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5 super easy tips for better online security on Safer Internet Day

It’s Safer Internet Day! Every February 10, the occasion is meant to be a reminder — particularly to young people — of the perils of the Internet.

Internet Security

The hope is to encourage more responsibility when we use the Internet and mobile technology. That can mean a lot of things and can be as simple as being more respectful online.

But it’s also a reminder to better protect yourself and your personal information. Google, for example, is using the day to remind people about the importance of online security. Coincidentally, the U.S. government happened to announce a new government agency completely dedicated to combating cyberthreats on Tuesday.

Of course, it’s always a good time to remind people that it’s easier and perhaps more common than ever before to fall victim to online attackers and cybersecurity risks. Every person should be taking measures to stay safer online. Before your eyes glaze, we have some very easy things that anyone can do to protect themselves online.

1. Use two-factor authentication

With two-factor authentication, users have to provide, in addition to a typical password, a one-time code when using a log-in service. In most cases, the code is sent to your phone — in a text message, for example. So after entering your password, you then have to put in what’s basically a one-time second password.

Based on your preferences, two-factor authentication can occur every time you log in to something or only occasionally, like when logging into an account on a new device.

Many major websites offer two-factor confirmations. Google was among the first. But now a bevy of them — including Apple’s iCloud, Dropbox, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook — offer some form of login approval.

It might seem simple, but just a smidgen of time can almost double password security.

2. Update your browser and devices!

Browsers, operating systems and mobile devices often need updates. Sure, this can be a pain, but it’s important. Many times, updates are intended to patch just-now-discovered security problems.

Researchers are constantly finding new security holes that cyberattackers can exploit. So if an update notice comes through, never hesitate. It could be the difference between losing 15 minutes of your time and a hacker gaining control of your computer.

3. Use unique passwords and a password manager

People are really bad at making strong passwords. In 2014, the most common leaked passwords were “123456” and “password.” It’s also typical for people to include their birth year (especially those born between 1989 and 1992) in their passwords.

Hackers are up to your tricks. For each login, each website, each service, you should be using unique passwords that have nothing to do with a dead pet or your birthday. “But how do I remember all these passwords?” you might be asking. Well, you don’t have to.

There are a number of good password management services, such as LastPass or 1Password, that can generate and store login information in a virtual vault. Some even offer security-checking features that will let you know if you have duplicate or weak passwords.

4. Get a Google security checkup

Google is offering Drive users an extra 2GB of storage space if they take part in its Security Checkup program by Feb. 17. It takes a few minutes to run some quick tests on your Google accounts. To get started, click here.

The feature offers an overview of your recent sign-in activity (to see if any unusual devices are logging into your accounts). With the checkup, users can also grant and revoke account permissions on their devices, as well as add recovery information — such as a phone number — to help Google get in touch if something is up with your accounts.

5. Use HTTPS whenever you can

HTTPS is the secure version of hypertext transfer protocol — the letters that come before the “www.” in a web address. That last “S” can provide a big difference, however. HTTPS works to bidirectionally encrypt information sent between you and a website’s servers.

It isn’t perfect. HTTPS will not protect you from, say, government surveillance, but it can be surprisingly sophisticated in its protections. BMW, for example, failed to use HTTPS when transmitting data via its ConnectedDrive car system. That made the car vulnerable to remote hackers, who could have exploited that oversight to open car doors.

Most major websites are compatible with HTTPS, but it is best to be cognizant of the web addresses you’re using. There are tools, too, such as HTTPS Everywhere browser extension, that works to automatically switch any HTTP address over to HTTPS.


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Reference: http://mashable.com/

11 free tools to protect your online activity from surveillance

Privacy Key

The documentary Citizenfour, which debuted to a limited release on Friday, offers the closest look yet at Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who exposed the National Security Agency spying scandal. In the film, Snowden and the journalists he works with go to great lengths to shield their correspondence from unwanted eyes.

Though Laura Poitras’ film explores a very extreme circumstance — a massive leak of top-secret information to the press — it’s as good a reminder as any that we live in a time of widespread government surveillance, and you can’t be sure who’s intruding on or monitoring your Internet activity and communications.

You might want more privacy online for any number of reasons — you could be a journalist reporting on a sensitive topic, like Poitras and Glenn Greenwald, or you might just want more peace of mind in light of the NSA revelations. To better protect yourself, here are 11 tools (presented in no particular order) to help you encrypt data, block intrusive trackers or remain altogether anonymous on the web. Note that this is by no means an exhaustive list of what’s out there, and no security measure is 100% effective. All of the tools listed here are free.

1. Tor Project

Tor is a free software program that allows people to use web connections anonymously. Widely considered to be one of the best privacy tools on the web, Tor can be downloaded as a software package, and there’s a Tor-enabled browser available. It’s difficult to track information that passes through Tor — so much so that Russian President Vladimir Putin has put up a $110,000 reward for anyone who can crack its secrets.

Where to get it: Direct download

2. The Guardian Project

The Guardian Project creates open-source apps to help people communicate privately. All of the group’s software is downloadable for free for Android smartphones. For secure web browsing, there’s a privacy-friendly browser called Orweb that works with a Tor-enabled proxy called Orbot for mobile. There’s also a private messaging service called ChatSecure, an app for private phone calls and a pixel-destroying camera tool to blur faces in photos. This project is almost worth a list all its own.

Where to get them: Google Play, Amazon or direct download

3. DuckDuckGo

Duckduckgo

IMAGE: DUCKDUCKGO

DuckDuckGo is a search engine that doesn’t track or share any of your information. If you’re looking for better privacy, use this over Google.

Where to use it: Duckduckgo.com

4. HTTPS Everywhere

When you’re browsing the web, you’ll notice that URLs typically have the “http://” prefix, if not the more secure version: “https://” (HTTP Secure). The HTTPS Everywhere browser plugin works with Chrome, Firefox and Opera, and it attempts to automatically switch any HTTP web address over to HTTPS, which encrypts communication between you and the server to protect against eavesdropping or impostors.

Where to get it: Google Play or direct download

5. Ghostery

Ghostery allows you to keep tabs on companies that track your visits to websites. With this browser extension, you can block companies from collecting your browsing data. Ghostery has a popup option that displays a message each time you visit a site with a list of who’s tracking you.

When I visited Amazon.com, for example, Ghostery showed me I was being tracked by these entities:

Amazon Associates

Where to get it: Direct download

6. Privacy Badger

Privacy Badger is a browser extension that can block third-party advertisers, but it has a moral compass. If Privacy Badger suspects a tracker is overstepping its bounds by tracking what you’re doing without your permission, the extension stops the advertiser in its tracks. It’s all based on the principle of user consent: If the advertiser breaks the rules, Privacy Badger cuts the cord.

Where to get it: Direct download

7. GPG

You may have heard of PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), an encryption program developed in the early ’90s to make email conversations more secure. It’s a bit outdated, though. The better option is GPG. The GNU Privacy Guard system allows you to encrypt and sign your data. Each party has a pair of “keys,” one public and one private. The sender, in this case, sends the email to the receiver’s public key, but this encrypted message can only be deciphered if the receiver enters his or her private key (that is known only to them) upon reception of the communication.

Where to get it for Windows: Direct download

Where to get it for Mac: Direct download

8. Cryptocat

Cryptocat is an encrypted chatting service that can be added as a browser extension or downloaded as an app for Mac systems. It is one of the more popular encryption tools available, often used by journalists and human rights advocates. Put simply, only the sender and receiver can see the actual content of the message. When messages are traveling through Cryptocat, they’re unreadable. As a bonus, the application supports file-sharing.

Where to get it: Direct download

9. Wickr

Mashable previously described Wickr as “Snapchat for grownups,” and that’s a good way to put it. Wickr sends photos, video and file attachments that will eventually be deleted, but unlike Snapchat, Wickr encrypts messages. Not even Wickr itself is supposed to know what’s in the messages you send. What you send can last anywhere from a few seconds to several days.

Where to get it: Google Play and the App Store

10. Signal

For phone calls on iPhones, there’s an app called Signal, and it’s probably the best iOS app available for phone call encryption. Open Whisper Systems, the developer behind Signal, has an Android equivalent called RedPhone that provides end-to-end encryption. Eventually, RedPhone will be rolled into Signal to unify the platform, but the apps are already compatible with each other. Snowden himself has praised Open Whisper Systems for their easy-to-use encryption apps.

Where to get Signal: App Store

Where to get RedPhone: Google Play

11. Surveillance Self-Defense Guide

For those of you who are very serious about ramping up your privacy online, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit group that advocates for civil rights as they pertain to modern technology, has published an extensive index of security tips and explainers for all sorts of Internet users, be they beginners or experts. It’s a good place to tread a bit deeper into protecting yourself from unwanted surveillance.


Recommend

SurveilStar is an ultimate employee monitoring software and parental control software which can help monitor computer activities and protect data security. You can also block files uploading and sharing to prevent data leakage. Including:

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  • View Real-time Screen Snapshot
  • Monitor Skype or Other Chat/IM Activity
  • Record Emails
  • Track web browsing history
  • Block access to any website
  • Remote PC Maintenance
  • Program Activity

 

If you would like to record and control all your children or employees’ activities on working PC, SurveilStar Monitoring would be your best choice.

A 30-day free trial version of this professional computer monitoring and tracking software is available. Feel free to download and try to check what your employees and children have done on PC.

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Reference: http://mashable.com/

Companies did not learn from LuxLeaks

Nearly three months after the first LuxLeaks report was published for Luxembourg, companies are still leaving themselves vulnerable to data breaches, suggest two Allen & Overy Senior Associates.

LuxLeaks

Senior Associate in Employment Law Gilles Dall’Agnol has keenly observed the reactions of companies to the two reports, which revealed tax agreements with international companies made by big four companies in Luxembourg.

“I think that LuxLeaks, for all its negative consequences, has had the effect of increasing awareness about the topic of data security,” he said.

As a result of the scandal, he says he expects to see the role of information security officers strengthened, along with the introduction of specific policies and mechanisms, such as whistleblowing structures. Meanwhile, he says companies will be more reluctant to outsource data security responsibilities.

However, Catherine Di Lorenzo, Allen & Overy Senior Associate in IP/IT and data protection law, said that many companies are failing to address a key question when securing tangible evidence of a data breach: are they authorised to monitor or screen employees’ emails?

“With respect to such screening, probably the most important part you have to know is that screening qualifies as employee monitoring which is only permissible if certain data protection rules have been complied with,” Ms Di Lorenzo explained, adding: “The data protection steps cannot be retroactively applied, which means if you’ve a suspicion to do with an email in which client data might have been sent, as you did not comply with data protection rules, the employer cannot simply go and screen the employee’s account.”

A company carrying out monitoring while having failed to comply with these rules exposes itself and its managers to criminal liability. In addition, evidence collected in this way is likely to be considered inadmissible in court.

This means, in other words, that a dismissal of an employee based solely on evidence collected in this way is likely to be ruled as abusive.

“If a company has not complied with the data protection rules, it should not even be carrying out a screening as this would itself qualify as a criminal offence. If the company does the screening anyway and finds something, it will most likely not be able to use it.

“It’s a disaster if you find yourself in such a situation,” Ms Di Lorenzo said, adding: “Compliance with data protection rules costs just one or two days’ work. But it is simply an element of corporate housekeeping everybody has neglected for a long time.”

Mr Dall’Agnol adds that in many such cases, companies do not have another choice but to make a criminal complaint without carrying out screening or employment law sanctions and leave it to the prosecutor to find the evidence.


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  • Monitor Skype or Other Chat/IM Activity
  • Record Emails
  • Track web browsing history
  • Block access to any website
  • Remote PC Maintenance
  • Program Activity

 

If you would like to record and control all your children or employees’ activities on working PC, SurveilStar Monitoring would be your best choice.

A 30-day free trial version of this professional computer monitoring and tracking software is available. Feel free to download and try to check what your employees and children have done on PC.

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Reference: http://www.wort.lu/

Stare at Facebook all day? Watch out: Your boss could be monitoring you.

Merial Currer runs Patriot Scuba, an Occoquan, Va., shop that takes adventurous Washingtonians diving in one of two quarries within a short drive of the District. Two years ago, her son Will, an Army employee who studied cybersecurity in college, told her about ­ActivTrak, new software that would allow her to monitor her employees’ desktops, and she thought it would be a nice way to manage the office when she was away.

employee monitoring
Merial Currer, seen in a mirror at Patriot Scuba in Occoquan, Va., uses software to monitor her employees’ Internet use.
“We’re a family-oriented business, so we want to make sure our employees are on family-oriented Web sites.” she says.
(Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

Merial has told her four full-time employees that she monitors their computers, and they don’t seem to mind — she says she has not received pushback and mainly considers her use of the software a precaution to ensure that her workers, many of whom interact with children in their daily routines, stay off inappropriate Web sites.

“We’re a family-oriented business, so we want to make sure our employees are on family-oriented Web sites.” she said.

Cheap monitoring tools such as ActivTrak, Spector 360 and Workexaminer.com have made snooping possible for even the tiniest enterprises, allowing managers to track employees’ desktop activity — covertly, if they choose.

The danger is that managers might rely too heavily on the technology, jump to conclusions and use it to avoid more meaningful conversations with their staffers.

“With any kind of performance management technology, in the absence of good managerial skill it can be really dangerous,” said Ken Oehler, global engagement practice leader at Aon Hewitt, a human capital consulting firm.

Developed by Dallas-based Birch Grove Software, ActivTrak gives managers up-to-the-minute screen shots of what employees are doing on their computers, displaying the images on a dashboard resembling a security guard’s camera display. Managers can send pop-up boxes that appear in the corner of an unwitting slacker’s screen, admonishing him or her to get back to work. Spector 360, a monitoring service offered by Florida-based Spectorsoft, allows employers to detect specific keystrokes, alerting an IT manager and capturing rapid-fire screen shots as “evidence” when an offending keyword is added to a text document or an e-mail.

Employers can get regular productivity reports showing what employees are doing with their time: breakdowns of which Web sites they spend the most time on and whether their browsers are open. And monitoring doesn’t have to stop when an employee leaves the office. Employers who want to track those working remotely can use ActivTrak’s “invisible remote installer” to install the service on any computer on the company network. As long as managers have a network connection and administrator rights to a given computer, they can access the machine without an employee’s knowledge.

This sort of employee monitoring is nothing new in the Internet age. A 2007 survey of 304 small and large businesses by the American Management Association and the ePolicy Institute found 45 percent of employers tracking content, keystrokes and time spent at the keyboard.

“Even if your boss says you’re not being monitored, everybody should just assume you’re being monitored.” said Nancy Flynn, founder and executive director of the ePolicy Institute, a consulting firm that trains businesses on electronic compliance issues.

The emergence of new technology means that employee monitoring is not just the purview of government agencies and large corporations — small businesses can monitor their employees at little or no cost. ActivTrak comes free for those who need only three “agents,” the company’s lingo for a monitor placed on a single desktop. It costs $34 a month to monitor five employees, and larger companies can pay $199 a month to monitor 50 workers. Most of the employers that use the service don’t pay for it: Of 31,203 companies around the world that use Activtrak, only 7 percent use one of the paid models.

But the way the software is used — whether to tell employees that they’re being watched and what to do with the data that ActivTrak generates — is up to the manager. ActivTrak encourages its users to tell their employees that they are being monitored, but the company says it is aware of clients who do not do so. For others, just the specter of being watched is enough to scare their employees off Facebook.

ActivTrak markets itself as a tool for increasing productivity, but its effect on company morale depends on how managers use it. Some employees, such as those in financial services, expect their activities to be under a microscope for regulatory reasons, but in other cases monitoring can drive a wedge between manager and employee.“Right at the heart of all of this is trust. Does the employer trust the employee? What sort of message does it send that they need to monitor their desktop?” said ­Oehler, the Aon Hewitt specialist.“The technology in the hands of a bad manager could be really devastating. In the hands of a good manager, it could be really useful.”


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SurveilStar is an ultimate employee monitoring software and parental control software which can help monitor computer activities and protect data security. You can also block files uploading and sharing to prevent data leakage. Including:

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  • View Real-time Screen Snapshot
  • Monitor Skype or Other Chat/IM Activity
  • Record Emails
  • Track web browsing history
  • Block access to any website
  • Remote PC Maintenance
  • Program Activity

 

If you would like to record and control all your children or employees’ activities on working PC, SurveilStar Monitoring would be your best choice.

A 30-day free trial version of this professional computer monitoring and tracking software is available. Feel free to download and try to check what your employees and children have done on PC.

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Reference: http://www.washingtonpost.com/

Identity Finder 8 Aims to Classify Sensitive Data

Data loss prevention should start with one question: Where is the sensitive data?

Identity Finder announced Feb. 12 the release of its 8.0 platform, which includes new dynamic classification system and sensitive data watch capabilities. The Identity Finder platform enables enterprises to identify sensitive information in order to take the appropriate steps to prevent data loss or leakage.”With this release, we’re focused on more than just DLP [data loss prevention],” Todd Feinman, CEO of Identity Finder, told eWEEK. “We’re now focused on more of the entire life cycle of sensitive data management.”Feinman said that Identity Finder is properly classified as a sensitive data management vendor. With the Identity Finder 8 release, the platform includes data discovery, classification, monitoring and protection capabilities. On the discovery piece, Identity Finder 8 now includes a dynamic classification system that expands on where the platform is able to search for data and what types of data it is able to find.The dynamic classification system is performed in real time. Feinman explained that there is a Windows service that runs in the background, and when new data is saved to the hard drive, the service immediately does a check to analyze and classify the data. The service can be used to monitor data written to a network file share server as well.

he classification data is aggregated to a sensitive data management console for centralized reporting across an enterprise.

“The console provides full insight into everything, even if the data is only stored on one user’s desktop or on a file server,” Feinman said.From a protection perspective, the Identity Finder console has an API that can potentially be leveraged by other technologies to understand which data is sensitive. Feinman noted that Identity Finder does partner with endpoint security product vendors. In particular, he said that Identity Finder can be leveraged by encryption vendors to help identify the sensitive information that needs to be encrypted in an enterprise.If, for example, an enterprise using Identity Finder discovers data that has a Social Security number (SSN) in it, there are several steps taken that can help protect against the data’s loss, though actually blocking transmission of the data is not part of the platform. There is an overlay icon that shows up on the user’s desktop that will identify to the user that a given piece of data has sensitive information in it, like the SSN, according to Feinman.
“We don’t have a technology that prevents the user from attaching the sensitive document to an email that leaves the organization,” he said. “That’s where traditional DLP products work differently from us.”Feinman said that Identity Finder isn’t trying to block the email message with the SSN in it, but rather is trying to change user behavior, so users understand what data is sensitive.”Our real hope is that employees start to think about the sensitive data they have on their computers that might be a risk,” he said. “We want to help make users aware of the data that’s on their system through the data classification process.”


Recommend

SurveilStar is an ultimate employee monitoring software and parental control software which can help monitor computer activities and protect data security. You can also block files uploading and sharing to prevent data leakage. Including:

computer monitoring

  • View Real-time Screen Snapshot
  • Monitor Skype or Other Chat/IM Activity
  • Record Emails
  • Track web browsing history
  • Block access to any website
  • Remote PC Maintenance
  • Program Activity

 

If you would like to record and control all your children or employees’ activities on working PC, SurveilStar Monitoring would be your best choice.

A 30-day free trial version of this professional computer monitoring and tracking software is available. Feel free to download and try to check what your employees and children have done on PC.

Download

 

Reference: http://www.eweek.com/

A different kind of leakage

A different kind of leakage

For better or worse, data leaks went mainstream last year. So much for being “anonymous.”

Sure, the hackers who stole Christmas hit Target and Home Depot in late 2013, swiping credit card info of more than 100 million consumers combined.

But then banking behemoth Chase got bit, as well, losing track of the data of 76 million of its customers. I should know; I was one of them. Got two new debit cards in as many months. Sure, it’s a pain, especially when you’re traveling, but certainly better than the alternative.

(It’s nice to have a card so new that you can still read the security code number on the back. By the way, did you know that, on the black market, that number’s worth about $2? While someone can pick up all the numbers on a single card for a single Alexander Hamilton? Not very good for the self-esteem, I know.)

And, of course, we all know about Sony Pictures and all of those leaked emails, featuring Hollywood douchebags, North Korea and a movie so bad it didn’t deserve half the free publicity it received.

Now it’s hit closer to home for all of us, with the massive breach at Anthem – where 80 million customers (and potentially their medical histories) have been syphoned off into the “series of tubes,” to quote former Sen. Ted Stevens. (Again, that data – which can be used to file fake claims while nabbing scrips – also goes for about 10 bucks a pop.)

Worse yet, that very same week, TurboTax shut down its state return operations for a while that very same week because of fraudulent activity. The timing couldn’t be worse there, either, with PPACA insinuating itself into the tax filing process – as if it couldn’t get any more complicated.

You get the idea: cybersecurity – if there really is such a thing – is a moving target. Complacency’s a bigger threat than any hacker.

At a time when more of our private information is “out there,” this is one of those across-the board threats. Electronic enrollments are obviously now here to stay, more people are shopping for health care online both on and off the exchanges, and maybe someday we’ll actually drag electronic medical records into the 21st century.

Hell, thanks to companies like 23 and me, some of us even have our DNA information out there in the cloud somewhere.

Carriers and providers, obviously, have a lot at stake. But so do brokers and their employer clients, especially the smaller business owners, who have a lot more to lose than some retail giant that can just drops a few million on a PR blitz. Besides, all the numbers show they get hit the hardest, anyway, more than half of data breaches hit the little guys.

Brokers – as de facto small business advisors – should be talking to these clients about steps they can take both for themselves as well as their employees. And there are more than a few damn good partners out there willing to help you help your clients, whether it’s identity theft experts or legal services.

Let’s face it, these threats aren’t going away, and we can’t realistically unplug and hide away in some cabin in Wyoming. And neither can your clients.


Recommend

SurveilStar is an ultimate employee monitoring software and parental control software which can help monitor computer activities and protect data security. You can also block files uploading and sharing to prevent data leakage. Including:

computer monitoring

  • View Real-time Screen Snapshot
  • Monitor Skype or Other Chat/IM Activity
  • Record Emails
  • Track web browsing history
  • Block access to any website
  • Remote PC Maintenance
  • Program Activity

If you would like to record and control all your children or employees’ activities on working PC, SurveilStar Monitoring would be your best choice.

A 30-day free trial version of this professional computer monitoring and tracking software is available. Feel free to download and try to check what your employees and children have done on PC.

Download

 

Reference: http://www.benefitspro.com/