Protecting Your Privacy

Ok, so in previous articles, we’ve looked at the military-grade encryption iStratus provides because it goes without re-emphasizing it, we highly value protecting your information. Yes. We do our part, but we feel it is also important for us to look at how you can do your part to protect yourself from “online gremlins” too. 

And stay cyber safe.

It is no surprise that technology is pretty savvy towards what we do.  — By basic definition, marketing technology, in particular, is the industry devoted in part “to tracking people” and merging their information, so advertising can be tailored to suit our interests more effectively.

This tracking occurs on multiple levels: There’s physical tracking, because we carry our cell phones everywhere we go. And virtual tracking, of all the places we visit online.

The more that is understood about how the information is being collected, shared, and sold off, the more people tend to want to protect their privacy. Still, in practice, it’s difficult to know what is effective and what is a waste of time.

Everyone wants to protect their stuff, don’t they? So here are some ideas of what we should do.

Employ Good Security

This makes sense for most of us. We’ve all seen the words and rating scales of “strong passwords” at some point when setting up an online account. Passwords are the obvious thing we need to protect, so that doesn’t need repeating here. We think you understand the importance of this.

There has been much debate surrounding online privacy within the last decade. And it must be noted there’s a definite distinction between ‘privacy’ and ‘security’ when it comes to your data.

Generally speaking:

  • Security: refers to protecting against unauthorized access of your stuff — such as phishing credit card information, or hacking bank accounts.
  • Privacy: relates to preventing your movements from being tracked for purposes of advertising or monitoring.

Download The Latest Security Updates.

You know those pesky reminders you receive from your computer or phone to install the latest security update? Download those.

As App Designers we at iStratus know Apps can be compromised by problems that people know exist and publicly report. Security “bugs” are always worked upon so such situations can be avoided at a high standard. Thus, update, to get the benefit of security.

Beware of Phishing.

There’s that word again” phishing” 

Not every attack on our security arises through malware or hackers invisibly breaking into your account. Commonly, we’re hoodwinked into divulging our passwords or personal information to some shockingly awful actors.

Bear in mind, iStratus won’t send you anything. So if ever you receive anything claiming to us, it’s not us. And please let us know!

We all recognize, scammers enjoy hitting up our phones, in calls, texts, or emails and there are also signs that these messages aren’t legit. ALWAYS check for spelling or grammatical errors, links to third-party websites other than those these should be linked to, or emails coming directly from a strange domain.

If it feels fishy, it usually is! Trust those instincts!

It’s difficult to protect your privacy online if there aren’t exactly laws to protect it in the first place.

However, in truth blocking some advertising options on major social media platforms does help. It’s a dead giveaway when things you Google show up in Social Media Advertising!!

That said, privacy settings are only so effective, without any actual laws for privacy protection itself.

There are laws involving health and credit and financial information, however, there is much evidence available online that suggests, nationally the U.S. and other countries such as Australia don’t have a universal data privacy law safeguarding our everyday online privacy.

Numerous cyber-security experts propose avoiding “blockers” and so forth as they are frequently inadequate in their effectiveness anyway because of the attention such technology requires. Besides this, it is a multibillion-dollar Ad Tech industry out there. 

Like all values of communication we’ve spoken of, you would probably be better off to advocate for rights to inform policymakers that you wish to see change with today’s online privacy.

“The best lightning rod for your protection is your own spine.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Take One Step at a Time…

When faced with this daunting issue, digital privacy and security can feel uneasy – we understand that. 

Services such as our iStratus “Password Vault” help – even just employing the basics to strengthen and protect your passwords makes a difference. Always having a vigilant eye for scams will make your accounts and information more secure. 

The Internet is not going anywhere – that’s the reality. Thus, the more aware each of us becomes towards understanding how our data is collected and used — the more we can tackle our privacy to keep it private. At iStratus, we want you to feel better and safer in mindset regarding how our digital lives will be for years to come. The only way is up!

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

The Importance of a Password Vault

The gist of Password Managers (PMs) and encryption in applications is to provide users with a safe and secure way to store credentials. This process typically includes applying a password, or pin to correctly verify data whenever access to personally sensitive information within an application or on a device is required. In this article, we’ll explore some of the mechanisms in our “Vault” that make password storage secure and easier.

At iStratus we know that security is a top priority for everyone. Hence, it’s the thing we value within our App most of all. We want you to feel secure in the way you store your credentials in our database for future reference and use. 

So, How Are Storing Passwords?

A “simple” approach to storing passwords is to create series of algorithms or tables in our database which maps use. When a user logs in, the server receives a request for authentication with a master password and, if things don’t match up in our vault, it’s a no-go. Again, the safety and security of your information are our primary focus. We keep things locked tight (no puns intended) and rest assured to access files and sensitive information your master password is immediately compared with the password provided and stored within the iStratus database. A secure match then provides the user access to the application.

A far more secure way to store a password is to transform it into data that cannot be converted back to the original password. Thus, at iStratus, we apply advanced encryption techniques to ensure your private/secure information is trolled all over the world of the Internet. Let’s learn more about the theory behind encrypting, its benefits, and its limitations.

Setting Your Master Password

We all have little memory space outs. In case that occurs iStratus has a sweet featured where you send yourself a nice little email with a few hints.

You don’t have to worry, you’re not superhuman you don’t have to remember everything!! We don’t necessarily like the impossible, it is just unrealistic, to think occasionally there is that chance you may forget.

As usual, iStratus akin to other elements within the app, ensures your passwords are neatly organized into categories so you have the option of deciding what goes where.

It’s all up to you. You decide which direction you wish to take.

It’s not surprising to hear the question: “Are password managers (PMs) safe to use?” The short answer is “yes.” The vast majority of cyber-security specialists agree that password managers are indeed the most secure way to protect your passwords.

Further research suggests, “123456” and “password”— are two of the most widely used passwords on the web for security. We might be biased but this is all the more reason to adopt and use our “Password Vault” in iStratus, because like the healthy fruits and vegetables of the Internet. Essentially, everyone knows these foods are good for us; however, most people are happier snacking on a password equivalent of a Snickers bar. 

Stay Safe & Sound

Despite the reliability of the PMs, the technology industry as a whole always takes a hit when media covers the latest vulnerability or security breach. Therefore, we hope this blog helps you feel confident about using our password vault without the fear-mongering often associated with these tools.

Of course, in this technological era, we need to always be conscious and aware of how we store our sensitive information. So we must emphasize whilst use iStratus, even if “hackers” do attempt to have a field day, we used military-grade encryption so that even with a “cyber attack” your data will be protected.

Let’s face it, the safest way to store them in your head is to memorize them all, keeping them all long, strong, and secure as a rule of thumb!

We’re joking. That might be possible for a unique genius but for the most part, we need to offload our data into secure vaults so that we make room in our minds and give our overworked memories a decent break.

The iStratus Password Vault offers convenience and, more importantly, helps you stay organized and keep them, which makes your online existence less vulnerable to password-based attacks. 

So yes, we’re advocates for using a password manager as a handy tool. In one click, as well as securely storing other types of data like your credit card or home security information, you can instantly print selected pieces of data you have stored. As always, our App is designed with organization in mind. And we want the sharing of your data with family and friends to be safer. We feel this is a significantly better way to share your login details than in an email or some unencrypted messenger. This approach also ensures you won’t lose anything should the unexpected happen. Breathe easy.

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Encryption Explained.

In today’s world and advancement in the use of technology over the past decade, there’s an ever-growing potential for escalation of hackings, and security breaches in our private data are pervasive. To protect technology (and ourselves) now, more than ever before, encryption has a stronghold key towards our security online.

There has been quite a debate recently regarding Internet regulation pertaining to access to data. However let’s not digress here, that is another story for another day, as they say really. 

The Need For Encryption

Bottom line: We want and need encryption, and if you read our previous article associated with using iStratus’s “Password Vault” you’ll understand why we apply encryption every day to ensure your personal data doesn’t land in the wrong hands.

In this article, we’ll address the encryption script and why it is central to the security we offer you when using iStratus. Needless to say, but we’ll say it repeatedly anyway because we want you to feel assured: The safety of your data is paramount to us!

The Encryption Script

Encryption is exactly that – cryptic. It transforms data into an ambiguous message to prevent unauthorized access to your information within our app. Many technologies use this approach from emails to bank details, by keeping communication secure between the parties involved.

Within iStratus, our security is military grade. So any information used within the “vault or cloud” becomes ‘scrambled’ when any information is sent from one recipient to another. A lengthy code turns information unreadable for anybody else that may attempt to access it.

When the data stored and sent is encrypted, the user or the sender and the receiver are the only people that can decrypt the scramble. Simply put encryption is like translating your information into a foreign language only you or an intended recipient understands, and most importantly, vernacular cybercriminals cannot translate.

When implemented effectively, encrypted data potentially ensures hackers would require hundreds of years to crack the codes applying repeatedly brute force cyber attacks, upon the complex mathematical algorithms and long numerical sequences that are arduous to decrypt, using software that scans through billions of combinations.

Of course as just as there are different types of technology, there are different types of encryption, each with varying levels of effectiveness. 

This process is essential measured in “bits”. We’re not going to get into all of that technical jargon here, as that involves numerous pages and lots of numbers. However in simple terms of the theory: The higher the number of “bits” involved in encryption, the harder it is – a general rule – for a hacker to crack the code. We’ll say it again, iStratus uses Military Grade encryption, so yes, we’re sure – you get the message on that.

Keeping Things Locked for Security.

End-to-end encryption is imperative because it provides of course provides security for files, data being sent moment to moment and it is scrambled until it is accessed by the user on “password” or it is something received by an intended recipient. This also ensures that no third party or hacker can read the exchanged information.

Services like Gmail or Microsoft for example, enable the provider to access the content of users’ data on its servers because they possess copies to the decryption keys. With the terms and conditions, we essentially grant permission to read emails and files. In Google’s aka Gmail’s past, it’s these keys that have allowed them to share information and this is why we often receive targeted advertisements. 

On the contrary, well-constructed end-to-end encrypted systems, such as iStratus, means that providers never have to access to the decryption keys.

Advantages of End-To-End Encryption

The National Security Agency (NSA) recently issued revised guidelines (2020) for using certain collaboration services during the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

Leading Number One on the NSA’s list of Criteria was the recommendation to employ end-to-end encryption, to reduce the risk exposure of confidentially sensitive data and becoming harder targets for a “cyber invasion.”

So in summary encryption:

Safeguards your confidential data against hackings: With end-to-end encryption, the service user is the only one who has the private key to unlock their data. The information these web servers store cannot be read by hackers because the private keys are required to decrypt it.

Protects your privacy: If data features decryption on these servers, then obviously your privacy is also protected.

Safeguards Administrators too: With no holds on the decryption keys to the data, any attempted attack that could potentially target admins like iStratus will come up short.

Today, it is no surprise that hundreds of defense companies and businesses rely on this approach to protect user’s most sensitive data. At iStratus, the end-to-end encryption approach is at the core of how we protect you best. Stay safe always.

Live life and roll well with iStratus.