Scammers stole millions last Christmas. These six tips could keep you safe online this time around

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is urging people to be careful when shopping online in the run up to Christmas as cyber criminals step up campaigns to steal money, credit card information and more during the busiest time of year for retailers.

Last year’s Christmas shopping period, from November 2019 to January 2020, saw cyber criminals make off with a total of £13.5 million as a result of online shopping fraud – averaging out at £775 per incident across 17,405 cases reported by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.

And with even more people expected to be doing their Christmas shopping online this year because of ongoing coronavirus restrictions, the NCSC, alongside the Home Office, the Cabinet Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), has launched a ‘Cyber Aware’ campaign.

SEE: A winning strategy for cybersecurity (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF

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Medication used to treat a range of inflammatory diseases may be less safe than previously thought — ScienceDaily

Glucocorticoids are steroids widely prescribed to treat a range of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. While high doses of steroids are known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, the impact of lower doses is unknown. A study published in PLOS Medcine by Mar Pujades-Rodriguez at Leeds University and colleagues suggests that even low doses of glucocorticoid may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

To quantify glucocorticoid dose-dependent cardiovascular risk, researchers analyzed medical records of 87,794 patients diagnosed with 6 different immune-mediate inflammatory diseases receiving care from 389 United Kingdom primary care clinics in 1998-2017. The researchers found that for patients using less than 5 miligrams prenisolone per day, the absolute risk of cardiovascular disease nearly doubled compared to patients not using glucocorticoids (Hazard Ratio = 1.74; 95% confidence interval 1.64-1.84). Increased dose-dependent risk ratios were found across all CVDs measured, including atrial figrillation, heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, peripheral arterial disease,

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Former US presidents Obama, Clinton, and Bush say they are willing to take their COVID-19 shots on camera to show the vaccine is safe

a man holding a baseball bat: Former President Barack Obama. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

© Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
Former President Barack Obama. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

  • Former US presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton said they are willing to film their COVID-19 vaccinations to build public confidence in the shot’s safety and effectiveness.
  • Obama said in an interview scheduled Thursday: “I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed, just so that people know that I trust this science, and what I don’t trust is getting COVID.”
  • Clinton’s press secretary told CNN he will take it publicly “if it will help urge all Americans to do the same.”
  • Bush has contacted Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, two of the US’ leading physicians, to see how he can encourage American to get vaccinated, his chief of staff said.
  • Their comments come after polls suggest many Americans are wary about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
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Germany vows that virus vaccines will be safe

BERLIN — Germany’s science minister says the same safety standards are being applied in the approval process for coronavirus vaccines as for other drugs.

Anja Karliczek told reporters on Tuesday that ensuring the same standards is key to gaining the widest possible public acceptance for the COVID vaccine.

Karliczek noted that the European Medicines Agency will be holding a public hearing on Dec. 11 on an approval request by German pharmaceutical company BioNTech and its U.S. partner Pfizer.

She added that the vaccine will be voluntary and that authorities will work hard to inform the public about possible side effects that might be excepted after immunization, such as headaches, localized pain and fever.

Marylyn Addo, a doctor at Hamburg’s UKE hospital who is involved in the trials for a rival vaccine, said that the rapid development of a vaccine was the result of enormous efforts by scientists, early funding and

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IBM aims for quantum computing safe encryption, security tools

IBM Cloud said it will offer cryptography technology that will be futureproofed for quantum computing deployments.

Big Blue, which is among the key players in the quantum computing race, launched Quantum Safe Cryptography for Key Management and Application Transactions.

Quantum computing promises to solve new problems, leap past supercomputers and possibly used to easily break encryption algorithms and data security measures.

IBM’s bet is that it can combine its security and hybrid cloud knowhow with its quantum computing research.

The new tools under the quantum-safe effort from IBM include:

  • Quantum Safe Crypto Support, a service to secure data transmissions between hardware externally and internally via a quantum-safe algorithm.
  • Extended IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Crypto Service, a design to protect transactional data within applications. The protection covers encryption schemes in databases and digital signature validation.

These services will support the following:

  • IBM Key Protect and for Red Hat OpenShift on IBM
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Safe ultraviolet light could be used to sterilize high-risk COVID-19 environments — ScienceDaily

Research at Cranfield University is paving the way for a new solution to kill aerosolised COVID-19 in enclosed environments such as hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Computational modelling has shown that low dose far-ultraviolet C (UVC) lighting can be used to disinfect in-room air, increasing disinfection rates by 50-85% compared to a room’s ventilation alone.

Unlike typical UVC — which has been used to kill microorganisms for decades but is extremely harmful to humans, potentially causing cataracts or skin cancer — evidence has shown that far-UVC is safe to use around people.

Dr Liang Yang, Lecturer in Marine Renewable Energy Systems in the Centre for Renewable Energy Systems, Cranfield University, said: “In indoor environments where it may not be possible to socially distance, aerosolised coronavirus released through breathing increases the chance of spreading the disease. Infection controls focus on a combination of personal hygiene and the correct use of personal

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Be safe when shopping for the holidays

This year is the 15th anniversary of “Cyber Monday,”  which began in 2005 as a marketing gimmick from Back then it was relatively common to have broadband at work but not at home, so people shopped at the office using the boss’s computer network. Cyber Monday was an extension of sorts from that much older tradition, “Black

Larry Magid (Gary Reyes / Mercury News)

Friday,” when people crowded into stores in search of bargains.

This year, I’m sure some people will seek deals from brick and mortar shops, but, for many, Cyber Monday and Black Friday are merging, because we’re doing most if not all of our shopping online. Between now and the end of the year, we can expect record numbers of people to shop online though, given the levels of unemployment and economic uncertainty, it’s not clear how much we will collectively spend.

Relative risk

In relative

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CVG turns to new technology, stringent cleaning protocols to keep travelers safe during busy holiday

HEBRON, Ky. — Even though the CDC has recommended that people stay home for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is still anticipating its busiest travel days since the start of the pandemic.

In order to cope with the increase in travelers at the airport, CVG is turning to technology to keep COVID-19 at bay.

Part of this new technology is utilizing a robot called “Gita” that helps make at least one of the jobs at CVG a contactless experience. The robot uses the push of a button and a censor to follow staff through the airport while they assist travelers to the gate or hand out supplies.

Gita robot at CVG

Whitney Miller

The “Gita” robot, which is being utilized at CVG for contactless services, includes self-balancing technology so it it can start and stop with the speed of a person and can turn by spinning with a zero turning radius.
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Apple Launches New Pricey Accessory Meant To Keep iPhone 12 Models Safe


  • Apple has released the new Leather Sleeve with MagSafe for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro
  • The accessory is designed to do more than just protect the iPhone 12 from scratches and drops
  • The Leather Sleeve with MagSafe retails for $129

Apple is now accepting orders for the new iPhone 12/12 Pro Leather Sleeve with MagSafe, a pricey new accessory designed to protect the new handsets.

The Leather Sleeve is now available for the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro, according to Apple’s Online Store. It’s pretty expensive at $129, but it does have a few features that will hopefully make up for the steep price.

First, Apple said the sleeve is made from high-quality, supple European leather that’s specially tanned and finished. The leather material feels “soft to the touch” and should be expected to develop a lovely patina over time. Those who like leather’s

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New effective and safe antifungal isolated from sea squirt microbiome — ScienceDaily

By combing the ocean for antimicrobials, scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have discovered a new antifungal compound that efficiently targets multi-drug-resistant strains of deadly fungi without toxic side effects in mice.

The new molecule was discovered in the microbiome of a sea squirt from the Florida Keys as part of an effort to identify novel antimicrobials from understudied ecosystems. Scientists named the antifungal turbinmicin, after the sea squirt from which it was isolated, Ecteinascidia turbinate.

Disease-causing fungi continue to evolve resistance to the small number of drugs available to thwart them. As a result, more people are dying from previously treatable diseases, such as candidiasis or aspergillosis, which are caused by common fungi that sometimes turn virulent. Identifying compounds like turbinmicin is key to developing new and effective drugs. However, while turbinmicin is a promising drug candidate, additional study of the molecule and extensive preclinical research must be performed

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