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The Day I Thought Cybercriminals Left Me For Dead

Early on a Wednesday evening, I received a call from my doctor. Her voice, frantic on the line, proclaims, “I’m so happy to hear your voice- the strangest thing happened today. You were marked in our system as deceased for about 20 minutes.” I paused for a moment out of shock, and assured her I was very much alive and well. She went on to explain how she’d never seen anything like it before. As the initial shock wore off, we started to have a bit of a laugh on how bizarre this was. 

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How to Avoid Public Wi-Fi Woes on a Business Trip

As summer arrives, it’s not just families that will be filling airports and hotels. While other people may be vacationing, business travelers will continue to work their way around the country and the world, often using unsafe public Wi-Fi.

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Is Your Identity Exposed? Tips to Secure Your Identity Online

Did you know that 429 million identities were exposed in 2015? Findings from the 2016 Symantec Internet Security Threat Report show that this number actually hides a bigger story. While there was a record number of 9 mega breaches in this year, companies are not required to disclose the full extent of a data breach. The total number of people affected by a data breach and whose identity is compromised as a result could be much greater. A conservative estimate by Symantec accounting for unreported breaches pushes the number of records lost in a data breach to more than a half billion, in ...
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Why Hackers Love Public WiFi

A free Wi-Fi connection in a public space can seem like a lifesaver when you’re on the go. But if you decide to use public Wi-Fi, just be aware that you could be making yourself an easy target for hackers — and putting your information and more at risk. Online Crime Takes Many Forms The Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report announced that 594 million people around the world were victims of cybercrime in 2015, with 21% of Americans getting their email hacked and 12% having their financial data stolen after shopping online. With public Wi-Fi available everywhere, what seems like a conveni...
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Don’t Let Social Network Sharing Ruin Your Celebrations

Celebrating life’s milestone events is something we cherish. Births, weddings, and anniversaries. Even a death, although sad, can be a reason to celebrate the life of a loved one. And in most cases, as we share news of these milestones with friends, family, or our larger social networks, we never stop to consider that positive information could be used in a negative way. But it could.

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Your Summer Vacation Guide to Mobile Device and Public Wi-Fi Security

Vacation may be a time for rest and relaxation, but your mobile devices likely won’t be getting a break. Now that smartphones and tablets are part of our daily lives, we spend more time than ever staying connected, even while on vacation. Just think of all the selfies you’ll be taking and updates you’ll be posting to your social networks! But, while sharing your vacation moments will be a fun way to capture your R&R, your fun vacation could turn into a bad situation if you choose to use your mobile devices on free public Wi-Fi during your trip. Learn how to be aware of using your mobile devices on public Wi-Fi at key points on your vacation.

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What Is a VPN? And Why You Should Use a VPN on Public Wi-Fi

If you’ve ever wondered if it’s safe to use public Wi-Fi, you are not alone. In fact, according to the Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report, 6 in 10 consumers believe using public Wi-Fi is riskier than using a public restroom. And it is. Surfing the Web or transacting on an unsecured Wi-Fi network means you’re placing your private information and anonymity at risk. That’s why a virtual private network, better known as a VPN, is a must for anyone worried about online security and privacy. 

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How a Gmail Password Stealing Scam Works

Sophisticated cybercriminals have devised a way to steal email credentials that bypasses two-factor authentication security and doesn’t rely on otherwise easy-to-spot phishing methods. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself from this email password stealing scam. Who is affected? Symantec researchers have found this scam largely targets Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo Mail users. However, everyone with an email account should be aware of how this scam works to avoid falling victim. See how the scam works. In just a few quick steps, cybercriminals trick victims into disclosing email ...
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May The Fourth Be With You

Did you know that there was more than one Death Star? What’s more, the destruction of each one of them was via one vulnerability, or weakness in the whole system. To celebrate May the Fourth we’re taking a look at vulnerabilities that nearly ended the Empire. Whichever side you choose, don’t become a victim to software vulnerabilities. As the story goes: A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… The Death Star I was designed to be an impenetrable fortress and a symbol of the Emperor’s hold on the galaxy. In case you’re not familiar with it, the Death Star is a fully contained; moon s...
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The Risks of Public Wi-Fi

Picture this. It’s Saturday morning and you’re hanging out at your local coffee shop using the free Wi-Fi to catch up on a few tasks you couldn’t quite get to during your busy week. Sound familiar? This is a typical scenario for many of us, but did you know you might be unaware of some threats lurking in the background on public Wi-Fi while you balance your bank account and sip a latte? What Is Public Wi-Fi? Public Wi-Fi can be found in popular public places like airports, coffee shops, malls, restaurants, and hotels — and it allows you to access the Internet for free. These “hotspots”...
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Teach Your Kids to Avoid Online Scams

Surfing the Internet means possible exposure to online scams, something your children might not have any concept of. If you’re allowing them to go online, it’s imperative that you discuss online scams. Such scams come in a variety of guises, including those that specifically target children. Let’s look at how to best protect your kiddies from those who would scam them: Educate Yourself First The first step in protecting your children from online scams is to educate yourself on the types of scams currently floating around the Internet. One type of scam is the free trial offer, which clai...
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10 Facts About Today's Cybersecurity Landscape That You Should Know

The cybersecurity landscape is constantly evolving with new threats and never-before-seen vulnerabilities being discovered by security experts and, just as likely, exploited by cybercriminals at a fast pace. Breaking news alerts of widespread data breaches or high-profile hacks serve as reminders of the need for security online, but the flood of information can also be overwhelming. Let this cut through the clutter - Here are 10 facts you need to know about today's cybersecurity landscape:   1: Cybercriminals are using more zero-day vulnerabilities than ever before. A new zero-day vuln...
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How Can I Tell If I Have Malware and What Can I Do About It?

Malware has become a catchall term for various types of cyber security risks, such as viruses, Trojan horses, worms, adware, ransomware and spyware. Many of us use these terms interchangeably to describe strange symptoms or behaviors encountered on a computer. However, all of them share a common goal, which is to compromise the safety of your devices. Symptoms of malware may appear obvious or discrete; knowing how to detect these dangerous intrusions will help you determine how to go about fixing the problem should it ever occur.   Malware is short for malicious software and refers to pro...
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How Does Malware Get Past Security Software?

Have you ever run your Internet security software only to find out that there’s malware on your computer? How did it get there? When you’re running a full Internet security suite, it can be very frustrating to find out that, despite your best efforts, there’s malware on your computer anyway. The fight against malware is a complicated arms race of sorts. Here’s how it works. The Four Components of the Malware Arms Race There are three main players in the malware arms race: Malware Coders: The malware coders are, unfortunately, generally the winners of the arms race. They write mali...
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What is Grayware, Adware, and Madware?

If you’re like most Internet users, you’ve never even heard of grayware, adware or madware. That’s because these are all lower on the threat scale in the world of malicious programming. What’s more, they toe the line between legitimate programs and actively harmful applications. Here’s your quick guide to the new wave of code you don’t want on your computer: What Is Grayware? Grayware is a more succinct name for “potentially unwanted programs.” It’s not a virus and it’s not as obviously malicious as a lot of other problematic code floating around on the Internet. Make no mistake about...
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How Do Firewalls Prevent Computer Viruses?

You’ve likely heard the word ‘firewall’ used to describe a measure of prevention against cyber criminals. But that doesn’t mean you know how a firewall actually works, does it? Don’t worry—the truth is that most people don’t how a firewall works; they just expect it to do its job. But it’s actually a lot simpler than you might think. Once you learn a little more about firewalls, you might feel more confident about installing one on your home computer, if you haven’t already. If you’re already using a firewall to prevent cyber attacks, perhaps learning more about how it works will improve ...
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How to Use Your New PC or Mobile Device Safely Online

There are more mobile devices on our planet than there are people. It is no surprise that our daily and digital lives have become a seamless unit of existence. Just like your real life, your digital life comes with its own ups and downs. The upside of your digital life is that you can start fresh with a new device and clean up any old hang-ups that can compromise you. We, at Norton know everything there is to know about the safety of your digital life. We are determined to stay one step ahead of cyber criminals and keep our customers safe. If you have a new device or PC do not miss our g...
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The Importance of Data Back-Up

Have you ever lost a lot of really important data? Or, alternately, have you ever had a moment of panic where you thought you did? Whether it’s images of a family vacation, a report from work or a semester’s worth of homework, you probably have data on your computer that’s not just valuable, it’s too valuable to lose. Backing up your data regularly will help you to avoid the crushing feeling that comes with finding out that all your hard work and treasured memories are gone. The Importance of Backing Up Let’s face it, no matter how great your computer or external hard drive are, one da...
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Why March Madness Is Bad for Business

Every spring the NCAA college basketball tournament — known as March Madness — turns workplaces into play spaces. Betting on brackets and watching games seem more suited to sports bars, but since many of the games are played during the workday, it’s not unusual for otherwise dedicated employees to schedule in some pleasure along with business. However, March Madness can cost workers and small business owners much more than productivity as cybercriminals target unsuspecting fans with malware.

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What Are Some of the Laws Regarding Internet and Data Security?

Numerous laws in the U.S. cover Internet, data security, and privacy in the United States, with the 1974 Privacy Act arguably being the foundation for it all. The Privacy Act passed to establish control over the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of personal information by agencies in the executive branch of the U.S. government. The invention of the Internet changed the definition of privacy, and made it necessary to enact new laws concerning electronic communications and security. Let’s review some of the laws currently in place to provide a more solid idea of your rights a...
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Symantec Financial Threats Report Gives Consumers Security Tips

It’s tax season, so our finances are top of mind for many of us. Cybercriminals are thinking about our money, too. After all, most cybercrimes are committed for monetary gain. According to the Symantec report titled “Financial Threats 2015,” cyber thieves are developing stronger attacks on banks and other institutions to try to access our hard-earned money. Here’s an inside look at the top threats financial companies faced in 2015, plus tips on keeping your own bank accounts secure. 

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The Dos and Don’ts of Using Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is available just about everywhere, from the local coffee shop to the hotels and airports you visit while traveling. Wi-Fi has made our lives a little easier, but it also poses security risks to the personal information available on our laptops and smartphones. Here is a helpful list of dos and don’ts you should follow if you plan to use public Wi-Fi.

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5 Ways You Can Help Yourself Stay Secure Online

When you’re using the Internet, your Internet security suite can only go so far to protect you from potential dangers like spyware, ransomware and malware. You have to do some of the work yourself, because there are some threats that no Internet security suite can protect you against. Social engineering is a good example of this. Social engineering is a technique that cybercriminals use, which involves human-to-human interaction in order to get the user to divulge information. Based on exploiting human nature and emotional reactions, there are many ways that attackers can try to trick y...
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Exploring the Deep Web

There are multiple “layers” to the Internet that you may not be aware of. The first, or top layer is called the surface web, and it is the part of the web that is crawled by search engines. That’s the part that you can see, it’s where Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and everything else under the search engine sun lives. The second layer of the Web is called the deep web. Think of it as an ocean- on the top you have the boats dragging their nets across the surface. The boats are the web crawlers for search engines, and the “nets” catch what is on the surface for indexing by the search engine. ...
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How Can I Access the Deep Web?

Believe it or not, accessing the deep web is easier than you think. In fact, you’ve probably already done it. The media hasn’t done a great job of differentiating what’s considered deep web, and what is actually dark web—two similar titles for two very different things. What Is the Deep Web? The deep web is just what it sounds like: below the surface and not completely dark. Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing are able to search and index websites because of links; they use links to rank search results according to things like relevancy, inbound links, and keywords. But that’s w...
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4 Steps to Make Your Smart Home More Security Smart

“IoT” is an acronym for the “Internet of Things.” And any device that can connect to the Internet and transmit or receive data can be considered a “smart” thing. That includes smart homes, also known as connected homes. Smart homes — in which IoT devices such as thermostats or ovens can be programmed from anywhere — are popular with consumers who seek convenience. Some people, however, may not realize the connected devices or appliances they’ve grown to depend on could leak private information or be susceptible to hackers. In the rush to get products to market, smart device makers may not see security as a priority. 

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Sneaky Spammer Tactics and How To Avoid Them

Spam is a problem on the Internet, coming at us from just about every angle of the online space. Some spammers develop sophisticated, well-planned strategies, while others can be sloppy and still drive results. Either way, spam tactics come in a variety of shades, and it’s up to users to identify signals early on and avoid unsolicited content. Here’s a look at some spam tactics used in popular Internet spaces. Become familiar with these tactics to help identify them and avoid them whenever possible.  Spam on Social Media  A lot of the time, spam on social media is just bad social med...
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How to Spot Baseball Spring Training Scams

As winter drags on, almost everyone starts to look forward to spring — but perhaps no group looks forward to March quite as much as true-blue baseball fans. After all, its arrival means Cactus League and Grapefruit League spring training baseball camps open in Arizona and Florida. If you decide to go big, just remember to watch for scams when buying merchandise or tickets online — or you might find yourself striking out on Internet security.

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Watch Episode Two of "The Most Dangerous Town on the Internet- Where Cybercrime Goes to Hide" Now!

Today we are proud to announce the launch of the second installment in our documentary series "The Most Dangerous Town on the Internet."  In episode one, we visited the town Râmnicu Vâlcea, which is better known as "Hackerville." In the first film, we met hackers from all walks of life, including white, grey and black hat hackers, and talked to them about their motivations behind what they do. In the second installment, we travel all corners of the globe to find out where cybercrime goes to hide, by exploring what is called Bulletproof Hosting. While the hacker is the operator of the att...
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What Are Browser Hijackers?

A browser hijacker is defined as a “form of unwanted software that modifies a web browser’s settings without the user’s permission.” The result is the placement of unwanted advertising into the browser, and possibly the replacement of an existing home page or search page with the hijacker page. The idea is to make users visit certain websites whether they want to or not so the hijacker enjoys higher advertising revenue. Browser hijackers may also contain spyware to obtain banking information and other sensitive data. As frustrating as browser hijackers can be, they luckily aren’t terribly...
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Netiquette For Parents

No one said parenting is easy. Especially when your children are doing things in the cyber world that you as a child never imagined. With the wealth of information and non-traditional methods of making friends and hanging out, our children are no doubt having a good time, thanks to the advancements in technology. But that still doesn’t mean they have the liberty to do as they please at the expense of others. One of the most important aspects of parenting is setting a good example. Your kids will closely watch your online manners and etiquette. You need to be aware and educated about net...
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Cyber Safety for Women

An unfortunate number of women are becoming victims of cyber crimes. According to a recent study more women are known to use the Internet to enrich their relationships compared to men. Young women, those 18-24, experience certain severe types of harassment at disproportionately high levels: 26% of these young women have been stalked online, and 25% were the target of online sexual harassment. The growing reach of the Internet and the rapid spread of information through mobile devices has presented new opportunities that could put some women at risk, so it’s important to be mindful of the...
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7 Ways to Ensure Your Data Is Safe During Vacation

It’s barely spring and already you’re thinking about vacation. Where will you go? What will you do? Who will you meet? Vacations are an exciting, happy time for people to get away and avoid the everyday worries of home. But the fun and leisure comes to a screeching halt in the event that your personally data is compromised while traveling. Vacations can often put your personal information at risk, due to careless missteps in how you go about preparing to leave, how you communicate while on vacation, and what you share on social media. Here are seven ways to ensure your data stays safe wh...
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5 Tips to Protect Yourself from Online Travel Booking Scams

Thanks to the Internet, booking travel online is simple. But as your ideas of a spring break or summer vacation take shape, remember to be cautious when making reservations online. The number of phony travel booking websites is growing because they’re so successful at scamming consumers. Learn what to do so you don’t take a quick trip to Fraudville instead of your dream destination.

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What Is Bulletproof Hosting?

You’ve heard of malware, ransomware, botnets, and the like. What you don’t hear about is the technology behind these threats. These threats all have to come from somewhere, they’re not just out there floating around on the internet- they have to be stored someplace. Since a majority of these threats are illegal in a lot of countries, this is where bulletproof hosting helps facilitate these threats. To clearly understand what bulletproof hosting is, we should first take a step back and talk about regular hosting. A regular web hosting service is a company that operates a facility, usually ...
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Taking Steps Towards Online Safety This International Women's Day

A major new survey titled reveals that 76 percent of Australian women under the age of 30 have experienced online harassment. This International Women’s Day, let’s make the online world a safer one. In 2015, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull invested $100 million in a Women’s Safety Package. At the launch of the package, Michaelia Cash, Minister for Women and Employment, said ‘all women in Australia and their children should be safe at home, should be safe on the streets and should be safe online’. As a senior leader at an online security company and mother of a teenage girl, I have a uniq...
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How to Freeze Your Credit Report and When

Freezing your credit report is sometimes very necessary. It prevents credit thieves from opening new cards and other accounts in your name, and is often recommended when you’re dealing with the ramifications of identity theft. What Is a Credit Freeze? A credit freeze, also known as a security freeze, gives you the chance to “lock” your data at major credit bureaus. Doing this also makes it impossible for identity thieves to use your name on anything linked to your credit report. You will receive a password or personal identification number to use for temporarily lifting or removing the f...
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What Are Bots?

Bots, or Internet robots, are also known as spiders, crawlers, and web bots. While they may be utilized to perform repetitive jobs, such as indexing a search engine, they often come in the form of malware. Malware bots are used to gain total control over a computer. The Good One of the typical “good” bot uses is to gather information. Bots in such guises are called web crawlers. Another “good” use is automatic interaction with instant messaging, instant relay chat, or assorted other web interfaces. Dynamic interaction with websites is yet another way bots are used for positive purposes. ...
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What is Cyberbullying?

Online socializing has both good and bad sides to it. While it has opened a whole new dimension of ways to communicate and has added convenience to our lifestyles, it unfortunately has some unpleasant effects too. Cyberbullying is one example that has had devastating outcomes on our youth. It uses online communication to abuse or degrade someone. It’s a crime that doesn’t restrict itself to the playground. With advancements in technology, cyberbullying has gained notoriety over the years. Unlike bullying, cyberbullying doesn’t require physical strength or a face-to-face meeting. Anyone...
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How to Prepare a Smartphone or Tablet for Vacation

There are few times your smartphone or tablet will be more at risk than when you go on vacation. Although these items have been specifically designed to accompany you on your travels, they’re full of personal information that can put you, your finances, and your personal property at risk. There’s no reason to assume the worst when you go on vacation, but you can greatly reduce your chances of a security breach by preparing your smartphone or tablet ahead of time and remaining vigilant while on your trip. Here’s how to prepare a smartphone or tablet before you go on vacation. Change You...
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Introducing Episode 2 of “In Search Of The Most Dangerous Town On The Internet - Where Cybercrime Goes to Hide"

Last year, the Norton team brought you a new look into cybercrime via the documentary “In Search Of The Most Dangerous Town On The Internet.” Through this film we investigated the Romanian town Râmnicu Vâlcea, also known as "Hackerville." While there, we spoke with various types of hackers and about their motives, and how they do what they do. In the second installment of our series, we explore the far corners of the globe, in search of bulletproof hosting, which is how cybercriminals execute their attacks. Watch the trailer today, and tune into Most...
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How to Let Go of Old Tech Securely and Responsibly

According to several studies on cost of ownership, users should replace their computer devices every four years. Not everyone will need to upgrade his or her computer every four years, but it’s a good rule to follow to ensure your data is safe and properly protected online. To help you remember, every time we have a leap year ask yourself: when was the last time I bought a new computer? If you can’t remember, chances are you may be due for an upgrade. Once you’re ready to make the switch, you’ll need to follow a few steps to ensure your old technology has been properly wiped and recycled,...
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What Are Cookies?

Mention “cookies,” and most people expect a treat to appear. When talking about computers, however, cookies aren’t what’s on the dessert menu. In fact, they’re not even physical objects. Yet they do a great deal of the work that makes it possible for you to browse the Internet—and they can cause trouble if you don’t know how to manage them. Meet the Cookie A computer “cookie” is more formally known as an HTTP cookie, a web cookie, an Internet cookie, or a browser cookie. The name is a shorter version of “magic cookie,” which is a term for a packet of data that a computer receives, then s...
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Good Cyber Hygiene

Have you heard of something called cyber hygiene? Surely brushing teeth and taking showers isn’t something we traditionally associate with technology—yet the term is a useful metaphor for those of us who need to make smart decisions about our smart devices. Good hygiene is something we’re taught as children and something that generally sticks with us for the rest of our lives. It involves three basic principles: using products/tools that fit our hygiene needs, performing these hygienic tasks correctly, and establishing a routine. But what does that have to do with your computer? Cyber h...
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What to Do When a Device Is Lost or Stolen

Realizing your mobile device has been stolen is a sickening feeling, and often one that elicits panic. As challenging as it may be, you must remain calm so you can take the necessary steps to retrieve the device, or at least keep your data protected. You may never see your phone again, but you’ll know that your personal information is safe from those who would abuse it. Let the Right People Know The first thing to do is to let the authorities know your mobile device was stolen. File a report with the police—not only is this helpful for insurance purposes but it also increases recovery ch...
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The Risks of Third Party App Stores

Sure, downloading apps from third-party sites—i.e. not the Apple Store, Android Market, or Blackberry App World—can be all kinds of tempting. However, to do so is to put your device, and therefore yourself, at risk. What Third-Party App Stores Do Dangerous third-party app stores work via malicious advertising or even code. The ads or codes are “injected” into popular apps users purchase through these stores instead of legitimate options. While not all third-party apps are “bad,” many stores bait users by offering popular apps for much cheaper prices, and subsequently put user privacy ver...
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Protecting Android Devices and Why They’re so Vulnerable

The security argument between Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android system for smartphones is heating up yet again. In a recent study conducted by Daniel R. Thomas, Alastair R. Beresford, and Andrew Rice at the University of Cambridge, research concluded that 90 percent of Android devices are exposed to at least one critical vulnerability.  The threat model was constructed using three common attack vectors: installation attack (malicious codes installed through app download); dynamic code loading (an existing app downloads new malicious codes); and injection (an attacker injects malicious code...
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What To Do When You Fall For An Email Scam

Falling for an email scam is something that can happen to anyone. It’s a frightening concept, and one that frequently results in undiluted panic. Also known as a phishing scam, an email scam involves using email and fraudulent websites to steal sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, account data, addresses, and more. Fraudulent emails are crafted to appear legitimate, such as messages from your bank or another trusted source. They request personal information, which criminals then use for identity theft. So what should you do if you find yourself a victim of an e...
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Participating in Legitimate Surveys- What Personal Data is OK to Give Away

Companies of all sizes use online surveys to gather important market research, which they later utilize to direct product development and marketing initiatives. This critical step in the marketing process is appealing to some online users because they get paid to complete surveys, and earn rewards or special discounts from popular brands. Some surveys aren’t paid at all, offering consumers little more than the opportunity to participate in the development process of a product or service. There’s been a lot of hype about people allegedly making a living off of these online surveys, causing...
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What is a Botnet?

The Internet is filled with threats to online security. Many of these threats are just productive, positive technologies turned to evil use. The botnet is an example of using good technologies for bad intentions. A botnet is nothing more than a string of connected computers coordinated together to perform a task. That can be maintaining a chatroom, or it can be taking control of your computer. Botnets are just one of the many perils out there on the Internet. Here’s how they work and how you can protect yourself. Botnets are the workhorses of the Int...
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