Privacy, Identity & Online Security

Privacy: From principles to practice

Privacy Awareness Week, an event organized by the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities, is May 14-18, 2018. This year’s theme, “From Principles to Practice,” echoes the Federal Trade Commission’s mission to help consumers and businesses stay on top of privacy and online security. Here’s a sampling of how we make that happen.

The First Lady, talking with kids about being online

Today, First Lady Melania Trump introduced her initiative to help children everywhere be their best. At her launch event at the White House, the First Lady distributed copies of Talking with Kids About Being Online, a guide to help parents and other adults have thoughtful conversations with kids about being safe and responsible online. We’re excited that the First Lady is sharing this important information with families across the country.

Change your Twitter password. Now.

You may have heard the recent news that Twitter discovered a bug that stored passwords “unmasked” in an internal log. What does this mean? If you are a Twitter user, your password could be exposed. Twitter says that there are no signs of a breach of misuse by anyone currently, but it’s still a good idea to change your password. Did you use the same password for other accounts? Change those, too.

Mobile phone maker misled people on privacy & security

People use their mobile devices for everything from making calls and sending emails and text messages to maintaining contact lists, taking photos, surfing the web, and finding the best travel routes. You count on your device to help with your daily routine, and you expect that your information will be private and secure. Well, some mobile device companies deal with privacy and data security better than others.

FTC asking for access to your computer? It’s a scam.

Scammers pretending to be with the FTC or with FTC refund administrators are calling, asking for remote access to your computer. It’s been reported that the scammers are calling specifically about the FTC’s Advanced Tech Support refund program. Their goal is to make you think you are moments away from getting money that’s owed to you – and, to get the money, all you need to do is allow them to connect to your computer. It’s a scam.

Breaches at Lord & Taylor, Saks, & MyFitnessPal

Was your information exposed in the latest data breaches at Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks OFF 5TH, or Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal? If so, here are some steps to take.

A new way to report tax identity theft

Identity theft is hard enough. That’s why we keep working to make recovering from it easier. It’s also why we’re happy to let you know about an innovative project by the FTC and IRS that lets people report tax-related identity theft to the IRS online, using the FTC’s IdentityTheft.gov website to file IRS Form 14039. IdentityTheft.gov website on a laptop, tablet, and smartphone.

FTC sues telemarketers over Do Not Call violations

If you’re on the Do Not Call Registry, companies shouldn’t call you out of the blue to try and sell you something. In fact, it’s usually illegal.

The FTC continues to take action against companies and telemarketers that ignore the Registry. The latest example: today the FTC announced a complaint against Alliance Security, a home security system installation company, Alliance’s owner, Jasjit Gotra, and two of Alliance’s telemarketing firms, along with their owners. These two telemarketing firms — Defend America and Power Marketing Promotions — and their owners have agreed to settle the FTC’s charges.

Bitcoin + online chain referral = illegal scheme

Ever get a chain letter in the mail or online? Then you know the drill — you send money to a person at the top of the list, then take their name off and add yours to the bottom before sending the letter to more people. If the letters keep going, you’re supposed to make money as your name moves up the list. In fact, most people are guaranteed to lose money.

Chain letters have been around for decades. Today’s twist: online chain referral schemes involving cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Litecoin.

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.

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