Monthly Archive: July 2013

Where Are Data Breaches Really Coming From?

Last week’s Citi Bike data breach caused quite a flurry, exposing 1,174 pieces of user data after a technical glitch; like a hurricane, the story broke, caused confusion and chaos, and then just as quickly died down.  In relative terms, the Citi Bike breach is a small one.  However, one of the most surprising elements of this breach were the public comments which expressed outrage at the banks, credit card companies, even the government.

But the reality is: this was a business breach and it was the responsibility of NYC Bike Share to protect the information. With all these people up in arms about the financial industry reporting yet another breach, we think it’s important that consumers really know what they are up in arms about.  Read on to learn more about where data breaches come from.

Like Leaving a Diary On a Park Bench? Google Spends $600,000 On Free WiFi In 31 San Francisco Parks

Following similar moves in cities like New York and Boston, data giant Google is investing some $600,000 to bring free wireless Internet access to 31 San Francisco playgrounds, plazas, recreation centers, and parks.

(Because what the world needs is more distracted parents neglecting their children on dangerous playground equipment while they feverishly update their Instagram accounts!)

Click to read more about how you can stay safe on free park WiFi.

terms and conditions

A Movie about the Death of Privacy in the Internet Age

In order to use many online services like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others, we usually have to agree to the terms and conditions of that service. But how many times have you actually read these terms and conditions?

More to the point, do you really know what you are agreeing to?

Journal of Forensic and Investigative Accounting Finds Unsecure WiFi Hotspots Create a Perfect Environment to Commit Fraud

If you’re one of the innocents who still believes your sensitive information is secure at WiFi hotspots, a new article in the Journal of Forensic and Investigative Accounting might lead you stop and think before you connect. Its conclusion:  The amount of traffic and lack of security inherent in public wireless hotspots create a perfect environment to commit fraud.

Find out what you can do to protect yourself the next time you use a WiFi hotspot.

In The News: How To Avoid Getting Hacked On Vacation

Over the July Fourth Holiday weekend more than 40 million Americans traveled. As the masses hit the road and connected to public WiFi hotspots across the country, PRIVATE WiFi CEO Kent Lawson made a number of press appearances to educate consumers on the dangers of hotspot hacking and what they can do to keep their data protected.

Appearing on more than 15 media outlet across the country, Lawson explained how public wireless connections are not secure, “Whether it’s paid or not, whether there’s a password involved or not, nearly all of them are completely unsecure. The reason that Wi-Fi hotspots put passwords on their Wi-Fi is not to protect the individual, but rather to limit usage.”

The Pros and Cons of a Credit Freeze vs. Fraud Alert

Individuals who receive a data breach notification letter are not automatically victims of identity theft.  There is, however, a strong correlation between data breaches and identity theft.  According to a recent Javelin study, one in four data breach notification letter recipients eventually becomes a victim of identity fraud.  However individuals that are not yet victims of identity fraud will not necessarily face the same level of complexity in responding to the issue.

Two of the strongest tools in the arsenal are the Fraud Alert and the Credit Freeze.  Below is the explanation of what each action will accomplish, the pros and cons of each, and why timing is also key.

Starbucks and AT&T Think You Should Be Using a VPN

If you use free WiFi networks at Starbucks coffee shops listen up!

AT&T provides the hotspot and buried in the Terms and Conditions is the following sentence: “If you have a VPN, AT&T recommends that you connect through it for optimum security.”

Read on for more details.

USA Today Magazine: Hotspot Users Need to Think Before They Connect

“More than 12,500,000 Americans were victims of identity fraud last year–one victim every three seconds.”

The above is the first of many startling facts presented by PRIVATE WiFi CEO Kent Lawson in a recent article, “There Is No Vacation from Cybercrime at WiFi Hotspots,” from the July, 2013 issue of USA Today Magazine. Featured in the Law & Justice section of the publication, the story discusses the varied vulnerabilities at many of the 825,000+ public hotspots worldwide and what users can do to ensure that their data is safe.

You can read a full copy in our press section here or you can check out these 10 highlights:

More Consumers Turn to Mobile to Research, Book Travel

Ever have a day where you hop off your laptop and straight onto the iPad? With your iPhone safely by your side, of course? Then you’re not alone, according to new mobile trend insights from location-based mobile ad platform JiWire.

The primary take-away from JiWire’s recent study about mobile trends is how multi-device usage is quickly becoming the norm in consumer behavior. Click to read more and determine whether any of these statistics mirror your mobile behavior.

Mobile Threats to Your Online Security Are Skyrocketing

Cybercriminals are increasingly setting their sights on smartphones and other mobile devices, according to two new reports from the Anti-Phishing Working Group and Juniper Networks Mobile Threat Center. What’s driving their interest is a huge opportunity – more than two billion mobile devices that will be processing $1.3trillion in payments by 2015. Find out how to protect your online security when malware goes mobile.