Rock stars put their ears in audiologist Julie Glick's hands

I met Julie Glick a few months ago with some folks from Ultimate Ears at a Head-Fi meeting in NY. UE was promoting a new set of custom-molded in-ear headphones, the Personal Reference Monitors, which are just now entering full production. In her NYC office, Glick can fully demonstrate these unique headphones, which are not only custom-molded to your ears but fine-tuned, soundwise, to your liking. Ultimate Ears technicians use the frequency curve you create to build your Personal Reference Monitors. I crafted my EQ curve in Glick's office; it was a lot of fun to design my sound. … Read more

Mobile users tend to distrust their phones

It turns out over half of U.S. mobile users are paranoid about their privacy -- not that they don't have reason to be. According to a new survey by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project, 57 percent of mobile app users have either uninstalled or refused to install apps because of privacy concerns.

"Many cell phone users take steps to manage, control, or protect the personal data on their mobile devices," wrote the survey's authors, Jan Lauren Boyles, Aaron Smith, and Mary Madden. "More than half of mobile application users … Read more

Kaspersky 2013 ups the ante with exploit prevention

The 2013 updates to the Kaspersky protection suites bring to consumers some of the most advanced security technology currently available. It involves introducing an exploit prevention engine as part of the security suite, but also a Safe Money banking protection tool that you can interact directly with. The suite's scans aren't the fastest, but it definitely will protect you.

Installation Installing Kaspersky has been dramatically simplified over the past two years. Following on 2012's fuss-free install, the installer for 2013 will remove conflicting security programs and any detected malware automatically.

You're still on the hook for … Read more

Surf safely with Comodo Internet Security

Comodo Internet Security is a free antivirus and PC security solution that combines a number of effective security tools into one easy-to-use package. It's one of the latest challengers to enter the expanding field of free security bundles, with which it shares some important characteristics, such as cloud-based virus scanning and behavior analysis to counter zero-day threats, a sturdy firewall, sandboxing, and anti-spyware -- all controlled from a single access point that takes the guesswork and program-swapping out of the security equation. Each strives to satisfy advanced users and absolute beginners alike. Comodo Internet Security passes all those checkpoints … Read more

Protect yourself from smishing (video)

We've all heard about phishing attacks -- those spammy e-mails you get in your in-box imploring you to divulge your personal information. Now those annoying scams are coming to a cell phone near you -- it's called smishing, or phishing via SMS text message.

Text messaging is the most common nonvoice use of a mobile phone, and scam artists are taking full advantage of that. In fact, according to security firm Cloudmark , about 30 million smishing messages are sent to cell phone users across North America, Europe, and the U.K. Smishing is part of the much larger … Read more

Social Protection app DRM's your Facebook photos

Intel and McAfee have collaborated on a new browser plug-in and Facebook app called Social Protection that throws a thicker wall of privacy around your photos, while still allowing you to share them with friends.

Brian Foster, senior vice president of consumer product management for McAfee, said the combo is intended to protect the digital content you own so that only your friends can see it. "The focus is on everyday use of Facebook, and how your digital content has ended up in the wrong places unintentionally," he said this morning in a phone conversation with CNET.

It … Read more

Add a locked Vault to your phone

NQ Mobile Vault is the simplest application I've seen for keeping text messages, call history, contacts, photos, and videos private on your mobile device. Celebrities, pay attention.

Basically, Vault creates an encrypted, password-protected space on your device, in which you can store photos, videos, text messages, and call history. It's easy to move items into and out of the space, and you can even permanently delete them, if you'd like.

Once you create your password, there are a few ways to start using Vault. First, within the app, you can pull up all of your messages and … Read more

How tech protects the world's busiest border crossing

SAN YSIDRO, Calif.--They were hidden in the gas tank -- 17 tightly-wrapped packages of marijuana weighing in at 38.44 pounds.

The car was nondescript, a green 1999 Mazda 626. The driver was a male 50-year-old Mexican national, a resident of Tijuana who had presumably been hoping to make it into California without being stopped.

Instead, the man got caught with the massive haul of pot, snared by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers here at the world's busiest border crossing using several tools in their arsenal -- some high-tech, some very low-tech -- to find … Read more

Bitdefender Total Security 2013 brings secure browsing to the top shelf

The bottom line: Bitdefender Total Security 2013 remains one of the best high-end security suites around. This update gives you a fully isolated Web browser for secure financial transactions.

Review: Bitdefender Total Security 2013 presents a convincing alternative to its better-known competitors. It's a strong program, with all the major tools that users expect, and some additional useful tricks in its arsenal. When it comes to efficacy, Bitdefender isn't the best in every area, but it's definitely competitive.

Editors' note: Portions of this review are based on CNET's review of Bitdefender Total Security 2012.

Installation Bitdefender … Read more

How the Border Patrol uses tech to combat smugglers

TUCSON, Ariz.--It's summer in the Southwest, and there may not be a hotter border anywhere in the United States. For one thing, the mercury is easily over a hundred every day. And then there's the steady flow of organized smugglers trying to sneak themselves and their substantial cargo -- of migrants and/or drugs -- across Mexico's long desert frontier with Arizona.

There are nine U.S. Border Patrol sectors stretching across America's southwestern frontier. And back in 2000, the agency was snagging more than 2,000 people a day for crossing illegally into its … Read more