identity

5 reasons FaceApp should give you worry lines

By now you’ve probably seen plenty of old versions of your friends’ faces pop up on social media. FaceApp is so popular that in just a few days the app has managed to collect the faces of more than 150 million people from around the world!  

Why are people so eager to snap and upload that selfie? Well, it’s fun and interesting to see these scarily accurate “future” faces. And Canadians still presume that laws and technological checks and balances are in place to protect their data.  

Really, though, it’s the Wild West on the internet, and once you surrender your information, you can't get it back.  

Here are our top 5 reasons to skip FaceApp: 

1) Your face is a biometric 

What are biometrics? It’s physical data that’s unique to you and used to identify you, such as your fingerprints, retina or iris scans, gait recognition (the way you walk), or voice recognition.  

Increasingly, we use our face to unlock our phones, to access services, we’re tracked by our faces through airport and other surveillance systems – and the potential for the loss or abuse of your biometric data is huge.  

2) The app is based in Russia 

The data is stored on Russian servers and is subject to Russian laws. This means Russian state intelligence agencies could gather this info. Remember when they tried to access Tinder users’ data? With FaceApp, users have already agreed to that data collection simply by creating an account and uploading a photo. 

3) They’re capturing your web browsing history 

Everything you search for, every website you visit, is viewable to FaceApp, until you uninstall the app. Yikes! 

4) Not to mention your location 

That location data can be used to pinpoint your whereabouts and target you with hyper-specific ads...and to gain insight into demographic trends for who knows what purpose. 

5) Your data could be stored indefinitely and used for reasons you can’t predict 

For example, this amazingly diverse data set could be used to train mass surveillance systems. It sounds far-fetched, but photos uploaded to Flickr and social media sites have already been scarfed up and used to teach A.I.s without people’s consent.  

Why should FaceApp be any different? 

If you’ve already downloaded the app, you should uninstall it ASAP, and make sure that you always read the terms of service before hopping on board with the newest trend. Remember that when you don’t pay for an app or service, you’re not the customer – you're the product

The onus is on the individual to protect sensitive information.  

To learn more about protecting your identity at home or at work, contact the Beauceron Security Team @ info@beauceronsecurity.com or 1-877-516-9245. 

Verified.Me app makes proving your identity easy

Last week, banks in Canada announced the launch of Verified.Me, a free app that helps you prove your identity online.   

Because practically every online service requires a different username and password, it can be tough to prove who you are when you’re logging into your various accounts. Not only do you need to remember dozens of these credentials, but you often need to answer security questions, show physical identification — and it’s all getting too complicated.

Security AND speed

The goal of the app is to speed up the process of authentication while maintaining security and privacy. Logging into accounts and juggling passwords and identities is a pain, and people tend to sacrifice security in favour of convenience. Verified.Me aims to provide both. 

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This kind of service is already used by federal agencies like Canada Revenue Agency where you can log into your personal or business tax account through your bank, also known as a “sign-in partner.”  

How does Verified.Me work?

Think of any online service that requires you to create a username and password; instead, you log into your bank account only, through the Verified.Me app. If the bank deems that particular service to be trustworthy, you can log in automatically.  

You’ve already proven your identity at the bank; it’s the most important — and most tedious — step when opening your account. There are strict regulations in place, you need to show government-issued I.D. and open a real account as the real you. Of all the online entities, banks truly know who you are as a person. 

One identity to rule them all

The idea of a “federated identity” — a way of linking your identity and attributes, stored across multiple identity management systems — is coming up more and more these days, as identity becomes increasingly complex.   

“Single sign-on" (SSO) lets users log in to one service with a single ID and password to gain access to several sites and accounts. SSO is a good idea that has been mismanaged in the past by Google and Facebook and others — companies that have shown they can’t be trusted to manage and secure our digital identities. 

Facebook’s SSO was hacked in 2018, when it was revealed that it had fallen victim to an attack that breached 50 million user accounts. Google’s SSO has issues, too — if someone breaches your Google account, for example, they then have access to your passport information in Expedia, private messages on Tinder, location data on Uber — literally any site or service you access through the Google single sign-on.   

Why trust the banks?

Banks spend more on cybersecurity than any other organization in the country. They’re dealing with huge amounts of money so it makes sense that they have a vested interest in verifying their customers' identity and protecting against fraud.  

Unlike Facebook or Google, their entire business relies on being secure. 

How to get started

Download the Verified.Me app on your phone, open it and choose your bank from the list of options (Scotiabank, RBC, CIBC, TD or Desjardins). You’ll then be redirected to your bank’s app or website, where you can log in using your username or card number and password. Once you’re in, you can add “Connections” to your personal list and use the app to log into all those services.   

You’re in control of how and when your personal information is used, and no personal info is stored in the app — it's a win from all angles!  

To learn more about protecting your identity at home or at work, contact the Beauceron Security Team @ info@beauceronsecurity.com or 1-877-516-9245.