Monthly Archive: August 2013

Health Insurance Exchange & Online Safety

With the open enrollment period for Health Insurance Exchange websites right around the corner — October 1, 2013 — the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) recently issued a scam alert warning consumers to be aware of fake databases. The most frequently asked questions from consumers have been “are the databases safe?” and “is my information secure?”

Read on to discover the ITRC’s assessment of the risk and for tips on how to keep your medical data safe.

Report Finds Malware Attacks Are Defeating Online Banking Security Measures

If you’re a smartphone user who’s hooked on the speed and convenience of mobile banking, chances are good you think it’s safe to access your account, pay bills and deposit checks online. Well, don’t bank on it.

According to a new report by McAfee Labs, cybercrooks are focusing their malware attacks on smartphones instead of computers because consumers are increasingly using them for activities such as online banking. Find out how you can protect your information from hackers when you bank online.

When Tragedy Strikes, Fake Charities Pounce: Tips to Prevent Bank Fraud, Identity Theft

After a national tragedy, an outpouring of grief and sympathy from Americans and people around the world is common and a way to come together. Offers of assistance and donations typically flood in after such tragedies.

Although hard to comprehend, many scammers use this opportunity to cash in. Read on for tips to prevent bank fraud and identity theft from happening to you!

Immersion’s Metadata, the Internet Police, and Gmail’s (Lack of) Privacy: What Exactly Is Private Anymore?

Remember when freedom and anonymity online meant no one was sure what rules — if any — applied to Internet use? Email was private, right? As it’s been almost two decades since most of us started using email with regular frequency, this means that the web is no longer just a technology of the present, but also, a record of our past.

Click to learn more and listen to technology writer Nate Anderson discuss his new book, The Internet Police: How Crime Went Online, and the Cops Followed. 

DefCon Conference Report: Your Home Router and Even Your Appliances are Vulnerable to Hackers

Recently, 15,000 hackers and security experts gathered in Las Vegas for DefCon 21, an annual conference where all the new hacking exploits and computer vulnerabilities are discussed.

While attendees learn how to wage new attacks on many systems, the conference also discusses how to prevent these attacks.

Military and Social Media Scams

Often a vulnerable population from a consumer protection standpoint, the military has a unique set of challenges when engaged in social media as well. In fact, the Army has a division (the Online and Social Media Division in the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs) that recognizes the need for educating its soldiers on the effective and safe use of social media. Additionally, just a few weeks ago, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, commonly known as CID, warned the Army community to be “vigilant of internet scams and impersonation fraud, especially within popular social networking and dating websites.”

The Identity Theft Resource Center offers up some tips on how military personnel can keep themselves protected against social media scams.

PRIVATE WiFi Launches Affiliate Program

The PRIVATE WiFi affiliate program has launched on the Commission Junction affiliate network by which website publishers can refer subscribers and earn a continuous revenue stream.


Ask the Expert: What Google Knows

Q: “I just read a shocking article which stated that Google recently told a court that users should not expect privacy when using their services, and that if a user wants privacy, they should use another service. I love gmail and YouTube, but I’m scared about a huge corporation knowing so much about me. Should I be wary of using Google products?”

Click to find out more!

Try ‘MaskMe’ for Free: New Privacy Tool Creates Temporary Safe Mask for Email, Credit Cards, Online Contact Details

How many times have you been standing at a checkout and the cashier ask for your email address as just a normal part of purchasing a new pair of socks or batteries? Why do stores even collect such personal information? Most of us have learned to say “uh, no thanks!” to those invasive requests, but there’s never been an easy way to skirt the issue when shopping or socializing online. Until now!

Mobile Users Beware: Reports Find Adware and Most Top Mobile Apps Pose Serious Security Risks

Mobile users can’t live without apps.  But the bad news is 83% of the most popular mobile apps pose some sort of security risk, according to a new report by Appthority.  One big risk:  Apps sending users’ private information to third party services such as ad network companies. Find out what you can do to protect yourself from apps and adware that threaten your online privacy.

Identity Theft Awareness: FTC Advises Consumers on Dealing With Hacked Email or Social Networking Accounts

The Federal Trade Commission has new tips to help people deal with email and social networking hacks, whether it’s lessening the chances of a hack in the first place, or recovering from a hack once it happens.

But in case you don’t think hacking can happen to you — check out the following statistics from our friends at the Identity Theft Resource Center. You’ll be shocked to learn how many private records have been compromised since the ITRC started keeping track in 2005!

Mobile Phone or Monitoring Bracelet? Court Rules Your Cell Phone Tracking Data is No Longer Private

The United States Appeals Court for the Fifth Circuit recently ruled that law enforcement does not have to issue a warrant in order to access historical location data that is stored by cellphone providers.

The court ruled that your location data is a “business record” and is not private information about you protected by the Fourth Amendment. To paraphrase Joe Biden, this is a BFD.