Archive for the ‘Cyber Security’ Category

Free Mac Antivirus Software – Take Precautions

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

I have been using long before it became popular. That lack of popularity meant that virus author saw little value in writing for the Mac platform. Once, several years ago during the spyware epidemic, a work colleague of mine mentioned that he was switching to the Mac platform because he was sick of viruses and spyware. At that moment I knew it wouldn’t be long before Mac were a target of malware authors.

Now that the market share for Macs has risen the platform is more likely to be under attack — which was foreseeable. Don’t forget to take precautions and install antivirus software. The security firm Sophos provides free Mac antivirus software.

V Cast Apps by Verizon Spotlights Net Safety Tips OTG App

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Today Verizon Wireless started spotlighting Net Safety Tips On The Go, the first-ever digital safety and security advice app for Android smartphones and tablets as part of National Internet Safety Month. Net Safety Tips OTG is also featured in the Parental Controls Center, Verizon Wireless’ comprehensive website with information to help consumers manage and create a digital experience that’s just right for their families.

Net Safety Tips On The Go, developed by, is available to Verizon Wireless customers through V CAST Apps.  V CAST Apps gives Verizon Wireless customers an ever-expanding selection of games, productivity tools, entertainment and news apps.  We are pleased to be featured so prominently by Verizon Wireless, whose dedication to family safety and personal privacy is astonishing.

The content for Net Safety Tips OTG is contributed by three of the other premier online safety education organizations in the world — Common Sense Media,, This innovative app makes it easy for consumers and families to keep up with mobile and online privacy, safety, and security issues using their Android smartphone or tablet. Net Safety Tips OTG is also looking for additional content partners. Contact us at

If you have an Android phone or tablet download the App from the Market by searching for “Net Safety Tips.” Visit for more information.

Additional Links

Verizon Wireless Press Release

Now Available in V CAST Apps: Net Safety Tips On The Go – The First-Ever Online Safety and Security Education App

FierceWireless Article

Verizon, Google team on Android digital safety and security app
June 20, 2011, By Jason Ankeny



Your Twitter/Facebook IDs Are At Risk Over WiFI Hotspots

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

One of the world’s most prolific and followed tweeters, Ashton Kucher (@aplusk ), found out the hard way that it’s very important to take precautions using open WiFi hotspots to communicate. At a recent technology conference Kucher’s Twitter ID was stolen and his account was hijacked by an activist [story]. We at GetNetWise can’t say it enough, take precautions when using WiFi.

You don’t need to suffer Kucher’s fate when using open WiFi networks at your local coffee shop or airport terminal. Just make sure you are using SSL. Make sure the URL address starts with “httpS://” — the “S” stands for secure. Do not logon or transmit any sensitive info such without seeing it. Here;s how to protect your Twitter and Facebook IDs over open WiFi:

In Twitter, just make sure to type in the “S” into the URL address when logging on. Insert “S” after the “http” and before the colon, like this: httpS:// . Just remember.

In Facebook you can do the same thing. Just make sure to type in the “S” into the URL address when logging on. Insert “S” after the “http” and before the colon, like this: httpS:// . The first time you do this you will see a blue button that reads “Enable Secure Browsing” (See below). Click that and your default login will be secure.

fb screenshot

More good advice on how to “Wise Up About Wi-Fi” advice from the Federal Trade Commission’s OnGuard Online site here.

Download 1st-Ever Digital Safety App for Your Smartphone

Monday, January 31st, 2011

GetNetWise is proud to contribute content to the “First-Ever Online Safety & Security Education App Available on Smartphone Platform.” It was developed by GNW’s parent, Internet Education Foundation, along with Google and Verizon and the content is contributed by three of the other premier online safety education organizations in the world — Common Sense Media,, This innovative app makes it easy for consumers and families to keep up with mobile and online privacy, safety, and security issues using their Android smartphone or tablet.

If you have an Android phone or tablet download the App from the Market by searching for “Net Safety Tips.” Visit for more information. The press release is here.

Seen a friend’s email hijacked? Don’t let it happen to you.

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Spammers and identity thieves have committed a rash of email hijacks lately. Maybe you’ve seen a friend’s email account hacked, sending out unwanted spam. These new email account hijacks are a disturbing twist on an old hack. In most cases users’ email accounts are taken over and used to send out spam. In a new twist identity thieves are using the email accounts to steal passwords and your identity and access online accounts such as Amazon, banks, etc. Often these ID thefts result in the deletion of your email account. Don’t let this happen to you.

K.C. Budd wrote a great set of tips about preventing email account hijacking and posted it on his Facebook page. Don’t be a victim.

Keeping Your Web-based Email Safe and Secure

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Many of us use Web-based email services like Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo for personal communications. Many of my most personal and secret conversations are stored in my Web email account. It’s horrifying to think that my email life is a password away from anyone anywhere to access. Most importantly, use passwords that are hard to guess but easy to remember! That said, recently we have seem some pretty clever practices by Web mail companies to make those communications more private and more secure.

Now Hotmail allows users of their Web mail to provide a mobile phone number so that Hotmail can text a password reset code in case you forgot. This is probably more secure than having secret security questions that can be guessed by others. Hotmail also allows users to register “trusted” computers that are recognized by the email service. See this great CNet blog on the subject.

Recently Google’s Gmail has implement a similar mobile phone text reset mechanism. And it also provides a handy tool to find out whether anyone other than you has accessed your Gmail account.The “Last account activity” shows you what what type of device accessed your Gmail (e.g. Browser, Mobile), the IP addresses of the device and when it was accessed. For instance, if the “Last account activity” report says your Gmail was accessed by a mobile device yesterday and you don’t access Gmail on mobile, you may have a problem.  Gmail also alerts you to suspicious behavior on your account. Here is a more thorough blog post on the subject.

All I can say is, Way to go Hotmail and Gmail.

Comcast Battles Malware Bots

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Malware bots are the biggest computer cyber security threat to Internet users. To kick off Cyber Security Month Comcast has launched for its high speed broadband users Constant Guard to help clean up the bots. The New York Times blog has a good description of the service. Bots are becoming increasingly malicious and many traditional anti virus tools have trouble identifying them. Congratulations to Comcast for using its resources to help its customers stay free of infections.

Is Your Android Safe and Secure?

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Relative to the iPhone the Android app phone is spanking new. The 20,000 or so apps for Android developed so far for Android phones are dwarfed by the number of iPhone apps — 120,000 and counting. In addition to all the fun and clever apps written for the iPhone, there are many security and safety apps written for the platform as well. Whether you want to block porn for your 12 year old or whether you want to remotely wipe clean your data from a lost iPhone, well, there’s an iPhone app for that. Now that more and more Android devices are being sold more and more developers are writing for the platform. That means that you will start seeing similar security and safety apps for the Android. The New York Times’ Gadgetwise (no relation to GetNetWise) blogged today about a new security app for the Android in a piece titled “App of the Week: Lock Up Your Android.” Gadgetwise features an app from WaveSecure, “a free app for Android lets you use any computer to lock down your lost phone, erase the disc, locate it and restore much of the phone’s contents if it is recovered.”

No doubt with more time on the market we will see even more great safety and security apps written for Android. Now if I could just get a porn blocker for my Droid.

GetNetWise Tips: If it sounds too good to be true…

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

As we go online this holiday season to check off those gift lists, it’s extra important to keep in mind these tips for avoiding spam scams and maintaining your privacy as you shop.

  • If it sounds too good to be true, – it probably is. Fraudsters, scammers, and crooks take advantage of people via unwanted e-mail. The Federal Trade Commission has lots of information about ways to reduce the amount of spam you receive and how to report fraud.
  • Check the privacy policy when you submit your address to a Web site – Always be familiar with a Web site’s privacy policy before submitting any information. Learn more about how to read a privacy policy.
  • Protect your privacy while shopping online – GetNetWise offers these helpful tips for:

Avoid Fraud by Playing Games

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Are your online accounts and information safe? You should first ask yourself whether you know how to avoid getting “phished.” Phishing is when cyber crooks trick you into giving them your online username and passwords by masquerading as your online bank, email provider, social network etc.

Phishers send you an electronic communication, usually an email, that you would swear is from your bank, mortgage company or webmail provider. But it’s not. The message tells you that there is great urgency to log in to your account to avoid some problem such as your service being shut down or your bank account being closed. The email links you to a Web page that, again, you would swear belongs to your bank etc. But it doesn’t. It’s fake. When you type in your username and password you have actually just given it to the phishers who are using the fake site. You’ve been phished.

The best way to avoid being phished is to learn the signs of a phishing scam. There are a lot to look for and we recommend playing games to learn how. Both the Federal Trade Commission’s and our friends at Carnegie Mellon University have created games to help users learn how not to be phished. Take a moment and play the below games. Who knows, it may save your sensitive personal information.

For more GetNetWise resources on recognizing secure Web sites watch the following GNW How-To Video Tutorials:

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