Archive for the ‘Security’ Category

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How naive are you?

In Malware,Malware for beginners,Security on January 11, 2012 by tecnologyantivirus Tagged: , , , , ,

Posted by Leyre Velasco

I have always thought that my mother was anything but naive. She has lived enriching experiences, has had a very intense working life with a high degree of responsibility and is practical, astute and witty. Let us say that she is not easy to rip off. At least, that’s what I thought.

Last Christmas, over one of many family get-togethers, she candidly announced:

“I have won an IPhone online”.

Somewhat stunned I asked:  “Win? IPhone? Online?”

Calmly, she replied:  “Yes, I won it over the Internet. I got a message on screen saying I had been selected over thousands of visitors and that the IPhone will be delivered to my address”.

At this point, my 12 year old daughter could not help the giggles.

I (rhetorically) asked: “Did you believe that?”

“Sure, – she replied -, why shouldn’t I?”

Getting seriously frightened, I asked:  “Which data did you provide?”

“Oh,  – my mother said – nothing much, just my email address and my postal address.”

So far, she has been getting emails requesting her participation on further contests but no mention of the IPhone, of course.

My mother was not at all conscious of the implications of her naivity. Because fraud through pop-ups is probably one of the oldest frauds there is on the Internet. Behind the so-called prizes there might be professional fraudsters, well able to spoof your identity or, without any scruples, make use of your personal data, all for economic benefit.

My mother is a regular Internet user. Her naivity is fruit of her lack of knowledge regarding the dangers of the Internet. That is why I believe it is so important to spread good Internet practises in order to raise awareness among different types of users. We teach our daughter security guidelines and therefore, she is cautious. My mother – up until now – has always browsed alone, no Jiminy Cricket around 🙂

How can you protect yourself?

  • It is very important to have an antivirus program that includes a spam filter installed and up-to-date. Any of Panda Security’s solutions will protect you against these kind of threats.
  • Check the source of information received. Ignore any pop-up that asks for your personal or financial information.
  • Scan you computer for free.
  • Inform yourself. We recommend pages on security, for instance, this blog or the Security Info page.

Luckily, my mother never provided her credit card details. Otherwise, she could have been in serious trouble. She has now installed the antivirus, scanned the computer and hopefully, from now onwards, she will be more cautious when browsing the net.

How about you? Have you ever been ripped off online? Tell us your experiences!

Articles

Kids and technologies: 6 basic tips to bear in mind

In Security,Teenagers,Uncategorized on January 3, 2012 by tecnologyantivirus Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Published by Ana Etxebarria

Continuing our series of articles on children and new technologies, today we give you some simple tips to make sure your children stay safe on the Internet.

Last week I posted an article describing two different approaches to parenting in the digital age: controlling and permissive; and despite I am clearly in favor of the latter approach, I am also aware that you cannot lower your guard when dealing with Internet risks.

I still believe that interaction on the Internet is not very different from real-world interaction, and people who manage well in real life do at least equally well in the virtual world. In any event, I must admit the online world may pose additional risks due to the Internet’s immunity and anonymity.

How can you help your children deal with that threat?

  1. Just as you know about your children’s friends, you better also know who your child contacts on the Internet.
  2. Keep an eye on how much time your children spend online, including other points of Internet access too, like smartphones and gaming consoles.
  3. Just as you teach your children never to talk to strangers or accept gifts from them, remind them never to physically meet anyone they’ve only become friends with online. If they decide to meet a cyber-friend in person, go with them.
  4. Talk to kids about the types of information they post online and how it can impact their reputation and future. Kids can unknowingly give out personal details about their life that could be maliciously used… And embarrassing and inappropriate photos and comments can stay with you forever.
  5. Teach them to be cautious with giving too much personal information, such as their location, their parents’ working hours, hobbies, etc. The less potential ‘unfriends’, the better.
  6. As Facebook makes frequent changes to its privacty policy, it is a good idea to sit with your kids and check out their online profiles with them. Pay special attention to their privacy settings and which messages, photos and personal details are accesible to whom.

Are you comfortable monitoring your child’s online world? What are your family’s technology ground rules?

Articles

Social media, teens and parents… Friends?

In Security,Teenagers,Uncategorized on December 28, 2011 by tecnologyantivirus Tagged: , , , , , ,

Published by Ana Etxebarria

Social media has become an extension of the high school playground for the vast majority of teenagers, with its share of flirting, drama, cruelty and flashes of maturity.

In addition, electronic behavior has become a new frontier of parenting and, as a result, our own behavior may be changing as fast as our kids. We’re watching them more closely, talking to them more about online activities and understanding that social media has become part of growing up.

Friends

Friends

Another surprising fact is that 80 percent of parents who use social media (and who also have a child who uses social media) have friended their child on these sites.

This ‘friendship’ poses a dilemma for parents, who have to choose between being controlling parents who check which websites their children have visited, use parental control software, etc, or permissive parents who don’t embrace the trend to monitor and encourage their children’s autonomy.

According to recent studies, only a small percentage of parents (about 15 percent) consciously avoid monitoring their children’s online activities because they trust them. In my opinion that is an incredibly low figure.

I am a mother of three and I belong to a generation where social interaction between children took place in the playground. Well, let my tell you something: back then parents also fell into one of the aforementioned two categories. There were those who didn’t trust their children despite in some cases not having a reason for not doing so, and those who trusted them. Luckily, my parents belonged to the latter group although I had close friends whose parents showed an incredibly high level of distrust towards them.

So, if you think you know your children well enough, there is good communication between you and them, you are a good role model for them, and there is no reason to the contrary…Why not trust your kids? Why are we so worried and why some of us get so intrusive?

Not so long ago a friend of mine told me that they had installed some sort of ‘spyware’ (I can’t find a better word for it) on their 11-year-old son’s computer and they monitor every step he takes online: the games he plays, the sites he visits, the time he spends on each page, the photos he downloads, who he chats with, the content of his conversations, etc. Isn’t it terrible? That’s like reading someone’s journal, tapping their phone lines or hiding cameras in every room in their apartment.

Do you monitor your child’s social media activities? Do you use parental controls? Why or why not? I’d love to hear your opinions or personal experiences.

Articles

Tips for a safe online Christmas shopping

In Malware,Security,Uncategorized on December 7, 2011 by tecnologyantivirus Tagged: , , ,

Posted by Leyre Velasco

Christmas are getting near and still so many presents to get! However, many of us are still a bit reluctant to shop online as we believe we may fall victim to some scam. Here go a few tips which will help you avoid fraud and which will help you do your online Christmas shopping safely.

What to bear in mind when shopping online

  1. Only visit trusted sites. Look for pages with a professional appearance, pages from a well-known brand, sites displaying a customer service telephone number… It is very important to know who you are buying from.
  2. Be wary of prize-drawings and ridiculously good offers. Read the conditions of each promotion carefully to avoid nasty surprises.
  3. Pay for your purchases securely.  There are different means of payment, for example, cash on delivery, Paypal , credit card, etc.  If you don´t choose cash on delivery payment, remember that you will have to provide more information, and therefore you must be sure that the transaction will be completely safe.
  4. Make sure you are on a HTTPS page: Web addresses normally start with ‘HTTP’, for example: http://www.pandasecurity.com/homeusers/downloads
    However, the pages you make online payments on must be more secure and they should start with ‘HTTPS’ As you can see in the image, the Panda Security store URL begins with HTTPS and what’s more, it has a Verisign security certificate.
  5. It is advisable to have a bank account with a credit card associated with it for making online purchases. This account will contain just the money you need for this purpose, making monitoring easier.
  6. Keep product warranties in a safe place. Besides handling the electronic aspect of online purchases, e-businesses must offer straightforward warranties on products bought. The Web page must contain the following information:
    • Means of payment
    • Delivery terms
    • Product warranties
    • Returns
  7. If you find out that the product you receive is faulty, is different from the one you purchased or the delivery terms are not fulfilled, file a complaint through the company’s Customer Service Dept.
  8. If you don’t receive any answers and you suspect there could be some kind of fraud, report it as soon as possible.
  9. Finally, keep a good antivirus installed. This is your barrier against phishing, spam and other Internet threats. If you are not sure about something during the installation or update processes, don’t leave it for later. Look for the appropriate solution in the Support pages and Support forums available to you for any queries you might have, even during the holidays.

Follow these simple tips and you won’t have any surprises when it comes to doing your Christmas shopping on the Internet. The end result will be the smile of those receiving your presents.

Nothing else from my side, I’d like to wish you all very happy holidays in the company of your loved ones.

Articles

Protect the online privacy of teenagers

In Security,Teenagers,Uncategorized on November 30, 2011 by tecnologyantivirus Tagged: , , , ,

Posted by Ana Etxebarria

When my oldest daughter turned 13, she got a brand new smartphone, signed up for Facebook and Pandora and went on an apps downloading spree. At the same time, my brand new teen lost many protections over her privacy online.
The online games she plays know her location at any given moment through her phone’s GPS technology.

She’s given my VISA card number to buy apps, iTunes has our family’s email address and everyone’s full names and Facebook knows her birth date and the school she goes to…

At an age at when I still don’t let her go to the shopping center by herself or open the door to strangers, she has a growing dossier about her habits, likes and dislikes, etc.  accumulating on the Web. And even though laws have been passed that protect the youngest of Internet users from giving away much information about themselves, once children become teens, the same privacy rules no longer apply.

Leaving aside the laws that regulate these aspects, experts on adolescent development say youths between 13 and 18 deserve special attention, and teenagers are among the most voracious and precocious users of new Internet services, constantly making grown-up decisions with grown-up consequences. However, as experts say ‘Their ability to make decisions is still forming and clearly different from that of adults.”

With few restraints, teens are creating digital records that also build their reputation offline. All the status updates, tweets and check-ins to specific locations can be reviewed by prospective employers, insurance companies and universities.

Despite Internet companies say personal data can be collected only with permission and parents can set security controls on phones and computers, the Web offers so many opportunities to share information online that teens just don’t stop to think about the consequences.

Anyway, don’t think this is something of the future. It’s the present and it’s here to stay. Becoming a controlling, paranoid mother won’t help either, as they will still have endless possibilities to access the Internet. Therefore, once again I think that the only way to get rid of these fears is to educate teenagers about the dangers posed by the online world as we have been doing forever in the offline world.

How to do this? By helping them make thoughtful decisions, giving them the confidence to turn to you if they make a mistake, and having first-hand knowledge of those sites, games and apps they love so much.

What do you think?

Articles

It is never too late to become digital!

In Security,Uncategorized on November 11, 2011 by tecnologyantivirus Tagged: ,

Published by Leyre Velasco, November 2011

If you know somebody who is NOT one of the estimated total number of 2.095 billion – 30.2% – of world population of Interner users this article might be worth sharing.

The reasons why there are still many non-digital people are varied but more so it is a combination of socio-economic reasons. Some people think that they are too old or it is too late for acquiring computer skills, some people simply do not have the means to afford a computer.

What are you missing?

In short, the Internet enables new ways of social interaction and features widespread usability and access. What’s more, information about any topic to different degrees of complexity can be found online.

What if buying a computer is not an option?

You don’t need to make daily use of the Internet in order to take advantage of the aforementioned benefits. For sporadic use you don’t even need to purchase a computer as you can go to Internet cafes, which are available pretty much everywhere. These places provide internet access usually at a time-base rate but in any case, this way of accessing the net is more affordable than personal ownership of equipment. Or, you can always buy a smart phone with an Internet connection, but we will discuss that in a future post 😉

What if they are computer illiterate?

Don’t panic! Nobody was born knowing everything about anything. There are plenty of online guides for Internet beginners, but, of course, in order to read them, you first need to go online. Therefore, let us explain in plain English the very basic in order for you to be able to start using the Internet or, as it is said, “to surf the net” 🙂 .

Step 1: Access your Internet Browser

Double-click on the browser icon which is usually located at the Desktop of your computer. The most used browsers are Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.

If the icons are not available from the Desktop, and if your Operating System is Windows, go to Start, Programs, Nameofyourbrowser

For example, say you have Internet Explorer, go to Start, Programs, Internet Explorer.

Whatever page is set as default will automatically be displayed.

Right, now you are on!

Step 2: Get started with a search engine

We suggest you started getting familiar with a search engine as soon as possible, as it will be your gateway to the online universe.

But, what is a search engine? A search engine is designed to search for information on the www (world wide web). You can search for web pages containing data, images, videos, news, etc. The three most popular search engines are:

  • Google (91%)
  • Yahoo (4%)
  • Bing (3%)

Say you want to use Google.  Simply type in the web address http://www.google.com/ in the Address field at the top of the page.

From that moment on, whenever you want to search for information, just type in the keywords of your search in the search field and press Enter on your keyboard.

I hope the image below clarifies it:


Step 3: Selecting results

After typing in the keywords of your search, it is likely that you will get numerous results. How to know which page is more reliable than others? Well, as a general rule, organizations and government pages are normally more reliable than independent or personal websites. But even these can be biased or one-sided.

So, often use your common sense and don’t forget to protect your computer with a good antivirus program. Check out Panda’s!

Tips

The search engine will give you access to “everything”, however, here go a few examples of very useful pages:

  • Netlingo: Glossary on basic computer terms. http://www.netlingo.com/
  • Wikipedia: Collaborative encyclopaedia on pretty much any subject. Users have globally and gradually built knowledge. It is quite reliable but check the sources of the articles just in case.
  • Skype: Site which allows for free telephone calls to people you know anywhere in the world. If your computer has a webcam, you can see the people you talk to in real time.
  • Facebook: This is the most used social network in the world, with over 500 million users, the average age being 38!
  • Flickr: Site to share pictures with your friends and acquaintances.
  • Youtube: check out videos of your favourite artists, TV interviews, even from when TV was in black and white.. free!
  • Grooveshark: Listen to your favourite music completely free!

Articles

Customer Experience for 2012

In Security,Uncategorized on November 3, 2011 by tecnologyantivirus Tagged: ,

Published by Ana Etxebarria, November 2011

Customer experiences are on the brink of a new era. Web sites have become critical to influencing decision making and building a stronger relationship between the brand and the end-customer. And already the sheer number of devices consumers have at their disposal – and the types of interactions they expect- quickly make today’s “be4st practice” tomorrow’s old news.

Let’s have a brief look at some impressive figures provided by Gartner:

  • 30 billion pieces of content were added to Facebook this past month.
  • Worldwide IP traffic will quadruple by 2015.
  • More than two billion videos were watched on YouTube … yesterday.
  • The average teenager sends 4,762 text messages per month.
  • 32 billion searches were performed last month … on Twitter.

So, the question is, how is Social Media paving the way for the future of Customer Service & Support Centers?

Like in the majority of areas within an organization, social media is changing the way customer interacts with the software vendor.

YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. have taken the CRM world by storm and now it is a business norm to interact with customers in real time utilizing this modern technology. Customers that follow companies on social networking sites expect that we will be able to get a fast response. If that need for a response is not met, this has the potential to escalate into increased complaints on social networks and a poor public impression of a company. If customers are pleased with companies, however, they can also use Facebook or Twitter to praise those companies, leading to a more positive public perception.

Panda has already an official Twitter account for Technical Support and Customer Service @PandaTechSup and a Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/PandaSecurity. In 2012, we can expect to have to do more customer service online and dedicate resources to staying on top of online commentary and responding to it in a timely manner. The old saying, “the customer is always right” is more important than ever in a competitive and difficult economy. Customer loyalty and satisfaction is a key component to any organization’s success and bottom line.