Monthly Archives: July 2012
Facebook Privacy Issue – Have you taken lollipop?
Facebook provides a great platform through which you can stay in touch with your friends and let them know what you are doing, your thoughts, likes, dislikes, and even your plans for the weekend.
So many people breezily share a lot of personal information on social networking websites, something that they don’t do in real world. Somehow, the internet seems to make things impersonal, even if not anonymous. Although such websites have brought people from across the world closer, there are still risks that are associated with these websites, mainly due to the amount of personal information that people share in them.
Malicious Links on Social Networks
When you click on a malicious link posted on your friend’s wall, there are very high chances that your PC will get infected by the worm Net-Worm.Win32.Koobface.b.
Kaspersky Labs, which offers products like Kaspersky Internet Security 2012, has a comprehensive database of such worms that affect social networking sites. According to Alexander Gostev from Kaspersky Labs (Senior Virus Analyst), the chances of clicking on such malicious links are higher because they are usually posted by the user’s friends on the website. In such cases, Kaspersky Internet Security helps you communicate safely, while steering clear of all such viruses.
Other Side of Facebook Apps
And then, there are Facebook Apps. Facebook Apps range from those that help you manage your status messages to ones that help you determine trivia about yourself. You can find Apps that predict your weekend to Apps that help share your baby’s photos. There are even Apps that help you tell the world how you are feeling right now.
Facebook games like Farmville, Cityville, Café World, and Angry Birds are also popular among its users. The problem here is that in order to access these games or Apps on Facebook, you’ll need to give varying levels of access to your profile and your wall. Some applications ask for access to your entire friend network, wall, and also for the permission to post on your wall.
Do users want everyone to see all information and updates about themselves on Facebook?
Intelligent users do set visibility permissions, but, when you they provide access to a lot of Facebook applications, there’s a high chance that they will be exposed to privacy violations.
The ‘Take This Lollipop’ Effect
Take This Lollipop is an App that demonstrates how easy it is to use a Facebook App to gain information about you, your friends, your likes and dislikes and finally, where you live.
To drive the point home, the App is modeled on a horror movie. Once you grant the App all the privileges that it requires, it takes you into a movie. You go down a dark lane into a house. A dirty, lonely man sits in front of a computer, and logs into Facebook. He accesses your account. Soon you see your photos, wall posts, and status messages scroll by on the screen.
The man gets more and more obsessed by what he sees. Finally, he manages to locate your address. He then turns and looks at you through the screen, and gives a menacing smile. He gets into a car and starts driving towards your house with your profile picture pasted on his dashboard.
Learn the Dangers
If you want to find out how much info can be gathered about you by the simple act of granting permission to an app to access your account, try this App. It is not a malicious one, and is just designed to warn unwary users about the dangers of sharing too much information indiscriminately.
The video is excellently done. Even though it is not real, you do get the feeling of your privacy being invaded when you see the man on the screen seeing your profile, wall posts, photos, videos, status messages and then finally finding your geographic location. Regardless of whether you do try the App or not, be wary of sharing your information with everyone.
Monthly Archives: July 2012
Norton Vs Trendmicro – Battle Of Stalwarts
Social Sites Security
Today, one of the most important aspects of a security suite is its ability to protect you in your online activities, especially on social sites like Facebook.
Trend Micro has a link scanner that scans all the links posted on your page and alerts you to potential security risks. It checks against its constantly updated virus signatures database online to keep you safe from false links that can take you to dangerous sites.
Norton’s Facebook security feature is available as a Facebook App, which, if added, always scans you Facebook page for risky links and keeps you safe. In addition, Norton provides a feature called Identity Safe. You can store all your online IDs and Passwords here. Norton will encrypt them and keep them safe for you.
Norton has the edge in this aspect of Online Protection.
Trend Micro comes with security Apps for iOS and Android. These apps provide several features like mobile tracking, number blocking and keeping you safe from malware while surfing. Norton also comes with a good set of mobile security features that keep you safe while you communicate using your mobile appliances.
Both Trend Micro and Norton cover this aspect of security well and keep you safe while on the move. It is a tie here.
Real Time Protection
Trend Micro provides good protection while you are surfing, protecting you against virus, spyware and other intrusive threats that can gain entry in several different ways – Harmful Websites, Fraudulent Emails, through Instant Messaging and so on. But it still has certain weaknesses that malwares can use to avoid detection and gain entry to the system.
Norton’s Real Time protection is top-notch; it keeps updating its database against new threats all the time, and easily recognizes threats and alerts you to possible new malware. It recognizes most of the known malware and keeps you protected all the time, whether you are online or off line.
Norton wins in this aspect as it keeps more up to date in its malware recognition and is fast in recognizing and preventing new threats.
Trend Micro does a decent job of clearing your system of recognized virus and other malware. But its implementation of monitoring and clearing threats contains a few holes which can let potentially harmful programs slip through. Norton does a great job of detecting and eliminating most kinds of threats. It is also excellent at removing virus, spyware and other malware. It works swiftly, removing the malware and also clearing all traces left behind by the threat. Its various components blend in and work together nicely to keep your system clear of harmful intrusions.
Norton Security wins in this aspect. Its implementation of threat recognition and removal is significantly higher, though Trend Micro is improving with each version in its coverage of threats.
Storage and Backup
Trend Micro provides its users with 10 GB of online storage. You can backup all your sensitive data here, as well as quite a few media files if you so want. Your data is encrypted and kept safe. You can easily recover all your important data that you have stored here in case of a bad system crash.
Norton comes with just 2 GB of backup space. While this might be good enough to back up important data, more storage to accommodate media files would have been welcome. Trend Micro wins here, it provides more space for Synchronization/Backup .
Both Trend Micro and Norton provide comprehensive security cover for your system, protecting it from all kinds of malware. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses.
Trend Micro scores better in ease of use and in having less impact on system performance. Norton has consistently proved better at detecting and preventing threats and at clearing existing malware on your system.
Norton has been better at implementing heuristic techniques to detect new threats and eliminating them. Trend Micro now uses cloud technology in its security implementation. This means that the program is not entirely dependent on the virus database that it has on your system. It has a network of information that is constantly updated and so can be used to look up new, zero-day threats to prevent attacks on your system or network.
Eventually, which one you choose comes down to personal preferences. While Norton provides better overall security, it has been consistently unpopular among many users for its huge impact on system performance. It perceptibly slows down your system. The company is working to lessen their footprint on system resources, but the problem still remains.
Trend Micro has a much easier-to-handle User Interface and has much less impact on your system resources. It lags behind Norton in certain security features, though the newer versions are promising much better implementation of Malware detection and removal.
Read full Trendmicro Titanium review