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[This article is originally published in searchengineland.com written by Greg Sterling - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Eric Beaudoin]

In ruling on a motion for summary judgment in federal court in New York, Judge Katherine Forrest found that embedding a tweet containing a copyrighted photo (of Tom Brady) could create liability for copyright infringement.

The case, Goldman vs. Breitbart, is still in process and cannot be appealed until final, but the judge’s ruling has potentially far-reaching implications. She explicitly rejected the argument that the ruling could have a chilling effect on linking across the internet.

The Judge’s opinion and order (embedded below) say:

Here, it is undisputed that none of the defendant websites actually downloaded the Photo from Twitter, copied it, and stored it on their own servers. Rather, each defendant website merely embedded the Photo, by including the necessary embed code in their HTML instructions. As a result, all of defendants’ websites included articles about the meeting between Tom Brady and the Celtics, with the full-size Photo visible without the user having to click on a hyperlink, or a thumbnail, in order to view the Photo

As the Electronic Frontier Foundation put it, “If adopted by other courts, this legally and technically misguided decision would threaten millions of ordinary Internet users with infringement liability.” While there might be defenses (e.g., fair use), it would chill linking (at least involving embedded content) because large and small publishers would simply seek to avoid potential liability.

Getty Images backed plaintiff Justin Goldman in the case. That’s because Getty stands to directly financially benefit if Judge Forrest’s interpretation of copyright law becomes more pervasive. The company has a long history of aggressively litigating copyright claims against small publishers and bloggers.

Judge Forrest’s decision is contrary to existing precedents coming out of the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which held that parties linking to infringing content hosted elsewhere are protected under the doctrine of fair use and not liable. District court decisions have limited value as precedents versus appellate court decisions, but this case creates potential confusion and would give rise to additional lawsuits.

The judge qualified her ruling, which is an interim decision (partly in an effort to mitigate criticism), by saying that there may be various available defenses to liability in this case:

In this case, there are genuine questions about whether plaintiff effectively released his image into the public domain when he posted it to his Snapchat account. Indeed, in many cases there are likely to be factual questions as to licensing and authorization. There is also a very serious and strong fair use defense, a defense under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and limitations on damages from innocent infringement.

However, the rationale and logic behind her ruling are troubling.

goldman v breitbartopinion

Categorized in Internet Privacy

[This article is originally published in techradar.com - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Clara Johnson]

Top tips to stay secure online and maintain your privacy

Staying safe online represents a significant challenge, and for families, this is even more difficult with younger internet users too often unaware of the dangers that can lurk on the web. Well, just like any sane parent would not let their child wander around Times Square on their own, neither should these same children be let loose on the internet to roam free.

It can be difficult to maintain privacy online, with more of our data flowing onto the internet, including family photos and finances, to name a couple of potentially sensitive areas. Many folks are seemingly facing challenges in this respect, as last year in the US, there were a staggering 16.7 million incidents of identity fraud, with a total of $16.8 billion (around £12.7 billion) stolen, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

While these are alarming statistics, there is plenty that can be done to keep you and your family from becoming victims. Here are six essential ways to maintain your privacy online.

1. Avoid public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi in airports, libraries, hotels and coffee shops is an attractive resource in terms of staying in touch when away from home. These are open Wi-Fi spots, and many stores have them available these days, but the problem is that they are not encrypted like your home router’s wireless connection.

When using these wireless hotspots, you should be very cautious, particularly in situations where sensitive data is transmitted, such as account credentials or financial details. This is because a process known as Wi-Fi sniffing can be carried out, and the unencrypted packets of data can be grabbed by anyone within wireless reach of the signal – this is a form of wireless eavesdropping if you will.

An additional danger is that malicious types can set up their own rogue Wi-Fi network masquerading as a legitimate free Wi-Fi spot, with the attacker being able to steal you and your family’s data.

In short, it is best to avoid using public Wi-Fi completely if possible, but potential workarounds including surfing with a VPN, or tethering to a smartphone, and encrypting the Wi-Fi signal so no unencrypted data gets transmitted. Also, don’t log into financial accounts while away from home.

2. No phishing here

Phishing scams are an attempt to extract sensitive information from an individual via a fraudulent email. Most folks know not to respond to the ‘Nigerian prince’ scam, requesting you to wire them money so you can subsequently inherit millions.

However, phishing scams are getting craftier, and now include authentic details, official logos, and originate from email addresses that seem legitimate at first glance as they include the company’s name in them.

Children using email should be warned never to respond to these emails. Also, banks and the IRS do not ask for your financial information via unsolicited emails. Good practice is for the emails in question to be forwarded to the fraud department of the respective organization which can be easily found via a web search – for Apple it is ‘This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.’ for example – and then delete the email.

Finally, if the message includes an attachment, don’t be curious and be sure to never open it, as this will inevitably infect your PC with malicious code, opening your system up to an attack.

3. VPN

VPN is an excellent tool to keep your privacy online. Rather than your data leaving the home network and going onto the internet all out in the open, instead it goes to a distant server via an encrypted tunnel that creates a high level of privacy.

This is especially useful, as mentioned above, to make using a public Wi-Fi connection more secure. This is also handy on your home connection to ensure privacy, and that includes avoiding any potential snooping from your Internet Service Provider. In the past, ISPs have been called out for tracking users and selling their data (as if they did not make enough money already).

To celebrate National Cyber Security Awareness Month, IPVanish is giving a 69% discount on two year plans throughout October 2018, making its top-tier protection effectively $3.74 (£2.83) per month.

4. Batten down the passwords

Strong security starts with a strong password. You should have a Wi-Fi password of at least 12 characters or longer, with a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, special characters, and numbers. Then apply this same principle to all of your online accounts, so they are safe from ‘brute force attacks’ that randomly try dictionary words.

While the above may sound obvious to more veteran users, research has found the most common passwords are ‘123456’ and ‘password’. Clearly too many folks are taking the lazy route, and the entire family needs to educated on this best practice for creating strong passwords to protect accounts. Another fundamental tip: never reuse the same passwords over different accounts.

5. Take two

While stronger passwords are vital to keeping accounts secure, another important point is that you shouldn’t rely on them completely. A complex password may afford protection from a brute force attack, but it can still be obtained if, for example, a hacker breaks into the online database of passwords. This has become such a regular occurrence these days that there are even websites entirely devoted to letting users enter their credentials to check if their account is known to have been hacked.

Rather than relying totally on one password, there is an alternative and better approach known as ‘two-factor authentication’ (abbreviated to 2FA). The idea is that two pieces of information are better than one, and to log into the account, you need something that you know – namely the password, which should still be a strong one as per the recommendations above – and also something that you have.

The something that you have – and presumably the hacker won’t – is most commonly a mobile phone, which can be employed for 2FA in several ways. The service you are logging into might text you a special code which you then enter as well as the password. However, this particular method can be vulnerable to being defeated via SIM card cloning (although that’s not exactly common).

The more secure, and therefore preferred option, is an authenticator app, which is installed on the smartphone, and performs the function of a security token, as it provides a number code that is only valid for a brief minute or less.

Another option for 2FA is a physical security key, the so-called USB 2FA.

In short, you should make sure that 2FA is enabled on all accounts that support it, and if you have a choice, use the authenticator app method. Teach the rest of the family how to use 2FA, as well.

6. Look before you leap

No discussion of online privacy would be complete without mentioning those pesky app permissions that pop up when installing a new application. While folks tend to just want to get their app working, they really should make sure that what the app is asking to access makes sense.

For example, it would follow for a reputable photo editing app to need access to your library of images, or else it wouldn’t be of any use. However, when you download that free calculator app, you might start to wonder why such an app would need access to your microphone, GPS or your contacts, as the intended use of the application should not involve any of those smartphone functions.

For those who aren’t careful, going along with such excessive permissions might be a serious threat to privacy, and could lead to you being tracked or eavesdropped upon. Does that seem paranoid? Well, there are already examples of smartphone apps using the device’s microphone to track TV viewing habits.

Categorized in Internet Privacy

Source: This article was Published wglt.org By RYAN DENHAM- Contributed by Member: Carol R. Venuti

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and it began with a sobering reminder of what’s stake—another big breach affecting our personal data.

This time it was Facebook, which this fall disclosed that an attack on its system affected 30 million users. Detailed information—what they searched, where they were—was stolen from the Facebook profiles of about 14 million of those users, The New York Times reported.

A breach at that scale is beyond our control as individual internet users. But there’s a lot we can do to protect ourselves. Two experts from Illinois State University’s information security office stopped by GLT’s Sound Ideas to share 5 things you can do right now. 

1. Never re-use your user ID and passwords across multiple applications.

Kevin Crouse, ISU’s director of information security and data protection officer, says you should mix it up. If you don’t, a hack of one service may expose you across multiple services. 

Password management tools like LastPass are one way to keep track of all those different usernames and passwords. 

“Generally speaking, (that's) a whole lot safer than writing them down on a Post-It note under your keyboard or a piece of paper in your wallet,” Crouse said. “If you’re trying to protect your entire self, having multiple passwords for every application—it’s hard for most people to remember one or two passwords, let alone 30 or 40.” 

2. Never give out your user ID or password over email or the phone. 

This one is easy: No matter how legit they sound, if someone from your “IT department” calls or emails asking for your user ID or password, it’s bogus. Crouse says ISU’s Administrative Technologies crew never does that, and the same is true for IT support units at other big local employers. 

3. Use long and complex passwords.

Crouse said passphrases are the way to go. How long? More than 20 characters. And sprinkle in some numbers, special characters, and spaces to really mix it up. 

An example: thedogJumpedOverthem88n$ 

“Password strength is all about a term called entropy, or the degree of randomness,” said Seth Pheasant, lead information security analyst at ISU. “Just having a long password is really the most security-enhancing thing you can do. Because by adding each character, you’re actually exponentially increasing the security of it. If you were to just capitalize a letter, that’s only one switch in entropy. Whereas if you add in a whole other letter, you’re completely changing the calculation of how many possible passwords you’d have to try to guess that.” 

4. Know what you’re giving up.

Crouse and Pheasant both encourage you to spend some time looking at what data tech giants like Facebook and Google are collecting about your online behavior. You may be OK with what they’re collecting, or you may not be. The only way to know is to check. 

Pheasant recently deleted his Facebook account, but only after downloading his full set of personal Facebook data to see what was in there. 

“I was pretty shocked to see the various data points,” he said. “They had entire call records. Who I called, at what time, for how long, the phone number, the contact name. This is all used to build a profile around you. To protect yourself online is to be conscious about what you’re sharing and knowing how companies are going to be using this data to build profiles around you and eventually sell that to other companies.” 

5. Devices are not immune.

Don’t get lulled into a false sense of cybersecurity just because you spend most of your time on your iPhone. There’s no such thing as a 100 percent secure device, Crouse said. 

Pheasant recommends encrypting any mobile device that you use—phones, laptops, whatever. For most phones, that’s as easy as using the device’s passcode feature. You can also Google your specific phone model to learn how to manually adjust encryption settings. 

“Having your data encrypted gives you that extra peace of mind that if someone does end up with your phone, they won’t be able to take all your personal information off that device,” Pheasant said.

Categorized in Internet Privacy

By Adeniyi Ogunfowoke

With almost everyone relying on the internet to perform tasks, there is barely anything like privacy. All your personal information are readily available to everyone by simply googling your name.

However, you can control the information others have access to online thereby guaranteeing your online privacy by taking certain steps. Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency shares some of the steps you should take.

Password all your devices

Protect all your devices with passwords and that includes your computers, tablets, smartphones and anything other gadgets with your personal data on them. If it is unsecured by a password, your lost or stolen gadget will become a source of personal information for whoever has it and this can lead to identity theft.

Use two-factor authentication

The two-factor authentication is becoming very popular today. Activating this feature will not give you or any other person immediate access to your accounts. Instead, when you login, you will need to enter a special code that the website texts to your phone. No code, no access.

Do not share too much information on your social media profile

The more information you share online, the easier it’s going to be for someone to get their hands on it. One of such ways to get this information is via social media. So, check your social media profiles and remove information such as date of birth, phone numbers and email addresses. Anyone who wants to contact you should send a Direct Message.

Enable private browsing

If you don’t want anyone with physical access to your computer to see your online activities, you should enable private browsing which is a setting available in all major web browser. Enabling it will automatically delete cookies, browsing history and temporary Internet files after you close the window.

Set up a Google alert for your name

This is one of the easiest ways to keep track of everything someone may be saying about you on the website. With the activation of Google alert, you will be alerted immediately if someone illegally accesses your information.

Pay for transactions with cash

If you do not want to give out your card information online, you should use the cash on delivery option to pay for online transactions. You know some of these websites can sometimes be unreliable.

Keep your computer virus free

If your computer is infected by a virus or malware, hackers will not only have access to your information to steal your identity, but they may lock up your files and ask for a ransome to get them back. You will have to pay if the files are important to you.

Do not rely on search engines

If you don’t like the idea of your search history being used to do business, you can switch your search engines. This is because many of us rely heavily on Google Chrome. So, make it a rule of thumb to switch your search engine.

Adeniyi Ogunfowoke is a PR Associate at Jumia Travel

Source: This article was published businesspost.ng By Dipo Olowookere

Categorized in Internet Privacy

One of the most popular passwords in 2016 was "qwertyuiop," even though most password meters will tell you how weak that is. The problem is no existing meters offer any good advice to make it better—until now.

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Chicago have just unveiled a new, state-of-the-art  meter that offers real-time feedback and advice to help people create better passwords. To evaluate its performance, the team conducted an online study in which they asked 4,509 people to use it to create a password.

"Instead of just having a meter say, 'Your password is bad,' we thought it would be useful for the meter to say, 'Here's why it's bad and here's how you could do better,'" says CyLab Security and Privacy Institute faculty Nicolas Christin, a professor in the department of Engineering and Public Policy and the Institute for Software Research at Carnegie Mellon, and a co-author of the study.

The study will be presented at this week's CHI 2017 conference in Denver, Colorado, where it will also receive a "Best Paper Award." A demo of the meter can be viewed here.

"The key result is that providing the data-driven feedback actually makes a huge difference in security compared to just having a password labeled as weak or strong," says Blase Ur, lead author on the study, formerly a graduate student in CyLab and currently an assistant professor at the University of Chicago's Department of Computer Science. "Our new meter led users to create stronger passwords that were no harder to remember than passwords created without the feedback."

The meter works by employing an artificial : a large, complex map of information that resembles the way neurons behave in the brain. The team conducted a study about this neural network approach that received a Best Paper Award at the USENIX Security conference in August 2016. The network "learns" by scanning millions of existing passwords and identifying trends. If the meter detects a characteristic in your password that it knows attackers may guess, it'll tell you.

"The way attackers guess passwords is by exploiting the patterns that they observe in large datasets of breached passwords," says Ur. "For example, if you change Es to 3s in your password, that's not going to fool an attacker. The meter will explain about how prevalent that substitution is and offer advice on what to do instead."

This data-driven feedback is presented in real-time, as a user is typing their password out letter-by-letter.

The team has open-sourced their meter on GitHub.

"There's a lot of different tweaking that one could imagine doing for a specific application of the meter," says Ur. "We're hoping to do some of that ourselves and also engage other members of the security and privacy community to help contribute to the meter."

Source: This article was published on phys.org

Categorized in Internet Privacy

It’s one thing that most people struggle with when it comes to the web, and that’s how to protect yourself from the intrusion of prying government eyes. No one likes being spied on, and the fact that this happens on a daily basis has put many people off in terms of surfing the web or being connected to the internet in any other way. Government officials, white hat hackers, and criminal hackers are all constantly monitoring things that we do on the web. Whether it’s what we write, read, or buy, there’s always the chance that someone’s watching when you’re connected to the web. But, what can you do about it? The first step is to keep reading. 

Firstly, to make sure that only the person intended to get your message gets access to it you need an end-to-end encryption. This is where your message is sent across as encoded text and is only decrypted once it’s arrived at its intended destination. Both WhatsApp and Signal use end-to-end encryption and are free to download for both Android and iOS. The only stipulation for this to work correctly is that both the sender and recipient are using the same app. So that’s calls and texts covered, now it’s on to emails. Two of the best services that offer end-to-end encryption in email are Tutanota and ProtonMail. But, bear in mind that if those you are sending emails to are not using a secure email service, then these may not be encrypted.

When it comes to being untraceable on the internet, that’s not quite so easy to do. You can, however, get a free piece of software called a browser extension that will block sites from tracking your visit. Two of these that are available free and are worth looking into are Privacy Badger and uBlock Origin. You can also use a VPN to encrypt any data you are sending, but there are charges involved. One that’s recommended by many is Freedome by F-Secure. It works with mobile devices; it’s easy to use, and only costs a few bucks a month. Also, if you don’t want anyone to be able to see what you’ve been searching for online then try out DuckDuckGo or F-Secure Safe Search. The first is a search engine that doesn’t record search queries, and the second will provide a safety rating for each search result, making it more child-friendly.

 

For adding extra security to your social media account, email, or other online accounts, get 2FA (two-factor authentication) enabled. For extra protection, this will require a username and password, and one other piece of information too (usually a pin code sent to your phone), before you’ll be allowed to log in. Facebook, Google, and loads of other companies support 2FA and will work for both Android and iOS. Lastly, make sure you don’t give out any unnecessary information to anyone. Also, whenever you sign up for new accounts, use a throwaway email address and a Google Voice number to ensure if the company is ever hacked, your personal details aren’t compromised.

Author : Andrew Thomas

Source : http://trendintech.com/2017/01/08/how-to-protect-your-digital-privacy/

Categorized in Internet Privacy

We test and rate free antivirus programs from companies you probably didn't even know offered security software for free. Here's the best free antivirus software you can get in 2016.

There is no excuse for not having AV protection on your PC. None. Because there are lots of free antivirus packages, you can't use the cost as an excuse.

The good thing about having a free product from one of the leading Internet Security (IS) companies is that they use the same AV engine as in their paid-for products. What you get in the free version is stripped down package with a smaller feature set. Few include extras such as spam filtering, improved firewalls, parental controls, password managers and support for mobile devices. 

The free offerings from Avast, AVG, Avira, Bitdefender and Panda all fit this bill, yet all offer basic antivirus and anti-malware protection, giving you a good chance to keep your PC free of threats which could lose you data and take a lot of time to put right.

Since testing antivirus software with real malware requires a lot of time and effort, not to mention extremely specialist knowledge, we don't do this ourselves. Instead, we use the results from several well-respected independent test houses, including SE Labs, AV-test.organd AV Comparatives. 

AVG’s privacy policy, showing what rights it takes over your personal and non-personal information when you download and use its free product, has caused quite a furore since it was published around a year ago. You grant it the right to send some of your information to third parties, which may include advertisers.

Some have said ‘Well, this is just AVG being more upfront about its policy; they all do it’, so we checked at what each company says in its privacy policy. They’re not all the same: some require you to opt out to prevent sharing – and AVG says it will offer this – some ask you to opt in, but will respect your decision if you don’t, and some don’t share your information at all with third parties.

Best is Bitdefender, which claims not to share information with anybody outside its own company or subsidiaries. We think this is as it should be with a security product, but second-best is the assumption not to share, with an opt-in, should you want to receive ‘relevant’ offers. This is what Avast and Avira do. Panda does the same as AVG, requiring you to specifically unsubscribe to avoid security-related emails.

Internet security software is designed to prevent damaging programs from infecting your PC and laptop. All the free products here do that. As a secondary task, though, the full paid-for products should reduce the amount of unwanted advertising and offers that get through to you, and they usually offer quite a few other features as we mentioned above.

But without further ago, here are the leading free AV programs – you really can get something for nothing.

Best free antivirus software 2016

Best free antivirus: Avira


Download from Avira 

Avira has previously topped our list of the best free antivirus programs, and it’s still a very strong contender. We like that you can download the full program as well as just the 4MB launcher, giving you the option to start the installation and then leave it to download the rest. It’s not alone in this, but it’s the only one we know of which also lets you download the full thing.

The interface is well designed and easy to use, and the latest version includes a couple of new features in its SearchFree Toolbar: a website safety advisor and the option to block advertising companies from tracking you online.

At first sight, it appears Avira bundles a firewall with its product, but this turns out to be an integrated front-end to the Windows firewall.

File scans can be scheduled and by default there’s a quick scan set to repeat every 168 hours or, as we techies call it, weekly. We reckon a quick scan could run more frequently than this, though.

A year ago, AV-Test gave Avira perfect scores, and this year it still did commendably well. In its recent tests, it handed a 5.5 for protection and the same for performance. Avira achieved the full 6/6 for usability with no false positives or false blockages.

SE Labs didn’t test Avira in its recent roundup, but AV Comparatives gave Avira full marks for blocking 100 percent of threats.

Ultimately, Avira does an excellent job – even when compared to paid-for Internet Security programs.

Best free antivirus: Avast

Download from Avast

Unlike some firms, Avast doesn’t hide its free antivirus offering so you can’t find it. A big orange button on its homepage makes this version more obvious than its paid offerings, so it’s a good start.

As well as basic antivirus protection, it offers protection from unknown threats and a handy password manager so you can log into sites in your browser by remembering just one password.

You don’t get the browser extension that warns of fake sites (such as banks), nor a privacy shield or spam filtering. Those come with Avast’s Internet Security package, while Premier adds automatic software updating and a file shredder.

The good news is that Avast’s antivirus protection is excellent. SE Labs rates it at 94 percent overall, the highest score awarded to a free version. AV Comparatives found that it blocked 99.7 percent of threats in its September 2016 tests. It also found that Avast had the least impact on your PC’s performance – thanks in part to the fact that Avast runs a “significant proportion” of its analysis in the cloud.

AV-Test rates protection, performance and usability, giving Avast 5.5, 4.0 and 5.5 out of 6 respectively.

Overall, then Avast is one of the best free antivirus packages around.

Best free antivirus: Bitdefender


Download from Bitdefender 

Bitdefender’s paid-for Total Security package is excellent, and it’s no surprise to see its free offering score well: it uses the same virus detection engine.

In fact, AV Comparatives awarded it the unbeatable score of 100 percent, successfully blocking all malware during its tests in September. There were no false-positives, either, which is when safe files or programs are reported as being unsafe.

AV-Test also praised Bitdefender, giving it full marks for protection, performance and usability.

SE Labs’ tests found it wasn’t infallible though, with it being compromised by a number of threats and awarding it a protection rating of 73 percent.

Overall, Bitdefender is easy to use, is lightweight and – in general – offers good protection for your PCs. You can read our full Bitdefender Total Security 2016 review for more details.

Best free antivirus: AVG


Download from AVG

We’ve already mentioned AVG’s controversial privacy policy above, but in terms of the protection this free antivirus package offers, it’s not bad at all. SE Labs gave it an overall rating of 89 percent from its test in July-September, and it missed out on an AA award (rather than A) by only one percent.

AV-Test’s results from testing in July-August showed that its protection was above the industry average and awarded it 5.5 out of 6. It achieved the same for performance, so won’t slow your computer down. Again, it was given the same high score for usability, and as we’ve used AVG Free on our own PC for the past year, we can – anecdotally – agree that it runs transparently in the background and you don’t really notice it. And that’s exactly what you want from your antivirus.

AVG has a simple-to-understand dashboard so, if you do ever venture to it, it’s very clear whether it’s up to date and protecting your PC.

In addition to an AV engine, it also warns you of unsafe web links and can block unsafe email attachments.

Best free antivirus: Microsoft


Windows Defender is built into Windows 10 and Windows 8, so it’s arguably the easiest option for most people since it’s probably in operation already unless you’ve disabled it or installed another antivirus program.

Unlike in the past, when it merely paid lip-service to virus protection, the modern Security Essentials is a credible and reliable AV engine. OK, it’s not the very best out there, but it certainly does the job.

If your PC or laptop is running Windows 7, you can download Microsoft Security Essentials for free.

As the name suggests, it offers basic antivirus protection. The only difference between MSE and Windows Defender is that the latter offers better protection against rootkits and Bootkits.

SE Labs awarded MSE 91 percent overall, ahead of Bitdefender (90) and AVG Free (89). It was only three percent behind Avast, too.

AV-Test gave it only 3.5 out of 6 for protection, but this was due to a poor result in August of 88 percent. In July, it performed as well as any other antivirus package. AV Comparatives found it blocked 96.2 percent of threats, which is below all the other packages here, but as ever, these results all change on a monthly basis.

There are better choices than Security Essentials, but if you’re running Windows 8 or 10 with Defender built in, all you need to do is check that it’s enabled.

Author : Jim Martin

Source : http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/test-centre/software/best-free-antivirus-software-2016-2017-3649231/

Categorized in Internet Privacy

Since the the revelations of Edward Snowden, we’ve all become a bit more paranoid about digital security and privacy. Snowden himself hasn’t owned a smartphone since he blew the whistle on the NSA’s illegal tracking actions in 2014 for fear of being tracked. Still, as Joseph Heller wrote in Catch-22, “just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you”.

To that length, Snowden has now partnered with hardware hacker Andrew “Bunnie” Huang to build a case for your iPhone 6. Once installed, it will alert you if the phone is broadcasting when it shouldn’t. The primary purpose is to protect journalists who are reporting in dangerous parts of the world like Marie Colvin who, in 2012, was killed by artillery fire. The Syrian military has been accused by Colvin’s family of targeting her using her mobile device.

Snowden’s device is not yet on the market, but there are still ways out there that make it easier to protect yourself and your phone from snooping.

1. Hardware Level Encryption

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 10.31.14 AM.png

iOS has long supported hardware level encryption, and every new version seems to support more features. Android encrypts your storage by default ever since version 5.0 Marshmallow. In both cases they encrypt your data and can only be unlocked by the hardware in your phone.

However, it’s only as strong as your key. Setting up a lock code more complex than ‘1234’ or your birthday is one of the best security devices you can have.

2. Biometric scanning hardware

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 10.01.52 AM.png

Why have passwords and codes to unlock your phone when fingerprint readers are on the newest iPhones and flagship Android phones? Securely unlocking your device is as quick as pressing a button. Iris scanners are the new biometric scanner toy, and is currently a unique feature on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. It’s far more secure than fingerprint scanning, but early reports indicate that it’s slower and more inconvenient. Even so, thieves will have a hard time replicating your iris in order to access your data so iris scanning might be your best option.

3. Smartphone technology

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 10.03.32 AM.png

You can put your phone in Airplane Mode or you can hold the power button and turn it off. However, Edward Snowden rightly believes that malware can be installed on your device to simulate those features while still reporting your location. The only way to be sure your phone isn’t talking to the wrong people is to yank the battery.

Phones like new LG G5 are doing some things to work around that. The flagship smartphone was redesigned to take advantage of LG Friends products, which are modular accessories that add special features to your phone. The accessories haven’t really taken off, but it gives the G5 the unique ability to pop the battery out with the push of a button. It also has a fingerprint reader and the newest Android with encrypted data protection built in.

When it’s turned off you can’t use the camera, microphone, or notepad features that make a smartphone so useful when acting covertly. You’ll have to check how safe you are, then with a quick pop the battery is back in and you can get recording.

4.Encrypted Instant Messenger

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There are dozens, maybe hundreds of Instant Messaging apps out there. We all have our favorite, and our friends have theirs (which we have too just to use just to stay in contact). If you want to be sure that only you and your recipient will be able to read your conversation, you need to use Signal (available for iOS and Android).

 

Once you install it, the app checks your contacts and immediately connects you to anyone else who has the app installed. There are no animated stickers here. The design is minimal and fits right in with Android or iOS’s design specs.

If your friends are unwilling to part with their IM app-of-choice, you have to do your research. WhatsApp supports encryption using the same algorithm used in Signal, but they were acquired by Facebook in 2014 and that makes some users uncomfortable. Google’s forthcoming Allo app will replace Hangouts, but only enables end-to-end encryption with Incognito Mode conversations and are deleted when the conversation ends. Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime both support end-to-end encryption as well. Just make sure to encrypt your backups because all your conversations will wind up there.

5. Anti-Virus Software

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No sooner than someone says an operating system is virus-proof than someone tries to write a virus for it. While not the plague it was for desktop computers in the 90s, viruses are still a very real possibility even if you only download from the official Apple or Google app stores.

To that end, there are several anti-virus apps that sit in the background and scan every app that comes through the doors. Lookout Security & Antivirus is one of the grandaddies on the mobile platform. It’s available on Android and iOS for free and remains one of the highest ranked antivirus apps. Additional features are unlocked for $2.99 a month or $29.99 annually.

6. Password Safes 

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Thinking up a new password for every email address, e-card site, and cat video portal is exhausting. Eventually, you start to recycle passwords. It then only takes one hacked Sony or LinkedIn to expose your accounts on every site where that password is used. Password managers like 1Password and LastPass securely store your passwords, and release them only when authorized by a master password or fingerprint reader.

While they can store your weakly generated and repeated passwords, password safes can also randomize unique passwords for each site. Securely storing ‘passw0rd123’ is good, but no hacker will guess a 16-digit random collection of letters and numbers. Since they will automatically populate username and password fields in your browser or apps, you’ll never need to type it in either. Both 1Password and LastPass can be installed on your desktop browsers so you have full access to those secure sites everywhere.

7. DTEK by Blackberry

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You’ve set a secure password on your lock screen, you’ve turned off Google’s tracking, you disable WiFi when outside the house, but there’s still lots of work to do. Just one year ago privacy experts found that simply having Uber installed on your phone could send buckets of your data to their servers, even if you weren’t using the app.

Enter DTEK by Blackberry. It will scan all potential security breaches on your phone. If an app decides to turn on your microphone, DTEK flashes you a warning. Most of the time it will probably be okay, but that one time it’s not you’ll appreciate the warning.

DTEK keeps a log of the access each app receives and reports back to you how many times it has, for example, read your contacts. It even has Factory Reset Protection, which stops thieves from wiping your device to prevent you from tracking it. All this security sounds like a lot of work, but that’s the beautiful thing about DTEK. The clean interface makes it all very simple for the casual user.

Sadly, the DTEK app requires deep access to the phone’s OS. That’s only possible for Blackberry on their own devices; the Blackberry PRIV and DTEK50. Both are Android phones with hardware features comparable to other high-end and mid-range Android flagships. If Blackberry decides at the end of the year to get out of the hardware game, the DTEK software may be opened to other devices.

8. Tracking software

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Sometimes, tracking your phone is a good thing. Your phone goes missing, and all your photos, notes and interview recordings are on there.

For at least a few years, both iOS and Android have had tracking software built into your phones in case they get lost or stolen. Using iCloud.com (link), iPhone users can locate their device, lock the screen, lock the activation (so it can’t be resold and reactivated), or remotely wipe the device clean.

When logged into your Google account, a simple search engine query of “Find my phone” will bring up a map for any of your registered devices. From the web-based interface you can force it to ring (even if the sound is off). Useful for when you just can’t find it around house, or when you know the thief is nearby and you want it to send up a flare. From here you can also reset the password, or completely lock out the device.

 

9. VPN

A Virtual Private Network sits between you and the Internet. It’s like a butler that goes out, gets the newspaper, and returns without anyone knowing you like reading supermarket tabloids. VPNs can be used to keep your information anonymous when visiting web sites, place you in different countries (so you can watch Netflix’s BBC lineup), and most importantly, encrypt your data transfer.

Avoid free VPNs. If you don’t know how they’re making money, then they might be making money on you. Spring the few bucks a month it takes to secure all your connections in and out of your smartphone with a service like NordVPN. Is one level of encryption not good enough? NordVPN offers Double VPN which runs AES-256-CBC encryption on your data transfers two times at the expense of some speed. The feature is optional and can be enabled for those times when you’re feeling as paranoid as Edward Snowden. The service is $8 per month, or $69 for the year.

Source : https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2016/08/9-ways-to-secure-your-smartphone.html

Categorized in Internet Privacy

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