Security

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In view of its immense popularity, Facebook has been facing a lot of security threats from . These days, however, Facebook has been introducing a lot of security features to help protect its users. A while back, it announced the Facebook AntiVirus Marketplace.

Malware Checkpoint for Facebook

Facebook has now announced one more feature called the Malware Checkpoint for Facebook. Previously, if you suspected you may have malware installed on your device, you would either need to run anti-virus on your device or wait until Facebook identified an actionable threat. Now, with the introduction of this new self-enrollment Malware Checkpoint, you will be able to pro-actively obtain your choice of a free anti-virus product to scan and clean your system.

It works like this. If you feel that you Facebook account has been compromised – probably due to a malware infection on your computer you can visit the checkpoint to get your computer scanned free of cost. Sure, you can always run your own antivirus and download and use any other stand-alone solution, but Facebook makes it a bit easier for you.

Read: How NOT To Get Banned On Facebook.

Facebook currently offers two products for Windows users – Microsoft Security Essentials and McAfee’s Scan and Repair. Apple Mac users are directed to visit the Apple Security Updates website.

This is how it works. If you are concerned that your device may have been infected by malware, can visit on.fb.me/infectedMSE or on.fb.me/infectedMcA.

The McAfee option will download a small program onto your Windows computer to perform a one-time scan of your system for malware. It will not interfere with your existing anti-virus or other security products. After it scans your system, it will give you the option to automatically or manually remove the files it flags as malicious.

Read: What To Do When Facebook Account Is Hacked.

The Microsoft Security Essentials option is a full anti-virus product. Upon download and install, it will add anti-virus software to your computer that will continue to protect your system with the latest anti-virus signatures from Microsoft.

Coming back … you will be asked if you want to secure your Facebook account.

Click on Continue if you think someone may have used your Facebook without your permission.

You account will be temporarily locked. I think the account is locked with the use of a Cookie, because I was able to log into the account using another browser.

You will also be told how you may have been infected.

When you click on Next, you will be offered a download of Microsoft Security Essentials and McAfee’s Scan and Repair depending on which link you clicked in the beginning.

Click on Download and begin scan will download the security software – and the scan will run.

Read: Internet Privacy: We Know What You Are Doing On The Web…Really.

Incidentally, if you have tried this feature, just to check it out, you may find yourself being locked out of your Facebook account. I have no idea after what time the Cookie will expire. So in this scenario, I recommend you empty your Cookies folder. That should get you back in.

Additional Read: Malware Removal Guide for Windows.

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Whether you buy free or paid apps from the Apple’s App Store you first have to set up an Apple Account. The account, at times requires you to provide credit card information, in case you want to buy any paid apps. However, some apps are really expensive and therefore removing the credit card or bill payment information becomes necessary, especially if you do not want the purchases to end up on your credit card.

Also, if there is any unfortunate event (losing your credit card or the validity of the credit card has expired) changing/updating your account information becomes essential. So, let us in this post learn how to remove credit card information from an Apple ID?

How to remove credit card information from Apple ID?

  • To remove the credit card information,  go to ‘Settings’, choose ‘App Store’ under it and tap on your Apple ID.

  • Next, tap on ‘View Apple ID’ option.
  • Instantly, a box will show up on your iPad letting you access payment information.
  • It will load another box with the list of credit cards supported.
  • To remove the credit card information from your iPad, simply select the ‘NONE’ option and click on ‘Done’ to save the final changes.

As a safety measure, I logged- in again to confirm if there was any credit card information associated with the account. To my relief, I found none! You can also remove your credit or debit card information from iTunes too, without any hassle.

Hope you find these steps as simple as I have highlighted here and accomplish your goal. If there are any doubts, let us know them in the comments section below.

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All the recent outage on the Flashback botnet and lack of an effective security system in Mac OS X, Apple’s operating system from Apple for desktops and laptop, seems to have worked in favor of its users as Apple has issued a new update for Mountain Lion Developer Preview 4 via the Mac App Store. It introduces the Mountain Lion Security Update System which runs daily checks for security updates on the system and opens a window to update accordingly.

The new security system in Mountain Lion (including Gatekeeper) appears to be a significant expansion of the XProtect system that Apple has used in the past to try to prevent malware from invading the OS X environment. Apple’s recent actions indicate that it isn’t ignoring such malware threats anymore and that it is poised to implement an appropriate security system in place to prevent further happening of the same.

Quite recently, Apple changed its marketing message on its website from ‘It doesn’t get PC viruses’ to ‘It’s built to be safe’, not to forget the release of a new security guide for iOS users.

OS X Security Update Test sy 1.0 — Restart Required

This update tests the new Mountain Lion Security Updates system. The new system includes:

  • Daily Checks for required security updates
  • The ability to install required security updates automatically or after restarting your Mac
  • A more secure connection to Apple’s update servers.

This update (1.16GB) includes general updates and improvements to Mountain Lion Developer Preview 4 and is available to developers with Mountain Lion Developer Preview 4 installed via the Mac App Store.

Via.

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If you are an Android user then you are obviously concerned about the security of your Phone or Tablet. The level of threats is so high and you can’t afford breaching of your privacy and malware attack and to protect your phone from getting attacked you need to rely on a trustworthy security solution.

ESET is a trustworthy name when it comes to computer security and now this high class security is now available for Android platform as well. ESET Mobile security app for Android let you stay assure from all the security threats prevailing out in the wild.

The app allows you to stay secure while you do your internet banking, connect to public Wi-Fi, exchange emails or go online shopping. Your sensitive data is kept safe against abuse and you are protected against malware hidden in applications. The Anti-Theft helps you locate or block access to your device in case it is lost or stolen.

Here is the list of few awesome features of this app:

  • Simple SMS commands to help you maintain control over your lost or stolen device
  • Remote LOCK: Lock phone remotely by SMS to prevent unauthorized access to data
  • Remote WIPE: Delete contacts, messages and memory cards
  • Localization: LOCATE lost or stolen phone by a remote SMS command
  • Anti-Malware Protection: Scans all downloaded and accessed applications and files for malware
  • SMS/MMS Antispam: Block SMS/MMS messages from unknown numbers
  • Call Blocking: Block unwanted incoming and outgoing calls
  • Security Audit with Built-in Task Manager: Monitor vital phone functions, including battery life, free disk space, running processes, Bluetooth and device visibility
  • Program interface localized in 24 languages

Some features are not available for tablets which do not support calling and messaging. The 30-day trial version of the product is available to download for free from Google Play Market. One year license of the product can be bought within the product for $9.99.

But in collaboration with ESET, we are offering 5 free licenses of this app. To participate in giveaway you have to simply add a comment below and share about this giveaway on your favorite social networking site.

Free 5 Licenses of ESET Mobile Security app for Android @thegeeksclub. Get your free copy at http://www.thegeeksclub.com/?p=32348

You can also use the sharing buttons available. Please, add the URL of you status update or tweet in your comments below.

The contest will run for 7 days and winners will selected randomly and announced thereafter!

Update: The contest is now closed and Winners are:

  • Tushar Saini
  • Marco8757
  • Joa13
  • Mrityunjay Kumar
  • Adam Usupov

The license will be emailed to winners directly.

Download the app from the following link and install it in your phone.

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iPhone, iPad and iPod users have a lot of Games and Applications on their devices. These Games and Applications entertain us and help us carry out our important activities smoothly. But did you ever think about all the stuff that a Game or App does in the back end?

How do you know for sure that a particular game or application is totally safe and works efficiently and economically at the same time? What if a particular games or app has access to your personal details and does not share them or pass them over the internet in a proper and secure way? What if there are applications that use up a lot of battery even when they are not supposed to?

All these issues and worries can now be taken care of with the help of a new application named ‘CLUEFUL’ that was recently launched by BitDefender. Clueful is an application that allows you to inspect applications on your device in order to know how they work in the backend, what information do they share, how safely do they handle data and most important of them all, ‘How do the applications take care of user privacy’.

According to BitDefender, Clueful is the only way to really understand your apps, how they use your data and treat your privacy. It looks at and tests all the applications that are currently running in the memory and retrieves audit information from the Clueful Cloud.

There are many apps out there that carelessly handle your data. This might result in privacy issues. There are many apps that access your data, information and location. Hence it is very important for you to know that these apps are doing their tasks in the right way and protect your data and information.

There are applications that:

  • Track your location.
  • Can read and make use of your address book.
  • Handle your credentials in a sloppy and unencrypted manner.
  • Request access to your Facebook, Twitter or Google accounts.
  • Needlessly keep GPS or Audio services on even when not required.

Features of Clueful:

  • Clueful Cloud already contains reports and information for a lot of applications that are available in the App Store.
  • If there is an application that you want to scan and check, you simply have to open the app and then jump back to Clueful through the multi-tasking option.
  • Clueful provides you with a neat card view so that you can analyze and check the scanned application in a much better way.
  • You can also look up an app before installing it. Clueful has a database of tens of thousands of apps. You can get information about these apps through Clueful even before you install the app.
  • Currently clueful only works with Free Apps.

CLUEFUL listing all the running apps and showing the scan results

CLUEFUL showing the scan results for an application in details

CLUEFUL displaying options that categorize applications

Clueful by BitDefender is a newly launched application. It is available in the App Store for $3.99 only. As of now it can only be used for Free Apps but you can expect a new version of the app very soon. This new version will allow you to check and scan almost every paid application as well. And at the same time you can expect even more features and details in the scan results.

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We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us” goes their slogan. They are Anonymous, a group of hackers from all over the world who incessantly have a strict watch over the Internet and have recently taken down associated websites which promote the act of preventing freedom of speech on the web.

A recent John Doe order by the Madras High Court and the blocking of The Pirate Bay (a torrent site) and Vimeo seems to have irked the Anonymous group who have hacked and taken down the official web portals of the Indian Supreme Court [supremecourtofindia.nic.in] and the Indian National Government [aicc.org.in]. However, the Supreme Court website is back up (while writing this article). The point which the Anonymous intends to convey is expressed through a tweet from their OPindia account:

Next on target is the Department of Telecom website [dot.gov.in], Reliance entertainment and Copyright Labs. After the recent steps undertaken by the Indian government towards censorship of online content, there has been huge uproar among the web users who consider this as an attack on their freedom of speech as web is the only platform in the present world scenario which maintains freedom of speech by every individual.

Though the Indian Government has setup a committee to look into the hacking of the government websites and may act soon, but we feel the Anonymous wont bulge and will continue its attacks till it is successful in conveying its message to the authorities.

Update: It seems the Anonymous have almost completed taking down the Department of Telecom website.

 

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Internet or Online Shopping is great! Why? It saves both, time and efforts. Plus, you get huge discounts and do not have to stand in long queues for paying bills. That said; some  people still find online shopping unsafe. Let us see how can one overcome this fear and use his Credit/Debit cards  safely.

Methods for using Credit cards and Debit cards are much similar but the method of using Online Banking service is a bit different from the Credit and Debit card method. There are some specific security tips and measures that you need to keep in mind for Online Banking. Hence we will consider ‘Credit and Debit Cards’ as one part and ‘Internet Banking’ as another.

Security Tips for using Credit and Debit cards safely:

1. Shop only on Authentic and Secure Websites

Firstly, one should use his/her credit and debit card only for authentic and trusted websites. If there is any kind of doubt regarding the website’s authentic nature it is better no to shop from that website. Also, if you find anything that catches your attention for example Improper website design, Spelling mistakes on the website, Incorrect colors in the logo of the brand or website stop immediately and do not proceed further.

2. Avoid Using Hyperlinks

Avoid using hyperlinks and buttons present on the website that guide you or link you to a payment gateway. It is much better and safer if you could type the website address instead.

3. Check for Verifications

Ensure that the website you are accessing has important details and information clearly displayed and highlighted. For example you should always look for symbols like ‘Verified by Visa’ or ‘MasterCard SecureCode’. And you should also be able to find verifications such as ‘VeriSign Trusted’.

4. Check for HTTPS

Almost every authentic website uses a ‘Secure Connection’ and shows the ‘Verification Seal/Certification’ from reputed security companies. Hence you should look for ‘https’ instead of the regular ‘http’ in the address bar.

5. Do not give away Personal Details

Always keep your important and private information a secret. Do not give away important card details like the Card Number, CVV Number, Username and Password that validates the card to any third party/vendor or a merchant. All these details should be filled by you in order to avoid unauthorized access to your card details in your absence.

6. Use Credit Cards instead of Debit Cards

Whenever possible, use your Credit Card for online shopping and transactions. Avoid using a debit card because most fraudulent charges on Credit Cards can easily be disputed, but it would be difficult to do that in case of Debit Cards as the money is automatically deducted from your bank account.

7. Use Installments Option when available

Whenever you have the option of paying an amount in installments use it because, they mostly have a 0% charge. Thus, you feel much safe as you pay only in parts rather than paying the whole amount. Plus, you get your product!

8. Do not reply fake Emails and Calls

If you ever receive an email from your bank asking you for your Credit Card details, never answer back to them. Delete all such emails immediately. This is because your bank will never ask you for your Personal Details via email or via phone. So even if you do get a phone call from your bank asking for your personal details, it is better to inform your bank authorities and cross-check with them. If, at all the call is from bank it is permissible to give them the necessary information since you know that the call is legitimate.

9. Always check your Card Statements

Always keep your credit card statements safe. Check your Card Statements every time you receive them and make sure that there are no unauthorized charges and transactions made. Once checked and confirmed, dispose off your statements completely.

10. Read the Terms and Conditions properly

When you make any online transaction or purchase, there are some ‘Terms and Conditions’ always provided by the Merchant or the Seller. These ‘Terms and Conditions’ also have details about ‘What would happen if anything goes wrong’ and ‘How and When are you eligible to ask for a refund’ etc. Hence make it a point to always read them carefully.

11. Always Print your Order Details

It is always a good practice to get a ‘Physical Printout’ of the Transaction that you have just made. Even though you do get a copy of the Invoice in your email, it is good that you print it because it contains all the Important Details of the Transaction and the Terms and Conditions as well.

12. Please Be Smart

There are times when you will see offers on the internet that are totally unbelievable. Offers that offer you products at very low prices. When something like this happens, be smart enough to understand that this might be a scam !!

Security Tips for safely using Online Banking

The Safety Tips for Credit/Debit Cards and Online Banking are almost similar. Hence most of the Safety Tips for Credit and Debit Cards are also applicable for Online Banking. For example even in case of Online Banking you should not give away your Login Credentials to any third party, you should always look out for Verification Symbols, you should ensure that the connection is a secure connection hence it should have ‘https’ instead of ‘http’ etc.

In this section, I will be covering safety tips that are important when you specifically use Online Banking.

1. Use Virtual Keyboard whenever necessary

Many times it might happen that you are not at home and have to use a different computer for Online Banking. It could be your friend’s place, a Cyber Café or an Office etc. Hence, in such cases use the ‘Virtual Keyboard’ option provided by the bank website in order to ensure that the Credentials you enter during your transaction will not be copied or accessed again from that computer.

2. Your Credentials should be ‘Handled with Care’

Your Online Banking ‘Username’ and ‘Password’ is all it takes for a hacker to hack your bank account. So it is very important that you ‘Handle them with care’. Do not write down your Username and Password in places and on things that might easily be accessed by other people.

It is always better to be ‘Safe’ than to feel Sorry. Following the above Safety Tips will make your Online Experience fun, easy and ‘Safe’. You can enjoy the benefits of Online Shopping and Online Transactions as and when you like.

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Mac users can heave a sigh of relief. Avira have announced the release of a free antivirus software for Mac operating system called Avira Mac Security.

Avira Free Mac Security packs award-winning malware detection into a smart application that almost never needs your attention. Just install it and continue to enjoy your Mac, free of viruses and free of antivirus hassles too.

For long have Mac users boasted that their OS was immune from malware attacks, little realizing that people were just not interested in attacking their computers because of their low market share. But now that the Mac operating system has shown a steady growth, malware writers seem to have taken an interest in it. And compared to the battle-hardened Windows, malware writers are now finding Mac to be an easy target.

In fact, Crimekits for writing Mac malware have also been released and are readily available.  To fight the menace, Apple had also posted a new support document KBHT4650 some time back on its website, promising to release a malware removal tool  for the Mac OS X users.

Now apart from Kaspersky, Symantec, McAfee, Intego, PC Tools and Trend Micro who offer paid security solutions for Mac computers, we also have Sophos, Avast and now Avira who offer a free antivirus for Mac.

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Facebook has a long history of criticism when it comes to privacy, lots of arguments and charges still on in various courts but the fan following shows no signs towards downfall. Things are getting worst now!! Facebook has changed the rules again. Firstly the term ‘Privacy Policy’ is going away and being replaced with the term ‘Data Use Policy’. Now this for a good reason, Facebook will use the information you provide according to the privacy settings you have specified.

The new Data Use Policy will bring some changes to the picture, starting with Sharing Your Content and Information can now be in control. If you wish to delete IP content from Facebook, it is deleted in a manner similar to emptying the recycle bin on a computer. However, you understand that removed content may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time (but will not be available to others).

No control over Applications

Apps on Facebook have special provisions. Applications that your friends have authorized will now know a lot more about you than before. For example a hidden friend list of yours may not be hidden from Apps. This remains concern now, People would have been expecting some improvements in this section but the new ‘Data Use Policy’ doesn’t.

Change in response time

The new policy also says that Facebook will no longer guarantee high uptime. So is it going to be delays before your comment is visible to others? Yes, It is already being witnessed these days. There is no such guarantee that Facebook will continue to operate uninterrupted, safe, secure and without disruption.

But then again, most users will not be aware of it or even if they are, they will not care or bother about the changes.

What do you think of these policy changes? You can read the complete Facebook rule book. 

These Facebook Login Tips may also interest you.

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It was last November when the outbreak of spam, mostly containing adult and pornographic content affected many Facebook users news-feed. Now there is another such spam called as ‘OMG, You Will Hate Rihanna After Watching This Video!’

It has already been reported and witnessed on Facebook and seems to be spreading fast. Basically, the scam or the malicious link has two variants.

Virus on Facebook:

The first is same as shown in the picture below. When a Facebook user clicks on the link, they’re taken to a page that appears to have an embedded video with a Facebook share button and comments from previous viewers. Now you will be forced to share this malicious link with all your Facebook friends. And this will continue without your knowledge. It has also been observed that the virus automatically sends private messages to your Facebook friends asking them to play the video.

The other type is a simple message on the news feed saying “OMG – I just hate RIHANNA after watching this video
ezreality.tk you will lose all respect for RIHANNA after watching this”

It should be noted that spammers run this type of campaign to force people to complete surveys, for which they are paid. Also spammers or hackers spread fabricated storied simply to get user attention and as they click the malicious links, they inject spywares into the target machine quite easily.

How to remove virus from your Facebook account?

Well, here are some tips to quarantine virus or remove it from your Facebook account, if it has already infected your Facebook profile page.

  • Change your password. Choose a strong password with all the special characters.
  • While you’re in your settings, remove any unwanted Facebook apps. These could be the culprit, or the malware could have installed an app already without your knowledge.
  • Run a virus and malware scan on your entire system.

Apart from these, someprecautions can save you from these spams and viruses, such as avoiding clicking, sharing and using too many unwanted applications on the Facebook.

If you have liked this post, you might want to check out some more, on topics like  Facebook, , Social Media.