Top Cyber Security Threats to Remain Safe From

With the rise of the Internet and its applications, the cyber security threats are not going away anywhere. Various news flashes are constantly seeking the attention of the global Internet users to remain safe from the several kinds of potential cyber security threats that keep coming up every now & then. Some of the online threats pose significant harm to the personal data, financial information, and the overall businesses of various organizations out there.

While some of the cybersecurity threats might be easy to detect & correct, there are others that involve the minds of hacking geniuses and involve a wide range of complicated devices to snatch out confidential information. As the threat to online security keeps rising, here are some of the top cybersecurity threats that you must be aware of:

  • Ransomware: This turns out to be one of the biggest and major concerns that threaten the digital existence of the individuals and organizations worldwide. Ransomware is the type of online threat that tends to lock up your computer system and threatens to encrypt every last thread of data present in the given system. If you wish to remain safe from the potential ransomware attack, it is recommended that you must create a regular backup of your computer system. This will help in preventing any major data loss even after computer lock down.

 

  • Phishing Scams: A majority of the world’s population gets stuck up in various phishing scams going implemented by hackers & scammers all around the globe. The phishing scams have been engineered to make the users click on a particular link or download certain infectious attachments. This helps the scammers in transferring the virus or threat into the recipient’s computer system. Through this mechanism, the hackers are able to obtain confidential information about the end users. One way to protect oneself from the phishing attacks is to strengthen your email accounts with a strong password. In addition to this, you should also refrain yourself from clicking on any suspicious or unauthorized links.

 

  • Ad Fraud: Online ad threats or frauds are becoming more common nowadays. Under this fraud scheme, only a few people known that they have been subjected to a particular cybersecurity attack. The human verification process on the Internet is considered potentially one of the biggest online ad frauds that most of the cybercriminals might be exploiting to con people for their confidential information and other benefits.

 

  • Social Media Schemes: As enticing as the different social media platforms might appear, these are equally dangerous when it comes to online frauds and cyber security attacks. Being grounds of the most vital & personal information about the users, these social media platforms are subject to the most influential attacks by the cyber criminals. To remain safe from social media cyber frauds, it is essential to protect your accounts with a strong password.

 

Remain safe from the potential cyber security attacks by following these tips.

Tips to Improve Your Personal Cyber Security

The world we live in today is obsessed with the Internet and its services. Though it might appear highly enticing, there are several threats imposed over personal security as potential hackers and cyber thieves out there keep looking for ways to breach your personal information and vital data. As such, personal cyber security plays a vital role in protecting your personal information including bank account details, name, photographs, and so more.

With the wide range of financial, personal, and medical information that gets stored online, it is high time that you consider strengthening your online security that can help in saving you ample time, money as well as the aggravation to a greater extent. If you are looking for ways towards improving your personal cyber security, then here are some top tips for you:

  • Install a Reliable Anti-malware Software: There are several anti-malware software solutions out there claiming to be offering top-notch security from the potential threats out there. However, it is advisable to be smart and go for purchasing & installing a highly reliable anti-malware software solution. Even some of the best corporate firewall systems are subject to potential phishing attacks or corrupted files that you might unknowingly install. By making sure that you install some high-quality, paid anti-malware solution on your device, you can reduce the overall risk of becoming infected only significantly.

 

  • Make Use of 2-factor Authentication: Most of the social media networks along with major email providers and various other online accounts nowadays offer 2-factor authentication (2FA) security systems for the users. You can consider making use of the same to strengthen your existing cyber security schemes. SMS-based 2-factor authentication system also turns out to be highly advanced than the mere password-alone online security. This can help you in minimizing the personal risks of cyber security threats.

 

  • De-Complicate Your Passwords: Though this might sound a bit unusual, a recent update to the password standards & best practices recommend that overly complicated passwords are quite difficult to remember and are not actually that complex for a computer system to guess. Instead of making a password with different complex characters including letters, alphabets, special characters, numeric characters, and so more, you can try making use of an unusual combination of easy letters and words that you can remember.

 

  • Make Use of Biometric Authentication: Definitely, one of the best ways of improving your personal cyber security is through doing away with the root cause that is behind around 80 percent of the information breaches globally. When you switch from online passwords to a highly secure biometric authentication system, it takes your personal cyber security to another level. This practice is becoming more common in the recent times and more apps as well as devices are making use of this high-end security technology.

 

Make use of the latest and the most secure means of ensuring your personal cyber security. Secure yourself online and remain safe from the potential cyber threats across the globe!

HOW SOCIAL MEDIA PRIVACY AND SECURITY POLICY IS A SHAM

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Due to rising popularity of social networks, it is little surprise that there have been several high

profile breaches of security on sites like Facebook and Myspace. Over 350 million members

combined, all it takes is one single person to cause significant damage.

 

A security and privacy issue are two different things. A security issue occurs when a

hacker gains unauthorized access to sites protected coding or written language while privacy

problem involves the unwarranted access to private information. One doesn’t necessarily

need to bend security breaches. In fact, a hacker can gain access to your confidential information by merely

watching you type your password or standing next to you with a cloning device.

 

The reason social network security and privacy lapses exist result directly from the astronomical

amount of information sites process every day that ends up making it that much

easier to exploit a single flaw in the system. Features that invite user participation are message

invitations, photos, open platform applications and many others.

 

This potential privacy breach is built into the systematic framework of apps like Facebook, and

unfortunately, the flaw renders the system almost defenseless. “The question for social

networks is resolving the difference between mistakes in implementation and what the design of

the application platform is intended to allow,” David Evans, Assistant Professor of computer

science at the University of Virginia, says. There is also the question of whom we should hold

responsible for the over sharing of user data?

 

The problems are plaguing social network security and privacy issues, for now, we all can only be

careful and be mindful of what we share and how much on social media platforms. With the

growth of social networks, it is becoming harder to effectively monitor and protect users and

their activities because the tasks of security programmers grow increasingly spread out and cumbersome.

 

Despite this insecurities, users still post tons of personal data on social networks without batting an eye. Its only

natural, anonymity and the fact that you are communicating with a machine instead of an actual

person makes sharing a lot easier. “People should exercise common sense online, but the

problem with common sense is that it’s not very common. If you don’t invite this person to see

your cat, you certainly won’t let them see pictures from holiday”. Says Cluley.

 

To finish with, the only tried and true solution to social network privacy and security issues is to

limit your presence altogether. Don’t post anything you would not mind telling a complete

stranger because in reality that is the potential for access. Be careful who you add as a “friend” because there is simply no way of verifying a user’s actual identity online. Cluley compares it to a rep from your company’s IT department calling to ask for your login passwords- “most people

will give it over with no proof of the IT rep actually existing. The caller might be your IT rep, or

they might not. “This kind of scam happens at all the time,” says Cluley.

 

Hacking: Terms you must know

How to understand cybersecurity and avoid being hacked if you don’t know the jargon and terminologies that are commonly used in the digital security world. In this post, you’ll understand more about this world and you’ll be able to analyze the different threats that are on the prowl. Understanding is the key to take the proper action to something. If you know how it works, you’ll find the better way to approach or solve anything.

So here you have a little glossary you should know:

Malware: means malicious or malevolent software. Attackers use the software to enter into a victim’s computer and disrupt your privacy. This one is a general expression to refer to the different forms of invasive software’s.

Black hat: This term refers to someone that brakes illegally into someone else computer for financial gain. They can steal or modify your information, destroy your system, and more. Why the black hat? If you ever saw a western film you may relate to the villains.

White hat: Yes, we have the white hat too. In this case, the hackers search any vulnerability or bugs into company’s system. The idea is to know if your company is exposed to any cyber-attack, and them protect it from it. This type of hackers has become more important in the business world, helping companies to prevent any violation of its privacy.

Encryption: Is related to the protection you give to anything that you want to send to someone else. From photos to bank accounts, your computer creates a code of the information to the person you’re sending it is the only one with the access. Hackers try constantly to break this in order to find relevant information such as social security numbers, and more.

DDoS: Distribute Denial of Service is the most common technique that hackers use to break a company’s information. They incorporate numerous hosts to bombard a website with different requests that freeze your computer for several minutes. These types of attacks have been happening constantly and a large scale worldwide and are worrying cybersecurity specialists.

Darknet: Is the scariest spot on the Internet where most of the illegal things take place. Is an illicit market for drugs, guns, and also, a resource for black hackers to discover relevant and private information.

Bug: Is a common term you probably heard before. A bug is an error that occurs in a software, some of them can be merely annoying but others can use it by hackers.

IP: Is like the fingerprint of your computer and can use it to identify the person who is using the device, reveal its location, and also, track the activity.

Virus: Is the most common malware that can attack your system. Can easily destroy a hard drive and hackers can use it to steal your personal information.

Spyware: Another common malware that is programmed to get into your system unnoticed and send your data to the hacker.

There are so many more terms that are relevant to understanding cybersecurity, we’ll discuss them in the next post where we’ll give you the second part of terms you must know.

Hacking techniques you should know

 

Knowing the most common hacking methods can help you to understand how you can do to upgrade your safety. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of people that continuously work to find new ways to hack others site, personal accounts, and more. It’s vital for your company and personal information that you be at the forefront of these malicious methods.

We know that hacking is an unethical and illegal activity that has evolved over the years. The goal? Get unauthorized information through the modification of systems. Nowadays, where the Internet plays an important role in the society, hacking provides a unique opportunity to obtain unclassified details that could have considerable value. Cybersecurity has become essential all over the world, and you can be the next victim.

Therefore, you should know some of the hacking trends that are frequently used so you can do something about it.

Brute forcing. This technique is the oldest one but is essential to mention. Brute forcing is when the hacker uses permutations and combinations of characters of a particular set. Namely, if the hacker wants to know your password, he will try all the combinations possible until he finds the correct code.

Keylogging. The technique where all began. This can be the most useful method for hacking people information. Keylogging is the procedure of creating a record of all typed keystroked on a system. Next, all the data that has been recompiled will be sent to the hacker’s server sporadically.

Virus. You may know something about this one, right? Virus or trojans are malicious programs that are installed on your system that allows the hacker get your private information. They can sniff your data, lock your files, and much more. Don’t open or install anything that you don’t know; it’s essential that you only use software that you trust and know the origin.

Cookies. Do you know when you open a website and a messages pop that says: this site uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. Well, that’s normal, the majority of sites use this. The thing is, they’re used to identify authenticate and remember a particular user from the millions of others users. The hacker will steal the cookies and gain access to your computer and some of your information.

Bait and switch. As the virus, this technique uses a malicious program that you’ll believe is authentic and trustworthy. After installing the malicious software, the hacker will have total access to your computer and personal information.

Phishing. One of the most common and deadliest techniques that you should be aware of. The hacker will replicate one of the most accessed sites and will trap the victim by sending the spoofed link. Once the person bites the hook and tries to log in and enter the data, the hacker will get all the information using the trojan running the site he created. Several Hollywood celebrities have been victims of this technique where the personal information has been released to the world.

These were the most common techniques that you should know about. Of course, there is a ton more that are more elaborated and complicated to understand. Hacking usually takes advantage of your ignorance, don’t let them!

The Things Your ISP Can Do Once The FCC Privacy Rules Are Repealed

The topic that has been on the mind of countless internet users lately is the FCC privacy rules. If you aren’t familiar with it, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) set up some rules that protects the privacy of internet users in the US. Their rules made it so your Internet Service Provider (ISP) would be unable to monetize their clients without express consent.

However, Congress is well on its way to repeal those rules and allow ISPs full access to their client’s information without needing their permission. Today, we’re going to discuss the different things that your ISP will be able to do once the FCC rules are repealed.

Sell Your Data To Marketers

Several ISPs have already expressed the idea that they’re sitting on a veritable gold mine of user data that they do want to sell to marketers. What some people may not realize is that some are already doing it.

SAP sells a service called Consumer Insights 365 that ingests regularly updated data representing as many as 300 cellphone events per day for each of the 20 to 25 million mobile subscribers. The service also combines data from telecos with other information, telling businesses whether shoppers are checking out competitor prices.

Marketers need to build consumer profiles on people to efficiently target ads that will practically ensure a sale. This data will only be available if the ISPs sell this information to them. If the FCC rules are fully repealed, this exchange which effectively monetize the clients of ISP shall be a reality.

Hijack Search Results

This occurrence was already recorded in 2011 where several ISPs were caught working with a company named Paxfire to hijack their clients’ search queries to Bing, Yahoo!, and Google.

Whenever a client would enter a search term in their browser’s search box or URL bar, the ISP directed that query to Paxfire instead to an actual search engine. Paxfire then checked what the clients were searching for to see if it matched a list of companies that had paid them for more traffic. If the queries matched one of several such companies or brands, Paxfire would then send clients directly to that company’s website instead of sending them to a search engine which normally would list several results.

In other words, ISPs were effectively hijacking their customer’s search queries and redirecting them to a place customers hadn’t asked for all the while pocketing a little cash from the process.

Sift Through Net Traffic and Insert Ads

AT&T, Charter, and CMA have been caught doing this before. When the FCC privacy rules are repealed, ISPs have every incentive to snoop through clients’ traffic, record their browsing history, and inject ads into their traffic based on this information.

Have you ever noticed this: after searching for something on Google then logging on to Facebook, the ads are now reflecting deals and ads related to the search result of what you looked for?

You can agree that this if pretty invasive and it is this information that companies use to target potential clients.

Putting In Pre-installed Software On Phones

We’re not going to mince words on this one. The pre-installed software? It’s going to spyware. When an android phone is bought, it’s expected that it’s going to come with bloatware. These are apps installed by the manufacturer that buyers will probably never use. What is sinister about this is that some of these apps will now come pre-installed software that will log which apps are used and what websites you visit and this data is sent back to your ISP.

Carrier IQ is one such app. This app came pre-installed in phones sold by AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Such an app gives your ISP a window into all that you do on your phone.

Putting In Undetectable Tracking Cookies In Your HTTP Traffic That Cannot Be Deleted

Back in 2014, Verizon Wireless decided that it was a good thing to insert supercookies into all of its mobile customer’s traffic. It was a feature that could not be turned off by the users.

One would think that using incognito mode would solve the privacy issue but you would be wrong.

Verizon ignored all this and inserted a unique identifier into all your unencrypted outbound traffic anyway. According to the FCC, it wasn’t until “two years after Verizon Wireless first began inserting UIDH, that the company updated its privacy policy to disclose its use of UIDH and began to offer consumers the opportunity to opt-out of the insertion of unique identifier headers into their Internet traffic.”

As a result, anyone—not just advertisers—could track you as you browsed the web. Even if you cleaned out the cookies, advertisers could make use of Verizon’s tracking header to revive them.

This is why the FCC privacy rules are very important. They protect the rights to privacy of users and in the same vein, protect their cyber security. If congress successfully repeals the FCC privacy rules, you can fully expect these practices to be resurrected and there’s very little clients can do about it.

Five PC Security Tips For Your Employees

When work is more efficient through computers, it is important for any boss to be fully aware of the possible dangers to the company’s cyber security. When data is often the target of criminals it takes more than just good software to keep them out. Today, we discuss five PC security tips that you can share with your employees.

Always log out

This is one of the most overlooked tips that can protect any company’s cyber security. A lot of employees and even bosses are guilty of this. We’ve all become quite accustomed to the convenience of not having to login after coming back from yesterday’s shift or even from a short break. In the amount of time that you’ve left your details in your computer, you would have granted access to anyone who might have physically sneaked unto your computer or even to those who hijacked the PC to control it remotely.

Leaving your details in not only leaves the data stored vulnerable but it also leaves your employee’s details vulnerable as well. There’s 85% probability that the password that an employee uses for work is also the password they use for personal accounts. So to avoid that risk, always log out of all accounts whenever you’re not at your post.

Be alert and aware

This is particularly true with remote workers. If your employees have the freedom to work in co-working spaces or coffee shops, you need to tell them to always be on guard. Employees should maintain awareness of their surroundings. Employees need to keep a sharp feel out for anyone that might be watching over their shoulders or eavesdropping on any work calls.

Remind them to never leave any devices or documents that pertain to work unguarded. This means that employees must not leave their bags, parcels, laptops, and other mobile devices in their cars as well. It’s ultimately better for employees to have devices and documents under their custody at all times. Or at least, place them in a secure place when they’re not there.

Avoid using the same password

This can be applied to personal accounts as well as professional ones. For company emails, it’s best to assign generated passwords and to replace those passwords every 3 months. While it may come off as a bit of a hassle, it’s ultimately best to not get too attached to a particular password. Having impersonal and randomly generated passwords will come off as stronger and harder to guess.

Actively read up on new vulnerabilities and attacks

An employee that is armed with knowledge makes them less likely to fall pray to a cyber attack. As a boss, you need to ensure that your employees are suitably aware and educated about the different sort of online scams or attacks through an email or a link. Bosses also need to encourage their employees to be aware of new modus operandis that pop up. Subscribing to a website which discusses cyber security would more than likely always be updating on new types of attacks and scams.

A company whose employees are proactive in their defense make a good front line of defense when it comes to their cyber security.

Never download unauthorized software

Many system threats are disguised as programs that are free to download on the Web. As a boss, it’s your job to make sure that employees know that they should not allow this sort of potential threat onto network devices and terminals. Better yet, lock down the enterprise systems so that users do not have the ability to install them in the first place. Requiring admin permissions before anyone can download anything is a pretty safe security measure to take.

4 Tips To Better Protect Yourself Online

It’s hard to not need the internet these days. When you need new information, need to read or answers emails from work, get in touch with people who don’t have working phones, or even ordering something that exclusively sold online–connectivity to the internet is crucial. Criminals take this certainty and abuse it which is why everyone is vulnerable to a cyber attack. Hackers will try to steal your credit card numbers, tax records, and even passwords.

To avoid this, it’s important that you arm yourself with the necessary knowledge on how to really protect yourself when you go online. Today, we discuss four tips on how you can avoid being a victim online.

1.) Craft Strong Passwords

One of the oldest tricks in the book but still rings true to this day. Passwords should be difficult to hack and crack. To avoid building a weak password incorporate capital letters, numbers, and special characters in it. As much as possible make the password more than six words. Also, never reuse your passwords for any of your other accounts. Reusing passwords makes it very easy for unscrupulous people to gain access to more than one of your accounts.

A good example of a strong password is t1R0p!h&Y. Review your own current set of passwords and change them if they aren’t ‘strong’.

2.) Be cautious when using Instant Messaging programs

Since connectivity is all the rage, companies have constantly strove to provide the public with better instant messaging programs. This does not mean, however, that hackers do not find ways to infiltrate these programs and create bots to engage actual users.  They create various profiles to message actual users and mimic initial conversation before enticing the user to click a certain link that the bot provides. These links are often phishing attempts or worse.

To save yourself from being a victim of online bots and their dubious links, do not engage with a sudden message from strangers. A common rule of thumb for savvy instant messaging users is that they only speak to people they know or are expecting a message from.

3.) Be a sharp online shopper

Before typing in your credit card information, make sure that the website is using secure technology. The moment you visit a shop’s website and when you’re at the checkout page, make sure that the web address begins with HTTPS. This refers to Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure–having the web address start with this means that all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted.

Also, do not entertain pop-ups. Only engage with the actual tab opened in your browser. Be mindful of mimic pop-up pages that may try to get your credit card information.

4.) Be careful about how you use your email

As email is one of the primary avenues in which businesses interact with each other and with their employees, it is a treasure trove that hackers are just dying to crack into.  The trouble about email is that even if you, personally, have good PC security–your recipients may not.

So to be safe, never share sensitive information in any email. Never send your credit card information, social security number, and other private information via email.

Phishing Techniques: The 2016 Refresher Course

A common threat to your pc security is phishing. It may sound rather familiar as it’s been around for quite some time. BUT that is exactly the reason why you should be wary of it. Phishing is one of the more enduring ways in which scoundrels will aim to breach your cyber security. For the purpose of providing a more modern understanding of the phishing scam, this article discusses how it is now perpetrated with the technological developments we’ve enjoyed in the past years.

To clarify, phishing is the method where in your personal information is stolen through spam or other deceptive means. A cause of concern for this scam is that it evolves with the technology available. In order to effectively secure your information from internet phishing, it is important to have an updated knowledge of anti-phishing techniques.

Emails

When email was launched, it was to be the main way in which malware could be injected into a user’s system. This malware is usually attached to spam emails—once you click any links or any files within that email, the malware starts operating.

Search Engines

Who doesn’t use Google’s search engine nowadays, right? So it was inevitable that phishing scams would take this route as well. The scams works by directing the user to product sites that offer deals that seem too good to be true (and it is!). The less savvy pc owner may end up trying to buy a product and enter their credit card details which are the main target of the phishing sites. It is crucial for users to understand that there are fake bank websites that are tailored to look like the sites of reputable banks. These fake sites offer credit cards or loans at a very low rate so it’s important to be discerning of the sites you visit through search engine results.

Social Media Pop-ups

Whenever you access your social media pages, it is important that you keep track of which window or tab you are using. Phishing scams have evolved to the point that they can mimic your social media page quite convincingly but are in fact a pop-up or a different page entirely. If you try to interact with any of the icons of the pop-up, it’ll tell you that you have a new friend request or that you’ve been logged out and will need to sign back in. If you do, this will give phishers more information with which they can try to steal your identity.

Instant Messaging

With so many apps that feature a way to connect with strangers, it’s not unusual to get a message from a stranger who’s hoping to connect. So, phishing has evolved to incorporate even this seemingly innocuous exchange. You’re more than likely to get a message from a program, called bots, masquerading as a person and will likely send you the usual lines like “hello”. Once you engage or reply, you will receive a few odd lines and will eventually be directed to a link. Once you click it, a program will start and will infiltrate your profile and log your details like usernames and passwords which can be used to access other accounts.

Different Viruses That Threaten Your Cyber Security

Crime has been an ever-present factor in our lives. It certainly has been the bane of our existence. With the advent of computer systems and working remotely, it was inevitable that criminal intent would evolve to meet our technological advancements. From the street to the cyber age, crime has definitely caught up. Our physical selves are no longer the target; it is our information that is at risk.

Cyber security or computer security is the fortification of information systems from malicious intent or damage to the hardware, software, and the information the system holds. Disruption and misdirection of the normal process of the service provided by our computer system is also a form of attack that strong cyber security processes prevent. One of the many forms of cyber threats is a virus. A good way to protect yourself and your system from any real damage is to have a basic knowledge of the different viruses that threaten your cyber security.

The more common type of virus that attacks your cyber security is called a Macro Virus. It is a virus that is made in a programming language that is usually placed inside a software application. Most common targets are word processors and spreadsheet applications. We all do documents and accounting spreads in Microsoft Office which is why this is a common target of those will ill intent. A macro virus is usually embedded within a document and runs the moment a document is opened. This is why you should never just open attachments in e-mails. One of the key foundations of cyber security is having antivirus programs in place. They can detect a macro virus yet newer and stronger types of this virus are constantly being made so detecting them can still be difficult.

Another type of virus is called an Overwriting Virus. It is program that actively infects and destroys the original program coding of a system’s memory. They are designed to attack the operating system (OS) and to overwrite the set information. This sort of virus is determined to be more harmful as they target parts of a user’s system. This virus is acquired usually through file transfers and e-mails.

The Directory Virus does its damage by changing the paths that specify the location of a file. Often, when your system has been hit by this virus, it becomes difficult or impossible to locate the original files.

The Boot Virus attacks the boot sector of a hard disk or a bootable drive. The boot sector is a crucial part wherein the data on the disk or USB is stored along with the program that allows it start up. The best way of avoiding boot viruses that compromise your cyber security is to ensure that your portable memory drives are protected and constantly scanned. Also, never start your computer with an unknown drive attached to it.

A Direct Action Virus selects one or several files to infect every time its code is executed. Its intent is to replicate itself and to spread to other files whenever its program is activated. It often chooses files that are at the root directory of the system’s hard drive. That is the part that is responsible for doing particular actions when the system is started. In most cases, a direct action virus will not delete your system files or attempt to lower the overall performance output of your computer. It will, however, block access to certain applications and files. The most effective defense that cyber security has is a constantly running virus scanner that will not only locate and detect the virus but will destroy it as well.

Your cyber security must always have these key ingredients: an anti-virus program, an anti-spyware program, a running firewall, constantly updated system software, an anti-spam program, and up-to-date back up of your data. Having these is sure to help protect your important data from those who wish to profit from your systematic loss.