Google is acting to link its disparate services together. The first move, just a couple days ago was to unify Gmail, Google Drive and Google+ Photos , but today the search giant revealed that it went even further: it unified its communication services as well, under a unified messaging system simply called Hangouts available for iOS, Android, and the web (Chrome extension). Simply put Google Hangouts aims to replace what we know as Google Talk, Google+ Messenger and the original Google+ Hangout video chat service. Hangouts is a messaging app with some great tweaks. Google has explained the features in a blog post : You now have the option to switch from the current version of chat to Hangouts simply by clicking on “Try out” next to your chat list and you’ll be switched to Hangouts. Here are some of the features: Messaging is richer, and more responsive. Photos and emoji make conversations more fun, while real-time activity indicators really bring them to life. Your conversations can last. With conversation history, you can swipe back in time and relive all your favorite moments. (You can also turn off history, if you want.) No more annoying notifications. Once you see a notification on one device, we’ll clear it from your other Android devices and computers. You can also snooze notifications when you don’t want to be interrupted. You can always say hello, face-to-face-to-face. Whether you’re 1-on-1 or with a group of friends, you can always make a free video call to everyone you’re with. Download Hangouts for iOS, it’s free [ App Store link ] Google’s New Hangouts iOS App Now Available for Download is a post from: iPhone in Canada Blog – Canada's #1 iPhone Resource
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Google’s New Hangouts iOS App Now Available for Download
When LivingSocial discovered that the personal information of their 50 million or so users had been stolen, they did what most companies do: they initiated an investigation and hunkered down to weather the storm of the inevitable public relations nightmare that was to follow. The company downplayed the issue and used flaky language in an effort to minimize the panic. They used subtle wording to draw attention away from the privacy impact and focus it on their resolve to be helpful to users in their time of need. The Web site continued to operate but posted their helpful announcement on an almost generic page (https://www.livingsocial.com/createpassword) simply called ‘createpassword’ and apparently designed to not stand out too much in Web searches. If that was LivingSocial’s attempt at defusing an already combustible situation, it’s probably backfired. Unfortunately this intentionally banal approach to customer protection is more indicative of the laissez-faire attitude that caused the breach in the first place, than the desired effect of appearing to be helpful, honest and transparent. Was there a better way? You bet. And it just might have given LivingSocial a chance to not get skewered by the media and every other wannabe security expert out there. RELATED CONTENT How to avoid an Elections Ontario style data breach fiasco Five scary Groupon nightmares and how to avoid them For starters, the entire first paragraph is little more than an insulting waste of recycled electrons that makes a vague announcement clearly designed to fly over people’s heads with techno-babble and position LivingSocial in line for martyrdom, when in fact the real victims were 50 million individuals who simply got something they hadn’t signed up for. Instead of: “LivingSocial recently experienced a cyber-attack on our computer systems that resulted in unauthorized access to some customer data from our servers. We are actively working with law enforcement to investigate this issue” the real opening paragraph should have been crafted in such a way as to build trust and empathy using a sincere, descriptive wording. Here is what I would have recommended: “Dear LivingSocial Customer:
As I blogged yesterday, the Nova Scotia provincial government has tabled a bill in the provincial legislature to address cyberbullying. The Bill, dubbed the Cyber-safety Act , does a number of notable things. Notably, it is not limited to protecting minors from cyberbullying and is equally available to adult and child victims. It must be borne in mind that the Bill has only just been tabled, so it may be amended as it works its way though the legislature and its committees. It the Bill, cyberbullying is defined: (b) “cyberbullying” means any electronic communication through the use of technology including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, computers, other electronic devices, social networks, text messaging, instant messaging, websites and electronic mail, typically repeated or with continuing effect, that is intended or ought reasonably be expected to cause fear, intimidation, humiliation, distress or other damage or harm to another person’s health, emotional well-being, self-esteem or reputation, and includes assisting or encouraging such communication in any way; Interestingly, the Bill deems some parents to be cyberbullies themselves if they don’t do enough to prevent their minor children from engaging in cyberbullying: (2) For the purpose of this Act, w here a person who is a minor engages in an activity that is cyberbullying and a parent of the person (a) knows of the activity; (b) knows or ought reasonably to expect the activity to cause fear, intimidation, humiliation, distress or other damage or harm to another person’s health, emotional well-being, self-esteem or reputation; and (c) fails to take steps to prevent the activity from continuing, the parent engages in cyberbullying. Cyberbullying Protection Orders First of all, the Bill creates “cyberbullying protection orders”, which are orders issued by the courts to require an individual to cease activities that will be prescribed in the order. The order can be broad or narrow, and the bill gives the courts wide latitude: 9 (1) A protection order may include any of the following provisions that the justice considers necessary or advisable for the protection of the subject: (a) a provision prohibiting the respondent from engaging in cyberbullying; (b) a provision restricting or prohibiting the respondent from, directly or indirectly, communicating with or contacting the subject or a specified person; (c) a provision restricting or prohibiting the respondent from, directly or indirectly, communicating about the subject or a specified person; (d) a provision prohibiting or restricting the respondent from using a specified or any means of electronic communication; (e) an order confiscating, for a specified period or permanently, any electronic device capable of connecting to an Internet Protocol address associated with the respondent or used by the respondent for cyberbullying; (f) an order requiring the respondent to discontinue receiving service from an Internet service provider; (g) any other provision that the justice considers necessary or advisable for the protection of the subject. One thing that I find very interesting — and disappointing — is that if the victim is a minor, he or she cannot seek such an order him or herself. His or her parents have to seek the order on their behalf. One would think that at least older teenagers should be able to help themselves, even if their parents don’t want to get involved. A new tort of cyberbullying Next, the Bill creates a brand-new tort of cyberbullying, which gives a victim of cyberbullying the right to sue in the civil courts for damages. This part is pretty short on details, so I expect the provincial government is leaving it to the courts to sort out. 21 A person who subjects another person to cyberbullying commits a tort against that person. 22 (1) In an action for cyberbullying, the Court may (a) award damages to the plaintiff, including general, special, aggravated and punitive damages; (b) issue an injunction on such terms and with such conditions as the Court determines appropriate in the circumstances; and (c) make any other order that the Court considers just and reasonable in the circumstances. (2) In awarding damages in an action for cyberbullying, the Court shall have regard to all of the circumstances of the case, including (a) any particular vulnerabilities of the plaintiff; (b) all aspects of the conduct of the defendant; and (c) the nature of any existing relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant. In addition, the Bill makes the parents of a minor cyberbully jointly and severally liable for all the damages unless the parents are able to show due diligence. It is understandable that the government would include this provision, since young cyberbullies likely do not have any assets of their own (making a civil lawsuit futile) and to perhaps dip into the homeowners or renters insurance policies that parents may have. (3) Where the defendant is a minor, a parent of the defendant is jointly and severally liable for any damages awarded to the plaintiff unless the parent satisfies the Court that the parent was exercising reasonable supervision over the defendant at the time the defendant engaged in the activity that caused the loss or damage and made reasonable efforts to prevent or discourage the defendant from engaging in the kind of activity that resulted in the loss or damage. (4) For the purpose of subsection (3), in determining whether a parent exercised reasonable supervision over the defendant at the time the defendant engaged in the activity that caused the loss or damage or made reasonable efforts to prevent or discourage the defendant from engaging in the kind of activity that resulted in the loss or damage, the Court may consider (a) the age of the defendant; (b) the prior conduct of the defendant; (c) the physical and mental capacity of the defendant; (d) any psychological or other medical disorders of the defendant; (e) whether the defendant used an electronic device supplied by the parent, for the activity; (f) any conditions imposed by the parent on the use by the defendant of an electronic device; (g) whether the defendant was under the direct supervision of the parent at the time when the defendant engaged in the activity; (h) in the event that the defendant was not under the direct supervision of the parent at the time at the time when the defendant engaged in the activity, whether the parent acted unreasonably in failing to make reasonable arrangements for the supervision of the defendant; and (i) any other matter that the Court considers relevant. The tort of cyberbullying would be in addition to any other causes of action that might be brought to bear, including defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Powers given to the Director of Public Safety The provincial government has promised, as part of this legislation, to create a specialized unit to combat cyberbullying. This is being done as amendments to the existing Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act. This Act has generally been used to deal with crackhouses and the like, but an additional part allows for the designation of “Directors of Public Safety” who will have particular powers to investigate and respond to cyberbullying. (To show how this Act is amended by the bill, I’ve created a Google doc that shows the proposed changes .) The Director is given the power to investigate cyberbullying and can seek the assistance of the courts to unmask anonymous miscreants. Once identified, the Director can make an application to the court for a cyberbullying prevention order. The prevention orders are very similar to the protection orders outlined above (I’m not sure why it is duplicated in the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act and the Cyber-safety Act). It is an offense to defy such an order when issued. Amendments to the Education Act The Bill also proposes amendments to the existing Education Act. First of all, it adds the promotion and encouragement of safe and respectful electronic communications to the mandate of the school system. But more importantly, it gives school principals explicit jurisdiction over outside of school activities that are disruptive to the school environment: 122 Where a student enrolled in a public school engages in (a) disruptive behaviour or severely disruptive behaviour on school grounds, on property immediately adjacent to school grounds, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function or program whether on or off school grounds, at a school bus stop or on a school bus; or (b) severely disruptive behaviour at a location, activity, function or program that is off school grounds and is not school-sponsored or school-related, if the behaviour significantly disrupts the learning climate of the school, the principal, or the person in charge of the school, may take appropriate action as specified in the Provincial school code of conduct policy including suspending the student for a period of not more than five school days. My overall impression Overall, I think this legislation is an important step. Up until this Bill was tabled, most of the discussion of the issue recently has focused on possible amendments to the Criminal Code. Based on what I’ve seen reported about the Rehtaeh Parsons case points to a serious failing on the part of the criminal justice system (and the mental health system), not the criminal law. But in any event, the phenomenon of cyberbullying is a very complicated one, and one that cannot be fixed or even properly addressed by the criminal law alone. This bill specifically puts a degree of responsibility in the school system and provides the means to establish a group of specialists who have appropriate tools to investigate and respond to cyberbullying. Finally, it gives victims and their parents the ability to proceed through the civil justice system for the harm of cyberbullying. Of course, much depends on how this is implemented and I’m sure many here in Nova Scotia will be paying close attention to that.
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Analysis of the Nova Scotia Anti-Cyberbullying legislation
It is on everybody's lips and it's becoming the mantra of 2013 – mobile search in Canada is skyrocketing. As you read this … and even more. By 2014, in Canada, more mobile phones will connect to internet than computers¹.
Pleasing customers is a top priority for business owners, and building trust is a large part of that. When an e-commerce Web site gets hacked or compromised, customers are at risk of identity theft — not great for repeat business. Here are seven tips that help secure your Web site and keep your customers coming back: Up-to-date SSL certificates. SSL certificates show visitors and customers that a site is secure by displaying ‘https’ in their address bar. Expired certificates trigger credibility-damaging certificate warnings in Web browsers. Regular Web site malware scanning The best SSL certificates come with Web site Malware Scanning that checks the site daily and warns of possible infections, which if undetected can lead to search engine warnings, black listing and damage to customers’ computers. It’s also a good idea to monitor for vulnerabilities that cybercriminals could use as an unlocked back door to your site. Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificates Extended Validation SSL shows up differently in the new generation of browsers and has been designed to make it easy for people to definitively know who they are doing business with. And so your customers can know that you are you and not somebody pretending to be you in order to steal their credit card details or personal information. It proves the Certificate Authority you purchased your SSL certificates from has been independently verified, and that your company has been through a rigorous vetting process. Always-on SSL Always-on SSL is a security measure that provides login-to-logout protection for website visitors. It doesn’t replace your existing SSL certificates, but instead extends protection over a user’s entire session on a Web site. Some of the world’s largest and most trusted Web sites have embraced Always-on SSL to provide persistent protection and a secure experience for their online users. Security explanation page By talking about security you let your customers know that you take it seriously. Answer the questions of the safety conscious before they ask and educate those who are less well informed about what the security signs on your site mean for them. Up-to-date server softwar If your server software is outdated then it’s not secure and neither is your Web site. Be sure to install all patches and upgrades for your server software, including content management software and database, as soon as they become available, just as you would on your own PC. Trust marks Trust marks displayed in search results can increase traffic to your site by inspiring confidence in its security. In addition, trust marks on your Web site encourage visitors to become customers. For example, 94 per cent of respondents* to an online study said they are more likely to continue an online purchase when they see The Norton™ Secured Seal. (Symantec Online Consumer Study, February 2011). There is no good excuse when a customer has their identity stolen and it can result in a financial loss and damage to your reputation. Follow these best practices to prevent fraud and keep your customers happy!
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Top 7 ways to secure your Web site
It’s 2:00 AM and your four-year-old son is crying. You check his temperature to confirm that he has a fever. You’re not ready to hop into your car and drive to the emergency room but you want to take him to the doctor first thing in the morning. In this situation, you’d reduce stress and perhaps treat yourself to a couple hours of sleep if you could simply schedule an appointment online and tell your doctor’s office why you need it. Doing this would also help you bypass your doctor’s office voicemail and filling out a questionnaire on a clipboard the next day as well as give you the chance to notify your team at work that you’ll be coming in late. If you’re a patient at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center’s Family Practice in Toronto, you’d have these options at your disposal. This week, Sunnybrook added scheduling and assessment capabilities to MyChart, its personal health record (PHR) system by integrating it with the hospital’s electronic patient record (EPR) system. Sunnybrook developed MyChart in-house and launched it in February 2006, making it available to over 1.4 million patient records in the hospital’s EPR system. Related Story: NexJ acquires Broadstreet Data for $8.2 million Family Practice patients using MyChart can now schedule appointments from the convenience of their homes – or anywhere – and at any time. They can also fill out an assessment questionnaire to help their doctor’s office better prepare for their visit. These MyChart upgrades are expected to enhance the medical experience of over 8,800 Sunnybrook’s Family Practice patients. “The benefits go beyond providing a complete patient profile through a single platform. We expect the online service will decrease a clinician’s administrative workload and shorten the time it takes for a patient to book an appointment and complete an assessment,” said Sarina Cheng, Director, Information and Telecommunication Services & eHealth Strategies of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.