Privacy, Identity & Online Security

‘Tis the season for stopping robocalls

Nothing puts a damper on the holidays like unwanted calls interrupting your day.

Maybe you’ve gotten one — you answer the phone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person. Internet-powered phone systems have made it cheap and easy for scammers to make illegal sales robocalls from anywhere in the world.

Fortunately, you have some options to block robocalls and other unwanted calls. Some are free and others cost money.

Fraud alert, freeze or lock after Equifax? FAQs

After the Equifax breach, some people are considering placing a fraud alert on their credit file. Others will freeze or lock their credit files to help prevent identity thieves from opening new accounts in their name. Here are some FAQs to help you decide what’s best for you.       

DNA test kits: Consider the privacy implications

Companies are advertising at-home DNA test kits that promise intriguing insights into your past (“Where did my forebears come from?”) – and your future (“Do I have the genetic markers for certain medical conditions?”). If you’re thinking about buying a kit for yourself or a family member, the FTC has advice about protecting the privacy of the sensitive information that DNA tests reveal.

National Consumer Protection Week is March 4 – 10, 2018

I know most of us are in the midst of holiday planning, parties and gift wrapping – but don’t forget to mark your calendar for National Consumer Protection Week 2018!

Get rid of unwanted apps

Using your social media account to log into an app or website can be easier than creating a new user name and password. But, after a while, you can collect more apps and become registered on more websites than you really use. This can leave you open to cyberattacks, phishing, and scams.

U.S. Marshals won’t call you about jury duty

United States Marshals protect the federal courts, track down dangerous fugitives, and transport thousands of prisoners. They don’t make calls and threaten to arrest people or fine them for missing jury duty.

Call from 877-382-4357? Hang up.

Scammers are using fake caller ID information to trick you into thinking they’re someone who can be trusted. The practice is called caller ID spoofing, and scammers can fake anyone’s phone number.

Researchers find bug in Wi-Fi network encryption

If you have a smartphone, laptop, or IoT device connected to a Wi-Fi network, the information you send over that network could be at risk. Researchers recently found a bug that lets attackers break the encryption that protects most wireless networks – leaving data you send exposed.

Let’s focus on cybersecurity for small businesses

If you own a small business or work for one, you’re probably concerned with protecting your business’ data. You want to make sure that sensitive information isn’t accidentally deleted, turned over to a scammer, or hacked. So this week, during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, let’s focus on making sure you know the resources the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has to help you and your employees understand cybersecurity, maintain your business’ computer networks safe, and keep sensitive information protected.

Tech-savvy seniors get online

If you’re reading this, you’re fairly tech-savvy. But did you know that some older adults never go online? You may have a friend or family member who’s reluctant because they don’t think their information will be safe. They might feel better if you share some ways they can protect themselves online. Here are some tips to use and share.

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