Monthly Archive: December 2011

Identity Theft Expert Shares Story of Getting Identity Stolen

Perhaps nothing is sadder than when an identity theft and fraud expert shares his own personal story of being a fraud victim.

Indeed, he tells the Delaware Online newspaper that his credit card was shut down because someone had gone on a $3,000 online shopping spree.

How could something like this happen?

Bureau of Justice Says Identity Theft Rose 33% From 2005-2010

An estimated 8.6 million households had at least one person age 12 or older who experienced identity theft victimization in 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice statistics.

This was an increase from the 6.4 million households victimized in 2005.

Here are some more interesting stats, based on data from the latest National Crime Victimization Survey:

Indiana Launches Free Identity Theft Prevention Toolkit

The state of Indiana has launched an identity theft prevention toolkit in an effort to aid Hoosiers in protecting themselves against identity theft through education, detection practices, and corrective procedures.

Identity theft starts with the misuse of your personally identifying information such as your name and Social Security number, credit card numbers, or other financial account information.

Selling Consumers’ Privacy: How You Can Protect Yourself from Identity Theft and Credit Fraud

Have you ever wondered why some companies seem to know more about you than your friends and relatives do?  That could be because your personal information is a commodity that’s sold by credit bureaus – not only to lenders, but to other companies that sell it and resell it. According to the FTC, three of those credit report resellers unknowingly handed over 1,800 consumer credit reports to hackers because their security procedures were so lax.  Find out what you can do to protect your identity when your privacy is for sale.


Protect Against Online Identity Theft In Hotel Lobbies, Airports This Holiday Season

CBS News has assembled a list of ways to prevent becoming a victim of online identity theft during the holiday season. Check it out here.

Identity thieves prey on holiday travelers at airports and hotel lobbies. Bridget Carey, senior editor at talks to Erica Hill and Chris Wragge and offers tips on how to protect yourself while on the road for the holidays. Watch the full video here.

A Handy List of Airports Offering Free Skype Wifi This Week

Skype has just announced it is offering free wifi in 60 U.S. airports through December 27.

The service is available to travelers on PCs, Macs, and iPhones.

While a company spokesperson says its efforts are aimed at “helping people maintain meaningful connections this holiday season from wherever they may be,” privacy-savvy travelers should limit what they share online in wireless networks. It’s always best to avoid accessing sensitive information over wireless networks unless the data is encrypted with a personal VPN like PRIVATE WiFi.

Here’s a handy list to remind you where to find Skype’s limited free offering:

Nintendo to Offer ‘Automatically Connected’ Free 3DS Wifi At Airports

Nintendo has teamed up with hotspot provider Boingo to offer free wifi in 42 airports, a well-played marketing move intended to highlight the connectivity features of the Nintendo 3DS.

Nintendo 3DS gamers will be able to access the Nintendo Zone, where they can download content and view all Nintendo news and special offers, stream online videos, and download games.


Ask the Expert: The Year in Review

I have enormously enjoyed writing the “Ask the Expert” column this past year.

I started this column because I’m passionate about online security, and I wanted to share with you all that I’ve learned. Since we are near the end of the year, I thought it would be good to provide you with a reference of all the columns I have written.

Sharing on Social Networks Could Lead to an Un-Happy Holiday: The Social Media Privacy Report

It is the time of year when giving becomes a top priority. And while presents and exchanges of food and drink are the standard during the holidays, make sure you aren’t giving a thief too much information via social media networks. This can give a criminal the potential to burglarize you; turning your holiday joy into sadness. Think of your privacy, security and safety before you post!

California Launches eCrime Unit Targeting Technology Crimes

Hoping to become a leader in using innovative law-enforcement techniques to target cyber-criminals, the state of California has launched an eCrime Unit to identify and prosecute identity theft crimes, cyber crimes, and other crimes involving the use of technology.

The department will be staffed with 20 attorneys and investigators to protect California consumers and businesses.

The following are just some examples of where the new department will focus its efforts: