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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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Public Wi-Fi Security 101: What Makes Public Wi-Fi Vulnerable To Attack And How To Stay Safe

Nowadays, free public Wi-Fi is widely and readily available in larger cities—airports, restaurants, coffee shops, libraries, public transport, hotel rooms, you name it. Of course, we all know jumping on a free Internet connection can be a convenient way to access online accounts, catch up on work, and check emails while on the go. However, the security risks should not be forgotten. While the best way to protect your information is to avoid accessing sensitive information or performing sensitive transactions when connected to public Wi-Fi, there are additional measures you should be awar...
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Pwned: The John4356783 Story

A year ago we reached out to the gamer community at DreamHack in Sweden to find out what they wanted from their anti virus software and more specifically what they didn’t want. Their biggest request was for anti virus that didn’t use up precious PC resources.  They also asked for security software that wouldn’t interrupt them when they were gaming. Some of them even asked for anti virus that would automatically change its mode of operation to accommodate them appropriately when they were gaming versus when they were surfing. Of course we could have just walked down the hall and talked to s...
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Quick Tip Guide to Kids' Social and Mobile Privacy

You can’t always keep track of what your children are doing online. For the most part it will be harmless fun, but there’s always the danger that they could stumble into areas they shouldn’t without realizing. Unfortunately, those areas can be the most innocent-seeming ones, such as social networking or mobile apps. You can have the usual parent-child conversations about not chatting to strangers and not revealing too much about themselves, but sometimes the apps take matters into their own hands and give away more than they should. Check out these quick steps you can take to make socia...
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Ransomware And The Importance Of Backing Up

Ransomware has a unique and specific agenda, and one that can be entirely avoided if properly understood.

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Ransomware and the Importance of Backup

There has been a lot of coverage in the tech-related blogosphere lately regarding a specific threat called (among other things) Trojan.Gpcoder.F.  Once this malware has infected your machine it searches for files on your system that could potentially be important to you (based on the extension of the file) and then encrypts the data using a 1024 bit key (technically it creates an encrypted copy of the file and deletes the original.)  Once your data has been encrypted, the malware informs you that your files are being held for ransom along with details on how to buy the decryptor program to...
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Ransomware- 5 Do's And Don'ts

Guest Post By Kevin Haley, director, Symantec Security Response I despise all forms of bullying. Perhaps the one I hate most of all is where the bully takes a personal item, snatching it from you, and refuses to give it back. It’s dangled right in front of you, but held just out of reach. You’ll only get it back after doing whatever the bully wants. Ransomware is an on-line form of the bully’s game of keep-away. Here, the bully gets on your computer and takes your personal files -words documents, photos, financial information, all the things you care about. Those files are still on your ...
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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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Recall Needed: Consumer Reports Security Suites Review

In recent years, Consumer Reports (CR) decided to take on reviewing security software in addition to the scores of energy drinks, vacuum cleaners and toasters they put through the paces annually. Consumer Reports has faced some challenges in this new endeavor; you might remember they generated a fair bit of industry discussion based on their security testing practices. Well-known organizations like McAfee, Sunbelt and others voiced concerns at test methodology that fell well outside the industry norm. Last year, we were – to put it mildly – shocked by the information and results published ...
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Reinforcing Secure Behavior

There was a great article in the most recent issue of the Communications of the ACM entitled "The Psychology of Security: Why do good users make bad decisions?" The main thrust of the article is to shed some light on the psychological process for decision making and how the process manifests itself when users are asked to make security decisions. Armed with this knowledge security software developers can make better decisions regarding what to present to a user and how these choices should be ultimately represented. I took away three key observations from the article: First, the article po...
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Rethinking Wearable Technology In An Era of Physical-Digital Innovations

Experiencing and using the latest innovations in technology is always exciting—and wearable devices are no exception. Driven by technological advances, social factors, and the Internet of Things, consumers everywhere are enthusiastically embracing wearable technology. As a result, being connected to the Internet is becoming a part of daily life, creating a reality where the physical and digital worlds intersect and overlap at an unprecedented rate, often leaving security behind. Physical-Digital Innovations Allow Us To Experience The World In Unprecedented Ways Connected consume...
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Russian Hackers Collect 1.2 Billion Passwords In A Mega Breach

The New York Times has reported the largest known collection of stolen Internet credentials by a Russian crime ring. These hackers reportedly amassed 1.2 billion username and password combinations, and more than 500 million email addresses from 420,000 websites through botnets (computers that have been infected with and controlled by a computer virus). The sites ranged from small sites to larger household names. Many of the targeted sites are still vulnerable. 2014: The Year Of The Mega, MEGA Breach? In Symantec’s 2014 Internet Security Threat Report, researchers declared 2013 as “The Ye...
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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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Safe Online Shopping Tips 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. While online shopping has made our lives easier, it also exposes new weaknesses with the information we use to make those very purchases. The holiday season is a lucrative time for online retailers and cybercriminals see this as an opportunity to profit as well. In fact, Norton Safe Web found that shopping sites are amongst the top ten most frequently exploited websites. An additional concern is bogus e-commerce websites, which are made to look le...
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Save the Whales

“Whaling”.  The term brings up images of Captain Ahab and harpoons.  For some folks, “whaling” brings up thoughts of deep-pocketed Vegas high-rollers.  Unfortunately, what I’m referring to is a product of today’s online threats. It’s a new phishing scam called “whaling” and its emerged to target the big fish – top-level corporate executives at leading companies and organizations.  By doing some easy research up front, phishers can hit those at the top with surprising success because most corporate email conventions are easy to figure out (eg. First initial_last nameatcompanydotcom).  These...
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Scammers' Tricks You Don’t Want To Be Fooled By

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...
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Secret Life Of Your Mobile Apps Infographic

A Symantec study found that consumers who were most concerned about privacy and security were least likely to be vigilant about what and how information was being used by their free apps.

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Securing Employee Technology, Step by Step

With the popularity of smartphones and tablets growing in the consumer markets, many employees choose to “bring your own device (BYOD)” to with them to work. Learn how to secure your data along with your employees' technology in this 13th article for National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

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Securing the Internet of Things - #30SecTech video

Wearable devices, the connected home, and the connected car, although all relatively new technologies, have quickly become the new rage in tech. Everything from the devices in your pocket, to the appliances in your home, and the car you drive can transmit information about your life habits because they all have one thing in common: they are connected to the Internet and you are connected to them. And in some cases they are connected to each other. This new tech phenomenon is called the Internet of Things (IoT). The Internet of Things allows wearable devices such ...
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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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Securing Your Small Business Social Media Plan

Today's social media is a crucial tool for business,  Companies that use Twitter, Facebook and other tools in an organised and efficient manner can achieve incredible engagement for relatively little cost, and (with a healthy dose of good fortune) a strong social media campaign can take off around the world and do more for brand recognition than traditional advertising. The key is finding the right balance between informal spontaneity and well-planned company output, and it’s a balance a huge number of businesses are finding hard to get right. Engaging with customers and listening to cons...
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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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Security Experts 'Pin' So-Called Miracle Diets As Social Scams

Obesity is a known topic of conversation in the United States, with one in three U.S. adults being categorized as overweight. Most of us have come across posts claiming to promote a new weight loss "miracle" in our online experiences. Healthcare experts are constantly reporting that there is "no such thing" as a miracle diet, but, much like a fabled lake monster, or a giant hairy beast in the woods, legends die hard.  Scammers are always trying to find new ways to lure in vulnerable dieters who still want to believe that an easy solution exists. They use social media as a vehicle to peddle...
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Shellshock, The Latest Mac OSX and Linux Vulnerability—And What It Means For You


Security researchers have discovered a new bug, called, Shellshock, that affects Linux and Unix platforms. If exploited, the bug could impact public facing web servers and Mac OSX users. Our experts let you know what you can do to keep your data safe.

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Six Key Strategies To Boost E-Commerce Sales This Holiday Season

In the world of e-commerce, cybersecurity, trust and sales are all interrelated, each influencing the other. The more trust indicators you display on your website, the more trust you gain, and the more trust you gain, the more sales you win. Consumers are willing to spend more during the winter holidays than at other times of the year, and online shopping has grown rapidly over the last decade. In fact, a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation revealed that 56% of US consumers expect to do some or all of their holiday shopping online this year, while 44% plan to do all of th...
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Smart Tips For Smart TV Watching With Dad

It’s Father’s Day once more on June 15th, but this isn’t any old Father’s Day – this one might as well have every dad’s birthday and Christmas Day rolled in as well. Yes, Father’s Day in 2014 falls right at the start of the World Cup in Brazil and on the final day of the US Open golf championship, which makes it all the more likely that dad will be settling down in his armchair to enjoy that new Smart TV he’s had his eye on. But as with anything that connects to the Internet, it pays to be aware of the security issues, and Smart TVs are no different. Only this week the news has been full ...
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Sneaky Spammer Tactics and How To Avoid Them

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

Nobody likes being manipulated—and that’s exactly what happens to people when they fall victim to social engineering scams online. In addition to using more sophisticated malware, ransomware, and viruses, online criminals have become increasingly aware of the use and power psychology plays in weaving believable online fiction. By ‘engineering’ a believable scenario, criminals are able to manipulate users to act on otherwise risky behavior. There’s a dark art to this skill, and it’s one that can cause you and your online network a great deal of distress should you become compromised. Socia...
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Social engineering: meh or muh-oh?

Social engineering: meh or muh-oh? There’s been a lot of news lately about the CanSec security conference where all the major Web browsers were “hacked”. The attack for the Safari Web browser required the user to click on a link, after which complete control of the machine was given to the attacker. Is that a real attack since it required somebody to click on a link? Aren’t viruses all about hacking into somebody’s machine without them doing anything? Not really. The Internet landscape has changed a lot recently. Not too long ago, a virus or worm could infect your computer while it just sa...
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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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Software Terms of Service and Privacy Policies Explained

If you’re like most people, you don’t read the Terms of Service when you get a new app or buy a new device. That’s a big mistake, because a lot of apps on the market that are less-than-ideal, known as “grayware,” count on you allowing them access to your information. They know most people don’t read the Terms of Service, so their Terms of Service include language authorizing a massive invasion of your privacy. At the same time, you might have noticed that most Terms of Service is just boilerplate. How do you read the Terms of Service and find out what you need to know about privacy without...
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SONAR 2

SONAR is a behavioral security engine that is at the heart of our antimalware defenses. With the unprecedented growth in malware that has been observed over the last few years, an effective security product has to able to distinguish a bad piece of new binary/software from a good one without the need for a fingerprint.  SONAR, first introduced a couple years ago into the Norton products, has been re-written for the 2010 products to keep pace with today’s threat landscape and take advantage of other new capabilities, such as our Quorum reputation services. Why do we need behavioral security...
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SONAR 3: A new level of behavioral security in Norton 2011

This year we have some innovative changes that build upon the successful, effective, and efficient SONAR 2 behavioral security engine. For those who are not familiar with SONAR technology, here is a link to an article that describes it. With SONAR 2, we have a proven track record of being able to convict malware and secure Norton users from malware designed to evade most other security features. In the last nine months alone we prevented upward of 4.2 million infections out of about 140 million incidents that we analyzed for Norton users. Most of these incidents were never-before-seen malw...
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Spring Break and Mobile Device Safety

Technology can add many conveniences to travel: you can check into your flight via smartphone, make last-minute reservations for restaurants or local attractions, take hundreds of photos to commemorate your trip, and even get a little help navigating an unfamiliar city. However, when packing and planning for a vacation, how often do you think of mobile device security? Between picking out the perfect bikini, and loading up all of your ski gear, mobile security is probably the last thing on your mind, but it should be the first. We live so much of our lives through our devices these days; ...
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Spring Cleaning to Secure Your Digital Life

Tidy Up Your Digital Life It’s time to delete those digital dust bunnies – that includes programs you don’t use and unimportant files littering your desktop. Here are a few quick tips to get started: Cleanup your PC workspace: Some programs automatically create a short-cut that will be displayed as an icon on your desktop. Deleting short-cuts that you don’t use will not delete the program, but it will keep your desktop clean and organized.   Get organized: Create categories for your files (work, financial statements, family photos, kids’ homework, etc.), then create and label folde...
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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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Stay Safe in Sochi

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...
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Stop Stressing: 10 Internet Safety Rules To Help Keep Your Family Safe Online

Children today can access more information than any generation before. Because of the Internet they now have a wealth of information that can enrich their lives in new and wondrous ways. But the Internet also has the potential to harm us, and the people we love. Too often we read about another company falling victim to a cyber attack, or a friend’s email or social network account being hacked. These dangers are real. And though there are real reasons to protect your kids and your data from cyber thieves, you shouldn’t need to shy away from the advantages the Internet has to offer your f...
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Study Finds Mobile Privacy Concerns Often Traded for Free Apps

Newly released Symantec research indicates that most consumers worry about mobile app security and privacy risks. However, most consumers unknowingly – sometimes even willingly – put personal information at risk, compromising their own privacy. In fact, the study found that many of those who worry the most about mobile privacy are the least likely to take precautions to protect themselves—all  in exchange for free app downloads.

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Summer fun: beaches, bbq's...iPhone apps?

So, this is a bit of a deviation from our standard security-focused articles, but given how you can't go 15 minutes without hearing about the iPhone 3G, I think it's appropriate to bring it up.  I have an original iPhone (4GB!) and was able to successfully download the new iPhone software before the mad rush and figured I would share some observations after a full week or so of using the software.First off, I admit it: I haven't been this excited about computers since I got my first Mac in 1985.  Apple's App Store (accessible via iTunes and through the iPhone itself) brings back that sense...
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Symantec Comments on PIFTS.exe

 Symantec released a diagnostic patch "PIFTS.exe" targeting Norton Internet Security and Norton Antivirus 2006 & 2007 users on March 9, 2009. This patch was released for approximately 3 hours (4:30 - 7:40 PM March 9, 2009 Pacific Time). In a case of human error, the patch was released by Symantec "unsigned", which caused the firewall user prompt for this file to access the Internet. The firewall alert for the patch caused understandable concern for users and began to be reported back to Symantec. Releasing a patch unsigned is an extremely rare occurrence that does not pose any security ...
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Symantec recommends WinXP customers upgrade their OS

After April 8, Microsoft will no longer release updates designed to fix bugs that cybercriminals use to gain access to the operating system (OS). Any newly discovered vulnerabilities in the operating system will effectively become an open invitation to an attacker to gain control of a computer running Windows XP. Symantec strongly recommends that Windows XP customers upgrade to a current OS as soon as possible, but will continue to support Windows XP SP3 systems for the foreseeable future. SavvyMediaGal recently posted a Norton Protection Blog entry titled, “How will the end of Microsoft ...
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Symantec Security Detects Dragonfly's Energy Sector-Targeting Cyber Schemes

New research from Symantec uncovering a cyber-espionage campaign that has affected 1,018 unique organizations across 84 different countries has demonstrated the impact of sophisticated phishing attacks and watering hole techniques. The attacker group, dubbed “Dragonfly” by Symantec security experts (other vendors have called them, "Energetic Bear"), launched a campaign against a range of targets, predominantly in the European and American energy sector, over a number of months. Dragonfly used multiple attack methods to install malware onto systems, extracting passwords and documents among...
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System Admin Day 2014! Reasons to Thank Your System Administrator Today (and Everyday).

Today marks the 15th annual System Administrator Appreciation Day, and Norton wishes all those who keep our world of information up and running a big thank you and much deserved rock star recognition. To celebrate the day here are a few of the top reasons to say thanks. Thank your SysAdmin on System Adminstrator Appreciation Day! When your server goes down at midnight on a Saturday, a sysadmin IT pro has everything up and running by 9a.m. on Monday. That lovely interwebz connection you are accessing to view this very blog from your office network – all thanks to a sysadmin’s handiw...
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Take The World Backup Day Pledge!

Spring has finally sprung, and it’s that time of year where a lot of us clean, organize, and simplify our lives. What a lot of people don’t realize is the importance of applying those principles to our digital data as well. We collect, organize and store the things in our lives that are important to us (just ask anyone with a garage).Many of those things packed away in those special storage spaces would be devastating to lose.. But have you ever thought that way about what is on your tablets, computers and mobile phones? Right now, most folks have hundreds of phot...
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Taking Steps Towards Online Safety This International Women's Day

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

Surfing the Internet means possible exposure to online scams, something your children might not have any concept of. If you’re allowing them to go online, it’s imperative that you discuss online scams. Such scams come in a variety of guises, including those that specifically target children. Let’s look at how to best protect your kiddies from those who would scam them: Educate Yourself First The first step in protecting your children from online scams is to educate yourself on the types of scams currently floating around the Internet. One type of scam is the free trial offer, which clai...
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Tech Industry Leaders Join Forces In ‘Operation SMN’ to Reduce Malware Attacks on the Internet Landscape

For the first time, tech industry leaders team up with Symantec to help reduce the amount of malware on the Internet landscape. The information and data-based companies are sharing their intelligence so that their services will provide a broader scope of malware detection.

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Technology Usage and the Physical Effects on Your Body

Sure, there are plenty of amazing positives to technology but, as with most things, a fair share of negatives exists as well. One of the negatives technology presents is the physical effect on the body, including a condition known as “text neck.” Extra strain on the muscles from sitting and reading various devices for long periods of time makes tissue sore and inflamed, and can potentially pull your spine out of alignment. Health experts call this damaging posture “forward head posture.” “Neck muscles, in their proper position, are designed to support the weight of your head, about 10 to ...
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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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