Monthly Archive: December 2013

Data Breach Checklist: Lessons to be Learned from Target

The Target data breach that became news on Thursday December 19th had a significant impact on the Identity Theft Resource Center’s call center. The question most frequently asked: I know that I am only one of millions of affected, but what does this really MEAN to me personally? The ITRC gives some pointers of how consumers can handle the Target breach and other data breaches in the future.

TED Talks, Part 1: The Dark Side of Data and Why Online Privacy Is Important

TED Talks are a very large collection of 15-minute presentations from various experts around the world on just about any topic you can think of — and many that you could not. TED is a non-profit which organizes and hosts a variety of speakers from all walks of life.Recently, TED hosted a series of talks called “The Dark Side of Data” in which different speakers explained how Big Data can be a force for good, and how it can be abused.

Alessandro Acquisti, who studies the economics of privacy and information security in social networks, gave a talk called “Why Privacy Matters.” You can watch his talk here.

You Are What You Type: Facebook Tracks What You Decide Not to Post

We all do it: start typing into the status update bar on Facebook and then use our (better) judgment to delete those thoughts and not share them with the world. Facebook calls it “self-censorship,” and according to a report by Slate’ s Jennifer Golbeck, the social network has been tracking and studying our unpublished thoughts.

Put simply: the posts that you have consciously decided to not share, are being analyzed by Facebook. Read on to discover how Facebook did this as well as what it means for your privacy now and in the future.

How Hackers Used Malware to Steal 40 Million Credit Card Numbers from Target

How did hackers steal 40 million credit card numbers from Target customers? How much money are the cards selling for on the black market? And what’s the best way to prevent your computer from getting infected with malware — and avoid becoming an identity theft victim?

Keep reading to learn the answers to those questions, as well as how to make it harder for cybercriminals to get their hands on your private data.

Information Aggregator Websites: Truth, Trust, and Privacy

How do you discern how truthful something is when it is online? This is something to consider when thinking about individual background checks using data aggregator websites. The information is all taken from the public records, and therefore readily available to anyone who wants it.

But what is the true value and accuracy of the data they are reporting? And how can these sites impact your privacy?

Mobile Matters: Silent Threats and Where the Mobile Frontier Is Headed

Just a couple days ago, our team here was rehashing some of our biggest privacy and security topics — but the question we should be asking ourselves is not what’s the big story of 2013 – but what are the silent threats of 2014? Keep reading to learn where millions of silent security threats are lurking and what you can do to stay safe in the new year.

European Parliament’s Public WiFi Network Shut Down After Man-In-The-Middle Attack

The European Parliament has admitted that it fell victim to a Man-In-The-Middle attack that forced it to shut down its public WiFi network. The hacker involved called it “child’s play” and said nearly anyone is capable of performing a hotspot hack.

How did it happen? Exactly the same way it happens at your local coffee shop, airport, or hotel hotspot — unless, of course, you’re using a personal VPN.

Consumers Left In the Dark: ‘Brightest Flashlight’ App Settles With FTC Over Geolocation Allegations

Smartphones make it easy for marketers to use your location data to create a detailed profile and serve you promotions for products in real time. So that free app you’re about to download? It may cost you plenty when it comes to your personal and sensitive information.

Keep reading to find out why the FTC just settled with an app company that turned your smartphone into a flashlight — and what this has to do with geolocation drama and third-party advertising at all.

Shopping at WiFi Hotspots Could Lead to a Not-So-Merry Mobile Christmas

Cyber grinches are shopping at WiFi hotspots this holiday season – and they’re seeking your sensitive information. And if 2013 is any indication — keep in mind Cyber Monday became the biggest online shopping day in history, racking up a record $2.29 billion in online sales — they’ll continue to make out like bandits. Find out how you can avoid becoming a holiday hotspot hacking victim when you shop online.

#Dislike: InstLike App Duped Users Into Revealing Passwords Before Hacking Instagram Accounts

Are you on Instagram? An app that promised more “likes” and followers for Instagram users is suspected of hacking at least 100,000 people, turned unsuspecting app users into willing participants of a giant social botnet. Keep reading for five things you can do to help keep your account safe.

Internet Trends and Computer Privacy: Who’s Not Online and Why

The Pew Research Center’s Internet Project has revealed that 15% of American adults ages 18 and older do not use the Internet or email. But how do they live? Well, they likely check out books at the library, shop at brick-n-mortar retail stores, wait in line at the bank to speak with a teller, don’t email, and {gasp!} pick up a landline telephone to call their friends and family. Keep reading to learn more reasons why these people (happily) live Internet-free.