Category Archives: Websites

Torrent poisoning allows big companies to track your IP

Torrenting is mostly associated with software or content pirating. Big companies are aware of the threat this process has to their profitability, so sometimes they employ unusual methods to fight back against torrenting.

One of these is torrent poisoning. Basically, they infect a torrent with software that then tells the company the IP of the user who downloaded the file. After this, the company might send you a cease and desist letter, or in the (very) worst case scenario, demand reparations for any damage inflicted.

Top Ten: The Most Important Cyber Security Tips for all Users

  1. Realize that you are an attractive target to hackers. Don’t ever say “It won’t happen to me.”

  2. Practice good password management. Use a strong mix of characters, and don’t use the same password for multiple sites. Don’t share your password with others, don’t write it down, and definitely don’t write it on a post-it note attached to your monitor.

  3. Never leave your devices unattended. If you need to leave your computer, phone, or tablet for any length of time—no matter how short—lock it up so no one can use it while you’re gone. If you keep sensitive information on a flash drive or external hard drive, make sure to lock it up as well.

  4. Always be careful when clicking on attachments or links in email. If it’s unexpected or suspicious for any reason, don’t click on it. Double check the URL of the website the link takes you to: bad actors will often take advantage of spelling mistakes to direct you to a harmful domain. Think you can spot a phony website?

  5. Sensitive browsing, such as banking or shopping, should only be done on a device that belongs to you, on a network that you trust. Whether it’s a friend’s phone, a public computer, or a cafe’s free WiFi—your data could be copied or stolen.

  6. Back up your data regularly, and make sure your anti-virus software is always up to date.

  7. Be conscientious of what you plug in to your computer. Malware can be spread through infected flash drives, external hard drives, and even smartphones.

  8. Watch what you’re sharing on social networks. Criminals can befriend you and easily gain access to a shocking amount of information—where you go to school, where you work, when you’re on vacation—that could help them gain access to more valuable data.

  9. Offline, be wary of social engineering, where someone attempts to gain information from you through manipulation. If someone calls or emails you asking for sensitive information, it’s okay to say no. You can always call the company directly to verify credentials before giving out any information.

  10. Be sure to monitor your accounts for any suspicious activity. If you see something unfamiliar, it could be a sign that you’ve been compromised.

Reference

Nine Ways to Prevent Cyber Security Breaches

In a world where the majority of our transactions and interactions happen online, individuals and companies alike are in a constant struggle to safeguard their information and maintain security. it’s time to fine tune those privacy settings and up your protection levels to prevent fraud and information hacks. Here’s some of the top ways to secure your online presence:

  • Create a Strong Password

This may seem like a no-brainer, but the first step to creating a secure account is to choose a unique password with strong characters. Your pet’s name followed by a birthday or address number probably is not your best bet. Websites usually require a password between eight and 20 characters and while not all require a special symbol; it’s always a good idea to include one or two. Craft an impenetrable “code” so complex that people even close to you are unable to easily log into your accounts. Make sure you keep the passwords you choose written down in a safe place and don’t chose the same password for every one of your accounts. Want to take things one step further? Plan to change your passwords every few months.

  • Be aware of what you’re posting

In the growing world of social media, people are more open to posting anything and everything about themselves for the world to see. It’s important to learn about the privacy setting options available for each channel. As a general rule of thumb, content should only be visible to immediate friends and family and not open to the public. It’s best to keep your profiles private to add an extra wall of security to your information and personal life.

  • When it comes to finances, go directly to the company

While this may seem like common sense, you should never provide confidential financial information over the phone. A common trend we’re seeing is hackers calling people and requesting verification on an account with private information. No company will ever call you from an unknown number saying your information has been on non-reputable websites. It’s important to contact your financial institution directly if something like that happens, so you can confirm legitimacy before divulging private information to what would be a complete stranger or hacker.

  • Be careful where you share your social security number

Even the last four digits of your SSN with your name and birthday attached will easily allow someone to take your identity. Make sure if you’re sharing this information, it’s absolutely necessary and it is with a company you can trust. Don’t share this information over the phone with someone you have not yet verified to be an actual employee to whatever company your account is associated with. Never use any part of you SSN in a password or for authentication unless it’s required.

  • Back up your information to a secure network or drive

If something were to happen resulting in your personal information being compromised, it’s important to have it copied over into a completely separate place. Recent hackers have been able to lock users out of their computers and threaten to get rid of all their information unless they were to pay the hackers. Having your information backed up will ensure that you have everything protected and you won’t need to feed into the hackers’ games.

  • Always update your software
    Privacy software and antivirus protection will always have updates that include new ways to protect your computer and information. Make sure to keep updated with the newest versions of any software as a way to protect your files. Your system will normally install new security patches that the company has created to keep out the newest and best generations of hackers.
  • Don’t join Wi-Fi networks you don’t know

To put it simply, unlocked networks are not usually the best idea. It’s critical to know who runs the network and what they have access to when you connect to their Wi-Fi. Random networks will often pop up as an option and it can be very tempting to just tap into a free network, but that can be an instant threat considering you have no idea who is on the other side or what they’re capable of. Anyone can be on that network and with free software online, it’s no trouble to log in as you and see all your information; contacts, documents, what you’re sending, pictures – anything.

  • Don’t open that strange link

Malware is all over the internet and we’ve likely all been made aware of phishing email schemes, which are the key culprit in spreading malware. Never open a link or attachment unless you know who sent it to you and what it is supposed to contain. Opening a random link that may look legitimate could immediately download malware onto your device bring you to a scam website. It can be a quick tell if you suddenly start getting pop-up ads or if your device starts slowing down or shutting down unexpectedly. If you have a suspicion that your computer may have been hacked, remember to stop all use of internet accounts and private information. Contact tech support for the company you have purchased your device through and see what they suggest for your specific case.

  • Dispose of your information safely

When getting rid of your device, make sure to do a backup and then a factory reset. This eliminates the information and settings once saved to your device. It’s always smart to check it over to make sure the information is really gone after performing a factory reset. Be sure to also recycle your device in a safe manner, taking it to a company or person you trust to completely wipe the device free of your information. Remove any SIM or SD cards and erase any contents or transfer them to the new device. After getting information through the mail, make sure to shred any sensitive information and dispose of the papers or cards in a safe place.

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Google penalizes sites with pop-up ads

Google is cracking down on mobile pop-up ads by knocking down the search-result position of websites that use them.
The National Labor Relations Board decided a social media policy that Chipotle had in place for its employees violates federal labor law.
A group of lawmakers plans to introduce legislation that would criminalize revenge porn—explicit images posted to the web without the consent of the subject—at the federal level.
The Truth in Advertising organization sent the Kardashians a letter threatening to report them for violating the FTC’s endorsement guides. This isn’t the first time the legality of the famous family’s social media posts has been called into question. If only Kim would read our influencer marketing blog posts.
According to one study, 68% percent of publishers use editorial staff to create native ads.
Twitter launched a button that a company can place on its website to allow users to send a direct message to the company’s Twitter inbox.
UK lawmakers issued a report calling on the big social media companies to do more to purge their platforms of hate speech and material that incites violence.
Social media is playing bigger role in jury selection, Arkansas prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers say.

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Shopping for airfare deals | Consumer Information


You want the best deal for your next flight, but the choices can be overwhelming. Will you book directly on an airline’s website, or buy through a site that lets you compare costs across multiple airlines? These tips will help you weigh your options and avoid surprises you didn’t bargain for.

On cost comparison sites, what seem like apples-to-apples comparisons may not be – if baggage or other fees aren’t included. Cost comparison sites can also charge you more than the airline’s fees for services like changing or canceling a flight. When you make a reservation for a flight that is at least a week away, the airline must allow you to cancel for free within the first 24 hours after booking, but you could still be charged if you didn’t book directly with the airline.

Having a reservation is not the same as having a ticket. Normally, you make your reservation and then the airline issues a ticket, but things can go wrong. We’ve heard from people who used unfamiliar booking sites and learned at the airport that they did not have a ticket to fly. People also have told us that small errors like misspelled passenger names caused big headaches. Some people had to pay fees to fix mistakes, and some even missed their flights.

If you’re thinking of using an unfamiliar booking site to reserve tickets, first look for reviews and ratings of the site to make sure it’s reputable. You can search the site’s name with words like “complaint,” “review,” or “scam.”

Also:

  • consider fees as you comparison shop, and take change and cancelation policies into account
  • check cost comparison and airline sites to find the best overall deal, and keep in mind that some airlines only book directly
  • confirm directly with the airline well before the day of your flight that you have a ticket and everything is in order

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