This week’s roundup offers a reminder of why it’s best not to run out of date software, along with a link to a handy tool that can tell whether your Android device possesses any vulnerabilities.
We’ve also got a nice write up detailing the common threats faced by home users, along with some practical advice for avoiding the same.
And, lastly, if anything you’ve read here at Comparitech.com has inspired you to consider a career in the security profession, we have a special treat for you: an excellent and comprehensive guide to all the best positions along with practical advice for breaking into the industry.
1. Google’s Chrome discriminates against the elderly
That’s elderly browsers, not people.
If you are one of those people – and there are a lot of them out there, more’s the pity – that still uses Windows XP or, heaven forbid, Windows Vista, then one of the most popular web browsers will soon be off-limits to you.
At least in the most up-to-date, and hence secure, format.
Michael McKinnon, security awareness director for antivirus vendor AVG, writes how legacy operating systems, including Mac OS X 10.6 through 10.8, will cease to be supported by Chrome from April 2016 onwards.
He notes how the browser will continue to work on those operating systems past that date but the withdrawal of support means any security-conscious person really should consider updating to something newer (Windows 10 and El Capitan being the obvious choices – if hardware allows).
See also: Best VPNs for Chrome to keep your browsing private.
2. Checking Android for vulnerabilities
I personally am an iPhone user, not because of any blind faith in Apple, and not because iOS is supposedly easier to get to grips with than other systems, but because it is generally considered to be a more secure operating system.
Sure, it has its issues, but overall, I feel it provides a much tighter, well-controlled environment in which the risks are far less obvious.
If you, however, prefer Google’s Android OS for your mobile devices then I say fair play, but please do be aware that bad actors tend to favour that ecosystem, at least for now.
So why not check your Android device for vulnerabilities with the VTS for Android app.
As Raj Chandel wrote recently, this open source app can scan your device for vulnerabilities, making you aware of any potential issues while also informing Google which will hopefully prompt it to issue timely patches.
Related: Want to browse privately on your android phone? What’s the best VPN for Android to keep your browsing activity private.
3. Cyber security for home users
Early last week Andra Zaharia, of Heimdal Security, wrote about how the typical security jargon bandied around in the media washed over most people who care less about “DDoS” and “data leaks” than they do about more tangible things, such as the cash in their pockets or the data on their hard drives.
That is, of course, unfortunate, and a failing of the information security industry as a whole – we really need to get better at informing, educating and influencing people’s behaviour both inside and outside of the workplace.
Fortunately, it looks like Andra agrees with that sentiment as she has given us a lengthy list of threats and other issues that target home users, along with some handy hints for lessening those risks.
Her post is short. Her post is simple. Her post is spot on.
4. Inspired by security? Why not carve yourself a career in the industry.
If you are here reading about the latest security threats and other news stories I’d wager it’s for one of two reasons – you’re already in the industry or you are a concerned home user.
If you are in the second category, and find this type of information as fascinating as I do, then why not take it one step further by taking up a career as an information security professional.
Sure, it’s not something you’ll be able to pick up overnight, but it is a ridiculously rewarding profession to become involved in, and there are many different disciplines to choose from.
So many in fact, you may not have much of an idea which one to choose, or even where to start on your path to a career in the industry.
That where Hacks4Pancakes and the ‘Starting an InfoSec Career – The Megamix’ series of posts comes in.
Written by the talented Lesley Carhart, this week’s addition analyses several different roles – from penetration testers to governance and policy managers – offering an insight into each, along with some notes on how a candidate can secure each role, as well as some tips on the pitfalls to avoid.
This week’s article is the second in the series and well worth a read but the first part of the megamix is where you really ought to start.
Update: Check out or own guide on how graduates can find their first job in information security.