Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Is Zoom Protecting Your Sensitive Information

Since the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19, many people have been forced to stay at home, either to practice self-distancing or in mandatory quarantine. While we may be living in the middle of a pandemic, work must go on, even if we're doing it from our living rooms. In comes the popular video conferencing app, Zoom. This easy-to-use app is currently being utilized by millions to host work meetings, interviews, virtual birthday parties, dinners, and more. While the user-friendly, free app may be one of the most popular during the pandemic to see familiar faces online, it does come with a slew of privacy and cybersecurity issues.

Zoom's Past Privacy Blunders:

Zoom is no stranger to privacy snafus and data breaches. You may be familiar with the term "Zoombombing," where cybercriminals and trolls hijacked user's web cameras and bombarded them with inappropriate materials during their videoconferences. Zoom's chief executive, Eric Yuan, has addressed the security concerns and has apologized for the application's recent problems. While the company has promised to fix their privacy and security issues, can we trust it? When a company fails to protect its user's privacy, more often than not, it does leave a bad taste in their customer's mouths. However, so many of us are relying on the software to comply with work orders, or keep up with family and friends during the coronavirus pandemic.

Should You Still Use Zoom?

We get it; in these difficult times, many of us don't have any better options than to continue to use Zoom. Keep these tips in mind to ensure your privacy remains protected while using the app.

  • Zoom is safer on mobile devices:
  • Use the app on an iPad, iPhone, or Android smartphone, rather than on a Mac or PC. Mobile apps that go through Apple's App Store and Google's Play store go through more rigorous review processes, including inspection for security flaws.

  • Turn on Zoom security settings:
  • Be sure to create a meeting password to help prevent any unwanted visitors Zoombombing your video calls.

  • Don't rely on Zoom to relay sensitive information:
  • Try to avoid using Zoom on work calls relating to any private or confidential matters.

If Privacy is Your Main Concern, Try an Alternative:

If Privacy is Your Main Concern, Try an Alternative: If your line of work can survive without video calls, stop using Zoom. With so many of us working from home now, likely you'll need to implement secure file transfer software. Trustwire is the most reliable way to send and receive files online. Use Trustwire to safely send data to your customers, employees, and colleagues.

If you require video conferences to complete your work, there are other video chatting tools available, with better reputations. Applications like Google's Hangouts, Cisco's Webex, and FaceTime for Apple devices are safer alternatives to Zoom. While they may not be as straightforward and easy to use, you can worry less about cybersecurity.

To learn more about how Trustwire can be a useful tool against ransomware attacks and other cybercrimes.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Are Hackers Stealing Your Information on TikTok?

TikTok, the smartphone app hailing from China that allows its users to create short dance, lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos to be shared with their following. The app beloved by teenagers and used daily by hundreds of millions of people around the globe, has had its fair share of security vulnerabilities. Check Point, one of the top cybersecurity companies in Israel, published research claiming the app can potentially allow hackers to manipulate user data and divulge personal information.

What Did Check Point Find?

Check Point researchers tested TikTok’s security weaknesses by sending themselves links with malware that allowed them to take control of other accounts, upload content, delete videos, and make private videos available to the public. The researchers were also able to retrieve TikTok users’ personal information, including names and birth dates.

Another flaw the Check Point found was a weakness that would allow cyberattackers to send TikTok users messages containing malicious links. Once the user opened the link, the attacker would have been able to take control of their TikTok accounts. Researchers were also able to retrieve personal information from user’s accounts through the official TikTok website. Check Point did send a summary of the TikTok security flaws to the Department of Homeland Security in the United States. Oded Vanunu, Check Point’s head of product vulnerability research, Oded Vanunu said: “The vulnerabilities we found were all core to TikTok’s systems.”  

Is TikTok Safe to Use?

Upon learning of the findings of Check Point’s research, TikTok has claimed to fix all of their vulnerabilities. These changes were said to be implemented in December 2019. TikTok is one of the few Chinese success stories in the West. The app is especially popular among younger users, and predictions show by the end of next year, TikTok could surpass Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snap in the number of downloads. The problem with newer apps like TikTok is that it’s a breeding ground for hackers looking to target new services that haven’t gone through years of testing and extensive security research. Plus, many of the app’s users are young and potentially not educated or mindful of cybersecurity precautions or security updates. Members of the TikTok security team are claiming the app is safe to use for all, and the privacy of their users will remain a top priority.

More Shortcoming for TikTok:

Back in February 2019, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against TikTok, stating the app illegally collected personal information from minors. In the charge, another popular app Musical.ly, which is owned by TikTok, was said to violate the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. TikTok agreed to pay $5.7 million to settle the complaint. It’s still not the end of the road, TikTok is being investigated by the British Information Commissioner’s Office to determine if the app has violated European privacy laws.   

Do Send Documents Securely Over the Internet with Trustwire:

Trustwire is a browser-based file transfer method. Using the latest end-to-end encryption software, Trustwire guarantees your files will be shared safely with only the rightful recipient. Our free service means no more trips hand-delivering data, worrying about cybersecurity breaches, and knowing the information you divulge to your CPA, lawyer, or doctor remains secure. With Trustwire, you can easily exchange and access files anywhere in the world, and no downloads or installations are required. Are you ready to start surfing the internet securely? Sign up for a free account here.

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