The new version of Firefox is out, and if you've moved away from the browser in recent years, it may be time to give it another look.
Dubbed "Quantum," Firefox's latest offering has been completely redesigned, and has a lot to like, not the least of which is its raw speed. This latest version is twice as fast and now handily beats Google Chrome in speed tests, thanks in no small part to its next-gen CSS engine, and the fact that it is the first browser to fully utilize the power of multicore processors.
It also consumes 30 percent less memory and positively sips battery power, making it a great choice for laptop and smartphone users.
In addition to that, the revamped browser offers improved tracker blocking, built-in screenshot functionality and of particular interest, support for WebVR, which enables webmasters to take full advantage of the capabilities offered by virtual reality headsets.
You can get Mozilla's latest offering from their website right now if you're a PC user, though you'll have to wait a bit if you're on a smartphone. The latest release is scheduled to appear on the Google Play Store in a matter of days, but there is, as yet, no ETA on when it will be appearing in Apple's App Store.
Speed is life in business, and if you're looking to squeeze out a bit more efficiency and performance from the machines on your network, the new Firefox browser is definitely worth checking out. It's only a matter of time before the other major players catch up, but until they do, Firefox's Quantum browser looks to be the new reigning king of the hill and represents a big win for mobile users, given the power savings on offer. Kudos to Mozilla for an exceptional update!
If you can't trust your friends, who can you trust?
No one, apparently.
There's a new scam on Facebook that's making waves, and it's one you should be mindful of. You may get an "urgent message" from someone you know, asking for your help in recovering their Facebook account.
This is a tried and true phishing scam, relying on some basic psychology. After all, if you get an earnest sounding message from someone you know explaining that you're listed as one of their "Trusted Friends" and as such, uniquely positioned to help verify their identity so they can get access to their account back, who wouldn't instinctively respond? This is exactly what the scammers are hoping for.
The message goes on to explain that they're sending an unlock code to your email address, and they just want you to reset the password for them.
Unfortunately, the unlock code is nothing of the sort. Instead, it triggers a password reset for your own account. If you click the link and "reset your friend's password," then reply back, helpfully telling him or her what the new password is, you've inadvertently given your own login information to the hackers. From there, the sky's the limit.
What makes this latest scam particularly problematic is that so many other web properties allow you to use your Facebook login details to access them, which is a roundabout way of saying that you're using the same login credentials across multiple websites - one of the most basic and pervasive problems of user security in existence.
There's no real defense for this other than vigilance, and if you see a message like this, simply ignore it. If your "trusted friend" genuinely needs help regaining control of their account, Facebook has resources to assist.
“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me,” as the saying goes. Unfortunately, Google has now been fooled by the same trick twice.
For the second time in recent years, Google has allowed a malicious variant of the popular extension “AdBlock Plus” onto its Chrome Web Store. It was noticed by a security researcher going by the alias “SwiftOnSecurity.” Before Google removed it, it had been installed more than 37,000 times by unsuspecting users.
This incident underscores a serious flaw in the way that Chrome extensions are uploaded to the Web Store.
The entire process is automated, and Google only intervenes if an extension is reported as being problematic. Unfortunately, given the automated nature of the process, it’s almost frighteningly easy to abuse, and since there are no significant checks on the front end, hackers can upload extensions bearing the same or highly similar names as extensions from legitimate developers. Unless a user clicks on the “reviews” tab to read what other users are saying about the extension, at first glance, they’d have no real way of knowing that there was a problem until they started experiencing it for themselves.
As mentioned, this is actually the second time this very extension was abused, the first being back in 2015.
As malware goes, this one is annoying, but not awful. Instead of blocking ads, it has a tendency to open multiple new windows, displaying a torrent of unwanted advertising. Fortunately, there don’t seem to be any other “hooks” built into the code, so it doesn’t install more destructive malware, but it’s still annoying.
All that to say, if you’ve been experiencing a sudden flurry of advertising popups, you may have been one of the unlucky few to have grabbed a malicious variant of an otherwise excellent web extension. If you have, just uninstall it and go grab a new copy, and you should be all set.
Be sure to contact me if you have any questions.
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