24 Jan

10 Alarming Cybercrime Statistics for 2020

The internet allows us to communicate with one another from across the globe, find the answer to pretty much anything in matter of seconds, order food, get directions, send pictures and so much more.

But just like anything, the good comes with the bad. And the “bad” in this case is cybercrime. Being so digitally connected exposes us to significant risks, especially if we don’t take steps to stay safe.

White is Cybercrime?

Cybercrime is defined as any crime that is committed with the use of a computer. This could mean an email scam in which a “Nigerian Prince” asks you to wire him some money so that he can process his visa to move to your country, but it could also be a direct attack against a company’s data and try to steal account information and credit card numbers.

Cybercrime can also be the sale of illegal materials over the internet; such as drugs or child porn. As well as abuse, such as when pedophiles try to talk to kids, or when people make fun of each other, causing harm – also known as cyberbullying.

An Underappreciated Threat

However, despite the very real threat cybercrime poses, not enough people take it seriously. It’s quite common to find people using devices that aren’t locked, or using exceptionally common passwords to secure their accounts or opening suspicious email that can give cybercriminals far too much access to their personal information.

In case you’re one of these people who do not take cybercrime seriously enough, here are 19 alarming statistics that will wake you up to the severity of this threat:

1. There is a cyber attack once every 39 seconds

According to a study from the University of Maryland, a typical computer is attacked in one way or another every 39 seconds. This could ocme in a form of direct hacking attempt,  a phishing attempt, or some other version of spam meant to infect your computer with harmful software, known as malware.

To do this study, researchers lowered the defenses on a series of computers and monitored how often they were attacked. Thankfully, if you’re’ using an anti-virus program and some common sense, you should be able to avoid most of these attacks and stay safe. But still, it’s unnerving to know just how many attacks are happening at any given moment.

2. 78% of the organisations in US have experienced a cyber attack in 2019

Although hackers will attack pretty much anyone, they often try to focus on companies and organisations that have people’s financial or personal information. Somewhat surprisingly though, hackers are increasingly going after medium and small-sized companies because large companies, although in possession of more data, use their resources to put up stronger defenses against cybercriminals. Smaller companies can’t do this and therefore potentially better targets.

3. 23% of Americans have either had their credit card or financial information stolen by hackers

This is one of those things you don’t think can happen to you until it does. It will be totally unexpected. One day you’ll you into your bank account and see a few transaction for things you clearly didn’t do.

In most cases, when this happens, you can make a claim with your bank or credit card company and get the money back, but this won’t save you from the hassle of having to cancel your card, wait for a new one, and then update all your accounts. Plus, you may never get the peace of mind back that you lose when someone gets hold of your data.

4. 30% of all US consumers were affected by data breaches in 2018

We give out our personal information to pretty much anyone, especially if they agree to ship us new clothes or fancy new gadget. In general, this isn’t a bad thing. Companies who take credit card information or other sensitive data usually take great pride in their efforts to keep it safe, but no one can be truly immune from cybercriminals. This translate to about 1 in 3 chance of being affected by a data breach at a company you do business with.

5. Already more than 1,000 data breaches, exposing 147 million records just in the 1st nine months of 2019

That’s just a little more than 100 breaches a day. If this doesn’t make it a hit home that cybercriminals are a constant danger, nothing will. Luckily our defenses make it s so that most, but not all, of these exposed records are not overly sensitive. However, this stat should serve as a reminder as to why it’s so important to put up the strongest defense possible.

6. Number of data breaches is growing each year

There is no reason to think this threat will go away if we just “wait it out”. As more and more of the world goes online, there is more valuable information than ever, meaning cybercriminals have considerable incentive to try and hack into a company’s system and steal your personal data along with that of hundreds if not thousands of others.

7. Mobile malware variation has increased by 54%

This is a stat that reminds us how hackers and other cybercriminals are constantly improving the techniques they use to attack us and steal our information. Malware, which is a blanket term for the many different types of infected software hackers try to get you to install by phishing you, is getting more complex, especially for mobile devices.

Once considered safe from hackers, our dependence on our smartphones has hackers creating lots of new software designed to get to our data. And this new malware is increasingly varied, , meaning it’s difficult to identify and to block, which just means we need to be constantly
vigilant.

8. The economic cost of cybercrime in the US is between $57 – $109 billion

This cost comes from things such as: paying back funds lost to fraud, compensating those who have had their identity stolen, giving or losing money to false fronts, paying ransoms to have viruses removed, and much more.

This is not something that happens every once in a while and that doesn’t cause much harm. Instead, as mentioned above, it’s a constant threat that can have severe consequences, such as

9. The cost of cybercrime to the global economy is around $445 billion per year

It’s important to remember this is not just a problem in the United States. Cybercrime is a huge problem all over the world, with some countries experiencing even more problems than others. A good example is Indonesia where you have a 76 percent chance of being affected by a cyberattack. All of these attacks come with a price tag, and in total, they cost the global economy close to half a trillion dollars a year

10. We lose $1.48 billion to phishing

Phishing is the tactic scammers use of trying to get you to be the one to let them into whatever system they are trying to hack or to outright steal from you. They usually use email, but they can also call or text you, and they are relying on you to click the link in the email that will trigger a download onto your computer.

Other emails might be made to look like they’re from someone you know, or a complete stranger (such as a Nigerian prince), asking for money to help them out of a sticky situation. Always verify these before sending anyone anything, especially money or your credit card information.

It seems silly thinking about it like this that people would fall for this. But many email users aren’t aware of the risks and/or that hackers are always finding new ways to trick us.

Cybercrime: Not a laughing matter

The threats cybercrime poses to not only our financial security but also our personal safety are at times overwhelming. It can feel as though there is no escaping. But while this is a very serious matter, taking the proper steps to defend yourself can go a long way.

Make sure all your accounts are protected with a unique password, use anti-virus software, stay out of your spam folder and don’t open anything you find in there unless you’re 100 percent positive it’s safe, double-check URLs and email addresses, and always follow the golden rule: when in doubt, don’t click.

If you follow these steps and work to constantly educate yourself about how to protect against the threats we face online, you will avoid being a cybercrime statistic and will be able to browse the web in peace.

Article used with permission from BroadbandSearch

02 Jan

Turning it off and on again: The power of the power cycle

Popularised by shows like The IT Crowd, it’s a question thats become a joke, a meme, a clich: Have you tried turning it off and again?

For all the derision and disbelief it gets, turning a device off and on again a process technically known as performing a power cycle or reboot has been proven to fix all kinds of issues. Engineers, computer scientists and tech workers at all levels swear by the humble power cycle.

You’ve probably power cycled your personal computer at some point when a program stopped responding, or your modem and WiFi router when your internet connection had issues. What you might not know is that power cycling is used to fix problems in all kinds of electronic equipment, from cameras to network servers in data centres to even commercial aircraft.

In fact, on the Apollo 14 mission to the moon, the astronauts were instructed by mission control to power cycle the landing radar circuit breaker after it failed to lock on. They did and it saved the landing.

So the next time you hear tech support ask that question, I can assure you that tech support isn’t being lazy by suggesting a power cycle! If turning it off and on again works for multi-million dollars pieces of equipment, it can work for you.

So why do we power cycle our WiFi router?

Any WiFi router is basically a small computer with a specific purpose. Like a PC or smartphone, a WiFi router has a lot of programs running as well as its own internal memory which tracks and records data like the network activity running through it.

The longer the device runs, the more likely an error or a bug might occur in its many processes, resulting in a memory leak or corrupted data being transmitted over the network or the system just crashing.

Doing a power cycle basically ends every single process and returns the computer to a known, stable state. You’re not solving the problem so much as wiping the slate clean and allowing the computer to restart all its processes from a clean slate.

In many cases, it’s much more effective to return a computer back to this known base state rather than to spend time and resources trying to diagnose exactly which process went wrong and fix it.

In other words, power cycling doesn’t actually fix the cause of the problem but if it’s just a one-time software error or bug, it’s an easy way to get rid of it.

There are reasons to wait

While turning it off and on again sounds simple enough, people tend to skip one of the important bits: waiting 10 to 30 seconds before you power up the device again.

This waiting window is for the power in your device’s power capacitors (basically little batteries that store energy) to discharge and every bit of memory cleared. This ensures that your WiFi router is properly rebooted and returned to a stable state.

Electric capacitors

That said, if you’re power cycling your WiFi router and modem to troubleshoot an internet connection issue, you may need to wait a few minutes for your Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) network to release your modems information i.e. to terminate its existing session.

Turning your modem back on would then allow it to acquire new information i.e. start a new session when reconnecting to the ISP’s network.

On a final note, it’s important to note that doing a power cycle (or a reboot) is not the same as doing a reset. So if you see a little button on your WiFi router that says reset, don’t push it if you’re just looking to do a power cycle.

Remember: doing a power cycle or reboot is different from a reset, don’t press that little “reset” button unless you have to!

A reset typically means reverting the device to its original default factory settings and erasing any updates, new passwords, or any configurations you’ve made to it since you took it out of the box.

Article first sighted on MyRepublic Blog

04 Mar

M1 to be delisted

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s smallest telco, M1, will be delisted from the Singapore Exchange (SGX) after March 18.  This was after local conglomerate Keppel Corporation and media company Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), through a joint company, bought out Malaysian telecommunications company Axiata Group’s 28.7 per cent stake in M1, giving them majority control.

TODAY looks back at the history of Singapore’s second telco, and the twists and turns that led to its upcoming delisting.

1997 — M1 launches operations in Singapore. Made up of Keppel, SPH, Cable & Wireless and Hong Kong Telecom, the company secures 10 per cent of the market share, or 35,000 subscribers, within its first month.

2000 — Singapore’s third telco, Starhub, enters the telecom market.

2001 — M1 introduces Singapore’s first international roaming pre-paid card.

2002 — M1 becomes a public listed company in December. By then, it had amassed one-third of the market share, which amounted to about one million subscribers, and was valued at between S$1.2 billion and S$1.5 billion, making it the biggest share offering since 1999.  It opened its initial public offering at S$1.25.

2005 — Axiata pays S$260.8 million for a 12.1 per cent stake in M1.

2014 — M1 launches Singapore’s first nationwide 4G network.

2015 — M1 shares hit a high of S$3.99 in March. It also posted a 6.6 per cent rise in its net profit in the first quarter for that year, buoyed by a surge in handset sales.

2016 — The mobile scene in Singapore starts to crowd, with virtual telco Circles.Life launching in May and Australian telco, TPG Telecom, winning the bid to become the fourth telco in Singapore.

That September, Axiata expresses interest in raising its stake in M1 to expand its presence in the region. In an interview with Bloomberg, the chief executive officer of Axiata Jamaludin Ibrahim said: “Strategically, it will be good for us to increase the stake. If the price is right, we will seriously consider it.”

An increased stake in M1 would have allowed Axiata to deepen its foothold in South and South-east Asia. The company owns telco operators in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Cambodia.

2017 — With M1’s shares almost halving in value since 2015 as a result of increased competition in the market, Reuters reports in April that M1’s shareholders — SPH, Keppel and Axiata — have approached China Mobile to sell their majority stake in the company.

There were also media reports that Chinese companies Shanxi Meijin Energy and China Broadband Capital were preparing to make separate bids for M1. However, none of the deals materialised.

June 2018 — Local internet service provider MyRepublic enters the telecom space as a virtual telco. Check out MyRepublic mobile plans here!

2018 — By September, M1’s share price has dropped by almost 60 per cent since its high in 2015 and in October it reports a 5.5 per cent drop in net profit for the third quarter from the same period a year before.

Analysts point to an increasingly competitive market in Singapore and a saturated market as reasons for M1’s poor business performance.

In September, Keppel and SPH offer to buy shares that they did not already own in M1, saying in a statement that the move was to “arrest the decline in M1 shareholder value through a combination of transformational efforts which are expected to take several years”.

Valuing M1 at S$1.9 billion, SPH and Keppel say that the deal would allow M1 to cooperate further with other Keppel units and allow SPH to provide digital content through M1’s mobile platform.

Dec 2018 — Keppel and SPH announce their “firm intention” to make a voluntary general offer of S$2.06 per share of M1 shares that they do not own.  The cash offer is 26 per cent more than M1’s last price on Sept 21 before the stock was halted from trading.

Jan 2019 — Keppel and SPH launch a voluntary general offer and say that they will not increase the price of the bid “under any circumstances whatsoever”.

Feb 15, 2019 — After Axiata’s acceptance of the offer, Keppel’s chief executive Loh Chin Hua says in a press release that obtaining majority control is the “first step” to enhancing M1’s competitiveness in the telecommunications landscape.

“We are very pleased that we will, together with SPH, be in a position to steer M1 during this critical period in its journey. The increasingly challenging and competitive market conditions in the Singapore telecommunications sector requires M1 to take bold steps to transform.”

Feb 27, 2019 — Keppel and SPH gain 90.15 per cent, or 835.1 million, of M1’s shares.

To be listed on the stock exchange, the total number of shares in a company that is issued to the public must be at least 10 per cent.  With M1 no longer meeting this requirement, it will be delisted from the SGX.

Article first sighted on Today.

31 Jul

Be careful of “Allow Website” Notification!

What is Allow Website Notifications?

“Allow Website Notifications” is a spam promotion method that has recently become popular amongst cyber criminals. It is a simple method used to promote various malicious sites. Research shows that users typically encounter “Allow Website Notifications” when they have potentially unwanted adware-type programs (PUPs) installed on their computers. In some cases, these pop-ups occur after clicking intrusive advertisements displayed by malicious sites.

Allow Website Notifications scam

In the past, most spam was distributed using emails, however, email providers have become efficient in dealing with the problem and so this method is consequently less effective. Therefore, criminals search for new methods to proliferate spam, including “Allow Website Notifications”. In general, the “Allow Website Notifications” option is legitimate and allows web developers to notify users when new content is posted, however, criminals misuse this facility to promote malicious websites. When users open a website with “Allow Website Notifications”, they are prompted with a pop-up asking for permission to display notifications. If users agree, their choices are saved in browser options and criminals are then able to continually feed them with unwanted ads. In this way, users are redirected to sites that contain malicious content, thus leading to system infection. Some sites ask to enable notifications, otherwise content will not be displayed. When the user declines, the pop-up simply re-appears until the website is closed. These claims to display content are merely attempts to trick users into clicking “Allow” – after doing so, users receive nothing. Fortunately, removing permission to display notifications is simple – follow the instructions below.

Adware-type applications typically do two things: 1) display intrusive advertisements, and; 2) gather sensitive information. To display ads (coupons, banners, pop-ups, and so on), adware employs various tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site. Therefore, displayed ads often conceal underlying website content, thereby diminishing the browsing experience. Furthermore, intrusive ads can lead to malicious websites and even run scripts that download/install malware (or other PUPs). Even a single click can result in high-risk computer infections. Another important issue is information tracking. Potentially unwanted programs gather various information (e.g., geo-locations, IP addresses, keystrokes, URLs visited, pages viewed, queries entered into search engines, and so on) that might contain personal details. This information is shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who generate revenue by misusing private information. Therefore, the presence of data-tracking apps might lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. You are strongly advised to remove all adware-type applications immediately.

There are hundreds of adware-type applications, all of which are virtually identical (e.g., PokkiUpdate CheckerCurrent Me, etc.) By offering a wide range of “useful functions”, potentially unwanted programs attempt to give the impression of legitimacy and trick users to install, however, all adware is designed only to generate revenue for the developers. This rogue software merely gathers sensitive information and delivers intrusive advertisements, thereby posing a direct threat to your privacy and Internet browsing safety.

How did potentially unwanted programs install on my computer?

Although some PUPs have official download/promotion websites, most infiltrate systems without permission, since adware is typically distributed using intrusive advertising and “bundling” methods. “Bundling” is essentially stealth installation of third party software with regular apps. PUP developers do not disclose these installations properly – they hide “bundled” apps within various sections (e.g., “Custom/Advanced” settings) of the download or installation processes. Furthermore, many users click intrusive advertisements and skip download/installation steps. In doing so, they expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

To prevent system infiltration by PUPs, be very cautious when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software. Bear in mind that intrusive advertisements typically seem legitimate, but redirect to dubious websites (e.g., pornography, adult dating, gambling, and so on). If you experience these redirects, immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins. Carefully analyze each step of the download/installation processes and decline offers to download/install additional applications. We recommend that you download your programs from official sources only, using direct download links, since developers monetize third party downloaders/installers by promoting PUPs. The key to computer safety is caution.

How to remove/disable notifications in web browsers:

Google Chrome (PC):

  • Click the Menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the screen
  • Select “Settings“, scroll down to the bottom and click “Advanced
  • Scroll down to the “Privacy and security” section, select “Content settings” and then “Notifications
  • Click three dots on the right hand side of each suspicious URL and click “Block” or “Remove” (if you click “Remove” and visit the malicious site once more, it will ask to enable notifications again)

Mozilla Firefox:

  • Click the Menu button (three bars) on the right upper corner of the screen
  • Select “Options” and click on “Privacy & Security” in the toolbar on the left hand side of the screen
  • Scroll down to the “Permissions” section and click the “Settings” button next to “Notifications
  • In the opened window, locate all suspicious URLs, click the drop-down menu and select “Block

Internet Explorer:

  • Click the Gear button on the right upper corner of the IE window
  • Select “Internet options
  • Select the “Privacy” tab and click “Settings” under “Pop-up Blocker” section
  • Select suspicious URLs under and remove them one by one by clicking the “Remove” button

Microsoft Edge:

  • Click the menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the Edge window
  • Scroll down, find and click “Settings
  • Scroll down again and click “View advanced settings
  • Click “Manage” under “Notifications
  • Click the switch under each suspicious website

Safari:

  • Click “Safari” button on the bottom of the screen and select “Preferences…
  • Select the “Websites” tab and then select “Notifications” section on the left pane
  • Check for suspicious URLs and apply the “Deny” option for each

Instant automatic removal of Allow Website Notifications virus:Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills.

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sample

Commonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers’ websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advancedinstallation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.

30 Jun

Heard of Lag, Ping and Latency?

Internet speed and latency can be hugely important when practicing online. We look at how it can affect online gaming…

What is ping?

The ping (or latency) of a player is how fast they can send a command to the game and have the game (or its server) display what happened.

So in an environment where the slightest misstep could have disastrous results for you and your teammates, low ping is a necessity.

What’s a good ping?

An acceptable ping is around the 40ms-60ms mark or lower. A speed of over 100ms shows a noticeable delay and over 170 some games will reject your connection entirely.

If you have, say a 10ms ping (0.01 seconds), your gameplay will seem faster and smoother than playing with 100ms, for example.

It really depends on what game you are playing. A game like Hearthstone may not require a low ping, as it is a slower turn-based game. Other titles like Counter-Strike and Street Fighter V require precise inputs and timing, which would require a much lower ping to play at the top level.

What is lag?

Lag is often a result of high ping and/or a low speed internet connection. It’s where the game plays out your commands with a delay. So for example, you press W to move forward in Counter-Strike, but your character doesn’t actually move until a second later, for example.

Sometimes lag can build up, so the game will seemingly freeze for a few moments, then suddenly catch up with all your inputs in one go, or disconnect you from the game entirely.

Gamers can experience lag for a multitude of reasons, the main one being high ping, where your commands are being sent to the game on a delay. Sometimes the problem is instead because of unstable connections, where your device will periodically disconnect and reconnect to the internet, this is called packet loss and occurs when the information you send to the server in packets is not received. This can be due to an over crowded server, low security or internet disconnections.

There’s some more explanations in video form from Riot Games here and here.

Top 10 tips for checking and reducing your ping

1. Check your ping. Most games will be able to measure and display your exact ping to the server you’re playing on. If you’d like to know what your ping is before playing, there are many online tests available (e.g http://www.speedtest.net/)

2. Close any unnecessary programs.

3. When using a wireless connection, ensure your computer is not too far from the router, or consider using a range extender to improve the strength of the connection. The closer to the router, the better.

4. Consider changing your connection to a wired one.

5. Try a powerline adaptor – this is a small plug appliance that can boost your wireless signal power.

6. Check if anyone else is on the same network as you, and if they’re using a ‘web heavy’ service like streaming platforms YouTube, Netflix or Twitch. If you have a low speed internet connection, avoid playing online at the same time as other users in the home.

7. Upgrade your computer’s networks card or home router.

8. We recommend using MyRepublic Gamer broadband for best results.

9. Make sure your game client is the latest version.

10. Check with your internet service provider to find out if there is a reported problem in your area.

21 Jun

MyRepublic Launches Mobile Plans

MyRepublic said during a media briefing that the three plans – Smart, Mega and Xtra – will cost S$35, $55 and $85 a month for 7GB, 12GB and 25GB data, respectively.

The 25GB plan for Xtra subscribers will include 2GB roaming data for seven markets, namely Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines and Taiwan, said MyRepublic CEO Malcolm Rodrigues.

To check out the plans, go to http://order.fibrebb.sg/mobile

For existing broadband customers, the company is also dangling incentives for them to sign up, if they haven’t done so. They stand to get 3GB more data for the Smart plan, and 8B more for the Mega and Xtra plans.

The mobile plans all come with features like “boundless data”, which will not penalise consumers for busting their data caps with extra charges but will see surfing speeds lowered instead. This was a feature announced when they launched two mobile plans for its existing customer base back in May.

MyRepublic plans 1

MyRepublic’s chief marketing officer Shivendra Singh said during the briefing that this, among other features, are to “ensure we are trustworthy” to the consumer. Unlimited data plans, he elaborated, are “not honest” as they usually come with hidden provisos, but its boundless data plans means “customers don’t need to worry about excess data charges”.

Mr Rodrigues also told Channel NewsAsia on the sidelines that based on customer response following the launch of Uno and Ultimate for “friends of MyRepublic”, feedback has been “good”, particularly for those who have busted their data caps and had their surfing speeds managed.

“It’s like when we drop from 4G to HSPA today. You probably can’t watch a high-definition video, but you can still do stuff like send WhatsApp messages,” he said.

MyRepublic plans 2

These plans will also have 1,000 minutes of talk time and 1,000 SMS text messages, free local delivery of SIM cards and activation, the company said, adding new customers can sign up from Thursday.

Key to the user experience is the MyRepublic mobile app, available for both iOS and Android devices, said Mr Singh. Users will be able to customise their mobile plan, such as signing up for data boosters or roaming packages on the fly, and track their usage from the app.

The intention behind its design is for users to do what they need within three clicks in the app, he added.

These on-the-go provisioning of services are enabled through the company’s “thick MVNO model”, which it said is first of its kind in Singapore.

CEO Rodrigues said it is a “multimillion-dollar network system” that allows it greater control over the delivery of services to customers compared to traditional MVNO arrangements which sees these operators just resell products from the main telco.

This appeared to be similar to rival MVNO Circles.Life’s platform Circles-X. When asked what’s the difference, Mr Singh declined to comment on its competitor’s products.

CONSUMERS TO BENEFIT FROM LOOMING COMPETITION

Analysts Channel NewsAsia spoke to ahead of the launch on Thursday predicted a period of fierce competition in the local telecoms market, with consumers the main beneficiaries.

Mr Shiv Putcha, contributing analyst at IDC, said the Singapore market is not big enough to support four full-fledged telcos and four MVNOs.

“At roughly 8.5 million subscriptions, the Singapore market is already over-penetrated,” Mr Putcha said. “We expect a period of fierce competitive intensity and there will be some clear winners and losers, with the incumbents, especially the smaller ones, likely to cede ground and market share.”

With the pending entrance of fourth telco TPG Telecom, as well as the introduction of new MVNOs in the past year, consumers will “benefit immensely” from lowered prices, higher data bundles and flexible plans, the analyst said.

He also expects to see the telco incumbents – Singtel, StarHub and M1 – make renewed investments on customer experience.

Canalys research analyst Nguyen TuanAnh echoed similar thoughts, saying that consumers will benefit from the rise of MVNOs.

He pointed to similar developments in Japan last year which suggest that full-fledged telcos, while benefiting from leasing spectrum to MVNOs, will also reduce prices to maintain their subscriber base.

These telcos also have more tools than just reducing costs, as they can turn to digital content for growth, the Canalys analyst said

For instance, while they may not match MVNOs in attractive price packages, bundling data with content such as free streaming of Spotify or Netflix for example, is a “great way” for them to remain subscribers and improve revenue.

Source: CNA/zl
Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/myrepublic-launches-3-mobile-plans-talks-up-customer-focus-10454664

31 May

10 ways to fix wifi issues

1. Update your router’s firmware

The reason to do this step is twofold. First, you can take advantage of any additional features and improvements of the new version of the firmware. Second, your router usually receives any important security updates.

Usually, you will have the option to check, review, download, and install your router’s new firmware on its administration page. The exact steps depend on your router’s make and model, so check the router manufacturer’s support site for detailed directions.

Not sure how to access your router’s administrator settings to do the update? Click here for the easiest way to find your router’s password and IP address.

2. Look for interferences

Routers often compete for airwaves with other household devices. Rival devices such as cordless phones, Bluetooth speakers, microwave ovens, and baby monitors can impact your Wi-Fi network.

To help you pinpoint issues, you can create an actual Wi-Fi “heat” map of your area using a free tool like HeatMapper. By the way, Netspot works for Macs. You can also use an app like the free Wi-Fi Analyzer for Android that has a real-time signal strength meter.

3. Change channels

You can also select a different channel for your router. This is especially helpful if you’re tuned to that 2.4GHz frequency. Moving from one channel to a less crowded one may help speed things up.

To check the optimum 2.4GHz channel for your area or the least used channel, try using a Wi-Fi scanner.

For Macs, Apple provides a free tool called “Wireless Diagnostics.” To access it, hold the Option key while clicking on the Wi-Fi icon on the right-hand side of the menu bar, then choose Open Wireless Diagnostics.

For Windows, download the free Wi-Fi utility, Acrylic Wi-Fi Home. Similar to the Mac’s Scan tool, this application will instantly give you information about the Wi-Fi signals in your area including the channels they utilize.

For Android users, there are many Wi-Fi scanning tools available, but a popular one is Network Analyzer. Click here for more details and download information.

4. Put the kids and guests on their own network and enable QoS

Parents can put their kids’ devices on a separate network and establish special rules and settings. This can help keep the kids out of trouble on the web, and it eases the burden on your bandwidth.

You can set up a different Wi-Fi router, or you can simply enable your router’s “Guest Network” option. You can also set up a different network name (SSID) and password for the guest network to avoid confusion with your main network.

Guest networks are meant for visitors to your home who might need a Wi-Fi internet connection that keeps your shared files private. This segregation will also work for your smart appliances and shield your main devices from Internet of Things attacks.

You can also use QoS (Quality of Service). QoS is a feature on some routers that will let you prioritize traffic according to the type of data getting transmitted.

You could set latency-sensitive applications like Skype, IP telephony, streaming media, and online gaming to have higher priority over other types of activity. If you prioritize Skype, for example, other software will slow down, ensuring your call is smooth.

Different routers have different ways of handling QoS, and most consumer-level routers have more simplified ways of enabling it by having presets available. Just check your router’s support site for information on what each one does.

5. Get an updated router

If you’re in the market for a new router and you want improved Wi-Fi speeds and reach across your home or office, aim for at least an 802.11 N or AC router with dual or triple band capabilities.

AC routers have a maximum spectral bandwidth of around 8 x 160 MHz, compared to the 4 x 40 MHz standard of N routers. In other words, the increased bandwidth allows more data to be transmitted without slowing down.

Additionally, by having multi-bands, you could keep older 2.4GHz devices on their own bands while keeping newer devices that support the latest Wi-Fi standards on the higher bands. This is like having multiple routers in one.

Newer AC routers also have advanced features not found in older routers. Look for specifications like beamforming, Multiple-In-Multiple-Out (MIMO), multiple USB 3.0 connectors and Gigabit Ethernet ports.

You can choose from a range of awesome up-to-date routers with our MyRepublic plans, check them out here!

6. Try a Mesh network

If you have a large house or office space that requires consistent network speeds, a mesh Wi-Fi network is worth the money. Unlike standard Wi-Fi routers that require extenders for added reach, next-generation mesh routers are designed to spread a Wi-Fi network’s coverage through multiple access points.

These systems usually come in sets of two or three separate units that work together to envelop your home or office with Wi-Fi coverage. As far as your gadgets are concerned, the Wi-Fi mesh is one big continuous Wi-Fi network.

Get the TP-Link M9 or M5 with one of our MyRepublic bundles! More info here!

7. Check your security

When unauthorized devices mooch your Wi-Fi, it slows down your network. But even the type of wireless security you use can impact your overall speed.

First off, if your network is Open (no security) or uses WEP, change the security setting immediately. Obviously, an open network will make it easy for someone to steal your Wi-Fi, and the older WEP security is easily hacked.

This leaves you with WPA, WPA2 with TKIP or WPA2 with AES.

WPA and TKIP are older protocols and are now considered insecure. The way to go is WPA2 with AES.

8. Change location

Another important factor that affects your Wi-Fi network’s connectivity is its physical location. Try placing your router as close to the center of your home as possible. It’s also a good idea to keep it elevated and free from any physical obstructions like furniture and appliances.

You may also avoid reflective surfaces like glass, mirrors, and metal because Wi-Fi signals tend to bounce off these types of materials. Walls, especially those made of concrete, can also severely degrade your Wi-Fi signal.

You may even adjust your router’s antennas. Your router’s antenna is omnidirectional, so the signal goes every direction equally. If you put your router along an outside wall, you’re sending half your signal outside.

If your house is too big for a single router, you may need a boost or use our MyRepublic Dual Broadband package.

9. Choose the right band

Wi-Fi bands are not created equal. If you have a newer router, check to see if it supports the 5GHz band. Newer N or AC routers typically support this band. Unlike B/G routers that only transmit on the crowded 2.4GHz spectrum, N and AC routers could transmit on 5GHz as well.

Newer routers usually have dual-band capability. By enabling dual bands, you could keep older devices that only support the slower G specification on the 2.4GHz band and newer devices on the beefier and speedier 5GHz band. This is essentially like having two routers in one.

10. Reboot your router

Most users have to reboot their cable or DSL modem from time to time. If your network seems sluggish, unplug both gadgets for at least 30 seconds. Plug in the modem first and wait for it to come fully online. Then turn on your router. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

30 Apr

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a cybercrime in which a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords.

The information is then used to access important accounts and can result in identity theft and financial loss.

The first phishing lawsuit was filed in 2004 against a Californian teenager who created the imitation of the website “America Online”. With this fake website, he was able to gain sensitive information from users and access the credit card details to withdraw money from their accounts. Other than email and website phishing, there’s also ‘vishing’ (voice phishing), ‘smishing’ (SMS Phishing) and several other phishing techniques cybercriminals are constantly coming up with.

 

Common Features of Phishing Emails

  1. Too Good To Be True  Lucrative offers and eye-catching or attention-grabbing statements are designed to attract people’s attention immediately. For instance, many claim that you have won an iPhone, a lottery, or some other lavish prize. Just don’t click on any suspicious emails. Remember that if it seems to good to be true, it probably is!
  2. Sense of Urgency – A favorite tactic amongst cybercriminals is to ask you to act fast because the super deals are only for a limited time. Some of them will even tell you that you have only a few minutes to respond. When you come across these kinds of emails, it’s best to just ignore them. Sometimes, they will tell you that your account will be suspended unless you update your personal details immediately. Most reliable organizations give ample time before they terminate an account and they never ask patrons to update personal details over the Internet. When in doubt, visit the source directly rather than clicking a link in an email.
  3. Hyperlinks – A link may not be all it appears to be. Hovering over a link shows you the actual URL where you will be directed upon clicking on it. It could be completely different or it could be a popular website with a misspelling, for instance www.bankofarnerica.com – the ‘m’ is actually an ‘r’ and an ‘n’, so look carefully.
  4. Attachments – If you see an attachment in an email you weren’t expecting or that doesn’t make sense, don’t open it! They often contain payloads like ransomware or other viruses. The only file type that is always safe to click on is a .txt file.
  5. Unusual Sender  Whether it looks like it’s from someone you don’t know or someone you do know, if anything seems out of the ordinary, unexpected, out of character or just suspicious in general don’t click on it!

 

Here is a great KnowBe4 resource that outlines 22 social engineering red flags commonly seen in phishing emails. We recommend printing out this PDF to pass along to family, friends, and coworkers.

22 Social Engineering Red Flags

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Prevent Phishing Attacks:

Though hackers are constantly coming up with new techniques, there are some things that  you can do to protect yourself and your organization:

  • To protect against spam mails, spam filters can be used. Generally, the filters assess the origin of the message, the software used to send the message, and the appearance of the message to determine if it’s spam. Occasionally, spam filters may even block emails from legitimate sources, so it isn’t always 100% accurate.
  • The browser settings should be changed to prevent fraudulent websites from opening. Browsers keep a list of fake websites and when you try to access the website, the address is blocked or an alert message is shown. The settings of the browser should only allow reliable websites to open up.
  • Many websites require users to enter login information while the user image is displayed. This type of system may be open to security attacks. One way to ensure security is to change passwords on a regular basis, and never use the same password for multiple accounts. It’s also a good idea for websites to use a CAPTCHAsystem for added security.
  • Banks and financial organizations use monitoring systems to prevent phishing. Individuals can report phishing to industry groups where legal actions can be taken against these fraudulent websites. Organizations should provide security awareness training to employees to recognize the risks.
  • Changes in browsing habits are required to prevent phishing. If verification is required, always contact the company personally before entering any details online.
  • If there is a link in an email, hover over the URL first. Secure websites with a valid Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate begin with “https”. Eventually all sites will be required to have a valid SSL.

 

Generally, emails sent by a cybercriminals are masked so they appear to be sent by a business whose services are used by the recipient. A bank will not ask for personal information via email or suspend your account if you do not update your personal details within a certain period of time. Most banks and financial institutions also usually provide an account number or other personal details within the email, which ensures it’s coming from a reliable source.

31 Mar

MyRepublic Wifi Halo

Great Design. Great Performance.

Wi-Fi routers work best when placed out in the open. That’s why we designed the MyRepublic Wi-Fi Hub and Wi-Fi Halo to not only provide fast speeds for all your devices, but to fit in your living room.

The Fastest 802.11ac Wi-Fi Standard

Featuring the latest 802.11ac technology and up to 4×4 spatial streams, MyRepublic Wi-Fi routers offer data rates up to three times faster* than the previous 802.11n Wi-Fi standard.

Better Speeds with MU-MIMO and Beamforming

Get better performance with the Wi-Fi Halo with MU-MIMO technology allowing each device their own dedicated high-speed connection. Beamforming further focuses the Wi-Fi signal on each device, improving Wi-Fi speeds.

Simultaneous Dual-Band Support

Both the MyRepublic Wi-Fi Hub and Wi-Fi Halo transmit on 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands at the same time, allowing your devices to connect on the band allowing the fastest possible performance.

*Based on theoretical peak speeds. Actual speeds will likely be lower.

For a detailed list of technical specifications for the Wi-Fi Hub and Wi-Fi Halo, click here.

28 Feb

This is how the MyRepublic Wi-Fi Halo will make you believe in routers again

Your home router has one job: So why does it make it so hard to do that job? From dropped connections, to complicated setups, to indecipherable troubleshooting menus, to looking like a gaudy blot in the middle of your living room.

But the MyRepublic Wi-Fi Halo is different. Thank goodness it’s different. The first thing you’ll realize is that it doesn’t look like a mechanical bug that might rise to life and gobble your cats. Instead, the Wi-Fi Halo has a streamlined exterior with gently soft ambient lighting on its underside.

But don’t underestimate its minimalist design. The Wi-Fi Halo is a state of the art AC2200 dual-band router with a four-stream, four-antenna engine that features modern Multi-User (MU-MIMO) Beamforming technology for fast and reliable internet connections for multiple devices.

The Wi-Fi Halo also solves the most vexing parts about routers for most people: setting up and troubleshooting. A Setup Wizard helps you get connected in minutes and helps you to change your default passwords easily, the first line of defense against internet attacks.

Instead of a confusing interface that looks like a leftover from the 90s, the Wi-Fi Halo comes with a modern UI that anyone can use.

Instead of a confusing interface that looks like a leftover from the 90s, the Wi-Fi Halo comes with a modern UI that anyone can use.

A built-in firewall also secures your home network, and parental controls, as well as a Wi-Fi analyzer, gives you fine-tuned power over internet use. The router even comes with guest networks set up and easily toggled on, so you don’t have to worry about sharing your personal network’s password with visitors.

If you need help with the Wi-Fi Halo, MyRepublic customers can have router issues diagnosed and even fixed remotely by the MyRepublic customer service team, instead of having to wait for a technician to drop by.

With your permission, customer service agents can remotely fix common issues like checking the network connection status, checking which devices are connected, resetting the network password and updating the firmware.

It’s like having your own IT department ready to help you with Wi-Fi woes. And if you prefer not to have remote access to your Wi-Fi Halo, you can easily disable the function under its settings.

The Wi-Fi Halo normally commands a price tag of S$349, but new and existing MyRepublic customers can get a great deal on the router. Depending on their choice of MyRepublic fiber broadband plan, customers will receive a discount on their purchase of a new Wi-Fi router, ranging from $70 to $350 – the latter essentially making the Wi-Fi Halo available for free. Get your free Halo with one of these great plans here.

To find out more about the MyRepublic Wi-Fi Halo, click here.