There are many advantages to city life, from conveniences like 24-hour delis and reliable public transportation to all of the culture that’s right at our fingertips. But there’s one thing that’s sadly missing from our lives: starry skies. In Thierry Cohen’s thought-provoking series Darkened Cities, which we spotted thanks to Visual News, we get to see what various cityscapes worldwide would look like minus all of the light pollution.
The Paris-based photographer’s work is very precise; the skies that he superimposes into his photos are taken from locations that are situated on the same latitude as the original cities, and shot at the same angle. The resulting images are beautiful, but there’s something apocalyptic about them too — especially shots of New York City, which recall photos of Lower Manhattan in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Click through to see what some of the world’s brightest cities…
Here’s a (relatively) major security flaw in the new Apple operating system, iOS7. This poses a problem on iPhones 4S and upwards and some iPads. It allows anyone to access contact details and send photos without knowing the passcode to the iDevice.
First, turn the iPhone on and open the control center by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. Now launch the clock app. Pressing the power button at the top of the iPhone brings up the option to power off the device. Press cancel rather than sliding to power off, then immediately tap the home button twice to bring up the iOS 7 multitasking interface.
From there, you can see recently used apps, kill apps and, most worryingly, open the camera app. From here you can click the icon at the bottom left to see the camera roll. You can then share them via email, iMessage, Facebook, Twitter and so on. Also, by doing this you can see details about the phone owner’s contacts, including phone numbers, email addresses and birthdays.
Any British readers may have watched “Horizon: Defeating the Hackers” on BBC 1 last night (You can click the link to watch it on iPlayer). That interesting documentary showed just how dangerous cyber attacks really are! Mat Honan (@mat on Twitter) suffered a severe attack, which you can read about here on Wired. It really shows just how easy it is for someone to break into your various accounts. In Mat’s case, it was simply teenage morons having a laugh from their home computers – and not realising how much damage they were doing. Organised criminals with advanced computers, however, would be in it for the money. They could make millions a year by hijacking peoples’ online banking accounts, or by hacking into peoples’ computers to find credit card details. Not to mention using hacked email accounts to send spam and viruses to unsuspecting contacts.
That’s why I have compiled a guide to protect you from being hacked:
– Keep Your Firewall Turned On: A firewall helps protect your computer from hackers who might try to gain access to crash it, delete information, or even steal passwords or other sensitive information. Windows comes with a free built-in firewall, but it is practically mandatory for every PC user to have a paid piece of antivirus software with a firewall provided. I use McAfee (along with other software), but there are plenty of others available for money as well as for free.
– Keep Your Operating System and Browsers Up to Date: Computer operating systems are periodically updated to stay in tune with technology requirements and to fix security holes. Browsers are updated in much the same way. Make sure you run Windows updater and install browser updates regularly.
– Install or Update Your Antivirus Software: If you don’t have any, then get some now! A paid option is always more secure (and it will come with real-time scanning) but free ones work too. You can download the Viruhunt package on this website to install Malwarebytes Anti Malware and SUPERAntiSpyware, some of the best free antivirus programs around. Make sure you update any security software regularly, as new threats come out all the time.
– Be Careful What Attachments You Download: Email attachments from unrecognized senders and from dodgy-looking emails (even from your contacts!) may contain viruses and spyware which hackers can use to gain access to your PC. Always err on the side of caution and don’t download anything you are unsure about.
– Be Careful Which Websites You Visit: A lot of websites can download malware and spyware without you realising at the time! Make sure you never visit sites that you are unsure about unless you have powerful real-time antivirus software. And even then, it’s best to stick to sites you know are safe.
– Don’t Download Things from Dodgy Websites: This includes software, documents and media files. They could contain malware or spyware.
– Turn Off Your Computer When Not in Use: With the growth of high-speed Internet connections, many opt to leave their computers on and ready for action. The downside is that being “always on” renders computers more susceptible. Beyond firewall protection, which is designed to fend off unwanted attacks, turning the computer off effectively severs an attacker’s connection. Unless you need it on, then turn it off.
– Do Not Give Out your IP Address: This is one of the most important things to remember if you don’t want to get hacked. If you give out your IP to someone you don’t know, they can see files on your computer that you might not want to be seen by other people. Also, they could crash your computer.
– Secure your WiFi Network: An unsecured network means that ANYONE can connect to it on any device. This leaves a huge loophole for hackers to exploit.
– Log Out When you Leave: Always log out of accounts in browsers when you leave the computer. Otherwise it’s a hack waiting to happen. Also, it is not a good idea to ask your browsers to remember passwords, as this leaves you vulnerable.
– Use Secure Passwords: Make sure all your passwords are DIFFERENT and COMPLEX. Ideally they should be over ten characters, and contain a combination of lower and uppercase letters, numbers and punctuation/symbols. They shouldn’t contain any dictionary words or things relating to you (such as your pet’s name) e.g. uTv3-£G7_*jkD. This type of password is very strong indeed. You can go to http://HowSecureIsMyPassword.net to see your password strength.
– Keep Your Passwords Safe: If you want to use really complex passwords, DON’T WRITE THEM DOWN ON YOUR COMPUTER! This makes it so easy for a hacker to discover them. Instead, write them down on paper and hide them somewhere safe. You should take the attitude that NO-ONE can be trusted with your passwords, not even your loved ones.
– Change Passwords Regularly: Make sure you change passwords on important accounts regularly. This helps keep you secure.
I hope this guide helps keep you as secure as possible!