Attorney, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, FTC
Last month, the FTC hosted a workshop on ransomware, one of the most serious online threats facing people and businesses today — and the most profitable form of malware criminals use. How does ransomware work? Hackers hold your files “hostage”— often encrypting them — then demand payment, typically in bitcoins, for you to get them back.
Missed the workshop? Check out our videos featuring conversations with security researchers, technologists, law enforcers, and business leaders. Want some bite-sized takeaways? Here are some tips to protect your devices from ransomware, and what to do if you’re a victim.
October is almost here — which means, so is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). What does that mean for you? It’s a great time to make sure you’re #CyberAware. Are you doing everything you can to protect your personal information and devices? Check out these questions — and corresponding short videos — to see what you’re doing right, and where your cyber habits might need some work.
Imagine if everything on your computer was “kidnapped” — including all of your precious family photos and important personal documents. And the only way you could access any of it again was if you paid a lot of money — or bitcoins — to a hacker. Even if you pay, there’s no guarantee you’ll get your stuff back.
Sounds like something out of a movie, right? Unfortunately, it’s happening in real life. It’s called ransomware.
Counsel for International Consumer Protection, FTC
Do you know how to keep your personal and financial information safe? Or what to do if a scammer misuses your information? Now is a great time to find out. May 16-20, 2016 is Privacy Awareness Week, an initiative of the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities Forum. The Forum lets privacy agencies in the region share information about privacy practices and rules.
This year’s theme is Privacy in Your Hands, and focuses on practical steps you can take to help keep your information private and safe year-round.
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.
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.
If you own a computer, you’ve probably seen this message before: Java Update Available. You know that leaving outdated software on your computer can make it more vulnerable to viruses and malware, so you’ve always agreed to the updates. Unfortunately, the FTC says keeping Java updated didn’t necessarily keep it secure.
Does your internet browser ever display ads that just seem wrong — for example, an inappropriate ad on a kid’s website, an ad that blocks content on the page, or an ad on a government site? It might look something like this:
The next time you get a message offering to fix a supposed problem with your computer, you might keep this in mind: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Because there’s a good chance that call is a tech support scam.
Recently, I told you about the new credit and debit chip cards designed to reduce fraud, including counterfeiting. Now, I'm reporting on scammers who are trying to take advantage of the millions of consumers who haven't yet received a chip card.