Articles by Andrew Sanders
Andrew is a writer on technology, information security, telecommunications, and more
When it comes to malware, a lot of us have this idea that our phones and tablets are somehow less vulnerable to viruses than our laptops, PCs, and servers. Unfortunately, that’s far from the truth.
Our phones are just as vulnerable to malware and ransomware by malicious programs similar to those that infect computers; mobile phones may even present a larger attack surface due to their abundance.
We’ve written extensively on the various attacks that your computer can experience simply by browsing the internet. If you type in the wrong address on your browser, you can get hit by a man-in-the-middle attack. Download the wrong file, and suddenly your browser, homepage, and ads all look different.
Imagine that someone in your computer could see everything you write. Hackers have access to a specific kind of malware known as a keylogger. These pieces of software record and transmit everything you do with your keyboard and mouse. That means every word you type – even words you type and then subsequently delete. It means every email you send, every chat message, every Skype message, every Slack message, every tweet, every Facebook update, and every URL your type into your browser.
Shovelware. Bloatware. Adware. There refer to programs that are running on your PC – and that may be active right now – but that most people don’t know about and never use. These programs clog your limited hard drive space, hog your memory, and generally degrade the performance of your computer.
Monitoring your childrens’ internet usage to keep them away from harmful people can be a daunting but crucial task. Unfortunately there are people on the internet intent on exploiting children, so it’s our duty to protect them from danger. So how can we be sure nothing is going on beyond what we can observe in plain sight?
Android phones may be lower-cost, more diverse in terms of features, and (in my opinion) more interestingly-designed than their iOS competitors. What they are not, however, is more secure.
The thought of having one’s email hacked is devastating. I personally know that if I lost access to my email, I’d immediately lose a lifeline to some of my closest friends and business associates. What’s more, my email address serves as the hub that connects me to my bank, my social media accounts, my e-commerce accounts, and more.
Anyone who gains access to my email address would very easily be able to access these connected accounts as well.
In short, if my email address gets hacked, I’m going to have a very bad day. What precautions should you take?
Imagine the following scenario:
One day, you get an email that appears to be from your bank. The email prompts you to perform some simple administrative task – checking your balance, let’s say, you click on the email, click the link in the email to log into your bank account, and check your funds. Nothing seems amiss.
You’ve just been hacked.
Although ransomware is making fewer headlines, it is still effectively targeting businesses and individuals. Over the last few months, ransomware attacks have brought down news organizations during the Christmas holidays, infected home computers via drive-by-downloads, and locked up over 100,000 computers in China.
If you’re wondering whether your computer has been hacked, we have some bad news and some good news. First the bad news: if you suspect you’re infected, then you’re probably right (check with this free vulnerability scanning tool). The amount of new malware on the internet – particularly the kind intended to infect home computers and small businesses – is growing rapidly. Over 350,000 new malware samples are created every day, with a total of 856.62 unique viruses discovered in 2018 alone.