Archive for April, 2018

How To Secure Your Webcam

Everyday millions of people use webcams for their personal or business meetings. Webcams allow people to do face to face interactions even when they are miles apart. With such great functionality, webcams have become an essential part of the standard equipment in offices and home these day.

However, “camfecting” i.e. the practice of hacking webcams is quite prevalent nowadays. It is extremely important to take proper steps to secure your webcam so that your privacy is not breached. Following are some ways which can prevent hackers to peek in through that lens.

  • Turn On Webcam Notification Lights
    Nowadays, most webcams have an inbuilt feature to assist the users. An LED notification light turns on whenever the camera is in use. This makes it easier to detect a webcam hack. Users can get to know if the camera is being used without their knowledge and take necessary steps to overcome this issue.
  • Update Your Webcam Software
    If you wish to make your webcam secure, then it is important to make sure that it runs on the latest webcam software. The manufacturer fixes any security issues with each update. So download those updates every now & then.
  • Use Firewalls
    A firewall protects your system by monitoring the incoming & outgoing network traffic. It acts as an additional layer of protection and helps in bypassing most attacks.
  • Don’t Click On Malicious Attachments
    RAT (Remote Access Trojan) is a form of webcam hacking which gives hacker an access to user’s PC as well as its built- in webcam. The trojan is generally installed in computer when the user clicks on a malicious attachment containing malware sent by an unknown source. So be wary of any attachments sent by an unknown sender before clicking on them.
  • Unplug
    A hacker may hack your webcam & spy on you. The best way to avoid this situation is to disconnect your webcam from the computer when it is not in use. By doing this you chop off the problem right at the root as no hacker can spy on you when your webcam is unplugged.
  • Keep A Regular Check
    You might have installed a traditional antivirus software but such software’s are not really helpful in protecting you from a webcam malware. So it is vital to keep a check and regularly scan your computer for a webcam malware.
  • Cover It
    It is always better to take preventive measures right in the beginning rather than regretting about it later. The smartest move is to cover your webcam with a black colored electrical tape. This will help you safeguard your privacy and prevent the hacker to gain a sneak peek into your life.

To know more about IT Security, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

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Cyber Dating Scams

In this era, where everything is just a click away, more and more people are in search of companionship and are trying to find it online. However, this has significantly increased the number of cyber dating scams. They seem more like a bait that victimizes people looking for friendship on the web. Cyber criminals often lure innocent people who not only suffer a heartbreak but also lose thousands of dollars in this process.

How Does The Scam Work

Also known as ‘catfishing’ the fraudsters create fake online profiles to trick people into a relationship.  Generally, the scammers reach out their potential victims through online dating websites, email, dating apps, phone, social media etc. They often fabricate their identity and invest a lot of time to show genuine interest and make things look real so that the victim falls into the trap. Once they have gained your trust they take advantage of your emotions only to exploit you financially.

Warning Signs To Look Out For

  • They claim that they feel strongly for you, just after you have had few conversations with them.
  • They ask for some money or your bank account details.
  • Are not ready to meet you in person and often break promises that they make.

How To Avoid Such Scams

  • Stay Alert – It’s okay to be paranoid and a bit skeptical when you are dating someone online. This will help you avoid a cyber dating scam as you will think practically and not let yourself from being misled.
  • Search Around – Check out the profile as well as images of the person you meet online. Try to run them through a reverse image search engine. If you find that the images are stolen then it’s best to avoid them. Go through their social media profiles, LinkedIn profile and gather as much information available about them online. If there is a difference in information available on various platforms then there are high chances that the person is a scammer.  Also, checkout certain websites such as Romance Scams, Scamalytics etc. that have a huge database containing the list of such scammers along with the email address that they commonly use to con people.
  • Do Not Handover Your Credentials To Anyone – No matter how close you are to the person you have met online, never share your login credentials and passwords with them. Also prefer not to share your photographs and videos, if you have never met them in person and your relationship is at early stages as they can be used by the fraudster to blackmail you in future.

It is important to be aware of such scams at the first place in order to avoid falling into the trap. For more information on various cyber scams and ways to avoid them, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

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What Is Vishing & How To Avoid It

Vishing is the term used for voice or VoIP (voice over IP) phishing. It is a social engineering attack that is launched with a primary goal to extract user’s confidential information and is usually done using an automated dialing and voice synthesizing equipment.

Vishing works just like any other phishing scam. The imposter generally pretends as someone from the bank or as a government representative seeking information. Sometimes, the fraudster may even use voice to text synthesizers or recorded messages to masquerade himself. The attack is launched with an intention to gain access to a person’s PIN number, credit card details, passwords, social security number etc. In most cases, the scammer is successful in making the victim part with their credentials.

When a vishing attack is launched, either of these things happen 

  • A person will receive a call. On answering that call, an automated voice system will ask the victim for their personal information.
  • Sometimes, a fraudster will call the victim and inform that they should call their bank to avail some offer or to provide certain information. The victim then hangs up the phone to dial bank’s number but fraudster doesn’t and keeps the lines open. Victim hears a spoofed dialing tone and some other scammer answers the phone call. They impersonate their identity as bank official to steal the required information.

How Do They Obtain Your Number?

There are several possibilities by which the fraudsters obtain your number. Some of which are

  • Using stolen phone information
  • Auto – generated numbers
  • Numbers and details compromised in a previous data breach

Techniques Used By Them

  • Impersonate As Genuine Callers – There is high probability that these scammers already have your personal information and address you as genuine people over the phone.
  • Holding The line – Sometimes, cyber criminals hold your call. They then direct your call to another scammer when you call them back.
  • Sense Of Urgency – The most common approach is to incite fear in the mind of a person. The caller makes the victim believe that their money is in danger. He/she then acts hastily without thinking much and commits the mistake of sharing their confidential information with the fraudster.
  • Phone Spoofing – The number from which the call comes seems to be genuine and so you believe what the caller says, often ending up in sharing your login credentials or passwords.

How To Avoid Them

  • Never Share Your Personal Information Over The Phone – If you pick a call that seems to be from a legitimate caller, never share your personal information over the phone in the first place. No bank or government institution will ask you to provide your credentials over the phone. In case they do, then ask the caller’s name and tell them that you would call them back after some time. Search for the bank’s official number and inquire from them about the call.If you sense something suspicious then there are chances that the call was a vishing attack launched at you.
  • Use A Caller ID App – There are numerous apps such as Truecaller that allow you to know the callers identity. It has billions of spam numbers locked in their database and if you come across such a number then you can also add it to their spam database.

For more information on IT Security, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

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