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.

Twitter's new “threats, abusive language” filter has its restrictions

Twitter's new “threats, abusive language” filter has its restrictions

The quality filter will only be available on iOS verified user accounts for now, leaving unverified users left to confront the same old garbage and abuse in their notifications.

New Android 'on-body detection' leaves your phone unlocked as long as you keep moving

New Android lock feature freezes up your data when your phone stops moving

Keep it jiggling, whether in hand, pocket or purse, and the accelerometer will keep your Android phone unlocked and ready to go. Handy for pickpockets!

Are smartphones bad for our kids?

Therapist says mobile phones add to skyrocketing rate of child suicide

The rate of suicide and self-harm among children is exploding, and one therapist is pointing a finger at constant internet access.

NYPD cop arrested for hacking into FBI, traffic databases

NYPD. Image courtesy of pisaphotography/Shutterstock.

The NYPD cop installed a hidden camera and hacked into databases containing personal information about victims of traffic accidents so he could pose, among other things, as an attorney who could help them with legal claims.

Dark Web's 'Evolution' market vanishes along with $12 million

Dark Web's 'Evolution' market vanishes along with $12 million

The owners of the drugs/guns/malware market 'Evolution' have vanished with about $12 million in Bitcoin.

Frat banned for exploiting female students on Facebook

Secret Facebook page with incriminating photos gets US frat banned

Penn State's Kappa Delta Rho chapter was banned over a group featuring photos of drug deals, hazing rituals, and nude, unconscious women.

Facebook Messenger to let you send money to friends

Facebook Messenger to let you send money to friends

Starting in the US, users of Messenger will soon be able to link their debit cards to the service and use it to instantly message money to friends, as easily as sending over a selfie.

Forget tap-and-pay, just snap-and-pay with your selfies!

Selfie. Image courtesy of 360b/Shutterstock.

Chinese e-commerce megabrand Alibaba wants to use selfies for payment processing.

A third of Americans have changed online and phone behaviours post-Snowden

A third of Americans have changed online and phone behaviours post-Snowden

Edward Snowden has been heard, and his words are having at least some effect. True, a minority have changed to better protect their privacy, but the more people know, the more likely they are to change.

Silk Road lieutenant Peter Nash pleads guilty

Silk Road lieutenant Peter Nash pleads guilty

Australian Peter Nash, who worked as the main moderator of the online drugs bazaar, pleaded guilty to money laundering and drug trafficking.

Yahoo slices your password out of login process, shows off end-to-end encryption


The result of snipping out passwords: one-factor authentication. Just make sure not to lose that phone!

Full rules for protecting net neutrality released by FCC

Arrow. Image courtesy of 360b/Shutterstock.

The commission will decide what's acceptable on a case-by-case basis. Let the legal battles begin!

Bank tests heartbeat-encoded wristbands for online authentication

UK bank tests heartbeat-encoded wristbands for online authentication

Halifax is trialing the use of a wristband to store our ECGs, given that our hearts are random number generators unique to every individual.

Privacy group wants to shut down "eavesdropping" Barbie

Privacy group wants to shut down "eavesdropping" Barbie

It's worried about kids' voices being recorded by a corporation that will then target ads at them, but it should be far more worried about security and privacy.

Twitter threatens revenge porn posters with account locking and suspension

Twitter. Image courtesy of 360b/Shutterstock.

Twitter says it will lock accounts of users who post intimate content without subjects' permission, until the offending material's deleted, and might suspend accounts if the intent is harassment.

Facebook to let marketers see what people are talking about

Facebook. Image courtesy of Bloomua /

Pick your marketing keyword. Example: "frizz." Facebook's ready to offer (anonymised) data to the anti-frizz marketers about who's saying what.

Wikimedia joins forces with others to sue NSA, DOJ over mass surveillance

Wikimedia sues NSA, DOJ to stop spying

The ACLU has filed a suit on behalf of rights groups against the NSA's spying program - in particular, its large-scale search and seizure of internet communications, commonly referred to as upstream surveillance.

Apartment complex threatens residents with $10k fines for negative online reviews

Bad review. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Ahhhh, Windermere Cay: the premiere, luxury, 100% smoke-free Florida community that's just minutes from Walt Disney World and miles from letting customers write honest reviews.

Armed robber caught after boasting about planned stick-up on Facebook

Helpful robber boasts about planned stick-up on Facebook

A man was caught trying to rob a Tesco grocery store 15 minutes after posting his plan onto Facebook.

Busted scammer resorts to death threats

Foiled tech support scammer threatens to kill his skeptical target

After the Canadian man told the crook he was a thief and a scammer, the tech support scammer said he had the man's address and would send assassins.