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Social Media Scams Based on Current Events

We are sure you’ve seen them lurking in your news feeds- breaking news reporting a celebrity’s death, photos of natural disasters striking major cities, video footage of riots and outrage over an accidental shooting- all seemingly legitimate news stories. However, this “news” may not be what it seems. In 2016, Facebook has reported that it has 1.71 billion monthly active Facebook users. Twitter has 313 million monthly active users. With so many active users, popular social sites are a scammer's paradise. Scammers will try to entice you into clicking by posting sensational or emotional bre...
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How to Spot a Fake Android App

Just because an app is in the Google Play Store doesn’t mean that it is a legitimate app. Google is constantly removing fraudulent apps from the Android marketplace, such as fake antivirus, browsers, and games.  Besides Google Play, and other app markets, there are many other ways that fake apps can get onto your Android device. Scammers will try any means necessary to trick you into installing a fake app. Criminals use emails and SMS messages that appear to be from your bank, credit card company or other brands to trick people into downloading applications that will compromise their data....
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When Were Computer Viruses First Written, and What Were Their Original Purposes?

Modern day computer virus origins may surprise you- their goals were not quite the same as they are today. Early on, viruses had varied utilities and were engineered mostly by people in computer science industries.  College students created viruses for research projects in order to help further their studies and fine-tune their coding skills. In addition to research, those students would also construct code to play practical jokes on their classmates. Engineers at Xerox created a computer worm meant to search for idle processes in a computer network. A pair of programmers created a boot...
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Top 5 Tips to Protect Your Identity on Campus

Top 5 Tips To Protect Your Identity On Campus Back to school season is upon us, and while you are caught up in the enthusiasm of moving into your new dorms and ogling your class schedules, it is doubtful that the thought of protecting your identity is at the forefront of your mind. However, with 41% of adults having fallen victim to attacks such as malware, viruses, hacking, phishing scams, fraud and theft last year, it’s important to take practical action to keep your information safe on campus. There are the obvious precautions to take in protecting your devices, such as never le...
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How To Protect Yourself From Cyberstalkers

With the wealth of information available online, this makes it easier for Cyberstalkers to gain access to their victims. Read on to learn about ways to keep your personal information hidden from unwanted eyes.

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How To Avoid Identity Theft Online

Identity theft is a growing threat on the Internet landscape. 9 million identities are stolen in the US every year. Learn how to protect yourself from becoming one of those 9 million.

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How To Protect Yourself From Phishing Scams

Phishing scams have one objective- gaining access to your money. Cybercriminials are always trying different tactics to try to trick you out of your personal information. Read on to learn how to spot a scam and protect yourself against scams and spyware.

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How To Choose a Secure Password

Strong, secure passwords are one thing that stands between you and a potential data breach. Here are some tips on how to make your passwords more secure and ways to manage them all.

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Keeping Your Mobile Fitness Data Secure

October is National Cyber Security Awareness month. Mobile fitness trackers are a new technology that is all the rage. Learn how to secure your health data and continue to use these useful tools in becoming a healthier you. This is part 10 in a series of blog posts we will be publishing on various topics aimed at educating you on how to stay protected on today’s Internet landscape. The advancement of technology brings tools that can allow us to track every facet of our daily lives: what we eat, how we sleep, how much we run, and even vital signs like heart rate and blood pressure. On the ...
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Mobile Scams: How-to Identify Them and Protect Yourself

With the mobile market gaining on PCs, cybercriminals are setting their sights on mobile devices. Learn how to protect yourself from mobile malware, phishing attempts, social media scams and more.

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Security Concerns and the Connected Car

Connected cars are a relatively new technology in the Internet of Things, however, we've dug a little deeper into this tech. Read on to learn just how secure these technologies are and what you can do to safeguard your personal information.

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My Account May Have Been Hacked—What To Do Now?

You may have seen it on the news recently; 7 million Dropbox usernames and passwords were allegedly stolen. Initial reports were that the Dropbox service itself had been hacked; however, the company issued the following statement on their blog: The usernames and passwords referenced in these articles were stolen from unrelated services, not Dropbox. Attackers then used these stolen credentials to try to log in to sites across the Internet, including Dropbox. Regardless of where the leak originated, this is something we see all too often in the tech and busine...
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The Connected Home- Just How Safe Is Convenience?

The connected home, or smart home, is the next big thing within the Internet of Things (IoT). Here we examine the security concerns of this new emerging technology, and give you tips on how to keep your automated home safe.

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Parents Best Practices to Social Media Security

With connected kids today, it can be a full-time job for parents to be able to monitor their online activities. We’ve put together some helpful tips and guidelines so that you and your whole family can enjoy social media safely.

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Theft-Proof Your Mobile Data

What would your company do if an employee's device was lost, or even worse, stolen? Does your business  have measures in place to protect the data on the device?

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Four Mobile Threats that May Surprise You

Viruses and malware isn't just for computers anymore. What is your business doing to keep your mobile devices safe from these threats?

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How Do Cybercriminals Get Caught?

It's a rather long and complicated process with many individuals involved. Here we explain just how cybercriminals get caught.

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The Importance of General Software Updates and Patches

Software updates can seem like an annoyance, but they are actually critical to the protection of your system.

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POS Malware Data Breaches and Why They Keep Happening

In recent news, more and more reports have surfaced about data breaches impacting millions of consumers. Many of these data breaches involve a business’s point of sale. The main objective of point of sale (POS) breaches is to steal your 16-digit credit card numbers. Sixty percent of Point of Sale (POS) transactions are performed via credit card, which means big business for cybercriminals (individual credit cards can be sold for up to 100 dollars apiece). The industries most affected by POS data breaches are usually restaurants, retail stores, grocery stores and hotels. The mainstream me...
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The Importance of Two-Factor Authentication

With reports of data breaches becoming more frequent, now is the time to look into ways to make your accounts more secure.

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Securing Your Game Console and Gaming Account

Today’s gaming consoles are independent computers, but they are not yet at the stage where they are susceptible to malware in the same way PCs and other devices are. Even though the consoles are resistant to malware for the time being, there are still ways that cybercriminals will try to gain access to your valuable gaming accounts. In addition to phishing attempts on gaming accounts, online gameplay can be affected by hackers via Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. These attacks do not involve the users’ consoles directly; rather hackers intentionally flood the gaming company...
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What to Do in the Event of a Major Data Breach

Stories of massive corporate data breaches in the media are becoming all too common today. So common that the FBI now considers cyber attacks on US companies one of its top law enforcement priorities. Unfortunately, as technology progresses and all of our information becomes more and more digitized, cyber attacks will continue to be an unfortunate part of our lives in the future. Corporations and even smaller businesses are an extremely attractive target to cybercriminals, simply due to the large payday of data that can be stolen.  What Can Cybercriminals Do With My Stolen Data? The main...
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Online Dating and Protecting Your Privacy

This month, American singles will flock to the multitude of dating services that are available online. Online dating has lost the stigma it once had, as a study conducted by Pew Research found that one in ten Americans have used an online dating website or mobile app in 2013. With the negative stigma of online dating nearly abolished, the popularity of these services is on the rise, which has caught the attention of scammers. What are the risks? As with anything you post online, it’s out there for everyone to see, so you will want to be careful with what identifiable information you u...
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What To Do In The Event Of A Bank Breach

You may have heard in the news recently that an Internet crime group, Carbanak, stole up to one billion USD by targeting the institutions themselves rather than individual customers. They transferred funds to controlled accounts and hacked ATMs via SMS messaging over the last two years. Cyber security experts at Symantec have been tracking Carbanak for some time now. What can cybercriminals do with my data in the event of a banking or financial institution breach? Cybercriminals are attracted to stealing data that they can make money from, such as credit and debit card numbers, bank a...
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What Is A Man In The Middle Attack?

In a sense, a man-in-the-middle attack (MITM) is like eavesdropping. Data is sent from point A (computer) to point B (server/website), and an attacker can get in-between these transmissions. They then set up tools programmed to “listen in” on transmissions, intercept data that is specifically targeted as valuable, and capture the data. Sometimes this data can be modified in the process of transmission to try to trick the end user to divulge sensitive information, such as log in credentials. Once the user has fallen for the bait, the data is collected from the target, and the original data...
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Data Privacy and Ridesharing Apps

In busy towns and congested cities, ridesharing apps are quickly becoming all the rage. They’re a new and interesting marriage of technology and commuting that helps us keep up with this “always on” lifestyle. However, they’re also kicking up quite the controversy over how companies handle our real-time location data and overall privacy. What is ridesharing? Uncommonly referred to as “real-time ridesharing,” these new mobile apps are taking the local markets by storm. They allow a user to request an almost instant ride to wherever they need to go with just the push of a button.  In a...
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Malware 101: How Do I Get Malware on My Computer? Part Two

In other posts, we’ve explained the different types of malware on the threat landscape, and some of the less complicated ways your computer can become infected with malware. In this article we’ll talk about the more complicated types of attacks that cybercriminals use to try to get your information. Exploit Kit Exploit kits are malicious toolkits that attackers use to search for software vulnerabilities on a target’s computer. The kits come with prewritten code that will search for the vulnerabilities, and once it is found, the kit can then inject malware into the computer through tha...
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Malware 101: How Do I Get Malware on My Computer? Part One

We’ve previously explained the different types of malware that are prevalent on the threat landscape, which begs the question: How does malware get onto my computer? Bundled Free Software Programs Free is never usually 100% free when it comes to software and apps- there is always some trade-off. Frequently, free software companies will partner with other companies and bundle additional software within the download. Mostly, these programs are bundled with toolbar add-ons, however, hidden within these add-ons can be spyware, ad libraries, and even browser hijackers. While this is not ma...
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What is Social Engineering?

We talk about software vulnerabilities a lot, and the human versions of those are our emotions. When people are faced with frightening scenarios, their first impulse is to act first and think later. This is the exact “vulnerability” that social engineers depend upon for a successful attack. Types of Social Engineering Attacks Social engineering is a way that cybercriminals use human-to-human interaction in order get the user to divulge sensitive information. Since social engineering is based on human nature and emotional reactions, there are many ways that at...
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Malware 101: What Is Malware?

Spyware, ransomware, and bots, oh my! A lot of these terms are prevalent on the Internet, but it may seem impossible to know what all these terms mean, and how they actually affect your devices and personal information. The term, “virus” has been the commonplace word for all malicious software programs for years now; however, a virus is just one type of malicious threat. A virus is classified as a self-replicating piece of malicious code that travels by inserting itself into files or programs. The threats on the cyber landscape have evolved into more than just viruses, and can cause mu...
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SSL Certificates: What Consumers Need to Know

Guest post by Jeff Barto, Trust Strategist, Evangelist & Website Security Advocate for Symantec In 1994, the first online purchase crossed the World Wide Web: a large pepperoni pizza with mushrooms and extra cheese from Pizza Hut. Over the next 20 years, e-commerce has exploded into a bustling economy, exceeding $1.2 trillion in sales in 2013. This growth in online purchases rests upon a foundation of trust. People trust that the websites they use to track finances and make online purchases are secure and legitimate largely because of Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates- otherwi...
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What is the Difference Between Black, White and Grey Hat Hackers?

Not all hackers are inherently bad. When used in mainstream media, the word, “hacker,” is usually used in relation to cyber criminals, but a hacker can actually be anyone, regardless of their intentions, who utilizes their knowledge of computer software and hardware to break down and bypass security measures on a computer, device or network. Hacking itself is not an illegal activity unless the hacker is compromising a system without the owner’s permission.  Many companies and government agencies actually employ hackers to help them secure their systems. Hackers ar...
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What is Cyber Espionage?

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...
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Data Breaches Aren't Going Away- What You Need To Know

It may seem like stories of massive data breaches are popping up in the news on a weekly basis these days. Unfortunately, this is not surprising. As technology progresses, all of our information moves to the digital world, and, as a result, cyber attacks are becoming the new wave of crime. Corporations and even small businesses are extremely attractive targets to cybercriminals, simply due to the large payday of data that can be nabbed in one fell swoop. What is a data breach and how and why do they happen? The main reason that cybercriminals are stealing personal information is for us...
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Password Managers Are The Key To Secure Passwords

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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Ransomware- When Cybercriminals Hold Your Computer Hostage

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, ...
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Thanksgiving - Cybersecurity Technologies We're Thankful for and Why

Thanksgiving not only marks the start of the fantastic holiday season—it’s also a time to reflect on what you’re thankful for. One of the many things to be thankful for this holiday is cybersecurity, which has gotten more and more advanced as of late.

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Safe Online Shopping For The Holiday Season

The holidays are just around the corner, and that means many of us will be making purchases online to avoid large crowds and busy mall traffic, especially during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

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Encryption: How To Utilize it Online and Why It’s Important

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.

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DOS Attacks Explained

A “denial of service” or DOS attack is used to tie up a website’s resources so that users who need to access the site cannot do so. Many major companies, have been the focus of DOS attacks in recent years. Because a DOS attack can be easily engineered from nearly any location, finding those responsible can be next to impossible.

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What Are Malicious Websites and Drive by Downloads?

Most people are unaware of the fact that you don’t have to intentionally download a malicious attachment in order to compromise your computer’s security. Malicious websites and drive-by downloads are just two ways that your security can become compromised by doing nothing more than visiting a website.

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The Most Common Threats Children Face Online

Children are among the most active Internet users, and are unfortunately subject to a number of threats. If you allow your children to spend considerable time surfing the web, it’s important to know what threats they face so you may deal with them accordingly.

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What Is Malvertising?

Malvertising is a shortened term for malicious advertising, and is defined as using online advertising to spread malware. Malvertising requires placing malware-laden advertisements on legitimate web pages and through authentic online advertising networks in order to infect a web browser and device. Often, it’s very difficult to distinguish between legitimate and malicious online ads.

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Kirby the North Pole IT Elf Presents: Paper or Plastic

Our favorite holiday IT elf is back with some more holiday shopping tips! This week he reviews "paper or plastic," and we're not talking about grocery bags. 

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PC or Mac: Which Is More Resistant to Cyber Threats?

Cyber criminals are not run-of-the-mill street hooligans. Assailants of online crimes are educated, tech-savvy, sophisticated individuals who don’t care if you prefer PC to Mac or vice versa. There has been considerable debate in the tech arena regarding the security of one machine over the other. Are PCs more prone to cyber attacks? Is a Macbook really less vulnerable to online threats? The debate wages on. For a long time Mac users enjoyed a period of peace—they felt impervious to threats, only to realize years later that the sophisticated hacker would eventually evolve to this platform...
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Telltale Signs an App Is Violating Your Privacy

Malware isn’t just for laptops and desktops. In fact, it can be a lot easier for malware to end up on your mobile phone or tablet than your computer. When it comes to mobile malware, a little bit of paranoia goes a long way. Malicious apps can steal your personal information, including sensitive financial information that can then be used to steal your identity. A lot of malware ends up on your phone due to malicious apps. So what are signs that you might already have a malicious app on your phone? Slow Internet Connections A slow Internet connection doesn’t always mean malware, but it...
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Biometrics How Do They Work? Are They Safe?

Biometrics are part of the cutting edge of technology. Put simply, biometrics are any metrics related to human features. Fingerprinting is a very early and simple version of biometrics, like when you login to your phone using your fingerprint. As with any emerging technology, the first question you should ask is if they are safe. How Do Biometrics Work? If you’ve ever put your fingerprint into an device, you have a vague idea of how biometrics work. Basically, you record your biometric information, in this case a fingerprint. The information is then stored, to be accessed later for compa...
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Credit Monitoring Services and Other Anti-Fraud Protection

Identity theft is the most common complaint lodged with the Federal Trade Commission, to the tune of 11.7 million a year. That means roughly one-in-five Americans over the age of 16 have become victims of identity theft. 14 percent of those victims experienced a monetary loss of $1 or more. Half of all victims resolved the issue within a day, but nearly one-third (29 percent) had to spend a month or more getting their life back on track. While identity theft gets a lot of the press, there are other forms of fraud out there, both on the Internet and off. The good news is that there are a my...
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What Is a DDoS Attack? - #30SecTech by Norton

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. 

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6 Tips To Maintain Your Privacy While Searching For Jobs Online

Looking for employment today is dramatically different from how it was just two decades ago. It’s rare to just walk into a business, fill out an application, and get hired within the same day; today’s job hunt often begins and ends online.

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