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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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How Technology Allows Us to Play Board Games Online

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Technological Revolution

We live in an age where we can do a great many things without ever even getting out of bed or setting foot out the front door. If we’re hungry or need home supplies, we can place an order via the phone of a grocery app, and before you know it, a delivery guy will arrive bearing pizza boxes or brown bags with your cleaning supplies inside. We can have dinner parties with friends, we can go to school or college and learn while sitting on our couches, we can meet our potential significant others and go on dates, and we can play live online games if we feel like it. There was a time, not too long ago, when wanting to do any of these things meant getting dressed (yes, pants included), gathering the belongings we needed, and stepping through the portal to the outside world; the front door.

Board games have been with us for a long time. The earliest commercially made board game (played either on the floor or on a tabletop) was called the Game of the Goose and was an entirely luck-based game with absolutely no strategy involved at all. The first instance we see of this game in history was when Francesco De Medici gifted one (it was then referred to as Gioco dell’Oca) to Philip the Second of Spain sometime between 1574 and 1587. The game quickly grew in popularity all over Europe. There are examples of slightly different versions of the same game dating from 1774 all the way to the 19th century and rules for the game have been found in languages such as French, German and Italian. The game is very simple and requires players to move their tokens to the center of the board, using clockwise turns taken according to the roll of the dice. As with most board games, some spaces have certain rules. If you were to land on the number 58, for example, you would need to begin again. Players need to score exactly 63 to win the game.

Computer and Cellphone Technology

Certainly, one of the most significant technological advances over the last few hundred years, the development of the home PC or laptop, has brought unlimited information and options into the homes of billions of people across the world. Once upon a time, computers were not hunks of metal, plastic, and circuitry but people with incredibly gifted mathematical brains who would work out incredibly complex equations. The first machine computers were so huge that they filled up whole rooms, nothing like the folio-sized machines we work on today. Thanks to computers, satellites, the internet, and other technology, we can join in the fun of playing online games from wherever we are.

Live games, such as a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, are filmed in one location and streamed all over the world. You can watch or participate in these games (most are streamed with all the players in one location, but there are exceptions) on either your laptop, cellphone, or tablet. You could be on your way to or from work and take your turn in your current campaign, or get a few chess moves in. You could play Yucatan or Hostile Hoarders while you’re relaxing in the park or catching a tan on the beach.

Audio Technology

Back in the day, films did not have any dialogue, none at all! If only the actors in the era of silent movies would have known that, one day, audio technology would be so incredible that you could hear the dealer at your poker game speaking from across the country at almost the exact same time that the words left her mouth! Audio technology makes playing games online a genuinely immersive experience. You can chat with your team about what the next best move is, formulate your strategies for taking down your enemies, or just enjoy some banter while you play. Audio technology takes the experience from being in front of your eyes to being all around you; the same way surround sound in a theatre pulls you out of your seat and straight into the movie!

Camera and Software Technology

Without camera technology, or software to film and develop live games, computer and audio technology wouldn’t matter! I wonder what the earliest photographers would have said if they had known that one day, moving pictures would be so advanced that it would be almost like looking at the scene unfolding in front of you in real life? Without video cameras or developers, the whole enterprise would go nowhere. All kinds of talented developers and videographers are working tirelessly, all over the world, to bring live games into your home whenever you want to play them.

Wrap Up

Without all these remarkable technologies and many more, we would all still have to leave the house every time we felt like playing a board game with friends or having friends leave their houses to come over to ours. The last few years have taught us how to rely on technology to feel as though we are physically surrounded by our friends even when we are not, and the board game industry would certainly survive without it, but where’s the fun in doing things the same old way? Technology allows us new ways to enjoy things we’ve been enjoying our whole lives. Which online board game will you try first?

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Tips To Create an Engaging Video Online

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As video becomes the dominant mode of communication, it’s necessary to master the art of video production. There are many elements that go into successful videos, and it can be overwhelming to figure out how to create something engaging. This blog post will cover tips for creating an engaging video online.

Before we dive into the tips, here are some statistics for you:

– You have 8 seconds to catch their attention or risk losing them forever.

– Every minute people spend watching your video should be viewed as an opportunity to generate leads or sales.

– People watch more than 50% of all online videos without sound – which means they’re probably reading your captions while they watch!

– On Facebook, there are 1 billion posts per day and 300 million comments per hour!

Show a person or a personality instead of an object.

Video content is one of the most popular forms of content on the internet. It has become a necessity for creating an engaging social media profile, promoting your brand, or even showcasing your products. However, video creation is not as easy as you might think. There are several techniques that can make the video more engaging and compelling.

The first step in making your video memorable is deciding what story you want to tell and who will be the protagonist of this story. The protagonist should be someone you know well or at least someone with whom the viewer can empathize. Oftentimes it’s best to use yourself or another person that viewers may relate to easily because they’re more relatable than, say, an object.

Add video subtitles

Every second, an average of 200 hours of video content is uploaded on social media, but not all videos have subtitles. Add video subtitles online with Wave.video in just a few clicks with or without text editor. Adding subtitles to your videos can help you reach more viewers who cannot hear the audio for some reason.

It also helps those who are learning a different language or are not fluent in the language you are speaking. Videos are not only entertaining, but they are helpful in conveying information. It is important to make sure that you have subtitles to allow everyone to understand the message you’re trying to convey.

Capture your audience’s curiosity

You have to stop thinking of video as something you put on your website and let people passively watch. Instead, think of it as a way to capture the curiosity of your viewer, from how-to tutorials to product reviews to informative content. All of these different types of videos have their distinct benefits and purposes.

1) Use captivating visual stories. Be specific about what you are trying to convey by showing, not telling through photos and videos, not just words.

2) Connect with your viewers’ emotions. When speaking to our audiences, we want them to feel engaged with the message and feel like they are being heard. Think about using video storytelling techniques like 360° videos or live video feeds to connect more deeply with your audience’s emotions.

3) Make the content easy for viewers to consume on many devices and social media platforms.

Include a call to action

Include a call to action in the video so your viewers know what they should do next after watching it. It can be a question, a request for feedback, an offer of a free trial, or anything that will make your viewers want to stay on the page and see what they can do next.

Keep it short

Online videos are much more than just a way to promote products and services. They can tell stories, provide tutorials, or even share information about a culture.

The best video length is 3-5 minutes. It’s hard to keep viewers engaged when the video is any longer, and it can lead to abandonment and potential customers.

Online videos should be short in order to engage the viewer, less than 5 minutes long in most cases. Be concise with your message, so people don’t want to give up on your video because it’s too long or feels like it’s dragging out too long already.

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5 Good Features of Earphones

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What are the good features of an earphone?

While many brands have brought their own earphone models claiming it’s the best product in the market, it doesn’t necessarily convince how? Good features of earphones go beyond its overall look.

Gone are the days when people used to put on music and danced on it for hours. Nowadays people prefer to listen to music, podcasts, and audiobooks while juggling between work, traveling, and GYM. They like to be in their own private space without interference from anyone. Earphones in a way help humans from escaping the real world to a place where they find solace.

If you are someone that has been tired of buying earphones frequently, it is obvious that they didn’t meet your expectations. I understand that buying earphones is tougher than it sounds and investing a good amount on them is not possible because most people have budget constraints. That’s why you should consider Addicted To Audio headphones, they have an extremely good collection of earphones that fit under your budget.

Now that we understood why good earphones are necessary, let’s understand what are some good features an earphone must have so that it becomes worth your investment.

Shall we begin?

1. Comfort and design

Ears of every human are different just like their fingerprints. One earphone that is comfortable for a particular person might be comfortable for you.

So, instead of listening to your friend’s rants on how good this particular earphone is, do your own research. The earbuds of good earphones should be made of soft rubber so your ear doesn’t hurt after wearing them for too long.

Again, it should not feel congested because then after some time it would start causing ear fatigue and temporary hearing disability.

2. Excellent sound quality

The main motive of buying good-quality earphones is sound quality. Good earphones have a great inbuilt sound quality system.

When you are trying out new ones, check if you are able to hear the music properly, the podcasts and audiobooks are clear enough to understand, and the sonic system is good to produce volume as per requirement. If these things can be found in the earphones, it is a good one.

3. Durability

What’s the point of buying an earphone if it keeps breaking away? One of the most important features of good-quality earphones is that they are durable enough. Now that doesn’t mean they can never break.

But it should be done after it is utilized what has been spent on it. Many companies are taking this issue more seriously and they are coming up with solutions to make earphones more durable. To check this factor, go to the customer reviews section, which contains a lot of information about it.

4. Wires

If you have ever bought earphones that had plastic wires or rope-like wires, that was one of the reasons they got broken very fast. Plastic and rope wires are very weak and they cause a lot of entanglement when kept aside.

While it’s true that earphones do tangle themselves up without any reason, it’s important to buy earphone that has rubber cords. Rubber cords are an example of good-quality earphones. They help the sound to transmit faster, better and do not get tangled easily. So always go for rubber-cord earphones.

5. Exchange policy

Not technically related to earphones, but this is one great thing to look for when buying one. Most often when consumers want to return their earphones after finding out it’s of bad quality, the companies service agency does not approve them.

So, while buying a pair of earphones, make sure its from a reputed brand and you’re aware of all the different policies related to it.

Bonus tip:

A lot of earphones in the recent days come with a feature of noise cancellation that eliminates any kind of noise outside and allows you to enjoy your music or podcast more effectively than normal.

That may be a very good feature if you are looking for it, but here’s a word of advice: Make sure you are cautious about it while driving or traveling on the road, as it might cause problems for you and other people on the road as well.

Over to you…

If you found a good pair of earphones, it’s no less than finding a true best friend. While the latter may be hard to find, the former doesn’t have to be.

So, keep these few things in mind, you will soon be able to invest in a high-quality earphones which will take you to a different world with no humans (of course).

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