F-Secure helps customers enjoy their data when, where and how they want it

208640498_bc8f77cb87Content Anywhere from F-Secure enables operators to offer branded services to store and retrieve their data and content easily, flexibly and securely – giving expanded market reach, increased ARPU, and additional branding opportunities.

Your customers win because they can store, sync, share and access their photos, videos, documents and other data securely, from any device. They get a consistent user experience across their digital life with security based on F-Secure’s proven technology. You win through additional revenue opportunities and association of your brand.

Consumers are adopt more and more devices for daily use – from smart phones to tablets to laptops and pcs. And they want those devices to share and have access to more and more content – from simple documents to photos and videos and more. Research shows that consumers want personal cloud services and that they want to know their photos, videos, documents, and data are safe, secure, and under their control. According to our research* 68 percent of consumers are concerned about third parties gaining access to their content due to vulnerabilities in cloud storage providers’ technology, and 42 percent feel they are losing control of their content. Yet, these are issues that should be of concern for everyone!

“Content Anywhere is the world’s safest cloud,” says Timo Laaksonen, Vice President, Content Cloud at F-Secure. “We are a security company with over two decades of security expertise. Our cloud is built and managed according to proven security processes. It’s not simply an afterthought like some other services out there.”

Designed with platform openness, data portability and data sovereignty in mind, Content Anywhere can easily be configured under your brand’s look & feel, while the service platform integrates directly to your authentication, provisioning and billing systems. Further VAS services can also be launched on the platform with ease – giving you the opportunity to provide your customers with access to their precious content from any device with confidence it’s private and secure because it is offered from a brand they trust: yours.

*The F-Secure broadband survey covered web interviews of 6,400 broadband subscribers aged 20–60 years from 14 countries: France, the UK, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, USA, Canada, Brazil, India and Japan. The survey was completed by GfK, 25 May–1 June 2012.

[Image by ^riza^ via Flickr]

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Advertising – to block or not to block? (Poll)

I have become pretty immune to advertising on the net. The brain develops an algorithm to locate the relevant content and filter out the junk around it. Frankly speaking, ask me about what ads there were on the page I just visited, and I have no clue. And I believe that’s true for many of us. Except that our internal ad-blockers aren’t perfect. The advertising may still affect us unconsciously. This issue has been in the headlines a lot since Apple introduced a simple way to implement ad-blocking on iPhones and iPads. Many took advantage of the opportunity and released new tools, among them the excellent F-Secure ADBLOCKER. And many media providers got upset as this development will no doubt increase the usage of ad blocking, and thus reduce advertising revenues. Some newspapers are already attempting to prevent users with ad-blockers from using their site at all. And some publishers admit that advertising has gone too far and they had it coming. So let’s take a look at the pros and cons of advertising. First the pros. Advertisers pay for your “free” stuff. It makes it possible to get a lot of excellent services and content without paying money. Instead you pay by exposing yourself to ads and letting companies profile you for targeted advertising. Some may actually find ads, especially well targeted ads, useful. They may contain special offers and campaign codes that are of true value to you. Advertising can be entertaining. And then the longer list, the cons. Advertising often disturbs your user experience. You have to locate the beef among glossy blinking ads. And you may even have to dodge pop-ups to actually see your content. Advertising may lure you to make more, often unnecessary, purchases. That’s basically the objective of advertising. Advertising often tries to trick you into opening the advertiser’s site. For example by mimicking a Next- or Download- button in the ad. Advertising may show content that is unsuitable for the viewer. Advertising can be a way to deliver malware. Ads are delivered from separate servers. A compromised ad server may show infected ads on sites with a good reputation. I.e. in places where you don’t expect to run into malware. Advertising will consume bandwidth and make pages load more slowly. This can cost you real money depending on your data plan. Advertising is the main reason to track you. Many companies attempt to profile you as accurately as possible to make targeted advertising more effective. Good targeted advertising may not be evil in itself, but misuse of the collected data is a real threat. It seems likes the cons win hands-down. But there is one argument in favor of advertisement that deserves some more attention. The publishers who take an aggressive approach against ad-blocking typically say that blocking ads is like taking a free ride. You try to benefit from free content without paying the price. And this is an argument that can’t be dismissed just like that. Remember that advertising is the engine for a significant part of the net. Imagine that 100% of the users would use 100% effective ad-blockers. What would our virtual world look like in that case? I don’t know, but it would definitively be a different world. But on the other hand, it’s easy to find sites where advertising definitively has gone overboard. So it is understandable if the advertisers receive little sympathy for their fight against ad-blocking. This is yet another question without any clear and simple answers. So let’s pass it to you, dear readers. What do you think about advertising on the web? [polldaddy poll=9139628]   [caption id="attachment_8591" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Article trying to defend advertising. The beef is there under the ad. ;)[/caption]   Safe surfing, Micke   Image: iPhone and www.streamingmedia.com screenshots  

October 22, 2015
Mikko Hypponen and Allen Scott receiving the award from Helen Anderson of Accenture.

F-Secure SAFE named Best Security at the ISPA Awards 2015

The Internet Service Provider Association (ISPA) held the 17th UK Internet industry awards on Thursday 2nd July at The Brewery in the City of London. The award ceremony was opened by none other than F-Secure’s chief research officer and world-renowned security expert, Mikko Hypponen. F-Secure’s comprehensive security solution SAFE won the inaugural Security Award. SAFE was shortlisted alongside Memset, Censorset, Fido Net and Talk Straight. SAFE is F-Secure’s flagship internet security product which works across PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets. It is the first consumer security service that allows complete management of family security across multiple devices from a simple, intuitive and self-service portal. It uses award-winning cloud-based scanning engines to ensure users stay safe online. SAFE is more than just an anti-virus offering, as it also protects online banking and shopping through its Banking Protection feature and, for mobiles, it provides privacy features, as well as lock, wipe, locate and alarm. For families, there are advanced parental control settings that allows parents to define how much internet access children have, as well as which websites and apps they may use. ISPAs panel judges cited the flexibility, portability and range of features, including banking, identity and virus protection SAFE offers makes it an excellent choice for ISPs and their customers. F-Secure UK’s managing director Allen Scott said of the win, “As you can imagine, we are thrilled to have been selected by the judges for this award. We work closely with ISPs like Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Vodafone to provide our security products to their broadband subscribers. Keeping safe online is an important issue and this award is testament to the caliber of our product and the extra mile the team goes.” Other big winners of the evening were the Rt. Hon. David Davis MP and Tom Watson MP - both won the F-Secure sponsored Internet Hero Award for their legal challenge to guarantee the privacy of their constituents and their effort to raise the level of debate in Parliament on communications data issues. While, the Home Secretary, Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP won the Internet Villain award for trying to undermine the basic constitution of the publics freedom to privacy, with the aim of implementing the Snooper’s Charter.  

September 10, 2015
sign license

POLL – How should we deal with harmful license terms?

We blogged last week, once again, about the fact that people fail to read the license terms they approve when installing software. That post was inspired by a Chrome extension that monetized by collecting and selling data about users’ surfing behavior. People found out about this, got mad and called it spyware. Even if the data collection was documented in the privacy policy, and they technically had approved it. But this case is not really the point, it’s just an example of a very common business model on the Internet. The real point is what we should think about this business model. We have been used to free software and services on the net, and there are two major reasons for that. Initially the net was a playground for nerds and almost all services and programs were developed on a hobby or academic basis. The nerds were happy to give them away and all others were happy to get them for free. But businesses run into a problem when they tried to enter the net. There was no reliable payment method. This created the need for compensation models without money. The net of today is to a significant part powered by these moneyless business models. Products using them are often called free, which is incorrect as there usually is some kind of compensation involved. Nowadays we have money-based payment models too, but both our desire to get stuff for free and the moneyless models are still going strong. So what do these moneyless models really mean? Exposing the user to advertising is the best known example. This is a pretty open and honest model. Advertising can’t be hidden as the whole point is to make you see it. But it gets complicated when we start talking targeted advertising. Then someone need to know who you are and what you like, to be able to show you relevant ads. This is where it becomes a privacy issue. Ordinary users have no way to verify what data is collected about them and how it is used. Heck, often they don’t even know under what legislation it is stored and if the vendor respects privacy laws at all. Is this legal? Basically yes. Anyone is free to make agreements that involve submitting private data. But these scenarios can still be problematic in several ways. They may be in conflict with national consumer protection and privacy laws, but the most common complaint is that they aren’t fair. It’s practically impossible for ordinary users to read and understand many pages of legalese for every installed app. And some vendors utilize this by hiding the shady parts of the agreement deep into the mumbo jumbo. This creates a situation where the agreement may give significant rights to the vendor, which the users is totally unaware of. App permissions is nice development that attempts to tackle this problem. Modern operating systems for mobile devices require that apps are granted access to the resources they need. This enables the system to know more about what the app is up to and inform the user. But these rights are just becoming a slightly more advanced version of the license terms. People accept them without thinking about what they mean. This may be legal, but is it right? Personally I think the situation isn’t sustainable and something need to be done. But what? There are several ways to see this problem. What do you think is the best option?   [polldaddy poll=8801974]   The good news is however that you can avoid this problem. You can select to steer clear of “free” offerings and prefer software and services you pay money for. Their business model is simple and transparent, you get stuff and the vendor get money. These vendors do not need to hide scary clauses deep in the agreement document and can instead publish privacy principles like this.   Safe surfing, Micke     Photo by Orin Zebest at Flickr

April 15, 2015