PDF File Password Remover for Mac OS X 10.13 & Below Versions

pdf password remover mac

Do you ever consider what if the PDF document is password protected or restricted & you want to use the documents frequently? Or whenever you open the document you were asked to enter the password? Do you find it a time-consuming task but, don’t know what to do next? In such situations trusted third-party PDF file password remover for Mac operating systems should be used. Because manual process to delete PDF security password in bulk is not possible. Though with the Preview option you can unsecure PDF file but for the bulk operation, this approach is not applicable. Thus, to remove Adobe password protection in batch use trust-worthy solution i.e. SysTools Mac PDF Unlocker tool. This professional utility supports to batch unlock PDF file on Mac OS 10.14, 10.13, and other versions. Moreover, the tool provides other advantageous features that are clearly described in the next section.

Features of the Tool to Remove Adobe Password Protection

1- Removes 8 types of restrictions i.e. print, comment, page extraction, form filling, document assembly, content copying, signing, content copying for accessibility, and creation of template pages

2- PDF file password remover for Mac allows to remove Adobe PDF security in batch

3- Remove owner as well as user known password from PDF documents

4- Users can easily remove password from multiple PDF files on High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion) etc.

5- The software does not have any file size and number limitation

6- Preserves file formatting before and after the unlocking process

7- Creates Export Report in .csv format contains all data like the selected path, destination path, unlock status, total count, fail count and success count of PDF

8- Creates unsecure PDF files free from any restrictions

Is it Good to Download PDF file Password Remover for Mac OS X?

This tool is a very reliable & problem free application to remove Adobe password protection. Users can download the demo version of the tool to remove Adobe PDF security without any hassle. Moreover, all 8 types of restrictions can be easily eliminated by the software.

How Demo Version Differs from the Full Version of the Software

The demo or trial version of the software is available at free of cost. Users don’t need to pay money to remove Adobe password protection. But, in the demo version, there will be the demo watermark on all unsecured PDF files. On the other hand, when users download the full version of PDF file password remover for Mac OS X they need to pay some amount. All unsecured PDF files created by the software are free from restrictions and will not contain any watermark.

Step by Step Process to Remove Adobe PDF Security

To remove PDF security on Mac at free of cost, users have followed these simple steps:

1- Firstly, download SysTools Mac PDF File Unlocker utility

2- Click Add Files / Folders option to insert PDF files

3- If the files are protected with password then enter it

4- Then select the destination location to save unlocked PDF

5- Click Unlock PDF button to begin the process

6- View the Export Report & all Unlocked PDF Files

With the help of this smart tool, users can remove Adobe PDF security in bulk without any difficulty. Also, 30 days money back guarantee in case of the improper working of the utility. So, free download PDF file Password Remover for Mac OS X.

Time to Sum Up

To protect the sensitive or confidential data people apply the password in PDF files. Basically, with this security measure file is prevented from unauthorized users. But, sometimes these passwords are not reliable because entering the password, again and again, is a quite time-consuming task. Therefore, it is needed to delete PDF security password permanently. So, this blog post describes the best solution which can remove Adobe password protection completely. Users can free download the PDF file password remover for Mac OS X 10.14, 10.13 and other versions without any hassle.

Yahoo’s Security Breach Grows Worse

In December 2016, Yahoo revealed it had been hacked back in 2013. It was reported at the time that this security breach by an “unauthorized third party” saw the user data associated with 1 billion accounts stolen. However, it turns out that this epic hack was even worse than Yahoo thought.

This hack didn’t just affect 1 billion random Yahoo users. Instead, it hit every single Yahoo account that existed in August 2013. And there were 3 billion of them at the time. Let that sink in for just a minute: 3. billion. accounts. Making it the largest data breach in history. That we know of…

The Most Epic Security Breach Ever Recorded

Since Yahoo first disclosed the hack Verizon has acquired the company. During that acquisition new intelligence was uncovered that clued Yahoo into the fact it had underestimated just how epic this hack was. Rather than “just” 1 billion users being affected, all 3 billion users were caught up in it.

Yahoo has subsequently sent out a notice revealing the truth. The company states it now believes that “all Yahoo user accounts were affected by the August 2013 theft”. And Yahoo, now called Oath, has drawn this conclusion “following an investigation with the assistance of outside forensic experts”.

Thankfully, although the size of the security breach has been scaled up significantly, the information stolen has remained the same. Which means that “names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords […] and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers” were stolen.

However, Oath (formerly Yahoo) is ultra keen to stress that no “passwords in clear text, payment card data, or bank account information” was stolen from its servers. This should be of some comfort to anyone who had a Yahoo account in 2013. Which is probably most people reading this right now.

Please Follow Yahoo’s Common Sense Advice

Oath has created a full page of FAQs related to this data breach. And this provides the common sense advice the company suggests you follow in order to safeguard your information. Which basically amounts to changing your passwords and security questions and answers for any and all Yahoo accounts, and, crucially, all other accounts that share the same or similar information.

 

 

 

Mastering Password Managers

It goes without saying that everyone needs to use stronger passwords, and the best way to do that is with a password manager. The truth is, passwords that are hard to hack are very hard to remember, however you really do need long and complex passwords.

Top 3 Password Manager Apps for Android

That’s where password managers come in handy. There are all kinds of password managers out there, including some as basic as your browser’s rudimentary list of saved passwords list and some as elaborate as entire cloud systems that work across multiple devices and platforms.

All of these models have some basics in common: they store your passwords, they auto-fill details on login forms, and they keep your passwords encrypted in databases. The differences are where those databases are kept, the types of encryption and recovery options available.

Weaponized Math: Encrypted Passwords

Your browser can save passwords, but that often isn’t very secure. One of the main appeals of a password manager is that it saves all of your passwords behind one password in a single database.

Of course putting all your plain text passwords in one place isn’t much of a security measure in and of itself. Instead, your passwords must be encrypted, which secures your passwords. But since the amount of control over password databases can vary, you’ll want to figure out which model works best for you.

When boiled down, encryption is the use of math to disguise your data. The key used to transform the plaintext is randomly generated, the strength of the encryption is based on this key size in bits. In layman’s terms: the more bits, the more security. This is because the more compelx the key, the more complex the resulting output is.

Depending on the algorithm, that substitution is repeated. In certain cases, they key is transformed to further obscure the output. This process is creates what’s called a hash, which often has added salt—additional randomization added to the hashing process. This ensures the original value is completely obscured without the correct starting input, key, and salt.

There are additional factors like block size, initialization vectors, and other more advanced concepts. If you’re interested in the gory details, check out our detailed breakdown of encryption

Local Safes: Keeping Control

The best way to keep a secret is to never tell anyone. If you don’t want your passwords anywhere other than on your hard drive, a local password manager is your best option. This keeps your data on a device that you physically control, leaving your security directly in your own hands.

One of the more popular password managers is KeePass, an open source Windows solution with ports on Mac and Linux. It offers a lot of flexibility and control, including the ability to select between multiple encryption algorithms.

best password managers 2016 keepass

And if you’re looking for a complete escape from passwords, you can even use key files to unlock your passwords. (You put key files on a USB drive or other portable storage, then use the physical device as a key to authenticate with the machine.)

The downside to KeePass is the same as its strengths: you control the keys to the kingdom, so if you lose your key files or master password, you’re out of luck. In such a case, your only option would be to start over from scratch and set up every password again.

Your file is also limited to where you save it, so you’re responsible for any backups you want to maintain. If you want mobile sync, you’re going to need to do it manually (or with a separate syncing service like Dropbox) and a compatible reader on your tablet/phone. And if something goes wrong, you’re on your own.

Local managers give you a lot of security and control, but you lose a rescue plan and out-of-the-box portability.

Syncing Systems: Multiple Devices

If you’re juggling multiple devices with many passwords, keeping a master file locked on a PC somewhere is not the best solution — especially if you’re trying to log into Amazon on your phone or check your bank balance on your tablet. Don’t weaken the password just to make it more memorable!

That’s where hybrid approaches like 1Password come in, which uses Dropbox or your local network to automatically sync your password between devices. This gives you the ability to keep everything working across devices, but you are still the only one with the key to your data.

Image result for 1password logo

But you lose some of the crunchier options, such as multiple encryption algorithms and key file logins.

This fixes a lot of the downsides of the local-only option, as you can keep your phone, tablet, and computer all in sync. You’ll also need to trust Dropbox as a cloud host, though 1Password does add an extra layer of security on top with its own strong encryption, so you can rest assured of any security worries.

If you’re really worried about interceptors and other vectors of attack, you can just use your local network to synchronize your passwords across devices. You won’t have any hope of recovering a lost master password if you choose this route, but it does ensure that 1Password won’t have access either.

Cloud Services: Any Device, Anywhere

Keeping all of your passwords in the cloud requires a certain amount of trust in a company to do things the right way. My favorite choice here is LastPass.

LastPass keeps an encrypted copy of your password database in the cloud, making it available on almost every platform and browser imaginable. You will need a premium membership for several of their features, but the basics are there for free.

Image result for lastpass logo

Your devices do all of the encryption and decryption, ensuring that your master password is not on LastPass’s servers. If you don’t have access to the Web, a copy is cached locally so you can still unlock. There is an additional layer of protection in two-step verification as well.

You have to trust their security is as robust as promised, as LastPass makes for an obvious target for hackers. However, with a good master password and two-step verification enabled, you should be confident about the security of your password safe. And if you ever forget your password, you can recover your safe.

Literally the Least You Can Do

If you’re a Mac and/or iOS user, you already have access to a password manager built into your operating system: iCloud Keychain. This is an extension of the OS X keychain that uses iCloud to keep all of your passwords synced across devices.

Windows has a similar feature called Credential Manager, but it does not have the same cross-device syncing.

This is pretty comparable in terms of security to LastPass, but it’s limited to Apple devices. Unless you’re only running exclusively on Apple products, you’re going to be missing your passwords on some of your other devices, which can be a huge nuisance.

Yet even if you’re a big Apple fan, you still may not want to lock yourself into the platform because you never know what kind of other devices you may get in the future.

You Really Need a Password Manager

Unless you have an iron-clad memory, using different passwords across all of your accounts is going to prove difficult. Doing so with hard-to-crack passwords? Near impossible. Getting a password manager ensures that you can keep all of your accounts safe and secure using a single master password.

Find the model that works best with you and find the product that works best for your devices. Almost every manager has a free trial or free tier that you can try out. Once you’ve made your choice, go through all of your online accounts and update the passwords to be more complex.

That’s really all there is to it.

Has Your Password Been Exposed ?

You know by now that you should be changing your passwords regularly. I have have been strongly recommending password managers for several years now. This is because every day there seems to be another cyber security crisis. If you haven’t changed your passwords recently, it’s now officially time: a massive database containing login credentials is floating around the internet.

Image result for password hack

We don’t know who’s behind the breach, but over 560 million leaked emails and passwords — 243.6 million unique email addresses — are compromised. First uncovered by the Kromtech Security Research Center, the leak has been confirmed by security researcher Troy Hunt, who created the “Have I Been Pwned” website.

What kind of information does it have?

The good news is, there hasn’t been a new hack: the trove of credentials is a collection of data from previous breaches at LinkedIn, DropBox, LastFM, MySpace, Adobe, Neopets, Tumblr and others. Some of these breaches are years old.

What makes this database troublesome from a security standpoint is how accessible it makes sensitive information. It basically compiled private data from various prior hacks to create one convenient database for hackers to illegally access.

Who is at risk?

Essentially, anyone who never updated their credentials at the time of the original breach. If you haven’t stayed on top of every hack and checked your status each and every time, then you could be at risk.

How to check if your credentials are compromised

The easiest way to see if your credentials are vulnerable is to go to Hunt’s site — Have I Been Pwned. Here, you can type in your email and find out if your email and password are safe or not.

Image result for pwned

You may have changed your password at the time of a given breach, but let’s be real: you may not remember. If you scroll below the results, the site shows you which breaches you were impacted by. To view information on sensitive breaches, subscription is required. If this is your first time on the site and you get the dreaded “Oh no—pwned!”message, then it’s best take a screenshot of the result and change your password immediately.

Why a screenshot? The site tells you how many “breached sites” it’s on (in other words, how many unique incidents took your credentials) and if there are any “pastes” — a paste is when the information is shared on a public website. Saving this information (you can also jot it down somewhere safely) can let you know in the future if you’ve been breached again if the information in the results change.

Don’t understand what’s going on? It’s okay. Just go change your email password to be safe. And be sure to create a strong password.

The Case for Password Managers

Here is something that probably drives you crazy. Passwords. How many times do you have to reset your password? How much time do you lose trying to figure out just what your password is for a particular website? Do you panic when you hear about another security breach and have you ever feared that your personal information has been stolen?

We are live in a digital world and there is nothing we can do about that. Passwords and security are simply going to continue to become more difficult and harder for us to manage. I believe that the best way for you to safely and efficiently manage your online security is by investing your time (and sometimes a little cash) in a good password manager.

Using a password manager will address these problems that most of us face as we travel through the digital universe.

  1. Error messages galore – It’s annoying to type out a password, especially as password requirements get more complex. And many times, we type them in wrong. This is even more of a problem using the small keyboards on a smartphone or tablet. With a password manager, your password is automatically filled in for you when it detects the login screen, or you can easily tap the password for entry into a mobile app.
  1. The forgotten password lock-out – Enter that password one too many times, and boom – you’re locked out. Again. That’s the last thing you want to deal with when you’re logging in to pay your credit card on time or need to respond to an email quickly. Password managers never forget the stuff you’ve stored in them, and that stuff includes your passwords. Never get locked out again with a password manager.
  1. The reset (the aftermath of the lock-out) – Once you’ve finally admitted that you can’t remember your password, you have to go through the painful and usually time-consuming password reset process. Will the link to reset your password come through immediately? Or in a few hours? No one knows, and no one has time for that.
  1. Creating a tough as $%!t password – With the increased frequency of breaches, many sites are implementing stronger password requirements – 35 characters, 6 symbols, uppercase, lowercase – who can remember all that?! Thankfully, we have the technology of a password manager for that. Not only can it create that complicated password in one click, it remembers it without any work on your part.
  1. What’s your Wi-Fi, again? – You have friends over for game night and everyone wants to control the music from their own phone. But before they can do that, you get the age-old question, “What’s your Wi-Fi password?” And a 15-minute delay ensues as you try to track it down again. Ah! But with a password manager like LastPass, you’ll have it right where you want it. Simply store your Wi-Fi credentials in a Secure Note, and share that Note with your friends so you don’t ever have to dig up and spell out your Wi-Fi password again.
  1. Your billing address is not correct – You’re shopping online, just buying a new pair of shoes, but as soon as you enter your name, the browser populates your billing and shipping information with your office address. As much as you’d love to charge those new shoes to work, that won’t fly. With LastPass, you can create profiles for your credit cards so you don’t need to enter the information each time – LastPass just fills it in for you automatically.
  1. Post-breach password changes – The modern reality is that passwords are a hot commodity and hackers are going to keep trying to steal them. After each new breach, we as consumers run around changing this password or that one, which can be a hassle and quite time-consuming. But password managers like LastPass can help you figure out where you’ve reused the same password that was breached, and will even automatically change passwords for you making it extremely easy to be extremely secure.
  1. Not having a password when you need it – It’s happened to everyone. You’re on the go – running errands, away for the weekend – and you get an email that your electric bill is due – today! Normally that’s not a problem, but the password for your electric company account is stored in your browser or on a sticky note next to your computer, which isn’t helpful now. With a password manager you have access to your passwords wherever you are, from any device. So paying your electric bill from a rest stop on the side of the highway is no big deal.

Take a look back at this list. How many of these frustrations have you dealt with just in the last month? Passwords aren’t going away; they’re actually becoming more of a pain, but they don’t have to be.

My favorite password manager is LastPass but there are others out there as well. You can learn about many of the best password managers by checking out this PC Magazine article.

Netflix & Amazon Urge Users to Change Their Passwords

Both Netflix and Amazon are warning some customers that their accounts may be at risk and are urging them to change their passwords. This appears to be the first major effects of the massive database breaches that have surfaced during the past month.

The emails, which have started to surface in more and more inboxes recently, warn the recipient that their credentials may have been found in a cache of passwords and emails that made their way online. Both Amazon and Netflix assure their customers that neither company was directly breached.

In both the cases of Netflix and Amazon, the services have created temporary passwords for users who have been caught in the leaks. The security step was taken because “many customers reuse their passwords on multiple websites,” according to the email delivered by Amazon.

The belief that users have reused passwords is probably a correct one. Many people still use the same password across many accounts, which is a major problem and why Amazon and Netflix are moving forward with there urging of their customers to change their password.

This precautions taken by Netflix and Amazon follows several weeks of an unprecedented amount of usernames and passwords stolen from major sites and services.

Recent History of Large Services Hacked

A total of 167 million accounts from LinkedIn, the result of a 2012 breach, surfaced in May after appearing available for sale on a dark net marketplace. Just weeks later, 427 million credentials from MySpace appeared online, the result of an apparently unreported breach of the social network’s databases. Sixty-five million Tumblr accounts that were stolen in 2013 were acquired at the end of May. In June, 32 million credentials from Twitter users were put up for sale on the dark web, though Twitter denies it was ever the victim of a hack.

Screenshot of Netflix’s Password Change Notification

Change Your Passwords

Even if you don’t get an email from Netflix or Amazon—or any other company taking extra steps to protect their customers—suggesting a password change, now is the perfect opportunity to do it.

First, you can check to see if your account appears in any of the recent breaches by using the free tools offered by LeakedSource, an online database of stolen credentials, or Have I Been Pwned, a collection of compromised usernames and passwords maintained by security expert Troy Hunt. Regardless if you appear on either list, it never hurts to refresh your current protection.

When filling out the password form, make sure to use a unique combination that isn’t in use for any other account belonging to you; a breach of one service can create a domino effect and compromise you later.

Make sure to use a combination of words, numbers, symbols, and upper and lowercase letters. Try to avoid anything easily guessable—anything on the list of most common passwords is a nonstarter—and keep away from publicly available personal information like your birthday.

Use a Password Manager

I have suggested this countless times here, on this fine technology blog as well as to my workmates, friends and family. Invest in a Password Manager like “LastPass”. Password Managers can take a daunting job (like having strong, encrypted and unique passwords) and making is very easy. Those of us using a password manager have very little to fear from security hacks like the ones mentioned here.

Consider Two-Factor Authentication

Consider using “two-factor authentication” for your important online accounts, especially financial accounts. These are becoming easier to use. The one I recommend is Google’s Authentication.

117 Million LinkedIn Hacked Passwords Up for Sale

LinkedIn was hacked four years ago and more problems from it have surfaced this week. The new information released reports that the 117 million user emails and passwords that had been stolen four years ago are now being offered for sale.

The June 2012 LinkedIn hack was originally believed to have involved 6.5 million passwords. However, a report yesterday by Motherboard said a dark Web marketplace and another site, LeakedSource, had both obtained data from 167 million hacked LinkedIn accounts which would mean that even more then the original reported leaked email addresses were stolen. Of those, 117 million included emails and passwords, the remaining accounts are believed to be of users who logged into the site via Facebook.

This is Not a New Security Breach

Wednesday’s report on Motherboard said the publication had learned from a hacker using the name “Peace” that emails and passwords from 117 million LinkedIn users were among the 167 million accounts held in a hacked database posted for sale on The Real Deal, a dark Web marketplace. Peace was seeking five bitcoins — about $2,250 at today’s exchange rate — for the data.

The publication reported that the database of LinkedIn account information was also in the hands of LeakedSource, a paid-subscriber site that allows people to look up whether their online username or password data has been found to be publicly available on the Web.

LinkedIn responded to Motherboard’s report in a blog post on Wednesday by Chief Information Security Officer Cory Scott.

“We are taking immediate steps to invalidate the passwords of the accounts impacted, and we will contact those members to reset their passwords,” Scott wrote. “We have no indication that this is as a result of a new security breach.”

LinkedIn Looking for Suspicious Activity

While the LinkedIn passwords hacked in 2012 were protected using the SHA-1 hash algorithm, they were not “salted,” which provides further protection with the addition of random data to hashed passwords. Without that added protection, passwords and other hacked data are easier to crack.

According to Motherboard, a person at LeakedSource said site personnel had been able to break into around 90 percent of the hacked LinkedIn passwords within three days.

A post published Tuesday on LeakedSource said LinkedIn users who found their information on the site could ask for that information to be removed from its database at no cost. The site also posted a list of the top passwords it had identified in the hacked data, indicating that many hundreds of thousands of users had chosen easily broken passwords such as “123456,” “linkedin” and “password.”

In Wednesday’s blog post, Scott noted that LinkedIn has “for several years” both hashed and salted all its user passwords. He added the site also encourages members to use other available LinkedIn tools such as email challenges and dual-factor authentication.

A blog update posted later in the day said that LinkedIn was using automated tools to look for and block any suspicious activity on affected accounts. It added, “We have demanded that parties cease making stolen password data available and will evaluate potential legal action if they fail to comply.”

Protect Your Passwords

This is another story that demonstrates the importance that you can not trust others with your security. Your passwords should be complex and encrypted. This is easily achievable by using password managers such as LastPass. Also when possible use two-factor authentication.

Is Selling Passwords Really a Risk?

Here is yet another story regarding security that fully demonstrates that relying on passwords alone to protect our information is unreliable.

It turns out that all of the security in the world won’t stop a disgruntled or adequately incentivized employee. According to research done by Austin, Texas-based security company SailPoint, one in five employees would sell their work passwords for money.

And not even a high sum, either. In the report, 44 percent of those who responded affirmatively said that they would sell their credentials for less than $1000.

Screenshot 2016-03-22 17.05.02

It’s not the only poor password practice that workers engage in, although you could argue that it is the most nefarious. Apparently nearly two-thirds of employees actually admitted to sharing passwords and credentials with coworkers, and 16 percent confessed to only using a single password for all of their credentials.

It is clear that companies are doing a poor job of locking the door after letting an employee go: 42 percent of those responded said they could access corporate accounts and data after termination.

For ex-employees it is clear that the organization should immediately disable all of their accounts and secure the information. Going further security must eventually grow beyond the use of simple passwords.

Tax Season is a Time to Be Aware of Phishing Attacks

It’s tax time, so you should think twice before clicking on that link in your email inbox. What may look like a legitimate communication from your bank, financial institution or email provider may actually be part of a scheme designed to steal the confidential information stored in your computer, or to gain access to the network it’s attached to.

Experts warn that tax season is a prime time for this brand of fraud known as “phishing” where hackers are out to steal your information in hopes of using it to file a false tax return.

Phishing emails remain one of the top causes of data breaches. While people are more aware of their danger than ever before, the lures continue to evolve and increase in sophistication, making it tough for the average person to discern which emails are legitimate and which ones aren’t.

Here are a few answers to common questions about phishing:

Why Is It So Bad This Time of Year?

Phishing peaks during tax season, partially because it’s a time of year that many people are accustomed to entering their most personal information such as their Social Security number or bank account information on websites.

Hackers can use this information to file false tax returns and steal your refund.

This year is no exception. Earlier this month, the IRS said that it stopped an attack on the e-filing portion of its website. Hackers tried to use a combination of malware and 464,000 Social Security numbers that had been stolen elsewhere to generate PIN numbers that could be used to file fraudulent returns.

Thankfully no taxpayer data was stolen from the IRS computer systems as a result of the hack.

Phishing also spikes around Christmas, with attacks in the form of fake delivery notifications. Thieves also often tie phishing emails to major sporting events, or natural disasters like overseas earthquakes.

What’s the Difference Between Phishing and Spear Phishing?

Phishing is like a person casually throwing a rod in a lake and waiting for a bite. Phishing emails don’t contain a lot of specifics, but are quick and easy to send out in mass quantities.

“Spear phishing” is much more targeted and personalized. The people behind those attacks spend time researching their targets in order to create highly customized emails that look much more legitimate and are much more likely to be clicked on.

The rise of social media has made this a lot easier. Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, details including a person’s place of employment, where they bank, like to shop and the names and ages of their children are just a few clicks away.

What Other Red Flags Should I Be on the Lookout For?

In an effort to get more people to click on a link before thinking about the possible consequences, many phishing emails will give an impression of scarcity, or include some kind of time limit.

For example, an email made to appear to be from a person’s bank or email provider may state that if that person doesn’t click on the enclosed link within 24 hours, they will be locked out of their account.

And while poor English and long, complex web links were previously sure signs of phishing, they’re not as prevalent anymore. Many overseas hackers are no longer using clunky translation websites, because there are fluent English speakers who specialize in translating phishing emails.

Meanwhile, it has become easier to shorten the Web links that direct a people to fake websites.

You should be wary of emails purported to be from banks, or other companies you do business with, but did not opt into emails from. Be aware that banks generally do not include Web links in emails.

Be aware of this. Links can take you to a fake website where you will be asked to login and those credentials will ultimately be stolen.

In addition phishing attacks do not just come in the form of email. They can come as text messages as well, with those links often containing viruses.

Is There Any Way To Prevent a Phishing-Related Hacking?

Basic cyber hygiene can go a long way toward preventing a data breach, even if a link in a phishing email gets accidentally clicked on.

 

Using different passwords for different accounts, two-factor authentication and changing passwords frequently all can be a big help. In addition, companies should test their employees by periodically sending out fake phishing emails to see who falls for them.

Also organizations need to make sure their security keys are up to date, along with their anti-spam filters, so past bad senders don’t keep getting through.

In the end – even you do not remember most of this – one simple rule will do a lot to protect you.

Securing Your iPhone

With the recent FBI – Apple dispute regarding unlocking a iphone now is a good time at reviewing various ways to make sure your iPhone is safe from hacking and breaking into.

The Lock Code

By default, we are allowed six-digit unlock codes. If those six digits are chosen carefully, it’s a strong way to protect your phone from most threats. The reason for this is due to a couple of security features from Apple and the sheer number of passcode combinations possible.

The first security feature is the requirement that all password combinations are attempted on the phone itself. The good news here is that currently, it is not possible to connect an iPhone running iOS 9 to a machine in order to brute force the passcode.

The second feature adds a delay to each attempt. This delay gets longer as you guess incorrectly. After four incorrect guesses, the attacker has to wait one minute before trying again, and then five minutes, 15 minutes and finally one hour.

There’s a third feature as well, but it has to be turned on. In Settings > Touch ID & Passcode, you’ll find an option at the bottom that says Erase Data; enable it.

erase-data

Enabling this feature gives attackers 10 tried to guess your passcode and then wipes all of the data from your phone.

All of the features above are what the Department of Justice ordered Apple to write new firmware for. If Apple had created this new firmware, it would allow the FBI to bypass these security features and simply guess all possible password combinations. If allowed, the FBI could crack a six-digit numeric passcode in less than a day.

Of course, if you just want to call it a day and put this whole thing to rest right now, you have the option to create longer passcodes, or even to make them alphanumeric. In Settings > Touch ID & Passcode > Change Passcode, you have the option to set it to alphanumeric after you input your current passcode.

passcode-options

A 12-digit passcode with letters, numbers and special characters, for example, would take 4 million years to crack using current brute force techniques and hardware. Even if Apple did create the software the FBI is asking for, it’d be all but meaningless. However few people are going to take the time to create a password this long.

Disable Touch ID

This may surprise you but sadly it has been proven repeatedly that the fingerprint sensor is not really a secure way to unlock your phone. To disable Touch ID, Settings > Touch ID & Passcode and then disable all of the settings that use the Touch ID.

touch-id

The strongest passcode in the world means nothing if you can defeat a fingerprint sensor with a piece of plastic.

Instead of Touch ID you really want to force attackers to enter a passcode, and a long one at that.

Another problem with the TouchID is that there is also a precedent that police can force you to unlock a phone with a fingerprint sensor, even though they can’t require your passcode without a warrant. Weird huh.

Stop Automatic Backups – They are NOT Secure

iCloud backups are not secure. Your files reside on Apple’s servers, non-encrypted, and are easily accessible by Apple, and anyone else who has a court order.

Instead of iCloud backups start making local backups of your iPhone using iTunes. I realize this is not the most convenient of solutions, but if you are looking for the safest way to protect your backups, this is it.

If you’re extra tinfoil hat-y, you can even disable the internet while making these backups, but it’s not necessary.

Don’t forget to encrypt the backup by checking the appropriate box.

itunes-elcapitan-encrypt-iphone-backup

Now, you can store the encrypted backup file in iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, or any other cloud storage provider, or locally on your hard drive.

More Considerations

The steps above are all reasonably easy changes to make and none require a significant shift in user behavior. They’re also going to prove remarkably efficient at keeping attackers out of your iPhone.

From here, the only common vulnerabilities are going to be from third-party applications, malware or perhaps a Bluetooth exploit, but the latter is said to have been fixed in iOS 9.

Stingrays are also a real threat, but even they can’t decrypt files within an iPhone. Instead, they trick your phone into believing it’s connecting to a cell tower and then handing over call and messaging data.

If you’re worried about bulk data collection tools, like the Stingray, you can avoid calls, email or sending text messages and instead opt for a secure messaging app that uses end-to-end encryption, such as Signal orChatSecure.

Again, no security solution is perfect but if you were looking to protect your information, while not significantly altering usage behavior, we hope these steps will help.

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