Smartphone Privacy Matters More Than You Think

Smartphone Privacy

The modern age of the internet has brought constant access to everything we may want to see or know, at a huge cost to privacy. When we discuss privacy in this sense, it is not so much that a hacker has access to your information, but your information is being collected and used by the very company you are trusting to protect you.

The Culprits

As it stands there are only two major operating systems for phones, iOS and Android made by Apple and Google respectively. There are many other smaller operating systems, but these two giants own more than 99% of the market space. If you are buying a new phone from any major brand, you are getting Android or iOS. While both Google and Apple are responsible for the capturing and usage of your data, they go about the process in different ways.

  • Google – Google treats its android platform as essentially a marketing platform. Android is completely free to use by anybody and is open source, allowing any brand to use the software. In exchange, Google collects your data to provide tailor made adverts for you. These advertisements are the income of Android.
  • Apple – Apple has attempted to take the moral high ground here. A completely closed off system where the only data collected about you, is used to improve the iOS experience. Tim Cook, Apple’s current CEO, went on record saying “We at Apple believe that privacy is a fundamental human right” and Apple have backed up that statement for the most part, besides one glaring omission. In 2021 Google has paid Apple $15 billion to remain the default search engine of the safari browser, allowing Google to collect the user’s search information and provide targeted advertisements. This allows Apple to still make money from users internet information while retaining the ability to claim the moral high ground, simply shifting the blame to Google, who actually uses the user information.

Should You Care?

For the most part, most people either don’t understand or just don’t care. Besides, a few targeted ads in exchange for the use of a great operating system doesn’t sound like a bad deal. One of the biggest reasons this is concerning is the claimed sale of your personal data.

At the moment, Google does not sell your data directly. Google uses the data to find what adverts would best be presented to you and then sells the advertising slot knowing that you are the best likely customer. The only time in which your data leaves the hand of Google is when ordered by a court or policing unit. If you are a lead suspect in a crime, Google may be forced to give police access to your location data under a “geofence warrant”. For the average law-abiding citizen, this is of no concern, so you can play Android games and do whatever else you choose with peace of mind.

For the majority of people, the way Google uses our data is not a large concern. If you do feel that you are concerned about this and want to better protect your online privacy, there are a number of options available to you.

Taking Back Privacy

To take back your privacy means breaking away from Google and the software supplied by Google. To do this, there are two main options. Either, you can buy a phone which is built for privacy with an open-source operating system like the Purism Librem 5, or you could flash an existing android phone and install an operating system like Plasma Mobile, Lineage OS, or Ubuntu Touch. The latter option will require some tech know-how but is a great and free option to better secure your online privacy.

What Cybersecurity Software Should You Be Using?

Using a computer system, device or any machine with an operating system that stores sensitive data without the proper cybersecurity tools watching your back can undoubtedly result in the complete compromise of that system. Such is the state of the connected realm nowadays. This is why it has become practically obligatory to ensure that you have these tools installed, and especially the correct and verified ones at that. A cyber breach can have devastating consequences, and especially when it comes to modern-day cybercrime it is the primary priority of governments all over the world to curb cybercrime. The most common mistake is thinking that it cannot happen to you, but simply entering your email addresses for a quick check on websites such as haveibeenpwned.com will most likely show you otherwise. You can also perform a slightly more in-depth scan on a website such as dehashed.com for a wider range of information and possible search queries relating to whether your personal information has been hacked in the past.

Since we live in 2021, almost all data and transactions out there that are critical to our daily lives have been digitized. As the world moves to innovative new standards and technologies, the requirement that everything is connected is now set in stone. This also pertains to our habits and how we are now used to storing our data on our computers, smartphones, and other devices without much afterthought. The issue is that all of these devices are susceptible to data breaches and remember, cybercriminals have no mercy. At least 40% of businesses report data breaches every year, the cost of which can be millions of dollars for a single breach. By 2025, the annual cost of financial damages incurred by cybercrime such as phishing and ransomware is estimated to exceed $10 trillion. Annual reports coming from cybersecurity tool vendors such as antivirus and antimalware makers reveal that increasingly sophisticated malicious tools are being detected, especially those of the polymorphic type (with the ability to mutate and escape detection.) Statistics also indicate that cybercriminal extortion and blackmail have resulted in a peaking of ransom payments since 2020.

With these worrying findings in mind, it is time to take cybersecurity into our hands to avoid our data being stolen, corrupted, or compromised and, ultimately, to protect our safety and the safety of our families and friends from cyber threats.

What Types of Cyber Threats Are There Out There?

There are countless types of cyber threats out there, that vary in design and purpose e.g. which attack surface they are directed at and via which attack vector/method they will be orchestrated. Some of the most common cyber threats that both organizations and the common citizen can fall victim to include;

  • Ransomware
  • Phishing
  • Viruses
  • Trojans
  • Worms
  • Keyloggers
  • Cryptojacking
  • DDoS attacks
  • MiTM Attacks

Cyber threats can cause many frightful scenarios with varying degrees of severity, from website downtime, data that is taken for ransom, to the destruction of sensitive data which can easily result in the erasure of a company. Cybercrime is even strong enough to bring the world’s most cutting-edge government defense to its knees. As more and more data is online, the opportunity for cybercriminals grows exponentially.

What Are Cybersecurity Tools?

Cybersecurity is a sector dedicated to the protection (security) of data and systems (cyber) from cyber threats (hackers and other threats.) Vendors that work in this sector offer familiar products and services that are indispensable to all of us, like; antivirus software, antimalware software, anonymization solutions, password protection, and on a greater and more modern scale complete managed security solutions. Cybersecurity for home use differs greatly in scope from enterprise cybersecurity which protects much larger systems and enormous amounts of data, but in essence, the purpose is the same.

Which Cybersecurity Tools Are Indispensable For The Home User?

There are several types of cybersecurity tools and solutions that you should be making use of daily if you value the security, integrity, and stability of your data (not to mention your personal safety.) A lot of these tools have already been available for more than a decade, but some have recently been popularized due to increasing digital safety demands from the economy. The most important ones to keep account of are;

  • Antivirus software
  • Antimalware software
  • Virtual Private Networks
  • Encrypted Password Managers
  • Specialized Firewalls
  • Security and privacy-focused web browsers

Including the batch of cybersecurity tools above on your devices (laptop, tablet, smartphone, or other), as well as knowing how to use them, will give you a satisfactory entry-level security blanket from most modern cyber threats. Here is why you need them;

  • An antivirus software serves to protect your devices from classical harmful viruses, as well as prevent them from infecting your devices
  • Like antivirus software, antimalware programs focus on scanning, identifying, and removing malicious software but refer to a different library of threats  
  • A Virtual Private Network is a network anonymization tool that can cloak your physical location by modifying your IP address and encrypting your connection from all sides
  • A password manager is a unified solution where you can keep all of your passwords under lock and key
  • A specialized firewall is more advanced than default firewalls and offers more security features
  • Specialized web browsers will reduce fingerprinting, ads, tracking and also are designed under better ethical and moral standards than mainstream browsers

Nobody wants their personal security compromised via an email phishing scheme, their data taken for ransom by advanced cybercriminals, their systems riddled with destabilizing malware, or their business websites compromised by brute force attacks. For this reason, it is important to have a basic level of security and an understanding of the usage of cybersecurity tools. The cherry on top would be an additional level of security via common-sense information security best practices, such as; using long and unique passwords for each account or service (and keeping them private), avoiding unsecured websites, avoiding public wifi, practicing offline data backups, and avoiding interaction with emails from suspicious or unknown senders.

Netflix Scams: How They Work And How To Avoid Them In 2022

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, the online community has seen a surge of audience, especially the streaming platforms like Netflix. According to Forbes, Netflix saw 1.54 million new global subscribers in the second quarter of 2020. Unfortunately, a certain rise also came in online scams and frauds. 

The scammers came up with ways to trick online users into giving their credit card information. At this point, we cannot stop the scammers, but we can get educated. This is why we share with you the Netflix scams and how to avoid them. 

This guide will include some of the lessons learned from past mistakes and remedies to dodge them. One best way to do so is to have a Netflix specialized VPN that secures your streaming experience. Let’s start with understanding these Netflix scams as follows:

The “Free Pass” scam:

This is a type of scam that circulates on social media as a “free lottery” “fake prize/sweepstake”. In mid of 2020, it was reported that many users received an e-mail saying “Due to the Coronavirus pandemic worldwide, Netflix is giving some free passes for their platform during the period of isolation.

Run on the site because it will end quickly!” with a link attached under it. Many people clicked the link and are redirected to share it further with 10 of their friends to avail the free pass (even after doing so, it does not happen).

One major red flag in such e-mails is the grammar. In this e-mail, sentences like “Run on-site” are concerning, especially if it’s a global giant like Netflix. Another red flag is the sender’s e-mail and the link URL. Just because it has ‘Netflix’ written in it, does not mean it is legit. By sharing with friends, scammers collect your information and personal data. 

The “Account suspension” scam

During the pandemic, it’d be a nightmare to have your Netflix account suspended. This is how the scammers play on the sense of urgency. In this type of scam, people receive an e-mail with the subject line “Your account suspension notification” and the body reads “We are unable to validate your billing information for the next billing month of your subscription. Therefore, we will suspend your membership within 48 hours. Update your account details to avoid cancellation”. 

The call-to-action button is a big “update account now button”. This scam was also found active back in the 2019 “Game of Thrones” season 8 premiere. In this situation, the signs of a scam include punctuation, super urgent deadline, and e-mail address.

How to avoid Netflix scams?

If you have encountered any such e-mails or phishing messages, you need to act on them to make sure it doesn’t spread further. If we look at Netflix’s terms of service, we will find a lot of clauses that can help us detect the scam faster. Here are some of the precautionary points to note:

  • Netflix does not use a 3rd party app for credit card payment. If you are being redirected to another website, back out ASAP
  • Netflix never collects personal information through e-mail or text, not even the username, and password.
  • Netflix URLs have Netflix.com at the start. If it is a long unrecognizable URL, it is risky to click. 
  • Awful grammar mistakes
  • Sense of urgency that pushes you to start ASAP

In this list, some points can be a conflict of interest. For example, genuine e-mail marketers give a sense of urgency to their customers. It should not be mistaken as a scam. However, no e-mail marketers collect sensitive information on e-mail so we’re good. 

Not only do we avoid this scam, but it is also our responsibility to report it to the proper authorities. Whenever you receive such an e-mail, take a screenshot, and forward it to phishing@netflix.com. That way, Netflix can act against such scammers and fraudsters. 

There is a possibility that you may have clicked and done as the scammers wanted you to. There are some remedial things to do to survive.

  • Change your Netflix password in case the scam URL asked for it
  • Change your bank account password and details in case it has acquired your credit card information
  • Log out from all signed-in devices and sign back in afterward with the new password
  • Report the fraudulent activity to phishing@netflix.com
  • Regularly update your Netflix password and make it complex (but not too complex that it becomes forgettable). 

Conclusion

The online market will continue to see growth and it is our joint responsibility to make the internet a safer place. Lately, e-mail services like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft are making a stronger effort in reducing internet scams. Even so, we must stay educated on differentiating between a genuine e-mail and a scam. Hope this guide will help!  

How Do You Know if You Are the Victim of a Cyberattack?

Cyberattacks are becoming more common and more dangerous. With the world in lockdown, many companies have resorted to working remotely and allowing their employees to use their devices and their own internet to get their work done.

However, the majority of people do not have a full understanding of the true dangers they may face when they work remotely or use their devices online. This makes it much easier for hackers to target them to commit their crimes.

Cyberattacks can sometimes be difficult to identify. However, it is important for your own safety, and the safety of those around you to be able to identify a cyberattack and take the necessary steps to protect your devices from them.

What Are the Signs of a Cyberattack?

Identifying cyberattacks can be extremely difficult. This is because most modern-day cyberattacks can go undetected and under the radar. If you are not prepared for it, it will be unexpected and it can cause you a lot of headaches.

Moreover, if you do not know that your devices have been attacked, you could be putting those around you at risk as well. Cybercriminals can use your devices to break into those that you are in contact with as well.

The first sign of a cyberattack is that you might notice some files going missing, or even some new files appearing on your device. Many viruses are programmed to destroy or remove files from your device, and this can be a clear sign that your device has been infected.

Some malicious software will make new files show up on your device. These are used as a trigger to get the victim to click on the files and inspect them. Oftentimes these files act as a trigger to install viruses, spyware or ransomware as soon as you click on them.

Files going missing or appearing on your devices can also be a sign of spyware being installed on your device. Spyware will allow a hacker to remotely control your device, even when you are not using it. They can use this software to delete your files or download new ones.

Another sign that you have been the victim of a cyberattack is if your personal or work files are suddenly encrypted or inaccessible, meaning that no one will be able to open the files. This is often done by ransomware which is used to encrypt files until a ransom fee is paid to the hacker.

You may also notice that your device becomes significantly slower and begins to lag more often if it has been infected with a virus. In some cases you may also experience your device freezing, crashing or restarting on its own.

If your accounts have been compromised you may notice fraudulent transactions taking place on your bank account, passwords being changed or even emails or messages being delivered that you have never sent.

If you pick up on any of these signs you should take immediate action before it’s too late. If you have no cybersecurity measures in place, you need to be taking a close look at the section below to see the best cybersecurity tools you need to use.

What You Should Do in the Case of a Cyberattack

If you have experienced a cyberattack, the chances are that it’s too late and your device has already been compromised. It can be difficult to identify which parts of your device have been compromised by the hacker, so it is best to take all the necessary steps.

The first thing you need to do is change your passwords. You should start with your most important accounts such as your banking and email. Doing so will keep the cybercriminal out of your important accounts. 

However, you may want to use a different device to do this in case your main device has been infected with spyware, which will allow the cybercriminal to see your new passwords and still break into your accounts.

You will also need to start setting up your cybersecurity measures. This is vital to keeping your devices secure and preventing any further cyberattacks. Below we will discuss the best cybersecurity tools for you to use.

How to Prevent a Cyberattack

Preventing a cyberattack comes down to using the correct cybersecurity tools. There are many different ones to choose from, however, there are three crucial ones that you must use if you want to keep your devices secure.

With any of the following software, it is important to use reputable developers who are well known. Cybercriminals use fake cybersecurity software, also known as rogue software, to break into people’s devices. You must do thorough research on any software you want to install on your device and find several different reviews from multiple sources.

Rogue software is a new form of cybercrime that allows criminals to easily break into people’s devices since they are willingly installing software that they believe will protect their devices. Instead, they are putting themselves more at risk, and cybercriminals will be able to install malicious software onto their devices.

The first tool you need to get is antivirus software. This will help you even if your device has already been compromised. Antivirus software will constantly scan your device for any malicious software and it can take the necessary steps to remove it from your device.

Another tool you need to use is VPN software. A VPN is capable of encrypting your internet connection, which means that no one will be able to see what you are doing on your device, and they won’t be able to snoop through your files. VPN software will also allow you to change the location of your IP address by connecting to one of several different global servers.

To keep your accounts as secure as possible, you must ensure that you use strong and unique passwords. However, this means that your passwords are difficult to keep track of. The solution is to use a third-party password manager. Password managers will keep all of your passwords safe and allow you to access them securely. You should avoid using the default browser’s password manager as these are not secure and can easily be breached by a cybercriminal, in which case all of your accounts will be at risk.

Why You Should Buy Rotating Proxy Service – Best Proxy Provider

For people who use a proxy provider, rotating proxies offer a higher level of service. A rotating proxy shuffles your ID with a new one now and then, which blocks your online identity. Having your proxy automatically change enhances both performance and security.

Not all proxy providers are equal. So take time and effort when you buy a rotating proxy to choose the best service.

Today, we’ll show you why you should only buy rotating proxy services from the best proxy provider.

Ample IP Addresses

A dedicated proxy means website owners can easily track you visiting their website. For example, if you visit the same page multiple times per day, it may expose your interest in that product or service.  But maybe you have a different reason to visit the page.  A rotating proxy allows you to be anonymous when you repeatedly view a website.

Buying a rotating proxy service from the best proxy provider can offer you a pool of IP addresses. As a result, you can avoid being banned. Also, anyone who is tracking your online activities can’t reveal your actual IP address. And this is something that an average proxy provider can’t provide.

To Gain Competitive Edge

If you own a business, using a rotating proxy can allow you to monitor your competitors. Then, you can sign up for service or download their trials to test them out. And you can do that with the same niche without getting blocked. As a result, you can gain a competitive edge.

If you’re buying something online, the prices might vary across different regions. A rotating proxy from a designated region can help you get the best deal to save the most money.

Achieve Increased Conversion Rates

A regular proxy service provider offers only a single IP address.  Over time, you become known to the target website.  As you move through the pages, the tracking on that website will identify your activity.  With a rotating proxy, you can freely get as much or as little information as you need.

Staying on a page for a prolonged period might make the owner suspicious. You might even get blocked by the owner and can’t come back to the site anymore. But, you have to research their content and keywords, which needs a lot of time.

Improved Security

Security is more critical now than ever.  Nearly all website tracking is IP-based.  Every website is tracking every move you make through their site and recording it forever. So if your IP is changing, you can bypass the most common forms of tracking.  This means you see all the web pages fresh, treating you like a new customer.

But for the best security, your IP address needs to be frequently shuffled. Therefore, if you buy a rotating proxy from a good proxy provider, they can guarantee you to cut your chances of getting exposed. For these reasons, you need to choose the proxy provider very wisely.

The security of your proxy relies on the provider you pick. A reputable provider will hold the security of your business in high esteem.

Ending Notes

Your IP address is enough to get your information exposed to the outer world. Choosing the best rotating proxy service provider is critical for your daily internet browsing.

Steps to Take if You Have Been Scammed

The art of scamming is a time honored fraudulent practice. Scamming results in good ROI (Return on Investment) for perpetrators, and spells trouble for victims. Fraudulent practices like scams and schemes occur both in the offline and online world. Both practices operate in the same fashion but on different platforms.

Finding business contacts Phished and Farmed

There are more than four billion netizens online today. These billions of internet users are interacting with a vast amount of different services, applications, and web pages. This means that the possibilities and opportunities for cybercriminals are endless. On another note, it makes hiding much easier for them too. Cyber incidents involving the exploitation of vulnerable internet users, their data, finances and sensitive personal information occur dozens of times every minute, all over the world. To put it into perspective, financial losses incurred from cyber incidents are on par with natural disasters. 

This is why it is important to understand what a cyber scam (internet scam) is, the types of cyber scams out there, and finally how to protect against them. What can you do after you have already been scammed, is the most important question to ask. Thankfully, today there is a substantial cybersecurity knowledge base from which tips and recommendations can be drawn to help internet users protect themselves from such risks.  

A Brief Look at The Worst Cyber Scams

Throughout the years, the world has fallen to several types of cyber scams. All scams are not equal, because some are no longer utilized, while others that have existed for decades still reap dividends for cybercriminals to this day. Cyber scams have cost the U.S. billions of dollars per year, as it stands today, with the average victim losing almost $500 on average in each scam. Some of the most serious cyber scams that are still active today are; Nigerian 419 scams, Indian IT call-center scams, and counterfeit services and goods scams. Adding to this list is everything imaginable from lottery scams, romance scams, illegitimate check scams to social security scams. Practically any service or product can be a part of a cyber scam. This is why it is important to be armed with safe internet usage best practices as well as good cybersecurity knowledge. Especially, if one becomes a victim of a cyber scam.   

Types of Cyber Scams

Cyber scams come in numerous forms and various types of attack schemes and methods. All cyber scams have a ‘social engineering’ component intrinsic to them because scamming someone involves sharp manipulative social skills to trick a victim into divulging valuable information. Technically, most of the notorious cyber scams come in the following forms;

  • Phishing, spear-phishing, vishing, smishing, and pharming
  • Baiting
  • Whaling
  • RAT attacks

By far the most popular, and most successful, method of scamming belongs to the phishing social engineering category. This is simply because email-based scams are by far the easiest to orchestrate, with the least resources expended. For example, phishing campaigns orchestrated by cybercriminal groups can reach millions of people via email with a minimal financial outlay by the criminals. Cybercriminals can even automate this email process, sit back and wait for internet user credentials to be ‘harvested’. Email-based scams affect absolutely everyone, from regular citizens to the largest corporations. Statistically speaking, almost 25% of all phishing attacks worldwide were focused on financial institutions. In second place was social media, resulting in 24% of all phishing attacks. A close third is the Saas/Webmail sector. As far as the ‘victim count’ is concerned, phishing is the leader by far again, followed by non-payment/non-delivery scams and extortion in third place. Personal data breaches, identity theft, and spoofing are much lower on the list, but undoubtedly still cause damage and plague the economy. 

What to do in an Event of a Scam And How to Stay Safe From Cyber Scams

First of all, it is important to look at what to do if one is already involved in a cyber scam. Following this, recommendations and tips will be given on how to prevent cyber scams in general. There are several steps to take if one has already been involved in a cyber scam. This can fall into the following categories;

  • If a scammer has successfully accessed a device
  • If a scammer has access to personal information
  • If a scammer was paid

It is primarily important to note that a scam can be identified most easily via any unauthorized changes or charges across user accounts. 

Firstly, in the unfortunate event that a scammer has successfully received payment from a victim, it is crucial to remember that the individual immediately contacts the financial institution, reports a fraudulent charge, and requests for a transaction reversal. Secondly, if it is confirmed that a scammer has access to personal information it is recommended by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to visit IdentityTheft.gov. Furthermore, if a scammer has access to username and password credentials, one should immediately change their password across all devices and ensure that they are unique, long, complex, and stored in a safe place offline. And thirdly, if it is confirmed that the scammer has accessed a personal device (laptop, smartphone, or other) then it is recommended that one runs an antimalware and antivirus scan on the device. Otherwise, individuals should contact their service provider for support as well as change the account credentials immediately. Scams can also be reported directly to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC.) 

Internet Safety Best Practices

In general, there are a few steps to take to avoid cyber scams in the future which are the following;

  • Using a premium Virtual Private Network or VPN when connecting to the internet will obfuscate the connection and make it difficult for cybercriminals, data collection agencies, and marketing companies to track individuals online
  • Making sure that no suspicious emails are opened, especially to avoid clicking on suspicious attachments from unknown senders
  • Installing and running a premium antimalware software, as well as a premium antivirus at all times
  • Avoiding oversharing and divulging personal information over social media
  • Being suspicious of any email urging payment, help, or any bizarre claims
  • Checking that the website being visited has an HTTPS lock sign in the address bar
  • Cross-checking the URL address by doing an online search, to determine whether the website is real or a scam
  • Applying spam filters to user email
  • Keeping software on all user devices automatically updated
  • Using multi-factor authentication across all accounts wherever possible
  • Backing up as much data as possible
  • Applying a WHOIS lookup online to check who the owner of the website domain is

Sticking to the above recommendations, as well as common sense, should help users avoid common cyber scams and stay safe online in the future.

How To Protect Yourself Against Cyberstalking

When it comes to cyberstalking, the first thing you need to do is understand what it is. Cyberstalking consists of someone that harasses or threatens another person through email or instant messaging for an extended period. It can also be a situation where someone has been following you around on social media and commenting on everything you post. If this sounds like something that might happen to you, there are some things that you should know about how to protect yourself against it! 

The central government has also introduced some strict cyberstalking laws to protect the country’s citizens. Cyberstalking is a serious threat, and you should never take it lightly. Moreover, you must be careful and always look upon taking safety measures for yourself. This article will go over some of the steps you can take to protect yourself against cyberstalking.

What Is Cyberstalking?

Cyberstalking can be defined as using the technology in the wrong manner to harass, threaten, embarrass or cause distress to another person to make them feel intimidated and fearful for their safety. Often this is done anonymously because even though they are not physically next to you, they can get close enough to be a threat. Cyberstalking is not just limited to stalking someone through the internet.

It can also include making repeated phone calls or sending unwanted messages on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Stalkers may watch your every move by tracking you online using GPS services. So, if there have been any threats occurring or computer viruses at home and online security, you must report the police without any delay.

How Is Social Media Stalking Different From Cyberstalking?

Cyberstalking is a form of harassment that occurs through the Internet and other electronic means. It may involve one or more perpetrators who continue to harass, threaten, track, and verbally abuse someone else online. Social stalking is when an individual makes indirect contact with another person using social media sites like Facebook to get information about them without their knowledge.

Cyberstalking can be extremely dangerous and damaging to the victim’s mental health. At the same time, social media stalking is usually seen as a harmless way of gaining information about someone on an online profile or through their friend’s list. Victims of cyberstalkers may feel unsafe in both their personal and professional lives.

Anti-Cyberstalking Tips

  • Perform regular security updates on your software and hardware systems (e.g., operating system, browsers), and these will also help you avoid malware attacks.
  • Be careful when opening attachments in emails or clicking links from suspicious sources – they may contain malware that allows cyberstalkers to take control of your devices remotely without your knowledge.
  • Make complex passwords and do not share them with anyone. Furthermore, make sure to change your passwords much of the time.
  • Utilize the protection settings in the entirety of your online records to restrict your Internet imparting to those external you confided in a circle.
  • Be cautious about permitting actual admittance to your PC and other web-empowered gadgets like cell phones. Cyberstalkers can utilize programming and equipment gadgets to screen their casualties.
  • Educate yourself about cyberstalking and the security settings in your gadgets, and then take the necessary precautions to protect yourself.
  • Secure your home and workplace against cyberattacks by using anti-theft software such as antivirus, firewalls, and spyware removal tools that contain malware detection capabilities.
  • Talk with someone you trust about what is happening if you are experiencing stalking or online harassment.
  • Be aware of your online presence and that of your children, and make sure they understand the dangers.
  • Report cyberstalking to law enforcement. If you have been a victim of cyberstalking, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline. They can provide victims with support and guidance on the following steps to take.
  • Delete any offensive messages and block the sender if you do not want to interact with them. Closeout of chat windows that are no longer being used to avoid having someone watch from a distance via webcam or video feed.

Wrapping Up On Cyberstalking Laws

With the rise in cyberstalking cases, it’s more important than ever to know how to protect yourself against this crime. The first thing you can do is delete any information about your physical location and personal life on social media. It would be best if you also refrained from posting too much about what you’re doing at all times of the day. 

Combined with strong privacy settings, these measures will help ensure that stalkers don’t have as much access to your online presence and whereabouts. If you suspect someone has been stalking or harassing you over the internet, contact a lawyer immediately for legal advice on the next steps, like contacting law enforcement agencies or through civil lawsuits if necessary.

Implementing the Best Safety Measures for Your Business

When it comes to safety measures, you may not be able to stop the determined thief from visiting you, whether it is online or in person. However, you can make it so very difficult for them that they go and find somewhere else and leave your business well alone.

Cybersecurity

With cybercrime ever-present, it is more important than ever to keep your cybersecurity up to date. It is important to use the best security software for your business. The use of SOAR Security (Security Orchestration, Automation and response) is often used if you have remote workers working on personal equipment and saving data to multiple cloud storage facilities. There are alternatives available, though, so you may find it beneficial to speak to an expert to make sure that you have the correct product for your business, as protection given can vary greatly depending on what your business is.

Most reputable cybersecurity businesses will offer more services as well as support on their products, enabling you to get the best out of your software and helping your business in being safe and secure for all the data you hold.

Training Your Employees for Personal Security

One of the best ways in which you can enhance your security is to teach your employees about the importance of all security as well as their own personal online security.

It is a good idea that each of your employees has to have a password to access your database and that the password is unique and private for each employee. Your employees must understand the importance of changing their password regularly and not divulging it to anybody else.

Having a good strong password is imperative as cybercriminals are smart, cunning, sly, and resourceful. Using names, whether it is last names or pet names, important places, and other topics mentioned on social media is a big ‘no-no’ as cyberthieves watch social media sites to gain ideas for passwords as well as personal information.

Password Security

The best passwords need to be at least 12 characters long, preferably longer. It should contain special characters such as the asterisk or question mark. Have a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters and contain some numbers too. It is a good idea not to use words that can be found in the dictionary as these are easy to guess but try misspelling or dotting numbers and special characters throughout your password.

Ensure that your employees understand why they are having to use keypads or swipe cards to enter your building and tell them the importance of not letting someone tailgate behind you to gain access to the building.

It is a good idea to have a person nominated as a go-to person should anyone see an unfamiliar face wandering around if they are not confident enough to challenge the person for work identification.

Physical Security

It is important that you make sure that your work premises are secure and safe for your employees, as well as the information you have on-site for your customers.

There are many things you can do in order to make your premises secure, such as erecting fences in order to keep trespassers out. Fences used in this way are usually over 6 feet high with razor edging to make them unscalable. Vehicle barriers are a good idea for car park entrances which can be activated by swipe cards or keycodes so that you do not have to have your parking lot patrolled. Warning signs are also a good idea to deter unwanted visitors, as well as security lights for exterior areas.

Control Access

When it comes to actually be able to gain access to your premises, it is a good idea to install key coded entry or personalized swipe cards which can be handed out to each employee with a lanyard, perhaps with their photo printed on to it. Make sure that you have a few for visitors clearly marked. This will help any intruder to be spotted as they will not be wearing a lanyard or have any visible form of identification on them.

When you have visitors on-site, make sure that they fill in a visitor book with their name, company, and who they are on-site to see. Do not let them wander around your business premises unchaperoned at any time, and make sure that they wear either a lanyard with visitor written on it or a badge of some description. It is important that you do not give them a way of entering your building by themselves and keep all key codes secret to outsiders.

5 Tips to Prevent a Data Breach

Data violation is a threat that can influence your life and business which can be far more than a temporary danger. When it comes to the information breach, any kind of company, specific and even federal government can deal with such dangers as well as you can deal with big problems if your delicate data or individual details are leaked. A data violation can have a great effect on your service if your sensitive information is leaked or a person obtains access to the business secrets as that can influence the credibility of the firm. Numerous firms have been a victim of the data breach.

Hackers or cybercriminals can reach you with different means like they can access your device via Bluetooth, SMS message, or the web that you are using. Internet is a platform on which every person is doing something, some are obtaining internet service for entertainment functions, some obtain internet service to do video gaming and after that, some get internet service for work objectives. If a person obtains access to your device, your identification can be stolen. Hackers usually access your device via the internet and you deal with the consequences afterward.

If one does not take data breaches seriously, it can be really harmful. You need a secured internet connection so no person can quickly access your data. If the data is not encrypted when you do streaming online or do any kind of work, the data on your devices would be easily available to hackers or unauthorized people and they can get access to your device or your computer system and your sensitive information can quickly be revealed. We are most likely to speak about how data breaches occur as well as what preventative measures we can take to avoid data violations.

How Does a Data Breach Happen?

Data breaches occur by various techniques used by hackers to enter into your device or system to access your sensitive information. The following are a few of the techniques used by hackers.

Phishing Attacks

Hackers usually trap internet users into clicking links that are not secured and then once you open up the link, they will get access to your system or device. Normally, hackers send phishing emails to enter your system. They use this method to obtain access to your personal data and also you can have a huge loss.

Public Wi-Fi

Using a public Wi-Fi hotspot is so typical in the U.S. state as there are different areas where public Wi-Fi hotspots are available. Making use of public Wi-Fi can cause a data violation as the data is not encrypted and also once your tool gets linked to the Wi-Fi, any person can conveniently access your data and also can mislead you right into clicking unprotected web links.

Weak Credentials

Most of the data violations occur due to the fact that people don’t pay attention to their credentials. They always leave a pattern while setting up their credentials and that benefits the hackers to enter your system and your account.

What to Do to Protect your Business

Following are 5 really important tips that help prevent data breaches and help in protecting your personal information and systems.

Get an Internet Security Suite

While getting internet service, make sure to get an internet security suite as that will help in securing your data and it will not be simple for hackers to obtain access to your personal information. Getting an internet security suite will certainly be beneficial for the business or even for individuals. There are several internet service providers like AT&T internet that provide a web security suite. You can take a look at the AT&T internet packages and can see how you can get internet security in addition to internet service. This suite will secure your data and will also protect your devices from unsecured web links and also phishing attacks.

Perform Regular Vulnerability Assessments

Companies must do routine vulnerability assessments to make certain that everything is protected at their end. Companies must have a department that analyzes on a normal basis instead of doing it once a year or a month as that gives the hackers time to find out the new patterns you adhere to.

Educate Yourself as Well as Your Employees

Firms need to educate their workers on safety to make certain that the devices they are using are secured. You need to inform on your own and also your children about internet safety due to the fact that the majority of data breaches occur because people generally do not take this seriously which causes data breaches, and afterward, you face the consequences. Your identification can be stolen and your firm’s secrets can be exposed.

Beware of Phishing Attacks

A lot of the violations happen due to human mistakes. You should beware of phishing emails and also web links and also must never ever click any web link which you are not aware of. Never ever open any kind of email that you receive from an unknown individual as that will certainly be the reason for data breaching. Immediately report to your security team regarding such emails as well as internet links so that they can take action promptly.

Backup and Encryption

Make sure that your tools are encrypted as well as you are doing a backup of your data by utilizing the cloud solution so if by any chance someone hacks your systems, your data continues to be safe.

Conclusion

Information breaches can have a great effect on your business’s reputation if the company’s personal data gets leaked. We have numerous examples of the damages brought on by data breaches. Ensure that you take all the safety precautions so you do not end up being a victim of it.

7 Tips to Protect Your Privacy on the Web

It’s a scary world out there. With the Internet, you are no longer protected by distance and physical barriers from your enemies. With just an email address or phone number, someone can find out more about you than they could in days of old when all you had to worry about was a nosy neighbor. And with so many people online nowadays, it is likely that at least one person will be able to figure out who exactly you are and what your secrets might be. 

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to keep yourself safe on the Web; this article outlines five of them:   

1. Don’t give up too much information on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter  

This is very important because you don’t want to be one of those people that stay connected with everyone they have met in their entire lives. It makes you a prime target for manipulation as even the least tech-savvy person can try and find out more about your life from these social media sites. Social media sites are also a good place to look for information. 

For example, if you have someone’s social media username on Facebook and they put their phone number down as public information, then you can go ahead and call them up to talk. You might even be able to find out where they live or work based on the places that they frequently visit or mention in their newsfeed. And remember that everything you post online is permanent and cannot be deleted (except through complicated processes like asking Google to delete your entire account).

2. Use a VPN

Using a VPN service is one of the most important things you can do to protect your online privacy. A VPN allows you to create an encrypted tunnel between your computer and a server run by your VPN provider. This means that all of the data that leaves and enters your PC is encrypted (and thus prevented from being read). It also prevents websites from seeing who you are or where you are located, making it appear as if you’re in another country on the other side of the world. Also, the VPN hides your IP address, which is another way for someone to find out who you are. You can find a list of the best vpn services curated by Forbes.

3. Don’t email pictures of yourself or any other information that could be used to identify you! 

Because of the sheer amount of information that you can obtain from a single email address, emails are one of the least secure ways to share information! It is particularly important not to include pictures or any other kind of identifying information in your email.

If you must send an email with personal information attached, consider using encryption software like PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) that will allow you to encrypt this data so that it cannot be read if intercepted. In even more extreme cases, some services like Hushmail offer completely anonymous accounts where no traffic logs are kept at all.  

However there are several situations when sending an encrypted file is not enough: for example, when multiple people have access to the same device and they might extract the files while spoofing your identity.

 4. Use the right browser settings so that your activities are not tracked by advertisers, search engines, and others 

This is important because most websites can track your activities on their site in several ways. The tracking software might be embedded in the website code or it may come from a third-party service like Google Analytics. Either way, you need to make sure that both your browser and any plugins/extensions are configured so they do not transmit data about what web pages you visit or which search terms you use. 

To do this with Chrome, click the Customize and Control icon, then Settings (under Privacy) > Show advanced settings… > Content Settings > Manage exceptions. You will see a list of domains; simply remove those that you don’t want to send information to by clicking on the Remove button on the right side.

5. Use search engines that do not track you.

This one is a bit tricky since even the Google search engine tracks your searches. In addition, most of the alternative search engines can be configured to use encryption so that they don’t store local copies of your data and it is sent directly instead of to their servers.  You can also search directly from the address bar if you don’t want to use a browser plugin.

For example, if you’re using Chrome, install the Startpage extension and configure it by clicking on Options (under Identity). Then click Customize on MyStartPage and then Privacy. In the Never send personal information to these services section change both of them to Google Search (it will be automatically selected). To use this type of encryption for DuckDuckGo, Firefox or Startpage simply add “https” in front of the URL while leaving off “www.”  (e.g., https://duckduckgo.com/ )

 6.  Don’t use open wifi if you want to protect your information.

This one is important because it doesn’t come down to how well or poorly a company encrypts the data that passes through its servers—the simplest way would be just to not send any of it! This also applies to corporate networks, where many employees use VPN software and other encryption technologies already in place for their security needs. 

However, these same tools can also prevent an employer from monitoring employee-side traffic (e.g., using GeoLite2 IP databases to geolocate broadband subscribers). So always think twice before logging on with your work account on the local coffee shop’s free wifi!

7.  And finally, don’t assume that anything you send or store is secure and can’t be hacked.

While this might seem like an obvious one, many people have gotten into trouble in recent years by thinking that a service was secure when they actually weren’t. For example, there has been a huge influx of new investors into digital currency due to coins like Bitcoin having huge price increases. This in turn has led to a sharp rise in cyber attacks on people’s crypto wallets in order to siphon off investors’ profits. Keeping these assets secure by using cold wallets, encrypted passwords and two-factor authentication is the bare minimum in cybersecurity. Again, there are two sides to the story. Companies must do as much as possible to protect user-information from outside attacks, which sometimes means sacrificing convenience (i.e., forcing users to use longer passwords).

Protecting Your Privacy Online

If you follow these tips carefully, anyone who wants to find out more about you will run into brick wall after brick wall trying to get information about you; at least, this will buy time for you to protect your privacy more fully if you decide to do so.