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Privacy, Identity & Online Security

Equifax Data Breach Settlement: What You Should Know

In September of 2017, Equifax announced a data breach that exposed the personal information of 147 million people. Under a settlement filed today, Equifax agreed to spend up to $425 million to help people affected by the data breach. If you were affected by the Equifax breach, here’s what you need to know about the settlement. If you were affected by the breach, you may be eligible for benefits.

Medicare does not give out DNA kits

Here’s one that goes to show just how creative scammers can be. The FTC is getting reports that callers claiming to be from Medicare are asking people for their Medicare numbers, Social Security numbers, and other personal information…in exchange for DNA testing kits. The callers might say the test is a free way to get early diagnoses for diseases like cancer, or just that it’s a free test, so why not take it? But the truth is, Medicare does not market DNA testing kits to the general public.

FTC and partners tell robocallers to call it quits

Tired of robocalls? So are we. Today the FTC and state and federal partners announced Operation Call it Quits, an effort to go after robocallers. As part of the announcement, the FTC has new videos, infographics, and articles you can watch, read, and share at ftc.gov/calls.

Update your software now

We secure our valuables – our wallets, keys, and homes. We know that, if left unsecured, they can easily be a target for criminals. So it makes sense to think the same way about the information stored on all our devices.

Make it a scam-free vacation

It’s almost summer! Right now, you probably have beaches on the brain or you’re thinking about that long-planned trip abroad. Before you head out, take steps to help keep your dream vacation from becoming a nightmare:

It’s Privacy Awareness Week 2019

This week is Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities (APPA) Privacy Awareness Week, held annually to raise global awareness about privacy issues. This year’s theme “Protecting Privacy is Everyone’s Responsibility,” is part of what drives the FTC to act on behalf of consumers and businesses every day. Here are a few recent FTC efforts on privacy.

Get a one-ring call? Don’t call back.

A while back, we warned you about the “one ring” scam. That’s when you get a phone call from a number you don’t know, and the call stops after just one ring. The scammer is hoping you’ll call back, because it’s really an international toll number and will appear as a charge on your phone bill — with most of the money going to the scammer. Well, the scam is back with a vengeance, and the FCC just issued a new advisory about it. Read the FCC’s advisory for more detail, but the advice from both agencies remains the same if you get one of these calls:

Parental Advisory: Dating Apps

Parents be warned: some dating apps – like FastMeet, Meet24 and Meet4U – allow adults to find and communicate with children. Concerned parents should remove these apps if they’re on children’s devices. You also can set your kids’ devices so they must get parental approval before purchasing any new apps. Here are a few more things you should know.

Malware from illegal video streaming apps: What to know

The popularity of video streaming services has taken off in the past few years. It’s become easier to stream video through smart TVs, streaming boxes that connect to your not-so-smart TV, and even streaming sticks. These devices let you stream video through popular apps like Hulu, Netflix, SlingTV, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube TV. Unfortunately, there are other apps that let you watch illegal pirated content. And hackers are using those apps to spread malware. Here’s what you need to know.

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