Remaining fencing erected around the US Capitol after the January 6 riot is set to be removed within days: AP

Capitol
The US Capitol is shown through security fencing on March 21, 2021.

The remaining fencing that was erected around the US Capitol shortly after the January 6 riot is set to come down as soon as next week, according to The Associated Press.

Three individuals close to the matter told the outlet that the US Capitol Police Board put into motion a plan to take down the fencing by July 9. The sources spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity and were unable to discuss any further details.

The board, which conducts oversight over the police force, is composed of the sergeants at arms of the House and Senate and the Architect of the Capitol, according to The Associated Press.

In March, the Capitol Police removed an outer fence that blocked off a large part of the area to cars and pedestrians, but an interior perimeter fence remains.

Read more: How Trump could use his relationship with Putin and Russia to skirt prosecution back in the USA

The fencing has been unpopular among Capitol Hill residents, who have lamented its effect of cutting off the complex from the general public.

The Capitol Police Board in February reportedly endorsed keeping up the fencing through September as a precautionary measure.

Local leaders that same month swatted down a proposal that would have installed permanent fencing around the Capitol building.

The outer fencing was removed in March, just weeks after insurrectionists breached the Capitol to stop the electoral vote certification of President Joe Biden, who defeated former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

In early April, a car driven by 25-year-old Noah Green rammed into a barricade outside the Capitol complex, killing William Francis Evans, a Capitol Police officer, and injuring another officer.

After Green brandished a knife and lunged at the officers, he was shot and killed by the police.

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Amazon’s newest Ring Video Doorbell is 25% off for Prime Day 2021

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Amazon Ring Video Doorbell - Prime Day 2021 Deals on Ring Video Doorbell

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Amazon Prime Day 2021 ends at the end of the day today, and there are still huge deals for a huge range of products, devices, and services across almost every category you can think of. One of the big products that get tempting deals on Prime Day 2021 are Amazon’s own Ring smart home devices, like smart video doorbell and home monitoring cameras.

Just remember that, if you’re trying to get a Prime Day deal through Amazon, you’ll need to be an Amazon Prime subscriber or start a free trial. Also, be sure to follow our Prime Day liveblog for all of the latest deals as they come in.

The Best Amazon Prime Day Ring Video Doorbell deals

Ring’s Video Doorbells can be easily added to almost any front door, even those that don’t have an existing doorbell or those that aren’t wired to power a doorbells, as some models come with a rechargeable battery option. With a Ring Video Doorbell, you can monitor what’s going on outside your front door at anytime and anywhere, as long as you have a data or internet connection. You also get alerts when someone rings your doorbell, and you can see and communicate with that person through the Ring mobile app.

On Prime Day, we’re only seeing one deal for a new Ring video doorbell – the newest Wired model released in 2021. It comes with everything you’d need or want in a video doorbell, but users who want higher resolution and more advanced features may feel a little left out here. Otherwise, there are some bundled options that come with Ring cameras or the Chime that extends the doorbell chime to your home, rather than just your smartphone.

Video Doorbell Wired (2021) (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Video Doorbell Wired with Ring Chime (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Video Doorbell Wired bundle with Ring Indoor Cam (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

The top Amazon Prime Day Ring Camera deals

Ring’s indoor and outdoor cameras let you check in on your home from anywhere, as long as you have a data or internet connection, even when you’re away from home. For indoor use, the best option is the standard wired Ring Indoor Cam. If you’re looking for a battery-powered camera that doesn’t need wired power, inside or outside, the Ring Stick Up Cam is a great choice.

Stick Up Cam (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Spotlight Cam (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Floodlight Cam Wired Plus (2021) (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

Which Ring Video Doorbell should you buy? We break down the models.

The newest Wired Ring Video Doorbell is the cheapest and simplest option you can buy, but it still comes with pretty much everything you’d want in a smart video doorbell, including streaming at a sharp 1080p resolution, night vision, two-way communication, and alerting you to motion via your phone. It uses the existing power wiring from your old doorbell if your home is already wired for that, so it’s a better value buy than the standard Ring Video Doorbell or the Ring Video Doorbell 4 that include rechargeable batteries (as well as the option for using existing doorbell power wiring). Regardless, the standard Ring Video Doorbells don’t have deals so far on Prime Day 2021.

The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is a tough sell at its high price tag, especially since it’s not getting the Prime Day treatment. The camera has a wider field of view, but it’s tough to justify its cost when the non-Pro models are so good and inexpensive.

Remember that you’ll need to subscribe to the Ring Protect Plan to record and keep captured video for up to 60 days.

Are smart doorbell cameras worth it?

Speaking from my own experience, I personally questioned whether I really needed a smart video doorbell when I installed one a few years ago. Since then, I’ve found my smart video doorbell to be an invaluable and essential part of my house. The ability to see what’s going on outside my front door when someone rings my doorbell, or when it detects movement outside, is priceless.

It’s been especially reassuring while I’m away from my house. I’ve been able to check in to my home’s primary point of entry from anywhere at any time, even overseas, as long as I have an internet connection. If a smart video doorbell camera is within your budget, it’s a worthwhile purchase.

More Prime Day Amazon device deals

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Plans for undersea communications cables are at a stalemate after the US warned of China’s involvement, report says

kiribati
The island nation of Kiribati

  • Plans for undersea communications cables have been shelved after security concerns over China.
  • Reuters reported the US warned of a security threat with the cables connecting Pacific island nations.
  • No contract was awarded as a result, and next steps for the project aren’t yet clear.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The future of plans for undersea communications cables between Pacific Island nations are unclear after the US warned a Chinese company that was bidding for the project could pose a security threat, Reuters reported.

The $72.6 million project, which is backed by the World Bank, is designed to better connect the island nations of Nauru, Kiribati and Federated States of Micronesia, Reuters said.

But two sources told Reuters no contract was awarded after the US raised concerns over the involvement of a Chinese company.

HMN Technologies, formerly known as Huawei Marine Networks, was one of three companies that submitted bids, the sources told Reuters.

Under the current plan, the cable would connect to Guam, a US territory that is home to key military facilities and it was this factor that raised concerns over the security of the project.

One source told Reuters no contract had been awarded because there was no other way to remove HMN as one of the bidders.

“Given there was no tangible way to remove Huawei as one of the bidders, all three bids were deemed non-compliant,” Reuters quoted the unnamed sources as saying.

The World Bank told Reuters that it was working with the nations’ governments to figure out what to do next.

It added: “The process has concluded without an award due to non-responsiveness to the requirements of the bidding documents.”

And a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson told Reuters: “As a matter of principle, I want to emphasise that Chinese companies have always maintained an excellent record in cyber security.”

HMN Technologies did not respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

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Zelle is a safe way to send and receive money, but beware of scammers

pregnant woman making online payment with phone and credit card
When you’re sending money to a trusted recipient, Zelle is a safe option.

  • Zelle is safe, as long as you know and trust the person you’re sending money to.
  • Once you authorize a payment, it’ll go through, and there’s no form of fraud protection.
  • Zelle runs through your personal bank’s digital infrastructure, so it’s as secure as your bank.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

There’s no shortage of peer-to-peer digital payment apps; in 2017, Zelle joined the ranks of services like PayPal and Venmo as a simple way to send and receive money via your mobile device. Unlike the alternatives, though, Zelle is backed by hundreds of banks and directly transfers money between accounts in minutes.

That speed – and its status as the “official” digital payment system built into many banking apps – makes it a target for criminal activity, which has led some experts to question the app’s overall safety.

Zelle is safe if you know who you’re sending money to

Zelle was built by banks and was engineered to be safe. “Zelle is safe because it uses data encryption which offers users increased protection. From a privacy perspective, it’s safer than alternatives, like Venmo and Cash App, since it’s harder for scammers to access users’ personal information,” said Nishank Khanna, chief marketing officer at Clarify Capital.

But some well-publicized incidents of fraud are a cause for concern, and Zelle’s consumer protection isn’t especially robust if things go wrong.

The biggest drawback of Zelle is that it doesn’t offer fraud protection for authorized payments. In other words, if you purchase something online and use Zelle to pay for it, you have no recourse if you never receive the item you paid for.

For example, if you use Zelle to purchase an item from Craigslist, and it turns out you were scammed, Zelle won’t refund you. Thus, Zelle advises that you only use the service to pay people you absolutely know and trust.

Zelle app
To send money on Zelle, you need to enter the recipient’s phone number or email – but make sure you trust them.

Ted Rossman, a senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com said, “The key with Zelle is to only send money to people you know and trust. Once the money is sent, it’s gone. There’s no pending status, no chargeback mechanism, no buyer protections of any sort. If you send money to the wrong person, you’re basically at the mercy of that stranger to send it back.”

In fact, some criminals try to capitalize on that. “Some scammers deliberately encourage you to pay them via Zelle with the intent of stealing your money. If someone you don’t know is requesting a payment via Zelle, I’d suggest declining,” Rossman said.

But you’re not entirely without protection. In many cases, it all comes down to whether you authorized the transaction; if you did, you’re not protected. But unauthorized transactions are usually fully reimbursable.

“Zelle’s ease-of-use can also make it possible for malicious parties and fraudsters to use social engineering to acquire Zelle credentials,” said Tom Kelly, president and CEO of consumer privacy company IDX. Social engineering is when a scammer lies about their identity or goal to trick victims into giving them personal information.

Criminals have used social engineering to contact victims and request the two-factor code that Zelle requires to set up accounts. In situations like this, criminals can easily set up a Zelle account on their own device using a victim’s credentials.

You can defend yourself against these types of attacks the same way that you defend yourself from phishing attacks, malware, and other social engineering attacks: Keep your data and personal information secure, don’t divulge info to people you don’t know, and make your passwords unique and strong.

online shopping laptop with credit card
Never hand out your payment info to an individual you don’t know.

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A guide to two-factor authentication, the two-part security test for your online accounts and devices

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Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, uses multiple tests or devices to keep your accounts secure.

  • Two-factor authentication is a security measure that makes you pass two security tests before gaining access to your account or device.
  • As hackers and hacking systems become more advanced, experts say passwords alone are not enough to keep your data secure.
  • Many apps and websites give users the option to use two-factor authentication, but it’s also something users can set up for themselves.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

You can never be too careful with your information online.

Hackers are becoming more sophisticated, and while developers continually come up with new methods to make sites and devices more secure, hackers can still find ways around them. As a result, a password alone may not be enough to protect your important accounts from cybercriminals.

Lately, more businesses and services have been adding two-factor authentication as an optional feature for their online logins. Certain industries require two-factor authentication as a security practice, and most internet security experts would tell you that adding two-factor authentication is not only a good idea but an increasingly necessary step for ensuring your online security.

What to know about two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication, also referred to as 2FA or two-step verification, is a method of confirming your identity by asking you to pass two security tests. It’s a way for a site or a system to ensure that it’s really you logging in and not a sophisticated robot or a hacker.

After you enter your password, you’ll be asked to pass a second test, which will vary depending on the site you’re using.

2FA forces hackers to come up with solutions to two unique problems, rather than one. It’s also constantly evolving because hackers seem to eventually come up with solutions to said problems. One early form of 2FA was the security question, but years of predictable questions and answers left that method vulnerable to hackers.

Types of two-factor authentication

Things have gotten more complex since the days of the security question – hackers and robots have gotten more advanced, so security challenges have, too. There are now five common types of 2FA.

Text or voice-based 2FA

This type of two-factor authentication will usually prompt you to enter your phone number and choose whether you would like to receive a text message or a phone call to have your identity verified.

If you’re logging in to a multi-use account, once you have done this once, your preferences will usually be remembered for next time, with your permission.

If you choose a phone call, an automated system will call your number and ask you to verbally confirm that you are logging in.

If you choose text, you will most likely be sent a text message with a link that will automatically log you in and redirect to the site or app’s landing page. However, some older forms of this feature may simply send you a text asking you to send a reply text confirming that you logged in.

It’s important to note that, even if you know a site utilizes this form of authentication, they will never ask you for information like your username or password over SMS or a voice call. If you are ever asked for this info, you should block the number immediately – this is a common phishing scam.

Additionally, if a site you use has an option to set up this feature and you haven’t done so yet, you should do it as soon as possible, or set up some form of 2FA for that account immediately. If you don’t, a hacker who was able to get in using only your password might be able to set it up with their own number.

Hardware tokens

Hardware tokens are the oldest form of 2FA out there and they are relatively uncommon today, mostly because they’re expensive, easy to lose, and are, while still incredibly secure, not entirely invulnerable to hacking.

A hardware token is a device that generates a new, randomized code every 30 seconds. When you want to log into the associated account, you simply look at the device and enter the code displayed on it. With newer versions, you plug the device into your USB port and it enters the code for you.

Other tokens seek to authenticate your identity, but hardware tokens sidestep that issue entirely, operating under the assumption that whoever has it is already qualified to get into the system.

Software tokens

These tokens combine the best factors of SMS and hardware-based 2FA, while eliminating some significant issues each of the other methods face.

Software tokens work exactly like hardware tokens, as described above, but rather than using a physical device to generate a password, they’re an application that you install to generate a password automatically.

These tokens are sometimes attached to specific websites; CAPTCHA is one method employed by many sites in order to confuse robot password hackers with a visual question. However, you can also download and set up your own software token application – they’re an excellent and reliable way to stay secure online, and they work whether you’re using a desktop computer, a smartwatch, or anything in between.

Push notifications

When you’re logging into a website, chances are you’re using what’s called a secure connection. Basically, this means that, during the time your device and the site are communicating, the site is masking all of the communications involved to make them difficult for hackers to penetrate.

Push-notification 2FA merely takes advantage of this secure connection while you’re using it. Essentially, when you log in, it sends a signal to the server to send a push notification with a unique one-time code that completes your login.

This is basically an improved form of the SMS-based 2FA outlined earlier – the difference is that this one eliminates opportunities for phishing scams to take advantage of unsuspecting users, and, more importantly, stops man-in-the-middle attackers from intercepting login links.

The only drawback to this method is that it doesn’t work very well in areas with spotty internet service.

Biometrics

There’s an even more secure way to confirm your identity than any of these 2FA methods though, and people have been using it since even before there were computers – we just didn’t figure out how to implement it digitally until recently.

Once used as a sci-fi trope and associated with top-secret access, fingerprint scanners can be found on a number of devices people use every day, like phones and laptops. Other forms of biometric identification – methods of confirming your identity using factors unique to your biology – are also on the rise, most notably facial recognition.

Some organizations, especially apps on your phone that deal with money, like PayPal or whatever virtual banking app you may use, already use two-factor authentication, in a sense. If you have a phone that allows for fingerprint or facial recognition, these apps work with its software to allow you to store your username and password in your device, and have the device fill it in for you as long as it recognizes you.

Currently, the only issues with this technology are that not all devices have a fingerprint scanner or facial-recognition technology, and facial recognition is relatively in its infancy.

Why two-factor authentication is important

Two-factor authentication has become an increasingly important security measure as hackers and hacking systems have become more sophisticated over time. In fact, advanced hackers can easily use one unlocked account to unlock dozens, if not hundreds, of others.

These days, hackers aren’t just sitting at the computer typing away, hoping and guessing at random numbers and letters. They have algorithmic programs that test hundreds of common patterns and combinations in seconds. If your specific username or password hasn’t been guessed by these machines already, it’s most likely sheer luck. Once one password has been guessed, chances are they’ll be able to use that combo to hack into other common sites as well.

Related Article Module: What is cybersecurity? A guide to the methods used to protect computer systems and data

Even if you’re taking all the proper precautions and using the smartest, most obscure usernames and passwords you can think of, making them unique every time, you’re still vulnerable. You’re just a little less vulnerable than other people with simpler ones – and even then, you’re making way more work for yourself than you need to.

Human memory is faulty, and the more we get comfortable online, the more passwords we’ll have to create and remember to stay secure. Setting up two-factor authentication frees you from that burden, while still giving you the peace of mind of knowing you’re much more secure against cyberattacks.

How to enable two-factor authentication

If you’re not looking to buy a hardware token or download and install a separate software token in order to protect your accounts, there’s still good news for you. Most major websites, apps, and devices already have 2FA capability that you have the option to set up with your account.

Here’s a brief list of guides on how to set up two-factor authentication on some of the most popular sites, apps, and devices:

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What is Secure Boot? A guide to your PC’s security check during startup

business professional working on laptop desktop PC in office
Secure Boot is a safety feature built into all modern PC laptops and desktops.

  • Secure Boot is a feature of your PC’s UEFI that only allows approved operating systems to boot up.
  • It’s a security tool that prevents malware from taking over your PC at boot time.
  • While it’s not recommended to disable Secure Boot, you can customize the certificates it uses to authenticate which operating systems are approved on your PC.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Secure Boot is a feature found in the startup software for your computer that’s designed to ensure your computer starts safely and securely by preventing unauthorized software like malware from taking control of your PC at boot-up.

If you’re using Windows 10 and a modern PC with UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, the low-level software that enables your computer to boot), then you’re automatically afforded protection from illicit software attempting to take control of your computer when it starts up.

How Secure Boot works

Before Secure Boot, the computer’s BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) would hand off control of the PC to any bootloader that was located in the right location on the hard drive. There was no way for the BIOS to validate or authenticate the software, so anything could boot the PC – Windows, other operating systems like Linux, and even malware.

That’s no longer the case. Secure Boot is a feature in UEFI, which has replaced the BIOS on the vast majority of PCs in use today. While the BIOS was commonly used in computers from the first PC until the 2000s, today virtually all PCs use UEFI. You may have seen the UEFI interface if you had to access the startup menu by pressing a keyboard shortcut (usually F1 or F2) when the computer is first turned on.

Secure Boot establishes what programmers refer to as a “trust relationship” between the UEFI and the operating system that it launches at boot time. To do this, the launch software is signed with pairs of public/private security keys. The operating system’s private key is “whitelisted” by UEFI. If UEFI has approved the key, the software (like Windows 10) can launch.

IT professionals working together on desktop PC
Secure Boot helps your PC launch safely with the proper operating system, safe from malware attacks.

Windows 10 ships with a certificate that’s stored in UEFI; this serves as the key that allows it to boot. Likewise, other reputable operating systems (like Linux) can also acquire a key and register with UEFI, allowing them to boot securely as well.

Conversely, if malware tries to install a bootloader on your PC to take over at startup, it will not have a signed key, and UEFI will not allow it to launch.

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How to disable Secure Boot on your PC when you need to install components that aren’t compatible with the security feature

man working on desktop
You can disable Secure Boot through your PC’s UEFI.

  • To disable Secure Boot, you need to restart your PC and open the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI).
  • Secure Boot is a feature in your PC’s UEFI that only allows authorized operating systems to boot.
  • You can re-enable Secure Boot from UEFI, but you may need to restore Windows to factory conditions.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Secure Boot is an important safety and security feature found on most modern PCs – it prevents unauthorized software like malware from taking over your PC when it turns on. It’s a feature in your computer’s UEFI designed to authenticate security keys on compatible software like Windows 10.

Sometimes, though, you might need to disable Secure Boot. This might be the case if you need to install an operating system or other bootup utilities that are not compatible with Secure Boot. Only Windows 8 and Windows 10 have Secure Boot certificates, for example – if you needed to install Windows 7 on a Secure Boot-enabled PC, you would need to disable Secure Boot.

Please exercise caution before doing this, though. Secure Boot is an important element in your computer’s security, and disabling it can leave you vulnerable to malware that can take over your PC and leave Windows inaccessible.

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What is a digital footprint? How to protect yourself online, and keep your data from being used against you

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It’s important to know what kind of traces, or digital footprint, your online activities leave behind.

  • Your digital footprint refers to all the personal data and information available about you online.
  • Your active digital footprint includes your emails, social media posts, and other messages with your name attached.
  • Your passive digital footprint is information you unintentionally leave behind, like your IP address.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

As the internet is deeply entwined in almost every aspect of modern life, it’s difficult to avoid having some kind of presence online.

The degree to which you leave traces of your online activities is referred to as your digital footprint – it’s akin to the evidence you might leave behind after going camping, such as remnants of a campfire, your dinner scraps, and the path you carved in the woods while hiking.

In the case of your digital footprint, the evidence you leave behind is data. This footprint tends to fall into two major categories, depending on whether you’re leaving an “active” digital footprint or a “passive” one.

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