Tag Archives: identity theft

Beware of Ransomware!!

The term “ransom” has been around for hundreds of years and is best described as a way to redeem someone from captivity, bondage, detention, etc., by paying a demanded price.

Today, we have another destructive variation of the word ransom — that is “ransomware.” What is it and what can we do about it?

TechRepublic recently produced Ransomware: The Smart Person’s Guide, written by James Sanders. This is an executive summary quoted from the guide:

  • What is it? Ransomware is malware. The hackers demand payment, often via Bitcoin or prepaid credit card, from victims in order to regain access to an infected device and the data stored on it.
  • Why does it matter? Because of the ease of deploying ransomware, criminal organizations are increasingly relying on such attacks to generate profits.
  • Who does this affect? While home users have traditionally been the targets, healthcare and the public sector have been targeted with increasing frequency. Enterprises are more likely to have deep pockets from which to extract a ransom.
  • When is this happening? Ransomware has been an active and ongoing threat since September 2013.
  • How do I protect myself from a ransomware attack? A variety of tools developed in collaboration with law enforcement and security firms are available to decrypt your computer.

Sanders adds: “For those who have been infected, the No More Ransom project — a collaboration between Europol, the Dutch National Police, Kaspersky Lab, and Intel Security — provides decryption tools for many widespread ransomware types.

Here are a couple of informative infographics by LogRhythm:


Zarb Prof’s Tips and Quiz for Being Safer Online

Although it’s nearly impossible to totally protect ourselves (whether a person or a company) against identity theft and an invasion of our online privacy by hackers, there are several things that we can do to make it tougher for hackers to get into our online accounts and social media.

How big is this problem? Take a look a look at this chart on cyber crime based on November 2015 data generated by Hackmageddon. Cyber attacks on U.S. sites dwarf those in the rest of the world.


 
Watch the two videos highlighted below to see some of the things we can do. Can YOU pass the quiz in the second video?
 

 

Are You Managing Your Passwords Well?

Everyday, millions of Internet accounts around the world are hacked into. Are YOU doing enough to protect yourself? Take a look at this past post we’ve made.

Then, check out these password manager tools recommended by TechRepublic and visit this site to see a video about these tools:

  1. Windows Password Key Standard
  2. Kruptos 2 Professional
  3. 2 Password
  4. Quicky Password Generator
  5. LastPass Password Manager

 

 

Must Reading: How Vulnerable are YOU to Being Tracked by Hackers?

Earlier this week, we posted aboutWhat Happens to Our Privacy If a Company Is Sold?” The answer was pretty disconcerting!!

In this post, we are furthering the discussion by publicizing a very recent article How Many Times Has Your Personal Information Been Exposed to Hackers?This article includes a a brief vulnerability quiz and many useful observations:

“Half of American adults had their personal information exposed to hackers last year alone. In a recent attack at the federal Office of Personnel Management, hackers stole the most sensitive personal data for 21.5 million people.”

“Answer the questions below to learn which parts of your identity may have been stolen in some of the major hacking attacks over the last two years and what you can do about it. Not all attacks are included here, and many attacks go undetected, so think of your results as a minimum level of exposure.”

 
Click the image below to take the quiz and to learn more about this important subject.
 

 

Is Data Mining Good for Consumers?

Privacy and identity theft are important issues for all of us. With that in mind, a critical question for data miners is: How do consumers feel about data-mining practices being deployed by companies and other organizations?

Consider these observations from Natasha Singer, writing for the New York Times:

“Should consumers be able to control how companies collect and use their personal data? At a dinner honoring privacy advocates this week in Washington, Timothy D. Cook, the chief executive of Apple, gave a speech in which he endorsed this simple idea. Yet his argument leveled a direct challenge to the premise behind much of the Internet industry — the proposition that people blithely cede their digital bread crumbs to companies in exchange for free or reduced-priced services subsidized by advertising. You might like these so-called free services,’ Mr. Cook said during the event held by EPIC, a nonprofit research center. “But we don’t think they’re worth having your email or your search history or now even your family photos data-mined and sold off for God knows what advertising purpose.”

Now a study from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania has come to a similar conclusion: Many Americans do not think the trade-off of their data for personalized services, giveaways or discounts is a fair deal either. The findings are likely to fuel the debate among tech executives and federal regulators over whether companies should give consumers more control over the information collected about them.”

 
Click the NY Times infographic to read more of Singer’s article.


 

New Money & Main$treet Interview with Zarb Professor

As we have posted before (see for example, 1, 2), identity theft, hacking, and invasion of privacy are rampant issues that we face today. And this is a BIG issue when we shop online.

Recently, the Zarb School’s Professor Joel Evans sat down with Fios1’s Money & Main$treet host Giovanna Drpic for a TV interview on this subject.