Tagged: data protection


‘Do Not Track’ On by Default in Internet Explorer 10

Microsoft has good news for users concerned with Internet privacy. They recently announced that the Do Not Track option will be turned on by default for users of Internet Explorer 10.

This decision may not seem like a big deal, but it is. The Do Not Track option has been around for five years and while some online advertisers have promised to respect it, because it has not been a system default, few consumers have turned it on and thus advertisers were not very concerned about it.

Microsoft’s decision to make Do Not Track a system default may abruptly change all of that.


Ask the Expert: Are There Alternatives to Gmail That Respect My Privacy?

Q: “I was dismayed to find out about Google’s new privacy policies that allow them to collect information when I use their products, such as Gmail. I like Gmail a lot and don’t really want to give it up, but I’m wondering if there are any alternatives that don’t invade my privacy. Do you have any suggestions?”

A: You bring up a good point. Many people use Gmail because it’s a good email program, but few people know how much information Google collects about them.

As I mentioned in a blog post a few months ago, the amount of information Google collects and stores on each user is quite staggering.

Google tracks and stores every email you send, as well as every Google search term, the content in every Google chat, every conversation on Google Voice, and every appointment you enter into their calendar, among other things. Even if you’re not logged into Google, they can still track information on you for up to six months.

As part of privacy changes they made a few months ago, if you use any Google products, you cannot opt out of this data collection.

The reason they do this is (no surprise) because of the money they can charge advertisers who want this information. They are betting that you won’t give up their products.


Why College Students’ Online Behavior Makes Them Prime Targets for Identity Theft

College students can’t get by without Wifi.  Six out of ten students won’t even consider attending a college unless it offers free on-campus Wifi, according to a recent study.  But most students don’t seem care about protecting their sensitive information when they’re using Wifi networks.  And that makes them prime targets for identity theft.  If you can’t imagine academic life without Wifi, find out how to make sure your identity doesn’t get stolen before you get your diploma.


online banking

How Online Banking Raises Your Risk of Identity Theft

Are you hooked on the convenience of online banking? Do you think Zeus is the Greek king of the gods and Oddjob and SpyEye are the bad guys in James Bond movies?  In reality, they’re the names of cutting-edge malware used by organized cybercrime rings to take over your online bank account and steal identity and your cash.  Find out how your risk of identity theft rises every time you bank online.


internet criminal

Ask the Expert: Could TPP Make Me an Internet Criminal?

Q: “I’ve recently heard about something called TPP that apparently criminalizes content sharing on the web. This worries me, because I share things all the time! Could you tell me more about what TPP is and what it might do? Would it make me a criminal?”

A: TPP, which stands for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, is a trade agreement currently being discussed by 10 nations that would create highly restrictive intellectual property laws around the world.

This trade agreement raises serious concerns regarding due process, privacy laws, and freedom of expression. If it is ratified, it will completely rewrite intellectual property laws.

TPP would completely change how information is shared on the Internet. It would force ISPs to police our online activity, and give media companies the power to shut down websites and remove content at will.

Sounds pretty scary, huh? Read on to find out more.


Acxiom and Database Marketing: Learn About ‘Big Brother’ on Steroids and How to Opt Out

Have you ever heard of a company called Acxiom? If you’re like most Americans, probably not. But while you may not know much about Acxiom, they sure know a lot about you.

Acxiom knows more about you than the IRS, FBI, Facebook, and Google. It’s likely that they know your age, race, sex, marital status, education background, political leanings, household income, and much more.

Forrester Research once said Acxiom — headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas — “demonstrated surprising nimbleness in modernizing its offering and arguably leads the industry with its digital solutions,” but what does this $1.15 billion-a-year company do behind the scenes?


LinkedIn Hack: Member Passwords Compromised in Security Breach

Earlier this week, reports of a major security breach at LinkedIn surfaced as 6.5 million member passwords were uploaded to a Russian hacker website. On the network’s blog, the company confirmed that such allegations were true.

If you are unsure whether your account was impacted by the breach, you can use a secure tool from the password management firm LastPass, according to Mashable. For the latest tips on keeping your LinkedIn account secure, visit our How-To section on Managing Your LinkedIn Private Settings.

scam artists

How Scam Artists Use Dating Sites

Last month three of the main online dating sites developed a new tool to help site users from becoming the victim of such scams. Match.com, eHarmony.com and Spark Networks recently announced that they will begin screening for online predators.  While many have focused on the fact that this will include screening for sexual predators, we would like to focus on another type of predator they will be working to root out; scam artists.

data broker

The Shady World of Data Brokers: How to Remove Your Sensitive Information From Their Databases

Did you know that there is an entire industry devoted to buying and selling your personal information?

This includes your current and past addresses, your age, the names of your neighbors, and your purchase history, among other things.

The companies that compile and sell this information are called data brokers. It is a huge industry, but most people don’t even know that it exists. And data brokers would like to keep it that way.


Ask the Expert: Are ‘Secure’ Websites Really As Secure As We Think?

Q: “All of my important websites (email account, financial accounts, and social media) use HTTPS, so this means that they are totally secure, right? That’s what I have always been told and I just want to make sure that I have nothing to worry about.”

A: Most of us assume that if a website uses HTTPS, it’s completely secure. The reality is that sites that use HTTPS are not as safe as most people think.

In fact, new information from SSL Pulse has highlighted just how insecure HTTPS really is.


Remember the uproar over SOPA a few months ago? Don’t look now, but there’s another bill currently being debated in the House of Representatives that some people are calling the next SOPA.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the cyber-security legislation Friday, despite claims from privacy groups and technology experts.