One of the best ways to protect yourself online is by using strong passwords. Yeah, right.
You’ve seen the rules before
1. Use long, strong passwords that mix letters, numbers, special characters, and capital letters
2. Avoid using the same password on different websites.
But since we have so many to remember, the average is 19 per person, then most people default to using easy-to-remember passwords. The most popular passwords for the past few years have been 123456 and password.
Is it safe to store my passwords in the browser?
Most browsers offer to store your passwords, and on the surface it seems like a convenient way to keep them handy. But the problem is, when you store passwords in your browser, they are stored on your device along with the information necessary to decrypt them – which makes them easy to hack.
One password to rule them all
What if you could remember only one password, but still follow the rules for creating strong, unique passwords? Cue the angels, because Hallelujah, you can!
Security is an evolutionary business rather than a revolutionary one.
“Computer security has been around for 25 or 30 years and the threats keep evolving,” Avast CEO Vince Steckler in a video interview with ValueTech.
The solutions keep evolving too. “If you go back 20 years ago, the big issue was script kiddies and big public splashes of viruses that frankly didn’t cause any harm. These days, things are much more complicated. You don’t have big flaws, big loopholes for bad guys to take advantage of. What this turned into is a cat and mouse game.”
Every year we celebrate Data Privacy Day by thinking about what we post online, what methods we use to connect, and the security of the devices we use.
Data Privacy Day (DPD) is an international effort held annually on January 28 to create awareness about the importance of privacy and protecting personal information. Avast knows that security these days means more than protection against viruses. Online threats put your security and personal data at risk. You not only have to protect your desktop PC, but also your mobile devices. Your privacy can be violated by the apps you use, and bad guys can even invade your home through your home router.
Fortunately, these threats can be managed when you take the advice of Data Privacy Day:
STOP. THINK. CONNECT.
Here’s some tips and solutions from Avast to help you manage all the privacy needs on your devices.
Share with care
Think about the consequences of what you post online, especially in social networks. Think about what others could learn about you and who might see your posts in the future ‒ teachers, parents, colleges, and potential employers.
“SMBs are not just targets of cybercrime, they are its principal target”
says a U.S. Security and Exchange Commission report from last fall. In fact, the majority of all targeted cyberattacks last year were directed at SMBs.
The New York Times, in its article No Business Too Small to Be Hacked, said that 60% of all online attacks in 2014 targeted small and mid-sized businesses. Of those attacked, more than half (60%) would go out of business within 6 months of a data breach. That’s a lot of broken dreams and heart ache because of a lack of security.
Small businesses lack IT expertise and budget
SMBs make attractive targets because they often neglect their security or rely on older consumer security software for protection. Money is always an issue, and sometimes the budget doesn’t allow for an expensive security package.
Just recently, our free, cloud-managed security solution, Avast for Business, passed a milestone – more than 1 million endpoints protected in less than a year. From our relationship with IT admins in sectors as diverse as Education, Non-profits, Retail, IT consulting firms, and SMBs, we have learned that many organizations lack in-house expertise or resources to install costly and complex security solutions.
Since the launch of Avast for Business, a free, cloud-managed security solution, in February 2015, organizations worldwide have deployed it to protect more than one million PCs, Macs, and servers from cyberattacks and data breaches.
Avast for Business is successful across diverse sectors
Avast for Business is extremely popular with Education, Non-profits, Retail, Healthcare, IT consulting firms, and small business because many organizations lack the IT resources to install costly and complex security solutions. Avast for Business is easily scalable and managed from anywhere. Additionally, Avast for Business starts at a price everyone can afford: Free, making it a natural fit for organizations worldwide.
Education IT admins value easy deployment, management, and the free cost
The sector that has embraced Avast for Business whole-heartedly is Education. IT administrators from universities, school districts, private and charter schools, libraries, and museums all tell us that ease of deployment and management is at the top of their security solution wish list. The fact that it’s also free makes it an easy decision.
The Internet of Things (IoT) join together physical devices that we use every day with information technology.
Using internet-connected devices expands our ability to control and monitor in the real world. The IoT is literally changing our lives.
The Internet of Things has the potential to fundamentally shift the way we interact with our surroundings. The ability to monitor and manage objects in the physical world electronically makes it possible to bring data-driven decision making to new realms of human activity – to optimize the performance of systems and processes, save time for people and businesses, and improve quality of life.” ~ McKinsey Global Institute study
The potential economic impact of the IoT is astounding – as much as $11.1 trillion per year by 2025 for IoT applications, projected by the same study.
But is there a downside?
Facebook has become more concerned about its users’ security. The social giant understands that education is the key to providing users with a secure experience. We have already seen the Facebook “dinosaur” guiding us via privacy settings. Now Facebook pops out a short guide to improve the security of our profiles. We strongly recommend not to ignore it and take those steps to ensure that your profile is properly protected.
Step 1. Take control over your login
Many of us have found ourselves in situations in which we need Wi-Fi connection and are unable to find it easily. Since we’ve become used to being connected to safe and steady Wi-Fi networks at home or in the office, it can become frustrating and inconvenient when we’re unable to establish a quick connection and gain secure online access.
For those seeking a fast, reliable and secure Wi-Fi connection, we’re happy to introduce you to Avast Wi-Fi Finder. Our new app gives you the opportunity to have a fast connection regardless of your location while continuously providing you with privacy and security. Whether you’re at the gym, a hotel, cafe, bus station or library, Avast Wi-Fi Finder has got you covered.
Our team had a wonderful time meeting and networking with the crème de la crème of security industry professionals at this year’s Virus Bulletin Conference in Prague, of which we were a proud platinum sponsor. Throughout the conference, a handful of Avast employees presented talks a variety of today’s most prominent security-centered topics. For those who weren’t able to make it to the conference, we’d like to provide a brief recap of the content that was covered.
Taking a close look at denial of service attacks
In their presentation, “DDoS trojan: a malicious concept that conquered the ELF format“, senior malware analysts Petr Kalnai and Jaromir Horejsi discussed the serious issues relating to distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
Abstract: DDoS threats have been out there since the Internet took over half of global communication, posing the real problem of denial of access to online service providers. Recently, a new trend emerged in non-Windows DDoS attacks that was induced by code availability, lack of security, and an abundance of resources. The attack infrastructure has undergone significant structural, functional and complexity changes. Malicious aspects have evolved into complex and relatively sophisticated pieces of code, employing compression, advanced encryption and even rootkit capabilities. Targeted machines run systems supporting the ELF format – anything from desktops and servers to IoT devices like routers or digital video recorders (DVRs) could be at risk.
Some days ago we wrote about scams targeting senior citizens. This group is at risk because generally speaking, they have less computer education than younger people who have grown up in the digital world. I recommended the reading to my mother, thinking she will benefit from it. She thanked me, but said that there were “some things” she did not understand.
In the Avast blog we do our best to write in simple terms. However, we know much more about security and, quite frequently, explains things in technical writing. So, I’ve take some time to write what will be useful for your mother (and mine). What about recommending her to read this?