Category Archives: Consumer

McAfee Blogs: Warning: Crypto-Currency Mining is Targeting Your Android

Cryptocurrency, a virtual form of currency designed to work as a secure form of exchange, has gained a lot of traction in the world of finance and technology. But for many, the concept of obtaining cryptocurrency, or “crypto mining,” is obscure. Investopedia defines crypto-mining as, “the process by which transactions are verified and added to the public ledger, known as the blockchain, and also the means through which new currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are released.”

The practice has been around since 2009, and anyone with access to the Internet, the required programs and hardware can participate in mining. In fact, by the end of this month, Forbes Magazine will have published its first “Top Richest” list dedicated to Crypto Millionaires.

With the rise in popularity of digital currency, it’s no surprise that cybercriminals across the globe are leveraging malicious code to obtain it. Hackers would rather develop or utilize mining malware instead of paying the expensive price tag associated with mining machines, which can be upwards of $5000. In China, the ADB Miner malware is spreading and targeting thousands of Android devices for the primary purpose of mining cryptocurrency. The malware is spread through the publicly accessible Android Debug Bridge (abd) on an opened port 5555. This port is typically closed but can be opened by an ADB debug tool. Once infected, a device will look for other devices with the same vulnerability to spread the malware and leverage other Android-based smartphones, tablets, and televisions for crypto-mining.

So why are cybercriminals now targeting Android mobile devices? This could be due to the fact that hackers know they can easily manipulate vulnerabilities in Google Play’s app vetting system. Last year McAfee Mobile Threat Research identified more than 4,000 apps that were removed from Google Play without notification to users. Currently, the app store does not have consistent or centralized reporting available for app purchasers. Even if an app is supported by Google Play at the time of download, it could later be identified as malicious and Android users may be unaware of the fact that they’re harboring a bad app.

Researchers have found over 600 blacklisted malicious cryptocurrency apps across 20 app stores including Apple and Google Play. Google Play was found to have the highest amount of malicious crypto apps, with 272 available for download. In the United States, researchers have found another crypto-mining malware that is so demanding of phone processors, its causing them to implode. Loapi, a newly-discovered Trojan crypto-miner, can cause phone batteries to swell up and burst open the device’s back cover, and has been found in up to 20 mobile apps.

Crypto-mining malware isn’t a new phenomenon. Before the WannaCry attacks last summer, cryptocurrency malware sprung up as another malicious software looking to take advantage of the same Windows vulnerabilities that WannaCry exploited. But, instead of locking down systems with ransomware, these cybercriminals were putting them to work, using a cryptocurrency mining malware called Adylkuzz.

Here are a few tips to ensure your Android-devices are protected from crypto-mining malware:

  • Download your apps from a legitimate source. While some malicious apps may slip through the cracks, app stores like Google Play do have security measures in place to protect users, and it’s much safer than downloading from an unknown source.
  • Delete any apps that you haven’t used over the past 6-months. An app’s security can change over time; applications that were once supported by an app store can be flagged as malicious and removed from the platform without notification. If an app is no longer supported in the app store, you should delete it immediately.
  • Keep all of your software up to date. Many of the more harmful malware attacks we’ve seen, like the Equifax data breach, take advantage of software vulnerabilities in common applications, such as operating systems and browsers. Having the latest software and application versions ensures that any known bugs or exploits are patched, and is one of the best defenses against viruses and malware.
  • Double up on your mobile security software. I can’t stress enough how important is to use comprehensive security software to protect your personal devices.

Interested in learning more about IoT and mobile security tips and trends? Follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and ‘Like” us on Facebook.

 

The post Warning: Crypto-Currency Mining is Targeting Your Android appeared first on McAfee Blogs.



McAfee Blogs

Warning: Crypto-Currency Mining is Targeting Your Android

Cryptocurrency, a virtual form of currency designed to work as a secure form of exchange, has gained a lot of traction in the world of finance and technology. But for many, the concept of obtaining cryptocurrency, or “crypto mining,” is obscure. Investopedia defines crypto-mining as, “the process by which transactions are verified and added to the public ledger, known as the blockchain, and also the means through which new currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are released.”

The practice has been around since 2009, and anyone with access to the Internet, the required programs and hardware can participate in mining. In fact, by the end of this month, Forbes Magazine will have published its first “Top Richest” list dedicated to Crypto Millionaires.

With the rise in popularity of digital currency, it’s no surprise that cybercriminals across the globe are leveraging malicious code to obtain it. Hackers would rather develop or utilize mining malware instead of paying the expensive price tag associated with mining machines, which can be upwards of $5000. In China, the ADB Miner malware is spreading and targeting thousands of Android devices for the primary purpose of mining cryptocurrency. The malware is spread through the publicly accessible Android Debug Bridge (abd) on an opened port 5555. This port is typically closed but can be opened by an ADB debug tool. Once infected, a device will look for other devices with the same vulnerability to spread the malware and leverage other Android-based smartphones, tablets, and televisions for crypto-mining.

So why are cybercriminals now targeting Android mobile devices? This could be due to the fact that hackers know they can easily manipulate vulnerabilities in Google Play’s app vetting system. Last year McAfee Mobile Threat Research identified more than 4,000 apps that were removed from Google Play without notification to users. Currently, the app store does not have consistent or centralized reporting available for app purchasers. Even if an app is supported by Google Play at the time of download, it could later be identified as malicious and Android users may be unaware of the fact that they’re harboring a bad app.

Researchers have found over 600 blacklisted malicious cryptocurrency apps across 20 app stores including Apple and Google Play. Google Play was found to have the highest amount of malicious crypto apps, with 272 available for download. In the United States, researchers have found another crypto-mining malware that is so demanding of phone processors, its causing them to implode. Loapi, a newly-discovered Trojan crypto-miner, can cause phone batteries to swell up and burst open the device’s back cover, and has been found in up to 20 mobile apps.

Crypto-mining malware isn’t a new phenomenon. Before the WannaCry attacks last summer, cryptocurrency malware sprung up as another malicious software looking to take advantage of the same Windows vulnerabilities that WannaCry exploited. But, instead of locking down systems with ransomware, these cybercriminals were putting them to work, using a cryptocurrency mining malware called Adylkuzz.

Here are a few tips to ensure your Android-devices are protected from crypto-mining malware:

  • Download your apps from a legitimate source. While some malicious apps may slip through the cracks, app stores like Google Play do have security measures in place to protect users, and it’s much safer than downloading from an unknown source.
  • Delete any apps that you haven’t used over the past 6-months. An app’s security can change over time; applications that were once supported by an app store can be flagged as malicious and removed from the platform without notification. If an app is no longer supported in the app store, you should delete it immediately.
  • Keep all of your software up to date. Many of the more harmful malware attacks we’ve seen, like the Equifax data breach, take advantage of software vulnerabilities in common applications, such as operating systems and browsers. Having the latest software and application versions ensures that any known bugs or exploits are patched, and is one of the best defenses against viruses and malware.
  • Double up on your mobile security software. I can’t stress enough how important is to use comprehensive security software to protect your personal devices.

Interested in learning more about IoT and mobile security tips and trends? Follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and ‘Like” us on Facebook.

 

The post Warning: Crypto-Currency Mining is Targeting Your Android appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

McAfee Blogs: Share Your Heart, Not Your Identity: Here’s How You Can Stay Safe on Valentine’s Day

I love Valentine’s day, it’s the one day of the year exclusively dedicated to sharing: we share our feelings, our affection, and special gifts with our loved ones. It’s a great time to show the people in our lives just how much they mean to us. Thanks to social media and mobile friendly retailers, giving your loved ones the world is just a few clicks away.

Tech devices have made it so much easier to share our hearts with the people we care about. But, could our emotional vulnerability ultimately leave us vulnerable to cyber-attacks? Historically, Valentine’s day has been a big day for cybercrime. Criminals have found clever ways to take advantage of retail, online dating platforms, and social media to launch attacks against romantic hopefuls. If you’re wondering how to avoid the most common V-day scams, here are a few things to remember when sharing the love online, and some useful tips to keep your precious data safe.

Dating Apps Are a Data Goldmine

Apps like Tinder or Zoosk are very attractive to hackers around this time of year. Considering the amount of intimate details shared on these platforms, dating apps are prime targets for cybercriminals looking to gain access to personal data and even payment information. In fact, online dating has seen a growing number of cyber-threats since 2015.

If you’re wondering “what’s the worst that could happen if my Tinder account is hacked?”, look no further than the hundreds of pages of data that the app keeps stored on its users. This particular dating app doesn’t just match singles looking to spark a connection, it also collects behavioral data, such as how often you connect, when and where you connect, and even your “likes” and posts from other associated accounts. Some of this data might seem trivial to unsuspecting users, but if placed in the wrong hands this information could be detrimental to the security of your identity.

Florist Are a Favorite for Phishing Scams

A bright, beautiful bouquet of roses is my favorite gift to receive when February 14th rolls around. Unsurprisingly, flowers make one of the most common gifts given around Valentine’s Day but, sending and receiving flowers may not be as harmless as it seems. In 2016, cybercriminals leveraged the popularity of flower services to attack unsuspecting vendors through a series of DDoS attacks designed to extort money from them. While these attacks did not result in leaked information, it’s important to be cautious of which vendors you allow to keep your credit card information on file. After all, you’re expecting your florist to deliver an assortment of beautiful flowers, not a bouquet of personal data to cyber criminals!

If an attack on your friendly florist isn’t enough to peak your senses, hackers have also been known to take advantage of admirers looking to send flowers. Cybercriminals prey on the likelihood that you’ve sent flowers to your loved ones to launch phishing scams, using bogus packages and “Failure to Deliver” notices to collect your data.

Social Media Isn’t Always Your “Friend” 

Valentine’s day is easily one of the most socially sharable days of the year. With so much love in the air, you can’t help but share pictures and posts about your loved ones with other friends and family online. Although most people associate cyber-attacks with some form of malware, many do not realize how vulnerable they are when sharing personal information on social media. Through social engineering, hackers use the information you share online to exploit you. The more personal information you choose to share on social media, the easier it is to exploit that information. Through social media, hackers can find out information about your job, the places you frequent, and even your mother’s maiden name. But don’t worry, we’ve got a few tips up our sleeve to help you share all of the love you want across social.

Seasonal events, like Valentine’s Day, present an opportunity for cybercriminals to leverage their schemes. But don’t be deterred from sharing the love— here’s how you can connect securely and keep your data safe from hackers:

  • Get friendly with your privacy settings on your social media apps. Social platforms like Facebook are making it easier to adjust your privacy settings through a  “privacy center” so you can stay on top of the information you share and who you share it with.
  • Be careful of which accounts you link. Being connected to your online community is great, but linking accounts across platforms only gives cybercriminals easier access to your data. While Tinder does require you to link your Facebook account to sign up, you can turn off Tinder Social so that Tinder won’t be able to post anything to Facebook. And, when possible, avoid linking your dating profiles to other personal accounts.
  • Think before you click that link. Hover over it to see if the URL address looks legitimate to avoid phishing scams. If you know you didn’t send flowers, send that scam to your spam.
  • Double up on your security software. There are plenty of apps that keep your phone safe from malicious attacks. Consider using a service for your phone that offers web protection and antivirus.

Interested in learning more about IoT and mobile security tips and trends? Follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and ‘Like” us on Facebook.

 

The post Share Your Heart, Not Your Identity: Here’s How You Can Stay Safe on Valentine’s Day appeared first on McAfee Blogs.



McAfee Blogs

Share Your Heart, Not Your Identity: Here’s How You Can Stay Safe on Valentine’s Day

I love Valentine’s day, it’s the one day of the year exclusively dedicated to sharing: we share our feelings, our affection, and special gifts with our loved ones. It’s a great time to show the people in our lives just how much they mean to us. Thanks to social media and mobile friendly retailers, giving your loved ones the world is just a few clicks away.

Tech devices have made it so much easier to share our hearts with the people we care about. But, could our emotional vulnerability ultimately leave us vulnerable to cyber-attacks? Historically, Valentine’s day has been a big day for cybercrime. Criminals have found clever ways to take advantage of retail, online dating platforms, and social media to launch attacks against romantic hopefuls. If you’re wondering how to avoid the most common V-day scams, here are a few things to remember when sharing the love online, and some useful tips to keep your precious data safe.

Dating Apps Are a Data Goldmine

Apps like Tinder or Zoosk are very attractive to hackers around this time of year. Considering the amount of intimate details shared on these platforms, dating apps are prime targets for cybercriminals looking to gain access to personal data and even payment information. In fact, online dating has seen a growing number of cyber-threats since 2015.

If you’re wondering “what’s the worst that could happen if my Tinder account is hacked?”, look no further than the hundreds of pages of data that the app keeps stored on its users. This particular dating app doesn’t just match singles looking to spark a connection, it also collects behavioral data, such as how often you connect, when and where you connect, and even your “likes” and posts from other associated accounts. Some of this data might seem trivial to unsuspecting users, but if placed in the wrong hands this information could be detrimental to the security of your identity.

Florist Are a Favorite for Phishing Scams

A bright, beautiful bouquet of roses is my favorite gift to receive when February 14th rolls around. Unsurprisingly, flowers make one of the most common gifts given around Valentine’s Day but, sending and receiving flowers may not be as harmless as it seems. In 2016, cybercriminals leveraged the popularity of flower services to attack unsuspecting vendors through a series of DDoS attacks designed to extort money from them. While these attacks did not result in leaked information, it’s important to be cautious of which vendors you allow to keep your credit card information on file. After all, you’re expecting your florist to deliver an assortment of beautiful flowers, not a bouquet of personal data to cyber criminals!

If an attack on your friendly florist isn’t enough to peak your senses, hackers have also been known to take advantage of admirers looking to send flowers. Cybercriminals prey on the likelihood that you’ve sent flowers to your loved ones to launch phishing scams, using bogus packages and “Failure to Deliver” notices to collect your data.

Social Media Isn’t Always Your “Friend” 

Valentine’s day is easily one of the most socially sharable days of the year. With so much love in the air, you can’t help but share pictures and posts about your loved ones with other friends and family online. Although most people associate cyber-attacks with some form of malware, many do not realize how vulnerable they are when sharing personal information on social media. Through social engineering, hackers use the information you share online to exploit you. The more personal information you choose to share on social media, the easier it is to exploit that information. Through social media, hackers can find out information about your job, the places you frequent, and even your mother’s maiden name. But don’t worry, we’ve got a few tips up our sleeve to help you share all of the love you want across social.

Seasonal events, like Valentine’s Day, present an opportunity for cybercriminals to leverage their schemes. But don’t be deterred from sharing the love— here’s how you can connect securely and keep your data safe from hackers:

  • Get friendly with your privacy settings on your social media apps. Social platforms like Facebook are making it easier to adjust your privacy settings through a  “privacy center” so you can stay on top of the information you share and who you share it with.
  • Be careful of which accounts you link. Being connected to your online community is great, but linking accounts across platforms only gives cybercriminals easier access to your data. While Tinder does require you to link your Facebook account to sign up, you can turn off Tinder Social so that Tinder won’t be able to post anything to Facebook. And, when possible, avoid linking your dating profiles to other personal accounts.
  • Think before you click that link. Hover over it to see if the URL address looks legitimate to avoid phishing scams. If you know you didn’t send flowers, send that scam to your spam.
  • Double up on your security software. There are plenty of apps that keep your phone safe from malicious attacks. Consider using a service for your phone that offers web protection and antivirus.

Interested in learning more about IoT and mobile security tips and trends? Follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and ‘Like” us on Facebook.

 

The post Share Your Heart, Not Your Identity: Here’s How You Can Stay Safe on Valentine’s Day appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

How to keep our kids safe online – start by talking about it

Whether or not you’re lucky enough to be a parent or grandparent, as adults we should all be concerned about the safety of children online. That’s why, on Safer Internet Day, a day dedicated to promoting the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people, I wanted to share some thoughts on what we can do about it. Because we all have a responsibility to look out for the generation of tomorrow.

Firstly, let’s agree on a few basic truths. Today’s generation of children are unlike any that have come before them. The fortunate ones have grown up with technology all around them, and children are engaging and interacting with technology from an ever-younger age. What’s more, this isn’t always a case of stealing mum’s mobile phone, or dad’s iPad. No, much of it is technology aimed specifically at kids.

It’s not a surprise therefore that today’s generation of children are often seen glued to their phones, tablets and connected toys. And while most of this technology is incredible stuff, the unfortunate reality is that it often opens children up to a whole host of dangers. These might seem like trivialities to the younger generation, but how many children forget to inform their parents about who they are talking to online, the pages they are visiting and what they are sharing.

So what can be done about it, and how can we ensure that children are able to take advantage of the many benefits of technology, while also protecting them from its darker side? As with many things in this world, talking about it helps.

Below are some conversation starters you can use to help talk about these issues with children. These are from Safer Internet Day’s online resource, but there are lots of others out there should you want more inspiration.

Get the conversation started on a positive note:

  • Ask them what they like most about the internet and why?
  • What’s their favourite game/app/site?
  • Ask them to show you the most creative thing they’ve made online, e.g. a video they’ve made, or picture they’ve drawn.
  • Explain how the internet offers brilliant opportunities for making connections with others. Ask them who they like to keep in touch with online and what apps or services do they use?

Talk about safety:

  • Ask them what they would do if they saw that a friend online needed some help or support?
  • Ask them how they stay safe online? What tips do they have and where did they learn them?
  • Ask them to show you how to do something better or safer online.
  • Ask them to tell you what it’s okay to share online. What is it not okay to share online?
  • Do they know where to go for help, where to find safety advice and how to use safety tools on their favourite apps and games?

Discuss digital lives and wellbeing:

  • Ask them how the internet and technology makes their life better?
  • Ask how does the internet make them feel? Do different apps and games makes them feel differently?
  • Ask what could they do if being online was making them feel worse rather than better?
  • Ask them how might they know if they were using the internet and technology too much?

Talk about respect:

  • Ask what could they do if someone online was making them or someone they know feel worried or upset?
  • Who do they look up to or respect online? Why?
  • Ask them if people can say or do whatever they want online? Why / why not?
  • Ask what is different about talking online to someone compared to talking face to face? Is there anything that is the same?
  • Do they have any tips for how to be positive and show respect online?

In the hyper-connected world in which we live, it really is the responsibility of all adults to protect children online. And Safer Internet Day is the perfect opportunity to talk to your child about using the internet safely, responsibly and positively.

If you want to find out more there’s a whole host of resources to be found on the Safer Internet Day website, here: https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-centre

And if you’re interested in joining the discussion on how to keep children safe online, we’ll be hosting a Twitter chat from 13:00 GMT today. You can get involved by including #SetUpSafe in your tweet.

The post How to keep our kids safe online – start by talking about it appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

McAfee Blogs: Indian Digital Citizens Need to Better Balance Their Device Use and Manage Online Safety

As Bryan Adams croons in the background (Everything I do) I do it for you…. and you give the last touches to your Valentine’s Day preparations, don’t forget to do that one thing that is playing a big spoilsport in relationships today- put your devices away! After all, you don’t want a phone buzz to spoil that perfectly romantic mood.

Good idea you say? But unfortunately, many don’t. McAfee released findings from a recent India survey, “Three’s Company: Lovers, Friends and Devices” that aims to understand the online behavior of people and how it affects their real-world relationships with friends and significant others. The survey findings highlight the need for better digital balance and greater vigilance while sharing personal information.

Consider the facts discovered by this year’s survey:

  • 67% of the people in a relationship have felt that their significant other was more interested in their internet connected device than in them.
  • 77% of the respondents feel that the use of technology gets in the way of relationships
  • 89% of Indians would be concerned if their significant other did not take the necessary steps to protect their personal information.

No doubt devices have become an integral part of our lives and we cannot imagine a life without them. We need them to connect, share, learn and discover. They can also prove to be life-saving at times. Having said that, it is also imperative that we do not let devices take over our lives, or our special times with the people who matter most to us. Face-to-face interactions are very important, whether it be with your significant other, or kids, or friends.

A comparison with the 2017 survey shows an increase in undesirable device habits over the year:

  • 84% said they share their personal passwords and PINs with their partners in 2018, up from 46% in 2017.
  • 75% indicated that they have had to compete for the attention of their date with their device, up from 57% in 2017.
  • 39% indicate that they have/would allow their significant other to use their work device (s), which is slightly higher than the 35% recorded last year.

On a positive note, 76% Indians are also taking the necessary steps to ensure their personal information is protected on their connected devices. That’s great to know and they should also be more vigilant about sharing too much. Though 89% of Indians think privacy is important in a relationship, there is a lot of sharing going on between partners and it’s not just love and sweet nothings. 84% share their passwords and PINs with their partners for:

  • Online shopping websites – 60%
  • Social media accounts – 45%
  • Streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) – 42%
  • Personal email accounts – 41%
  • Banking and financial services websites – 38%
  • Work specific devices/accounts – 38%

Tip: Proactively practice digital balance by keeping devices away or on silent mode when talking to family members or your partner. Give your 100% attention to them.

We want you to stay safe online as well as stay close to your loved ones! Here are a few tips that will help you stay safe while staying in love:

  • Protect your loved ones online… secure their devices. Take control of your privacy and security. Products like McAfee Total Protection helps secure all your devices and keep your personal data personal.
  • Keep control over emotions when it comes to passwords. Please tell me your password isn’t Love2018 or MyLoveXYZ?? Be as romantic as you want in real life but be very careful when choosing passwords, they are the keys to your accounts and shouldn’t be easy to hack. Use the TrueKey app to manage all your passwords. Also, enable Two-Factor-Authentication on all accounts for enhanced safety.
  • Love you…. but love my device more? No way! I know that feeling, of wanting to ‘just scroll through’ social media messages or checking the battery if there has been no ping for some time; but hey, relax and take a chill pill. Messages won’t disappear so, give priority to real connections over virtual ones.

A successful life and relationship is all about prioritizing and doing the right thing at the right time. This Valentine’s Day give priority to a device-free date and you will love the joy and positive vibes you feel around you.

The post Indian Digital Citizens Need to Better Balance Their Device Use and Manage Online Safety appeared first on McAfee Blogs.



McAfee Blogs

Indian Digital Citizens Need to Better Balance Their Device Use and Manage Online Safety

As Bryan Adams croons in the background (Everything I do) I do it for you…. and you give the last touches to your Valentine’s Day preparations, don’t forget to do that one thing that is playing a big spoilsport in relationships today- put your devices away! After all, you don’t want a phone buzz to spoil that perfectly romantic mood.

Good idea you say? But unfortunately, many don’t. McAfee released findings from a recent India survey, “Three’s Company: Lovers, Friends and Devices” that aims to understand the online behavior of people and how it affects their real-world relationships with friends and significant others. The survey findings highlight the need for better digital balance and greater vigilance while sharing personal information.

Consider the facts discovered by this year’s survey:

  • 67% of the people in a relationship have felt that their significant other was more interested in their internet connected device than in them.
  • 77% of the respondents feel that the use of technology gets in the way of relationships
  • 89% of Indians would be concerned if their significant other did not take the necessary steps to protect their personal information.

No doubt devices have become an integral part of our lives and we cannot imagine a life without them. We need them to connect, share, learn and discover. They can also prove to be life-saving at times. Having said that, it is also imperative that we do not let devices take over our lives, or our special times with the people who matter most to us. Face-to-face interactions are very important, whether it be with your significant other, or kids, or friends.

A comparison with the 2017 survey shows an increase in undesirable device habits over the year:

  • 84% said they share their personal passwords and PINs with their partners in 2018, up from 46% in 2017.
  • 75% indicated that they have had to compete for the attention of their date with their device, up from 57% in 2017.
  • 39% indicate that they have/would allow their significant other to use their work device (s), which is slightly higher than the 35% recorded last year.

On a positive note, 76% Indians are also taking the necessary steps to ensure their personal information is protected on their connected devices. That’s great to know and they should also be more vigilant about sharing too much. Though 89% of Indians think privacy is important in a relationship, there is a lot of sharing going on between partners and it’s not just love and sweet nothings. 84% share their passwords and PINs with their partners for:

  • Online shopping websites – 60%
  • Social media accounts – 45%
  • Streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) – 42%
  • Personal email accounts – 41%
  • Banking and financial services websites – 38%
  • Work specific devices/accounts – 38%

Tip: Proactively practice digital balance by keeping devices away or on silent mode when talking to family members or your partner. Give your 100% attention to them.

We want you to stay safe online as well as stay close to your loved ones! Here are a few tips that will help you stay safe while staying in love:

  • Protect your loved ones online… secure their devices. Take control of your privacy and security. Products like McAfee Total Protection helps secure all your devices and keep your personal data personal.
  • Keep control over emotions when it comes to passwords. Please tell me your password isn’t Love2018 or MyLoveXYZ?? Be as romantic as you want in real life but be very careful when choosing passwords, they are the keys to your accounts and shouldn’t be easy to hack. Use the TrueKey app to manage all your passwords. Also, enable Two-Factor-Authentication on all accounts for enhanced safety.
  • Love you…. but love my device more? No way! I know that feeling, of wanting to ‘just scroll through’ social media messages or checking the battery if there has been no ping for some time; but hey, relax and take a chill pill. Messages won’t disappear so, give priority to real connections over virtual ones.

A successful life and relationship is all about prioritizing and doing the right thing at the right time. This Valentine’s Day give priority to a device-free date and you will love the joy and positive vibes you feel around you.

The post Indian Digital Citizens Need to Better Balance Their Device Use and Manage Online Safety appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Safer Internet Day 2018: How To Develop Online Respect At Home

Today is Safer Internet Day – an annual global event aimed at encouraging a better internet. And this year’s theme is a beauty: ‘Create, Connect and Share Respect. A Better Internet Starts With You.’

As a mum and technology educator, I believe respect is at the core of all positive and safe online (and offline) behaviours. Kids with a healthy amount of respect in their ‘tool box’ will almost always have more successful social interactions. But it’s important to look at respect in two ways: respect for others and, just as importantly, respect for ourselves.

Respecting Others Online

Respecting others online means you acknowledge them and are considerate of their opinions and privacy. Yet it does not mean that you have to agree with everything they say or do. To borrow the words of pop icon, Taylor Swift:

‘We don’t need to share the same opinions as others, but we need to be respectful.’

In my view, a lack of respect for conflicting opinions online is where a lot of teens (and adults) come unstuck. Many interpret an opposing opinion as criticism and respond aggressively. This can quickly turn a civil exchange of opinions into an exchange of insults! In other words, a large part of showing respect online is being mindful of the way you communicate. And this means:

  • being aware of your tone;
  • not using bad language or insulting others; and
  • avoiding use of upper case as it is considered shouting and can rapidly escalate an argument.

So, whether your child is a Tay-Tay fan or not, her words of wisdom need to be shared.

Respecting Yourself Online

On the other hand, a healthy dose of respect for yourself can be very helpful when dealing with the negativity that can sometimes be experienced online. As American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said:

‘He that respects himself is safe from others. He wears a coat of mail that no one can pierce.’

If you respect yourself, you will know when you are being treated badly and will have the courage to stand up for yourself. Self-respect also means you will treat others well and know that, by doing so, others will treat you well in return.

As parents, it is essential that we teach our kids self-respect. Showing and telling them they are worthy, valuable and important is a very good place to start. Teaching them about appropriate boundaries around their physical and mental health is also essential. So is instilling in them that no one has the right to jeopardise their physical or emotional safety. Your kids need to know that if they are on the receiving end of behaviour that isn’t appropriate, they can come to you or other nominated trusted adults in their life.

Don’t Forget About Empathy!

In my opinion, empathy is the perfect partner to respect. This is the ability to identify with and feel for another person’s concerns, and is a key element of emotional intelligence (EQ). It is an essential foundation upon which positive interactions – both offline and online – are built.

According to US parenting expert Dr Michele Borba our generation of children are experiencing an ’empathy crisis’ which is contributing to bullying and poor academic performance. She believes empathy is such a powerful emotion it can halt violent and cruel behaviour and encourage us to treat others kindly. Which makes it an essential element of positive online interactions.

So, Where Do We Go From Here?

I strongly encourage you to take some time today to consider the theme of this year’s Safer Internet Day. Do you need to fine-tune your approach to respect and empathy at home? Is there a way of weaving some of these messages into your family dialogue? And most importantly: are you modelling respect and empathy for your kids to see and copy?

Till next time!

Stay Safe Online,

Alex x

The post Safer Internet Day 2018: How To Develop Online Respect At Home appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

McAfee Blogs: Your Kids Are My Problem, Here’s Why

This post was written by Jessica Brooks

Snow falls outside the large steamy windows at a popular coffee shop in the suburbs of London. It’s crowded with dogs, children, people on laptops, people on mobiles and people on another planet. At a corner table, two friends are talking about how much (or how little) they know about keeping their children safe “on devices”.  One remarks they rely on the parental settings in web browsers whilst the other confesses not to know if their mobile phone has parental controls. “Must do better”, “must look into that” is the closing sentiment but not before both do some personal admin whilst chatting; online banking for one and eBay listings for the other. The coffee shop is not unusual and neither are these parents.

According to the latest impact report from Internet Matters, the pace of change from 2013 to 2016 shows that parents’ concern increased in almost every area of online issues children face. Yet Parenting Digital Natives, also from Internet Matters, shows that only 49% of the parents surveyed had spoken to their 6-10 year olds about online safety in the last month, yet 78% of 10-12 year olds have social media accounts and online has overtaken TV with 5-15 year olds spending an average of 15 hours a week online. But what does all this research mean?

It means the children that surround us are spending more time online, potentially without adult insight into what they are doing, seeing and sharing. In contrast to television, knowing what is happening on a tablet, phone or laptop requires being involved. It also requires being educated about the risks as well as benefits of social Apps, games and websites children are frequenting. In order to facilitate information sharing and constructive discussions about how to stay safe it’s imperative, as adults, we know what we are talking about. We may not know more than our children, students, neighbours, grandchildren, nieces, nephews etc but we have an obligation to know as much as they do. If they are using the Apps we should be too; especially parents, carers and teachers. And if we can’t keep up to date on the latest, then we can ask the right questions: what are you sharing? Can you chat on it? Can you make friends on it? Can you play games on it? One area often overlooked in social media are the T&Cs. As an example, children usually think they are protected because parents are saying it’s ok. Snapchat is a favourite because the photos disappear after 24 hours, however, the terms and conditions mean that they can and are sold as stock images.

Why all the questions? The question and answer portion of my day is normally at the bequest of my eight-year-old twins, not the other way around. But I know that will change soon. And when it does I want to ensure the lines of communication are open and I know enough about what they are doing to give them practical (even if not always welcome) advice on how to stay safe online. Why then, should other adults in their life or in my community for that matter to also have enough awareness to hold an intelligent conversation with a 10-year-old about online safety? Social apps an online activity are replacing the block party/neighbourhood get together culture I grew up with. I firmly believe that as adults we all have a social responsibility for educating and keeping children safe or society will degrade to the point where the monkeys are running the zoo.

I am back in the steamy café with espresso machines hissing, groups laughing and babies gurgling. The friends conducting financial transactions over an unsecured wi-fi connection gather their things to leave. One dog barks, then another and then another. Within seconds it’s turned from a coffee shop into a rowdy kennel and all it takes is one tall human to quiet a pooch and in an equal amount of time order is restored. If each of us take the view that the small humans of today will be running the world of tomorrow it’s our responsibility to participate in what that world looks like.

 

The post Your Kids Are My Problem, Here’s Why appeared first on McAfee Blogs.



McAfee Blogs

Your Kids Are My Problem, Here’s Why

This post was written by Jessica Brooks

Snow falls outside the large steamy windows at a popular coffee shop in the suburbs of London. It’s crowded with dogs, children, people on laptops, people on mobiles and people on another planet. At a corner table, two friends are talking about how much (or how little) they know about keeping their children safe “on devices”.  One remarks they rely on the parental settings in web browsers whilst the other confesses not to know if their mobile phone has parental controls. “Must do better”, “must look into that” is the closing sentiment but not before both do some personal admin whilst chatting; online banking for one and eBay listings for the other. The coffee shop is not unusual and neither are these parents.

According to the latest impact report from Internet Matters, the pace of change from 2013 to 2016 shows that parents’ concern increased in almost every area of online issues children face. Yet Parenting Digital Natives, also from Internet Matters, shows that only 49% of the parents surveyed had spoken to their 6-10 year olds about online safety in the last month, yet 78% of 10-12 year olds have social media accounts and online has overtaken TV with 5-15 year olds spending an average of 15 hours a week online. But what does all this research mean?

It means the children that surround us are spending more time online, potentially without adult insight into what they are doing, seeing and sharing. In contrast to television, knowing what is happening on a tablet, phone or laptop requires being involved. It also requires being educated about the risks as well as benefits of social Apps, games and websites children are frequenting. In order to facilitate information sharing and constructive discussions about how to stay safe it’s imperative, as adults, we know what we are talking about. We may not know more than our children, students, neighbours, grandchildren, nieces, nephews etc but we have an obligation to know as much as they do. If they are using the Apps we should be too; especially parents, carers and teachers. And if we can’t keep up to date on the latest, then we can ask the right questions: what are you sharing? Can you chat on it? Can you make friends on it? Can you play games on it? One area often overlooked in social media are the T&Cs. As an example, children usually think they are protected because parents are saying it’s ok. Snapchat is a favourite because the photos disappear after 24 hours, however, the terms and conditions mean that they can and are sold as stock images.

Why all the questions? The question and answer portion of my day is normally at the bequest of my eight-year-old twins, not the other way around. But I know that will change soon. And when it does I want to ensure the lines of communication are open and I know enough about what they are doing to give them practical (even if not always welcome) advice on how to stay safe online. Why then, should other adults in their life or in my community for that matter to also have enough awareness to hold an intelligent conversation with a 10-year-old about online safety? Social apps an online activity are replacing the block party/neighbourhood get together culture I grew up with. I firmly believe that as adults we all have a social responsibility for educating and keeping children safe or society will degrade to the point where the monkeys are running the zoo.

I am back in the steamy café with espresso machines hissing, groups laughing and babies gurgling. The friends conducting financial transactions over an unsecured wi-fi connection gather their things to leave. One dog barks, then another and then another. Within seconds it’s turned from a coffee shop into a rowdy kennel and all it takes is one tall human to quiet a pooch and in an equal amount of time order is restored. If each of us take the view that the small humans of today will be running the world of tomorrow it’s our responsibility to participate in what that world looks like.

 

The post Your Kids Are My Problem, Here’s Why appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Data Privacy in the Age of IoT

On Data Privacy Day, January 28th, we should have all taken a few moments to think more carefully about safeguarding our personal data, staying safe online, and improving our privacy habits. Just what does that mean in the age of IoT — the Internet of Things?

In previous years, cyber threats mostly consisted of ransomware, data theft, and business email compromise (BEC) scams. Thieves have stolen credit card numbers and other personal information, and victims might even pay a ransom to hackers holding their computers hostage.

Keeping data private often required working with administrators to intercept and stop these attacks, and learning to avoid opening messages from an unknown sender.

The Deluge of Data

Because a host of convenient smart devices now continuously gather, process, and send data to make our lives more convenient, they have also magnified the threats to data privacy.

You just have to look at all the connected devices around us to see a simple dilemma: our ability to collect and process data has overwhelmed our ability to protect that information. Our smartphones, fitness trackers, smart TVs, and even smart appliances generate a massive amount of sensitive information, from browsing habits to purchasing patterns to real-time location to personal health information.

Attackers employ a variety of methods to infiltrate these helpful devices and use them to gather, process, and transmit data. The more information they can transfer, the more valuable it becomes, making this type of hijacking ever more tempting. Check out the IoT Security Guidelines – Device Life Cycle Overview to learn more.

Securing Devices, Not Just Data

The design of IoT technology focuses on convenience, not security, which makes data vulnerable. Managing the risks associated with data collection begins with making the gathered data more secure. The time has come to ask what privacy truly requires.

Right now, threats to a connected home include hardware vulnerabilities, network threats, ransomware, and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Securing the home router can prevent vulnerable devices from becoming compromised. Welcoming Security to the Connected Home explains in detail how to secure home devices.

The Responsibility for Data Privacy

It might seem counterintuitive, but data privacy does not necessarily mean keeping your data private — it means taking charge of what we choose to divulge about ourselves. We now leave a trail of data behind us that grows wider with every smart device we acquire. Billions of smaller and smarter devices will soon paint highly detailed portraits of almost everything we do.

Given that we do not have full control over the devices that require our data to work (like GPS devices that track your specific location), you must pay close attention to the data that you share. Carefully read the end-user license agreement (EULA) before selecting the “Yes, I agree” option. Protect the electronic doorway to your home by setting up a secure router. Change the default password of any new IoT device that you set up. In fact, use strong unique passwords for all of your online accounts.

Take charge of protecting your data, because nobody else will care as much as you do about your privacy.

Learn more about Data Privacy Day: https://staysafeonline.org/data-privacy-day/

Find out how Trend Micro has addressed Data Privacy Day in years gone by:

For more information on Trend Micro Internet of Things (IoT) solutions click here

Your startup disk is almost full – How you can fix it on your Mac

Every Mac user will experience the message “Your startup disk is almost full” at one time or another. Understanding what “startup disk is full” actually means is the first important step before you can fix this issue.

What if my Mac’s Startup Disk is Full?

The answer to this question is easy. When your startup disk is full you will experience lower performance on your Mac. Your hard drive should never get more than 85 percent full, especially when it is a startup disk.

 

Why is my Startup Disk Full?

First, we need to take a closer look to see where all of your space has gone:

  • Click the Apple Icon in the menu at the top-left corner of your screen
  • Choose “About This Mac”
  • Click Storage

Note: If you are running an older version of OS X you may have to first click “More Info…” and then “Storage.”

Take a look at your hard drive:

You can see the current amount of storage that is used and how much is available on your hard drive.

What can you do when your startup disk is full?

So, now that we know how full your startup disk is, we need to talk about how to fix it. Let’s take a closer look at your disk space to see exactly what is causing your startup disk to be so full.

There is a fantastic tool available that is highly recommended called Disk Map from Dr. Cleaner. This tool lets you specify a folder to scan and displays the results in the form of a pie chart. You can easily find out exactly what is taking up disk space and gain control of every single folder on your Mac.

If your Mac’s startup disk is full and you get a warning message from your Mac system, then this is a serious indication that you have to make space on your Mac startup disk. The solution is to free up disk space. To make more space on your startup disk you have several options. You can:

  • Delete files from your Mac
  • Move files to an external hard drive or cloud storage
  • Install a second internal hard drive on your Mac

You would probably delete files and applications from your Mac or even install an internal secondary hard drive. But a better solution is to install an optimization application that manages the startup disk space.

The following sections describe how to handle various issues that affect your Mac’s storage space.

1. Clear Cache Files

Cache files are files that help your Mac run programs more efficiently. However, over time, these cache files start to take up a lot of unnecessary space on your hard disk. Periodically removing them can help free up space, but don’t worry, your Mac will recreate new ones as necessary after you restart your Mac.

Deleting cache files manually is generally safe for your Mac, but unless you know which files can be safely deleted, it might be better not to manually delete items in this folder without knowing what they are.

Dr. Cleaner is a utility that safely cleans up these kinds of files (and pretty much everything else on this list). Dr. Cleaner safely cleans up system caches with just a few clicks.

2. Remove Unwanted Applications

Removing old, unused applications is a great way to get some extra space on your startup disk. Go through your applications folder and get rid of all the apps you rarely use. But make sure you remove them correctly, don’t just drag them to the Trash. If you do, you’ll leave behind lots of leftover files that may not be obvious to you. And that’s exactly the problem you’re trying to resolve.

There is another way you can use Dr. Cleaner to completely remove any application. Just launch Dr. Cleaner, click Uninstaller, select your application, and then click Uninstall. You won’t have to search all over for unnecessary files  that are left behind when moving an application to Trash. It’s very easy and saves you lots of time. It will also detect leftover files of apps when you manually remove them.

3. Clean Up your Photo Library

Photos, photos, photos! Talk about taking up a lot of space! First and foremost, select only what you can get rid of, like image copies and maybe some photos that were mistakenly taken. You know, ones of the ground or something?

Once you’ve cleaned up your own picture files, it’s time to get rid of the files your system created. Here’s how to locate the cache:

  • Open Finder and navigate to your Photos library (normally, it’s in the Picturesfolder).
  • Ctrl+click your Photos library, and select “Show Package Contents.”
  • Open resources, and then modelresource.

You should now see a lot more folders in your Finder window. The photos cache can be found in these folders. It is not recommended to delete files unless you know which files are safe to remove and which files should not be removed. Deleting the wrong file can compromise the performance of Photos, which is why we highly suggest that you use Dr. Cleaner to clear the cache. It only removes files that are safe to delete, never a critical file or important image.

You may also have many duplicate photos on your Mac. Dr. Cleaner can scan for and detect duplicate photos on your Mac not only photos that are exactly same, but also those that are highly similar. You can get a preview of these duplicate files and decide which ones to remove or keep.

4. Clean up your Downloads, Movies, and Music folders

Take a closer look at these three folders. You’d be surprised at how many downloads can accumulate when you aren’t paying attention. Clean out anything you don’t need and organize the rest. It will take a load off your mind knowing that there is no unnecessary files there.

Dr. Cleaner offers a simple way to identify Big Files on your Mac. In just one click, it scans your folder and lists the biggest files on your Mac. With this tool, you can easily track them down. No more threats to your SSD storage!

5. Empty the Trash (No, we’re not joking…)

Seriously. It may sound incredibly basic, but it could free up a surprising amount of space. It’s easy to forget. What you may not know is that when you delete something, your Mac doesn’t remove it from the hard disk— it just moves it to the Trash. Plus, you’ve probably deleted way more than you realize, and all that could be sitting in the Trash, wasting space. So, you can get rid of all that junk by emptying the Trash. Here’s how:

  • Ctrl+click your Trash in the the Dock.
  • Select “Empty Trash.”
  • And click “Empty Trash.”

And, the easiest step is done.

Full Startup Disk is no problem with Dr. Cleaner

This is an incredible utility when it comes to cleaning your startup disk, which means that your Mac can run faster and avoid that awful “startup disk full” error. It scans your entire Mac and helps you find gigabytes of junk. Most of it, you wouldn’t even recognize! Download Dr. Cleaner now to save yourself tons of time and trouble cleaning manually.

If you have been around the Mac lately and you know the hassle when the startup disk is full, then Dr. Cleaner can help make space on your startup disk right away. It is probably the handiest Mac cleaner you will ever find for your Mac.

Get ready to say goodbye to the “Your startup disk is almost full” message today!

The Future of IoT: What to Expect From Our Devices This Year

The beginning of the new year is always an exciting time for consumer technology enthusiasts. Business leaders, pioneers and forward-thinking companies gather in Las Vegas to showcase their latest devices at The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), where next-generation innovations take center-stage and the world gets a glimpse into the future of IoT. I had the pleasure of attending CES with my colleagues this year and was blown away by the breadth of technology showcased. While the innovations stretched across many industries, I’d like to focus on the reoccurring themes in home and personal technology and how we can secure ourselves through the gadget-filled year ahead:

Smart Homes Will Become “Smarter” 

My favorite devices are the ones designed to enhance the smart home. Companies are striving to advance technology and make our lives easier in the comfort of our homes. From smart thermostats to smart assistants, there is certainly no shortage of household innovation; and companies like Google and Samsung are making strides to contribute to the smart home ecosystem. During CES, Samsung pledged to make all of its devices “smarter” by 2020, linking together all devices via its SmartThings cloud. Meanwhile, Google announced that Google Assistant will now be built in (or compatible) with a range of household products including your smart doorbell and ceiling fan.

As our homes become increasingly connected, the need to secure our internet-connected devices is critical. More IoT devices mean more points of data to attack and leverage for cybercrime. Hackers have the ability to access your personal information through connected home devices, which poses a threat to your identity. Consider using a service with built-in security to ensure every device in your home is well protected― especially the ones that often fly under the radar. Secure routers and gateways can protect all of your connected devices, even the ones without screens.

Smart Technology Will Track Your Sleep 

Technology is even changing the way we sleep, with smart sleep solutions for consumers. At CES 2018, Terraillon announced HOMNI, a device designed to help improve a user’s sleep environment. This device tracks the sleeper’s movement, sending your sleep data to a free app so that users can see how well they’ve slept. There’s nothing technology can’t solve for, including a good night’s sleep. However, when it comes to our personal data, it’s wise to be aware of how your data is being tracked or used.

As the use of connected devices in our homes and personal lives grow, so does the need for security beyond your PC or mobile phone. Many of the devices that we welcome into our daily routine aren’t equipped with proper security controls. It’s important to remember that these connected devices often run on our personal information, information such as your name, age, location –and in this case, your sleeping habits. While a sleep tracker may collect your information with the intentions of helping perfect your sleeping patterns, it has the potential to put your information in places that you might not intend. This is another example of why it’s exceedingly important to secure the connection at its source: your home.

“Ask Alexa” Will Live in Your Eyewear

Amazon Alexa has the ability to communicate with just about every connected device, so it’s no wonder that the Alexa Voice Service will have the ability to connect with your glasses soon, too. During CES, Vuzix announced that its latest pair of AR glasses, the Vuzix Blade, can communicate with Amazon Alexa. Blending augmented reality with AI assistant’s functionality, this headset acts as a fully functional computer with the ability to send email and text notifications via Bluetooth through the processing power of Android and unparalleled display.

Amazon Alexa has become a pseudo-family member in many households, offering assistance in the kitchen and even reading bedtime stories to children. To keep Cybercriminals from gaining access to your personal data , be sure you enable an extra measure of security, like setting up a PIN code for your voice command purchases.

Adding an extra layer of security to your smart devices is key to becoming an empowered consumer in today’s day and age. By taking these extra steps you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of a secured smart home.

Interested in learning more about IoT and mobile security tips and trends? Follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and ‘Like” us on Facebook.

 

The post The Future of IoT: What to Expect From Our Devices This Year appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Take Charge of Your Online Privacy on Data Privacy Day

We spend a large part of our lives in the virtual world. Not only do we study, play, socialize and work; we also shop, pay bills and store documents. Today’s digital generation finds it tough to visualize a world where people had to stand in long queues each time they wanted to withdraw money from the bank, loan a book from the library or even buy a train ticket! There’s no doubt that the digital world spells ease, comfort, speed and time-efficiency. But it also means that there is a lot of our personal data out there that can be compromised, if it fell in the wrong hands.

Our data is our private property but due to malicious attacks or negligence, it may end up in the hands of unknown parties.

The aim of Data Privacy Day, celebrated on January 28th every year, is to make people aware of their rights to personal data protection and privacy.

So, what kind of data are we talking about? To name a few:

  • Resumes, certificates, photos
  • Health and employment records
  • Date of birth
  • Bank account details
  • Social media account login credentials
  • Credit and debit card details
  • Search patterns

Think back, haven’t you been surprised by how after searching for a product online you continue to receive ads for the same from various sources? How did they know your particular choice and how did the sellers get hold of it? There are these 3rd party apps that you unknowingly give permission to access your data when you install them. They collect, analyze and share the same without your explicit knowledge or consent.

As the world becomes increasingly digital, it’s no wonder that data protection has assumed such importance. The recent Supreme Court’s verdict on ‘Right to Privacy’ stand testimony to the same. It’s our data and we need to ensure it is kept private.

First and major step towards this involves securing devices, adopting good cyber practices and being a smart social media user. On Data Privacy Day, let us resolve to become more responsible netizens and take charge of our privacy through adhering to the following:

  • Don’t be pennywise pound foolish: Free security tools offer only basic security and hackers today are highly advanced in their techniques. Secure all internet-enabled devices as soon as you bring them home with reputed comprehensive security tools. And don’t you forget to secure your smartphone!
  • Double your account security: All default password for newly bought devices like smartphones, PCs and routers, should be modified right at the beginning. Create strong passwords and activate 2-Factor Authentication for all your accounts, including banking, e-shopping and social media
  • Share with care on social media: This is totally in your hands. If you are careful about not sharing your private details, contact and preferences online or telephonically, you are quite safe.
  • Consistent Backups: It’s a good idea to periodically transfer data from phone, tabs and laptops to an external storage device. That way even if a device gets hacked, your data remains safe.
  • Think before you click: Infected links and attachments are commonly used for phishing scams. Avoid clicking if not sure of the source or if the source looks suspicious with spelling errors in the URL.
  • Educate kids: Activate parental controls on your child’s devices and monitor their behaviour online. Teach them the importance of owning their online presence early on

The key is therefore to adopt good cybersafety practices and abide by them. And not just you and I, but everyone in the cyber world needs to do so as our security is linked. If one account gets hacked, it compromises all the other accounts which have been linked. That makes it our responsibility to ensure that our connected devices and virtual environment are all secure.

Dear readers, when you go online henceforth, remember to STOP. THINK. CONNECT. SHARE. Make everyday a Data Privacy Day and let’s start on this cyber safety journey today.

The post Take Charge of Your Online Privacy on Data Privacy Day appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Smart Homes May Hide Crypto Mining Schemes

Loosely attended smart home appliances may be platforms for cryptocurrency mining scams, a researcher with the firm IOActive warns. Is your smart refrigerator or connected dishwasher secretly mining Moreno or Bitcoin on the sly? It’s a possibility that experts at the firm IOActive say homeowners, regulators and device makers need to be...

Read the whole entry... »

Related Stories

Got AV? Good Start! Now it’s Time to Protect Your Entire Family

Expect cyber attacks to increase in 2017.

We all know cyberspace can be a scary place. That’s why Trend Micro is here to protect your digital life with a range of comprehensive security products. But we’ve noticed that some of our customers are only protecting their main PC or Mac, leaving other devices – especially smartphones – exposed to modern threats like ransomware, phishing and identity theft. It’s a missed opportunity.

Read on to see why you need to extend your Trend Micro Maximum Security protection to the entire family, and how you can do it at no extra charge.

Bombarded by digital threats

We increasingly live our lives online. It’s where we work, play, hang out with friends, and store our favorite pics and videos. But all of this comes at a price. We share more of our personal information than ever before online, and some of that information is highly valuable to hackers.

The bad guys are getting pretty good at spotting gaps in our online defences and scamming us by pretending to be our bank, insurance provider or even our friends and family. They send us phishing emails that trick us into handing over sensitive financial details or online log-ins. They might even send us malware to steal our personal info. Unfortunately, that’s not where online threats end. Many of us get confused by the privacy settings on our social media accounts, leaving our profile exposed to possible identity scammers.

Cybercriminals can use any of these avenues to commit identity fraud. In fact, over 15 million Americans fell victim to identity fraud in 2016, losing $16BN as a result.

That’s not all: particularly malicious computer programs are increasingly popular among cybercriminals, programs designed to lock us out of our machines altogether, until we pay a ransom. Trend Micro blocked 82 million so-called ransomware threats for customers in the first half of 2017 alone. Plus, we kept our users safe from over 35 billion cyber-threats.

Using our XGen approach we can defend against everything from the most basic cyber attacks to highly sophisticated online threats, using advanced technologies like machine learning in combination with other tried-and-tested security controls.

The bigger picture

We know you’re aware of the scale of cyber threats facing Americans on a daily basis. After all, that’s why you’ve invested in Trend Micro protection. But what about the rest of the family?

For many, the home PC or Mac is the digital anchor for your family’s online life. But it’s not the only way to get online. We live our lives on the move today and we expect our digital world to follow us, wherever we are. Your family might get online via any number of additional Mac or Windows laptops, as well as tablets and smartphones.

Have you added protection to all of these devices? It takes just one incident on one device to expose your family to possible data theft, identity fraud or – even worse – the prospect of losing all of your digital memories.

In the mobile space in particular we’re more likely to click without thinking, whether it’s on a too-good-to-be-true offer emailed or messaged to us from a seemingly trusted source, or to install a fun-looking mobile app. We’re also guilty of using easy-to-guess or crack passwords because we simply can’t remember all of our log-ins for all of our online accounts across all of our devices.

Our kids can be particularly trusting of what they’re exposed to online, and may spend a lot of time on P2P sites and in app stores where danger lurks around many corners. You might also be concerned about the amount of time they may be spending online on their devices — after all, they’re out-and-about more often than they are at home. It pays to have a way to control what they can access and for how long, when they’re not on the family PC.

How to protect another device

You might not know this, but each Trend Micro Maximum Security license you purchase offers protection for multiple PC, Mac, Android or iOS devices, (in 5- and 10-seat options). The chances are, you could be underusing your license, leaving family members and their laptops, smartphones and tablets exposed to cyber threats.

You wouldn’t wear a seatbelt and let your family ride without theirs in the car. So take a look below at how to protect all your family members’ other devices with Trend Micro Maximum Security:

1. Ensure you’ve created a Trend Micro account, and that Trend Micro Maximum Security is registered to it.

2. Open the Trend Micro Maximum Security console on your desktop.

 

3. Click “Protect Another Device”.

4. A pop-up will show you how many extra devices you can protect (4-9 additional devices).

5. Click “Add a device”.

6. A pop-up appears allowing you to choose the platform you’d like to share protection with

7. Choose Windows, Mac, Android or iOS.

8. Depending on the platform selected, there could be three options on how to share. protection: by emailing a download link; by copying the link; or by downloading an installer and transferring via USB.

9. If you choose to send via email, enter the email address of the person you want to extend protection to.

10. Have that person open and click on the link on the device that needs protecting. This will download the installer.

11. On PCs and Macs click on the installer icon to begin the full installation.

12. On Android/iOS devices you’ll be taken to the relevant Trend Micro app. Hit install.

Congratulations! You’ve just extended Trend Micro Maximum Security protection to additional devices. Now your entire family can benefit from:

  • Ransomware protection
  • Protection against 250m+ daily threats
  • Anti-phishing safeguards
  • Online safety for kids
  • Enhanced privacy on social media
  • Password management/protection
  • Mobile device security
  • Optimization for systems

See our video How to Protect Another Device for a quick YouTube lesson.

Watch our Trend Micro Security 2018 for Home playlist for a complete rundown of how we protect you.

Why is Your Mac Running Slow? How Can You Speed It Up?

Every device sooner or later begins to run slower and slower. Even the Mac, which is a highly-efficient Apple product, starts to slow down and becomes a real pain to use over time. If you are a heavy Mac user this is especially true and you are more likely to experience performance issues.

 

There are several other reasons why your Mac might be running slower:

  • Limited hard drive space available
  • Too many apps running
  • Lots of cache and log files in use
  • Not enough RAM
  • Overloaded browser cache and history
  • High CPU utilization
  • Other causes

If you find that your Mac is starting to lag in performance, freeze up, or just acting strangely, it’s probably time to optimize it with an efficient Mac cleaning tool.

1. Mac Disk is getting full

Nothing slows down a Mac more than having too much on your hard drive. If you can increase available disc space on your Mac, you’re sure to see an increase in your Mac’s speed.

 

How to fix it: Clean up your Mac Disk

Unfortunately, doing this manually isn’t as easy as it sounds. Cleaning up old movie files, organizing your Desktop, and searching your Mac for old files you don’t need is the easy part. However, the hard part is cleaning up your system and figuring out all the stuff that can be safely removed for more space. The best option is to use a Mac cleaner, like Dr. Cleaner. It offers all-in-one Mac cleaning features including a disk cleaner for junk files, big files and duplicate files.

Uninstalling apps and deleting useless files from your Mac is easy, but the residual junk or cache files left behind often fill up your disk space and clutter the system. When the free space on your drive gets really low, your Mac stops operating efficiently and becomes very slow. Dr. Cleaner frees up your disk space by removing all the unnecessary and unwanted files in just one click.

2. Outdated Mac OS

Your Mac’s OS X is extremely important to how well it performs. An older OS X typically runs slower — that’s why Apple releases new OS X’s every year or so.

How to fix it: Update your OS X.

Having the latest version of OS X is a good practice (the latest version right now is macOS High Sierra 10.13). Don’t think of it as adding more junk to your already-slow Mac — think of it as new software that makes your Mac run more smoothly. So, head over to the Mac App Store download and install the latest version. You’ll probably see a nice performance boost.

3. Startup is slowing you down

When you start your Mac, a lot of things get loaded in the background. Not only do they slow down your Mac on startup, but they continue to use up resources the whole time you’re using your Mac.

How to fix it: Manage your Startup Items.

Give your Mac a clean start and make OS X run faster. When you don’t manage your Startup Items, it’s like making your Mac run a sprint with a gigantic, book-filled backpack — it’s going to take a bit longer for it to get moving, right? Lighten the load on your Mac.

Speed up your Mac’s startup time by removing unnecessary startup apps. Go to your System Preferences > Users & Groups, then click your username. Now, select Login Items, click the name of an application you don’t need to launch during startup, then click the “-” symbol located below the list to the left. This will remove the application from the list and it will no longer be loaded on startup. This should help a lot to speed up your Mac’s long startup time.

4. Too many things running in the background

Due to increased workload, (for example, when you open multiple heavy applications simultaneously), your RAM tends to get cluttered. Your RAM should have enough space to read and write contents efficiently without any lag. When this memory gets low, your Mac system or apps may become slow or unresponsive.

How to fix it: System Monitor and Memory Free

Activity Monitor shows you which resources various processes are using on your system. Check the list of apps and processes that are running on your Mac in real-time. Quitting unnecessary apps that take up a lot of processing power could make a huge difference in speeding up your slow Mac. Be careful not to remove any critical or necessary processes!

Seems pretty complex, right? Yet there is a much simpler way to do this. With Dr. Cleaner, you can easily monitor your system status. Dr. Cleaner’s smart activity monitor lets you easily view your system’s network usage and CPU usage in real time. This allows you to optimize your Mac on your own whenever you experience performance or speed issues.

5. Overloaded Browser Cache and History

Sometimes, even simple tasks seem to run slowly and you suddenly think ‘Why have I spent my precious dollars on this dumb device’! Well, your anxiety is genuine but you can do something about it. There can be a number of reasons why your Mac is behaving this way and low hard drive space due to an overloaded system and browser cache may be one of them.

How to fix it: Clear Cache on Your Mac.

You can either clear your browser cache manually or you can use Dr. Cleaner’s simple one-click feature to do it for you.

[→ Read more about Clear Cache on Mac ←]

But it all begins with cleaning up your Mac.

Dr. Cleaner: An Easy Way to Speed up your Slow Mac!

Dr. Cleaner is the Best FREE Mac Cleaner app that offers all-in-one Mac cleaning features including; Memory Free, Disk Clean, Uninstall App, and more. It offers great solutions to get rid of all the culprits that slow down your Mac.

Dr. Cleaner also works well on MacOS High Sierra. So, if you have been looking for a safe and reliable app to make your slow Mac run faster, Dr. Cleaner is the answer!

How Dr. Cleaner Works?

Dr. Cleaner is a smart app that comes bundled with three super amazing features to make your Mac work like new again, including – Disk Clean, Memory Free and System Monitoring.

Dr. Cleaner also includes an intelligent app manager, as part of system monitoring, ensuring your Mac runs smoothly and does not slow down or freeze up while you’re using your Mac. Also, with an interactive interface, the app is very easy and simple to use. In just one click, you can clean up the disk or purge the memory of your slow Mac to speed it up and enjoy much improved performance.

Is Dr. Cleaner really worth downloading?

When you own such a high-end, expensive Mac device, why suffer from lagging issues! Your Mac should be capable of always delivering the best performance so you can complete your work on time and without any stress or hassle.

Dr. Cleaner is definitely worth downloading because it refreshes the performance and speeds up your Mac all at NO COST! Dr. Cleaner is also safe. With more than 4,000,000 downloads in 30 months, 110,000 ratings with an average score of 4.8 stars, you can be sure Dr. Cleaner is completely reliable. Its simplicity in terms of interface and usage makes Dr. Cleaner really worth trying. So, the next time you find your Mac running slow, make sure you use Dr. Cleaner.

Your Back To School Tech Plan

I am such a fan of school holidays! No music lessons, no sport, no commitments. Bliss!! The crazy school term routine is no more and people can just ‘be’. Marvellous!! But all good things must come to an end. So, unless you want the police knocking on your door, the kids must go back to school. Ughh! So much to do. Where to start?

So, there’s shoes, uniforms, enrolments in music, drama and sport, haircuts, stationery and then of course, all things technology! Ah yes, the ‘t’ word. When you’re juggling work, running a house and a tribe of kids, managing your kids and their tech lives can be overwhelming. But as parents, it is essential that we take the time to make sure we have all things technology covered for our kids.

What Are The Main Risks Kids Face Online?

The internet, our connected devices and online activity are such a huge (and permanent) feature of our modern lives. As parents, we owe it to our kids to make sure we can prevent some of the dangers associated with a connected life. Whether it’s phishing scams, online predators, oversharing, downloading malware, falling for an online scam or worst case, becoming the victim of cyberbullying, teaching our kids how to navigate some of the perils of the online world is essential.

How Can I Help My Kids Navigate Online Dangers?

Without a doubt, the absolute best way of protecting our kids is taking the time to better understand how the online world really works. And I understand that means time – something many of just don’t have. But if you could scan the tech news of your favourite online news site every day and then allocate 20 minutes each week to research a new app or social media platform, you’d be surprised how quickly you could get yourself into good cyber parenting shape.

The Back To School To-Do List

But let’s keep it simple. It’s already January and there isn’t a lot of time left to get organised. So, here’s what I think you should focus on tech-wise to make sure you can cross technology off your ‘back to school’ to-do list.

1. Install Security Software On ALL Devices.

Many people invest in security software for their laptops, which is great. However, all devices need to be protected. Anything you can download on a laptop, you can download on a tablet or phone.

Many security software packages will include coverage for a ‘fleet’ of devices. McAfee® Total Protection software provides premium antivirus, identity and privacy protection for all your PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets – in one subscription. Easy!

2. Know How To Connect Safely On Public Wi-Fi Networks.

Wi-Fi can be an extraordinarily risky affair with hackers spending a lot of time developing ways to extract users’ personal information. If your kids absolutely must connect, ensure it is a secured Wi-Fi which means it requires a password. However, this is still not 100% safe so no banking, financial or shopping transaction should be conducted on Wi-Fi.

Why not consider investing in a Virtual Private Network (VPN)? A VPN provides a secure encrypted connection which means that anything you send or receive is safe. Check out McAfee’s VPN, McAfee® Safe Connect – it provides bank-grade Wi-Fi encryption, which means you can relax!

3. Schedule Regular Data Backups.

‘Losing’ a document is so frustrating! Avoid those late-night homework traumas and ensure your kids regularly scheduled data backups for their main devices. You could choose to back-up to a hard drive, but I think an online backup service is probably easier to use. Whether it’s Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive – find an online provider and set this up BEFORE school projects get underway!

4. Ensure All Device Software Is Up-To-Date.

Software updates (and reminders) can be super annoying and interrupt the flow of a busy day. But keeping your software up-to-date is actually one of the best ways of protecting yourself from the latest online threats.

Why not select auto-updates for software on all your devices – including your smartphones? If your software doesn’t offer auto-updates, schedule a monthly reminder in your calendar to check for and install available updates.

5. Understand Your Child’s School BYOD Policy.

Make sure you understand the Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) policy of your child’s school. Some schools require parents to be responsible (and pay) for repairs, insurance and online security associated with your child’s laptop or tablet; others will provide this for an annual fee. Please take the time to understand this before the school year starts and an issue occurs.

I know it may seem like a bit of work but taking these precautionary steps now means your kids are as protected as can be when enjoying their online lives and of course doing their homework this year! And make sure you also take the same steps to protect the adults (and their devices) in your house as well! They are just as important.

Here’s to a great school year!!

Take care,

Alex xx

 

The post Your Back To School Tech Plan appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Stepping Into a Cyber Safe 2018

A very Happy New Year to all my dear readers and may this year be another fragrant flower that you will be adding to your bouquet of memories. 2018! How quickly the years fly by? leaving us with new experiences, understanding and learning.

Take our own digital world for instance. Most of us, discussed and researched cyberbullying seriously, for the first time only after the Blue Whale Challenge and Sarahah app made headlines last year. We also started taking interest in device security when ransomware attacks and data breaches became breaking news. Some of us have stopped being passive observers and started playing a proactive role in our children’s digital lives. But often, due to low awareness levels, some parents don’t know what to do when their kids face digital threats.

Let’s do something new in 2018, shall we? Let us turn the table around on cyber criminals by anticipating their moves and being prepared to handle new threats. Ready for the challenge?

The McAfee Labs 2018 threat predictions that I shared in my last blog gave a preview of 5 cybersecurity trends, if you remember. The report predicts a rise in attacks on connected devices and misuse of user-generated content. This is something we need to educate our kids about for they may not be aware that their digital footprints may have future consequences. They need to know how to keep their personal details private and why not to overshare information online.

Our concern is not with the positive posts that will help them on their digital journey, but the negative ones that could cause a hindrance. According to the McAfee Labs Threat Predictions 2018 report, many future adults will suffer from negative digital baggage, even if it comes about without their intention.

You may ask how can content be generated unintentionally? You will be surprised to know it is done all the time, even by us. A piece of malware in our phone may collect data about us, even take or store our pictures. A drone can be hacked to gather and transmit data about the user. A social engineering attack like a fun test may require us to enter personal details. This data may be shared with 3rd party vendors who will use it to sell their services or to keep track of social habits, for later use.

As smart homes and all connected devices are expected to increasingly become the targets of hackers, inadvertent content generation is a big concern and we need to take precautions to safeguard our kids online.

Here are some cyber safety tips to set your kids on the right path in the digital world:

  • Upgrade security features on all connected devices: Ensure that the devices offer more than basic security and that their passwords can be changed. Keep passwords a secret, even from BFFs.
  • Turn off unnecessary features: Do periodic checkup of all devices used by kids. Are all the apps necessary? Can some be disabled or uninstalled? What are the permissions required by the apps and what terms and conditions have your children agreed to? Remember to keep location services and Bluetooth turned off too.
  • Manage digital footprints: Teach kids the importance of STOP.THINK. SHARE. Too much information can prove an obstacle, like during internship applications, college admissions or even job recruitment. Sharing your location online by “checking in” to places can also provide potential hackers with too much information.
  • Keep conversation channels open: Teach children to make the right choices in the digital world early on. Have regular discussions on how important it is to share minimal personal data online. Let them know you are there for them 24/7 and that together you can better handle all cyber issues.

And remember the first rule, secure all your connected devices, with a comprehensive security solution.

Our children face an amazing potential future, full of wonderful gadgets, supportive services, and amazing experiences. Let’s teach them how to pack their digital backpacks so that they can make the most of it.

In the next blog, we will discuss data privacy in greater details and I will be sharing some useful tips with you on how to teach your kids to keep data about themselves minimal and safe. Till then ciao!

 

The post Stepping Into a Cyber Safe 2018 appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

5 Ways to Be Proactive When Protecting Your Personal Data

WannaCry, Equifax and Uber—in the wake of a data emergency, I often find myself hyperconscious of my online security measures: I immediately change my passwords, I’m careful about what emails I open, and what links I click. However, once the news cycle passes, I admit I fall back into my old habits, which aren’t always as secure as they should be. It’s important to incorporate good practices into your daily routine to keep your digital life safe even before a breach happens, and well after the latest hack becomes old news. Here are 5 simple ways you can help improve your online security.

Take a Break to Update

We all know how frustrating it can be to receive pop-ups for a software update when you’re busy. They can take time, slow down what you’re working on, and often seem unimportant. But, they are important. Updates fix bugs—bugs that potentially could leave your device vulnerable to an attack. In fact, operating systems and browsers require regular updates to stay on top of vulnerabilities. So, take the time to let the updates run as needed—think of it as investing time in your security.

Delete, Delete, Delete

Does your device have pages of apps that haven’t been used in months? If so, it’s time to delete. It’s a good security practice to take a minimalist approach to your application use, especially since some older apps may no longer be supported by the Google or Apple stores. Over time apps can get infected with malware and could be part of a larger data problem. Check the status of your mobile apps regularly, and delete them if they’re no longer supported in stores, and you haven’t used them in months.

Keep Your Private Passwords, Private

The age-old saying, “sharing is caring” should never apply to personal passwords. Last year’s survey showed that 59% of people were open to sharing their passwords. But when it comes to online safety, passwords should never be shared with anyone under any circumstance. It may be exciting to share the latest video streaming app with your friends and loved ones, but your privacy could be compromised. It’s simply not worth the risk, so keep your passwords to yourself.

Stay Current on Your URLs

Hackers are masters of disguise, and often hide behind convincing URLs to launch phishing attacks. Pay close attention before you click on a link — if the link looks “phishy,” go directly to the company site to confirm that the URL is legitimate.

Enlist Some Backup

As major data breaches continue to hit the scene, it’s important to be proactive in protecting your identity. Reviewing your account info, and setting up alerts if there’s a chance your personal data has been compromised is a key component to securing information that has been compromised. Consider using a comprehensive monitoring and recovery tool that can help you take action.

Interested in learning more about mobile security tips and trends? Follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

The post 5 Ways to Be Proactive When Protecting Your Personal Data appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Episode 79: Hackable Nukes, Dissecting Naughty Toys and APTs IRL

In this week’s Security Ledger Podcast episode, sponsored by the firm Flashpoint, the UK -based policy think tank Chatham House warned last week that aging nuclear weapons systems in the U.S., the U.K. and other nations are vulnerable to cyber attacks that could be used to start a global conflagration. We talk with Eddie Habbibi of PAS Global...

Read the whole entry... »

Related Stories

McAfee’s #RT2WIN CES Sweepstakes Terms and Conditions

We’re so excited to head to Las Vegas next week for CES! To celebrate, we’re giving fifteen people a chance to win a $200 Amazon Gift card. Not heading to CES this year? No problem! Simply retweet one of our contest tweets with the required hashtag between January 9th – 12th for your chance to win. Sweepstake tweets will include “#RT2Win, #Sweepstakes, and #McAfeeAtCES”. Terms and conditions below. 

How to Win:

Retweet one of our contest tweets on @McAfee_Home that include ““#RT2Win, #Sweepstakes, and #McAfeeAtCES” for a chance at a $200 Amazon Gift card. Fifteen [15] total winners will be selected and announced on January 16th. Winners will be posted on Twitter and notified by direct message. For full Sweepstakes details, please see the Terms and Conditions below:

McAfee #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes Terms and Conditions

How to enter: 

No purchase necessary. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. McAfee’s #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes will be conducted from January 9th through January 12th. All entries for each day of the McAfee #RT2Winat CES Sweepstakes must be received during the time allotted for the #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes. Pacific Daylight Time shall control the McAfee #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes. The McAfee #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes duration is as follows.

#RT2Win CES Sweepstakes:

  • Tuesday, January 9th­­ – Friday, January 12th
    • Sweepstake duration: Starts January 9th at 1pm PST & Ends January 12th at 12am PST
  • Fifteen [15] winners will be announced: Tuesday, January 16th

For the McAfee #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes, participants must complete the following steps during the time allotted for the McAfee #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes:

  1. Find the sweepstakes tweet of the day posted on @McAfee_Home which will include the hashtags “#RT2Win, #Sweepstakes, and #McAfeeAtCES”.
  2. Retweet the sweepstakes tweet of the day and make sure it includes the hashtags

Fifteen [15] winners will be chosen for the McAfee #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes tweet from the viable pool of entries that retweeted and included #McAfeeCESSweepstakes. McAfee and the McAfee social team will select winners at random from among the viable entries. The winners will be announced and privately messaged on January 16th on the @McAfee_Home Twitter handle. No other method of entry will be accepted besides Twitter. Only one entry per user is allowed, per Sweepstakes. SWEEPSTAKES IS IN NO WAY SPONSORED, ENDORSED, ADMINISTERED BY, OR ASSOCIATED WITH TWITTER, INC.

Eligibility: 

McAfee’s #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes is open to all legal residents of the 50 United States who are 18 years of age or older on the dates of the McAfee #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes begins and live in a jurisdiction where this prize and McAfee #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes are not prohibited. Employees of Sponsor and its subsidiaries, affiliates, prize suppliers, and advertising and promotional agencies, their immediate families (spouses, parents, children, and siblings and their spouses), and individuals living in the same household as such employees are ineligible.

Winner Selection:

Winners will be selected from the eligible entries received during the days of the McAfee #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes periods. Sponsor will select the names of fifteen [15] potential winners of the prizes in a random drawing from among all eligible Submissions at the address listed below. The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by the Official McAfee #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes Rules and the decisions of the coordinators, which shall be final and binding in all respects.

Winner Notification: 

Each winner will be notified via direct message (“DM”) on Twitter.com by January 16th. Prize winners may be required to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release (where permitted by law) to be returned within ten (10) days of written notification, or prize may be forfeited and an alternate winner selected. If a prize notification is returned as unclaimed or undeliverable to a potential winner, if potential winner cannot be reached within twenty four (24) hours from the first DM notification attempt, or if potential winner fails to return requisite document within the specified time period, or if a potential winner is not in compliance with these Official Rules, then such person shall be disqualified and, at Sponsor’s sole discretion, an alternate winner may be selected for the prize at issue based on the winner selection process described above.

Prizes: 

The prize for the McAfee #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes is a $200 Amazon e-gift card (approximate retail value “ARV” of the prize is $200 USD; the total ARV of all gift cards is $3,000 USD). Entrants agree that Sponsor has the sole right to determine the winners of the McAfee #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes and all matters or disputes arising from the McAfee #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes and that its determination is final and binding. There are no prize substitutions, transfers or cash equivalents permitted except at the sole discretion of Sponsor. Sponsor will not replace any lost or stolen prizes. Sponsor is not responsible for delays in prize delivery beyond its control. All other expenses and items not specifically mentioned in these Official Rules are not included and are the prize winners’ sole responsibility.

General conditions: 

Entrants agree that by entering they agree to be bound by these rules. All federal, state, and local taxes, fees, and surcharges on prize packages are the sole responsibility of the prizewinner. Sponsor is not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate entry information, whether caused by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the McAfee #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes, or by any technical or human error, which may occur in the processing of the McAfee #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes entries. By entering, participants release and hold harmless Sponsor and its respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, attorneys, agents, and representatives from any and all liability for any injuries, loss, claim, action, demand, or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with the McAfee #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes, any prize won, any misuse or malfunction of any prize awarded, participation in any McAfee #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes -related activity, or participation in the McAfee #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes. Except for applicable manufacturer’s standard warranties, the prizes are awarded “AS IS” and WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, express or implied (including any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose).

If participating in this Sweepstakes via your mobile device (which service may only be available via select devices and participating wireless carriers and is not required to enter), you may be charged for standard data use from your mobile device according to the terms in your wireless service provider’s data plan.  Normal airtime and carrier charges and other charges may apply to data use and will be billed on your wireless device bill or deducted from your pre-paid balance.  Wireless carrier rates vary, so you should contact your wireless carrier for information on your specific data plan.

Limitations of Liability; Releases:

By entering the Sweepstakes, you release Sponsor and all Released Parties from any liability whatsoever, and waive any and all causes of action, related to any claims, costs, injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the Sweepstakes or delivery, misdelivery, acceptance, possession, use of or inability to use any prize (including claims, costs, injuries, losses and damages related to rights of publicity or privacy, defamation or portrayal in a false light, whether intentional or unintentional), whether under a theory of contract, tort (including negligence), warranty or other theory.

To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, in no event will the sponsor or the released parties be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, or consequential damages, including loss of use, loss of profits or loss of data, whether in an action in contract, tort (including, negligence) or otherwise, arising out of or in any way connected to your participation in the sweepstakes or use or inability to use any equipment provided for use in the sweepstakes or any prize, even if a released party has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

  1. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, in no event will the aggregate liability of the released parties (jointly) arising out of or relating to your participation in the sweepstakes or use of or inability to use any equipment provided for use in the sweepstakes or any prize exceed $10. The limitations set forth in this section will not exclude or limit liability for personal injury or property damage caused by products rented from the sponsor, or for the released parties’ gross negligence, intentional misconduct, or for fraud.
  2. Use of Use of Winner’s Name, Likeness, etc.: Except where prohibited by law, entry into the Sweepstakes constitutes permission to use your name, hometown, aural and visual likeness and prize information for advertising, marketing, and promotional purposes without further permission or compensation (including in a public-facing winner list).  As a condition of being awarded any prize, except where prohibited by law, winner may be required to execute a consent to the use of their name, hometown, aural and visual likeness and prize information for advertising, marketing, and promotional purposes without further permission or compensation. By entering this Sweepstakes, you consent to being contacted by Sponsor for any purpose in connection with this Sweepstakes.

Prize Forfeiture:

If winner cannot be notified, does not respond to notification, does not meet eligibility requirements, or otherwise does not comply with these prize McAfee #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes rules, then the winner will forfeit the prize and an alternate winner will be selected from remaining eligible entry forms for each McAfee #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes.

Dispute Resolution:

Entrants agree that Sponsor has the sole right to determine the winners of the McAfee #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes and all matters or disputes arising from the McAfee #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes and that its determination is final and binding. There are no prize substitutions, transfers or cash equivalents permitted except at the sole discretion of Sponsor.

Governing Law & Disputes:

Each entrant agrees that any disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this sweepstakes or any prize awarded will be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action and these rules will be construed in accordance with the laws, jurisdiction, and venue of New York.

Privacy Policy: 

Personal information obtained in connection with this prize McAfee Day #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes will be handled in accordance policy set forth at http://www.mcafee.com/us/about/privacy.html

  1. Winner List; Rules Request: For a copy of the winner list, send a stamped, self-addressed, business-size envelope for arrival after January 16th 2017 and before January 16th 2018 to the address listed below, Attn: #RT2Win at CES Sweepstakes.  To obtain a copy of these Official Rules, visit this or send a stamped, self-addressed business-size envelope to the address listed in below, Attn: Sarah Grayson. VT residents may omit return postage.
  2. Intellectual Property Notice: McAfee and the McAfee logo are registered trademarks of McAfee, LLC. The Sweepstakes and all accompanying materials are copyright © 2018 by McAfee, LLC.  All rights reserved.
  3. Sponsor: McAfee, LLC, Corporate Headquarters 2821 Mission College Blvd. Santa Clara, CA 95054 USA

 

The post McAfee’s #RT2WIN CES Sweepstakes Terms and Conditions appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

McAfee Shares Threat Predictions For 2018 – As the Saying Goes, Forewarned is Forearmed

2017 has drawn to a close and phew, what a year it has been in the digital world. Terms like ransomware, data breaches, cyber bullying, Blue Whale Challenge have become household phrases and device users are waking up to the fact that it is important to be aware and take safety measures to stay safe online. We are in a stage of cybersecurity, with new devices, new risks and new threats appearing almost daily. As such, if we knew what lay ahead in the cyber world in terms of security, it would be so helpful!

Dear readers, today we are privileged to have that opportunity to know beforehand the future threat landscape, courtesy of McAfee.

The McAfee Labs 2018 Threats Predictions Report is out and it reveals the top threats for the coming year. Eager to know more?

The 5 key trends to watch in 2018 are:

  1. Connected homes may lead to increase privacy breach: Networked devices already transmit a significant amount of information without the knowledge of most consumers. The increased use of smart gadgets like remote-operated webcams at home, security systems or even car lock systems may make us sitting targets for corporates who may try to observe our lifestyle to deduce our likes and wants. The FBI’s recent toy warning to parents might suggest that such approaches could result in regulatory and even criminal legal consequences.

#cybersafety tip: Check security settings on all connected devices as soon as you bring them home, including connected toys

  1. Inside your child’s digital backpack: Often, children and their parents do not consider the consequences of their posts and uploads (explicit, implicit and inadvertent,). These could range from trivial items to revealing personal information. 3rd party vendors could use and potentially abuse private information in the future.

#cybersafety tip: Help your children navigate the digital world safely. Teach them to turn off unnecessary features, and change the default passwords to something much stronger!

  1. Increased granularity of serverless apps will lead to a comparable increase in the attack surface- Though these apps enable a new degree of granularity in computing functions, they leave the environment open to a privilege escalation attack. Also, it might make it possible for hackers to disrupt or disable the infrastructure from the outside. Data in transit can also be intercepted or manipulated

#cybersafety tip: always use secured network or VPN

  1. New targets for RansomwareCyber criminals are expected to shift focus to high-net individuals for Ransomware attacks as industry users are becoming more aware and security conscious. Car system locked down on a working day? Perhaps Ransomware attack is the cause. Further, the goal is less about traditional ransomware extortion and more about outright system sabotage, disruption, and damage, as the recent WannaCry NotPetya attacks revealed.

#cybersafety tip: Change default security settings on all your devices. Stay abreast of the latest social engineering threats

  1. Competition between defenders and attackers to use machines to outwit each other- Defenders will use machine learning, AI, and game theory to probe for vulnerabilities in both software and the systems, correct vulnerabilities and contain zero-day attacks. On the other hand, attackers will be increasingly using machines to create attacks, scan for vulnerabilities, boost attack speed and shorten the time from discovery to exploitation. With better defender-machine combo, we can surely look forward to stronger security in 2018

#cybersafety tip: Use the best and most comprehensive security tool and adopt safety practices

So, as we prepare to welcome the new year, let us also pledge to welcome a new way of life; one that involves being aware of cybersecurity and adopting safety measures in the virtual world.  Isn’t that a nice thought to start 2018 with?

Looking forward to a safer cyberworld in 2018!

 

 

 

The post McAfee Shares Threat Predictions For 2018 – As the Saying Goes, Forewarned is Forearmed appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

McAfee Focused on Protecting Customers’ Identity, Connected Homes and Wi-Fi Connections

As we kick off the new year, McAfee is optimistic about what the future holds. We protect more than 375 million customers worldwide, and we’re continuing to innovate to bring the best protection possible to people worldwide. Specifically, we’re bringing new solutions and partnerships to the table, which both fuel company growth and strengthen consumer security. Let’s dive in to what those look like.

Solutions for the Modern Threat Landscape

 First and foremost, McAfee is continuing to extend security into all facets of consumers’ digital lives with solutions such as McAfee Secure Home Platform, McAfee Safe Family and McAfee Safe Connect. All these offerings can help consumers have peace of mind in an ever-changing digital world fueled by volume, speed and complexity.

Beyond that, we’re also implementing new offerings that help consumers adapt to modern threats.  In the wake of recent massive data breaches, McAfee Identity Theft Protection allows users to take a proactive approach to protecting their identities with personal and financial monitoring and recovery tools to help keep their identities personal and secured. With this new solution, we’re aiming to make the digital world a safer place to live, work and play.

New Partnerships Help Consumers Stay Safe

Collaboration is vital in continuing our mission to protect the connected home. To drive connected home device security forward, we worked with D-Link on the new AC2600 Wi-Fi Router Powered by McAfee. The router, which utilizes Intel’s connected home technology, will automatically protect users’ connected home devices. It features parental controls, protection for IoT devices, and real-time monitoring for safer browsing.

More and more, consumers are using their mobile phones to connect to public Wi-Fi, which opens them up to having their personal information accessed by cybercriminals. McAfee’s partners understand this risk and share the collective vision of building security into devices from the start. Samsung Secure Wi-Fi, featuring back-end technology from McAfee, which encrypts personal information during sensitive transaction and online activities, is now also available on the Samsung Galaxy Note8 in the U.K., Germany and France.

Beyond our new collaborations with D-Link and Samsung, McAfee continues to work with industry partners including HP, Dell, Lenovo, LG, Verizon and Telefonica to help secure devices from the start. Given the complexity of the cybersecurity space, we can’t do it alone –  and by working with leading companies who share our vision to help protect their customers, we don’t have to. These key partnerships underscore our commitment to industry collaboration and play a vital role in McAfee’s role as an industry leader.

To stay on top of McAfee’s CES news, and, of course, the latest consumer and mobile security threats, be sure to follow me and @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

The post McAfee Focused on Protecting Customers’ Identity, Connected Homes and Wi-Fi Connections appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Update: Two Years After Discovery Dangerous Security Hole Lingers in GPS Services

Security researchers warned of a serious vulnerability in a GPS service by the China-based firm ThinkRace exposes sensitive data in scores of GPS services, more than two years after the hole was discovered and reported to the firm. (Update: added comment from John van den Oever, the CEO of one2track B.V – PFR 1/3/2018) Data including a GPS...

Read the whole entry... »

Related Stories

Key Findings from our Survey on Identity Theft, Family Safety and Home Network Security

The world is connecting to the internet now more than ever before. As a result, the popularity of connected devices has changed the way we live our lives – in particular, the way we handle our personal information. To get a sense of consumers’ habits and attitudes around the digital landscape, McAfee surveyed 6,400 people globally for its study, New Security Priorities in An Increasingly Connected World. The survey reveals what consumers’ security focuses and concerns are as we move into 2018.

Data breach concerns are high, but action is minimal

It’s no secret that the plethora of recent data breaches and malware attacks have put the personal information and identities of millions of Americans at risk. Many are feeling that they have a lack of control over their personal information (43% of those surveyed, in fact). And another 33% rank protecting their identity as their number one cybersecurity priority ahead of protecting privacy, connected devices, data, and connected home devices.

However, even though consumers are concerned about their personal information and identity, only 37% of individuals use an identity theft protection solution, and 28% have no plans to sign up for an ID theft protection solution. This is all in spite of the fact that 61% of respondents are more concerned about cybersecurity than they were 5 years ago.

So, out of those surveyed – how many are proactive about protecting their identity, and how do they do it? The most common way respondents aim to prevent identity theft is to check online bank accounts for unauthorized charges or withdrawals (67%). 43% of those surveyed check social media for fraudulent activities like posts on social media that were not created by them , and 37% use credit monitoring services. Shockingly, 15% claimed to take no specific action at all.

Keeping your family safe online

The concerns around personal data apply to kids too, as today’s children are practically glued to their phones and tablets, and often don’t inform their parents about who they are talking to, where they are going online and what they are posting.

In fact, almost one third of parents do not monitor their child’s connected device usage, and only 44% keep devices in their possession and let their child use the device when they can be monitored. But the reality is, 40% of parent respondents discovered that their children have accessed a website that they do not approve of, while only 26% of said parents use software to monitor their child.

Protecting your home

Though survey respondents are most concerned about their personal data, and that of their children’s, their focus also extends to the very homes they live in. With the boom of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, the home network is being asked to handle more devices than ever before.

And it’s becoming harder to manage for the owners of those devices. 52% of respondents were either unsure or had no idea how to check to see if their connected devices and apps are secured. The biggest worry among respondents about having their wireless home network hacked is that cybercriminals could steal personal information and make them a victim of identity theft (63%). A total of 17% of those surveyed say they have never considered the implications of their network being hacked.

How to stay protected

So, if you have a few of these concerns on your mind, fear not – there’s steps you can take to stay protected. Start by following these :

  • Review your account info. Regularly reviewing online bank/credit account transactions can help you spot suspicious activities or purchases. If you do stumble upon something fishy, be sure to report it to your bank or credit institution immediately.
  • Start the conversation early and get access. For parents, it’s imperative to start talking to children about online safety at an early age. You can start with simple rules like “stay away from people you don’t know in “real life” or “don’t open emails from strangers.”
  • Consider using identity theft protection. An identity theft protection service can monitor your accounts, alert you of potential problems, insure you against ID theft, and help you regain your money and credit if you are a victim of fraud.

And, of course, stay on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats by following me and @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

The post Key Findings from our Survey on Identity Theft, Family Safety and Home Network Security appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

5 Cybersecurity Resolutions to Consider for the New Year

2018 is officially here, and you know what that means: a bunch of resolutions that will probably take a back seat come mid-February. While I’m not one for setting unrealistic expectations of myself, there is something to be said about learning from the previous year so I do not repeat the same mistakes.

As I look back on 2017, I can’t help but think of all of the teachable moments in mobile and IoT security. From fraudsters phishing with social media bait to bitcoin mining at your local coffee shop, this year was full of moments that remind us just how tricky our connected lives can be.

So, in light of all the events in 2017, here are the top five “cyber-resolutions” to consider for 2018.

Secure your Social Media

If there’s one thing phishing scams have taught me, it’s that scammers have gotten savvier at social engineering. While social media does a great job at connecting us to our loved ones, it can also connect us to people we don’t want to share our personal information with. Cybercriminals know how to use the information you share on social media to gain access to your personal data. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, always make sure your account is set to “private” and is only visible to family and friends.

Don’t skip your updates

With the holidays in our rear-view, many of us probably have a few new devices in our homes. There are so many new and exciting tech toys on the market, it’s hard to avoid getting caught up in the IoT way of life. When you’re interrupted from your shiny new device by a software update, it’s tempting to hit “skip” when you’re eager to get back to your gadgets. But if our hackable gifts have shown us anything, it’s that skipping your updates leaves the door open for hackers. Software updates are important because they often include critical patches to new bugs or flaws in the system. So, resolve to keep your software up to date!

Don’t fall for the free Wi-Fi

When it comes to public Wi-Fi, a VPN is a VIP. Access to the internet on the go is a privilege of the times. But while the Wi-Fi at your local coffee shop may claim to be secure, public Wi-Fi networks lack encryption. If you’re in the habit of using Wi-Fi on the go, get a VPN to scramble the data being sent over the network. Private online activity such as shopping or accessing your banking information without a VPN could expose your sensitive information to hackers. Investing in a VPN is a smart way to keep your private information, private.

Set Better Passwords

I can’t stress enough that using a secure password is one of the best practices for protection on the web. When you’re trying to keep up with all of your logins, it can be tempting to use the same simple combination for every account. But, choosing a solid password should always take priority. Mix it up, throw in some numbers and symbols to complicate the password, stay away from using your birthday, and remember ‘123456’ is never an acceptable password!

Secure your home

Our homes are more connected now than they’ve ever been. It’s important to make sure each individual device is secure. However, securing your connection at the source is as important as securing your front door. Consider using a home gateway with built-in security to ensure every device in your house is well protected.

Let’s start the year off on the right foot. Don’t give cybercriminals the upper hand when it comes to your personal data.

Interested in learning more about mobile security tips and trends? Follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

 

The post 5 Cybersecurity Resolutions to Consider for the New Year appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Security Round-up: Five Things We’ve Learned in 2017

The past 12 months have been packed with geopolitical incidents, global malware threats and ubiquitous big-name data breaches. From the CIA Vault7 and NSA Shadow Brokers leaks at the start of the year, to the WannaCry and NotPetya ‘ransomware’ campaigns, and Uber’s shocking revelations just last month, there’s been plenty for UK CISOs to ruminate on. But now that the year is nearly at an end, it might be useful to recap some of the biggest themes of 2017 — with an eye on fortifying systems for the 12 months to come.

Here’s our top five, in no particular order:

Ransomware evolves

Ransomware has been causing organisations headaches for several years now. But in 2017 we saw the threat used in an unprecedented way to cause chaos on a global scale. The WannaCry and Petya/NotPetya attacks of May and June may have featured slightly different targets, attack groups and tactics, but they highlighted how ransomware could be used in combination with nation-state developed exploits to spread dramatically through networks. Bad Rabbit showed us another variant on this theme, designed to infect victims on a massive scale using watering hole attacks.

These incidents taught us the importance of patching known vulnerabilities as soon as a fix becomes available, whilst warning what can happen when governments seek to undermine security for hundreds of millions of users by researching exploits in popular software.

BEC is costing firms billions

Of all the cyber-related risks facing organisations today, Business Email Compromise (BEC) seems on the face of it one of the easiest to mitigate. Yet according to the FBI, losses from the period October 2013 to December 2016 topped a massive $5.3bn. We predict it will grow to $9bn by next year as organisations continue to show how exposed their staff and processes are to social engineering.

There may be no malware to detect in most BEC scams, but with better staff training and something as simple as ensuring two senior finance members sign-off any large fund transfers, organisations can better insulate themselves.

Big-name firms still making rookie mistakes

When will they learn? The past 12 months has seen another roll-call of “they-should-have-known-better” organisations suffering damaging data breaches and privacy incidents. Yahoo (3bn), Uber (57m) and Equifax (145.5m) spring to mind as the most egregious examples of firms that had the resources but not the right corporate culture or strategy to keep the hackers at bay. Many more organisations were embarrassed after finding sensitive customer or proprietary information exposed to the public internet via cloud database misconfigurations — often at the hands of a third-party partner. The likes of Verizon, Accenture, WWE and even the US Department of Defence were all found wanting. In one case, a Republican data analytics firm managed to leak the PII of 198 million US voters dating back a decade.

If nothing else, these incidents tell us once again that firms still aren’t getting the basics right when it comes to cybersecurity, and are failing to extend policies to partners and contractors.

GDPR compliance is still not up to par

As the year has progressed, the clock has been steadily ticking down to 25 May 2018, the date when the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) finally comes into force. It’s difficult to remember a new law with quite as far-reaching cybersecurity and privacy implications for firms. Yet widespread lack of awareness and boardroom buy-in remains a concern, despite the potentially huge fines in the offing for non-compliance. Gartner estimates that less than half of all businesses will be fully compliant by the deadline.

Trend Micro research this year revealed a worrying lack of interest from the C-suite: senior execs shun responsibility in 57% of businesses. Firms need to better understand what data they hold, create a breach notification plan and invest in the right state-of-the-art technologies to keep threats at bay.

From IoT to the cloud, vulnerabilities remain the number one Achilles heel

We’ve said it before but it’s worth mentioning again, vulnerabilities are one of the biggest security threats facing firms. It doesn’t matter if they’re in IoT device firmware, web applications, on-premise software or your cloud infrastructure — if there’s an exploitable hole in your computing environment it could be targeted. We’ve seen organisations as diverse as the NHS and Equifax severely impacted by their failure to patch known bugs swiftly. In the case of the Health Service it led to WannaCry-related outages that forced the cancellation of an estimated 19,000 operations and appointments.

From Devil’s Ivy to KRACK, new vulnerabilities and attack methods are being unearthed every month, some with huge implications for the security of the systems many organisations run. CISOs must ensure they have a comprehensive, automated approach to patch management and the agility to respond quickly and effectively to any newly discovered threats.

To find out more about Trend Micro’s predictions for 2018, read our new report: Paradigm Shifts.

What To Do If Your Email Is Hacked

I think I could count on my hand the people I know who have NOT had their email hacked. Maybe they found a four-leaf clover when they were kids!

Email hacking is one of the very unfortunate downsides to living in our connected, digital world.  And It’s often a situation that even the savviest tech experts find themselves in. In August this year, over 700 million email addresses (and a large number of passwords) were leaked publicly courtesy of a misconfigured spambot (a program designed to collect email addresses). Many savvy tech types were caught up in the hack including Troy Hunt, a leading Australian computer security expert and creator of Have I Been Pwned?.

Just this month it was confirmed that every single Yahoo email account was compromised in the 2013 data breach. A whopping 3 billion accounts with stolen data including names, email addresses, phone numbers and birth dates. And recent reports have confirmed that thousands of Australian Government Officials including high-profile politicians, Defence Officials, judges and members of the Australian Federal Police were among the victims.

So, in short – it can happen to anyone…

But Why Should I Worry? I Have Nothing Valuable in My Email

If you have an identity and email address you are very valuable to a hacker – no exceptions! Even if you don’t consider yourself to have Kim Kardashian’s celebrity status or the CEO power of  James Packer, a hacker is still very keen to collect every piece of information they can about you.

Remember, hackers want to get their hands on your data. Why – I hear you ask? So, they can cash in! Some will keep the juicy stuff for themselves – passwords or logins to government departments or large companies they may want to ’target’. But the more sophisticated ones will sell your details including name, telephone, email address and credit card details and cash in on The Dark Web. They often do this in batches. Some experts believe they can get as much as AU$140 for a full set of details including credit cards.

So, you can see why they’d be interested in you!

How Big Is the Problem?

There is a plethora of statistics on just how big this issue is – all of them concerning!

According to IDCARE – a support service for Australian and New Zealand victims of identity fraud – about 1 million Australian have their identity stolen each year at a cost of about $1 billion.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recently revealed that hacking scams cost Australian businesses close to $3 million during 2016 with the number of people reporting scams activity at record levels.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre nominates $20 million as the fallout from ‘phony emails’ aka phishing in 2016/7.

Regardless of which statistic you choose to focus on, we have a big issue on our hands!

So, What Do I Do If My Email Is Hacked?

If you find yourself a victim of email hacking there are a few very important steps you need to take. But the key here is to act FAST!!

1. Change Your Password

This is the very first thing you must do to ensure the hacker can’t get back into your account. It is essential that your new password is complex and totally unrelated to previous passwords. Always use at least 8-10 characters with a variety of upper and lower case and throw in some symbols and numbers. I really like the idea of a crazy, nonsensical sentence – easier to remember and harder to crack!

If you find the hacker has locked you out of your account by changing your password, you will need to rest the password to by clicking on the Forgot My Password link.

2. Let Your Email Contacts Know

A big part of the hacker’s strategy is to ‘get their claws’ into your address book with the aim of hooking others as well. Send a message to all your email contacts as soon as possible so they know to avoid opening any emails (most likely loaded with malware) that have come from you.

3. Change Your Security Question

If you have a security questions associated with your email account, please change this too. And please make it unpredictable and niche! It is possible that this was how the hackers broke into your account in the first place. When Yahoo had 500 million accounts hacked in 2014, not only were the passwords stolen but the security questions too. If you have a security question associated with your account, make up a response that makes no sense. This is the perfect opportunity to tell a lie!

4. Commit to Multi Factor Authentication

Yes, multi-factor authentication adds another step to your login but it also adds another layer of protection. Enabling this will mean that in addition to your password, you will need a special one-time use code to login. This is usually sent to your mobile phone. So worthwhile!

5. Check Your Email Settings

It is not uncommon for hackers to modify your email settings so that a copy of every email you receive is automatically forwarded to them. Not only can they monitor your logins for other sites but they’ll keep a watchful eye over any particularly juicy personal information! So, check your mail forwarding settings to ensure no unexpected email addresses have been added.

Don’t forget to check your email signature to ensure nothing spammy has been added. And also ensure your ‘reply to’ email address is actually yours! Hackers have been known to create an email address here that looks similar to yours – when someone replies, it goes straight to their account, not yours!

6. Scan Your Computer for Malware and Viruses

This is essential also. If you find anything, please ensure it is addressed and then change your email password again. And if you don’t have it – please invest. Comprehensive security software will provide you with a digital shield for your online life. McAfee Total Protection lets you protect all your devices – including your smartphone – from viruses and malware. It also contains a password manager to help you remember and generate unique passwords for all your accounts.

7. Change Any Other Accounts with the Same Password

Time consuming but very worthwhile! Ensure you change any other accounts that use the same username and password as your compromised email. Hackers love the fact that many of us use the same logins for multiple accounts, so it is guaranteed they will try your info in other email application and sites such as PayPal, Amazon, Netflix – you name it!

8. Consider Creating a New Email Address

If you have been hacked several times and your email provider isn’t mitigating the amount of spam you are receiving, then consider starting afresh but don’t delete your email address! Many experts do warn against deleting email accounts as most email providers will recycle your old email address. This could mean a hacker could spam every site they can find with ‘forgot my password’ request and try to impersonate you – identity theft!

Your email is an important part of your online identity so being vigilant and addressing any fallout from hacking is essential for your digital reputation. And even though it may feel that ‘getting hacked’ is inevitable, you can definitely reduce your risk by installing some good quality security software on all your devices. Comprehensive security software such as McAfee Total Protection will alert you when visiting risky websites, warn you know when a download looks ‘dodgy’ and will block annoying and dangerous emails with anti-spam technology.

It makes sense really – if don’t receive the ‘dodgy’ phishing email – you can’t click on it! Smart!

And finally, don’t forget that hackers love social media – particularly those of us who overshare on it. So, before you post details of your adorable new kitten, remember it may just provide the perfect clue for a hacker trying to guess your email password!

 

Alex x

The post What To Do If Your Email Is Hacked appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

How the IoT supports the world’s largest industries

The Internet of Things (IoT) has already helped to connect our world in so many ways, bringing huge improvements and convenience to our lives, homes and health. But we’re often guilty of taking it for granted and failing to celebrate the many ways in which being connected supports some of the world’s largest industries, such as transport, agriculture, manufacturing and even the cities in which we live. With around half of the world’s population now online and discovering more and more sectors are turning to tech everyday, I thought it would be a perfect time to highlight some of the fundamental changes IoT has made society what it is today.

Agriculture

Farmers are increasingly using their smartphones for new techniques that improve the production of livestock and field activity – also known as ‘agritech’. This includes looking after the health of cattle, analysing grazing time, and even water consumption through sensor-fitted collars. These can even alert farmers when they sense motions associated with labour from pregnant cattle. Meanwhile, organisations like the Wildlife Conservation Society are monitoring endangered species prone to poaching activities through the use of motion-sensing cameras.  

Not only are they finding that IoT minimises their operational costs, but also allows them to achieve better results. For example, harmful pesticides and extreme weather conditions that could have adverse effects on crops can be detected in advance – This way a course of action can be put in place.

Climate and environment

Networking and telecommunications company Ericsson claims that the footprint of IoT could help cut up to 63.5 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Whilst The International Telecommunication Union predicted that rural areas and developing countries will evolve the way they access electricity and the internet thanks to smarter energy saving solutions.  

Various organisations are already providing smarter solutions for protecting the planet, for example, San Franciscan startup, Rainforest Connection, enhanced the protection of forests vulnerable to deforestation including Indonesia and the Amazon. This was achieved by transforming mobile phones into solar-powered listening devices attached to the trees, these are set to alert rangers if they sense the sound of a chainsaw from over a kilometre away. Other examples can be seen through IBM’s China Research Lab and London’s Pigeon Air Patrol, which are scaling up the quality of the city’s air through a forecasting system that monitors pollution levels in different neighbourhoods.   

Transport

In many ways, it feels as though the transport industry has long used IoT, thanks to technologies like sensor street lights, speed cameras, and Sat Navs which have been commonplace since 2013. And the innovation hasn’t stopped there – we’re continuing to see plenty of movement in the space, for example, Transport for London (TfL) supports approximately 21 million commuter trips each day – and has predicted that the city will be populated by a total of 10 million people by 2030. It’s no wonder the introduction of Oyster cards in 2003 was a huge success, later to be replaced by a contactless payment system that today accounts for more than one billion journeys. We later saw London’s iconic red buses also go green in 2014 with the introduction of wirelessly charging hybrid buses. Similarly, car manufacturers such as Mercedes, BMW, and Tesla all have plans to launch driverless cars in the near future, with predictions that 10 million self-driving cars will be on the road by 2020.

Although it’s interesting to see the how IoT has become so widespread and had such a massive impact on various industries and people’s lives, it’s almost natural to forget the dangers and risks that come with it or envisage a time when we managed without it. As more and more industries take advantage of the benefits offered by IoT, poorly secured devices pose a growing risk. For this reason we need to remember that all devices need to be protected with secure networks and the latest software. In the age of the internet of things, this will be more important than ever.

To keep up-to-date with the latest cybersecurity news, take a look at the McAfee Security blog here.

The post How the IoT supports the world’s largest industries appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

So, Your Child Wants A Smartwatch for Christmas? Here’s What You Need to Know

My youngest son is a Smartwatch fanatic. At the age of 14, he’s already ‘progressed’ through much-loved Pebble and Sony devices. Is it a James Bond thing? Sorry 007, I don’t think so. Rather, Mr 14 is a tech-savvy consumer who always ‘needs’ to have the latest and greatest. Bet you have one of those in your house, too!

If your child is keen to add a Smartwatch to his or her Christmas list, then please take a minute to weigh up the pros and cons. While these flashy looking devices are a super cool fashion accessory that can help us keep an ‘eye on our kids’, there are also some risks. So before you put the call into Santa, here’s some points to consider:

1. Do They Really Need One?

Sorry, I have to ask. Smartwatches are like mini computers that do so much more than tell the time. Most Smartwatch apps are also available on your phone. I totally get that Smartwatch apps may be super handy if you’re a runner who needs to manage your heartrate and buy a latte on- route. But does a teen going to and from school – who also has a smartphone in their pocket – really need one?

2. Can They Help Keep Kids Safe?

Most Smartwatches come with a built-in GPS tracker, so you can monitor the whereabouts of your child. Some models also allow you to set a safe zone that will send you an alert if your child leaves this area. So, yes – if your child wears a Smartwatch, you will be able to monitor their whereabouts which is very appealing to our ‘helicopter’ generation of parenting!

3. What Are The Risks?

In recent months, there has been a growing momentum of privacy concerns surrounding the children and the digital space. McAfee Labs has identified the increasing risk to children’s privacy as one of the top threat predictions for 2018. They believe organisations will use the digital content generated by children to achieve ‘app stickiness’ aka engagement and retention which will jeopardise our children’s privacy.

And they are not alone in their concerns.  Germany’s Regulator, the Federal Network Agency, recently issued a blanket ban on Smartwatches aimed at children, describing them as ‘spying devices’. The agency also issued a strong recommendation to parents who had already purchased such a device to destroy them! In October, the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC), also reported concerns over the security flaws, privacy concerns and risks posed by unreliable Smartwatch features. Here is a summary of their concerns:

  • Smartwatches can be used to listen in to the child’s environment which means they should be regarded as an unauthorised transmitting device. According to research by the German Federal Network Agency, smartwatches are used by parents to listen to teachers in their child’s classroom.
  • Some Smartwatches had flaws such as transmitting and storing data without encryption making it easier for strangers, using basic hacking techniques, to track your child or make it appear that your child was in a completely different location. This lack of encryption also puts your child’s privacy and identity at risk. This was uncovered by the NCC.
  • The NCC also identified that some of the core features of Smartwatches such as geofencing to set up alerts if kids move outside a pre-set zone and SOS buttons were ‘flakey’ and non-functional which gave parents a false sense of security.

How To Secure Your Smartwatch

If your teen is still committed to the idea of a Smartwatch, there are steps you can take to better protect your child’s privacy. Remember, we don’t live in a perfect world, so it’s all about risk management!

  • Do not keep any personal information on your watch especially banking and credit card details and your address.
  • Don’t download apps for the Smartwatch from unknown sources. They may be designed to mine your personal information.
  • Keep your Smartwatch up to date. As soon as software updates become available, download them immediately to prevent cyber criminals from hacking your device.
  • Use complex and unique passwords when setting up the device and creating any new accounts. A combination of lower and upper case, letters, numbers and special characters is ideal.
  • Only use secured Wi-Fi networks when connecting to the internet – avoid public Wi-Fi.
  • Provide the bare minimum of required information when inputting information for user accounts.

Being a first-generation digital parent is really tough. The lure of the latest, shiniest tech offerings can be so very enticing, yet we need to make the tough calls and ensure our kids are safe! As a parent, if you aren’t convinced that any device – including a Smartwatch – will keep your children or your personal information safe, then just don’t buy it. It’s that simple!

Happy Christmas!

Alex xx

The post So, Your Child Wants A Smartwatch for Christmas? Here’s What You Need to Know appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Kids, Travel and Wi-Fi

If your brood of kids is anything like mine, holiday travel is all about devices and Wi-Fi. Sure, we’ll focus on sights and activities when we get to our destination, but the journey is made all the sweeter with a huge dose of technology!

And as all my boys have pretty basic mobile phone plans (I’m paying!), a technology binge means Wi-Fi! Whether it’s connecting at the airport, on the plane – yes this is a thing now, in trains or in hotels – finding Wi-Fi is possibly more important to my boys than finding the next snack bar.

But unfortunately, Wi-Fi is not the great nirvana. There can be some serious risks associated with connecting to random Wi-Fi outlets, as I continuously tell my offspring. The recent KRACK Wi-Fi saga, which potentially affected iOS and Android users worldwide, gave us all a big scare and reminded us yet again that modern Wi-Fi is not risk free.  Discovered by a Belgian researcher, the KRACK vulnerability meant a hacker could access your device even through a password protected Wi-Fi network. It was such a big deal that even the US Department of Homeland Security issued a warning!

‘It Won’t Happen To Me’

Regardless of the warnings, there are still many amongst us that are not convinced Wi-Fi poses genuine risks, particularly when we travel. Many of my friends and family members still believe horror stories only happen to ‘other people’.

And research conducted by McAfee confirms this very opinion with the majority Aussies surveyed not worried about the risks associated with Wi-Fi. In fact, 62% of people on holiday either don’t care or don’t bother ensuring they have a secure Wi-Fi connection. And 41% believe our personal information is as secure when we connect to public Wi-Fi on holiday as when we are home or at work. Eeek!!!

Why Do We Need To Worry?

In short, accessing dodgy Wi-Fi means you are more likely to get hacked which can cause you a world of pain! If you have connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot that has either been set up by a hacker or a hacker has broken in to, anything you send or share online – you are also sharing with the hacker: banking details, online shopping logins, social media passwords… the list goes on. And once the hacker has that information, he/she can access your accounts as if they were you.

In addition to potentially stealing your private information, hackers can also use public Wi-Fi to distribute malware aka malicious software.  Some hackers have been known to hack the Wi-Fi connection point itself to try and trick Wi-Fi users into downloading malicious software. Attractive, believable pop-ups appear on users’ screens offering free upgrade to commonly used software. However, clicking the link in the pop-up ad downloads the malicious software!

What Should We Do To Stay Safe?

Well, let me tell you I’m not staying home… holidays keep me going! So, what we need to do is spend just a little time implementing a few strategies so we can securely manage our kids and their online lives when we travel. Not only will this minimise the risk but just as importantly, the stress!

Here is how I’ll be managing my boys and their Wi-Fi connections when we set off on our annual family vacation this year:

1. Ban Free Wi-Fi

If your kids just have to connect to Wi-Fi, ensure it is password protected option NOT a random free Wi-Fi. While this does not provide any guarantee of security, it is another layer of protection. However, no banking, financial or shopping transactions are to be undertaken on this Wi-Fi – no exceptions!

2. Invest in a VPN

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is one of the best services you can sign up to. In simple terms, it creates a secure encrypted connection which means that anything you send or receive is safe. McAfee’s VPN, SafeConnect, provides bank-grade Wi-Fi encryption which means your personal data and online activities are kept private even when you are connected to public Wi-Fi.

3. Update ALL Your Devices Before You Leave Home

I know it is a pain but if the software and apps on your devices are not up to date, you’re essentially leaving a ‘back door’ open for a hacker. App creators and hardware vendors will release patches or updates when they become aware of a security vulnerability – so it is essential you have the latest and greatest installed before you walk out of your door!

4. Turn Off Bluetooth When Not Using It

This needs to become a family rule – just like turning off the lights before you leave the house! When your Bluetooth is active, hackers can see which networks you have connected previously. It then takes very little effort for them to copy these networks and fool your device into connecting with their Bluetooth devices. Within minutes, the hacker can steal your data, download malware and create a world of pain!

5. Download Security Software for All Your Devices including Smartphones!

Ensuring your devices are protected with comprehensive security software is the same as locking the backdoor and turning on the house alarm – common sense. McAfee’s Total Protection software provides protection for your entire fleet of devices and includes anti-virus and anti-malware software, a firewall, anti-spam functions, parental controls and a password management tool.

So, don’t cancel your holiday. Managing Wi-Fi safely when you travel with kids is absolutely possible with just a little planning. And if Nana and Pop are joining you on vacation, please ensure they are up to speed with the family Wi-Fi rules too! With 85% of older Australians accessing the internet every day, they will very likely have their eye on the Wi-Fi too!

Happy Christmas and Safe Travels!

Alex xx

The post Kids, Travel and Wi-Fi appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Hacked for the Holidays: Preparing Your Home for Hackable Toys

The holidays are in full swing and all my kids can think about is their wishlist. With so many new and exciting tech toys on the market, who can blame them? From flying drones to smartphones, the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) has brought holiday shopping to new and unexpected heights.

I’ll be the first to admit, I look forward to welcoming some of these connected toys into our home and life as much as my kids do. But, as this year’s hackable gifts show us, it’s important to keep security in mind when shopping for presents that could be a potential target for hackers.

Connected toys offer a fun and unique way to show our loved ones we appreciate them. Whether it’s the gift of unlimited streaming to a movie buff, or a virtual experience to a gaming guru, IoT has made the art of gift-giving that much more personal. However, shoppers should be aware that these devices are just as appealing to cybercriminals because of their access to our personal information.

In our digital lives, we’ve come to understand the importance of adding an extra layer of security to our laptops, smartphones, and tablets. But some devices such as smart home appliances, media players, and streaming sticks often fly under the radar when it comes to proper security. In fact, this year’s Most Hackable Holiday Gifts survey found fewer than 30% of consumers considered the security of popular devices such as drones and VR headsets.

What’s the worst that could happen? It’s just a toy.

You may wonder, what cyberattacks could impact a drone? Believe it or not, drones are near the top of our Most Hackable Gifts list and can be compromised by hackers in mid-flight. If a cyber-hijacking isn’t enough to put a damper on your holidays, consider the threats that connected toys might bring into your home without your knowledge. Earlier this year it was discovered that the interactive Cayla doll not only allowed cybercriminals to record video and audio of you without your consent, but also gave them the ability to unlock smart doors. The severity of attack can vary when it comes to connected devices in the home, so it’s important to add a few extra measures of security to them before they cross your threshold.

So, what can you do to keep your family safe from the hackable toy army? Follow these tips:

Get smart about your smart toys: Before you purchase a connected device, research the latest threats and ensure your intended product has security built-in. For example, if you’re considering purchasing a drone, purchase one that has encrypted communication.

Update: Do not default to the factory security settings on your devices. Update your security settings immediately! Make sure you reset your devices with a new and unique password as soon as you get them. Also, remember to update your device software to account for any new bugs or flaws in the system.

Talk to your kids: Talk to children about cyber threats that could affect the devices they have access to. Make sure they’re in the know on security breaches and scams, and are aware of the dangers of password sharing.

Secure your home: Always secure your connection at its source: your home. Consider using a solution like McAfee Secure Home Platform to ensure every device in your house is well protected.

It’s easy to get in the holiday spirit of giving, just don’t get tricked into giving hackers access to your home!

Interested in learning more about mobile security tips and trends? Follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

 

The post Hacked for the Holidays: Preparing Your Home for Hackable Toys appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

How to Make Sure That Shiny New Device Does Not Get Hacked this Holiday

Across the country, there’s an awkward pause on Christmas morning no one wants to talk about. It’s that moment when someone opens a gift doesn’t contain some form of shiny, new technology.  Not ready to admit that yet? Okay, Dads, would you prefer a bottle of aftershave or a drone? Moms, would you rather have a pair of slippers that look like hairy bear claws or a fitness tracker? Would Johnny Jr. enjoy a new backpack or a new smartphone? Exactly.

Going gaga over shiny new gadgets is nothing to be ashamed of. Ideally, you should enjoy every moment and megabyte — minus the worry of being hacked. In this third year of McAfee’s Most Hackable Holiday Gifts survey, based on consumer behavior, there are some specific ways to secure your new gifts.

Are You a Ted or a Ned?

This year we’re introducing Ted and Ned, two little elves who have very different ideas of how to protect their digital devices. Going through this fun, short animated clip with your family is a great way to explain digital security to your kids and get them thinking about personal online safety. So, before firing up those new gadgets, take a few minutes to dive into the misadventures of Ted and Ned. Ask your child if he or she will be more like Ted (careful) or a Ned (careless) with their new toys.

Survey: Security Still Not a Priority

Taking the top spot for most-hackable items are our beloved laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Also, drones, digital assistants, connected toys, and digital appliances took top spots. Much like last year, the  2017 survey revealed that while consumers realize the importance of protecting their online identity and internet-connected devices, they still are unsure if they are taking the right security measures or aren’t too concerned with making device security a priority. Of the 1,206 adults surveyed this year, 20% of consumers are not worried about internet security and would still buy a must-have connected device if they knew it was susceptible to security breaches. For 40% of those surveyed, security is not a top priority when purchasing but is considered after purchase.

And concerns about digital toys? Most consumers agree that security is a necessity for laptops, tablets, and smartphones (69%). But, only 22 percent believe connected toys require protection. Also, 29 percent think drones should be protected, and 56 percent believe that digital assistants need to be secured.

The Risks Are Real

Having a toy or a washing machine hacked sounds farfetched but hackers view our digital devices as unlocked doors into homes. They target built-in microphones, cameras, and location-based services to access your family’s personal information in order to conduct financial and physical crimes. With any phone or tablet, thieves can woo you into clicking or downloading malicious links and apps. With drones, consumers need to be aware of risks associated with drone jacking and fake Wi-Fi signals from rogue drones.

In short, as consumers, we still have a security gap to close. Let’s get started! Here are a few tips to give your family clarity on digital security.

  • Keep it simple: Securing a new gift often takes five minutes much like registering for a product warranty. So make going into a product’s privacy settings a holiday routine and teach your kids to do the same. Keep the process simple device security is more likely to become a habit in your family.
  • Research before you purchase: Not all manufacturers take security seriously, especially when it comes to connected toys, so it’s important to research if there have been any reported security vulnerabilities before purchasing toys.
  • Think before you click: One of the easiest ways for cybercriminals to compromise your device is using a malicious link. Don’t trust a link or other solicitation that you are not expecting.
  • Update, update, update: Whether it’s your PC, smartphone, digital assistant or even your drone, keep the software up to date. Manufacturers plug security holes with device updates, so it’s crucial to install the latest versions as soon as possible. When applicable, use up-to-date security software.
  • Beware of shady public Wi-Fi hotspots: Cybercriminals often deploy fake Wi-Fi hotspots that appear to be legitimate but give them visibility into your browsing habits. If you have to use public Wi-Fi refrain from online shopping or banking. Take extra precautions when linking your life to the world-wide web. If you need to shop or bank on public Wi-Fi, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
  • Lock down your home network: Secure all of your connected devices and your home internet at its source — the network. Avoid routers that come with your ISP (Internet Security Provider) since they are often less secure. And, be sure to change the default password and secure your primary network and guest network with strong passwords.

 

Toni Birdsong is a Family Safety Evangelist to McAfee. You can find her on Twitter @McAfee_Family. (Disclosures).

The post How to Make Sure That Shiny New Device Does Not Get Hacked this Holiday appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Suntan, Sunglasses, Suitcases… and Devices! Indians Find It Hard to Unplug on Vacations

I was showing a friend around Kolkata when we noted several tourists (very evident because of their attire and photographic gears) making a beeline for a particular sidewalk. Everyone had mobiles ready for selfies in their hands.

That must be a popular tourist spot,” remarked my friend, eager not to miss a single tourist attraction.

Oh no! The reason for the crowd here is that this area has free Wi-Fi, part of our smart city plan. So, people flock here to check their messages, make calls or upload pics etc.”

We really find it hard to part from our devices, don’t we? Even on holidays? We need to stay in touch, whether it be with our family or work. Check this out:

  • 86 percent Indians want to stay plugged during their vacations so that their families can reach them if needed. That’s a significant count.
  • Further, 60 percent admitted to spending a minimum of an hour daily online.
  • What’s more, 57 percent said they felt anxiety over being unplugged!
  • And this takes the cake- 68 percent of Indian parents allow their children to use connected devices while traveling!

These and other findings from a recent McAfee study indicates that despite the benefits experienced from unplugging, most Indians prefer to stay connected.

The McAfee Study titled, “Digital Detox: Unwind, Relax and Unplug,” aims to better understand the behavior and attitudes of consumers when on vacation, and how digital habits could be putting their personal information at risk. The intention is to educate those planning a trip in the holiday season on risks related to using unsecured Wi-Fi connections.

It is not that people don’t want to unplug from connected devices, cut off from real world worries and enjoy their holidays unconditionally. 67 percent indicated they would want to completely unplug on a vacation if not for work obligations. So for all practical purposes, vacationers are taking their offices along on holidays!

Surprisingly, millennials are more inclined to unplug than those in their 40s.

Some more salient findings:

  • Almost one in two Indians (51%) could not resist the urge to post to social media while vacationing
  • One in four 29%) admitted to checking their email consistently throughout the day.
  • Parents tend to be more tech savvy than their non-parental counterparts and are more likely to know if their Wi-Fi connection is safe and secure to use (75% vs. 64%)Only 40% would be willing to leave their smartphone behind while traveling

Takeaway pointCybercriminals may try to exploit travelers who put convenience over security and use unsecured Wi-Fi access points that are easily hackable. Their personal data, including passwords and financial transactions may be compromised.

Can’t Think of Unplugging? Pay Heed to These Tips to Help Secure Your Device and Data:

  • Browse securely when away from home. If you really can’t unplug while traveling, avoid using public or unsecured Wi-Fi networks. But if you have to use a public Wi-Fi network, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) like McAfee Safe Connect. A VPN will keep your information private and ensure that data goes straight from your device to where you are connecting.
  • Update your devices. Always ensure that your device OS and security are kept updated. Using old versions of software could leave you open to potential security vulnerabilities.
  • Install cross-device security. Travelling with your device? First secure it with the latest security software. McAfee LiveSafe can help your devices stay clear of viruses and other unwanted malware.
  • Use a device locating app. It’s a good idea to use a security tool that offers the device location and remote erasure features. Location applications can help you find, lock and even erase your device’s data in the event of theft or loss.

Every digital citizen should understand the importance of digital balance and practice digital detox- especially on holidays. However, if you do need to carry your devices to stay in touch, make sure you use secured Wi-Fi and secure your connected devices too. Keep your travels worry-free.

Try unplugging, you may be pleasantly surprised!

 

The post Suntan, Sunglasses, Suitcases… and Devices! Indians Find It Hard to Unplug on Vacations appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

5 Apps To Be Thankful For This Season

If ever there was a time of year to reflect on the little things that make life wonderful, it’s the holiday season. While friends, family, and food always top the list of things I’m grateful for, there is also a special place in my heart for the gizmos and gadget that also make life great. The internet of things (IoT) has literally given the world access to technology at our fingertips, allowing us to live well-connected lives.

But know that this well-connected life can also be difficult to navigate; the world of IoT and smart phones coupled with cyber safety can often feel like a complicated waltz.  Once we take the necessary steps to ensure we’re safe online, there is nothing wrong with enjoying the apps that make our lives easier.

Since it is the season of giving thanks, here are the five apps I’m most thankful for this year. Some are well known, and some are welcomed new additions to the mobile world.

Venmo

When I want to go to dinner with my friends, Venmo takes the pressure out of splitting the bill when it’s time for the check. Thanks to this free app, sending and receiving money from loved ones is simple and uncomplicated.  The best part is, this application offers a two-factor authentication that will alert me via text or email if someone attempts to sign in from an unknown device. Talk about instant gratitude.

Skype

If you have loved ones all around the world like I do, it’s likely this application which makes it easier to connect with them. When a phone call simply isn’t enough, Skype lives up to its promise by giving me a chance to share cherished moments, in real-time, with loved ones far away. Calls are encrypted so private moments stay private. Just be sure that you’re logged into a secure network and ensure your connection is secure. If secure WiFi isn’t available, consider a personal VPN to help keep your connection safe.

Facebook

It’s always fun to reflect during this time of year. When I’m feeling nostalgic for friends I haven’t seen in a while, Facebook can connect me with a click of a button. It’s great to share important life moments with friends via Facebook, as long as you remember to adjust your settings to “private” and only allow your friends to view your posts. In the world of digital oversharing, we all know Facebook is a culprit, but if we take the extra steps in securing our posts, I don’t see why we shouldn’t still enjoy it.

Waze

Planning a trip to grandma’s house this holiday? Waze will show you the way. If you spend a lot of time on the road, Waze is like a trusted companion to accompany you on your journey. With real-time traffic insights from other “Wazers”, it’s like having a personal travel guide. I couldn’t imagine navigating without it. But, always be cautious when giving other applications access to your location settings.

Postmates

Food on demand—enough said! Not only does Postmates bring delicious food right to my home, it can also deliver my dry cleaning, or anything else I need at the moment. This app is the epitome of convenience; just remember to stay up to date on your software installments as a security measure.

We should all take a moment to appreciate the little things that make our lives easier. While we revel in the convenience of our apps, it’s important to keep these tips in mind to ensure your devices stay safe:

  • Authenticate! If you’re using an application like Venmo, it’s important to set up your two-factor authentication immediately, to reduce the risk of having your account compromised.
  • Avoid Risky WiFi. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, unsecured networks are an easy target for hackers to gain access to your devices. Steer clear of open networks because you never know who your data could be going to.
  • Exercise safety on social media. It’s important to make sure your account is set to “private” and is only visible to family and friends. Cybercriminals know how to use the information you share on social media to gain access to your personal data. Make sure you know who has their eyes on your account.

Can’t get enough mobile security tips and trends? Follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

The post 5 Apps To Be Thankful For This Season appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

How IoT is revolutionising the world of sport

When we think about the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) in sports and fitness, the first things which spring to mind are probably wearable devices, or health monitoring apps that track performance and targets. However, it’s not just activity monitoring hardware that is shaking up the world of sports, we’re also seeing new examples of IoT that are changing the way sports are practised, played and watched.

While the use of IoT on the ‘centre court’ of sports gets most of the attention, the growing use of smart technology behind the scenes is also pretty exciting. I’ve hand-picked a few of my favourite sports to take a look at where and how IoT is being used.

Football

To kick things off, let’s look at arguably the most popular sport in the world – football, fútbol, fussball or soccer, depending on where you’re from. From the Premier League to La Liga, clubs are increasingly using smart footballs during training. These track player performance through sensors located on the inside of the ball, as well as in their boots. The purpose of this is to provide coaches with instant feedback on players’ performance, collecting data on aspects such as spiral efficiency, spin rate, distance and throw velocity. Sensors are also being incorporated into team kits, so club doctors can be alerted to any unusual heart patterns or changes in temperature. But it isn’t just about player performance. Some clubs have introduced IoT-connected lighting on pitches with ‘comfort’ levels to reduce glare for fans, as well as minimise energy costs.

Rugby

As far back as 2010, rugby teams have been using IoT to track their players’ locations through devices worn under their clothing, with League One Club, Bradford Bulls, being one of the first teams to use satellite positioning systems in a game. Nowadays, the Irish and English national Rugby League teams are using STATsports devices to track the wearer’s heart and breathing rates, as well as muscle activity. This means that coaches can spot players that might be feeling the burn and substitute them for a pair of fresh legs, if necessary. More recent advances include sensors being fitted in shoulder pads, also known as force sensors, which captures data from collisions. This data can then be reviewed by coaches and physiotherapists to determine how players should be treated to best limit or recover from injury.

Cricket

Based on the game-changing variables of a cricket match, for example, the length, the weather and how or when the wicket might break up, it’s no wonder the sport was so keen to embrace IoT. Cricket clubs have not only used the technology to improve the monitoring and wellbeing of their players, but also the fan experience. This year in June, the ICC Champions Trophy was the first ever ‘smart cricket’ tournament, which featured virtual reality, drones, connected stadiums and even batting sensors in a bid to bring the sport alive for fans.

Tennis

In the world of sport, tennis is pretty much a veteran when it comes to the use of IoT. Hawk-Eye technology has been used in tennis since 2005 and tracks the path of the ball in flight, allowing players to challenge controversial decisions made by the umpire. In more recent years, technological devices have been placed in tennis players’ racket handles and sewn into wristbands to measure how well a ball was hit, the motion of the racket in hand and the player’s overall performance.

Of course, while more technology in sport can be a great thing, it also comes with risks. There’s no doubt that pushing players harder makes for better and more exciting games, but clubs need to ensure all smart devices and data monitoring systems are sufficiently safe and secure. Strong passwords, protected networks and the latest software are all absolutely critical, especially given the money behind modern sports. As it increasingly becomes the norm to store information on the Cloud and with more data being handled than ever before, sport is becoming a different ‘ball game’ to what it once was. For example, poorly secured IoT devices could be vulnerable to hacking, theft of personal data or even corporate espionage – the stakes are high.

It’s an exciting but important time for the fusion of sport and technology. As time goes on I’m sure we’ll see further developments as IoT becomes more commonplace, in sport, just as we’ve seen in other industries. The balancing act will be ensuring the technology adds to the game, doesn’t detract from the abilities of the players – and of course, doesn’t pose a security issue for clubs, teams and associations.

To keep up-to-date with the latest cybersecurity news, take a look at the McAfee Security blog here.

The post How IoT is revolutionising the world of sport appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Don’t Let the Grinch Hack Your Christmas!

What’s on your family’s Christmas list this year? Let me guess – technology! Our desire for shiny, fast, connected devices is almost a biological condition this time of year. However, our single-minded desire to get these devices in our hands at all costs, often means we forget about the risks…

To try and understand how us Aussies are planning on managing the risks associated with this season’s must-have Christmas gifts, McAfee Australia interviewed over 1000 Aussies aged 18-55. Participants were asked whether they were planning on buying internet-connected gifts this Christmas, how they plan to buy them and what they know about how to secure their new devices. And the findings were very interesting…

  • Online shopping is Booming But We Are Taking Risks!

76% of us are likely to purchase gifts online this coming holiday season – an increase of 2% from last year. And while most of us will purchase from online stores of well-known retailers,

some of us (18%) will choose stores that we find randomly through online shopping searches.

  • There Is Still Confusion About Protecting Our Devices

90% of us feel it is important that our online identity and connected devices are safe and secure but alarmingly, only 14% of us feel that it is necessary to protect devices with security software – down from 15% in 2016.

  • Our Devices are Collecting Our Information But Most of Us Are OK with It

Many consumers (76%) believe their devices are collecting their personal information

  • Some of Us ‘Need’ The Latest Devices At All Costs

Despite acknowledging that our chosen device may be susceptible to security breaches, 22% of us still commit to buying it!

There is no doubt we value our digital assets with 61% of us believing their digital assets (our online files and media) are worth more than $1000 and 34% worth more than a whopping $5000!!

So, What Does This All Mean?

There is no doubt that we love our technology! In fact, in recent research from Telefonica, we are ranked 3rd worldwide when it comes to embracing technology. We even beat the Japanese!

However, the way we shop online, protect (or not) our devices and share our information plays a major role in how easy (or not) it is for cybercriminals to hack us, putting our much-loved digital assets at risk. And add a dose of Christmas cheer (and chaos) into the mix – and you can see how the risk increases!

Which Are The Most Hackable Devices?

To minimise the chance of the Grinch (aka cybercrims) ruining our Christmas this year, McAfee Australia has compiled a list of the devices most Australians have nominated as top of their Christmas lists. Each of the device’s security vulnerabilities has then been highlighted so you can take the required steps to ensure you are not hacked!! Here’s the lowdown:

1. Laptops, Smartphones and Tablets

According to our McAfee experts, laptops, smartphones and tablets take out first place for being the ‘Most Hackable’ gifts for Christmas 2017! As soon as those Christmas decorations come out, so do the sexiest models about. Slim, powerful yet light PCs, laptops and smartphones packed with the latest features and apps fill the stores… and we go into a frenzy!

Risks: Malware, especially ransomware, continues to dominate the headlines and has grown to more than 10 million samples worldwide. Just like laptops and PCs, tablets and smartphones are vulnerable to ransomware and can be compromised.

Tips: Slow down and think before clicking. One of the easiest ways for cybercriminals to infect your PC or smartphone is through malicious links. Be sceptical if you receive a link you are not expecting, use comprehensive security software that is kept updated, and install parental controls on all your children’s devices.

2. Drones

Drones won second place this year in the ‘Most Hackable’ stakes and it seems we can’t get enough of them. US drone sales are expected to top US$1 billion (A$1.3 billion) in 2017, up from US$799 million (A$1.04 billion) in 2016. And what a terrific gift – perfect for the amateur flight enthusiast through to the professional photographer looking to get that unique angle from up high!

Risks: Drones can be vulnerable in multiple ways. While it’s true they can be hacked in flight, they can also emit a Wi-Fi signal designed to steal your personal information after connecting.

Tips: Always keep the software updated on your drone, and apply software patches when they are made available from the manufacturer.  Be careful about connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi networks. If you must connect, do so with a Virtual Private Network (VPN) like McAfee Safe Connect.

3. Digital Assistants

The must-have tech gadget of 2017, the Digital Assistant comes in at 3rd place on the ‘Most Hackable’ honours list. Digital Assistants are without doubt the perfect gift for anyone. However, like any connected device digital assistants can also be the target of cybercriminals. As new technology comes to market the cybercriminals are always trying to stay a step ahead – Digital Assistants are no exception!

Risks: Built-in microphones that are always listening for a wake-up command and, in some cases, cameras, can be compromised and turned into listening devices.

Tips: Just like your smartphone or PC, be sure to keep your device’s software up-to-date, and never allow physical access to anyone you do not trust.

4. Connected Toys

Coming in at 4th place, Connected Toys seem to be featured on every mini digital native’s Christmas list this year. Many of the must-have connected toys come equipped with GPS chips, cameras and an interactive conversation ability making them super attractive!

Risks: Be aware of the privacy and security risks that could affect connected toys. Manufacturers may not be putting the device’s security as a top priority which could leave it vulnerable to leaking personal information, location, or even allow a hacker to hijack the camera or microphone.

Tips: Research before you buy to make sure the toy you plan to purchase has not had any reported security issues. If the toy comes with a default password, ensure you change it to something more secure. Finally, monitor children when they are playing with connected devices and turn the toy off when it’s not in use to ensure that their privacy is being protected.

5. Connected Appliances

Vacuums, refrigerators, bathroom scales and cameras that connect to the internet aka ‘connected appliances’ are also on hackers’ lists this year. I’m very partial to some of these devices – they just make modern life so much easier!

Risks: While an attack on your refrigerator is unlikely, it’s not unheard of for connected home appliances to be hijacked and used as a pawn in a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS). A connected appliance could also leak personal information or provide details about your home, like its size and dimensions, making you a bigger target for cybercriminals.

Tips: Do not allow your connectable devices to connect to the internet without any filtering. Always change your connected devices’ default manufacturer passwords to something strong and complex. Read the privacy policies provided by manufacturers so you know exactly what information your device is collecting.

Before you start wrapping up your shiny tech Christmas gifts, please make sure you have a plan in place to protect the device from a Christmas hack. Why not write share a few of the above tips with the lucky recipients in their Christmas card? Or better still, why not spend a little time on Christmas Day working through it together. A great Christmas bonding exercise!

Happy Christmas!

Alex x

The post Don’t Let the Grinch Hack Your Christmas! appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

The Uber Data Breach: What Consumers Need to Know

Ride-sharing apps are one of the most successful innovations of the modern digital age. Practically everyone who has a smart phone uses them. When it was discovered today that Uber, the leader in the ride-sharing space, was hit with a massive data breach back in 2016, all of our ears perked up. Let’s look at what happened, and what consumers need to know.

So far, the precise details on the hack are still unclear—however, according to Bloomberg, (who broke the story earlier today) two cybercriminals were able to access a private area of Github, an online resource for developers. From there, they seem to have found Uber’s log-in credentials to Amazon Web Services (Amazon’s cloud computing service). Then, these hackers were able to steal 57 million names, email addresses, and mobile phone numbers. Uber said within that number, 600,000 drivers had their names and license details exposed. A resource page for those affected has been set up and drivers have been offered free credit monitoring protection. But as of now, affected customers will not be given the same resources.

This cyberattack is a testament to the growing trend to target companies whose rapid growth is stifled by their ability to safeguard sensitive data. So now the question is, what do the impacted customers and drivers do next?

  • Change your password. Stealing millions of emails could mean multiple things. Cyber criminals could use those stolen emails to try and guess your Uber login, or gain access to other accounts. So, do your due diligence and change up your password to all accounts attached to that email you use to login with Uber.
  • Stay vigilant. Another way cybercriminals can leverage stolen emails is by using the list for phishing email distribution. If you see something sketchy or from an unknown source in your email inbox, be sure to avoid clicking on any links provided. Better to just delete the email.
  • Monitor your credit card statement. If cybercriminals are able to leverage the data to gain access to accounts, there’s potential they gain access to financial data, too. And as we know, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Be sure to consistently scan your credit card statement for any suspicious or irregular activity. If you see anything odd, flag to your bank immediately.
  • Lock down your mobile device. If for some reason the Uber app is impacted by this attack, or in the future, it’s best you ensure the data stored on your mobile device is secure. To do just that, use a mobile security solution such as McAfee Mobile Security.

And, of course, stay on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats by following me and @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

The post The Uber Data Breach: What Consumers Need to Know appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Importance of Cybersecurity Lessons in Schools

Are you aware that there are more than 460 million internet users in India, and this is expected to grow to around 635.8 million by 2021? Or, that nearly 81% of kids between the ages of 8-16 are active on social media? Or, that of the children who are active on social media, 69% have published photos, 58% have posted their email address and 44% would meet or have met someone in person that they first met online?

Just goes to show, that our kids are tech-smart but not very cybersafety conscious. To make the Digital India dream come true and benefit the nation, internet users must be well-versed in cybersecurity and cyber etiquette. As our kids will be tomorrow’s India, bringing them up to be model digital citizens should be a top priority. Where can they get this knowledge? Schools, without a doubt.

Let’s think about why it is important to teach cybersafety in school:

  • Children accept teachers as information providers and give credence to their words
  • Cybersafety training can be tailored according to age and grade
  • Group learning helps in building virtual social bonds, and confidence
  • Campaigns, contests and bulletin boards can be used to promote better virtual behaviour
  • New lectures similar to value education can be taken up to teach online etiquette. Many schools have been organizing such cybersafety sessions, but it needs to become a regular feature

I asked some educators what their views were on internet safety and digital citizenship in the school curriculum and this is what they said:

It is the need of the hour,” said Sunita Rajiv, assistant headmistress, at Ahlcon International School, New Delhi.

It’s a must,” said Ritu Sehji, educator, author, presenter, based in New Zealand.

What should be the learning outcomes of cybersecurity sessions?

Children should:

  • Stay informed about cybersafety and cyber civics
  • Know how to identify dangers and tackle them
  • Make informed decisions online
  • Learn how to surf in a secure environment
  • Use the internet to learn and build a network

The main points to be covered in the cyber security sessions:

  • Social Media: etiquette; safety; mutual respect; diplomacy; language; content
  • The norms of sharing: How much to share; what not to share and with whom; Too much sharing and future effects
  • The importance of privacy: How to secure devices; accounts; profile; passwords
  • Scams, Spams, hacking: Attachments and links in mails and posts; key words to look out for
  • Block and report accounts: When to consider this option-How to keep records; whom to inform; how to block and report
  • Identify fake: How to identify fake profiles and messages; how to authenticate data before sharing; how to block and report cyberbullies and predators
  • Dares, challenges and other risky games: How to identify peer pressure and avoid them; understand that such risky challenges are the new faces of cyberbullying and how to counteract them; how to tackle online bullying; creating support group for victims
  • Footprints in the digital sands of time: How posts have future implications, and may impact college admissions and/or career. How to remove posts and photos shared and sanitize social media accounts
  • Smartphone safety: Using security apps, GPS, geotagging, selfie risks
  • Financial risks: e-transactions

It will be a great idea to set up information kiosks or designate a bulletin board where the latest updates on internet safety can be shared. Further, schools need to sensitize parents and organize cyber security awareness seminars for them. The presence of a dedicated counsellor to advise and guide kids on issues pertaining to cybersafety will be of great help to children and parents alike.

And always wind up your lessons with the cybersafety mantra- STOP. THINK. CONNECT.

 

 

The post Importance of Cybersecurity Lessons in Schools appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Warning: Lokibot Is Looking to Access Your Android

This time of year is always busy for me. Between pre-holiday online shopping, and the push to connect with friends before the season gets underway, it’s especially a busy time of year for my online activity.

In an age of social technology, we use our apps to help get through our active holiday calendar. We use our messaging apps to connect with friends on the go, and our banking apps to balance accounts, as well as send and receive money from loved ones. We need our apps to make the holidays happen. Which, unfortunately, makes the new LokiBot malware the perfect Trojan horse to infiltrate your mobile device.

What is Lokibot?

Lokibot is a new Android banking trojan that’s targeting mobile banking applications and communication apps like WhatsApp, Skype, and Outlook. Much like its banking Trojan counterparts, Lokibot disguises itself as the login screen of your banking app, hoping to trick you into giving it administrative access. Once it has access, it can use your browser and SMS texts against you to share your personal information with cybercriminals and spread spam to all of your contacts. According to researchers, this Trojan has targeted at least 119 apps already.

How Does Lokibot work?

Lokibot is like an unwanted guest, it just won’t leave. When users realize they’ve been duped and try to remove the trojan’s administrative privileges, it automatically locks the device and turns into ransomware. Fortunately, the Lokibot ransomware feature is faulty and has only been successful at renaming files instead of encrypting them. Unfortunately, Lokibot still has the ability to lock you out of your phone.

How do I protect myself?

The good news is: if your device has been infected, you can give Lokibot the boot by putting your phone into Safe Mode and removing the malicious application along with its admin user privileges. When it comes to cybersecurity, everybody knows that the best defense is a good offense. You can keep your devices safe by following these tips:

 

  • Don’t fall for the money bait. If you see an unanticipated “deposit” notification from your banking app, contact your bank directly. Lokibot is known to use fake notifications to lure unsuspecting users into its trap.
  • Keep an eye out for fishy looking login screens. Trojans are masters of disguise and often gain access when users give up their access for login to what appears to be a trusted app. If it looks suspicious, proceed with caution.
  • Download your apps from a legitimate source. Google Play has strong security standards for their applications. If an app is no longer supported in the play store, you should delete it immediately.

 

Following these steps will help keep you out of Lokibot’s way, so you can enjoy your busy holiday season.

 

Can’t get enough mobile security tips and trends? Follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

The post Warning: Lokibot Is Looking to Access Your Android appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

STEM – How and Why To Get Your Daughter Involved

In 1990, the buzz around STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) just didn’t exist. When I was doing my HSC, my subjects were all humanities. Lots of English and history broken up with a bit of French. For me, it was a dream. No science and maths – subjects that I was quite average at but most importantly subjects I really didn’t like!

Was I an example of gender stereotyping? Was I responding to societal expectations that girls are ‘better with words’ and more communicative, and boys are more naturally talented at maths and science? Or was it just simply that I loved English and history more?  So many questions…

Research Shows Few Women Involved in STEM Industries

Fast forward to 2017 and the educational landscape has definitely changed. Our girls have benefitted from the hard work of their feminist sisters including Germaine Greer and are far more empowered than their mothers. But there is still work to be done. A detailed report into STEM by Australia’s Chief Scientist  Dr Alan Finkel in 2016 shows that just one third of STEM university graduates are women. And even worse, of the 2.3 million STEM-qualified Australians, only 16% are women – with the engineering industry showing even lower rates of participation.

As a society, we’re genuinely starting to embrace that we need to get more women involved in STEM FAST. There is a new-found awareness that it is time to rid our society of the job role gender biases and stereotypes that have pervaded our thinking over previous generations, and robbed our STEM industries of the valuable contribution women can make.

So, what are we doing?

Science and Technology Australia (STA), Australia’s peak science and technology body, is a great example of what we are doing to fix this problem and promote equal representation of men and women in STEM. In its Superstars of STEM program, STA is working with 30 of Australia’s most respected female scientists and technologist to create positive role models for young women and girls.

Organisations like Tech Girls Movement, Women In STEMM Australia, Code the Future, and the Rails Girls Summer of Code are also working hard to inspire and encourage women and young girls into STEM and support them along the way.

What Can We Do as Parents?

There are many organisations, schools and government bodies that are to be commended for seizing the STEM baton and running hard to try and address the gender imbalance. But that’s not the end of the story. As parents, we need to address this issue at the coalface – in our own homes. Here are my top 10 tips to help you get started:

1. Choose Your Words Carefully So You Don’t Create Any Limits

Words are so powerful!! So please ensure you don’t impose any limits or include any bias in your conversations with your girls. When discussing future education or career opportunities with your daughters, don’t direct them into ‘female friendly options’ thinking you are doing them a favour. Focus on their interests and dreams!

2. Encourage an Enquiring Mind

Do NOT dismiss the copious amount of questions your girls ask. Breathe deeply if you need to and help them find the answers. Go to the library, Google it together or maybe do an experiment at home to find the answer.

3. Go on Lots of Science and Technology Excursions

Fill the weekends and school holidays with trips to the zoo, dam, pond, museum or aquarium. Why not visit a planetarium or organise a road trip to visit a giant telescope or observatory? Mudgee in Central West NSW has a great Observatory, Wollongong on the South Coast of NSW boasts an impressive Planetarium and Science Centre and the Siding Springs Observatory in Coonabarabran in NSW is also an excellent places to enthuse your aspiring scientist. And if you want to engage in a little NASA history, then the CSIRO telescope in Parkes or the Honey Suckle Springs site near Canberra should be top of your list!

4. Get a Science and Robotics Club Happening

If there isn’t already a science and/or robotics club happening at your girls’ school then make this happen. Get to the P&C meetings, meet with the principal, do whatever you need to make this happen.

5. Invest in Some Engaging Science Books – Both Fiction and Non-Fiction

Fiction is a fabulous way to weave in some positive female science and technology messages. Check out this list of great fiction books that star girls and women who love science and technology. But don’t forget about non-fiction books. As tweens and teens, my boys all adored the wonderful Bill Bryson’s engaging science picture book A Really Short History of Nearly Everything. One of my best investments ever!

6. Surround Your Kids with Positive Female Role Models

Exposing your girls to strong, female role models is essential. Take them to female doctors and dentists. Pepper the dinner conversations with stories of successful female scientist – check out the Superstars of STEM page for loads of inspiration.

7. Seek Our Movies with Positive Female Role Models

Mix up your Friday Movie Nights with movies and tv series that celebrate strong empowered women. Suffragette (2015) is an amazing film as is 2016’s Hidden Figures that celebrates the story of 3 African American female mathematicians who work for NASA in the 1960’s. Also check out The Bletchley Circle television series that focuses on 4 female code-breakers who worked at Bletchley Park during the 1950’s.

8. Shake Off Gender Stereotypes at Home

Why not get your daughters involved in ‘handyperson’ work at home? And how powerful would it be if they could see their mother changing lightbulbs, painting furniture or undertaking small repairs? It would definitely stop the formation of traditional gender roles in their tracks. And with the increasing trend of ‘lady tradies’, why not weave the possibility of a career as a tradesperson into conversation? Remember, no limits!!

9. Find your Science-loving Teen a Mentor

If your teenage daughter is showing an interest in engineering, find her a mentor. Contact your local university and get in contact with one of the Engineering clubs who would be more than happy to assist.

10. Include Science Kits and Construction Blocks in your Toybox

If your kids still have a toy box, ensure you have a broad range of toys on offer. Include construction toys alongside Barbies. Why not choose a Science Kit as a birthday present?

And Why Should We Bother?

Firstly, there’s not scrap of evidence that girls are less capable in the areas of STEM. Any belief that this is the case is based on stereotyping and bias. As the Chief Scientist said in his 2016 report:

‘…maths ability is not determined biologically by sex…girls and boys have vastly different attitudes to studying mathematics; more girls tend to be fearful and cautious while more boys are confident.

‘During secondary school, a gender gap in self-concept emerges; many girls perceive they have less ability than their achievements warrant, in comparison to boys with the same scores.’

Secondly, the lack of women in STEM creates a bias or lack of true gender representation in research and analysis. A gender balanced research team would be more likely to address this. The current lack of women also transpires into fewer female role models both for existing female STEM employees and for girls still forming their career choices.

And finally, with STEM tipped to be the jobs growth sector of the future, who would want their daughter to miss out?? STEM graduates are in huge demand with many students being scooped up by the major tech companies even before they finish TAFE or university. Many cyber security experts believe this skills shortage is making Australia more vulnerable to a large scale cyberattack.

So, let’s get to it people. Let’s inspire our girls to take on the world of STEM, help keep us safe and make their mark on the world!

Alex x

The post STEM – How and Why To Get Your Daughter Involved appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Be a Social Media-Savvy Parent For Your Kids

If your kids are ready to join the social media bandwagon, but you are completely lost when it comes to the new apps trending among teens then it’s time to learn about how to help your children stay safe in the digital world.

According to a ‘We are Social’ study, the number of social network users in India was nearly 191 million in Q1 2017 and is expected to rise tremendously

These figures should be a wakeup call to us parents. Your child is or will soon become a social media user and you need to know everything there is to know about these platforms in time to guide them. We don’t want to wait for another Blue Whale Challenge, Sarahah app or the new 48-hour challenge. These games are now becoming the new faces of cyberbullying to jolt us out of our comfort zones.

The only way to teach is to know and therefore it is important for you to stay ahead and learn about popular social media apps that your child is likely to use.

Indian kids are on Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, YouTube, and Hike. I am sure you are familiar with Facebook and WhatsApp, let’s quickly refresh our memory about the rest:

Instagram: It started out as a photo and video sharing app that allows users to tweak and filter pics before sharing. Now users can also send messages, stickers, conduct polls on stories and connect with likeminded users. The instant feedback users receive can be a real ‘feel-good’ factor.

YouTube: This one is a favourite with gamers, home chefs, amateur artists and comedians. Users upload their videos for general or select viewing and can subscribe to channels of their preference.

Snapchat: This app created waves when it launched because it allows users to capture videos and pictures that self-destruct after a few seconds. However, it’s good to remember that receivers can take screenshots and save pics

For all these apps, signing up is easy. Just download the app, create a strong password and use a comprehensive security software with password manager.

What are the privacy and security options recommended? First, ensure that your children meet the minimum age criteria to join any of the social media accounts. Then, be sure to share general safety tips like the ones below.

  • Public or private: Do you want anyone and everyone to see your profiles and posts? Probably not, so turn your account from public to private.
  • Enable two-factor authentication: This is a must to ensure that only you can access your account. It will require a password plus another factor (example: OTP sent to mobile phone) to prevent misuse of your social account.
  • Profile Information: Apps need your profile information but there is no reason why you have to share them with others. Also, think about your profile name and photo. Consider whether you would like to use your real name and pic or an Avatar? Your friends know you anyway, and those who are strangers, don’t need to know all about you.
  • Block and report: This feature comes handy when someone bothers you. You can manually select the follower from your friend/follower list and block and report the account.
  • Turn off geotagging: This feature allows all your friends and followers to identify your exact location. Keep it turned off and check pics to see if they are geotagged. If yes, then remove tagging
  • Tagging in photos: It is considered improper to tag people in group pics without prior permission. Also, review pics in which you are tagged before allowing them on your timeline
  • 3rd Party Access: Periodically review whether you have given access to any 3rd party and revoke access to apps you don’t need or that ask for access to too many files
  • Language: Did you know typing in bold caps is akin to shouting? Or that making rude or sarcastic comments on others’ posts is cyberbullying? Also, be careful when using acronyms that you got the right meaning
  • Conduct: Good etiquettes come in handy online. Maintain decorum, as if you are in a drawing room having a polite conversation. To know more about digital etiquettes, refer to my blog
  • THINK. CONNECT. Always think before posting about whether the photo or text is decent, correct, verified, or useful. Don’t share sensitive content or connect with strangers who insist on knowing a lot of personal details about you.

Nowadays, we get inundated with new trends on social media, which frequently create a frenzy among kids. A bit of awareness, frequent communication and supervision can help us ensure their cyber safety along with making us a cool cyber savvy parent.

Next time your kids go online, take the opportunity to engage more with them and show off your social media skills.

 

The post Be a Social Media-Savvy Parent For Your Kids appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

The Future of Cyber Safety: Could Artificial Intelligence Be The Silver Bullet?

Stay Safe Online Week 2017

Cyber safety: outsourcing to experts makes such sense!

Like most multi-tasking millennium mums, I’m a BIG fan of outsourcing: ironing, cleaning and gardening – it just makes such sense! Why not get an expert involved so you can focus on the things you love? Smart, I say!

But did you know that the future of cyber safety might just be heading the same way? Many technology experts and futurists including Ian Yip, McAfee® APAC’s CTO, believe that many of the decisions we make each day regarding our online safety could soon be made for us by digital assistants powered by artificial intelligence.

Sound a little crazy? Let me explain.

We’re human, after all.

An unfortunate reality of digital life is the fact that many of us have been hacked or scammed online, or know someone who has. But the truth is that almost all this pain could have been avoided if we had taken the necessary steps to protect ourselves and our families online. It is our ‘humanness’ that often gets us into trouble – our inconsistent and imperfect approach means we may take risks online without thinking, accidentally overshare or inadvertently click on a dodgy link.

But what if we could offload the management of our cyber safety to a true expert? An expert who is 100% organised, never forgets to renew security software, never uses the same password twice AND who can constantly analyse behaviour and immediately implement limits, should they be required?

Welcome to the future world of cyber safety digital assistants!!

Sounds good? Well, it could get even better… Imagine if your digital assistant, powered by artificial intelligence, had been programmed with the latest scientific research around brain and human development. Your loyal digital assistant could then interject at crucial points during your child’s interaction with digital content to educate them or it could tell them to perform a chore before allowing more online time. Or limit their screen time when scientifically-proven or parent-enforced limit has been reached. All the while keeping them safe online.

Sounds like every parent’s dream!!

No longer would technology be the enemy of committed parents. Computers set up with digital assistants could instead be a positive influence and assist committed parents to raise healthy, well-adjusted young people.

But we’re not there quite yet…

Before we get too excited, we need to remember that this paradise is still some time away. So, until that time, we need to embrace our ‘humanness’ and this means doing what we can to protect ourselves and our families online.

One of our biggest jobs as parents is to teach our kids how to independently navigate the complexities of life and this includes the online world. Although tempting, wrapping your offspring in cotton wool and keeping them away from risks is unfortunately not the best way to prepare them for the complications of the online world.

Instead we need to teach them to question what they see, dig deeper and take a moment to reflect before they act. These critical thinking skills will hold them in great stead and mean you don’t need to panic unnecessarily about new online threats – if they have the skills then they can be smart, safe online operators!

But we also need to practise what we preach! As parents, it is essential that we also model appropriate online behaviour and healthy digital habits. Psychologist Jocelyn Brewer believes that our generation of parents are ‘just as likely to be glued to their screens as their teenage offspring.’ And while we are checking work emails from the sporting field or playground, we are playing a ‘powerful role in (our) child’s social learning’ – modelling behaviour that we then spend much energy trying to rid our children of.

Stay Smart Online Week

This week is Stay Smart Online Week, an initiative by the Australian Government together with business and community groups to raise awareness about the ways people can protect themselves online. So, why not take a moment and do a quick audit on your personal cyber safety strategy? Here are my top tips to get you started:

1. Create complex passwords.

Creating strong, unique passwords is the best way to keep your personal and financial information safe online. This is especially true in the era of widespread corporate hacks, where one database breach can reveal tens of thousands of user passwords. Why not consider McAfee’s password manager the True Key™ app? It uses multiple authentication factors to sign you in – no need to remember anything!!

2. Secure your connections.

When at home or work, you probably use a password-protected router that encrypts your data. However, when you’re out you might use free, public Wi-Fi that is often unsecured – meaning a hacker can easily access your device or information. Consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) so you can connect safely from anywhere.

3. Keep your software up-to-date.

Mobile devices face new threats each day, such as risky apps and dangerous links sent by text (smishing). Make sure your security software is enabled and your software apps are up-to-date on your mobile, computers and other devices to ensure you have the latest security patches. Turn on automatic updates to avoid forgetting.

4. Keep your guard up.

Always be cautious about what you do online and which websites you visit. Make sure you know what to look out for. Incorrect spelling and/or grammar in website addresses often is a sign of illegitimate websites. To keep your defence up, use comprehensive security software like McAfee Total Protection, and make sure to back-up your data on a regular basis.

5. Be a selective sharer and practise safe surfing.

Be cautious about what you share online, particularly when it comes to your identity information. This includes online shopping and banking. Always make sure that the site’s address starts with “https” instead of just “http”, and has a padlock icon in the URL field. This indicates that the website is secure. Use safe search tools such as McAfee WebAdvisor to help you steer clear of risky websites.

 

Parenting in the digital age can definitely be complicated. As the first generation of digital parents, we are learning on the job – sometimes even making it up as we go. But help is on its way!! Artificial Intelligence will, without a doubt, transform the way we manage our online safety and, in my opinion, make a positive contribution to the next generation of cyber citizens.

Take care

Alex x

 

The post The Future of Cyber Safety: Could Artificial Intelligence Be The Silver Bullet? appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Smart Parents Dig Deeper Than Clickbait

We’ve all seen it – that family at the café, heads down, scrolling on screens. Tsk tsk! We judge instantly and bemoan a loss of connection with nostalgic memories of how we used to play cricket in the street and talk to each other instead.

Cue the sensational headlines warning of the dangers of screens being linked to everything from speech delays to autism and stripping humans of empathy, replacing it with narcissism – these play into our niggling fears and are rich sharable fodder for social media where we can absolve our parenting doubts with digital thumbs-up.

Regularly our tech use is compared to drugs and addiction, a harsh and overplayed analogy that further entrenches melodrama while failing to propose the practical skills to empower positive digital citizenry. Preparing young people for a technologically enhanced future requires older generations to become meaningfully engaged in the complex issues of what it means to be a human in an online world – one in which most  children have a ‘digital tattoo’ before they’re born and on average 1000 images shared on social media by their 5th birthday.

Modern parents are just as likely to be glued to their screens as their teenage offspring. While they’re checking work emails from the footy sideline in an effort to keep the epidemic of busyness at bay, they’re playing a powerful role in their child’s social learning. Like playing dress-ups in high-heels, children mimic adults’ tech-use – watching eagle-eyed at the brightly lit screen and competing with the device for attention.

Not ‘getting’ technology is no longer an excuse that these ‘digital immigrants’ can hide behind while young people are left, quite literally, to their own devices. Where high-powered computing gadgets are regularly gifted for birthdays and festive seasons, and ‘keeping up with the iPhoneses’ is a by-product of digital obsolescence – we need to also give the gift of digital literacy and digital intelligence (DQ) by knowing how to model it ourselves.

Being ‘smart’ online is not simply about protecting kids from being groomed by predators, stopping them from sexting or saving their grandparents from online email scams. More-and-more it’s about our overall digital health and wellbeing and our ability to find that elusive balance between using technology to flourish and getting trapped in a downward scrolling spiral.

This week is Stay Smart Online Week. It’s an opportunity to move beyond the simplistic narratives of ‘switch it off’ and counting digital calories through ‘virtually impossible’ screen time limits, and engage in the tougher, deeper conversations around the quality of the online content, the context in which its consumed, and the cognitions that accompany it. While computers will certainly become more and more invaluable to parents, there’s no app “solution” (yet) for present, patient parenting.

Banning technology or promoting ‘detoxing’ from it doesn’t equip us with the skills to moderate usage. Instead it becomes a salacious item to cunningly access or to binge/purge from. Conversely using screens to bribe or pacify young people as they learn to regulate their emotions can teach dysregulated responses and demand behaviours.

In some instances, we can use software to mitigate security risks, track our scrolling habits and help regain control of our time online, but increasingly it’s the development of ‘soft skills’ – traits linked to emotional intelligence – that are key to mastering a savvy and sustainable relationship to technology.

What’s missing are the skills to stop and smell the science – to think critically about the headlines (many of which we can’t resist sharing out on social media, sometimes without even reading), the quality of the research we’re shown and the discourse that goes with it.  Both media and digital literacy are skills, quite different to the traditional technical ones, that cannot be taught effectively by ad-hoc school incursions or annual guest speaker slots. Parents and schools must be partners in providing young people with ongoing and authentic opportunities to safely explore the digital frontier and to understand the emerging cyber-psychological issues which add a new layer of complexity to an already challenging developmental period of their lives.

So, next time you see that family in the café – maybe wonder if they haven’t already been on a long bike ride together and dig deeper into what they’re really doing, reading an open source journal, improving their phonics with a research-backed app, chatting to a cousin in Hanoi or booking into their next gym class.  It’s not all sexting, selfies and Candy Crush.

Key points:

  • Beware of sensational headlines about the zombie apocalypse: the kids are alright.
  • Being smart online is also about protecting our digital health and wellbeing, creating healthy digital habits (including how we think and behave online).
  • Screen ‘time’ is a simplistic metric and we need to ask deeper questions about the quality of the content, context and function of the activity.
  • Parents benefit from checking/correcting their own online habits and consider their role as media-mentors, and co-consumers/participants alongside their kids.
  • Digital abstinence or detoxes, bans or a reliance on monitoring software don’t teach the social-emotional skills required to use technology in a balanced meaningful way.
  • Developing digital literacy and digital intelligence (#DQ) are crucial skills for being a savvy digital citizen.

The post Smart Parents Dig Deeper Than Clickbait appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Artificial Intelligence: Friend Or Foe?

The future of cyber safety and personal development lies in the partnership between humans and machines.

While our primary interactions with the digital world today may be through our PCs, laptops, smartphones, and smart watches, in the future they will become much more sophisticated.

Overall, the digital world will inevitably become a lot less cumbersome and confusing. A large number of the purposeful decisions we are forced to make every day will be made for us by digital assistants powered by artificial intelligence.  For some this will sound scary or unsettling, but there are actually incredibly significant benefits that these new technologies will bring in streamlining the ways we associate with the ever more pervasive, digitally-connected world … all the while keeping us safe.

Contrary to popular belief, our cyber safety is not usually compromised by some “dark force” hacking away at our online lives and personas, in an unknown or unspecified location.  It’s more often because we, as individuals, have developed a casual approach to what needs to be done to keep ourselves and our families safe when we’re online.

That’s not to suggest that anyone is “at fault”. The speed at which technology constantly develops means that it’s getting harder and harder to keep up with healthy online practices, that would keep us all digitally savvy.

In the future, much of what will be required of us to remain safe online could actually be offloaded to these increasingly present, artificially intelligent digital assistants, thus removing the boring part of having to improve security at the cost of an enjoyable and exciting user experience.

Looking at this further, we can even see that the combination of digitally-powered, situational awareness around cyber safety could be combined with behavioural analysis to make for more educated, intelligent human beings.

For example, scientifically-proven behavioural and psychological research could be applied to help shape, guide or restrict kids and developing adults’ interactions with the digital world, with the appropriate levels of intervention from parents. In this way, we would be able to create situations where computers are no longer the enemy of conscientious parents, and actually become a positive influence and assistance in helping to raise healthy, well-balanced young people.

Computers – in all their forms – are often an area of great uncertainty, confusion and, even, anxiety for parents. Take screen-time, for example. It’s a commonly debated topic. Are kids spending too much time in front of screens? What are the social, psychological, and future-professional ramifications of social media? Are there other things I should be worrying about that I’m not aware of? These are just some of the questions commonly asked by parents, and they will evolve as technology changes.

Imagine if a digital assistant powered by artificial intelligence, which is programmed by scientific research around brain and human development, could interject at crucial points during a child’s interaction with digital content to educate them. It could tell them to perform a chore before allowing more online access.  Or limit their screen time when a scientifically-proven or parent-enforced limit has been reached.  All the while keeping them safe online. Parents should be able to set guidelines and goals, and use digital assistants to see that these are met.

This week is Stay Smart Online Week, and it serves as a timely reminder that the challenge, in a rapidly developing, hyper-connected world, is in having to keep up with an increasing number of technologies. The way forward is in allowing the machines to aid ourselves and our kids in our quest to be smarter, safer, and future-proofed in a rapidly accelerating digital landscape.

The post Artificial Intelligence: Friend Or Foe? appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

The Rise and Rise of the Cyber Economy – PandaLabs Q1 2017 Report

q1 headline image - blog

Developments in Cyber-crime, Cyberwarfare and AI mark the first quarter of 2017, as indicated by PandaLabs Q1 Report. The Report by Panda Security’s malware resource facility identifies prominent tactics, attack methods and shifts in the industry.

The Cyber-crime industry continues to grow on the back of profitable attacks. The development of Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) and organisations like Vdos, an organisation specialising in DDos attacks, indicate the professionalism of the cyber-crime industry. In Q1 we continue to see new and adapted attack methods such as RDPatcher, malware detected by PandaLabs in its attempt to access the victim’s endpoint and prepare it for rental on the Dark Web.

Politically motivated cyber-attacks

Fueling the continued development of the cyber-crime industry are politically motivated cyber-attacks. In recent months, Cyberwarfare has become a popular tactic in enforcing political agendas. In Q4 of 2016, we saw some of the first high profile instances of cyberwarfare, with accusations of Russia’s interference in the 2016 US elections. The gravity the development is clear as countries like Germany have now begun to develop cyber-command centres to monitor online activity – this quarter France and the Netherlands reconsidered electronic voting procedures to avoid situations like the 2016 US elections.

Targeted IoT device attacks

Targeted attacks on IoT devices continue to threaten our safety in line with the ever-increasing number of IoT devices. In February, at the European Broadcasting Union Media Cyber Security Seminar, security consultant Rafael Scheel demonstrated more ways these devices can breach unsecured networks by creating an exploit that would allow an attacker to take control of a Smart TV using only a DDT signal.

A perfect device for eavesdropping

Recent developments in Robotics and AI have led to that belief that the fourth industrial revolution is not far off. Robotics and AI technology could do more than just take over jobs – introducing virtual assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echo, can become a dangerous in road for hackers. Introduced in February 2017, Google Home can tune into your home IoT devices while waiting to be called on – making it the perfect device for eavesdropping. Police recently requested access to an Amazon Echo device as it may have held evidence that could be useful to their case.

Over the course of 2016 Ransomware attacks earned criminals billions of Rand. Fueled by its profitability, Ransomware attacks continue to increase, with new variants created daily. In Q1 PandaLabs discovered Ransomware variant WYSEWYE -that allows the attacker to select and take control of specific folders on the victim’s endpoint, ultimately demanding a ransom to give back control to the victim.

See the full report by PandaLabs here.

The post The Rise and Rise of the Cyber Economy – PandaLabs Q1 2017 Report appeared first on CyberSafety.co.za.

A User-Friendly Interface for Cyber-criminals

IMG-MC-wysiwye

Installing malware through Remote Desktop Protocol is a popular attack method used by many cyber-criminals. over the past few months Panda Security’s research facility PandaLabs, has analysed several attacks of this nature.

Once credentials are obtained through brute a force attack on the RDP, the cyber-criminals gain access to the company. Attackers simply execute the corresponding malware automatically to start the encryption.

wysiwye-530x483Recently however, PandaLabs has noticed more personalised attacks. Analysing this intrusion we see that the ransomware comes with its own interface, through which its can be configured according to the attackers preferences. Starting with details such as which email address will appear in the ransom note. This customised attack makes it possible to hand-pick the devices the hackers would like to action on.

Advanced attacks we continue to see in this environment require businesses to employ a corporate network security strategy. Preventing zero-day attacks from entering your network is essential, along with efforts to neutralise and block attacks.

Data collected from Panda clients in Europe indicated that Panda Adaptive Defense 360 (AD360) was able to detect and block this particular attack. Timely investment in prevention, detection and response technology, such as AD360 guarantees better protections against new age threats.

The post A User-Friendly Interface for Cyber-criminals appeared first on CyberSafety.co.za.

Panda Security Rated Top in Antivirus Test

IMG AVComp 03-17 - Blog

A recent study conducted by AV Comparatives recognised Panda Security for having obtained the highest possible score by detecting 100% of the malware samples tested.
 

AV Comparatives most rigorous test ranks Panda Security number one for malware detection

 

The analysis took into account the same infection vectors that a user might experience on an ordinary day. The fundamental objective of AV Comparatives’ Real-World Test is to determine if the security solutions are able to protect the system as it is exposed to an array of malware samples. Panda Security’s Free Antivirus proved it was able to detect 100% of malware to which it had been exposed.

“We are proud of the excellent results we received in the AV-Comparatives Real-World Test – these results validate our efforts to offer our users the best protection against all types of threats under real conditions. Panda Security is fully committed to the constant improvement of our solutions in order to provide maximum security levels with minimum performance impact.” say Jeremy Matthews, Regional Manager Panda Security Africa.
 
Infographic AVComp
 
These results speak to the success of the set of technologies leveraged by Panda Security to develop a solution that is ideal for all types of users – private or public, large or small. Panda Security’s solution comes in response to the rapid evolution of malware in recent years. In this regard, it offers the most effective response to threats such as ransomware, and proves to be the best ally in the prevention, protection and response to the latest attacks.

The post Panda Security Rated Top in Antivirus Test appeared first on CyberSafety.co.za.

Cybercrime Surges in Q3

young man with glasses sitting in front of his computer, programming. the code he is working on (CSS) can be seen through the screen.

PandaLabs Q3 Report indicates that incidences of cybercrime continue to increase, with 18 million new malware samples captured this quarter – more than 200,000 samples daily.

The Quarter at a Glance

Cybercrime continues to grow at an exponential rate, fuelled by the opportunity for large financial rewards.

Hackers have taken to developing new variants of successful Ransomware such as Locky, and the development of a model known as Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS), whereby developers create Ransomware for distributors, these distributors then target and infect victims – allowing both parties to achieve greater profits.

Another key development was the occurrence of DDoS attacks. Most natably that of Cyber Security journalist Brian Krebs. Krebs exposure of vDoS lead to the arrest of its key members and subsequently made Krebs’ site the target of a massive DDoS attack that saw Google step in to restore the site. As one of the largest attack of its kind, hackers leveraged IoT devices to send 620GB of data per second – at its peak – to the site.
graphs_cabecera-mediacenter
This quarter cyber-attacks targeted multiple gaming sites, gaining access to millions of users’ personal information. These attacks were largely launched using botnets composed of smartphones, and effected users of Overwatch, World of Warcraft and Diablo 3. Further attacks saw more than 3.5 million users exposed when Dota 2 and mobile game Clash of the Kings were targeted. These highlight just a few incidences in the Gaming world in the last 3 months.

The Banking sector remained a target for hackers as attacks on ATM’s, POS terminals and Bitcoin wallets continue to become more frequent and more advanced.

A Taiwanese ATM attack this quarter indicated just how advanced cybercriminals have become when they were able to hack the banks internal network and withdraw over R28 million without even touching the ATM itself.

Another big victim was Yahoo – one of the biggest attacks of its kind revealed this quarter indicated that 500 million user accounts had been comprised in a 2014 attack.

Finally, Q3 saw the largest Bitcoin robbery to date, when R 84 billion worth of Bitcoin was stolen by hackers.

View the full PandaLabs Q3 Report for more detail on specific attacks and find out how you can protect yourself and your business from the advanc

The post Cybercrime Surges in Q3 appeared first on CyberSafety.co.za.

Evolution of Locky – A Cat & Mouse Game

1

In the on-going game of cat and mouse between cyber attackers and defensive internet security providers, the appearance of a new tactic from the Locky family of Ransomware comes as no surprise.

As we discussed in February this year, Locky targets victims through seemingly legitimate email attachments. Once the victim clicks on the attachment the malicious macro begins encrypting the users’ files.

Given the nature of this environment, security experts are constantly working on ways to stop Locky, coming up with solutions that will render it ineffective.

Distribution of the latest attack

In the latest development, cyber attackers have come up with new tactics to bypass security. The malware is still distributed via email attachments, but no longer uses a Trojan. These emails have varying names and subject lines to attract the victims’ attention and usually contain Zip files.

locky-2
The Malware skips the downloader Trojan and gets the Locky variant in DLL format, and is then executed using Windows rundll32.exe. By using a script file as well as a DLL, instead of a Trojan and .exe, Locky is not immediately detected and blocked, and the Ransomware can begin its course.

To further ensure its success cyber attackers have given Locky an added fall-back mechanism, this means that the malware will still be able to complete its actions even in cases where it can’t reach command and control servers. The weak point in this is that the encryption key is the same for every computer.

These attacks appear to present in weekly waves and have already targeted victims in North and South America, and Europe, as well as attacks in Africa and Asia.

3

In order to protect yourself, security experts suggest setting up filters for script files that arrive via email, as well as ensuring your antivirus is up to date. Advanced solutions such as Panda’s Adaptive Defence allow for active classification of every running application by leveraging Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) technologies. This means that you have a greater chance of defending your network against today’s advanced threats.

The post Evolution of Locky – A Cat & Mouse Game appeared first on CyberSafety.co.za.