The 24 hour sales frenzy is almost upon us. It’s a great time to scoop up some bargains – especially online. However, be wary, cyber criminals come crawling out of the digital ether at this time while many retailers can be extremely disingenuous with their pricing so the apparent bargain may not be all it’s billed as. However, you can avoid the pitfalls by being armed with a simple bit of knowledge, and in the process and scoop up your own bargain.
As internet usage has grown, phishing scams have exploded. It’s easy to see why. A scammer only needs to get a relatively small number of hits to make a success of the scam. That said, many people are now savvy to phishing but as a result phishing sophistication is evolving. Here’s what to watch out for to make sure you’re not taken in.
.exe attachments are a favourite tool for cyber villains to download malware onto your computer. That said they’re easy to identify and safeguard against if you know what you’re looking for. But hackers take it as a given that most people don’t know how to identify different file types hence the continued popularity of .exe attachments to hide malware.
One of the most common tricks used by hackers is to get unsuspecting users to click on a malicious .exe file which leads to malware being downloaded onto a computer. They’re usually sent to you as an email attachment with the email offering some form of compelling inducement to get you to open the attachment.
Online banking and shopping are great ways to keep on top of your finances and buy the things you need without having to elbow, and be elbowed, your way through high street crowds. However, both activities are targets for hackers keen to get their digital paws on your personal information. That said, follow a few simple rules, as set out below, and you’ll be safe.
The UK’s National Health Service is set to launch a sweeping scheme designed to promote better healthcare and greater efficiencies. To be successful it requires the collating of patient data in a centralised database. But critics point out that private medical records could be exposed to all and everybody. The argument illustrates how the notion of privacy is being rapidly eroded in the digital age.
On paper the recently discovered Shellshock virus has the potential to cause widespread chaos. In reality, it’s likely to affect only those who have poor and outdated security practises – though that might well be a large number.
The recent discovery of the Shellshock vulnerability certainly sent shockwaves rippling around the world with concerns about the potential damage to critical national infrastructure. The UK’s cyber security team Cert-UK sent an alert to all government departments saying the flaw had the ‘highest possible’ threat ratings. The US National Cyber Security Division ranked it ten out of ten for severity.
Cyberbullying is a word we’re all very familiar with, typically in reference to children and teenagers, but how often do you hear of adult cyberbullying? According to a recent study in Australia, 35% of adults have identified as being victims of cyberbullying.
The media storm that accompanied the launch of Apple’s new iPhone 6 and its smart watch has almost settled down. Now the serious questions are being asked.
Microsoft stopped supporting its Windows XP operating system for ordinary users back in April of this year. But there are still millions of people using it for various reasons from software that is incompatible with newer versions of Windows to hardware designed specifically to run off XP. As such there are ways to protect XP users but in the final analysis XP signals the end of an era as we slide into mobile, anywhere, anytime computing.
Some data breaches are small such as stolen laptops and some are enormous like retailers that get hacked and lose millions of customer details. But all have the potential to wreak great damage. In the face of what sometimes seems like a deluge of personal data exposures many people might feel powerless. However, there are simple and effective measures that can be taken to safeguard data and protect against the negligence of others.