Articles by Lisa Vaas

About Lisa Vaas

I've been writing about technology, careers, science and health since 1995. I rose to the lofty heights of Executive Editor for eWEEK, popped out with the 2008 crash, joined the freelancer economy, and am still writing for my beloved peeps at places like Sophos's Naked Security, CIO Mag, ComputerWorld, PC Mag, IT Expert Voice, Software Quality Connection, Time, and the US and British editions of HP's Input/Output. I respond to cash and spicy sites, so don't be shy.

Don't wear your Google Glass or other wearables when watching a movie

Google Glass banned in US movie theaters

Two trade groups have officially adopted a zero-tolerance policy against all wearable recording devices being on during showtime.

CurrentC gets user email addresses pickpocketed

CurrentC gets user email addresses pickpocketed

CurrentC is a competitor to Apple Pay and Google Wallet. Should we worry about it getting its fingers into our bank accounts, given the recent data breach?

White House networks hacked

White House. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Attackers broke into unclassified White House computer networks in the past 2-3 weeks. It's far from surprising, one unnamed official said, given that it's a "constant battle" between the government, trying to secure its sensitive systems, and bad actors seeking to intrude on them.

Snapchat escapes Australian cyberbullying crackdown, for now

Snapchat escapes Australia's cyberbullying crackdown, for now

Australia's cyberbullying crackdown won't see the country putting any legal muscle into forcing "smaller" social media firms like Snapchat to take down harassing content, a Parliament spokesman said on Tuesday.

TeamDigi7al US navy hacker sentenced to 2 years in jail

Jail. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

One of the two leaders of the cyber criminal group known as Team Digi7al was last week sentenced to two years in federal prison for his role in breaking into the computer systems of a pretty random mix of targets.

Placemeter monitors streets from apartment windows: time to don a mask?

Placemeter monitors street views from apartment windows: time to don a mask?

Placemeter wants window-owners to survey real-time traffic, while promising that all that data is aggregated and anonymized and won't be stored or shared. Should we relax?

Cops swap arrested women's photos in nude-photo 'game'

California cops swap arrested women's photos in nude-photo 'game'

California Highway Patrol (CHP) cops have allegedly been forwarding pics from phones belonging to women in custody to their own phones and to each other.

Is Google Maps accurate? Ask the giant cat...

wonky cat_250

Someone edited Google Maps to add a giant cat. It was there one minute, then it was gone, leaping back into whatever cyber kittyland it came from.

US Senate calls Whisper in for serious questioning on user tracking

US Senate calls Whisper in for serious questioning on user tracking

Following serious allegations brought up by the Guardian, the US Senate has a few privacy-related questions it would like to ask the people in charge over at Whisper, the self-proclaimed "safest place on the internet".

Twitter invites us to say goodbye to passwords, use Digits instead

Digits

Twitter's new credentials handling scheme is called Digits, and it's hoping that mobile app developers use it to enable their users to sign in with their phone numbers as identifiers, along with one-time passwords SMSed to the phones.

How to kill a troll

How to kill a troll

A new Pew study confirms what we already know: online harassment is a widespread disease afflicting the internet. Ignoring trolls and hoping they'll go away is actually quite effective, survey respondents said.

Then again, how about fighting back, instead? Change is possible, be it enabled by troll-blocking software, societal shift that sees trolling evolve into a stigma, or, if all else fails, calling their mothers.

Google goes beyond two-step verification with new USB Security Key

Google 2SV

Google's adding support for a physical USB second factor that will first verify the login site as being a true Google website, not a fake site pretending to be Google, before it hands over a cryptographic signature.

Woman charged with planting spyware on cop's phone

Phone. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

A woman has been charged after eavesdropping on "sensitive law enforcement communications" by tapping the mobile phone of her police officer ex.

Is your phone line a '6-figure liability waiting to happen'?

The company telephone: A '6-figure liability waiting to happen'

Premium-rate service scams are sticking businesses - particularly small ones using local carriers - with outrageous phone bills, to the tune of $4.73 billion globally for 2013. Many businesses aren't even aware that they can be stuck paying the bill (or fighting it in court).

UK considering imprisoning 'cowardly, venomous trolls' for up to 2 years

UK considering imprisoning 'cowardly, venomous trolls' for up to 2 years

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said that new laws would quadruple the current maximum six-month term and show his determination to "take a stand against a baying cyber-mob".

Facebook prowls the internet looking for your password

Facebook prowls the internet looking for your password

Facebook explains that it's keeping its eye out for credentials - email, password combinations - dropped on sites after data breaches, running them against its own users' credentials to see if password reuse is going to land its users in trouble.

Whisper CTO trashes reports that it tracks even those users who turn off geolocation

Whisper CTO trashes reports that it tracks even those users who turn off geolocation

Supposedly anonymous social media app Whisper actually tracks some users - particularly newsworthy ones - even after they've specifically opted out of geolocation, according to reports.

Facebook's new Safety Check lets you tell friends you're safe when disaster strikes

Facebook's new Safety Check lets you tell friends you're safe when disaster strikes

Facebook has graced its users with a new tool called Safety Check that lets people tell friends if they're OK when disaster strikes.

'The Snappening’: stolen Snapchat photos site defaced, details of site owner published

Snappening fans deface Snapchat photos site after it comes down

Owner of TheSnappening.org photo site, Mudit Grover, took the stolen Snapchat images and the site down. But within hours, attackers identifying themselves as "Team Danny" allegedly took over the domain and published Grover's personal details.