Top Story

New analysis of stolen data brings surprises

Every year, the highly respected Verizon Business RISK data crime–investigation team publishes an analysis of major online data thefts it’s been asked to study.

This year, a first-ever joint report by VBR and the U.S. Secret Service presents a fascinating view into the state of the data-stealing art, with many surprising facts that should interest all consumers.

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Preparing Windows XP for the long haul

Microsoft’s support for Windows XP may be fading, but a loyal horde of XP users plans to stick with this venerable OS for as long as possible.

If that’s your long-term goal, there are a number of steps you can take now to ensure a finely tuned XP system for months — possibly years — to come.

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Eliminate Flash-spawned ‘zombie’ cookies

Way back in a 2008 column, I spotlighted one of the most insidious and least-known features on the Internet: Adobe Flash cookies that were not subject to the usual cookie rules.

Almost two years later, these special Flash cookies are still living in our PCs, and enterprising privacy-busters now use them to create zombie cookies — regular cookies that come back from the dead.

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Windows Live shares your Messenger contacts

Anticipating its “Wave 4″ Windows Live rollout of new Hotmail and Messenger apps, Microsoft made sweeping changes in how it connects you with its latest social-networking construct.

With the new Live format, Microsoft pays a great deal of lip service to maintaining your privacy; but my tests show you can’t trust what you see on the screen.

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Run Windows on iPad using remote-computing apps

Windows users might dismiss Apple’s new ultra-light, ultra-sleek iPad as just another frivolous toy for Mac heads.

But add remote-computing software and services, and the iPad’s combination of light weight and nicely sized screen makes Apple’s pad a dandy Windows terminal.

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iTunes account theft strikes close to home

These days, even online security experts can get burned by identity thieves who strike at popular online services.

A recent attack on an iTunes account dramatically points at the need to regularly change passwords and manage online billing info.

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Office 2010′s Web tools raise security questions

Microsoft’s newest Office adds some nifty Internet features, including easy access to shared documents via SkyDrive and PowerPoint Broadcast.

But putting personal and business information into the cloud opens up potential security risks that all Office 2010 users should be aware of.

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SkyDrive takes on the online-storage arena

Office 2010 marked Microsoft’s aggressive entrance into the cloud-computing arena, and Sky Drive is a key component of the company’s move to online services.

Part of the new Windows Live service, SkyDrive offers generous — and free — online data storage and simple collaboration. But there are other cloud-based services that provide more features and better options.

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Now you can vote for your favorite Lounge posts

Our online forum, the Windows Secrets Lounge, is a great warehouse of computer knowledge — but sometimes it’s a bit hard to find the single best page you need out of the 125,000 discussion threads our members have contributed.

That’s why our developers are launching this week a significant improvement to the Lounge — a way to cast votes for the posts you consider the most useful and, in so doing, help others find them.

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Little-known beta apps enhance Gmail’s usability

While there’s much to like about Gmail, there’s also much that’s missing — such as multiple signatures, hierarchical tags, and the ability to embed pictures as part of your mail.

You might be surprised to learn that Gmail actually does support those features, and about 50 more, in a beta program called Gmail Labs.

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