If you constantly use your internet browser (especially Chrome), you will probably notice that the more tabs you open, the slower your machine gets. Each open tab consumes resources from your processor.
There are ways to pause unused tabs, such as The Great Suspender, but these are extensions that can cause other issues, even at the security level. Continue reading
For most of us, web browsers are an open window to the endless twists and turns of the internet. But these two-way dormers also allow the outside world to intrude, at times, sneakily into our privacy, record our every move on the web so as to understand our aspirations and influence our behaviour, not to talk of simply infecting our machines, by pure desire to harm or to sell us a cleaning solution. Continue reading
There are several recurring questions we receive about the validity or privacy of UR, and we’d like to address them here today.
A massive cyber attack struck the globe last Friday, affecting 150 countries and over 250,000 computers including those of major government organizations and corporate operations. This ransomware dubbed ‘WannaCry’ is fearsome because once it is activated on a device, it encrypts all the files so that they are inaccessible. At that point, it instructs the computer owner to pay a ransom in Bitcoin in exchange for unlocking their files.
So what can you do to make sure you’re protected against this vicious ransomware?
- Be a conscious clicker: an email or some other form of message can contain infectious attachments and links that can spread malware onto your device.You can simply hover your cursor over email links to reveal the URL’s destination. If you are not sure, do a search on the sender to find out more and stay on alert.
- Don’t be forgetful about updates: immediately install updates to your operating system and to all your software as they become available. Such updates for your device’s system are designed to fix vulnerabilities which ransomware can target.
- Backing up your files is key: ransomware works with a hacker first encrypting your hard drive, which makes your computer still operable, but the catch is that you can’t access any of your files. If you already have your important files backed up on an external drive, you would not have to pay a hacker to decrypt them if you get attacked.
- Remain aware on social media: social media is all about connecting and sharing with others. Therefore, it is essential to remain in a security headspace to avoid clicking on infectious downloads when on Facebook, Instagram, or even Snapchat.
- Always stay official: remember to only download apps from official application stores. This will reduce the probability of downloading a pirated versions of apps that contain infectious malware.
All in all, staying vigilant on the web is the most crucial wisdom. Hackers around the globe are always looking for new ways to make trouble in return for their almighty dollar, so don’t make their lives easy. Always think twice before clicking and make sure you are using updated versions on your system. If your device becomes affected, get in touch with Europol for assistance in your native language.
Owl Detect, https://www.owldetect.com/uk/stay-safe-online/archive/nhs-cyber-attack-what-steps-have-you-taken/
ABC News, http://abcnews.go.com/US/simple-things-protect-ransomware-attacks/story?id=47410339
You may have heard malware thrown around, but do you know what it means? Learn more about the largest types of malware we come across on the web.
What is malware?
Malware is short for malicious software, meaning software that can be used to compromise computer functions, steal data, bypass access controls, or otherwise, cause harm to the host computer. Here are explanations on the five most observed types of malicious programs to watch out for:
Adware is a form of financially-supported malware that usually presents itself in the form of unwanted advertisements displayed to a user. The Internet is filled with these types of programs that can hijack your PC for profit. Most of them are hidden inside so-called “free” downloads and pop-up ads that forcibly install software on systems with active vulnerabilities.
This type of malware covertly collects information and transmits it to interested parties. Information gathered includes web sites visited, browser and system information and IP address. Spyware does not have any infection mechanisms and is usually dropped by a Trojan. A hacker uses spyware to track your internet activities and steal your information without you being aware of it. Credit card numbers and passwords are the two most common targets.
3. Trojan Horses
Just like the trojan horse from ancient greek mythology, this type of malware is disguised as a safe program designed to trick users, so that they unwittingly install it on their own system, and later are sabotaged by it. Normally, the hacker uses a trojan to steal both financial and personal information. It can do this by creating a “backdoor” to your computer that allows the hacker to remotely control it.
Like a virus that can infect a person, a computer virus is a contagious piece of code that infects software and then spreads from file to file on a system. When infected software or files are shared between computers, the virus then spreads to the new host.
Similarly, worms also replicate themselves and spread when they infect a computer. The difference, however, between a worm and a virus is that a worm doesn’t necessitate the help of a human or host program to spread. Instead, they self-replicate and spread across networks without the guidance of a hacker or a file/program to latch onto.
Surf safe with UR: all downloads are automatically scanned for viruses and if you arrive on a suspicious website, you will immediately be alerted.
What is phishing?
Though phishing and pharming attacks are related, they both happen by different means. For example, phishing attacks usually involve an email that appears to be from an e-commerce company prompting you to take action and log in to your account with the link provided in the email.
The website you visit is not the real site but a well-designed imposter site. It may seem authentic to you, so you will enter your username and password, which is then obtained by the attacker.
What is pharming?
On the contrary, pharming is different in that it can happen when you are going to a legitimate website, even when you have typed the URL of the site yourself. In a pharming attack, the criminal “hijacks” the intended site’s DNS (domain name system) server.
The end result is that you are redirected an imposter site that looks like your intended site. Most people can not tell the difference and will enter their username and password as usual, only to be captured by the attacker.
UR has an integrated Safe Browsing feature which alerts you of sites that are suspected of phishing or pharming. Learn more about UR’s safety features.
Protect your online traffic with a VPN.
What is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a group of discrete, private networks linked together over a public network—namely, the internet. For anyone who is concerned about keeping his or her online data private, a VPN is a must-have.
A VPN scrambles all the data that passes through the networks by acting as a secure “tunnel” between your computer and the sites you visit online. By encrypting your computer’s internet connection, sites that you visit and data that you send and receive is safe from prying eyes.
Using a VPN encrypts your data.
Other uses for a VPN
- Change your IP address and appear in another location
- Make public wifi connections safe, which are often unprotected
- Watch content from other countries without restrictions
- Buy airplane tickets in a country with lower rates
- For remote workers, to connect to a work server and share files
- Bypass local internet networks, which can be slower than with a VPN
Overall, using a VPN secures your internet browsing and gives you more autonomy with the sites you can visit.
With a VPN built right into it, UR makes staying private online easy! Access the VPN with just a click—look for the ninja icon in the upper right corner of the browser.
Think of UR as an armored car for your online traffic. We respect privacy and created a web browser to keep you safe and private as you navigate the internet highways. 🚗 Learn more here.