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Avoid spam calls, find numbers faster with Current Caller ID on Android

Last year, I shared how to use the Whitepages Current Caller ID app to easily track blocked calls and texts. Now, Whitepages has added the ability to spot many of today's spam/scam numbers, along with some other convenient features.

If you don't have the app already, there's no time like the present to get a copy. Current Caller ID is available for Android 2.2 and up.

The UI for the app has received a makeover, sporting lighter colors and better organization for its features. For example, the previous version of the app had two tabs … Read more

Add a "+" to your Outlook.com address for instant aliases

E-mail aliases can be used to protect your primary account, making it harder for spammers and other people to send you e-mails you don't want. Outlook.com comes with support for up to 10 aliases, which you can change yearly. If you've reached the maximum number of aliases or need to provide one in a hurry, you can also use "+" addressing.

Just like in Gmail, which has had "+" addressing for years, all you have to do is add a "+" at the end of your regular user name, then a word of your … Read more

Apple suggests another way to combat spam

Apple wants to help you fight the forces of spam, by improving the use of disposable e-mail addresses.

A patent named "Disposable Email Address Generation and Mapping to a Regular Email Account," published Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, suggests a more integrated and backend process for creating temporary e-mail addresses that you can easily throw away.

Some people use disposable addresses to cut down on spam. But that process currently presents some pitfalls, as described by Apple. You typically have to turn to a different provider than your current e-mail host to get such an … Read more

YouTube to wipe site clean of 'fraudulent' video views

It isn't exactly a secret that with a certain amount of cash, people can pay for views, followers, and likes on their accounts and profiles on social networks. This is something Facebook and Twitter have battled for years. Now, YouTube is cracking down too.

The video-hosting service announced Tuesday that it is carrying out periodic audits of videos in an effort to rid its site of "fraudulent views."

"YouTube isn't just a place for videos, it's a place for meaningful human interaction. Whether it's views, likes, or comments, these interactions both represent and … Read more

After bug, Google notifies users that all is a-OK with Gmail

Google assured Gmail users on Tuesday that the slight bug that affected their inboxes last week is definitively fixed. The Web giant sent out notices to users that could have experienced issues.

"You may have been impacted by a recent issue in Gmail that inadvertently caused some actions (e.g. delete, report spam) taken while viewing a message to be applied to a different message," Google wrote. "The issue occurred between January 15 and January 22 and is now fixed."

Apparently, this bug could have deleted or marked as spam some users' e-mails. The company reports … Read more

How to stop spam messages on Snapchat

Snapchat appears to be stuck in a sea of rough waters. The photo messaging app was the target of a massive hack that resulted in the exposure of more than 4.5 million usernames and phone numbers. The company later updated the app to allow users to opt out of its "Find Friends" feature, which was previously used to allow others to locate friends using only their phone number.

Shortly after the hack, numerous users began to complain about an increase in spam messages, which the company insists isn't related to the security breach. While you can … Read more

Snapchat apologizes for jump in spam

Another day. Another Snapchat apology.

Fresh from the bad buzz over its recent security snafu, the site is now trying to grapple with a bump in spam. In a blog posted Monday, Team Snapchat said that some members complained of an increase in Snap spam this past weekend. The tech folks at the company are trying to resolve the problem, according to the blog.

As far Snapchat knows, the rise in spam is unrelated to the Find Friends issue. Instead, the team cited such an increase in spam as "the consequence of a quickly-growing service." To cut down … Read more

Bots now running the Internet with 61 percent of Web traffic

With much trepidation, I must report that there is a pretty good chance that half the visitors to this story will not be human.

According to a recent study by Incapsula, more than 61 percent of all Web traffic is now generated by bots, a 21 percent increase over 2012.

Much of this increase is due to "good bots," certified agents such as search engines and Web performance tools. These friendly bots saw their proportion of traffic increase from 20 percent to 31 percent.

Incapsula believes that the growth of good bot traffic comes from increased activity of … Read more

Crackdown successfully reduces spam

Efforts to put an end to e-mail phishing scams are working, thanks to the development of e-mail authentication standards, according to a pair of Google security researchers.

Internet industry and standards groups have been working since 2004 to get e-mail providers to use authentication to put a halt to e-mail address impersonation. The challenge was both in creating the standards that the e-mail's sending and receiving domains would use, and getting domains to use them.

Elie Bursztein, Google's anti-abuse research lead, and Vijay Eranti, Gmail's anti-abuse technical lead, wrote that these standards -- called DomainKey Identified Email (… Read more

Microsoft says 'tsk tsk' to Xbox potty mouths

CNET Update is keeping it clean:

In this episode of Update:

- Learn why some Xbox One users are losing Live account privileges when uploading game videos with profanity.

- Get a free launch-day game download if you get one of the few defective Xbox One consoles.

- Take note of a change in spam and malicious links in YouTube comments.

- If your turkey dinner is a bit dry this Thanksgiving, be grateful it's not freeze-dried, thermostabilized and irradiated.

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