Privacy, Identity & Online Security

Keep security in mind on your summer vacation

When you travel, there probably are a few must-haves in your suitcase: your toothbrush, deodorant, socks, shoes – you get the idea. But one travel must-have we don’t always think about is security. While you’re away from home, you might be using public Wi-Fi, tagging your locations (whether or not you realize it), carrying around your passport, and using your credit card more often. Those things could put you at a higher risk of identity theft.
 

 

Military Consumer Financial Workshop is July 19th

I’m the proud daughter of a Navy veteran, and attended school on two military bases from elementary through high school. Looking back – although I may not have fully understood the consequences at the time – I see how various financial issues and scams affected the lives of my military friends and their families. That’s why I take consumer protection for servicemembers, veterans and their families seriously. For me, it’s personal. It’s also a top priority for the FTC.

Ransomware re-do? Back up your files.

Based on early news reports, it’s possible that another widespread ransomware attack is sweeping the globe. It may spread using the same vulnerability that the WannaCry attack used in May, or it may be a new virus. Either way, if organizations don’t patch their software, they’re at risk. It’s crucial to keep operating systems and other software up to date.

Scammers don’t really give refunds

The FTC has been cracking down on deceptive tech support operations that call or send pop-ups to make people think their computers are infected with viruses. Recently, a woman who lost money to one of the defendant’s in the FTC cases got a call from someone who claimed to be with a company the FTC sued. (It was a lie. In reality, the company has closed.)

The FTC doesn’t need your bank info

Some people have gotten an email that claims to be from Maureen Ohlhausen, the FTC’s Acting Chairman. But it’s not. The email asks you to give your bank account information – so, it says, you can get money from the government’s settlement with Western Union. The email is a scam to steal your financial information.

An identity thief stole my phone!

Identity theft can happen to anyone. I’m a fraud investigator, and I’d like to tell you about my identity theft. Knowing how to respond will help you if you ever have to recover your identity.

Talking about and reporting scams [fotonovela]

Our new fotonovela, Talking about Scams, tells the story of Eva and her husband, Pablo, who learn how talking about a scam can help someone avoid falling for a scam.

How fast will identity thieves use stolen info?

If you’ve been affected by a data breach, or otherwise had your information hacked or stolen, you’ve probably asked yourself, “What happens when my stolen information is made public?” At the FTC’s Identity Theft workshop this morning, our Office of Technology staff reported on research they did to find out.

Fake emails could cost you thousands

Think you got an email from a business you know? Scammers sometimes use emails that look legit to trick you into sending money to them.

Ransomware worries? Keep up to date.

You’ve probably heard about the ransomware attack affecting organizations’ computer systems around the world. It seems to affect server software on organizations’ networked computers. But ransomware can attack anybody’s computer, so now is a good time to update your own operating system and other software. And then keep them up-to-date.

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