Entries in tips (10)
It's a new trend sweeping the malware community: make the virus look like an antivirus. What better way to hide, and sometimes extort money out of users? The new trend of "rogue" antivirus software is sweeping the Internet, and more than likely either you or someone you know has been bitten within the last two years.
Microsoft is offering a great quiz on their Microsoft Malware Protection Center Facebook page, which you can take for free. It will only take a few minutes, but it can mean the difference between life and death for your computer. It's absolutely worth your time.
What is Cyber Crime?
Cyber crime is a term that covers a broad scope of criminal activity using a computer. Some common examples of cyber crime include identity theft, financial fraud, web site defacements and cyber bullying. At an organizational level, cyber crime may involve the hacking of customer databases and theft of intellectual property. Many users think they can protect themselves, their accounts, and their PCs with just anti-spyware and anti-virus software. Cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated and they are targeting consumers as well as public and private organizations. Therefore, addiitonal layers of defense are needed.
An Example of Cyber Crime
An example of one type of cyber crime is an “account takeover.” This happens when cyber criminals compromise your computer and install malicious software, such as “keyloggers” which record the key strokes, passwords, and other private information. This in turn allows them access to programs using your log-in credentials. Once these criminals steal your password, they may be able to breach your online bank account. These criminals can be anywhere in the world and may be able to transfer your money almost immediately.
What are the Effects of Cyber Crime?
The effects of a single, successful cyber attack can have far-reaching implications including financial losses, theft of intellectual property and loss of consumer confidence and trust. The overall monetary impact of cyber crime on society and government is estimated to be billions of dollars a year.
What Should We Do?
Training and awareness are important first steps in mitigating these attacks. All citizens, consumers, and employees should be aware of cyber threats and the actions they can take to protect their own information, as well as the information within their organization.
So… What can you do to minimize the risk of becoming a cyber crime victim?
(by Kelley Goldblatt)
The Monday after Thanksgiving Day is known as Cyber Monday. It is a day when online retailers offer special deals and discounts to entice shoppers to visit their websites and purchase products from their online stores. More than 122 million people are expected to participate this year. The popularity of this day has also drawn scammers and cyber thieves who want to take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers.
Cyber criminals are looking to gain access to customers’ personal information and computer information. Once this information is obtained, criminals can steal a persons’ identity, make fraudulent purchases with their financial information, take control of a users’ computer, and much more. The tips below can assist Cyber Monday participants in making smart decisions whenever making online purchases.
Tips for staying safe:
- Make sure that your purchasing device (computer, smartphone, tablet, etc) has anti-virus protection.
- Don’t make purchases over a free and/or public Wi-Fi
- Pause before clicking on any links from websites that are not well known to the shopper. If you do see a deal you are interested in, go to that company’s website through your Web browser, not from a hyperlink within an email.
- Do not download files. No deals will be found in a .zip or .exe attachment. Stores will not make customers download files with additional pricing information.
- Consider proactive deal-hunting. There are major aggregate sites that can help shoppers roundup and find deals from other trusted websites.
- When purchasing a product online, make sure to use a credit card and a site that uses SSL encryption. SSL encryption will be denoted by the URL starting with “https”.
- Be aware, debit cards and electronic money transfer accounts (PayPal) do not offer the same level of consumer protection as credit cards.
- Log off from the site once the order is completed.
(by Kristin Judge via AnnArbor.com)
The newest iPhone now has an added line for apps per page. Thank goodness! Not sure how I would have been able to manage without it!
It's hard to believe app management is now an issue for some mobile device users, but we are coming to rely on them more every day. I remember when I used to buy Sudoku books to take on airplanes. Now, I have three different Sudoku apps on my smartphone instead. Less hassle, and less space in my carry-on bag too.
Apps are used to get the news, communicate with friends, check flight times, share photos, get recipes, listen to music, and of course play games. The top 10 grossing apps of all time include seven games. Fruit Ninja and Doodle Jump are of course included. Current average app price is still less than $2, so they are affordable and always at your fingertips. (Apple Store Stats 2012, Impiger Moble)
For me, the lure of the app is the ability to click and use it instantly. That is also the part that concerns me. It is instant gratification, and I don’t even feel like I am spending money.
It is easy to see how someone may get into trouble with spending too much time and money on apps. But an even more dangerous risk than losing a little too much time or money on apps is losing our identity or other information if we don’t use them safely. Apps are here to stay, so we need to educate ourselves on how to use them securely.
Wi-Fi hotspots in coffee shops, libraries, airports, hotels, universities, and other public places are convenient, but they’re often not secure. When using a hotspot, it’s best to send information only to websites that are fully encrypted.
You can be confident a hotspot is secure only if it asks you to provide a WPA password. If you're not sure, treat the network as if it were unsecured. Here's what you should do.
- Before you start playing, be sure your computer has an activated security suite: a firewall, anti-spyware software, and anti-virus software.
- Use a strong password for your gaming accounts. Be sure your password has at least eight characters and uses numbers, letters, and symbols.
- If another player is making you feel uncomfortable, tell a trusted adult. Remember that you can always kick a player out of the game if they are making you uncomfortable.
- Learn how to block and/or report another player if they are making you uncomfortable. Keep a record of what the other player said, but do not engage them.
- Never reveal your real name, location, gender, age, or any other personal information. Keep your user name vague.
- Use an avatar rather than an actual picture of yourself.
- Do not present yourself as dating material.
- Do not use a web-cam while playing an online game.
- Do not accept downloads from strangers. This includes cheat programs that may claim to help you perform better in a game, but really could be carrying malware.
- Do not send out materials to fellow gamers that contains personal information and/or data.
- Do not meet a stranger from your gaming world in person. People are not always who they say they are.
Visit StaySafeOnline.org for more tips!
Before your kids start playing, be sure your computer has an activated security suite: a firewall, anti-spyware software, and anti-virus software.
- Be sure your kids have strong passwords for their gaming accounts. Passwords should be at least eight characters long and contain letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Let your kids know they can come to you if they feel playing a game.
- Participate in the game with your kids.
- Make sure your kid knows how to block and/or report a cyberbully. Tell them to keep a record of the conversation if they are being harassed and encourage them not to engage the bully.
- Make sure your child’s user name does not give away their name, location, gender, age, or any other personal information. (Examples: beach01, book2).
- Make sure your kids use an avatar, not an actual picture of themselves.
- If your kids are playing a game that features live voice chat, make sure they are disguising their voice. If the game does not have this feature, do not let them use voice chat.
- Limit their time playing games.
- Make sure you read and understand the ratings for the games that your children are playing.
- Some game sites have multiple games with different ratings, so check all of them.
- Keep the computer out in the open so that you can monitor your kids’ online activities.
- Make sure your kids know that they may not send out any materials to fellow gamers that contain private information and/or data.
- Use built-in parental controls on your Web browser.
- Don’t let your children download anything without your express permission. This includes cheat programs that may claim to help your child perform better in the game, but really could be carrying malware.
- Remember that prohibition won't work. Your children will use computers and games consoles, even if it's at school or at friends' houses. If you talk to your kids about risks and good judgment, they will be able to get a lot more out of the web.
Thanks to StaySafeOnline.org for the tips!
While their age helps youth easily adapt to new technologies, their immaturity also makes them more likely to unintentionally engage in risky behaviors or be targeted by other users, more often peers than strangers. For many young people, there is little divide between their “real world” and online selves. As a parent, consider doing the following:
- Remain positively engaged. Pay attention to and know the online environments your children use. Appreciate your children’s participation in their online communities and show interest in their friends. Try to react constructively when they encounter inappropriate material. Make it a teachable moment.
- Support their good choices. Expand your children’s online experience and their autonomy when developmentally appropriate, as they demonstrate competence in safe and secure online behavior and good decision making.
- Protect your hardware. Safety and security start with protecting all family computers. Install a security suite (antivirus, antispyware, and a firewall) that is set to update automatically. Keep your operating system, Web browser, and other software current as well, and back up computer files on a regular basis.
- Know the protection features of the Web sites and software your children use. Your Internet service provider (ISP) may have tools to help you manage young children’s online experience (e.g., selecting approved Web sites, monitoring the amount of time they spend online, or limiting the people who can contact them) and may have other security features, such as pop-up blockers. Third-party tools are also available. But remember that your home isn't the only place they can go online.
- Review the privacy settings of social networking sites, cell phones, and other social tools your children use. Decide together which settings provide the appropriate amount of protection for each child.
- Teach critical thinking. Help your children identify safe, credible Web sites and other digital content, and be cautious about clicking on, downloading, posting, and uploading content.
- Explain the implications. Help your children understand the public nature of the Internet and its risks as well as its benefits. Be sure they know that any digital info they share, such as emails, photos, or videos, can easily be copied and pasted elsewhere, and is almost impossible to take back. Things that could damage their reputation, friendships, or future prospects should not be shared electronically.
- Help them be good digital citizens. Remind your children to be good “digital friends” by respecting personal information of friends and family and not sharing anything about others that is potentially embarrassing or hurtful.
- Just saying “no” rarely works. Teach your children how to interact safely with people they "meet" online. Though it's preferable they make no in-person contact with online-only acquaintances, young people may not always follow this rule. So talk about maximizing safe conditions: meeting only in well-lit public places, always taking at least one friend, and telling a trusted adult about any plans they make – including the time, place, and acquaintance’s contact information (at least a name and cell phone number). Remind them to limit sharing personal information with new friends.
- Empower your children to handle problems, such as bullying, unwanted contact, or hurtful comments. Work with them on strategies for when problems arise, such as talking to a trusted adult, not retaliating, calmly talking with the person, blocking the person, or filing a complaint. Agree on steps to take if the strategy fails.
- Encourage your children to be “digital leaders.” Help ensure they master the safety and security techniques of all technology they use. Support their positive and safe engagement in online communities. Encourage them to help others accomplish their goals. Urge them to help if friends are making poor choices or being harmed.
Thanks again to StaySafeOnline.org for the tips!
Courtesy of StaySafeOnline.org, here are some wonderful tips to keep you safe on social networks.
- Privacy and security settings exist for a reason: Learn about and use the privacy and security settings on social networks. They are there to help you control who sees what you post and manage your online experience in a positive way.
- Once posted, always posted: Protect your reputation on social networks. What you post online stays online. Think twice before posting pictures you wouldn’t want your parents or future employers to see. Recent research (http://www.microsoft.com/privacy/dpd/research.aspx) found that 70% of job recruiters rejected candidates based on information they found online.
- Your online reputation can be a good thing: Recent research (http://www.microsoft.com/privacy/dpd/research.aspx) also found that recruiters respond to a strong, positive personal brand online. So show your smarts, thoughtfulness, and mastery of the environment.
- Keep personal info personal: Be cautious about how much personal information you provide on social networking sites. The more information you post, the easier it may be for a hacker or someone else to use that information to steal your identity, access your data, or commit other crimes such as stalking.
- Protect your hardware: Safety and security start with protecting computers. Install a security suite (antivirus, antispyware, and firewall) that is set to update automatically. Keep your operating system, Web browser, and other software current as well and back up computer files on a regular basis.
- Know and manage your friends: Social networks can be used for a variety of purposes. Some of the fun is creating a large pool of friends from many aspects of your life. That doesn’t mean all friends are created equal. Use tools to manage the information you share with friends in different groups or even have multiple online pages. If you’re trying to create a public persona as a blogger or expert, create an open profile or a “fan” page that encourages broad participation and limits personal information. Use your personal profile to keep your real friends (the ones you know trust) more synched up with your daily life.
- Be honest if you’re uncomfortable: If a friend posts something about you that makes you uncomfortable or you think is inappropriate, let them know. Likewise, stay open-minded if a friend approaches you because something you’ve posted makes him or her uncomfortable. People have different tolerances for how much the world knows about them respect those differences. Post only about others as you would have them post about you.
- Now what action to take: If someone is harassing or threatening you, remove them from your friends list, block them, and report them to the site administrator.
- Use strong passwords: Make sure that your password is long, complex and combines, letters, numerals, and symbols. Ideally, you should use a different password for every online account you have. If you need to write down your password to remember it, store it somewhere away from your computer.
- Be cautious about messages you receive on social networking sites that contain links. Even links that look they come from friends can sometimes contain malware or be part of a phishing attack (attempts to collect personal information: logon and password and other indentifying information by pretending to be a message form a friend or a business). If you are suspicious, don’t click contact your friend or the business directly to verify the validity.
Children present unique security risks when they use a computer — not only do you have to keep them safe, but you have to protect their data on your computer. By taking some simple steps, you can dramatically reduce the threats.
Keep your computer in a central and open location in your home and be aware of other computers your child may be using. Discuss and set guidelines/rules for use with your children. Post these rules by the computer as a reminder.
- Use the Internet with your children. Familiarize yourself with your children's online activities and maintain a dialogue with your child about what applications they are using.
- Implement parental control tools that are provided by some ISPs and available for purchase as separate software packages. Remember - No program is a substitute for parental supervision. Also, you may be able to set some parental controls within your browser. Internet Explorer allows you to restrict or allow certain web sites to be viewed on your computer, and you can protect these settings with a password. To find those options, click Tools on your menu bar, select Internet Options, choose the Content tab, and click the Enable button under Content Advisor.
- Consider software that allows you to monitor your children's email and web traffic.
- Consider partitioning your computer into separate accounts - Most operating systems (including Windows XP, Mac OS X, and Linux) give you the option of creating a different user account for each user. If you're worried that your child may accidentally access, modify, and/or delete your files, you can give him/her a separate account and decrease the amount of access and number of privileges he/she has.
- Know who your children's online friends are and supervise their chat areas.
- Teach your children never to give out personal information to people they meet online such as in chat rooms or bulletin boards.
- Know who to contact if you believe your child is in danger. Visit www.getnetwise.org for detailed information. If you know of a child in immediate risk or danger, call law enforcement immediately. Please report instances of online child exploitation to the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children's Cyber Tipline. Even though children may have better technical skills, don't be intimidated by their knowledge. Children still need advice, guidance, and protection. Keep the lines of communication open and let your child know that you can be approached with any questions they may have about behaviors or problems encountered on the computer.
Thanks to StaySafeOnline.org for these tips!