Gadgets Mobile

Apple App Store Now Available In Nigeria

Apple has expanded the Mac and iOS App Stores to reach another 33 countries, most of them in the Caribbean region, along with a few in Africa, the Mediterranean region and elsewhere. In addition to helping expand iOS device and Mac sales in those regions, the move will also make the iCloud service available to those countries when the service is rolled out this fall.

In the Caribbean region, the App Stores are now open in Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname , Turks and Caicos Islands, and Trinidad and Togabo. In addition, Algeria, Angola, Ghana, Nigeria, and Tanzania have been added in Africa, while Bahrain, Oman and Yemen have been added in the Middle East. The European and Eurasian region has picked up Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cyprus, and Iceland. Asian and southeast Asian countries Uzbekistan and Brunei have been included, along with the South American nation of Bolivia.

Existing Mac and iOS App Store developers who wish to start selling products to these new markets can simply add them to their available territories through their iTunes Connect accounts.

With this latest expansion, App Store apps are now available for purchase in about 123 nations. Apple still has some room left to expand, with several African, Middle Eastern, and South Pacific nations remaining unrepresented on the App Store.

I was able to confirm that Nigeria has indeed been listed, which hitherto, was not the case. However, one can only hope that there would not be any for of discrimination to our credit cards or extreme market segmentation as is currently available whereby a sizable number of quality apps are only available in the US app store.

I have not been able to make purchases from the Nigerian app store yet as I am not yet sure of what services i may lose if i switch my ID from the US app store where it is currently registered.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Spot and Avoid Facebook Scams

“THERE’S A SUCKER born every minute.” That quotation, widely attributed to P.T. Barnum, originally referred to deceptive carnival sideshow attractions, but it’s just as relevant to online scams—in particular, Facebook scams—today.

None of the common Facebook frauds—the “Facebook dislike button,” the “stalker tracker” (which purports to tell you who’s visiting your profile), and “watch this video” tricks, for instance—are new, says Chris Boyd, senior threat researcher for UK-based GFI Software. “You’d think that people wouldn’t continue to fall for them,” he says. But of course, they do.

Resisting the urge to click can be difficult, and scammers know it. They prey on a combination of users’ curiosity and trust, and on their own ability to disguise scams as legitimate online promos. Fortunately, you have some clues to watch for.

False Friends

One ploy that Facebook scammers use is to encourage people to click a compelling URL. But instead of seeing the promised site, the deceived person inadvertently spams friends with links to the same URL. Some messages are so persuasive that victims may provide personal information such as credit card or phone numbers, which the scammer can then exploit to run up unauthorized charges.

The key element in a successful scam is its ability to exploit the victim’s trust, says Dr. Robert D’Ovidio, associate professor of sociology at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Many scams pose as links in posts from people you know. “These schemes are coming from people in our network, and our guard is already down; that’s a very tough thing to police against.”

If a friend posts a link to what appears to be a video on your wall with the comment, “Is this you? LOL!”, you’ll probably click it. But it may be a scam or a link to a malicious site posted by a crook using a hijacked Facebook account.

Here are two red flags to watch for when you click a link: It doesn’t take you to the page promised; or it takes much longer to load than you’d expect. A delayed load may mean that you’re being bounced between proxy servers to hide a hacker’s location, instead of being sent directly to the destination.

Also watch out for pages that unexpectedly ask you to enter your Facebook login information. Once scammers manage to gain access to your account details, they can use it to spam your friends. If that happens, or if you suspect foul play of any kind, change your password immediately.

Even shortened URLs may pose risks, since users can’t tell by looking at a shortened Web address whether it’s authentic. So if someone posts a shortened link to your wall or by using a Facebook message or Chat, proceed with caution.

Ultimately, most scams are designed to generate revenue for the scammers through pay-per-click schemes or through access to information that can lead to unauthorized charges on credit cards or phone bills.

You’ve heard about the scams and you may have seen some of the lures. Here are practical ways to ensure that you won’t become the next victim.

What to Do If You Fall Victim

If you find that you’ve been scammed, first delete the offending app (go to Account•Privacy Settings•Edit your settings [under ‘Apps and Websites’]•Edit Settings [under ‘Apps you use’], and click the X next to the app you want to delete). Then delete any posts that the app has made in your name, alert your friends to what happened, and change your Facebook account password.

J.R. Parker, an attorney with Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff, LLP, says the key to not getting scammed is to be vigilant. He recommends tying down all privacy settings and restricting what apps can do with your information or your Facebook page. To modify these settings, log in to Facebook and click Account in the top right; then select Edit your settings under ‘Apps and Websites’ at the bottom left, and click Edit Settings next to ‘Info accessible through your friends’

A healthy skepticism is critical, too. Here are some specific tips:

• Verify app authors. Click the author’s name and follow it to the app’s home page. Look for anything that seems odd or unprofessional. Run a Google search on both the app name and the author.

• Check other users’ experience. A simple search can yield results indicating what’s legit and what may not be.

• Don’t give out personal information (including your Facebook login name and password) to anybody, unless you’re certain of the recipient’s legitimacy and the distribution channel’s security.

• Be aware that your security on social networks depends in part on the security-mindedness of the other people who belong to your network.

• It may not be rocket science, but security experts say it’s your best protection: “Be careful what you click on.”


– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Protect Your Data From the Breach Epidemic

Sony’s recent data breach got all the headlines, but such attacks aren’t rare. Here’s how to protect yourself and your data from them.

IN 2011 ALONE, tens of millions of users have had personal information exposed or put at risk in some way by data breaches at Epsilon, RSA Security, the state of Texas, Ashampoo, and Sony’s PlayStation Network, among others.

In the Texas Comptroller’s Office breach, a configuration error on a publicly accessible database left sensitive details open to the Web. In the RSA Security case, an attacker gained access to the internal network via a simple phishing attack that exploited a zero-day bug in Adobe Flash.

The impact of a data breach depends on what information is compromised and what the attackers do with the data they steal. If a breach is limited to exposing e-mail addresses, as was the case with the Epsilon data breach, the main concern it raises is the possibility of targeted phishing attacks.

If a breach exposes personal details such as names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and driver’s license numbers, identity theft becomes a serious concern.

The worst case involves the loss of actual bank account or credit card numbers. The attacker can use your credit card information to buy things or—with additional information such as your account password—drain your bank account.

Protect Personal Information

To safeguard your information, begin by assuming that your data will be stolen at some point. This mind-set will encourage you to be careful about which businesses you trust.

Many Websites require you to provide some information in order to use them. Some allow only registered users to access certain content; others require you to sign up and log in before you can contribute or comment. But that doesn’t mean that you have to provide correct information.

First, don’t share your primary e-mail address thoughtlessly. Instead, set up a dummy Webmail address to use for the express purpose of signing up for Websites.

Second, don’t supply real information if you can avoid doing so. One option is to invent a fake persona for signing up on Websites. You can use your real name, or something close to it, but enter a fake mailing address and phone number, and use the dummy Webmail address I mentioned earlier.

One big mistake people make is to use the same username and password at multiple sites. Yes, remembering 50 different usernames and passwords is a daunting task, so I recommend employing a different username and password only on sites that you rely on or that grant access to sensitive information such as your bank account or credit card information.

For minor sites that you sign up for once and may never visit again, it’s okay to use one username and password across all of them. That way, you can follow the recommended security practice while minimizing the number of username and password combinations you need to remember. See also “Build Better Passwords and Stay Sane,” on page 38.

Resist Phishing Attacks

If you get an e-mail that has spelling errors or poor grammar, delete it. Legitimate companies sometimes mangle spelling and grammar, but a poorly worded, badly spelled message is often a tell-tale sign of a phishing attack.

On the other hand, a phishing e-mail with good production values can look and sound very convincing. But even so, avoiding phishing attacks isn’t difficult. The crucial rule is this: Never supply your username, password, account number, or other sensitive information via e-mail. No legitimate company should ever ask you to do so; and if one does, it doesn’t deserve your business.

Another important rule: Never click a link in an e-mail message. Phishing attacks often contain links that lead to spoofed but seemingly legitimate Websites. The message may ask you to correct your personal information or to create a new password, but the goal is simply to gather your information.

Consider not giving any site access to your bank account information. Get a disposable credit card, or a credit card with a restricted $250 limit that you use specifically for Web purchases.

Some banks also offer virtual credit cards resembling one-time alias card numbers that you can use to make online purchases, but that have no real-world value if intercepted or stolen.

Early detection is the key to survival. Scrutinize your bank and credit card statements so that you can identify suspicious activity and address it as quickly as possible. Doing so will help minimize the resulting damage.