Tips to avoid common browser security dangers

Being tricked into visiting malicious websites and getting your computer infected with malware is not the only way your business data can get compromised. By browsing the net without using security measures, your computers and data could get into trouble. FYI: your web browser knows a lot about the sites you visit, including the credentials you use to access financial and business accounts. Secure your browsers and your data by following these steps.

Install ad blocking software

Online ads may seem harmless, but they can contain scripts and widgets that send your data to a third party. A decent ad blocking program will stop banner, rollover, and pop-up ads, and prevent you from inadvertently visiting a site that may contain malware.

Many blockers also come with additional features such as the ability to disable cookies and scripts used by third parties on sites, the option to block specific items, and options to “clean up” Facebook and hide YouTube comments.

Prevent browser tracking

If you don’t like the idea of a third party (reputable or otherwise) tracking your browsing habits, enable private browsing using built-in tools in your internet browser such as Chrome’s Incognito mode or Safari’s Private Browsing windows. This offers protection against tracking by blocking third-party cookies as well as malware. Some browser extensions also boast secure Wi-Fi and bandwidth optimization, and can guard against tracking and data collection from social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Set up a virtual private network (VPN)

Unfortunately, browser tracking and adware are not the only internet nasties that you need to be concerned about. Hackers can intercept sensitive data between two parties, allowing them to steal and exploit valuable information such as bank details, login credentials, and other personal information. Installing a VPN can help solve this problem. VPNs encrypt your internet traffic, effectively shutting out anyone who may be trying to see what you’re browsing.

Install antivirus and anti-malware software

Finally, it goes without saying that having antivirus and anti-malware software installed on your PC, tablet, and smartphone is crucial if you want to ensure your online safety. These software programs are your first defense against malicious parties intent on stealing your data.

Is browsing at your workplace secure? Would you like a more comprehensive security system for your business? We can tell you all about it and help protect your business from online threats. Get in touch with us today.

This post was originally published on this site

Tips to avoid common browser security dangers

Being tricked into visiting malicious websites and getting your computer infected with malware is not the only way your business data can get compromised. By browsing the net without using security measures, your computers and data could get into trouble. FYI: your web browser knows a lot about the sites you visit, including the credentials you use to access financial and business accounts. Secure your browsers and your data by following these steps.

Install ad blocking software

Online ads may seem harmless, but they can contain scripts and widgets that send your data to a third party. A decent ad blocking program will stop banner, rollover, and pop-up ads, and prevent you from inadvertently visiting a site that may contain malware.

Many blockers also come with additional features such as the ability to disable cookies and scripts used by third parties on sites, the option to block specific items, and options to “clean up” Facebook and hide YouTube comments.

Prevent browser tracking

If you don’t like the idea of a third party (reputable or otherwise) tracking your browsing habits, enable private browsing using built-in tools in your internet browser such as Chrome’s Incognito mode or Safari’s Private Browsing windows. This offers protection against tracking by blocking third-party cookies as well as malware. Some browser extensions also boast secure Wi-Fi and bandwidth optimization, and can guard against tracking and data collection from social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Set up a virtual private network (VPN)

Unfortunately, browser tracking and adware are not the only internet nasties that you need to be concerned about. Hackers can intercept sensitive data between two parties, allowing them to steal and exploit valuable information such as bank details, login credentials, and other personal information. Installing a VPN can help solve this problem. VPNs encrypt your internet traffic, effectively shutting out anyone who may be trying to see what you’re browsing.

Install antivirus and anti-malware software

Finally, it goes without saying that having antivirus and anti-malware software installed on your PC, tablet, and smartphone is crucial if you want to ensure your online safety. These software programs are your first defense against malicious parties intent on stealing your data.

Is browsing at your workplace secure? Would you like a more comprehensive security system for your business? We can tell you all about it and help protect your business from online threats. Get in touch with us today.

This post was originally published on this site

Sneaky Android adware apps to watch out for

Zscaler’s ThreatLabZ team recently uncovered 17 adware apps in Google Play. These are apps that run unwanted ads on your device and collect your data for marketing purposes. Unfortunately, these apps were downloaded around 120,000 times before Google was able to remove them. Here’s a list of the adware apps that have been identified, and how you can avoid downloading such malicious apps in the future.

Sneaky adware apps

These potentially malicious apps are disguised as harmless system or utility apps. They pose as image editors, photo or document scanners, and even messenger apps. Their names even resemble those of legitimate system apps, chosen for the express purpose of tricking Android users into installing them onto their devices. These apps are:

  1. All Good PDF Scanner
  2. Blue Scanner
  3. Care Message
  4. Desire Translate
  5. Direct Messenger
  6. Hummingbird PDF Converter – Photo to PDF
  7. Meticulous Scanner
  8. Mint Leaf Message-Your Private Message
  9. One Sentence Translator – Multifunctional Translator
  10. Paper Doc Scanner
  11. Part Message
  12. Powerful Cleaner
  13. Private SMS
  14. Style Photo Collage
  15. Talent Photo Editor – Blur focus
  16. Tangram App Lock
  17. Unique Keyboard – Fancy Fonts & Free Emoticons

How to remove these adware apps

It’s important that you immediately remove these apps from your device to prevent them from exposing you to all kinds of IT security threats, like man-in-the-middle attacks. One way to do this is to use an anti-malware app that scans and automatically removes malicious software from your device. You can also check your phone or tablet’s app permissions to see if any questionable apps have permission to access your text messages, contact list, etc., and manually uninstall the dubious apps.

However, some apps are harder to detect because they display two different sets of names and icons — one on your device’s Settings app and another when they’re actually running. This makes it more difficult to identify and uninstall the malicious apps on your device, which is exactly what the developers want.

On the other hand, some apps appear on your app tray, but launching one triggers a message that says the app is incompatible with your device. You will then be redirected to a random page on Google Play. And when you return to your app tray, you’ll find that the app’s icon has disappeared.

If there’s no icon, how can you uninstall the app? Andrew Brandt, a researcher at Sophos, says deleting adware apps will require a little bit of digging on your part, as there’s no icon that you can click and drag to the top of the screen and into the trash.

To do this, you have to first identify the adware apps. Go to Settings > Apps & Notifications. This will direct you to a page that displays the most recently opened apps on your device. Next, check if any of those apps have the generic greenish-blue Android icon and/or have generic-sounding names such as Back Up, Update, and the like. If they do, they’re likely adware. Finally, tap the icon and then select Force Stop > Uninstall. Note that a legit system or utility app will have a Disable option instead of an Uninstall option.

There may be similar apps that are yet to be identified and are likely to be made available on Google Play in the future. The key takeaway here is to be mindful of what you download, even if it’s from Google Play or other official platforms. Check out the reviews — the reported adware apps got poor reviews from users who complained about getting a lot of pop-up ads.

Remember that malware can be hiding in even the most innocuous apps, and downloading them gives bad actors the chance to access any confidential information on your device. For advice on how to keep your Android devices safe from adware and other malicious malware, give us a call today.

This post was originally published on this site

Sneaky Android adware apps to watch out for

Zscaler’s ThreatLabZ team recently uncovered 17 adware apps in Google Play. These are apps that run unwanted ads on your device and collect your data for marketing purposes. Unfortunately, these apps were downloaded around 120,000 times before Google was able to remove them. Here’s a list of the adware apps that have been identified, and how you can avoid downloading such malicious apps in the future.

Sneaky adware apps

These potentially malicious apps are disguised as harmless system or utility apps. They pose as image editors, photo or document scanners, and even messenger apps. Their names even resemble those of legitimate system apps, chosen for the express purpose of tricking Android users into installing them onto their devices. These apps are:

  1. All Good PDF Scanner
  2. Blue Scanner
  3. Care Message
  4. Desire Translate
  5. Direct Messenger
  6. Hummingbird PDF Converter – Photo to PDF
  7. Meticulous Scanner
  8. Mint Leaf Message-Your Private Message
  9. One Sentence Translator – Multifunctional Translator
  10. Paper Doc Scanner
  11. Part Message
  12. Powerful Cleaner
  13. Private SMS
  14. Style Photo Collage
  15. Talent Photo Editor – Blur focus
  16. Tangram App Lock
  17. Unique Keyboard – Fancy Fonts & Free Emoticons

How to remove these adware apps

It’s important that you immediately remove these apps from your device to prevent them from exposing you to all kinds of IT security threats, like man-in-the-middle attacks. One way to do this is to use an anti-malware app that scans and automatically removes malicious software from your device. You can also check your phone or tablet’s app permissions to see if any questionable apps have permission to access your text messages, contact list, etc., and manually uninstall the dubious apps.

However, some apps are harder to detect because they display two different sets of names and icons — one on your device’s Settings app and another when they’re actually running. This makes it more difficult to identify and uninstall the malicious apps on your device, which is exactly what the developers want.

On the other hand, some apps appear on your app tray, but launching one triggers a message that says the app is incompatible with your device. You will then be redirected to a random page on Google Play. And when you return to your app tray, you’ll find that the app’s icon has disappeared.

If there’s no icon, how can you uninstall the app? Andrew Brandt, a researcher at Sophos, says deleting adware apps will require a little bit of digging on your part, as there’s no icon that you can click and drag to the top of the screen and into the trash.

To do this, you have to first identify the adware apps. Go to Settings > Apps & Notifications. This will direct you to a page that displays the most recently opened apps on your device. Next, check if any of those apps have the generic greenish-blue Android icon and/or have generic-sounding names such as Back Up, Update, and the like. If they do, they’re likely adware. Finally, tap the icon and then select Force Stop > Uninstall. Note that a legit system or utility app will have a Disable option instead of an Uninstall option.

There may be similar apps that are yet to be identified and are likely to be made available on Google Play in the future. The key takeaway here is to be mindful of what you download, even if it’s from Google Play or other official platforms. Check out the reviews — the reported adware apps got poor reviews from users who complained about getting a lot of pop-up ads.

Remember that malware can be hiding in even the most innocuous apps, and downloading them gives bad actors the chance to access any confidential information on your device. For advice on how to keep your Android devices safe from adware and other malicious malware, give us a call today.

This post was originally published on this site