Search results for : internet security

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News Article
Microsoft warns Internet Explorer security gap
April 28, 2014
Microsoft warns Internet Explorer security gap

Microsoft says a security gap in Internet Explorer could allow an attacker to take complete control of a computer if the user clicks on a link to a malicious website...

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News Article

June 08, 2013
U.S. Collects Vast Data Trove

The National Security Agency’s monitoring of Americans includes customer records from the three major phone networks as well as emails and Web searches, and the agency also has cataloged credit-card transactions, said people familiar with the agency’s activities.

The disclosure this week of an order by a secret U.S. court for Verizon Communications Inc.’s phone records set off the latest public discussion of the program. But people familiar with the NSA’s operations said the initiative also encompasses phone-call data from AT&T Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp., records from Internet-service providers and purchase information from credit-card providers.

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News Article

November 25, 2014
The Internet of things

You may have heard the latest business buzzword "the Internet of things" lately but what does it mean? The Internet started in the 1980s when computers started talking to other computers, however the "Internet of things" or "IOT" refers to "things" talking to other "things" via the Internet without human input.
Some may say the future is upon us; smart devices connecting to the Internet make our lives easier by allowing us to communication with our lighting, thermostats, appliances, entertainment and security systems. Furthermore, telemedicine systems which monitor patients with cardiac and diabetic conditions can save our lives by collecting data through sensors and sending the information to our doctors using mobile technology.
Customers still prefer to deal with people and despite the glut of information available, even the millennial generation consider the advice of friends and family above all when making consumer choices. Nevertheless, as the IOT rolls on, the future of business will bring increased connectivity and worldwide integration of information. Consequently customers will expect more clarity of information and expect constant connectivity to their service providers.
So what does IOT mean for insurance? Predictive analytics is the basis of how insurance companies decide how to treat customers: Information on people and their past behavior is the greatest indicator of what to expect in the future. Whereas the gut instinct of an underwriter still plays a part, many decisions are made automatically by a computerized system. Already, some insurers in the United States are using telematic devices to monitor driving data. For insurers of commercial truck drivers, the dashboard camera may be upgraded to the drivers wearing google glass to supervise their attention on the road. As a result, careful drivers are rewarded with lower premiums and risky situations are monitored and controlled.
Some insurers already stipulate the use of burglar and fire monitoring equipment as well as the air quality and humidity controls in buildings, particularly when it comes to periodically unoccupied premises. Smart home technology and monitoring can certainly reward good customers with less restrictive cover and perhaps a reduction in premium.
The possibilities are limitless in the mind's eye. Perhaps health insurers will monitor lifestyle choices such as exercise and food choices via chips in your treadmill and refrigerator. Smart clothing can send data making sure physiotherapy is being complied with. Carpets may detect when a person falls and air quality can be monitored for mold.
The increased collection, analysis and monitoring of data has its advantages but there is also tremendous responsibility. When following the IOT trend, insurers and other businesses alike will have to make sure that network and data security is paramount. There will also be an overwhelming amount of data that will be produced, stored and analyzed and businesses will need to increase their capacity in order to manage as those excel sheets just won't do.
IOT overall will have a positive impact on the insurance industry, with the dynamism of pricing for the individual risk and the extreme reduction in claims and loss control. However, with such streamlined automation reducing the human element of error, we may end up living in a world where risk is so diminished that insurance itself may become obsolete. Only time will tell.
o Stephanie Cleare is a fully licensed and qualified account executive at Tavares & Higgs Insurance with 12 years experience in the Bahamian insurance industry. Email her at scleare@tavareshiggs.com.

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News Article

May 02, 2013
BahamasLocal Holds Meetings in Washington

During the past week, BahamasLocal.com visited Washington, D.C. and weighed in on international Internet policies. Jason McDowall, CEO of BahamasLocal.com, personally met with U.S. congressmen and lawmakers. He is also the Executive Council Member representing The...

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News Article

June 21, 2014
Navigating the Internet censorship minefield

Minister of State for National Security Keith Bell has announced that the government intends to make citizens criminally liable for posting lewd and obscene photos on social media.
He said draft legislation to this end could be completed before the end of the year following wide consultation.
Bell added that the issue of citizens posting crime scene photos on social media has become a concern.
This comes just over a year after community activist Rodney Moncur was arrested and charged for posting on his Facebook page autopsy photos of a man who died in police custody.
Moncur, who argued that he was exposing police brutality and therefore acting in the interests of justice, was recently cleared when a magistrate ruled that he had no case to answer.
If polled, most Bahamians would probably indicate that they support for some level of Internet censorship. Nearly every country in the world polices online content to a certain extent, particularly when it comes to child pornography and hate speech. However, in most democracies, the controls are limited to preventing the Internet from being used to encourage or facilitate violence or abuse.
Only a handful of nations use Internet censorship to try and enforce social or cultural mores and standards. Most of these are repressive regimes with poor human rights records.
In these countries, the justification for censorship is that it is needed to protect traditional values. But Internet freedom advocates say this is simply a smokescreen concealing an effort to retain control of public opinion, and thereby, political power.
The Bahamas, a country that survives based on its international reputation, must do all it can to avoid being labeled as one of the enemies of Internet freedom. Certainly, we should not do anything to invite such an impression.
In this regard, it was unfortunate for police that the Moncur matter happened to involve an allegation of police brutality, as this opened the door for his arrest to be interpreted as self-serving.
At the same time, the case can be instructive as the government considers the parameters of the proposed legislation.
In the United States, which has very few laws governing Internet content, convictions have still been handed down after images were posted on social media in violation of medical confidentiality laws, or in an attempt to intimidate a victim or their family.
Harassment and breach of trust - these are the kinds of concrete legal issues that should inform the framework of any law governing Internet content in The Bahamas. Crucially, they concern the way in which a particular image is used, rather than encouraging a blanket ban, in effect protecting whistleblowers and those acting in the public interest from persecution.
By contrast, lewdness and obscenity are vague, equivocal concepts that are open to a wide range of interpretations, which in turn invite distrust and suspicion of ulterior motives. The government should drop these terms from the discussion and look to international best practices when navigating the ever-expanding minefield that is Internet censorship.

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News Article

April 28, 2014
Navigating the Internet censorship minefield

Minister of State for National Security Keith Bell has announced that the government intends to make citizens criminally liable for posting lewd and obscene photos on social media.
He said draft legislation to this end could be completed before the end of the year following wide consultation.
Bell added that the issue of citizens posting crime scene photos on social media has become a concern.
This comes just over a year after community activist Rodney Moncur was arrested and charged for posting on his Facebook page autopsy photos of a man who died in police custody.
Moncur, who argued that he was exposing police brutality and therefore acting in the interests of justice, was recently cleared when a magistrate ruled that he had no case to answer.
If polled, most Bahamians would probably indicate that they support some level of Internet censorship. Nearly every country in the world polices online content to a certain extent, particularly when it comes to child pornography and hate speech. However, in most democracies, the controls are limited to preventing the Internet from being used to encourage or facilitate violence or abuse.
Only a handful of nations use Internet censorship to try and enforce social or cultural mores and standards. Most of these are repressive regimes with poor human rights records.
In these countries, the justification for censorship is that it is needed to protect traditional values. But Internet freedom advocates say this is simply a smokescreen concealing an effort to retain control of public opinion, and thereby, political power.
The Bahamas, a country that survives based on its international reputation, must do all it can to avoid being labeled as one of the enemies of Internet freedom. Certainly, we should not do anything to invite such an impression.
In this regard, it was unfortunate for police that the Moncur matter happened to involve an allegation of police brutality, as this opened the door for his arrest to be interpreted as self-serving.
At the same time, the case can be instructive as the government considers the parameters of the proposed legislation.
In the United States, which has very few laws governing Internet content, convictions have still been handed down after images were posted on social media in violation of medical confidentiality laws, or in an attempt to intimidate victims or their families.
Harassment and breach of trust - these are the kinds of concrete legal issues that should inform the framework of any law governing Internet content in The Bahamas. Crucially, they concern the way in which a particular image is used, rather than encouraging a blanket ban, in effect protecting whistleblowers and those acting in the public interest from persecution.
By contrast, lewdness and obscenity are vague, equivocal concepts that are open to a wide range of interpretations, which in turn invite distrust and suspicion of ulterior motives. The government should drop these terms from the discussion and look to international best practices when navigating the ever-expanding minefield that is Internet censorship.

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News Article

April 02, 2013
Journalists blast The Bahamas for 'poor' handling of media credentials

A number of regional and international journalists blasted The Bahamas for poor services, which they felt led to mediocre coverage of the 42nd BTC CARIFTA Games.
Several of them complained about missing deadlines because they did not receive results in a timely fashion; being unable to log on to the Internet while seated trackside; and having difficulties interviewing athletes because of the location of the media room itself.
More than 50 media houses were covering the CARIFTA Games at Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium this past weekend. Out of the 50, only about 25 received full accreditation. Some members of the Guardian Network, inclusive of The Nassau Guardian's Sports Department and the radio stations, had difficulty receiving media passes.
It was reported that several broadcast journalists were escorted away from the facility because they had no accreditation. Others were afraid to leave the facility late Friday evening because their credentials had the word "Friday" in the space where the photo was supposed to be.
Journalist Anthony Foster, one of the writers for Track Alerts, was the first to leak the news about the conditions. The headline on Foster's story was "Journalists finding things hard at CARIFTA Games in The Bahamas". He followed that up with another article titled "Internet a huge problem at CARIFTA Games 2013". A number of other stories, scrutinizing the conditions, appeared on the Internet.
Foster reported: "Earlier I wrote about the media area, or better yet, the below par area where they put tables for media personnel to sit and work, and the accreditation system. Thank God we have no rain so far. Well into the meet, journalists suffered and may still be suffering big time from the poor quality of Internet service. We pleaded for Internet service on Friday, but nothing, apart from late in the night, after the opening ceremony, we were told the net was up.
"However, on our arrival on Saturday there was no Internet in the 'so-called' press tribune, and even though this was reported by almost everyone, the technical people showed little or no urgency. We went through the entire first session, and most of the final, as Internet was not available until minutes before the close, and to make matters worse, I was using a BTC phone, which dropped service regularly throughout the day. That prevented me from updating my followers on Twitter and Facebook. I mentioned what made matters worse above, but this may be seen as the worst, BTC is a sponsor of the event. I am sorry if the worldwide media who will be coming here to cover the IAAF World Relays next year will have to depend on Internet and phone in The Bahamas."
The trackside, which was designated for the media, is actually the space for disabled persons. In fact, when those persons with special needs showed up to watch the games, many had to be turned away while others sat cramped in their wheelchairs in a small corner.
The closed off ramp had many restrictions and limited journalists and photographers, all of whom had to jump over a rail in order to interview or take pictures. When journalists tried to ask for assistance, many were left clueless as to who was in charge of taking care of the media, with everyone pointing fingers at the next person. No transportation was provided.
The problems continued to mount on Sunday and again on Monday. Journalists feared that if they worked from inside the room designated for media, they would miss out on the action and interviews from athletes. The room provided for media was first used as a technical room, then for accreditation and later shared with other persons who were selling CARIFTA booklets. No security was placed in the room and anyone from the general public was given access to the room and could use the computers that were set up.
Many of the journalists are afraid to return to The Bahamas to cover events, and noted that trouble is on the way for the country if no improvement is made in time for next year's World Relays.
The Bahamas is set to host the inaugural International Association of Athletic Federations' (IAAF) World Relays in 2014 and 2015. Another problem faced by the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) is the facility itself. The facility only meets regional certification. In order for The Bahamas to host these relays the facility must be Class I certified, and approved by the IAAF as a major site for a global event. All eyes are now on the country.

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News Article

June 08, 2012
Bethel: Risk of online crime 'enormous'

"Woefully outdated" trademark laws and insufficient safeguards in the online world could place major players in the corporate world at risk, according to a top information technology (IT) lawyer.
Rowena Bethel, a former advisor to the Ministry of Finance, is also an authority on e-commerce, information technology and telecommunications law and policy. She said crime perpetrated over the Internet is not uncommon, and despite this country's slower move into the online world, "it happens here more than we're aware of".
This week, Sunshine Holdings Limited, the parent company of Sunshine Finance Limited and Arawak Homes Limited, filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court calling for the immediate restraint of former employee Paul Shaw. According to court documents, Shaw transferred the rights to the company's websites to a third party, and has full access to hundreds of email accounts.
The defendant first joined the company in September 2000, and resigned in May of this year.
"This unlawful transfer of the plaintiff's domains is causing great damage to the plaintiff and has compromised the privacy of its employees' business correspondences," the document stated. "Additionally, the plaintiff has been
advised of the attack to the plaintiff's domains which leaves them vulnerable to pseudo-companies being established assuming the identity and emails of the employees of the plaintiff."
While not wishing to comment on this case specifically, Bethel told Guardian Business that issues concerning the registration of web domains can often be best described as "cyber squatting", rather than cyber crime.
The Bahamas has computer crime laws in the form of the Computer Misuse Act, she noted, but it does not have specific laws addressing this highly unique situation.
Speaking in general terms, Bethel explained that issues of cyber squatting can often hinge on whether the employee in question worked directly for the company or as a consultant. If the person worked as a consultant, the fine print of the contract and who owns the rights to the registered websites are crucial points to consider.
"Before you engage any IT services, seek out the assistance of a reputable IT law firm and people who specialize in advising in this type of arrangement and relationship. At some point, that relationship might come to an end, and there are sensitive issues at play," according to Bethel.
A "tight contract" is essential to ensure the safety of the corporation.
The e-commerce expert told Guardian Business that issues that deal with the online world are sometimes overlooked, especially in jurisdictions with less experience in the Internet. E-commerce "can have so much fine print", she explained, and close analysis must occur "because the risk can be so enormous".
In addition to the recent case concerning Sunshine Holdings Limited, the topic of security over the Internet is pertinent with the rise of an official e-commerce platform from Bank of The Bahamas (BOB).
Paul McWeeney, the managing director at BOB, has taken his time rolling out the platform, which is now expected to be imminent. The great concern for BOB has been testing the platform to ensure Bahamian businesses going online are protected and understand the risks.

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News Article

May 10, 2013
OAS and LACNIC Sign Agreement on Cyber Security

The Organization of American States (OAS)
and the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry
(LACNIC) today signed a cooperation agreement with the aim of
strengthening the development of cyber security in the Americas.

The
Secretary for Multidimensional Security of the OAS, Adam Blackwell,
said "this agreement is another example of the commitment of the OAS
General Secretariat to create synergies with other cyber security
stakeholders in the Americas, which will have both hemispheric and
global benefits.

...

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News Article
Five hidden dangers of Facebook QA
May 11, 2010
Five hidden dangers of Facebook (Q&A)

Facebook claims that it has 400 million users. But are they well-protected from prying eyes, scammers, and unwanted marketers?

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