FixMeStick’s Weekly Cybersecurity Round-Up: July 15th – 21st

We’re back with our weekly round-up to make sure you stay caught up on all the cybersecurity news!

This week, we saw updates on Facebook’s fate following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a scary discovery about a popular selfie app, some new privacy updates to Firefox, and much more!

What went down this week?

The 2018 the Cambridge Analytica scandal kicked off a 16-month long investigation into Facebook’s privacy practices by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and last week the commission finally voted to approve a settlement with Facebook worth about 5 billion dollars. This is the biggest fine in FTC history, but will it be enough to win back the trust of Facebook users? That remains to be seen.

If you used the internet at all this week, you’ll have noticed lots of friends and celebrities posting selfies looking older than they actually are. FaceApp is a new viral app that uses AI technology to transform your facial expression, age or gender. All you have to do is upload a selfie.

But when the privacy terms and conditions of the app were looked at more closely, users realized that the company claims complete rights to the photos you upload to FaceApp. There are even speculations that the app has Russian ties, and  is selling user data to third-party companies for advertising.

The bottom line is, one funny selfie isn’t worth risking your personal privacy. Read the full story and FaceApp’s official statement to the privacy concerns here

An 18-year old student from Vancouver, British Columbia, Kai Leong, has created an app for smartphones that helps detect early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. The app measures and analyzes people’s walking patterns which “are actually [accurate] markers of neurodegenerative diseases” says Leong. Read more about how the app works and how Kai came up with the idea here

Using Firefox web browser for all your browsing needs? This week Firefox developers announced they’ll warn you whenever you’re about to visit a website that isn’t safe. Firefox will crack down on HTTP-based web pages, which are known to be less secure than HTTPS– based sites, because they don’t use a security certificate. Click here to learn more about the difference between HTTP and HTTPS based sites. 

A new strain of malware nicknamed ‘Agent Smith’ infected up to 25 million Android phones this week. Agent Smith malware infiltrates the Android software and replaces installed apps with malicious versions without users’ knowledge or permission. The app that was most notably replaced by Agent Smith was WhatsApp, a communication platform similar to Facebook Messenger. If you’re an Android user, learn how to protect yourself with these 5 tips for keeping your smartphone secure.

That’s all we have for this week. Check back next week for another cybersecurity round up!