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Cybersecurity-1

 

Internet fraud has grown and taken different dimensions. As technology advances, so do fraudsters improve their techniques of stealing from individuals. It's prevalent to find unsolicited emails and text messages in your inbox, asking you to provide personal details.

Some of these emails and text messages contain malicious files. The aim is to infect your computer or mobile device and steal personal information.

The best way to ensure your online security is by using apps that protect you from scams. You can find the best collection of apps to protect yourself from spam and fraudulent calls on Appgrooves.

Apps to Protect Yourself from Spam & Unwanted Calls.

I use two of the top apps you'll find on the page, and they've proven very useful to me. While using apps will help, the points below would further guarantee you stay ahead of fraudsters.

Be Careful with Links

Your email service provider might mark a genuine email as spam sometimes. But it doesn't take away the need to be cautious of email messages on your spam folder, or just any new email at all. You should have an eye to spot unusual and unsolicited messages.

Fraudsters often offer cheap products for sale, or pose as a social network provider, and try to lure you into clicking an external link. If you fall for these scam tactics and provide your details on those phishing websites, your information will likely get stolen. You can lose sensitive data or even money from this.

Check links attached to your emails and ensure it's safe to visit. Also, ensure that the websites you visit are generally safe. Download files and software from trusted sites alone as some websites can embed malware in files gotten from their site, and your credentials are their target. Apps are available to help you identify spam websites.

Use Spam Filters and Antivirus

Fraudsters could send spam emails with attachments. These attachments mostly contain malware, targeted at stealing your credentials. Some might install malicious software into your system to enable the fraudsters to monitor your online activities. Before you download any attachment into your computer, ensure such email messages come from trusted sources.

Technology has continued to help us protect ourselves from spam emails and maintain our online privacy. Spam filters can help protect you from spam emails by scanning the emails you receive for malware and quarantine any malicious content in your emails.

If you download malware into your laptops, antivirus software can help you identify and remove such files, and ensure your credentials are safe. It's vital to have these tools handy, and from competent sources, to ensure you're safe. Scan your laptop frequently for malicious software and files, and follow the instructions of your antivirus software to deal with any identified malware.

Use Call Identifiers

Fraudsters are not limited to emails and text messages. Some can go the length of calling their target on phones and posing as agents of various trusted agencies or financial service providers. They might even offer to help you with certain products or services.

Most times, you might receive the call from a cloned phone number and think such requests or offers to assist you are coming from trusted agents. It's safe to be skeptical of calls from an unknown number. Don't be quick to provide sensitive information to such callers, except you're sure of the request.

Using call identifiers can help you identify who your actual callers are, and their location. Appgrooves has a collection of apps that can help you track the source of any unknown calls you receive.

Conclusion

Identifying and dealing with fraudsters can prove challenging. The importance of being cautious is paramount. Using apps and software can make it easier to identify and effectively deal with cheats. Get apps and software that best serve this purpose and be completely protected.

 



In today's day and age, where everything from smartwatches to smartphones are connected to the internet 24/7, it's equally important and difficult to keep an eye on our children's online activities. There are dangerous sexual predators, kidnappers, hackers and various other criminals online,looking for susceptible young minds to exploit in one way or the other.


Parental control apps offer a solution to this problem by letting the parents get back control over their children's digital lives. FamiSafe is a popular parental control app that has gained popularity recently, so we decided to take a look at the features and find out if it really can be recommended as a reliable safety measure for parents to keep their children safe online.


Ease of use



Before getting started with the features, it is important that we review the ease of using FamiSafe. As it turns out, it's actually quite parent friendly!


You need to download and install the app to register first, which is available on the Play Store, as well as the App Store. Keep in mind that the app needs to be installed on both your child's phone and your own smartphone for the entire setup to work. The registration itself can also be completed via the FamiSafe website. Connect to the company's cloud platform via your computer or the smartphone application, and you are in. All dashboard features are controllable from both your computer's browser, as well as the app installed on your smartphone. As far as ease of use is concerned, the FamiSafe Parental Control app gets full marks here, since t's a simple, seamless process that doesn't require any technical know-how.


Features


The parental control app is equipped with a complete set of features, and each one works like it should. More importantly, the features are actually effective in making parents stay in charge of their children's online activities to protect them in both real time, as well as in advance.


Track their Smartphone Activities: Activity Report

 

Screen-time

 

You will know what your child is doing on his/her smartphone, which includes:

 

  • Which apps they are using and for how long

  • Which apps they have installed/uninstalled recently


Control What they Browse: Web Content


This one allows parents to categorically and specifically blacklist websites, so that their children cannot access those sites, or others like them. If you feel the need to, you can also allow a few sites through by creating an exception for them. Additionally, FamiSafe lets parents see deleted browsing history of their kids; they can't hide from you anymore!


Block or Limit the Use of Specific Apps: App Limiter


The app limiter lets parents track usage time,as well as giving them the power to limit or even block any number of the installed apps on their children's devices.


Keep the Predators at Bay: Parental Alerts

 

Predator-prevention

 

Pedophilic predators on the internet are quite common unfortunately, but the TensorFlow AI used in FamiSafe warns parents about such dangers instantly, if the children ever comes across, or interacts with any of the following.

 

  • Ultra violent media (images, videos) on social media/browsers

  • Fraudulent/predatory text messages

  • Pronographic content online

  • Possible suicidal thoughts and cyberbullying


Punishment Vs. Reward: Screen Time

 

FamiSafe provides parents with regulatory powers over their children's overall smartphone time, as they can block access to their device completely, if and when necessary. If they get their chores and homework done in time though, feel free to add extra smartphone time as a reward.


Where are They Going These Days: Family Locator

 

Geo-fences-famisafe

 

This is where FamiSafe leaves the realm of cybersecurity and becomes useful in providing real life security as well. The app will let you know the following about your child's whereabouts.

 

  • Where they are at any given time

  • Where they were during a specific time at a previous date

  • Know if they cross their boundaries and enter an unsafe zone, outside the preset geo-fences


Well, we must say that if you want to be in complete control of your child's online activities, Famisafe is a parental control app that we can recommend as being one of the best out there, especially since it comes protected with RSA Cryptosystem. FamiSafe has all the expected features, and the flexible subscription strategy is pocket friendly too. There isn't a 24/7 helpline though, but they promise to get back to you within 24-hours of raising a complaint.


The only thing to keep in mind is not to let the control this provides you with, get to your head. Yes, it can happen and parents can become overbearing in their zeal to be protective! Give your children their privacy if they are teenagers, but keep a vigilant eye on their activities all the same.

 


Vpn-anonymity

 

The internet connects more people today than any other time since it was introduced. As of stats from 2019, almost 4.13 billion of the world's 7.7 billion people have access to the internet. This extensive reach brings accessibility, feasibility and convenience to a lot of people but as times progress, the number of threats on the World Wide Web are growing substantially. In 2019 alone, more than $5 trillion were lost to cybercrime activities across the globe. 

This number, however, doesn't include the amount of threats that user data faces because it has risen to become one of the most sought-after commodities with organizations and brands sometimes going overboard in their quest to gather relevant information about consumers or people in general. These are just a couple of reasons which make it imperative for users to hide their identity while online. Here we discuss online privacy issues and how a VPN for Windows can help resolve them. 

Privacy threats on the internet

There is a diverse range of threats on the internet these days. Different organizations, businesses and people have various agendas that they want to fulfill. They employ multiple ways to achieve this and at the end of the day, the victims are normal internet users. Over the years, cybercriminals have become exceptionally active and the way they target individuals and businesses is constantly evolving. Some of the challenges that users face online include:

    Phishing

The activity gets its name from regular fishing because cybercriminals use bait to lure unsuspecting victims into their trap. Phishing can happen over calls, text messages, emails, social media platforms or just simply while you are browsing the internet too. Random links, email attachments or calls asking for sensitive information with the person on the other end posing like the representative of a bank can trick people into giving out some of their private information. 

    Social engineering

Social media has made it easier to connect with almost anyone around the world but it has also put a lot of our personal information online. Hackers can use this information to study a potential victim. Then, they act like a boss, colleague, friend, family member or some other social contact with the intention of making the victim give out personal information. This technique is growing in usage quite fast and many people are falling for it. 

    Malware

This includes a host of viruses, bug and other elements that may infect a user's device. There is a host of malware that has been detected and new ones are being discovered regularly. Trojans, spyware, adware, ransomware, bots, bugs are all different forms of malware. Each one has their own unique characteristics and functions. They can live within a system for extended durations without the user noticing their existence.  

These threats don't include internet service providers or brands monitoring data traffic through the use of IP addresses. Together, these activities necessitate the use of a VPN for Windows. 

How a VPN for Windows keeps you anonymous

Many of you may be wondering why a VPN? A VPN is one of the most effective tools to hide IP address of users by rerouting normal internet data traffic. An IP address is like the virtual location of a system when it is connected to the internet and by default, it is public. Anyone with the right tools can easily find out what the IP address of a particular device is. This can open a window of opportunities that can cause an array of damages to the other person. 

A VPN offers features that can help eliminate many of these vulnerabilities that exist in the network. A few of these include:

    Secure servers

In a normal internet connection, data packets are first sent to the internet service provider and then to the website which a user is trying to access. The ISPs usually monitor and keep logs of all the traffic that goes through them. A VPN helps eliminate this by sending all the data to their own secure servers first and then towards the website. This plugs a critical loophole in the system which exposes user data while they are online. 

    Encryption

Another problem is the protection of data while it is being sent to various website servers. Hackers these days have the ability to intercept the flow of information and siphon it according to their own convenience. VPNs offer state-of-the-art encryption protocols to prevent data from being stolen while in transit. Leading VPN services have AES 256-bit encryption protocols which are the most secure and highest level commercially available so far. 

    Advanced threat detection and prevention

Besides protecting the outgoing data against potential threats, the top VPN services also offer detection and prevention for malware that may be incoming. There are various features that help warn users about spam emails or dangerous viruses that are directed towards and trying to make their way into the system of a user. 

Using features like secure servers and encryption protocols, VPNs make sure that users remain anonymous while they are online because no one knows their location or identity whatsoever. 

Other benefits of a VPN 

The anonymity that a VPN offers can come in handy for more than just protecting against data breaches. Many websites on the internet resort to content restrictions because of various reasons. This can become a huge nuisance at times because it hinders easy and free access to the internet for many normal users. 

    Streaming

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and other streaming platforms are gaining immense popularity these days. Unfortunately, the content they offer varies. For instance, a show that may be available in the US library can be taken off the UK list etc. This can mean that a US user misses out on their favorite shows in case they are travelling and people living in other countries can't have that particular show either. With a VPN, this issue can be eliminated easily. 

    Bypassing geographic restrictions

The secure servers of a VPN are spread evenly across the world meaning that users can connect to and enjoy content without any restrictions. This internet freedom allows not just open streaming but also accessing general information online because many business websites also limit access to users in a particular region. 

Author Bio:

Blog-image

Scott is a cyber-security professional. He's been writing in the internet privacy niche for a while now and has churned variety of informational pieces to educate his audience. Connect with him on Twitter.



Data-recovery


When sensitive data falls into the wrong hands, it can prove disastrous to a company. In as much as one place all the critical measures in place, there's one aspect that you mustn't forget. You need to have a data recovery backup in place as data loss is inevitable. Here's why having a data recovery backup process is a must in any agency.  

1. Data theft 

There exist unscrupulous people who seek to prey on other's weaknesses. Thus, you must be extra vigilant when protecting data that you have. With the right data recovery system in the position, you can combat any data theft that might have taken place. It's an excellent opportunity to recover from any data breach that might slow your company's activities. External intrusions are an unfortunate event that might cause clients and potential investors to doubt your abilities in handling their data affairs. However, with a speedy data recovery system, you can assure them of the best services.

2. Failed technology 

Technology continuously goes through rapid changes. Within a blink of an eye, a trusted technology gets rendered obsolete, and it can ultimately affect data storage. One ought to be careful when storing your documents in various desktops of disks. Some might get corrupted by malicious malware as well as viruses. It ultimately leads to data loss. That's not all. At times there's a power surge, and it blows out your electronic devices. You need to consult an expert tech solution service provider to know the best way forward. Thus, you wouldn't have to offer bad news to your clients that services are interrupted due to such predicaments. Preferably, you will have contained the situation before it blows out of hand.

3. OS failure 

There are unfortunate instances where the operating system will crash, thus leading to data loss. As a smart person, you need to come up with the next possible solution. It would help if you tried having multiple partitions where you get to store your data. However, if you used the same drive, you need to consult an expert on the best forward situation to handle the dire matter at hand.

4. Mistakes are inevitable 

In as much as employees have the best interest of the company at heart, errors are unavoidable. You need to have a speedy data recovery and backup solution to mitigate the situation. You need not overlook this process as one might accidentally delete data. As you rely on the online backup data plan, you need to have another method in place. It will enable you to resume your regular duties within the least time possible as you can locate the lost information rather swiftly.

It would be best if you got ready for any predicament that might befall your organization. Employees might make data loss errors, or the computing system might crash altogether. With the right plan and strategy in mind, you need not worry about any disastrous event. Be sure to work closely with the tech solution service to get the best possible outcome in retrieving lost data.  



 

Cybercriminals

 

Image: Pexels

 

Cybercriminals have become huge stumbling blocks for business owners. They've been stealing assets and customer identities from companies, interfering operations, and inflicting other forms of damage.

 

In 2020, we can only expect cybercriminals to continue being as relentless and consistent with their attacks.

 

If your IT network is defenseless, you can easily fall prey to their ploys and suffer major losses.

 

And so the question becomes, how on earth are we supposed to protect our business?

 

The answer... Cyber Essentials.

 

If you're not familiar with Cyber Essentials, it's a data security accreditation program the UK government set for businesses and websites.

 

The government launched the Cyber Essentials framework to encourage organizations from various industries to bolster their IT defenses and guard their data and networks.

 

To understand Cyber Essentials better, let's talk about some of the biggest breaches and threats, as well as the program's strategies to keep cyber crimes at bay in 2020.

 

Famous Breaches

 

Thousands of data breaches have occurred within the decade. Many of these cases remained discreet and unreported, and some caught worldwide public attention.

 

Yahoo, for one, suffered multiple hacking incidents for four years, including these among the largest and most famous breaches.

 

The hackers, though, behaved differently in the breaches that took place for specific years. 

 

In 2012, two separate hijackers broke into Yahoo's online infrastructure but didn't take anything. Hackers then stole records from all accounts, summing to about three billion, in 2013.

 

The year after, cybercriminals targeted the user database which involved around 500 million holders. 

 

Reports say they obtained account details like people's names, passwords, email addresses, birthdays, and phone numbers.

 

These multiple breaches resulted in Yahoo agreeing for a settlement of almost 118 million dollars in April 2019.

 

Yahoo-1

 

Because of a software glitch or API bug, Google+ also experienced breaches from 2015 to 2018, compromising data of around 52 million users. 

 

Due to the repeated instances, Google declared closing down Google+ permanently in April 2019.

 

While cybercriminals have hijacked mostly email and social media accounts, they targeted something more advanced in 2019, proving their makings of bringing far greater danger.

 

They exposed passwords and biometrics of a million users of BioStar 2, a web-based, open, and integrated security platform with access control, time, and attendance functionalities.

 

The hijackers launched a cloud vulnerability attack to leak data containing users' fingerprints and photos, which researchers discovered were unencrypted.

 

This incident is riskier because while you can replace passwords and ID numbers, you can't change your biomarkers, which are permanent.

 

Once hackers acquire your DNA prints, who knows how they can exploit them for identity fraud, profit, and other motives.

 

Prominent and Emerging Threats Ensue

 

Hackers can unleash a wide array of cyber threats and attacks to carry out data breaches. 

 

Many of these crimes have become prominent for repetitively affecting various victims, whether individuals or small and established companies.

 

Ransomware, a type of malware, for instance, has nastily hit thousands, even millions, of organizations. It locks your data, threatening to delete it until and unless you pay the hacker.

 

Cyber hijackers also frequently launch malware through many attacks, like phishing, one of the most prevalent social engineering methods deceiving you into exposing critical information.

 

Hackers usually do that through official-seeming emails that ask you to access malicious links or attached files, or provide personal data to receive a prize, see fake log-in alerts, etc.

 

Hackers-2

 

They can even inject malware through malicious or fake advertising, often in the form of pop-ups with celebrity scandals, pornographic content, or too-good-to-be-true prizes.

 

If you access public WiFi often, you can be at risk of man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks where hackers can intercept your private emails and chats and send replies as if it's you or the other person.

 

Cyber crimes then have even advanced as hackers leverage cutting-edge technologies.

 

One modern onslaught, for example, is formjacking. This happens when hackers insert a piece of code onto your ecommerce site to steal private details of your customers filling in your forms. 

 

Another is cryptojacking. Here, cybercriminals infect your site or online ads, or trick you into clicking malicious links with codes that let them mine cryptocurrencies from your device.

 

Now if you're a company executive, you can be a victim of whaling, a social engineering scheme asking you to authorize invoices and money transfer.

 

Chatbots can even become malicious when cybercriminals hack them and implant malware. They can also make one, release it, and mimic legitimate business chatbots.

 

Thus, with these and other prominent threats still ensuing, plus new ones emerging in 2020, Cyber Essentials can serve as your main defense mechanism.

 

Your Primary Defense

 

Cyber Essentials empowers you to bolster your IT security through rock-solid techniques you must actively and continually implement.

 

For one, it emphasizes that you install and periodically update your anti-virus and anti-malware software, as well as firewalls, which act as your first defense layers.

 

These programs can block malicious code, spam, viruses, and other suspicious activities from permeating your IT environment.

 

Updating these patches also enables them to detect new advanced forms of viruses, malware, and other risks.

 

This step is crucial because hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in your configurations in your web app firewalls and others.

 

Such was the case for the infamous Capital One breach, affecting 106 million users in the US and Canada and making it one of the most massive incidents ever.

 

Cyber-2

 

Human error also accounts for a noteworthy percentage of breaches. Hence, it's crucial that you educate your staff on phishing, other deceptive tactics, and the proper responsive measures.

 

The Yahoo data breach, after all, happened because the phishing scheme worked.

 

Security configuration through tested and proven practices is also vital, like creating stronger passwords, encrypting your email domains and website, authenticating log-ins, etc.

 

If you have an ecommerce store and you use plugins, you should be careful, too, and install only the legitimate ones.

 

For example, if you're on Shopify, you can stick to browsing only among the best Shopify apps, those with high scores, excellent reviews, and other safety-verifying indicators.

 

Fake plugins can look official and secure but carry harmful components without your knowing.

 

Finally, you must establish access governance controls, authorizing only the personnel with directly related jobs to obtain specific types of company data.

 

If or when you experience data breaches, access control will help you more easily probe into and reinforce accountability for information management.

 

Making Cyber Essentials Your 2020 Priority

 

The Cyber Essentials program is a rock-solid defense mechanism your business would do well to invest in.

 

When implemented, the scheme can improve your chances of winning against cybercrimes or experiencing only little damage.

 

Besides your data, you also protect your sales, customers' trust, brand image, competitive edge, and more.

 

That said, this 2020, make Cyber Essentials your priority and successfully keep cybercrimes at bay.

 

Did you find this post useful? Share this with your colleagues then. Cheers!

 

 

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