Monthly Archive: October 2012

Remain Vigilant to Avoid Falling for Election Scams

It is nearing November during a presidential election year and that means that there are abundant opportunities for identity thieves to take advantage of Americans.

During the height of the political discourse, scam artists will use the public’s interest in the campaigns against them by luring in victims to scams by baiting them with politically related hooks. These criminals know that this is a good time to try to scam people and will be out in full force trying to trick and deceive consumers into giving away their
personal and financial information.

Like any other important event, scam artists use the presidential election as a ruse for their criminal activity.

Read on to learn about past scams — and how to protect yourself today.

Childhood Identity Theft: What Parents Need to Know About COPPA Rights

Parents, are you taking advantage of your COPPA rights?

After all, your child’s sensitive personal information is extremely valuable. But you have to know your rights before you can start to protect your child’s online identity and security. But nowadays, where to begin?

Lately it seems that children are born and have their entire lives documented online — first it’s by parents uploading newborn photos (along with child’s name and birth date!) to Instagram and Facebook (all of the photos shared with dodgy security settings at best).

Next it’s uploading innocent home videos to YouTube that expose not just a glimpse into the family home, but also potentially reveal personal details like home address, where and when you take vacations, when you celebrate birthdays, and with whom, along with the names, faces, and approximate ages of every family member (why not have the camera zoom in on recent bank statements to make a cybercrook’s job that much easier?).

Read more to learn ways to protect your family — and which popular websites are taking advantage of your child’s personal information.



Cookies and Politics: Are Political Campaigns Tracking You?

Have you ever wondered whether political parties are placing tracking cookies on your computer when you visit their websites?

This worries me, because I don’t want to be tracked by anyone, so I dug deeper to find out what exactly they are tracking.

As you probably know by now, online advertisers place cookies on your computer so they can track which websites you visit. Based on the websites you visit, they serve you relevant ads.

Political parties use similar tracking cookies in an effort to help sway your vote. So yes, you are being tracked by one or both campaigns if you visit their websites and do not employ cookie-blocker software.

It’s called data mining, and it’s a multi-billion dollar industry that most people don’t even know is happening. And advertisers, as well as the political campaigns, want to keep it that way.

Let’s take a look at how and why they do it.


Why Medical Devices Provide Little or No Protection Against Hackers

Wireless technology has made it possible to create implantable medical devices that do everything from monitoring the heart rhythms of patients to delivering the correct amount of insulin to diabetics. But according to a new report by the General Accounting Office, that lifesaving technology has also left the door wide open to hackers.

Find out why wireless medical devices could be dangerous to your health and to your pocketbook.

ITRC Public WiFi Usage Whitepaper: Does Public WiFi Attract Data Thieves?

The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) recently conducted its Public WiFi Usage Survey in order to ascertain the level of consumer knowledge, awareness, and usage of public WiFi.

It is important to do research on this topic as public WiFi assumes an ever more expanding role in a widening portion of consumers, posing an alarming amount of potential hacking, identity theft and fraud.

Data Breaches Continue to Happen At Banks, Colleges, and Beyond

October may be National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, but that doesn’t  mean cyber-crime is taking a vacation. Here are just some of the major data breaches — including users’ Social Security numbers and dates of birth — that have been reported in October. Read on for more information.

internet security

Celebrate National Cyber Security Awareness Month by Increasing Your Internet Security

Can you imagine what life would be like without the Internet? These days we use the Internet for everything from buying goods and services, submitting our taxes, applying for student loans, managing our bank and investment accounts, and even powering our homes.

Even those things we think aren’t directly connected to the Internet usually are. Read on to learn more.


Almost 80% Believe Free Wi-Fi Can Lead to Identity Theft, Study Finds

A new study of 377 Americans highlights the growing concern of using public Wi-Fi Hotspots. The survey, conducted by the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) in conjunction with PRIVATE WiFi, revealed that 79% of respondents believe that using a free Wi-Fi connection can lead to identity theft. 45% of respondents said they were concerned about their security when using a public hotspot and 15% indicated that they were “very concerned.” 44% of respondents weren’t aware that there is a way to protect their sensitive information while using a public hotspot.


How do Facebook Hacks lead to Identity Theft?

There has been lots of attention paid to Facebook, and possible links to identity theft, over the past year.  The fact is that criminals do want your information, and will use it in many ways you probably have not imagined.  It is important to protect your user credentials, limit your friends to those you really do know, and be suspicious of links, games, and other enticements which may be links to security problems.  Clicking that link to the “Hot Blond Pole Dance” might be an expensive trip

Bring Your Own Device or Bring Your Own Disaster: How BYOD Can Jeopardize Your Company’s Sensitive Information

Bring your own device has become the mantra of millions of employees who want to use their own mobile devices to get the job done wherever they are.  BYOD can mean more freedom, flexibility and productivity for workers in and out of the office.  But it can also open the door a host of security problems for their companies. Find out how your business can prevent bring your own device from turning into bring your own disaster

Is Public WiFi Safe?

In the past year public Wi-Fi usage has gone up 240%, but the questions we should be asking: do we need to protect ourselves when we use it and how can be keep ourselves secure? A recent survey by the Identity Theft Resource Center in conjunction with PRIVATE WiFi indicates that 79% of respondents believe that free wireless can lead to identity theft. The findings are clear: a personal VPN is your best line of defense.


Remember, Not All VPNs are Created Equal

Most of us probably assume that if we are using a virtual private network (VPN) either at home or at the office, we are completely safe from hackers. After all, who can hack a supposedly encrypted network?

Well, it turns out that not all VPNs use the same technology, and some of this technology can be hacked by a new device called CloudCracker.

Is your VPN safe? Read on to find out more.