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Smartphones – Does the Advanced Features Protect your Privacy

April 7, 2014

From being just a communication device, telephones have evolved massively. They are no longer mere talking devices, but an integral part of our lives and culture. Today, smartphones are feature-rich, more powerful, and superior than a desktop PC was in the past decade. With advance technology comes greater utility and with it comes greater vulnerability. Though security flaws in mobile phones have existed from the beginning, there seems to be an incredible rise, in recent times. Whether it is the case of insecure passwords, an application leak, or a bug in the OS, smartphone security is not seriously considered. The truth is: it should be taken seriously considering the fact that one can gain easy access into someone’s life with just their mobile phone.

The following are some of the common security issues, with tools and tips to combat them.

Use a strong password

This is a basic security tip, but is completely overlooked, sometimes. Swipes are easy and fine, but a greasy finger trail reveals way too much information. A strong passcode is an ideal choice for better phone protection.

Install a Security Software

Mobile security threats range from simple (for example, someone stealing your phone or reading emails) to complex (such as malware, viruses). Install an application that includes virus and malware prevention, firewall, automatic security advisor, and remote data swipe. Also, set up a strong anti-theft software in an event of someone stealing your phone and trying to access personal data.

Install apps from trusted sources

As users, we just go about giving permissions to applications without paying the slightest attention to its source. Before downloading an app from a browser, check for its authenticity that is the site should be SSL certified. Download only if the site has a SSL feature from a trusted provider. Also, ensure that the downloaded apps have to access information you approve of.

Beware of suspicious links

Now that emails can be read on phone, be cautious when clicking links. Even a simple text message can provoke you to click a ‘fancy’ link. With phishing scams on the rise, it is best not to respond to messages or mails from unknown sources.

Constantly update the OS

Updating your system’s vulnerability patches is very important because experienced hackers can wipe off your hard drive in minutes. Instead of selecting automatic updates, opt for advised updates. Also, take a backup of all your data, if anything should happen.

Then, there are the general rules: don’t lose your smartphone, avoid logging on public Wi-Fi, don’t save passwords on critical apps, and turn off Bluetooth when not in use.

Smartphone is often considered an extension of human skin. With nearly 80 million being sold worldwide, it presents new opportunities in every sector of the society making its security all the more imperative.

Posted in Internet Security,SSL

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IETF Pioneers SSL Usage For Assuring Better Privacy

February 28, 2014

IETF Pioneers SSL Usage For Assuring Better Privacy

The group named Internet Engineering Task Force or simply IETF is now officially approved. The plans they have prompted to implement is now on the go. Their main motto is to stop surveillance from happening in every corner. This is about to be done by using best SSL encryption methods for private internet communication and to stop robots from gathering all those massive internet data into one storage space.

According to their official release, the task force is made up of a group of experts including vendors, research teams, designers, developers and operators, brought under one roof. While it is already known that the main push that led to the formation of this group is the NSA surveillance program, it is also being said as a reliable option to move internet to the next level.

Encryption used to be a small percentage in the past, but is now being used by majority of websites and will soon form a major share of the internet. Reading information stored within is much difficult these days because all these files are in a different format and plain text is no longer the choice of format.

Earlier, the IETF began by associating themselves with multiple vendors and organizations to stop undermining trust so as to hinder pervasive monitoring which is being forced on people. The community will also focus on Transport Layer Security, which will continue with SSL encryption in the near future.

Other encryption based security enhancements including IMAP internet message access protocol, XMPP and SMTP simple mail transfer protocol will be implemented as well. Hypertext transfer protocol or http is part of their better implementation of privacy. The group believes that encrypting all data will play a vital role in making the internet fully private and will stop any type of third party from poking in.

It will not only help in curbing surveillance process, but stop all types of cyber crimes from taking place. Cyber criminals will find themselves in peril when trying to read information during transfer and hacking or malicious injections will be reduced as well.

Even though, the idea of deploying TSL and SSL sounds quite promising, it is not an easy task. It takes a long time to actually make every website adopt this technology and to successfully use them on a regular basis. The working group should overcome the obstacles posed by the deceptive, simple technology, which is not such an easy deployment method, but rather quite complex. The erudite team members in the channel will come to their rescue with their extensive knowledge and with proper support from sponsors, it is believed to become a huge success in the near future.

Posted in SSL

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Threats Rise Drastically During Holidays, Secure Browsing Is Mandatory

February 26, 2014

Threats Rise Drastically During Holidays, Secure Browsing Is Mandatory

While this news is widely known and not so surprising, cyber criminals target people often during the holiday shopping than any other time. It is not only because of the drastic increase in traffic during these times, but also that website owners are busy serving customers, which makes it difficult to monitor any encroachment, if they occur.

Customers have the most reliable option of all, to be able to watch and shop only in websites which use SSL Certificate for added safety. A common man may not know or need to know what secure sockets layer certificate can do. But, all that you should realize is that it can keep you safe and keep all your credentials away from those pesky intruders.

Cyber hackers are often after banking details and credit card numbers because it is their chief source of income. By compromising such details one can easily transfer the money to their account and abandon unnoticed. It’s much easier during holiday season because of the increased online activity as well as usage of credit cards. Most people prefer shopping online because of the convenience that it provides.

Security experts term that without a doubt, the month of December is the most dangerous of all during a year because of the threats that lurk around every corner. There are real world risks involved as well where magnetic strips of credit cards are being tracked and used against those customers. Always practice caution when you use your banking information and also be aware of spam Emails that usually clog your mailbox.

Because of this excessive shopping trend, it’s quite easy to fool someone claiming that they have a package waiting or there’s a discount being distributed by a famous store. In case you are suspicious, avoid visiting the website or providing login details. Also, check for usage of SSL Certificate on the top left corner of the web page to which you are being redirected. If it shows a green address bar, it stands for safest security measure known as EV or extended validation. It’s approved only after the existence of the organization is confirmed.

Cyber crooks are prowling to grab your information. Whatever the message you get, double-check whether it is from the right source. Checking the credit card statement properly especially during the last three months of the year is mandatory. Some crooks consider bypassing SSL certificates based security and try to make lower purchases, they may not be readily visible in the statement provided.

Take necessary precautions and make sure not to use public wireless internet or even web cameras that may be logging in your key strokes. In companies, employers should train employees of the security risks involved when accessing work computer and educate them accordingly to establish a safer internet scenario. Shopping at office isn’t a blunder until they accidentally click on an infected link which promises a huge offer, which could compromise the entire company’s network. Risks prevail every day but is exceptionally large during holiday shopping time. 

Posted in SSL Certificates

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Hackers Keen On Attacking iOS and Android Banking Apps

February 24, 2014

Hackers Keen On Attacking iOS and Android Banking Apps

The mobile space is not so safe for all transactions that users do on a day to day basis, according to a research submitted by a security firm. The team after briefly analyzing the risks involved in this sector and the type of malware that targets mobile operating systems, revealed that hackers are often interested in hacking banking APPS. The detailed report also unveiled a shocking truth for the user community. Earlier, it was believed that free APPS are the most infected of all.

Malware developers will often try to intercept APPS on the way to inject them with specific virus or trojans so that once installed on a phone device, it will automatically start sending anonymous data to the third party. Websites online are protected by SSL Certificates while a similar type of solutions is expected to roll out for all mobile platforms. The survey revealed out of all paid apps, everything is compromised on the Android platform. Apple is considered safer at the moment because only 56% of their paid APPS on iOS platform has been compromised.

Even though, this doesn’t directly convert into a claim that every app you download on the Android OS is a malware, the potential risks are exceptionally heavy than what was assumed so far? One of the main security practice that companies and security firms suggest is that stick to the original stores intended for the download purpose. Trying to download apps from a third party store has most chances of getting compromised and being hacked.

Always using websites with SSL Certificates is considered to be a safer bet when dealing with banking and online shopping activities. Most APPS targeted from these third party stores are banking APPS. They are strongly after banking credentials such as usernames, passwords, personal information as well as account number. Sometimes, it involves debit and credit card details as well as they can be hacked once all details are retrieved.

The majority of free APPS are targeted and compromised by hackers because they are much easier to break into than paid ones. In 2013, nearly 53% free APPS on iOS were hacked while the number is high at 73 percent on Android. By default, Android allows users to stick to Google Play Store for added protection.

The security provided by SSL Certificates or similar encryption methods protect users from losing their information to these hackers. The number of too many Android version continues to be a constraint for the OS to make its mark and become a secured platform for users.

Posted in SSL

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SSL Update Denies Access to Yahoo E-mail Users

February 19, 2014

Yahoo E-mail

While Google has already completed updating all their services from the conventional 128 bits encryption to the latest, more secure 256 bits, Yahoo is fast on its way. But, the company faced an outage which left a large group of Yahoo mail users from being unable to use their services. It was unexpected and was not planned or announced earlier that annoyed majority of them. The issue was caused by the mandatory SSL integration to their e-mail service.

Yahoo took to their Facebook page to officially announce that there have been issues because of this update and services will resume shortly. They also added that users can continue to access their e-mail messages without any issue on their smartphone or tablet. It was meet with another slew of negative comments that the service doesn’t work as promised on their mobile devices as well. Their response was, they are working on it and the service is fully running at the moment.

Earlier, a week ago Yahoo made it official that all E-mail messages will not be accessible unless SSL is made mandatory. It was said to be a step up to stop cyber-criminals from snooping around or spreading malware into messages. But, in fact it was a strong step against stopping government agencies and any other legal body from reading what users exchange between them. Encryption is being promoted as the next digital revolution which will change the industry for good and help stop private companies from poking their nose into user data.

 Even though, no one is sure about using this as a sole security measure at the moment, companies have already started adopting it to be their primary goal. Yahoo announced that they have recently updated all their servers which will allow incoming signals only from secure access point that uses HTTPS or secure protocols for added safety.

It is common for both web client as well as the mobile device. Yahoo Mail users in order to enjoy their new facility has to make sure SSL is turned on in both their computers as well as mobile devices to continue enjoying their privileges. HTTPS will hereafter be the default web address to access the mail service, failing to do so will not allow them to access the website.

Recent news revealed over two million passwords were hacked from major service providers which demands stricter security measures to be implemented as soon as possible. Checking device settings and the URL is the right way to keep using Yahoo as you should. The company will keep on a watch to see if their new upgrade is working as it should.

Posted in SSL

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Mobile Encryption Pioneered With Cyanogen Mod Update

February 17, 2014

Mobile Encryption

The encryption fever continues to catch up not only among websites, but with mobile devices as well. There were multiple claims that personal messages are being read and the only way, as of now to stop this snooping is said to be encrypting messages. SSL Certificate plays an important role in helping online service providers encrypt information. It helps in securing credentials such as username, passwords, user information and credit card numbers.

The same cannot be implemented into mobiles so easy because the user has to have certain encryption Apps and the same should be used by the person on the other end as well. Implementing this idea in practical terms is exceptionally difficult and it is possible only when the tool is integrated by default into the mobile operating system. The modding community and popular tool for Android, Cyanogen has come up with a solution for this implementation.

Users can now protect their privacy without a fuss because the Cyanogen mod’s latest version has the required capability. Teaming up with an encryption solution company named Open Whisper Systems, the modding group has made this possible. Open Whisper creates Apps for android which helps users secure text and phone calls. The same technology will now be integrated by default into the operating system.

TextSecure is the tool that will be used by the mod which will be encrypting SMS messages similar to how SSL Certificate works on websites. The advantage users gain is that one can use any messaging App as they like and encryption will be implemented by default. With over 10 million users in their community, Cyanogen expects to implement this privacy technology into more mobile phones in the near future.

Cyanogen Mod version 10.2 will be rolled out soon with this update. Even though, Apple’s iMessage, Whatsapp and other messaging services offer security measures, they are not so user-friendly, opines the community. Open Whisper uses highest industry grade SSL certificates style encryption, which is exceptionally reliable and will not pave way for any third party snooping into the message content.

Users have to use Textsecure app or can rely on Cyanogen mod to do the job for them. For normal users, messages will be not be encrypted, but they can choose to use Textsecure app which allows freedom and not force them to switch over to the mod. With assured privacy and security, it is expected that users will soon adopt to this secure messaging system which will pave way for privacy in the mobile space.

Posted in SSL Certificates

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Businesses Face Atleast 9 Attacks In A Year

February 13, 2014

business cyber attacksThe online shopping trend is exceptionally growing at rapid rate and malware attacks are witnessing an equally strong growth as well. Customers are being targeted regularly and the fact that atleast nine attacks are against businesses proves this claim. A recent survey held by a security firm to analyze the scenario made it evident that organizations are suffering more outings now than ever.

One of the alarming discovery that they made claims majority of the outage is caused by an external attack and nothing internal or maintenance issues. Cyber criminals find it profitable to bring out companies or for some reason, they like to prove their mettle by hacking a server. There’s also the new DDOS attacks where all they have to do is flood a server and stop it from being accessed by others. Companies and online shops can always choose to use EV SSL certificates, which is the highest possible security that they can get.

Even though, all the other types of certificates are designed to provide encryption services, the extended validation cert stands apart with the verification process. It deploys fully verified process where the domain should be validated and the organization which apply for the same should prove their existence as well. Only after everything is found to be reliable, the EV SSL will be granted.

An advantage companies gain by going with this coveted cert is that they will get the full green address bar, which is a visual indicator that helps gain customer trust instantly. This also helps you avoid any external attacks and customer information in encrypted format is much safer than any other method. The report was an indicator that companies should take more precaution when it comes to dealing with cyber intrusions.

Another alarming discovery made by this new survey is that half of the attempts were successful. In more simple words, five out of ten attackers managed to steal confidential information during the cyber heist. Some of them were kept in plain text format because the company it is a local server and hacking it wouldn’t be that easy using the internet. Employee computers were also used as a host to accomplish this goal. While EV SSL is ideal for online shopping and securing data, local servers need reliable encryption alternatives for proper security. Encrypted malware and sophisticated attacks are on the horizon. Every company has their own responsibility to protect themselves. Using the right defensive tools will play an integral role in getting the job done.

Posted in EV SSL

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Privacy And How It Helps You Secure Yourself

February 11, 2014

Internet Privacy

In a world where digital technology is inevitable, securing one’s privacy is an individual’s right and responsibility. Being careless about your activities could lead to issues which you hardly imagined about and the more open you become, the more you expose yourself. It is not just about the cyber criminals anymore, but it is also about surveillance agencies and companies that work round the clock to monitor every people.

Governments are monitoring social media every day to find people who talk against the body and fine them. Surveillance is becoming more legal, privacy is diminishing at a rapid rate. Unless you want yourself in peril, stop using websites which don’t have SSL certificate installed in them and avoid posting everything or anything on your social media websites. Those are being monitored and all your opinions may not sync with what legal bodies define. Also, search engines may not be friendly at times and avoiding some illegal searches is advisable.

The robot text found and other bugs fixed within the search results are designed to monitor individuals as they browse through the web. In order to bring this under control, networks like TOR have sprung up which promotes best possible privacy. They provide completely anonymity to people and anyone can go to any website on the web or even go for the dark web forums to access confidential information.

When they do so, their IP address will constantly be bounced from one country to another, making them virtually a robot and fully invisible to those tracking them. It is not necessary for common users yet in a time where monitoring is so prevalent, using such security wouldn’t hurt either. Using websites with SSL certificate helps secure confidential information and they always encrypt data for added security. The same concept of encryption is now being used by Google as well as other companies, to let users know they care about privacy.

When it comes to social media, things are entirely different because it is built around people. One can actually know you, your family, spouse and friends, all in one place. It poses a new kind of threat especially when you start sharing everything online simply to get likes that hardly makes any sense. The site uses SSL certificate to safeguard information, but they actually sell user data and all targeted advertisements. One insane targeting algorithm is that based on your hook up, relationship status and past break ups, they can even assume if you are heading towards another break up to sell marriage related service websites.

Posted in Internet Security

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Advantages of Going for RapidSSL and InstantSSL Certificates

February 5, 2014

SSL Lock

Getting everything instant is something that consumer’s desire because of the shorter timeline and those who are in a hurry, seek such services often.

Even though, the concept of Instant SSL or Rapid SSL was not derived for this purpose, it does solve their needs as well. Besides being cheap and easy to procure within a matter of minutes, consumers prefer these type of certificates because they can be installed with ease. The Instant SSL certificate is issued without any organization validation, which is mandatory for extended validation or ev ssl cert.

Even though, there are multiple advantages of going for the EV cert because it comes with the most recognized visual indicator, the green address bar, it is not a budget variant and will not suit those who want minimal encryption solutions. Whereas, the basic certificate is readily accessible even for new websites and online merchants who like to assure their customers of the security that they provide.

Some of the most evident advantages that customers gain by going for Instant SSL include the highest level of encryption that it provides. The certificates are fully updated and provided up to 256 bit encryption, which is the highest solution available in the market. Top service providers and companies have already started upgrading to this new bit encryption from the traditional 128 bit encryption which was used in the past.

The certs also support full up to 99% browser recognition which makes sure all your users will find the seal and encryption work properly. All major browsers including Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Opera and Internet Explorer. Such browser support is mandatory because for websites which have customers spread around the globe, compatibility with all major browsers makes sure they gain access to the encryption security as intended by the merchant.

Most major recognized certificate authorities provide full customer support and they offer best value for the money. They provide money back guarantee as well, which is more than the best assurance available to express the integrity of the Instant SSL certificate used. The certificates issued will also come with a seal of assurance which online merchants can proudly display in their websites and ensure every visitor that they are in a safe zone.

Customer conversion plays an integral role in determining the success of the business or the service provider. Such assurance provided by these certificates allows more customers to interact with the website and share their confidential credentials without feeling insecure. Because of these advantages and a cost efficient design, consumers prefer it as the basic encryption and security choice for online trade.

Posted in SSL

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Microsoft Pushes Encrypted Messages For Office 365

January 21, 2014

Microsoft Office 365“There was a time when encryption used to be a tool for the professional experts, security geeks and people who think privacy is of utmost concern.”

Privacy is something that every third person is talking about because users believe that their data is being monitored by their own service provider or some surveillance agency at the moment. This kind of uneasy situation has led to multiple web companies going the encryption way.

When Google announced that SSL encryption with latest 2048 bits will be added to all their services, it was considered a complex idea. But, the company successfully completed its integration ahead of their schedule which helped them promote the idea that encryption is so mandatory.

Yahoo followed suit and confirmed that by next year, all their E-mail services will be using this secure method to be on the safe side. The tool not only helps in stopping malware intruders from injecting malicious content or tampering with data, but also increases privacy by keeping confidential information quarantined from prying eyes.

“Recently, Microsoft has made it official that the company will actually be using encrypted messages for all items sent and received through Office 365 online application.”

The implementation will play an integral role in making the web more private and will ensure that users can send confidential email with complete assurance. Any data within the Office 365 will be SSL encrypted for added protection. One of the biggest advantages of this new service is that, common users usually find it too complex to setup encrypted email because they are completely unaware of the security features and the myraid range of security settings provided inside. Automatic encryption module will get the job done on their behalf and users will receive the mail with instructions on how to open the encryption legally to read contents within.

Users can now choose to use SSL communication to every E-mail service provider online. It is a great addition for business communication, which is highly confidential and requires assurance that unauthorized access will not be entertained. An encrypted message with step-by-step instructions will be provided to the recipient. Anyone can open the attachment from their inbox as it doesn’t require any special plugins or software to be read. Users should authenticate their credentials using a Microsoft account or a 365 account in order to proceed. The new addition will also make enterprise administration much easier.

Posted in SSL

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