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All posts tagged "online security"

  • Twitter is cracking down on harassment again with ‘low-quality replies’

    Twitter never seems to get it right when it comes to online safety on its platform. The site has fought many a battle against users worried they aren't doing enough to combat hate speech and harassment. After implementing a few changes in November, the site this week announced that it has rolled out even more in an attempt to create a safer platform for all. The changes implemented include safer search results (which will no longer feature blocked or muted accounts), as well as keeping "low-quality replies" away from the top of threads. The bulk of the criticism lobbied against the...

  • Personal information in the age of social media

    The global reaction to WhatsApp’s August 2016 announcement, in which the “updating” of its terms and privacy policy was revealed, has been interesting. This update, essentially, allows for the sharing of user information between WhatsApp and its owner of roughly two years, Facebook. The reaction has been largely alarmist. The Guardian, Independent, and The Telegraph warn users to opt out of the sharing of information between the two platforms. TechCrunch takes a more balanced approach, outlining the European legislative response to the announcement, and quoting the UK’s information commissioner Elizabeth Denham. According to Denham: “There’s a lot of anger out there....

  • Is TrackOFF the internet security service you’ve been sorely missing?

    With so much talk about hacking, identity theft and online fraud floating around in 2017, we'll totally understand if you never want to switch on a computer ever again. Luckily, there are ways to make your online journey a little safer. Browser add-ons, anti-virus programs and common sense are just some of the ways you can filter out -- and avoid -- the gunk from online pages you visit everyday. But some companies believe this isn't quite enough. That's where TrackOFF comes into play. The Baltimore-based security company claims to build the "best in class tools to secure users' identities and personal...

  • Your Android Pattern Lock isn’t secure at all, research suggests

    Modern Android devices give users a number of authentication methods. From fingerprints to PIN codes, there are a slew of options to unlock your dear device. But some people still rely on the ancient Pattern Lock. Researchers from Britain's universities of Bath and Lancaster, and China's Northwest University, suggest that sliding your thumb seemingly uniquely across nine equidistant dots on a screen isn't as secure as you may have thought. The researchers noted that by using a recorded "video and computer vision algorithm software" -- effectively recording the motion of the hand over the screen -- the Pattern Lock can be...

  • Ransomware: 9 best security practices your company should apply

    Ransomware. Today, one of the most wide-spread and damaging threats that internet users and organisations face. In short, it is a type of malware (malicious software) designed by cyber criminals to block access to a computer or system until a sum of money is paid. In true cyber war talk, it keeps the computer ransom. How does it happen? There are two main ways that a ransomware attack starts: it either happens via an email with a malicious attachment, or by visiting a compromised (often a legitimate, mainstream) website. Malicious email: Today’s cyber criminals are crafting emails that are indistinguishable from genuine...

  • FriendFinder Networks: 412m accounts hacked in 2016’s biggest breach

    Another adult dating company has been hacked, but this time it's FriendFinder. According to breach notification portal LeakedSource, details of around 412-million accounts have made their way into the darkest parts of the web. Notably, the sites affected include AdultFriendFinder (with around 300-million accounts), Cams.com (with another 60-million), and other accounts from the likes of Penthouse and Stripshow. In total, a quite ridiculous 412 214 295 accounts have been compromised, making this the biggest hack of the year so far. Warning signs Notably, warning signs of a possible breach emerged in October 2016 from an anonymous security researcher. FriendFinder Network's VP noted that the company...

  • Opera: OLX, Letgo tracks you more than Takealot, Gumtree

    New research from Opera Software found that over half of the top 60 Android shopping apps collect personal information via trackers. However, South Africa's OLX and Letgo were mentioned as some of the worst offenders as well. The two South African services were joined by the likes of Flipkart, Amazon, JC Penney, Best Buy and eBay Kleinanzeigen as the shopping apps with the highest amount of trackers. These trackers collected information such as your name, email address, location, phone number and search terms, Opera wrote in an emailed press release. The results were obtained using privacy mode in the updated Opera Max...

  • EFF: 4 big security concerns for WhatsApp

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has been on WhatsApp's case this year, taking the platform to task over its new data-sharing policy with Facebook. Now, the US watchdog has hit out at WhatsApp, listing four major security concerns it should tackle. Unencrypted backups The first issue raised by the EFF was the way WhatsApp handles backups to the cloud. "In order to back messages up in a way that makes them restorable without a passphrase in the future, these backups need to be stored unencrypted at rest," the watchdog noted. The watchdog says users should never back up their WhatsApp data to the cloud "since...

  • Employees download malware every four seconds

    A new pair of studies reveals that employees are downloading unknown malware at a staggering rate. The Check Point 2016 Security Report and the SANS 2016 Threat Landscape Study revealed "critical challenges" facing businesses, Check Point wrote in an emailed press statement. The Check Point report saw the company analyse the activity of 31 000 Check Point "gateways" around the world. The SANS study, on the other hand, saw 300 IT security professionals being surveyed. "Researchers found a 9x increase in the amount of unknown malware plaguing businesses. This was fuelled by the employees -- who downloaded a new unknown malware every four...

  • FBI chief suggests you tape over your webcam

    People might call you paranoid if you encrypt your smartphone, or boast an endless array of 12+ character passwords, but new comments made by the FBI chief James Comey's webcam comments will make you feel a little more normal. Comey, while speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, called taping over your laptop's webcam -- to prevent potential prying eyes from snooping -- one of the "sensible things" human beings should be doing, akin to locking your house, or patting your wallet before disembarking the plane. "You go into any government office and we all have the little camera...

  • Nokia report: phones see 96% increase in malware

    Finnish company Nokia may no longer be a staple in the smartphone manufacturing space, but that doesn't mean it's totally out of the loop regarding software. The company's latest edition of its malware paper-- officially dubbed the Nokia Threat Intelligence Report -- uncovers some dark numbers in the world of malicious smartphone software. How dark? Well, for one, smartphones are becoming increasingly targeted in malware attacks. The report, which covers the first half of 2016, discovered a 96% increase in the average smartphone infection rate, up from 0.25% to 0.49%. This number peaked in April, when one out of every 120...

  • Google login pages aren’t safe at all, research finds

    Those comforting Google login pages might not be safe at all, according to a security researcher's latest findings. Taking a deeper look at Google's service login pages, researcher Aidan Woods discovered that it's "possible to seamlessly insert any Google service at the end of the login process". In short, this flaw allows dark lords of the web to insert additional parameters, websites or even Google Docs files into the URL of a login page. The website would be hidden aesthetically, instead showing a Google login page. To use Woods' much simpler explanation: Using an existing open redirect, it is now possible to send...

  • Security vs productivity: the mobile device management conundrum

    Given the significant productivity benefits delivered by mobility, it is unsurprising to note that it is fast becoming a way of life in many organisations. In fact, Gartner predicts that as many as half of all employers will have instituted mandatory bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies within the next year. There are many reasons why mobility, and therefore BYOD, is taking off within enterprises. While employees can clearly be more productive in an office environment when using a laptop or PC, being able to utilise a mobile device for the same tasks means they are able to work from anywhere, and at...

  • Don’t lose yourself: avoid identity theft on social media

    More than three-quarters of American adults are active on social media, and the numbers total approximately 2.3-billion people worldwide. By living with and through our technology, it is easier than ever before to reconnect with friends, stay in touch with family and meet new people across previously unassailable physical distances. But this also means that the likes of identity theft is becoming a bigger problem. Unfortunately, in stark contrast to real-world interactions, there are few reliable ways to be sure a person is who they purport to be on the internet. The proliferation of social media tools has created new space...

  • Niantic CEO John Hanke hacked by OurMine

    We've seen Google's, Twitter's and even Facebook's CEOs suffer social media account hacks this year, but it seems that hackers have an appetite for game development companies too. In what seems to be OurMine's latest attack, the CEO of Niantic John Henke woke Sunday to find the lock of his Twitter account picked. Niantic -- known as the developer of Pokemon Go -- is currently enjoying some monumental success after the game's staged release, but while its CEO might have a taste for inventive games, his password creation skills are apparently less than competent. OurMine has hacked Niantic CEO John Hanke's...