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Top 5 Tips to Protect Your Identity on Campus

Top 5 Tips To Protect Your Identity On Campus Back to school season is upon us, and while you are caught up in the enthusiasm of moving into your new dorms and ogling your class schedules, it is doubtful that the thought of protecting your identity is at the forefront of your mind. However, with 41% of adults having fallen victim to attacks such as malware, viruses, hacking, phishing scams, fraud and theft last year, it’s important to take practical action to keep your information safe on campus. There are the obvious precautions to take in protecting your devices, such as never le...
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What To Do In The Event Of A Bank Breach

You may have heard in the news recently that an Internet crime group, Carbanak, stole up to one billion USD by targeting the institutions themselves rather than individual customers. They transferred funds to controlled accounts and hacked ATMs via SMS messaging over the last two years. Cyber security experts at Symantec have been tracking Carbanak for some time now. What can cybercriminals do with my data in the event of a banking or financial institution breach? Cybercriminals are attracted to stealing data that they can make money from, such as credit and debit card numbers, bank a...
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Data Privacy and Ridesharing Apps

In busy towns and congested cities, ridesharing apps are quickly becoming all the rage. They’re a new and interesting marriage of technology and commuting that helps us keep up with this “always on” lifestyle. However, they’re also kicking up quite the controversy over how companies handle our real-time location data and overall privacy. What is ridesharing? Uncommonly referred to as “real-time ridesharing,” these new mobile apps are taking the local markets by storm. They allow a user to request an almost instant ride to wherever they need to go with just the push of a button.  In a...
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Malware 101: How Do I Get Malware on My Computer? Part Two

In other posts, we’ve explained the different types of malware on the threat landscape, and some of the less complicated ways your computer can become infected with malware. In this article we’ll talk about the more complicated types of attacks that cybercriminals use to try to get your information. Exploit Kit Exploit kits are malicious toolkits that attackers use to search for software vulnerabilities on a target’s computer. The kits come with prewritten code that will search for the vulnerabilities, and once it is found, the kit can then inject malware into the computer through tha...
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Malware 101: How Do I Get Malware on My Computer? Part One

We’ve previously explained the different types of malware that are prevalent on the threat landscape, which begs the question: How does malware get onto my computer? Bundled Free Software Programs Free is never usually 100% free when it comes to software and apps- there is always some trade-off. Frequently, free software companies will partner with other companies and bundle additional software within the download. Mostly, these programs are bundled with toolbar add-ons, however, hidden within these add-ons can be spyware, ad libraries, and even browser hijackers. While this is not ma...
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Mobile Scams: How-to Identify Them and Protect Yourself

With the mobile market gaining on PCs, cybercriminals are setting their sights on mobile devices. Learn how to protect yourself from mobile malware, phishing attempts, social media scams and more.

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Theft-Proof Your Mobile Data

What would your company do if an employee's device was lost, or even worse, stolen? Does your business  have measures in place to protect the data on the device?

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Four Mobile Threats that May Surprise You

Viruses and malware isn't just for computers anymore. What is your business doing to keep your mobile devices safe from these threats?

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POS Malware Data Breaches and Why They Keep Happening

In recent news, more and more reports have surfaced about data breaches impacting millions of consumers. Many of these data breaches involve a business’s point of sale. The main objective of point of sale (POS) breaches is to steal your 16-digit credit card numbers. Sixty percent of Point of Sale (POS) transactions are performed via credit card, which means big business for cybercriminals (individual credit cards can be sold for up to 100 dollars apiece). The industries most affected by POS data breaches are usually restaurants, retail stores, grocery stores and hotels. The mainstream me...
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Online Dating and Protecting Your Privacy

This month, American singles will flock to the multitude of dating services that are available online. Online dating has lost the stigma it once had, as a study conducted by Pew Research found that one in ten Americans have used an online dating website or mobile app in 2013. With the negative stigma of online dating nearly abolished, the popularity of these services is on the rise, which has caught the attention of scammers. What are the risks? As with anything you post online, it’s out there for everyone to see, so you will want to be careful with what identifiable information you u...
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When Were Computer Viruses First Written, and What Were Their Original Purposes?

Modern day computer virus origins may surprise you- their goals were not quite the same as they are today. Early on, viruses had varied utilities and were engineered mostly by people in computer science industries.  College students created viruses for research projects in order to help further their studies and fine-tune their coding skills. In addition to research, those students would also construct code to play practical jokes on their classmates. Engineers at Xerox created a computer worm meant to search for idle processes in a computer network. A pair of programmers created a boot...
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Keeping Your Mobile Fitness Data Secure

October is National Cyber Security Awareness month. Mobile fitness trackers are a new technology that is all the rage. Learn how to secure your health data and continue to use these useful tools in becoming a healthier you. This is part 10 in a series of blog posts we will be publishing on various topics aimed at educating you on how to stay protected on today’s Internet landscape. The advancement of technology brings tools that can allow us to track every facet of our daily lives: what we eat, how we sleep, how much we run, and even vital signs like heart rate and blood pressure. On the ...
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Security Concerns and the Connected Car

Connected cars are a relatively new technology in the Internet of Things, however, we've dug a little deeper into this tech. Read on to learn just how secure these technologies are and what you can do to safeguard your personal information.

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How To Protect Yourself From Cyberstalkers

With the wealth of information available online, this makes it easier for Cyberstalkers to gain access to their victims. Read on to learn about ways to keep your personal information hidden from unwanted eyes.

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How To Avoid Identity Theft Online

Identity theft is a growing threat on the Internet landscape. 9 million identities are stolen in the US every year. Learn how to protect yourself from becoming one of those 9 million.

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How To Protect Yourself From Phishing Scams

Phishing scams have one objective- gaining access to your money. Cybercriminials are always trying different tactics to try to trick you out of your personal information. Read on to learn how to spot a scam and protect yourself against scams and spyware.

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The Connected Home- Just How Safe Is Convenience?

The connected home, or smart home, is the next big thing within the Internet of Things (IoT). Here we examine the security concerns of this new emerging technology, and give you tips on how to keep your automated home safe.

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Securing Your Game Console and Gaming Account

Today’s gaming consoles are independent computers, but they are not yet at the stage where they are susceptible to malware in the same way PCs and other devices are. Even though the consoles are resistant to malware for the time being, there are still ways that cybercriminals will try to gain access to your valuable gaming accounts. In addition to phishing attempts on gaming accounts, online gameplay can be affected by hackers via Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. These attacks do not involve the users’ consoles directly; rather hackers intentionally flood the gaming company...
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How Do Cybercriminals Get Caught?

It's a rather long and complicated process with many individuals involved. Here we explain just how cybercriminals get caught.

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What to Do in the Event of a Major Data Breach

Stories of massive corporate data breaches in the media are becoming all too common today. So common that the FBI now considers cyber attacks on US companies one of its top law enforcement priorities. Unfortunately, as technology progresses and all of our information becomes more and more digitized, cyber attacks will continue to be an unfortunate part of our lives in the future. Corporations and even smaller businesses are an extremely attractive target to cybercriminals, simply due to the large payday of data that can be stolen.  What Can Cybercriminals Do With My Stolen Data? The main...
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What is Cyber Espionage?

When you think of espionage, characters like James Bond might come to mind- having to travel halfway around the world, pretending to be someone they’re not, infiltrating organizations and stealing secrets. Even though James Bond is just a fictional character, old school spies like that do exist. However, with the advancement of all of our data becoming digitized, we’re quickly becoming introduced to the new school version of spies- cyber spies. New school espionage simplifies the spying process extremely. Companies and institutions store almost an overabundance of data in their systems. I...
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Data Breaches Aren't Going Away- What You Need To Know

It may seem like stories of massive data breaches are popping up in the news on a weekly basis these days. Unfortunately, this is not surprising. As technology progresses, all of our information moves to the digital world, and, as a result, cyber attacks are becoming the new wave of crime. Corporations and even small businesses are extremely attractive targets to cybercriminals, simply due to the large payday of data that can be nabbed in one fell swoop. What is a data breach and how and why do they happen? The main reason that cybercriminals are stealing personal information is for us...
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What is the Difference Between Black, White and Grey Hat Hackers?

Not all hackers are inherently bad. When used in mainstream media, the word, “hacker,” is usually used in relation to cyber criminals, but a hacker can actually be anyone, regardless of their intentions, who utilizes their knowledge of computer software and hardware to break down and bypass security measures on a computer, device or network. Hacking itself is not an illegal activity unless the hacker is compromising a system without the owner’s permission.  Many companies and government agencies actually employ hackers to help them secure their systems. Hackers ar...
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Ransomware- When Cybercriminals Hold Your Computer Hostage

Ransomware is a form of malware that will lock files on a computer using encryption. Encryption converts files into another format, like a secret code and can only be decoded by a specific decryption key. Types of Ransomware Ransomware can present itself in two forms. Locker ransomware will encrypt the whole hard drive of the computer, essentially locking the user out of the entire system. Crypto ransomware will only encrypt specific, seemingly important files on the computer, such as word documents, PDFs and image files. Once the ransomware installs itself, ...
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What is Social Engineering?

We talk about software vulnerabilities a lot, and the human versions of those are our emotions. When people are faced with frightening scenarios, their first impulse is to act first and think later. This is the exact “vulnerability” that social engineers depend upon for a successful attack. Types of Social Engineering Attacks Social engineering is a way that cybercriminals use human-to-human interaction in order get the user to divulge sensitive information. Since social engineering is based on human nature and emotional reactions, there are many ways that at...
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DOS Attacks Explained

A “denial of service” or DOS attack is used to tie up a website’s resources so that users who need to access the site cannot do so. Many major companies, have been the focus of DOS attacks in recent years. Because a DOS attack can be easily engineered from nearly any location, finding those responsible can be next to impossible.

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Thanksgiving - Cybersecurity Technologies We're Thankful for and Why

Thanksgiving not only marks the start of the fantastic holiday season—it’s also a time to reflect on what you’re thankful for. One of the many things to be thankful for this holiday is cybersecurity, which has gotten more and more advanced as of late.

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What Is Malvertising?

Malvertising is a shortened term for malicious advertising, and is defined as using online advertising to spread malware. Malvertising requires placing malware-laden advertisements on legitimate web pages and through authentic online advertising networks in order to infect a web browser and device. Often, it’s very difficult to distinguish between legitimate and malicious online ads.

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What Are Malicious Websites and Drive by Downloads?

Most people are unaware of the fact that you don’t have to intentionally download a malicious attachment in order to compromise your computer’s security. Malicious websites and drive-by downloads are just two ways that your security can become compromised by doing nothing more than visiting a website.

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Kirby the North Pole IT Elf Presents: Paper or Plastic

Our favorite holiday IT elf is back with some more holiday shopping tips! This week he reviews "paper or plastic," and we're not talking about grocery bags. 

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Telltale Signs an App Is Violating Your Privacy

Malware isn’t just for laptops and desktops. In fact, it can be a lot easier for malware to end up on your mobile phone or tablet than your computer. When it comes to mobile malware, a little bit of paranoia goes a long way. Malicious apps can steal your personal information, including sensitive financial information that can then be used to steal your identity. A lot of malware ends up on your phone due to malicious apps. So what are signs that you might already have a malicious app on your phone? Slow Internet Connections A slow Internet connection doesn’t always mean malware, but it...
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Credit Monitoring Services and Other Anti-Fraud Protection

Identity theft is the most common complaint lodged with the Federal Trade Commission, to the tune of 11.7 million a year. That means roughly one-in-five Americans over the age of 16 have become victims of identity theft. 14 percent of those victims experienced a monetary loss of $1 or more. Half of all victims resolved the issue within a day, but nearly one-third (29 percent) had to spend a month or more getting their life back on track. While identity theft gets a lot of the press, there are other forms of fraud out there, both on the Internet and off. The good news is that there are a my...
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Biometrics How Do They Work? Are They Safe?

Biometrics are part of the cutting edge of technology. Put simply, biometrics are any metrics related to human features. Fingerprinting is a very early and simple version of biometrics, like when you login to your phone using your fingerprint. As with any emerging technology, the first question you should ask is if they are safe. How Do Biometrics Work? If you’ve ever put your fingerprint into an device, you have a vague idea of how biometrics work. Basically, you record your biometric information, in this case a fingerprint. The information is then stored, to be accessed later for compa...
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What Is a DDoS Attack? - #30SecTech by Norton

A distributed denial-of-service (DDos) attack is one of the most powerful weapons on the Internet. Most times that you hear about a website being “brought down by hackers” what that means is that it’s become a victim of a DDoS. A distributed denial-of-service (DDos) attack is one of the most powerful weapons on the Internet. Most times that you hear about a website being “brought down by hackers” what that means is that it’s become a victim of a DDoS. 

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How to Remove GPS and Other Metadata Locations From Photos

Once upon a time, a photograph provided only the information one could see in the physical print—no hidden data about locations, time and date, or the device that took the photo.  With the advent of easy digital photography, however, connecting extra information to the photos became easy as well.  This information, known as “metadata,” might include items like the GPS coordinates of the photo’s location, the date and time it was taken, the camera type and shutter settings, and the software used to edit the photo. Many digital photographers don’t realize that their photos might carry this...
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National Clean Out Your Computer day-The Importance of Clean Computing

February 8th is National Clean out Your Computer day, and as they say, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”  For centuries, this saying applied to tasks like scrubbing the floors and dusting the bookcases. Today, however, it applies to your computer just as much as it does to your house. When you “clean” your computer, you don’t just dust off the keyboard and wipe fingerprints from the screen. You also pay attention to the state of the hard drive, updating software and removing old programs. Why Clean? Cleaning both your computer’s hardware and its software matters.  Clean hardware help...
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Protecting Android Devices and Why They’re so Vulnerable

The security argument between Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android system for smartphones is heating up yet again. In a recent study conducted by Daniel R. Thomas, Alastair R. Beresford, and Andrew Rice at the University of Cambridge, research concluded that 90 percent of Android devices are exposed to at least one critical vulnerability.  The threat model was constructed using three common attack vectors: installation attack (malicious codes installed through app download); dynamic code loading (an existing app downloads new malicious codes); and injection (an attacker injects malicious code...
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What To Do When You Fall For An Email Scam

Falling for an email scam is something that can happen to anyone. It’s a frightening concept, and one that frequently results in undiluted panic. Also known as a phishing scam, an email scam involves using email and fraudulent websites to steal sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, account data, addresses, and more. Fraudulent emails are crafted to appear legitimate, such as messages from your bank or another trusted source. They request personal information, which criminals then use for identity theft. So what should you do if you find yourself a victim of an e...
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Participating in Legitimate Surveys- What Personal Data is OK to Give Away

Companies of all sizes use online surveys to gather important market research, which they later utilize to direct product development and marketing initiatives. This critical step in the marketing process is appealing to some online users because they get paid to complete surveys, and earn rewards or special discounts from popular brands. Some surveys aren’t paid at all, offering consumers little more than the opportunity to participate in the development process of a product or service. There’s been a lot of hype about people allegedly making a living off of these online surveys, causing...
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What Are Cookies?

Mention “cookies,” and most people expect a treat to appear. When talking about computers, however, cookies aren’t what’s on the dessert menu. In fact, they’re not even physical objects. Yet they do a great deal of the work that makes it possible for you to browse the Internet—and they can cause trouble if you don’t know how to manage them. Meet the Cookie A computer “cookie” is more formally known as an HTTP cookie, a web cookie, an Internet cookie, or a browser cookie. The name is a shorter version of “magic cookie,” which is a term for a packet of data that a computer receives, then s...
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Good Cyber Hygiene

Have you heard of something called cyber hygiene? Surely brushing teeth and taking showers isn’t something we traditionally associate with technology—yet the term is a useful metaphor for those of us who need to make smart decisions about our smart devices. Good hygiene is something we’re taught as children and something that generally sticks with us for the rest of our lives. It involves three basic principles: using products/tools that fit our hygiene needs, performing these hygienic tasks correctly, and establishing a routine. But what does that have to do with your computer? Cyber h...
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What to Do When a Device Is Lost or Stolen

Realizing your mobile device has been stolen is a sickening feeling, and often one that elicits panic. As challenging as it may be, you must remain calm so you can take the necessary steps to retrieve the device, or at least keep your data protected. You may never see your phone again, but you’ll know that your personal information is safe from those who would abuse it. Let the Right People Know The first thing to do is to let the authorities know your mobile device was stolen. File a report with the police—not only is this helpful for insurance purposes but it also increases recovery ch...
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PC or Mac: Which Is More Resistant to Cyber Threats?

Cyber criminals are not run-of-the-mill street hooligans. Assailants of online crimes are educated, tech-savvy, sophisticated individuals who don’t care if you prefer PC to Mac or vice versa. There has been considerable debate in the tech arena regarding the security of one machine over the other. Are PCs more prone to cyber attacks? Is a Macbook really less vulnerable to online threats? The debate wages on. For a long time Mac users enjoyed a period of peace—they felt impervious to threats, only to realize years later that the sophisticated hacker would eventually evolve to this platform...
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What Are Bots?

Bots, or Internet robots, are also known as spiders, crawlers, and web bots. While they may be utilized to perform repetitive jobs, such as indexing a search engine, they often come in the form of malware. Malware bots are used to gain total control over a computer. The Good One of the typical “good” bot uses is to gather information. Bots in such guises are called web crawlers. Another “good” use is automatic interaction with instant messaging, instant relay chat, or assorted other web interfaces. Dynamic interaction with websites is yet another way bots are used for positive purposes. ...
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How to Prepare a Smartphone or Tablet for Vacation

There are few times your smartphone or tablet will be more at risk than when you go on vacation. Although these items have been specifically designed to accompany you on your travels, they’re full of personal information that can put you, your finances, and your personal property at risk. There’s no reason to assume the worst when you go on vacation, but you can greatly reduce your chances of a security breach by preparing your smartphone or tablet ahead of time and remaining vigilant while on your trip. Here’s how to prepare a smartphone or tablet before you go on vacation. Change You...
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What Are Browser Hijackers?

A browser hijacker is defined as a “form of unwanted software that modifies a web browser’s settings without the user’s permission.” The result is the placement of unwanted advertising into the browser, and possibly the replacement of an existing home page or search page with the hijacker page. The idea is to make users visit certain websites whether they want to or not so the hijacker enjoys higher advertising revenue. Browser hijackers may also contain spyware to obtain banking information and other sensitive data. As frustrating as browser hijackers can be, they luckily aren’t terribly...
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7 Ways to Ensure Your Data Is Safe During Vacation

It’s barely spring and already you’re thinking about vacation. Where will you go? What will you do? Who will you meet? Vacations are an exciting, happy time for people to get away and avoid the everyday worries of home. But the fun and leisure comes to a screeching halt in the event that your personally data is compromised while traveling. Vacations can often put your personal information at risk, due to careless missteps in how you go about preparing to leave, how you communicate while on vacation, and what you share on social media. Here are seven ways to ensure your data stays safe wh...
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How to Spot Baseball Spring Training Scams

As winter drags on, almost everyone starts to look forward to spring — but perhaps no group looks forward to March quite as much as true-blue baseball fans. After all, its arrival means Cactus League and Grapefruit League spring training baseball camps open in Arizona and Florida. If you decide to go big, just remember to watch for scams when buying merchandise or tickets online — or you might find yourself striking out on Internet security.

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5 Tips to Protect Yourself from Online Travel Booking Scams

Thanks to the Internet, booking travel online is simple. But as your ideas of a spring break or summer vacation take shape, remember to be cautious when making reservations online. The number of phony travel booking websites is growing because they’re so successful at scamming consumers. Learn what to do so you don’t take a quick trip to Fraudville instead of your dream destination.

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5 Ways You Can Help Yourself Stay Secure Online

When you’re using the Internet, your Internet security suite can only go so far to protect you from potential dangers like spyware, ransomware and malware. You have to do some of the work yourself, because there are some threats that no Internet security suite can protect you against. Social engineering is a good example of this. Social engineering is a technique that cybercriminals use, which involves human-to-human interaction in order to get the user to divulge information. Based on exploiting human nature and emotional reactions, there are many ways that attackers can try to trick y...
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