Category Archives: Consumer

Evolved IoT Linux Worm Targets Users’ Devices

Since the early ‘90s, Linux has been a cornerstone of computer operating systems. Today, Linux is everywhere — from smartphones and streaming devices to smart cars and refrigerators. This operating system has been historically less susceptible to malware, unlike its contemporaries such as Windows or Mac OS. However, the widespread adoption of IoT devices has changed that, as security vulnerabilities within Linux have been found over time. These flaws have been both examined by researchers in order to make repairs and also exploited by hackers in order to cause disruption.

As recently as last month, a new strain of a Linux bricking worm appeared, targeting IoT devices– like tablets, wearables, and other multimedia players. A bricking worm is a type of malware that aims to permanently disable the system it infects. This particular strain, dubbed Silex, was able to break the operating systems of at least 4,000 devices. By targeting unsecured IoT devices running on Linux, or Unix configurations, the malware went to work. It quickly rendered devices unusable by trashing device storage, as well as removing firewalls and other network configurations. With this threat, many users will initially think their IoT device is broken, when really it is momentarily infected. To resolve the issue, users must manually download and reinstall the device’s firmware, which can be a time consuming and difficult task. And while this incident is now resolved, Silex serves as a cautionary tale to users and manufacturers alike as IoT devices continue to proliferate almost every aspect of everyday life.

With an estimated 75.4 billion IoT connected devices installed worldwide by 2025, it’s important for users to remain focused on securing all their devices. Consider these tips to up your personal device security:

  • Keep your security software up-to-date. Software and firmware patches are always being released by companies. These updates are made to combat newly discovered vulnerabilities, so be sure to update every time you’re prompted to.
  • Pay attention to the news. With more and more information coming out around vulnerabilities and flaws, companies are more frequently sending out updates for IoT devices. While these should come to you automatically, be sure to pay attention to what is going on in the space of IoT security to ensure you’re always in the know.
  • Change your device’s factory security settings. When it comes to IoT products, many manufacturers aren’t thinking “security first.” A device may be vulnerable as soon as the box is opened, and many cybercriminals know how to get into vulnerable IoT devices via default settings. By changing the factory settings, you are instantly upgrading your device’s security.
  • Use best practices for linked accounts. If you connect a service that leverages a credit card, protect that linked service account with strong passwords and two-factor authentication (2FA) where possible. In addition, pay attention to notification emails, especially those regarding new orders for goods or services. If you notice suspicious activity, act accordingly.
  • Set up a separate IoT network. Consider setting up a second network for your IoT devices that doesn’t share access with your other devices and data. You can check your router manufacturer’s website to learn how. You may also want to add another network for guests and their devices.
  • Get security at the start. Lastly, consider getting a router with built-in security features to make it easier to protect all the devices in your home from one place.

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

The post Evolved IoT Linux Worm Targets Users’ Devices appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Catch a Ride Via Wearable

More often than not, commuters and travelers alike want to get to their destination quickly and easily. The advent of wearable payments helps make this a reality, as passengers don’t have to pull out a wallet or phone to pay for entry. Adding to that, users are quickly adopting wearable technology that has this payment technology embedded, causing transportation systems to take notice and adopt corresponding technology as a result. Unfortunately, there’s a chance this rapid adoption may catch the eye of cybercriminals as well.

Just last month, the New York City Subway system introduced turnstiles that open with a simple wave of a wearable, like an Apple Watch or Fitbit. Wearables may provide convenience and ease, but they also provide an open door to cybercriminals. With more connections to secure, there are more vectors for vulnerabilities and potential cyberthreats. This is especially the case with wearables, which often don’t have security built-in from the start.

App developers and manufacturers are hard-pressed to keep up with innovation, so security isn’t always top of mind, which puts user data at risk. As one of the most valuable things cybercriminals can get ahold of, the data stored on wearables can be used for a variety of purposes. These threats include phishing, gaining access to online accounts, or transferring money illegally. While the possibility of these threats looms, the adoption of wearables shows no sign of slowing down, with an estimated 1.1 billion in use by 2022. This means developers, manufacturers, and users need to work together in order to keep these handy gadgets secure and cybercriminals out.

Both consumers and transport systems need to be cautious of how wearables can be used to help, or hinder, us in the near future. Rest assured, even if cybercriminals utilize this technology, McAfee’s security strategy will continue to keep pace with the ever-changing threat landscape. In the meantime, consider these tips to stay secure while traveling to your destination:

  • Always keep your software and apps up-to-date.It’s a best practice to update software and apps when prompted to help fix vulnerabilities when they’re found.
  • Add an extra layer of security. Since wearables connect to smartphones, if it becomes infected, there is a good chance the connected smartphone will be impacted as well. Invest in comprehensive mobile security to apply to your mobile devices to stay secure while on-the-go.
  • Clear your data cache. As previously mentioned, wearables hold a lot of data. Be sure to clear your cache every so often to ensure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
  • Avoid storing critical information. Social Security Numbers (SSN), bank account numbers, and addresses do not need to be stored on your wearable. And if you’re making an online purchase, do so on a laptop with a secure connection.
  • Connect to public Wi-Fi with caution. Cybercriminals can use unsecured public Wi-Fi as a foothold into a wearable. If you need to connect to public Wi-Fi, use a virtual private network, or VPN, to stay secure.

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

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Hackers Are After Your Personal Data – Here’s How to Stop Them

Our lives are increasingly digital. We shop, socialize, communicate, watch TV and play games — all from the comfort of our desktop, laptop, or mobile device. But to access most of these services we need to hand over some of our personal data. Whether it’s just our name and email address or more sensitive information like Social Security and credit card numbers, this sharing of what’s known as personally identifiable information (PII) exposes us to risk. Why? Because hackers are looking for ways to steal and monetize it.

The latest FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) report, recently released, paints an accurate picture of the scale of these online threats. Personal data breaches were among the top the reported cybercrimes in 2018, with 50,642 victims listed. They were linked to losses of over $148.8m. This is likely just the tip of the iceberg, as many incidents aren’t reported. Identity theft, which usually results from data theft, cost victims over $100m last year. And phishing attacks, which are commonly used to trick victims into handing over sensitive PII and passwords, accounted for over $48m in losses.

The message is clear: consumers need to take urgent steps to protect their most sensitive identity and financial data from online attackers. That’s why Trend Micro has produced this guide, to help you identify where your most sensitive data is stored, how attackers might try to steal it and how best to secure it.

What is at risk?

The bottom line is that hackers are out to make money. Although they can do this via online extortion and ransomware, it is most commonly done via data theft. Once they have your PII and financial details they sell it on dark web sites for fraudsters to use in follow-on identity fraud. They could use banking log-ins to hijack your bank account and drain it of funds. Or they could open new credit cards in your name and run up huge debts.

Identity fraud is a growing threat to US consumers. It affected 14.4m of us in 2018, leading to losses of $1.7bn — more than double the 2016 figure.

As we’ve mentioned, the hackers are after as much PII as they can get their hands on. The more they have, the easier it is for them to stitch together a convincing version of your identity to trick the organizations you interact with online. It could range from names, addresses and dates of birth at one end to more serious details like Social Security numbers, bank account details, card numbers, and health insurance details at the other.

Most of this information is stored in your online accounts, protected by a password, so they will often put a great deal of effort into guessing or stealing the all-important log-ins. Even accounts you might not think would be of interest to a hacker can be monetized. Access to your Uber account, for example, could be hijacked and sold online to offer free trips to the buyer. Or your Netflix account log-ins may be sold to provide free streaming services to whoever pays for them.

Now, hackers may go after the firms directly to steal your personal data. In the past we’ve seen mega breaches at the likes of Uber (affecting 57m global users) and Yahoo (affecting 3bn users). But they might also target you individually. Sometimes they may use information they already know about you to trick you via phishing into handing over more, as with tax fraud and sextortion blackmail attempts, and sometimes they might use already breached passwords to try and hack into your accounts, hoping you reuse the same log-ins across multiple sites.

While you’re most likely to get reimbursed by your bank eventually for financial losses stemming from identity fraud, there’s a major impact beyond this. Online data theft and the fraud that follows could lead to:

  • Out-of-pocket costs to recover your identity
  • Emotional distress: 75% of victims report suffering severe distress
  • Lower credit scores
  • Time and effort disputing charges/recouping money: it’s estimated to take an average of six months and 200 hours of work to recover your identity following an attack.

How do they steal it?

There are plenty techniques the bad guys have at their disposal to part you from your data and money. They’re supported in this by a vast underground cybercrime economy, facilitated by those dark web sites. This not only offers a readymade platform for them to sell their stolen data to fraudsters, but also provides them with hacking tools, advice and cybercrime services. This black market economy could be worth as much as $1.5tr per year.

The hackers may choose to:

  • Target you with a phishing scam, spoofing an email to appear as if sent from an official company (the IRS, your bank, insurer, ISP etc.)
  • Launch automated attacks, either using your log-ins from other sites that have been stolen, or else using online tools to try multiple combinations of easy-to-guess passwords like “passw0rd”
  • Exploit vulnerabilities on the websites you visit to gain access to your account
  • Infect legitimate-looking mobile apps with malware and wait until you unwittingly download
  • Intercept your private data sent over public Wi-Fi: for example, if you log-in to your online banking account on public Wi-Fi, a hacker may be able to monitor everything you do.

How can I secure it?

The good news is that there are plenty of simple things you can do to keep your data safe and secure — most of them free of charge. Consider the following:

  • Use a long, strong and unique password for each website and application. To help you do this, use an online password manager to store and recall these log-ins when needed.
  • Change your passwords immediately if a provider tells you your account may have been breached
  • Use two-factor or multi-factor authentication (2FA/MFA) MFA if available for added log-in security.
  • Only enter PII into sites which start with “HTTPS” in the address bar.
  • Don’t click on links or open attachments in unsolicited emails or texts.
  • Be careful about over-sharing personal and financial details on social media.
  • Only download apps from official app stores like the Apple App Store or Google Play.
  • Don’t access any sensitive accounts (banking, email etc) on public Wi-Fi without using a VPN.
  • Invest in good AV from a trusted provider for all your PCs and mobile devices. It should include anti-phishing and anti-spam.
  • Keep all operating systems and apps on the latest versions to minimize the number of vulnerabilities hackers could target.
  • Keep tabs on your financial transactions so you can quickly spot if an identity fraudster has been impersonating you.
  • In the advent of a breach involving your credit (aka Equifax), check your credit report and security status from Equifax, TransUnion, Experian, and Innovis and put a security freeze on it if necessary.

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How to Book Your Next Holiday Online and NOT Get Scammed

Taking our tribe on an annual family holiday has always been a top priority for my husband and me. But with 4 sons – who all eat like ridiculous amounts – this can be an expensive exercise. So, like most people, I am always on the lookout for deals and ways to save money to our favourite holiday destinations.

But according to research from McAfee, our need to secure a great deal to a hot destination may mean we are cutting corners and taking risks online. Over one-third of us (32%) report that we are likely to use a website we have never heard of before just because it offers great deals!

And cybercriminals are fully aware of this, so they spend a lot of time and effort creating malicious travel websites and fraudulent links to lure us ‘travel nuts’ away from the reputable online travel players. Their goal is to get us to their fraudulent site, install malware on our devices so they can steal our personal information, passwords and, ideally, our money!

How Many Aussies Have Been Scammed?

McAfee’s research also shows that 1 in 5 of us have either been scammed or nearly scammed when booking a holiday online with many of us (32%) signing up for a deal that turned out to be fake. And horrifyingly, 28% of holiday scam victims only realised that they had been scammed when checking-in to their holiday accommodation!! Can you imagine breaking the news to the kids? Or worse still having to pay twice for the one holiday?

Cybercriminals Also Have Favourite Holiday Hot Spots

Not only are cybercriminals capitalising on our need for a deal when booking a holiday, but they are also targeting our favourite destinations. The findings from McAfee’s research show holiday hot spots such as Thailand, India, the Philippines and the UK generate the riskiest search results when people are on the hunt for holidays online.

The top holiday destinations for Aussies that hackers are targeting via potentially malicious sites:

  1. New Delhi, India
  2. Bangkok, Thailand
  3. London, England
  4. Phuket, Thailand
  5. Manila, Philippines

Cybercriminals take advantage of the high search volumes for accommodation and deals in these popular destinations and drive unsuspecting users to their malicious websites often using professional looking links, pop-up ads and even text messages.

What You Can Do to Avoid Being Scammed

With Aussie school holiday just a few weeks away, do not despair! There are definitely steps you can take to protect yourself when booking your Winter getaway. Here are my top tips:

  1. Think Before You Click

With 25% of holiday bookings occurring through email promotions and pop-up ads, it’s essential to properly research the company behind the ads before you proceed with payment. Check out reviews and travel forums to ensure it is a legitimate online travel store. And it’s always best to use a trusted online retailer with a solid reputation even if it costs a little more.

  1. Use Wi-Fi With Caution

Using unsecured Wi-Fi is a risky business when you are travelling. If you absolutely must, ensure it is secured BUT never conduct any financial or sensitive transactions when connected. Investing in a virtual private network (VPN) such as McAfee Safe Connect is the best way to ensure that your connection is secure and your data remains private.

  1. Protect Yourself

Ensuring your device has current comprehensive security protection, like McAfee Total Protection, will ensure any malicious websites will be identified when you are browsing. It will also protect your device against malware – which could come in handy if you are tricked into visiting a fraudulent site.

So, next time you come across an amazing, bargain-basement deal to Thailand, PLEASE take the time to do your homework. Is the retailer legitimate? What do the reviews say? What are the terms and conditions? And, if it isn’t looking rosy, remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!

‘till next time

Alex xx

 

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5 Digital Risks to Help Your Teen Navigate this Summer

S’mores.
Sparklers.
Snow cones.
Sunburns.
Fireflies.

Remember when summer was simple? Before smartphones and social networks, there was less uploading and more unwinding; less commenting and more savoring. 

There’s a new summer now. It’s the social summer, and tweens and teens know it well. It’s those few months away from school where the pressure (and compulsion) to show up and show off online can double. On Instagram and Snapchat, it’s a 24/7 stream of bikinis, vacations, friend groups, and summer abs. On gaming platforms, there’s more connecting and competing. 

With more of summer playing out on social, there’s also more risk. And that’s where parents come in. 

While it’s unlikely you can get kids to ditch their devices for weeks or even days at a time this summer, it is possible to coach kids through the risks to restore some of the simplicity and safety to summer.

5 summer risks to coach kids through:

  1. Body image. Every day your child — male or female — faces a non-stop, digital tidal wave of pressure to be ‘as- beautiful’ or ‘as-perfect’ as their peers online. Summer can magnify body image issues for kids.
    What you can do: Talk with your kids about social media’s power to subtly distort body image. Help kids decipher the visual world around them — what’s real, what’s imagined, and what’s relevant. Keep an eye on your child’s moods, eating habits, and digital behaviors. Are comments or captions focused only on looks? If so, help your child expand his or her focus. Get serious about screen limits if you suspect too much scrolling is negatively impacting your child’s physical or emotional health.
  2. Gaming addiction. The risks connected with gaming can multiply in the summer months. Many gaming platforms serve as social networks that allow kids to talk, play, and connect with friends all day, every day, without ever leaving their rooms. With more summer gaming comes to the risk for addiction as well as gaming scams, inappropriate content, and bullying.
    What you can do: Don’t ignore the signs of excessive gaming, which include preoccupation with gaming, anger, irritation, lying to cover playing time, withdrawal and isolation, exchanging sleep for gaming. Be swift and take action. Set gaming ground rules specific to summer. Consider parental control software to help with time limits. Remember: Kids love to circumvent time limits at home by going to a friend’s house to play video games. Also, plan summer activities out of the house and away from devices.
  3. Cyberbullying. Making fun of others, threatening, name-calling, exclusion, and racial or gender discrimination are all serious issues online. With more time on their hands in the summer months, some kids can find new ways to torment others.
    What you can do: Listen in on (monitor) your child’s social media accounts (without commenting or liking). What is the tone of your child’s comments or the comments of others? Pay attention to your child’s moods, behaviors, and online friend groups. Note: Your child could be the target of cyberbullying or the cyberbully, so keep your digital eyes open and objective.
  4. Smartphone anxiety. Anxiety is a growing issue for teens that can compound in the summer months if left unchecked. A 2018 survey from the Pew Research Center reveals that 56 percent of teens feel anxious, lonely, or upset when they don’t have their cell phones.
    What you can do:
    Pay attention to your child’s physical and emotional health. Signs of anxiety include extreme apprehension or worry, self-doubt, sleeplessness, stomach or headache complaints, isolation, panic attacks, and excessive fear. Establish screen limits and plan phone-free outings with your child. Set aside daily one-on-one time with your child to re-connect and seek out professional help if needed.
  5. Social Conflict. More hours in the day + more social media = potential for more conflict. Digital conflict in group chats or social networks can quickly get out of hand. Being excluded, misunderstood, or criticized hurts, even more, when it plays out on a public, digital stage.
    What you can do: While conflict is a normal part of life and healthy friendships, it can spiral in the online space where fingers are quick to fire off responses. Offer your child your ears before your advice. Just listen. Hear them out and (if asked) help them brainstorm ways to work through the conflict. Offer options like responding well, not engaging, and handling a situation face-to-face. Avoid the temptation to jump in and referee or solve.

Summer doesn’t have to be stressful for kids, and the smartphone doesn’t have to win the majority of your child’s attention. With listening, monitoring, and timely coaching, parents can help kids avoid common digital risks and enjoy the ease and fun of summer. 

The post 5 Digital Risks to Help Your Teen Navigate this Summer appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Stop Discarding Devices Frequently- It’s Risky for Mother Earth as Well As Your Cybersecurity

Aunty, do you happen to have any waste paper at home? I need them for my Environment Day project,” chirped a bright little thing standing at my door early Sunday morning.

I am sure I have. What is your project this year?”

Oh! I want to emphasize on ‘Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.’ by making durable paper bags that people can pack their gifts in. It will also reduce the use of plastic.”

We need more such efforts on the part of all producers, consumers and recyclers to restore the balance on earth, which we have sadly turned into a dump yard of toxic waste that is polluting our land, water and air. The matter is serious and calls for judicious purchase and use of goods.

This Environment day, why not pledge to reduce e-waste, digital citizens?

What is e-waste?

Electronic waste or e-waste describes discarded electrical or electronic devices. Used electronics which are destined for refurbishment, reuse, resale, salvage, recycling through material recovery, or disposal are also considered e-waste.

Which means all your obsolete devices and electronic goods, that are lying around at home or been thrown away in bins, make up e-waste.

Why is there a rise in e-waste?

The volume of annual e-waste is on the rise, thanks to the desire for latest models fueled by the rise in disposable income, technological progress and cheap data rates. Gone are those thrifty days when we purchased goods to last; now we want only the smartest and latest.

Consider this: The Global E-Waste Monitor, 2017 published by the United Nations University estimated that India generates about 2 million metric tons of e-waste annually, of which almost 82% comprises of personal devices!

Why are we worried about e-waste?

We want the Earth to continue being the clean, green and beautiful planet that it is, right? But the increasing amount of e-waste is a threat to the environment. If not processed properly, it can have negative effects on pollution levels and consequently on the health of all life forms. Toxicity in soil will affect soil fertility, and hence crop production. We have already witnessed the effect of plastics and toxic fumes from incinerators on birds and animal life.

How is e-waste connected to cybersecurity?

Improper disposal of devices can also pose a security risk. If you have not taken the trouble to delete all the content and reset to factory settings, then your data, including photos may fall in wrong hands and could be misused. Before you give or throw away old devices, take care to thoroughly clean content and unsync from other devices.

How to reduce e-waste?

This is your Environment Day Mantra: Reduce. Recycle. Refurbish. Reuse.

Every time you desire to replace an electronic item, ask yourself, ‘Is it really necessary to purchase it now or can it be postponed? Am I doing it to keep up with or ahead of the Joneses? What will I do with the old product?’ Such soul-searching often leads to sane decisions that you will not regret later.

With that in mind, and the following tips handy, you can become a positive contributor to keeping the environment clean.

  1. Keep your devices in top condition: The two most common devices to be found in homes across India are the computer (or laptop) and smartphone. Replace slow batteries and keep them secured. Carry out regular scans and clean-ups and install all software updates.
  2. Protect your phone from damage: Use a screen guard and phone cases to reduce chances of breakage. Your kids can choose trendy cases that will serve two purposes: protect their phones as well as encourage them to use the devices for a longer period
  3. Battery life: Avoid overcharging the battery to extend battery life
  4. Secure your products: Use licensed security tools to remove malware and optimize performance

Some countries offer financial incentives to return old devices at designated collection centres. Perhaps we should start something like this to encourage people to recycle?

Things You Can Do This Environment Day:

Still not found a suitable project for Environment Day? Why not go on a collection drive of gaming devices and mobile phones that your neighbours have lying at home. You can then clean them and get in touch with a reputed NGO to channel these gaming devices to children’s homes, domestic help and others. Think about it.

 

Credit

https://www.greenchildmagazine.com/reduce-ewaste/

https://tcocertified.com/news/global-e-waste-reaches-record-high-says-new-un-report/

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/waste/e-waste-day-82-of-india-s-e-waste-is-personal-devices-61880

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Say So Long to Robocalls

For as long as you’ve had a phone, you’ve probably experienced in one form or another a robocall. These days it seems like they are only becoming more prevalent too. In fact, it was recently reported that robocall scams surged to 85 million globally, up 325% from 2017. While these scams vary by country, the most common type features the impersonation of legitimate organizations — like global tech companies, big banks, or the IRS — with the goal of acquiring user data and money. When a robocall hits, users need to be careful to ensure their personal information is protected.

It’s almost impossible not to feel anxious when receiving a robocall. Whether the calls are just annoying, or a cybercriminal uses the call to scam consumers out of cash or information, this scheme is a big headache for all. To combat robocalls, there has been an uptick in apps and government intervention dedicated to fighting this ever-present annoyance. Unfortunately, things don’t seem to be getting better — while some savvy users are successful at avoiding these schemes, there are still plenty of other vulnerable targets.

Falling into a cybercriminal’s robocall trap can happen for a few reasons. First off, many users don’t know that if they answer a robocall, they may trigger more as a result. That’s because, once a user answers, hackers know there is someone on the other end of the phone line and they have an incentive to keep calling. Cybercriminals also have the ability to spoof numbers, mimic voices, and provide “concrete” background information that makes them sound legitimate. Lastly, it might surprise you to learn that robocalls are actually perfectly legal. It starts to become a grey area, however, when calls come through from predatory callers who are operating on a not-so-legal basis.

While government agencies, like the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission, do their part to curb robocalls, the fight to stop robocalls is far from over, and more can always be done. Here are some proactive ways you can say so long to pesky scammers calling your phone.

  1. There’s an app for that. Consider downloading the app Robokiller that will stop robocalls before you even pick up. The app’s block list is constantly updating, so you’re protected.
  2. Let unknown calls go to voicemail. Unless you recognize the number, don’t answer your phone.
  3. Never share personal details over the phone. Unfortunately, there’s a chance that cybercriminals may have previously obtained some of your personal information from other sources to bolster their scheme. However, do not provide any further personal or financial information over the phone, like SSNs or credit card information.
  4. Register for the FCC’s “Do Not Call” list. This can help keep you protected from cybercriminals and telemarketers alike by keeping your number off of their lists.
  5. Consider a comprehensive mobile security platform. Utilize the call blocker capability feature from McAfee Mobile Security. This tool can help reduce the number of calls that come through.

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

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Have Fun in the Sun this Summer with the Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes!

The school year has come to an end, and with it comes the start of summer! For many, this time of year brings excitement and anticipation to jet-set off to their favorite destinations and spend some quality time with family. But while many are soaking up the sun or sharing fun photos online, cybercriminals also trying to target those not taking the proper precautions to protect their data.

In fact, according to recent research by McAfee, only 40% of people are concerned about their personal photos being hacked, and 3x more concerned about their Social Security number being hacked than their photos. Whether booking travel deals or sharing photos on social media, device security should be top of mind to keep information secure this summer.

Whether you’re laying by the pool or dipping your toes in the sand, we want to help you leave your cybersecurity woes behind with our Summer Safety #RT2Win sweepstakes! Two [2] lucky winners of the sweepstakes drawing will receive a $500 Amazon gift card. The best part? Entering is a breeze! Follow the instructions below to enter and good luck!

#RT2Win Sweepstakes Official Rules

  • To enter, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter and find the #RT2Win sweepstakes tweet.
  • The sweepstakes tweet will be released on Monday, June 10, 2019, at 12:00pm PST. This tweet will include the hashtags: #ProtectWhatMatters, #RT2Win AND #Sweepstakes.
  • Retweet the sweepstakes tweet released on the above date, from your own handle. The #ProtectWhatMatters, #RT2Win AND #Sweepstakes hashtags must be included in order to be entered.
  • Make sure you’re following @McAfee_Home on Twitter! You must follow for your entry to count.
  • Sweepstakes will end on Sunday, June 23, 2019 at 11:59pm PST. All entries must be made before that date and time.
  • Winners will be notified on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 via Twitter direct message.
  • Limit one entry per person.

1. How to Win:

Retweet one of our contest tweets on @McAfee_Home that include “#ProtectWhatMatters, #RT2Win, AND #Sweepstakes” for a chance to win a $500 Amazon gift card (for full prize details please see “Prizes” section below). Two [2] total winners will be selected and announced on June 25, 2019. Winners will be notified by direct message on Twitter. For full Sweepstakes details, please see the Terms and Conditions, below.

#RT2Win Sweepstakes Terms and Conditions

2. How to Enter: 

No purchase necessary. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes will be conducted from June 10, 2019 through June 23, 2019. All entries for each day of the McAfee Summer Safety Cybersecurity #RT2Win Sweepstakes must be received during the time allotted for the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes. Pacific Daylight Time shall control the McAfee Summer Safety Shopping #RT2Win Sweepstakes, duration is as follows:

  • Begins: Monday, June 10, 2019­­ at 12:00pm PST
  • Ends: Sunday, June 23, 2019 at 11:59pm PST
  • Two [2] winners will be announced: Tuesday, June 25, 2019

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

  1. Follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter.
  2. Find the sweepstakes tweet of the day posted on @McAfee_Home which will include the hashtags: #ProtectWhatMatters, #RT2Win and #Sweepstakes.
  3. Retweet the sweepstakes tweet of the day and make sure it includes the #ProtectWhatMatters, #RT2Win, and hashtags.
  4. Note: Tweets that do not contain the #ProtectWhatMatters, #RT2Win, and #Sweepstakes hashtags will not be considered for entry.
  5. Limit one entry per person.

Two [2] winners will be chosen for the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes tweet from the viable pool of entries that retweeted and included #ProtectWhatMatters, #RT2Win and #Sweepstakes. McAfee and the McAfee social team will choose winners from all the viable entries. The winners will be announced and privately messaged on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 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.

3. Eligibility: 

McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win 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 Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes begins and live in a jurisdiction where this prize and McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes 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.

4. Winner Selection:

Winners will be selected at random from all eligible retweets received during the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes drawing entry period. Sponsor will select the names of two [2] 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 Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes Rules and the decisions of the coordinators, which shall be final and binding in all respects.

5. Winner Notification: 

Each winner will be notified via direct message (“DM”) on Twitter.com by June 25, 2019. 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.

6. Prizes: 

The prize for the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes is a $500 Amazon gift card for each of the two [2] entrants/winners. Entrants agree that Sponsor has the sole right to determine the winners of the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes and all matters or disputes arising from the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win 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.

Limit one (1) prize per person/household. Prizes are non-transferable, and no cash equivalent or substitution of prize is offered. The McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes has no affiliation with Amazon.

7. 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 Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes, or by any technical or human error, which may occur in the processing of the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win 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 Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes, any prize won, any misuse or malfunction of any prize awarded, participation in any McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes -related activity, or participation in the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win 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).

8. 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 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.

9. Prize Forfeiture:

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

10. Dispute Resolution:

Entrants agree that Sponsor has the sole right to determine the winners of the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes and all matters or disputes arising from the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win 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.

11. 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 the State of New York, U.S.A.

12. Privacy Policy: 

Personal information obtained in connection with this prize McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win 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 June 10,2019 before June 23, 2019 to the address listed below, Attn: #RT2Win at Summer Safety Sweepstakes. To obtain a copy of these Official Rules, visit this link 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 © 2019 by McAfee, LLC.  All rights reserved.
  3. Sponsor: McAfee, LLC, Corporate Headquarters 2821 Mission College Blvd. Santa Clara, CA 95054 USA
  4. Administrator: LEWIS Pulse, 111 Sutter St., Suiter 850, San Francisco, CA 94104

The post Have Fun in the Sun this Summer with the Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes! appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

What You Can Do to Reduce Your E-Waste This World Environment Day

Our love of technology and often biological need for new devices has created one of the biggest environmental issues of our time – e-waste. Today is World Environment Day – a great opportunity to ensure we are doing all we can to minimise landfill and protect our precious environment.

Over the last 12 months, BYO shopping bags, paper straws and ‘truly recyclable’ takeaway coffee cups have dominated our national environmental dialogue as essential ways to minimise future landfill. But with the average Aussie family generating a whopping 73 kg per year of e-waste, it’s critical that we turn our attention to our growing e-waste crisis this World Environment Day.

What is e-Waste?

E-Waste refers to old technology that you are no longer using. It includes microwaves, computers, TVs, batteries, screens, chargers, printer cartridges and even kitchen appliances.

High amounts of non-renewable resources such as plastic and precious metals (gold, silver, platinum, nickel, zinc, copper and aluminium) are found in e-waste. So, recycling these materials to make new electronics not only makes good financial sense but it also prevents products from winding up in a landfill.

According to experts, the average Aussie household own a startling 17 devices with predictions that this will increase to 27 by 2022.  So, it’s clear that our e-waste problem needs to be tackled head-on.

How Much e-Waste Is Generated Annually?

In January, the United Nations and World Economic Forum reported that the world produces 50 million tonnes of e-waste a year – around the same mass as 125,000 jumbo jets which is more than all the commercial aircraft ever built!

But interestingly, e-waste isn’t all bad news. In 2017, the UN University estimated the value of raw materials in e-waste to be worth  $US62.5 billion annually which exceeds the GDP (gross domestic product) of 123 countries. So, the opportunities contained in effective e-waste management are not only environmental but financial as economies could be bolstered and jobs could be created.

What Can We Do to Minimise It?

There are definitely steps we can all take to reduce our e-waste. While the obvious (less popular) strategy is to STOP purchasing new electronics, focussing in recycling and repurposing will go a long way to reducing our e-waste footprint. Here are my top tips:

  1. Repair or Refresh Your Current Devices

While we all love the idea of a shiny, new device, it’s often possible to repair or rejuvenate devices to avoid spending big bucks on a new one. Most devices can usually be repaired and even enhanced with a little expert ‘know-how’. I have spent a large chunk of my parenting career repairing and rescuing smartphones that were dropped, ‘washed’ or just deemed not ‘cool enough’. But the good news, it doesn’t take much to fix these issues: screens can be replaced, faults can be rectified, and new covers can be purchased to re-energise ‘the look’. And don’t forget the power of a software upgrade to ensure your phone is operating at its peak performance. If you are an Apple user, why not book a visit to their Genius Bar and let their staff show you how to get your device working at its optimum level?

  1. Sell or Give Away Your Unwanted Electronics

One of the easiest ways to manage your unwanted electronic devices is to rehome them. Gumtree and eBay are great online marketplaces to make a bit of extra cash by selling your obsolete devices. I know my boys have taken great delight in making a few extra bucks selling old phones and iPads over the years. Many charities also welcome donations of pre-loved smartphones or laptops so they can rehome them to people in Australia and overseas who just can’t afford to purchase their own. But don’t forget to wipe the data from your devices, remove your SIM cards and ideally do a factory reset of the phone to protect your privacy.

  1. Repurpose Your Old Smartphone

Instead of throwing out your old phone, why not repurpose it? Consider using it as a standalone GPS device in your car or perhaps dedicate it to your family’s music collection? Or why not turn it into a stand-alone home security camera?  Or even a baby monitor or a Google Home speaker? The possibilities are endless

  1. Turn Your Smartphone into a Child-Friendly Entertainment Device

If your little ones are after their ‘own phone’ then why not turn your old one into a custom child-friendly device? It’s super easy to set a passcode and turn age-appropriate restrictions on. Within minutes, you can lock down the device and turn off access to anything you don’t want your child to get involved with. This includes the camera, web browser and permission to install apps. Genius!

  1. Organise Your Current Fleet Before You Buy Anything New

Before you invest in new devices, organise what you already own to make sure you really need to make that purchase. A clean-up of desks, cupboards and kitchen drawers may yield a stash of chargers, USB sticks, hard drives and even old smartphones you had forgotten about. And consider sharing gadgets and chargers between family members to avoid buying new items.

  1. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

But if you decide, it’s time to say farewell to your old devices, PLEASE recycle them properly. Many e-waste experts, including Craig Reucassel environmental champion from the ABC’s ‘War on Waste’, believe the biggest challenge to reducing e-waste is getting devices out of people’ s drawers and garages and into designated recycling stations.

But the good news is that there are a number of user-friendly recycling options available:

  1. TechCollect is a free Australia-wide e-waste recycling initiative which is funded by some of the leading tech brands with the aim of avoiding landfill. Check out their website for the closest recycling centre to you.
  2. Mobile Muster provides mobile phone recycling facilities in Australia with over 3000 drop locations. Check out your closest drop-off point on their website.
  3. Many local councils also offer recycling options for e-waste. Why not contact yours to find out your options?
  4. Consider recycling your smartphone to support your favourite charity. It is now possible to recycle your phone and benefit your favourite charity at the same time. For no cost to the consumer, the Aussie Recycling Program (ARP) will recycle your phone and donate the profits to your nominated charity. They will either sell it on, recycle it or break it down into small parts that can be sold to manufacturers.

With e-waste set to become one of the biggest environmental issues of our generation, it’s time we all took responsibility for our unloved tech goods. If you are a closet hoarder, it’s time to workshop these issues quickly. Because our failure to take action could mean our discarded devices with their toxic by-products end up in landfill potentially polluting our waterways and food supply. So, let’s make this a priority!

Alex xx

 

 

 

The post What You Can Do to Reduce Your E-Waste This World Environment Day appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

What Will You Do If You Find That Your Kids Are Sharing Their Troubles and Pains Online?

“Am I fat?”

“I am so depressed. Please help! I have been scoring less, my parents don’t understand me… my brilliant siblings treat me with disdain… my girlfriend has broken up with me….”

“Thanks! That’s why I feel a connect with you- you really get me (no one else does!) ….”

“I am closing my Facebook account for a while. I have fallen but I promise you I will rise again, like the Phoenix and will proudly stand before you once again. For now, I am going away. Please don’t try to contact me.”

“I hate you ********!”

All the above statements are variations of real ones posted on different social media platforms by adolescents. Do spare a few moments thinking about the posts- I spent days. What are your thoughts on these? How do you feel about getting a direct look into the hearts of these innocent and confused children?

It is both saddening and worrying that kids are turning to the Internet to find solutions to their problems. But what propels them to trust strangers?

Why do adolescents overshare online?

  • Embarrassing topics: The would-be adults have many doubts about adult life that they feel shy or scared to discuss with their parents
  • Emotional outbursts: Adolescence is a time for emotional upheavals and the kids find social media the best place to voice their thoughts
  • False sense of privacy: As they are not connecting one-to-one in real life, children feel more comfortable discussing and sharing personal matters with online friends
  • No fear of recrimination: This is one reason why they may not open up to adults at home
  • Peer pressure: If most of their friends are venting on social media, your kids are likely to follow suit

Help! I am losing it!

Rule No. 1 for parents- don’t get worked up. You are not alone. Most parents go through this phase. Here are some tips to help you bond better with your tweens and teens.

  • Be patient. You are the parent- always keep that in mind and don’t lose your cool. It will help you to mark your own space and earn you your child’s trust and respect
  • Be in touch with their online lives. Be proactive and stay updated on the latest in the social media world so that you can interact in them in the same wavelength
  • Monitor screentime and keep them engaged: If your child is withdrawn in real life but spends a lot of time online, you need to know why. Set internet usage limit. Remember, boredom and low self-confidence can lead a child to look for friends online, so ensure they are productively engaged offline.
  • Help them to know their personal boundaries. They need to know and respect the limits you set on sharing
  • LISTEN and listen well and only then offer your suggestions
  • Keep communication channels open. Do not let a wall build up between you
  • Be in touch with child’s friends and ensure your child has plenty of good time with them.

Tips to share with kids:

  1. Think before you lay bare your personal life online: Your blog or page isn’t your diary, for it’s not private. How would you feel if in a few years your seniors, professors or employers read this?
  2. Your online friends are strangers: Think. Do you want to share your deepest concerns or most private details with them? What if they out them? Can you handle the consequences?
  3. Share with real friends instead: Your online friends may not have any sense of loyalty towards you. Better to have one or two dependable real life ones, who you know well.
  4. Keep real identity private and maximize account security for all accounts: This is very important for your online safety. Secure your device with licensed security software and use two-factor authentication to secure accounts.
  5. Do not share passwords with anyone: Some things in life are best kept confined to self- including your passwords. Do not give remote access to your screen to online friends either.

Your parents are always there for you

This is what you need to impress upon your tweens and teens: Even though you may feel we do not understand, we do, for we were of your age once. We understand what you are going through. We may set rules that seem tough or discipline you when needed but that doesn’t mean we do not love you. We do what we think is best for you. And we are always there for you.

Before signing off, let me remind you of our cybersafety mantra that you need to repeat often at home: STOP. THINK. SHARE.

Happy parenting!

The post What Will You Do If You Find That Your Kids Are Sharing Their Troubles and Pains Online? appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

3 Things You Need to Know About Summer Cybersecurity

summer screen time

The summer season is quickly approaching. Users will take to the skies, roads, and oceans to travel throughout the world for a fun family adventure. But just because users take time off doesn’t mean that their security should. So, with the season’s arrival, we decided to conduct a survey so to better understand users’ cybersecurity needs, as well as help them leave their cybersecurity woes behind while having some fun in the sun. That’s why we asked our users what they are most concerned about during the summer, so we can help them protect what really matters. Let’s see what they had to say.

Sharing the Fun

When it comes to vacations, we’re constantly taking and sharing snaps of amazing memories. What we don’t plan on sharing is the metadata embedded in each photo that can give away more than we intended. In fact, from our research we found that people are 3x more likely to be concerned about their Social Security number being hacked than their photos. Given the risk a compromised SSN poses for the potential of identity theft, it’s no surprise that respondents were more concerned about it. However, to keep the summer fun secure, it’s also important to keep travel photos private and only share securely.

Flying Safely and Securely

From a young age, we have been taught to keep our Social Security number close to the chest, and this is evident in how we protect SSNs. As a matter of fact, 88% of people would be seriously worried if their Social Security number was hacked. The best way to keep a Social Security number secure this summer – don’t share it when purchasing plane tickets or managing travel reservations. All you need to provide is a credit card and passport.

Making Smartphone Security #1  

While on the go, travelers are often keenly aware of how exposed they are physically when carrying around credit cards, passports, suitcases, gadgets and more. However, they also need to think about securing their digital life, particularly their handheld devices. To keep personal photos protected while traveling this summer season, smartphone security must be a top priority. With nearly 40% of respondents concerned about sensitive personal photos being hacked, jet setters need to be proactive about security, not reactive. In fact, we’re reminded of just how important this fact is as we enter the month of June, Internet Safety Month. Just like your laptop or router, it’s vital to protect the personal data stored within a smartphone.

In order to help you stay secure this season, let’s put your travel security knowledge to the test.

Note: There is a widget embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's widget.

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Privacy Awareness Week 2019 – Are You In The Dark About Your Online Privacy?

If you haven’t given your online privacy much attention lately then things need to change. In our era of weekly data breaches, the ‘I’ve got nothing to hide’ excuse no longer cuts it. In my opinion, ensuring your privacy is protected online is probably more important than protecting your home and car! A sloppy approach to online privacy can have devastating ramifications to your financial health, your career and even your physical wellbeing.

This week is Privacy Awareness Week in Australia – a great reminder to give our online privacy a ‘check-up’ and work out what we can do to ensure the information we share online (and who sees it) is locked down.

What Do We Need to Protect?

When we think about online privacy, we often think about protecting our password and financial data online. But it’s a little more complicated. There are 2 categories of information that we share in our online life that requires protection.

  1. Personally Identifying Information (PII) – this includes our name, birthdate, address and Medicare number
  2. Non-Personally Identifying Information – this includes the information about what we do online. It’s a combination of the websites we visit, what we buy online, our online searches and the pages we like on our social media profiles. Our online activity creates a digital folder about ourselves and many companies just love this data so they can send targeted ads your way. Ever wondered why you receive ads about holiday destinations after a few wishful holiday Google searches?

Without adequate online privacy, all the information about our online activities can be collected and analysed by third parties. In fact, data collected (legally) about you by websites can be very lucrative! Companies, known as data brokers, collect and maintain data on millions on people and charge handsomely for their services!

Why Do I Need To Worry About My Online Privacy?

Just think for a moment about some of the information that is stored about you online…

  • Your PII is stored in the background of probably every online account you have including social media, news and banking
  • Your online banking and superannuation sites contain details of all your accounts and your net worth
  • Your health and taxation records maybe accessible online which may contain sensitive information you would prefer not to be shared
  • If you haven’t disabled location services on your phone, your whereabouts can be tracked by clever parties on a daily basis
  • Your pictures and videos

While some of this information is stored without your control, there are steps you can take to tighten up access.

Now, think about your daily online activity…

  • Anything you order online via your web browser can be recorded
  • Anytime you send an email with sensitive information, there is a risk this will also be shared
  • Anytime you pay on the go using a facility like Apple Pay, your purchase will be tracked
  • Anything you search for, the articles you read, the movie tickets you buy and even your weekly online grocery order can be tracked

If this comes as a shock to you then you’re not alone. Many Aussies have been in the dark about what information is available about them online. But, don’t throw the towel in – there are strategies to tighten up your online privacy.

How To Get Your Online Privacy Under Control

There are a few simple steps you can take to lock down your valuable online information. So, make yourself a nice cuppa and let’s get to work:

  1. Manage Your Passwords

Your online passwords are as important as your house keys. In fact, in many cases, it is the only thing stopping cybercriminals from accessing our vital information that we have saved online. So, if you want to tighten up access to your online banking, your social media platforms and your favourite online shopping sites then you need to think carefully about how you manage your passwords.

Passwords need to be complex and unique with at least 8-10 characters and a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. And each of your online accounts should have a separate password which should be changed regularly. Too hard? Consider a Password Manager which creates and manages complex passwords for each of your online accounts – a complete no brainer!! McAfee’s Total Protection software includes a Password Manager which stores, auto-fills and generates unique passwords for all your online accounts. All you need to do is remember one master password! Easy!

And don’t forget, if one of your online accounts is affected by a data breach, then you need to change that password ASAP. If you have a password manager, simply have it generate another password for you.

  1. Use Public Wi-Fi With Caution

If you are serious about your online privacy then you need to use public Wi-Fi sparingly. Unsecured public Wi-Fi is a very risky business. Anything you share could easily find its way into the hands of cybercriminals. So, please avoid sharing any sensitive or personal information while using public Wi-Fi. If you travel regularly or spend the bulk of your time on the road then consider investing in a VPN. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) encrypts your activity which means your login details and other sensitive information is protected. McAfee has a great VPN product called Safe Connect. An excellent insurance policy!

  1. Use 2-Factor Authentication

Adding an additional layer of security to protect yourself when accessing your online accounts is another great way of guarding your online privacy. Turn on two-factor authentication for Google, Dropbox, Facebook and whatever other site offers it. For those new to this option, this means that in addition to your password, you will need to provide another form of identification to ensure you are who you say you are. Most commonly, this is a code sent to your mobile phone or generated by a smart phone app.

  1. Keep Your Software Updated

Software updates and patches are often designed to address a security vulnerability so ALWAYS install them so the bad guys can’t take advantage of security hole in your system. If it all becomes to hard, why not automate the updates?

  1. Invest in Security Software for ALL Your Devices

Installing comprehensive security software on all your devices including laptops, tablets and smartphones adds another layer of protection to your vital online information. Check out McAfee’s Total Protection software that will ensure you and your devices are protected against viruses, malware spyware and ransomware.

  1. Consider a Search Engine that Doesn’t Track Your Every Move Online

If you would prefer that your search engines didn’t collect and store the information you enter then consider an alternative ‘privacy focussed’ search engine. Check out DuckDuckGo that doesn’t profile users or track or sell your information to third parties.

  1. Delete All Cookies

Cookies are another way your online activity can be tracked. While some are harmless and used to simply remember things about you such as your login information and language, others known as  tracking cookies remain permanently constantly gathering information about your behaviour and what you click on. So, let’s get rid of them! Head into your web browser’s Privacy settings and clean them out.

So, let’s get our online privacy under control this Privacy Awareness Week. But don’t forget about your kids and elderly relatives too! Proactively managing one’s online privacy needs to be a priority for everyone. Why not start a conversation at the dinner table? Perhaps give the family a daily privacy related task every day during Privacy Awareness Week? For example:

Monday – Clean up your passwords or set up a Password Manager

Tuesday –  Research a VPN

Wednesday – Set up 2 factor authentication

Thursday – Ensure all your software is up to date and set up auto-updates where possible

Friday – Research privacy focussed search engines and delete all cookies

Over to you mums and dads. Would love to hear how you go.

Alex xx

 

 

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On Mother’s Day, Show Your Love for Your Mom by Introducing Her to Helpful Apps

A mobile chat with my mother usually goes off like this:

Hello! Can you hear me! I am very busy so can’t talk much! I have a question.”

“Umm OK but is your speaker on? Can you please speak a little softly?”

Yes, yes, OK… I know how to operate smartphones. Still smarter than a lot of you! Don’t waste my time; I need to go to the dentist so please book a cab for me.”

Despite pushing 80, my mom has a strong competitive spirit and has taught herself how to operate a smartphone, sign up on social media and listen to music. I have often been ticked off for not being considerate enough to read and like her posts!

The man-phone tussle senior citizens experience

As I drove to her place, I thought about her and all other Moms who are past their middle age. They must be struggling to come to terms with technological progress. It must be so difficult for them- from having the whole neighbourhood dropping in to watch Doordarshan on their new shiny black-and-white TV set to streaming the latest movies on their personal devices! From typing out letters on typewriters to emails on computers- they have a lot on their plate to adjust to.

It occurred to me that I need to help out more and not assume she can pick up the rest herself. I needed to show Mom how she can use her phone for booking cabs, ordering her meds, buying grocery and so on; it would be of immense help to her. She would feel tech-savvy and happy not to be dependent on others. Not wishing to waste a single moment, I made a date with her and took her out to lunch. Over lunch and a leisurely conversation, I introduced her to the several ways apps can make life easier for her.

Mother’s Day Idea

Why not try this idea out on Mother’s Day? Take your Mom out for a picnic or a movie-and-meal; sit, chat and regale each other with your childhood stories- the stories she probably likes the best? Give her your undivided attention- and this may mean keeping your own phone on silent- and instead show her what all she can do with hers?

Apps can indeed make life easier

  • Online grocery- these are really helpful as she can decide and buy and have everything delivered home.
  • Recipe Apps- she is growing old and it will become progressively tougher for her to remember all the recipes and ingredients. You can download apps of her choice of cooking and show her how to navigate through the site. I have one on my mobile that gives me a new salad recipe everyday! Life is so easy, and oh so happily healthy
  • Apps to keep track of doctor’s visits- Many hospitals too have apps that keep records of visits, tests etc. Download if her clinic offers an app service
  • Apps to book cabs: Remember to add your name and that of other family members, so that you receive intimation when she travels
  • Calendar app: Show her how to save birthdays, anniversaries, appointments and reminders so that she is free of the onerous task of remembering petty details
  • e-wallets – She will be able to place orders online without being worried about credit card fraud. That would be very helpful for her
  • e-reader app- If she loves reading, she will bless you for an app that will bring the library into her hands

There are many, many more. Take your pick as per your mom’s interest.

This will be akin to killing three birds with one stone:

  • Make her tech-savvy – Smartphones confuse older generations, with new models offering yet newer features and functionalities. Spend time with your Mom and take her through the new features. Take this opportunity to install mobile security if you already have not.
  • Add a zing to her life- you will have the pleasure of knowing you have somewhat helped to make her life more interesting and engaging, now that she has more free time on hand.
  • Quality bonding time- The more personal attention you give her, the happier she will be- for that’s all she wants from you, your time.

Being an experienced digital user, you know well that not all apps are genuine or safe. Make it a point to download apps only from a verified source, even if you have to pay for it.

Let me sign off with a cybersafety tip – Activate a password manager, like the trusted TrueKey from McAfee, that will remember her passwords and keep them safe for her.

Tip for you: TrueKey is included in McAfee Total Protection and McAfee LiveSafe. One product can cover several devices and so you can use yours to cover your Mom’s phone too. That way you can renew protection without troubling her with these nitty-gritties.

Happy Mother’s Day to all beautiful moms out there! You ladies are superwomen!

The post On Mother’s Day, Show Your Love for Your Mom by Introducing Her to Helpful Apps appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

What is Phishing? Find Out with Gary Davis on the Latest Episode of Tech Nation

Gary Davis is now a regular contributor on the Tech Nation podcast!  In this episode, Gary Davis educates that phishing is more than just an innocent-looking email in your inbox and shares tips to avoid getting hooked.

Moira Gunn:   00:00   I’m Moira Gunn, you’re listening to Tech Nation.

Moira Gunn:   00:06   I was surprised to learn that on the internet nearly three quarters of all cyber attacks start with what’s calling a phishing email, or should we say, a fishy email. I was able to speak with regular Tech Nation contributor Gary Davis, the Chief Consumer Security Evangelist at McAfee.

Moira Gunn:   00:26   Now we always hear about phishing.

Gary Davis:     00:27   Yeah.

Moira Gunn:   00:28   It’s P-H-I-S-H-I-N-G.

Gary Davis:     00:31   Yes.

Moira Gunn:   00:32   Phishing.

Gary Davis:     00:33   Phishing with a “p”

Moira Gunn:   00:34   Not like “gone fishing”.

Gary Davis:     00:35   It’s not like gone fishing, but it’s very similar. If you think about how we fish, we put the … The concept is, let’s put a lot of lines in the water and see if we can snag a fish, right?

Moira Gunn:   00:45   Yeah.

Gary Davis:     00:45   So, it’s conceptually fishing, but it’s a different type of fishing.

Moira Gunn:   00:49   It’s phishing for you.

Gary Davis:     00:50   Yes. It’s phishing for the bad guys.

Moira Gunn:   00:52   71% of all cyber attacks start with a phishing email?

Gary Davis:     00:56   Yeah. Yeah. You know, phishing preys on, uh, our nature to, to act on email, right? We get an email, um, and, and quite honestly for, for your listeners, the, where phishing is usually most effective, targeting organizations in particular, is sending something to HR. HR is expecting to get resumes for candidates who are applying for jobs, right? More often than not, those include some sorta malicious payload which will allow them to get behind your firewall, then do something malicious in your company.

Gary Davis:     01:32   So, that’s one of the more popular techniques for, for accessing and trying to get inside a company, but yeah it just, phishing, 71% because, they know what works. They know that, that, that if they write it well enough and it looks like it’s from somebody you know and trust, that you’re gonna do the action they’re looking for, which is gonna la- enable them to get access to the information they’re trying to get access to.

Moira Gunn:   01:56   And, the initial thing they may have asked you for may not seem all that big, like, “Give us all your money,” or-

Gary Davis:     02:03   Yeah.

Moira Gunn:   02:03   “Give us all your passwords,” or, “Give us all your account,” or, “Just click here and we can resolve a fairly benign situation.”

Gary Davis:     02:11   Yeah.

Moira Gunn:   02:11   “Like we need to update the, the month and data on your credit card,” ’cause that frequently happens.

Gary Davis:     02:17   Yeah, yeah.

Moira Gunn:   02:18   You know, that your, your, your, you get a new credit card after a few years, it’s the same everything, it’s just the month and date ab- I was like, “Oh yeah. I guess so, I guess we need to … ”

Gary Davis:     02:26   Yeah.

Moira Gunn:   02:28   And it’s accounting, it’s accounting, from this global firm.

Gary Davis:     02:29   Yeah.

Moira Gunn:   02:31   You know, emailing me and saying you need to update it.

Gary Davis:     02:32   It happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I w- I was in Greece, and I was, went to the, I was staying in the Hilton there, and, you know, the, even though I’d paid using points, they said, “Well, we need a credit card for incidentals.” And they had my credit card on file. Well, typically I’m using a different credit card for, ’cause it’s usually company related, and since I was using points, I was putting it on my personal card. And, and after a little while, they call me, “Hey, look your credit card’s not working.” What do you mean it’s not working?

Gary Davis:     02:59   And, come to find out after I called my bank, it, it’d been such a long time since I accessed the application. You’re right, I got a new credit card, new, uh, expiration date, and I hadn’t updated it. But you’re right, it would be very benign to get, “Oh yeah, I do use that service, um, I should go and change it.” But that’s where d- you, this is where we, we need to change our behaviors, because instead of clicking on that email and just blindly following wherever it leads me, if I was to think, “Well geez, I need to go change my, um, my, my expiration date for Hilton.” I went to my Hilton app, opened that up and changed it in there, instead of trying to follow a link.

Moira Gunn:   03:37   So, they come at you and it’s valid, you have, what you do is you go around the other way-

Gary Davis:     03:43   Exactly.

Moira Gunn:   03:43   Have your own access, in the old days you’d say, “I’m gonna go and see the lady at the bank.”

Gary Davis:     03:46   (laughs)

Moira Gunn:   03:48   “Or the gentleman at the bank.” And now it’s like, no no, don’t go through what informs you-

Gary Davis:     03:53   Exactly.

Moira Gunn:   03:54   Whatever you do.

Gary Davis:     03:55   You think about it, e- every month we get a statement from our bank, right? And I get one from my bank, and, and I am 99.9% sure that that’s a good email. But I have trained myself not to click on that email. Instead I’ll go to my, I’ll login into my bank account, and I’ll look at my account there, because I just, I’ve conditioned myself not to click on links and email. Even if you think it’s from a known good source, because you just never know, that the bad guys are getting so good, it’s what’s called “spoofing”, where you think it’s coming from an organization but they, they’ve changed something ever so slightly that you’re going to someplace you shouldn’t be going.

Gary Davis:     04:33   So, if, if you can just teach yourself or train yourself, when you, when you get an email and you think it’s legitimate and you’re expecting it, and it’s from somebody you’d expect to get a notification from, instead of acting on the email, go directly to the source and interact that way. It’s gonna save you potentially a lot of heartache.

Moira Gunn:   04:51   And to make matters even worse, there’s different kinds of phishing.

Gary Davis:     04:54   Yeah.

Moira Gunn:   04:55   Spear phishing, whale phishing, all have-

Gary Davis:     04:58   Smishing.

Moira Gunn:   04:58   Shmishing.

Gary Davis:     04:58   (laughs)

Moira Gunn:   05:00   Oh my goodness. Okay, let’s go down through them in any order you would like.

Gary Davis:     05:03   Right. Well, well smishing is probably the most, well regular phishing is, is, is simple as sending a bunch of emails out en masse, hoping that somebody’s gonna, you know, take your bait. Um, smishing is actually when they’ll send it to your phone via an SMS or text message. So, imagine getting some sort of account information to your phone, which is not that unlikely. I, almost every place I go now-

Moira Gunn:   05:25   Your, your bill is due.

Gary Davis:     05:26   Yeah, yeah. You click here to pay. “Oh okay, I’m gonna click on it ’cause I, I’m expecting it.” So, getting it on your phone, that’s called smishing. Uh, spear phishing is where you actually do what’s called social engineering, or you try to collect information about a particular group of people, and then use it to target that group.

Gary Davis:     05:44   You know, a good example is, a couple of years ago the, um, I think it was, uh, one of the NBA teams, they had gotten an email from the owner saying, “Oh, send me your user name and password because we got this special thing we wanna do for you.” Well, so they, “Of course, it’s from our owner, it’s got our logo on it.” And we go ahead and send my user name, password, which of course opened up the, the-

Moira Gunn:   06:06   (laughs)

Gary Davis:     06:06   Door, having everybody going doing whatever they want so, but they used a combination of, you know, you know, techniques that use the imagery and the tone and the social engineer- socially engineered information about the players and organization, to go do something like that.

Gary Davis:     06:24   Another, a subset of spear phishing, it’s called whale phishing, and that’s where you, you tend to focus on a high net worth individual, let’s say the CEO or some high level executive in a company using other techniques. So you, let’s say that, you know, that, that they know that the CEO is on vacation, so they, they send an email, spoof the CFO to somebody else in the organization saying, “Well the CEO told me to do this.” So all these mechanics work using high net worth individuals to go do malicious deeds.

Gary Davis:     06:57   Then there’s other types of, of phishing. There’s search engine phishing, where you would basically put up a, a, a fake search site, in order to direct people to your own search results which would in turn take you to fraudulent pages. So there, there are a variety of different techniques around phishing, all of which has the intent of trying to extract information from you, do something that you wouldn’t otherwise do, and/or in a lot of cases they’re trying to install malware on your device of, of some type.

Moira Gunn:   07:30   Now, in all those cases, I guess you could say what we might call the bleeding heart phishing, that’s out there.

Gary Davis:     07:36   It, it happens more than you might know. Whenever there is a, a major event, let’s say there’s a natural disaster, a, um, you know, we saw a lot of traffic around the Boeing Max Eight, when you had those two crashes and there was a lot of pouring out to help those in need, then they would create these fake sites and to lure people and to give them money. Um, that’s another great example.

Gary Davis:     07:59   Big sporting events, the Super Bowl, the World Cup, all these big sporting events see, um, NCAA tournament, all these events, you know, po- everybody knows, or the, the bad guys know that there’s gonna be a lot of attention given to these, so they’re gonna try to leverage those in order to try to get you to do something you wouldn’t wise- you wouldn’t otherwise do.

Gary Davis:     08:20   But that’s a great point, that you almost always try to tie it to something that’s gonna be on your mind, some sort of pop culture reference, that wouldn’t, that wouldn’t, that would motivate you to go do something. And, it’s just, it’s too bad because, you know, people typically are, are engaging with these because they feel like they genuinely wanna help. And then to know that you’re taking of that, our, our good will, I just, uh, it’s just-

Moira Gunn:   08:46   And it’s perfect because you don’t expect anything back.

Gary Davis:     08:48   Yeah. Yeah.

Moira Gunn:   08:48   It’s not like I bought something, where is it? It’s like-

Gary Davis:     08:52   Exactly. Well, in some cases for example, you may have thought, “Well I’m gonna buy tickets to the game,” or the, whatever, where, when you don’t get the tickets that would be, an, a case where that wasn’t true, but you’re right. When it comes to good will, natural disasters, you know, just relief for things that have gone on in the world, you’re right, you’re not expecting anything in return except the, the, the knowledge that you did something good, and that just, it breaks my heart when I hear about things like that.

Moira Gunn:   09:16   You know, this result pre internet, people have been doing this for a long, long, long time.

Gary Davis:     09:21   Yeah. Yeah. Although, the internet has made it very automatic now. I guess the point is the, the barrier to entry to do this has been dramatically reduced, because it’s, it’s, it doesn’t take that much effort to dupe somebody into giving you money that, that, sh- you sh- shouldn’t otherwise be getting.

Moira Gunn:   09:40   And phishing per se isn’t illegal. It’s when you take money for fraudulent ends, that’s when we get into what’s legal and illegal, right?

Gary Davis:     09:48   Well, but by nature phishing it, you’re, you’re trying to access information that you shouldn’t have access to. So I think it’s, it’s, it’s probably out, call it legally gray, but right, and it’s not until you actually give your credit card to a fraudster and something bad happens that, that you-

Moira Gunn:   10:04   When the bad happens-

Gary Davis:     10:05   Yeah.

Moira Gunn:   10:06   They’ve crossed the line.

Gary Davis:     10:07   Yeah. Then they’ll act on it. I, I remember when my identity was stolen way back in the day, um, I remember the, the, the guy who did it lived up in Pennsylvania someplace. And the way it worked back then is, they would, they got a $20,000 credit card, ringing up $18,000 over the course of two days-

Moira Gunn:   10:26   Wow.

Gary Davis:     10:26   And then the bank decided, “Well, we should go check to make sure that this guy is legit.” And, and what they’d used to do, is they would go to electronic goods stores like Best Buy, and they would buy $18,000 worth of electronic goods, then take it to a different Best Buy for cash back. So that’s how they would cash out the, the value of the credit card, knowing that it had a limited life.

Gary Davis:     10:45   And, I remember I, I got a call once, it was from the, the police department in Pennsylvania saying, “We caught the guy, you know, trying to return your goods.” Or, “The goods he bought with your credit card at a Best Buy.”

Moira Gunn:   10:58   (laughs)

Gary Davis:     10:58   And, and, they, and I said, you know, to go, go get the guy. It’s not, it’s just too much work. So, there, there, it’s really hard to motivate law enforcement, ’cause they got other things they gotta focus on. They’ve got, you know, all these other, y- you know, bad criminals doing, you know, physical harm to, to whomever. That, that they…

Moira Gunn:   11:16   And, and much higher ticket items too.

Gary Davis:     11:18   Yeah.

Moira Gunn:   11:19   You know, when they were looking at it, they might have only been looking at five or $600.

Gary Davis:     11:22   Yeah.

Moira Gunn:   11:22   Because they had to go to a lot of Best Buy’s, buy a lot of stuff-

Gary Davis:     11:26   Yeah.

Moira Gunn:   11:26   Return a lot of stuff, going back and forth, it all is pretty small-

Gary Davis:     11:30   Yeah. Exactly.

Moira Gunn:   11:30   In comparison.

Gary Davis:     11:31   Yeah. It’s, ’cause it, the, the identity thief knew not to try to in- to, to return all to one Best Buy, ’cause then that would be a, even a bigger red flag. But you’re right, if I’m a, if I’m loca- local law enforcement, “Eh, it’s just a couple hundred dollars, well I got, you know, drug dealers I gotta go break up, and bad, other bad things. So I’m gonna go focus on that, and really not focus,” so it’s just, it but, you, that doesn’t make you feel like you’re less of a victim.

Gary Davis:     11:55   Nobody wants to be a victim of scam or identity theft. Nobody ever wants to be a victim. We, we, we empathize with victims, ’cause we can put ourselves in their shoes, and it, and that’s unfortunately one of the challenges in our space is, I think a lot of the reasons why people aren’t better about things like password hygiene and, you know, checking their credit history and stuff like that, is because, well they don’t think it’s gonna happen to them, they think it’s gonna happen to somebody else. And because of that, that can be a little bit more relaxing in what I do.

Moira Gunn:   12:24   And it’s not just, uh, your hygiene, you may not be able to prevent it. I was, I stopped off an interstate and bought a couple of things, uh, ah, and gassed up at a little place, but it wasn’t the, one of the really big ones. Just happened to go in there, it was convenient there.

Gary Davis:     12:41   Yeah.

Moira Gunn:   12:41   And we were kind of in the middle of nowhere. And, for some reason, it didn’t take, put this, put this in again. So I put it in again. So, I thought, “Oh they’re probably gonna double charge me.”

Gary Davis:     12:51   Yeah.

Moira Gunn:   12:52   They didn’t double charge me, they took the card and then here I was in Northern California, and within just a few hours, someone in a, in another gas station in San Antonio, Texas, bought $115 worth of towels, shop towels, (laughs) just-

Gary Davis:     13:13   (laughs)

Moira Gunn:   13:13   Windshield wiper stuff, I mean there was just like, “doo doo doo doo doo… [counting up]

Gary Davis:     13:15   Yeah.

Moira Gunn:   13:16   So, $115 worth of that. I don’t know how I could have stopped that.

Gary Davis:     13:21   Uh, you, you can’t. That’s just it. That they’re, part of this is, y- y- we, we can do all we can do to not be a victim online, but I think a big part of the, the educational process is knowing what to do. You know, in that case, knowing to reach out to our credit card immediately and, and stopping any other transactions and, and going through the process. You’re right. There are things like that, that was probably a skimmer, that probably when they scanned it twice, they probably scanned it once for the gas that you actually bought, and there where, you know, you didn’t see it probably going through a different, um, reader.

Moira Gunn:   13:49   And I actually put it in myself.

Gary Davis:     13:50   Oh really? Okay.

Moira Gunn:   13:52   Put it in, take it out, put it in, take it out.

Gary Davis:     13:53   Hmm.

Moira Gunn:   13:53   Yeah.

Gary Davis:     13:56   You’re right.

Moira Gunn:   13:58   They’re always one step ahead.

Gary Davis:     13:59   Well, the, you know, it, it’s, they’re in it to make money, right? It’s a for profit business for lack of a better word. So, they’re always gonna be trying to figure out more effective ways to dupe people into, to, either dupe people or just take advantage of people without their knowledge, and, and do it for as long as they can.

Gary Davis:     14:15   Imagine if you didn’t quickly catch the fact that you were getting charged for stuff in San Antonio, and it went on for a week or so.

Moira Gunn:   14:21   Yeah.

Gary Davis:     14:21   They would just keep on charging, charging, charging, until, you know, either-

Moira Gunn:   14:25   It said no. (laughs)

Gary Davis:     14:26   Yeah. Well, or, or hopefully your bank would it, would realize, “Well hold on, you just used your card in Northern California,” which you would expect, and now that same card is being used to buy something in San Antonio, that, that would, you would think that your, your bank will-

Moira Gunn:   14:39   She travels fast.

Gary Davis:     14:42   (laughs)

Gary Davis:     14:42   Oh yeah.

Moira Gunn:   14:43   But not that fast.

Gary Davis:     14:43   That’s, that’s-

Moira Gunn:   14:43   There you go.

Gary Davis:     14:43   The hypersonic speed for sure.

Moira Gunn:   14:45   Hypersonic. Gary, always a pleasure. Please come back. See you soon.

Gary Davis:     14:49   I’ll do that. Thanks for having me.

Moira Gunn:   14:50   Tech Nation regular contributor Gary Davis is the Chief Consumer Security Evangelist at McAfee, the website where you can check if your email plus password has been compromised is, have I, that’s the letter I, beenpwned.com. With pawned spelled without an A. That’s P-W-N-E-D. So, it’s haveibeenpwned.com, with pawned spelled P-W-N-E-D. And that link will be on the Tech Nation website also.

Moira Gunn:   15:26   Of course when Gary said it during our conversation, he said, “haveibeenpwned.com.” And yes that’s true. Gary is from Texas, and that’s part of his charm.

Moira Gunn:   15:39   For Tech Nation, I’m Moira Gunn.

The post What is Phishing? Find Out with Gary Davis on the Latest Episode of Tech Nation appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

It’s World Password Day – the Perfect Excuse to give your Passwords an Overhaul!

How much of your personal data is stored online? Well, if you are anything like the ‘average Jo’ – the answer is a lot! In 2019, the vast majority of us bank and shop online, have official documentation stored online, have all sorts of personal information stored in our emails and let’s not forget about our photos and videos.

And the scary thing – the only thing that is stopping cybercriminals from accessing our vital information that is saved online is our passwords.

Today is World Password Day – a perfect opportunity to give our password strategy a health check.  Because if we are serious about protecting our vital data that is stored online then we need to get SUPER serious about managing our passwords!

So, let’s give your passwords an overhaul. Why not schedule some time in your calendar to ensure your passwords are in the best shape? Here are my top tips on what you can do today to ensure you are doing all you can to protect your private online data.

How To Give Your Passwords A Health Check:

1. Check To See Whether Your Passwords Have Been Exposed

The first step is to see whether your passwords have been compromised in a data breach. Check out  www.haveibeenpwned.com.au to see whether cybercriminals have already discovered your passwords. If so, then they need to be changed wherever they are used ASAP.

2. Commit to Not Using Common Passwords

Using common passwords such as ‘password’, ‘123456’ or ‘qwerty’ is quite frankly, a waste of time. It would take cybercriminals a matter of seconds to unlock your online banking data. Also avoid using simple personal details within your passwords such as your birthday, name or kids and pet names as a quick scan of your social media accounts would allow cybercriminals to find this in just seconds. Always make your passwords random and obscure. Why not consider a nonsensical sentence?

3. Add Numbers and Symbols to Your Passwords

When you are setting up a new online account, many organisations will require you to add a number or symbol to your proposed password to give it additional ‘password strength’. Passwords that include a variety of capital and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols are far harder to crack so get creative and layer up your passwords.

4. Ensure Every Password Is Unique

Many people use the same password across all of their online accounts. And while this makes life easier, it increases your risk of your vital online data being compromised big time. Remember, if a hacker discovers just one of your passwords – and it’s the only one you use – all of your online personal information is at risk! Therefore, it is crucial to ensure all your passwords are different! I know, it sounds like a lot of work and brain power!

5. Simplify Your Life with a Password Manager

If the idea of creating individual complex passwords for each of your online accounts – oh, and changing them every 2 months, is giving you palpitations, then I have a solution – a password manager!

McAfee’s Total Protection includes Password Manager, which stores, auto-fills and even generates unique passwords. Creating and remembering (!) complex password for each online account is taken care off. All you need to do is remember one master password in order to access the rest of the passwords! And if there is a data breach, it’s super easy to quickly change a password too.

6. Set up Two-Factor Authentication Where Possible

If you have the option to enable two-factor or multi-factor authentication with any of your online accounts, then do it!! In simple terms, this will mean that you need to provide more than one way of identifying yourself before gaining access to your account. Often it is your password plus a code sent to your smartphone or even your fingerprint. It’s an absolute no-brainer as it adds another layer of security making it harder to cybercriminals to access your vital online data.

Now, if you are thinking about skipping out of your password overhaul, then please think again! Passwords are the first line of defence to protect your vital online data from cybercriminals. So, put the kettle on and make today the day!

Till next time!

Alex xx

 

The post It’s World Password Day – the Perfect Excuse to give your Passwords an Overhaul! appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Here’s a Codicil to Add to Your Will – Disposal of Your Digital Assets

Codicil to Add to your Will – Disposal of Your Digital Assets

We were still in shock over the sudden demise of a dear family friend. But the bereaved family had no time for grieving. The gentleman had not left any will and no one had any clear idea about his financial and physical assets. The family was running from pillar to post, trying to sort out the mess.

Tomorrow, you and I will go meet our lawyer and find out how to draw up our will. I want us to leave everything in order, with specific instructions, so that there are no complications for the kids later,” announced my spouse one fine morning.

I readily agreed; however, I had a question.

OK, but what about our digital assets?”

The spouse looked confused and so I continued, “Shouldn’t we also make arrangements for how we want our digital assets to be handled post our decease?”

Most of us in the age group of 40-60 years are active in the digital world in a big way, with multiple online accounts- from social media, banking, travel booking, trading, e-mail, e-transaction to blogs, e-wallets and home service. We share personal photos and videos online. We also deal with virtual currency, the records of which are stored online. The sum of all this digital data is loosely termed as our digital asset.

You may wonder what’s the big deal about a will for digital assets as some may not even have any monetary value. Well, it will help in identifying your legal successor who can take decisions about your online accounts. Otherwise, your beneficiaries will have to run around searching for passwords, filling up forms, submitting requests at various places and so on. Secondly, your families need to know about any outstanding bills you may have received via email or credit card program, or financial payments due to you.
A will outlining usernames and passwords for all accounts and detailing what you want to be done with your digital asset will make it easier for your beneficiaries to take the right actions. Also, it will allow your family to continue receiving the payments from your online investments, or even payment from your blog site!

Prepare ahead

You can take any of these three steps:

a- Explain to your family about all your online accounts and passwords

b- Write down all details in a diary and keep it where it can be easily found

c- Create a will outlining your wishes and specifications regarding your digital assets

The first two options call for sharing passwords beforehand, something that you may not be comfortable with. So, the  third option is the best available. Go for it and your dear ones will bless you for your foresight.

Be proactive about your online presence

  • There may be content on your accounts you would not want others to see- We may create or download content that we would like to keep private. The best thing to do is to regularly sanitize accounts and delete what you don’t want others to see.
  • Inactive accounts and profiles are much in demand– cyber criminals want access to inactive accounts to create false IDs and fake profiles. They can also create problems for friends and families of the users.

While most of our generation limits themselves to a handful of social media accounts, below are a few handy guidelines to securing key social media accounts –

Facebook

The social media giant allows you to appoint a legal heir who can either opt to memorialize the account or delete it permanently. They will not offer login information to the family though.

Instagram

Just like Facebook, Instagram too offers the option of either getting an account deleted or memorialized, after they receive a valid request. They also pledge to take measures to protect the privacy of the deceased person by securing the account.

YouTube

YouTube does not yet offer any facility for preserving or deleting content created by users. In fact, it regularly deletes inactive or dead accounts, which is quite understandable, given the huge volumes of uploads per minute.

Twitter

It allows legal successors to place request for deactivation of the account. They will guide you through the process, which is similar to that of Facebook and Instagram.

LinkedIn

The legal successors/family members need to approach them with certain information and fill out a form shared on their site. They will then close the account and remove the profile.

Google

Sign into Google -> My Account -> Personal Info & Privacy -> Inactive Account Manager -> setup. Then add up to 10 trusted people who will be notified if you have been inactive for a specified period. You can leave them a last message and they can also download the data that you have chosen to share with them – like emails, passwords saved by Google, photos in Drive etc.

Or else, you can ask Google to delete your entire account after a certain amount of inactivity.

Microsoft including Outlook

Similarly, legal successors can inform Microsoft to close down the account and download any information you may have chosen to share with them.

In conclusion

So, you see if you leave everything written and registered in your will, your dear ones will have less to bother about. Also, it’s our duty as well, for this is the digital world and we are the digital natives. It is about time we start doing things right in cyberspace too so as to not leave behind a legacy of clutter, confusion and possible cybercrime.

Always keep your devices secured with advanced security tools like McAfee Total Protection so that cyber criminals don’t get to your data before your heirs do.

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From Internet to Internet of Things

Thirty years ago, Tim Berners-Lee set out to accomplish an ambitious idea – the World Wide Web. While most of us take this invention for granted, we have the internet to thank for the technological advances that make up today’s smart home. From smart plugs to voice assistants – these connected devices have changed the modern consumer digital lifestyle dramatically. In 2019, the Internet of Things dominates the technological realm we have grown accustomed to – which makes us wonder, where do we go from here? Below, we take a closer look at where IoT began and where it is headed.

A Connected Evolution

Our connected world started to blossom with our first form of digital communication in the late 1800s –– Morse code. From there, technological advancements like the telephone, radio, and satellites made the world a smaller place. By the time the 1970s came about, email became possible through the creation of the internet. Soon enough the internet spread like wildfire, and in the 1990s we got the invention of the World Wide Web, which revolutionized the way people lived around the world. Little did Berners-Lee know that his invention would be used decades, probably even centuries, later to enable the devices that contribute to our connected lives.

Just ten years ago, there were less than one billion IoT devices in use around the world. In the year 2019, that number has been projected to skyrocket to over eight billion throughout the course of this year. In fact, it is predicted that by 2025, there will be almost twenty-two billion IoT devices in use throughout the world. Locks, doorbells, thermostats and other everyday items are becoming “smart,” while security for these devices is lacking quite significantly. With these devices creating more access points throughout our smart homes, it is comparable to leaving a backdoor unlocked for intruders. Without proper security in place, these devices, and by extension our smart homes, are vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Moving Forward with Security Top of Mind

If we’ve learned one thing from this technological evolution, it’s that we aren’t moving backward anytime soon. Society will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible – like taking the first a picture of a black hole. However, in conjunction with these advancements, to steer in the right direction, we have to prioritize security, as well as ease of use. For these reasons, it’s vital to have a security partner that you can trust, that will continue to grow to not only fit evolving needs, but evolving technologies, too. At McAfee, we make IoT device security a priority. We believe that when security is built in from the start, user data is more secure. Therefore, we call on manufacturers, users, and organizations to all equally do their part to safeguard connected devices and protect precious data. From there, we can all enjoy these technological advancements in a secure and stress-free way.

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

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On World Health Day, Give Your Children the Key to Good Digital Health

My morning walk route takes me past a school that usually has its assembly at 7:00 am. I catch glimpses of students praying, reading out the news, teachers giving talks and often stop to watch them do their morning drill. It’s an arresting sight – 500 kids in bright uniforms moving in a synchronized manner to drumbeats. The school is doing it right; light exercises before the start of the academic day helps to enhance positivity, concentration power, alertness and readiness to learn. After all it’s an age-old saying, ‘A healthy mind resides in a healthy body.’

Perhaps you are wondering why McAfee Cybermum is discussing health. Well, 7th April was World Health Day and what better time than this to have a heart-to-heart on good health, especially, good digital health?

Let’s accept it- we are parents, first and foremost, and our focus is always (even when we are sleeping or partying or just chilling) on our kids. All we want is to raise happy, well-adjusted kids who will be able to think rationally and act for themselves and know how to stay safe- both in the real and in the digital world.

When we were kids, outdoors was the place to be! Life centered around our gardens, parks and roads outside our houses; where we spent hours playing, chatting or just hanging around. Today’s digital kids also play and socialize a lot, but the bulk of it happens online. They have their favourite hanging out zones, gaming sites, digital libraries, social media etc. We all are quite tech-savvy and so, we are well aware how addictive digital activities can be as well as how the long hours spent online can have adverse effects on health and mind. This is why we worry when our kids prefer digital lives to the real one; we take measures like setting device-use rules and see red if the rules are breached.

But losing our cool isn’t the solution- we need to promote a balanced digital life, right from the day the little tykes mark their initiation into the digital world and educate them and act as their digital role models.

Here’s how you can ensure a healthy digital life for your kids:

Health is wealth

Play games, swim, run, exercise, go for treks! It’s also a good opportunity to show them that devices can be put to other uses besides gaming and socializing, viz; tracking activity and monitoring health statistics. When they are using devices, teach them the right postures so that they don’t strain their back or eyes.

Balance is the keyword

Often, we forget to practice what we preach- which, in this case, is to have some device-free hours. Keep your device away (a) when with family, (b) when there’s company, and (c) during bedtime. Children will protest and perhaps bawl, but will also learn a valuable lesson, rather two lessons – There are other sources of entertainment besides devices, and a NO means NO. While the first lesson is important to lead a balanced digital life, the second one is important for them in the real world too.

Fix up an activity schedule that includes household chores

Not only will this help to maintain digital balance, it will also give the child the first lesson in responsibility. Whether it is making their own beds, cleaning out their wardrobes or helping to wash the car or set the table, these are values you are teaching kids non-verbally. Even little tykes can do small tasks and trust me, it will make them feel proud. Just take care that the daily timetable doesn’t start resembling an army cadet’s training schedule.

Set clear-cut rules

This helps kids learn discipline. Stress on how excessive use is akin to misuse. Their daily schedule should specify timings for device use. If they breach the timings, bring it up immediately. Repeated breaches need to be tackled firmly. Maybe the privilege of using the device needs to be surrendered for a few days. This, you as a parent need to decide.

Let them know you will be remotely monitoring their activities

It’s recommended that you mentor kids in the digital world till they are mature enough to handle matters responsibly themselves. Use parental controls that come with comprehensive security tools like McAfee Total Protection or McAfee LiveSafe and keep the admin password a secret. BUT LET YOUR KIDS KNOW you would be supervising them online. Explain it’s similar to how you keep an eye on them at public places. Remember to set internet timings and filters.

Have purposeful family activity time

Use that evening hour before or after dinner to chat, play board games, tell stories or discuss the news. Share, play, connect- the perfect ingredients for a close-knit family! And of course, all devices, including the digital assistant, is off-limit during this time.

Teach kids to be upstanders

Online abuse can lead to emotional disturbances in vulnerable kids. Even adults are negatively affected by cyberbullying and trolling and so you can understand the impact of such behavior on kids. Give your kids the security of your love and trust so that they grow up to be strong and confident and can stand up against bullies.

Discuss cybersafety often and with due seriousness

Living in the connected age, where we all use the same router for our devices along with other smart devices like CCTV, digital assistants etc., it is important to reinforce how the carelessness of one can affect the safety and privacy of all other family members. A safe and secure net connection is needed for mental wellness.

So, what are you waiting for? Start working on your family’s digital health today!

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What’s in Your IoT Cybersecurity Kit?

Did you know the average internet-enabled household contains more than ten connected devices? With IoT devices proliferating almost every aspect of our everyday lives, it’s no wonder IoT-based attacks are becoming smarter and more widespread than ever before. From DDoS to home network exposures, it appears cybercriminals have set their sights on the digital dependence inside the smart home — and users must be prepared.

A smart home in today’s world is no longer a wave of the future, but rather just a sign of the times we live in. You would be hard pressed to find a home that didn’t contain some form of smart device. From digital assistants to smart plugs, with more endpoints comes more avenues bad actors can use to access home networks. As recently as 2018, users saw virtual assistants, smart TVs, and even smart plugs appear secure, but under the surface have security flaws that could facilitate home network exposures by bad actors in the future. Whereas some IoT devices were actually used to conduct botnet attacks, like an IoT thermometer and home Wi-Fi routers.

While federal agencies, like the FBI, and IoT device manufacturers are stepping up to do their part to combat IoT-based cyberattacks, there are still precautions users should take to ensure their smart home and family remain secure. Consider this your IoT cybersecurity kit to keep unwelcome visitors out of your home network.

  • When purchasing an IoT device, make security priority #1. Before your next purchase, conduct due diligence. Prioritize devices that have been on the market for an extended period of time, have a trusted name brand, and/or have a lot of online reviews. By following this vetting protocol, the chances are that the device’s security standards will be higher.
  • Keep your software up-to-date on all devices. To protect against potential vulnerabilities, manufacturers release software updates often. Set your device to auto-update, if possible, so you always have the latest software. This includes the apps you use to control the device.
  • Change factory settings immediately. Once you bring a new device into your home, change the default password to something difficult to guess. Cybercriminals often can find the default settings online and can use them to access your devices. If the device has advanced capabilities, use them.
  • Secure your home network. It’s important to think about security as integrated, not disconnected. Not all IoT devices stay in the home. Many are mobile but reconnect to home networks once they are back in the vicinity of the router. Protect your network of connected devices no matter where they go. Consider investing in advanced internet router that has built-in protection that can secure and monitor any device that connects to your home network.
  • Use comprehensive security software. Vulnerabilities and threats emerge and evolve every day. Protect your network of connected devices no matter where you are with a tool like McAfee Total Protection.

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

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Teen Texting Slang (and Emojis) Parents Should Know

What adults call texting, kids call talking. They “talk” on their phones via chat, social comments, snaps, posts, tweets, and direct messages. And they are talking most of the time — tap, tap, tap — much like background music. In all this “talking” a language, or code, emerges just as it has for every generation only today that language is in acronyms, hashtags, and emojis. And while the slang is perfectly understood peer-to-peer, it has parents googling like crazy to decipher it.

And this language changes all the time. It expands, contracts and specific acronyms and symbols (emojis) can change in meaning entirely over time, which is why we update this list every periodically.

This time we’ve added emojis (scroll to bottom) since those powerful little graphic symbols have singlehandedly transformed human communication, as we know it.

Harmless Banter

We publish this list with an important reminder: Teen texting slang isn’t inherently bad or created with an intent to deceive or harm. Most of the terms and symbols have emerged as a kind of clever shorthand for fast moving fingers and have no dangerous or risky meaning attached. So, if you are monitoring your kids’ phones or come across references you don’t understand, assume the best in them (then, of course, do your homework).

For example, there are dozens of harmless words such as finna (fixing to do something), yeet (a way to express excitement), skeet (let’s go), Gucci (great, awesome, or overpriced), AMIRITE (am I right?) QQ4U (quick question for you), SMH (shaking my head), bread (money), IDRK (I don’t really know), OOTD (outfit of the day), LYAAF (love you as a friend), MCE (my crush everyday), HMU (hit me up, call me), W/E (whatever), AFK (away from keyboard), RTWT (read the whole thread), CWYL (chat with you later), Ship (relationship), CYT (see you tomorrow) or SO (significant other).

The Red Flags 

Here are some terms and emojis that may not be so innocent. Any of these terms can also appear as hashtags if you put a # symbol in front of them.

Potential bullying slang

Ghost = to ignore someone on purpose

Boujee = rich or acting rich

Sip tea = mind your own business

The tea is so hot = juicy gossip

AYFKM? = are you f***ing kidding me?

Thirsty = adjective describing a desperate-acting, needy person

Basic = annoying person, interested in shallow things

Extra = over the top, excessive, dramatic person

TBH = to be honest (sometimes followed by negative comments)

Zerg = to gang up on someone (a gaming term that has morphed into a bullying term)

KYS = kill yourself

SWYP = so what’s your problem?

182 = I hate you
Curve = to reject someone

Shade = throwing shade, to put someone down.

POS = piece of sh**

WTF = what the f***

Derp = stupid

Lsr = loser

Butters = ugly

Jelly = jealous

Subtweet = talking about someone but not using their @name

Bizzle = another word for b***h

THOT or thotties = a promiscuous girl/s

YAG = you are gay

Cyber pretty = saying someone only looks good online with filters

Beyouch = another word for b***h

RAB = rude a** b***h

IMHO = in my honest opinion

IMNSHO = in my not so honest opinion

NISM = need I say more?

Potential risky behavior slang  

Broken = hung over

Pasted = high or drunk

Belfie = self-portrait (selfie) featuring the buttocks

OC = open crib, party at my house

PIR = parents in the room

9, CD9, Code 9 = parents here

99 = parents gone

Smash = to have casual sex

Slide into my DM = connecting through a direct message on a social network with sexual intentions

A3: Anytime, anywhere, anyplace

WTTP = want to trade pictures?

S2R = send to receive (pictures)
sugarpic = Refers to a suggestive or erotic photograph

TDTM = talk dirty to me

KMS = kill myself

AITR = adults in the room

KPC = keeping parents clueless

1174 = invite to a wild party usually followed by an address

53X = sex

Chirped = got caught

Cu46 = See you for sexTDTM = talk dirty to meLMIRL = let’s meet in real life

GNRN = get naked right now

Pron = porn

Frape = Facebook rape; posting to someone else’s profile when they leave it logged in.

NSFW = not safe for work (post will include nudity, etc)

Livingdangerously = taking selfies while driving or some other unsafe behavior

Kik = let’s talk on kik instant message instead

Sue = suicide

Dep = depression

Svv = self- harming behavior

SN = send nudes

Nend sudes = another way to say SN/send nudes

PNP = party and play (drugs + sex)

 

Potential drug-related slang

420, bud, tree = marijuana

Blow, mayo, white lady, rock, snow, yay, yale, yeyo, yank, yahoo = Cocaine

Special K = ketamine, liquid tranquilizer

Pearls = a nicely rolled blunt

Dabbing = concentrated doses of marijuana (began as a dance craze)

DOC = drug of choice

Turnt up / turnt = high or drunk

Geeked up = being high

Bar = Xanax pill

Bar out = to take a Xanax pill

Baseball = crack cocaine

Skrill = Money

Bread = money

CID = acid

E, XTC  = ecstasy

Hazel = heroin

Blue Boogers = snorting Adderall or Ritalin

Pharming = getting into medicine cabinets to find drugs to get high

Oxy, perks, vikes = opioids

Robo-tripping = consuming cough syrup to get high

Tweaking = high on amphetamines

Wings = cocaine; heroin

Speed, crank, uppers, Crystal or Tina = meth

 

Red flag emojis

Frog = an ugly person

Frog + tea (coffee) cup = that’s the tea (gossip)

Any kind of green plant/leaves = marijuana

Maple leaf = marijuana

Broccoli = marijuana

Smoke puff or gasoline = get high

Snowflake = cocaine

Person skiing = cocaine

Pill = ecstasy or MDMA for sale

Face with steam from nose = MDMA drug

Rocket = high potency drug for sale

Syringe = heroin

Diamond = crystal meth, crack cocaine for sale

Skull = die

Knife + screaming face = calling someone a psycho

Bowling ball + person running = I’m gonna hit you, coming for you

Flowers = drugs

Dollar sign = it’s for sale

Syringe = heroine (also tattoo)

Cat with heart eyes = sex

Purple face with horns = sex

Gas pump = sex

Tongue, eggplant, water drops, banana, peach, taco, cherries, drooling face, rocket = sex

Rose, rosette, cherry, pink cherry blossom, growing heart, airplane, crown = emojis that refer to sex trafficking

When it comes to figuring out what your kids are up to online, using your own instincts and paying attention will be your best resources. If something doesn’t sound or look right on your child’s phone trust that feeling and look deeper. You don’t have to know every term or symbol — the more important thing is to stay aware and stay involved.

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Social Media: Where Cybercrime Lurks in the Shadows

When you think of cybercrime, the first thing that comes to mind is most likely cybercriminals operating on the dark web. Last year, however, cybercriminals made the jump over to social media and cashed in big – $3 billion worth, as a matter of fact. With approximately 2.77 billion people using one social media account or more, it’s no wonder these bad actors have followed the masses. While the average user distrusts the dark web, they do trust their chosen social media platforms. Whether it’s sharing birthdates or a current location, or accepting a follow or message request from strangers, users in front of a screen feel secure. Although, as the line between social platforms and the dark web quickly blurs, the events behind the screen are the real issue.

Since 2017, cryptomining malware has exploded on a global scale, with over half of the identified strains found on social media sites. Utilizing apps, advertisements, and malicious links, cybercriminals were able to deliver these attacks and earn $250 million per year. Not only are social media platforms being used to distribute cryptomining malware, but they are also used as a major source for spreading other types of malware – malvertisments, faulty plug-ins, and apps – that draw users in by offering “too good to be true” deals. Once clicked on, the malware attacks. From there, cybercriminals can obtain data, establish keyloggers, dispense ransomware, and lurk in the shadows of social media accounts in wait for the next opportunity.

That next opportunity could also be on a completely different social media platform. As these sites unknowingly make it easier for malware to spread from one site to another. Many social media accounts interconnect with one another across platforms, which enables “chain exploitation,” or where malware can jump from one account to the next.

In short, social media is a cash cow for cybercriminals, and they are showing no sign of slowing down. What it really comes down to is social platforms, like Instagram and Facebook, attract a significant number of users and are going to draw in a criminal component too. However, if you take the proper security precautions ahead of time, you can fight off bad actors and continuously scroll with confidence. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Limit the amount of personal information shared in the first place. Avoid posting home addresses, full birth dates, and employer information, as well as exact location details of where you are.
  • Be wary of messages and follow requests from strangers. Avoid clicking on links sent by someone you don’t know personally.
  • Report any spam posts or messages you encounter to the social media platform. Then they can stop the threat from spreading to other accounts.
  • Always use comprehensive security software. To help protect you from viruses, spyware, and other digital threats that may emerge from social media sites, consider McAfee Total Protection or McAfee Mobile Security.

Interested in learning more about IoT and mobile security trends and information?

  • Take our quiz on best practices on how to stay secure on social media
  • Follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and ‘Like” us on Facebook

 

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The Ultimate CyberParenting Hack – Managing Your Family’s Cybersafety with the help of your Wi-Fi Router!

Managing your family’s cybersafety can often feel overwhelming. But one thing I have learnt in my 22 years of parenting is that there are no silver bullets for any parenting issues. Whether it’s toilet training or driver training, it takes time and often a combination of strategies. Teaching your kids about online safety is no different. Yes, you need to put in the hard work and continue to have the conversations. BUT if it was possible to supplement the talking with some strategic parental controls and an automatic layer of cybersecurity, then I would consider that to be a parenting no brainer!

Well, this parenting no-brainer exists. Let me introduce you D-Link’s latest D-Fend Router which not only includes McAfee’s Secure Home Platform which automatically protects all your Wi-Fi connected devices but some pretty impressive parental controls too. And all this happens while users are delivered fast wireless connectivity with increased range and reliability. Awesome!

Being a First-Generation Digital Parent Is A Tough Gig

As a generation of parents, I believe we are the busiest yet. Not only are we juggling our brood of kids and their lives but many of us are also managing ageing parents, plus our own careers, relationships and social lives. And just to complicate things a little further, we are also the first generation of digital parents. Managing our kids and their fleet of devices comes with no guidebook or tried and tested generational wisdom, which makes our job even more complex. How easy did my parents have it – all they had to do was buy the Atari console in the 80’s!

But the job of a digital parent is only set to become more complex with Gartner estimating that by 2020 there will be 20.4 billion IoT devices operating in our world.

Many Parents Don’t Know Where To Start With Cyber Safety At Home

When I speak with parents about how they manage their kids and devices, there is a recurring theme – many parents know they need to be doing something to protect their kids from online risks, but they often don’t know where to start. As a result, nothing often happens. Research from McAfee confirms this too with almost a third of Aussies taking no steps at all to install security protection on either their own or their kids’ internet connected devices.

But there is no doubt that many parents are concerned about the risks. Research by Life Education in partnership with Hyundai Help for Kids shows that an overwhelming 95% of Aussie parents rated online safety as a very important issue which is very encouraging.

What Online Risks Concern Aussie Parents the Most?

Aussie parents have many concerns about the risks posed by the online world. I believe however, the following are the ones that increase parents’ blood pressure the most!

Screen time – The time our kids spend glued to screens is a huge concern for many Aussie parents. Whether you are concerned about ‘tech neck’, the growing rates of childhood obesity or simply, the lack of conversation at home – you would not be alone! Research by The Australian Institute of Family Studies shows that 12-13 year old Aussie kids are spending a whopping 3 hours a day in front of screens during the week and then 4 hours on the weekends. No wonder many parents are concerned.

Gaming – Recent research conducted by McAfee shows that some Aussie teens are spending up to 4 hours a day gaming. And while parents naturally worry about the opportunity cost associated with the time, their greater concern is around the risk of online grooming and of exposure to inappropriate and violent material.

Cyberbullying – This is the big one for many parents and rightly so. Cyberbullying can be absolutely devastating for victims. A quick google provides just far too many examples of young adults who have suffered significant psychological trauma or even lost their lives as a result of unchecked cyberbullying. Last year, our e-Safety Commissioner reported a 35% increase in cases of reported cyberbullying as compared to the previous year.

But Why Aren’t Parents Taking Action?

As a group of parents, there is no doubt we are concerned about screen time, gaming addiction, online grooming, and cyberbullying but many of us aren’t taking the necessary action to intervene and protect our kids. So, McAfee probed a little deeper in recent research and discovered that almost half of Aussie parents believe that their children can manage their own cyber safety from the age of just 10. Now, when my boys when 10, they were barely able to manage their own lunchboxes! So, this belief truly stuns me.

So, we have some parents who just don’t know where to start and others who believe it isn’t their responsibility. Regardless, there is clearly a need to take some decisive action to protect our kids from both online risks and problematic anti-social behaviours.

What Steps Can Parents Take Now to Protect Their Kids Digital Lives?

The good news is there are a few simple things parents can do to protect their kids and their growing fleet of internet connected devices. Here are my top tips:

  • Check a Device’s Security Track Record

Before buying any connected device, always research the brand and read reviews on a product’s security (or lack of). A quick web search will give you some pretty fast insight into the potential device’s security standards. Going with a notable brand that has a proven security track record is often the best option.

  • Always Change Default Settings, Use Strong Passwords & Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Default and weak passwords are the biggest threat to the security of internet connected devices. Hackers are very familiar with both default and obvious passwords which makes it super easy to access the data on your devices. Know these passwords and use them to access the data on your devices. If the thought of remembering several passphrases daunts you, go for a password manager. While a strong and unique password is a great place to start, enabling two-factor authentication on your devices and accounts will mean you’ll need to verify your identity with something that you (and only you) have access to. This is most commonly a mobile device, which ensures a higher-level of security.

  • Keep Your Devices Up To Date

Device software updates are often always designed to protect your device from recently discovered security bugs, vulnerabilities and threats. If you’re in the common habit of ignoring update notifications, turning on auto-update will ensure you apply these patches in real time and have maximum protection.

  • Invest in a Router that Protects Your Devices & Offers Parental Controls!

Investing in a Wi-Fi router with built-in protection like McAfee’s Secure Home Platform is one of the easiest ways of both managing and protecting your family’s fleet of devices. Not only does it automatically protect any device that connects to the Wi-Fi but it comes with some very strategic parental controls. So not only can you take back control and proactively manage your kids’ screen time but you can set up customised profiles to ensure they are visiting only suitable sites.

As a mum of 4, I believe that managing the risk in our kids’ cyber lives needs to be a genuine priority for us all. So, yes, let’s keep talking to our kids about online risks and the need to self-regulate our online behaviour. But, if we could also add in a later of automatic protection for our kids’ devices from McAfee’s Secure Home Platform and some savvy parental controls to ensure our kids are on track then I think that’s a pretty compelling parenting hack for us first generation digital parents!

Take Care

Alex xx

 

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Ghosts May Not Be Real but Trolls Are – Look Out for Social Media Trolls

The Cambridge Dictionary describes a troll as “an imaginary, either very large or very small creature in traditional Scandinavian stories, that has magical powers and lives in mountains or caves.”

If you have read your fairy tales, you would know that trolls are generally grotesque creatures that stay away from human habitation. They take pleasure in carrying out antisocial activities and causing people pain and mental suffering.

Those trolls are mythical, but the online trolls are very much real. These digital trolls use the anonymity offered by the net to stay hidden and cause disruption and harm through their malicious and negative comments. They share provocative, malicious content and delight in fomenting unrest. If the victim takes the comments personally, it can leave them emotionally disturbed.

Why do people troll?

Why do people troll? Why do they want to insult, abuse, criticize, hurt and spread negativity? There are many studies available online that offer detailed analysis of how a troll’s mind works. However, we won’t go into such details. For our convenience and easy understanding, it will suffice to say that trolling may be the result of an individual’s background, low empathy levels, anger, frustration, jealousy, sadness and/or bitterness.

  • Low empathy: There are people who have less empathy or sensitivity and often find grim or disturbing situations funny. They will, for e.g.; not think twice about posting a joke on a social media thread where everyone is offering condolence on the demise of a loved one. They may see nothing wrong in it, rather it may give them a laugh.
  • Inflexible attitude: Some people find it difficult to accept that others too can have their individual viewpoints and instinctively target people with different opinions as enemies and make it their mission to abuse them, as if to prove that they are wrong. They hamper freedom of speech online for they do try to desist other users from sharing their personal opinions.
  • Revenge: Some go on a rampage to seek revenge for the ‘wrong’ done to them or someone else.

The anonymity provided by the net enables many cowardly people to feel strong by attacking others and give vent to their emotions online.

How do you identify trolls?

Easy. They are the rabble rousers, the ones who have nothing positive to contribute but are only out to disrupt, disturb and upset you. Their posts may vary from personal comments on your photo, satirical outbursts on your blogs or videos or direct attacks on your person, to out-of-context malicious remarks in an ongoing discussion. They would definitely be using a false bio and either no profile pic or a false one.

What do you do if you are trolled?

  • Avoid feeding them – they thrive on your emotional upheaval and vituperative responses. The smart thing to do is to neither acknowledge their comments nor respond to them. Nothing is as putting off as an IGNORE.
  • Keep records and block – If the trolling continues, keep records and block account of the troll and report to the platform. Let your friends know about the account too.
  • Consider keeping commenting off on your YouTube channel – you may also choose to delete negative comments.
  • Make amendments to posts – if factual or grammatical errors or an archaic style of writing your posts or blogs have brought out the trolls, consider apologizing for the errors and making revisions. Reply positively, thanking the troll for the feedback. You will take the wind out of the troll’s sails.
  • Don’t take it to heart – adults may use humour to counter trolls online, but it may not be easy for teens to keep emotions aside and reply to abusive comments lightly. So, it’s best to ignore.

As a digital parent, you may already be aware of trolls and the emotional havoc they can cause. You want to protect your kids from their attacks when they go online. At the same time, you need to explain to them why trolling is wrong and sometimes funny isn’t funny at all but may be hurtful and nasty.

How to ensure your kids know it’s wrong to troll?

  • Good manners: Whether online or off it, there is no substitute to good manners and etiquette. Ensure your kids feel happy and secure at home. Model the kind of behavior you expect from them and reward good manners with appreciation.
  • Empathy: The world runs on kindness and empathy. Reinforce empathy right from childhood. They need to understand that there are all kinds of people and each one is special in some way. Help them grow up to be generous, tolerant and broad-minded people.
  • Positivity: A child with a positive outlook and sunny disposition is most unlikely to be rude and deliberately mean online. Lay stress on being positive, whatever the situation may be.
  • Monitoring: It is recommended that parents monitor the conversations kids have online. Avoid participating in their conversations or taking to task those who maybe bullying or trolling them, for though this will delight the troll, it will be embarrassing for the child. Instead, have discussions on how he/she plans to handle it and let him/her tackle the issue.
  • Last but not the least, ensure all your devices are installed with licensed comprehensive security software that offers the parental controls feature. This will allow you to monitor activities remotely, though you should keep your child informed that you are doing so.

One last word: we cannot make trolls vanish, but we can empower our kids to vanquish them.

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You Rang? New Voice Phishing Attack Tricks Unsuspecting Users

In this digital day and age, the average user is likely familiar with the techniques and avenues cybercriminals use to get ahold of personal data and money. With this knowledge, we’ve become smarter and keen to the tricks of the cybercrime trade. However, cybercriminals have become smarter too, and therefore their attacks have become more complex. Take phishing, for example. There has been a dramatic shift in phishing attacks, from simple and general to complex and personalized. What was once spoofing emails or websites has now evolved into something more devious – vishing, or voice phishing. This method involves a cybercriminal attempting to gain access to a victim’s personal or financial information by pretending to be a financial institution via phone call. And now a new vishing attack is proving to be more difficult to detect than the typical phishing scams.

In April 2018, Min-Chang Jang, a manager at Korea Financial Security Institute and Korea University, made a breakthrough in his investigation into malicious apps designed to intercept calls to users from legitimate numbers. This tactic puts a new but troubling twist on the original voice phishing cyberattack. To be successful in this venture, a hacker must first convince a user to download a fake app. To do this, a link is sent to the victim, luring them in with an amazing offer around loan refinancing or something similar, which then prompts the user to download the faulty app. If the target takes the bait, calls will start to come in from the financial institution following up on the possible loan refinancing offer. The call, however, isn’t connected to the actual financial company, rather it is intercepted and connected to the bad actor.

We know that as we adjust to the world around us and become smarter about our security, cybercriminals will do the same with their thievery. Today it’s an advanced vishing attack, tomorrow it could be a different type of phishing vector. However, users can rest assured that companies like McAfee are working tirelessly to ensure our users can thwart any cyberattack that comes their way. While this voice phishing attack is hard to detect, here are some proactive steps you can take to ensure you don’t fall victim to cybercriminals’ schemes:

  • Only install apps from authorized sources. To avoid malicious apps getting ahold of your data, only download apps from authorized vendors. For Android users, use the Google Play Store. For iPhone users, use the Apple App Store. Never trust a third-party app with information that could be exploited in the wrong hands.
  • Turn on caller ID or other services. Numerous carriers now offer free services that notify users of possible scam calls. And a lot of phones come with call-identifying capabilities that can give the user a quick diagnostic of whether the call is legitimate or not. With this feature, users can report scam calls to a database too.
  • Always think twice. In addition to tips and apps, there’s no better judge than common sense so if an offer or deal sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.

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

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Let’s Discuss Cybersecurity as a Career Option This International Women’s Day

Even as I write this blog, the higher secondary board exams have started in schools across India and I send up a silent prayer for the thousands of nervous youngsters who are at the juxtaposition of a crucial time in their lives – the time when they have to take serious decisions regarding college education and career. The Board results would no doubt play a major role in this decision making.

With International Women’s Day around the corner, I am naturally thinking about women, their emancipation and their choices in life. I imagine them thinking independently, making decisions based on their capabilities and preferences, and supplying the necessary valuable skills that our country so needs.

But often that isn’t the case for teens as they are indecisive, and their knowledge of professions isn’t vast. They often miss out on plum prospects because, well, they were not aware of them or feel they may later hamper their family lives! I am going to do my bit for all the young ladies finishing school education this year- I am going to talk to you about choosing cybersecurity as a career option.

So girls, if you possess good reasoning power, enjoy ferreting out the source of the problem, are a natural at coding or are a serious video gamer, think cybersecurity.

Why Cybersecurity you ask? Let me present the facts.

  • Skills shortage

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) recently estimated that India alone will need 1 million cybersecurity professionals by 2020 to meet the demands of its rapidly growing economy.

Demand for security professionals in India will increase in all sectors due to the unprecedented rise in the number of cyber-attacks, added NASSCOM. Despite having the largest information technology talent pool in the world, India is struggling to produce an adequate number of professionals to close the cybersecurity skill gap.

  • The age of diversification

There is gender gap in the cybersecurity sector and companies globally are trying to correct this, not just to promote diversity but to add value to their work culture with the addition of the visions, perspectives and skills that women bring in.

  • Flexible work arrangements

With more women joining the profession, employers are doing their best to make the work atmosphere favourable for them. Not only are they offering flexi-timings but also work-from-home opportunities when it’s possible. I have heard of companies that allow mothers with infants to work from home for extended periods! Isn’t that a blessing?

According to a 2013 McKinsey Report, 34 percent of India’s IT workforce is female. However, most of them exit the employment pipeline at the junior to mid-level.

This only goes to reveal that many women scientists and engineers drop out, perhaps because they find it difficult manage their work-home balance. With flexi-timings and work-from-home options, this figure will definitely decrease!

  • Good support system

Great news for all women exploring cybersecurity as a career! There are organizations like Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS) that aims at offering a common platform to women cybersecurity professionals from academia, research and industry where they can network, mentor and be mentored, share information and experience; which means, you will never feel alone as help is just a click away!

  • You don’t need to be an engineer

Employers are trying to plug the cybersecurity skills gap with alternative solutions. It has been found that video gamers too have the right types of skills along with a different approach to threat hunting. So, if you are an avid gamer, go for it!

  • Steady jobs with good pay

This last bit is the clincher really! In this super-competitive market, isn’t it a dream to have a high salary job that rarely gets monotonous?

McAfee lists some cool cybersecurity job prospects for you, check them out!

Job 1 – Forensics Expert

They analyze and determine who the mastermind behind a security breach might be. It can be almost as complex and precise as understanding human DNA.

Job 2  – Cryptographer/ Cryptanalysts

Cryptographers develop algorithms, ciphers and security systems to encrypt and hide sensitive information from cyber hackers.

Job 3 – Threat Hunter

Threat hunters use manual or machine-assisted skills to detect and prepare for security incidents

Job 4 – Security Architect

They design systems to help develop and test the security vulnerabilities of a business

Parenting tips to rear future cyber security experts:

You can help your child make faster career decisions if you instill security habits in them from an early age. It goes without saying that you need to model cybersecurity habits so that they can learn by imitating you. Discuss cybersecurity as a profession and explore the prospects together online. Take your child to meet friends in the field so that they can get their doubts cleared. Have dinner time conversations on how attacks are becoming more advanced and the best means to fight them. If your daughter enjoys playing online games, use that as a conversation starter to talk about how security firms are looking at video gamers—even those without a background in cybersecurity.

The best gift you can give the women in your family on International Women’s Day is a sense of independence, security and equality.

Happy International Women’s Day!!

Credits:

https://anitab.org/blog/indian-women-in-technology-barriers/

CSO

McAfee

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McAfee Partners With Telefónica To Help Secure Consumers Worldwide

These days, cyberattacks can feel relentless. Due to the interconnected nature of the world we live in, cybercriminals have managed to infiltrate our personal devices, our networks, and even our homes. That’s why we at McAfee believe it’s important now more than ever to secure every facet of the modern consumer lifestyle. And we’ve partnered with Telefónica to do just that.

This partnership first began back in February of last year, when ElevenPaths, Telefónica Cyber Security Unit, and McAfee announced we’re working together to reinforce the online security of Telefónica’s broadband and mobile customers across multiple markets. This partnership covers Europe and Latin America with plans to progressively roll out solutions in the different countries where Telefónica operates. It’s the first time a telecommunications company has delivered a security service to all of its customers, regardless of where they connect from. Fast forward to present day, and this partnership has only expanded. The global product developed by Telefónica and powered by McAfee was first launched in Spain as Movistar Conexión Segura, a service that protects home and mobile customers’ connectivity. Telefónica protects Fusión customers’ home connections with a smart router, thanks to the ElevenPaths solution powered by McAfee Secure Home Platform, which enables seamless security and easy activation. Conexión Segura is also available for Movistar mobile customers, including network protection and one license of Seguridad Dispositivo, a multi-device security protection. Only a few weeks after Spain, Movistar Argentina launched the solution for its fixed and mobile customers. These services help realize Telefónica’s “Security by Default” strategy, offering customers a more robust security solution that protects against threats like viruses, malware, phishing, and emerging IoT threats.

Telefónica and McAfee’s 360 partnership is dedicated to protecting the productivity of consumers everywhere. “This agreement gives customers current and contextual information on their cybersecurity status so they can stay connected with confidence,” said Pedro Pablo Pérez, Global Security VP of Telefónica and CEO of ElevenPaths, Telefónica Cybersecurity Unit.

ElevenPaths and Mcafee’s joint vision to create a more secure tomorrow brings us a step closer to stopping widespread cyberattacks. By joining forces to implement more robust security solutions around the world, we can ensure that our connectivity goes undisrupted. Because together is power.

To learn more about consumer security and our approach to it, be sure to follow us at @ElevenPaths and @McAfee.

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