In an environment of increasing connectivity and the booming presence of ‘smart’ devices in our everyday lives, a lesser known but equally dangerous cyberthreat is social engineering, which uses predictable patterns from consumers (especially when it comes to passwords) to hack into their accounts. You may have heard of phishing emails (such as what happened to The Onion’s Twitter account last week), yet there are other ways hackers can get you to reveal your information.
But don’t sweat it! Safeguarding your online data is largely a matter of being proactive, and arming yourself with the right knowledge. Here are our favorite basic pieces of advice for doing just that.
1. Your passwords are the gateway to all your online information. Make them strong and unique.
We know, it’s easier for you to pick something you’ll never forget (the name of your pet iguana + your lucky number) and use that, or variants of that, for every online account. But you wouldn’t use the same key to unlock your office, house, car, mailbox, safe deposit box and briefcase – so why would you use the same password for those equivalent online tools? Make sure to use a different password for each of your crucial online accounts, especially your email.
Each of your passwords should be at least 12 characters, and contain at least one of each: upper case letter, lower case letter, special character, and number.
Do not share your passwords or write them down. Memory is always your safest bet. If you absolutely need to write your password down, don’t keep it next to the computer.
2. The security of your Internet connection is equally important.
When setting up your home or office Wi-Fi network, follow the password guidelines listed above.
Never connect any Internet-enabled device or gadget (cell phone, smart watch, camera) to an open or public Wi-Fi network (meaning, a network that is not password protected). If you share a network with someone, it’s much easier for them to find your data.
If you must use an open Wi-Fi network, be sure any emails or information you send over that network are encrypted. Look into free tools that can encrypt emails and text messages. This will ensure your information can only be accessed by the intended recipient with the same encryption tool.
3. And while we’re on the subject of encryption…
Research your connected devices before you buy. When data is stored in the cloud, is encrypted, and transmitted over an encrypted connection, it’s actually safer than if it were stored on a local hard drive in your house!
A home monitoring camera like simplicam, for example, employs bank-level encryption on top of using a proprietary video format that can only be unscrambled by the company’s software. Pair that with a secure Wi-Fi network and a good password for your app login, and your video stream is as secure as it can get.
Finally, use common sense. If you wouldn’t give a stranger on the street your address or credit card information, be equally careful about sharing that sensitive data online.
By putting these best practices to use, you’ll be taking a proactive approach to keeping your online data safe and secure.
About the author
Caroline Tien-Spalding is Senior Director of Product Marketing for ArcSoft consumer imaging applications.
ArcSoft’s industry-leading technology ushers in new era for connected households
It’s a wonderful time of year to be taking stock of everything you’re grateful for (such as your health, your loved ones, quesadillas, King Joffrey’s demise, etc.) and setting some resolutions for the new year (like going to the gym more, so you can eat more quesadillas).
As the creative team behind simplicam – the smartest, easiest home monitoring Wi-Fi video camera with cutting-edge Face Detection technology – we’re deeply grateful for all our amazing users whose invaluable feedback helped us grow and improve since launching in August 2014. As for our New Year’s resolution, we wanted to raise the bar (again!) by setting the stage for a completely connected home.
We have a big announcement to make about our super smart home Wi-Fi camera…
Today, we’re proud to release a brilliant new feature that takes “peace of mind” to a whole new level. We’ve had to be tight-lipped about it for a while, so we’re thrilled be spilling the beans about…
Just kidding. (2014 was a crazy year. All the excitement is making us a little goofy).
FACE RECOGNITION. (For real this time. Really. That’s the thing).
“simplicam impresses and in some ways even surpasses pricier models…With its lower monthly fees and the addition of face recognition alerts for cloud subscribers, ArcSoft’s Simplicam is poised to take on our highest rated Wi-Fi security cameras…It’s a fantastic option for someone wanting a cloud subscription and all of its related benefits without spending $10+ a month.”
“I confidently and emphatically choose Simplicam…Solidly built, Simplicam just flat-out performs. Night mode was great, and the movement detection controls save you from smartphone notification hell. The Closeli app is easy to use, and the subscription model is both affordable and feature-rich.”
Now that we’re soaring out of pre-launch craziness and forging ahead into an exciting new phase for our just-released home monitoring camera, we’re amazed and thrilled by the flood of great press coverage and sales that simplicam powered by Closeli continues to garner.
Creating new makeup templates for Perfect365 is truly a team effort. It involves research, engineering, revisions, collaboration, intelligent imaging technology and lots of time falling down the Pinterest rabbit hole while looking for inspiration.
If you love using the free Perfect365 app to play with new makeup styles – from natural and fresh, to bold and breathtaking, to glamorous and classy – you’re probably well acquainted with the bottom line of this digital makeup miracle worker: It’s easy. It’s accurate. It’s like a magic makeup wand in the palm of your hand – for photos. Abracadabra! You’re welcome.
But have you ever wondered about the inspiration behind the looks, and where it comes from?
“Star Wars” recently launched an official Instagram account, and Darth Vader is excited about it.
We’re living in the age of the “selfie” – a habit so ubiquitous in today’s social media-centric culture, it was named “word of the year” in 2013 by the most venerated gatekeeper of the English language, the Oxford Dictionaries. Even prior to that, the term’s status as a lexicon it-kid was heralded in 2012 after Time Magazine declared it one of the “top 10 buzzwords” of that year.
For the past several months, I’ve made the near-accidental decision to shoot more with my Android phone, and less with my digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera. While I enjoy capturing the world around me with both devices, my mobile phone is simply the easier option most of the time. And the more I learn about its features, the less quality I have to sacrifice.
What a year 2013 has been, especially for those of us involved in imaging technology; and it’s even more exciting to see what’s ahead as we’re celebrating our 20 years in the industry. Where photography used to be about the photographer and his/her subject, a new form of control and self-expression rose in 2013 with the Selfie. With the latest smartphone developments, advanced technologies such as our facial detection engine (now included in more than 1 billion mobile phones) have made photography evolve from a medium where users were ‘subject’ to someone else’s view of them, to the Selfie, which, while criticized, can also be viewed as a form of empowerment, where the ‘subject’ has full control on how they’re perceived. We at ArcSoft like to think that we were helpful in putting the word ‘Selfie’ on the map (and in the Webster dictionary!) with Perfect365, our award-winning makeover app designed to take and share that perfect picture of yourself! Continue reading →
You might say I’m an ‘Androidographer.’ Or perhaps ‘A Samsung Galaxy Artist.’
The world is full of incredible sights and places. Sometimes I plan ahead and bring my DSLR, but most of the time, I don’t. My Galaxy phone, however, is always with me. Because I never know when I might see something particularly amazing, my phone lets me capture these things right at the moment I experience them.
Two sombreros in shadow
The images you see here are just a few of these moments that have spoken to me, that tell a small story about a time, a place, an event or a subject. They are my observations and my take on things, my perspective about the world as I move through it and live in it every day. Continue reading →
When we were kids, we tried this simple reasoning at some point with our parents. ‘Jimmy’s doing it’, we said, as if this was a convincing argument as to why we should also participate in whatever it was that ‘everybody’ was doing.
And if our parents were smart, they said, ‘Well, good for Jimmy.’
As in: what does what Jimmy does have to do with what you do? The important thing to ask yourself – always – is what’s YOUR unique reason or reasons for wanting to do something? Your reason should be smart, it should be relevant and it should be timely. Continue reading →
‘Tree Backlit by Sunlight’ by Sheldon Wood taken with a camera phone.*
Wait, is Everyone A Photographer?
It’s an interesting debate. Whether the Chicago Sun-Times made a big mistake in firing their entire photo journalistic staff or not, one thing is true: the superb quality – and value – of typical cameras embedded in smartphones today is incredible. Most of us are toting this dazzling technology in our pockets, backpacks, cars and handbags every single day.
So what are we doing with that technology? Do we even realize how much power is in our possession? Continue reading →