Monthly Archive: May 2011

Cellphones, Facebook, Email: Booming Trends Among Seniors, Despite Online Security Concerns

The older generation is increasingly embracing technology to stay connected and remain independent, but technology can be intimidating for some seniors due to fears associated with people having access to personal information. As this article in The Tennessean points out, “computer use among Americans age 65 and older has doubled in the past 10 years, and Internet usage among that age group has more than tripled. Nearly half of people age 75 and older own a cellphone. Seniors are the fastest growing demographic on Facebook.”

How Cyberpunks Hack Wifi Hotspots

Think hacking is difficult? Think again. CEO Kent Lawson outlines the two basic ways that cyberpunks can snoop on your online activities and explains why security experts (and even most WiFi hotspot Terms and Conditions) urge consumers to use a Virtual Private Network to secure their Internet communications.

Not-So-Hot Part About Wifi Hotspots: Free Wifi May Cost You Plenty

Check out this article and video from a CBS news affiliate in Atlanta, which shares the “not-so-hot part about WiFi hotspots,” and why unencrypted devices are easy for hackers to crack. Check out the video for a glimpse of people working “triple-fisted” at the café (that would be working at a table with a smartphone, laptop, and a tablet). Also hear why a security expert thinks public hotspots are now easier than ever for hackers to infiltrate, thanks to tools like Firesheep.

Use Security In Wireless Hotspots, and Three Other Tips to Avoid Becoming a Data-Theft Victim shares four simple steps to prevent you or your company from ever becoming a victim of data theft. The number-one tip is to “steer clear of WiFi” but if and when you do use public wireless, the article says to make sure to use the most up-to-date security protections. Also, don’t access company files from WiFi hotspots, as they may not be protected. Read the entire article here for the other three tips.

Dislike to Facebook’s ‘Like’ Button: Graphic Illustrates How Social Network Blurs Line Between Consumer Privacy and Interests

Did you know that every time you’re reading an article on a non-Facebook page, like MSNBC, or CNN, or any other website that has installed the social-media widgets, those details are forever tied to your online profile? Check out the details in this article, along with a powerful visual graphic, to understand how it all works.

‘Scam Jam’ Educates Seniors on Identity Theft Risks, Common Fraud Tactics

Seniors in Richmond, Kentucky, recently attended a free “Scam Jam” seminar to learn how to prevent falling victim to insurance fraud or identity theft. The speakers told the audience that the elderly are one of the largest targets of insurance swindlers, and an average identity-theft victim can expect to see over $6,000 illegally charged in their name. Some common investment fraud schemes occur via Internet and social networking scams, and as this article in The Richmond Register explains, “identities are stolen for a variety of reasons, but can allow the con artists to open credit card accounts, take out loans, apply for utility and cell phone services, open bank accounts, seek employment, and obtain medical care.”


Facebook and Hackers: I Dislike This Dislike Scam

Most Facebook users are familiar with the “like” button. It was first introduced to Facebook in February of 2009 and from the start was met with huge success. It is a great way for users to show that they support anything from a bagel shop to their friend buying a new car. Inevitably though, with the invention of the “like” came the burning desire of users to be able to dislike something. Thus the mythical “dislike” button was born. There were many questions and rumors surrounding whether or not Facebook would allow users to express their discontent for their friends’ relationship status change from “in a relationship” to “single,” to express discontent with a post, or disagree with a friend’s choice of sports team affiliation.

Senator Quizzes Apple, Google, Microsoft Over Consumer Privacy Rights

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal has asked executives at Apple, Google, Nokia, Blackberry maker Research in Motion, Skyhook, and Microsoft about how they collect data from private wireless networks to create maps of WiFi service. Citing privacy concerns, Blumenthal wrote in the letter that “attempting to document the locations of personal wireless networks in individuals’ homes without their knowledge or consent raises issues of what constitutes a reasonable expectation of privacy for an ordinary citizen.” This article on explains more about the Senator’s issues, as well as other wireless news affecting the big search and smartphone providers.

Android Smartphone Users: Avoid Public Wifi Networks

Three computer researchers say they have discovered a major privacy flaw with Android smartphones that may lead to attacks over unencrypted WiFi networks. This article on CNN points out that “users of Android devices running versions 2.3.3 and below could be susceptible to attack when they are connected to unencrypted WiFi networks. Anyone else on that network could gain access to, modify or delete Android users’ calendars, photos, and contacts.” Just 3% of Android users have the latest versions of the operating system, but a Google spokesperson says the company is working on fixing the problems for all users.

Five Ways the FTC Hopes to Protect Your Privacy on Mobile Devices

The Federal Trade Commission recently had a meeting with Congress to explain how it is protecting consumers’ privacy on mobile devices. The FTC said it is working to create solutions that protect consumers without stifling technology innovations, but what exactly does that mean for the millions of smartphone and tablet users out there? Check out five highlights from the testimony you need to know.