News Bytes – December

Voice Control in Maps
Google has just added increased functionality to the Maps app, so that now users can control their phone calls, text, and music options with their voice whilst still keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

Google Assistant will give you an audible alert of incoming calls, telling you who is calling, and you can opt whether or not to accept the call. To operate the service proactively, you can use the “Hey Google” command, e.g., “Hey Google, play Taylor Swift” or “Hey Google, text Charlie”.

The new functionality is available now for Android users: you can access it either by starting to use Google Maps and navigating to your destination, when you will be offered a pop-up option to turn the service on, or you can say “Hey Google, open Assistant settings” and going through Getting Around and Driving Mode.

FBI Warns Against Copycats
The FBI has issued a warning that cybercriminals appear to be planning to use official-looking FBI-related website names to carry out criminal activities. Numerous domain names have been registered that include the letters FBI, e.g. fbiusgov.com, and it’s feared that users could be tricked into giving away their passwords or other security details or downloading malware onto their computers.

As well as the potential security dangers to users, the Bureau is also concerned that individuals genuinely seeking correct information regarding the FBI’s activities and services could be duped into visiting the fake websites and become the recipients of dangerous “fake news”.

The Bureau recommends that everyone should follow best practice when dealing with any messages or websites that appear to be related to the FBI by ensuring that they have the latest anti-virus and malware software installed, that they are using the latest version of the operating system, and that they never give away passwords or other security details via email. Best of all, users should apply some common sense: if you get an email out of the blue for no reason saying that the FBI urgently needs to check your bank account for criminal activity and that you therefore should supply your bank details, it’s fairly obvious that this isn’t going to be genuine.