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Unusual Ways Hackers May Try to Steal Your Data

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Unusual ways hackers may try to steal your data

The Internet revolutionized the way we live as with its help we can communicate, entertain, shop, and even visit virtual museums. Last year’s lockdown showed us that the majority of work operations can be handled online, not just a limited set of jobs, thus, encouraging more companies to digitize and shift their staff online even when the pandemic is over.

It opens opportunities for everyone, in its both good and bad meanings. With the increased flexibility for ordinary users, the Internet brings a huge risk, as with routine tasks moved online, scammers’ activity also underwent a transformation. They learned new and more sophisticated ways of stealing personal information. 

Even technological giants with huge security departments suffer from regular hacking attacks, not even speaking of non-tech-savvy users who may fall an easy target for con artists by downloading a free episode of a new sitcom or log in to a fake Paypal account losing all the money that is in the account.   

That’s why it’s better to prepare yourself and learn the basics of safe internet conduct through enrolling in cybersecurity courses and other online resources. The principles of how data is transferred, what is done with your personal information you share on the website, and how to avoid downloading malware and counteract social engineers are just to name a few of the topics that need to be covered.

So here we go some unusual ways that hackers may use to expose our data and use it to their own advantage:

Malicious Mobile Apps

As we live on the go bringing our phones everywhere, it’s a lucrative field for hackers.  By developing malicious mobile applications that get access to our contacts, settings, call history, and geodata they can spy on the users stealing personal information from their contact lists, and personal media. Downloading applications from official marketplaces like Play Market or AppStore we mistakenly believe that we are safe, however, some malicious software may mask as a game, picture editor, or virtual assistant.

How to avoid: Security protection is not only something for PCs, mobile phones should also have them installed. Give preference to the official applications offered by companies that can be checked on their websites. Do not download cracked versions of premium mobile apps. Before downloading any application make sure to check what permissions are required, as it seems strange that an offline game needs access to the history of your calls and gallery permission control. 

Hacking Smart Devices

Smart devices are getting more popular starting with usual smartphones to watches, security cameras, and whole smart home solutions that can run as one ecosystem at the same time posing a threat if they are connected to the Internet. Stories of robbing a casino by getting access to the smart aquarium thermostat or getting spied by your security camera are no longer scenery for a sci-fi movie to our everyday lives.  If villains can get access to any device in the network, all data that come and go through it are exposed. Despite the fact that IoT is still at the primary evolution stage, it brings a serious risk if you don’t pay enough attention to security.

How to avoid: Protect the network where smart devices need to operate with a password both for wireless spot connection and the router, change the default router settings, regularly update firmware ( a basic hardware control solution), and have some monitoring systems like Fingbox to track the usage of your network and verifies the quality of your Wi-Fi.

“Innocent” File Extensions

As a rule, malware is hiding in the executable files like .exe or .zip and .rar archives, and no one expects harm coming from the innocent and well-known text files like .docx, .pdf, or .xls. Here’s where hackers can hide worms, trojans, and ransomware to steal our data. It’s done via macros – the series of specific commands and inputs to automate frequently used tasks. Usually, this method is used in the pretext of sending business contracts, partnership requests, or double-checking some important article. Opening such a file, the malware is executed on your device and infects it with viruses or encrypts data to demand money in exchange for getting them back.

How to avoid: Make sure to avoid opening attachments from people you do not know without prior scanning them with anti-malware. Also, disable the option to run macros from downloadable files by default. In Word or Adobe reader it’s also possible to set up warnings every time before a macro would run in cases when you might need to allow this function.

Vhishing

When email phishing is something that is pretty common, voice phishing also known as vhishing is met less frequently. It’s a social engineering tactic when a villain is impersonating a bank or other institution forging a phone number to get access to the financial details. Usually, a pretext is a fraud related to a transaction from your card or another security incident that requires providing the information on your end to confirm the identity, so that “the bank” can sort things out for you. When people see the familiar number and background sounds, it seems pretty realistic, thus vhishing scams are pretty successful.

How to avoid: Rest assured that no bank will ask you to provide the CVV code, full account or credit card number, and PIN, so whenever something seems off, or a person claiming to be a bank representative, do not hesitate to hang up and re-initiate the call on your end confirming that you use a phone number from the official website.    

Free Software to Make Money and Boost Social Media Activity

We all want to increase the engagement of our social media pages and earn easy money, but the truth is, there’s always a price. And when it comes to “free” money-making software to earn new followers and likes as well, often it’s a scam that either eats physical resources of a PC to mine cryptocurrency for scammers or stealing personal data. There was a case several years ago with the social media application that was stealing login details of 100 000 users to build a giant social botnet. The case with financial scheme applications is more similar to gambling, you install some application, see how the balance is growing, and want to get the money to your account, but suddenly, it’s required to enter the CVV and give out the credit details ( and have them stolen), or pay a small fee for the transaction. And that is not even mentioning trojans and keyloggers that come along with such free software

How to avoid: Remember, that the free things may cost you a lot more than the paid ones, so think twice before installing any app that promises easy profit. Make sure to research it on google, as usually, after first victims there’s a boom of reviews. Avoid sharing the social media and financial account details with any third-party apps that are not officially authorized by a corresponding authority whenever it’s possible.

Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

This type of attack is connected with session hijacking. When you use an unprotected network like public Wi-Fi, villains can intrude into the process of data transfer or communication and silently alter it. Both parties believe that they are exchanging information with one another, but in fact, an attacker eavesdrops on the “conversation” or data transfer and can easily still some confidential information this way.  There are attacks like “evil twin wi-fi” when data is stolen by simulating the legitimate wireless access point leading to the attacker server or “sniffer attacks”, where malicious applications analyze the sent traffic and steal information from unencrypted packets just like the “man-in-the-middle” ones do.

How to avoid: Try to avoid using public networks as much as possible giving a preference to mobile internet. If it’s not possible, adopt a VPN or buy proxy when you need to access the internal working resources

What else Can You Do for Protection?

Apart from the specific tips, there are some general security rules that will help you to avoid the abovementioned threats and many others:

  • Adopt a Strong Password policy and regularly change existing passwords
  • Enable 2-factor authentication both for email and for all the accounts you use.
  • Invest in a reliable firewall and antivirus scanner to block unwanted traffic and quarantine accidentally downloaded malware.
  • Use only licensed software from official vendors or providers in case of using an open-sourced tools
  • Update your OS and Software whenever a new stable version is released

Wrap-up

As much as we may want to predict and prevent cybersecurity incidents, the mission seems impossible with new ways of hacking your account appear every day. But our security is in our hands, and we can adhere to these tips, and incorporate the best security practices into our everyday lives and encourage our colleagues, relatives, and friends to do the same.  The only way to protect your online privacy is to make security health checks a routine, follow the tips outlined in this article, and stay vigilant!

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Best Marketing Automation Software

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Automation is no continued thought a enjoyment. It is the resolution of any strong and effective business in the corporation. Although it may be that it is for shopping, as the “front line” of any firm, that the industrialization software resolution is most helpful.

If you want to learn more about marketing automation or are ready to automate your marketing department, then continue reading this article on the best marketing automation software on the market. Below is a short course on all the features of such a set of tools, followed by a comparison of the best email marketing software representatives of such software.

What is Marketing Automation Software?

Computerization

Marketing automation devices are a component of a more comprehensive software marketing platform. They allow you to set up automatic sequences of operations for a variety of tasks. Outwardly industrialization, you would have to perform certain duties yourself, gently, and clearly. This is why automation facilities are needed. They get on repeated jobs to keep employees’ experience and training.

So how does this all apply to marketing? Marketing self-regulation is based on email marketing campaigns, but it’s also associated with an abundance of social media ads and SMS marketing. It all starts with workflows, that is, workflows.

Work flows

Let’s explain with an example what workflows are. To get started, think about placing your ad on Facebook so that anyone who likes your page will notice it. When someone clicks on an ad, an automation workflow kicks in. He can send this person an e-mail with a link, and if he clicks on it, he will be shown individual information elements selected for this person, depending on his past behavior on the World Wide Web. Or, for those people who see the ad but do not open the email, a sequence of other automated actions can be done, such as sending such people a promotional email.

And all that happens in such a way that you do not need to do anything on your own. You are involved in the process only at key points.

Segmentation

Another useful tool is audience segmentation. You can use automation to make all your contacts grouped according to different tags. This capability is based on data that you have in your contact profiles or that similar software may collect from their company’s websites or from their social media pages. Also you can edit segments and create your own tags and groups.

ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is sold as a means for automating customer service. Overall, that is one of the biggest programs out there. It joins a CRM method with email marketing as a component of a selling industrialization platform. ActiveCampaign combines answers to increase traffic, purchasing, and professional help. Thanks to this software, you receive property selling automation devices. These include automated workflows that can become drip shopping operations. Labels and buttons y may be assigned to clients in your CRM software.(nofollow) These capabilities enable you to target particular selling information that is aligned with the needs of your consumers.

ActiveCampaign has pricing plans. The cheapest one costs $ 9 per period and is billed annually. But for more severe marketing self-regulation, you most likely want the Plus program, which costs $ 49 for one month, billed yearly.

ActiveCampaign is best changed for:

  • people;
  • startups;
  • little and medium-sized companies;
  • E-commerce;
  • client contact administration;
  • selling industrialization;
  • segmenting the public;
  • guide requirements;
  • social media management.
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6 Myths about Website Localization

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The professional translation and localization industry has made great strides over the past decade. Machine translation technologies have appeared and are improving every day. For large and frequently updated projects, continuous localization is set up based on cloud translation management platforms.

There are many misconceptions about the translation industry. Technologies whose pros and cons can be explained in detail by any specialist working in the industry are far from being familiar to business owners and webmasters who are faced with the need to localize a website into a foreign language for the first time. In this article we will try to dispel some of the myths about localization, to help the participants of the process understand each other better.

1. Localization and translation are the same thing

Text translation is the basis of localization projects, but the concepts are still different. Providers of website localization services don’t just change the language: they also ensure functional and cultural compliance for a specific region. Functional content includes time and date formats, currency, weight units, and distance measurements. When we speak about cultural aspects we mean colors, local jokes, etiquette, symbols, rituals, myths, beliefs, and much more.

If your goal is to be authentic in your target market, then localization is your best option. 

2. Google translate helps you save money on localization

Google translate is a great tool for what it does, but website localization is not one of the things it is most useful for. Context is very important for a professional translation. A trivial example: “refrain” usually means “withhold”, but in the sphere of music it is more likely to mean a phrase that repeats several times. These are two completely different things – a human translator will understand, but Google translate may choose the wrong option.

Realizing the disadvantages of machine translation, some localization companies offer their clients a machine translation service with proofreading by a translator-editor to reduce the cost. However, the translators themselves shudder nervously about such projects, and try to refuse them, explaining that the quality of the translated text can be so low they will have to be translated again from scratch (to the translator’s detriment, because they are still paid not for the translation, but for the proofreading – which is cheaper). Therefore, when you agree to a machine translation with proofreading, you need to understand that it is unlikely a top specialist will be working on your project.

3. Professional translation = professional translators

A modern translation agency or localization company has not only a pool of professional translators, but also specialized localization platforms, translation memory, glossaries, and other translation technologies. These save time spent on translation, improve the quality of the translated text, and help ensure consistency across the entire project.

These solutions are also useful for clients: translation memory helps to save money on repeated words and expressions (which can be quite a significant sum, usually up to 20-30% of the total project cost).

4. Large language providers have higher translation quality

This misconception may have arisen from the abundance of advertising provided by translation agencies and localization companies. The translation and localization market is highly competitive. Of course, there are bona fide companies that provide high-quality translations, but there are others who reduce costs by hiring inexperienced and less professional specialists. The main problem in working with bureaus and agencies is that it is impossible to communicate directly with the linguists who are working on your project.

You can communicate directly with freelance translators, however. There are also nuances in working with them: first of all, there are quality control issues and, if the project is large and several people are working on it, you may face issues with complexity and management.

5. The more professional translators are, the faster they work

All people are different and their speed of work is different, and translators are people as well. The better the translator, the more dear their good name and reputation are to them, which means they are more responsible in their work. In addition, there are complex projects that require more attention and immersion in the context.

The norm for professionals is 2000-3000 words (10-12 thousand characters) per day.

6. The more translators, the better the quality

Actually, it is quite the opposite: the fewer translators work on a project, the better the quality. When there are many specialists, the number of errors and inconsistencies in style and terminology grows. The approach that works best is to have one or two translators working directly with an editor.

Website localization opens up new horizons for a business, almost literally. If you treat it responsibly and convey your message to the target audience authentically and convincingly, then you will significantly increase your likelihood of success in a new market.

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5 Tips for Penetration Testing

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Penetration testing is a simulation of an intruder’s actions to penetrate the Customer’s information system.

Thus, a penetration test can detect vulnerabilities in the protection of your network and, if possible, perform an indicative hack.

Penetration testing can be conducted with or without the knowledge of key information security personnel such as system and network administrators.  Executing a simulated attack without warning these employees will give senior management a real picture of the effectiveness of existing security measures.  However, if the server and network hardware has been poorly configured, or if security teams respond poorly to a simulated attack, such “undeclared” testing can disrupt the normal operation of the network.

For this reason, penetration tests are often divided into external and internal stages.  First, experts try to break into the perimeter, for example, by installing malware on workstations.  If this external phase is successful, they will coordinate with system administrators before proceeding to evaluate countermeasures against an internal attack.

Now let’s look at 5 necessary penetration testing steps.

Identify high-risk assets and business workflow

The first step is to identify the assets that are at risk.  This will greatly help in the future to understand the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the organization.  For example, such testing specialists will be able to identify outdated versions or weak security during login.  It is also an excellent opportunity to identify vulnerabilities in sensitive data that could cause serious damage to the company in the future if it was compromised.

Vary pentest providers or expand their circle

It is necessary not to forget to periodically change specialists.  This is necessary in order to identify other problems.  Some specialists will find one problem, while others will open and find something completely different.  Therefore, one should not be afraid to go to other places.  Sometimes it may seem uncomfortable, but from a security point of view, it is a great option.

Know the IT and cybersecurity infrastructure

Cybersecurity is a term that was used ten years ago after the internet began to evolve in whatever way.  With cybersecurity, any organization or any user can protect their sensitive data from hackers.  Although he has been in the business of hacking at one point, he has actually used ethical hacking to implement cybersecurity in any system.

There is no doubt that the cybersecurity mechanism makes our work very simple, ensuring the availability of resources contained on any network.  A business or organization can face huge losses if they are not honest about the security of their online presence.  Because each technology has its own way of making things easier, so does network security.  This is a real way to make your job easier – to ensure data confidentiality, integrity and availability when needed.

Define what’s in the pentest scope

By sending the identification of all vulnerabilities, it is necessary to do another analysis to identify what should be within the pintest.  This will help determine whether the pintest will include only employee workstations or production servers in general, and much more.  Therefore, this point should not be overlooked.

Use the internet

The use of the internet will help facilitate this procedure.  There you can find various sites that are great for testing and penetration testing program.  Also, it is fashionable there to find any information you are interested in and to facilitate your work.

Conclusion

Traditional penetration testing is an essential element of cybersecurity for many organizations as it provides a robust measure of their security controls.That is why such tests must be done regularly and with the help of specialists, such as DataArt.

Protect your data now!

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