Monthly Archive: February 2013

FTC’s New Security Videos Admit Free WiFi Attracts Hackers

The Federal Trade Commission has some “new” information about how to protect your personal information online.

We say “new” in quotes because, well, the security tips aren’t so new to anyone who is aware of encryption and virtual private networks like Private WiFi.

Click to find out more about the four newly released videos from the FTC.

HTC Settles Security Case, Agrees to Audits for 20 Years

Mobile device manufacturer HTC America has agreed to settle charges that it failed to patch a security vulnerability on its smartphones and tablet computers.

These failures introduced security flaws that placed sensitive information about millions of consumers at risk. The flaw was first discovered by a developer in 2011.

Click to find out more about the settlement with the FTC.

Identity Thief Sticks AT&T, T-Mobile with $8 Million Bill

A man has been arrested in New York for allegedly participating in an international telecommunications fraud scheme that used more than 1,000 stolen identities to activate fraudulent mobile phone accounts. He then made telephone calls to fraudulent overseas numbers that charged a premium connection fee.

Click to find out why the “dialing for dollars” scheme could land him in prison for 20 years!


Facebook Graph Search: The Good, The Bad and The Scary

Facebook has always had issues when it comes to privacy. Each time the social media giant comes out with a new feature, it seems there is an uproar by privacy advocates about the implications and potential security issues. This took place with the Timeline switch, the sponsored stories debacle, and now one of Facebook’s newest features, Graph Search, is in the hot seat.

Let’s take a closer look at this new tool and find out what it is, why you would use it, and how to protect yourself from its prying eyes.

Ask the Expert: Is the Government Really Trying to Get Access to Websites for Surveillance Purposes?

The FBI is requesting back-door access to social media sites, as well as web email providers, and VoIP companies like Skype. Is it legal? Could it also open the door to hackers? Click to read the entire article and find out why the FBI wants an “easy” way to wiretap some online communications.

IRS Battling Identity Theft in 2013

Identity theft related tax fraud remains a significant problem, despite the IRS preventing an alarming $20 billion of fraudulent refunds in 2012. This is a large increase in protection of refunds, $6 billion more than in 2011.

Click to find out more about what the IRS is doing for both fraud prevention and victim assistance. Identity Theft Not As Funny As in the Movies

Last week we reviewed the new Identity Thief movie and shared a trailer of the hilarious hijinks between Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman. Not surprisingly, the subject of identity theft is getting a lot of mainstream coverage these days. In fact, the Today show’s website recently ran an article suggesting that identity theft is not as funny as in the movies.

Click to learn more about how Hollywood publicizing such a crime is forcing people to talk about an issue that is often misunderstood at best, ignored at worst. Plus, we share great security tips from our good friends at the Identity Theft Resource Council!


‘Identity Thief’ Movie Official Trailer: Prepare to Laugh

Funnywoman Melissa McCarthy, hilarious Jason Bateman, and a movie focused on raising awareness of identity theft? Bring on the popcorn!

The Identity Thief comedy, which premieres February 8, will hopefully raise awareness in a comical way. Click below to check out the trailer and prepare to laugh!

Understanding Why the IRS Issues ‘PIN Numbers’ to Tax-Fraud Victims

It’s Tax Season 2013 but are you taking all necessary steps to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft? Sadly, millions of Americans have already become victims of tax-related fraud and will now need to use a special PIN when filing their returns. Yet another “hurdle” for victims to have to jump through or a benefit for victims?

Also worth listening to is an IRS-produced podcast entitled “Are You a Victim of Identity Theft?” that’s included in this article.


The Emperor’s New Laptop: Outfit Your PC with the Right Security

Remember the children’s classic The Emperor’s New Clothes?

Check out this great piece from our friends at AOL, which compares how the tale relates to real-life lessons with your PC’s security. The article defines terms like sniffing, sidejacking, and evil twin while explaining that “an unsecured public WiFi network at your favorite coffee house, for instance, can be like a paradise for hackers where they’re given free reign of unsecure laptops.”

Everyone wants to know exactly what security is really needed on their laptop, and by following all of the important lessons listed in this article, you’ll prevent “feeling a draft from being underdressed with your laptop’s security.”

Ask the Expert: What Personal Information is Google Giving to the Government?

In the latest installment of Ask the Expert, CEO Kent Lawson explains how different modes of information transmission are treated differently by the law. For example, the government needs a court order to look at your email, but not at your phone records or texts.

Click to read more and find out just what sensitive personal information Google may be handing over to the government about you. Best to assume you are being listened to or watched when doing anything online, indeed.