10 Easy Ways To Secure Your Smartphone

mobile-phone-security

One of the greatest threats to the security and privacy of the average individual is the now ubiquitous smart phone. Devices like the iPhone and the various available Android handsets have greatly improved our lives, making things like comparison shopping for free car insurance quotes online a snap. Unfortunately, they’ve also made it a trivial matter for hackers and malicious cyber-criminals to compromise your information. Here are ten easy ways to lock down your phone and protect yourself in the real world from day to day.

1. Know Your Apps

Some critics have made comparisons between the Android operating system and the Windows platform during its less secure days. While that analogy is a bit unfair, it’s true that Android has fewer safeguards against malware than the iOS platform. That having been said, iOS has seen a few bad apps make their way into the iTunes App Store. Before you download and install an application, do some research and read the reviews that other users have submitted to make sure you’re not getting a virus sandwich.

2. Password Protection

Using a simple finger swipe to unlock a smart phone is the most common method for gaining access to a device. If your device isn’t password protected, all you have to do is lose it in a public place for all of your data to be lost to would-be thieves. At the very least, enable the password to unlock function that’s built into your phone. A simple PIN or password will go a long way in protecting you from identity theft and data loss.

3. Use The Security You Have

Just about every smart phone on the market today features advanced security features above and beyond simple password-enabled screen lockers. Things like biometric fingerprint scanners now come standard on many phones, and such measures ensure that your phone is that much harder to access if it should fall into the wrong hands. When you get a new phone, acquaint yourself with all of the stock security features that ship with it and use them regularly.

4. Permissions, Permissions, Permissions

Those familiar with Unix-like operating systems like Linux and Mac OS X will no doubt be highly aware of permissions and how they can affect the security of your mobile device. More specifically, you should look at every application you download and review what data and resources they have need to have access to for them to operate properly. Anything that requires root access to your phone should be avoided. Anytime you’re asked for personal information or a password, that’s typically a bad sign.

5. Go Easy With The GPS

Location-aware applications like Foursquare and Gowalla allow users to “check in” when they’re at specific places to facilitate sharing. While GPS-based applications can significantly enhance your life, it’s also a double-edged sword that can threaten your security. If people can see where you are, they can make assumptions about where you aren’t. Thieves can easily use social platforms like Facebook and information from GPS-based apps to plan home invasions and robberies.

6. Watch Those Financial Transactions

Probably the last thing you should do when you’re out in public is use unfamiliar computers to do your banking online. Keyloggers and malware can easily steal your credentials if you’re not careful. Second to that in terms of security threats is banking online with your smart phone on public Wi-Fi. You can reduce the danger somewhat with VPNs, although it’s best to leave your online financial transactions to your home computer where you can guarantee a safe connection.

7. Stay Up To Date

As with any operating system, the installation of iOS, Blackberry OS, or Android running on your smart phone is constantly being poked at and tested by hackers trying to exploit vulnerabilities. Modern computer security is all about patching vulnerabilities the second they’re recognized, and as such it’s essentially a game of catch up between security experts and cyber-criminals. When a security update is available for your phone’s operating system, you should install it ASAP.

8. Secure Wi-Fi

You should probably turn off the auto-connect feature for Wi-Fi access on your smart phone. Public Wi-Fi hotspots such as those found at libraries and coffee shops are a security minefield for notebook PCs and mobile devices. Everything from ARP spoofing to the use of Firesheep can allow miscreants and ne’er-do-wells to hijack your communications without you even realizing it. If you need to use public Wi-Fi, utilize a VPN or a proxy to connect to the web over an encrypted SSL connection. Using Wi-Fi through your home gateway is of course typically safe if you can’t get a 3G or 4G signal.

9. Monitor Applications Proactively

You can learn a lot about security threats to your mobile operating system by looking at resource usage. If you notice your battery losing power more quickly than it used to all of a sudden, it’s often a sign that you have a malware program installed that you don’t know about. If your phone is sluggish or unresponsive, look at CPU and memory usage for each application that’s currently running to see if anything stands out. If one program is hogging all of your phone’s resources, you may want to ditch it.

10. Mobile Security Apps

Your smart phone is essentially a small hand-held computer, with all the benefits and drawbacks that come with the territory. Much like Windows in the 90’s or now for that matter, it’s going to be a magnet for viruses. That’s why a dedicated anti-virus application is a must. Commonly used services include F-Secure Mobile Security, Lookout Security & Antivirus, and McAfee WaveSecure. As long as you have something that’s working around the clock to ward off threats, you’re far better off than a user without any security software whatsoever.

Parting Shot

While the world of mobile devices can greatly enhance your productivity and the convenience of your communications, it can also be a nightmare in terms of security. If you follow the above tips and take a moment to shore up your defenses, you’ll greatly reduce the risk of a security breach. This information isn’t meant to scare you but rather to alert you to the potential dangers of smart phones from a safety standpoint. Just be careful when you’re out and about and you should be fine.

Simple Tips To Secure Your Facebook Account

Getting Hacked is a nightmare! Especially if your Facebook account is hacked then it is worst of all. As a (Ethical) Hacker I know that it is really easy to hack anyone but at the same time it also easy to save your self. The following process will ensure your security on Facebook.

All you have to so to follow these simple steps after logging into your Facebook account:

#1: Goto your Account | Account Settings .

Account Settings

#2: Now Under “Account Security” section , Tick “Login Approval” .

Login Approval

#3: Click on “Set Up Now” .

Set Up Now

#4: Now give the “confirmation code” in the space give. The code will be sent in sms to your mobile.

Confirmation Code

#5: After giving the “confirmation code” . This message will appear, which means that setup is successful.

Setup Finished

HOW IT WORKS?

Now every time any unrecognised machine (Computer or mobile) will try to login your account they will have to give the “Confirmation Code” ,even if they have given correct password, and that code will be sent to your Mobile. Which means that even if anyone is having your Password, that person (Hacker) can’t log into your account.

7 Best Tips To Keep Your Gmail Account Secure

Gmail is one of the most popular and user-friendly web based email on the Internet, and therefore the safety of your account is of paramount importance. Thus, it is necessary that you need to become security conscious and keep yourself away from the vicious eyes of the hackers. Since Gmail account allows you to gain access to many of the other resources like Google Adsense, Analytics, Orkut, Buzz, YouTube, Facebook, and much more, hacking your Gmail account can also damage all of these accounts. Earlier we provided tips for securing your WordPress blog and securing your Wireless Network.

This is best to follow the saying “Precaution is better than resentment and cure”, so let us learn some of the best 7 security tips to protect your account.

1. Keep the “always use https” option on

Since Google understands that using https improves the security of your accounts, keeping this ON is always better especially when you are accessing your Google account via a public network and thereby preventing others and hackers from eavesdropping into your account. It is possible to enable this option on by going to Settings > General > 5th Row and enable Always use https. This will help you to protect your identity safe and secure on a public network.

https - Gmail

2. Check your IP login session information regularly

Always keep track of your Gmail account activity by going to the bottom of the Gmail account page and check the “Last account activity”, which will show the details of the activity of when you accessed your account lastly. Even if hackers access your account after you, you will get to know, for only you know that your account has been hacked. This “details” also shows the other following information about how and when the account was accessed, like whether this is from the kind of the browser or mobile, etc. Including the IP address. So noting down the IP address when you are in doubt is a good practice.

IP details - Gmail

3. Choosing a unique security question

It is possible that a person who has a very good knowledge about you and your background information can easily find a way into your account using the secret answer to your security question for decoding the password. You will never get to know that they have accessed your password, using your password recovery secret question. So it is always good to keep them hard and not so easy to remember. In addition, it is good to reset the security questions and other password recovery options and recovery email address occasionally but regularly.

4. Back up Your Emails

If you are using Gmail as your primary account, it is a best practice to back up your account or emails as this may contain some important emails. Somehow, if your account gets compromised, it is always best to keep a copy of your emails elsewhere, as the hacker might delete all these important emails. So link your Gmail account with an email client and defeat the hacker or to a secondary email address.

5. Use unique passwords for each online service

When you are using a number of services that requires a password, use different password and do not lazily use the same password. This is because, for once the hacker gets into one of your accounts, say your Gmail account, then you are posing yourself at the risk of being hacked by the hacker of all of your other services also much easily and quickly than you could take a prevention measure at that instance.

6. Use keyscrambler to protect yourself from keyloggers

Keyloggers are sneaky little programs that can slip past the security software of your computer and is like a Trojan virus, hacks into your account by allowing the hacker to get all the information that you type back to the person who sent you this virus. The best way to protect your Gmail account from these Keyloggers is by using Key Scramblers, which is necessary to use software, and works awesomely simple.

7. Use Strong Passwords

The best you can do if you are reluctant or do not know how to use a password manager, is to check the strength of your password, and is always wise to use a unique password using a small tool from Microsoft strength checking tool and every time you change your password. This is much better than the password strength checking tool by Google.
Comments are appreciated!!

USEFUL : Tips For Creating Secure & Strong Passwords

This article is written by Praveen Sivaraman. He is associated with a hosting company which has a very good web hosting reviews.

HOW TO: Hide Your Facebook Friends List From Others

Everyone loves privacy. Especially when you have a Facebook profile for personal use. Now this simple tutorial will tell you how to hide your Facebook friends from everyone, even your friends in your circle. It will be visible to you ONLY.

Hide Your Facebook Friends From Everyone

#1 – Go to your Account | Privacy Settings.

#2 – Now under “Connecting on Facebook” section, click “View Settings”.

View Settings - FB

#3 – Find “See your friend list” section, click “Customize”.

Customize Friends List

#4 – Then under the label “Make this visible to” select “Only Me”.

Only Me - FB

That’s all. Now save the settings.

Now when your friends or other users visit your profile, it will look like this.

FB Profile

ALSO CHECK : HOW TO: Prevent Facebook Friends To Post On Your Wall

Use Encrypted Google SSL Search For Secure And Private Search Experience

Do you want to have a secure and private search experience? Google Encrypted SSL Search is here for you. Just visit https://encrypted.google.com and do your normal Google Search.

If you are not aware about SSL, it is a protocol that helps provide secure Internet communications for services like web browsing, e-mail, instant messaging, and other data transfers.

Google Encrypted Search

Using Google search over SSL, you can have an end-to-end encrypted search solution between your computer and Google. This secured channel helps protect your search terms and your search results pages from being intercepted by a third party.

This will be really useful if your computer got infected with malware or a keylogger, a third party might be able to see the queries that you typed. Right now only Google web search is available over SSL and this won’t work for Google Images or any other sites.

Top Vulnerabilities Where Hackers Screw Up Your WordPress Blog

As WordPress is an open source software, hackers can get into the codes and find out the loop holes easily. Also with WordPress you can easily customize the codes to enhance your blog and also at the same time you should be aware that one should make sure of the WordPress security so that hackers don’t get the chance to screw up your WordPress blog. If you’re into making money with your blog, then you should really take this serious. We cannot completely protect the WordPress blog, but at the maximum we can secure the blog so that you don’t be a victim of the basic security issues in WordPress.

WP Hacked

Your Blog security is important on your WordPress Blog, so as a matter of fact, no one would want to see their blog get hacked or screwed up by the hacker. All the hard work which had put in will go waste in minutes. Here am going to talk about some vulnerabilities that WordPress has and thereby where hackers use these vulnerabilities to screw up your WordPress blog. Some of the deadly mistakes which can kill your blog, never take this as casual thing, because I have personally seen on many security forums, where people talk about the issues that they have faced when their blog got hacked.

First of all, You should follow the basic WordPress security measure quoted from the WordPress team. You can follow them here. These are the basic measures smart choices that effectively lower the possible entry points available to screw up the blog.

First let me list out some of the basic security holes.

  • Keep up to date with the latest WP version
  • Change Default Username from Admin to some other name
  • Back up! back up! backup!
  • Choosing the best strong passwords for your admin panel.

If you find what you think is a bug, report it, so that it could avoid turning down into vulnerability.
You can read about the other security measures for admin panel, database security, file permissions, server thing and many more. Read about it here.

Never Use Pirated WordPress Theme

Trying to save few bucks in the premium theme (which most of us prefer for its elegant look and customization), these premium themes are available on torrent download which many people download it and use it on their blogs. But they forget that, the biggest shock is, many of the premium themes which are available on torrents and few warez websites has malicious codes hidden on the theme files which will cause malicious attacks and un necessary bandwidth problems. So the first thing you give access to the hackers is via pirated WordPress themes. Never use them, for that you can always prefer simple minimalist theme from WordPress panel.

Unwanted WordPress Plugins

After the theme level vulnerability, the next most thing hackers dig up is the plugins which you use on the blog. When we talk about plugins, there are two things, the most rated and popular plugins, the next is the new unrated plugins which offers some stupid things. Choose the plugins wisely, never overload your blog with plugins, choose which ever is useful to the blog and install it. Never go for unrated new plugins. Always check out the review of the plugin and the ratings, number of times it has been downloaded and then go for it. If you’re using some popular plugins, then make sure you keep them up to date.

Also here are some list includes some of the most critical WordPress vulnerabilities known to the security community. If you’re much interested to learn about them, you can click this link to find more about WordPress vulnerabilities.

One should understand that, using some best WordPress security plugins can secure your blog from hackers and spammers. I strongly recommend these WP plugins to use on your blog.

  • WP Security Scan Scans your WordPress installation for security vulnerabilities and suggests corrective actions.
  • Secure WordPress Little help to secure your WordPress installation: Remove Error information on login page; adds index.html to plugin directory; removes the wp-version, except in admin area.

Simple Way To Share Your Email Securely

Everyday while surfing internet we come across many forums, classified sites, social networking sites, free services which requires email addresses and when we share our email address with them then it is openly available for any person to see it and which leads to huge number of spam in inbox.

Today I am going to give you the best solution which will decrease your spam inbox load to a certain extend.

1. Go to Scr.im. It is a email shortening service which converts your email in URL for free.

2. Input your email and below that you can enter your desired name or you can leave that empty to generate a random name.

Share you email securely
Share you email securely

3. Hit on ‘ Protect my email

Now you can share this URL as your email address.

This guest article is written by Mahendra. He blogs at MaheInfo, where he writes about Blogging Tips, Make Money Online, and more. If you wish to write for us, kindly check this.

8 Simple Tips To Sell Securely Through PayPal

PayPal is one of the best e-commerce business sites allowing payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet. Below I mentioned 8 simple tips to sell your stuffs securely through PayPal.

By following these simple tips you can reduce the possibility of disputes, claims, chargebacks, and fraud.

PayPal#1 – Clear & Detailed Descriptions : Give detailed and clear description about your item. Also provide some photos of it. Such photos help your buyers to easily identify the product irrespective of their languages. Clearly state your return policy in a place where buyers can find it.

#2 – Know The Buyer : Before selling anything, first know the buyer. Check whether he has a confirmed address? For e-commerce sites with feedback systems, what is the buyer’s score?

#3 – Respond To Inquiries : Respond to all their questions. Let they be silly questions, but answer them patiently. Show the buyers that you are listening to them.

#4 – Sending High-priced Items : Always be extra cautious when you are sending high-priced items, however the shipping addresses may differ from billing addresses. Sometimes the payment will be received from one country and sent to another.

#5 – Beware Of Unusual Requests : Abnormal requests can be a sign of suspicious activity. Some examples are mentioned below :

  • Rush shipments at any cost.
  • Partial payments from multiple PayPal accounts.
  • Payments not received in full.

#6 – Estimated Delivery Time : After receiving the payments, give the buyers an estimated delivery time. It is always better to overestimate delivery time than have a package show up late. Tell your buyer if a package is not sent in time.

#7 – Track Packages : All the packages should be sent with tracking numbers. After getting the tracking number (you should get it from the shipping service), send it to the buyer and also add delivery confirmation. Then make sure to keep proof that the package was received by the buyer.

#8 – Insure Packages : When sending goods, opt for postal insurance to protect yourself in the event that a shipment is lost or the buyer claims it was never delivered.

Do you know any other tips for selling securely through PayPal? Please share it in the comments below.

Create Safe & Secure Email Address For Your Children

Most of the parents are worried about the negative side of Internet i.e., the Dark side. Children can get addicted to anything. So it is better to keep an eye on them, until they are old enough to understand the atmosphere. Most parents focus on safe browsing. Of course, E-mail plays an important role in it.

That’s why I prefer parents to check ZooBuh.com, a Web-based mail service mainly designed for children. It is easy to get a mail address here and offers better controls than any other Mail service such as AOL or Microsoft. It does not need any other extra software.

Use the Tour or Tutorial section of that service for additional help.

What Zoobuh does for your children?

They will receive mail only from users or persons in the approved contact list.

They can send mail only to those same approved users or persons.

Note : Zoobuh allows parents to change these settings.

Parents can get copies of incoming or outgoing messages, they can customize that mail and after that send to their children. i.e., they can remove any unwanted images, links and other attachments.

Parents can add unwanted bad words in the filter box for avoiding or blocking those words in mail.

Zoobuh

Cool Features :

The Mail QueueTM

Zoobuh has a feature called The Mail QueueTM which allowsparents to put all incoming mail into a folder only you can see. Email inside it will not be visible to the child until you approve it. Messages can also be deleted and denied from it.

Activity Logs

You can even find when your child logged in and logged out.

Custom Mailbox Folders

You children can have unlimited folders to have their mails. It has descriptions attached to store saved mails.

Block Individual Senders

You can block individual senders by putting them into a separate list.

Time Restrictions

You can restrict time limits for your children. You can lock this if they are not school, doing homework, or at a friend’s house.

Zoobuh is not free, but it is indeed inexpensive. It offers you a free 30-day trial and after that service charge is just $1 (Rs.50 approx) per month for each account.

I know price is not an issue of matter for the protection of your children.