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4 Tips on Phone Security

2 Jan

Now that you got that new mobile phone for the holidays, how do you keep it safe? The rules for keeping both iOS and Android secure are exactly the same:

  • Install updates as soon as they’re available. This is harder on Android as some OEMs are really bad about pushing patches.
  • Don’t jailbreak/root. Doing this is intentionally breaking the security of the affected OS – it also generally means you can’t install updates.
  • Don’t install apps from 3rd party appstores. Almost all of the smartphone hacks you see start with “an app on Chinese-run appstore…” just don’t do it. Google, Apple, Amazon only.
  • Practice safe browsing. The same things that make your computer vulnerable, make your phone vulnerable.

If you follow these tips and you should be golden. Don’t bother with anything claiming to be antivirus or security software for your phone. Security software needs to run at a permissions level that just isn’t possible on a non-rooted/jailbroken device in order to be effective. It’ll just end up causing you problems and providing no protection.

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Official Inaugural 2013 App

21 Jan

Today is Inaugural day and if you are making the trek to Washington, then you should probably checkout the official app. I attended a couple inaugurations and this app would have been handy while standing in the cold.

I read on AppAdvice that you should be leery when downloading the application because it attempts to opt you in for future updates. The first screen asks you for your cell phone number to sign-up and the decline button is really small in the lower right corner.

Features:

  • Parade route
  • Schedule
  • Blog
  • About

https://itunes.apple.com/US/app/id592558250

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Social Networking Safety Tips

19 Apr

I stumbled upon this site the other day and discovered some sound tips. Here are tips for helping your kids use social networking sites safely:

  • Understand what information should be private.
  • Only post information you are comfortable others seeing.
  • Use privacy settings to restrict who can access info.
  • Once information is online it can not be erased.
  • Avoid sex talk online.
  • Trust their gut if they have suspicions. Tell you if something online is uncomfortable.

http://www.onguardonline.gov/topics/social-networking-sites.aspx

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Google Family Safety Center

20 Feb

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wt18TCb_p-M

Google recently launched the “Family Safety Center”. This site features tips on how to surf the Internet safely as a family. Google has developed their own set of safety tools like Google Safe Search, Safe Search Lock, Safe Search on Your Phone and YouTube Safety Mode. All these safety features function exactly as they sound, they give you as a parent the ability to limit what can be seen.

Google Family Safety Center:

  • Provides parents and teachers with tools to help them choose what content their children see online
  • Offers tips and advice to families about how to stay safe online
  • Works closely with organizations such as charities, others in our industry and government bodies dedicated to protecting young people

Have you tried Google's hub of online family-centered safety tools? If so, which one do you like the most?

http://www.google.com/familysafety/

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Beware of Scareware

17 Sep

Have you been the victim of scareware? You probably already are infected and don't even know it. The other day I was reminded of how easy you can get deceived online by ordinary system pop-ups. Here is an example of how you can be duped by scareware and what to do to avoid it.

I was searching for the latest hit movie and all of a sudden a box popped up on my screen that resembled something that was from my operating system. I know that I had my pop-up blocker on so I was tempted for a moment to click on it. The box said “You've been infected by a Trojan Virus, click here to run a scan.” I then immediately hit the red x and closed the box. Then I ran my own local virus device which came up clean.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scareware

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Raising An Internet Saavy Child

8 Jun

Adam Rosenberg (adam@cdt.org), New Media Manager for the Center for Democracy & Technology recently wrote this guest post on Wired. He stressed a few tips he instilled in his children once they reached the age to surf the web. I found these strong relevant tips even in this world of Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare.

Tips To Instill In Children When Online:
1. Never talk to strangers online.
2. Treat your e-mail address like any other piece of property.
3. Read every form you fill out during sign-up, including the privacy policy.
4. Do not give out personal information without permission.
5. Talk to each other about internet usage and whom they talk to.

Read more:
http://www.wired.com/geekdad/

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Big Virus Coming, Tomorrow?

31 Mar

If you haven’t been paying attention to the news, a big virus is set to launch tomorrow. The Conflicker Worm will take control of your computer without you even knowing it. Apple users you are safe for the moment.

What can you do to prevent infection of your PC?

  1. Download the Microsoft update – http://update.microsoft.com/
  2. Turn off USB port automatic detection
  3. Protect your machine from the virus
  4. Scan your machine for the virus – Free Virus Protection Software
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9+0+# on Your Telephone

12 Jan

A friend of mine received a telephone call recently from an individual identifying himself as an AT&T Service Technician (could also be Telus) who was conducting a test on the telephone lines. He stated that to complete a test they should touch nine(9), zero(0), the pound sign (#), and then hang up. Luckily, they were suspicious and refused.

Upon contacting the telephone company, they were informed that by pushing 90#, you give the requesting individual full access to your telephone line, which enables them to place long distance calls billed to your home phone number.

They dialed ‘0’ and asked the operator who confirmed that this was correct. They also checked Snopes.com and it applies to cellphones too.

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Don’t Fall For Reunion.com SPAM

10 Dec

A friend of mine recently suffered through the Reunion.com SPAM attack, so read below and don’t let this happen to you! Reporter Chris Walter from the Consumerist exposed the scam last April and unfortunately it’s still thriving.

What is the big deal with Reunion.com?
In a nutshell: Signing up for their service initiates access to your private email address book which in turn creates an endless circle of spamming.

According to Walter, “Reunion.com dupes new members into signing up by sending them an email that pretends to be from an acquaintance who’s been looking for them (on Reunion.com, naturally). After signing up, the site sucks in your contacts and immediately begins spamming them to join by sending out a similar email. If one of those people then signs up at Reunion.com, their contact list is scooped up and the cycle starts all over again, like a social engineering version of a virus or parasitic infestation. Maybe this is why Reunion.com can claim to register about 1 million new members every month.”

Read full article

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UPS Virus Alert

24 Nov

With the holidays fast approaching, watch out for the UPS Delivery Failure virus. You will receive an email from UPS Packet Service along with a packet number.

How do I know if I get this virus?
It will say that they were un-able to deliver a package sent to you on such and such a date. It then asks you to print out the invoice copy attached. Do not try to print this email because it launches a virus.

Snopes confirms this virus is real.
http://www.snopes.com/computer/virus/ups.asp

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