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.

Kill-switch for mobile phones could save US consumers $2.6B per year, says report

Kill-switch for mobile phones could save US consumers $2.6B per year, says report

US consumers are spending CRAZY money to replace stolen phones and to insure the pocket-sized thief magnets, says a new report from Creighton University.

Dropbox says it isn't poking around in our stuff

Dropbox says it isn't poking around in our stuff

"We don’t look at the files in your private folders and are committed to keeping your stuff safe", the company said in the wake of an internet freakout sparked by a user finding himself unable to share copyrighted content. Time to relax, or time to consider encrypting your files before they get to Dropbox (or any other cloud storage)?

Google Glass recording without permission could become illegal in Australia

Google Glass recording without permission could become illegal in Australia

The country's considering an overhaul of privacy laws that could make it illegal to record private conversations or activities without consent via Google Glass or similar wearable technologies.

Porn site age-check law demanded by UK media watchdog

Porn site age-check law demanded by UK media watchdog

A video-on-demand watchdog in the UK - whose government seems to have its knickers in a permanent twist over children potentially accessing internet porn - is demanding an age-check law for porn sites.

Rebunking Google's Glass "myth" debunking

Rebunking Google's Glass "myth" debunking

Google's published a listicle about what it says are the Top 10 Glass Myths. Here's Naked Security's security- and privacy-centric view of some of those "myths."

Boston Bomber slipped past while spelling glitch tripped up the law

Boston Marathon bombing suspects

The old data-quality maxim "garbage in, garbage out" proves true yet again in the case of the Boston Marathon bomber, who, a Congressional report confirms, slipped through the border when a database failed to suggest an alternative name spelling.

US school to fork over $70K for hassling sixth-grader about Facebook posting

US school to fork over $70K for hassling sixth-grader about Facebook posting

Riley Stratton was forced to hand over her Facebook and email passwords and, with a police officer in the room, school officials searched her Facebook page for an alleged conversation she had with a boy about sex. Is this a grade-school version of prosecutorial overreach?

Chinese cops nab 1,530 mobile SMS spammers in raid on fake base stations

Chinese cops nab 1,530 mobile SMS spammers in raid on fake base stations

Chinese police have arrested 1,530 spammers who've been driving around, spewing spam at people's phones from mobile, fake base stations. But it's just a drop in China's enormously spammy bucket.

Tumblr beefs up security with two-factor authentication

Tumblr

Just like you need two keys to launch a nuclear missile (and we really, really hope that you weren't planning to do that anytime soon), you can now flip on the extra protection of needing-two-things to get at your Tumblr dashboard.

Secret CEO wrestles with cyberbullying issues on new anonymous sharing app

'Secret' CEO wrestles with cyberbullying issues on new anonymous sharing app

Unlike its anonymous sharing-app brethren - Yik Yak, Whisper, PostSecret, or Ask.fm - this service is limited to your contacts, instead of being a free-for-all full of strangers. Will that be enough to keep the young service from turning into another cyberbullying mosh pit?

Facebook's online teen privacy argument challenged in California court

Facebook's online teen privacy argument challenged in California court

A long-running legal dispute that was settled is now bubbling up once again. Namely, the way that Facebook appropriates children and teen users' names and photos for "Sponsored Story" ads when users "Like" something, regardless of whether such users want to be seen as endorsing the subject of their thumbs-upping.

Google switches Gmail to HTTPS only

Google switches Gmail to HTTPS only

Google is now using an always-on HTTPS connection and encrypting all Gmail messages moving internally on its servers.

Revenge-porn 'scumbags' slapped with $385,000 judgment

Revenge-porn 'scumbag' slapped with $385,000 judgment

They had a racket wherein one site posted sexually explicit photos without permission of subjects. When victims panicked and asked for the photos to come down, they got sent to another site that charged as much as $350 each to remove the illicit content.

US DHS digs out 27,000-member child abuse ring buried on Tor

US DHS digs out 27,000-member child abuse ring buried on Tor

The child predators targeted children as young as 3 years old. More than 40 terabytes of data were seized, 15 men have been arrested, 251 child or teen victims have been identified.

Sextortionist who preyed on Miss Teen USA and 150 others sentenced to 18 months

Cassidy Wolf. Image courtesy of Twitter.

Jared James Abrahams, 20, a college student studying computer science, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison on Monday - only the latest in a string of sextortionists to face jail time in Southern California as the law tracks them down.

Morrisons employee arrested in connection with staff payroll breach

Morrisons employee arrested in connection with staff payroll breach

100,000 employees' bank details were breached last week in what the company suggested was an insider job. A Morrisons employee has been arrested in Leeds.

Google sued for data-mining students' email

Gmail

The suit charges the company with surreptitiously building profiles of students by scanning their email in order to target advertising at them.

UK gov wants to censor legal but "unsavoury" YouTube content

UK gov wants to censor legal but "unsavoury" YouTube content

The UK government wants the power to pull "unsavoury" content - with an eye trained on terrorist material in particular - regardless of whether it's illegal or not.

mSpy now selling phones pre-loaded with spyware

mSpy now selling phones pre-loaded with spyware

You used to have to get your hands on somebody's gadget to eavesdrop on them like a creepy stalker, but no more! Now, you can just buy your target a boobytrapped bugging device-cum phone, wrap it up with a pretty bow, and try to pretend that you're not trampling on their privacy when you "gift" them with it.