How to prevent your web cam from being accessed by hackers on your PC or Mac

It’s no secret that there are bad actors out there in Internet-land writing malicious programs, apps, plug-ins, extensions etc. There are all kinds of different online attacks available for hackers to take advantage of and they’re coming up with new threats all the time. Some attacks are very sneaky, like spying on you through your computer’s web cam and/or microphone without your knowledge.

Fortunately, there are tools for PCs and Macs that can help you prevent such an attack or stop it, once it begins. You don’t need to take the drastic action of placing a piece of masking tape over your web cam lens. That gums up your web cam lens with adhesive, when you might want to be able to Skype from time-to-time, without that gunk.Who Stalks My Cam utility tool for Windows

If you have a Windows PC, Who Stalks My Cam is one of the best utilities that can manage your web cam access for you. It runs in the background, while you use your PC normally. It will alert you to any suspicious attempts to take over your attached web cam. It doesn’t just block suspected malware from accessing your cam, it also diverts or disables any spying efforts, to ensure your activities are secure.

Once you’ve downloaded Who Stalks My Cam, setting it up is super easy. You can set up to start at the same as you start up your Windows, PC. While Who Stalks My Cam is running, you can find it in your notification area (system tray.) You can set up specific rules for blocking access to the cam and you can choose to keep a log of web cam access.

If you have a Mac, you can try Oversight, which like Who Stalks My Cam, runs in the background looking for any unusual activity. It Oversight utility tool for Macspecifically looks out for any malware trying to access your webcam or microphone, as well as some well-known malware threats.

Once you’ve installed Oversight, it sets itself to run anytime you boot up your Mac. You’ll find it on your Mac, by clicking on the umbrella icon in the status bar. An alert will appear anytime your webcam or microphone is accessed, and for the web cam it will show you the process requesting access. If you receive an alert that some process you don’t recognize is attempting to access your web cam, then you can choose to block it.

If you’d rather not give this level of camera access to a third party program, then you might be better off sticking with that low tech, tape over the web cam lens option.

Source: Gizmodo

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Before you begin your holiday shopping, it’s important to understand our return policies

The Christmas holidays are coming up sooner than anyone is ever prepared for and we at Open Connection will be offering some great deals on a variety of smartphones, tablets, accessories, Optik Internet and TV bundles and more. But before you purchase that perfect gift, it’s important to understand our return policies to minimize any unnecessary after-Christmas hassle.

Open Connection is a TELUS and Koodo authorized dealer and as such we abide by TELUS and Koodo return policies. We are also able to offer gift receipts on some purchases, so be sure to ask one of our friendly sales reps, if the product you’re considering purchasing is eligible.

Everything you need to know about return policies for TELUS productsfigure in santa hat with gift

At Open Connection, we are only to happy to allow you to return or exchange any product that you’re not satisfied within 15 days of purchaseas long as you have the original sales receipt. We also ask that the product you purchased be in near new condition along with all of its original packaging, any associated accessories and bundled contents.

You may be charged for using the device if you’ve used more than 30 voice minutes, more than 50 text messages or more than 50 MB of data. If you’ve activated the SIM card for a smartphone or tablet, it may not be exchanged or refunded. We also do not accept returns for accessories with ear pieces or ear buds or top-up PINs for devices on prepaid contracts.

If the above conditions are met you can return the product for a full refund or exchange to the same account that originally purchased the item, unless the purchase was made with a gift card. Gift card purchases will be refunded as store credit.

Any product returned without any promotional item(s) that were included in the original purchase, such as a buy one-get-one free deal or a deal with a free gift card, will have the value of those promotional item(s) deducted from the original refund amount. Any service fees incurred are not refundable. We also do not return any devices traded in for discounts on phones or accessories.

It is also advised that you remove any personal data from a device you’re returning, such as passwords or contacts. We have no way of tracing and recovering that data once the device has been returned.

All the TELUS devices we sell are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, which may have varying conditions depending on the device. Such warranties are generally included in the device’s packaging. Most warranties cover repairs required to fix defects within a year of the original date of purchase.

If you are experiencing any problems with your TELUS device, please bring it into one of our Open Connection locations, so we can troubleshoot the issue. Depending on the warranty coverage we can help process a repair or replacement on your behalf.

If we do discover that your device is defective within the first 15 days following purchase, we will replace the device free of charge. After the first 15 days, the repair or replacement of the device, will  depend on the warranty in question and the physical state of the device itself. Replacement parts and/or devices may include new or refurbished parts or products and are under warranty for 90 days or until the expiration of the original warranty period, whichever is longer.

Everything you need to know about return policies for Koodo products

At some Open Connection locations we also sell Koodo products, which are also eligible to be returned within 15 days of their original purchase. We will return whatever you paid for the phone and reverse your Tab, no questions asked.

We require that the Koodo device you’re returning be in almost new condition with all included accessories and your original sales receipt. You may still be charged for usage if you’ve used more than 30 minutes of talk time, more than 50 text messages or 50 MB of data. We also do not refund any service fees incurred.

You are required to bring the Koodo device you wish to return with any included accessories and original sales receipt back to the Open Connection location you purchased it from. Koodo accessories are not eligible for returns or refunds unless they’re deemed defective.

That’s it, that’s everything you need to know about our return policies this holiday season. We hope to help make your holiday shopping as stress-free as possible.

Sources: TELUS, Koodo

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How to send GIFs using the Google Keyboard on your Pixel or Pixel XL

Android Nougat 7.1 isn’t available to all Android users yet. Heck, most of us still don’t have access to Android Nougat 7.0 at all, but if you have a Pixel or Pixel XL smartphone then you’re ahead of the rest of us. (It is expected that Nexus devices will get the Nougat update in the near future.)

If you are one of the lucky few, then you can take advantage of its new ability to find the perfect GIF to spice up your conversations, which is built right into the Google Keyboard itself. After all, why use mere words or emoji when you can send the perfect when you can let this GIF of Scrooge McDuck express your feelings about Christmas carols in November.

Scrooge McDuck GIF from Imgur

Bah, Humbug!

So assuming you have a Google Pixel or Pixel XL and you’re using Google’s default keyboard, go ahead start writing a message. Then tap the smiley icon, which is just left of the space bar. This will open up your emoji keyboard, from there tap the GIF button (on the right side of the space bar.)

Now you’ve successfully opened the GIF part of the keyboard and you’ll see a variety of suggested categories you can scroll through. When you find the perfect GIF, just touch it to add it to the conversation.

Or if you’re having a hard time finding the right GIF or if you’re looking for something specific you can use the Search GIFs box to find it. The same as above, touching the GIF will insert it into your message.

Currently, this GIF functionality is only supported by specific apps, which makes sense. A GIF keyboard is really only useful in messaging apps, so here’s hoping all Androids can take advantage of this update soon. (Not that there aren’t other ways to bombard people with GIFs, but this seems so simple.)

Sources: Greenbot

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How to get rid of annoying Apple Calendar invite spam

Nobody likes spam and you might not expect spam to be able to show up on the Calendar app on your iOS device. But recently there’s been an uptick in unwanted invites that resemble spam email messages such as “Discount Kors jewelry 3%”, that tries to add itself to your Apple Calendar. These bad actors are using a loophole that allows them to bypass your email inbox and instead send a push notification to your Calendar app.  Unfortunately, simply rejecting the invite only serves to let the spammer know that they’ve found a legitimate email address.iCloud calendar spam

How to get rid of iOS Calendar app spam invites you’ve already received

The easiest way to do this is to actually set up a new Calendar in the app itself.

  1. Open up your Calendar app.
  2. Then tap Calendars and then tap Edit.
  3. Then tap Add Calendar, when your list of iCloud calendars appears.
  4.  You’ll need to input a name for your new calendar, something like “Spammers” or “Delete me” makes it easy to remember what that calendar is for.
  5. Then open the spam event and change its calendar category by tapping the > sign.
  6. From the list of calendar names that appears, tap the new calendar that you’ve created. (If you’ve done it correctly a check-mark will appear beside the name of the calendar.)
  7. Once you’ve done the same thing for every piece of invite spam you’ve received, go back to the Calendars list and tap Edit.
  8. Then tap the > sign next to the name of the spam calendar you’ve created.
  9. Then scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap Delete Calendar.
  10. Now you’ve successfully, blocked the spam without notifying the sender.

How to prevent future spam events from appearing in your iOS Calendar app

Keep in mind, that preventing future unwanted spam events from appearing in your iOS Calendar app requires logging into your iCloud account in your web browser on a desktop computer. Be sure that you have the email associated with your Apple ID and password handy.

  1. On your desktop computer or laptop open up your browser of choice.
  2. Head to www.icloud.com and log into your account using your Apple ID and password.
  3. Then click on the web version of the Calendar app.
  4. Next open up Settings by clicking the gear-shaped icon in the bottom left corner of the Calendar web app.
  5. From the menu that appears click Preferences.
  6. Then click the Advanced button in the pop-up box that appears.
  7. Next change the Invitations setting below Receive invitations as: from In-app notifications to Email to [your iCloud email account].
  8. Then click Save.

This prevents your Calendar app from integrating with your iCloud Calendar and allows your email address to use its spam filters to prevent unsolicited spam invites. Hope this helps!

Sources: ArsTechnica

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