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 Friday, April 17, 2009

The British Computer Society (BCS)'s website shares information and advice on how to stay safe while shopping online in a set of "Golden Rules" compiled by Global Secure Systems (GSS).

The twelve golden rules to safely shopping online include the below (detailed information available on the BCS website):

  1. Most malware exploits are known problems with software and operating systems. The hacker, or code writer, is relying upon people being lazy and not keeping systems up to date. For this reason it is very important to keep your anti-virus product up to date with the latest signature files and operating system updates from Microsoft.
  2. Never go online without ensuring you have your personal firewall enabled.
  3. Don't ever select the remember my password option when registering online as your passwords are then stored on the PC, often in plain text, and are the first thing that a fraudster will target. Some
  4. Ensure that your credit cards are registered with your card provider's online security services such as Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode.
  5. Use only one card for online shopping, maintaining a limit on the card as low as possible or even using a top-up card for your online purchasing.
  6. Be sure to use a credit card and not a debit card.
  7. Be sure to check your statements regularly, and if there is any sign of irregular activity, report it straight away.
  8. Always check for the little padlock at the bottom right hand corner of the browser (when using Internet Explorer) before entering your card details. 
  9. Make a habit of checking the site's privacy policy for details of how your personal information will be used and only provide the minimum of personal information, especially in online forms.
  10. Never shop from sites that you arrive at from clicking links in unsolicited marketing emails (spam). 
  11. It is important to remember that you could be doing everything right, but that the vendor may do something wrong. A vendor may well be storing all your credit card data on a single server.
  12. Finally, don't rely on previous customer's testimonials - they are part of the organisation's marketing and not necessarily factual. The golden rule of commerce is still the same as it ever was - if the offer looks too good to be true, it probably is!

The full set of "Golden Rules to Safe Internet Shopping" can be found here.

For more information see the British Computer Society (BCS) and Global Secure Systems (GSS) websites.

Friday, April 17, 2009 2:03:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Government of Malta has officially announced the launch of three new eGovernment services and an eGovernment Services Directory. The three services are the eHealth portal, the online certificates website and the scholarships service.These initiatives are aimed at improving the service delivery channels available between the Government and citizens.

"We have compiled this e-Government Services Directory to help users look for the e-services they require. The user may consider this directory as a manual and a complete list of the e-government services launched to date. We will continue to update it with every service launched and an updated version will always be available at www.mygov.mt." said Austin Gatt, the Maltese Minister for Information, Transport and Communications (MITC).

The ongoing transformation on the Maltese Government's IT resources is merely part of a much larger restructuring programme in the Government's approach to offering public services.

Source: epractice.eu

See: Full Press Release

Wednesday, April 15, 2009 10:32:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 10, 2009

ITU is pleased to announce the launch of its 2009 Cybersecurity and ICT Applications Essay Competition.

The 2009 ITU Cybersecurity and ICT Applications Essay Competition is open to current students and recent graduates in economics, political science, law, literature, telecommunications, computer science, information systems and related fields between the ages of 20 and 30 years old. The winners of the 2009 Essay Competition will be offered the opportunity of a consultancy contract within the ITU Development Sector's ICT Applications and Cybersecurity Division for three months. The winners will be given a contribution towards the cost of an economy class flight from their place of residence. In addition, they will be paid the sum of CHF 6000 towards living expenses for the duration of the contract.

To enter the competition you need to submit an essay on one of the following essay topics:

  • Mobiles for Development: Enabling Low-Cost e-Applications for Rural and Remote Areas (e-Health, e-Government, e-Environment)
  • Protecting Children and Youth in the Internet and Mobile Age: Innovative Technical and Social Solutions
  • Connecting the World Responsibly: Empowering Women and Girls Through Creative Uses of ICTs
  • Personal Information Online (internet/mobiles): Responding to User Safety Concerns

All applications should be submitted online through the competition website.

The deadline for applications is 14 June 2009.

We look forward to reviewing your applications and wish you the best of luck in the competition!

 

Friday, April 10, 2009 7:17:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 03, 2009

The EU's Commissioner in charge of Information and Communication Technology Viviane Reding, has called on the European ICT sector, which accounts of 2% of carbon emissions, to become the engine in the drive against carbon emissions, by setting trends that can be followed in the wider economy to affect the other 98% of emissions.

"Personally, I would recommend the ICT sector to lead the way for the rest of the economy by reducing its own carbon footprint by 20 percent as early as 2015", said Reding. "I see from the response of European ICT companies to the Commission's ongoing work that Europe is already well ahead in using ICT to green the economy, with some ICT companies already voluntarily working to reduce CO2 emission by 50 to 80 percent."

Commissioner Reding cited buildings and transport as other sectors where ICTenabled energy efficiency could have an impact. Recent studies suggest that better use of ICT could reduce energy consumption of buildings in the EU by up to 17% and to reduce carbon emissions in transport logistics by up to 27%.

Read Full Report

Source:European Union

Friday, April 03, 2009 9:06:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

1 April 2009 was the start of a new anti-piracy law in Sweden where, according to traffic data, an immediate and significant drop (over 30 per cent) occurred in the nation's overall Internet traffic.

"The combined traffic passing through Sweden's Internet Exchange Points usually peaks around 160 Gbit/s, but on Wednesday it peaked at around 110 Gbit/s. That's a huge drop in traffic, and is presumably a direct result of less file sharing taking place. ... Another interesting observation is that there was more traffic than usual during the last days before the law took effect. Were people hoarding films and music? On Tuesday (the day before the law went live) traffic peaked at nearly 200 GBit/s, roughly 25% above normal levels."

Read the full story and view the related statistics at CircleID

Friday, April 03, 2009 6:27:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 27, 2009

The European Commission has unveiled new laws aimed at protecting children from online sexual abuse. As a result, individuals who are found to be guilty of abuses such as online grooming or viewing online pornography, may face criminal prosecution.

(Source: BBC)

Full Story

BBC Website

Friday, March 27, 2009 12:58:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 26, 2009

An advertising campaign by Beatbullying for its new website CyberMentors was helped by the testimony from boxing champion Joe Calzaghe.

Joe Calzaghe, a spokesperson for Beatbullying, spoke about the misery he suffered during his school years from bullying and how it affected him and changed his personality.

Adding, "For two years I was bullied, called names and ignored by former friends which turned me from a happy, out-going kid who enjoyed school and schoolwork, into an introverted wreck, detached from his studies and scared of his own shadow during school hours".

 

(Source: BBC)

Full story

BBC Website

Thursday, March 26, 2009 11:44:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The UK government has unveiled plans to monitor social network sites contacts in an effort to “tackle crime gangs and terrorists” , stressing that it “would not keep the content of conversations”.

 

Following earlier plans to keep all phone calls, e-mails and websites visited on a central database, the UK government has been accused of putting together a “snoopers’ charter” by campaigners for civil liberties.

 

Amid concerns about security, Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake stressed his lack of confidence in the security of personal information in a government-controlled database.

 

Chris Kelly, Facebook's chief privacy officer called this latest proposal "overkill".

 

An EU directive to store all Internet traffic data will come into force in the UK on 6th April 2009.

 

(Source:BBC)

 

Full story

 

BBC website

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 6:19:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A new social network site available only for under-18s,Yoursphere.co.uk, has commissoned a research paper on parental supervision of children online.

Evidence from this Virtual Parenting Report supports the need for more parental supervision for children online.

It suggests that parents should treat their children's online safety as having the same risks as  offline safety. There appears to be a false sense of security in parents feeling that their children are less at risk because they are using the Internet whilst in the safety of the family home.

(Source:Telegraph)

Full Story

Telegraph website

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 7:08:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 11, 2009

In the USA, the North Carolina Attorney General, Roy Cooper, summoned MySpace to provide the identities of these registered sex offenders to law enforcement.

Commenting on the responsibility of social networks, Cooper added that, "...MySpace, Facebook and other social networks need to do much more to protect kids online".

North Carolina state passed a law in 2008 banning sex offenders from registering on networks involving children and young people.

(Source:CNN)

Full Story

CNN Website

 

 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 4:23:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Students and Teachers in Andhra Pradesh will now have access to an online learning platform that enables teachers to integrate learning projects into their classroom curriculum and students to develop critical 21st century skills, including creativity, communication, teamwork, and technology skills. This is made possible by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Oracle Education Foundation (OEF) and Institute for Electronic Governance (IEG), a non-profit organization under the government of Andhra Pradesh, India.

Through this link-up, 500 government schools and over 25,000 students and teachers will gain access to the ThinkQuest online learning platform over the next two years. In the first phase of the rollout, IEG and OEF will train 120 teachers from 60 schools on the ThinkQuest platform and instruct them how to best integrate 21st century skills instruction and project learning into their curricula.

First launched in India in 2004, ThinkQuest currently supports over 146,000 students and teachers in 1,100 schools across the country, including Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidyalayas, DPS, DAV, and other schools.

Read the full text here.

 

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 11:52:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Anti]Phishing Working Group (APWG) and IPC has released a new idustry advisory document titled: "What to do if your site has been hacked by phishers". The purpose of the document is to provide website owners with specific actions they can take when they have been notified that their website or webserver has been infiltrated and used for phishing.

The document notes that "Some phishers use compromised computers to host malicious or illegal activities, including identity theft, fraudulent financial activities, as well as collecting personal information and business identities from their victims for future use. Others attack or 'hack' into and gain administrative control over the legitimate web sites of businesses and organizations of all sizes. Such hacked web sites disguise the bad acts the phishers perform. More importantly, web site hackers are fully aware that the web sites they hack and 'own' are reputably legitimate."

"Law enforcement and anti]phishing responders respect and operate under established business, technical, and legal constraints when they seek to remedy or take down hacked web sites. These measures protect legitimate web site operators but unfortunately serve the attacker as well by extending the duration of the attack. The Anti]Phishing Working Group (APWG) offers this document as a reference guide for any web site owner or operator who suspects, discovers, or receives notification that its web site is being used to host a phishing site. The document explains important incident response measures to take in the areas of identification, notification, containment, recovery, restoration, and follow]up when an attack is suspected or confirmed. This document serves a guideline for web site owners."

See the full APWG "What to do if your site has been hacked by phishers" Industry Advisory here.

Thursday, February 26, 2009 8:06:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |