Ivy Harper

Ivy Harper has 23 articles published.

Ivy is an experienced freelance contributor to the Dark Web Journal who focuses on technology and current affairs. Ivy Harper is a pseudonym.

Top 5 Free Encrypted Email Services, Reviewed for 2020

in Privacy
Encrypted Email

If you want to be sure that no one is reading your emails, choosing an encrypted email service is the right move.

In this guide, we take a look at five of the best free encrypted email services you can use in 2020.

ProtonMail

encrypted email services

ProtonMail is arguably one of the best options when it comes to free encrypted email services. It is based in Switzerland, a location that is considered to be much better than locations such as the UK or US. As such, ProtonMail has a strong privacy policy that pledges not to store your IP address or any data that can personally make you identifiable.

As one of the top encrypted email services, ProtonMail is very easy to use. It has a powerful end-to-end encryption feature that protects any email that you send until the recipient opens it. In addition, you and the recipient are the only ones that can view the email. This zero-access build of ProtonMail’s servers ensures that only you and the recipient can open and read the encrypted emails and not event ProtonMail can read the emails.

In the event that your email recipient does not use ProtonMail, you can opt to send them an email that is unencrypted. However, ProtonMail has a feature that can encrypt the message and instead leave a link in the email. The recipient will be able to decrypt the email using a password that you will share with them privately. Moreover, ProtonMail gives you 500MB of storage space with the free option.

Pros

  • One of the best-encrypted email services
  • Has a strong privacy policy with zero-access construction
  • Does not log IP addresses

Cons

  • Free option has limited storage
  • Upgrading is quite expensive

CounterMail

free encrypted email

CounterMail is a web-based encrypted email provider that has its data centers located in Sweden. This encrypted email service is easy to use and very secure. It is designed to provide maximum privacy and security without any unwarranted complexity. Although CounterMail’s website looks outdated, you can be rest assured that their email security is built to handle today’s privacy threat.

With CounterMail, you have access to your email account from anywhere, at any time worldwide. Your account will always remain anonymous and encrypted. Its encryption works transparently and automatically without requiring any specialized computer knowledge or skills. CounterMail uses a strong encryption protocol known as OpenPGP coupled with 4096 bits encryption keys to secure your data.

In addition, one of the features that makes CounterMail stand out from its competitors is the use of diskless web servers. This means that CounterMail is doing everything possible to keep you anonymous as you use their service. They also offer MITM (Man-In-The-Middle) protection, which helps protect your identity. There is a USB-key option that enables CounterMail to be used with your password for increased security. This way, you get better protection against brute force attacks and keyloggers.

Pros

  • Uses diskless servers
  • Data servers are located in Sweden
  • Uses the OpenPGP encryption protocol

Cons

  • Free option only lasts 7-days
  • Outdated user interface and design

Hushmail

secure email services

Hushmail is a Canadian encrypted email provider that allows users to sign up for free and get an account. With the free option, you are only able to get 15 MB of storage with a single address. This means that you will not be able to receive large attachments in your emails and will, therefore, need to constantly delete emails to free up some space. As such, Hushmail is ideal for anyone looking for a free encrypted email service and doesn’t mind deleting emails now and then.

While Hushmail can be used on smartphones and desktop-based email applications, it is not compatible with macOS. In addition, its servers are located in Canada, a country that is not the best when it comes to privacy. However, with the applied end-to-end encryption, your emails will remain safe and their contents won’t be accessible to anyone.

Moreover, the company’s core values are based on privacy, clarity, and simplicity. Hushmail has done a great job of demonstrating this by providing users with a neat design, easy-to-use interface, outstanding privacy features, and protection.

Every email is encrypted using OpenPGP encryption. If your recipient uses Hushmail, they will be able to read their email on their smartphone or computer. However, if they don’t use Hushmail, they will get a link that is attached to the email. This link will redirect them to a website that is more secure after which they will be required to key in a passphrase before they can get complete access to the email. You can also add another extra layer of security that will require the recipient to answer a security question before they can access the contents of your email.

Pros

  • Can be used on smartphones and desktop
  • Has an easy-to-use interface and design
  • Uses OpenPGP encryption

Cons

  • It is not compatible with macOS
  • Its data server is based in Canada

Tutanota

Free encrypted email services

Tutanota is another free encrypted email provider that is easy to use. It is an open-source, web-based email application with its servers located in Germany.

Germany has some of the toughest data privacy rules so you can be rest assured they have got your back when it comes to privacy. What we love most about Tutanota is that with the free option, users get 1GB of free storage with one email address. In addition, Tutanota is compatible with Windows, Android, iPhone, Mac, and Linux.

Tutanota gives you the ability to securely send and receive emails without the use of PGP keys. Instead, they use strong AES encryption with Perfect Forward Secrecy. This means users can a password and a special link system to send emails that are end-to-end encrypted to just about anyone regardless of the service they are currently using. Moreover, this email service is built to strip IP addresses from the email headers. It can also encrypt metadata. As such, you get to enjoy a very secure email service that makes it hard for anyone to track or see the contents of your email.

The only downside worth mentioning is that Tutanota stores some minimal metadata logs for messages sent for five days using the service. This is done to ensure the smooth running of the service.

Pros

  • Provides end-to-end encryption
  • Compatible with all browsers and devices
  • Users get 1GB of storage

Cons

  • The AES encryption is not the most secure
  • Stores some minimal metadata logs

Mailfence

Mailfence

Mailfence is an encrypted email service provider that was launched in 2013. Its servers are based in Belgium, a country that has strong privacy protection laws.

Mailfence believes that ‘privacy is a right, not a feature’. To this end, their service cannot be tracked. Moreover, Mailfence does not have any ads, spams, solicitation or backdoor and is free from government surveillance. Mailfence has incorporated state of the art security features that protect your email privacy at all times. With the free option, users get 500 MB of email storage and 500MB of document storage.

In order to deliver emails that are completely secure, Mailfence uses different methods. One method used to achieve this is OpenPGP end-to-end encryption that ensures that only your recipient can decrypt your email. Secondly, you can also send a password encrypted email. This means that you will need to show a password with your recipient that they will need to key in before they can access your email. Additionally, you have the option of using a digital signature. This works in a similar fashion as a stamped seal or handwritten signature only that the digital signature provides more inherent security.

Unlike other email service providers, Mailfence has an integrated suite of tools, such as calendars, messages, contacts or and documents. With this service provider, you get the freedom to choose which email you want to encrypt. In addition, it is a private, secure and easy-to-use service.

Pros

  • Uses the OpenPGP end-to-end encryption
  • Has an integrated suite of tools
  • Its servers are based in Belgium

Cons

  • Stores some user logs
  • Its paid for plans are expensive

What is a Black Hat Hacker?

in Hacking
What is a Black Hat Hacker

If you keep up with technology and follow the news, then you do know that there are different types of hackers. However, black hat hackers are generally the ones you hear the most about. But what is a black hat hacker?

In this guide, we will answer that question.

Introducing Black Hat Hackers

Black hat hackers use system vulnerabilities to exploit individuals as well as organizations. The aim is generally to make a financial gain at the expense of their victoms.

Hacker types were derived by westerns in the 1950s from the colors of their hats. Bad guys had black hats while good guys had white hats.

Black hat hackers operate as groups or individuals. They aim to gain unauthorized access to networks or computer systems and exploit them for their own malicious or financial gains.

Characteristics of Malicious Hackers

black hat hacker
  • Have extensive knowledge about bypassing security protocols and breaking into computer networks
  • Gain unauthorized access to computer systems and networks and exploit them for their own financial or malicious gains
  • Develop and sell malicious malware that’s used to gain access to computer systems
  • They steal, modify, and destroy data
  • Range from amateurs whose main task is spreading malware to skilled hackers who steal financial information, login credentials, and other personal information

The Hacking Business

Most black hat hackers began as newbie “script kiddies”. They buy hacker tools and use them to exploit security vulnerabilities. However, the upper black hat echelon is composed of skilled hackers who work for criminal organizations or government-backed entities.

Many black hat hackers get their jobs through connections or dark web forums. Some black hats develop and sell their own malicious software while others choose to work through different franchises or make leasing arrangements. Today, the distribution of malicious software is not hard. Malware kits are for sale on the dark web and often include customer service and warranties. This is partly due to the fact that hacking operates as a big business.

Black Hat Hackers Are Global

Cybercrime is a global problem. This makes it very difficult for law enforcement officers to put an end to it as hackers leave little or no evidence. They also use the computers of unsuspecting victims across different jurisdictions.

As such, the best protection is to ensure you keep your firewall on, install all operating system updates, install and run reputable antivirus software and antispyware application.

In addition, avoid downloading anything from unknown sources and turn off your internet to reduce exposure to black hat hackers when not in use.

What is Dark Web Monitoring?

in Deep Web
Dark Web Monitoring

Cybercriminals could be selling your personal or organization’s data on the dark web without your knowledge. Through dark web monitoring, you can receive alerts when your information is found on the darknet. This way, you can find out which information is vulnerable and figure out how you can improve your online security.

In this guide, you will learn what dark web monitoring is and what benefits it can offer.

How Does Dark Web Monitoring Work?

Two common misconceptions are that dark web monitoring can remove identifying information from the darknet and prevent the sale of this data.

The truth is that dark web monitoring will only alert you when your information is found on the internet. Moreover, the provider of this service might offer advice on what you can do to prevent cybercriminals from stealing your data in the future. Examples of services are Norton LifeLock and Experian.

what is dark web monitoring

When you contract a provider for this service, they will use scrapers and web crawlers to look for your personal information in places where cybercriminals sell data. These places include chat rooms, forums, and peer-to-peer networks. The provider will also monitor social media feeds, blogs, malware samples, and web service servers.

Information You Should Target

To make dark web monitoring a valuable investment, companies should conduct a targeted search focused on the areas below.

  • Threat tracking: this entails collecting data on the threats that target your organization and tracking them consistently. This helps organizations to better understand these threats so that they can create effective defense strategies.
  • Detecting stolen credentials: once companies identify the credentials cybercriminals are stealing from them, they can, for instance, create more secure passwords. Furthermore, companies could create a system where new passwords are required for each login.
  • Identifying fraud: cybercriminals use stolen credentials to run fraudulent activities. Monitoring can help companies to discover the activities cybercriminals engage in so that they can prevent fraud. 

How Effective Is it?

Dark web monitoring is not a one-size-fits-all solution to keep your personal information safe. There are pros and cons to using a dark web scanning service.

Pros

  • Monitoring provides crucial information that helps both individuals and companies to improve their online security.
  • If you learn that your information is stolen, you can take damage control measures like getting a new PIN from your bank.

Cons

  • It is impossible to scan the entire internet for stolen information. Therefore, cyber monitoring tools could fail to find all of your stolen identifying information.
  • Cyber monitoring cannot stop cybercriminals from using or selling your information.
  • Accessing some cybercriminal forums requires additional expertise such as familiarity with different languages. This could lead to increased expenses.

While dark web monitoring can be a valuable addition to your cybersecurity arsenal, you should use this tool alongside safety measures like creating stronger passwords, creating different passwords for different accounts, and asking for credit reports to see if anyone has opened a bank account in your name. 

How to Become a Security Researcher

in Cybersecurity
How to Become a Security Researcher

A security researcher investigates security vulnerabilities in applications, websites, hardware, and internet protocols. As security threats evolve, more and more organizations are hiring security researchers to boost their security and their awareness of cybersecurity matters. 

In this guide, you will find out what security research entails and how to become a security researcher. 

What is Security Research?

Data helps organizations to make informed decisions. This is what makes security research important. As a result, a security researcher will spend hours reading news, academic journals, and listening to relevant podcasts about cybersecurity trends. 

But first, a security researcher has to decide what is worth researching since research is time-consuming. Additionally, you need to know when the research is complete so that you can publish your findings and move on to the next research task.

Security research encompasses discovering new things, raising awareness, and putting misconceptions to rest.

How to Become a Security Researcher

Security Researcher

To become a security researcher, you need a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Network Systems or IT. Some security researchers begin by working in an IT security team or as software developers.

If you are a professional in the IT sector and you are interested in security research, you should take these steps:

  • Start learning on your own: based on what you learn during the research phase, start filling the knowledge gaps. For instance, security researchers should know programming languages like Python, Ruby, C, and C++. So, if you are not familiar with one of these languages, teach yourself. You could also learn assembly programming, web developing, steganography, Linux, cryptography, and hacking techniques. 
  • Specialize in a specific field: since there is so much to learn, it will be easier to study what most interests you. For example, if you want to specialize in vulnerability research, learn how to reverse malware and all the other relevant subjects in this field.
  • Use tools to practice: the best way to learn is through practice. Play around with software as much as you can.
  • Advance your studies: you can enroll for a master’s degree in cybersecurity then advance to a Ph.D. This is important if you want to publish authoritative journals on security research.
  • Stay up to date with cybersecurity trends: you should not wait to get hired to become a security researcher. Assuming that this is a field you are passionate about, carrying out your own security research should come naturally.

Roles and Responsibilities

Some of the roles and responsibilities of a security researcher include:

  • Creating hypotheses, new methods, and techniques to solve cybersecurity issues
  • Reverse engineering malware
  • Helping the company to become more aware of cybersecurity
  • Leading technical projects and teams
  • Conducting tests on protocols, hardware, and security controls
  • Writing reports and presenting findings of your research to relevant board members or teams
  • Researching the feasibility of proposed security products and services

Improving cybersecurity is a team effort. Therefore, being a team player is an essential skill. Also, your employer could ask you to handle other cybersecurity roles like penetration testing. This means that you should acquire a diverse set of cybersecurity skills. 

How to Become a Penetration Tester

in Cybersecurity
How to Become a Penetration Tester

You are probably reading this because you want to become a pentester. But what do you need to obtain this well-paying cybersecurity job? In this guide, you will learn how to become a penetration tester and what qualifications you need. 

What is Penetration Testing?

Hackers are always looking for new ways to exploit systems and networks. Even the most secure organizations are usually not that secure. This is where penetration testing – also known as pentesting – comes in!

A penetration tester executes an ethical hack to exploit the vulnerabilities of a system to find out if an attack is possible. The results of this simulated attack are then used to increase the system’s security. Therefore, a penetration tester has to think like an attacker to improve an organization’s security.

A pentester earns between $75,000 and $130,000 a year.

How to Become a Penetration Tester

penetration tester

Most people begin their journeys in other IT-related jobs such as programming and system administration and later take a certified course in pentesting. This means that you should take Computer Science or IT degree courses that have some cybersecurity programs. Also, you need a good understanding of coding, networks, and operating systems to become a pentester. 

However, some ethical hackers are self-taught pentesters or reformed criminal hackers that now want to use their skills for good.

If you are already in the cybersecurity field, follow these steps to become a pentester.

  • Do your research: read as much as you can on penetration testing and cybersecurity to understand the subjects better. Since you need prerequisite knowledge in networks, hardware, databases, and data analysis, refresh your memory if you need to.
  • Get practical: practice what you have learned by using penetration toolkits like Security Onion. This toolkit offers tools to help you practice pentesting on your own. Also, familiarize yourself with the Penetration Testing Execution Standard (PTES) and OWASP.
  • Get certified: take certification courses in penetration testing, ethical hacking, networking, and security. These certificates will increase your employment chances.
  • Look for a pentesting job: as a penetration tester, you can work within an organization or as a consultant.

Roles of a Pentester

When you get a job as a penetration tester, you can expect to take up the tasks below.

  • Testing networks and applications: this entails running simulation attacks and keeping existing tests up to date. Employers will also expect you to know how to apply penetration testing tools.
  • Testing physical security: your new role will include checking that servers can withstand non-cyber threats such as vandalism and climate effects. 
  • Carrying out security audits: this is another important role for every pentester. Your organization will expect you to examine networks and systems and write audit reports.
  • Writing security reports: you will have to write security reports with metrics and strategies to show your test results and recommendations.
  • Participate in security policy reviews: you will work with the larger security team in handling security policy reviews.

Your role as a pentester will involve reporting your findings and recommendations. Therefore, you need good communication and presentation skills to carry out this role effectively. Project management, problem-solving, and people management skills will also come in handy. 

Top 3 Dark Web Podcasts in 2020

in Deep Web
Dark Web Podcasts

The dark web can be very confusing. There is a lot of jargon and misinformation that makes it hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. However, all hope is not lost. Besides the numerous online communities, there are also dark web podcasts that can help you learn more about the deep web, dark web, and darknet.

In this article, we introduce you to our top three favorite dark web podcasts that you can listen to in 2020.

Darknet Diaries

darknet diaries

Darknet Diaries is a podcast that was started in 2017 by Jack Rhysider. This podcast is dedicated to “covering true stories from the dark side of the Internet. Stories about hackers, defenders, threats, malware, botnets, breaches, and privacy.”

While Jack wanted for such a podcast to exist, he found out that there was none. That drove him to create the Darknet Diaries. The first episode for Darkent Diaries was aired in October 2017. For the most part, Jack worked alone on the first 40 episodes.

After the 40th episode, Jack got additional researchers, editors, writers and graphic designers to help with the work. Besides the Darknet Diaries, Jack also runs a tech and podcasting blog and has also appeared on several podcasts. Since its establishment, Darknet Diaries has produced over 60 episodes.

Cyber Talk Radio

Cyber Talk Radio

Cyber Talk Radio is another great darknet podcast that you can listen to. Brett Piatt is the host while James Woodward and Juan Diaz both work as producers for the podcast. The show is sponsored by Jungle Disk, LLC, which is a cybersecurity suite designed for small businesses. Bret, James, and Juan all work for Jungle Disk, LLC.

Cyber Talk Radio is a weekly podcast that focuses on computer security and the Internet. Their tagline is “From the dark web to your radio dial.”

With over 150 episodes under its belt, this show has also hosted guests for various episodes. With the guests, Brett has been able to host expert interviews on matters of cybersecurity.

The Dark Web Vlogs

Dark Web Vlogs

The Dark Web Vlogs is another exciting and thrilling deep web podcast. The podcast is hosted by an ex-CIA agent known as The Ghost. Today, The Ghost works as an Independent Operative focusing on mysterious and unbelievable cases. The host responds to requests to assist in some of the most bizarre cases that exist in the world. Individuals who reach out to the host do so because they cannot get help elsewhere or it is just not possible. In her podcast, she talks about these requests and how she helps the individuals. To ensure complete privacy, she does not use the real names of the people who reach out to her. The Ghost does her podcasts in the form of stories where she narrates the requests and the events that unfold once she accepts a request.

According to The Ghost, “These jobs are outrageous, mysterious, and unbelievable, from reaching out to other dimensions and worlds to other beings, as well as the paranormal, CERN, The Vatican, humanoid robots, and inner earth. Lizard People, Giants, Aliens and more.”

If you are looking for a thrilling podcast to listen to, The Dark Web Vlogs is a great place to start!

If you want to learn more about the dark web, you can read our article on the best dark web books or just keep browsing the Dark Web Journal.

5 Tips to Secure a Cybersecurity Internship in 2020

in Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity Internship

Cybersecurity experts are in demand and companies are willing to pay top dollar for talented staff. One of the best ways of getting your foot into the door is by securing yourself a cybersecurity internship.

In this article, we will share 5 tips with you that can help you secure a cybersecurity internship in 2020.

Get Experience and Certifications

Although an internship presents a great opportunity for you to learn, top cybersecurity companies will lean more towards employees who have some basic level experience. As such, you need to know the basics and have some level of experience. This way, you walk into your internship ready to contribute. In addition, it is important that you pursue advanced certifications as a bare minimum.

One of the certifications that you can pursue is CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional). If you can get more certifications, the better. Additional certifications will make you more desirable to any potential employer.

Network with Cybersecurity Professionals

cybersecurity internships

Even with an educational background in cybersecurity, you still won’t know it all. As such, an internship in cybersecurity provides you with an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the field. You need to be eager and ready to learn. One simple way of learning is by networking. Reach out to a few cybersecurity professionals who can share with you their experience in the field and what to expect.

This way, you will be able to gain valuable insights into the real world of cybersecurity. Besides the mentoring opportunities, you will get from these people, they can also be your referee when the time comes for you to get an internship.

Stay Up-to-Date on All Things Security

Make sure you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in cybersecurity. Being proactive and taking it upon yourself to know what’s happening in the industry and providing an educated opinion on diverse issues in your field will help set you apart from other interns. Moreover, it will help you to gain a better understanding of your assignments and tasks as well as impress your manager. Take every security incident as an opportunity to ask the right questions and learn. This will serve you well in the long term.

Besides news, you can also follow cybersecurity podcasts that can help you understand the challenges and changes the cybersecurity industry is facing. You can easily set up Google alerts for different topics such as ‘cybersecurity’ or ‘data breaches’. You can also listen to cybersecurity podcasts on your commute to and from work. In addition, you can follow discussions on social networks such as Twitter, Reddit or LinkedIn.

Gain Experience Through Volunteer Work

There will never be a substitute for experience regardless of your level of education and certification. In scenarios where two potential candidates have the same certifications, the one with experience will in most cases always get the job. As such, even as you go through your studies, try to find opportunities to volunteer. Volunteering provides you with an opportunity to gain experience, which comes in handy when applying for internships. When it comes to volunteering, you can find a professor in your college or any other local college who specializes in IT security and offer your assistance.

Also, consider doing the same for companies. The easiest way is to volunteer for start-ups who may not be able to pay you but can offer immense learning opportunities. Besides, if you do a great job, they might just offer you an internship or even a job. And even if they don’t, you can add that volunteering experience to your resume as you continue searching for an internship.

Setup a Security Lab

If you can, it is advisable that you set up a security lab. This way, you can be able to gain some hands-on experience. Setting up your own security lab will provide you with a safe environment where you can mess around without worrying about the potential damage that you can cause.

Remember, no employer will want you testing hacking tools on their own network. This can easily get you fired in the event you screw something up. You can use some old computers, cheap wireless routers, and incorporate free open-source security tools. With this, you can learn how to test and secure networks. Moreover, there are tons of free open-source tools online that you can use to experiment within the safety of your own test network.

If you are keen on a cybersecurity job, you can read more on the ten entry-level security jobs to look out for. If you want some motivation to kickstart your career in cybersecurity, you can read our article on the top five cybersecurity jobs that pay well.

Top 5 Best Laptop Privacy Screen Protectors, Reviewed for 2020

in Privacy
Privacy Screen Protector

If you are looking for the best laptop privacy screen protector, then you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we take a look at some of the best laptop screen protectors that you can buy in 2020. 

Is a Screen Protector Necessary?

laptop privacy screen

In today’s day and age, privacy is more important than ever. You never know who’s watching.

A privacy screen protector can protect your information from prying eyes. This ensures that your information remains confidential. Besides keeping your information private, they also help protect your eyes.

Below are some of the best laptop privacy screen protectors that you can get. 

Top Laptop Privacy Screen Protectors

Akamai Laptop Privacy Screen

The Akamai Laptop Privacy Screen protector is available in a wide variety of sizes. This privacy screen does an excellent job of keeping your screen confidential. That’s because it has a long-lasting and excellent build.

This screen protector fits nicely and neatly ensuring there’s no area of your view left out. By minimizing your screen’s viewing angle to 60 degrees, you will be the only one able to see your screen. In addition, it has a straightforward and simple installation process. This ensures that anyone with limited experience can install it too. For installation, you have two options: to either use double-sided tape to stick it onto the screen directly in a more permanent way or use clear adhesive tabs to securely hold it in place. 

The two installation options allow you to take it off without any downsides. The double-sided tape and adhesive tabs come as part of your purchase. Additionally, this privacy screen is available in two different colors – black and gold. You can also get it as an anti-glare only. Akamai also offers a “no-questions-asked money-back guarantee”. If you’re ever unhappy or unsatisfied with it, you can contact them for a full refund.

Pros

  • Available in different sizes
  • Excellent and long-lasting build
  • Has a simple installation that results in a neat and perfect fit

Cons

  • Not designed to work on touchscreen laptops

3M Privacy Filter

The 3M Privacy Filter is one of the best privacy screen protectors that you can get. It delivers on its promise of keeping any unwanted onlookers from viewing your information. Similar to the Akamai privacy screen, the 3M Privacy Filter decreases the viewing angle to 60 degrees. However, it has a reversible design that caters to both matte and glossy filters. If you prefer a glossy view over a matte view, you can choose that and vice-versa. Besides, the matte filter is excellent in minimizing glare. It’s also perfect for bright areas. The glossy filter is best suited for entertainment, movies, and gaming.

This product is available in both gold and black colors. In addition, it’s available in a wide variety of sizes. You can get it anywhere in the range of 10.1 to 17.3 inches. Moreover, It has a thin, frameless and light design. This makes it lightweight, unlike the Akamai screen protector.

It has two attachment options. You can either use the slide-mount tabs or the attachment strips. Ensure that you have it in the right size for your laptop and you are assured of a perfect fit. Moreover, it features the Advanced Light Control Film (ALCF) technology. This technology ensures that nobody can look at your screen unless they are right behind it. 

Pros

  • It is lightweight thanks to the thin, frameless design
  • You can opt for a glossy or matte filter
  • Comes with two attachment options

Cons

  • It’s expensive

Eleplace Premium Privacy Screen Protector

The Eleplace Premium Privacy Screen is another excellent screen protector choice. It offers a high-quality and effective solution for keeping any unwanted eyes from seeing what you are doing.

The Eleplace screen protector has been designed with optic-grade clarity and is 100 percent protected against scratches. Furthermore, it can prevent up to 99.99 percent of LF-radiation and up to 96 percent of ultraviolet rays from your screen. This way, your eyes stay protected when you are using your laptop. Similar to the 3M and Akamai privacy screen protectors, you have two installation options. You can either use the included double-sided tape or the inbuilt clear adhesive tabs. 

The tape will provide you with a snug fit and hold it onto the screen securely. On the other hand, the adhesive tabs will securely hold it in place over the top of your screen. Both options work very well. As such, it all boils down to your preference.

The Eleplace screen protector has a conical 30-degree field of view. This way your screen is protected from onlookers, whether they are above, to the right or left of your screen. In addition, it minimizes the viewing angle to 60 degrees. 30 degrees on each side and adds a darkened tint. It also has a more solid and thicker feel compared to the 3M filter. Best part? It comes with a lifetime guarantee similar to the Akamai screen protector. Should you be unhappy or unsatisfied with its performance, you can return it and get a full refund. 

Pros

  • Designed with opti-grade clarity and is protected from scratches
  • Has two installation options
  • Comes with a lifetime guarantee

Cons

  • It’s only available in three different sizes

Kensington MacBook Privacy Screen Protector

The Kensington MacBook Screen Protector is an excellent choice for MacBook owners. It’s designed to minimize the chances of wandering eyes from viewing your confidential information. It does this by limiting the field of vision to plus or minus 30 degrees. As a result, the person on either side only sees a dark screen.

Unlike the other screen protectors discussed above, this one utilizes an innovative magnetic strip for installation. It easily integrates with your MacBook’s screen by attaching magnetically to your laptop’s frame. This eliminates setup time and instructions. Most importantly, it prevents any potentially-damaging adhesives from being used. In addition, you can easily take it off quickly. 

However, though not harmful, there is one downside to the magnetic installation. Because it attaches to the laptop’s frame, there is a gap when you close the laptop with the screen attached. This doesn’t prevent your laptop from going into sleep mode. This product has both a matte and glossy finish on either side. The matte finish helps maximize glare reduction and reduces fingerprint traces. The glossy finish helps provide a clear view of your screen. Moreover, this screen protector is able to filter out up to 22 percent of blue light. This product also comes with a storage sleeve for keeping the screen when not in use. 

Pros

  • Suited for specific MacBook laptops
  • Easy to install thanks to the magnetic strip installation
  • Comes with a storage sleeve for storing the screen 

Cons

  • Laptop doesn’t fully close with the screen attached

SightPro Privacy Screen Filter

The SightPro Privacy Screen Filter is available in various sizes. In addition, this product is compatible with various laptop models such as Lenovo, Dell, HP, Samsung, Asus, and Acer, among others. When choosing one, it’s advisable to verify both the height and width of your screen. Making a selection solely based on your screen’s diagonal size can be misleading.

This product provides superior privacy. It’s able to black out your screen blocking any form of viewing from the side. Straight-on, however, you will still be able to enjoy a crystal clear screen. Moreover, your eyes also get protected from harmful glare, blue light, and ultraviolet rays. Because of its superior privacy, you can protect sensitive information while working in public areas, subways, and airplanes. This product also comes with a microfiber cloth for cleaning the screen. 

Pros 

  • Comes with a microfiber cleaning cloth
  • Protects your eyes from harmful glare, UV light, and blue lights
  • Compatible with most laptop models

Cons

  • It doesn’t block visibility from anyone directly behind you regardless of the distance

How Much Can You Earn As A Certified Ethical Hacker?

in Cybersecurity/Hacking
Certified Ethical Hacker

One of the most asked questions by those starting out their hacking career is: “How much does a certified ethical hacker make?”

In this guide, we will look at the different pay scales for ethical hackers. 

What is CEH Certification? 

The certified ethical hacker exam, commonly known as CEH exam, helps certify individuals in the network security discipline from a vendor-neutral perspective. It’s a professional certification offered by the EC-Council.

The course exposes learners to standard hacking practices. Moreover, it showcases a graduate’s knowledge of information gathering, carrying out attack exploits as well as social engineering techniques. 

ethical hacking certification

For an ethical hacker, the CEH certification can help you advance your career. There are a variety of top-tier positions that require CEH certification. Examples would be:

  • Computer Forensics Analyst
  • Cyber Security Analyst
  • Homeland Security Specialist
  • Information Security Analyst
  • Intrusion Detection Analyst
  • Security Engineer
  • Vulnerability Tester

What is the Salary Range for CEH Certification Jobs?

The certified ethical hacker salary varies based on position, experience, organization, and location. Over the years, there have been different surveys carried out to determine the ethical hacker salary. For our research, we used data provided by Payscale and Indeed. The two are great resources for investigating salary ranges for certified ethical hackers. 

To help us unpack the data, we will look at the salary ranges based on experience and job title. 

Based on Experience

  • Entry-level – $50,000 – $100,000 – 0 to 5 years
  • Junior-level – $100,000 – $120,000 – 5 to 10 years
  • Senior-level – $120,000 and above – 10 years+

If you’ve passed your CEH exam, you can add up to nine percent to the above salaries. If you are a certified penetration tester, you can add up to ten percent. 

Based on Job Title

Most similar roles have different titles depending on the hiring organization. The case isn’t different for CEH job titles. Specialization is important if you want to get an edge over your competitors. You can choose to specialize in areas such as networking, forensics, applications security, etc. With a CEH certification, you can still earn a high income without necessarily taking on an ethical hacking job.

Below are some CEH job titles and their salary ranges: 

  • Cyber Security Analyst – $48,083 – $118,990 including bonuses (median of $74,716)
  • Forensics Computer Analyst – $42,685 – $118,615 including bonuses (median of $69,460)
  • Information Security Analyst – $48,521 – $107,004including bonuses (median of $70,817) 
  • Information Security Manager – $73,249 – $153,163 including bonuses (median of $108,662) 
  • Network Security Analyst – $41,361 – $106,829 including bonuses (median of $65,832) 
  • Penetration Tester – $50,845 – $127,713 including bonuses (median of $81,097)
  • Security Engineer – $56,016 – $132,537 including bonuses (median of $88,170) 

Additional Skills That Certified Ethical Hackers Should Have

Besides a CEH qualification, it’s important – as an ethical hacker to possess the following skills: 

  • Advanced knowledge of security protocols and common operating systems, networks and programming, cryptography and encryption techniques, exploits and countermeasures as well as telecommunications
  • Analytical skills to help review and dissect large and complex data
  • Computer language skills to understand software code and follow processing logic
  • Conceptual understanding of common threats and cybercrime
  • Communication and interpersonal skills to clearly convey information in a non-technical language
  • Logic and problem-solving skills to reverse engineer software and break it down into its different parts
  • Patience to keep making attempts to infiltrate a system 
  • Software skills to learn how to use new applications and tools quickly 
  • Psychological and social engineering insights to be able to “get into the mind of a black hat hacker” 

As an ethical hacker, you should be knowledgeable about different hacking techniques. In addition, it’s important to continuously learn and update your skills because the hacking world changes quickly. Furthermore, the more skills you have, the higher your chances of commanding a higher salary. 

If you want to learn more about hacking, you can read our guide on how to become a hacker and the best hacking books for ethical hackers

Top 10 Best Hacking Books for Ethical Hackers in 2020

in Hacking
Hacking Books

If you’ve ever found yourself searching for the “best hacking books for ethical hackers,” then you’ve come to the right place.

In this guide, we take a look at the best hacking books that you can read in 2020.

Top 10 Ethical Hacking Books

The Hacker Playbook 2: Practical Guide to Penetration Testing

hacking books for ethical hackers

The Hacker Playbook 2 is the perfect book for anyone keen on learning about penetration testing. Peter Kim, the author of the book, offers readers a hacking game plan. Kim has worked in the security industry for several years and is also the CEO of Secure Planet, LLC. In his book, he offers readers a detailed guide to what he calls the “game” of hacking. Kim’s style of writing combines hands-on examples with helpful advice. He uses different football-style plays to describe some of the barriers people doing penetration testing face.

These barriers include various types of network attacks, bypassing antivirus software, maneuvering through security controls and privilege escalation.

GoodReads.com Reader’s Rating: 4.3

The Hardware Hacker: Adventures in Making and Breaking Hardware

The Hacker Hardware

The Hardware Hacker was published by Andrew “bunnie” Huang. Huang is one of the most revered hackers globally. Additionally, Huang also published Hacking the Xbox, a book that focuses on reverse engineering and hacking techniques. He is well-known for his contributions to the hardware and hacking fields and has also mentored some developers and hardware startups.

In this book, Huang looks back at his career and shares his experience in open hardware and manufacturing. He shares his experiences in the form of personal interviews and essays on the legitimacy of reverse engineering. This book is perfect for anyone who is curious about hardware hacking.

GoodReads.com Reader’s Rating: 4.3

RTFM: Red Team Field Manual

RTFM

Red Team Field Manual authored by Ben Clark is a must-have for those keen on reading hacking books. This book is a thorough reference guide with no fluff for any serious Red Team members who occasionally find themselves with little or no time to scan through a main page or Google stuff. RTFM also details the basic syntax for frequently used Windows and Linux command line tools. In addition, it also summarizes unique use cases for powerful tools like Windows PowerShell and Python.

If you are looking to learn more about new red team techniques, this is the perfect book for you.

GoodReads.com Reader’s Rating: 4.2

Hacking: The Art of Exploitation

Art of Exploitation

Hacking: The Art of Exploitation was authored by Jon Erickson and is viewed as one of the best hacking books for beginners. The book focuses on different areas that pose a challenge for many beginners in their early ethical hacking career. In addition, it covers various topics such as hacking techniques, network communication, programming, and machine architecture. Moreover, the book details how black hat hacking techniques operate.

Erickson introduces readers to C programming from the viewpoint of a hacker. Moreover, the book comes with a CD that gives readers an entire Linux programming and debugging environment without the need to change the operating system. The software can help any beginner debug code, overflow buffers, and develop their own exploits.

GoodReads.com Reader’s Rating: 4.1

Gray Hat Hacking: The Ethical Hacker’s Handbook

gray hat hacking

Grey Hat Hacking is a book that gives readers proven strategies that have been tried and tested by security experts. This book was authored by Allen Harper, Branko Spasojevic, Chris Eagle, Daniel Regalado, Jonathan Ness, Ryan Linn, Shon Harris, and Stephen Sims. The techniques shared in this book can help readers secure their network and prevent hacking. Moreover, the authors explain in detail the different weapons, skills, and tactics used by hackers. Additionally, they provide case studies, field-tested remedies, and ready-to-deploy testing labs.

This book allows readers to understand how hackers gain access to secure networks, overtake them, and inject malicious code. Furthermore, the book elaborates on reverse engineering techniques, cyber law, and android exploits.

GoodReads.com Reader’s Rating: 4.1

Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker

World's Most Wanted Hacker

Ghost in the Wires was authored by Kevin Mitnick. He became famous between the years of 1979 and 1995 as a computer hacker. Mitnick hacked his first computer system at the age of 16 years. During that period, he was able to access networks and computers from some of the world’s biggest companies. This book tells the real story of Mitnick’s hacking journey on cellular networks, computer systems, and phone switches. Additionally, Mitnick does a great job of explaining how the mind of a hacker works.

Ghost in Wires tells a thrilling true story of suspense, intrigue and unbelievable escapes of a hacker who forced organizations to rethink how they protect their most sensitive information.

GoodReads.com Reader’s Rating: 4.0

Social Engineering: The Science of Human Hacking

Science of Human Hacking

Social Engineering by Christopher Hadnagy reveals why hackers opt to hack into systems instead of asking for access. Hadnagy explains the techniques that hackers use to gain access to sensitive spaces.

As humans, we make decisions that affect everything from our emotions to our security. Likewise, hackers have learned how to exploit the decision-making process and make you take an action that’s not in your best interest.

If you want to learn more about hacking, you can read our guide on how to become a hacker.

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