Privacy on social networks seems a little oxymoronic to me. We tell the world about our lives, but we don’t want everyone to knoweverything. I know many people who only want some people to share in their experiences, but those same people often friend people they don’t know. See what I mean? Anyway, it is still a good idea to lock down all your privacy settings and avoid friending people you don’t really know.
But what about security?
When using WiFi, the information that travels from your device to the wireless router can be seen/read (or “sniffed”) if a hacker has the right tools. Keep in mind that not all hackers are criminals; some are what are called “penetration testers” who use software specifically designed for seeking out vulnerabilities in wireless networks or in websites themselves. The problem here is some of the tools penetration testers use can also be accessed by criminals, making your information vulnerable to a bad guy.
Back in 2010, a (non-malicious) “white hat” hacker created a tool called Firesheep. Firesheep is an extension for the Firefox web browser that uses a packet sniffer to intercept unencrypted cookies from websites such as Facebook and Twitter. As cookies are transmitted over networks, packet sniffing is used to discover identities on a sidebar displayed in the browser, allowing the user to instantly take on the login credentials of the unsuspecting Firefox user by double-clicking on the victim’s name.
Since then, social media sites have done a much better job of securing their sites with SSL, which is short for Secure Sockets Layer, a security protocol that provides communication security over the internet. However, many sites that exchange personal or private information still use HTTP without the SSL, and numerous tools for auditing (hacking) WiFi or wired Ethernet connections exist.
To protect yourself, do the following:
- When sharing data, always login via sites that encrypt user data using SSL, which is designated in the address bar as HTTPS.
- Use a secure virtual private network (VPN).Hotspot Shield VPN free proxy protects your identity by ensuring that all web transactions (shopping, filling out forms, downloads, etc.) are secured through HTTPS.
Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to Hotspot Shield VPN. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him discussing internet and wireless security on Good Morning America. Disclosures.
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
- 5 Ways to Browse the Web Privately
You’ve probably never even thought that “browsing the web privately” was something that you needed to take extra steps to do. Most people think all web surfing is relatively private and nobody is really paying any attention. Unfortunately, there are many people, particularly in the form of marketers and advertisers, who watch almost every website
- What are the Risks from Mobile Eavesdropping?
Ever heard of mobile snoopware? For those affected, it’s unnerving and creates a sense of paranoia. I’ve worked with families that found spyware on their phones designed to watch their every move. The hacker, they say, turned their mobiles on and off, used the phone’s camera to take pictures, and use the speakerphone as a
- School WiFi Often Open and Insecure
Many elementary, middle and high schools are offering WiFi, and of course colleges and universities provide it as well. Some provide the networks with a required login access, and for others it’s open, unencrypted and free for anyone to jump on. Traditionally, when we think “login,” we believe that also means encrypted and secure. However, logging
- 10 Million Mobile VPN Users Can’t Be Wrong
A virtual private network (VPN) is a network set up to communicate privately over a public network. For example: You occasionally want to or need to work from home and your employer knows that if you do, the data that travels between your PC and an office PC needs to be protected. Another example is
- VPN for Online Security: Hotspot Shield
Online users need a VPN (virtual private network), a kind of service that gives you online security, and Hotspot Shield’s service has a free version. A VPN hides your device’s IP address and interferes with any company trying to track your browsing patterns. Many online companies take peoples’ data without their authorization, and then share it