Reports of ransomware are on the rise. Recently, there have been increased reports of ransomware related to the Pokeman Go game. Ransomware is extremely dangerous because it can lock up your data files on your local machine as well as your network drives. The developers of ransomware are constantly changing the manner in which it appears. They are modifying it continuously in order to trick you to click on it. They do this by making the Trojan look very real and current with the times, such as the Pokeman Go game. Antivirus software vendors are always trying to catch up with the newer versions of ransomware. Be wary of emails with links and file attachments that may have an icon resembling a Pokeman—please do not click on this icon. We recommend keeping multiple backup copies of your data, not attached to your primary device. For more information on how to protect yourself against ransomware please contact Sierra.
WhatsApp Sharing Phone Numbers with Facebook
On August 25th WhatsApp said it would share user data with their parent company, Facebook, enabling you to find friends and “improve your Facebook ads and product experiences.” They have said that they will not share or sell numbers with advertisers, however, if you don’t want other brands seeing it, there is time to stop WhatsApp from handing your information over. One way must be done before you accept WhatsApp’s new Terms of Service—instead of clicking agree, click “Read More” and uncheck the box “Share my WhatsApp account information with Facebook….” If you have already accepted their terms, you still have 30 days to opt out—go to WhatsApp’s settings menu and press the account tab, uncheck the box “Share my account info.” Jan Koum, who co-founded WhatsApp with Brian Acton, and who is now a Director with Facebook had previously reiterated in a 2014 blog post that no phone numbers or other data of its 455 million users will be shared with Facebook. WhatsApp is now stating in a blog, “We won’t post or share your WhatsApp number with others, including on Facebook, and we still won’t sell, share, or give your phone number to advertisers.” They intend to coordinate with Facebook to analyze how its service is being used to fight spam and make friend suggestions.
Apple iPhone “Touch Disease”
EU Orders Apple to Pay $14.5 Billion
A nationwide class-action lawsuit has been filed against Apple over alleged display defects in its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus that Apple kept a secret and then declined to fix. In a blog post last week Apple said that it only appears to affect the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus not the newer iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. The defect known as the “Touch Disease” causes the touchscreen to become unresponsive, and eventually unusable. Chips inside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus permit the screen to interact with touch inputs; they also connect to the main board with small soldered balls that can crack and lose contact between the display and board over time. Eventually touchscreen functionality is lost with regular use. It is not known how prevalent the problem is, however, the Apple forum is showing comments from users experiencing the problem.
This past Tuesday the European Union ordered Ireland to send Apple a bill for $14.5 Billion in back taxes plus interest. An investigation by the EU determined that an illegal deal was made between Ireland and Apple permitting Apple to pay almost no taxes on profits between 2003-2014; 1% in 2003 and by 2014 0.005%, just $50 on every $1 million in profit. As tax reform is currently an issue in the U.S. election, Apple could be an example of the problem, currently U.S. companies hold $2 Trillion in foreign earnings overseas trying to avoid paying higher taxes. The EU has stated that it is illegal for member states to give tax breaks to select companies. Ireland’s corporate tax rate is very inviting at 12.5% especially when compared to the U.S. corporate tax rate of 35%. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest has said that they are concerned the back taxes “are merely a transfer of revenue from U.S. taxpayers to the EU.”
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