Tag - online security

Top 4 useful advice to protect yourself from online scams

You’ve probably heard this phrase many times before: if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is! Scams, frauds and hoaxes are everywhere, especially online.

The world we live in today requires us to be careful at each step we take, so we surround our lives with all kinds of security measures. The same way we use a house alarm to protect our homes, we use an antivirus to secure our computers. But is that enough?

Well, not exactly. How many people with an antivirus protection on their PCs were the victims of identity thefts or man in the middle attacks? That’s right, plenty.

So here are some typical examples of online scams you should be aware of so you can protect your online security.

    1. Beware of phishing e-mails

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VPN – the best app that makes digital nomads feel at home

Life is certainly wonderful for digital nomads. They enjoy (mostly) freelance work, travel once in a while and see wonderful places. Not to mention, they expand their horizons by meeting new and different cultures.

Yeah, digital nomads enjoy plenty of perks; some of them just lie on the beach with a laptop in front of them and sip from a tasty cocktail from time to time. But how many of them are wise enough not to sink too deep in their wonderful dream and actually take security measures when it comes to protecting their data and keeping their laptops and computers secure?

If you’re about to embark on the exciting adventure of working remotely, take a first stop to check out a few technicalities you need to apply to protect your work files and data.

Useful data protection tips if you’re a digital nomad

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Quick and easy online safety tips for students

Students worldwide, the exciting time for a new academic year when you hear the school bell ringing again is about to start.

However, we all know study is no longer limited to going to the library and taking notes. You access various type of technologies, both in school and at home, from reading a book on your Kindle to using all types of online communication tools with your peers and teachers as well.

What you need to know is that some of the cutting-edge technology used in classroom is most of the time not protected, in terms of your personal information. Simply because many apps used in education collect and use student data.

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What is the FBI trying to achieve?

In the past few days, media reported about how parts of the US IT industry resist the espionage plans of the US government – triggered by Apple’s refusal to hack the phone of a suspect and prospectively install backdoors for secret services. What exactly is Apple required to do? And why is the company’s resistance so important? Also concerning VPNs …

For the first time in history, the government asks a company not just to assist in the investigation of an offense, request that no one would actually complain about; but publicly demanding Apple to develop a completely new software that makes the onsite security of its devices and features superfluous. This demand is affecting the security features that impact all Apple users and anyone who communicates with Apple’s users, and which are essential in the prevention of digital crimes. Bottom line, the company is forced to develop a master key that unlocks every single iOS device.

apple_vs_fbi

What would be the new changes? If FBI is successful, three major changes should be implemented by Apple:

  • Currently, iOS can be adjusted so that it clears the internal keys after 10 unsuccessful password entries. FBI wants the software without this feature.
  • After each unsuccessful password entry to unlock a device, iOS prolongs the time until another attempt can be made. The FBI wants the new software to accept an infinite number of entries without breaks.
  • iOS requires that passwords are entered manually. The FBI would like the possibility to enter passwords electronically, so one can run automatically a variety of options in a short period of time.
FBI's demand is affecting all Apple users and anyone who communicates with them. #PrivateLivesMatter Click to Tweet

If FBI’s requests will be approved, not only would Apple suffer of a bigger image loss than the one triggered by the Snowden revelations, but there would arise a fatal situation for citizens and businesses alike. By default, built-in back doors would not only be available for the US government, but potentially for others as well, especially for known enemies of the western countries like Iran, North Korea and Russia, but also the competing national economies, hackers and cybercriminals.

It’s rather naïve to believe that for the sake of all citizens, governments are the only ones trying to keep an eye on encrypted data. This rather reveals how much the thinking of law enforcement agencies has developed in only one direction: understanding total surveillance with themselves as luminaries of the planet, morally unassailable and almost uncontrollable anyway.

Another step towards 1984 2.0

And it would be only the first step, because once the protection of devices is gone, VPNs are just the next target on the hit list. If Apple’s refusal fails in court, the enforcement of backdoors for encrypted Internet access via virtual networks is only a matter of time. And besides: US companies operate globally. What arguments will be used for denying the Chinese government to do the same? And the Iranian? Who then has the last word when it comes to separate the evil from the good? And how exactly is the Russian mass surveillance different from the US one?

 

Protect your financial data when online banking: 5 things you need to do

A recent survey from Mastercard showed that 62 percent of Millennials would rather have their nude photos leaked online than have their financial info stolen.

As for the general population, the percentage drops a few points, with 55 percent preferring the „nude photos leak” scenario to having their credit card data compromised.

In light of these revelations, we decided to draw up a list of must-follow tips when you’re doing online banking. They will help keep your credit card info safe and sound and out of the hands of hackers, spies, snoopers and so on.

But first, a piece of advice about taking and (especially) storing nude photos of yourself on your phone, laptop, or Cloud: DO. NOT. DO. IT. EVER.

OK, now let’s move on to what you can do to protect your financial info when online banking:

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CyberGhost users are safe from Shellshock bug

Surfing the net nowadays can be a traumatizing experience. Not nearly as traumatizing as European soldiers felt in World War I trenches, which gave birth to the naming of the recently discovered bash security leak in Linux systems (ShellShock) but uncomfortable none the less. The leak in the Unix shell seems to exist for quite a long time now, but came to public knowledge just recently – and by now it is widely and actively used. Even by ‘free time hackers’, who are usually lacking enough know-how to break into secured websites. As the discoverers of the leak stated, it is relatively easy to exploit.

Remember Heartbleed? Well, this bug is even older. You can read all about it here.

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Shellshock updates available

The good news: All important Linux distributions already rolled out updates with which the leak can be secured. Also CyberGhost stated a first (but reserved) all-clear signal. As many online publications stated yesterday and the day before, distros like Fedora, Red Hat, Ubuntu, Debian and OpenSuse published two updates – as where the second became necessary, because the first one got compromised as well. Also CyanogenMod had been secured these days, while the usual Google Android doesn’t need any update and Apple users should be a little more patient and wait some more time. But then again: Desktop users shouldn’t be all too worried anyway, because the leak is used ‚just‘ to attack web servers.

CyberGhost is safe

Here at CyberGhost we know well about this threat and already took action right after the first notice of a potential security problem with the Unix bash. We performed a series of tests and patched (just in case) all infrastructure servers. According to the tests done we haven’t been affected even on unpatched servers, but we are nonetheless wide awake, because the amount of attacks hasn’t reached its peak and every day might bring new and different challenges. Of course, we will keep you updated, if this matter unveils new facts, but until then: Be assured, you’re safe with your favorite ghost!

CyberGhost VPN Transparency Report 2014

This is an important moment for us and we would like to share it with our readers and users. Being one of the first anonymizing services comes with a responsibility, so we decided it’s time to publish a transparency report of state discovery operations, copyright issues and complaints from website operators and individuals.

CyberGhost_Transparncy ReportTransparency reports of Internet companies are a common thing in many countries, as opposed to transparency reports of VPN providers, for which there are just a few reports available. The reason is simple: many countries have concerns that a disclosure of requests from police and other organizations might endanger ongoing investigations.  The actual numbers of requests by authorities and others can be bad for business, especially if a provider logs their users’ online activity.

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