technology

Five steps to avoid WhatsApp harassment.

  1. Avoid calls and messages from unknown contacts

We encounter countless messages and calls from unknown contacts on a daily basis. It is best to avoid those messages and calls, specially if its a suspicious link, or a call from a suspicious number.

  1. International calls

Always check for the country code when receiving a call from an unknown number. The country code for India is 91.

  1. Beware of the selfie camera

Always keep the selfie camera setting turned off. You can always switch it on once you are sure the call is from a known person.

  1. Avoid unknown groups

We are all added to an unknown WhatsApp group once in a while. It is best to leave the group as soon as possible to avoid a potential security breach.

  1. Privacy settings

The options in the privacy settings allows users to make their profile completely private. Users can choose to make their profile picture, status and last seen visible to everyone, contacts only or to nobody. It is best to choose the ‘contacts only’ option.

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Is the Truecaller app really spyware?

In a way, yes. You’ll have to learn about the way Truecaller works to understand this.

Truecaller works on a methodology called “crowdsourcing “. Now what is crowdsourcing? How is Truecaller able to tell you the name of a caller not in your contacts list? Simply, by ‘asking’ it to someone who has the number in their contacts list.

Every user that uses the Truecaller app submits his contact list to Truecaller’s servers. Now if any of these contacts calls you and you don’t have that number saved in your phone, Truecaller tells you who it is by looking at the information stored on their server by their other users. This is called as crowdsourcing.

The privacy concern here is that the app takes up all your contacts and you don’t have a choice to allow them or not. I understood the way this app works as soon as I first installed in on my phone. Since then, I have never used it again because I don’t want them to ‘spy’ on me like this.

Now of course the company will have a privacy policy in which they will tell that we don’t take personally identifiable information from user or whatever, but that is what every company out there says.

So by literal definition, you can’t call it a complete spyware, but it does take your information like location, contacts, etc. so you have to decide if it is a concern for you or not. For me, it is.

PS: Almost every app you use on your phone is doing this with or without your knowledge. Facebook does it, Google does it. It’s actually very difficult in today’s world to use the internet and not be spied upon by these huge tech giants. So we’re all just compromising with our privacy and safety

technology

Cybercrime Attack Types.

Cybercrime can attack in various ways. Here, is some most common cybercrime attack mode:

Hacking:

It is an act of gaining unauthorized access to a computer system or network.

Denial Of Service Attack:

In this cyberattack, the cyber-criminal uses the bandwidth of the victim’s network or fills their e-mail box with spammy mail. Here, the intention is to disrupt their regular services.

Software Piracy:

Theft of software by illegally copying genuine programs or counterfeiting. It also includes the distribution of products intended to pass for the original.

Phishing:

Pishing is a technique of extracting confidential information from the bank/financial institutional account holders by illegal ways.

Spoofing:

It is an act of getting one computer system or a network to pretend to have the identity of another computer. It is mostly used to get access to exclusive privileges enjoyed by that network or computer.

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8 Ways Your WhatsApp Messages Can Be Hacked.

  1. Remote Code Execution via GIF
    remote execution with laptop
    In October 2019, security researcher Awakened revealed a vulnerability in WhatsApp that let hackers take control of the app using a GIF image. The hack works by taking advantage of the way that WhatsApp processes images when the user opens the Gallery view to send a media file.

When this happens, the app parses the GIF to show a preview of the file. GIF files are special because they have multiple encoded frames. This means that code can be hidden within the image.

If a hacker were to send a malicious GIF to a user, they could compromise the user’s entire chat history. The hackers would be able to see who the user had been messaging and what they had been saying. They could also see users’ files, photos, and videos sent through WhatsApp.

The vulnerability affected versions of WhatsApp up to 2.19.230 on Android 8.1 and 9. Fortunately, Awakened disclosed the vulnerability responsibly and Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, patched the issue. To keep yourself safe from this problem, you should update WhatsApp to version 2.19.244 or above.

  1. The Pegasus Voice Call Attack
    user on a whatsapp chat
    Another WhatsApp vulnerability discovered in early 2019 was the Pegasus voice call hack.

This scary attack allowed hackers to access a device simply by placing a WhatsApp voice call to their target. Even if the target didn’t answer the call, the attack could still be effective. And the target may not even be aware that malware has been installed on their device.

This worked through a method known as buffer overflow. This is where an attack deliberately puts too much code into a small buffer so that it “overflows” and writes code into a location it shouldn’t be able to access. When the hacker can run code in a location that should be secure, they can take malicious steps.

This attack installed an older and well-known piece of spyware called Pegasus. This allowed hackers to collect data on phone calls, messages, photos, and video. It even let them activate devices’ cameras and microphones to take recordings.

This vulnerability applied to Android, iOS, Windows 10 Mobile, and Tizen devices. It was used by the Israeli firm NSO Group which has been accused of spying on Amnesty International staff and other human rights activists. After news of the hack broke, WhatsApp was updated to protect it from this attack.

If you are running WhatsApp version 2.19.134 or earlier on Android or version 2.19.51 or earlier on iOS, then you need to update your app immediately.

  1. Socially Engineered Attacks

Another way that WhatsApp is vulnerable is through socially engineered attacks. These exploit human psychology to steal information or spread misinformation.

A security firm called Check Point Research revealed one such attack they named FakesApp. This allowed people to misuse the quote feature in group chat and to alter the text of another person’s reply. Essentially, hackers could plant fake statements that appear to be from other legitimate users.

The researchers could do this by decrypting WhatsApp communications. This allowed them to see data sent between the mobile version and the web version of WhatsApp.

And from here, they could change values in group chats. Then they could impersonate other people, sending messages which appeared to be from them. They could also change the text of replies.

This could be used in worrying ways to spread scams or fake news. Even though the vulnerability was disclosed in 2018, it had still not been patched by the time the researchers spoke at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas in 2019, according to ZNet.

  1. Media File Jacking

Media File Jacking affects both WhatsApp and Telegram. This attack takes advantage of the way that apps receive media files like photos or videos and write those files to a device’s external storage.

The attack starts by installing malware hidden inside an apparently harmless app. This can then monitor incoming files for Telegram or WhatsApp. When a new file comes in, the malware can swap out the real file for a fake one. Symantec, the company that discovered the issue, suggests it could be used to scam people or to spread fake news.

There is a quick fix for this issue. In WhatsApp, you should look in Settings and go to Chat Settings. Then find the Save to Gallery option and make sure it is set to Off. This will protect you from this vulnerability. However, a true fix for the issue will require app developers to entirely change the way that apps handle media files in the future.

  1. Facebook Could Spy on WhatsApp Chats.
    man with facebook binoculars snooping on you
    In a blog post, WhatsApp implied that because it uses end-to-end encryption, it is impossible for Facebook to read WhatsApp content:

“When you and the people you message are using the latest version of WhatsApp, your messages are encrypted by default, which means you’re the only people who can read them. Even as we coordinate more with Facebook in the months ahead, your encrypted messages stay private and no one else can read them. Not WhatsApp, not Facebook, nor anyone else.”

The fact WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption does not mean all messages are private. On an operating system like iOS 8 and above, apps can access files in a “shared container.”

Both the Facebook and WhatsApp apps use the same shared container on devices. And while chats are encrypted when they are sent, they are not necessarily encrypted on the originating device. This means the Facebook app could potentially copy information from the WhatsApp app.

To be clear, there is no evidence that Facebook has used shared containers to view private WhatsApp messages. But the potential is there for them to do so. Even with end-to-end encryption, your messages may not be private from Facebook’s all-seeing eye.

  1. Paid Third-Party Apps
    paid-apps-for-hacking
    You’d be surprised how many paid legal apps have sprung up in the market that solely exist for hacking into secure systems.

This could be done by big corporations working hand-in-hand with oppressive regimes to target activists and journalists; or by cybercriminals, intent on getting your personal information.

Apps like Spyzie and mSPY can easily hack into your WhatsApp account for your stealing your private data.

All you need to do is purchase the app, install it, and activate it on the target phone. Finally, you can sit back and connect to your app dashboard from the web browser, and snoop in on private WhatsApp data like messages, contacts, status, etc. But obviously we advise against anyone actually doing this!

  1. Fake WhatsApp Clones
    whatsapp clones
    Using fake websites clones for installing malware is an old hacking strategy still implemented by many hackers all over the world. These clone sites are known as malicious websites.

The hacking tactic has now also been adopted for breaking into Android systems. To hack into your WhatsApp account, an attacker will first try to install a clone of WhatsApp, which might look strikingly similar to the original app.

Take the case of the WhatsApp Pink scam, for instance. A clone of the original WhatsApp, it claims to change the standard green WhatsApp background to pink. Here’s how it works.

An unsuspecting user receives a link to download the WhatsApp Pink app for changing the background color of their app. And even though it really does change the background color of your app to pink, as soon as you install the app, it will start collecting data not just from your WhatsApp but also from everything else stored on your phone.

  1. WhatsApp Web
    whatsapp web home page
    WhatsApp Web is a neat tool for someone who spends most of their day on a computer. It provides the ease of accessibility to such WhatsApp users, as they won’t have to pick up their phone again and again for messaging. The big screen and keyboard provides an overall better user experience too.

Here’s the caveat, though. As handy as the web version is, it can be easily used to hack into your WhatsApp chats. This danger arises when you’re using the WhatsApp Web on someone else’s computer.

So, if the owner of the computer has selected the keep me signed in box during login, then your WhatsApp account will stay signed-in even after you close the browser.

The computer owner can then access your information without much difficulty.

You can avoid this by making sure that you log out from WhatsApp Web before you leave. But as they say, prevention is better than cure. The best approach is to avoid using anything other than your personal computer for the web version of WhatsApp altogether.

To learn more about whether WhatsApp is safe, you need to brush up your knowledge of WhatsApp security threats.

These are just a few examples of how WhatsApp can be hacked. While some of these issues have been patched since their disclosure, others have not, so it’s important to stay vigilant.

technology

Cyber security for phone.

Mobile phones contain a great deal of personal information about you. Many apps on your phone provide access to your bank accounts or other accounts that contain sensitive information. These apps may also store credit card information that can allow criminals to buy whatever they want and ship it wherever they want. What’s more, your phone probably contains direct access to your e-mail, text messages and social media accounts that can be used to steal your identity and to trick your friends into providing their sensitive information as well.

Things like this can happen when an attacker physically gets ahold of your mobile device, sure. But did you know that there are a growing number of exploits that take advantage of your phone’s Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular connections to gain virtual access to your phone? It’s true! Phones can be infected with malware just like a computer can!

So what should you do to make sure your mobile phone is secure? The following is a list of tips we recommend.

Use a strong pin or password on your phone

Consider enabling fingerprint logins to your device

Disable Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth when you don’t need them

Be careful what apps you download and what services you allow them to access

Disable location services when you don’t need them

Be careful about where you plug in your phone

Employ remote wiping software

Backup your phone often.

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How secure are mobile banking apps?

Mobile security comprises several challenges of web security such as rapid development and continuous network connectivity, coupled with the threats common to more traditional applications like local encryption and malware. Mobile banking apps can be targeted from different surfaces, which we cover below.

Browser-based attacks
As a matter of fact, browsers are integral to an efficient working environment but they also serve as the ideal cyber attack vector. Web-based threats exploit browsers as well as their extensions, browser third-party plug-ins (e.g. JavaScript) and content management systems (CMS) to harvest credentials and infect systems with malware.

Man-in-the-Mobile (also known as MitMo attacks). This attack enables malevolent users to leverage malware placed on mobile devices to bypass password verification systems that send codes via SMS text messages to users’ mobile devices for identity verification. In that way, intruders can access or manipulate mobile functionality including getting access to victim’s bank account. Because one-time passwords are easily defeated by this attack, the effective solution is known to be the offline and time-generated passwords.

Clickjacking. Clickjacking is a malicious attack where the attacker hijacks a UI component on a website. Technically, an invisible iframe (a frame within a frame) is placed above a clickable element on the page and instead of doing the action that was planned, the attacker’s iframe is in function instead. There are different variations of the clickjacking attack, three of which are likejacking, cropping and cursorjacking. Apart from stealing bank account information and social security numbers, clickjacking can also install different apps on a device without the user’s knowledge.

Phishing. Phishing is a type of social engineering attack often utilised via emails to steal login credentials and financial information. Banking institutions have email filtering in place, and these products do a decent job of keeping phishing and malicious emails away from users. However they are far from perfect, simply because the phishing landscape is evolving tremendously. Yet, be informed that bank websites always make use of “https” on their websites and if you do not see the “https” prefix before the site’s URL, it means that the site is not actually secure.

Phone/SMS-based attacks
The growing pool of mobile devices has become an attractive target for cyber criminals. Your mobile phone can be attacked and infected with worms or other viruses, which can compromise your security and privacy. Phone or SMs-based attacks can result in theft of sensitive information, so remain informed.

SMishing. SMishing (also known as SMS phishing) sends a text message to a user’s phone in an attempt to get them to reveal personal information. This attack is a growing and serious concern for all banking unions. The most common type of smishing attack is that a person gets a text message that directs them to call a number to confirm account information. In smishing attacks, success rates are higher compared to a traditional phishing attack because a user considers that the communication is legit.

NFC attacks. NFC that stands for Near Field Communication is a short-range contactless communication standard. Today, NFC technology is widely used in a number of applications including physical access control and cashless payment. But, how secure NFC is? There are several potential threats to NFC which you should be aware of. The first threat is eavesdropping which happens when an intruder deletes or modifies data that is exchanged between 2 devices. Another threat is a relay attack which refers to the extraction of data, utilising a bridge between a NFC or mobile payment system and the PoS or terminal in real time.

Application-based attacks
The influx of new financial applications released every year has increased the volume of cyber security threats against mobile banking apps. Given that, incorporating mobile app security into overall security strategy must be of topmost importance for financial institutions.

Insecure data storage. According to a report published by Digital.ai titled “In plain sight: The vulnerability epidemic in financial mobile apps“, 83% of financial institutions apps stored data insecurely. Some examples of the errors that are usually made while securing data storage include improperly storing certificates and passwords, weak algorithm choices, not including the necessary maintenance precautions, and many more.

Weak encryption. One of the most crucial components for banking apps is encryption. When an app has weak encryption, it may lead to sensitive data exposure, broken authentication and spoofing attacks. Once data is encrypted, only authorised parties who have a ‘key’ can read it. Banks should use advanced encryption standards to keep customers’ data out of the hands of unauthorised users.

Improper SSL validation. SSL is a digital certificate that use encryption security for the protection of data. Their existence offers authentication to the sites, confidentiality of transactions, as well as integrity of information. Bugs in a mobile banking app’s secure socket layer (SSL) validation process may result in data security breaches.

technology

Internet safety risks for school-age children.

There are four main kinds of internet risks for children.

Content risks
For school-age children these risks include things that they might find upsetting, disgusting or otherwise uncomfortable, if they come across them accidentally. This might include sexual content in games, pornography, images of cruelty to animals, and real or simulated violence.

Contact risks
These risks include children coming into contact with people they don’t know or with adults posing as children online. For example, a child might be persuaded to share personal information with strangers, provide contact details after clicking on pop-up messages, or meet in person with someone they’ve met online.

Conduct risks
These risks include children acting in ways that might hurt others, or being the victim of this kind of behaviour. For example, a child might destroy a game that a friend or sibling has created. Another conduct risk is accidentally making in-app purchases.

Contract risks
These risks include children signing up to unfair contracts, terms or conditions that they aren’t aware of or don’t understand. For example, children might click a button that allows a business to send them inappropriate marketing messages or collect their personal or family data. Or children might use a toy, app or device with weak internet security, which leaves them open to identity theft or fraud.

Protecting children from internet safety risks: tips
You can use a range of different strategies to help your school-age child stay safe online.

Here are some ideas:

Create a family media plan. It’s best to create your plan with your child and ask them for suggestions. Your plan could cover things like screen-free areas in your house, internet safety rules like not giving out personal information, and programs and apps that are OK for your child to use.
Use child-friendly search engines like Kiddle or Kidtopia, or content providers like ABC Kids, CBeebies, YouTube Kids and KIDOZ, or messaging apps like Messenger Kids.
Check that games, websites and TV programs are appropriate for your child. You can do this by looking at reviews on Common Sense Media.
Use the internet with your child or make sure you’re close by and aware of what your child is doing online. This way you can act quickly and reassure your child if they’re concerned or upset by something they’ve seen online.
Check privacy settings and location services, use parental controls, and use safe search settings on browsers, apps, search engines and YouTube. Limit camera and video functions so your child doesn’t accidentally take photos of themselves or others.
If you use TV streaming services, set up profiles for different household members so your child is less likely to come across inappropriate programs.
Find out how to make complaints about offensive online content.
Block in-app purchases and disable one-click payment options on your devices.
Encourage all your children, including older siblings, to help each other use the internet safely and responsibly – for example, by watching only age-appropriate programs.
Trust between you and your child helps keep your child safe online. Calm, open conversations about internet use can help your child feel that you trust them to be responsible online. And if your child feels trusted, they’re more likely to talk with you about what they do online and tell you about online content and contacts that worry them.

It’s best to avoid using surveillance apps that let you secretly monitor your child’s online activity. Using these apps sends the message that you don’t trust your child. It’s better to talk openly about your own internet use and encourage your child to do the same.

If you do choose to monitor your child’s internet use while they’re online or by reviewing their browser history, it’s good to talk about this with your child.

As your child gets older and more confident and starts using the internet independently, you’ll need to review your strategies. Our article on internet safety for children aged 9-11 years has ideas.

Teaching safe and responsible online behaviour
You can help your child learn how to use the internet safely, responsibly and enjoyably. If you teach your child how to manage internet safety risks and worrying experiences, your child will build digital resilience. This is the ability to deal with and respond positively to any risks they encounter online.

You can do this by:

going online with your child
talking with your child about online content and listening to their views
being a good role model
teaching your child to be careful with personal information
teaching your child to avoid online purchases
talking about appropriate online behaviour.
Going online with children
Going online with your child gives you the opportunity to see the apps or games your child plays, or the videos they watch.

You can share your child’s experience while also checking that the content is appropriate. One way to do this is by asking questions that show interest in what your child is doing – for example, ‘That looks like an interesting game. Can you teach me to play too?’

You can also show your child sites that are fun, interesting or educational and show your child how to bookmark them for later. You could help your child find information they need for homework by using the right kind of search words. For example, for information on a school project about how people lived in the past, your child might use a phrase like ‘life in Australia in the 1900s’, rather than ‘past life’.

If you come across pop-up advertisements while you’re online together, it’s a good opportunity to talk with your child about not clicking them. You can explain that pop-up ads can lead to sites with unpleasant pictures or sites that want your personal or financial information.

Talking about online content
It’s a good idea to explain to your child that the internet has all sorts of content and that some of it isn’t for children.

You could explain that there are parental controls, safe browsing settings and internet filters set up on most devices to protect children from inappropriate content. But these are not a guarantee and your child could still come across inappropriate content.

So it’s also a good idea to encourage your child to talk to you or another trusted adult if they see something that worries them. For example, you might say, ‘Sometimes people put horrible things on the internet. Some of it’s made up and some of it’s real. If you see anything that upsets you or makes you feel uncomfortable, let me know’.

If you name things to look out for, it can help your child identify unsuitable material. For example, ‘If you see a site with upsetting, scary or rude pictures, swearing or angry words, let me know. It’s not a good site for you to look at’.

You could also explain that not all information on the internet is true or helpful – for example, some news is made up. Encouraging your child to question things they find on the internet helps your child develop the ability to tell whether a website has good-quality information. This is an important part of digital and media literacy.

Being a good role model
Your child learns from you. This means you can model safe and healthy internet use by using digital media in the way you want your child to use it now and in the future. For example, you might keep internet-connected devices out of bedrooms, and use technology for positive purposes like sending supportive messages to friends.

Taking care with privacy and personal information
It’s a good idea to make sure your child knows not to communicate online with people they don’t know in person. This is particularly important if your child is using in-game social networks. For example, gaming sites like Roblox and Minecraft are targeted at children but have messaging features that might allow strangers to communicate with your child.

Encourage your child to:

tell you if someone they don’t know contacts them online
not give out personal information. You could say, ‘Some people online are fakers. Never tell anyone online your name, address, phone number or birthday. Never send or post images of yourself’
check with you before filling out membership forms on gaming sites, online competition entry forms and so on
ask you before they use a new app, so you can show them how to check the privacy settings to keep their personal information safe.
Avoiding online purchases
You can help stop any accidental in-app purchases by switching off in-app purchases and one-click payments on your devices.

It’s also a good idea for you and your child to agree on clear rules about not accepting in-app purchases. You might say, ‘It’s important that we don’t waste our money on things we don’t need. If you want to buy a new game or something in a game, please ask me’.

Talking about appropriate online behaviour
Talking with your child about appropriate and inappropriate online behaviour will help your child learn how to stay safe. For example, you could:

tell your child not to do or say anything online that they wouldn’t do or say face to face with someone
encourage your child to think before posting photos or comments
help your child to walk away from online arguments. You could say, ‘Friends can say things they don’t mean. It’s good to let people get over their moods and not talk to them online for a little while.

technology

How to Spot the Signs of a Romance Scammer.

Each year thousands of people who are searching for love end up with nothing but a broken heart and an empty wallet.

While online dating and social media sites have become increasingly popular tools to find love and friendship, they’ve unfortunately also become popular tools for fraudsters known as romance scammers. These con artists create fake profiles to lure in victims, establish romantic relationships and eventually, extort money.

Signs of an Online Romance Scam.

4 Common Signs of a Romance Scammer
Romance scammers are experts in social manipulation and can sound very convincing. Many of the signs of a romance scammer are subtle and insidious because the scammer is trying to build trust before they exploit you. To avoid online dating scams, be on the lookout for these four red flags when you’re getting to know someone online:

  1. Romance scammers profess love quickly, without actually meeting you.
    Often times, the first sign of an online dating scam shows up when a romance scammer expresses strong emotions in a relatively short period of time. They may even say that they’re in love with you, but it’s a tactic they’re using to get you to give up personal details and answers to the security questions that you use to lock down your accounts across the Internet. Guard your personal information carefully, and be wary if a new love interest asks for personal details soon after contact.
  2. Romance scammers claim to need money for emergencies, hospital bills or travel.
    Be suspicious of anyone who asks you for financial assistance, no matter how dire their circumstances seem to be. If you encounter one of these storylines when you’re talking to a new love interest on the internet, there’s a good chance they’re scamming you.

“I need money to support a sick relative.”
“I need a short-term loan for airfare to visit you.”
“I need some startup money for a business venture.”
“I need funds to finalize a loved one’s funeral.”
“I’m a US service member overseas, and I need some money.”

  1. Online romance scammers try to lure you off the dating site.
    Often times, scammers convince victims to leave the dating site and use personal email or instant messaging to continue communication. At first, this might not seem like a red flag. When you are getting to know someone, you’ll naturally want to move beyond the dating site and use other forms of communication. Be very cautious when someone asks for your phone number or email address. This makes it even easier for them to access your personal information.

If you want to communicate outside of the dating site, set up an alternate email address or utilize an instant messaging app that isn’t connected to personal information like your primary email and phone number.

  1. Romance scammers plan to visit, but they always cancel because of some “emergency.”
    If an online love interest makes plans to visit but always seems to change their plans at the last second because of a traumatic event, family drama or a business loss, you should be very suspicious. Often, their cancellation will be accompanied by a request for a short-term loan. Look out for someone who says something like, “I really want to meet you, but I can’t buy a plane ticket right now because of x. If you buy me a ticket, I will pay you back! I just want to be together.”

Tips to Avoid Online Dating Scams
Tips for Avoiding Online Dating Scams
Once you know how to tell if someone is scamming you online, you should have better success avoiding online dating scams, and you will maintain better overall online safety. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends taking the following precautions when you’re using dating sites and social media to meet people:

Cross-check and verify. Conduct an online search to cross-check the person’s name, photo, location, email address and other details for legitimacy.
Slow down and talk to someone you trust. Tell a friend or family member about your situation, and discuss your next steps with them. A romance scammer might try to isolate you from friends and family or pressure you to make impulsive decisions alone. Don’t let a scammer rush you into making any sort of decision.
Do not send money. Never wire money, put money on a gift card or cash reload card, or send cash to an online love interest. You won’t get it back.
If you have already sent money, report it. Contact your financial institution right away if you think you’ve sent money to a scammer.
How to Report an Online Dating Scammer
If you are concerned that you or a loved one has fallen victim to an online dating scam, you should report your experience to whichever online dating or social media site you were on. You should also file a complaint with the FTC.

What Really Matters
When you know how to report a dating scammer, it can be empowering. Many times, victims who report a scam feel a sense of relief after notifying authorities. Not only can it help with their personal circumstance, it can also prevent people from falling victim to the romance scammer in the future. Once you report a suspected scam, your financial institution will work with you on the next steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones.

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5 steps to avoid WhatsApp harassment.

  1. Avoid calls and messages from unknown contacts

We encounter countless messages and calls from unknown contacts on a daily basis. It is best to avoid those messages and calls, specially if its a suspicious link, or a call from a suspicious number.

  1. International calls

Always check for the country code when receiving a call from an unknown number. The country code for India is 91.

  1. Beware of the selfie camera

Always keep the selfie camera setting turned off. You can always switch it on once you are sure the call is from a known person.

  1. Avoid unknown groups

We are all added to an unknown WhatsApp group once in a while. It is best to leave the group as soon as possible to avoid a potential security breach.

  1. Privacy settings

The options in the privacy settings allows users to make their profile completely private. Users can choose to make their profile picture, status and last seen visible to everyone, contacts only or to nobody. It is best to choose the ‘contacts only’ option.

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Cybercrime affects everyone.

Crime affects everyone and in future cybercrime (and cyber security) is going to affect people more and more. No one is safe – it impacts the rich and the poor:

Anyone with a mobile phone in their pocket.
Anyone who has a bank account.
Anyone who stores important files on their computer.
Anyone whose name is in a direct marketing database.
Cyber crime is not some futuristic possibility. It is being committed every day right now. Thieves commit cyber crimes to steal people’s money and their identity. With your identity, the thief can take out loans, incur credit, accumulate debt and, then flee without a trace. It can take years to rehabilitate your identity. A virus can destroy someone’s files and a lost database can result in receiving unwanted sales calls.

Cyber security is important for national security – securing this beautiful country of ours.

There are some state secrets that must remain secret.
The personal safety of our leaders is very important.
The SARS and Home Affairs database must be secure.
Terrorists must not be able to halt trading on the JSE.
But national security cannot override our personal freedom we fought so hard to achieve:

Our freedom of speech is crucial.
A free press holds people to account.
Personal privacy ensures democracy.
Freedom to do things online without surveillance.