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We got our hands on the new red limited-edition iPhone 7 Plus

We got our hands on the new red limited-edition iPhone 7 Plus

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What to do about those ‘government-backed attack’ warnings from Google

What to do about those ‘government-backed attack’ warnings from Google

TOTALLY PANIC.

Just kidding; please don’t do that. Google regularly issues warnings to people whose accounts are or have been targeted by state-sponsored attackers, and every time it does, users get really nervous that their emails are going to wind up on Wikileaks. Don’t freak out if you get one of these notices — it doesn’t necessarily mean that your account has been compromised, it just means you should think about taking a few extra steps to secure your account.

I got a “government-backed attack” warning. What does it mean?

What to do about those ‘government-backed attack’ warnings from Google

You’re in good company — lots of journalists and academics have received warnings like these. According to Google, it means that a sophisticated attacker has tried to gain access to your account using phishing, malware, or some other tactic.

Just because you get a warning doesn’t mean you’ve been hacked, though.

“We send these out of an abundance of caution — the notice does not necessarily mean that the account has been compromised or that there is a widespread attack. Rather, the notice reflects our assessment that a government-backed attacker has likely attempted to access the user’s account or computer through phishing or malware, for example,” Shane Huntley, a member of Google’s Threat Analysis Group, wrote .

Unfortunately, you’re unlikely to hear more information, such as when the attack happened or whether or not it was successful. Google doesn’t always send the warnings out right away and doesn’t give specifics about the attack or the responsible parties because it doesn’t want to tip hackers off about how they were detected. If Google says too much, the attackers will change their tactics — and then Google might not be able to warn you about the next attack.

“In order to secure some of the details of our detection, we often send a batch of warnings to groups of at-risk users at the same time, and not necessarily in real-time,” Huntley added.

So what do I do now?

Google recommends several steps to secure your account. The company offers a quick Security Checkup , which lets you review the devices and apps that have access to your account and double-checks your account recovery method.

Google makes some additional recommendations to high-risk users that will help prevent account compromise:

  • keep your software up-to-date (don’t let those updates languish forever because you don’t feel like pausing a show on Netflix long enough to let them install)
  • enable 2-step verification on your account (you can do this through regular old text message, but Google recommends its own Authenticator app or a Security Key as the best methods)
  • install Password Alert in Chrome (or another browser extension that alerts you when you enter your password on a suspicious login page)

Also, pay attention to the email address of the sender and make sure it’s someone you know and trust (rather than someone with a similar email address who’s trying to masquerade as your friend). Don’t click on links and PDFs if you don’t trust the sender. Encrypting email is

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Weekly Roundup: Apple acquires Workflow, Uber loses its president

Weekly Roundup: Apple acquires Workflow, Uber loses its president

This week, Apple and Amazon both made big acquisitions, the U.S. Senate voted to repeal broadband privacy rules created by Obama’s FCC and Uber lost its president. These are the top tech headlines from this week, plus some good long-form weekend reads. You can also receive this post as a weekly newsletter in your inbox, if you’d like. 

Weekly Roundup: Apple acquires Workflow, Uber loses its president

1.  Apple acquired Workflow , a tool that lets you automate tasks by hooking together apps and functions within apps in strings of commands. The startup had raised an unannounced seed round. The app was made by a small team that includes Ari Weinstein, a former iPhone jailbreaker and could prove to be a powerful tool for the iPhone and iPad.

2.  It was confirmed that a TSA “emergency amendment” order will affect nine airlines that fly out of 10 airports in the Middle East and Northern Africa. The order bans U.S.-bound passengers from bringing any personal electronic devices larger than a smartphone into the passenger cabin. Instead, they will have to put their laptops, tablets, game consoles, cameras and portable DVD players into their checked baggage. The U.K. followed suit and instituted its own ban, targeting a slightly  different list of airports . When the dust finally settled, two major storylines emerged : one focuses on terrorism while the other is about the economics of the airline business.

3.  The Senate voted to repeal  broadband privacy rules created by Obama’s FCC last year. Among other things, the old rules required ISPs to obtain consumers’ permission in order to use certain sensitive data like browsing history that they obtain through their service.  Repealing that seems like a bad idea , right?

Weekly Roundup: Apple acquires Workflow, Uber loses its president

4.  Uber is losing its president , Jeff Jones, after only six months at the company. “The beliefs and approach to leadership that have guided my career are inconsistent with what I saw and experienced at Uber, and I can no longer continue as president of the ride-sharing business,” he said in a statement. The departure comes during a period of turmoil for Uber, including series of sexual harassment allegations as well as being hit by a lawsuit from Waymo/Google.

5.  Amazon has its eyes on the Middle East as an emerging market. The company acquired Souq, which is often described as the Amazon of the Arab world and the region’s biggest e-commerce player, for a price of $650 million.

6.  More than 15,000 founders from 7,200 startups applied to the Winter 2017 batch of Y Combinator. It chose just over 100, with founders from 22 countries, to go through its accelerator program. This week, the accelerator held its two Demo Days for its Winter 2017 class. We checked them out, and among our favorites were a 3D printing factory, machine learning APIs and electric planes. Here are the top picks from Day 1 and the  top picks from Day 2 . You can also find the full list of startups from both Day 1 here and Day 2 here .

7.  Alaska Airlines announced that they will be killing off the Virgin

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CubeFit TerraMat hides under your standing desk to give your feet a rest

CubeFit TerraMat hides under your standing desk to give your feet a rest

Back before humans invented chairs we humans stood a lot. Now, almost 100 years later, we tend to sit. However, some people still stand. For those people there is the

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Alteryx rises 11% in data analytics IPO

Alteryx rises 11% in data analytics IPO

Alteryx, the data analytics company, went public on the New York Stock Exchange today, marking the third IPO of the year. The company priced its IPO yesterday at $14 per share, and closed Friday at $15.50, or 10.7% higher.

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