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Privacy, Identity & Online Security

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.

COPPA: A few tips to keep your child safe online

Online games and websites for kids are everywhere these days – to the point that it’s commonplace to see toddlers playing with them, too. And while the internet has positive ways for kids to explore and learn, privacy concerns are lurking. To help protect children’s privacy, the FTC enforces the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which requires websites and online services to get consent from parents before collecting personal information from kids younger than 13.

The lead-generation bait-and-switch

You’ve probably shared your contact information online to, say, get details about a job opening. Usually, that’s fine. But sometimes you might be looking for one thing and wind up getting something else – like calls about stuff you never asked for or wanted.

SSA imposters top IRS in consumer loss reports

Have you gotten calls about supposed problems with your Social Security number from callers pretending they’re with the Social Security Administration (SSA)? If so, you’re not alone. Our latest Data Spotlight finds that reports about SSA imposters are surging, while reports about IRS imposters have taken a dive.

What to do about robocalls

Not another robocall! We’ve all felt that way. Wondering what to do about robocalls? Check out this new video:

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