Posts Tagged ‘social networks’

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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

Twitter Etiquette

In Twitter,Uncategorized on November 23, 2011 by tecnologyantivirus Tagged: , , ,

Posted by Leyre Velasco

As we have previously said in many posts, social networks enable communication among millions of users from around the globe. And, just like any form of communication, the Internet is a community that has its own form of etiquette. In my own case, I just have to look at how my Facebook friends or the people I follow on Twitter behave to know how to act, as it is users themselves that have made these rules.

Today, we’ll help you avoid the biggest etiquette pitfalls with these tips:

  1. Thank people for their retweets. On Twitter, a ‘retweet’ (or RT) is a previously tweeted message that you share with your followers. It is important to thank for RTs on social media. There are several ways to thank someone for a retweet, and some of them are really funny, as you can see in the following article: 30 Ways to Say Thank You for a Re-Tweet.
  2. Use #FF: On Twitter, keywords are preceded by # symbols (or hashtags). If you tag a user name and then the hashtag #FF or Follow Friday, you are signaling to your followers that you endorse those people and they are worth being followed. Now, if someone has included you in a #FF list, you should give them a #FF recommendation as well, thank them for doing so, or both.
  3. Attempting to follow someone and then unfollow them before they can follow you is considered rude.
  4. Don’t ask your friends for a RT of your tweets. Retweeting a message should be a personal option. If someone likes your tweets, they will retweet them, don’t worry.
  5. Don’t use Twitter to promote yourself. Some people only tweet their own blog posts or use Twitter for their own professional gain only.
  6. Avoid bombarding your followers with tweets that will flood their timeline. Even if you think your tweets are irresistible…

Well, these have been a few tips on Twitter etiquette. I must admit I don’t always follow them and it is not out of rudeness, as I am truly convinced of the value of good manners, but sometimes I don’t have as much time as I’d like to fulfill the protocol to return mentions, retweets or follow fridays. And on the social networks just like outside the net, I don’t think an untimely response is considered good manners 😉

How do you act on the Web?

Articles

Top Five malware in 2010. Protect yourself against them with Panda Antivirus!

In Malware,Uncategorized on January 19, 2011 by tecnologyantivirus Tagged: , ,

Posted by Blanca Carton, January 2011

Every year, PandaLabs, Panda Security’s anti-malware laboratory, publishes an annual malware report discussing the year’s most virulent threats. In 2010, this task was made all the more difficult as PandaLabs had to analyze and shift through no less than 20 million new viruses.

This report is also used as the basis for the company’s ‘Virus Yearbook’, which rather than a definitive list of threats that have infected most computers or caused more damage, is simply a summary of some of the viruses that, for one reason or another, have caught our eye.

Here are the Top Five:

  1. The mischievous Mac lover: This title has been earned by a remote-control program with the worrying name of HellRaiser.A. It only affects Mac systems and needs user consent to install on a computer. Yet once installed, it can take remote control of the system and perform a whole host of functions… it can even open the DVD tray!
  2. The Good Samaritan: Surely some of you will have guessed… Bredolab.Y comes disguised as a message from Microsoft Support claiming that a new security patch for Outlook has to be installed immediately… But watch out! If you download it you will have installed the SecurityTool rogueware, which will start telling you that your system is infected and that you should buy a certain solution to fix it. Of course, if you pay for the program, you will never receive it, it will not resolve the problem and that’s the last you will see of your money…
  3. Linguist of the year: Our award for the linguist of the year goes to MSNWorm.IE. This virus, which in itself is nothing special, is distributed via Messenger with a link tempting the user into viewing a photo… in 18 languages!
  4. The most annoying: Remember how viruses used to be? Or those ‘jokes’ that once installed would ask: “Are you sure you want to close the program? Yes – No?”. No matter what you clicked, the same screen would appear: “Are you sure you want to close the program?”, time and time again, enough to try the patience of a saint… Well that’s what this worm does: Oscarbot.YQ. Once it is installed, start praying, or doing yoga, or meditating… whatever you can think of, because it will drive you mad. Every time you close it, another screen opens asking another question, or opening a browser window, or… The most annoying, without a doubt.
  5. Insect of the year: We would like to make special mention of the Mariposa (Butterfly) botnet, which was dismantled in March and led to the arrest of the creators thanks to the collaboration between Panda Security, the Spanish Civil Guard, FBI and Defense Intelligence… Like a true insect, it fed on the nectar of other people’s computers, flitting from one to another… and compromised a total of 13 million computers around the world.

How to protect yourself against attacks

The first rule is to use your common sense. If you receive an email message with attachments from a dubious source, delete it.

Be careful when surfing the Web. Avoid downloading programs from unknown websites. And even if you know the source, stay alert and take all necessary precautions before opening them.

Finally, to be completely protected it is essential that you have an antivirus installed and updated, regardless of whether your operating system is Windows or Mac.

Remember, if you have any questions about the operation of your product, you can always find the answers in the articles published on the Panda Security support website, in the videos posted on our YouTube Support Channel or by contacting our expert technicians through the Tech Support forum.

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This is an extract from the Post published by PandaLabs Recaps Year of Malware with its Virus Yearbook 2010

Articles

Home Alone and passwords

In Uncategorized on June 2, 2010 by tecnologyantivirus Tagged: , , , ,

Published by Javier Merchan, May 2nd 2010

Remember a film called Home Alone where a young boy called Kevin is left at home by mistake while his family goes on a Christmas vacation to Paris?

home_aloneAnd what’s this got to do with support or IT?  Nothing really, it’s just that I keep on forgetting things, mostly my passwords. It must be because I’m getting old.

The number of passwords we use for specific applications is increasing: work computer, personal computer, Gmail mailbox, Twitter, Facebook… not to mention telephone and credit card PINs.  If I don’t even know my home number (as I never call home), how can I be expected to remember all the passwords I use? Being highly intelligent, I decided to use the same password for most of my applications to avoid forgetting it.

Is that really a smart move?  No it isn’t, it’s a very common error. We don’t consider passwords to be important. It’s like using a single key for your car, house, office, bank… Imagine you leave it at home by mistake or it falls out of your pocket.

Even if you have a strong password, someone could get hold of it (please tear up the post-it note next to your PC which includes your password and dispose of it in several bins) using Trojans, phishing and other malicious methods. However, I’ll leave it to my colleagues in PandaLabs to explain that in another post.

Most browsers store the passwords used so you don’t have to remember them every time you access an application like Facebook or Twitter. But, is this safe?  If you always use your computer this may not be that dangerous, but if you share the computer you could be in for a surprise.

A few days ago, a friend told me over Facebook that after being married to his wife for many years, he wanted to break up with her. He had fallen in love with a work colleague and was going to leave everything in order to be with her. You can imagine the reaction on Facebook: his family (mainly his in-laws) asking for explanations, work colleagues under suspicion for breaking up the family, lost friends… and all because he accessed Facebook from a computer at an IT trade fair and forgot to close the session. Someone had used the same computer, gone into Facebook with his profile and passed himself off as my friend. It wasn’t easy explaining the situation, especially to his wife!

Passwords are keys to access applications and their importance is grossly underestimated. Everyone has, at one time or another, created passwords using their name and birth date (john1974) or the name of their loved ones. This is a mistake, it’s like giving away your keys and asking people to enter your home or steal your car.

Here are a few tips to create and use strong passwords:

  • Combine alphanumeric characters to create your passwords, and create different passwords for email, social networks, etc.  The more complex, the more difficult to copy.
  • Size does matter: the longer the password, the stronger it will be.
  • Do not use your name and phone number (john2124561234), easy passwords (123456) or your pet’s name, as this information could be (although it shouldn’t) on social networks such as Facebook.
  • Use all sorts of characters: ‘@’ instead of ‘a’, ‘I’ instead of ‘i’…
  • Use words or sentences that are easy to remember but difficult to guess.
  • Do not reveal your passwords or send them via email.
  • Change your passwords frequently. Passwords are like toothbrushes: no one should use yours, and you should change it regularly.
  • Do not enter passwords on shared computers.

The best advice is to use common sense.  The theory is simple, but I hardly ever put it into practice. As the saying goes, do what I say, not what I do. This post will at least be useful to realize that what I usually do is not right.

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I have been working in Panda Security since 2001 and I am the PR Coordinator.  This may sound strange, but it consists of working with our offices worldwide to coordinate PR and Communication actions. I love sports (lately I prefer to watch rather than take part), reading and good movies… This is subjective, as some people may consider Rambo a good movie, and others may like French movies where the main characters look at each other through a window while the rain is pouring down it. You can contact me in http://twitter.com/javiermerchan or josejavier.merchan@pandasecurity.com

Articles

Why do we act so differently in our virtual worlds?

In Presentations,Uncategorized on May 19, 2010 by tecnologyantivirus Tagged: , , , , , ,

Published by Darragh Kelly, May 19th 2010

Social media is being embraced by individuals and companies in all industries and internally across all company silos. Whether companies are adapting to or embracing new media correctly is up for discussion what is not however is the ever increasing use of this new media which is gradually becoming more integrated in today’s business communication processes.

So we are all, the business and individual, starting to leverage the many benefits of being connected to the masses in this new form. However, there are also other not so positive aspects to this connectivity; whilst minimal they must not be discarded.

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  • Anything that connects or congregates the masses has a certain element of risk and this risk must be managed. We can see this quite clearly in airports, train stations, sports stadiums, etc. In these physical spaces we can see that security is implemented to counter act the probable risks.  In these situations we can see how the officials at these physical spaces (airports,…), take these security precautions on our behalf and for the overall integrity of the environment.
  • As individuals this security is comforting, even though we may complain about long queues, etc. we understand that it is necessary. However, we also know that this security is not all inclusive. When we are in crowded areas, even though official security exists, we are always more conscious of our vulnerabilities. For the same reason we take certain precautions in order to protect ourselves. Such precautions could include making sure our bags are closed, that are wallets are in our inside jacket pockets and difficult to access. My wife, for example, will wear specific hand bags which she wears closer to her person.
  • In addition, if we see posters like “Beware of pickpocketers” we are even more cautious, this makes us recheck our personal security protocol: our wallets, money, passports, etc. and we do this almost sub consciously.

So we know that there are inherent risks in crowded areas and generally speaking we act accordingly and if we are additionally warned we will become even more cautious.

So, why then do we congregate through social media without taking any precautions? And why do we not pay any attention to the security warnings? I know that all IT security companies, including my own Panda Security, are trying to get those “posters” everywhere they can but apparently it is proving to be an uphill battle.

I am no anthropologist but I have a theory as to why this happens, and like all theories I cannot prove it and I don’t claim that it is right, it’s just my theory…in which I think the following 3 factors are part of the problem: environment, pain (cause and effect) and social fabric.

Before I go into each point above I would also mention that there is an obvious variable in this equation and that is the novelty of the threat. It is all so relatively new, we still have not been affected enough to internalize the situation as we have with other threats so I believe there is a learning curve here in which we must mature and the socialization of this information is key. However, that being said I still feel there are other factors which are not so tangible and they are as follows:

Environment:

  • Physical: In the physical crowd we are more cautious in unfamiliar spaces. This is a basic defense mechanism in which we constantly look for the known and when we do not find it we know that there is a variable of risk. The risk variable causes uncertainty and influences our actions, as such we take precautions.
  • Virtual: We congregate in our virtual worlds (networks, communities) whilst, obviously, being physically in our safe, familiar physical contexts, such as our homes or work places. As such we do not perceive the danger associated with our virtual surroundings, it gives us a false sense of security.

Pain (cause and effect):

  • I  am outside my knowledge area here, however I will try. In the physical world if you get pick pocketed this would be a horrendous ordeal for the person involved. I would imagine that this creates a feeling of personal vulnerability and sense of violation. This has never happened to me; however it is pretty clear in my mind that there are serious consequences if I am not careful. You can visualize the consequences and as such internalize what could happen.
  • In the virtual world, however, it all seems to be a lot of harmless clicks. You cannot visualize the actual attack as it is all a lot of 101110011001. Also we do not associate The negative consequences, and believe me they exist, with our actions. Our PC runs slower, Internet connection is slower, PC blocks completely. At a business level, mail servers running slow, staff complaining about IT problems etc. However, we do not have that same clear cause and effect as we mentioned in the real world, it is obviously annoying what is happening but…. these things happen, …after all its IT, right?

Trust / Social Fabric:

  • It has been seen at least in virtual gaming worlds that gamers have an instinct to trust.  The attitude of gamers in virtual online worlds is to trust and share resources and challenges with unknown strangers. I am sure this can be extrapolated to nearly all virtual networks. Personally I am more trusting in a virtual environment due to the two points mentioned before, I do not perceive danger and I see so negative consequences that could be associated with my actions.
  • I have no doubt that the socialization of these real risks will have a direct impact on the points mentioned above but it seems that progress is slow. This is a huge challenge for the entire online community as a whole and this is my small contribution to an improved understanding of the risks that are out there.

So the take away here is be informed of the risks, be aware and take the necessary precautions. This is not rocket science by the way; there are very simple steps to take which can reduce the risk dramatically.

To get informed I would recommend that you sign up to a security feed which gives updated information about IT security issues and good practical examples on what you should do to protect yourself and data. There are plenty of excellent blogs and sites out there that are endeavoring to socialize this information. I can share the ones I use.

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My name is Darragh Kelly, I am a native of Dublin but have lived in Spain since 2000. I have worked in Panda since 2001 and have been fortunate to have been able to have work in many areas within the company; QA, Tech Support, Training and shortly I will begin a new career challenge in Product Marketing. I find all forms of communication fascinating.

If you want to contact me please check out my blog http://www.darraghkelly.me or follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/D_P_Kelly.

Articles

My BlackBerry and me

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2010 by tecnologyantivirus Tagged: , , , , , ,

Published by Ana Etxebarria, May 5th, 2010

For work reasons, I need to have my BlackBerry turned on in a 24x7x365 mode. But when did my BB and I become one?

Recently, while I was away with my family for a few days, my BB passed away. It was terrible! I didn’t know what to do! My friends tried to revive it: some of them said it was best to reset it, others wanted to throw it down the toilet and a few suggested taking the battery out, but they all agreed that a couple of days without a BlackBerry would do no harm. They even suggested I should try to enjoy the peace and tranquility. What peace?  I couldn’t read my mail, receive or make calls, send text messages, access Twitter or Facebook…

I finally gave up and accepted my new 1.0 situation, and I must admit that once the initial shock was over, it wasn’t that bad. However, I began to realize that I had probably become a CrackBerry addict, that what I had seen on TV was true and that the number of times a day I checked whether the red light was on exceeded health & safety limits.

I will not part from my BlackBerry (I can’t and don’t want to), but I think we should reach a deal by which we both have our own space and a bit of privacy.

If it hits home, I would like to receive your comments. I also admit constructive criticism. Finally, here is an instructive video which I hope makes you smile 🙂

Articles

We all like being treated nicely

In Presentations,Security,Uncategorized on April 22, 2010 by tecnologyantivirus Tagged: , , , ,

Posted by Yolanda Ruiz Hervas, April 22th, 2010

My friend and colleague Ana Etxebarría (head of the company’s Support Division, and responsible for this blog and many other things) has been chasing me over the last few days to get me to write something for the blog. And it’s not that I didn’t feel like it -as Head of Communications for the Panda Group I spend my time writing-, but I just felt that given the time it has taken me to actually put myself to the task, I wanted to produce something worthwhile.

yolandaruizpandasecurityInspiration finally came from an interview about innovation I recently gave at a top Spanish university. Even though the meeting was video-recorded and seemingly never-ending, it was certainly worth the effort, not just considering the amount of material I gave them for their case study, but also because it made me think a great deal about innovation and differentiation.

Yet first let me talk a little bit about our company, just for the sake of contextualizing the issue for the subsequent sections of the post… so, please keep reading.

As many of you already know, Panda Security is celebrating its 20th anniversary, something that unfortunately not all technology companies manage to do. The IT sector evolves so quickly that you need considerable vision to stay in the market and grow, something our company has been doing since the very beginning. However, Panda has gone one step further: it has managed to grow while setting itself apart from other companies by developing world-renowned, cutting-edge technologies.

When, during the interview, I was asked about Panda’s differentiation strategy, I immediately pointed out the company’s ground-breaking innovation in all fields and the vision of the Panda team in taking often unknown paths that are eventually followed by other companies… Then, when asked about the keys to the company’s success, I mentioned a few -leaving the most important one until last-: the list is topped by technology, the result of our innovation effort; then, the maximum protection we offer to our clients thanks to cutting-edge solutions that adapt to the market needs, etc. But especially, excellent customer care.

The people from the university stared at me, nodding and saying that even though they had interviewed many people from some top companies, none of them had mentioned this aspect as a key to success. That’s strange, as most of us follow recommendations when buying things, and many of those recommendations are based on the way companies treat clients.  Many studies demonstrate that getting a new client is much more expensive than keeping a current one. Actually, keeping current clients is not so difficult. It does require, however, for the team of professionals dealing with this to put all their know-how into practice so that every client feels like they are being taken care of at all times.

In our case, this is even more evident. Do you know any software that is completely error free?  It just doesn’t exist. Do you know any security software with 100% reliability? We always say that 100% security doesn’t exist. What can you ask then from a security system installed on your computer? Well, you should obviously ask it to protect you of course, but it should also help you resolve any question or problem you might have as quickly, effectively and ‘nicely’ as possible. We all like being treated nicely.

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And this is what I wanted to get to: in every company, a good Customer Care department is as important as any other department. This is precisely what Ana does day in and day out, as the leader of a team of hundreds of technicians all over the world:  resolving our clients’ queries with the best know-how and always with a smile. This is no simple task, believe me: We have clients in 195 countries, with the complexity this entails regarding different time zones, cultures, languages… Our client profile ranges from home users without technical knowledge to highly specialized corporate users, partners of all kinds…

And to make matters even more complicated, the Support and Customer Care departments operate a service via email, the Web, online forums, Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites… I don’t want to bore you, just give you a glimpse into the day-to-day activities of the team. Always with a smile on their face.

Thank you all for making our life easier and contributing so much to the company’s success.

Yolanda Ruiz Hervas introduces herself  “I have worked in Panda Security Group as  Communication Manager since joining the company in 2001. Also, I confess I am passionate about technology, my work, motorbikes and cars and good company (and not in order). ‘Carpe Diem!’ is my motto. You can contact me on http://twitter.com/yolandaruiz or  yolanda.ruiz@pandasecurity.com