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No Digital Damsels: A Modern Woman’s Guide To Cybersecurity Strategies

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Woman's Guide To Cybersecurity

Whether you’re a savvy businesswoman, an ingenious entrepreneur, or a kickass content creator, it should come as no surprise that the internet is one of the biggest tools to advance your career in the digital age. Unfortunately, as we continue to use digital technologies in more aspects of our personal and professional lives, the internet has quickly become a place filled with hackers, cybercriminals, as well as a menagerie of malware that aims to wreak havoc and steal sensitive personal data from users.

In truth, nobody is really safe from falling victim to cyberattacks, as malware and hacking methodologies evolve just as rapidly as digital technologies. Because of this, the need for cybersecurity strategies has become more prevalent.

Today, we explore 6 key elements to building the ultimate personal cybersecurity strategy. Read on to learn how you can keep yourself and your growing business safe online over the foreseeable future.

1.   Always Use A VPN

VPN services have come a long way since the early days, with services now available on various devices and browsers – from tablets to smartphones, and from Google Chrome to Firefox VPN add-ons. For those who are unfamiliar with the term VPN (or ‘virtual private network’), it’s an encrypted server that hides your IP address from any third parties who may be looking to observe your connection, whether these be eCommerce business owners, government agencies, and hackers or cybercriminals themselves.

A VPN can protect your identity even when using public or shared Wi-Fi networks, ensuring that your data will be kept private from any third parties. Whether you’re sending important information via email, making online banking transactions, or engaging in business-related video conferencing, your data is always at risk when accessing the web. As such, using a VPN is a key element that will help boost your cybersecurity, online privacy, and safety when using the internet.

If you’re looking to keep your personal data and the sensitive information of your partners and clients safe, a VPN should always be your first option.

2.   Stay On The Ball With Software Updates

Are you guilty of letting software updates on your phone and computer fall to the wayside? If so, you may unwittingly be putting yourself at risk of experiencing data breaches, hacks, and even falling victim to cybercrime like identity theft. Alongside updating your device with the latest technological advances, software updates help address security flaws or potential vulnerabilities that have been identified in a current or previous version of that application. Regardless of whether you run your own small business or simply use your devices to handle tasks such as online banking, sending emails, or streaming your favourite content during your downtime, the longer you keep outdated or unpatched software running, the higher the risk of falling victim to a hack.

Top Tip For The Busy Modern Woman: If you find that you don’t have the time to manually update your applications or device OS, simply turn on the automatic update option on your device. It is also advisable to ensure that your desktop browser has automatic security updates. Updating browser plugins like QuickTime, Java, or Flash will also strengthen your online security.

3.   Use Anti-Virus Protection & Firewalls

One cannot go wrong with installing anti-virus protection software and firewalls on all devices when aiming to amp up any cybersecurity strategy. Anti-virus software is by far one of the best ways to block malware and keep your sensitive data away from the prying eyes of cybercriminals.

On top of basic AV software, using a firewall is also important when defending your data against malicious attacks. Thankfully, both Mac OS X and Windows operating systems come with their own firewalls, namely Windows Firewall and Mac Firewall. However, to add a further layer of protection, you can also choose to use a third-party firewall on your personal router to prevent cybercriminals from targeting your network.

Top Tip For The Busy Modern Woman: Only use anti-virus software from reputable and trusted vendors and only run one AV tool on your device to bolster your security when surfing the web.

 

4.   Utilise Two-Factor Authentication

By definition, two-factor authentication (2FA) is an identity and access management security method that requires two forms of identification to access resources and data. A simple example of 2FA that you would have encountered would be instances in which you are sent a one-time password (OTP) when trying to make a payment online or log into any online account. This two-step process is vital to web security as it immediately neutralizes the risks associated with compromised passwords.

As such, utilizing two-factor authentication is a fantastic way to add additional layers of security to your login details. If any of your passwords are leaked in data breaches, 2FA can help keep your accounts secure whilst you go about changing account information following the said data breach. Even outside of actual data breaches, however, 2FA offers additional layers of security that are growing vital as we delve deeper into the digital age.

 

5.   Beware Of Phishing Scams

Did you know that over 3.4 billion phishing emails are being sent daily, which accounts for trillions of fake emails sent yearly? Unfortunately, many device users all over the world continue to fall for phishing scams as they evolve to become more sophisticated, realistic, and convincing.

The best way to protect yourself from phishing scams is to exercise caution when receiving emails, texts, and phone calls that claim to be from the bank, government, or any other sources that seem reputable on paper. In essence, always be suspicious of the emails and messages you receive, regardless of where it’s appeared to have come from and who’s appeared to have sent it. If you are unsure of the legitimacy of any form of communication, always contact the source directly and refrain from clicking any links, downloading attachments, or entering personal data such as your credit card information without further confirmation. Keep in mind that malicious links can come from trusted friends who have been infected too, so you can never be too careful.

 

6.   Avoid Connecting To Public Wi-Fi

As convenient and cost-effective as connecting to public Wi-Fi may be, users are always advised to avoid connecting to public networks whenever possible. Unfortunately, connecting to public Wi-Fi, regardless if it’s in your favourite cafe, hotel, or school, is never truly risk-free, although the risks decrease significantly when using a virtual private network (VPN).

With that being said, even if you are using a VPN, you should still refrain from performing online banking transactions or making online purchases with your credit card when using a public Wi-Fi network, as cybercriminals can still potentially observe your connection in some capacity and perhaps even gain access to your bank accounts and sensitive information in the process.

To summarise, the best course of action is to only ever use a trusted private network, or if all else fails and you have no option but to use a public (unsecured) network, ensure you are using a VPN to avoid risking your security and safety when accessing the web.

 

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With all the dangers that await us online, it’s no wonder why cybersecurity is becoming a foremost concern for individuals, businesses, and corporations alike. We hope that today’s article has given you some valuable insight into how you can protect yourself by amping up your cybersecurity strategies as a businesswoman who’s living and working in the digital age.

 

How do you ensure your safety and security when browsing the web? Be sure to share your own cybersecurity tips and strategies in the comments section below!

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New photos reveal more details about Google’s Pixel 9 Pro Fold

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Google’s secret new line of Pixel 9 phones isn’t that big of a secret anymore. Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) released new photos of the phones including the Pixel 9 Pro Fold from almost every conceivable angle.

Android Authority found the photos in the NCC archives and uploaded galleries of each of the four phones including the Pixel 9, 9 Pro, 9 Pro XL and 9 Pro Fold. They reveal some interesting details about the new Pixel phones.

The charging rates will be a little faster than the last generation of Pixel phones: Taiwanese authorities measured 24.12W for the base model, 25.20W for the Pro and 32.67W for the 9 Pro XL. The Pixel 9 Pro Fold, however, was the slowest of all of them at 20.25W. These numbers don’t often match up perfectly with the advertised ratings, so expect Google to be promoting higher numbers at its event.

Speaking of chargers, it looks like Google needed a bigger charger to power its new phones. Photos included in the NCC leak show each phone will come with a wall charger that’s around 45W depending on which model you purchase. The charger’s plug moved from the middle to the top of the brick.

The Google Pixel 9 Pro Fold can fully unfold.
NCC/Android Authority

The latest photo dump also shows the 9 Pro Fold unfolded for the first time. Google has moved the selfie camera to the inside screen for a wider field of view. The 9 Pro Fold also has a slimmer top and bottom, a reduced fold crease on the display and a full 180 degree unfolding angle to make a screen that’s just over 250mm or just under 10 inches.

These photos are the latest in a very long list of leaks of Google Pixel 9 photos. The last Pixel 9 leak came down yesterday showing two prototype models of the base and XL models. Google might look into buying a new combination lock for the high school locker where they apparently keep all their unreleased gear.

 

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Apple Wallet now supports Canada’s Presto card, with Express Transit

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Apple Wallet now supports the Presto transit card used in Ontario, Canada. The card can be used for travel in Toronto, Hamilton, and Ottawa.

The digital version of the card includes the Express Transit Pass feature, meaning that you can tap in and out without having to authenticate …

 

Ontario’s Presto card

The Presto contactless smart card system was first trialled back in 2007, and started the full rollout in 2009. The card can be used across 11 different transit systems in the areas covered.

Apple Wallet support was first promised many years ago, but things went quiet until a “coming soon” announcement back in May of this year.

Although the contactless terminals allow the use of credit and debit cards for regular fares, a Presto card is needed for monthly passes and discounted travel.

Apple Wallet support now available

The company made the announcement today.

Tap to ride with PRESTO on iPhone and Apple Watch.

Traveling around town just got easy with your PRESTO in Apple Wallet. With Express Mode, you don’t need to wake or unlock your iPhone or Apple Watch or open any apps to use PRESTO in Apple Wallet. Just hold your device near the reader to pay and go.

Ride, even when your iPhone needs a charge

If your iPhone needs a charge, PRESTO Card in Apple Wallet will still work. Power Reserve provides up to five hours of support, so you can still ride.

Reload on the go. 

With your PRESTO card on your iPhone and Apple Watch, you can easily load funds, right from Apple Wallet or PRESTO App. No need to visit a customer service outlet.

Extra security. Built right in 

PRESTO in Apple Wallet can take full advantage of the privacy and security features built into iPhone and Apple Watch. Your PRESTO card is stored on the device, which means Apple does not see when you use it—helping keep your data private and secure.

If you lose your iPhone or Apple Watch, you can use the Find My app to lock and help locate the device and suspend your PRESTO card or remotely erase the device and its cards.

Mobile Syrup reports that you can choose between adding your existing card to your Wallet, or creating a new one.

There are two ways to add a Presto card to Apple Wallet. You can either buy a new card or move your old one over using the Presto app.

That being said, for simplicity’s sake, unless you have a discounted Presto agreement like a student or senior plan, I think most riders will be happy just making a new card in Apple Wallet and loading funds from that app.

As with any digital card or pass, you can use either your iPhone or Apple Watch, but because each generates a unique virtual card number, you need to use the same device at both ends of your journey.

Express Transit feature

To minimize delays, Presto offers Express Transit support. This means that you don’t need to authenticate using Face ID or Touch ID on your iPhone, and you don’t need to double-tap the side button on your Apple Watch. Simply hold your device close to the pad and you’re good (a number of clues are used to detect fraudulent use).

Express Transit also has the advantage that it continues to work in Low Power mode, so you’ll still be able to complete your journey even if your phone or Watch is almost dead.

Image: Presto

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The OnePlus Pad 2 Wants to Be the iPad Air of Android Tablets

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The original OnePlus Pad was a decent all-around Android tablet, but it was not amazing in any one area. Now, OnePlus is back with a new tablet device that packs more power, has a better screen, more speakers, and a higher starting price. OnePlus offers an Android tablet alternative that costs less than the latest iPad Airs, though it seems like it’s hewing very close to the rendition from 2023. 

The OnePlus Pad 2 is a one-size-fits-all 12.1-inch 3K tablet. At $550 for 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage, it’s $70 more than the first OnePlus Pad, though it starts with more memory and twice as much internal storage as the first go around’s paltry 128 GB. It’s bigger than the 11.6 LCD on last year’s Pad, though now it’s beefed its resolution to 3K (3000 x 2120) with a stated 600 nits typical and 900 nits peak brightness. It has a variable refresh rate between 30 and 144 Hz, though it’s still an LCD screen, the same as the 2023 OnePlus Pad.

Just like last year’s version, the new Pad supports Dolby Atmos, but it boasts a six-stereo speaker configuration on either side of the device. It may not be as specifically sound-tailored as the Lenovo Tab Plus, but what’s promised is a solid middle ground. 

Last year’s tablet used MediaTek Dimensity 9000 CPU, which was good enough for most applications but not exactly top of its class. The Pad 2 is now powered with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 mobile chip. Gizmodo has already experienced some of the chip’s capabilities in Samsung’s latest foldables, and already it’s very promising. We haven’t yet had the chance to compare a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 tablet to Apple’s latest iPad Air with M2, though on the whole, M2 usually performs better than Qualcomm’s mobile chips in bare benchmark tests. How much that matters depends on what programs you expect to use on your tablet. 

Image: OnePlus

Every device maker thinks they need AI to compete, and OnePlus isn’t an outlier here. There are promised “AI Toolbox” features like AI text-to-speech and recording summaries. The AI Eraser 2.0 will also work like Google’s Magic Eraser to remove unwanted photo elements. 

There’s a new $99 OnePlus Stylo 2 and a $150 Oneplus Smart Keyboard to accompany the new tablet. Despite the size and price difference, there will be many similarities between last year’s and the 2024 model. The Pad 2 has the same 9,510 mAh battery as last year’s, plus the 67W “SUPERVOOC” fast charging. It promises 43 days of standby time, though in our experience, the first Pad’s lifespan and promised “one-month standby life” was far more modest in practice, lasting most of the day before needing a recharge. 

With a bigger screen, the upcoming Pad 2 is slightly heavier than last year’s rendition. It weighs about 1.3 pounds, so it’s exactly between the 11- and 13-inch iPad Airs or slightly more than the base 11-inch Galaxy Tab S9 (and far less than the humongous Tab S9 Ultra). It will be relatively thin at 6.49 mm, but it’s not beating the iPad Air’s 6.1 mm or the iPad Pro 13-inch’s holy grail 5.1 mm.

The first OnePlus Pad didn’t exactly break new ground in any one category, though it did show Android tablets had legs. We’ve seen attempts from Goole and its Pixel Tablet, though that, too, wasn’t the pioneer of Android tablets. A better chip and more speakers do seem promising, though, in its effort to be everything to everyone, we’ll need to see if it manages to stand out in any area.

The OnePlus Pad 2 is now available for preorder. It should be available on the OnePlus website starting July 30 and on Amazon starting August.

 

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