Category Archives: data protection

93% of businesses are worried about public cloud security

Bitglass released a report which uncovers whether organizations are properly equipped to defend themselves in the cloud. IT and security professionals were surveyed to understand their top security concerns and identify the actions that enterprises are taking to protect data in the cloud. Orgs struggling to use cloud-based resources safely 93% of respondents were moderately to extremely concerned about the security of the public cloud. The report’s findings suggest that organizations are struggling to use … More

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Multi-cloud environments leaving businesses at risk

Businesses around the globe are facing challenges as they try to protect data stored in complex hybrid multi-cloud environments, from the growing threat of ransomware, according to a Veritas Technologies survey. Only 36% of respondents said their security has kept pace with their IT complexity, underscoring the need for greater use of data protection solutions that can protect against ransomware across the entirety of increasingly heterogenous environments. Need to pay ransoms Typically, if businesses fall … More

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Christmas Shopping 2020

How To Stay Safe While Shopping Online This Holiday Season

I’m pleased to report that I’ve achieved a number of personal bests in 2020 but the one I’m most proud about is my achievement in the highly skilled arena of online shopping. I’ve shopped online like I’m competing in the Olympics: groceries, homewares, clothing – even car parts! And my story is not unique. Living with a pandemic has certainly meant we’ve had to adapt – but when it came to ramping up my online shopping so we could stay home and stay safe – I was super happy to adapt!

And research from McAfee shows that I am not alone. In fact, over 40% of Aussies are buying more online since the onset of COVID-19 according to the 2020 Holiday Season: State of Today’s Digital e-Shopper survey. But this where it gets really interesting as the survey also shows that nearly 1/3 of us (29%) are shopping online 3-5 days a week, and over one in ten consumers (11%) are even shopping online daily!! But with many online retailers offering such snappy delivery, it has just made perfect sense to stay safe and stay home!

Santa Isn’t Far Away…

With just over a month till Santa visits, it will come as no surprise that many of us are starting to prepare for the Holiday season by purchasing gifts already. Online shopping events such as Click Frenzy or the Black Friday/Cyber Monday events are often very compelling times to buy. But some Aussies have decided they want to get in early to secure gifts for their loved ones in response to warnings from some retailers warning that some items may sell out before Christmas due to COVID-19 related supply chain issues. In fact, McAfee’s research shows that 48% of Aussies will be hitting the digital links to give gifts and cheer this year, despite 49% feeling cyber scams become more prevalent during the holiday season.

But What About The Risks?

McAfee’s research shows very clearly that the bulk of us Aussies are absolutely aware of the risks and scams associated with online shopping but that we still plan to do more shopping online anyway. And with many of us still concerned about our health and staying well, it makes complete sense. However, if there was ever a time to take proactive steps to ensure you are minimizing risks online – it is now!

What Risks Have McAfee Found?

McAfee’s specialist online threat team (the Advanced Threat Research team) recently found evidence that online cybercrime is on increase this year, with McAfee Labs observing 419 threats per minute between April to June 2020 – an increase of almost 12% over the previous quarter.

And with many consumers gearing up to spend up big online in preparation for the Holiday season, many experts are worried that consumers are NOT taking these threats as seriously as they should. McAfee’s research showed that between April to June 2020, 41% of 18-24 year olds have fallen victim to an online scam and over 50% of the same age group are aware of the risks but have made no change to their online habits.

My Top Tips To Stay Safe While Shopping Online

At the risk of sounding dramatic, I want you to channel your James Bond when you shop online this holiday period. Do your homework, think with your head and NOT your heart and always have your wits about you. Here are my top tips that I urge you to follow to ensure you don’t have any unnecessary drama this Christmas:

  1. Think Before You Click

Click on random, unsafe links is the best way of falling victim to a phishing scam. Who wants their credit card details stolen? – no one! And Christmas is THE worst time for this to happen! If something looks too good to be true – it probably is. If you aren’t sure – check directly at the source – manually enter the online store address yourself to avoid those potentially nasty links!

  1. Turn On Multi-Factor Authentication Now

This is a no-brainer – where possible, turn this on as it adds another lay of protection to your personal data and accounts. Yes, it will add another 10 seconds to the log-in process but it’s absolutely worth it.

  1. Invest in a VPN

If you have a VPN (or Virtual Private Network) on your laptop, you can use Wi-Fi without any concern – perfect for online purchases on the go! A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between your device and the router which means anything you share is protected and safe! Check out McAfee’s Safe Connect which includes bank-grade encryption and private browsing services.

  1. Protect Yourself – and Your Device!

Ensuring all your devices are kitted out with comprehensive security software which will protect against viruses, phishing attacks and malicious website is key. Think of it as having a guardian cyber angel on your shoulder. McAfee’s Total Protection software does all that plus it has a password manager, a shredder and encrypted storage – and the Family Pack includes the amazing Safe Family app – which is lifechanging if you have tweens and teens!

So, yes – please make your list and check it twice BUT before you dive in and start spending please take a moment to ask yourself whether you are doing all you can to minimise the risks when online shopping this year. And don’t forget to remind your kids too – they may very well have their eye on a large gift for you too!

Happy Christmas Everyone

Alex xx

 

 

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[Updated 2020] Hacked Email Account: What to Do If It Happens to You or Your Business

We invite you to do a little exercise:  open your email and take a look at everything that you keep on it, both sent and received conversations, on both personal and company accounts. Scan all of them, every attachment you ever sent or received, every personal and work conversation, every email draft. We keep it […]

The post [Updated 2020] Hacked Email Account: What to Do If It Happens to You or Your Business appeared first on Heimdal Security Blog.

SECURITY ALERT: New Norwegian Campaign of Scam Phone Calls (Impersonating Microsoft)

A new Norwegian campaign of scam phone calls has been spotted, along with a rise in malicious phone calls from hackers claiming to be Microsoft support representatives. The usual scheme of such phone calls is simple: the would-be hackers call you from a legitimate-looking number (not hidden or concealed in any way) and afterward attempt […]

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Affected by a Data Breach? Here Are Five Security Steps You Should Take

credit card breach

Five Tips to Secure Your Credit Card Data From This Recent Data Breach

Users share their personal information with companies for multiple reasons. Whether they’re checking into a hotel room, using a credit card to make a purchase at their favorite food spot, or collecting rewards points at a local coffee shop, consumers give companies more access to data than they may realize. While this can help you build relationships with your favorite vendors, what happens if their security is compromised?

Dickey’s BBQ Breach

Just this week, for example, cybercriminals were found online to be selling a batch of over three million credit card records – all from cards that were used at Dickey’s BBQ establishments over the past 13-15 months. Researchers stated that Dickey’s payment systems were likely compromised by card-stealing malware, with the highest exposure in California and Arizona. What’s more, financial institutions that have been working with the researchers stated that they have already observed a significant amount of fraud carried out with these cards.

Staying Secure in Light of Data Breaches

If you think you were affected by this breach, there are multiple steps you can take to help protect yourself from the potential side effects.

Check out the following tips if you think you may have been affected by a recent data breach, or just want to take extra precautions:

Keep an eye on your bank account

One of the most effective ways to determine whether someone is fraudulently using your credit card information is to monitor your bank statements. If you see any charges that you did not make, report it

Place a fraud alert

If you suspect that your data might have been compromised, place a fraud alert on your credit. This not only ensures that any new or recent requests undergo scrutiny, but also allows you to have extra copies of your credit report so you can check for suspicious activity.

Freeze your credit

Freezing your credit will make it impossible for criminals to take out loans or open new accounts in your name. To do this effectively, you will need to freeze your credit at each of the three major credit-reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian).

Consider using identity theft protection

A solution like McAfee Identify Theft Protection will help you to monitor your accounts and alert you of any suspicious activity.

Expand your security toolbox

To use your credit card safely online to make purchases, add both a VPN and password manager into your toolbox of security solutions. A VPN keeps your shopping experience private, while a password manager helps you keep track of and protect all your online accounts. And both, luckily, come included in McAfee Total Protection.

Stay Updated

To stay updated on all things McAfee  and on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow @McAfee_Home  on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

The post Affected by a Data Breach? Here Are Five Security Steps You Should Take appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Cristiano Ronaldo tops McAfee India’s Most Dangerous Celebrity 2020 List

Most Dangerous Celebrity

Cristiano Ronaldo tops McAfee India’s Most Dangerous Celebrity 2020 List

During COVID-19, people stuck inside have scoured the internet for content to consume – often searching for free entertainment (movies, TV shows, and music) to avoid any extra costs. As these habits increase, so do the potential cyber threats associated with free internet content – making our fourteenth Most Dangerous Celebrities study more relevant than ever.

To conduct our Most Dangerous Celebrities 2020 study, McAfee researched famous individuals to reveal which celebrities generate the most “dangerous” results – meaning those whose search results bring potentially malicious content to expose fans’ personal information. Owing to his international popularity and fan following that well resonates in India, Cristiano Ronaldo takes the top spot on the India edition of McAfee’s 2020 Most Dangerous Celebrities list.

The Top Ten Most Dangerous Celebrities

Ronaldo is popular not only for his football skills, but also for his lifestyle, brand endorsements, yearly earnings, and large social media following, with fans devotedly tracking his every movement. This year, Ronaldo’s transfer to Juventus from Real Madrid for a reported £105M created quite a buzz, grabbing attention from football enthusiasts worldwide. Within the Top 10 list, Ronaldo is closely followed by veteran actress Tabu (No. 2) and leading Bollywood actresses, Taapsee Pannu, (No. 3) Anushka Sharma at (No. 4) and Sonakshi Sinha (No. 5). Also making the top ten is Indian singer Armaan Malik (No. 6), and young and bubbly actor Sara Ali Khan (No. 7). Rounding out the rest of the top ten are Indian actress Kangana Ranaut (No. 8), followed by popular TV soap actress Divyanka Tripathi (No. 9) and lastly, the King of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan (No. 10).

 

Most Dangerous Celebrity

Lights, Camera, Security

Many consumers don’t realize that simple internet searches of their favorite celebrities could potentially lead to malicious content, as cybercriminals often leverage these popular searches to entice fans to click on dangerous links. This year’s study emphasizes that consumers are increasingly searching for content, especially as they look for new forms of entertainment to stream amidst a global pandemic.

With a greater emphasis on streaming culture, consumers could potentially be led astray to malicious websites while looking for new shows, sports, and movies to watch. For example, Ronaldo is strongly associated with malicious search terms, as fans are constantly seeking news on his personal life, as well as searching for news on his latest deals with football clubs. In addition, users may be streaming live football matches through illegal streaming platforms to avoid subscription fees. If an unsuspecting user clicks on a malicious link while searching for their favorite celebrity related news, their device could suddenly become plagued with adware or malware.

Secure Yourself From Malicious Search Results

Whether you and your family are checking out your new favorite actress in her latest film or streaming a popular singer’s new album, it’s important to ensure that your searches aren’t potentially putting your online security at risk. Follow these tips so you can be a proactive fan while safeguarding your digital life:

Be careful what you click

Users looking for information on their favorite celebrities should be cautious and only click on links to reliable sources for downloads. The safest thing to do is to wait for official releases instead of visiting third-party websites that could contain malware.

Refrain from using illegal streaming sites

When it comes to dangerous online behavior, using illegal streaming sites could wreak havoc on your device. Many illegal streaming sites are riddled with malware or adware disguised as pirated video files. Do yourself a favor and stream the show from a reputable source.

Protect your online safety with a cybersecurity solution

 Safeguard yourself from cybercriminals with a comprehensive security solution like McAfee Total Protection. This can help protect you from malware, phishing attacks, and other threats.

Use a website reputation tool

Use a website reputation tool such as McAfee WebAdvisor, which alerts users when they are about to visit a malicious site.

Use parental control software

Kids are fans of celebrities too, so ensure that limits are set for your child on their devices and use parental control software to help minimize exposure to potentially malicious or inappropriate websites.

 Stay Updated

To stay updated on all things McAfee and for more resources on staying secure from home, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

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How Searching For Your Favourite Celebrity May Not End Well

Most Dangerous Celebrity

How Searching For Your Favourite Celebrity May Not End Well

2020 has certainly been the year for online entertainment. With many Aussies staying home to stay well, the internet and all its offerings have provided the perfect way for us all to pass time. From free movies and TV shows to the latest celebrity news, many of us have devoured digital content to entertain ourselves. But our love affair with online entertainment certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed by cybercriminals who have ‘pivoted’ in response and cleverly adapted their scams to adjust to our insatiable desire for content.

Searching For Our Favourite Celebrities Can Be A Risky Business

Cybercriminals are fully aware that we love searching for online entertainment and celebrity news and so devise their plans accordingly. Many create fake websites that promise users free content from a celebrity of the moment to lure unsuspecting Aussies in. But these malicious websites are purpose-built to trick consumers into sharing their personal information in exchange for the promised free content – and this is where many come unstuck!

Who Are The Most Dangerous Celebrities of 2020?

McAfee, the world’s leading cybersecurity company, has researched which famous names generate the riskiest search results that could potentially trigger consumers to unknowingly install malware on their devices or unwillingly share their private information with cybercriminals.

And in 2020, English singer-songwriter Adele takes out the top honours as her name generates the most harmful links online. Adele is best known for smashing the music charts since 2008 with hit songs including ‘Rolling in the Deep’ and ‘Someone Like You’. In addition to her award-winning music, Adele is also loved for her funny and relatable personality, as seen on her talk show appearances (such as her viral ‘Carpool Karaoke’ segment) and concert footage. Most recently, her weight-loss and fitness journey have received mass media attention, with many trying to get to the bottom of her ‘weight-loss’ secrets.

Trailing Adele as the second most dangerous celebrity is actress and star of the 2020 hit show Stan ‘Love Life’ Anna Kendrick, followed by rapper Drake (no. 3), model and actress Cara Delevingne (no. 4), US TikTok star Charli D’Amelio (no. 5) and singer-songwriter Alicia Keys (no. 6). Rounding out the top ten are ‘Sk8r Boi’ singer Avril Lavigne (No. 7), New Zealand rising music star, Benee (no. 8), songstress Camila Cabello (no. 9), and global superstar, singer and actress Beyonce (no. 10).

Most Dangerous Celebrity

Aussies Love Celebrity Gossip

Whether it was boredom or the fact that we just love a stickybeak, our love of celebrity news reached new heights this year with our many of us ‘needing’ to stay up to date with the latest gossip from our favourite public figures. Adele’s weight-loss journey (no.1), Drake’s first photos of ‘secret son’ Adonis (no. 4), and Cara Delevingne’s breakup with US actress Ashley Benson (no. 5), all had us Aussie fans flocking to the internet to search for the latest developments on these celebrity stories.

We’ve Loved New Releases in 2020

With many of us burning through catalogues of available movies and TV shows amid advice to stay at home, new release titles have definitely been the hottest ticket in town to stay entertained.

Rising to fame following her roles in ‘Twilight’ and musical comedy ‘Pitch Perfect’, Anna Kendrick (no. 2) starred in HBO Max series ‘Love Life’ which was released during the peak of COVID-19 in Australia, as well as the 2020 children’s film ‘Trolls World Tour’. R&B and pop megastar Beyonce (no. 10) starred in the 2019 remake of Disney cult classic ‘The Lion King’ and released a visual album ‘Black Is King’ in 2020.

Music Has Soothed Our Souls This Year 

While live concerts and festivals came to a halt earlier this year, many of us are still seeking music – both old and new – to help us navigate these unprecedented times. In fact, musicians make up 50% of the top 10 most dangerous celebrities – hailing from all genres, backgrounds and generations.

Canadian rapper Drake (No. 2) sparked fan interest by dropping his ‘Dark Lanes Demo Tapes’ album including hit songs ‘Chicago Freestyle’ and ‘Tootsie Slide’ that went massively viral on TikTok. New Zealand singer Benee also came out of the woodwork with viral sensations Supalonely and Glitter topping charts and reaching global popularity on TikTok.

Known for her enormously successful R&B/Soul music in the early 2000s, Alicia Keys (no. 6) released a string of new singles in 2020. Camila Cabello’s ‘Senorita’ duet with Canadian singer and now boyfriend Shawn Mendes, was Spotify’s most streamed song of 2019. The couple continued to attract copious attention as fans followed stories reporting on the lovebirds self-isolating together in Miami earlier this year.

How to Avoid Getting Caught In An Online Celebrity Scam

Please don’t feel that getting caught by an ill-intentioned cybercrime is inevitable. If you follow these few simple tips, you can absolutely continue your love of online entertainment and all things celebrity:

  1. Be Careful What You Click

If you are looking for new release music, movies or TV shows or even an update on your favourite celebrity then ALWAYS be cautious and only click on links to reliable sources. Avoid ‘dodgy’ looking websites that promise free content – I guarantee these sites will gift you a big dose of malware. The safest thing is to wait for official releases, use only legitimate streaming sites and visit reputable news sites.

  1. Say NO to Illegal Streaming and Downloading Suspicious Files

Yes, illegal downloads are free but they are usually riddled with malware or adware disguised as mp3 files. Be safe and use only legitimate music streaming platforms – even if it costs a few bucks! Imagine how devastating it would be to lose access to everything on your computer thanks to a nasty piece of malware?

  1. Protect Your Online Safety With A CyberSecurity Solution

One of the best ways of safeguarding yourself (and your family) from cybercriminals is by investing in an  comprehensive cybersecurity solution like McAfee’s Total Protection. This Rolls Royce cybersecurity package will protect you from malware, spyware, ransomware and phishing attacks. An absolute no brainer!

  1. Get Parental Controls Working For You

Kids love celebrities too! Parental control software allows you to introduce limits to your kids’ viewing which will help minimise their exposure to potentially malicious or inappropriate websites when they are searching for the latest new on TikTok star Charlie D’Amelio or go to download the latest Benee track.

I don’t know how my family of 6 would have survived this year without online entertainment. We’ve devoured the content from three different streaming services, listened to a record number of hours on Spotify and filled our heads with news courtesy of online news sites. And while things are looking up, it will be a while before life returns to normal. So, please take a little time to educate your family on the importance of ‘thinking before you click’ and the perils of illegal downloading. Let’s not make 2020 any more complicated!!

Stay safe everyone!

 

Alex x

The post How Searching For Your Favourite Celebrity May Not End Well appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Anna Kendrick Is McAfee’s Most Dangerous Celebrity 2020

Most Dangerous Celebrity

Anna Kendrick Is McAfee’s Most Dangerous Celebrity 2020

During COVID-19, people stuck inside have scoured the internet for content to consume – often searching for free entertainment (movies, TV shows, and music) to avoid any extra costs. As these habits increase, so do the potential cyberthreats associated with free internet content – making our fourteenth Most Dangerous Celebrities study more relevant than ever.

To conduct our Most Dangerous Celebrities 2020 study, McAfee researched famous individuals to reveal which celebrities generate the most “dangerous” results – meaning those whose search results bring potentially malicious content to expose fans’ personal information.

Thanks to her recent starring roles, American actress Anna Kendrick has found herself at the top of McAfee’s 2020 Most Dangerous Celebrities list.

The Top Ten Most Dangerous Celebrities

You probably know Anna Kendrick from her popular roles in films like “Twilight,” Pitch Perfect,” and “A Simple Favor.” She also recently starred in the HBO Max series “Love Life,” as well as the 2020 children’s film “Trolls World Tour.” Kendrick is joined in the top ten list by fellow actresses Blake Lively (No. 3), Julia Roberts (No. 8), and Jason Derulo (No. 10). Also included in the top ten list are American singers Mariah Carey (No. 4), Justin Timberlake (No. 5), and Taylor Swift (No. 6). Rounding out the rest of the top ten are American rapper Sean (Diddy) Combs (No. 2), Kate McKinnon (No. 9), and late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel (No. 7).

Most Dangerous Celebrity

Lights, Camera, Security

Many consumers don’t realize that simple internet searches of their favorite celebrities could potentially lead to malicious content, as cybercriminals often leverage these popular searches to entice fans to click on dangerous links. This year’s study emphasizes that consumers are increasingly searching for content, especially as they look for new forms of entertainment to stream amidst a global pandemic.

With a greater emphasis on streaming culture, consumers could potentially be led astray to malicious websites while looking for new shows and movies to watch. However, people must understand that torrent or pirated downloads can lead to an abundance of cyberthreats. If an unsuspecting user clicks on a malicious link while searching for their favorite celebrity film, their device could suddenly become plagued with adware or malware.

Secure Yourself From Malicious Search Results

Whether you and your family are checking out your new favorite actress in her latest film or streaming a popular singer’s new album, it’s important to ensure that your searches aren’t potentially putting your online security at risk. Follow these tips so you can be a proactive fan while safeguarding your digital life:

Be careful what you click

 Users looking for information on their favorite celebrities should be cautious and only click on links to reliable sources for downloads. The safest thing to do is to wait for official releases instead of visiting third-party websites that could contain malware.

Refrain from using illegal streaming sites

When it comes to dangerous online behavior, using illegal streaming sites could wreak havoc on your device. Many illegal streaming sites are riddled with malware or adware disguised as pirated video files. Do yourself a favor and stream the show from a reputable source.

Protect your online safety with a cybersecurity solution

 Safeguard yourself from cybercriminals with a comprehensive security solution like McAfee Total Protection. This can help protect you from malware, phishing attacks, and other threats.

Use a website reputation tool

 Use a website reputation tool such as McAfee WebAdvisor, which alerts users when they are about to visit a malicious site.

 Use parental control software

 Kids are fans of celebrities too, so ensure that limits are set for your child on their devices and use parental control software to help minimize exposure to potentially malicious or inappropriate websites.

Stay Updated

To stay updated on all things McAfee and for more resources on staying secure from home, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

 

The post Anna Kendrick Is McAfee’s Most Dangerous Celebrity 2020 appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Telehealth, Distance Learning, & Online Banking: Securing Digital Frontiers

2020 has propelled us into a new digital reality – one where we are reliant on technology to help us maintain our way of life. This forced all age groups, from 8-80, to learn how to conduct their day-to-day online. I personally had my mother asking a million questions about how to video conference!

But while we’re all looking to remain connectedwe need to also focus on staying protected. For those of us a little more tech-savvy, that means helping our family and friends learn how this new digital reality impacts online security.  

Let’s examine what that entails.

Keeping Personal Health Private

Digital healthcare’s rise was predicted back in January when Bain & Company reported that 40% of U.S. physicians expect to start using telemedicine over the next two years. Then came COVID-19, which drove healthcare providers to turn toward digital options to deliver socially distanced patient care. Many PCPs moved almost entirely to telehealth, with half of those surveyed using telemedicine in over 75% of their patient care.

While telehealth significantly increases patient care availability, there are also intrinsic privacy and security risks that go along with it. For example, telehealth requires that patients submit their health information through online platforms – some of which lack the proper data safeguards and don’t meet HIPAA requirements. Like all data transferred over the internet, private health information used for telemedicine could be intercepted by hackers if users don’t take proper security precautions. This means ensuring you and your loved one employ best practices – locking your platform account with a strong password, ensuring you only give your personal information to your doctor or verified resource, etc. These simple steps from McAfee experts are more important than ever before, as the healthcare industry is a preferred target for criminals.

Supporting Students Distance Learning

School may be back in session, but it looks pretty different than previous years. For parents, this means navigating the unknown terrain that is a virtual classroom – and how the new environment affects your family’s online security 

Distance learning has led to a substantial spike in online video conferencing  tools to conduct virtual lectures – which is only compounded by the fact that kids are already constantly on devices to play and socializeHowever, some of the tools  they use have proven to lack necessary security measures, which could jeopardize your students’ academic success and online security. Beyond video platform concernsthe combination of increased personal device usage on not-as-secure home networks poses a threat of its own 

Parents must ensure their students succeed – at both school and security. While they’re helping kids adjust to distance learning, parents can help keep them safe online by conducting router firmware updates, changing any default passwords on home networks, and leveraging a VPN. Additionally, parents must teach kids good security hygiene, such as always updating an app or device when an update is available. With parents juggling so much right now, they can also look for some extra support in the form of a comprehensive security solution that covers all their family’s devices with an extra layer of protection. 

Bank Online Without Prying Eyes

Many consumers have adopted digital financial services to make contactless payments or participate in online banking – some for convenienceothers to help minimize contact in light of recent events. However, as this tech grows, so does the need for up-to-date security.  

As users incorporate digital financial services into their everyday lives, they may fall victim to the risks commonly associated with making online payments. My mother, for example, is new to mobile banking and doesn’t know to look out for targeted phishing attacks from hackers who are trying to trick her out of money. Even the most tech-savvy online banking users can fall victim to more sophisticated phishing schemes out there. 

To ensure cybercriminals don’t trick my mom into sharing sensitive information by impersonating her bank, we’ve discussed some ways she can identify an attack. Now, she knows to always hover over suspicious links, avoid interacting with messages from unknown senders, and to go directly to her bank’s official website.  

Securing Our New Digital Frontiers

We can use technology to adapt and grow during this time, just as long as we all employ security best practices. So, whether it be telehealth, distance learning, or digital finances, your family should always keep the aforementioned tips top of mind 

And remember – you’re not in this alone. You’ve got the support you need during this new digital reality in the form of a comprehensive security solution, McAfee® Total Protection. With this solution, consumers are safeguarded from malware with cloud-based threat protection that uses behavioral algorithms to detect new threats. It includes comprehensive internet security, multi-faceted privacy protection, and our secure VPN to ensure your family is prepared for any potential threat. 

With robust, comprehensive security in place, your family’s devices will be consistently protected from the latest threats that came from our digital reality. With all these devices safe, everyone’s online life is free from worry.    

Stay Updated

To stay updated on all things McAfee and for more resources on staying secure from home, follow @McAfee_Home  on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook. 

The post Telehealth, Distance Learning, & Online Banking: Securing Digital Frontiers appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Together, We Block and Tackle to Give You Peace of Mind

As a leader in cybersecurity, we at McAfee understand that every aspect of your digital life has potential weak spots that could make you vulnerable to threats and attacks. By incorporating security into everything you do online, you’re better protected from potential threats. To mount your offense, we’ve enlisted a team of partners that puts your security needs first, seamlessly blending our security with their services so you can live a confident life online. We bring our McAfee security teams together with industry players like PC & smartphone manufacturers, software & operating system developers, and more to make sure we can keep scoring security wins for you.

PC Partners Sweat the Security So You Don’t Have To

When was the last time you worried about security while you were shopping for a new PC? You were probably checking out the specs, price, and making sure it had all the capabilities you needed for working remotely, distance learning, and maybe a little gaming. And that’s all in addition to the day-to-day productivity, banking, and browsing you do. Like a strong defensive line, HP, Dell, Lenovo, and ASUS work closely with us to make sure that your personal data and devices are secure, especially as you spend more time online than ever before. That’s why so many new PCs are preloaded with a free McAfee® LiveSafe trial to provide integrated protection from malware, viruses, and spyware from day 1 with minimal impact on performance.

McAfee protection goes beyond just antivirus. We help you keep apps and Windows up to date and patched against vulnerabilities, block intruders with our firewall, and help you clean up cookies and temporary files to minimize the digital footprint on your PC.

We build our security directly into the devices consumers rely on for everything from remote yoga to distance learning, so that they know they’ll be safer online, regardless of what their new normal looks like.

Our Defense Is More Mobile Than Ever

Part of a good defense is understanding how the game has changed. We recognize that our customers are using multiple devices to connect online these days. In fact, their primary device may not even be a computer. That’s why we work with mobile providers to ensure customers like you have access to our comprehensive multidevice security options. Devices like mobile phones and tablets allow users to access social media, stream content, and even bank on their terms. For that reason, our mobile protection includes features like VPN, so that you can connect any time, any place safely and use your apps securely.

Retail Partners Make Plug and Play Even Easier

Our online and brick & mortar retail partners are also irreplaceable on the field. We understand that shopping for security can be complicated – even intimidating – when faced with a wall of choices. Whether you’re in-store or browsing online, we’ll work together to address your security needs so that your devices and personal data are protected with the solution that works best for you. Many of our retailers offer additional installation and upgrade support so you can have one less thing to worry about.

Software Partners Help Us Mount a Better Defense

Your web browser is more than a shortcut to the best chocolate chip cookie recipe; it connects you to endless content, information, and communication. Equally important is your operating system, the backbone that powers every app you install, every preference you save, and every vacation destination wallpaper that cycles through. We partner closely with web browsers, operating systems, and other software developers to ensure that our opponents can’t find holes in our defense. Everything that seamlessly works in the background stays that way, helping stop threats and intruders dead in their tracks. Whether it’s routine software updates or color-coded icons that help differentiate safe websites from phishing scams, we’re calling safety plays that keep our customers in the game.

Our Security Sets Teams Up for Success

At McAfee, we work tirelessly to do what we do best: blocking the threats you see, and even the ones you don’t. These days your “digital life” blurs the lines between security, identity, and privacy. So, we go into the dark web to hunt down leaked personal info stolen by identity thieves. We include Secure VPN in all our suites to give you privacy online. It’s these capabilities that strengthen both the offense and defense in our starting lineup of security suites like McAfee® Total Protection and McAfee® LiveSafe.

In short, your protection goes from a few reminders to scan your device to a team of experts helping you stay primed for the playoffs. It’s a roster that includes technology and humans solely devoted to staying ahead of the bad guys, from McAfee Advanced Threat Research (ATR) investigating and reporting like to artificial intelligence and machine learning that strengthens with every threat from every device. In fact, in just the first three months of this year, our labs detected over six threats per second!

Cybercriminals may be taking advantage of this current moment, but together, we can ensure our defense holds strong. After all, defense wins championships.

Stay Updated

To stay updated on all things McAfee  and on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow @McAfee_Home  on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

The post Together, We Block and Tackle to Give You Peace of Mind appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

The DRaaS Data Protection Dilemma

Written by Sarah Doherty, Product Marketing Manager at iland

Around the world, IT teams are struggling with choosing between less critical, but important tasks, versus focusing on innovative projects to help transform your business. Both are necessary for your business and need to be actioned, but should your team do all of it? Have you thought about allowing someone else to guide you through the process while your internal team continues to focus on transforming the business? 

DRaaS Data protection dilemma; outsourcing or self-managing?
Disaster recovery can take a lot of time to properly implement so it may be the right time to consider a third-party provider who can help with some of the more routine and technical aspects of your disaster recovery planning. This help can free up some of your staff’s valuable time while also safeguarding your vital data.

Outsourcing your data protection functions vs. managing them yourself
Information technology has raised many questions about how it really should be done. Some experts favour the Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) approach. They believe that data protection, although necessary, has very little to do with core business functionality. Organisations commonly outsource non-business services, which has driven many to consider the idea of employing third parties for other business initiatives. This has led some companies to believe that all IT services should be outsourced, enabling the IT team to focus solely on core business functions and transformational growth.

Other groups challenge the concept and believe that the idea of outsourcing data protection is foolish. An organisation’s ability to quickly and completely recover from a disaster - such as data loss or an organisational breach - can be the determining factor as to whether the organisation will remain in business. Some may think that outsourcing something as critical as data protection, and putting your organisation’s destiny into the hands of a third party, is a risky strategy. The basic philosophy behind this type of thinking can best be described as: “If you want something done right, do it yourself.”

Clearly, both sides have some compelling arguments. On one hand, by moving your data protection solution to the cloud, your organisation becomes increasingly agile and scalable. Storing and managing data in the cloud may also lower storage and maintenance costs. On the other hand, managing data protection in-house gives the organisation complete control. Therefore, a balance of the two approaches is needed in order to be sure that data protection is executed correctly and securely.

The answer might be somewhere in the middle
Is it better to outsource all of your organisation’s data protection functions, or is it better to manage it yourself? The best approach may be a mix of the two, using both DRaaS and Backup as a Service (BaaS). While choosing a cloud provider for a fully managed recovery solution is also a possibility, many companies are considering moving away from ‘do-it-yourself’ disaster recovery solutions and are exploring cloud-based options for several reasons.

Firstly, purchasing the infrastructure for the recovery environment requires a significant capital expenditure (CAPEX) outlay. Therefore, making the transition from CAPEX to a subscription-based operating expenditure (OPEX) model makes for easier cost control, especially for those companies with tight budgets.

Secondly, cloud disaster recovery allows IT workloads to be replicated from virtual or physical environments. Outsourcing disaster recovery management ensures that your key workloads are protected, and the disaster recovery process is tuned to your business priorities and compliance needs while also allowing for your IT resources to be freed up.

Finally, cloud disaster recovery is flexible and scalable; it allows an organisation to replicate business-critical information to the cloud environment either as a primary point of execution or as a backup for physical server systems. Furthermore, the time and expense to recover an organisation’s data is minimised, resulting in reduced business disruption.

Consequently, the disadvantages of local backups is that it can be targeted by malicious software, which targets backup applications and database backup files, proactively searching for them and fully encrypting the data. Additionally, backups, especially when organisations try to recover quickly are prone to unacceptable Recovery Point Objectives (RPO).

What to look for when evaluating your cloud provider

It is also essential when it comes to your online backups to strike a balance between micromanaging the operations and completely relinquishing any sort of responsibility. After all, it’s important to know what’s going on with your backups. Given the critical nature of the backups and recovery of your data, it is essential to do your homework before simply handing over backup operations to a cloud provider. There are a number of things that you should look for when evaluating a provider.
  • Service-level agreements that meet your needs.
  • Frequent reporting, and management visibility through an online portal.
  • All-inclusive pricing.
  • Failover assistance in a moment’s notice.
  • Do it yourself testing.
  • Flexible network layer choices.
  • Support for legacy systems.
  • Strong security and compliance standards.
These capabilities can go a long way towards allowing an organisation to check on their data recovery and backups, on an as-needed basis, while also instilling confidence that the provider is protecting the data according to your needs. The right provider should also allow you the flexibility to spend as much or as little time on data protection, proportional to your requirements.

Ultimately, using cloud backups and DRaaS is flexible and scalable; it allows an organisation to replicate business-critical information to the cloud environment either as a primary point of execution or as a backup for physical server systems. In most cases, the right disaster recovery provider will likely offer you better recovery time objectives than your company could provide on its own, in-house. Therefore as you review your options, cloud DR could be the perfect solution, flexible enough to deal with an uncertain economic and business landscape.

Ransomware Could Be the New Data Breach: 5 Tips to Stay Secure

Cybercriminals tend to keep with the times, as they often leverage current events as a way to harvest user data or spread malicious content. McAfee COVID-19 Threat Report July 2020 points to a rather significant surge in attacks exploiting the current pandemic with COVID-19 themed malicious apps, phishing campaigns, malware, and ransomware. However, what many users don’t realize is that ransomware attacks are a lot more than meets the eye.  

COVID-19 Themed Ransomware

During the first few months of 2020, the McAfee Advanced Threat Research (ATR) team saw that cybercriminals were targeting manufacturing, law, and construction businessesAfter pinpointing their targets, hackers spread COVID-19 themed ransomware campaigns to these companies in an effort to capitalize on their relevancy during this time 

An example of one of these attacks in action is Ransomware-GVZ. Ransomware-GVZ displays a ransom note demanding payment in return for decrypting the firm’s compromised systems and the personal and corporate data they contain. The ransomware then encrypts the organization’s files and displays a lock screen if a user attempts to reboot their device. As a result, the company is left with a severely crippled network while the criminals behind the attack gain a treasure trove of data – information belonging to consumers that have previously interacted with the business.   

 

Ransomware Could Be the New Data Breach

As ransomware attacks continue to evolve, it’s not just file encryption that users need to be aware of – they also need to be aware of the impact the attack has on compromised data. Senior Principal Engineer and Lead Scientist Christiaan Beek stated, “No longer can we call these attacks just ransomware incidents. When actors have access to the network and steal the data prior to encrypting it, threatening to leak if you don’t pay, that is a data [infraction].” If a ransomware attack exploits an organization and their network is compromised, so is the data on that network. Hackers can steal this data before encrypting it and use this stolen information to conduct identity theft or spread other misfortune that can affect both the organization’s employees and their customers.  

This surge in ransomware is only compounded by traditional data infringements  which have also spiked in conjunction with the global pandemic. According to the McAfee COVID-19 Threat Report July 2020, the number of reported incidents targeting the public sector, individuals, education, and manufacturing dramatically increased. In fact, McAfee Labs counted 458 publicly disclosed security incidents in the few months of 2020, with a 60% increase in attacks from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020 in the United States alone. Coincidentally, the attacks targeting organizations also impact the consumers who buy from them, as the company’s data consists of their customer’s personal and financial information.  

Don’t Let Your Data Be Taken for Ransom

Because of the high volume of data that’s compromised by ransomware attacks, it’s crucial for consumers to shift how they approach these threats and respond in a similar way that they would a data incidentLuckily, there are actionable steps you can take as a consumer to help secure your data.  

Change your credentials

If you discover that a data leak or a ransomware attack has compromised a company you’ve interacted with, err on the side of caution and change your passwords for all of your accounts. Taking extra precautions can help you avoid future attacks. 

Take password protection seriously

When updating your credentials, you should always ensure that your password is strong and unique. Many users utilize the same password or variations of it across all their accounts. Therefore, be sure to diversify your passcodes to ensure hackers cannot obtain access to all your accounts at once, should one password be compromised. You can also employ a password manager to keep track of your credentials. 

Enable two-factor or multi-factor authentication

Two or multi-factor authentication provides an extra layer of security, as it requires multiple forms of verification. This reduces the risk of successful impersonation by hackers. 

If you are targeted, never pay the ransom

It’s possible that you could be targeted individually by a ransomware campaign. If this happens, don’t pay the ransom. Although you may feel that this is the only way to get your encrypted files back, there is no guarantee that the ransomware developers will send a decryption tool once they receive the payment. Paying the ransom also contributes to the development of more ransomware families, so it’s best to hold off on making any payments. 

Use a comprehensive security solution

Adding an extra layer of security with a solution such as McAfee® Total Protection, which includes Ransom Guard, can help protect your devices from these cyberthreats.  

Stay Updated

To stay updated on all things McAfee and for more resources on staying secure from home, follow @McAfee_Home  on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?,  and ‘Like’ us on  Facebook. 

The post Ransomware Could Be the New Data Breach: 5 Tips to Stay Secure appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

MPs criticise privacy watchdog over NHS test-and-trace data

UK information commissioner ‘must ensure government uses public’s data safely and legally’

A cross-party group of more than 20 MPs has accused the UK’s privacy watchdog of failing to hold the government to account for its failures in the NHS coronavirus test-and-trace programme.

The MPs have urged Elizabeth Denham, the information commissioner, to demand that the government change the programme after it admitted failing to conduct a legally required impact assessment of its privacy implications.

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ScamsWeek2020

Here’s How to Be Yourself and NOT let a Scammer Be You!

If you hadn’t truly embraced the incredible benefits of managing your life online, then I bet 2020 has changed things for you. With social distancing still a big consideration in day to day life, more Aussies than ever are managing their lives online so they can stay home and stay well. But, unfortunately, there is a downside – online scams. The expanded online playground of 2020 means cybercrims are upping the ante and investing even more energy doing what they do so well – scamming everyday Aussies out of their hard-earned cash.

This week is Scams Awareness Week in Australia – a good opportunity to be reminded of how our growing use of technology can give scammers more opportunities to trick us into giving away our valuable personal information. In 2019, a whopping $630 million dollars was lost by Australians in scams.

Scammers are Pivoting Too!

We’ve all heard it. 2020 is about pivoting – being flexible and seeking out new opportunities. Well, clearly, we aren’t the only ones heeding the advice with scammers changing things up to capitalise on the chaotic nature of 2020. In fact Scamwatch has seen a 55 per cent increase in reports involving loss of personal information this year compared with the same period in 2019, totalling more than 24, 000 reports and over $22 million in losses.

Many experts are warning that scammers are renowned for ‘following the money’ so are currently expending a lot of energy targeting Aussies’ superannuation and government relief payments. Using email, text or phone, a scammer will often pretend to be from a Government agency eg MyGov or the Health Department and will insist that they require personal information in order to help the ‘victim’ access government payments, or access their super fund.

They are after driver’s license details, Medicare numbers – whatever they can get their hands on that will give them 100 points of identification which is enough for them to assume the identity of the victim and effectively do anything in their name. They could apply for a credit card, access superannuation accounts, or even tap into a victim’s government payments!

What Can We Do to Protect Ourselves?

There are steps we can all take to minimise the risk of getting caught up in a scam and, to be honest, most of them are remarkably simple. Here are my top tips:

  1. Think Critically

If there was ever a time to tap into your inner Sherlock Holmes, it’s now! If you receive a call, text, or email from someone out of the blue who claims to be from a government agency then tread VERY carefully! Do not feel pressured to share any information with anyone who has contacted you – regardless of what they say. Take a moment and ask yourself why they would be contacting you. If they are calling you – and you still aren’t sure – ask for their number so you can call them back later.

Remember – reputable organisations will rarely – if ever – call you and ask for personal information. And if you still aren’t sure – ask a family member of trusted friend for their advice. But remain sceptical at all times!

  1. Passwords, Passwords, Passwords

Yes, I know I sound like a broken record – but having an easily guessable password that you use on all your devices and accounts is no different to playing Russian Roulette – you won’t come out on top! Unfortunately, data breaches are a reality of our digital life. If a scammer gets their hands on your email and password combo through a data breach – and you have used that same combo on all your accounts – then you are effectively giving them access to your online life.

So, you need a separate complex password for each of your online accounts. It needs to be at least 8 characters and a combination of numbers, letter (lower and uppercase) and symbols. I love using a nonsensical sentence but a password manager that does all the thinking – and remembering – is the absolute best way of managing your passwords. Check out McAfee Total Protection, which includes a Password Manager.

  1. Keep Your Personal Information Tight

The best way to keep your personal information safe is by keeping it to yourself! Limit the amount of personal information you share – particularly on social media. Oversharing online makes it even easier for a scammer to steal your identity. And please avoid linking up your credit or debit cards to your online accounts unless absolutely necessary. Yes, it’s so convenient and a great way of making spontaneous purchases but it is a very risky business.

2020 has certainly been a tough year for us all. Many of us are struggling – financially and psychologically as we come to grips with our changing world. So, please – take a little time to tighten up your online life and remember if something seems too good to be true then it probably is!

Stay safe everyone!

Alex x

 

The post ScamsWeek2020 appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Special Delivery: Criminals Posing as Amazon Are Out to Steal User’s Data

Working from home

One of the joys of online shopping is instant gratification – your purchases arrive on your doorstep in just a few days! Unfortunately, consumers aren’t the only ones taking advantage of this convenience – hackers are also using it to trick users into handing over money or data. Recently, AARP recounted several scams where cybercriminals posed as Amazon’s customer service or security team as a ploy to steal your personal information.  

How These Scams Work

These scams all begin with an unsuspecting user seeking help from Amazon’s customer support or their security team, only to find the contact information of a fraudster posing as the companyFor example, in one of these scamsa user called a fraudulent customer support number to help his wife get back into her account. However, the scammer behind the phone number tried to sell the victim a fake $999 computer program to prevent hacking on his own device. Thankfully, according to AARP, the man refused to send the money.  

 Another victim reported receiving an email from the “Amazon Security Team,” stating that a fraudulent charge was made on her account and that it was locked as a result. The email asked for her address and credit or debit card information to unlock her account and get a refund on the fake charge. But upon closer review, the woman noticed that the email address ended in .ng, indicating that it was coming from Nigeria. Luckily, the woman refused to send her information and reported the incident instead.   

Not all victims are as lucky. One woman received an email that looked like it was from Amazon and gave the scammers her social security number, credit card number, and access to her devices. Another victim lost $13,300 to scammers who contacted her through a messaging platform stating that someone hacked her Amazon account and that she needed to buy gift cards to restore it.  

Steer Clear of These Tricks

Many of these fraudsters are taking advantage of Amazon’s credibility to trick unsuspecting out of money and personal data. However, there are ways that users can prevent falling prey to these scams – and that all starts with staying educated on the latest schemes so consumers know what to look out for. By staying knowledgeable on the latest threats, consumers can feel more confident browsing the internet and making online purchases. Protect your digital life by following these security tips:  

Go directly to the source

Be skeptical of emails or text messages claiming to be from organizations with peculiar asks or information that seems too good to be true. Instead of clicking on a link within the email or text, it’s best to go straight to the organization’s website or contact customer service. 

Be wary of emails asking you to act

If you receive an email or text asking you to take a specific action or provide personal details, don’t click on anything within the message. Instead, go straight to the organization’s website. This will prevent you from accidentally downloading malicious content. Additionally, note that Amazon does not ask for personal information like bank account numbers or Social Security numbers in unsolicited emails 

Only use one credit card for online purchases

By only using one payment method for online purchases, you can keep a better eye out for fraud instead of monitoring multiple accounts for suspicious activity. 

Look out for common signs of scams

Be on the lookout for fake websites and phone numbers with Amazon’s logo. Look for misspelled words and grammatical errors in emails or other correspondence. If someone sends you a message with a link, hover over the link without actually clicking on it. This will allow you to see a link preview. If the URL looks suspicious, don’t click on it, as it’s probably a phishing link that could download malicious content onto your device. It’s best to avoid interacting with the link and delete the message altogether. 

Stay updated

To stay updated on all things McAfee  and on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow @McAfee_Home  on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook. 

The post Special Delivery: Criminals Posing as Amazon Are Out to Steal User’s Data appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Staying Home? McAfee Report Shows Malware May Come Knocking

It’s no secret that COVID-19 continues to reshape the way we live our everyday lives. With each passing day, we become more reliant on our devices to stay connected with friends and family, move our professional work forward, participate in distance learning, or keep ourselves entertained.

Unfortunately, hackers are all too aware of these habits. In fact, findings from “McAfee’s COVID-19 Threat Report: July 2020” have shown how criminals pair threats to whatever is present in consumers’ lives – specifically targeting pandemic-related industries, device habits, behaviors, and more with new malware strains.

A Day in the Life of Today’s Consumer

The day in the life of today’s consumer involves a lot of internet time.

Back in March, users first transitioned from in-office to work from home to promote social distancing. As a result, they conduct their 9-to-5 from their personal living space. But with such a rushed transition, some of these workers aren’t trained on how the change impacts their online security and could be potentially working on unsecured Wi-Fi.

Working professionals aren’t the only ones who have had to adapt to a new remote environment. Students have also made the transition to distance learning, moving from in-person course work to virtual classrooms. But as more students continue their curriculum from home and online activity increases, they become more reliant on digital platforms, such as video conferencing, that have now caught the eye of hackers.

When these professionals or students are done for the day, they then turn to some safe ways to unwind. To keep entertained, users have turned to online gaming, shopping, podcasts, social media, and TV streaming for fun – with the latter experiencing a 12% increase in viewing time in the third week of March alone.

More Online Activity, More Opportunities for Cyberattacks

As it turns out, this increase in online activity has given hackers plenty of new avenues to exploit, almost all of which are pandemic-related. First and foremost, hackers have targeted attacks at those that feel the impacts of COVID-19 most directly, AKA the public sector. As McAfee research discovered, incidents have increased during Q1 2020 within the public sector by 73%, individuals by 59%, education by 33%, and manufacturing by 44%.

Additionally, McAfee Labs saw an average of 375 new threats per minute and a surge of cybercriminal exploits through COVID-19 themed malicious apps, phishing campaigns, malware, and more during the first quarter of this year. Specifically, McAfee researchers discovered campaigns using pandemic-related subject lines – including testing, treatments, cures, and remote work topics. Criminals are using this sneaky tactic to lure targets into clicking on a malicious link, downloading a file, or viewing a PDF, resulting in the user’s device becoming infected with malware.

The Rise of Malware

Speaking of malware – according to the latest McAfee COVID-19 Threat Report, total malware increased by 27% over the past four quarters and new Mac OS malware samples increased by 51%. New mobile malware also increased by a whopping 71%, with total mobile malware increasing almost 12% over the past four quarters. As for IoT devices, new malware samples increased by nearly 58%, with total IoT malware growing 82% over the past few quarters.

Mask Your Digital Life

During this time of uncertainty, it can be difficult to decipher what is fact from fiction, to successfully identify a malicious scheme and stop it in its tracks. However, consumers can help protect their digital lives by following security best practices, now and in the future. Here’s what you can do to safeguard your security and remain worry-free:

Stay updated on the latest threats

To track malicious pandemic-related campaigns, McAfee Advanced Programs Group (APG) has published a COVID-19 Threat Dashboard, which includes top threats leveraging the pandemic, most targeted verticals and countries, and most utilized threat types and volume over time. The dashboard is updated daily at 4pm ET.

Beware of messages from unknown users

If you receive a text, email, social media message, or phone call from an unknown user regarding the pandemic, it’s best to proceed with caution and avoid interacting with the message altogether.

Use a VPN

Avoid hackers infiltrating your network by using a VPN, which allows you to send and receive data while encrypting – or scrambling – your information so others can’t read it. By helping to protect your network, VPNs also prevent hackers from accessing other devices (work or personal) connected to your Wi-Fi.

Use a comprehensive security solution

Use a robust security software like McAfee® Total Protection, which helps to defend your entire family from the latest threats and malware while providing safe web browsing.

Stay updated

To stay updated on all things McAfee and on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

The post Staying Home? McAfee Report Shows Malware May Come Knocking appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

How to Protect Your Privacy From Tracking Apps

Working from home

Apps – what would life be without them? Imagine opening a brand-new browser tab every time you wanted to check your email, access photos, connect with friends on social media, or even pay your bills online.

Apps have greatly enhanced the way consumers interact with and complete tasks on their mobile devices. But what many consumers don’t realize is that they are tracked by many of the apps they know and use daily. Tracking can stem from a variety of platforms, however one type in particular has brought this issue even more into the forefront: contact tracing apps, which can help slow the spread of COVID-19.

What Are Contact Tracing Apps?

According to MIT Technology Review, technologists have been working to build contact tracing apps and systems to identify and notify those who have come in contact with a virus carrier. Tech giants and public health authorities worldwide have quickly signed up to build the application programming interfaces (APIs) and apps necessary to support this project’s scale. However, many users are skeptical that they know very little about these apps, what data is collected, and who this data is shared with.

The success of these contact tracing apps rests on user participation. However, for these apps to make a real impact, developers must overcome potential privacy and security risks to assure individuals their data will only be used to fight the virus’ spread.

The Impact of Contact Tracing Technology

According to Health IT Security, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation released reports outlining potential privacy and security risks developers should consider when building APIs and drafting privacy policies. Some of these risks include geo-location tracking or tracking a device’s location in real-time.

Then there’s user behavior to keep in mind. Some individuals may not understand the extent of the information they share with an app, while others are uneasy about the idea that the government – or a hacker – could easily access their whereabouts. What’s more, users are concerned that data collection will fail to end after the pandemic and authorities will use it in the future for unwarranted public surveillance.

While the privacy concerns around contact tracing apps are genuine, it’s also important to consider how this technology could greatly benefit public health. Although the privacy protection instilled in some apps is still a work-in-progress, some technologies have successfully contact traced without putting users’ privacy at risk. For example, Singapore’s app TraceTogether only collects and gathers data at the point that someone 1) is confirmed to have COVID-19 and 2) consents to the scraping of that data. From there, the data is anonymized, encrypted, and doesn’t reveal the identity of the infected user or the person that may have come in contact with them. What’s more, the data is deleted automatically after 21 days. By employing a thoughtful approach to contact tracing, positive strides can be made towards stopping the virus’s spread without risking user privacy.

How to Stay Secure

As a consumer living in a world riddled with uncertainty, you can take steps to help protect your digital life. When it comes to the rise of contact tracing technology and other apps you may use, here are some tips to consider to help safeguard your private information.

Understand and read the terms

Because this technology is relatively new, there is much to consider if you’re thinking about downloading a contact tracing app. Consumers can protect their privacy by reading the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service so they can know just what they’re dealing with.

Update your settings

If you’re concerned about an app having permission to access your location, photos, or other data, check your settings to see which apps have access to this information. Change permissions by either deleting the app or changing your settings on your device.

Consider other options

If you are not comfortable downloading a contact tracing app on your device but would like to be informed of the virus’ spread, you can visit the CDC’s website for COVID-19 cases, which can be narrowed down by state and county.

Stay Updated

To stay updated on all things McAfee and on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

The post How to Protect Your Privacy From Tracking Apps appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Why Should You Pay for a Security Solution?

Online safety

Do you ever go a single day without using a digital device? The answer is probably not. According to the Digital 2019 report by Hootsuite and We Are Social, users spend almost 7 hours a day online. And due to the recent stay-at-home orders, that number has only increased (internet hits recently surged between 50% to 70%). What’s more, U.S. households are now estimated to have an average of 11 connected devices – that’s almost 3 devices per person in my family!  

As the use of devices, apps, and online services increases daily, so do the number of online threats consumers face. That’s why it is important users consider what the best method is for securing their digital life 

My advice? Use a comprehensive security solution (and I’m not only saying this because I work for McAfee). Here’s why. 

The Limitations of Free Security Tools

Let’s be real – we all love free stuff (Costco samples anyone?). However, when it comes to my family’s security, am I willing to risk their safety due to the limitations of free solutions?  

Free tools simply don’t offer the level of advanced protection that modern technology users need. Today’s users require solutions that are as sophisticated as the threats they face, including everything from new strains of malware to hacking-based attacks. These solutions also quite literally limit consumers’ online activity too, as many impose limits on which browser or email program the user can leverage, which can be inconvenient as many already have a preferred browser or email platform (I know I do).  

Free security solutions also carry in-app advertising for premium products or, more importantly, may try to sell user data. Also, by advertising for premium products, the vendor indirectly admits that a free solution doesn’t provide enough security. These tools also offer little to no customer support, leaving users to handle any technical difficulties on their own. What’s more, most free security solutions are meant for use on only one device, whereas the average consumer owns over three connected devices. 

Security should provide a forcefield that covers users in every sense of the word – the devices they use, where they go online, how they manage and store information, and their personal data itself 

Connected Consumers Need Comprehensive Solutions

Today’s users need more than just free tools to live their desired digital life. To truly protect consumers from the evolving threat landscape, a security solution must be comprehensive. This means covering not only the user’s computers and devices, but also their connections and online behaviors. Because today’s users are so reliant on their devices and connections to bridge the gap between themselves and the outside world, security solutions must work seamlessly to shield their online activity – so seamlessly that they almost forget the solution is there. This provides the user with the protection they need without the added distractions of in-app advertising or the constant worry that their subpar solution might not secure them from common online threats.  

Why McAfee Matters

Free security products might provide the basics, but a comprehensive solution can protect the user from a host of other risks that could get in the way of living their life to the fullest. McAfee knows that users want to live their digital lives free from worry. That’s why we’ve created a line of products to help consumers do just that. With McAfee® Total Protection, users can enjoy robust security software with a comprehensive, yet holistic approach to protection.  

First, consumers are safeguarded from malware with cloud-based threat protection that uses behavioral algorithms to detect new threats – specifically protecting the device and web browsing. The software’s detection capabilities are constantly being updated and enhanced, without compromising the performance of users’ devices.  

McAfee also provides users with protection while surfing the web, where they can face a minefield of malicious ads or fraudulent websites. These pesky threats are designed to download malware and steal private information. That’s why McAfee® LiveSafe and McAfee® Total Protection include McAfee® WebAdvisor – web protection that enables users to sidestep attacks before they happen with clear warnings of risky websites, links, and files. They also include McAfee® Identity Theft Protection, which helps users stay ahead of fraud with Dark Web monitoring and SSN Trace to see if personal information has been put at risk 

Finally, we can’t forget about the importance of mobile threat detection, given that consumers spend nearly half of their online time via their mobile devices. Hackers are fully aware that we live in a mobile world, and coincidentally they’ve stepped up mobile attacks. That’s why McAfee solutions provide multi-device protection so you can safely connect while on the go.  

With robust, comprehensive security in placeyour family’s devices will be consistently protected from the latest threats in the ever-evolving security landscape. With all these devices safeeveryone’s online life is free from worry.   

Stay Updated

To stay updated on all things  McAfee  and on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow @McAfee_Homeon Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook. 

The post Why Should You Pay for a Security Solution? appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

Why isn’t the government publishing more data about coronavirus deaths? | Jeni Tennison

Studying the past is futile in an unprecedented crisis. Science is the answer – and open data is paramount

Coronavirus – latest updates
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Wherever we look, there is a demand for data about Covid-19. We devour dashboards, graphs and visualisations. We want to know about the numbers of tests, cases and deaths; how many beds and ventilators are available, how many NHS workers are off sick. When information is missing, we speculate about what the government might be hiding, or fill in the gaps with anecdotes.

Data is a necessary ingredient in day-to-day decision-making – but in this rapidly evolving situation, it’s especially vital. Everything has changed, almost overnight. Demands for food, transport, and energy have been overhauled as more people stop travelling and work from home. Jobs have been lost in some sectors, and workers are desperately needed in others. Historic experience can no longer tell us how our society or economy is working. Past models hold little predictive power in an unprecedented situation. To know what is happening right now, we need up-to-date information.

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