Four reasons the internet should scare you

It’s that time of the year again, when Halloween costumes and candy are calling.  This October, your personal cybersecurity experts at Rubica want to protect you from the scariest things of all: malware, ransomware, viruses, and the zombie botnets that want to control your devices and steal their data.  Here are a few tips to keep your devices from doing the zombie walk.

  1. A little spooky? Siri is always listening.

Do you ever wonder why you get ads and search results that seem to be reading your mind? If you have an iPhone, Siri (by default) is programmed to listen to every application on your phone and listen for your voice even if the phone is asleep. This means that Siri can mine information from your text messages, social media apps, and every other app installed on your phone.

To limit Siri’s psychic abilities: go to Settings > Siri & Search. For each app that you do not want Siri to spy on, click that app in the list and toggle off the Search & Siri setting within it.

  1. Think like a pirate.

You should always be patched.

2019 has seen zero-day vulnerabilities in most major operating systems; both Apple and Microsoft will occasionally release updates for their operating systems (iOS, macOS, Windows). Though publicly packaged as feature improvements almost every update includes security patches. If left unpatched, security holes create backdoors for the skeletons to sneak through.

Similarly, all software programs should be kept updated and running the latest version — Outlook/Microsoft Office, Adobe, browsers like Chrome/Safari, etc. Turn on automatic updates for your software programs to automatically connect and update to patch vulnerabilities.

Attackers know that we are lazy about passwords and often reuse them between sites or use easily discoverable personal information as part of our passwords .This makes your passwords easy to crack, and if you use similar versions of the same password on multiple sites once one is cracked, they have them all. Never use personal information (ex: DOB, kids name, pets name, address, or anything someone could learn about you on social media) in your passwords.

  1. Zombies want brains. And PII.

Your answers to “Security Questions” or “Account Reset Questions” should not include things like your mother’s maiden name or pet’s name. You can make the answers to these questions anything you want, so consider using something unique such as a randomly generated password from a password manager as the answer to these questions. This will help prevent scary zombies from gaining access to your accounts (and locking you out) via resetting your passwords. Your personal information is precious, zombies are always in the lookout to hack.

  1. Strangers with candy…

Hmm.  That caramel apple sure looks tasty…and so does that unwrapped candy corn.  Phishing is just the same: links or downloaded files from emails are tempting treats created by attackers trying to extract your personally identifiable information and data.  Each year the attacks get more sophisticated – phishing, smishing, vishing, and pharming are techniques the strangers are using to get at your candy.

It’s why Rubica stays a step ahead of the undead to keep your devices safe, with internet zombie-fighting experts you can call.