Thursday, July 3, 2014

Your personal data, a coveted treasure

Are you one of those who leave their personal information in anyone's sight or those who keep it locked in the drawer? In both cases, this post is dedicated to you.

In case you are not aware, let us tell you that your personal data is highly valuable. Companies, governments and cybercriminals are constantly looking for new ways to gather them. Sometimes they infect your ISP with malware, as the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has allegedly done. Therefore seven telecom companies from different countries have already lodge formal complaint to court about this.

Nevertheless some companies already have your details and have been experimenting with them. This is the case of Facebook, which in 2012 manipulated the posts that a group of users saw on their accounts to research how they would  influence their moods. Now the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) - also from the UK - is investigating whether the social network violated any law on personal data protection.

However, a vulnerability on Facebook SDK for Android and iOS has recently been found. It could allow an attacker to hijack your user account. There is not a simplest way like this for a malicious actor to access all the intimate details you've been uploading on this social network since you signed up for the first time.

But don’t forget that the most desirable thing for cybercriminals will always be your bank accounts and your financial transactions. If you live in Brazil, you could become victim of a bolware attack, ie, you could get infected with malware targeting your boleto transactions. In fact, a criminal ring carrying out this kind of fraud could have compromised botelo operations with a value of 3.75 billion dollars.

So what can we do to protect ourselves from these threats? The encryption of our communications is essential to avoid any third party intercepting the data that we transmit. In this sense, we have some good news for you! Microsoft has implemented a better encryption system in their mail and cloud storage services, Outlook and OneDrive.

Another very helpful method to maintain your anonymity protected keep you connected via TOR, an anonymous network that hides your IP address. However, if you live in Austria you should keep in mind that a judge just declared it illegal because it facilitated the distribution of child pornography.

If you want to keep you updated about everything that happens in the world of cybersecurity, we invite you to follow us on any of our social channels (find the links are at right sidebar) or here on our blog.


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