Securing Your Mobile in Public Places

What would cause you more grief: your wallet being lost or stolen, or your mobile phone? I’ve read studies that showed that more people would be at a loss without their mobile device. This makes sense for a number of reasons. Your wallet itself might cost 20 bucks and the cards and IDs are free to under $50 to replace. If you have cash, well, that’s a direct loss.

But a mobile phone can cost as much as of $800 and has all your contacts and, in many cases, personal information and access to all your critical accounts such as banking and social media.

Bad guys are everywhere, and they are targeting your mobile devices to turn the information on them into cash and resell the hardware to the highest bidder.

Keep your device close

Criminals look for devices sitting on counters and tables in coffee shops, on park benches, on car consoles, sticking out of a pocket or purse, and they even steal them right from your hands as the phone is to your ear. Keep your mobile as discreet as possible and use an earbud when talking.

Lock it down with a password

Its simply irresponsible for anyone to not password protect his or her mobile devices. Thousands of devices are lost or stolen every day, and if the device isn’t password protected, then all the contacts, information and open apps can be taken over.

Use lock/locate/wipe software

Some operating systems come with software that, when the device is lost or stolen, the user can remotely lock the device, locate it with GPS and even wipe the data. There are also third-party programs that do the same thing and are often bundled with antivirus.

Install mobile security software

There was a day when PCs didn’t need antivirus; now there are millions of viruses targeting PCs. Mobile devices didn’t need antivirus either, but today there are thousands of viruses targeting mobiles.

Use a private VPN

Logging into public WiFi without any encryption puts all your information at risk. Install a wireless VPN such as Hotspot Shield. Hotspot Shield VPN is a great option that protects your entire web surfing session, securing your connection on both your home internet network and on public internet networks (both wired and wireless). Hotspot Shield’s internet security solution protects your identity by ensuring that all web transactions (shopping, filling out forms, downloads, etc.) are secured through HTTPS—the protected internet protocol.

Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to Hotspot Shield VPN. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him discussing internet and wireless security on Good Morning AmericaDisclosures.

Cops Say: ‘Check Your Locks’

Burglaries happen everywhere. But sometimes, in some places, due to numerous reasons, burglaries become more frequent and sometimes by a lot. It doesn’t matter how high or low the crime rate is in your town; it is essential to keep your home as secure as possible. Just outside of Seattle, the Quincy police department recently stated, “To help with the recent burglaries, we have compiled a list of tips to help you protect your home from being targeted.”

One thing is clear about their tips: They recommend good, strong locks on all doors.

  • Make your home look occupied and make it difficult to break in.
  • Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors.
  • Keep your garage door closed and locked.
  • Don’t allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers to build up while you are away. Arrange with the post office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to take it in regularly.
  • Check your locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices as necessary.
  • Push-button locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open. Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors like the Schlage Touchscreen Deadbolt.
  • Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Special locks are available for better security.
  • Always lock your garden shed and garage.  
  • Use curtains on garage and basement windows.
  • Never leave notes on your door such as “Gone shopping.”
  • Change locks immediately if your keys are lost or stolen. 
  • When moving into a new home, have all locks changed. Stores like Home Depot and Lowes have great residential brands, such as Schlage.
  • Have adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light is recommended for backyards.
  • Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as hiding places for intruders.
  • An alarm system is excellent for home security. It provides peace of mind to homeowners, especially while on vacation. There are a wide variety of alarm systems on the market.
  • Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other “secret” hiding places. Burglars know where to look for hidden keys.  
  • Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description of the items, date of purchase and original value, and serial numbers, and keep a copy in a safe place away from home. This is a good precaution in case of fires or other disasters as well as burglaries. Make a photographic or video record of valuable objects, heirlooms and antiques. Your insurance company can provide assistance in making and keeping your inventory.
  • Be a good neighbor. If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call 911 immediately.
  • Join the block watch. Work with your neighbors to improve security and reduce risk of burglary.

For residents who arrive home to find an unexplained open/broken window or door:

  • Do not enter—the perpetrator may still be inside.
  • Use a cell phone (or a neighbor’s phone) to call police.
  • Do not touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence.
  • Write down the license plate numbers of any suspicious vehicles.
  • Note the descriptions of any suspicious persons.

Robert Siciliano home security expert to Schlage discussing home security and identity theft on TBS Movie and a Makeover. Disclosures. For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress -to 411247.

Aquaman, King of the Seven Seas May Also be King of Threats

Wonder Twin powers activate! Shape of a Pterodactyl! Form of an icicle! Watching the Super Friends on Saturday mornings in my pjs while eating sugared cereal for breakfast and reading comic books was the extent of my relationship with super heroes. Ahh… those were much simpler times.

Today kids can find everything they need to know (and more) about their favorite superhero online. And with computers, Internet-connected game consoles and mobile devices all readily available, they can access this information at any time. But now searching for these super heroes may not be all that innocent as just looking for fun facts.

With the resurgence of the superheroes into mainstream movies (think Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America to name a few), hackers are leveraging their popularity to target consumers. Hackers are most successful when they can attract a large number of victims. One way to target big crowds online is to track current events—everything from celebrity meltdowns and natural disasters to holidays and popular music—and now, superheroes.

McAfee reveals the top Most Toxic Superheroes (#toxicsuperhero) that result in the greatest number of risky websites when you search for them online. The research found that searching for the latest “Aquaman and free torrent download,” “Aquaman and watch,” “Aquaman and online,” and “Aquaman and free trailer” yields a 18.6% chance of landing on a website that has tested positive for online threats, such as spyware, adware, spam, phishing, viruses and other malware.

The study uses McAfee® SiteAdvisor® site ratings, which indicate which sites are risky to search for celebrity names on the Web and calculate an overall risk percentage. The top Superheroes from the research with the highest percentage of risk are:

Aquaman                   18.60%

Mr. Fantastic            18.22%

The Hulk                    17.30%

Wonder Woman       16.77%

Daredevil                   16.70%

Iron Man                    15.63%

Superman                   15.21%

Thor                            15.10%

Green Lantern          15.00%

Cyclops                       14.40%

Wolverine                   14.27%

Invisible Woman      12.40%

Batman                       12.30%

Captain America        11.77%

Spider-Man                 11.15%

Here’s some tips to help you stay safe while searching online (whether it be from your PC or mobile device):

Be suspicious: If a search turns up a link to free content or too-good-to-be-true offers, be wary

Double-check the web address: Look for misspellings or other clues that the site you are going to may not be safe (for more on this, read my blog on typosquattting)

Search safely: Use a safe search plug-in, such as McAfee SiteAdvisor software that displays a red, yellow, or green ratings in search results, warning you to potential risky sites before you click on them

Protect yourself: Use comprehensive security software on all your devices, like McAfee LiveSafe™,to protect yourself against the latest threats

Broadly speaking, this study confirms that scammers consider popular trends when deciding which victims to target. This makes common sense. If hackers are motivated largely by profit, the biggest profits can be wrung from the largest pools of potential victims. And on the web, popular trends and visitor traffic are highly correlated—so be smart and don’t fall into their trap.

Discuss on Twitter using #toxicsuperhero


Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Evangelist to McAfee. Watch him discussing information he found on used electronic devices YouTube. (Disclosures)

How to Get Free and Secure Wireless Anywhere

Portable WiFi can be as little as 20 bucks a month, but for the 200 or so MB you get and the slow speed that comes with it, you’d be better off upgrading to the $50-$60 for carrier WiFi with unlimited data on the faster 3/4G network.

But why pay when you can get it for free? Well, if you don’t have the time to hunt for WiFi or just need it occasionally, then you may have to pay. Otherwise, if you are flexible and can get around easily enough, there are plenty of resources out there for free WiFi.

Resources for free WiFi:

  • Mobiles: If you’re out and about, ask anyone if he or she has a mobile phone that acts as a hotspot. PC Advisor calls this setup tethering or internet sharing, and many smartphones provide this feature, including iPhones, BlackBerrys, Windows Phones and Android handsets. PC Advisor also has a list of phones that can do the trick.
  • Retail shops: Local coffee shops; retail stores; malls; hospitals; chains like Starbucks, McDonalds, Taco Bell, KFC, Burger King and many others provide free WiFi—often without you having to buy anything.
  • CableWiFi: Bright House Networks, Cox Communications, Optimum, Time Warner Cable and XFINITY allow one another’s high-speed internet customers to access more than 150,000 WiFi hotspots. CableWiFi is the wireless network name created as an extension of the WiFi services offered by internet service providers listed here.

WiFi locators:

  • WiFinder (iOS/Android) enables your WiFi card to find secured and unsecured wireless connections wherever you are. WiFinder provides the ability to quickly search for open WiFi networks from your home screen.
  • WeFi (Android) claims to be the most popular WiFi connection manager on the market. With WeFi, you always get the best WiFi connection while keeping battery consumption to a minimum.
  • Free Zone is the app that helps you find free WiFi hotspots—and it really works, with more than 300,000 WiFi totally free hotspots.

But keep in mind that “free” generally means unencrypted, wide open and unsecured, so they’re susceptible to hackers using sniffing hardware and software to steal your information.

When you’re hopping on free WiFi, make sure to download and install Hotspot Shield VPN on your mobile, tablet or laptop to encrypt your wireless communications so evildoers can’t see your data or install a Trojan on your device.

Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to Hotspot Shield VPN. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him discussing internet and wireless security on Good Morning AmericaDisclosures.

Easily Install Locks and Increase Home Security

It’s not that hard to protect your home. In less than 30 minutes, you can install a strong lock, like a Schlage, to fit common prepped doors and you only need a screwdriver.

Ever install a door lock? There are certain activities in life that everyone should know how to do. Change a tire, give CPR, perform self-defense, swim, and change a lock. All of these things revolve around safety and security, and I’m betting you know how to do maybe two or three out of the five. (P.S. – if you know all five, then you are awesome!)

Knowing how to DIY a lock change isn’t entirely necessary, as you can always get someone else to it for you. (In my own life I can count at least a handful of times when someone called me to change locks in an emergency situation whether due to losing keys or a bad roommate situation) But why go through all the time of finding someone and maybe even a significant expense if you can do it yourself in less than 30 minutes – sometimes even in less than 15?! Today’s doors are pre-fit with all the necessary holes, so all you have to do is assemble the lock in place. Rarely will you need to retrofit or drill additional holes. When installing, most locks require two to four screws and you’re done! It’s the simple!

Installation instructions are always included in new lock packaging, with detailed examples of all the parts and how to put them together. Videos such as this one for Schlage’s Keypad Entry Lock, show exactly how to install a new lock.

More videos and installation instructions for Schlage’s strong locks can be found here.

Robert Siciliano home security expert to Schlage discussinghome security and identity theft on TBS Movie and a Makeover. Disclosures. For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress -to 411247.

Tech 2013 Hits and Misses…So Far

2013 is turning out to be the “year of the wear”, and mobile payments are looking grrrreat too!

HIT: Glass: Wearable tech is all the rage with Google Glass leading the field. Google Glass is a wearable computer with an optical, head-mounted display that is being developed by Google with the mission to producea mass-market, ubiquitous computer. Google Glass displays information in a smartphone-like, hands-free format that can interact with the Internet via natural language voice commands. Even though Glass hasn’t officially been available for sale on the mass market, the demand for it is incredible.

HIT: Fitness tech: CNET reports:“For example, Fitbit announced a new tracker, called the Fitbit Flex, which is squarely aimed at the Nike FuelBand and Jawbone Up. A wristband-style gadget, the Flex connects to iPhones and Android handsets to share stats such as the number of steps you take and the quality and duration of your sleep. In the same vein, startup company Basis Science finally disclosed plans to bring its Basis Band health tracker to market.”

HIT: Mobile payment: reports: “There are players of all sizes in the burgeoning mobile payment systems industry, including big U.S. financial institutions such as Bank of America and small startups such as Square in San Francisco. It has become a crowded field, and some of the bigger players are expanding their products to set themselves apart.”

MISS: Tablets that aren’t running Apples iOS. Certainly, many people are using tablets and there are a few people not using the iPad. But, well, who’s not using an iPad? Where are they? Anyone I see pecking away is on an iPad. I keep reading articles such as “Death of the Windows Tablet”. I think it’s just a matter of time.

MISS: Symbian mobile operating system. Techweek reports: “Nokia has stopped shipping the devices with Symbian. The PureView808, was the last handset to run the Symbian operating system. The OS loved by many Nokia enthusiasts is well and truly dead – though its death warrant was signed much earlier, in 2011, when Nokia pinned its hopes on Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS.”

Robert Siciliano, is a personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto and author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked! . Disclosures

What is Mobile Banking? Is it Safe?

Mobile banking (mBanking) or text (SMS) banking refers to online banking that occurs via mobile phone rather than via a PC (online banking). The earliest mobile banking services were offered over SMS, but with the introduction of smartphones and the Apple iOS and Google Android operating systems, mobile banking is now primarily offered through applications as opposed to through text messages or even a mobile browser.

Mobile banking allows you to review transactions, transfer funds, pay bills and check account balances via your mobile device. MBanking also offers enhanced security with SMS transaction notifications and the ability to turn card accounts on or off; the development of new technologies like mobile check deposit (where you simply take a picture of the check using your smartphone’s built-in camera) is contributing to the increasing popularity of mobile banking. Eventually, mobile phones may even replace automated teller machines (ATMs) and credit cards.

However, studies show that many Americans are still uncomfortable with mobile banking, citing security as a top concern. According to Javelin Strategy and Research, “Between 2009 and 2010, the number of consumers who rated mobile banking as ‘unsafe’ or ‘very unsafe’ increased by a shocking 54 percent.”

While banks are working to do their part, users have to take additional steps to make sure their mobile data is protected. Here are some tips for mobile bankers of all ages to help keep you safe while banking on the go:

  • Download your bank’s mobile application so you can be sure you are visiting the real bank every time and not a copycat site.
  • Connect to your bank’s mobile site or app securely by making sure that your wireless network is secure.
  • Never send sensitive information over an unsecured wireless network, such as in a hotel or cafe. Use a virtual private network software that protects your identity by ensuring that all web transactions (shopping, filling out forms, downloads) are secured through HTTPS. My favorite, Hotspot Shield VPN software, has been downloaded over 120million times.
  • If available, use additional layers of authentication in which the account holder authorizes various transactions via text message or phone calls with the bank to give an additional code.
  • Configure your device to auto-lock after a short period of nonuse.
  • Don’t store data you can’t afford to lose on an insecure device.
  • Use mobile security protection that offers multiple layers of protection including anti-theft, antivirus, antispyware, anti-phishing and app protection.

Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to Hotspot Shield VPN. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him discussing internet and wireless security on Good Morning America. Disclosures.

How Secure is My Mobile Carrier’s Network?

The National Security Agency (NSA) prescribes security regulations covering operating practices, including the transmission, handling and distribution of signals intelligence (internet, phone, etc.) and communications security material under control of the NSA’s director. The NSA acts as the national manager for national security and answers to the secretary of defense and the director of national intelligence.

The NSA uses the Android operating system with double encryption for voice communications and a unique routing scheme for 3G wireless communications. You’ve got to figure that if their people are communicating with the president of the United States, then they need to be on a secure, protected network. But you, on the other hand, aren’t the NSA and don’t really need that.

While there is no such thing as 100 percent secure, your mobile carrier’s wireless is pretty much as secure as it can be due to the way it is setup, and the security technology is built into the way the network communicates with the hardware in your mobile device. There are numerous encryption methods, keys and authentication tools designed to identify each user and provide a secure channel of communication.

Mobile broadband (your carrier’s network, which you use to send and receive data over 3G/4G) has a degree of encryption that has been cracked before—hence the reason why the NSA uses double encryption—but the necessary hardware isn’t widely available to criminals. Researchers have demonstrated how the system can be hacked, but it’s still more secure than other options—particularly WiFi, which is unsecured.

Standalone, unprotected WiFi is far from NSA-grade secure and requires additional encryption for anyone at any level to be protected. On WiFi, at a minimum, use a secure virtual private network (VPN) such as the free Hotspot Shield VPN proxy that protects your identity by ensuring that all web transactions (shopping, filling out forms, downloads, etc.) are secured through HTTPS.

Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to Hotspot Shield VPN. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him discussing internet and wireless security on Good Morning America. Disclosures.


Credit Card Numbers $3.00 Each



WE DO NOT SELL DUMPS  | Robert Siciliano is the #1 Security Expert in the United States with over 25 years of experience! He is here to help you become more aware of the risks and strategies to help protect yourself, your family, your business, and your entire life. Robert brings identity theft, personal security, fraud prevention and cyber security to light so that criminals can no longer hide in the dark. You need to be smarter than criminals yesterday so that they don’t take advantage of you today! If you would like to learn more about Security Awareness, then sign up for Robert’s latest webinar!


Buying credit card numbers with high credit limits must be so much easier than going through the hassle of having good credit, applying for credit cards, getting approved, buying stuff, going to work all day/week/month/year/lifetime and making the money necessary to pay the bills. I would think that kind of lifestyle would allow someone to travel the world, eat great food, buy lots of cool art and sip Champagne all day and have a great tan.

Hackers break into the computer networks of U.S. companies almost daily.  They sell credit-card numbers, the account holders’ names and addresses, and the security code that comes with each card. And they often market though comments sections on news posts.

Below is from the comments section of a blog I wrote on credit card fraud:

Comment by hacksXXX:

ICQ : 634911XXX
Email: hacksharp@XXX
YH: hacksXXX
MSN: nickymoney@XXX

I sell fresh dumps, track, login bank, paypal acc, bank transfer, cc plastic, wu bug ccv, cvv full info and more. No test. My only pay is wu, moneygram and LR

I sell fresh
Ccv US is $ 3 per ccv (Visa)
Ccv US is $ 3 per ccv (master)
Ccv US is $ 3 per ccv (Amex + Discover)
Ccv UK is $ 6 per ccv (Visa + Master)
Ccv UK is $ 7 per ccv (Amex + swith)
Ccv Ca is $ 8 per ccv (Visa+ Master)
Ccv Ca is $ 9 per ccv (Visa Business + Visa Gold)
Ccv EU is $ 12 per ccv (Visa + Master)
Ccv EU is $ 13 per ccv (Amex + Discover)
Ccv Au is $ 13 per ccv
Ccv Italy is 17 $ per cc
seden 16$
spain 15$
france 17$
Ccv Germany is 18$ Per Ccv
Ccv DOB with US is 35 $ per ccv
Ccv DOB with UK is 39 $ per ccv
Ccv DOB + BIN with UK 45$ per ccv
Ccv US full info is 35 $ per ccv
Ccv UK full info is 45 $ per ccv
1 Uk check bins= 22.5$/1cvv
1 Sock live = 1$/1sock live > 5day
I sell dumps with pin
Track 1: Bxxxx001140057948^FAZAKERLEY/ANDREW.MR ^xxxx2013570000000000
Track 2: xxxxxx1140057948=xxxxxx13570000000001
Track 3: ;?
PIN: 57xx
YH: ema_hacking:………………..7K To 10K ========300$
– Balance In Wachovia:………….24K To 80K==========180$
– Balance In Boa………………….5K To 45K==========400$
– Balance In Credit Union:………Any Amount:=========420$
– Balance In Hallifax…………..ANY AMOUNT=========720$
– Balance In Compass………….ANY AMOUNT=========700$
– Balance In Wellsfargo……….ANY AMOUNT=========800$
– Balance In Barclays………………8K To 10K=========550$
– Balance In Abbey:…………………………82K ===========650$
– Balance in Hsbc:…………………..50K========650$ and more

Being a black hat hacker is so dark to me. It requires lots of lying, having to scheme and scam all the time. You’d have to get embossing equipment to clone the credit cards, fake IDs, anonymize your IP address and on and on.  You’d really have to constantly have to watch your back. Seems like a lot of work. Doesn’t seem like much of a fantasy life style after all.

Robert Siciliano, personal security and identity theft expert is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked! See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.

A Digital Life Through the Eyes of a Child

McAfee’s 2013 study, Digital Deception: Exploring the Online Disconnect between Parents and Kidsexamines the online habits and interests of tweens, teens, and young adults. It found there is an alarming and significant disconnect between what they do online and what their parents believe they do.

The study shows that 80% of parents did not know how to find out what their kids were doing online, while 62% did not think that their kids could get into deep trouble online. As for the young people, the study found that 69% said that they knew how to hide what they did online from their parents, and (disturbingly) 44% cleared their browser history or used private browsing sessions to hide their activity from their parents.

While youths understand that the Internet is dangerous, they still engage in risky (and sometimes illegal) behavior. Not only are they hiding this activity from their parents in a variety of ways, but in the study almost half (46%) admitted that they would change their behavior if they knew their parents were paying attention.

86% of youths believed that social sites are safe and were aware that sharing personal details online carries risks, yet kids admitted to posting personal information such as their email addresses (50%) and phone numbers (32%).

48% have viewed content they know their parents would disapprove of.

29% of teens and college-aged youths have accessed pirated music or movies online.

Adding to this problem is how clueless parents are regarding technology and their kids’ online lives: 54% of kids said their parents don’t have time to check up on their online behavior, while 42% said their parents don’t care what they do online. And even worse, only 17% of parents believed that the online world is as dangerous as the offline world, and almost 74% just admitted defeat and claimed that they do not have the time or energy to keep up with their kids; theysimply hope for the best.

Parents must stay in the know

Kids have grown up in an online world. They may be more online savvy than you, but giving up isn’t an option. You must challenge yourself to become familiar with the complexities of the online universe and stay educated on the various devices your kids are using to go online.

Here are some things you can do as parents to get more tech savvy:

Get digitally savvy: Whether you’re using a laptop, desktop, Mac, tablet, mobile, wired Internet, wireless, or software, learn it. Get to know the technology as good as or better than your kids.

Get on social media: By using your devices to communicate with the people in your life, you inevitably learn the hardware and software. This is a good way to learn a key method that your kids use to communicate.

Manage online reputations: Google yourself and your kids to see what’s being said. Teaching your kids what is and what is not appropriate online is a must these days. And as a good rule of thumb, you should teach your kids that things posted online stay there forever.

Get secure: There are more ways to scam people online than ever before. Your security intelligence is constantly being challenged, and your hardware and software are constant targets. Update your devices’ security software and invest in programs to manage and filter their access.

Two great online resources are and

Robert Siciliano, is a personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto and author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked! . Disclosures