of two new premium All-in-One printers ideal for home office environments. The PIXMA MX715 and PIXMA MX895 come with enhanced functionality and connectivity features to make printing from smartphones and tablets easy.

Replacing the PIXMA MX885 and PIXMA MX870, the new PIXMA models are stylish in design and feature fast colour document print speeds. A range of business orientated features deliver improved productivity, including high-speed fax capabilities, a 35-page Duplex Auto Document Feeder (DADF) and Auto Duplex printing.

pixma-mx895

Canon launches new premium office All-In-Ones – PIXMA MX715, PIXMA MX895

Enhanced Business Productivity
The new PIXMA MX715 and PIXMA MX895 are designed with the home office user in mind and boast fast print speeds for quickly creating documents and graphics. The models produce ISO speeds of 12.5ipm for black and white documents and 9.3ipm for colour prints, and can produce an A4 copy in just 14 seconds. Canon FINE print head technology ensures photolab quality; a 1pl ink droplet size and 9600dpi print resolution produces documents and images with smooth gradations and fine detail.

For quick and easy scanning, copying and faxing of multiple page documents, both models feature a flatbed scanner, boasting 2400dpi high-resolution scanning and a 35-page Duplex Auto Document Feeder. The models also offer versatile media handling with two-way paper feeding and a self-opening paper tray.

The PIXMA MX715 and PIXMA MX895 also come with eco features. New ECO Settings software allows users to save paper through Auto Duplex printing, which enables automatic double-sided printing for greater efficiency. Minimal ink wastage is also ensured through the five separate ink tanks, which can be changed individually when they run low to reduce printing costs.

Connect and Share
The new PIXMA MX715 and PIXMA MX895 are designed to enable easy printing from smartphones and tablets with new connectivity features. Built-in Wi-Fi capability allows for scanning and copying from virtually anywhere in the office, and with Canon’s Easy Photo-Print App, PC-free printing and scanning from mobile iOS™ or Android™ devices is also quick and easy. In addition, with direct access to the cloud, users can even print their favourite photos directly from online albums, including CANON iMAGE GATEWAY and Picasa Web Albums, using the Online Album Photo Print function via the PIXMA Cloud Link. The new PIXMA printers also include a range of print-ready templates, including calendars, envelopes, stationery, memos and other useful resources, which are all available at the touch of a button with Web Template Print.

Easy Operation
The new models include a range of features to enable easy operation. Quick Start ensures the printers can start operating swiftly after powering on, for easy and quick printing on demand. Both models feature a large TFT display to easily preview and select documents and photos directly from memory cards; the MX895 features a 7.5cm display whilst the MX715 has a 6.2cm display. The new Dual Function Panel, from which the user operates the printer, features LED-lit dual purpose keys. Only the keys needed for the function being performed are lit up, for greater ease of use.

Smart Software
A comprehensive suite of intuitive software for photo and document printing and scanning comes as standard on the new MX devices. Smart and efficient web printing is enabled through Easy-WebPrint EX, which allows multiple web pages to be clipped and then combined on one page, to minimise paper and ink wastage.¹

Easy Photo-Print EX software means users can impress friends and family by creating and printing perfectly formatted photo albums and calendars. The software also offers a range of editing options, such as Red Eye Correction and Digital Face Smoothing.

The new PIXMA printers also support Full HD Movie Print, which gives users the ability to capture and print beautiful still images from Full HD video footage shot on Canon’s range of Digital SLRs or Canon Digital Still Cameras. Multiple still images from movies can also be combined to give a sense of motion to prints with the Merge Frames feature.

PIXMA MX715 – key features:
    • All-In-One with Fax, Wi-Fi & Ethernet
• Stylish black design
• Dual Function Panel
• 35-sheet Duplex ADF
• 5 Single Ink Tanks
• ISO ESAT 12.5 ipm mono / 9.3 ipm colour
• Up to 9600 dpi
• ISO A4 Copy: 14 seconds
• Auto Duplex Print
• Scan to USB memory without a PC

PIXMA MX895 – key features:
• All-in-One with Fax, Wi-Fi & Ethernet
• Stylish black design
• 7.5cm TFT display and Dual Function panel
• 35-sheet Duplex ADF
• ISO ESAT 12.5 ipm mono / 9.3 ipm colour
• PIXMA Cloud Link
• Auto Duplex Print
• ISO A4 Copy: 14 Seconds
• Scan to USB memory without a PC

Availability

The PIXMA MX715 is available from April 2012.
The PIXMA MX895 is available from April 2012.

¹With Internet Explorer 7, 8 and 9 (for Windows).

NantWorks Releases iPhone App that Helps the Blind to See

NantWorks LLC, the company formed last year by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, released its much anticipated LookTel Recognizer app at California State University Northridge (CSUN)’s Center on Disabilities’ 27th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference. LookTel Recognizer, now available in the iTunes App Store, enables blind or visually impaired users to recognize an object instantly by simply pointing their iPhone camera at it and listening to the phone tell them what it is. Recognition happens in real time, with no need to hold the camera still or take a photo. The app will identify packaged goods in the pantry or the grocery store, identity cards, CDs in a music collection and many other everyday objects. It can identify locations such as the entrance of a home or office and signs above store entrances or restrooms.

iphone apps for blind to see

NantWorks Releases iPhone App that Helps the Blind to See

Training the technology to recognize objects of importance to the user is a quick and easy process. Users build their item database by capturing an image of an item and recording an audio description. The item will then be immediately recognized when the phone camera is pointed at it. Recognizer allows users to back up and export their created databases via email, enabling them to share it with others or to restore a database from lost or replaced devices.

“More than 11 million Americans are considered blind or visually impaired,” said NantWorks Chairman and CEO, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. “This app, developed with the involvement of that community, is designed to increase independence and make a difference to a lot of people’s lives.”

Gary Kelly, Vice President of Product at LookTel, explained that “Recognizer can go to work when visual limitations are too great for identifying items in the environment where visual identification is essential. The app uses VoiceOver, the screen reading solution provided by Apple in every iOS device since the iPhone 3GS. VoiceOver aides Recognizer to bring the power of its unique engine to solving the everyday challenges encountered in performing simple tasks of daily living by so many Americans.”

You can download the app here, or watch a video demonstration here.

Background on LookTel
Recognizer represents an evolution of NantWorks’ patented and proprietary object recognition technology featured in the LookTel “Money Reader”, an app launched in March 2011 that has already helped thousands of users with visual impairments or blindness identify and count bills. It earned a 5-star review average and a featured spot in the Apple App Store’s “What’s Hot” and Apple’s “Utility App of the Year” Categories. The original technology was under sponsorship from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and was awarded two research grants from the National Eye Institute (NEI) and the National Institute of Aging (NIA).

LookTel has been featured by the New York Times, Time, Tech Crunch, Engadget, and several other major publications. LookTel was selected as the winner of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Chairman’s Awards for Advancements in Accessibility. The award, which recognizes outstanding efforts to advance communications accessibility for people with disabilities, was awarded in Washington D.C. on October 28, 2011. For more information, see http://www.LookTel.com.

iPad to Kindle: ‘Move Over. You’re in My Sun’

Responding to the needs of iPad owners worldwide, iclipse™ is designed to make the iPad screen more comfortable to read outdoors. http://www.iclipsestore.com

iclupse

iclipse™ is the sunshade for iPad which blocks sunlight and ambient daylight glare that produces a “washed-out” screen. iclipse™ enhances the usefulness and enjoyment of the

 

iPad by allowing people to use it just about anywhere.

 

For over a year, Amazon Kindle has been touting that its e-ink screen is easy to read, even in bright sunlight – going head-to-head against the iPad and other tablet computers with backlit LCD screens. However, for those who prefer an LCD screen device like iPad, using iclipse™ is the smart solution for the user who wants to read and surf the web on an iPad outdoors in bright light.

“The clean, simple design is the key to its effectiveness and usability.” said Michael Diliberto, creator and product designer of iclipse™. “iclipse™ immediately solves an iPad weakness when used outdoors, yet at the same time, makes the iPad more useful in more situations.”

iclipse™ not only solves the outdoor readability issue, it also enhances the workflow for anyone who wants to use the iPad in the field, like outdoor photographers, filmmakers, contractors and boaters to name a few.

iclipse™ also aids in data privacy for those who want to keep information away from prying eyes by creating a shield which blocks the view of curious onlookers. With iclipse™, the iPad can be used in close quarters such as airplanes, trains or high traffic areas like a local coffee shop. No matter the location, iclipse™ helps to prevent others from looking over the users shoulder to browse their digital data.

How iclipse™ works

  • iclipse™ creates a dark hood around the iPad to block sunlight, daylight and reflections while maintaining a comfortable viewing angle for reading and typing.
  • Patent pending design is one-piece construction – there are no extra parts.
  • Made in the USA of tough, durable polyethylene – highly rated by the EPA for being environmentally friendly.
  • Fits iPad and iPad2 with the cover on – no need to remove it. (Fits Apple and most third-party covers up to 9 7/8 inches wide.)
  • Fits easily into a briefcase or purse when folded.
  • Nothing ever touches the screen with no need to attach anything to iPad.
  • Unfolds in seconds. And folds flat just as fast.
  • Perfect for users who need to work privately.

Where can I get iclipse™?

iclipse™ is $34.95 with free shipping in the US and Canada.
It is available at iclipsestore.com.

24% of mobile users bank from a phone

With NFC* gathering momentum, the use of modern mobile phones to simplify and add convenience to tasks such as banking and shopping is here to stay, says BullGuard. However, with the majority of mobile users still slow to consider security for a handheld, many could be leaving their financial details vulnerable to third party attack.

A recent survey conducted by BullGuard showed that 24% of internet users banked online from their mobile device, and many also admitted to storing sensitive data such as bank details, credit card numbers, URLs, logins and passwords and saved PIN numbers as reminders. All of this could potentially be exploited by third parties either by a malwareinfection or if the phone were lost or stolen and fell into the wrong hands.

mobile banking

“It appears as though modern mobile users are quick to appreciate the convenience and easy access to services offered from handhelds but slow to recognise the potential threat to smartphones in a time when mobile malware on some platforms has risen by up to 400% in the last six months,” says Claus Villumsen, mobile security expert with BullGuard. “It is concerning that mobile users are storing such sensitive data, but even more concerning is that our survey revealed many consumers seem apathetic about the potential dangers of mobile use at present, ignoring even the most basic security measures,” he continues.

The BullGuard survey revealed that 62% opted against using a basic PIN or password to protect a phone from being instantly accessed by others – a simple yet effective way to deter many thieves or novice hackers. When it comes to more sophisticated protective measures, 53% were unaware that dedicated mobile security is available, 21% believed it isn’t necessary and 42% had not considered using it.

It is clear from the BullGuard survey results that more needs to be done to educate mobile phone users on the risks and potential dangers of storing personal and sensitive data and leaving phones unprotected. 27% of those polled have had their mobile phone lost or stolen in the past and 55% of respondents were still unaware that a phone can contract a virus. Security software is the best preventative measure against third party security threats, argues BullGuard, particularly when considering the prevalence of spyware, which is almost impossible to spot without dedicated software and according to a survey by BullGuard industry partners Juniper Networks, accounted for 61% of all infections in 2010.

“What consumers need to be made aware of is that many mobile threats go undetected,” says Claus Villumsen. “Some attacks are specifically designed to “mine data” from a phone without the user’s knowledge, which could be disastrous if this were to include sensitive information such as financial data or secure documents”.

When it comes to emerging technologies with more direct application such as NFC, consumers are rightly demonstrating more caution, which could be a sign that the security dangers posed by mobile devices will soon be taken more seriously. When quizzed about the new payment standard, 59% were concerned that sensitive data could be intercepted, 64% were concerned about the security of this data in the event of loss or theft and 54% were worried about third parties accessing their bank or credit card details.

The BullGuard survey of 2,000 Brits who are online was carried out by market researchers www.OnePoll.com between 28th April to 9th May 2011.

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