Author: Kent Lawson


Scareware: How a Fake Internet ‘Security’ Company Conned Millions Around the World

Ever hear the joke about the hugely successful software company that was scaring folks into buying basically nothing more a malevolent cure for fake computer viruses? Unfortunately, that actually happened to very smart people, the same “tech savvy” folks who are careful about what information they download on their computers, and even among those who know better than to click on a “Win a free iPad!” link on Facebook. Wired magazine shares the story of two con men – who are still on the lam — who sold their scam software to millions of unsuspecting consumers. How did so many fall for this ploy? Click the headline to learn more.

Wi-Fi Alliance Strongly Recommends Personal VPNs When Using Wifi Hotspots

In a recent press release, the Wi-Fi Alliance, the leading global industry association devoted to WiFi connectivity, noted that 82% of WiFi hotspot users do not protect their communications. These users are vulnerable to having their private information intercepted by anyone in the same hotspot with an ordinary laptop and some simple software, readily available for download from the web. The Wi-Fi Alliance is urging consumers to realize that protecting their data when accessing a public WiFi hotspot is their own responsibility, and that they should not rely on the hotspot or website they are accessing.

lock icon

The Three Biggest Reasons You Can’t Rely On ‘HTTPS’ For Privacy Or Security Online

For years, we have been told that HTTPS was reliable and secure, but the sad truth is this is no longer the case. If we cannot rely on websites to provide security via HTTPS, what is the answer? I strongly believe that each person needs to take individual responsibility for the privacy and security of their own Internet communications. Consider this: you have a firewall and anti-virus software on your computer, because you do not expect all sites to protect you against viruses. Why would you think you could rely on those sites to protect your communication? The only way to adequately protect your Internet communications is with a personal VPN, or virtual private network. You need to use a VPN whenever you are using a public wifi hotspot. And I happen to know where you can get a good one. Just click here and you can try it for free.

The Obscure, Flawed and Dangerous World of Certificates

Visiting a fake website can have consequences ranging from loss of privacy, to credit card theft, even identity theft. Certificates can be forged, flawed, or stolen. In fact, some security experts say that the Certificate system is “broken” – and there are no remedies on the horizon. How important is that? Well, very important, actually. Because if the Certificate system is no longer fully reliable, then HTTPS, and many other parts of the Internet security system which also use Certificates, are not reliable either. Click the headline above to read more about this alarming development.

online shopping

Huge New HTTPS Vulnerability Found For Online Banking, Retail Stores

You use PayPal and shop online, like most people out there, but here’s a scary story that will make you think twice before purchasing anything online again. It even affects the security of your online banking. But wait, you think just because you’re using a bank’s “secure website” that you have nothing to worry about? Up until now, everyone has assumed that if a website is using HTTPS for online transactions, it means that it is completely safe. But just in the past few weeks, researchers have discovered a serious weakness in this technology that allows hackers to read and steal supposedly encrypted data. Click the headline above to read more.

Do We Need a ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ On the Internet?

Like the proverbial elephant, the Internet never forgets. That youthful indiscretion or embarrassing party photograph can be around your neck forever. Actually, the issue is not so much that the Internet does not forget, but rather that it provides tools that allow virtually anything about you to be found. Blame Google, of course, but the various personal information services are quite a bit more insidious. Click the headline above to read more about the “right to be forgotten” online.

facebook safety

Ask the Expert: What Steps Should I Take to Be Safe on Facebook?

Facebook has become very successful by being a part of everything we do on the Internet. Facebook’s philosophy is that the Internet is more fun when it’s shared, like a party. The problem is that we can’t be sure who else Facebook has invited to the party and if we should really trust them or not. Click above to read CEO Kent Lawson’s in-depth response to this month’s “Ask the Expert” article and find out the BEST and easiest ways to stay safe on Facebook. After all, he calls Facebook “a spamware purveyor’s delight” because it’s a service where literally millions of people are waiting around for the next interesting thing to arrive on their pages. Check out his tips so you don’t get spammed!


Something New to Worry About — Your Camera and Online Privacy!

Before you upload pics from your Labor Day weekend extravaganza — and the rest of your summer vacation photos — check out what CEO Kent Lawson has to say about the risks of sharing digital photos online. In his latest “best of” series, we revisit what “modern” cameras record, how to turn off GPS tracking, and other ways to keep your identity safer online.

Flying Naked: Why Airplane Wifi Is So Unsafe

WiFi in airplanes is expensive — up to $12.95 for a single flight. So one can assume that those who use it have important, and probably confidential, information that they need to communicate. However, the fact is that wifi in airplanes is just as insecure as free wifi offered in your corner coffee shop. Read on to learn why.

digital information

Distressingly Fragile: Digital Information and Things That We Trust That We Shouldn’t

It might sound crazy, but it’s actually rather simple for some cyberpunk to drive to where you live or work, park out front, and put up cellphone antenna aimed at your home or office to hack your cell phone conversations, text messages, even emails. Think it’s not so simple? Think again, says CEO Kent Lawson, in this special post from May that we’re publishing again as part of our “Best of…” series. Click above to read all of Kent’s thoughts on a few “distressingly fragile” mobile trends you need to know about.

So Buggy: Wiretaps At All-Time High

We all know — and applaud — when wiretaps break major corruption scandals, such as Blagojevich in Illinois, or the recent Wall Street insider trading investigation. Or the delicious ones, like Spitzer’s dalliance with a New York call girl. But there is also something just a little scary about government wiretaps as well. Read more for some interesting facts from a report covering wiretaps in 2010 — and what would make you the subject of such an investigation!

Ask the Expert: Is Reusing the Same Password Risky?

In his latest “Ask the Excerpt” installment, CEO Kent Lawson points out why it’s more important than ever to use strong passwords — and also why it’s imperative to change passwords for your various login accounts. Otherwise, you might as well leave your house key under your doormat.