Tag Archive security

ByJayanthi

ATM hacking

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Cars can be hacked, phones can be hacked, all smart devices can be hacked – so why not ATM machines? Scary isn’t it? This news from the ‘Economic times’ stole my glance and I had to blog about it right away! 

Hacking and the procedure to do it required a bit of expertise in the days gone by, but that is no longer the case in today’s world. Data breaches cost millions of dollars in losses and ATM hacks are also estimated to cost around $3.5 million dollars in losses between late 2017 and early 2018 in the US (Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/01/atm-hack-attacks-caught-on-video.html)

In today’s world, we do not  need thorough hacking and certified professionals to hack ATM machines to steal your credit/debit card information. It can be done by simple tools such as ATM malware cards and ATM hacking tutorials which are easily available in the “dark web” for as low as 100$. And how much time does it take to do it? Just 15 minutes!!

Sounds easy for a hacker, isn’t it?

It is…in fact… in a physical attack, if a device is implanted behind the ATM machine, the machine will give out cash without proper authentication to unauthorized individuals!! (yikes!!)

Since most ATM machines use the same software, attacking one machine will ensure that similar machines can be attacked in a similar manner. Most ATM hacks are performed on machines that run the Windows XP operating system.

How to protect yourself:

After the shocking news of how common and easy it is do ATM hacking, the next question comes about how to protect yourself from it:

  1. It is always wise to use ATMs at well lit locations and those locations that see more footfall
  2. Be aware of ATM skimmers(these are the ones that steal your credit/debit numbers and your PIN) that are attached to the ATM machines and make sure that you are able to use the card smoothly(if not – there is a probability that a skimmer is attached)
  3. Keep track of your bank balance constantly
  4. If you can – try and withdraw money from the bank itself(or try using “Cash back” option in the US and other Western countries)

ATM hacking and other attacks are always on the rise. It is imperative for us as customers to keep ahead of the curve and adopt safety practices!!

References:

  1. https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/trends/ready-made-tools-to-hack-atms-now-trending-on-dark-web-4421901.html
  2. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/01/atm-hack-attacks-caught-on-video.html
  3. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-to-protect-yourself-against-atm-hackers-2017-04-04

This is the third post for #MyFriendAlexa. I am taking my blog to the next level with #MyFriendAlexa and #Blogchatter.

ByJayanthi

‘Sharenting’

Reading Time: 3 minutes

‘Sharenting’ – “What is that?” might be the thought for many of us…it was the same thought for me too and soon I was researching more and more into the topic…here are a few of my findings and thoughts…

Social media personalities:

As discussed in another post, all of us have different social media personalities when we are online. While some of us feel comfortable sharing only our achievements online, many of us share a whole lot of other personal things  and there are yet others who totally shun social media! All of us have different takes and views on sharing information online. While there is no perfect right or wrong here and each person is entitled to share what they want,just knowing the risks empowers us.

The “star” subject:

These days there are videos for every type of content….

“You need to bake a cake?”  “Just go to YouTube” might be a popular retort…

“You want to paint?” “Just head to YouTube too”…

“You want to learn Java?” “Head to YouTube – there are plenty of live coding examples that make coding much more easier to learn…..”

While the subject in the above example is “cake”,”paint brush” and “code”, there are numerous videos where the subject is “children”. Children growing, talking about everyday activities with children, children,children and more children…most of the times the author talks about their own children in great detail. Not only videos, there are blog posts and other means of sharing which feature one’s own children.

Some times, some children’s digital identities are fixed from the time they are in their mother’s wombs!!

The more information we share about them – the more views, likes, shares and subscribers we get. We think we are helping other people out there in the same boat(and we might be helping somebody I am sure) -but I am not sure if that is always the case…in the corner of my mind there comes a faint thought if we are exploiting the children in any way because they cannot say anything…

This is “sharenting” which is talking excessively about them and recording every minute detail in full public view….

I admit I am also guilty of a few posts about my grown children as well! 🙂 But all my posts are reviewed by the star of the post – as all of them are old enough to make that decision. Some times, they are amused and sometimes they are not so amused but I hit “publish” only after the final assent by them!

I think most of us do not have that luxury as most of our child subjects are too young. We assume that we do not have to take their permission and yes, if they are too young – we cannot and we do not have to….

But apart from the privacy thought,the multi-million dollar sharenting question is what will the child think of all this sharing and “sharenting” when they grow up?

As you might be knowing, children grow up fast and it will be just be another 4-5 years before they assert their online identity.

Will they say “Stop, mom and dad, why did you have to record me so much?”or will they share your happiness in all the recording and sharing? Only time will tell…

Conclusion:

So, where are you on the “sharenting” spectrum? Do you share a little about  your kids or do you share a lot about them? What do you think they will think of this in the future?

What is my final take on “sharenting”? Take “sharenting” with care and balance – let us not embarass our future social media citizens!! 🙂

All thanks to Cybermum_India and Cybermum_AU for this thought that transformed into a complete blog post! 🙂

ByJayanthi

Everyday ‘security’!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

This is one of the interesting and common questions  that I have encountered on Quora – “How do we implement security in everyday life?(without any technical background)”

1.We do not have to share our location all the time. Agreed, it is fun to share every once in a while, but sharing regularly, definitely might put you on a malicious person’s radar. So, it is good not to share location on social media. It is also good to turn off ‘location’ on your phone except when using ride-sharing services or food ordering services(or similar to those options)

          LOCATION SHARING SHOULD BE TURNED OFF UNLESS NEEDED!!

2. It is also wise not to share personal pics on social media too frequently. If we have to share, it is imperative to set the option to ‘private’.

           SHARING OF PERSONAL PICS SHOULD BE SET TO ‘PRIVATE’ OR LOWEST LEVEL

3. It is good to put a profile picture that does not reveal too much of your personal life. India runs on Whatsapp groups – but did you know, Whatsapp profile pics can be downloaded to your phone?  In that regard, it is always wise to set Whatsapp profile pic visibility to ‘My contacts’ only.

          SET NEUTRAL PROFILE PICS OR PROFILE PICS THAT DO NOT REVEAL YOUR WHOLE LIFE!

4. It is good to not accept stranger requests on social media. It might be good for business purposes but if you are going to be divulging any personal information avoid it all costs. Cyber-stalking is very easy to do – just following you around on different social media channels can help anybody to create a whole persona of you!!

            DON’T ACCEPT STRANGER REQUESTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Other common security information:

5. Please do not share any of your passwords or PINs of your bank accounts or financial accounts to anybody on the phone.

6. Set a screen lock for your smartphone( for both Android or iPhones)

7. Do not click on unknown links in emails(anything that says “You are a millionaire” or “You have won the lottery” is definitely fake and is definitely a trap to part with your personal information)

7. For all types of devices and social media – go to the ‘Security’ configuration and configure it appropriately

8. Do not share credit card information if SSL is not enabled(SSL is the green padlock on the top left side of screen)

These are all the things that I can think of for now… have I missed anything? ‘Everyday security’ is omnipresent, isn’t it? 🙂

This post is for alphabet ‘E’ for  #BlogchatterA2Z. The previous post can be found here.

ByJayanthi

Security

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Social media and privacy concerns go hand in hand. On the one hand, we love the reach of sharing our day to day moments, our happiness, our sadness with the whole world with the click of a mouse – on the other hand, we are(and we should be) worried about the invisible eyes that are seeing the very same posts too! How do we strike a balance and ensure the security of our information will form the basis of this post. Some of the initial points are general pointers related to overall security.

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