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7 Must-Have Cybersecurity Apps for Android

These days, cybersecurity apps are a must-have. Cybersecurity apps protect you against security threats that might be quite costly. Vulnerabilities might arise as a result of a lack of awareness or laziness.

When slackers are linked to the internet, they are never safe. Nowadays, security is a top priority, and many third-party apps have worked to improve it.

The applications listed below will assist you in safeguarding your Android smartphone from online identity and security concerns.

1.      SecurityAnywhere

Antivirus and malware protection with multi-vector protection against Trojans, keyloggers, phishing, spyware, backdoors, rootkits, zero-day threats, and advanced persistent threats. When utilizing the Internet, the built-in Identity & Privacy Shield prevents data from being stolen or taken, and the outbound firewall prevents viruses from stealing data. 

It is among those cybersecurity apps for your android that you really need to look into. Cloud-based security eliminates the need to worry about or perform updates, ensuring that endpoints are always up to current.

2.      Google Cloud Platform

The Cloud Platform is a collection of cloud-based services that can be used to build anything from simple websites to sophisticated applications.

3.      Avast Mobile Security

Avast is an excellent software for protecting your Android phone from viruses and other threats. Avast is a trusted free antivirus for Android that warns you when spyware and adware are installed and intrudes on your privacy. The current Android malware has a detection rate of roughly 99.9%, with nearly 100% of malware discovered in the recent four weeks. This is one of the best cybersecurity apps for you if malware and safe browsing are your main concerns.

4.      SafeDNS

Web security solutions to protect your organization and resources from data theft, phishing, botnets, and other malware.

5.      MalwareBytes

Malwarebytes sophisticated security will safeguard your Android devices against ransomware, malware, and other threats.

It can effectively detect and remove hazardous threats before they compromise your device. While using the Chrome browser, Malwarebytes provides real-time protections and scans for even the most complex phishing URLs. It will also notify you if it detects anything unusual.

6.      Secure Call

It protects your calls by ensuring that no one can hear them. Secure Call encrypts all of your private calls from beginning to end, preventing strangers from listening in.

Use Secure Call if you’re seeking for cybersecurity apps that provide end-to-end encryption for phone calls.

7.      LastPass

With people having several accounts online and each account having a different password, remembering passwords is becoming increasingly difficult.

LastPass is one of the best password managers on the market, allowing you to save passwords for many accounts with additional protection layers.

NOTE:

Please note that we do NOT endorse any cybersecurity related app aforementioned. It is advised to design security measures as per your risk appetite and research/explore the subject matter thoroughly. If you find any ambiguities, please feel free to contact us

Conclusion

I hope the cybersecurity apps listed above will assist you in keeping your Android mobile/devices safe and secure. On top of these security features, our readers would like to take a step further on securing their cell phone numbers. Efani would love to facilitate this new journey of securing our users against probable sim swapping vectors with our guaranteed protection and $5 million insurance.

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How to Turn Off Location Services on Android? [2021]

Location services on Android can be turned on and off without you knowing properly.

There’s a reason why apps ask for permission to use your location so regularly, even if they work fine without it. Many organizations, such as Google, rely on your location data to give accurate weather forecasts or the most up-to-date traffic events.

In some circumstances, apps may just require your location data for market research purposes. If you’re not sure what information you’re transmitting or just want to remain anonymous, here’s how to turn off location services on Android phone.

Note: While it’s simple to turn off location services entirely on your iOS or Android smartphone, you can also turn them off for certain apps. Because some apps rely on location services to work, you may want to make some exceptions.

Disable Location Services on Android

Android versions work on “stock” as well as custom interfaces depending upon the manufacturers. The procedure, though, should be comparable enough to follow.

We are going to use Samsung S20 with Android 10 running under OneUI of Samsung.

 To disable location services on Android, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open “Settings” from the app drawer or simply go to them via the top right corner of your notifications panel.

samsung settings

Step 2: Tap on the “Location”.

samsung settings location services on android

Step 3: Toggle it “Off”.

location settings

Disable Location Services on Android for Specific Apps

Specific apps run on android’s location services. If you frequently use Google Maps, or apps that may use location, you may not want to disable the location services on Android. If you don’t, then you can disable the location services for the specific app instead of the whole.

Follow these steps to do so:

Step 1: In the “Location” settings, go to “App permissions”.

app permissions

Step 2: Select the app you want to disable the location services for.

location settings for specific apps

Step 3: Make sure you toggle “Deny”.

deny location services on android

Disable Google Location Services

No matter what Android you are using, Google will have its location-specific apps running and turned on in the background.

If you are a privacy paranoid, follow along these steps to disable these Google Location Services:

Step 1: Go to the “Location” in the settings.

samsung settings location services on android

Step 2: Here you will find Emergency Location Service, Google Location Accuracy, Google Location History, Google Location Sharing, and Location in Search.

google location services

Step 3: If you find it “On”, you can disable it by tapping and toggling them Off.

turn off location services on android

One-time Access

android one time access

You can allow apps to ask for one-time access to location services on android to complete certain tasks. When the notification appears, select “Only this time” to allow the app to access your location for a single time before disabling it (iOS has a similar feature). This is a great way to get specific information without having to give an app broad access.

The Bottom Line

The privacy implications of location tracking data, which is at the center of our modern life, are rarely discussed. The information about a person’s whereabouts is extremely sensitive. It’s not so much about personal privacy as it is about a web of interconnections. If you’re a victim of a data breach, you’re not the only one who suffers; anyone with whom you have a relationship also suffers.

What is the answer? Keep a close eye on the apps you download and the rights you provide them. Be aware of the implications of allowing location services. Examine your social media privacy settings to improve your privacy.

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An Extensive Guide on How To Reset Network Settings of Your Android [2021]

Facing problems connecting to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth? It might be time to reset network settings on your Android. This will remove the errors that are causing this to happen.

Before starting, let me tell you a little bit about the Android Interface. Android fragmentation is well-known and well-documented, with settings menus varying from device to device.

Thankfully, many Android device manufacturers are increasingly opting for the “stock” Android experience rather than customizing their devices with a proprietary UI.

So without more wait, let Efani guide you with the “stock” android first. Then we will take Samsung as a model to reset network settings.

You may like: Android Privacy Tips You Didn’t Know

Stock Android: Reset Network Settings

If you are running an Android device with “stock” interface, 8.1 Oreo or newer, these steps to reset network settings will be helpful.

But don’t worry, next section is for other models taking Samsung as an example.

Let’s start then…

Step 1: Go to “Settings” to reset network settings. You can either go by tapping the app from drawer or through your notification panel (top right corner).

stock android settings

Step 2: Tap “System” here.

stock android system

Step 3: Now, tap “Reset options” to view reset options of your device. Else, you might need to tap Advanced> Reset Options, depending on your device.

stock android reset options

Step 4: Here you may find various reset options. Tap “Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth” or “Reset Network Settings”, depending on your device.

reset wifi

Step 5: Confirm and tap “Reset Settings”.

stock android reset settings

Step 6: Input your screen lock, PIN password, biometric or your active form of authentication and tap  “Reset Settings” again to confirm.

stock android reset settings confirm

Once this is done, your Android device’s network settings will be returned to factory defaults, and you’ll need to restart it to apply the changes. You’ll need to reconnect to your Wi-Fi or mobile network, as well as restore any previous Bluetooth connections.

Summary

Settings> System> Reset Options> Reset Network Settings> Reset Settings> Confirm

Samsung Device: Reset Network Settings

While other manufacturers may use “stock” android, Samsung is among those that use their own OneUI interface.

Let’s guide you to reset network settings on your Samsung device.

Step 1: Go to “Settings” to reset network settings. You can either go by tapping the app from drawer or through your notification panel (top right corner). Just like in “stock” android.

samsung settings

Step 2: Tap “General Management” in the settings.

samsung general management

Step 3: Here, tap on the “Reset” option to view the reset options.

samsung reset

Step 4: Tap “Reset Network Settings” in the reset menu.

samsung reset network settings

Step 5: This will remove all the network settings meaning that all the connected devices and data connections will be removed along with the Wi-Fi connections.

If you are willing, tap “Reset Settings”.

samsung reset network settings confirm

Step 6: Input your screen lock, PIN password, biometric or your active form of authentication and tap  “Reset” again to confirm.

samsung reset confirm

Restart your Samsung phone or tablet once you’ve reset your network settings. Once this is done, you’ll need to reconnect to your devices and Wi-Fi or mobile network connections.

Summary

Settings> General Management> Reset> Reset Network Settings> Reset Settings> Reset

Conclusion

We understand this might be frustrating that your network connections are being problematic. But you can always reset network settings and your connection problems will be stored.

Just to let you know, Efani cares about your mobile security and privacy concerns and you can always get yourself boosted up with our privacy and security tips.

Cheers!

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How to Turn Off iPhone Location Services? [2021]

iPhone location services might look quite normal to you but they are a very serious privacy threat. This post will guide you on how to take control of your iPhone location services and monitor what apps are harvesting data through it.

Have you ever wondered why apps ask for your location services permission? They mine through your private data to make use of it. And how would you know what apps on your iPhone are tracking your location? Even if you are not using your phone, still these apps can record your data possibly after every 2 seconds.

Even though Apple has a very secure server and they claim not to sell your data. But many other apps do use this data.

How to check your iPhone location history?

iPhone’s default setting automatically records your location. You can log in to view your iPhone location history just to get a head start of how important this really is. As per Apple, “your iPhone and iCloud connected devices will keep track of places you have recently been, as well as how often and when you visited them, in order to learn places that are significant to you. This data is end-to-end encrypted and cannot be read by Apple.”

Here’s how you can view the iPhone location data

Go to Settings> Privacy> Location Services> System Services> Significant Locations> History. You can also turn this off.

How to stop iPhone Location Sharing?

It is sort of convenient to share your iPhone’s location with your contact but if you are a privacy paranoid, turn this off with these steps:

  • Go to the “Find My iPhone” app.
  • Tap “People”.
  • Tap and select the contact’s name.
  • Select “Stop Sharing My Location”.
  • Tap and confirm “Stop Sharing Location”.

As a privacy freak, you would love to view these iPhone privacy tips.

iPhone Location Settings

iphone location for apps

App permissions are very significant. You really need to be careful which app are you permitting to track your iPhone or look into your iPhone location services. Apps can use your location and even display at times without your knowing. They may use this data for machine learning and/or targeted ads but hackers are loving these location data services. Stay safe.

How to turn off iPhone location services for selected apps?

Go to Settings> Privacy> Location Services. For each app, you will be asked to choose between Never, Ask Next Time, or While Using the App. You can select as per your preference but we advise you to go for Never if you don’t want apps to track you at all.

When to turn off iPhone location services?

Ride-sharing, delivery, or fitness apps need your location to work appropriately, yet numerous apps run behind the scenes discreetly assembling information when they’re not effectively being utilized. Restricting or turning off iPhone location services totally could have results. Understanding what organizations don’t esteem your privacy is vital to staying away from smartphone apps taking your information.

How to turn off the iPhone location services completely?

turn off iphone location services

Go to Settings> Privacy> Location Services. Simple toggle/tap the button above and the location services will turn off completely.

You can also reset your iPhone location settings to factory default. This means you will need to grant the apps permission of your iPhone location services again. For this, simply go to Settings> General> Reset> Reset Location & Privacy.

Conclusion

We hardly pay attention to the privacy implications of location tracking data, which is at the heart of our modern lives. Data about a person’s location is highly sensitive. It’s not really about personal privacy, but rather about a network of connections. If you’re vulnerable to a privacy breach, it’s not just you who suffers; anyone with whom you have a relationship suffers as well.

What is the solution? Pay special attention to the applications you install and the permissions you grant them. Be mindful of the consequences of enabling location services. To improve privacy, take a look at your social media privacy settings.

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7 Practical Android Privacy Tips You Didn’t Know Before

Android privacy tips are very commonly wanted and also many people are unaware of such android privacy tips. Your android phone keeps your daily activity records and it keeps track of your location, browsing and communication.

This is an alarming thing for us privacy freaks, right?

Google is a company that literally earns via mining and harvesting your data. You really need to be aware of your privacy on a phone being run on Google’s OS. We really want ourselves to be super safe in the digital world.

Don’t worry!

Android still has very amazing features that you are unaware of to control your data throughout. Let us guide you through these practical android privacy tips.

The Android Privacy Tips

Despite the fact that you’ll never be absolutely off the lattice from your cell provider, and it’s almost difficult to impede all that tracks you across each stage, it is feasible to in any event move toward your android privacy settings for all intents and purposes.

A portion of these android privacy tips come at the cost of comfort, so consider the compromises before you incapacitate (or empower) the things we detail beneath. (These android privacy tips and settings will change contingent upon which variant of Android you have and which phone you have.)

7. Strong Screen Lock

android screen lock

First of all, you should consider disabling your fingerprint or face recognition as your lock. These locks are quite easy to break or sneak into.

In case, if you leave your phone somewhere or some gets a hold of your phone, you don’t need them to get into your phone to skim through your private data, right?

So, a strong screen password or PIN that is only remembered by you can help you save your data.

The biometrics are easy to break since a person may have access to your clear image or fingerprint that that may use to hack into your device.

6. Audit App Permissions

android app permissions

Whenever you install an app, it asks permission to access your data like location, contacts, gallery, camera, microphone, and/or notifications. These apps like Facebook, etc do this to harvest your data and show you targeted ads or use it for machine learning.

You need to look into this because you don’t need your private information to roam around the internet.

Simply go Settings> Privacy> Permission Manager and read through the section to make sure apps don’t have unnecessary access to your data.

5. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

2fa

2FA or two-factor authentication is a very safe second layer of security on your phone. Every time you log in using your password, it going to send a second check with the one-time code on your number, Google Prompt or via phone/email which you need to enter alongside your password in order to log into your Google.

Follow these three steps:

  • Go to myaccount.google.com/security on your phone and sign in.
  • Select 2-Step Verification and sign in again.
  • Tap Try It Now and follow the on-screen instruction to approve the login and get backup codes.

You can also go through the detail guide on 2FA and how to enable it here.

4. Find My Device

find my device

Find My Device is a super feature you can use if you get a jump-scare of not finding your android phone in your pocket. Among the android privacy tips, this one is among my favorites.

In case, if you leave your phone somewhere or it gets lost, you can use Find My Device to quickly find its location. If you are unable to find it, you can still use this feature to remotely wipe your data from your device completely so that the finder is not able to access your data.

This feature saves you even if your phone gets into the wrong hands. Simply go to Settings> Security> Find My Device and make sure it is enabled. Once it is toggled on, you can wipe or locate it from any browser on the Find My Device page.

3. Enable Automatic Updates

automatic updates

Automatic updates are very important for your android privacy. At certain times, apps sends new privacy features or new privacy fixes to the new problems that help you control your data in a more convenient way.

For automatically updating the apps, go to Google Play Store and go to top right corner to access Menu> General> Auto-update apps. You can also double check if your OS is automatically updated regularly by opening Settings> System> Advanced> System Update.

2. Sensitive Information and Lock Screen Notifications

notifications

Your lock screen may get notifications of everything. You need to hide those notifications if they are very sensitive because people may see them if they are with you or if your phone is on table or another room.

For disabling this revealing notification, go to Settings> Privacy> Notifications and then select Show sensitive content only when unlocked.

1. Third-party Messaging App

third party messaging

Android has its own messaging when it comes to communication. But it not encrypted and basic features like deleting is are not always an option.

Instead of using default messages on your android, use a safe encrypted communication way. These apps are Signal or Telegram or WhatsApp.

The Bottom Line

Privacy is a hot topic. Privacy protection and cyber security should be thought of as interconnected: as more and more personal information is processed or stored online, privacy protection increasingly relies on effective cyber security implementation.

Efani ensures that readers are facilitated with utmost (mobile) privacy measures and gear up their response to threat landscape.

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7 iOS Privacy Tips and Tricks You Didn’t Know Before

You might probably be wondering about iOS privacy tips and hacks to keep you safe.

But at the same time you might be wondering what else is left after screen lock or SIM Card Lock?

Let us tell you…

There are more ways of penetration than you may think of.

Don’t worry! Let Efani be your savior and guide you through the 7 iOS privacy tips and tricks you can implement right away on your iPhones or iPads.

Quick Fact: As per statista, about 47% of the total US population of mobile users, use iPhones. Just imagine the importance of these iOS privacy tips.

iOS Privacy Tips and Tricks

Privacy and cybersecurity are becoming super significant to all the tech users out there. We know you are concerned about your iOS privacy tricks so let’s not keep you waiting.

7. Create Encrypted Local Backups

Encrypt iPhone Backups
Encrypting backups on your computer isn’t a convenient way of backing up data but it is among the most secure ways.

While Apple’s servers are without a doubt secure, anything put away in iCloud is fundamentally out of your hands similar to privacy. Despite the fact that it’s exchanging accommodation for genuine feelings of serenity, you might need to consider utilizing privately put away and scrambled iTunes backups rather than iCloud Backups.

Just connect to iTunes via your laptop or computer and navigate to the “Backup” section. Make sure you select the “Encrypt iPhone Backup”.

6. Revoke 3rd Party App Permissions

ios privacy tips and settings
Third Party apps can access your data.

Third Party apps can access and skim through your data as you have unsolicited granted them permissions to do so for their working.

Simply go to Settings> Privacy to view the types of data your iOS apps ask to access. The list includes:

  • Location Services
  • Contacts
  • Camera
  • Microphone
  • and more

Tap each option to see the list of installed apps that requested to access that data. You can simply approve or revoke the permission using the toggle next to each app. It is recommended to revoke the permissions if they are not important to keep your data safe.

5. Uninstalling Untrustworthy Apps

Instagram on iOS
There are some applications which are notorious for collecting data from their users.

Apple is a company that really takes the security of its users very seriously. Although iOS is itself super secure, still there are some third party iOS apps that collect the personal data from you and breach the iOS privacy.

Some popular apps are by Facebook, Amazon and Google. Their apps harvest data using permissions so you can uninstall them if you are really privacy freaks and don’t want apps to access your data.

You can still use such apps using safety browsers like Safari Private browsing or use an iPad.

4. Built-in Password Features

iPhone created a strong password in Safari
iOS’s suite of password tools.

You should have long and unique passwords for your device, apps, or accounts. You may require a password manager to manage these passwords and thankfully Apple offers the “Password Reuse Auditing” feature after iOS 12 that automatically tells you if you are reusing the passwords stored in iCloud Keychain. It also suggests strong and unique passwords.

3. Restrict iPhone Analytics

iPhone Analytics Improvements settings
Apple tracks the data but also lets you control it.

We stated it earlier that apple protects your data but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t collect or harvest your data for itself. They use this data for targeting and/or machine learning purposes.

Apple gives you the ability to disable this tracking.

Got to Settings> Privacy> Analytics & Improvements. Disable the options there to stop Apple from harvesting your data.

To stop Apple from sending you the targeted ads, go to Settings> Privacy> Apple Advertising to turn it off.

For not letting Apple use your location data to serve the first-party ads, alerts, or Siri suggestions, go to Settings> Privacy> Location Services> System Services and disable Location-Based Suggestions and the Product Improvement options.

2. Privacy-based iOS Apps

Firefox Focus
Firefox Focus is built from the ground up around its privacy features.

Browsers collect data. But there are very secure browsers that you can use to browse through the internet without having to worry about the data trackers. Whatever the browser is, go for DuckDuckGo as your search engine instead of the traditional Google Search.

Safari has amazing features and privacy protection. Safari also gives you a privacy report that shows the websites that tried to track your data in the last month.

If not Safari, you can go for Firefox Focus which is built from the ground up around its privacy features.

You can also ditch GMail and opt for ProtonMail for near-perfect email protection.

Telegram, Signal and iMessage of Apple itself are good messaging apps options.

1. Safer DNS and VPN

cloudfare dns
Look into DNS if you haven’t yet.

Numerous individuals most likely understand what a virtual private network (VPN) is, and that it can go far toward securing their privacy when browsing on the web. Less individuals are probably going to think about DNS, yet it is similarly as significant for privacy-cognizant people.

There are various outsider DNS choices you can use for improved iOS privacy over the default choices. Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 DNS, for instance, doesn’t keep any browsing logs and never stores any information that can be utilized to distinguish end clients.

Obviously, notwithstanding another DNS, a VPN is likewise a smart thought on the off chance that you’re not previously utilizing one. We suggest staying away from free alternatives for the best security.

Keeping Your iPhone safe with These iOS Privacy Tips

These are the iOS privacy tips and tricks that are going to keep you safe from unsolicited interactions with the hackers and data collectors. This is such a serious act in cybersecurity that it may make you suffer a lot with you being unaware of where and how your data was used.

Remember, prevention is better than cure.

As far as military grade protected SIM is concerned, Efani is here. Rest assured, we will always be here to help you with cybersecurity knowledge.

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Secure Android: How to Set Up SIM Card Lock? [2021]

The SIM Card Lock in android is something people don’t really bother into but it carries a significant weightage. You can really set up a screen lock easily but what you may not realize is that there is another extra layer of security that you can add i.e., the SIM Card Lock.

So what exactly is SIM Card Lock?

It is easy to say that one may assume it as some sort of alarm setting that may remove the SIM.

But it isn’t.

SIM Card Lock PIN requires a lock screen PIN, Pattern, Fingerprint or Password and a SIM Card to be active before the phone can be unlocked. It is a sort of physical two-factor authorization, which disallows hackers from tracking or misusing your SIM Card.

Let me tell you, SIM comes with a default PIN code directly from your mobile carrier. These codes vary company by company but for Sprint and T-Mobile, it is 1234, and for AT&T and Verizon, you can try 1111. Don’t worry if these codes don’t work. You can either Google about these codes or call your carrier support and ask the codes.

So let’s dive right into securing your Android.

Setting Up SIM Card Lock in Android Phones

So for instructing on how you can set up SIM Card Lock on your android, I will be using a Samsung Galaxy S8 as a model phone.

Step 1: Go to “Settings”. You can also go on them through notifications and the top right corner gear sign.

Step 2: Tap “Lock Screen and Security”.

Step 3: Tap “Other security settings”.

Step 4: Tap “SIM card lock”.

Step 5: Tap “Lock SIM card” and you will be asked via a pop up to enter the PIN. Now, as I have told above, the default PIN will be either 1111 or 1234. If not, you can easily Google or call your carrier for this. No big deal.

Once the Sim card lock is activated, you can tap on “Change SIM card PIN” to change as per your will.

Step 6: To disable the SIM card lock, tap “Lock SIM card” again and enter your PIN.

Summary:

Settings> Lock Screen and Security> Other security settings> SIM card lock> Lock SIM card> Change PIN> Restart Device

Warning

Remember this very clearly that if you entered the SIM PIN incorrectly for three times, your SIM will be deactivated and you will need to contact your carrier for a new SIM card. Set a PIN that is easier for you to remember to avoid this inconvenience, yet not too easy to be guessed by a criminal. Be artistic but in a unique way.

The Bottom Line

It always has been a point of worry when it comes to securing your phone and cybersecurity. There are certain times people slack off the need to worry about these things and end up being compromised by the hackers.

Don’t worry, you can always add this SIM Card Lock as an extra layer of security on your android device and your SIM card will be safe from hackers making unsolicited connections using your name or even leaking your information.

Rest assured, Efani is here to boost your cybersecurity knowledge. Ha!

Cheers!

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The art of recognizing and getting rid of phishing scams

One of the most aggravating risks we face is phishing. Even though most of us understand what a phishing scam is and how it works, we are always caught off guard. This cyber attack  is a form of social engineering that is typically used to steal private information from users, such as their sensitive credit card details and login credentials.

Frankly speaking, we’re all aware how to get rid of phishing scams, although we fail to realize how sophisticated targeting is growing and we still (unconsciously) end up entertaining these cyber attacks. Thus, we need to comprehend the anatomy of phishing attacks and best practices to get rid of phishing scams. 

DISCLAIMER: Since hackers are resourceful, artsy, and constantly devise new ways to penetrate cybersecurity safeguards, no single strategy is likely to provide absolute safety. However, organizations can do a lot to raise awareness about phishing scams and how it operates by implementing policies, practices, and training.

The phishing attack’s anatomy

As the planet earth fights the deadliest Coronavirus offline, cybercriminals are trying to profit from the case online. Due to the large number of people trapped indoors and thus digital, phishing campaigns have increased by 600% in the last year (and yes, by last year I mean 2020!).

ICYMI, scammers often use social engineering as part of their phishing schemes to trick their victims into trusting them for fraudulent purposes, often by pretending to be a legitimate individual or company. Criminals may use phishing attacks to distribute malware and other malicious material. 

How does phishing scams work?

The following is the most common scenario:

  • When you open your email, you are greeted by a message from your bank. When you click the link in the email, you will be taken to a page that resembles your bank in appearance.
  • The catch is that this website is set up to steal your personal information. The warning will inform you that there is an issue with your account and that you must verify your username and password.
  • You will normally be directed to the actual institution to enter your credentials a second time after entering your credentials on the page that appears. Since you are directed to a reputable organisation, you are not immediately aware that your information has been compromised.

How does a Phishing Email appear?

One of the reasons phishing emails are so dangerous — and so often popular — is that they are designed to appear legitimate. The following characteristics are commonly found in phishing emails and can raise red flags:

  • Ties or attachments
  • Spelling error
  • Grammatical errors
  • Graphics that aren’t professional
  • Unnecessary stress over instantly checking your email address or other personal details
  • Instead of your name, generic greetings such as “Dear Customer” are used.
  • Since hackers often hurry to set up phishing sites, some of them will appear to be very different from the previous business. These characteristics can be used to identify a phishing scam that strikes your spam section.

Phase 01 – The evolution of phishing scams

What began as an attempt to steal users’ credentials through email and instant messages has since evolved into new ways, such as SMiShing, or adapted its content to hook the victim with a surprising subject line.

Phase 02Why has this cyberattack still haunting since its very inception?

FYI, phishing scams doesn’t necessitate extensive networking or even basic knowledge of programming. It actually relies on human error, capitalizing on their emotions, and a lack of security knowledge at all, exploiting the psychology in the same way as technical tools do. 

Phase 03 – Nature plays harder

Our inherent psychology (i.e. human nature) fails to recognize cyberattack like a typical (or more advanced) phishing scam. This is one of the main reasons why phishing has become so popular among hackers. Sadly, perpetrators also use negative or upsetting news to pique the interest of their target, causing them to click on suspicious links or willingly hand over personal information.

Phase 04 – Phishing scams bait-and-switch

This pandemic led recession has forged numerous closures amongst businesses environment or the mandatory restructuring leading to uncertainty in the job security area. In reality, phishing emails with the subject line “HR Redundancy List” have recently been discovered in some companies. Fraudsters use intimidation tactics to entice recipients to click on a link contained within emails or download harmful material via these malicious attempts.

The very nature of phishing scam not only encompasses these tricks but also has bookmarked the unimagined work-from-home scenario. The increase in the rate of global unemployment and desperation towards work-from-home practices has made these cyber attack attempts so powerful that it has been hard to get rid of phishing scams. This has challenged the mere scope of cyber security. 

Users should not, however, users should remain tacit when job searching, otherwise it would deter them from detecting phishing indications. Some phishing texts and emails, according to The Motley Fool, claim to provide work-from-home job opportunities, loans, or other types of financial relief. 

Phase 05: Recognition: The very nature of human psychology

Most Americans claimed to receive hoax messages from “FCC Financial Care Center” promising $30k in relief for those who have recently been furloughed, according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Since this may seem to be an achilles heel, it is actually a sneaky downfall designed to dupe victims into handing over their credentials.

Pro-tip: Disregard emails that fall in such categories

  • Any email requesting personal financial details in a hurry should be avoided.
  • To get people to respond quickly, phishers usually include disturbing or exciting (but false) statements in their emails.
  • They usually ask for user IDs, passwords, credit card numbers, SSN, and other personal details.
  • Genuine messages from your bank or e-commerce company are usually personalized, whereas phishing emails aren’t. Wait, modern sophisticated are “too personalized” (check act fast).

Phase 06: Types of phishing scams

  • Phishing scams appear in your inbox, typically requesting that you click on a connection, send money, respond with personal information, or open an attachment. The sender’s email could be tailored to look like a legitimate one, and it could contain information that feels unique to you.
  • Voice phishing (vishing) Scammers use voice phishing (vishing) scams to trick you by impersonating a legitimate individual or organisation. They can disguise their phone number and redirect you from an automated message. Vishers will try to hold you on the phone as long as possible, pleading for you to take action. This could lead to sim hacking.
  • Domain Spoofing an email phisher can use domain spoofing to imitate legitimate email addresses. These scams alter a legitimate company’s domain (for example, @canada.com). You could become a victim of the scam if you interact with an address like “@casey.com.”
  • Smishing – Phishing Scams via SMS (smishing) This scheme, like vishing, would mimic a legitimate organisation by using urgency in a short text message to deceive you. You’ll typically find a connection or a phone number in the message that you can use. This also applies to mobile messaging systems.
  • Clone phishing is when a valid attachment or connection is replaced with a malicious one in a previously sent post. This is most often seen in email, but it can also be seen in other places, such as false social media profiles and texts.
  • Criminals use posts or direct messages on social media to trick you into falling for a scam. Some are overt, such as freebies or dubious “official” organisation pages with a pressing order. Others can impersonate your friends or develop a long – term relationship with you before ‘attacking’ to complete the transaction.

Phase 07: In other cases, legal websites can be hacked or imitated using the following methods:

  • With the classic “padlock next to the URL bar” indicator or infamously known as the HTTPS phishing scam gives a fraudulent website the appearance of protection. Previously, this encryption sign was only available to sites that had been verified as secure, but now it is available to any site. So, while your link and the information you send may be hidden from outsiders, you’re still linked to a hacker.
  • When an unattended fraudulent page reloads into a spoof of a legitimate site login, this is known as tabnabbing. When you come back to it, you may mistake it for the real thing and unwittingly give it access to your account.
  • Typosquatting (URL hijacking) is a method of chasing people who type the wrong URL for a website. For instance, “MccDonald” instead of “McDonald” could lead to an unwanted nest.
  • Another branch of phishing scam is “watering hole phishing” targets famous websites that are regularly visited by a large number of people. An attack like this might try to take advantage of flaws in a website to launch a variety of other phishing scam. Malware distribution, link redirection, and other methods are often used in this form of cyber attack.
  • Pharming (DNS cache poisoning) reroutes traffic from secure websites to phishing sites using malware or an onsite vulnerability. If a domain is pharmed, manually typing a URL would always take visitors to the malicious site.

Personal and public email addresses:

Create a private email address. Only personal correspondence should be sent here. Since spammers create lists of potential email addresses by combining obvious names, words, and numbers, you should make it difficult for them to guess your address. Your private address should be more than just your first and last name, and you should safeguard it by doing the following:

  1. Never put your private email address on a website that is open to the public.
  2. If you must publish your private address online, try to mask it to prevent spammers picking up your address. Spammers can easily locate email addresses like ‘Joe.Smith@yahoo.com.’ Instead of ‘Joe-dot-Smith-at-yahoo.com,’ try ‘Joe-dot-Smith-at-yahoo.com’.
  3. If spammers discover your private address, you can update it. Changing your email address can be annoying, but it will help you prevent spam and scammers.
  4. Make a public email address for yourself. When you need to register on online forums and chat rooms, as well as subscribe to mailing lists and other Internet services, use this address. 
  5. Make yourself a public email address. Using this address to sign up for online forums and chat rooms, as well as to link to mailing lists and other Internet services. Don’t be afraid to switch up your public email address on a regular basis.
  6. Make use of a variety of public addresses. You’ll have a better chance of figuring out which services are selling your address to spammers this way.

ACT FAST!! How to eventually get rid of phishing scams?

We’ve to act fast. 

Prerequisite: 

  1. Go straight to the source, first and foremost: Be wary of text messages or the emails purporting to be from firms that make unusual requests or provide information that seems to be smugly moralistic. Instead of clicking on a connection contained within the email description or link, go directly on the website of the mentioned company or contact their customer service/ live chat, whatsoever.
  2. Be wary of emails that invite you to take unwanted action: Do not click on something in an email or text message that asks you to take a specific action or download apps. Instead, revert to step 1, visit the organization’s official website or social media. You will no longer be able to or urged to download malicious content from phishing links.
  3. Set up a security software or upgrade carrier plan automatically to protect your mobile device. A mandatory update policy in an organization can also pluck any incoming cyber security threat in advance and mitigate it to an acceptable level. These adjustments can provide you with essential security protection against unwanted hacking, such as sim swap
  4. Employees technical training: Although the first three are applicable for companies as well, another aspect would be to train employees to indicate different types of cyber attacks and get rid of phishing scams.
  5. Multi-factor authentication is a good way to keep your accounts secure. Some accounts provide an extra layer of protection by having two or more passwords to log in. It is important for organisations and individuals to realise this and to have the resources necessary to resist it if they fall prey to it by using a password manager to prevent password reuse. However, if you have a complex or high-threat model, a hardware MFA such as a yubikey is something we strongly suggest. Anything like the Twitter hack couldn’t have happened if this had been in place.
  6. Back up your data to keep it secure. Create a copy of your data and make sure it isn’t linked to your network (on your home). Your data files can be copied to a cloud storage or external hard drive. Back up your phone’s data as well.
  7. Without opening the email, delete it. When you open an attachment or click a connection in an email, most viruses are enabled. However, some email clients allow scripting, making it possible to get a virus simply by opening an email that appears to be suspicious. It’s better if you don’t open them all at once.
  8. Block the sender manually. You can build a block manually if your email client requires it. Make a note of the sender’s email domain and link it to a blocked sender list. If you share your email box with someone in your family, this is particularly wise and useful. Someone else might come across a legitimate-looking email that isn’t in your spam folder and decide to do something with it.

In the meanwhile, join @efani on Twitter, listen to our CEO’s podcasts, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook to stay up to date on all things Efani and mobile security threats.

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How to Block Unwanted Spam Texts on Android and iOS?

You’re probably getting spammy text message updates if you have a smartphone. Security codes from your account, meal coupons, political party messages—the list is endless. Here’s how to avoid receiving unsolicited automatic texts from a business. 

In contrast to newsletters, SMS messages do not have “unsub” links. They frequently leave no instructions for unsubscribing. And if there are no directions for stopping a text message, there is a virtually standardized way to do so.

Simply reply to the text with one of the following words to unsubscribe from automatic text messages sent to your mobile phone number:

  1. UNSUBSCRIBE
  2. STOP
  3. QUIT
  4. CANCEL
  5. END
  6. STOP ALL (note)

NOTE – Send this message instead to be removed from all lists sharing the short code number. 

Numerous automated SMS services exchange “short code” numbers from which they submit you messages. Sending out a message like “STOP” or “UNSUBSCRIBE” to the number would delete you from the list that texted you last.  These are pretty common commands, and most systems that are will notify you right away if you use them. 

How can I block spam texts?

Some people send spam text messages, just as they send spam emails, and they ain’t going to stop no matter how nicely you’ve asked them to stop. 

Here are some considerations:

  1. How to block text messages from a number on iOS and Android
  2. How to block text messages from multiple numbers on Android and iOS

How to block spam text messages from a number on iOS and Android

On occasion, you can receive spam messages on your phone. People can be irritating at times. Often all you need to do is block someone. 

Blocking numbers on an iPhone has one minor idiosyncrasy: the number you wish to block should be saved in your Contacts, because there is no way of blocking a particular number otherwise. Howtogeek recommends users to create a dummy spam section so individuals can add spam contacts there to smooth the blocking process (this involves blocking texts and calls). 

You have an option to block a contact, directly from the message

iOS:

  • If you’ve the text from that unknown number, the only way to block a specific sender is to do so directly from the message.
  • Tap the ‘contact’ at the top of the message.
  • In this menu, tap the ‘info’ below person’s name, then scroll to the bottom of the page.
  • “Block this caller” should be chosen.

Android

So, here’s the deal: there are a ton of Android phones available from a variety of manufacturers. And it appears that nearly every single one of them has its own Text message app, making it difficult to tell you how to do it on your specific phone.

For the sake of clarity, I am going to show the blocking process on Infinix Hot 10.

  • Blocking SMS from a particular individual is as simple as blocking them from a sent post. To do so, go to the Messages app and open the chat thread from them.
  • Select “Details” from the three dots in the upper right corner.
  • “Block ” should be selected. A popup window will appear, asking you to confirm that you want to block the number, and will inform you that you will no longer receive calls or texts from this user. To confirm, tap “Block

Manually block the user’s number

iOS:

  • To get started, go to the Settings menu and scroll down until you the relevant tab i.e. “Messages.” The menu can be accessed by tapping it.
  • Under the SMS/MMS subsection, about three-quarters of the way down this menu is an entry named “Blocked.” That should be tapped.
  • This is where all blocked numbers will appear. Tap “Add New” to create a new one in the list.
  • This will bring up your phone contacts; simply check for the contact associated with the phone number you want to block. Upon finding the digits that have to be blocked, click on the relevant action to block to get rid of those incessant messages. 

Android:

  • You can also manually type in the person’s phone number to block them if you don’t have an open message with them. Click the three dots in the upper right corner of the main Messages interface, then pick “Blocked Contacts.”
  • Mostly it would be a spam and blocked section and not every device prompts such action to add a new contact to be blocked. 

How to unblock a number on iOS and Android?

On iOS:

  • If you change your mind, you can unblock users by returning to the Settings menu and scrolling down to “Messages.”
  • Go to the “Blocked” menu and choose it.
  • In the upper right corner, tap “Edit.”
  • Click on the red icon. This is available to the left of the person’s name, and then tap “Unblock” on the right side to confirm.

Android:

  • Simple click on ‘x’ right next to blocked numbers on your messaging apps. This interface varies device-to-device. 

Please note that there will be another part to this blog where we’ll discuss how to apply spam filter to block telemarketing and other Mr. Random guy numbers on Android and iOS! Stay tuned, readers

Sources:

Summerson, C. (2017, September 11). How to Block Text Messages from a Certain Number on an iPhone. Retrieved from https://www.howtogeek.com/205058/how-to-block-sms-text-or-calls-from-contacts-on-your-iphone/

Summerson, C. (2017, September 07). How to Block Text Messages from a Certain Number on Android. Retrieved from https://www.howtogeek.com/322193/how-to-block-text-messages-from-a-certain-number-on-android/

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Best Practices to handle roaming on an Android Device

The Android device is highly configurable, allowing you to manage simple phone features such as the usage of data and international roaming settings while you’re not on your own carrier’s network. This guide is intended to answer the following questions:

  1. The prerequisites of taking an android device overseas.
  2. How to set an android device to turn off data when roaming?
  3. BONUS

Renting or purchasing an Android phone in the country where you intend to stay is the most convenient way to use an android device when travelling. International roaming fees are often so high that it is often recommended to simply buy a temporary mobile phone wherever you travel, particularly if you intend to stay for an extended period of time. 

If you choose to use your own phone rather than purchasing a local mobile device, everything must go fluently — as long as you have access to a compatible cellular service in your area of residence. Not every Android phone is compatible with the same cellular network, and not every foreign country is compatible with the same mobile network. Before the mobile attempts to operate in response to the surroundings, it is important to ascertain the roaming charges you could expect from a foreign carrier.

Anyways, enough with the jibber-jabber, let’s get started chronologically. 

The prerequisites of taking an android device overseas 

Turning your phone on is one of the prerequisites to deciding that an android device can be used in a foreign country as a potential asset.  Another key determinant would be the emergence of a country specific cellular service where the previous carrier name once appeared.  So, if your phone previously mentioned Verizon Wireless, it could now say Telstra if you’re abroad, for instance.

  • When you’re travelling, make sure to ask about texting and cellular data (Internet) prices.
  • If you’re unsure, call your mobile provider for advice and details unique to the country you’re visiting. For example, efani offers international roaming via eSim.
  • Though you might have a variety of options for communication during your international travel, Wi-Fi calling is the only one you won’t have to purchase or download. It’s free, useful, and simple to use. If you use efani, you’ll be happy to know that Wi-Fi Calling is compatible. Bon Voyage? Oh, wait…
  • If you’re unsure, call your mobile network for advice and knowledge unique to the country you’re visiting. Our dedicated team is available 24/7 for you.
  • You’ll need to dial internationally when you’re away from home. You must dial a 10-digit number when calling home (for example, the United States) (phone number and their area code). When dialing, you may additionally be asked to type the country exit code.

How to set an android device to turn off roaming? 

Roaming may seem to be convenient, but there’s a catch: it almost always comes with a surcharge for using another cellular service — an unwelcome charge at your disposal.

Take a deep breath, relax!  When you’re roaming, disable all data usage in your Android’s key settings. A roaming “R” icon appears in the status area at the top of the screen to notify you once you’re roaming. 

  • As an initial step, press the “Home” button.
  • Select “Menu” from the drop-down menu.
  • “Settings,” “Wireless & networks,” and “Mobile networks” are the relevant options you need to tap.
  • Make sure the “Data roaming” feature is unchecked. Tap to remove the check.
  • To exit the “Mobile networks” settings, press the “Home” or “Back” button.

ICYMI – when your phone roams, it can always use the Wi-Fi connection to access the Internet. You don’t have to pay extra to set up a Wi-Fi connection, unless you have to pay to access a wireless connection.

BONUS

Multimedia, or MMS, text messages are another network service you may want to disable while roaming. Follow these measures to prevent surcharges from another cellular network when downloading an MMS message:

  • Open the text messaging app on your mobile.
  • Tap the Back or app icons in the upper-left corner of the phone unless  the main screen of the app appears.
  • Tap on the Menu icon.
  • Select Messaging Settings from the drop-down menu.
  • The Auto-Retrieve or Roaming Auto-Retrieve commands can be used to remove the check mark. By the way, you’re good to go — practically — if the item isn’t selected.

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