Cyber Security Today: Posting photos of children, targeted ransomware, a warning to Animoto users

Be careful when posting photos of children on social media, ransomware gets more targeted and a warning to Animoto users to update passwords.

Welcome to Cyber Security Today. It’s Wednesday August 22nd. To hear the podcast click on the arrow below:

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Summer is a great time for families to spend lots of time together at the beach, camping, seeing sights. And someone’s always snapping away with a smart phone or something more sophisticated. But what about putting those images of the kids on social media? A new survey by McAfee suggests as many as 15 per cent of Canadian parents post a photo or video of their child at least once a day on their social media accounts. The report reminds parents that there has to be care in sharing images of their children online. That means first of all remembering to check the privacy setting of your social media accounts to limit access to friends and family – and make those friends and family do the same. Second, think carefully about the content of the photo and accompanying text to make sure it doesn’t include personally identifiable information, like addresses, birth dates and schools children attend. Third, think about the photo itself – is it really cute, or will it make a child, or an adult, embarrassed? And remember to educate your kids about what they put online if they are old enough to post things on their own.

Finally, watch out for geo-tagging. Many social networks will tag a user’s location when a photo is uploaded. Parents should ensure this feature is turned off to avoid disclosing their location. In a McAfee survey of 1,000 Canadian parents, 74 per cent said they only share photos of children on private social media accounts. That’s good. But what about the other 26 per cent?

Ransomware is one of the scariest online threats. It locks up a computer, and if you or your firm don’t have a backup of current data a lot of important information can be lost – not to mention the cost to a company of replacing a lot of computers. Ransomware is often included in randomly sent spam, but a report out from Check Point Software describes a new malware campaign using a strain of ransomware it calls Ryuk that is different: The business victims are targeted. The attackers first infiltrate the company online, probably with malware, and take time to search and find out what digital assets the company has and where they are. Then they launch the ransomware. This is only the latest version of a targeted ransomware attack. But it’s a reminder to companies of how they need to tighten up not only defences but also the detection of threats on their networks that may have evaded those defences. Check Point says so far victims in this campaign it knows about have paid around $640,000 in bitcoin to get their files back.

SecurityWeek notes that Microsoft has quietly added a new privacy feature to the latest version of Skype. If two parties click on the Privacy Conversation button, the software adds end-to-end encryption to prevent anyone from listening in to text chat messages and audio calls, as well as to any files the conversation partners share over Skype

Finally, are you a user of the Animoto software for making videos and slide shows? If you haven’t done so already, change your password. Last week the company began notifying users that it had found unusual activity on its system. It can’t confirm that user information like names, birth dates and scrambled passwords was stolen, so out of an abundance of caution people are being told to create new passwords. The safe way to do that is to go to the company’s Web site. Don’t click on a link anyone has sent you.

That’s it for Cyber Security Today. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing. Thanks for listening. I’m Howard Solomon.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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