Ira Wilsker's archive

What do iTunes, Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook, Twitter, Facebook, Bank of America, Chase, Discover, eTrade, Vanguard, PayPal, eBay and Etsy have in common with thousands of other secured online services? They all offer their users a secure supplementary method to prevent illicit access to their online accounts, with a level of protection much greater than the traditional password.

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Now that smart devices, including smart phones and tablets, have arguably become the most widely used devices now in use to surf the Web, it may be time for those users to consider an alternative browser, rather than the one that came factory installed on their devices. As has typically happened on desktops and laptops regardless of the operating system, the default Internet browser is the one that tends to be most widely used, as many users are either unaware or reluctant to try another browser.

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For the past 14 years, I have been promoting the annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month, encouraging individuals, schools, colleges, governmental agencies, corporations, clubs, and other groups to get involved. Every year since its founding in 2001, this annual event has been recognized by bipartisan presidential proclamations declaring October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

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Amazon, the online marketing powerhouse best known for its general merchandise, groceries, digital books and streaming media, has now entered a somewhat new market. While Amazon has had an online app store since 2008, with hundreds of thousands of paid and free Android apps, Amazon recently announced a new Android app and a feature on its website offering a wide selection of normally paid apps for free.

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If you are like me, I carry my cell phone everywhere, carrying on voice conversations, sending and receiving text messages, utilizing countless apps, and surfing the Web. Until recently, I gave very little heed to the security of these external communications as our smart devices are supposed to be somewhat secure. GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile utilize encryption to make communications secure; CDMA carriers like Sprint and Verizon also claim to have secure networks.

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