Beat the Hackers: Keep Them Out of Your Social Media Accounts

Taylor Swift is the latest in a string of celebrities who had their social media accounts hacked. But this piece of news is not as scary as that of Islamic State sympathizers getting inside the US military Central Command’s YouTube and Twitter accounts. This only goes to show that hackers are getting more sophisticated. If they can crack open top security accounts like the CentCom, how much easier it would be for them to hijack the passwords of regular users like us. Hence, we must be diligent in updating ourselves with the latest methods of keeping all our accounts online safe and as hack-proof as possible.

A gain of some sort , usually financial, is the usual motive behind hacking but in schools and colleges, the reasons behind hacking into someone else’s social account may be cyberbullying or with the intent to humiliate. These can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the specific circumstance, as “unauthorized use or access” or “computer fraud and abuse act.”

Getting our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts hacked bring about negative results, some merely embarrassing and others disastrous enough to push the hacked account owner to commit disastrous, sometimes fatal, acts. Hacking is a computer crime that has become prevalent as almost everyone we know applies technology and social networking for personal or business use. States vary in their laws and the law on hacking of social media accounts is still vague in nature, especially if there is no monetary gain involved.

The recent celebrity hackings of their Twitter and Instagram accounts made no mention of legal proceedings. The online social networking sites stated only that they were looking into the identities of the hackers and made assurances that things were under control. If you are the victim of a hacker, the best thing to do would be to inform the people in your list that your account has been compromised, deactivate the account and inform the site through their “Contact Us” link. In worse cases, such as cyberbullying or gaining financial information and using them, a Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer advises getting legal advice to know your options.

Here are tips for safeguarding your social media accounts:

1. Create strong passwords. We all know the basic guidelines for creating strong passwords but it’s worth repeating to remind you.

• Never use information about you or your family, like birthdays, anniversaries, your pet dog’s name, etc.
• Don’t stick to the alphanumerics. Use the other characters – exclamation point, $ sign, etc. and mix them in, not just at the beginning or the end.
• Use 14 characters or more and don’t use just one password for all accounts. Don’t use any of your social media account passwords for your online banking and credit card accounts.
• A strong password can be created out of a sentence that’s memorable to you, like a favorite quote or a Bible passage. Take the first letters of each word, capitalize some, add symbols and numbers, and you have a password that hackers will find difficult to get.

2. Always use the two-factor authentication.

The two-factor or two-step authentication is a simple but effective way to stop someone from logging into your social media account. It adds another layer of protection for you by asking for a code that’s sent to your phone when you (or another person) log in to your account from another computer, phone or place. The code has to be typed in to the device that’s being used for the account to be accessed. You, the accountholder, will know immediately if someone is trying to log in to your account. Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr have the 2fa as an option that everyone should take advantage of.

3. Check your account’s permissions settings.

Allowing apps to post to any of your social media accounts is giving another party access to your personal information and increasing your vulnerability to unwanted people. Check the settings of each account and remove or block permissions as necessary.

Image sources:
Brian Klug. “Anonymous hacker.” Photo. https://www.flickr.com/photos/brianklug/6870002408 23 March 2012. 20 Feb 2015
David King. “Kiddos planning to hack the library…via Facebook.” Photo. https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidking/4688265136 10 June 2010. 20 Feb 2015

Top Security Issues Among Mobile Devices

Employees today in most parts of the world could not live without their mobile devices. In fact, they bring these gadgets to work on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, while many people have considered their smartphones, tablets and notebooks are their constant companion, not all are aware of the security risks that go with them. Mobile gadgets can also be the target of cyber attacks. Smart hackers can actually gain access to mobile devices in a matter of seconds and install malware that will allow them to extract data from your gadget.


Analysts have been predicted that 25 percent of corporate data will be transmitted from mobile devices to the cloud by the year 2018. Read More

Top Cyber Attacks Against U.S. Companies in 2014

cyber crime

As the internet technology advances, people who have dark motives against other people and organizations are also learning the ways to do their illicit acts. Despite the implementation of anti-cybercrime laws, they are unfazed and continue to do their moves.

Companies in the U.S. even those that have installed the best security measures are not exempted from these cyber attacks. In 2014 alone, a Ponemon Institute survey noted the cost of cyber crime committed against U.S. retail stores amounted to $8.6 million for every company. The figure was more than double compared to the previous year. In the financial services sector, the yearly average costs of cyber attacks per company went up to $20.8 million; $14.5 million in the technology sector and $12.7 million in the communications industries. Read More

McAfee Announces 2015 Consumer Security Suites

McAfee, part of Intel Security, is one of the most popular brands in the IT security niche. Founded in 1987, the company has since then grown to become a household name, with people paying a premium for its products.


Today, the company announced the newest line of 2015 consumer security suites, which have been beefed up to address new threats and to provide added security for potential digital threats. The McAfee line of 2015 consumer security suites includes McAfee AntiVirus Plus 2015, McAfee Internet Security 2015, and McAfee Total Protection 2015. Read More

Your Online DUI Mug Shot Photo: Can it Be Taken Down?

Can you imagine the horror of seeing your own DUI mug shot photo online for everyone to see? That DUI incident that results to having your photo taken can result to the ruin of all that you have worked for. The first thing that happens to a person who gets arrested on suspicion of drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs is that he or she will be taken to the nearest police station. There the fingerprinting process will most likely happen as well as the dreaded taking of photo.

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For many people who have been arrested on suspicion of DUI, it may not be as easy as paying the fine and resolving never to make the mistake of doing it again. Even those who have not been charged or convicted will soon realize that they have left their mark forever in the police records and the Internet via their DUI mug shots uploaded online. Consulting with the best DUI defense attorney may just be something you need to keep in mind, just in case.

So Why are These Mug Shots Found Online?

Apparently because of some misguided need to become transparent, many police and sheriff’s departments have inadvertently or knowingly put mug shots along with their booking details straight into the hands of enterprising website owners.  This they have done by making them available in searchable databases . From the  embarrassing moments of people arrested for varying crimes rose the Mug Shot Website industry.

The Mug Shot Websites

So now, the possibility that you or someone you know or knows you will come across your DUI mug shot is very real. Photos of thousands of people in the same boat are out there, haunting them for the rest of their lives. That mug shot in the hands of an employer may cost a job. That mug shot in the hands of a loved one may cost a relationship. That mug shot in the hands of an enemy can be used as a weapon.

Having Your Online DUI Mug Shot Removed

The first instinct is to contact the website where your DUI mug shot appears. Most would ask for a removal fee to expunge such records. It has to be noted though that your photo may appear in several other similar sites as well. It is possible then that you may find yourself needing to pay an unlimited number of websites.  After all, the information has been made freely available. You may consult with a lawyer to find out if there are any legal remedies available to you. Many are living with the fear of having one mistake found out. For some, that fear may become permanent.

Changing Providers: Study, Learn and then Decide

Being in an online business or introducing your business to the online world may seem risky, most especially because not all make it in the industry or it may seem risky if you are simply a newbie in the online world. One of the scariest issues that business owners normally face when incorporating business online is the privacy issues.

However, it is rare this days to have a hacked system or site and make permanent damages to the company’s system or website, most especially because of the constant and consistent restrictive measures that server provider provide for their online clients. There’s always a solution to hacking problems. However, there are still present issues that online clients should face more than the security issues.

If there is one problematic issue business owners may have premium link building should be the least. A problem online business owners face today is moving from an original provider to the next. One particular example of problem is the migration of data. It is a crucial move for any business owner to move any online data to another provider. A thorough study before any final decision is vital and should not be taken lightly as these may jeopardize business operation including data loss and worse, sales loss. Considering these important tips might save your business from any losses.

If you have been with an online provider for 10 years or more and did a lot of customization, then you may want to think twice before saying a go to the next provider. You are not just making your business loose one leg, but one arm as well. If there is an argument between you and your first provider, seat down and settle things in a way that you will not end up the victim. Agree on a takeover terms in such a way that your company data will be smoothly handed over to the next provider with minor to no change.

Get the best IT adviser from your company or hire a specialist not a freelancer. An open conversation and a consistent up-to-date exchange of information should be a priority between the company’s IT personnel and the manager or the owner because this will enable the owner to understand the pros and cons, thus allowing him to make a final decision.

Test before you get. Precautionary measures is necessary prior going to the next level. Being able to test the other provider’s product and services will enable you to weigh if moving from one to the next is a wise decision.

How to Protect Your Content Against Theft

All site owners would feel good in knowing that there are people who actually read their contents. The feeling may not be as awesome though when they see their work copied verbatim or even in part and placed under the name of another author. Plagiarism or copying of content is a rather common practice in the online world because it is usually easy to do.

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Why Do Anything About It?

Technically speaking, your content is your intellectual property. That in itself should give you enough reason to do something about copyright issues. Just think of the effort, time, talent, and money that you put  into your blog contents before you decide to just let it go at that.  You even take additional efforts to promote your blog like submitting it to a reputable lifestyle blog directory, among others. You are even sharing a part of you in it regardless of what kind of blog you maintain. The stakes are too high not to do anything and the benefits derived from speaking up are considerable.

What is the Implication When Your Content Is Stolen?

When your content is stolen, copied, or plagiarized, the possibility of having duplicate content arises. What is ironic in this situation is that the thief sometimes succeeds in getting more traffic than the original. Adding insult to injury is seeing it rank better than yours.

How to Protect Content Against Theft

It is highly recommended that you include a permission post in your blog which specifies what interested parties should do if they are interested in using your content. You can also choose to say that you are not giving permission for all instances. You should also be paying attention to sites linking to yours for any indication that your contents are being copied. There are also sites like Copyscape which can be used to check for plagiarism. There are also some ways to make copying your content and material a little more difficult like disabling copy and watermarking images.

What Should You Do When Faced with Content Theft

If you come across materials that you believe have been copied from your site, you should file a takedown notice with Google so that the offending site will be removed from the search coverage. You can also try making a direct takedown request to the plagiarist. This kind of request is usually heeded by amateurs who think it is not such a big thing to copy. Serious plagiarists usually require much sterner action.

How Secure Is ICloud?

Many organizations and individuals today rely on cloud services to backup data and share documents. However, some are concerned about the level of security these third party hosts can guarantee.

Apple’s iCloud service does encrypt your data during the transfer and storage processes. But not every scenario may be appropriate for iCloud storage. Here are four things to consider before you choose to move your files to iCloud. Read More

How Parents Can Protect Their Children from Cyberbullying

When bullying entered the online scene, it just made the act easier to do. Bullying of this kind often slips unnoticed by parents and school authorities  because  it leaves no physical mark  of abuse. However, the emotional mark is definitely there.


What Parents Can Do

1. Place the computer in a public place in your home.

Discouraging computer use inside the private bedroom of a child will allow parents to check on their children without being extraordinarily snoopy and and in violation of privacy. This will also make it easier for parents to detect any sign of distress when using the computer.

2. Look for signs of distress that can be associated with computer use.

Sudden stoppage of using a computer is a sign that something is wrong and so is too frequent use. Anything out of the ordinary is suspect. The reason behind unusual behavior must be checked discreetly.

3. Talk with the child.

Talking with a child about his life in general is something that should be done with or without any special concerns.Many children are willing to tell their parents when asked especially those who feel that their parents can understand their situation. This is the reason why trust should have been established early on.

4. Observe for any signs of fear related to school or the neighborhood.

Cyberbullies are usually found where the victims spend much time in like school and the neighborhood. Observing and taking the time to speak with people who spend much time with the child can provide important information. It always pays to know friends and “enemies” of the child.

5. Listen and help the child.

Many bullied children fail to directly say what’s troubling them for fear of retaliation but are doing so in their own way. It is the responsibility of parents to help a child going through this. They should not ignore it and dismiss it as childish fights.

Cyberbullying is Serious

Cyberbullying is one of the undesirable effects of technology since bullies can now follow their intended victims wherever there is Internet connection. The computer which used to be a source of fun and easy-going communication with family and friends can become an instrument of fear and hatred. It need not be this way for anyone.

Cyberbullying is serious and parents should make sure that they know what is happening to their children before technology is used to destroy their lives.