All posts in “Cybersecurity”

VPNs on sale: Stay safe online for as little as $10

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A VPN can hide your browsing behavior on public networks and protect your data from hackers.
A VPN can hide your browsing behavior on public networks and protect your data from hackers.

Image: ivacy

In this era of internet privacy (or lack thereof), much ado has been made about a little something called a virtual private network, or VPN. But what is it, exactly?

In a nutshell, a VPN is a service that creates a private, secure internet connection between your computer and a server, which reroutes (and thus conceals) your online activities. It works sort of like “an anonymous middleman that does your browsing for you,” as Mashable’s Monica Chin put it last year.

VPNs are gaining traction among individual internet-goers for a few really good reasons: Not only can they hide your browsing behavior on public networks, protecting your data from the prying eyes of hackers, but they tweak your IP address so that you can access restricted and censored content, no matter where you are. (This can come in *very* handy if you travel a lot or work remotely.)

We have our personal favorite VPNs, which you can read about here. But generally, most elite VPNs — i.e., ones that aren’t free — can be trusted to provide adequate online protection. Below are five such options, all of which are on sale right now.

Windscribe is both a desktop application and browser extension that you only need to install once to enjoy premium privacy protection online. As you go about your daily internet business, it’ll work diligently in the background to unblock websites, keep your data safe, and remove ads and trackers from your activity.

On top of all that, you can rest easy knowing that Windscribe has a strict no-logging policy and an anonymous sign-up process that doesn’t ask you for your email address. Now that’s privacy. 

A one-year subscription to Windscribe VPN Pro includes unlimited downloads, unlimited data, and unlimited simultaneous connections on an unlimited number of devices. Sign up for just $49 — 54% off the usual retail price of $108. For a limited time, you can save an additional $10 off of this VPN with code MAYVPN10 to get it for just $39

With a subscription to TigerVPN, not even your ISP or the government can see what you’re doing online… not that you’re doing anything illegal, right? Right?

TigerVPN provides military-grade encryption and privacy protection for both Android and iOS devices so that your data is always locked down, no matter what kind of system you’re using. What’s more, its low-latency servers offer up to 10Gbps connectivity for amazingly high connection speeds at any one of its 15 VPN nodes around the world.

A three-year subscription to TigerVPN with unlimited device installations typically retails for $429, but you can sign up for only $69.99 — a savings of 83%. For a limited time, you can save an additional $10 off of this VPN with code MAYVPN10 to get it for just $59.99

As you probably gleaned from its name, FastestVPN runs lightning-quick with 99.9% uptime. Every subscription includes a NAT firewall, ad blocker, and anti-malware software, each of which is accompanied by its strict no-logging policy, and gets you access to its more than 200 high-speed servers located across the globe.

Capable of being used on two different devices at once, FastestVPN is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, your router, and even smart TVs.

A lifetime subscription to FastestVPN for two devices is valued at $240, but you can sign up for only $19.99 — a 91% discount. For a limited time, you can save an additional $10 off of this VPN with code MAYVPN10 to get it for just $9.99

This bestselling VPN is trusted by more than 10 million users around the world, who rely on it for unrestricted online browsing without speed or bandwidth limits on any public WiFi network. By signing up for its services, you get access to its 70-plus server locations around the world, although you can also easily configure it on your at-home router.

Score a lifetime subscription to VPN Unlimited for just $29 — more than 90% off its typical retail price of $499.99 — when you use code MAYVPN10.

Ivacy VPN lets you engage in P2P file-sharing and buffer-free HD streaming in complete anonymity, and under impressive 256-bit encryption. Not only that but with more than 1,000 servers in over 100 locations worldwide, you can watch basically anything anywhere, geo-restrictions be damned.

It’s also worth mentioning that Ivacy VPN is an official partner of the National Cyber Security Alliance, which means it’s super committed to online privacy education and cyber safety.

Still not sold on Ivacy VPN? Well, get this: It normally retails for $1,194, but for a limited time, it’s on sale for $39.99 — a stellar 96% markdown. Plus, you can save an additional $10 off of this VPN with code MAYVPN10 to get it for just $29.99

Future-proof your IT career with these industry-leading certifications

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Being competent in IT will help you go places.
Being competent in IT will help you go places.

Image: PExels

Claiming that you’re a hotshot IT practitioner while not holding a single CompTIA certification is like Thanos declaring that he’s the supreme being  while wearing the infinity gauntlet with no infinity stones.

Yes, having marketable IT skills is unquestionably a must for making it big, but certifications help catch the eyes of prospective employers. They’re solid proof that you are what you say you are and not someone who lies on their résumé. Oh, and they could also be your ticket to heftier paychecks.

Ready to future-proof your career in IT? Get started with the Complete 2019 CompTIA Certification Training Bundle, which trains you to ace the most crucial CompTIA exams. It’s typically valued at over three grand, but you can get it for 97% off for a limited time.

Composed of 12 extensive learning modules, this premium learning package aims to give you a leg up in snagging respected industry certs, including:

CompTIA Security+ SY0-501: No company is immune to cybersecurity threats, and this course will fill you in on the fundamentals of risk management, risk mitigation, threat management, and intrusion detection. You’ll walk away with the core knowledge and skills every self-respecting cybersecurity expert should have.

CompTIA Network+ N10-007: Cultivate necessary networking skills with this course that goes on a deep dive into, well, networking. It tackles concepts like network installation, routing, operations, and more.

CompTIA IT Fundamentals FC0-U51: Whether you’re an IT newbie or just looking to brush up on IT 101, this course helps you develop basic IT literacy. From software operating systems to basic security threats, this 18-hour course will help you develop the essential IT background that everybody should have in this day and age.

CompTIA Mobility+ MB0-001: Given that smartphones are glued to everyone’s hands at this point, professionals who have full command of mobile device management are more in demand than ever. This course will teach you how to deploy, support, control, and protect mobile environments to ensure that they’re resistant to threats.

When bought separately, the courses in the Complete 2019 CompTIA Certification Training Bundle would set you back a staggering $3,433, but you can get access to the entire set for only $69 — a savings of 97%.

Facebook rolls out ‘one strike’ policy for live-streaming following New Zealand attack

Facebook is placing restrictions on its live-streaming feature.
Facebook is placing restrictions on its live-streaming feature.


After much speculation, Facebook has imposed restrictions on live-streaming following the New Zealand attacks in March.

Announced on Tuesday, the company will implement a “one strike” policy which will restrict anyone who violates the social network’s community standards from using Facebook Live.

Users who violate the network’s most serious policies will be prohibited from using Live for a certain period of time, which will begin from their first offence. One example of an offence is a user who “shares a link to a statement from a terrorist group with no context.” 

Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, said in the blog post that the company’s goal was “to minimize risk of abuse on Live while enabling people to use Live in a positive way every day.”

Rosen said these restrictions will be extended to other areas of the platform over the next few weeks, which will begin with restricting offending users from taking out ads.

Prior to this, Facebook had simply taken down content that violated its community standards, and if that person kept posting violating content they’d be blocked from the whole platform for a period of time. Some were banned altogether.

The restrictions are applicable to individuals Facebook considers “dangerous” as per an updated definition in Facebook’s Community Guidelines, which saw the bans of a host of controversial public figures including Alex Jones, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, Milo Yiannopoulos, and others. 

In addition to these new live-streaming restrictions, Facebook also said it’s investing in research to prevent incidents like the rapid spread of the Christchurch shooter video, which was modified in order to avoid detection and allow reposting. 

The company will invest in a $7.5 million partnership with three universities: the University of Maryland, Cornell University and the University of California, Berkeley. 

The money will go to research improved detection of manipulated images, video, and audio, something that could also help deal with things like deepfakes.

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This WhatsApp flaw helped send spyware with a voice call

WhatsApp had a scary flaw that was used to secretly send spyware to smartphones simply by calling the victim up. The Facebook-owned messaging service disclosed the vulnerability, which affects both iOS and Android devices, after it was used to attack a number of users.

Yikes, WhatsApp exploit allowed spyware to be installed with a phone call

WhatsApp has closed a vulnerability which allowed spyware to be installed via voice call.
WhatsApp has closed a vulnerability which allowed spyware to be installed via voice call.

Image: Fabian Sommer/picture alliance via Getty Image

A WhatsApp vulnerability allowed attackers to remotely install spyware onto phones — by simply calling them.

First reported by the Financial Times and confirmed by WhatsApp, the issue was discovered in early May and was promptly fixed by the company.

The Facebook-owned messaging service said it believed certain users were targeted through the vulnerability by an advanced cyber actor. 

As noted by the Financial Times, the spyware was developed by the Israeli cyber intelligence firm NSO Group. The malicious code could be inserted via a voice call, even if the recipient didn’t answer their phone, and the call would disappear from logs.

In a statement, WhatsApp did not name the NSO Group, but said the attack was representative of a private company which works with governments to create spyware for mobile devices.  

The messaging company said it has briefed human rights organisations on the finding, and notified U.S. law enforcement to help them conduct an investigation. 

WhatsApp said it made changes to its infrastructure last week to prevent the attack from happening, and issued an update for its app.

“WhatsApp encourages people to upgrade to the latest version of our app, as well as keep their mobile operating system up to date, to protect against potential targeted exploits designed to compromise information stored on mobile devices,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said in a statement. 

“We are constantly working alongside industry partners to provide the latest security enhancements to help protect our users.”

The NSO Group is behind a spyware product called Pegasus, which allows operators to take control of a target’s phone, allowing them to switch on a phone’s camera and a microphone, as well as retrieve private data.

NSO told FT it was investigating the WhatsApp issue, and that “under no circumstances would NSO be involved in the operating or identifying of targets of its technology, which is solely operated by intelligence and law enforcement agencies.” 

Mashable has reached out to NSO for further comment.

Human rights organisation Amnesty International is behind legal action to revoke the NSO Group’s export licence in Israel, after an Amnesty staff member was targeted last August by Pegasus.

“NSO Group sells its products to governments who are known for outrageous human rights abuses, giving them the tools to track activists and critics. The attack on Amnesty International was the final straw,” Danna Ingleton, deputy director of Amnesty Tech, said in a statement.

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