As you probably know, all the basic information about you (age, gender, location, income) have become commodities on the web – readily available to any company that wants to choose which ads to display to you – or anyone else who is just curious. But the quantity and level of detail which the credit card companies have about us represents a radically deeper threat to our privacy. This Halloween, I suggest you dress up your kids as Visa and MasterCard, then explain to your neighbors about the tricks that the credit card companies are planning. What are the tricks? Click the headline above to read more.
Monthly Archive: October 2011
Just as better computer chips have accelerated the spread of PCs and consumer electronics over the past 40 years, new hacking techniques are making all kinds of critical infrastructure — even prisons — more vulnerable to attacks, according to this Associated Press report. The article says a research team, which was allowed to inspect a correctional facility, found vulnerabilities that would allow it to open and close the facility’s doors, suppress alarms, and tamper with video surveillance feeds.
This article shares the story of a man whose home has become a victim of identity theft — someone has stolen photos of his house and posted them online in an attempt to lure willing renters to send them a cash deposit. As the article says, “it’s easier than ever for these scammers to run these scams. They have access to the Internet; they have access to sophisticated technology that makes it very cheap and very easy for them to reach millions of potential victims.”
When the billionaire founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, said concerns about privacy tend to be “old people issues,” maybe he didn’t know that it’s young people who run the greatest risk of becoming victims of identity fraud. Now studies show they’re finally getting worried enough about it to take action to protect themselves online. Whether you’re young or old or somewhere in between, find out why privacy protection needs to be part of your daily online routine.
If you’re a small business owner, how much time and energy do you spend thinking about the threats posed by identity theft? Did you know your personal identity could become compromised through your business? Like most sole proprietors, you’re far too busy managing the day-in, day-out logistics of the company to spend much time keeping current on why it’s imperative to use a personal VPN, or how not to fall for phishing scams. Click the headline above to learn valuable tips to prevent, detect, and remedy identity theft at your business.
Using a personal VPN is one of the best ways to avoid falling victim to a cyber attack, but there are a host of other scams that can lead to online fraud. The more commonly used methods include auction fraud, credit card fraud, identity theft, phishing attacks and holiday/charity scams. As we’ve reported many times before, and as The Miami Herald now reports, phishing schemes are when “a fraudster poses as a bank or other legitimate entity and uses emails and scam websites to obtain a victim’s personal information, such as bank account numbers and social security account information. In this scam, fraudsters direct victims to follow a link or call a number to update an account or correct an alleged problem. The link directs the victim to a fraudulent web site that appears legitimate. Instead, the site allows the fraudster to steal the victim’s personal information. Bottom line, only go to the official website to check accounts and be leery of emails claiming there is a problem with your financial accounts.”
More than 3.5% of the U.S. population has had their personal health information (PHI) compromised. In the first half of 2011 alone, more than five million medical records have become lost or mishandled — that’s 5,000,000 in six months! Due to such egregious medical data breaches, some “patients will put off seeking treatment, as they are concerned about the unintended consequences suffered when their PHI may become compromised, ” according to this HuffPost Tech article.
Naked and Wireless: The Wi-Fi Alliance and The New York Times Strongly Recommend Personal VPNs in Hotspots
Most people already use firewalls and anti-virus to protect their desktops and laptops — but did you know that a whopping 82% regularly walk around “naked” when using the Internet in wifi hotspots? Perhaps naked is a bit salacious, but it’s the best way to illustrate exactly what is happening when people hop online to check email or Facebook, or any other site that requires highly sensitive personal details like passwords, logins, bank account numbers, or Social Security numbers. What happens when people use public wifi without any “clothes” — or privacy — is that they become extremely vulnerable to hacking, identity theft, credit fraud, and a host of other privacy violations. Click the headline above to read more.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has warned its employees to monitor their credit reports for signs of fraud after a contractor shared their brokerage accounts, according to this HuffPost Tech article. The SEC will offer employees a free year of credit monitoring, though they’ve also been warned to place a fraud alert on their credit files as a precaution.
PRIVATE WiFi is proud to announce its cafe outreach program, where PRIVATE WiFi will partner with small business owners who offer free WiFi to ensure that their users are protected when they go online.
Ever hear the joke about the hugely successful software company that was scaring folks into buying basically nothing more a malevolent cure for fake computer viruses? Unfortunately, that actually happened to very smart people, the same “tech savvy” folks who are careful about what information they download on their computers, and even among those who know better than to click on a “Win a free iPad!” link on Facebook. Wired magazine shares the story of two con men – who are still on the lam — who sold their scam software to millions of unsuspecting consumers. How did so many fall for this ploy? Click the headline to learn more.
Mashable reports on five new spots in New York City offering free WiFi: Astoria Park in Queens, Herbert Von King Park and McCarren Park Field House in Brooklyn, Tompkins Square Park in Manhattan, and Clove Lakes Park in Staten Island. Several parks — Battery Park, Rumsey Playfield, areas of Thomas Jefferson Park in East Harlem, and Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx — got free WiFi over the summer, part of a plan to bring free WiFi to 26 parks in the five boroughs.