As part of my role, I travel the world briefing media and international colleagues on safer internet use, news and trends. Earlier this year I visited the UK and we discussed our observations that more often than not, parents are either sharing the teaching of internet safety to the kids or moms are taking the primary role. It used to be, in the old days, that anything to do with technology was the purview of the fathers, but apparently that is changing.
If you ever want to be sure you have your most important information backed up, please consider securing your social networking information too. Facebook makes it pretty easy with a “Download Your Information” service. Here are the simple steps to saving your Friends list, photos, videos, posts and other Facebook data on your desktop, on a CD or in the cloud (as you prefer.)
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 07-Jan-2015 | 11:29AM · Edited: 11-Aug-2015 | 8:50AM · 0 Comments
Do you think you have what it takes to be in the red-hot cybersecurity industry? Our 16 NPower students have been enrolled in the Symantec Cyber Career Connection (SC3) program since September and come from all over New York City. They are now going through final preparations for the last stage of our program where they embark on hands-on internships at leading corporations like Bank of America, CBS, Citi, KPMG, Marathon Consulting, Morgan Stanley, and TD Ameritrade. That also means prepping for some additional certifications and exams like the CompTIA Security+ 401.
Here are some photos of the giant whiteboards at the NPower Brooklyn classroom, revealing the students' handwritten notes for their recent exam. The students also hosted a study group for 3 weeks where they basically locked themselves in a room and did some intense studying. As you can see, they jotted down all the information they could on cybersecurity. However, it was not only the content for the exam that needed to be learned, but sheer test taking skills. All told, they spent over 360 hours preparing for this particular exam.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 18-Dec-2014 | 4:10PM · 0 Comments
I am Tamara Ritch, a cybersecurity student at Year Up Baltimore through the Symantec Cyber Career Connection (SC3) program. My first semester in the cybersecurity program has been very enjoyable, exciting, and a little scary as well. I’ve had the chance to learn a lot of new information. For example, I’ve learned the various ways to protect myself from suspicious activity, how to catch errors on the system network, and how to combat cybercrime.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 27-Oct-2014 | 1:55PM · 0 Comments
Year Up Bay Area’s pilot Symantec Cyber Career Connection (SC3) cybersecurity class is working tirelessly to learn the ins and outs of cybersecurity. Only 11 more weeks to go before these budding cybersecurity professionals start their internships! Local Bay Area employers should contact Year Up Bay Area to learn more.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 07-Oct-2014 | 10:08AM · 0 Comments
I would like to thank Symantec for the opportunity to share my experience at Year Up Bay Area (YUBA) so far.
My name is Alex. As a San Francisco native, I have seen this city change drastically over the years, from blue collar and gritty to tech savvy and modern. The economic transition towards all things tech made me realize that a tech career is a lucrative one, but I didn’t know how to get my foot in the door. After graduating high school, I had to work construction to provide for my family. I also had enrolled in college full-time but eventually had to call it quits due to financial constraints.
I first heard about Year Up through my sister, who encouraged me to look it up. I admit that I initially had my doubts. Year Up’s benefits seemed too good to be true: a monthly stipend, free education, internship placement and college credits. In just a few weeks, I can confirm that it is all true.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 30-Sep-2014 | 12:10PM · 0 Comments
Earlier this month, students at the Symantec Cyber Career Connection (SC3) pilot site at Year Up Bay Area welcomed Jonathan Omansky, director of security response at Symantec, as part of the program’s Friday Guest Speaker Series.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 19-Sep-2014 | 2:06PM · 0 Comments
First days of school are always exciting: meeting your fellow students, learning the teacher's name, deciding where to sit. This week, at the Brooklyn NPower site, one of the three Symantec Cyber Career Connection training program pilot locations, classes began for 16 alumni of the NPower Technology Service Corps. The students were selected from a pool of 50 applicants through a rigorous and comprehensive screening process.
The cybersecurity instructor, Mo, gave the students a bit of a surprise for the first day. He hid an assemblage of computer parts under a tablecloth on each classroom table. They were tasked to build their own computers for the first day's assignment. Working together, asking for help and advice, all the students managed the task, and in the process began that strange alchemy of bonding as a team.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 28-Aug-2014 | 9:30AM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
It's one thing to plan and fund a program, yet another to see it come to fruition.
I want to share with you some big updates from two of the pilot sites: New York (Brooklyn) and Baltimore.
New York pilot:
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 06-Aug-2014 | 12:46PM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
Hello loyal readers,
I want to update you on the status of this blog and the content found here. We will be transitioning the focus to support our newly launched Symantec Cyber Career Connection initiative, as well as related cybersecurity educational programs around the world. I expect the shift to occur in September so stay tuned.
Since I last wrote on the topic of child identity theft legislation in April, a few states have made progress on the topic, following the lead of Maryland where the concept was introduced:
Delaware passed a bill in April and it was signed by Governor Markell in June: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-334919816.html
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 02-Oct-2013 | 1:15PM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
Take a moment to think where you were ten years ago and what your computer and internet experience was like. If you can, you’ll remember the work you had cleaning up your email from the deluge of spam messages and the frequency of big virus outbreaks like “ILoveYou”; “Anna Kournikova” and “Code Red”. And when things went wrong, it always felt like your responsibility alone to clean the computer, remove the threat and fix the damage. You weren’t the only one who thought things had to change.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 01-Oct-2013 | 3:00PM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
This is big. The 4th annual, global research effort known as The Norton Report (previously known as the Norton Cybercrime Report) has been released. While we found that the global cost of cybercrime only grew a small amount (to $113 billion), the number of victims actually went down. Fewer victims may seem like a positive trend but unfortunately this is explained by a 50% increase in the per person cost of cybercrime.
Password management isn’t particularly new. Most of us make half-hearted attempts at creating tough ones that no one could guess. But then we discover we can’t remember them. So you hit the “Forgot My Password” link on site after site. Then you probably graduated to the most popular but terrible method, writing passwords on slips of paper on your desk. I’ve even visited offices where passwords are taped to the computer monitor. Not good, people, not good at all.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 24-Sep-2013 | 3:46PM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
Anytime the venerable EU Kids Online team comes out with new research, it’s an opportunity to print it out (on two sided paper, of course), get a cup of the good coffee and settle in for a read. You are guaranteed to read thoughtful, considerate paragraphs about some aspect of children’s use of technology that you’ve been thinking about and wished someone would investigate.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 24-Sep-2013 | 11:40AM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
Some are calling it the online “eraser button”. A new law signed yesterday by California governor Jerry Brown will allow under age youth to remove posts and photos they regret putting on their social media accounts. It requires the websites to allow anyone under 18 to remove their own material and to provide instructions on how to do so.
When I was a young working mother and email was still relatively new, there was a popular e-newsletter with easy household cleaning ideas for harried moms (and dads). Each day, you’d get a tip or an idea of something in the house to clean or organize. The idea was if you addressed one or two items per day, you’d never get overwhelmed and your house would have minimal clutter and mess.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 29-Aug-2013 | 1:00PM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
It’s a typical day on your favorite social network. You see that one of your friends has commented on a photo you can see. You notice that this photo has over 30,000 likes, and more than 100,000 comments. Another 7,000 plus people have shared the amazing photo. There’s an instruction to type the number “1” into the comments space “to see what happens to the image.” In the example I show you here, the photo is of an enormous sinkhole in the middle of an urban landscape. Who wouldn’t be curious what might happen to the image?
Getting infected with malware is always a painful experience but new variants of old threats are using new techniques both to spread and cause harm. One such malware is a botnet that infects computers, creating a hidden file storage area for its files and opening a port for ongoing peer to peer communication. This means the infected computer can get updates from the malware author, either to cause more harm or to for the malware to be redesigned to avoid detection.
Usually any heroic Norton Online Family story is about how using it can help parents see patterns in their children’s online behavior or reinforce their trust in their children’s good choices. Today we have a story of how Norton Online Family stopped a team of crooks in their tracks. You’re probably as surprised as I was.
Ever posted something on Facebook only to regret it and run to delete it? Now that everyone and their grandma is on Facebook (seriously, your grandmother just created her profile!) it’s never been more important to conduct your social networking in a mindful way. You’ve heard the warnings about not posting photos of your wild night on the town or ranting about how dumb your boss is, yet people continue to commit these mistakes day in and day out.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 13-Aug-2013 | 11:08AM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
Imagine you are in Africa on a photo safari. You’re in your 4WD vehicle, upwind of the animals who are gathering at a pool of clear water. Zebras and water buffalo herds claim their section of the shoreline, while in the distant tall grass, a pride of lions waits. The vulnerability of the animals drinking at the watering hole is something well understood and the reason tourists are often brought nearby to await the inevitable “circle of life” drama.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 01-Jul-2013 | 12:46PM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
Whether the issue is cyberbullying, plagiarism or simply a shared desire to teach our children the best way to use technology, most schools are incorporating some form of “digital literacy” in their curriculum. But what is the best way to do this? Which programs have a lasting impact on the children, helping them gain new skills and understanding that translates into safe, kinder, more effective online behaviors?
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 26-Jun-2013 | 10:00AM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
It’s remarkable how quickly we’ve become dependent on our mobile devices to handle most if not all of our computing needs. Most of us now realize how critical it is to secure your device (physically) and the important data and apps as well. Set a screen lock password; put your other telephone number on the back; and install mobile security software that includes an anti-theft feature.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 17-Jun-2013 | 12:07PM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
Back when I was in high school, I used to wear a gold “Superman” logo on a necklace. I told people it was because my last name began with an “S”, but the real reason was that I thought Superman was cool. I loved (and still do) the idea that hidden among all of us “regular folks” is a superhero with the potential to keep us safe from our enemies; who rescues innocents from everyday harm and rocks his everyday job as a journalist.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 14-Jun-2013 | 8:00AM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
June is a funny month for most moms and dads of school-aged kids. You are so happy to be getting near the end of a school-year’s homework assignments, classroom activities, field trip permission slips, and carpool arrangements. OK, maybe that’s just me. There’s also the slight sense of panic most of us feel as we try to line up a healthy assortment of summer activities – enough to keep the kids busy but still enjoying the break from formal education.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 12-Jun-2013 | 8:00AM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
It’s been a few years since I attended a destination music festival, but going to the second US festival in 1983 was one of the highlights of my college years. I remember it was very hot, we saw an incredible array of stellar performances, toured some exhibits with cutting edge personal computers and other technology and had a simply wonderful time.
How did you decide where to live? You probably wanted a good neighborhood close to your work or local shops, maybe in a top school district. I’ll bet you gave it a lot of thought and did your research. But, even if you are lucky enough to live in a safe area with low crime rates, you probably still lock your house when you go out and check the door before you open it to a stranger. We take certain precautions to ensure our safety.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 23-May-2013 | 2:37PM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
“Teens Getting Tired of Facebook Drama”
“Teenagers Hate Facebook but They’re Not Logging Off”
“Teens Cooling on Facebook but Warming to Twitter”
“Facebook Losing Ground with Younger Audiences”
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 20-May-2013 | 8:00AM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
Small businesses are the economic backbone of this country. Yet, in the aftermath of manmade or natural disasters, an astounding 40% of small businesses never reopen. It doesn’t have to be this way; with preparation, organization and practice, owners and employees of small businesses can secure their future, despite what may come their way. In this 50th year of National Small Business Week, it’s the right time to put your plan together and into practice.
Imagine you are graduating high school and you’ve just celebrated your 18th birthday. In anticipation of starting college in the fall, you begin applying for student loans. The first loan application is returned as “denied” because apparently you have too much debt already. You think it must be a mistake and with your parent’s guidance, you order your very first credit report to see what is going on.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 22-Apr-2013 | 9:30AM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
Earth Day is celebrated around the world each year on April 22nd. It’s a great opportunity to consider what we each do in our daily lives that may negatively impact the environment, either through pollution, excess use of precious natural resources, or other unthinking actions. None of us would purposely damage our home but it’s easy to get busy living life and working hard and missing the small ways we can each make a difference.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 17-Apr-2013 | 2:01PM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
In this hyper-connected world, even if you were thousands of miles from Boston, you were impacted by the blast of vicious bombs at this week’s Boston Marathon attack. Many of us were riveted by television coverage or online reporting of the terrible tragedy.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 24-Mar-2013 | 2:29PM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
I can feel it, can’t you? Spring is coming! We’ve reset our clocks, had the official first day of spring and I’ve even seen a few tulips blooming in the front yard. For some of you lucky folks, that might also mean you have some family travel coming up for Spring Break. Whether you’re headed for beach fun, snow slopes or a city break – and whether you’re going with friends, family or on your own – a little research and some preparation can make traveling with your technology a breeze.
A few weeks ago, I traveled to meet with cyber bullying experts and media in three Asian cities: Tokyo, Hong Kong and Beijing. I also had several conversations with parents in each market that furthered my knowledge of just how similar the online safety issues are around the world.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 04-Mar-2013 | 4:59PM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
I know I’m blessed and lucky to have been born in the United States. Our country, though far from perfect, offers so many wonderful opportunities for women. I’ve certainly benefitted from these freedoms: I attended public schools through high school; had thousands of colleges and universities to consider for my higher education and was able to move into a new career as my interests evolved. And I’m indebted to the women who preceded me who fought for the vote and for equal rights in the workplace.
If you were to think of software like you would a houseplant, maybe it would be more natural to keep it patched and up-to-date. To take care of your plant, you’re supposed to water it, turn it in the sun for it to grow evenly and occasionally mist the plant’s leaves or add fertilizer. And when I say “software,” I don’t just mean security software, which most users understand will only keep you safe when it has the latest protection files. No, all software is, by its very nature, imperfect.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 08-Feb-2013 | 8:33AM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
For every parent who has ever felt frustrated at understanding technology, there's a teen who looks on in amusement. Or does that version of the digital divide feel foreign to you? In any event, a study from Young And Well in Australia titled "Enhancing Parents' Knowledge and Practice of Online Safety" has just come out and includes a list I just had to share with all of you.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 06-Feb-2013 | 1:14PM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
Add the name “Bamital” to the list of oddball terms like Waledec, Rustock, Kelihos, Zeus and Nitol. All are bot networks taken down over the past 2 and a half years by Microsoft in partnership with law enforcement and security companies like Norton by Symantec. You can read about the event here or on our Symantec Response blog.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 05-Feb-2013 | 12:55PM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 30-Jan-2013 | 11:50AM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
Every year on January 28th, we celebrate Data Privacy Day. Throughout Europe and in the US and Canada, people are coming together to raise awareness about how our personal information is being used. Every day, we are asked to “accept” an end user license agreement (EULA) or to provide private information in order to get a service or product.
I’ve long given business and leisure travelers the same advice when they set off on a trip – keep your eye on your computers and mobile devices, be cautious on public wifi networks, avoid connecting computers or memory sticks to shared computers and avoid internet café computers if you want your social network and other account logins to stay safe.
No doubt you’ve seen news reports or a post on your social network alerting you to concerns about something called “Java” that could cause trouble on your computer. If you aren’t sure what’s happening or need a straight forward explanation for a friend or loved one, here’s an overview to help you sort this out:
What are some of the key cyber safety and security news events of the past year? I've tried to summarize some of the big stories in areas such as cybercrime fighting; cyber bullying stories; legislation; and social media news. This might be the only blog entry I ever write that brings together a school bus driver, a K-pop music star and President Obama.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 31-Dec-2012 | 11:19AM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
Among the end of year holiday tasks like taking down the tree, recycling the wrapping paper and boxes and planning your New Year's fun, you probably are thinking about Resolutions. We don't all cotton to the idea of once a year making ourselves promises we don't intend to keep but there is something wonderful about starting the New Year with a clean slate and banishing bad habits. In the world of computer and mobile phones, there are steps you can take to do things better, smarter and safer.
Author: marianmerritt27 Employee Posted: 18-Dec-2012 | 8:00AM · Edited: 05-Mar-2020 | 10:04AM · 0 Comments
Some of us might just be lucky enough to get some new tech toy this holiday season. Be it a new computer or tablet, bringing tech home requires a little bit of effort to set up. Ideally, you’d just open the box and push the start button and everything would be like Goldilocks’ porridge, “just right.” Make sure getting security “just right” is among your new tech priorities.
Have you seen this in your Facebook “News Feed”? “In response to the new Facebook guidelines, I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, professional photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!”
It’s a little funny that as we near Thanksgiving, and therefore Black Friday (the big in-store shopping day after the holiday), I’m asked to give holiday shopping advice. Let me be completely honest; I’m a committed online shopper. My favorite shopping expeditions involve a warm laptop, hot cocoa and fuzzy slippers. I don’t like crowds or circling the parking lot to find a space (or worse, forgetting where you left your car and wandering the lot with all the shopping bags when you are ready to just go home.)