Monthly Archive: June 2013

Facebook Careless With User Data, Admits Privacy Breach for 6 Million Users

Are the terms “Facebook” and “privacy violation” becoming synonymous? It would almost seem that way, with millions of users skeptical that the social media giant does enough to protect their sensitive personal information due to ever-changing security settings. And now, data breaches.

Just months after Facebook admitted that malware breached its developers’ systems, yet another serious data breach happened last week and affects six million users. The mixup was a result of a glitch between “People You May Know” (friend suggestions) and “Download Your Information” (an archive of your Facebook history). The breach left the email addresses or telephone numbers exposed for six million people for an entire year.

Keep reading to see what Facebook has to say for itself — and how it’s moving forward.

Q&A: Eva Velasquez, ITRC’s President, On Identity Theft, Online Fraud, Consumer Security Risks

Private WiFi recently chatted with Eva Velasquez, the President of the Identity Theft Resource Center. Later this month, she’ll start blogging periodically for Private WiFi’s private-i blog and will be covering specific subjects such as how to protect yourself from medical identity theft to broader topics such as privacy in the digital age.

The ITRC’s goal is to ensure that all the people who need its help are aware of its range of services. Read on for insights from a leading security professional who has made huge contributions, both helping fraud victims and protecting the general public.

Worried That the NSA is Spying on You? Perhaps, but Remember That Silicon Valley Has Been Doing the Same Thing For Years

The public outcry that the National Security Agency has been spying on Americans has been enormous. At this point, we don’t know the exact scope and breadth of the NSA’s privacy intrusions.

Where will these revelations about the NSA take the wider online culture? Read on to find out how we’re beginning to see how much personal information about us is being used (and potentially abused) by both corporations and our own government.

#Facebook Embraces the #Hashtag: 3 Tips to Protect Your #Privacy

A staple of social networks like Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram (to name just a few of the slew), the hashtag, denoted by the # symbol, is making waves on Facebook this week.
Turning topics and themes into clickable links on your News Feed or Timeline, hashtags allow for something that Facebook has never done before: making posts searchable. 

 So what does this mean for your privacy? Keep reading and follow our three tips that will ensure that hashtags don’t put you in the spotlight.

Consumer Privacy Around the World: 5 Things You Should Know About Google’s Plan to Launch WiFi Balloons

Designed to bring the Internet to places where people are not yet connected, Google’s announcement to launch 30 WiFi-equipped balloons came as a shock to security experts and consumer privacy advocates. Click to learn the top five things you should know about WiFi balloons and what they mean for your online privacy.

Mobile Banking On Unsecure Wireless Networks Is Risky Business

Mobile banking is exploding. While physical banks continue to decline, nearly a third of U.S. adults with a bank account say they use a mobile device to access their banking information. But given the fact that mobile banking is a frequent target of mobile malware and most consumers don’t use security software on their mobile devices, just how safe is mobile banking?  If you use unsecure wireless networks, you won’t like the answer.

Beware of the Vacation Overshare

So you are headed to the Bahamas next week and you want to make sure everyone knows how much fun you are having. However, you may want to think twice before posting that picture of you relaxing in the sun on a white sand beach.  There are a few reasons you may want to refrain from immediately posting every wondrous moment of your hard-earned vacation.

Facebook Graphic: Know Which Posts Are Public, Which Are Private, When to Speak Up, and When to Stay Silent

Jay Shepherd (@jayshep on Twitter) has created a very cool guide that simplifies security when it comes to comments on Facebook. For example, you would never leave a comment to someone’s post that says you just bought a new flat-screen TV, you will be out of town for the next two weeks,  you love using PayPal to buy new things, you don’t ever use a firewall or VPN, you love hanging out at Starbucks to get work done, and you love banking at My Neighborhood Bank.

Yet a crook can use several public posts you make about your lifestyle habits to string together a more detailed, accurate attack — whether in your home or online. Click to check out the cool graphic.

Take Our Mobile Device Survey

PRIVATE WiFi wants to know more about how you and other consumers access WiFi from their smartphones and tablets. The security of your mobile device is the topic of our new Mobile Device Survey, co-sponsored by the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC).

Facebook Security: Worms, Spam on Rise As User Data Becomes Currency of Hacker Economy

Currency of the new hacker economy? That would be access to your sensitive personal data on Facebook (and beyond). A new McAfee security report says a resurgence in online threats is related to the cybercriminal community believing that social network users constitute a very target-rich environment of potential victims.

Read on to find out why this is happening — and how these threats are connected to your Facebook log-in, contacts, and preferences.

When It Comes To WiFi, Why Don’t We Ever Learn?

By all indications, our basic human drives – hunger, thirst, sleep and sex – may soon be eclipsed by our overwhelming need to connect to WiFi.

Three out of ten respondents to a survey by Broadcom said they can’t go without WiFi access for more than an hour. Six out of ten claimed they can’t live without WiFi for more than a day.  What’s clear is that our urge to connect has trumped our need for online privacy – and it’s costing us plenty:  As the number of WiFi connections has soared, identity theft and data breaches have reached record highs. Hopefully, taking a long hard look at our worst WiFi transgressions will put us on the right path to connecting safely – at hotspots and at home.

Sensitive Information: Facebook is Using Data Brokers to Find Out More About You

While Facebook may be increasing its revenue dollars by allowing companies to target ads at you, is it the right thing for them to use companies that freely sell your personal information?

Data brokers compile information about you, such as your age, race, sex, weight, height, marital status, education level, political beliefs, buying habits, household health, vacation dreams, and more. It’s a very lucrative business. Read more to find out how your personal, sensitive, and private information is being shared.