Microsoft reportedly close to unifying its app stores across Windows and Windows Phone

Microsoft reportedly close to unifying its app stores across Windows and Windows Phone

Microsoft is apparently far closer to bringing together its disparate stores than many thought. The company has reportedly already demoed a single app portal for both Windows and Windows Phone behind closed doors at its annual company meeting in Seattle, according to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley. One of her sources tells her that the new unified store will likely launch alongside the next iteration of Windows,version 8.1, although other sources were less certain on this. In any case, the gossip tallies with comments by Microsoft’s Terry Myerson last week, who said that he sees the unification of Microsoft’s platforms and APIs as a priority....

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How to secure your internet

How to secure your internet

More and more these days, we are becoming more aware of the need for security on our computers, and for our entire internet experience. But how do you keep things safe in a world full of hackers and cyber attacks? No method is 100% secure or foolproof, but you can certainly take steps to make your experience much safer.   Why do I need to secure my connection? You should secure your connection regardless of what you actually use your internet for. The reason for this is that most of us manage some sort of accounts online, including bank accounts. For many banks, the security of your online account can hinge on the security of your email account, and if your email account is compromised, then everything you do online could be compromised.   So how do hackers get access to your stuff? There are a lot of different ways this can be done, and I won’t go into detail about all of them, but I will explain the basics. One method is very simple, and it basically involves a hacker “sniffing” the traffic on a wireless network. Even if you’re only using your home network, wireless network security is very insecure, and is easily broken, so you cannot rely on your routers security settings to keep you safe. Always assume that other people could be on your network, and see what you’re doing. Once a wireless network has been accessed, an attacker can use a program like WireShark to capture all the traffic. Applications like WireShark, called packet sniffers, are able to capture and save all the traffic on your network, which means an attacker can read your user name and password. This is often protected by SSL (secure socket layer) encryption, but if it is intercepted before encryption takes place, this doesn’t do you any good.   Other methods may include malware on your system, which can log everything you type, as you type it, which compromises everything. Most antivirus programs will catch most of these rogue programs, but there is never any guarantee. Running Windows as an operating system is risky for web browsing, especially if you use Internet Explorer. If you are using Internet Explorer, please stop it now, and go download Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox. Internet Explorer is a bad idea because the browser itself is tied into the operating system, and if the browser is compromised (very common for Internet Explorer) then your entire system is compromised. The first step is using a better browser. Now, let’s explore some options to keep you more secure.   Securing your connection   Using a VPN What is a VPN? VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. When you are connected to a VPN, all network traffic is encrypted, and routed through a VPN server. The VPN server then communicates with the internet on behalf of...

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