Antivirus and CPU Cooler. Wait, what???

 

  • CPU Cooler
  • Junk Cleaner
  • RAM Booster
  • Battery Saver
  • Game Master
  • Notification Cleaner
  • Wi-Fi Speed Test

… and so on.

Lately, we have seen the Google Play Store filled with a mix of Antivirus -Optimization Tools. There are dozens of features that Antivirus applications have. The ones you see listed above are one of them.

However, these features have nothing to do with protection at all. They are just little helpers for users to make them feel like they did something for their device.

Actually, they do nothing, sometimes they can even make the situation worse.

For example, RAM Booster kills your application to make your phone look faster. However, you will run those applications again and again. Most Operating Systems have the same feature to kill unnecessary applications.

Another example is the Junk Cleaner which deletes your caches. In the first few minutes, your device will be faster but later on, the Internet connection will be required more and more to re-download those cached files.

What is our point here?

Antiviruses should protect users and solve their infection problems. They should not spend any time on those unrelated features. The vendors can release such products but they should be connected with a security application.

Nowadays, we have major issues and big security problems but unfortunately, AV vendors try to solve optimization issues instead of security issues. The developer term for that situation is premature optimization.

Let us know your thoughts.

It’s a Scam!

Ring, ring…

‘’Hello, who is this?’’

‘’Hi, my name is Jack and I am calling from the company Onis, a software company that provides antivirus solutions.’’

‘’Yes, and how can I help you?

‘’Well, our data shows that you PC has been infected with a very dangerous malware that can make serious damage to your device. I am here to help you install our software that will fix the issue. Just follow these instructions…’’

 

How many of you would believe this was a legitimate call?

 

If you had, you would have allowed them to connect to your PC and maybe even give them your passwords and other credentials. Boom! They get an easy access to your private data.

Another possibility is that they would charge you for their fake services when in reality your device was never infected in the first place.

We have all heard of email scams. Previously, in the past they were highly popular. You get an email saying your rich cousin left you a big inheritance. 😮 Or, you get an email from someone asking you to help them transfer an enormous amount of money to a specific bank account promising you would get half of the money.

And the most famous one – a gift card! You get an email claiming you won a gift card or even a better one – you won the lottery! (But if you never played, how could you win? Hmm :s)

Don’t get us wrong. Scammers did not give up on emails, but they simply evolved over time and are using other methods as well. They are now targeting your phones too.

Very Successful Tactic

We are talking about phone scam tactics that became very popular lately. Here is how it works.

You can get a phone call from someone claiming to represent a company and offering different services or assistance. At the same time, the company in question has no idea that somebody is using them for their bad intentions.

Some scammers go even further…

A girl in USA received a phone call, where a scammer claimed her father had a car accident and she needed to send money urgently for the hospital expenses.

You can see how dangerous this can be, because scammers prey on our emotions such as fear, trust and excitement.

Many people would get shocked and would not realize this is a fake phone call. That is why phone scams are one of the big problems right now. They’re much more effective than email scams.

Hope, Desire, Fear, Excitement

Latest researches showed that we are most prone to becoming a victim of scams when we are emotional. Scammers are aware of this and they are intentionally exploiting our emotions.

Four emotions they mostly prey on are: hope, desire, fear and excitement. How? By using different forms of manipulation and flattery to tap into our innermost desires and fears. The goal is to get our trust. Once they have it, they can get all information they need and perform their shams.

Some Data

  1. [bctt tweet=”There Were Over 30,200 Internet Scams in 2018 by August”]
  2. [bctt tweet=”Mobile Phone-Related Scam Calls Saw Approximately a 25-Percent Jump Since 2017″]
  3. [bctt tweet=”In 2017, only 3.7 percent of calls to cell phones were fraudulent. This year, that number reached 29.2 percent — and it’s expected to climb to 44.6 percent in 2019″]

We Were No Exception

Few days ago, some of our users started reporting that Zemana representatives called them via phone trying to persuade them they were infected with malware. They offered their assistance by advising them to install Zemana products.

We were very confused because we knew that such practices were never a part of our company’s culture and there was no way any of our team members would be involved in similar tactics.

Soon after that, one of our colleagues found this website: https://www.isupportnumber.com/zemana-antivirus-customer-service.

This website gives false information about our customer service.

fakewebsiteinfo

It became clear this was all a scam. That is why we kindly ask you to be very careful if you receive a phone call from anyone who claims to be a Zemana representative. You should immediately report this to us via email: support@zemana.com.

Also, keep in mind that information you get on the Internet does not necessarily need to be true or correct.

Here are the only ways in which you can reach us and get assistance from our team:

– Email (support@zemana.com, zms@zemana.com)
Help Section on our website (you can raise a ticket and receive a reply via email)
– Live Chat on our website
– Remote assistance (in certain cases, our developers need to remotely connect to your device and resolve the issue)

Ways to Protect Yourself

  1. Be aware that Scams are a Real Threat

The first thing you need to do is become aware and read as much as you can about email, phone and other Internet scams to understand it better and predict potential scenarios that might happen to you. The second thing you need to do is be more cautious when dealing with people on different social networks. Don’t accept everyone who adds you to their friends list and don’t trust everyone who texts or calls you.

  1. Always Double – Check

If you receive a message, email or a phone call from someone you don’t know, don’t immediately believe everything they say and don’t immediately do what they advise you to do. Always double-check. Call your friends or family members and check if they really left that inheritance money to you (deep down you know they didn’t. :p).

  1. Don’t Trust Every Customer Service

Don’t always believe phone calls about your computer. Scammers will offer to provide remote access. Often, they mention popular companies to make you believe them. Don’t! Scammers often offer help to fix an issue by persuading you to install a free upgrade, which is, in fact a virus that will give them your passwords and personal details. Instead, hang up and call or send an email to that company and ask them if it was really somebody from their team who called you or not.

  1. Be Careful When Shopping Online

Beware of offers that seem too good to be true, and always use an online shopping service that you know and trust. Think twice before using virtual currencies (like Bitcoin) – they do not have the same protections as other transaction methods, which means you can’t get your money back once you send it.

 

In the end, all we can say is that the greatest defense you have against phone call scams is yourself. It’s always better to double-check everything because there is now crying over spilled milk.

Or, the next time your phone rings and an unknown person tries to offer something unusual services or aid, you can simply hang up!

 

 

 

The Scariest Month of the Year

Snow, Christmas movies on TV, Christmas trees, tea and big sweaters…

These are all things that probably come to our mind when we say December. The festive season is approaching, and we feel certain coziness and warmth inside us.

‘’A month of lights, snow, and feasts. A time to make amends and tie up loose ends. A time to finish off what you started and hope your wishes come true.’’

And let’s not forget the festive shopping! A perfect time for sharing and surprising our loved ones with wonderful presents! So many discounts and amazing offers starting with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, following Christmas sales and continuing until New Year…

It is truly hard to resist, and all this makes us excited and happy!

And so, we often forget that there is another much darker side to this shopping season.

This image can be found at https://www.freepik.com

Created at Freepik.com

The Nightmare Before Christmas

According to statistics, December is the month when users spend most of their money. Online sales boom because consumers are ready to spend more money than they usually do.

However, consumers aren’t the only ones looking to take advantage of the festive season – cyber criminals are increasingly exploiting the holiday period in order to trick users with their malicious campaigns designed to deliver malware.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are big targets for cyber attackers – but they don’t stop here. They increase their effort throughout December.

Security researchers remind that there was a 57.5 percent increase in attempted cyber-attacks during the holiday shopping season last year.

Therefore, both individuals and companies should expect a rise in attempted cyber-attacks this year too.

Biggest Effort Between Christmas and New Year

Traditionally, cyber-criminals make their biggest efforts and attempts in the period between Christmas and New Year, which is not surprising. This is when all retailers hold important and biggest sales.

Preying on users’ weak spot for discounts, cyber-criminals mostly try to trick users with false discount ads and phishing emails.

Many attackers will always attempt to target individual consumers for by clearing out their bank accounts or by selling fake or non-existent goods, but more organized and sophisticated hackers and hacking groups will aim for bigger scores.

What Works in Hackers’ Favor?

There are several advantages that work into cyber- criminals’ favor and they know it.

When it comes to business and companies, hackers are fully aware that festive season is a holiday season where most of employees will be on vacation leaving their companies understaffed or closed.

This leaves plenty of time for hackers’ attempts of delivering malware. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they will succeed but they have greater chances. If they succeed, they also have better chances of not getting spotted or caught.

On the other hand, when it comes to home users, most common attempts are mostly through phishing emails. The basic ways you can protect yourself from such scams is check the email’s structure, intention and sentence structure/grammar.

Do not click on unknown links and don’t be too quick to believe in amazing offers or gifts that are promised in the email. Double-check everything you read.

This image was created and can be found at https://www.freepik.com

Created at Freepik.com

Refund Threats

Recent studies showed that one of the biggest threats to retailers’ revenue loss are fraudulent refunds. Traditionally, during the holiday shopping season, there is a high number of returns, which leaves an opportunity for scammers to get away with their frauds.

What is even worse, a person doesn’t have to be a skillful hacker to engage in this. And unfortunately, every year refund scams are becoming better and better organized.

Fashion retailers and electronic industry are the ones who are mostly victims of fraudulent refunds.

Organized cyber-criminals frequently operate from outside the countries where the refund scams are taking place, which makes it extremely hard for retailers to prosecute them.

Make Sure It Stays a Joyous Season

Holiday season should stay a joyous season, so beware of cyber-crime attacks that can ruin your holiday.

Always remember that hackers have been preparing for the holidays for months (even more than you!) They also want gifts, presents and treats and are not afraid to take them from you!

This is What You Should Avoid This Shopping Season

Holiday shopping season is finally here and many of us can’t wait to surprise our loved ones with new things. Some of us are looking forward to spoiling ourselves too. 😊 Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Christmas shopping – these are all around the corner.

New data shows that 91 percent of the people shopping this weekend will buy at least one thing online. Mobile shopping is expected to jump 32% and will represent nearly half of all ecommerce sales. However, keep in mind that the shopping season is open for cyber criminals as well.

 

Cyber Criminals Are Also Shopping

Unlike you, they are not looking for exclusive deals and discounts, they are shopping for something else:

  • Your passwords
  • Your credit card credentials
  • Account takeover

 

Tips To Help You Out

Here are some tips you should follow this holiday season:

  1. Don’t use the same password

You should avoid using the same username/password. For many, this is inconvenient and often annoying, but it will help you not become an easy victim of cybercrime. If you need help remembering your passwords, try utilizing a password manager. For sites where your data is more valuable, use stronger, more complex and unique passwords to ensure they can’t be reverse engineered by hackers.

  1. Don’t overshare

Don’t overshare personal information on your social media accounts. This means you should avoid sharing your birth date, hometown etc. because cyber criminals can use it to commit identity fraud or open a new account in your name. Also, don’t forget to make your profiles private jus for your close friends and family.

  1. Keep an eye on suspicious links

Never click on unknown or suspicious links in your email or on a website. These usually contain malware and can infect both your PC and your network. Phishing still makes up half of online frauds, so keep this in mind when you do your online shopping this Black Friday.

  1. Always read app permissions

Before downloading an app, make sure you have read the permission requested by the app. If you don’t, you are risking putting various pieces of malware on your device, that can record or steal your personal information.

  1. Don’t store your credit card credentials

Next time you are making an online purchase via an e-commerce provider, make sure you don’t store your credit card credentials and payment information in your account.

  1. Buy from known companies

One of the easiest ways to protect yourself online is to buy from reputable companies such as eBay, Target, Best Buy etc.

  1. Use your credit card

Don’t make online purchases with your bank debit card. Rather, do it with your credit card because credit cards are more sophisticated methods in preventing frauds.

  1. Always shop using a secure network

Don’t use public and open Wi-Fi connections to perform online purchases. Stick to the private ones that need a password. Keep in mind that web protocols such as HTTPS encrypt communications, but in some advanced attacks even those could fall to a man-in-the-middle attack. Always look for the HTTPS lock symbol in your browser address window when buying online.

  1. Watch out for fake deals

Cyber criminals know that you are out there looking for the best and cheapest offers. They will try to trick you by showing you ads that promise amazing deals and discounts. Don’t be fooled by this.

 

No Need To Worry Too Much

These warnings should not keep you from shopping online. You simply need to stay aware and follow the tips we shared with you. They will help you shop smarter and with confidence.

How To Prevent a Smurf Attack

What is a Smurf Attack?

A Smurf attack is a type of denial of service attack in which a system is flooded with spoofed ping messages. This creates high computer network traffic on the victim’s network, overwhelming the target.
The intended result is to slow down the target’s system to the point that it is inoperable, and vulnerable. The Smurf program accomplishes this by exploiting vulnerabilities of the Internet Protocol (IP) and Internet Control Message Protocols (ICMP).

How Does It Work?

It’s possible to accidentally download the Smurf Trojan from an unverified website or via an infected email link. Usually, the program will remain dormant on a computer until activated by a remote user. Smurf attacks target a router that interacts with a high number of devices.
The attacker then deploys large ICMP requests to the router, causing the connected devices to respond to the ping. The spoofed IP address that is attached to these packets is forced to absorb the echoes, which is a result of connected devices responding to the ping.
Any device connected to this router that is trained to respond to the ping will be unable to recognize the spoofed IP addresses.
Hackers gain access to the systems that are connected to their original target, slowing down a larger subset of the – this would not be possible by attacking just one victim.

How To Prevent a Smurf Attack?

Dealing with Smurf and similar DDoS attacks requires a prevention strategy that can monitor network traffic and detect any oddities, for example packet volume, behavior and signature. The right security service can help shut down a Smurf or other DDoS attack before it begins.
Therefore, you should install an antivirus and an anti-malware protection on time to effectively prevent all types of attacks.
You can protect yourself from a Smurf attack by blocking directed broadcast traffic that is coming into the network.

You should also disable IP broadcast addressing at each network router since it is seldom used. Make sure to configure hosts and routers not to respond to ICMP echo requests.

Stay safe with Zemana 🙂

 

Young People Are Reckless With Their Online Passwords

In the recent period we have witnessed many data breaches, where some of the biggest companies (e.g. Yahoo, Equifax) were compromised.

However, what is strange is that even though massive hacker attacks are happening now more than ever, some people (especially younger generations) still have a ‘it won’t happen to me attitude’.

This is why they don’t take the necessary steps to protecting themselves such as changing their online passwords regularly. This is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself online and yet it is very efficient and can help you when you are not expecting.

30% of Adults Use the Same Online Passwords For Multiple Accounts

A recent survey showed that 30% of adults use their same password for most of their online accounts. It also showed that young people between 18 – 35 are the ones who are the most reckless and careless when it comes to their passwords, which came as a surprise for many.

Young people spend most of their time online and most of them are educated about technology and cyber security, so it shocking that they don’t take their online protection more seriously.

Sharing Passwords Became a Sign of “Trust”

What is even more surprising is that young generations today share their passwords with their loved ones. Very often, boyfriends and girlfriends show their devotion to each other by exchanging passwords or even using an identical password for their accounts. This way they have a complete access to each other’s private emails, messages, photos etc.

Many high school couples believe this is sweet and some of them demand it believing it is a sign of trust in the relationship. If one of the partners refuses to share, he/she is often accused of hiding something.

However, what the younger generations don’t understand is that sharing passwords never ends well. There are many cases which show how one of the partners after breakup stars sending threatening messages or shares private photos of their ex to the whole school etc.

Younger Generations Use Simple Passwords

Another survey showed that contrary to what we have believed so far, younger people are those who set up horrifically easy passwords, whereas senior population uses very difficult ones. Regarding sex differences, women are those who use more complex passwords compared to men. The complexity of passwords according to different age groups:

  • from 13 to 35: very low
  • from 35 to 45 years old: very complicated
  • from 35 to 44 and over: highly complicated

How Often Should I Change My Password?

You might read that changing your online passwords often is recommended, however, new studies show that changing your online passwords more than twice a year is not a good idea.

What is certain, though is that you should definitely have a different password for every account. Why? Because if somebody figures out your password, they can get access to all of your accounts and all of your private information.

Also, some hackers continue accessing your account, instead of doing it just once. This way, they can continue stealing your private data.

Here is another thing to keep in mind when changing your passwords. People tend to use slight variations of the previous passwords, or reuse them for different account, which makes them vulnerable.

When you decide to change your password, think of something completely different from the previous one and make sure no to change them too often.

Tips For a Cyber Safe Summer

Vacation season is here! Time has come to take rest from work/school and enjoy some free time. You wouldn’t want something like malware bothering you and destroying your fun time, right? In that case, here are some tips to ensure your peace of mind this summer.

1. Fight the Viruses and Malware

Install the necessary antivirus and antimalware software on your phone and laptop before you leave for vacation. Keep it updated and run it regularly. Make sure that your operating system is fully updated as well.

To protect your PC go here.
To protect your phone go here.

2. Avoid Public Wi-Fi

Even though everyone likes free Wi-Fi, the best solution would be not to use it at all. However, we know that for some of you this could be very difficult so at least try to use it only when truly necessary.

If you wish to connect to your company network, it would be best to do it via virtual private network. Turn off your Wi-Fi when you are not using it because your phone can unexpectedly connect to a hostile network through a saved Wi-Fi profile.

3. Create Stronger Passwords

Many people use the same password for different accounts to avoid confusion. However, this way you become an easy target for hackers. Come up with different and more complicated passwords or use services that can help you manage all passwords.

You can also change your passwords and use these new ones on vacation. Later, upon returning home you can change them back to those you were using before you left.

4. Encrypt Your Mobile Device

Since we are talking about passwords let’s not forget your phone. Protect it with a PIN or encrypt it. This will add an additional layer of protection if you phone get stolen.

5. Use GPS-Based Device Location Service

If you lose your phone, try to use GPS-based device location service that should be provided by your vendor. You can also use apps like ”Find Device” or ”Find My iPhone”, depending on whether you are using an Android or an iPhone.

6. Avoid Using Public Computers to Log In to Your Accounts

Never use public computers in public places like cafes, lobbies, airports etc. However, if you must use them then you must never forget to log out of your accounts when you finish. Don’t just press x to exit.

Another reason why you should avoid public computers is that hackers often install a key-logger on these computers, which records every keystroke you typed and then transmits all your passwords and other sensitive information back to the hacker.

7. Be Careful What You Share On Social Networks

We understand you wish to post beautiful and fun photos from your vacation. But think twice about what you really share because this way criminals learn that your house is empty.

Don’t announce plans and details about your vacation in advance. Always be very discrete when posting personal information on social media. You can always use settings to limit how and with whom you share information.

8. Known the Local Laws Regarding Online Behavior

Some activities such as alcohol drinking or openly declaring negative opinions about politics and politicians are illegal in some countries. If you share this online, you might get arrested.

9. Turn Off Auto Location and Check-In Applications

Don’t make it easy for criminals to easily identify where you are.

10. Always Bring Your Charger

Only charge your devices directly with a connection to an outlet. Don’t charge your devices by plugging into any foreign device. This will avoid transferring malware from an unknown charging station or a computer.

11. Arm Your Mobile Device or Laptop With an Anti-Keylogger

Having your data stolen, especially during your vacation, is definitely not your dream scenario. If we go back in the near past, we can localize many key-logger attacks on Android devices and laptops that made the security alerts for everyone users go high up!

Get your anti-keylogger protection for mobile device here or for your laptop here.

Stay safe with Zemana! 🙂