Privacy & Identity

Trust, love, password sharing?

A strong password is a great way to prevent hackers and identity thieves from accessing your accounts. But what if you share it with someone you know?

Many teens and young adults are giving passwords to friends or loved ones as a sign of trust or love. After all, sharing is caring, right? But what might seem like a milestone in a relationship can turn out to be a very harmful decision.

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Privacy & Identity

Thousands of consumers downloaded a browser-based game. You'll never guess what happened next.

Thousands of people downloaded a popular 3D browser-based game from the Chrome Web Store. That game, described as a "fast-paced, action-packed free-running castle adventure game," advertised "High Speed Acrobatics," "Awesome Outfits and Skills," and "Insanely Dangerous Worlds." The danger, it turned out, was to consumers’ privacy.

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Privacy & Identity

Here’s what snow days are great for

Snowed in? Here’s a cabin-fever buster – catch up on FTC videos, games, and audio tips! It’s the quickest way to learn how to protect yourself, and your family, from fraud and scams.

Oh no, it's that time again!

Put the long winter months to good use by getting your financial house in order for the rest of the year. A great place to start is to review your credit report, which can affect your ability to shop for a car or a home, or even apply for a job. It can also help you spot errors and prevent identity theft.

Lucky for you, we have a short video explaining just how to go about getting your free annual credit report.

Free Credit Report video

Guess what we’ve been up to? Protecting your privacy — and more.

Protecting your privacy is a job we take seriously at the FTC. We’ve already brought hundreds of privacy and data security cases. In total, they affected billions — that’s right, billions — of consumers. There’s more to come, but as we celebrate Data Privacy Day today, we want to share some highlights from our efforts over the past year.

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Privacy & Identity

Report identity theft and get a personal recovery plan at IdentityTheft.gov

Millions of people are affected by identity theft each year. It might start with a mysterious credit card charge, a bill you don’t recognize, or a letter from the IRS that says you already got your refund — even though you didn’t.

If someone uses your information to make purchases, open new accounts, or get a tax refund, that’s identity theft. Recovering from identity theft often takes time and persistence. That’s why today’s announcement from the FTC is a big deal: New features at IdentityTheft.gov make it easier to report and recover from identity theft.

Image of IdentityTheft.gov

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Privacy & Identity

This year’s Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week is January 25-29

It’s tax season, and you know what that means: identity thieves who want to steal your tax refund are at work. Find out how to stop them during Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, January 25-29.

The FTC and its partners are hosting a series of events to help you understand tax identity theft, how to minimize your risk of becoming a victim, and what to do if thieves have stolen your tax refund.  Check these out:

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Privacy & Identity

Is your baby monitor secure?

It may be time to update an old lullaby with a new stanza: “Hush little baby, don’t say a word, unless your Wi-Fi baby monitor is well-secured.”

Why? It turns out that some baby monitors that broadcast live audio and video feeds over the internet have few security protections. Nobody wants a monitor that lets you keep an eye on your baby from your computer or mobile device if it allows a stranger to hack the feed and watch, too.

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Privacy & Identity

Scammers fake Social Security email

The subject line says “Get Protected,” and the email talks about new features from the Social Security Administration (SSA) that can help taxpayers monitor their credit reports, and know about unauthorized use of their Social Security number. It even cites the IRS and the official-sounding “S.A.F.E Act 2015.”

It sounds real, but it’s all made-up. It’s a phishing email to get you to click on a scammer’s link.

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Privacy & Identity

Medicare imposters want to steal your money. Don’t let them.

Pop quiz: If someone calls you asking for your bank account number, should you give it to them?

Answer: Never. Hang up — it’s a scam.

We’ve heard about different kinds of imposter scams on the rise. In one scenario, scammers call, pretending to work for Medicare. They say they need to verify your bank account number — and it might sound convincing. In truth, it’s a trick to steal your money.

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