Keeping you safer online

We love smart devices! Wireless indoor and outdoor home security cameras and motion sensors, baby monitors, toys, light switches and bulbs, window blinds, home thermostats, fire alarms, toothbrushes and even fishing rods controlled by smartphone apps are growing in popularity.


According to the security firm Allot, there are now 7 billion smart devices in use, the most common of which are smart TVs. But these app-controlled devices can easily expose you and your family to hackers.


  • In early May, according to Sophos, researchers discovered a flaw in software used by two million wireless home devices that allow hackers to control them.

  • In April, Bloomberg reported that Amazon Alexa team members around the globe had access to users’ personal information gathered by Alexa devices.

  • In 2017, hackers took control of a wireless fish tank thermometer in a Las Vegas casino and hacked into the hotel’s database of gamblers.

New York University Cybersecurity Professor Judith Germano says smart devices are convenient, but she says many manufacturers try to get new products out the door quickly rather than focusing on your safety.

Click on the blue arrow to listen.

Germano recommends giving your home Wi-Fi network a name that does not identify you as the owner. And keep your Wi-Fi software up-to-date.

Click on the blue arrow to listen.

What does Professor Germano do to keep her family safer?

Click on the blue arrow to listen.

Click the image below 

to download and print these tips.

Protective Life _ Smart Devices.001.jpeg

WhatsApp, the instant messaging app owned by Facebook and used by 1.5 billion people worldwide, has been breached. The sophisticated hack gives crooks access to cameras, microphones and personal information on an as-yet-unknown number of users' phones.


If you use WhatsApp on your personal iPhone or Android phone, you should visit the app store, search for "WhatsApp" and update it to the newest version

Beware of an email that appears to come from your employer's personnel department or payroll service. in some cases, the email instructs you to update the bank account where your paycheck is direct deposited. Entering your account information gives fraudsters access to it.

Or in the example below, the email instructs you to click and download a document from the "payroll company." Doing so will install malware on the computer. 

You can spot clues that this is a phishing email by grabbing the slider bar below and dragging it from left to right.

Source: IBM Security

Information Security

"Promoting Security Through Awareness"

Trust your instinct.
If an email doesn't look quite right
or a website asks for personal information,
stop and think before you click!
Please report suspicious emails to

You're the most important link to

keeping your employer and your family

safe from cyber fraud.

In the upcoming edition of Cybersecurity News
from the IT team at Protective Life:
The biggest misconceptions about using your computer safely.

Cyber Cartoon: © Marketoonist

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May 2019 b • Edition #70

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