Category Archives: Online Safety

Are We Dating Our Devices? How Our Online Interactions Impact Our Personal Security

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L is for the way you look at your technology, O is for you’re not the only one looking at it. We L-O-V-E our connected devices, our apps, and all the online social interaction that comes with them. But unfortunately, we’re not the only ones who love them, as cybercriminals are attempting to capitalize on our connected lifestyles in order to swoop valuable personal information. Let’s explore why this is happening, how our increased device use impacts our lives, and what we can do to show our personal security some love.

Sharing data during modern dating

We love our devices largely for the connectedness and information they provide us with. For example, modern romance has shifted towards dating apps largely because these apps connect us with world quickly and easily. On these dating apps, you share information about yourself with strangers. But could you be sharing that info with strangers that aren’t even on the app? Just a few weeks ago, security researchers discovered that popular dating app Tinder still lacks basic HTTPS encryption for photos. Just by being on the same Wi-Fi network as any user of Tinder’s iOS or Android app, potential hackers could see any photo the user did, or even inject their own images into his or her photo stream. These crooks could even watch a user swipe left or right. By trying to stay connected online, these dating app users could be helping cybercriminals connect to their personal data instead.

The effects of our device devotion

Ironically enough, our efforts to engage socially online don’t exactly help us strengthen real-life relationships. In fact, we know from last year’s Connected Relationships survey that as we use our connected devices more and more each day, our relationships are negatively impacted by that use.

The Connected Relationships survey respondents said that they spend an equal amount of time at home online (38%) as they do interacting with others face-to-face. And 40% felt their significant other paid more attention to their own device when they were together one-on-one. You could even say that, for many, these devices have become the “other (wo)man” in the relationship.

Though devices have managed to cause some minor riffs between couples, that doesn’t stop couples from sharing even when they shouldn’t. Out of those surveyed, nearly 30% of couples share passwords to social media accounts, 28% share passwords to personal email accounts, and most shockingly, more than 20% share their work-specific devices and accounts with their significant other.

Spread the love to your personal security

So, whether you’re sharing your private data with a dating app, or your account info with a loved one, it’s important you show your personal security some love too. To do just that, follow these tips:

  • Limit how personal you get. Whether its Tinder, another dating app, or just any regular app, only provide the program with information that is absolutely necessary — this especially goes for financial data. Additionally, take the time to remove unnecessary personal information from your devices in general that could compromise your security. The less personal data you have on a device, the safer your information will be.
  • Make passwords a priority. Ensure your passwords are secure and strong by including numbers, lowercase and uppercase letters, as well as symbols. If you’re someone who knows the struggle with generating and remembering multiple unique passwords, use a password manager, like the True Key app. A password manager can help you create strong and secure passwords and log you into your favorite websites automatically using multi-factor authentication.
  • Focus on what really matters. We love our devices, but it’s important to disconnect every now and then to spend time with the important people in our lives, like friends and family. Don’t worry: your social networks will be right there waiting for you when you get back.

And, of course, stay on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats by following me and @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Source : Securingtomorrow.mcafee.com

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8 Easy Ways to Hack-Proof Your Family’s Smartphones

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Smartphones have changed the face of parenting in profound ways. But for all the efficiency they’ve introduced into family life, those same devices simultaneously bring risk.

With smartphone and tablet use growing at ten times the rate of PCs, hackers know precisely where to shift their focus these days. Cyber thieves love smartphones because once inside, they can access private information, location, email, photos, social media, and bank accounts.

If you’re a parent, a smartphone breach is an even bigger deal. Shoring up the security gaps in your phone isn’t a big deal but what about the other four or more smartphones under your roof? If you were to multiply the risk, you’d soon realize the potential havoc that’s looming.

While you can’t shut out every digital risk, you can tackle the most prominent ones. Let’s get started!

8 Ways to Hack-Proof Your Family’s Smartphones

  1. Think Like a Criminal. Work a potential hack backward. Look at every possible entryway into your phone and ask yourself, “How could I get into this phone if I were determined?” Then, methodically lock up each digital door. Challenge yourself to find every security gap. Examine your password strength, social profiles, web browsing security, general and app settings.
  2. Juice Up Your Password. How do you create a password that a criminal can’t hack? With great intention and a few extra layers. 1) Avoid the common error of using easy passwords such as “12345” or “password.” Get complex and create a combination that isn’t logical. 2) Use multi-factor authentication (MFA). Having multiple factors to authenticate your phone use such as your fingerprint, face, or a trusted device, increases security. Most smartphones offer MFA so, even if it seems tedious, use it. The more factors — or digital layers — you can combine, the more protected your smartphone will be. Too many passwords crowding your brain? Consider a password manager.
  3. Trust No App. Not all apps you download to your phone are created equal. Many third-party apps do not go through rigorous security vetting of Google or Apple. Hackers can infect apps with malware or viruses that demolish your phone’s security and allow hackers access to your data. Beware. Examine all apps, read reviews, and steer clear of apps that ask for too much access. Even legitimate apps can be used for malicious purposes such as listening in via a phone’s microphones and even spying using a phone’s camera. To pull back an app’s access, just go to your settings. On Android: Go to Apps and Notifications, choose App Permissions and make changes. On iOS: Go to your settings, select Privacy, and make changes to app permissions accordingly.
  4. Passcode, Track Your Phone. Be proactive in case your phone gets stolen or lost. Make sure your device is passcode and fingerprint protected. Take a few minutes to enable phone tracking. For Android, you’ll download the app Find My Device and for Apple use Find My iPhone. Make sure those apps are always enabled on your phone. If your phone is lost or stolen it can be tracked online.
  5. Log out, Lock Online Services. If you bank, shop, or access sensitive accounts via your smartphone do it with extreme care. This means logging out and locking those accounts when not in use and avoiding using auto-login features. Instead, use a password manager app the forces you to re-enter a master password each time you want to access an account. It’s worth the extra step. An essential part of this equation is disabling keychain and auto-fill in your browser. You can do this by finding your web browser in Settings and toggling each option to OFF. Also, avoid using public Wi-Fi for accessing sensitive accounts or conducting any transactions.
  6. Turn Off Bluetooth. Bluetooth carries inherent vulnerabilities and is another open door for hackers to enter. When Bluetooth is turned on it is constantly looking for other open connections. Hackers work quickly through open Bluetooth connections, and often victims don’t even know there’s been a breach (there’s no evidence a phone has connected with a criminal source). Make sure to switch Bluetooth off if you are not using it.
  7. Take Updates Seriously. Because people design phones, phones will be flawed. And, it’s just a matter of time before a hacker discovers and exploits those flaws. Developers use updates to combat all kinds of breaches, which make them critical to your phone’s security. Along with staying on top of updates, consider the added safeguard of antivirus, identity, and privacy protection that covers all family devices.
  8. Stop! Don’t Click that Link. Unless you are 100% sure of the legitimacy of a link sent to you through text, email, or direct message, do not click it. Random links sent by hackers to access your data are getting more and more sophisticated as well as destructive.toni page birdsongToni Birdsong is a Family Safety Evangelist to McAfee. You can find her on Twitter @McAfee_Family. (Disclosures). 

 

Source : Securingtomorrow.mcafee.com

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McAfee Relaunches Award-Winning Online Safety Program for Kids

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With an updated curriculum and new cybersecurity career module, McAfee’s Online Safety Program for Kids is set to reach new heights

Online safety is an area that now touches nearly everyone – from corporate CEOs and governments to grandparents and children. It’s also why nearly 130 countries come together on Safer Internet Day to raise awareness for and work together to create a safer digital world for all.

This movement, which McAfee proudly serves as an official sponsor of, reminds us that we each share a responsibility to build a better internet, a responsibility which McAfee takes very seriously. Which is why, as part of Safer Internet Day activities this week, we’re announcing the global relaunch of McAfee’s award-winning Online Safety Program for Kids.

This program has long been at the heart of who we are at McAfee. Every year hundreds of McAfee employees donate their time and skills to teach online safety to teachers, parents and children in our communities. And along the way we’ve forged important strategic relationships to scale our reach even further. Take our Bletchley Park partnership in England, where our dedicated Cybersecurity Exhibition Zone was opened by the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, back in 2014. This week alone, the site has seen more than 200 students take part in cybersecurity education sessions run by McAfee employees as part of Safer Internet Day.

So how do we improve on Royalty as part of our relaunch you may be asking? The new program includes an expanded curriculum designed by our team of engineers, data scientists, threat researchers and more to cover the latest in emerging threats including social media privacy, cyber ethics, geotargeting and phishing, to name a few.

And in the midst of a global cybersecurity talent shortage (an estimated deficit of two million professionals by 2019), it’s more urgent than ever to inspire the next generation of cybersecurity heroes. So now, our Online Safety Program for Kids includes an education-based module with a greater emphasis on exposure and role modeling. This empowers both young girls and boys to ask questions and learn about a career in data science, threat research or engineering, from our real-world experts who only too familiar with not just the career paths, but the rewards associated with working in cybersecurity.

I’m also pleased to say, that driven by employee demand, McAfee’s annual Global Community Service Day, will place cybersecurity education for children front and center with our more than 7,000 employees worldwide encouraged to share their skills and knowledge within their local communities.

Thank you to McAfee’s employees worldwide who volunteer their time to grow McAfee’s Online Safety Program for Kids and invest in our youth globally. And just looking at our program numbers you can see why I’m in awe and inspired by this amazing team who work hard every day to deliver on our pledge to keep the world safe.

Interested in making a positive difference not only for customers and partners, but for the communities in which we live? Then, join us. Search our jobs. Together, we can make the world a safer place.

Source : Securingtomorrow.mcafee.com

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