If you have received the error "Can not create folder C:/Users/Username/AppData/Local/RoboForm/_mirrors_/rf-home-root: Access is denied. (error 5)'
This is related to the Windows Fall Creator update.
Follow the steps below to fix the issue............
1. Restart in Safe Mode with Networking on the Windows account in question. If you are not familiar with starting your pc in Safe Mode please use this link for the steps. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12376/windows-10-start-your-pc-in-safe-mode
2. Navigate to C:/Users/Your Windows Username/AppData/Local/RoboForm/ then from here delete the mirrors folder.
3. Launch the Taskbar Icon from the Start Menu
4. Login to RoboForm with the Master Password
5. Select the RoboForm icon>>Sync>>Sync Now
(RoboForm will sync successfully and recreate the folder with the appropriate permissions.)
6. Restart in normal/standard Windows mode
7. Select RoboForm>>Sync>>Sync Now.
This should resolve the Windows Error 5 issue.
Last act of outgoing Chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin?
The Conservative Party doesn't have the best of reputations on matters of IT security...
While Prime Minister Theresa May spends Monday reshuffling her cabinet, her party has embarrassed itself after failing to renew the security certificate of the Conservative Party website.
People took to the internet to report the issue after being greeted with warnings when they tried to visit the Conservatives.com website.
The problem has now been resolved, but at one point, visitors were warned by their browsers: "Your connection is not private. Attackers might be trying to steal your information from www.conservatives.com (for example, passwords, messages or credit cards)."
Many users thought that the incident was ironic considering that the government is currently undergoing a cabinet reshuffle. One user wrote: "Conservative website is down because they forgot to do an IT update. Because they didn't update, the Conservative Party can't communicate."
Your connection is not private. Attackers might be trying to steal your information from www.conservatives.com
Another also found the situation funny, saying: "In the most appropriate possible metaphor for the party's failure to grasp 21st-century campaigning, the Conservative website is down, apparently because they've failed to upgrade to HTTPS."
One user pointed out several things that have gone wrong for the government, writing: "So far on #cabinetreshuffle day the Conservative Party website has gone down and the official Tory Twitter feed has announced the wrong person as new Party Chairman. Not the best of starts.
As part of the reshuffle, Conservative Party chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin has stepped down.
McLoughlin has been widely criticised for being ineffective and will be replaced by Brandon Lewis, Conservative MP for Great Yarmouth, who'll be joined by Twitter user and MP for Braintree, Essex James Cleverly.
Hopefully, Lewis or Cleverly will do something about that auto-playing video on the party website home page.
People don't want to appear stupid in front of so-called smart assistants, suggest researchers
Smart device users will avoid using human-like virtual assistants for fear of looking "dumb" for asking stupid questions, according to research by psychologists.
In recent years, virtual assistants such as Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa have boomed in popularity with the tools pre-loaded onto smartphones and other devices.
But pyschologists have suggested that some people may be intimidated, rather than helped, by them. They suggest that the more human they are made, the less likely people will use them to ask questions.
The technologies are intended to improve the simplicity of apps and help users with everyday tasks. However, Daeun Park of Chungbuk National University claims that the more human assistants may deter people from using them.
They may end up asking themselves questions such as "Will I look dumb?" for asking this, according to the researcher. People, according to Park, are conscious about apps that measure achievement. These findings were published in the journal Psychological Science.
"We demonstrate that anthropomorphic features may not prove beneficial in online learning settings, especially among individuals who believe their abilities are fixed and who thus worry about presenting themselves as incompetent to others," said Park.
"Our results reveal that participants who saw intelligence as fixed were less likely to seek help, even at the cost of lower performance."
In the past, research has suggested that people view virtual assistants as "social beings", and this can make them "seem less intimidating and more user-friendly".
But Park and co-authors Sara Kim and Ke Zhang disagree with this claim, believing that people may feel like systems are trying to compete with their knowledge. This is particularly true when performance is concerned, they suggested.
"Online learning is an increasingly popular tool across most levels of education and most computer-based learning environments offer various forms of help, such as a tutoring system that provides context-specific help," said the researcher.
"Often, these help systems adopt human-like features. However, the effects of these kinds of help systems have never been tested."
It may, though, also be related to the knowledge or fear that the virtual assistants are slurping up data every time they are used, while the research might also only be exposing the embarrassment of looking ignorant in front of the research team.
The test involved exposing 187 people to a task that supposedly measured their intelligence. They were given three words and had to come up with a fourth one related to them all.
If they ended up running into difficulty, they could use an on-screen computer icon or a so-called helper. The research indicated that participants were "embarrassed" if they had to use the AI rather than the icon.
"Educators and program designers should pay special attention to unintended meanings that arise from humanlike features embedded online learning features," concluded Park.
"Furthermore, when purchasing educational software, we recommend parents review not only the contents but also the way the content is delivered."
Sonia Livingstone, professor of social psychology at the London School of Economics, said it was good to hear the call from the investors.
She added there needed to be one voice between device manufacturers, social media companies and internet service providers (ISPs) on the issue of smartphone use.
"For a long time the concern has been to not do anything that would impact a friction-free experience," Prof Livingstone told the BBC.
"Everyone would like to have a well balanced life, but the way that devices are designed currently causes a lot of conflict with parents."
She called on Apple and other device manufacturers to have all notifications on smartphones switched off by default and for the creation of occasional reminders that urged youngsters to take a break from their phone after long periods of use.
Prof Livingstone, who also runs a parenting blog, did question the use of the term "addiction" for those who spend a long time using a smartphone, however.
"Everyone will agree that there is excessive use and even obsession with smartphones, but I don't believe it's addiction," she said.
Apple has not yet responded to requests for comment.
Police warning over phishing emails that convincingly mimic Debenhams' email receipts
Debenhams experienced a poor Christmas trading period, according to reports
Police have warned consumers over what they describe as a wave of convincing phishing emails that mimic e-receipts from retail chain Debenhams in order to compromise people's PCs.
The phishing emails are intended to persuade people to click on a link to check the details and status of their order, which then downloads the malicious payload.
The emails have been circulating since before Christmas. The company is aware of the scam after recipients contacted the company, while 55 people have contacted Action Fraud after receiving the scam emails.
While the emails copy a typical Debenhams email receipt - one sent to customers after they have purchased or ordered something in-store - they are easily given away by the fact that they come from a clearly non-Debenhams address.
Action Fraud described the phishing e-receipt email as "the most convincing phishing email we've seen"
It continued: "More than 55 information reports have been sent to our National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB). We would advise people to not click on any links, delete it and report it to us.
"Debenhams is aware it's a fake and have had customers contact them directly about it. Their e-receipts are issued to people when they make a purchase in store and this is a carbon copy.
"So these are not only unusual, but could catch some people off guard. The giveaway is the fact they were sent from personal email addresses."
Debenhams confirmed the scam to the Daily Mail: "We are aware of this and we continually take steps to protect customers and support the work that organisations such as Action Fraud and Cyber Aware conduct to encourage customers to be vigilant and aware of the steps they can take to stay cyber secure."
Phishing has continued to grow in recent years as the most effective way for cyber attackers to penetrate both organisations, and to compromise computer users' personal details.
Indeed, organisations rather than individuals are probably most at risk given the sums involved.
Bitcoin miners are leaving China as strict regulations start to bite
A number of the biggest Bitcoin mining companies are rushing to move their operations overseas as China continues to clamp down on cryptocurrencies.
According to Bloomberg, some of the world's most prolific mining organisations are based in China, but are rushing to leave the country after the introduction of strict regulations.
Bitmain, which is responsible for running some of China's largest bitcoin-mining operations, has confirmed plans to shift its headquarters to Singapore as a result of the regulatory changes.
The organisation has also launched mining operations in the US and Canada in order to tighten its grip on the lucrative Bitcoin digital currency, which has grown rapidly in recent months.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Bitmain's co-founder Wu Jihan confirmed the news. BTC Top, which owns the third-biggest mining operation, has plans to move as well. It's in the process of opening a new facility in Canada.
Along with Bitmain and BTC Top, ViaBTC has been focusing on launching operations further afield. The firm operates in Iceland - where geo-thermal power is inexpensive - and the US, as well as China.
For a long time, China was the world's driving force behind the cryptocurrency craze. However, this is rapidly changing as the country's government continues to clampdown on cryptocurrencies, citing money laundering concerns.
It has also rapidly grown to consumer a significant percentage of global electrical power output.
Last year, China stopped local exchanges from trading virtual currencies, and it's also banned initial coin offerings. Firms and leading industry figures have been angered by these decisions.
But the Chinese Government is going further by working on proposals that could derail bitcoin mining altogether. This is the underlying computing process enabling transactions.
Inevitably, lawmakers in China want to be in a position where they can limit the power and authority exerted by cryptocurrency organisations.
Jiang Zhuoer, founder of BTC, told Bloomberg: "We chose Canada because of the relatively cheap cost, and the stability of the country and policies."
Amazon rejects report suggesting that it plans to turn Echo voice assistants into ad machines
The blue glow of the Amazon Echo isn't at all sinister
Amazon's Alexa AI tech is set to be expanded - with a deal in the pipeline for advertising to be pumped direct to users' devices.
According to CNBC, the retail giant has been negotiating with a range of major companies, such as Clorox and Procter & Gamble, to let them promote their products via Alexa.
In the near future, Amazon could roll out a service for its voice assistants that replicates Google's paid searches. Essentially, companies would pay Amazon for the privilege of their products coming up when users make voice searches.
So far, Amazon has been reluctant to implement advertising on the Echo in-home assistant, for fear that it would put people off, but the company may find the advertising opportunity too lucrative to turn down -
Personal assistants have boomed in popularity since the first Amazon Alexa was released in 2014, and many consumer companies fear losing money and market share as a result of artificial intelligence technology.
As CNBC notes, brands are keen pay technology companies, such as Amazon, a lot of money to appear near the top of searches when consumers look for certain products.
This isn't the first time that such news has hit the press. In the past, Amazon has suggested that it's looking to release a paid advertisement service for Alexa.
Amazon has yet to make its move, although CNBC's sources suggest that it will introduce paid advertising at some point this year.
Amazon, though, has officially rejected the report. The company said it doesn't currently have plans to bring advertisements to either Alexa or its Echo speakers.
Whether it proves possible to 'monetise' the devices with advertising is also open to question.
Ernst & Young's Greg Stemler, Americas consumer products & retail industry sector leader for transaction advisory services at the firm, isn't convinced. "In these early days, artificial intelligence doesn't appear to recognise brand value, and it doesn't articulate it," he told CNBC.
"It may be a real challenge for branded consumer packaged goods companies to readjust."
Although the rush to connect everything from toys to toothbrushes, cars to sex toys, and any number of household appliances to the internet, seems inexorable, there is little regulation protecting your cyber-security.
Not surprising then that there has been a raft of stories this year highlighting the vulnerabilities that are coming to light.
Now, with Christmas upon us, it's highly likely that you've considered buying a connected device, or maybe Santa will leave one for you under the tree.
But with no one else to rely upon to regulate the security of your new device, what should you do to protect you and yours?
The most important question you should ask is why the item needs to be connected to anything other than, possibly, a power source.
Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionYour personal details could make a tasty target for hackers
If it's a gimmick, or even if it's a feature you think looks really "cool", ask yourself seriously if it's worth the risk.
Look at the data the device gathers, what it shares - voluntarily and if hacked - and weigh that against what the connectivity is doing for you.
Managing your risk is all you can hope for this Christmas, as nothing is ever absolutely secure, but some degree of connectivity is useful.
If it's not vital to the operation of the device think about disabling the connectivity.
If it does what it is supposed to without collecting and reporting data then disconnect it. Even then you might consider whether the device is gathering information that you would rather was not kept: see if you can erase the data or if there is some setting that prevents it being collected in the first place.
The moment you see words such as "smart" or "connected" you need to move on to the second question: is there any known problem with the item.
If the security community has found a problem you should be able to find it quickly by searching online. Look for words such as security "vulnerability", "exploit" or "flaw" in connection with the device's name.
Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionConsumer group Which? has raised concerns that some connected toys can be hacked to let attackers spy on or even communicate with their owners
And don't forget to search for "data breach" in relation to the company that might hold data you and yours are being asked to provide.
Research about cyber-security of a device and its associated services is the best defence but as things currently stand you need to go and find it. Don't assume anyone will proactively send a recall notice or security notification.
If after Christmas you are the proud owner of a connected, smart device then learn how to update the firmware.
Any good vendor will have provided a means by which you can upload the latest embedded software, just like you do on your PC. However, again typically you need to be proactive as few of these devices are updated automatically by the manufacturer.
If the device has the facility to automatically update then make sure you enable it.
If there is no way to maintain the firmware in the device, then it tells you a great deal about the approach of the manufacturer to security.
It's inevitable that flaws will be found but if the manufacturer has no means of updating the device it makes little difference, even assuming the manufacturer was inclined to fix the problem.
Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionChecking regularly for updates can help keep attackers locked out
Although you might not want to ask if the person kind enough to give you the gift has kept the receipt, any device that you cannot update should be treated with caution - ie don't trust it with anything sensitive.
And if you're the one buying the device do your homework first. It's not always easy but the manufacturers' websites, especially their support section - assuming one exists - will usually tell you what is possible.
If you are willing to take the risk with the device, and it then requires you to provide personal data - for example to use an associated app - be very circumspect.
Don't use your real personal data - give an alternative persona. Unless it's a financial transaction there is no reason why you need give accurate information about yourself.
However, if you are joining in some form of online community - often the case with connected toys - remember that others probably are not as they appear either.
Of course, this is about balancing risk again. If you have some form of smart assistant and it doesn't know who you really are, it's not going to be nearly as useful as it would be otherwise.
Plus, in your rush to use your new device do the one thing none of us is ever really inclined to do: read the terms and conditions. Some online services reserve the right to withdraw access if you give false information.
Media captionThe BBC showed in 2015 how Cayla, a talking child's doll, could be made to to say any number of offensive things.
My Friend Cayla has found itself in the unfortunate position of being the plastic face of connected toy controversy.
At the start of 2015, UK security firm Pen Test Partners showed the BBC that the device's software could be hacked, allowing an attacker to make the doll swear at its owner.
The Vivid Toy Group, which distributed the machine, played down the threat and promised its app would be updated.
But at the end of 2016, US consumer groups claimed the data the toy gathered about the children who played with it amounted to "surveillance".
In February 2017, a telecoms watchdog in Germany, a country with strict privacy laws, urged local parents to destroy any units they owned and banned further sales.
And then, earlier this month, a French data regulator accused the toy's manufacturer of a "serious breach of privacy" due to a flaw said to allow people close by to connect via Bluetooth devices, potentially allowing them to "listen and record" conversations heard by the doll.
Although Cayla is still listed on the websites of many leading UK High Street and online retailers, most appeared to list it as out-of-stock at the time of writing.
At the risk of having dampened the Christmas spirit, there is some good cheer on the horizon for the new year.
Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionNew data privacy laws are on their way, but it's usually better to avoid getting into a mess than having to clear it up afterwards
Many are lobbying hard for the EU to expedite the regulation of the security of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and there is already an agreed position on the standard to which these devices should be held.
Although these regulations might not be in effect for next Christmas, 2018 does see the arrival of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will give you the right to have your data deleted by third parties.
The authorities will have significant new powers to ruin Christmas if they don't comply.
Two class action lawsuits have been launched against Apple in the US following the tech giant's admission that it slows down older models of the iPhone as they age.
Apple has said that it did this to "prolong the life" of the devices and maximise diminishing battery power.
The lawsuits were filed in California and Chicago by groups of iPhone users representing others, who they claim have suffered "economic damage".
Apple has been contacted for comment.
In the California court papers, Stefan Boganovich and Dakota Speas, who both live in LA, cite loss of use, loss of value and the purchase of new batteries as reasons for compensation, claiming that iPhone owners never consented to the "interference".
James Vlahakis, of the Sulaiman Law Group is representing the plaintiffs in the Chicago legal action.
"Apple's failure to inform consumers these updates would wreak havoc on the phone's performance is being deemed purposeful, and if proven, constitutes the unlawful and decisive withholding of material information," he said in a statement.
Mr Vlahakis added that in his view it would be a "direct violation" of consumer fraud-related legislation in Illinois, Indiana and North Carolina, where the complainants are based.
Image captionFor someone who likes anonymity, it is no surprise that Jonathan Hirshon enjoys remote places such as northern Lapland
Earlier this month, Facebook announced it would be using facial recognition to let users know every time a photo of them had been uploaded to the site.
Such a feature would be extremely useful to one man - public-relations professional Jonathan Hirshon, who has managed to stay anonymous online for the past 20 years.
He has more than 3,000 friends on Facebook and regularly updates his profile with personal information - where he is going on holiday, what he has cooked for dinner and the state of his health.
But what he has never shared on the social network, or anywhere else online, is a picture of himself.
It is, he said, his way of "screaming my privacy to the world".
"I choose to share virtually everything about myself on social media, but my face is the essence of me individually and this is about refusing to give up the last piece of identifiable information that I can control."
One of the big debates of 2018 is going to be around our personal information - how we share it, what Facebook, Amazon and Google do with it and what should happen when it is stolen or hacked.
Part of that discussion will be played out in tough new EU laws coming into force in May, which aim to give citizens back control of their data.
Some believe the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will turn personal data into a commodity - as valuable as oil - that citizens can share and sell for their own benefit.
Mr Hirshon wishes the US would instigate similar laws but is doubtful that it will immediately lead to citizens getting rich on their own information.
"I'm totally in favour of it but in order to accomplish that, people will have to totally change their mindset when using social media.
"Right now, we enjoy them as [a] totally free service monetised by ads targeted very specifically at us because the services know so much about us.
"Until such time as we choose to pay for these services, when [we have] the option of keeping our data private and monetising it ourselves, the idea will remain just that - an idea."
He is also well aware that the internet is the least anonymous place on Earth.
"Privacy is an illusion - the reality is that as you go across the internet, you leave traces of yourself everywhere."
Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionUpcoming European data laws are intended to make our digital footprints more transparent
Twenty five years ago - when the internet was in its infancy - he made "a conscious decision" to keep his picture off the web.
"It began as a game, to see how long I could do it for," he said. "And 25 years later it is still working."
He clearly enjoys the status of being the internet's mystery man.
"When people ask me why I do it, I give them four options. One: I am shy. Two: I used to work as a spy. Three: I am on the witness protection programme. Four: all of the above."
"I refuse to confirm or deny which one is the truth."
Image copyrightJONATHAN HIRSHON
Image captionMr Hirshon's current profile picture on Facebook
At a recent conference on the issue, Facebook's deputy head of privacy, Stephen Deadman, described GDPR as the biggest single change for Facebook since it was founded.
Julian Saunders, chief executive of personal data dashboard PORT.im said: "This is a massive, groundswell change in the relationship between businesses and people.
"Data is power, which is something that firms have known for a long time. Now, the boot is on the other foot."
"Individuals will be in much better position to know where their data is used and who it is being shared with."
Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionOur faces are increasingly being used as data points
Increasingly, our faces are becoming part of our personal data footprint.
Facial recognition has been used by Facebook since 2010 to identify and tag users.
Credit card companies are looking at using selfies to allow people to pay for things, while schools are considering the technology to check attendance and law enforcement already turns to it to track down criminals.
Apple's latest phone, the iPhone X, uses facial recognition to identify the owner and keep the handset safe.
Perhaps surprisingly, Mr Hirshon is open to the idea.
"I need to upgrade my phone and I want to replace it with an iPhone X."
"I trust Apple with my data. Many of the points of facial recognition are kept locally on the phone. Apple doesn't get that information."
But he is clear about one thing.
"I wouldn't buy a Google phone."
From people taking selfies to tourists on the lookout for the perfect shot, the offline world is now full of people snapping pictures.
And digital copies will often follow as sharing our lives on Instagram and other social networks becomes a normal part of the daily routine.
"I have learned to turn my head when I'm in a crowd," said Mr Hirshon.
Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe Spartacus hack applies the principle of safety in numbers
He regularly speaks at conferences - places he regards as "high risk" for his online anonymity crusade.
His first slide - no matter what the topic he is speaking about - is always a picture of a camera with a red slash through it.
He also asks the organisers to remind the audience that no-one should take and post a picture of him online.
Staying anonymous is quite a job.
He regularly trawls the internet looking for pictures that may have escaped his notice, but remarkably in 25 years has found only two.
Both occurred after events he was speaking at - in Serbia and Croatia - and the photos appeared on Twitter.
"I raced to find bilingual friends in both instances to send an urgent tweet respectfully asking on my behalf to take the picture down.
"Both were happy to do so and apologised profusely for the error. Nothing done out of malice, just language issues."
He is realistic though about maintaining his facial anonymity.
"It will end eventually, but when it does I have a solution which I call the Spartacus hack."
In the 1960s film, the slave's identity was protected when many of his fellow slaves stood up and declared: "I'm Spartacus."
Mr Hirshon has adapted that idea for the digital age.
"A couple of years ago, I asked friends to tag pictures of random people, animals, minerals with my name and flood Google with them.
"So now, when one picture slips through the net, it won't matter because you are not going to be able to tell which one is me."