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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 Is Smishing?

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...
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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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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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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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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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Norton @ DefCon

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...
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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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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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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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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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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: 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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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Paying Friends Through a Mobile Payment App

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....
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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How to Remove GPS and Other Metadata Locations From Photos

Once upon a time, a photograph provided only the information one could see in the physical print—no hidden data about locations, time and date, or the device that took the photo.  With the advent of easy digital photography, however, connecting extra information to the photos became easy as well.  This information, known as “metadata,” might include items like the GPS coordinates of the photo’s location, the date and time it was taken, the camera type and shutter settings, and the software used to edit the photo. Many digital photographers don’t realize that their photos might carry this...
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National Clean Out Your Computer day-The Importance of Clean Computing

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. Why Clean? Cleaning both your computer’s hardware and its software matters.  Clean hardware help...
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