ONLINE GAME TEACHES YOU TO FIGHT INTERNET ATTACKS

PBS.org/wgbh/nova/labs/lab/cyber is a game designed to teach people how to fight against Internet attacks. Players pretend to lead a company similar to Facebook that is being targeted by malicious hackers. Learn the basics of programming along the way.

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DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE

A reader shared her computer disaster and we want to pass on the warning. Her iPhone broke and she spent five hours at the Apple store before the guys at the “Genius Bar” (they really do have a “genius bar”) suggested she get a new one. Fortunately, she’d copied her contacts and appointments from her phone onto her Windows PC. Unfortunately, during backup, she didn’t notice a small box that was already checked and automatically encrypted the contents. Later, she didn’t remember the password to undo the encryption. “Keep trying to think of the password,” said the guys at genius bar. (Don’t think we need a genius for that advice.) Frustrated, she tried the $29 “iPhone Backup Extractor,” from Download.com, […]

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A READER QUESTION

A reader wrote to tell us he loves Microsoft’s free anti-virus software, “Microsoft Security Essentials,” and has been using it for years. But it doesn’t come on his daughter-in-law’s Windows 8 machine; Windows 8 comes with “Microsoft Defender,” which is only part of Security Essentials. So we recommended switching to Avast, which is free from Avast.com.

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UNLIST MY INFO

Unlistmy.info shows you how to remove your personal data from people finder websites, such as BeenVerified.com and Pipl.com.

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CAT’S PAW TRACK

There’s a new version of “PawTrack,” for monitoring your kitty. It’s a GPS collar that keeps tabs on tabby. The collar is $125 and the service is $10 a month. It lets you know when your furry purry returns home, when it sleeps and where it goes when it roams the neighborhood. The new version is due in November.

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BABY CAM

We’ve looked at a lot of security cameras, but the $129 “Baby Cam” from TRENDnet.com is the simplest we’ve seen:

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SECOND-HAND PHONES STILL HAVE STUFF

More than 80,000 used phones are for sale on eBay on any given day. The owners think they’ve wiped their personal data first. It turns out, they haven’t.

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AVOIDING HACKERS

Next time we travel or use our computers outside the home, we’re going to use Avast’s “SecureLine” to connect to the Internet. That way, even if we’re using the notoriously dangerous public Wi-Fi in an airport, no hacker can see us.

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IPHONE RANSOMS DOWN UNDER

“Send me $100 by PayPal if you want to use your phone.” That was the threat some Australian iPhone users saw on their locked screens, reports Digital Trends, an online newsletter.

It happened so far away that why should we care about it here? Well the answer to that is it seems to be the kind of lockdown that could happen anywhere and probably will. By triggering that feature remotely – and so far no one is sure how that was done – the iPhone owner is effectively locked out. Some users were locked out of other Apple devices as well, including iPads and Macs.

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XP EXPIRATION DATE

We’re still getting letters from readers about Microsoft dropping support for Windows XP. As we’ve said, Bob’s computer is Win XP and he isn’t worried. With a good anti-virus and anti-spyware program, you’re fine. Around 95% of all automatic teller machines and 25 percent of all computers still use Windows XP, so this operating system is not going away for a long time.

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