Stay Safe Online: What Honeygain Does to Ensure Your Online Safety
Updated: Dec 14, 2021
It seems like no issue is as prevalent in the XXI century as online safety. The more time we spend on the web, the more new apps and services we try, the more potential risks we might encounter.
Last week, Cisco Talos Intelligence Group issued a report identifying potential security threats associated with proxyware applications (if you haven’t read it yet, you can find the full text here). The report explained in detail how malicious hackers might exploit booming applications by creating infected installers that can harm a potential user’s device or network activity.
Here at Honeygain, we were thrilled to see Cisco Talos – one of the largest commercial threat intelligence teams in the world – bringing this issue to public attention! Unfortunately, some websites have jumped to spreading the news without taking the time to understand them fully and came up with completely incorrect interpretations that were quickly made public.
When it comes to this type of attacks, it’s important to understand they can be directed at all kinds of companies: you could experience the same kind of threat by downloading any other popular type of software (even seemingly safe stuff like MS Office) from unofficial sources. They are in no way exclusive to Honeygain or proxyware.
The main reason hackers find this particular industry appealing right now is its rapid growth, which provides them with a much higher chance to spread malware and harmful add-ons and benefit from it.
What does Honeygain do to deal with security threats?
While proxyware and a demand for it did exist before Honeygain, it wasn't always as open and transparent as it should be, which might have caused certain misinterpretations in the past. The lack of user awareness can cause unnecessary worries and concerns that could easily be solved by publicly providing all the relevant information – which is exactly what Honeygain has been doing in its 2+ years in the industry.
Honeygain has strived to change this approach from the very beginning by introducing a completely new business model – a crowdsourced network based on revenue share and transparency that benefits every single Honeygainer. We also educate our users, speaking openly about the way their Internet bandwidth is shared and the business cases it can be used for.
Transparency and online safety have always been our top priorities: we firmly believe that a complete understanding of what is happening behind the scenes and how is an absolute must for our users to trust an application 100%.
We’re happy to report that in our latest User Experience and Awareness survey, Honeygainers have rated their comfort with sharing their Internet connection with our network at 4.15/5 on average, and more than 91% would gladly recommend us to their friends and family. In addition to championing transparency and accountability, Honeygain has taken multiple additional measures to ensure the strongest possible protection for our users, as well as the entire company and brand. Let’s break down the five main steps we’ve taken!
All user payouts are protected by 2FA
When a website uses single-factor authentication, it means you only need one thing to log in or confirm an action in your account – your password. While this does add some security, it’s not enough for you to stay safe online: not everybody follows the guidelines of creating strong passwords, and some might even be harmed by malicious hackers.
Just like the name suggests, two-factor authentication (2FA) means you need more than just a password to be successfully identified by an app or a website. Once you submit a correct password, you are asked to input a unique code you receive by email, text message, or a special authentication app installed on your device. This adds an extra layer of online safety: aside from the password, you also need to have real-time access to your device to be able to receive the authentication code. While 2FA’s not a standard version on most websites, you can set it with the largest email providers, social media networks, online marketplaces, and the like.
While Honeygain doesn’t require you to input any extra codes as you sign in, 2FA has been required for every payout request since December 2020. Once we introduced BTC as an additional payout option, we instantly saw a rise in online fraud attempts: hackers used forums and fake websites to spread malware-infected versions of Honeygain. We took no time to react and make 2FA a required step for payouts: this allowed us to protect your earnings and make sure they never land in the wrong hands.
Special algorithms prevent fraud and abuse
The Honeygain team doesn’t just sit around and wait for hacking disasters to happen! In the past, we used to monitor all the user activity closely, using a specially devised fraud and abuse algorithm. Each case that caused serious suspicions was investigated in-depth by our data specialists, and all confirmed rule-breakers were manually banned from using Honeygain and informed about it via email. In a typical month, the number of users we marked as suspicious or ban completely can reach up to 1,000 – imagine the workload!
The number of active devices is limited to 10
Up until March 2021, a single Honeygain user could have had millions of devices – however, this made balancing the traffic supply pretty challenging. Because of this, the team decided to limit the number of active devices to 10 per account: while you can still have more devices connected, the network won’t be using more than 10 at any given time.
To ensure that all the IPs are being managed by their owner, we created a new product for ISPs and IP block managers who must prove all the IPs belong to them and pass the KYC standards. We called it Swarmbytes! Aside from helping us to properly adjust the demand and supply (which in turn provides a better chance for more users to earn money effortlessly!), limiting the number of devices also increases your online safety by minimising the app’s appeal to bad actors.
The analysis we made before launching Swarmbytes showed that using more than 10 active devices on a single account was often the first warning sign of an ongoing fraud – which is how we selected the optimal threshold! Even if fraudsters want to benefit from installing the software on other people’s devices unbeknownst to them, the limit now makes this operation impossible to upscale and become highly profitable.
Dedicated specialists deal with web security issues
We firmly believe that these days, online safety is certainly not something any company should be taking lightly. All web security risks and challenges should be handled by professionals who can dedicate all their time and resources to identify, evaluate, and solve any issues that might harm the company or any of its users.
Understanding perfectly well that the safety and trust of users is a key factor in our success, Honeygain has made it a point to form a team of web security, anti-fraud, and law professionals armed with all the knowledge and experience needed to ensure safe operation. Among other tasks, they cooperate with law enforcement agencies on a regular basis, sharing all the information concerning potential law infringement cases or illegal actions. This way, Honeygain can make a real impact on identifying and prosecuting malicious attackers – no threat is left overlooked!
Honeygain is a registered trademark
Whenever we explain our most common business cases, we often mention brand protection. By using Honeygain’s crowdsourced web intelligence network, companies worldwide can instantly see if someone’s impersonating them online, selling fake goods, or otherwise damaging the company’s reputation by using its or its products’ name.
Unfortunately, there’s a plethora of websites, online groups, discussion boards, and social networking sites where people try to impersonate Honeygain, too – and that’s not something we can ignore. These fraudsters spread incorrect information, thus leaving a wrong impression on potential users and damaging our reputation. Registering a trademark is the ultimate step of protecting any brand: it provided us with the right to take legal action against anyone who tries to use Honeygain’s name without our permission.
If the name of your company or product is not trademarked, you can’t do anything about others using it, no matter how popular or established it is or how massive of a user base it has. Honeygain has been officially trademarked in March 2020, which allows us to go after bad actors who try to impersonate us or use our name illegally.
What can You do?
Always keeping your online safety in mind, our safety experts wish to remind you that it’s not all in our hands. There are also steps you should be taking to improve it and prevent potential harm, such as making sure you’re using safe passwords, installing all the software updates, and backing up your personal files just in case.
If you have any questions or concerns, you can also contact us by email at any time: our team is always ready to provide you with more information and explain everything in more detail. We’d also be incredibly grateful if you reported any cases of someone impersonating or misusing Honeygain you come upon online!
Most importantly, keep in mind (and remind others!) that it’s always the safest to skip unauthorised sources and only download software from the official websites.
When it comes to Honeygain, you can always find the latest versions of our app for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android on our Download page. This way, you can be absolutely sure you’re not getting any infected installers that include malicious add-ons or unwanted software that could potentially harm your device or network!
Obviously, aside from downloading the app, you’re going to need to create a Honeygain account. Why not click the button below to do it and collect a $5 starting gift right now?