Cyber Security Today – Trust, toilets, browsing and jailbreaking

In us we trust, toilet fears, delete your browsing data and forget about jailbreaking.

Welcome to Cyber Security Today. It’s Wednesday October 16th, I’m Howard Solomon, contributing reporter on cyber security for

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People are buying more online every year. But do they trust companies to safeguard their personal information? Not so much, if a recent survey of Canadians is representative. Sixty-three per cent of respondents said they strongly or somewhat agree they trust e-commerce companies with their personal data. However, just over half said they had trust in retail companies, internet providers and travel sites with personal data. And social media sites? Only 34 per cent strongly or somewhat agreed they trust these sites to hold personal data secure. The survey was done for the Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada, which is preparing a framework Canadian governments and companies can use for digital identification. No more showing your drivers licence.

Manufacturers for some reason are connecting a wide variety of products to the Internet, from cars to refrigerators. As I’ve reported before, IT professionals worry about their security, because unlike desktop computers, these devices often are hard to password protect and update. How worried are they? Well, according to a news report a recent survey found one in five IT security professionals fear Internet-connected toilets will be hacked.

That could be a joke, but just remember someone built an Internet-connected fish tank monitoring system for a casino. Yup, it was hacked and attackers siphoned 10 Gigabytes of casino data.

How long should Google, Amazon, Facebook or other sites keep your browsing data they use for ad revenue? That question was asked this week by a writer on the site Fast Company, who noted Google recently announced it’s giving users the option to check a setting that will automatically delete such data after either three or 18 months. Three months lets Google collect a lot of data, he argues. But note that Google lets you manually delete data any time you want — if you remember to do it. Amazon also lets you manually delete its record of your Alexa voice commands. But killing that data automatically over shorter periods of time would be better for you. It’s an interesting article that argues Google and Amazon only give users a veneer of control over their privacy.

Some people aren’t happy with their iPhones. They break into and play around with the iOS operating system, a process called jailbreaking. It’s never a good idea to do this, because it also breaks the phone’s security. The reason I’m telling you about this is there’s a fake lookalike website called “checkra1n” that promises to install a new jailbreak vulnerability called “Checkm8.” For all you crackers out there, stay away from this. According to security company Cisco Systems the goal of the fake site is to get you to install suspicious code, apps and games. Please remember, jailbreaking Apple or Android devices is unsafe.

Finally, Adobe usually releases security updates along with Microsoft on the first Tuesday of the month. However, yesterday it put out a bunch of them. So if you use Adobe Acrobat, Acrobat Reader, or the business programs Experience Manager, Experience Manager Forms or Download Manager, make sure you’ve got the latest versions.

That’s it for Cyber Security Today. Links to details about these stories can be found in the text version of each podcast at That’s where you’ll also find my news stories aimed at businesses and cyber security professionals. Cyber Security Today can be heard on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or add us to your Flash Briefing on your smart speaker. Thanks for listening.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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