As children, we were told never to talk to strangers. The reasoning behind this was simple — not everyone could be trusted, and it was better to be safe rather than sorry.
Fast forward to today’s age and technological advancements. Much of our lives are spent connecting with the world via smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers. While the internet and social media have undoubtedly changed the way that we communicate, somewhere along the way, we seem to have forgotten that handy childhood lesson.
We are all guilty of installing applications, plugins, or browser extensions onto our devices. (Guilty as charged right here!) What you may not realize is what is potentially lurking in the shadows when we download unfamiliar (or sometimes even familiar) software. Risks include system viruses and malware infections that can do anything from steal personal information, destroy operating systems, and remotely control devices… even your own web camera.
Remember Miss Teen USA, Cassidy Wolf? Hers was the first of many public cases where, thanks to an inadvertent installation, her computer was infected with a Remote Administrative Tool (RAT). Through this tool, a hacker was able to control her web camera without her knowledge. More than two dozen women had their computers hacked by the same offender.
Thanks to an extensive FBI investigation, the hacker — a student at the time — spent the rest of his college years in prison.
We still tell our children not to talk to strangers, offline and online. It’s time we start following our own advice, and approach unfamiliar software with the same critical eye. There is no shortage of scary stories of browser extensions gone wrong.
For this reason, Integrity Advocate provides services that, in most cases, does not require you to install any plugin, extension, or application in order to use our service or if we do… (like in the case of our new lockdown browser) we ensure all the code is open source, don't allow the program to send data from your machine and don't allow the program to receive updates (the basis for the majority of install risks). Our web-based remote proctoring solution is accessible via any secure browser and works at any time on any type of device.