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Posts Tagged ‘cybertheft’

Stay Safe from CyberStalking: Disable Picture Geotags on your Cellphone

Posted on: August 13th, 2013 by under Computer Security | 2 Comments

Did you know: If you post pictures online from your smartphone, hackers can easily pinpoint your location.  How easy, you say? Take a look at this short video:

Pretty scary, huh?  Thieves, child predators and other criminals can easily find where you live, where you like to eat lunch, what park you take your kids to play in, etc.

This is not something new, but it’s shocking how many people are unaware of this threat and expose themselves to criminals.

Now that I have your attention, I have some good news. There is an easy way for you to disable geotagging on your cellphone pictures, while leaving it on for applications that need it, like your phone’s GPS.

Here are easy-to-follow instructions for your phone.  Don’t delay – Disable picture geotags now!

iPhone: Go to Settings, select General, then Location Services, and set the camera to off.

Blackberry: Open the camera, select the settings, and set Geotagging to off.

Android:  Open the camera, select the location icon, select off.

To get an even better idea of this threat, view the following news report, it’s eye-opening.

Hackers & Cyberthieves Continue to Target the Under-Protected: Small Businesses

Posted on: July 23rd, 2012 by under Computer Security | No Comments
Hackers, Cyberthieves, Cybertheft and Cyber Security

Prime Target: Small Businesses

As a small business owner, most state laws will put the responsibility completely on you if you are a victim of cybertheft. If your company bank account is hacked and your money is stolen, tough luck – you should have had better controls in place. Surprised?

Conversely, if your personal account suffers a similar fate, most state laws will hold the banks responsible.

The general reasoning here is that companies should be more sophisticated and knowledgeable than individuals and should have the proper controls and security measure in place.  Of course, we all know the reality of the situation is that there is a big difference between a large company with it’s own I.T. staff and a small business. Hackers and cybethieves know this as well and are exploiting the vulnerability of small businesses with fervor. Small businesses have proven to be “soft targets” for cybercriminals.

The Wall Street Journal has been all over this this topic lately and I encourage any small business owner to read the following articles referenced. The knowledge and awareness you gain could very well save you from experiencing a major cybertheft incident.

First came an article about the general problem of hackers targeting small businesses.  Standing out in that article is this quote:

About 72% of the 855 data breaches world-wide analyzed last year by Verizon’s forensic analysis unit were at companies with 100 or fewer employees.”

Are you looking over your shoulder yet? Are you wondering how this can happen?  Here is a case study of a company that had 1.2million wiped from it’s accounts by cyberthieves in the course of several hours. They thought they had protections in place (firewall and anti-virus), but the systems were not all current and they had no controls on their online banking accounts that would restrict such large withdrawals.  (Call your bank NOW and discuss what controls can be implemented)

As we mentioned in the beginning of this article, historically small businesses have been left to fully bear the burden of cybertheft committed upon them. But there is some good news. Two recent court rulings went in favor of small businesses suing their banks to recover funds lost due to cybertheft.

From that article is this quote that sums up the problem small businesses face: “The truth is there are millions of small businesses that have no clue of the sophistication of the threat that is out to get them,” says Brian Krebs, author of Krebs on Security, a blog that covers cybercrime and Internet security. “You’ve got one lady who’s in charge of payroll, and she works nine to five and…God bless her, she’s up against the Russian mob.”

So what can small businesses do? I’ll tackle that topic fully in my next post, but in the meantime, call your bank and put some controls in place that would limit your exposure to theft.

 

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