Monthly Archive: January 2011

do not track

Online Privacy: The “Do Not Track” Pact

CEO Kent Lawson tackles the controversy surrounding the proposed “Do Not Track” legislation and how it may limit advertisers from knowing about your Web-browsing habits. What worries you most about your online privacy? Where do you stand on the proposed new rules?

2011: Year of Epic Hacking

Not even one complete month into 2011 and we’re already seen an “epic” amount of computer hacking. A Computerworld blog post points out the many accounts of security breaches around the globe, alluding to the fact that “perhaps 2011 will be the year of the cracker, filled with all kinds of hacks and breaches?” Check out which high-profile companies (i.e., Domino’s Pizza, Lush Cosmetics) have been victimized, as well as various other privacy intrusions that have happened around the world this month.

Wifi and the Law: Whose Wifi Is It Anyway?

Do you think leaving your WiFi wide open is being a good neighbor? Maybe you think using an open WiFi network is okay, too? Well, you might want to rethink that.

Smartphone Data Vulnerable to Base Station Spoof

Like the controversial Firesheep, a new hack shows the insecurity of wireless networks by sending out a jamming signal that blocks 3G connections, tricking some smartphones into automatically downgrading to a vulnerable 2G protocol. The problem is that this is a trick for hackers to possibly steal your data. As this Forbes blog points out, it can be used to “intercept the data sent to and from smartphones that run Android, iOS, Windows Mobile and other operating systems, practically any laptop or tablet that can connect to the Internet via a 2G cell connection, or spy on surveillance cameras or industrial control systems that use those connections.” The Forbes article adds that this hack can be defeated by simply using an encrypted connection.

data privacy

Data Privacy Day 2011: A Focus on Online Privacy and Security

Friday, January 28 is the fourth-annual World Data Privacy Day — a day dedicated to fostering discussion about privacy protection in our digital age. After all, as the organizers will point out, privacy and security have become a central part of our new digital reality. In just the past month, the newly crowned Miss America answered a question about national security and WikiLeaks, the Golden Globe for Best Picture went to The Social Network, and Mark Zuckerberg and Julian Assange became Time’s Person of the Year and runner-up, respectively.

Digital Photos Hide Data — and Cyberstalkers Can Find It, Expert Warns

Because smartphones encode a GPS stamp called a geotag on all digital photos, criminals could look at publicly available photos online and use that data to figure out your address or plan a crime spree based on your usual patterns. Before you upload any photos to social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter, or share the photos online in any way, check out this article, which has tips on ways to disable geotagging on most phones.

Online Privacy: French President Hacked on Facebook

The president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, had his Facebook account hacked, with bogus messages written and falsely attributed to the president’s identity. According to this Associated Press report, Sarkozy later wrote on his official Facebook page that the hacking incident was done “perhaps to remind me that no system is infallible.”


Credit Fraud: Cosmetics Company Lush Shuts Down UK Website, Speaks Directly to Hacker

Popular cosmetics company Lush has deactivated its UK website after a hacker stole thousands of credit card numbers. The company’s U.S. operations say customers can continue to shop “without concern for their privacy” because it operates on a separate platform from those in the United Kingdom.

Computer Privacy: Two Are Charged With Fraud in iPad Security Breach

Two men who are associated with a loose group of hackers and programmers, and who have previously exposed the security vulnerabilities on Apple computing devices, have been arrested for conspiracy to access a computer without authorization and one count of fraud. The New York Times reports that some think blame could be “leveled at both sides” since the men claimed “all data was gathered from a public Web server with no password, accessible by anyone on the Internet.”


Identity Theft and Wifi

Private WiFi CEO Kent Lawson’s new blog outlines the astounding ways identity thieves target the approximately 11 million identity theft victims each year. In an effort to stem the scary privacy risks consumers face each day, he also announces an exciting new partnership with the well-known nonprofit organization, the Identity Theft Resource Center®.