Online Security

Help avoid online order slow- or no-shows

Unless you enjoy the bustle of traditional holiday shopping, you’re probably thankful for being able to get what you need online. Unfortunately, the FTC has gotten reports from consumers who didn’t get their orders as expected – or never got them at all.

Here are tips to have a good online shopping experience:

Buying an internet-connected smart toy? Read this.

Before giving in to your kid's plea for a new toy, you may want to collect some information about it. Why? Well, for one thing, that toy may want to collect information about your kid. I’m talking about internet-connected smart toys with cameras, microphones, and sensors. The ones that know your kids’ voices (and yours). Smart toys that silently collect data on each interaction, listen to conversations, and share their location while kids play.

The Marriott data breach

Marriott International says that a breach of its Starwood guest reservation database exposed the personal information of up to 500 million people. If your information was exposed, there are steps you can take to help guard against its misuse.

Happy holidays! Shopping tips from the FTC

The gift-giving season is just around the corner, and the gift-buying season starts, oh, any minute now. The FTC has an early gift for you — tips to help you shop wisely and protect your personal information.

It’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is spooky enough with its ghouls and goblins. National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is here to remind us how to stay safe and secure from real (and maybe even scarier) threats – malware and scammers.

No gift cards for tech support scammers

Hey computer users, it’s time for a pop quiz.

A) You get an urgent call or email from a tech support company, saying your computer has a problem. Should you give the company remote access to your computer to make repairs?

B) A warning announcing “suspicious activity” or “security threat detected” appears on your computer screen. Should you call the number shown on the screen to talk to a technician?

C) One of these tech support companies asks you to pay for its services, maybe by using a gift card (like from iTunes or Amazon) or wire transfer. Should you?

Coming soon: new cybersecurity education for small business

Last year, we heard from small business owners about their cybersecurity challenges at a series of roundtable discussions the FTC hosted with some of its partners. What we learned is that small business owners need and want information on how to keep their computer systems and business data safe. So we’re planning to provide that to them. Later this year, the FTC will launch a small business education campaign on cybersecurity, in partnership with other federal agencies.

We share our plans for this business education campaign and other specifics about what we heard from small business owners in the new FTC’s staff perspective report Engage, Connect, Protect: The FTC’s Projects and Plans to Foster Small Business Cybersecurity.

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Jobs & Making Money

It’s National Password Day

When is the last time you reviewed the passwords to your bank account, e-mail or credit card accounts?

Today is a good day to do it. Why? It’s National Password Day. Together with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), we are sharing tips to make your passwords more secure.

Shopping for a VPN app? Read this.

You probably know by now that using your mobile device on the public Wi-Fi network of your local coffee shop or airport poses some risk. Public networks are not very secure – or, well, private – which makes it easy for others to intercept your data. So, what can you do to keep your mobile data private and secure while out and about? Some consumers have started using Virtual Private Network (VPN) apps to shield the information on their mobile devices from prying eyes on public networks. Before you download a VPN app, you should know that there are benefits and risks.  

Buying or selling a “smart” home? Read this.

Whether you are buying or selling a home, think about the technology you may be buying or selling along with it. Many homes are now “smart” — featuring internet of things (IoT) devices such as connected thermostats, light bulbs, security systems, and energy saving appliances.

Here are tips for making sure you are prepared to sell a home equipped with smart connected devices:

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