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Avoiding Download Disasters

Lesson 8 from: How to Secure Your Digital Life

Marc Goodman

Avoiding Download Disasters

Lesson 8 from: How to Secure Your Digital Life

Marc Goodman

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Lesson Info

8. Avoiding Download Disasters

Lesson Info

Avoiding Download Disasters

There can be some really big download disasters if you download the wrong thing. I know most of us don't use these anymore, but in the old days, people used to pirate a lot of software, and pirated software had huge amounts of malware in it. Up to 50% of these types of pirated files have malware in them. There's a reason why it's free, right? They want you to spread all of these movies and music and the like, because you're spreading the malware for them. One of my favorite sayings is, the most expensive things in life are free. Right? So pay close attention when you're using something for free. You're paying one way or the other. So if you happen to Google, Stream Star Wars Last Jedi watch online... Don't be surprised if the file that you download or stream has some malware in it. And it's really important with all of our apps to pay close attention, to mind the app, and only download apps from the official software stores. It's the Mac store on the iOS side, and on the Android store,...

once again, there's a lot more openness, if you will, so there are a ton of unofficial Android stores pushing apps filled with malware. Only go ahead and downland Android apps from the official Google Play store. And even then, there are some issues that I'll talk about. Again, if an app is free, if they're not infecting you, you're paying with your privacy. There's no Mother Teresa of apps who's like, I wanna help humanity and just push this out there. There's a reason why it's free. And criminals are all over this. There are so many different apps that can infect your phone, and this one just came out. This was like a plug and play, super easy to create, ransomware app. And what this did is you needed no coding experience whatsoever, you could just go to this criminal website, put in how much you wanted your ransom to be, put what you wanted the fake news to be, to get people to click on it, and it would generate an app for you. In fact, thousands of them. And upload them to into the Android stores for people to download. And so, click and point, point and click ransomware. Super easy to create. And we've seen this in the Android space. And how do you know whether an app is legit or not, right? Well, I'm looking for a password manager, I got 10,000 hits. I'm looking for a map online, how do I know it's the right one? I wanna tell you the story of number one best flashlight app. One of the things that criminals are very good at doing is trying to gain your confidence. That's why they're called con men, they gain your confidence, right? And so you'll see things like 10 million downloads. In the case of best flashlight app, they literally had 10 million downloads where they tricked people into downloading this app. And what they were downloading was of course an infected app that would go ahead and steal peoples log-ons and credentials, and then use that data to break into your bank. So I'll explain it a little bit, 'cause it's complicated. You see the free flashlight app online, you see 10 million downloads, you think this must be an awesome flashlight, as if there's a difference between any of the mobile phone flashlights you might be using. You download it, and hidden within this app was malware that was spying on what you were doing on your phone, and if you ever launched a banking app, or a shopping app, it would pay attention to the credit card and login details, steal that data, and in the background send it to criminals. So, we have to pay close attention to your apps. And, you know, it's kind of a new concept of killer app, where these apps can kill your wallet, kill your phone, and cause you lots of different problems. Now I told you I was gonna talk about the Google Play store. There was a study doe a few years ago that showed up to 20% of all Android apps contain malware. One in five of the apps that you're going to in the official Google Play store, has malware in it. There have been examples of malware getting into the Apple app store, but way way fewer. So this is why from a factual perspective, I believe you can be much safer in the iOS ecosystem as of today. Another thing that you're going to have to keep in mind is your app permissions. This is another way that bad guys try to trick you, by getting you to give permission to do whatever the criminals want you to do. Scrutinize all app permission requests. Think about it, if you just downloaded a solitaire game, and it says, "Solitaire needs access to your microphone." Why? Right? In iOS it's super easy to say no, no, no, no. In Android they've changed it so many times. For a long time you could not have any granular changes on the Android ecosystem. So if you wanted to play solitaire you had to give it access to your microphone, and your video camera, and all of that stuff. In some versions of Android you can turn those things off, in many others you can't. But the way to figure it all out is just use common sense. If you download best flashlight app, and the first thing you see is a pop up that says, "Best Number One Flashlight App "requires your location to function." Think about that. Why does the flashlight need to know your location? I am located in the dark, that is why I need the flashlight. That's like the only thing that you need to know. So when you are asked to give permission to these apps, your default answer should be no. No. Nancy Reagan said, "Just say no," it's a good idea. And the more things you download, the more risks you're going to face. Particularly around pornography, right? Avenue Q, the Broadway show, famously said that the internet is for porn. And I've heard it's true, I don't know. But how many of you are frequent downloaders of porn in the audience? Okay, no, I didn't expect you to hold up your hands for that, but I did want you to understand that when you are getting all of this free porn it is riddled, riddled with malare. So just keep that in mind. And how much of the porn out there for free is malware? According to some estimates, up to 50%. So the numbers are quite high. Now, we have traveled a really long way today. We have talked about a whole bunch of different things from updating your software, and working on your passwords, and how to protect your mobile phone, and what to download. And I'm really excited about out next set of lessons because this is going to be one of those things that can have massive impact on protecting you online.

Class Materials

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Resource Guide
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Bonus Materials with Purchase

Update Protocol
Your Purpose Focused Digital Protection Plan

Ratings and Reviews

Joyce Haven
 

Marc's class provides an excellent road map for making your online life safer. He provides clear examples and great resources that makes it easy to implement better personal security against identity theft and all manner of online scams. He's funny and engaging, and extremely encouraging. It was easy to go home and implement his plan. It also gave me the tools I needed to help my elderly mother safeguard her online presence as well. Great class, I highly recommend it.

Kyle
 

Marc not only is a true and leading expert in cyber security, he also has a great way of teaching through a mix of compelling story telling and concrete "to-do's". The class is both compelling and extremely useful. I cant believe that this is not a required course at every high school and university. These are the real life skills we all need and Marc makes the complicated accessible. Great teacher, great class! I highly recommend it!

a Creativelive Student
 

Great course! This has given me so many tools to be able to better secure my digital life. I am eager to start implementing this info. Marc went over a serious amount of material in a one day class. It would be great if he does more classes at creative live. Thank you so much. I just turned on auto updates for my laptop operating system software!

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