Category - Privacy Tips

The sensitive privacy issues of health and fitness apps

Health and fitness apps or wearables are more and more common these days. Everyone seems to be sharing on social media their biking mileage, their running route or the number of steps they took in a day.

Besides the more social aspect of these apps, they also turn out to greatly improve people’s lives, since they help them keep track of their physical and physiological data and motivate others be more active as well. Which is why they can be very useful.

However, many of these apps present important privacy dangers and if you are not careful, your data could end up in the wrong hands! Insurance brokers, for instance, could pay valuable sums to gain access to this precious information.

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The numerous security risks and the need for best practices

According to a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto, there are several security and privacy risks associated with wearable fitness trackers.

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For this study, the researchers studied eight wrist-worn trackers, and their related apps, among which: Apple Watch, Basis Peak, Fitbit Charge HR, Garmin Vivosmart, Jawbone UP2, Withings Pulse O2, Xiaomi Mi Band and Mio Fuse.

Worryingly, the research concluded that “the fitness data generated by several wearable devices can be falsified by motivated parties, calling into question the degree to which this data should be relied upon for insurance or legal purposes. This confirms (…) that people could fraudulently input device data.”

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Top 3 social media hacks of 2016 and what we can learn from them

So far, 2016 has been quite a prolific year in what concerns successful social media hacks. Even major names at the helm of some of the biggest online companies out there have had their accounts broken into this year.

Such famous examples are Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey or Sundar Pichai. Of course, they are a few of the thousands of hacking cases occurring on a daily basis. Read all about these famous mishaps in the following lines and find out how you can protect yourself against such unfortunate occurrences.

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Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook cofounder and CEO famously had his Twitter and Pinterest accounts hacked in June. The group responsible for this was OurMine Team, who claimed they were able to do it thanks to the LinkedIn password leak from 2012, which only came to the surface this year.

Amusingly enough, even though most experts advise people never to use the same password throughout various social media accounts, this is exactly what the Facebook CEO did. His password was famously “dadada”, a reference to the first words uttered by his child.

Jack Dorsey

OurMine had a busy year this 2016 (and continues to). The Twitter CEO had his account briefly broken into by the hacking group at the start of July.

What did OurMine post on his behalf? A link to their site and the “testing your security” message together with a Vine clip. Apparently, the attack was possible through the Vine entertainment network. Dorsey may have had his account connected to another compromised service or used a shared password.

Unlike Zuckerberg, Dorsey’s account was broken into on the social media account that he is responsible of, which is probably worse than in Zuckerberg’s case (his Facebook account was left intact).

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Travel advice for the online privacy enthusiast: 7 useful tips

Summer is by definition the season when most of us take well-deserved vacations. We become tourists in our own countries or go abroad, to unplug from our busy daily lives and recharge our batteries for the challenges coming up ahead.

Above everything else, this out-of-office time is meant for relaxation. However, this does not mean that we have to completely become oblivious to the online safety dangers which could appear anytime, anyplace.

Even if you’re travelling for business purposes, take this travel advice into consideration on your next trip. Always make sure that the precious private information stored on any of your devices stays between you and those devices, with nobody else prying into it!

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  1. The perils of public WiFis

When we’re abroad, finding a free public WiFi network is a dream come true. But however happy we are to update our loved ones about our vacation or to finally send that important business e-mail, we must be aware that a public WiFi comes with many risks.

Public WiFis are, first of all, very easy to hack into. Our security expert recently demonstrated that an experienced hacker can break into a hotel’s WiFi network in 1 minute. Scary? You haven’t heard the whole the story yet!

This means that, through an unsecured public WiFi, a hacker can steal your credit card info in the snap of a finger and start making online payments on your behalf. Furthermore, you’re basically handing them personal information, such as passwords to your work e-mail account, on a silver platter.

The solution? Well, you could connect using your mobile data and suffer the extra costs or use a VPN instead. CyberGhost has an app suited to any device you may be using and comes with some free features, as well.

You can read more about our apps here (the brand new CyberGhost for Windows), here (the freshly released CyberGhost for iOS) and here (the-soon-to-be updated CyberGhost for Android).

Are you going on vacation or traveling abroad? Take this #TravelAdvice into consideration for #OnlinePrivacy.… Click to Tweet
  1. The offline effects of online choices

When we’re on vacation, we often feel the need to share the excitement with everyone. But we have to be careful with the details we disclose both before and during our time away.

Telling others when and where you’re leaving is like basically rolling out a red carpet to welcome thieves into your home.

It doesn’t matter if you’re letting someone know face-to-face or on social media, the result can be the same one, although on social media, the information can reach a lore more people.

Therefore, our travel advice is to stay as discreet as possible concerning your vacation.

You may also want to think twice about posting that photo in your bathing suit or surrounded by numerous bottles of alcohol. Nothing is really private on social media, regardless of how thorough you were when you made your privacy settings.

Next thing you know, your manager, business partner or potential employer could know a lot more about you than you’d wish.

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