Cyber criminals targeting smart phones

Cyber criminals have long focused on running their cons on PC users. And they’ve been remarkably successful in stealing personal data and stealing funds from countless people. Now these cyber criminals are unleashing their malware attacks on smart phones, tapping into yet another huge potential market of gullible users. This will come as being a big surprise to no one. Smart phones are booming in popularity. And most users treat their smartphones as miniature computers. They surf the Web, send e-mail messages and bank online using their smartphones. Fortunately, you can easily take steps to prevent mobile malware. It mostly requires that you employ good sense when navigating the web using your smart phone.

Scary Numbers

It’s difficult finding data on the frequency of smart phone cyber attacks. But in a recent column, CNN Money writer David Goldman does an excellent job of scaring his readers. For instance, denotes a recent mobile malware hack on Verizon that allowed cyber criminals to steal debit-card numbers. That attack led to a loss of $20 million. That’s just one attack. Goldman cites numbers from Lookout Security that found that four in 10 smartphone users will click or swipe on an unsafe Web link within the next year. Also, he reported that anti-virus giant McAfee reported that mobile malware attacks have jumped by a factor of six. When it comes to protection, smartphone users are lax. Reported by security organization SANS, just one fifth of smart phones are protected by anti-virus software.

The Good News

Smart phone users, though, shouldn’t panic. Malware attacks against mobile devices continue to be relatively rare. And that’s especially so when than the amount of threats levied against PCs. For example, Goldman writes that McAfee as of mid-2012 had identified about 13,000 types of mobile malware. That’s significant. But the company also had detected upwards of 90 million forms of malware aimed instead at PCs. That’s definitely a staggering number. Why have cyber criminals been so focused on PCs? They’ve been successful. They just don’t have an serious incentive to take their malware to smart phones since they’re already swindling so much money from PC users. But as Goldman writes, that will inevitably change.

Protect Yourself

You can protect your phone from mobile malware attacks. You can begin by downloading anti-virus software from reputable companies. Be cautious, though–cyber criminals could create bogus anti-virus software that doesn’t protect your phone but instead sends these criminals your personal information. Also, be sure to research any app before you download it. You need to be sure that it is provided by a reputable company. Finally, be just as wary of phishing schemes just like you should be while sitting in front of your PC. Never provide your Social Security Number, bank account numbers or any other information in an e-mail. Your bank will never request such numbers in e-mail.

Need a tablet? Think small

If you are a professional writer who also happens to own an iPad, you’re fortunate: Software developers have created some apps to help you do your work better, whether you cover real estate news for a trade magazine, blog about technology or write romance fiction. Here is a closer look at some of the best iPad apps for truly serious writers. For those who earn your living with the written word, these applications are must-haves.

Paper by FiftyThree

This app is ideal for writers in the beginning stages of the creative process. With it, you are able to capture your ideas as sketches, diagrams, notes or drawings.

iA Writer

This app, from Information Architects, doesn’t come with a lot of glitz. A text editor and creator, iA Writer doesn’t let you change fonts or colors. The goal? Eliminate the distractions and force you to write.

Google Drive

If you need to save your writing, articles or videos, try Google Drive. It provides you with 5GB of storage totally free.


This particular note-taking app has long earned kudos from tech reviewers. But few fully grasp how useful it is to professional writers. With Evernote, you are able to jot down notes, capture photos, compose to-do lists and record voice reminders.


Few organization programs are as helpful to writers as is iThoughtsHD. You can use this tool to organize your thoughts as task list, project-planning document or brainstorming session. You can also use the program to make meeting notes.


The people behind Evernote have created Penultimate, a nifty app that enables users to jot handwritten notes instantly to their iPads. Users can take notes, draw sketches and make quick outlines with Penultimate.


Good.iWare’s GoodReader is easily the most powerful PDF reader for the iPad. With GoodReader, you can read virtually any document imaginable with your iPad. This is true for everything from books, movies and maps to pictures and PDF files.

Index Card

Looking for a place to keep all of your plot summaries, outlines, character descriptions and deadline dates? Index Card is a fantastic choice. This app generates a virtual corkboard on your iPad, and allows you to pin notes directly to it.


Notably is really a powerful note-taking app for the iPad. But what genuinely sets it apart is the way it functions with well known cloud storage app Dropbox. Every time you add a note, plot summary or assignment deadline to Notably, your modifications will automatically sync with Dropbox.

Need a tablet? Think small

Looking for that perfect tablet? You’ve got an abundance of choices today, from the classic iPad to the upstart Galaxy tablets. But which device is actually the best to buy? Which gives you top overall performance at a reasonable price? And, this being tablets we’re discussing, which best fits in your purse or book bag? One Web site has a unexpected answer: the iPad Mini.

The Benefits of the Mini

Staffers at the WireCutter blog site advise the iPad Mini for one simple reason: It’s just as powerful as its bigger cousin, however it weighs less. For the staffers at WireCutter, the standard iPad’s heft, as they refer to it, has become a serious issue. As the staffers wrote inside a recent blog post, you can’t support the traditional iPad like a magazine, the ultimate purpose of a tablet. That’s because its weight is a bit more much like a hefty coffee table or perhaps thinner telephone book. The iPad Mini, in contrast? It truly is light.


Best of all, the iPad Mini, although small compared to the iPad, works equally well as its larger cousin. The author of the WireCutter blog wrote about totting both styles of the iPad inside a bag, watching movies on both devices and hauling them around the house. The final outcome was clear: The Mini was much more comfortable to hold. And watching movies, reading books, enjoying music, surfing the Web and playing games wasn’t any less impressive on the scaled-down device.

The right recommendation?

Obviously, the WireCutter’s opinion is simply that, an opinion. You might disagree. The good thing? There are plenty of tablets out there from which you can choose. The ideal way to find the right tablet for you? Do your research. Before you buy a tablet, check out different models displayed in your local electronics store. Read online reviews of the numerous tablets. Determine exactly how you want to make use of your tablet. Are you planning to use it mainly for watching movies and playing music on the run? Maybe you would like your tablet to serve as a business tool? Once you know how you want to use your tablet, it is possible to best go about choosing the best device for your needs.

A closer look at how the Internet really works

It’s tough to imagine a world without the presence of Internet. After all, so many of us go online now to watch movies, converse with our acquaintances, play games and catch up on current events. But how much do you know about the Internet and exactly how it works? You might be surprised at everything you don’t know. The Web site Business Insider recently took an intriguing look at the world of the web, paying special attention to those little factoids that you should but likely are not aware of.

Facebook is King

You may know Facebook as that place where all your friends brag to each other about their latest vacations or post daily that game-winning goal their kid scored for the school football team. But do you also know that Facebook pretty much dominates the Internet in terms of online traffic? It’s true. According to numbers from Hitwise, Facebook accounts for one out of every five page views on the Internet. This past year, Facebook soared past the 1-billion-user mark.

The Biggest Data Center is Rising in Utah

Do you know the location where largest data center sits? Soon, it will be Utah. As outlined by Business Insider, the National Security Agency is now in the process of making a enormous data center in the state. As soon as the center is ready for operation, it is going to store an amazing yottabyte of data. Like most people, you probably have no clue what a yottabyte is. But the name is certainly impressive. And know this: A yottabyte of data represents an absolutely large amount of data. A yottabyte is the same as 1,000 zettabytes or 1 million exabytes.

Streaming is on the Rise

Do you stream movies or Tv programs to your TV, computer or tablet? Even if you don’t, the odds are high your neighbor likely does. Streaming became one of the Internet’s most widely used features. As per the Business Insider story, quoting statistics from Harris Interactive, more than 50 percent of U.S. residents are now using the web to watch TV. Streaming video has become an especially desired service among the younger customers which are flocking to Web streaming. According to Business Insider, streaming is a huge hit among individuals under the age of 35.


Get off your butt and start standing

If you’re working in an office, you might unknowingly be setting yourself up for health problems. According to a recent story by NPR, those who spend too much time sitting throughout the week face a much greater risk of heart related illnesses than do individuals who are more active. The NPR story quoted a researcher from South Carolina University who discovered that men that sat more than 23 hours per week were 64 percent more prone to die from heart related illnesses than were those who sat less than 11 hours in the average week.

The Good News

The message is obvious: Get off your butt. Fortunately, you are able to reduce your sitting time by building a standing desk. A standing desk — which is exactly what it actually sounds like, a desk at which you stand as opposed to sit — is far from pricey. You can assemble it with cheap parts from Ikea. Here’s the recipe, thanks to the Lifehacker blog.

The Easy Way

If you just require a simple desk, Lifehacker suggests creating a standing desk that utilizes Ikea’s Utby legs. Though this desk will be smaller, you’ll be able to fit your laptop, monitor and keyboard easily enough on it. You should have space, too, to have a lamp and storage. To construct this desk, buy a Vika Amon Top, Utby under frame, Ekby Jarpen shelf and one set of Capita legs. You will find all of these parts at Ikea for the total of about $140. Best of all? Based on the Lifehacker story, you can assemble this desk together with only a screwdriver.

A Bit More Complicated

You don’t need to accept a homemade standing desk with a narrow top. You can easily update to one having a wider top. And you can do it while still confining your desk-part shopping to your nearest Ikea. First, as Lifehacker advises, find two packages of Capita brackets, one Lack shelf, one Vika Amon tabletop and five Vika Byske legs at your Ikea. Then grab your power drill and get busy. Lifehacker ranks this desk as a “medium” one to build, as a result it ought not to be overly difficult to construct.