Are you a fan of Apple Macintosh computers? Do you run Mac OS X Lion or Mountain Lion? Are you planning on upgrading to Mavericks? You should be wondering about the viruses, malware, and Internet security on Apple Macintosh systems. It is appalling to know that there are many threads online talking about antivirus on Mac, and some so-called ‘experts’ say there is no need for an antivirus on Macintosh.
They couldn’t be more wrong. Although there are very few viruses affecting Mac in comparison to PC, there are. Viruses and malwares are increasing in the Mac domain as well, and Apple is getting concerned about them quite a bit. Hence, it is imperative that you install an antivirus and Internet security application on your Mac computer. Recently, NYTimes Bits posted about widespread virus attacks on Macintosh.
Here is an image showing the major malware and viruses on Mac.
In this time, you very much need to get a very good antivirus and Internet security application for Macintosh. One of the best out there is Intego Mac Internet Security 2013 .
The application supports Macintosh systems, OS X 10.6 or later (Snow Leopard or later). Needs 1.5 GB of hard disk space and installs in French, German, Japanese, and Spanish besides English.
The application should be updated frequently over the Internet as well.
Mac Internet Security is also available as a free trial option.
The application provides protection against not only Mac viruses, but also Windows viruses, Trojans, Worms, hack tools, spyware, adware, keyloggers, and fake security applications.
Since it detects and prevents Windows viruses as well, it prevents your Mac from being a carrier of Windows viruses and thus infect other Windows computers that connect to it.
Other standard features of the application include scheduled scans, real time protection, frequent virus updates via the Internet, scanning options on file attachments on Mac mail, etc.
There is a special iOS edition of the antivirus, that can be installed to your iPhone or iPad to protect them from viruses and malware.
It can work exactly like an Internet Security suite on Windows and can scan all the installed programs on your Mac and find out any suspicious application behavior. This keeps a log of rogue applications, if any, and keeps monitoring all installed and new applications to make them work properly.
Intego has a number of personal and business security products priced very reasonably. If you have a Macintosh computer, you are fortunate that you won’t have too many viruses or malware. However, this is no consolation at all. Every day Mac is getting more and more popular, and hence virus coders and hackers are getting interested in the OS.
They have been successful in finding several security holes on the OS. Hence, it goes without saying that you should secure your Mac operating system with an antivirus.
A webcam, your webcam, may be secured unlike any of the public ones you may find. However, there are hackers out there who can easily get access to your webcam and feed it to the world. It is not at all difficult for them. With a bit of code, hackers can access any piece of hardware on your computer, and a webcam is no different.
How serious are the consequences of exposing your webcam? Well, if you have children at home and you want to protect their privacy, you cannot be serious enough about this. Your webcam should be yours and you should have complete control over it. There was a recent investigation by BBC, about a Finnish hacker who hacks and sells people’s webcams for money. Here is the webcast.
The impact of this is heavy on all of us. These webcam feeds could easily be sold to online porn sites or to people who are into sick stuff. It is the privacy of people like you and we that is at stake. Hence, I have compiled this article to let you know how to secure your webcam from external threats.
Here’s another video from BBC, showing exactly how easy it is to hack into webcams of old, infrequently updated computers:
Pretty disturbing, ain’t it?
How to Secure Your Webcam?
Hackers will always try to find out your webcam and get control over it. You may not quite realize whether your webcam is in use or not. Most of the webcams come with the indicator LED that turns red or green or something when it is engaged. This should be known to you as the user. Here are the most important steps to do if you suspect your webcam could be under attack.
1. Update Your Software
Some computer technologies, such as Java, Flash, etc., can be used to directly control your webcam, and on most of these technologies, you need to provide permission to access your webcam. However, there are ways in which a hacker can work his way around this permission-giving. They can dupe unsuspecting users into giving permission through click-jacking or similar methods.
Updating your software is one of the most important things to do to stay secure. You may remember the recent security attack on Java, and the subsequent alarm. Old computers are extremely vulnerable and could in essence become part of botnets.
2. Use Security Software
We have recently covered some of the best and worst security apps for Android. You should check them out. For a regular PC, use something like Kaspersky, Norton, Trend Micro Titanium, or Bitdefender. I would personally recommend Norton and Kaspersky for antivirus and firewall. You also need an antimalware solution, and Malwarebytes is the best one for that. They have a free edition that you can run alongside your antivirus and firewall. As an additional thing, keep your security software updated all the time, just as you do with regular software.
3. Be Suspicious About Web Apps
You may come across a huge number of web apps on a day of browsing. You may cruise through the bad neighborhoods of the Net; you may come across websites and forums that follow unethical practices. You may be asked to run specific programs or apps that promise various things, such as a free virus scan, registry cleaning, computer protection, etc. These are possible click-jacking methods to make you install a malicious piece of software on your computer.
Make it a point to scan every file you download from the Web, and make sure you don’t open suspicious attachments even if they come from your friend. In short, do not execute a program or a script without verifying its source and scanning it with your antivirus program. Also, be suspicious about the people who promise technical help through the Internet. You may be asked to accept a remote connection or a screen sharing option. Do not give permission to these setups unless you are sure.
4. Wireless Security
If you are using wireless router at home for a Wi-Fi setup, please enable proper security on the router. If you are using Wi-Fi from a public hotspot, you should be wary of your situation. Use a solution like Wifisugar to protect your computer from public hotspot hackers.
These are some of the most basic things to do to secure your webcam. However, two of the most important that you definitely have to do and are in your control are: first, not placing the webcam in a private place like your bedroom; and second, covering your webcam with something like a strip of electrical tape or disconnecting it from the computer altogether when you are not using it.
Another important thing that I would like most of the readers to consider is getting some information about how hackers work and what technologies and software you use are vulnerable to attacks. This information will keep your computer secure from every threat.
It was . Google announced its plans to build an infrastructure that will provide ultra-high-speed broadband to a few lucky users in Kansas City, Kansas. This is Google Fiber, the ultra-fast Internet service from the search giant. With this development, one has to wonder if we are there yet?
In terms of the fastest speeds in broadband, the United States, despite being a giant in technology, is ranked nowhere. South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, etc., have broad band connections with an average speed around 50 Mbps.
As reported by the NY Times in a recent article, South Korea already had plans to build nearly 1 Gbps speed into every home in the country; already, about 1500 homes in 5 cities have been connected to 1 Gbps Internet. We don’t know how far the program has progressed since then.
In the recent analysis, South Korea already has the fastest Internet speeds in the world, with Hong Kong competing close behind. That country’s Internet is easily 200 times faster than an average US household’s Internet connection. Moreover, the country does provide wireless Internet in the form of LTE, HSPA+, and WiBro, which is something that South Koreans developed in-house. WiBro provides peak download speeds of 128 Mbps and upload rate of 56 Mbps.
How is Google Fiber affecting our Internet speeds? Google is the search giant, more or less a software company, rather than a telecom company like Verizon or AT&T. Those telecom companies we have are already entrenched. They are actively building infrastructure to provide us with LTE and LTE Advanced, which is the next generation in wireless communication technologies.
In this world, Google is coming up with an old concept in a new fashion—wired Internet through fiber optics. Two cities already have this Internet service—Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri. The next stop for Fiber is the capital of Texas, Austin.
Which Cities Will Get Google Fiber?
On , Google announced its plan to build a Fiber broadband network that will provide “100 times the speed” most Americans have ever experienced. It then went into sort of a voting process, in which Google wanted to figure out which city was the most enthusiastic about signing up. Over 1,100 cities have been there in the initial phase and out of those cities, Kansas City, Kansas was the most enthusiastic, so they got Fiber first.
The website that Google set up to gather votes from people and governments is obsolete now. Here are the details of the responses they received over the months the voting process was going on.
As the months progressed, the votes accumulated, and the kind of enthusiasm that Kansas City residents showed interested Google. Also, Google is able to develop the Fiber infrastructure at lower cost in Kansas City, and that is beneficial for the company. Other cities soon followed, as you can see here:
KCK (Kansas City, Kansas): selected on . Kansas City, Missouri: selected in . Olathe, Kansas: selected on . Austin, Texas: selected on . Provo, Utah: . North Kansas City, Missouri: .
Pre-registration to Google Fiber ended on . People who pre-registered for the service can select their plan and get Fiber installed in their home.
What Is In Fiber?
Why don’t you visit the Fiber website itself at fiber.google.com to know in detail about the plans and what is included in them? In short, there are three plans, Gigabit+TV for 120 dollars per month that gives TV and the high speed Internet; Internet only for 70 dollars per month; and Free Internet at only the 300 dollar one time set-up fee (the speed in this case is up to 5 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload). The network box used to provide Internet service is below. For TV, there is a separate Set Top box.
In any case, the Fiber plans are much better than the plans offered by your regular broadband providers. It takes us back to , when Google launched Gmail as an experimental service (yes, on the Fools’ day itself).
At that time, webmail was highly inconvenient, with Yahoo, Hotmail, and others offering between 2 and 8 MB of storage space. Yahoo even had a paid premium version offering up to 25 MB of storage. When Google announced a completely free, webmail with nearly a thousand times more storage as offered by others, everyone was forced to offer what its customers deserved—more storage and flexibility. Gmail, as expected, became a pioneer in webmail.
The same is expected from Fiber.
Fretting Giants in Broadband
Do you have any idea of the speeds offered by other major players in broadband in the United States?
AT&T has its fiber network being built across the country under the brand of U-Verse. Verizon has the fastest fiber network in the country under the FiOS brand. What is the speed offered by these services? AT&T U-Verse provides the maximum speed of 24 Mbps in download in its Max Turbo plan for 66 dollars per month. Verizon FiOS goes a little beyond that and provides about 29.4 Mbps download (average speed).
Availability of Google Fiber has really rocked the world of these giants. As soon as the news of the availability of 1 Gbps Internet was available in Austin, AT&T also did the same thing. The company announced its plans to offer 1 Gbps Internet in Austin, Texas on April 9, 2013, right after Google’s announcement. It definitely looks like these broadband giants already have the equipment needed to provide high speed Internet service, but as long as a competitor doesn’t come along, they do not do that.
We are looking forward to seeing Verizon also offering high speed Internet.
With the fastest broadband technology widely available today, downloading a regular movie would take only a few minutes. A high-definition movie (1080p HD) on the other hand takes much more than that. But the future holds more than HD; we will be seeing 4K, UHD, and 8K content in the coming days, which go beyond a few GBs to a few TBs in size.
Even with the fastest Internet connection today, these movies will take days to download. Hence, it goes without saying how important it is for us to get even higher speeds. Google Fiber is a step toward that goal. If we get to see other companies also providing us with faster Internet connections, we may be able to use the Internet for everything.
The promise of fast Internet is entirely different. We will no longer have to download movies to watch them. Services like Netflix and YouTube will not lag on you. You will no longer have to sit waiting for anything.
In order to download a movie of size 4 GB, wait 34 seconds, while with 10 Mbps connection, the same movie needs about 57 minutes to download. In case of a 4K movie, the size may go up to 1000 GB (1 TB, mostly uncompressed), and 10 Mbps connection will require about 10 days to download it, while the Gigabit Internet will take only 2 hours to download that movie.
We are looking forward to a future of extremely high data density. Downloading movies and other large files to create a personal storage is worthless. Instead, you should go for online services to watch movies directly. With the advent of high speed connections, voice over IP (VOIP) will soon replace your generic telephony system. Also, the storage required on your computer will be much less than that required today. Wait and watch out for more updates on Google Fiber, AT&T fiber network, and others.
Do you have an Android smartphone? Within the Google Play store, you can and should get a very good security app. The app should have the following features—antivirus, antimalware, antispyware, internet security component, and optionally an anti-theft component. The internet security apps may cost you some money, but they are well worth it. Here, we have a list of apps that you can try. You should also check out our article about worst security apps in Android that you should avoid.
5. McAfee Antivirus and Security
As you know McAfee is one of the premier providers of virus protection among PCs and laptops, it is quite safe to assume the quality of the product. Within AV-Test antivirus tests conducted a few months ago, McAfee was one of the apps that have passed all of the antivirus tests.
I can hear people raising complaints about its slightly uninspiring interface though. However, you should understand that it is a highly effective virus killer. Also, McAfee does provide an app called WaveSecure that adds an anti-theft component to your phone.
4. Kaspersky Mobile Security
We have two versions available of Kaspersky Mobile Security—Lite and the full version. If you have a tablet, there is also Kaspersky Tablet Security application. It is a complete application suite to protect against viruses, malware, etc., including web protection and anti-theft feature. Kaspersky has high reputation on the desktop computer market as well.
With amazing results at the antivirus tests conducted, we believe it rightfully earned the fourth position in this list.
3. Dr.Web Anti-virus
Dr.Web’s Anti-virus Light (no, it’s not Lite) app is just an antivirus. It does have a paid option that gives you complete protection with anti-theft and internet security features. In antivirus tests, we have found this suite to be highly effective. The antivirus’s anti-theft feature is available only on Android platform and not other mobile operating systems.
2. Lookout Mobile Security
By far, this is the second best solution within Google Play store to secure your smartphone and tablet. This app has all the components necessary built in. It is also highly rated by the users. Within AV-Test results, Lookout has performed extremely well.
1. Avast! Mobile Security
By far, Avast! provides the best antivirus and internet security option for Android. Within our report of anti-theft apps also Avast! had its place. It is pretty much a complete security suite you can get to protect your smartphone.
Those were the important security apps in the current market. You have to pay for the full version of these apps, but it is well worth it. If you read our previous article about mobile security, you will understand the need for these apps, even though Linux (Android is based on Linux) is an extremely secure platform.
Are you careful about the security of your smartphone? For your Android device, Google Play store offers a number of antivirus apps. There are paid and free apps from professional companies like Avast!, Kaspersky, and Lookout, as well as free antivirus apps that install and work relatively faster.
Among the security apps found on the Play Store, there are a number of free, lightweight ones, most of which enjoy a great number of downloads and high ratings. Most of the ratings are done by people who find the interface easy to use, but have no idea whether the app actually works or not. Many of us feel the app is great if the interface is cool, don’t we?
It is painful to note that most of these free apps not only fail at most antivirus tests, but experts regard them to be incapable of detecting any threat. Last year, the latest mobile antivirus test report was published by AV-Test.org, in which they tested and rated the best and the worst antivirus programs among multiple platforms.
We are now looking at the worst of antivirus apps on the Android store. These apps are still on the store because they may be able to detect one or two viruses along the way, and they are completely safe themselves, as found by Google’s malware detection system for the Play Store. That doesn’t mean that these apps are any bit effective. Let’s look at each of them based on popularity and ratings, and see how they fared in the antivirus tests.
10. BluePoint Security Free
This app has between 100,000 and 500,000 installs, and hundreds of five-star ratings. Out of the twenty test files, it has completely missed detecting one, and failed miserably in 10 others. It was successful in defending against only five of the threats.
9. G Data Antivirus Free
This app has been installed between 100,000 and 500,000 times and has thousands of user recommendations. However, it has failed in 9 out of 20 antivirus file tests conducted by AV-Test. This makes the app highly ineffective in detecting viruses and malware. The important thing is that this antivirus has an upgraded internet security version that costs money. Definitely cash down the drain if you are purchasing it.
8. TrustGo Antivirus
This antivirus app has had between 500,000 and 1 million installs from the Play store. Thousands of ratings for this app are in the five-star level. Still, it is at the bottom of AV-Test’s results, failing 13 of the 20 virus tests, and giving pretty poor results in three other tests. It was successfully able to prevent infection only in four of the test scenarios.
7. ALYac Android
In between five and ten million downloads have happened for this app. Also, tens of thousands of people have rated it at five stars. And yet, it doesn’t even qualify the most basic levels of detection.
Out of the 20 malware tests it went through, it performed badly on 14 of them, among which it completely missed five files and gave poor results for the others. It was successful in detecting only three of the 20 test files.
6. GuardX Antivirus
This app has between 100,000 and 500,000 app installs. It has completely failed in 13 antivirus tests, and has not given any good result in other six tests. GuardX has been able to successfully detect only one of the twenty antivirus files sent to it. It is a free app and gives a pretty usable interface. As a result, hundreds of users recommend this product.
5. Snap Secure
This app has pretty low rating given by AV-Test. It has not detected properly 13 out of 20 antivirus tests, and it has given poor results for the other seven. The app enjoys over 100,000 installs, and has been rated high by hundreds of users.
4. Android Defender Virus Shield
Having between fifty and a hundred thousand installs, this app has been rated great by over a hundred users. The app completely failed to detect fifteen of the twenty virus files given by AV-Test, and it hasn’t given any action against the other five.
3. Android Antivirus
This app seems quite popular with between one and five million installations. It is pretty lightweight and easy to use. Also, the people who are using this app have given it a pretty good rating, based on the usability. Does it really mean that this app is any good? Definitely not!
Android Antivirus doesn’t have a dedicated support team or a website that offers any quality updates. It is good at detecting a few malware and viruses, and is probably good at heuristic predictions. However, this is not the kind of security app that you should be running on your device.
AV-Test’s antivirus testing has placed this app at the very bottom when it completely failed to detect 17 out of 20 antivirus tests, and might have failed in the other three where the results were inconclusive.
2. NQ Antivirus Free
This is the most downloaded free antivirus offering in the Google Play store, with anywhere between ten and fifty million times. The app is pretty lightweight as well at less than 4 MB in size.
In the AV-Test, it couldn’t detect fifteen of the twenty test files, and couldn’t take any action on the other five items. Still, due to the great-looking interface and ease of use, clueless users rate this antivirus high in the market.
1. LabMSF Antivirus Beta
At last we are at the rock bottom of virus detection capabilities. LabMSF has completely failed in all of the twenty antivirus tests, and AV-Test has remarked that it is doubtful whether it can detect any virus. Still, this app has between ten and fifty thousand users, and hundreds of them have recommended it.
Those were the worst of the antivirus apps you can ever get from the Android market. Despite their low ratings, they continue to be downloaded and rated by many users. It is painful to note that one or two of technology authors have included a few of these apps in their recommendations. You should not install these apps after looking through the reviews and ratings as most of the reviewers have no clue whether the app is useful or not.
Google Play store is fairly secure. Google’s support tells us:
We regularly scan Google Play for malware, and applications that contain malware are removed. We may also ban developer accounts that violate our policies.
That means you are less than likely to install a harmful application on your smartphone from the app store. Also, if you are keeping your phone’s firmware updated regularly, your data should be very secure. Still, hackers will invent newer ways to bypass detection, and hence, it is important to install a good security app on your phone.