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.
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.
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.
Encryption is the process of protecting personal data, often with a form of “secret code,” so that it cannot be read by anyone who doesn’t have the code key. Today, huge amounts of personal information are managed online, via computer applications, and stored in the cloud, or servers with an ongoing connection to the Web.
According to the credit reporting firm Experian, the average Internet user has about 19 different online accounts, for which they only have seven different passwords. In addition, one in ten users never change their online passwords, and one in 20 uses the same passwords for all of their online accounts.
Those statistics definitely show that the password system is broken. When passwords were invented in the 60's, they were rather simplistic, as there was not a wide scale need for them. Today we have passwords for an exponential amount of web services. Couple that with the fact that we no...
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Protecting your financial information is important, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. When on-the-go tools such as mobile banking apps make managing financial tasks easy, you should also take precautions to manage the risk of accessing sensitive financial information anytime, anywhere. This Credit Education Month, practice safe online habits with a few easy tips.
Taking Basic Security Precautions
Take precautions to make sure that your online financial management activities are secure. Be aware and vigilant by practicing these safe online habits:
Make sure the websites with which you...
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...
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...
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....
Ransomware has a unique and specific agenda, and one that can be entirely avoided if properly understood.
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.
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...
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...
February 8th is National Clean out Your Computer day, and as they say, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” For centuries, this saying applied to tasks like scrubbing the floors and dusting the bookcases. Today, however, it applies to your computer just as much as it does to your house.
When you “clean” your computer, you don’t just dust off the keyboard and wipe fingerprints from the screen. You also pay attention to the state of the hard drive, updating software and removing old programs.
Cleaning both your computer’s hardware and its software matters.
Clean hardware help...
While Valentine’s Day is for lovers, we bet you didn’t know that there is a holiday for the single folks as well! Singles Awareness Day was created as an alternative to Valentine’s Day, and whether you’re celebrating or commiserating your single status, we’re pretty sure that many of you have crossed paths with an online dating site at some point. Nowadays, online dating is as normal to life as is online shopping. Believe it or not, online dating has been around for 20 years, and as a result, cybercriminals are finding big money in people looking for love. 70% of compromised users are wome...
A distributed denial-of-service (DDos) attack is one of the most powerful weapons on the Internet. Most times that you hear about a website being “brought down by hackers” what that means is that it’s become a victim of a DDoS. A distributed denial-of-service (DDos) attack is one of the most powerful weapons on the Internet. Most times that you hear about a website being “brought down by hackers” what that means is that it’s become a victim of a DDoS.
Ransomware is a form of malware that will lock files on a computer using encryption. Encryption converts files into another format, like a secret code and can only be decoded by a specific decryption key.
Types of Ransomware
Ransomware can present itself in two forms.
Locker ransomware will encrypt the whole hard drive of the computer, essentially locking the user out of the entire system.
Crypto ransomware will only encrypt specific, seemingly important files on the computer, such as word documents, PDFs and image files.
Once the ransomware installs itself, ...
When you think of espionage, characters like James Bond might come to mind- having to travel halfway around the world, pretending to be someone they’re not, infiltrating organizations and stealing secrets. Even though James Bond is just a fictional character, old school spies like that do exist. However, with the advancement of all of our data becoming digitized, we’re quickly becoming introduced to the new school version of spies- cyber spies.
New school espionage simplifies the spying process extremely. Companies and institutions store almost an overabundance of data in their systems. I...
Unlike April Fools, which only happens once a year, scammers make a living off of fooling users 365 days a year. Here are a number of tricks that scammers use.
Phishing Scams: Whether it’s pretending to be your financial institution or a tweet from someone you know, asking, “Is this photo of you?”, phishing scams are after your login credentials to sites that are important to you. Recently, users of Google Drive and Google Docs were targeted in a sophisticated phishing scam. Phishing remains one of the most common scams used because they work, and as these scams become more innovative, th...
What is Heartbleed? Symantec is continuing to track this OpenSSL bug discovered recently and its implications for consumers. Symantec has created a site devoted to Heartbleed for further information. Watch to learn more:
"Heartbleed" a name that security researchers have given to a serious bug found in a very common piece of software used by many websites. The software in question is called OpenSSL and is used to encrypt the information that you send to and from websites, such as your login name and password or other sensitive information. You can usually recognize when websites encrypt...
As a tourist in a foreign city, especially a chilly one hosting hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world this weekend, it’s probably wise for you to learn a few key phrases to protect yourself, like:
Спасите! (Spasite!) “Help!” Пожар! (Požar!) “Fire!” Стой! (Stoj!) “Stop!”
…but, what if you need to protect your mobile device or laptop? These phrases are pretty ineffective against cyber crimes. The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team reports that possible targeted attacks could appear in the form of spam, phishing scams, fake websites, or drive-by download campaigns, an...