Computer Education Is For Everyone

It may seem that everyone is pretty savvy in using the computer seeing how it has invaded the planet. It is the case if you live in progressive countries or bustling cities like most people who are active online but unfortunately, these modern contrivances are still unheard of or just a dream in some part of the globe where food, water, shelter, and safety are of utmost importance and the only thing that matters to them. Kids grow up not knowing how a computer looks like or stay virtually clueless about the inner workings of the web. But we all know that we can’t stop technology from progressing. The rest of the world can do the impossible while these underprivileged people remain in the dark and stay rooted deep in poverty.

Meanwhile, it does not mean nothing can be done about it. If one or more people stand up and take actions about this continued ignorance and hopelessness, then these people may be able to change the course of their lives. Such is the case of a really creative and passionate teacher who took the initiative of drawing what an MS Word screen on a blackboard to show his students that they can still learn about computers despite its absence. And seeing how powerful a platform social media has become, his story trended and caught the attention of many.

With just a blackboard and a talent for drawing, a Ghanaian teacher has explained in detail to his students the secrets of Microsoft Word, earning numerous headlines and worldwide admiration.

Now Richard Appiah Akoto, who gained fame last month for teaching computer technology without computers at Betenase M/A Junior High School in the southern Ghana town of Sekyedumase, is starting to appreciate the fruits of his unexpected media attention.

People and organizations are donating desktop computers and laptops to his school. And, as part of Microsoft’s promise to offer him free training, Akoto was flown to Singapore to attend the annual Microsoft Educators Exchange.

(Via: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/15/africa/ghanaian-ict-teacher-donations-intl/index.html)

He passionately taught about technology even if they themselves lack it. It only goes to show that everything is doable once you set your mind and heart into it. And his great efforts worked. They captured the attention of almost the entire world and got the donation they so desperately need. Everyone should have a fair chance of keeping abreast with the many changes going around us and the teacher’s effort is commendable in so many levels.

Owura Kwadwo Hottish, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) teacher in Ghana who became a twitter sensation in February after drawing Microsoft Word interface on a blackboard continues to get support.

Hottish’s innovative teaching method in the face of lacking teaching and learning materials earned him lots of commendation on social media.

Microsoft’s Africa office also promised to equip him with a device to help teach his children. This was after a tech entrepreneur Rebecca Enonchong tweeted at the company seeking support for him.

(Via: http://www.africanews.com/2018/03/15/ghanaian-blackboard-computer-teacher-gets-microsoft-and-local-support/)

And today, this teacher hasn’t just opened up a whole new world for his students for them to see a computer for real despite their dire circumstances but also gave him a chance to learn more about his craft by being sent to a Microsoft Exchange Summit in Singapore, an opportunity that he could’ve missed if he wasn’t so brazen in his efforts to educate the ignorant and share his knowledge about computer to students who never knew these things existed when barely surviving is what they can only think of almost every single time.

For many of these kids, this just the beginning of something better in their lives and a chance to break out of the poverty and hopeless situation they are in. They have a lot to learn too. Not only it is a must to learn the basics but on what to do when things don’t turn out as planned considering that they are so far away from civilization and they can only often count on themselves to troubleshoot for potential PC issues such as https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/data-recovery-tools/ since professional services like https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/how-to-choose-a-hard-drive-recovery-service/ are unheard of and something they can definitely not afford. It is refreshing to come across stories such as theirs because it shows us that not all hope is yet lost and faith in humanity is once restored.

Computer Education Is For Everyone Read more on: HDRG Blog

From https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/computer-education-is-for-everyone/

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Your Hard Drive Doesn’t Stand A Chance With This Modern Headache

Technology is the most dominant feature of today’s world. Everything is almost digital now and machines are all around us. They perform all sorts of functions and promises to make life easier and more convenient for everyone. If only they can stay that way, unfortunately, these devices are also subject to normal wear and tear and can break down when abused or not cared for properly. Now, things get more complicated once malicious outsiders get into the picture. Examples of which are malware attacks that threaten devices from all over the world with just a click of a button. These modern advancements are really a double-edged sword that will keep us on our toes if we are not careful enough about what we do.

Knowing how much digital data man saves today, encountering malware attacks is proving to be more costly. Add to that the fact that you can never really tell what hackers will do with your information is also rather scary. They can steal from you especially that many people are doing online banking now and they can easily lose a fortune once their accounts get hacked or end up with so much debt from credit card purchases they did not make. Aside from that, your device also suffers as malware introduced to your system significantly affects performance and ends up corrupting your hard drive and thereby requiring replacement.

A nation-state developed a piece of malware so powerful that it can steal everything that’s happening on a computer without even being installed on the target device itself. Instead, it resides on a router. It’s called Slingshot and it was recently discovered by Kaspersky Labs. Incredibly, the malware is so powerful and sophisticated that it hid in routers for six years before finally being spotted.

That’s likely why a nation-state is behind the attack. And while the infected routers that have been identified will be fixed via software updates, there’s no telling how many machines may have been affected.

(Via: https://nypost.com/2018/03/14/evil-new-malware-steals-everything-on-your-computer-without-being-installed/)

You may think only private individuals who consider themselves as hackers or cybercriminals would do such a thing but there are actually rumors of governments funding these things. Atrocious as they may seem but they aren’t entirely proven yet but it also gives us an idea that we aren’t safe, so we must beef up our precautions or end up regretting simple acts like backing up data or installing a firewall or antivirus software. You should also be wary of opening unsolicited emails as they may be the reason for your undoing by introducing a malware that can give you lost of headaches in the coming days or years what with professional repair services like https://www.harddriverecovery.org/repair-hard-drive.html costing an arm and a leg when done by others or the need to purchase replacement hardware parts like the hard drive. Malwares these days are getting smarter and more difficult to address that it takes multiple software updates before the damage can be reduced to the minimum.

“The discovery of Slingshot reveals another complex ecosystem where multiple components work together in order to provide a very flexible and well-oiled cyber-espionage platform,” the researchers reported.

“The malware is highly advanced, solving all sorts of problems from a technical perspective and often in a very elegant way, combining older and newer components in a thoroughly thought-through, long-term operation, something to expect from a top-notch well-resourced actor.”

Slingshot worms its way onto a machine by replacing the legitimate Windows dynamic link library with a malicious version. Once done, it connects to a hardcoded IP and port, found to be a router’s IP address, and then uses the connection to download other malicious components to carry out its espionage, hence why it forms a malware platform.

(Via: https://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/3028277/sophisticated-state-sponsored-slingshot-malware-has-been-lurking-on-routers-for-years)

Unlike other malwares that target the device itself, this one, Slingshot, heads straight for the router, in a way acting more like a worm. It introduces a kernel-mode and user-mode module to your PC so they can work hand in hand in corrupting your system and at the same time stealing your data and basically do all sorts of spying aside from eventually ruining your device: https://www.harddriverecovery.org/errors/disk_read_error.html. The way it works, no wonder a government is interested in it because it can prove handy in warfare and a big boost in intelligence gathering. Also, it is interesting to note that infected routers are located in most war-torn countries but with a complexity and sophistication that screams superior and definitely prove to be a big pain to anyone who will catch the online bug and compromise their data security to who knows who.

The following post Your Hard Drive Doesn’t Stand A Chance With This Modern Headache was originally published to The Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog

From https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/your-hard-drive-doesnt-stand-a-chance-with-this-modern-headache/

Macs Are At Risk Of The “Text Bomb”

Mac computers are undeniably expensive but definitely superior too. Apple has invested a lot in it over the years and it has garnered many of the most loyal Mac computer users for several decades now. Most Mac users did not switch to Windows PC even if their Mac line has not seen significant improvements in its hardware during the past few years while Microsoft has thrown in a lot of upgrades to a variety of Window PCs especially with the arrival of Windows 10. Despite the relative hiatus in Mac development, the fact that very few bugs and malware affect the Mac line is one factor why Mac users remain loyal to Apple computers over the passing of time.

Unfortunately, things have significantly changed and many online bugs are now affecting Apple PCs and devices. As if the existence of Meltdown and Specter is not enough of worry for all of us who live and breathe technology, we now have “text bomb” that threatens your device and the security of your data simply by just opening a single message. The good thing is that it’s not really directed as a threat but more of a wake-up call for the tech giant to beef up its cybersecurity defenses or risk angering millions of their consumers from bugs that can cost them thousands of dollars and not to mention the inconvenience of having no working device for days on end until the problem has been fixed by an expert.

A so-called text bomb bug that can crash an iPhone with a single message has been discovered by a security researcher.

Software developer Abraham Masri revealed that sending a message containing a link to the bug’s code was enough to crash an iPhone or Mac computer, and in some cases cause it to restart.

Masri initially posted a link to the code on programming site GitHub but has since removed it, saying: “I made my point. Apple need to take such bugs more seriously.”

He had reported the bug to Apple before releasing it online, but its removal means malicious messages can no longer be sent linking to it.

(Via: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/text-bomb-bug-hits-iphone-mac-computer)

This issue may seem petty for some but it is actually capable of stealing your personal data. And knowing how most things have gone digital these days, you have a lot to lose since most of your transactions are now done online. Even businesses and government offices have their files in the digital format for fast and easy transactions. Hence, the risks have increased and hackers found the World Wide Web a great place to build their fortune. Even Macs that have remained invincible for years are now the target of countless bugs and malware that is sure making life difficult for everyone at Apple.

Renowned security expert Graham Cluley said the newly discovered bug did not represent a major security threat. Instead, he said the “text bomb” was merely an annoyance to Apple consumers.

“Something about the so-called ChaiOS bug’s code gives your Apple device a brainstorm,” he said in a blog post published late Tuesday.

“Nasty. But, thankfully, more of a nuisance than something that will lead to data being stolen from your computer or a malicious hacker being able to access your files,” he added.

Late last year, Apple was scrambling to fix another glitch. The tech behemoth apologized to consumers in November after users of its latest Mac operating system were able to gain entry to the computer without the use of a password.

(Via: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/18/apples-latest-security-flaw-is-a-text-bomb.html)

Security is fundamental to everyone who is using the web especially on a daily basis like the majority of us who can’t live without going online every day because of our #FOMO and undeniable addiction to our smartphones and social media. Apple devices are no longer fool-proof as we used to think it is but is just as vulnerable as any device out there. Just don’t be surprised if you see a rise in complaints from Mac users as we are already starting to see now because there are definitely more to come as hackers give Apple a hard time over the past few months. Services such as https://www.harddriverecovery.org/mac-data-recovery/ will likely increase as users struggle to salvage their precious data and big servers will also do the same thing https://www.harddriverecovery.org/raid-data-recovery.html in order to save and protect the data of all users in the network. At least, Apple still has time to improve their existing security measures to discourage criminals from their endless attempts at sabotaging the company and their services.

The blog post Macs Are At Risk Of The “Text Bomb” was originally seen on Hard Drive Recovery Group

From https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/macs-are-at-risk-of-the-text-bomb/

Phone Addiction Leads To Miserable Teens

If there is one tech gadget that people can’t live without these days, it is undeniably the smartphone. We hold on to it as if our very lives depend on it. It is the first thing we all look for upon arising and the last thing we tinker with before drifting off to sleep. People will not hesitate to go back home even if they already arrived at their destinations once they find out that they left this useful little modern trinket at home. The very existence of smart technology has transformed the way we live and it is also simultaneously shaping the youth of today without us fully knowing. After all, the environment has a big impact to a person’s growth and development and we can’t deny that everywhere you look is full of technological advancements that promise to make life a breeze for all of us.

Unfortunately, technology has its pros and cons. Since we rave about its perks, we must also accept its drawbacks or resist it altogether if we can’t take it. Even adults have a hard time managing their obsession with these tech gizmos that they often fall prey to this modern addiction what more for the youth who grew up seeing these devices littered in their homes and were exposed to it earlier in life than most adults do. It’s a fact that perhaps it is easier for them to navigate all these progress but it has also exposed them to the many dangers that go alongside modern living. Teens seem to be at the top of the world now when it comes to smartphone use but perhaps it is time to set some limitations after confirming the nasty effect of phone addiction on them.

Smartphones are creating a generation of miserable children, new research has found.

Young people aged 13 to 18 who spend too much time on their phones or playing computer games are unhappier than those who limit their screen time.

Researchers suggest teenagers can boost their happiness and self-esteem by spending less than two hours a day using so-called ‘digital media’.

This includes cutting time spent playing computer games, on social media, texting or video chatting.

The scientists, from San Diego State University in California, say young people would lead happier lives if they spent more time exercising and seeing friends face-to-face.

(Via: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5297679/Smartphones-creating-generation-unhappy-children.html)

Humans must not be attached to their devices but it’s no longer the case today. Some people will spend a fortune to buy their dream smartphone even if it means they live on a meager salary as they try to pay off any debts they may have accumulated in trying to procure their dream smartphone. Moreover, they lose precious time to foster relationships with the people around them because they are too hooked on whatever they are doing on their phones. This will prove costly as they mature because they have missed out on establishing strong bonds with their family and peers because they didn’t have the time for them back when they were still teens. The youth also get exposed to the countless dangers on the web especially on social media with cases of bullying and pornography that constantly plagues them.

Her newest study, in the book “iGen,” provides more backing to that connection, showing that teens who spent more than an hour or two a day interacting with their gadgets were less happy on average than those who had more face time with others. The research was published today in Emotion, a journal by the American Psychological Association.

The study — which drew from a survey of hundreds of thousands of teens across the US — also found that roughly 13{42c07f7f4ed3da5e2b17ff80184aca1c09c0d2cc98cfc328fb1b32a3f56d2786} of eighth- and tenth-graders who spent 1 to 2 hours a week on social media said they were “not happy.”

For those who responded 10 to 19 hours per week, that number was about 18{42c07f7f4ed3da5e2b17ff80184aca1c09c0d2cc98cfc328fb1b32a3f56d2786}. For those who spent 40 or more hours a week using social media, that number approached 24{42c07f7f4ed3da5e2b17ff80184aca1c09c0d2cc98cfc328fb1b32a3f56d2786}.

(Via: https://www.kxly.com/news/smartphones-the-new-teen-mental-health-crisis/689439240)

Some even dubbed it a mental health crisis if you think about the multitude of teens who are suffering from some sort of anxiety or depression brought about by their tech and social media use. There’s nothing wrong with technology, don’t be mistaken. It’s how we use it that is tainting its image. Hence it is not a good match with the raging hormones of teenagers who feel like they know and can do everything. While it sounds extreme, suicide among teens is high because of the bullying and bashing they get from other people online. It is not too late, though. While organically designed to be an addictive device, parents can still intervene and set a good example for their children when it comes to technology use. Only then can we gradually address this issue before it eats up an entire generation of the human race.

If teens are taught how to use technology right, we no longer have to worry about impractical issues such as smartphone addiction, rather we will be preoccupied with more urgent issues like actual technical glitches that can mess with our work and cause chaos. Education is still key so take the time to go over this https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/hard-drive-failure-recovery-three-major-user-mistakes/ to avoid issues arising from https://www.harddriverecovery.org/clean_room.html because while common now, these devices still cost a small fortune to buy so you’d probably want them to last for as long as they can.

The article Phone Addiction Leads To Miserable Teens See more on: The Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog

From https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/phone-addiction-leads-to-miserable-teens/

A Hard Drive Disaster

We use the Internet almost every day now. It is not just for school or work but more so for our personal pursuits. If you are not using a handy smart device, then a computer is your best bet for accessing the web and exploring its vast wonders. A PC is better in a lot of ways since you can store more data and you can do more with it. The hard drive stores all your important data that you can access whenever you want and modify too if needed. Hard drives need not be too big if you are just using it for personal use but those dealing with big data need more computing power and storage capacity in order to do all these things effectively and efficiently.

When we talk about hard drive problems, we often think of the physical damage to the device. It’s the first thing that comes to mind and it makes perfect sense as virtually everyone with a computer can relate to experiencing PC issues from malware infections to hard drive failures that affect performance and may even leave your device almost useless. But this time around, this specific hard drive failure involves the actual disappearance of the device and not just any malfunction on its part. But when you think about it, this problem may come to light when devices hold important and sensitive information that other people may find early valuable enough to lure them to steal it. This is prevalent in businesses or in the healthcare setting, where hard drives contain information of a lot of people that can be exploited by hackers and used in various ways.

A radiology lab says it has lost a portable hard drive that may contain the personal information and X-ray images of almost 9,400 patients. Charles River Medical Associates, based in Framingham, Massachusetts, mailed letters this week to patients whose records are missing. The hard drive stored names, dates of birth, patient identification numbers and bone density scan images dating to 2010. It did not have insurance information or Social Security numbers. The practice’s executive director, Brian Parillo, said ‘there are no leads on’ the hard drive’s location.

(Via: http://metro.co.uk/2018/01/10/lab-loses-hard-drive-containing-personal-details-of-thousands-including-patient-x-rays-7219303/)

While they are usually bulky and heavy, it is still possible for these gadgets to be stolen right under their owner’s noses especially when it is done in the dead of the night when there is no one in the facility and at times may even be considered an inside job. Only people with personal knowledge about the information and the specific device where it can be found will have the interest to pull off such a crime rather successfully. It is just unfortunate for everyone who data is stored in the stolen hard drive because they don’t have any idea who now has access to their personal details and how they plan of using it in the long run.

Top Dawg Entertainment’s own MixedByAli can breathe easy. On Wednesday (Dec. 20), Hawthorne, Calif. police located and recovered the ace producer’s stolen hard drive, which had been taken from his BMW while he was at Equinox gym on Rosecrans Avenue on Dec. 7. The hard drive contained more than $1 million worth of original music that was stolen

Hawthorne police tell the Los Angeles Daily News, 23-year-old Los Angeles resident Jonjairo Espinoza left his fingerprint on the handle of Ali’s car door and that’s how they were able to pinpoint his identity. A second man wanted for the crime is still on the loose.

(Via: http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2017/12/mixedbyali-stolen-hard-drive-recovered/)

Even personal hard drives of popular people can be seen as a juicy prospect for burglars and thieves especially that it may contain a landmine of materials they can use to blackmail the owner or sell to competitors of the victims for a hefty amount of money. Such is the case of a famous songwriter who also writes songs for Kendrick Lamar. He’s a known studio rat that lives and breathes music and writes songs on end in his studio. Whoever thought hard drives can be more than just a practical equipment but something of a prized possession especially when the owners are renowned people themselves.

And since the thieves don’t know possible login details of the device, it is inevitable they may also ruin the hard drive before they can even access what is inside it. They may have to look into https://www.harddriverecovery.org/errors/disk_read_error.html to address https://www.harddriverecovery.org/repair-hard-drive.html so they can make use of their stolen hard drive considering all the effort they put into stealing it in the first place.

A Hard Drive Disaster See more on: http://www.harddriverecovery.org

From https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/a-hard-drive-disaster/

The World Of Big Data

Big data is the name of the game today. Considering that we now live in the digital age, almost virtually all data is now available on the web for our ease and convenience. The number of data circulating online and even offline is growing by the second that it makes perfect sense to talk about big data now. Imagine the number of people using the web these days. From social media to businesses and organizations that have taken this new platform to reach the public, just imagine the unstoppable rise of big data as more processes have become computerized. Since the data we now use is far too many for our limited human capabilities, machines take charge of dealing with big data and understanding what all these data mean. They don’t mean anything if we can’t decipher its practical application.

The Internet of Things has a lot to do with why big data kept on growing bigger and bigger. Various tech devices that hold certain data about their use now easily connect to the web, which is in a way geared toward machine learning, the future of the human race. It means the devices that we have are capable of generating and understanding data without the help of humans. Big data isn’t out there to be left as it is but for us to make something out of it in the hopes of speeding up and improving processes and services and in predicting future trends whether in business, healthcare, etc.

The big promise behind big data

Several factors have fueled the rise of big data. People now store and keep more information than ever before due to widespread digitization of paper records among businesses. The proliferation of sensor-based Internet of Things (IoT) devices has led to a corresponding rise in the number of applications based on artificial intelligence (AI), which is an enabling technology for machine learning. These devices generate their own data without human intervention.

A misconception about big data is that the term refers solely to the size of the data set. Although this is true in the main, the science behind big data is more focused. The intention is to mine specific subsets of data from multiple, large storage volumes. This data may be widely dispersed in different systems and may not have an obvious correlation. The objective is to unify the data with structure and intelligence to allow it to be rapidly analyzed.

(Via: http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/definition/big-data-storage)

The role and use of big data are so prevalent in today’s world. Even in your use of social media, you’d see how popular search engines and social networking sites make use of big data in organizing everything and in the posting of advertisements depending on specific user behaviors and clicking patterns. And as such, big data is housed in big servers that are capable of safely storing it and pulling it out in short notice for analysis and use.

Big data can bring an organization a competitive advantage from large-scale statistical analysis of the data or its metadata. In a big data environment, the analytics mostly operate on a circumscribed set of data, using a series of data mining-based predictive modeling forecasts to gauge customer behaviors or the likelihood of future events.

Statistical big data analysis and modeling is gaining adoption in a cross-section of industries, including aerospace, environmental science, energy exploration, financial markets, genomics, healthcare and retailing. A big data platform is built for much greater scale, speed and performance than traditional enterprise storage. Also, in most cases, big data storage targets a much more limited set of workloads on which it operates.

(Via: http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/definition/big-data-storage)

The most important factor for big data to be useful and relevant in our modern times, the structure must be high up on its list or else we have no use for haphazardly stored data that we don’t have much use of after. Now that big data comes from virtually everywhere in the globe, it is a must for these large chunks of data to be stored in servers that can shed light to what this information and numbers actually mean. Variety, velocity, and data volume are three things that are crucial to big data as this information are often produced in large volumes at different speeds using a variety of formats. With trillions of data produced each second, it is a must that everything must be streamlined so we can easily transition to machine learning someday, the ultimate goal in the tech world.

When data is already up there in the clouds or stored in big servers, you may no longer have to worry about common data storage and loss issues that the common people face on a regular basis. Meanwhile, smaller privately-owned servers can experience technical glitches regarding data use. Understanding https://www.harddriverecovery.org/seagate-data-recovery.html and https://www.harddriverecovery.org/raidcenter/raid-10-data-recovery.html may come in helpful and help you overcome data recovery problems without spending a fortune.

The following article The World Of Big Data is republished from Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog

From https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/the-world-of-big-data/

Random Servers For Bitcoin Mining Found

The bitcoin business has reached unprecedented heights last year and has maintained its momentum until today. Everyone wanted to get a piece of these digital currencies that prices have soared to the ludicrously high prices that it still has right now. However, bitcoin mining is not that easy and it requires powerful computers in order to do so. Knowing how resourceful miners and hackers are, it no longer comes as a surprise that they were able to hack three computer servers at the University of Wisconsin to help them run their bitcoin mining malware. Cybersecurity is at an all-time high now that there have been various reports of miners hacking different sites and servers so they can anonymously mine these digital currencies while stealing computer power from these big brands and institutions.

Mining bitcoins require too much computer power in order for them to complete and verify a blockchain or transaction record and get bitcoins from it after. With the growing popularity of digital currencies such as bitcoin and other alternative currencies, we should all be wary of more hacking attacks in all forms especially when browsing the web as these miners will do what it takes to make use of your device in their mining operation. Servers are prime targets as they can provide higher computing power than individual devices and consequently help spread the malware especially if individual users connect to these servers on a daily basis.

Computer servers at three UW System schools were accessed by bitcoin miners in December, a spokeswoman confirmed to News 3 on Thursday. 

Software to “mine” for the virtual currency  bitcoin was found on computer servers at UW-Madison, UW-Stout and UW-Superior, according to UW System director of communications Stephanie Marquis.  

The software requires powerful computers, and a nationwide alert was issued Jan. 5 that noted “numerous reports from university and research institutions” that attackers were attempting to run “bitcoin mining malware.”

(Via: https://www.channel3000.com/news/bitcoin-mining-software-found-on-servers-at-uw-system-schools/684519802)

And it does not stop there even if servers remove this malware or botnets because they just look for another vulnerable server or device to hack and install more mining tools, especially on servers owned and ran by big organizations and businesses. And they’re not just mining bitcoins but relatively newer currencies such as zCash and Monero because they are more difficult to trace by law enforcement and thus more attractive to cybercriminals who makes use of these digital tenders the most than us average people.

Mecklenburg County government has been paralyzed by an unknown computer hacker after a county employee unknowingly opened an email attachment Monday that unleashed spyware and a worm into the county’s computer system.

County manager Dena Diorio said Tuesday night that the hacker has essentially frozen the county’s electronic files. The hacker is seeking $23,000 for an encryption key that would release the files.

The hacker’s deadline: 1 p.m. Wednesday.

(Via: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article188227084.html)

Any device or server is at risk now whether it is used privately or in public. Countless reports on computer and server hacking proliferate in the web these days and they do so through various ways such as phishing. If you don’t trust where an email came from, avoid opening them or risk introducing a headache-inducing malware that will make your device mine bitcoins in a frenzy from spyware and worms working its way around your computer system. You know some as ransomware where the hackers will demand a ransom often in the form of bitcoins like what the Mecklenburg County government went through after an employee opened a random email that unleashed the malware havoc that surely left everyone in the office at a standstill as their devices are now infected of these high-tech worms.

Instances like this will often leave your device useless, hence requiring you professional services like https://www.harddriverecovery.org/server-recovery/ and https://www.harddriverecovery.org/clean_room.html in order to get your lost/stolen files back and establish a semblance of normalcy once more in your office or organization.

The following article Random Servers For Bitcoin Mining Found is courtesy of http://www.harddriverecovery.org

From https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/random-servers-for-bitcoin-mining-found/

The Burgeoning Smartphone Addiction Shows No Signs Of Stopping

Kids don’t stand a chance against the dangers of excessive technology use yet they are also too young to decide on their own what they can and can’t handle when it comes to modern digital living. They may be surrounded by technology and it seems normal for them to live and breathe with it but that’s not what nature designed humans to be – to be slaves to the modern trinkets that give them pure enjoyment but at a high cost. For starters, these devices are expensive and they end up badgering their parents to buy them the latest gadgets so they can keep up with their peers. Second, they can access the web with it. The Internet may be helpful a lot of times but there are hidden dangers. Their smartphones give them the freedom to navigate the web on their own, often without parental guidance and this can be a scary thing on a lot of levels.

Kids these days can usually be seen with a smartphone or a similar smart gadget on their hand most of the time. They are addicted to these devices and use it as much as adults do. They play games for hours on end and tinker with all the latest apps that promises them a boredom-free life. And because the world is highly becoming digital, we can only expect more of these gadgets to rise in the coming years, along with our children growing up. As early as now, many of today’s youth can no longer live without their smartphones and thrive in their own little virtual bubble where they can be whoever they want to be and portray a life unlike their own. If kid’s don’t learn how to deal with the presence of technology in their lives as early as they can, then they may have a hard time coping with life later on because one thing is for sure, modern technology is here to stay for good.

It’s a logical move — even their designers admit smartphones are built to be addictive, slowly trickling out “likes” users have received so they keep checking their phones, in one devious example.

And they’re distracting. As the Globe and Mail recently reported, the University of Texas business school did an experiment last year where three groups of people took a test. One group had their phones face-down on their desks, one had them in their bags or pockets and the last group had them in another room.

The group that performed the worst? The one with the phones on the desks.

In fact, even though no one was allowed to check their phones, the further away the phones were, the better they did.

(Via: http://www.timescolonist.com/life/smartphones-they-re-addictive-distracting-and-have-no-place-in-the-classroom-1.23150108)

The very existence of technology has made our lives easier yet in a way also harder. We no longer have to work on things manually as before and we now have access to a wide-range of information at the tip of our fingers but it comes at a price especially for the young ones who still know so little of this world. We lose essential skills because of our over-reliance on machines to do things for us. Kids, for instance, develop poorer cognition because they are too preoccupied with their smartphones while browsing their various social media accounts day in and day out.

For some teens, the constant potential feedback loop from notifications and messaging might create a fear of missing out, or FOMO. And although there is currently no official medical recognition of “smartphone addiction” as a disease or disorder, the term refers to obsessive behaviors that disturb the course of daily activities in a way that mirrors patterns similar to substance abuse.

(Via: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/17/well/family/is-your-child-a-phone-addict.html)

In as much as we care about the amount of time our children spend on their smartphones, we must also give attention to the types of materials they access on these devices especially on their own. It can give you an idea as to the types of dangers your children may be exposed to, so you’re not necessarily clueless about it and you can intervene at any given time. There is no doubt that smartphone has evolved to become an addiction and the best thing we can all do now is to put some limitations to your child’s smartphone use and most importantly make them understand why you are doing it. If you don’t, they may rebel and everything else backfires on you. Also, offer other interesting activities and hobbies they can pursue so their minds aren’t always thinking about their smartphones and the web when it can be avoided.

Apart from smartphones, youngsters can also connect to the Internet through computers. If there’s one major headache from the use of PC, it has to be the technical glitches one may encounter when using one. The hard drive is the most susceptible and it can render your device unusable until you get the problem sorted out. Avoid https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/hard-drive-failure-recovery-three-major-user-mistakes/ so there is no need for you to deal with https://www.harddriverecovery.org/clean_room.html anytime soon.

The Burgeoning Smartphone Addiction Shows No Signs Of Stopping is courtesy of http://www.harddriverecovery.org

From https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/the-burgeoning-smartphone-addiction-shows-no-signs-of-stopping/

Your Mac Is No Longer Safe

Mac PCs have the reputations of being classy, sturdy, and generally safe against cybercriminals. Very little incidents relating to cybersecurity issues have been recorded over the years in comparison to the multitude of problems plaguing the majority of Windows users. Well, gone were the days when Mac users can sleep soundly at night without the lingering fear of some nasty digital bug corrupting their device leaving them unable to access their most precious of files. Well, it wasn’t as if they were invincible in the first place. It’s just that the population of Mac users is far too small than that of Window users that cyber hackers don’t just think it’s worth their efforts after all. So yeah, a reality check for all you Mac users out there but these crooks finally figured it out and realized there is money in it for them too so better exploit it now than miss out on all the fun.

The recent vulnerabilities discovered just strengthened everyone’s belief that all PC users are at risk of who knows what on the web. The problem is that the vulnerability discovered affects all chips powering these computers whether they are Windows or Mac PCs. So, imagine the disappointment among Mac users at the thought of having to deal with all these things after they have felt assured for years that Mac is relatively safe from most cyber attacks. Since the problem lies with the computer’s processor, all PCs don’t stand a chance and we’ve seen increasing incidents of both Windows and Mac PCs succumbing to Meltdown and Spectre.

Technology companies are working to protect their customers after researchers revealed that major security flaws affecting nearly every modern computer processor could allow hackers to steal stored data — including passwords and other sensitive information — on desktops, laptops, mobile phones and cloud networks around the globe.

The scramble to harden a broad array of devices comes after researchers found two significant vulnerabilities within modern computing hardware, one of which cannot be fully resolved as of yet. Experts say the disclosure of the critical flaws underscores the need to keep up with software updates and security patches and highlights the role independent research plays in prodding tech companies to minimize security weaknesses.

On Thursday, Apple confirmed that all Mac systems and iOS devices are affected. 

(Via: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/01/04/tech-companies-work-to-patch-major-computer-vulnerabilities-meltdown-and-spectre/?utm_term=.482e3f57e205)

Not only are Mac PCs at risk but even their iPhone line can also be infected by this nasty digital bug that is causing widespread panic among tech makers and users. It is easier for cybercriminals now to remotely hack your device, including your Mac PC, by the use of malware. We are not new to malware and various types of this bug have been the cause of frustration of many a computer users. However, we are seeing it more proliferated now and in different forms that they’ve finally managed to come up with something that can affect both spectrum of computer users: the Window users and those loyalists to the Apple Mac line.

Apple has said that all iPhones, iPads and Mac computers are vulnerable to a major security flaw that leaves the devices open to hacking.

The “Meltdown” and “Spectre” bugs, which were disclosed earlier this week, impact every device running the company’s iOS and macOS operating systems, as well as the Apple TV, the tech giant revealed overnight.

It means Apple devices are potentially vulnerable to hackers using malicious software to steal sensitive data such as passwords or private photos.

It said the first of the two bugs, Meltdown, had been partially solved by software updates released in December and that it had seen no evidence of cybercriminals exploiting the flaw. Spectre, which affects the Arm microchips that the iPhone and iPad use, is more difficult to guard against.

(Via: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2018/01/05/iphones-ipads-mac-computers-affected-microchip-flaw-leaves-devices/)

It is high time Apple users face reality. They just need to level up the way they safeguard their device from potential hackers and to always be careful when browsing the web. Do not just easily open emails that look suspicious at first glance as they may introduce the bug to your system once opened. Simple things like this can go a long way when protecting yourself and your Mac PC from the dangers of cybercrimes. There is nothing we can do about this problem right now except to beef up our defences against these hackers since it can only be resolved until chip makers come up with an entirely new design of microprocessors that overcomes this existing vulnerability.

The rise in malware attacks has left thousands unable to access their data. It has caused an increase in the need for data recovery services as not everyone has the presence of mind to regularly back up their files. If you’re a Mac user and you’ve suddenly found yourself devoid of your data after your device succumbed to either Meltdown or Spectre, you’ll find this one useful https://www.harddriverecovery.org/mac-data-recovery/. At times when the attack is more widespread like with most ransomware attacks as of late that affect servers of big organizations and institutions, https://www.harddriverecovery.org/raid-data-recovery.html may be your best bet to overcome this problem with the hopes of getting all your lost data back.

The following post Your Mac Is No Longer Safe was originally published to http://www.harddriverecovery.org

From https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/your-mac-is-no-longer-safe/

Increasing Computer Literacy For The Young Ones

We all acknowledge this widely-accepted truth that the youth is the hope of our nation, of any nation actually. They are the ones who will soon lead the world and shape the future. And seeing how highly global and digital the world is fast becoming, it makes perfect sense to educate the kids to the ins and outs of the computing world so they don’t have a hard time digesting all these facts as they grow up. It’s not even challenging to do that anymore as you can see their genuine interest in these modern contrivances on their own. More often than not, these youngsters know their way on the web than their parents.

This is a great indicator of the changing world we live in. It is very different from the environment most adults today grew up in. And knowing that this is the direction we are all taking, everyone should take computer literacy seriously and integrate this to the education system so manipulating these devices feels like second nature to the youth and they have the knowledge and skills they need to survive in the coming years of digital boom.

Free hands-on, computer programming workshops are underway at the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) Niagara Power Vista.

The series is called “Sensational Science Saturdays,” and is aimed at children in grades 5-8, although all ages are invited. All classes will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Power Vista Classroom and are limited to 15 participants. Students may participate in one class or the whole series.

3D Printing will be the topic Saturday, while Minecraft is the Jan. 27 class. The Feb. 3 class will focus on Robotics, and JavaScript is on the agenda Feb. 10. Micro Bits will be featured Feb. 17, which will round out Session One.

(Via: http://buffalonews.com/2018/01/20/students-can-engage-in-free-computer-workshops-at-power-vista/)

In different parts of the globe, institutions both private and public are taking initiatives in further educating the youth about digital technology. It is not that big of an issue now as devices are almost always available and the Internet is likewise accessible. Some are even conducted for free and targets some of the underprivileged children who have the potential and likewise show a genuine interest in learning more about tech advancements. With the popularity of the web and of social media, children are already exposed to technology at a young age and they often learn how to use it on their own but they still need formal education and practical application of technology in the real-life setting.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to broaden the access Bermuda’s young people have to the digital learning that will enhance their competitiveness as they progress through school and on to higher education.

“Their exposure to technology, computer science and computational thinking will be an invaluable tool, not only in our young people’s educational development, but in the ongoing development of Bermuda as an international business centre.

“As a company that depends on a sophisticated, multitalented workforce to achieve its mission, and that prefers to hire local talent, this investment in Bermuda’s future workforce and the Island’s overall competitiveness makes good sense for many reasons.

(Via: http://bernews.com/2018/01/hamilton-insurance-support-youth-digital-literacy/)

It is but a must to do this because computers already run the world today. In the next few years, we are expected to see more mind-blowing technologies to become our reality. We need the youth of today who are literally our future to have a good grasp of all these technologies because it will ultimately be their own reality. Children with the right set of skills are more globally-competitive and ready to face the modern challenges of our changing times.

Along with what they need to learn is the background knowledge regarding possible problems they may encounter and troubleshooting steps they can do on their own to solve their problem/s. Unfortunately, it may not always work to your liking and some problems may persist despite your gallant efforts in fixing it. Find out how to overcome this problem here https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/how-to-choose-a-hard-drive-recovery-service/ and choose from the different data recovery tools https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/data-recovery-tools/ you may need and use when worst comes to worst. Hopefully, things will be better later on as digital awareness and computer literacy is at the forefront of 21st-century learning.

Increasing Computer Literacy For The Young Ones is courtesy of http://www.harddriverecovery.org

From https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/increasing-computer-literacy-for-the-young-ones/