Monthly Archive: September 2011

Statistics, Cybercrime, and Keeping Customers Happy

Do businesses have vested self-interests in under-reporting fraud incidents in order to keep customers happy? According to this Huffington Post article, “the significant disconnect within many corporations, where internal security experts are unable to justify increased security methods or spending due to a lack of measured information, presents a grave danger to the well-being of our global economy. Having trusted measures and performance benchmarks will significantly reduce this information gap between security and executive leadership in organizations. It will help formulate more cost effective defense strategies against cyber crime.”

FTC Consumer Complaints Put a Face on Public Wifi Hacking Victims

What do a truck driver, an airline passenger, a company employee traveling on business and a naval reservist training for a Mideast mission have in common? According to complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission, all these consumers became unknowing Wifi hacking victims while they were using public hotspots.  Find out what you need to do to avoid becoming a hotspot hacking statistic.


Congress: Seeking Answers to Supercookies, Groupon Consumer Privacy

The co-chairs of the Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus — Representatives Edward Markey and Joe Barton — wrote a letter to the Federal Trade Commission demanding answers about “supercookies” and whether some websites are able to recreate users’ profiles after people deleted their regular cookies. This follows their letter to Groupon’s CEO asking similar questions about whether customers’ personal information could be vulnerable to hackers. Click the headline above to read more.

Amtrak Regional Passengers to Get Wifi?

Already a feature on Amtrak Acela trains, could free WiFi be headed to all other Northeast regional trains? In October, commuters may get wireless access on some trains, according to AOL Tech, though the article notes there has been no official word from Amtrak yet.

Private WiFi Certified as McAfee Secure Site

Private WiFi, a young and innovative company in the security software market, is excited to announce that their website,, has been approved as a McAfee Secure Site. “While it is no surprise to us,” says Kent Lawson, Private WiFi’s CEO, “it means a great deal to get recognition from such a prestigious company as McAfee that our website is a secure and safe website for users to visit.”

Wireless Network Fraud: Two Seattle Men Indicted On Hacking, Credit Card Theft

SC Magazine, an IT trade publication, says two Seattle men were recently charged in a 10-count federal indictment for breaking into more than a dozen business networks to steal credit card numbers used to purchase tens of thousands of dollars in equipment and luxury goods. A U.S. Attorney on the case says the pair “combined ‘old school’ methods, such as burglary, with high-tech methods, such as using unprotected wireless networks, to hide their identities, while draining bank accounts and committing fraud.”

Survey: Business Travelers at Increased Risk of Hotel Hacking, Identity Theft

A report from British insurance company Willis Group Holdings says business travelers who book hotel rooms online are putting themselves at risk. The survey found that insurance claims for data theft worldwide jumped 56% last year, with a bigger number of those attacks targeting the hospitality industry. In fact, 38% of all cyber attacks were aimed at hotels, resorts, and tour companies. Click the headline above to read more.

Ad Dollars Or Consumer Privacy: Which Is More Important?

Do you think about any “trade-offs” with stronger online privacy regulations? While the United States looks to the European Union for privacy ideas, Time magazine suggests that the EU’s privacy standards are associated with a 65% decrease in the effectiveness of online advertising. The article here says this is important because “advertising is how services like Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, and the rest pay for themselves.” Which begs the question: which is more important? Advertiser dollars or consumer privacy?

online shopping

Huge New HTTPS Vulnerability Found For Online Banking, Retail Stores

You use PayPal and shop online, like most people out there, but here’s a scary story that will make you think twice before purchasing anything online again. It even affects the security of your online banking. But wait, you think just because you’re using a bank’s “secure website” that you have nothing to worry about? Up until now, everyone has assumed that if a website is using HTTPS for online transactions, it means that it is completely safe. But just in the past few weeks, researchers have discovered a serious weakness in this technology that allows hackers to read and steal supposedly encrypted data. Click the headline above to read more.

Survey: 80% of Americans Fear Online Identity Theft

When you consider the widespread impact of data breaches at Epsilon and Sony PlayStation, it’s not surprising that customers are more cautious about conducting business with certain financial institutions and retailers. According to a new survey, “80% of Americans, 81% of Britons, and 83% of Australians who have personal medical information are concerned about moving that data to an electronic form because of the risks of identity theft or invasion of privacy resulting from this information being exposed on the Internet.”

Facebook Makes Changes… Again: What Do They Mean For Your Privacy?

Just in time for the big F8 Conference yesterday, Facebook made some big changes to the user experience of the site earlier this week. As is the tradition in Facebook mythology, members aren’t happy and complaints are flowing through the News Feed like never before. But we aren’t here to talk about whether the new features on Facebook are good or bad; we want to discuss what they mean for your online privacy.

L.A. Times: Public Wifi Risks Include Digital Eavesdroppers, Malicious Hackers

Like leaving your diary on a park bench, connecting to the Internet using public WiFi allows anyone with the right software to see what you are doing, according to the Los Angeles Times. In fact, as we’ve reported for more than a year, the best defense is to use a personal VPN like our Private WiFi software. In fact, the L.A. Times article mentions that using a personal VPN means “your online experience will be that much safer” and using a VPN will encrypt your browsing and work as a shield to protect and encrypt your activity.