Increase Your IQ: Armor up! Secure your system with these apps

Increase Your IQ: Armor up! Secure your system with these apps

Our phones are our lifelines. They store everything from our most precious pictures to our sensitive, private credit card information. Though our phones have fingerprint readers and facial recognition, is that enough to keep all our information secure? In this month's newsletter, you’ll learn about three different apps that add layers of security to your devices.

Password manager app
You’re always hearing about creating a secure password, but how do you keep your secure passwords secure? Using a password manager app can help you remember (or forget) passwords and keep them safely stored.

There are three different tiers of the LastPass service: a free version, a premium version and a family version. You can purchase these through any app store or their website. The free version of LastPass offers:

  1. Storage of unlimited passwords
  2. Autofill passwords
  3. Multifactor authentication
  4. Access with fingerprint
  5. Strong password generator

Call blocker apps
Spam calls and text messages are becoming more common. Robocall prevention service YouMail states, “At the current pace … there will be more 51 billion robocalls by the end of 2021, a significant leap from the 45.9 billion received last year.” That’s a lot of unwanted calls!

  1. Android: Calls Blacklist — Call blocker (Google Play Store)
  2. iPhone: Truecaller (App Store)

These apps have the highest ratings and offer the most coverage. They will block spam calls and spam texts, and also blacklist phone numbers.

Virtual private network app
A virtual private network (VPN) conceals data as it is traveling through the internet. It sends your data in an encrypted format that is unreadable to anyone who might intercept it. VPNs come in handy when you are traveling and only have access to public Wi-Fi. Additionally, certain websites and social media are blocked in some countries. Using a VPN allows you to access any content, blocked or unblocked.

ExpressVPN has the highest ratings and can be used on a variety of platforms such as iPhone, Android, Linux, Windows, Mac, routers, gaming consoles and smart TVs.

Voicemail system hacking — Yes, even your voicemail can be hacked!
There are hackers who are able to break into your voicemail. They use the call forwarding feature to make expensive international calls, and the expenses are left for you or your business to pay. The targets of these hacks are usually businesses, but residential phone systems can also be victims. Here are some tips to avoid having your voicemail compromised.

  1. Change the default password
  2. Choose a complex password of at least six digits
  3. Check your recorded announcement regularly to be sure it is actually yours
  4. Consider blocking international calls
  5. Disable call forwarding or other features if you don't use them

There is a subscription cost, but also ensures a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can purchase through any app store or online on their website.

Internet vigilante — Jim Browning

Jim Browning is widely known in the cybersecurity community as an ethical hacker. He uses his knowledge to hack into the computers of those trying to get access to his computer. On his popular YouTube channel, he says that he’s “tracking and identifying scammers who knock [on his] front door, call [him] or shove popups onto [his] computer screen.”

He has two main reasons for doing what he does. He wants to make the world a safer place, and he enjoys the thrill of using his technical knowledge to catch a scammer. To learn more about Jim Browning and his scam-baiting, you can watch the short BBC documentary, “Panorama, Spying on the Scammers”.

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