Apple devices: How to turn off the iOS 9 feature that could eat up your data

Apple devices: How to turn off the iOS 9 feature that could eat up your data

If you updated your apple devices to the recently released‪ iOS9, may experience a spike in data usage if they don’t turn off one sneaky feature…

CBC News

If you’ve upgraded to iOS 9, you should be aware that it comes with a new feature – enabled by default – that could make your next wireless bill a lot bigger.

Wi-Fi Assist automatically switches your phone from Wi-Fi to a cellular connection when the Wi-Fi signal is poor. That’s helpful if you’re in the middle of watching a video or some other task on the internet that you don’t want interrupted by spotty Wi-Fi service.

“But this also means eating through your 500 MB data cap without knowing it,” warns the IT department at McGill University in Montreal, which suggests that users may want to disable Wi-Fi Assist.

The new feature means you may be consuming data from your data plan at times when you think you’re on Wi-Fi. If your data plan isn’t unlimited, that may result in overage charges – in Canada, that’s typically five cents per megabyte or $15 per 300 MB that you go over your data cap. (300 MB is what’s required to stream a movie for 45 minutes, according to Bell’s data calculator).

Chris Mills, a writer for the technology site Gizmodo, wrote that since he started testing the beta version of iOS 9, his data usage has increased by around a third.

“It’s impossible to say if that extra usage is directly related to Wi-Fi Assist, but I have my suspicions,” wrote Mills Tuesday.

He noted that during the past three days, his data usage has been 950 MB, and half is from Netflix, which he only used at home “using what I thought was WiFi.”

So how do you turn Wi-Fi Assist off?

  • Go into Settings.
  • Choose Cellular.
  • Scroll way down to Wi-Fi Assist.
  • Switch the slider to the “off” position.

The Internet Of Everything Is Here – And It’s Scary!

Article by Lisa R. Lifshitz

Wearable devices. Smart cars with usage-based insurance systems that report back driving information so some drivers can obtain lower insurance premiums. Home alarm monitoring systems that send alerts to your phone. These are all examples of the “Internet of Things” involving devices or sensors that connect, communicate, or transmit information with or between each other through the Internet.

The IoT includes both consumer-facing devices and devices intended for business uses. By the end of 2015, Cisco has estimated that there will be 25 billion connected devices, and by 2020, 50 billion.

While the IoT can offer enormous benefits to consumers, including in the areas of health care (connected medical devices), improved energy use (smart metres), and safer driving (sensors that can monitor dangerous road conditions, real-time vehicle diagnostics, driver alertness and health, enhanced navigation assistance, location-based services, weather and traffic information, and, eventually, self-driving cars), the IoT is not without risk.

There are myriad legal and business issues associated with IoT products and services, and security and privacy concerns remain paramount.

Speaking last month at the American Bar Association’s annual meeting on IoT issues, Stephen Teppler, Steven Wu, and Eric Hibbard noted many security challenges and risks associated with IoT. Security is not always baked into these devices at their inception.

Some devices contain beta software that is not finished. Devices that contain embedded software are either not easily upgraded, or easily upgraded and equally easily hacked. Manufacturers do not take into account end-of-life provisioning.

There is no transparency of testing, assuming any was done in the first place, nor is auditing possible. Testing is completely unregulated and faulty designs may not be caught prior to going to market.

Most significantly, there are no uniform standards that manufacturers can look to when designing these objects.

In January 2015, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission released a report entitled “ Internet of Things: Privacy & Security in a Connected World” highlighting a variety of potential security risks associated with the IoT that could be exploited to harm consumers by:

  • enabling unauthorized access and misuse of personal information;
  • facilitating attacks on other systems; and
  •  creating risks to personal safety in addition to privacy risks that could flow from the collection of personal information, habits, locations, and physical conditions over time.

The FTC’s report contained a number of recommendations. Minimally, companies developing IoT products should implement reasonable security. Determining what constitutes “reasonable security” depends on factors such as the amount and sensitivity of data collected, the sensitivity of the device’s functionality, and the costs of remedying the security vulnerabilities.

From a best practices standpoint, companies should:

  • Implement ‘security by design’ by building security into devices at the outset, rather than as an afterthought. This includes designing security into every stage of development, even in the design cycle. Companies should also test their security measures before launching their products as sometimes developers forget to close back doors.
  •  Ensure their personnel practices promote good security — including ensuring security is addressed at the appropriate level of responsibility within the organization (i.e., at the executive level). Companies should also be training their employees about good security practices.
  • Ensure they retain service providers that are capable of maintaining reasonable security and provide reasonable oversight to ensure that those service providers do so (or face an FTC law-enforcement action).
  • Implement for systems with significant risk a ‘defence-in-depth’ approach where security measures are considered at several levels. For example, it may not be sufficient to rely upon passwords for consumer Wi-Fi routers — companies have to take additional steps to encrypt information or otherwise secure it.
  • Consider implementing reasonable access controls to limit the ability of an unauthorized person to access a consumer’s device, data, or even the consumer’s network — including employing strong authentication, restricting access privileges, etc.; and
  • Continue to monitor products throughout the life cycle and, to the extent feasible, patch known vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, many IoT devices have limited life cycles, resulting in a risk that consumers will be left with obsolete devices that are vulnerable to critical, publicly known security or privacy bugs. Companies should carefully consider if they decide to limit the time during which they will provide security updates and should be forthright in their representations about providing ongoing security updates and software patches. Companies that provide ongoing support should notify consumers about security risks and updates.

The FTC noted the specific security measures that a company needs to implement will depend on a number of factors, including the sensitivity of information collected, whether they present physical security or safety risks (such as insulin pumps), or connect to other devices or networks in a manner that would more easily allow hackers to access.

These types of devices should be more robustly secured than devices that simply monitor “room temperatures, miles run, or calories ingested.”

From a security vulnerability perspective, it seems an especially bad time to drive a car. This is not surprising, given a recent report issued in February 2015 entitled “ Tracking & Hacking: Security & Privacy Gaps Put American Drivers at Risk” generated by U.S. Senator Ed Markey following his detailed questioning of 16 major automakers.

Markey found nearly all vehicles on the road are vulnerable to hacking through at least one wireless entry point (including navigation, keyless entry, remote start, Bluetooth, and anti-theft features).

The Markey study (quoted in the excellent Canadian report “The Connected Car: Who is in the Driver’s Seat” by Philippa Lawson and published by the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, noted (i) security measures to prevent remote access to vehicle electronics are inconsistent and haphazard across manufacturers; and (ii) while automakers have fully adopted wireless technologies like Bluetooth and wireless Internet access, they have not addressed the real possibilities of hacker infiltration into vehicle systems.”

Not surprisingly, in July, senators Markey and Richard Blumenthal introduced the ” Security and privacy 5 in your car act of 2015” , new legislation designed to require cars in the U.S. to meet certain cybersecurity and privacy standards.

Ground-breaking global waste reduction effort strengthens Ontario’s green economy

CNW Press Release:

Tyromer Inc, a company established by the University of Waterloo to commercialize a better way to recycle scrap tire rubber and more importantly, to manage scrap tire waste, announced the opening of its groundbreaking facility, Tyromer Waterloo.

The Tyromer technology invented by Professor Costas Tzoganakis of the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo, turns scrap tire rubber into a new, versatile, high quality rubber material – Tyromer-TDP (Tire-Derived Polymer). Tyromer Waterloo will be the first manufacturer to introduce Tyromer-TDP, and will showcase the potential impact the Tyromer devulcanization technology can have on tire recycling in Ontario, Canada and globally.

“Each year more than 300 million scrap tires are generated in North America. During the average life of a tire, only 20 per cent of the rubber is used, leaving a staggering 10 billion pounds of scrap tires,” said Sam Visaisouk, CEO, Tyromer Inc. “With Tyromer-TDP, there is now a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable solution to the global management of scrap tires.”

Tyromer received early financial support from Michelin Development Company, Ontario Centres of Excellence and University of Waterloo to scale up its technology.  Ontario Tire Stewardship provided a research grant for Tyromer to strategically focus on the devulcanization of scrap tire rubber crumb. AirBoss Rubber Compounding, the second largest custom rubber compounder in North America, provided valuable industry knowledge and helped validate Tyromer-TDP as a viable rubber compound replacement in the manufacture of tires, and provided technical assistance in the construction of the Tyromer Waterloo facility.

“Tyromer Waterloo Inc. represents the successful collaboration among university, public sector (Ontario Tire Stewardship) and industry (AirBoss Rubber Compounding) in transforming a university invention into a global innovation in scrap tire recycling and resource utilization. To celebrate this success, we will officially unveil Tyromer Waterloo at its open house today at 11 a.m. in Kitchener,”  said Sam Visaisouk

Yep, you can see where this is going…

Read more
11 Things You Need To Stop Doing With Your iPhone

11 Things You Need To Stop Doing With Your iPhone

By  & The Huffington Post 

If you’re anything like us, your smartphone is your precious baby. Unfortunately, you probably don’t treat it as well as you should. Here are some things you might be doing wrong:

1. Never turning it off

You really should be turning your phone off at least once a week, or your battery will die faster than it should. Leaving it on and idle stresses the battery, experts say. If you, like us, use your phone as your alarm clock, consider picking up a cheap (or fancy — why not?) alarm clock, or turning it off for another period of time during the day.

2. Leaving the WiFi and Bluetooth on all the time

When your iPhone has WiFi and Bluetooth enabled and isn’t using one or both, it’s just wasting energy. As you wander around in your daily life, you’re not likely to need or want WiFi or Bluetooth all the time. Better to leave both off and just turn them on when you need them.

3. Using it outside in extreme weather

Your iPhone isn’t meant to withstand super hot or super cold temperatures, and using it outside on a day that’s under 32 degrees or above 95 degrees Fahrenheit isn’t recommended. This could drain the battery or cause your device to shut down temporarily. If you know you’ll be out in extreme weather, try keeping your iPhone off or at least in your pocket, away from the elements.

4. Leaving it plugged in overnight

Letting your iPhone charge while you sleep might be convenient, but some say it’s not a good idea. There has been much debate regarding the issue, but many argue that keeping your iPhone plugged in after it’s already fully charged can damage your battery over time, and it could start dying more quickly. “Your battery will behave the best if you take it off the charge before it hits 100 percent, and leaving it plugged when it’s already full is going to cause a little degradation,” Gizmodo wrote last year. Try charging it during the day so you can unplug it once it’s fully charged, or using an outlet that shuts off via a timer.

5. Fully charging or fully draining the battery

Lithium-ion batteries — which are used in iPhones — work best when powered between 50 and 80 percent, Shane Broesky, founder of Farbe Technik, a company that makes charging accessories, told Digital Trends. Fully discharging your battery, on the other hand, could also allow your battery to fall into a “deep discharge state,” which makes the ions incapable of holding a charge, Apple noted. Topping up your battery in short spurts give the battery’s ions just enough energy to work continuously and protect your battery life, he added. In other words, think about charging your phone the way you do about eating and snacking throughout the day.

6. Using a non-Apple charger

Apple chargers might be expensive, but they’re worth the investment. Using off-brand chargers can do damage to your phone, and fake chargers have been reported to cause fires and explosions. Apple has even created a USB Power Adapter Takeback Program, in which it asks people to hand over counterfeit chargers, and, as of last August, offered people who brought in their non-Apple chargers a discount on a real Apple charger.

7. Not cleaning it

Your iPhone is disgusting. Like, really disgusting. Toilet seats and pet food dishes contain fewer germs per square inch than your iPhone. Apple recommends that you use “a soft, lint-free cloth” to clean your device. There are also products that claim to use UV lights to sanitize your phone. But don’t forget to clean your phone’s charging port! Debris from pockets and purses can get stuck in there and build up over time, which may cause connection problems when you plug something into that port. Use a toothpick, small needle or even the back of an earring to scrape all that grossness out.

8. Walking around absentmindedly while holding it

Whether or not you realize it, iPhones are a hot commodity on the black market and are a huge target for thieves. Around 40 percent of the robberies in major cities in 2013 involved mobile devices, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission reported last year — so it’s actually pretty dangerous to walk around carelessly with your iPhone out.

9. Not protecting yourself with a passcode

Half of iPhone users do not lock their phones, Apple reported in 2013. If you don’t have a passcode on your iPhone and it’s stolen, your identity and personal information are completely open and available for the thief to grab. It’s a simple way to protect your privacy.

10. Allowing location services on all your apps, all the time

Apps like Uber and Maps need access to your “location services” to work properly, and they’ll tell you when they need you to turn on that feature. Others can function just fine with location services turned off. Head over to Settings > Privacy > Location Services to deactivate the feature or simply switch it off for all your non-essential apps. Your battery will thank you.

11. Enabling push notifications on every single app

Push notifications effectively keep your phone on high alert and require a constant data connection, which can exhaust your battery. Your display also lights up every time your phone receives a notification, guzzling up more battery life. Researchers have even found that notifications can destroy your focus. Go to Settings > Notifications and select only the important apps.

A look at widespread hacking impact and a rundown on recent major data breaches

By Brandon Bailey


SAN FRANCISCO _ The data breach affecting customers of the Ashley Madison website may be salacious, embarrassing or even ruinous for those involved. But it’s only the latest, and not the biggest, high-profile breach of customer or employee data reported in recent years.

Hackers say they’ve posted account information for some 35 million customers of the Ashley Madison service, which promises opportunities for extramarital affairs. That includes names, email addresses, phone numbers and birth dates, and at least partial credit card information, such as the last four digits of account numbers.



All told, more than 780 data breaches were reported last year by U.S. businesses, government agencies and other organizations that had customer or employee data exposed through hacking or inadvertent leaks, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center.



An estimated 110 million Americans, or nearly half the U.S. adult population, had some information exposed by data breaches during a 12-month period ending in May 2014, according to a Ponemon Institute study.



About one in three people who are affected by data breaches will suffer some type of identity theft or fraud, according to one study by Javelin Strategy & Research. Separately, Javelin estimates U.S. consumers lost more than $16 billion to identity fraud last year.

Here are some of the biggest breaches in recent years:

_ Software-maker Adobe Systems suffered a breach in 2013 that reportedly involved 150 million customer email addresses and encrypted passwords.

_ Online retailer eBay had a 2014 breach involving an estimated 145 million customer names, addresses and encrypted passwords.

_ Home Depot, the home improvement chain, suffered a 2014 breach that reportedly exposed about 56 million customer payment card accounts, plus email addresses for 53 million more customers.

_ Retail chain Target had a breach in 2013 that reportedly affected 40 million payment cards and phone numbers or addresses for another 70 million customers.

_ Insurance giant Anthem reported a breach last year that included social security numbers, employment and income information for up to 80 million people.

_ Sony Pictures Entertainment suffered a hack last year in which personal information for nearly 50,000 current and former employees, including salaries and social security numbers, was posted online.

_ Earlier this year, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management suffered a hack involving sensitive information including social security numbers and even fingerprint records for up to 25 million current and former federal workers.


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