Gmail for iOS Gets Anti-Phishing Security Checks Like Android

Gmail for iOS Gets Anti-Phishing Security Checks Like Android


  • The same checks were added to Android version earlier this year
  • These anti-phishing security checks warn users against malicious links
  • The feature is similar to Safe Browsing Feature on Chrome desktop version

Earlier this year, Google introduced anti-phishing security checks for Android version of its app that will warn users against opening suspicious links. This move from the company, incidentally, came right after a phishing scam spread widely on the platform and tricked people with what appeared to be Google Docs links inside Gmail. Now, months later, the search giant has introduced the same checks on iOS version of its app as well.

From now on, when you click on a suspicious link in a Gmail message on either iPhone or iPad, the app will show the warning that would tell you to exercise caution before opening the link. “We recommend that you use caution before proceeding, because the link is likely unsafe. Only proceed if you’re confident there’s no risk,” the company said in its post.

If the user still chooses to open the link that the app knows is dangerous, it will take them to a different page that will warn against visiting the original URL. As you might have understood by now, these warnings are just in place to safeguard users against the phishing attacks and protect their account from mails with suspicious links.

This feature from the company is similar to the Safe Browsing feature that was added to Gmail for Google Chrome users on the desktop last year. The Safe Browsing feature presents users with a warning when they receive an email with a link to website known to be associated with phishing, malware, or unwanted software.


AT&T Adds Security Apps For Networks

Inside An AT&T Inc. Store Ahead Of Earnings Figures

The AT&T Inc. logo is seen past a customer and a retail sales consultant at an AT&T store in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, April 21, 2015. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images Photograph by Andrew Harrer — Getty Images

AT&T is expanding its lineup of products for business customers that use its services for managing data centers and large networks.

Customers that want to add security features can now forgo buying specialized hardware from outside companies like Palo Alto Networks (PANW, +0.41%), Juniper Networks, and Check Point Software (CHKP, +0.81%). Instead they can use software to do the same thing, saving money and avoiding headaches, says Thaddeus Arroyo, who oversees the AT&T unit focused on large business customers.

“Once we get the basic service installed, it’s as easy as downloading an app on a smartphone if you want,” Arroyo says.

AT&T’s corporate division has been trying woo customers away from buying proprietary networking gear in favor of cheaper hardware that can be upgraded by downloading software. The push moves AT&T from just deploying and managing gear made by others on its customers’ networks to selling its own hardware and collecting recurring revenue for the applications, as well.

The new Flexware line, which changed its name from “AT&T Network Functions on Demand” last year, can already run network routing software from Juniper (JNPR, +0.52%) and Cisco Systems, security features from Fortinet (FTNT, +0.65%), and programs from other well-known network gear manufacturers.

The new security applications can provide services like firewalls to keep out hackers or filters to block phishing emails from reaching employee e-mail in boxes.

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The carrier’s latest push follows the larger trend to cut costs in corporate data centers and cloud computing facilities by relying more on software. This market is expected to grow 53% annually for the next four years, reaching $12.5 billion in total sales in 2020, according to market research firm International Data Corp.

AT&T’s pitch is that customers can spend much less with Flexware than if they bought all the dedicated hardware to connect to their networks from the same vendors. Implementing the same functions in software on generic computers is less costly overall.

AT&T (T, -0.03%) says it has sold 2,000 Flexware devices since the name change last October. The product is available in 200 countries now, up from 150 last year, AT&T said.

The participating network software companies are hoping to keep customers in the fold as the shift to cloud computing and more generic networking gear gains momentum. But it hasn’t been easy. Some of the larger companies like Cisco (CSCO, +1.89%) and Ericsson (ERICCSON) have seen sales slump for key, high-profit networking gear. In March, Cisco paid almost $4 billion to acquire AppDynamics, a leading provider of network monitoring services via the cloud.

AT&T’s bid to get customers to switch to more software-based networking mirrors its own efforts to cut costs through software in its own massive network. The carrier said 34% of its own network was software-driven at the end of 2016, with a goal of 55% by the end of 2017 and 75% by 2020.


WordPress 4.7 Reaches 10 Million Downloads, Releases New Security and Maintenance Update

The latest version of WordPress is proving to be a hit with users. At over 10 million, the WordPress download numbers has broken a new milestone.

Just a little over a month after its release, WordPress version 4.7 has been downloaded over 10 million times, according to the official blog. WordPress Version 4.7 was released to the public on December 6, 2016.

WordPress 4.7 “Vaughan”

WordPress 4.7, nick-named “Vaughan” in honor of legendary American jazz vocalist Sarah “Sassy” Vaughan, made significant improvements to previous versions of the popular blogging platform.

According to, Vaughan brings your site to life with immersive featured images and video headers in a brand new default theme dubbed “Twenty Seventeen.” Twenty Seventeen focuses on business sites and features a customizable front page with multiple sections.

You can personalize the default theme with widgets, navigation, social menus, a logo, custom colors and more.

“Our default theme for 2017 works great in many languages, on any device, and for a wide range of users,” writes WordPress lead developer Helen Hou-Sandi in a post announcing the release of Vaughan on the official blog.

Check out the video below for key features of WordPress 4.7:

WordPress 4.7.1 Security Update Available

While Vaughan has been enthusiastically received since its release in December, developers say versions 4.7 and earlier are affected by at least eight security issues and a number of bugs. To fix these issues, WordPress developers this week announced the immediate availability of WordPress 4.7.1 security and maintenance updates. WordPress 4.7.1 also fixes 62 bugs from 4.7.

Websites that support automatic background updates are reportedly already beginning to update to WordPress 4.7.1. If your business website has not automatically updated, you can download WordPress 4.7.1 or head over to Dashboard -> Updates and simply click “Update Now.”

“This is a security release for all previous versions and we strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately,” explains WordPress Core Contributor Aaron Campbell in a recent post announcing the release of WordPress 4.7.1.


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Your So-Called Secrets Are Out — Time to Upgrade Your Banking Security

Your So-Called Secrets Are Out -- Time to Upgrade Your Banking Security

Your mother’s maiden name is probably not a secret. Neither, necessarily, is your high school mascot or the size of your car payment. But some banks and brokerages still pretend this is information only you would know, and that could be putting your money at risk.

So-called security questions long ago outlived their usefulness, since they can be hard for the right people to remember and easy for the wrong people to guess or steal.

“Relying on questions and answers is absolutely brain-dead, but a lot of banks do it because they’re not equipped to implement anything else and regulators aren’t mandating alternatives,” says security expert Avivah Litan, vice president and analyst at Gartner Inc.

Financial institutions disagree, saying “knowledge-based authentication” — especially questions based on less readily available information, such as data in your credit report — can be an effective way to identify customers.

“No security measure is perfect, but knowledge-based authentication is certainly more granular and more effective than shared secrets, such as your mother’s maiden name,” says Doug Johnson, senior vice president for payments and cyber security at the American Bankers Association.

Once Private Information Compromised

Yet repeated database breaches mean that tons of once-private information is now in criminal hands. Security questions and answers were among the data stolen from 1 billion Yahoo accounts in 2013, for example, and criminals answered questions drawn in part from credit report data to access more than 700,000 taxpayers’ transcripts at the IRS.

You don’t have to be a hacker or even very persistent to find the answers to some security questions. Many people post information such as birth dates and pets’ names on Facebook. They may link to family members, including their mothers. (If you can’t find a maiden name that way, try genealogy sites such as Data brokers legally hawk addresses, phone numbers, birth dates and property records, among other information, for as little as $1 per person.

Some financial institutions that use security questions say they’re only one facet of a multilayered approach. Discount broker Charles Schwab, for example, says it uses additional “tools, controls and technologies” — kept secret to foil attackers — to verify identity. Schwab also offers customers the option to add a verbal password and activate voice-recognition technology for added security in telephone transactions, says Sarah Bulgatz, director of corporate public relations for Schwab.

Financial institutions may take extra measures to determine identity when they spot unusual transactions or attempts to log in from unfamiliar devices or networks, Johnson says.

Still, it’s hard to know as a customer what’s being done behind the scenes to protect you. And while federal regulations typically require financial institutions to restore money lost due to fraud, some banks, including Chase, say customers will be on the hook if they share their credentials with third-party sites such as Mint. Even if stolen money is eventually restored, customers could be without funds for days or weeks while their cases are investigated.

Toughen Up Your Data by Upgrading Your Banking Security

Given this landscape, we need to take extra steps to protect our money. There’s no way to make your accounts hacker-proof, since criminals have found ways around everything from facial recognition software to fingerprint authentication. Your goal should be to make your accounts tougher to compromise so the bad guys move on to easier targets. Here’s how to do that:

  • Use unique, strong passwords. Password managers such as 1Password and LastPass can help create and track this information as well as answers to security questions. Your router at home should be password-protected as well.
  • Stick to your home network. Criminals can snatch your login credentials when you use public Wi-Fi for financial transactions. Plus, your institution may pay more attention to bad guys’ login attempts if you have a consistent pattern of using only your home network.
  • Turn on two-factor authentication. Many banks and brokerages offer this option, which typically requires you to input a code texted to your cell phone or created by a smartphone app.
  • Ask what else companies are doing to protect you. Financial institutions post security policies on their websites, but ask specifically how your bank or brokerage handles sensitive transactions, such as attempts to change your phone number (to thwart two-factor authentication, for example).

What if you don’t like what you hear? Then it may be time to move your money to a financial institution that wants to help you keep it.

Top Secret Photo via Shutterstock

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