Every year, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) publishes a report stating which online tech companies are protecting your personal data. This 2014 EFF picture shows exactly how companies safeguard your information, and areas in which they are falling short on user protection.
The safest choice is to center your online activities around the companies that provide the most protection and simply avoid (or limit) doing business with the companies that do not offer proper protection.
Click here to see the website or download a PDF version of the full 2014 EFF results graphic and summary, Who Has Your Back? 2014: Protecting Your Data From Government Requests.
Compare the 2014 results to the 2013 results. See how your favorite businesses have changed privacy policies and how the list has grown.
Tech blog Engadget has a helpful easy-to-read explanation of the 2014 EFF results as well.Read more
Researchers have discovered that home and small-office wireless routers are being hacked regularly and more than ever. Since early 2014, 300,000+ home devices were reported as infected. These are common household devices, such as Apple AirPort, NetGear, and Linksys routers. Attackers are able to modify these devices to access your personal wireless network and conduct malicious activity.
What this means for you:
1. Hacked systems significantly lower the speed of your Internet connection
2. More expensive power bills as Internet use increases
3. Your Internet service provider (ISP) may disconnect you due to “criminal activity”
• Update the software on these devices at least once per year
• Protect home wireless devices by using a firewall
• Buy a new wireless router
Note: If your router is more than three years old, it’s simply not able to provide the best protection. The safest choice is to purchase a new one. My recommendation is this Linksys Wireless Router.Read more
Recently, criminals have gotten crafty and made software that locks your computer and demands a payment of $300.00. The hackers do this by implying you have done something illegal or they simply lock you out of the system.
A 2012 Symantec survey found that so-called “ransomware” extorts an estimated $5 million a year from users of PCs, and a new version is charging $300.00 to unlock your Android phone.
1. Download directly
2. Use your backups to restore
3. Do not pay money
Click here to read full arstechnica.com article with technical details.Read more
There is almost always a story in the headlines about a new technical vulnerability – Target, eBay, Facebook, Yahoo, etc… Big companies can be hacked, too. Here’s a helpful article explaining what to do in a Heartbleed situation.
• Change your passwords
• Change them now
• Change all of them
There is good reason to change passwords frequently. In fact, most corporate business networks require users to change their password every 90 days. This is usually for the end users and rarely for the system-to-system accounts.
A vulnerability in a so-called secure network makes it possible for any account (specifically using HTTPS with OpenSSL, but let’s not get into details here…) to become exposed and accessed by someone other than the original user. That is always bad news. Hint: use varied capitalizations, numbers, and symbols to make an extra strong password.Read more
Findings from a January 2014 Pew Research Center survey show that:
• 18% of online adults had important personal information stolen (ie: Social Security Number, credit card number, or bank account information). This percentage is quite an increase from the 11% who reported personal information theft in July 2013
• 21% of online adults said they had an email or social networking account compromised or taken over without permission. The exact same percentage of Americans reported this experience in the July 2013 survey.
Click and infographic.Read more