VoIP is an acronym for “voice over Internet Protocol.” That means any phone call that takes place over the Internet, rather than on landlines or through mobile towers. This alternative to traditional phone calls is gaining in popularity exponentially with both companies and consumers. Skype, Google Voice, and FaceTime are well-known and extremely popular examples of Internet telephony services. The question is: Are phone calls made over the Internet vulnerable to standard online security risks? The answer is yes, as is any other information transmitted this way, especially in light of recent hacks to VoIP apps. Read on to find out how to secure your VoIP calls.
When hacking was first introduced in film and television, it was nowhere near as prevalent as it is today. The threat landscape was years away from becoming what it is now, so hacking and cybercrime wasn’t quite the household name it is today, therefore, there was a wide unfamiliarity of it within the public eye.
Directors and writers have struggled with how to portray hacking in film simply because the act of hacking in real life is not very interesting or visually compelling. It’s just lines of code scrolling down a computer screen. In order to keep the viewer entertained they used chee...
Cyberbullying is not very different from the ill reputed bullying that happens in the school yard. It has the same psychological and social implication that leaves the formative minds of children insecure. What makes cyberbullying a little more intense than bullying is it not limited to the school yard.
According to a 2015 survey 34.4% of students between the ages of 11 and 15 have been cyberbullied. This includes children who have been threatened online to be hurt, had rumors spread about them, or had mean and hurtful comments or pictures of them online.
This onslaught of hateful messag...
Did you know that an attacker can flood your house via the water dispenser on your connected refrigerator? Or that bluetooth enabled locks can be picked from ¼ of a mile away using radio frequencies? I didn’t either, until I attended this year’s DefCon 24, an annual hacking convention in Las Vegas.
While a hotel in Las Vegas full of 22,000 hackers sounds like it might not be a good idea, it’s just the opposite. The purpose of this conference is to bring together Internet security professionals from all over the world to help educate, inform and learn how to make the Internet a safer place...
An estimated 11.7 million people are victims of identity theft each year. It is a growing crime and it is expected to grow more with each passing year.
There is a big demand for stolen identities in the underground economy. Criminal outfits specializing in identity theft will go to any lengths to get their hands on your information.
So what do these thieves do with your information?
Your personal information in the hands of these criminals means you are putting your finances and your reputation at risk.
It takes less than 30 seconds for a criminal to drain your bank account. They can...
A form of phishing, smishing is when someone tries to trick you into giving them your private information via a text or SMS message. Smishing is becoming an emerging and growing threat in the world of online security. Read on to learn what smishing is and how you can protect yourself against it.
Put simply, smishing is any kind of phishing that involves a text message. Often times, this form of phishing involves a text message in an SMS or a phone number. Smishing is particularly scary because sometimes people tend to be more inclined to trust a text message than an email. Most people a...
This year, Norton visited DefCon 24, a hacking conference held in Las Vegas. Established in 1993, this conference is designed to bring together people from all realms of the Internet security sector to explore the latest threats that are currently on the Internet, and to learn how to get ahead of them. This year, the conference had a record-breaking attendance of 22,000 people ranging from hackers, coders, journalists (me!), security researchers and even federal government employees.
This was my first time attending this conference, and although I did my research on it, it was beyond my e...
Identity theft is a growing menace. With each passing day, cyber criminals are getting greedier and more malicious. They don’t spare anyone when it comes to reaping unethical financial gains.They wont stop at anything and that includes conning innocent little children.
A child’s identity is a hot commodity in the underground economy. Usually a child has no credit history. That’s a clean slate for criminals to restart what they once squandered. Since children wouldn’t be using their Social Security number until much later in their lives, the crime goes unnoticed for years ...
Wireless Internet access is one of the modern conveniences of our time. However, your home wireless router can also be an access point for hackers. If your Wi-Fi router isn’t secured properly, you could be letting anyone with a wireless-enabled device gain access to your home network. That means you’re opening up your emails, banking information, and maybe even details of your smart home’s daily schedule to criminals.
Basic Wireless Security
Every router should have a password to keep out the bad guys. Some routers come with default passwords, but you should change these during setup. C...
Many VPN providers safeguard their customers’ anonymity by offering a no-log network, meaning that they do not collect, or “log,” any information transmitted through the network. They don’t save information about your personal details, where you go online, what you download, or what you search for. Therefore your privacy and anonymity are protected from everybody — even your VPN provider.
The goal of this game is quite the opposite of all other games- to get you out into the world and interacting with other people playing the game. If anything, parents have been applauding this game for getting their children off of the couch and out getting some actual exercise. So far, my favorite headline about the game has been “Sore Legs Become Pandemic As Pokémon Go Players Accidentally Get Exercise.”
However, I’ve also stumbled upon some other news headlines that are quite worrisome, that affect people’s virtual and physical privacy. As a result, instead of writing a typical artic...
One of the great things about this game is that is popular amongst both children and adults, so our main suggestion is to play with them. This can be a great opportunity for you to engage and play along with your children!
First things first, with all apps your children are interested in, download the app and play it yourself to become familiar with what your children will be doing. This way, you can become more informed about the gameplay, and you can talk to your child about how to be safe while using it.
This is part two of a three part series where we are going to delve into examini...
In one way or another, you’ve probably heard of Pokémon Go, the latest new app that seems to be taking over smartphones everywhere. When I first heard about the app, it piqued my curiosity, given my passion for cyber security. Admittedly, I became addicted immediately, which lead me to research how the game works, how to play it, and what the possible security risks are that come along with the game.
Firstly, it is important to note that this game is not your average smartphone game. It uses a technology known as augmented reality, which is a blend of real life and technology. There are m...
If you’ve uploaded pictures to Facebook recently, you might have noticed that it has the uncanny ability to recognize people's faces. This is just one example of high-tech facial recognition software in action. Here’s what you need to know about this emerging technology.
How Facial Recognition Software Works
You’ve never given much thought to how you recognize a face, and probably even less to how a computer would do it. Still, it’s not news that human faces have certain qualities you recognize. The spacing of eyes on a face, the position and width of a nose, the shape of a hairline and ...
Introducing “Zero Days,” the real-life cyber warfare documentary featuring Symantec cyber-security experts Eric Chien and Liam O’Murchu.
You may have heard about the Stuxnet virus in the media over the years. However, brief news reports don’t even begin to uncover the darkness of this threat. In “Zero Days,” director Alex Gibney takes a deeper look at the sophisticated piece of weapons-grade malware that destroyed a part of an Iranian nuclear facility, as well as help facilitate espionage by spying on its target.
This thrilling documentary discusses the complexity of the virus with Sy...
Identity theft is the worst kind of theft there is. You don’t just lose your finances, you lose yourself. There is someone out there taking over your life one step at a time and ruining it for you. There are a whole lot of things criminals can do to compromise your identity. They have a lot to gain from stealing your identity because there is a huge clientele for stolen identities on the Dark Web.
Here are a few things cybercriminals can do when your identity is stolen.
Once your identity is compromised there is no stopping criminals from going on a shopping spree using your cred...
You’re probably familiar with 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi hotspots. In today’s increasingly connected mobile world, there are a variety of ways to get and stay connected to the Internet, but what’s really the safest way?
Truth be told, nothing is 100% safe. However, there are ways that you can beef up your own security to get as close to that 100% as possible. It begins with understanding what these technologies are, and the risks that come along with them.
How Do Mobile Devices Connect to the Internet?
Let’s break down the three different ways your mobile device can connect to the Internet, and...
Mobile payment apps are changing the way we do business, but they can also be convenient ways to send money to friends and family. It’s easier than ever to send money to the people who need it, but also easier than ever for hackers to gain access to that money before it gets where you want it. How do you keep yourself and your money safe, while also being able to access the convenience of mobile payment apps?
How Mobile Payment Apps Work
You can pay using your phone, even without apps. Some companies, such as your phone company, allow you to pay your bill using standard text messaging....
There’s a good reason hackers love free public Wi-Fi. It’s because they can easily access information on unsecured Wi-Fi networks. So when you’re in a coffee shop or an airport checking your emails or paying bills while on public Wi-Fi, you could be letting cybercriminals spy on your sensitive and personal information.
VPNs, or virtual private networks, like Norton WiFi Privacy can turn those public Wi-Fi hotspots into secured private connections. Watch this short (30 seconds!) video to see how a VPN could give you a new sense of security on Wi-Fi.
File sharing technology is an easy way for individuals or institutions to transfer content on the internet. There are several peer-to-peer (P2P) applications and services available. Some applications are free and others offer paid subscriptions for larger storage capacity, speedier service or extra security. File sharing is a very common activity for most online users, but file sharing also makes you susceptible to various online threats including identity theft, infection or attack.
If you plan on using file sharing technology be sure personal data and other sensitive materials are secur...
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.
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.
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 ...
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...
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.
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.
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.
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 ...
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...
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”...
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...
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...
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...
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:
The malware coders are, unfortunately, generally the winners of the arms race. They write mali...
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...
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 ...
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...
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...
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.
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...
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.
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...
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. ...
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...
“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.
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...
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.
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...
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...
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...