Tips to Prevent Phishing Attacks

As you know, phishing is a technique that involves tricking the user to steal confidential information , passwords, etc,. They try making you think you are on a confidential site.

So far the hackers have used emails to launch this type of attack, but with the widespread use of social media networks and smartphones with internet access, the types of attacking are multiplying.

These emails include a link that takes the user to site known to have a confidential website, but they’re mere mimics with zero confidentiality.

Thus, overconfident users who do not have adequate antivirus protection, could be involved in attacks that are aimed to steal personal data.

And because of the economic crisis which is unfortunately affecting several countries, phishing attacks attracting people with the promise of a great job or an easy way to get money.

The question is … How can we prevent this type of phishing attack? 

10 Tips to Prevent Phishing Attacks

1. Learn to Identify Suspected Phishing Emails

There are some qualities that identify an attack through an email:

  • They duplicate the image of a real company.
  • Copy the name of a company or an actual employee of the company.
  • Include sites that are visually similar to a real business.
  • Promote gifts, or the loss of an existing account.

2. Check the Source of Information From Incoming Mail

Your bank will never ask you to send your passwords or personal information by mail. Never respond to these questions, and if you have the slightest doubt, call your bank directly for clarification.

3. Never Go to Your Bank’s Website by Clicking on Links Included in Emails

Do not click on hyperlinks or links attached in the email, as it might direct you to a fraudulent website.

Type in the URL directly into your browser or use bookmarks / favorites if you want to go faster.

4. Enhance the Security of Your Computer

Common sense and good judgement is as vital as keeping your computer protected with a good antivirus to block this type of attack.

In addition, you should always have the most recent update on your operating system and web browsers.

5. Enter Your Sensitive Data in Secure Websites Only

In order for a site to be ‘safe’, it must begin with ‘https://’ and your browser should show an icon of a closed lock.

6. Periodically Check Your Accounts

It never hurts to check your bank accounts periodically to be aware of any irregularities in your online transactions.

7. Phishing Doesn’t Only Pertain to Online Banking

Most phishing attacks are against banks, but can also use any popular website to steal personal data such as eBay, Facebook, PayPal, etc.

8. Phishing Knows All Languages

Phishing knows no boundaries, and can reach you in any language. In general, they’re poorly written or translated, so this may be another indicator that something is wrong.

If you never you go to the Spanish website of your bank, why should your statements now be in this language?

9. Have the Slightest Doubt, Do Not Risk It

The best way to prevent phishing is to consistently reject any email or news that asks you to provide confidential data.

Delete these emails and call your bank to clarify any doubts.

Article Courtesy of Panda Security

How to Avoid Malware

Malware is a term used to describe a broad category of damaging software that includes viruses, worms, trojan horses, rootkits, spyware, and adware. The effects of malware range from brief annoyance to computer crashes and identity theft. Malware is easier to avoid than it is to remove. Avoiding malware involves a two-part strategy. Follow these guidelines for staying safe.

Prevent Malware With Smart Online Behavior

The single biggest factor in preventing a malware infection on your PC is you. You don’t need expert knowledge or special training. You just need vigilance to avoid downloading and installing anything you do not understand or trust, no matter how tempting, from the following sources:

From a website: If you are unsure, leave the site and research the software you are being asked to install. If it is OK, you can always come back to site and install it. If it is not OK, you will avoid a malware headache.

From e-mail: Do not trust anything associated with a spam e-mail. Approach e-mail from people you know with caution when the message contains links or attachments. If you are suspicious of what you are being asked to view or install, don’t do it.

From physical media: Your friends, family, and associates may unknowingly give you a disc or flash drive with an infected file on it. Don’t blindly accept these files; scan them with security software. If you are still unsure, do not accept the files.

From a pop-up window: Some pop-up windows or boxes will attempt to corner you into downloading software or accepting a free “system scan” of some type. Often these pop-ups will employ scare tactics to make you believe you need what they are offering in order to be safe. Close the pop-up without clicking anything inside it (including the X in the corner). Close the window via Windows Task Manager (press Ctrl-Alt-Delete).

From another piece of software: Some programs attempt to install malware as a part of their own installation process. When installing software, pay close attention to the message boxes before clicking Next, OK, or I Agree. Scan the user agreement for anything that suggests malware may be a part of the installation. If you are unsure, cancel the installation, check up on the program, and run the installation again if you determine it is safe.

From illegal file-sharing services: You’re on your own if you enter this realm. There is little quality control in the world of illegal software, and it is easy for an attacker to name a piece of malware after a popular movie, album, or program to tempt you into downloading it.

Remove Malware With the Right Software

Chances are that no matter how careful you are, you will be infected some day. That’s because malware is designed to sneak onto your computer in ways you can’t possibly foresee. Enlist the help of the following software:

An updated operating system: Use Windows Update. Take advantage of its ability to automatically notify you of updates, or better yet, to automatically download and install updates.

An updated browser: No matter which browser you use, keeping it current is vital to preventing infection. Take advantage of your browser’s pop-up blocking, download screening, and automatic update features.

Antivirus software: You must run an antivirus program to be safe. Keep it updated, turned on, and schedule a scan to run at least once a month. (Don’t run two antivirus programs; they will interfere with one another.)

Anti-malware: Also called anti-spyware, many antivirus applications include an anti-malware component. If yours does not, install and use a standalone anti-malware program that does not conflict with your antivirus program. Keep it updated.

Firewall: If you aren’t running a third-party firewall, use Windows Firewall. (Don’t run two firewalls at once; they will interfere with one another.)

Spam filter: If your e-mail program is not adequately filtering spam from your in-box, consider additional spam filtering software. If your security software is a security suite, spam filtering may be a feature that you need to switch on.

Article Courtesy of www.pcworld.com

9 Technology Mega Trends that will change the world in 2018

Some tech trends fizzle out and die a quiet death, while others are so significant that they transform our world and how we live in it. Here are the top nine tech mega-trends that I believe will define 2018 and beyond.

Trend 1: The increasing datafication of our lives

From chatting to friends in a messaging app or buying a coffee, to tapping in and out with an Oyster card or streaming music, today almost everything we do leaves a trail of data breadcrumbs. And this increasing datafication of our world has led to an unprecedented explosion in data.

Just in the average minute, Facebook receives 900,000 logins, more than 450,000 Tweets are posted, and 156 million emails and 15 million texts are sent.With numbers like that, it’s no wonder we’re essentially doubling the amount of data created in the world roughly every two years.

Trend 2: The Internet of Things (IoT) and how everyday devices are becoming more ‘smart’

The IoT – which encompasses smart, connected products like smart phones and smart watches –is a major contributing factor in this exponential increase in data. That’s because all these smart devices are constantly gathering data, connecting to other devices and sharing that data – all without human intervention (your Fitbit synching data to your phone, for instance).

Pretty much anything can be made smart these days. Our cars are becoming increasingly connected; by 2020, a quarter of a billion cars will be hooked up to the Internet. For our homes, there are obvious smart products like TVs,and less obvious ones, like yoga mats that trackyour Downward Dog. And, of course, many of us have voice-enabled personal assistants like Alexa – another example of an IoT device.

That’s already a lot of devices, but the IoT is just getting started. IHS has predicted there’ll be 75 billion connected devices by 2020.

Trend 3: Exponential growth in computing power is fueling massive tech advances

None of this incredible growth in data, nor the billions of IoT devices available,would be possible without the enormous leaps in computing power that we’ve made. Between 1975 and 2015, computing power doubled at a rate of every two years, before slowing to the current rate of approximately every two and a half years.

But we’re reaching the limits of what traditional computing power can handle. Thankfully, on the horizon, we have quantum computing. Probably the most significant transformation of computing power ever, quantum computing will see computers become millions of times faster than they are right now. Tech leaders are in a race to launch the first commercially viable quantum computer, capable of solving problems that today’s computers can’t handle. Capable, even, of solving problems that we can’t even imagine yet.

Trend 4: The incredible rise of artificial intelligence (AI)

Computers are now able to learn in much the same way as we humans do, and this leap in AI capabilities has been made possible by the massive increases in data and computing power. It’s the incredible explosion in data that has allowed AI to advance so quickly over the last couple of years; the more data an AI system has, the quicker it can learn and the more accurate it becomes.

This huge step forward in AI mean computers can now undertake more and more human tasks. In fact, it’s AI that allows computers to see (e.g. facial recognition software), read (e.g. analyzing social media messages), listen (e.g. Alexa standing by to answer your every command), speak (e.g. Alexa being able to answer you) and gauge our emotions (e.g. affective computing).

Trend 5: The unstoppable freight train that is automation

The more intelligent machines become, the more they can do for us. That means even more processes, decisions, functions and systems can be automated and carried out by algorithms or robots.

Eventually, a wide range of industries and jobs will be impacted by automation. However, for now, the first wave of jobs that machines are taking can be categorized using the four Ds: dull, dirty, dangerous and dear. This means humans will no longer be needed to do the jobs that machines can do faster, safer, cheaper and more accurately.

Beyond the four Ds, machines, robots and algorithms will replace – oraugment – many human jobs, including professional jobs in fields like law or accounting. From truck drivers to bricklayers to doctors, the list of jobs that are likely to be affected by automation is surprising. One estimate reckons that 47 percent of US jobs are at risk of automation.

Trend 6: 3D printing opens up amazing opportunities for manufacturers (and others)

Related to increasing automation, the invention of 3D printing is disrupting manufacturing, and other industries, in many positive ways. In traditional (subtractive) manufacturing, objects are cut or hollowed out of material, such as metal, using something like a cutting tool. But in 3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing), the object is created by laying down, or adding, layers of material. The materials used in 3D printing can be pretty much anything: plastic, metal, concrete, liquid, powder, even chocolate or human tissue!

With 3D printing, far more complex shapes can be created than in traditional manufacturing – and using less material, too. It also allows for much greater customization of products, without worrying about economies of scale.

Trend 7: We’re interacting with technology in very different ways

The way we interact with technology has changed dramatically in recent years – and is still changing. Thanks to smart phones and tablets, we can carry out a whole range of tasks on the move simply by touching a screen. Mobile web usage has increased to the point where, in 2016, it overtook web usage through traditional computers. Google has also confirmed that searches on mobile devices now outstrip desktop searches.

We’re also talking to our devices, using voice searches via Siri and the like. Estimates suggest that, by 2020, 50 percent of all searches will be voice searches, and around 30 percent will involve no screen whatsoever. As a result, all kinds of businesses are gradually integrating their products with the likes of Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant. For example, Alexa is being integrated into BMWs from 2018.

Virtual reality and augmented reality represent the next huge leap in interface innovation, transforming how businesses interact with customers.

Trend 8: Blockchains: An invention that could change our world

Blockchain technology is a very practical solution to the problem of storing, authenticating and protecting data. Think of a blockchain as a decentralized, extremely secure database. Or, to get slightly more technical, it’s a distributed, peer-to-peer ledger of records. While nothing is ever totally ‘hack-proof’, blockchain represents a huge leap forward compared to our current data security technology as, unlike a centralized database, there’s no one single point of failure.

The records in a blockchain are called ‘blocks’ and every block is connected to the previous block (hence, ‘block’ and ‘chain’). The whole chain is self-managed, which means there’s no one person or organization in charge of the entire chain. If that sounds familiar, it might be because the virtual currency Bitcoin functions on blockchain technology.

Financial services, insurance and healthcare are just some of the sectors where blockchains are likely to be heavily adopted. In fact, 90 percent of major European and North American banks are exploring blockchain solutions.

Trend 9: Platforms are the way forward for businesses

A platform is essentially a network (digital or physical) that creates value for participants by facilitating connections and exchanges between people for services, products or information. The platform is rarely the actual service provider; instead, it acts as a facilitator for the crowd, making interactions possible, easy, and safe for participants.

Platforms have given rise to businesses like Airbnb, Uber and Amazon, and are also the foundation of what Facebook and Twitter do. However, platforms offer growth opportunities across all kinds of businesses, industries and sectors – not just tech companies. Even long-running businesses with more traditional business models, like Ford, are beginning to develop platform strategies.

Article courtesy of www.forbes.com
written by Bernard Marr

Telephone tech support scams. What you need to know

Cybercriminals often use publicly available phone directories, so they might know your name and other personal information when they call you. They might even guess what operating system you’re using.

Once they’ve gained your trust, they might ask for your user name and password or ask you to go to a legitimate website (such as www.ammyy.com) to install software that will let them access your computer to fix it. Once you do this, your computer and your personal information are vulnerable.

Do not trust unsolicited calls. Do not provide any personal information.

Scam Pop-Ups: What You Need to Know

Another well-known trick is the website pop-up, that little browser window that sometimes appears while you’re searching the Web. Cybercriminals set up websites with scam pop-ups with messages and phone numbers. These pop-ups usually are not easy to close.

While some pop-ups are useful and important, others are traps that attempt to mislead you into revealing sensitive personal or financial information, paying for fake anti-virus software, or even installing malware and viruses onto your device.

Do not call the number in the pop-up. Microsoft’s error and warning messages never include a phone number.

Here are some of the organizations that cybercriminals claim to be from:

  • Windows Helpdesk
  • Windows Service Center
  • Microsoft Tech Support
  • Microsoft Support
  • Windows Technical Department Support Group
  • Microsoft Research and Development Team (Microsoft R & D Team)

How to report tech support scams

Article courtesy of Microsoft.com

Screen time before bed linked with less sleep, higher BMIs in kids

Dec 7, 2017
It may be tempting to let your kids stay up late playing games on their smartphones, but using digital devices before bed may contribute to sleep and nutrition problems in children,  according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

After surveying parents about their kids’ technology and sleep habits, researchers found that using technology before bed was associated with less sleep, poorer sleep quality, more fatigue in the morning and — in the children that watched TV or used their cell phones before bed — higher body mass indexes (BMI).

Caitlyn Fuller, medical student, said the results — published in the journal Global Pediatric Health — may suggest a vicious cycle of technology use, poor sleep and rising BMIs.

“We saw technology before bed being associated with less sleep and higher BMIs,” Fuller said. “We also saw this technology use being associated with more fatigue in the morning, which circling back, is another risk factor for higher BMIs. So we’re seeing a loop pattern forming.”

Previous research has found associations between more technology use and less sleep, more inattention…… read more

Article courtesy of Science Daily. Visit site here

NVIDIA GPUs – The Engine of Deep Learning

Traditional machine learning uses handwritten feature extraction and modality-specific machine learning algorithms to label images or recognize voices. However, this method has several drawbacks in both time-to-solution and accuracy.

Today’s advanced deep neural networks use algorithms, big data, and the computational power of the GPU to change this dynamic. Machines are now able to learn at a speed, accuracy, and scale that are driving true artificial intelligence and AI Computing.

Deep learning is used in the research community and in industry to help solve many big data problems such as computer vision, speech recognition, and natural language processing. Practical examples include:

The NVIDIA Deep Learning SDK provides high-performance tools and libraries to power innovative GPU-accelerated machine learning applications in the cloud, data centers, workstations, and embedded platforms.

Article courtesy of www.nvidia.com