Privacy, Identity & Online Security

Celebrate National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October can be full of ghouls and ghosts, but what’s scarier that you can’t see? Scammers and fraudsters who want to hack into your computer, undetected, and steal your personal information or install malware.

Fear not, the FTC comes bearing treats – not tricks – to help you secure your devices during October’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

Apps to stop robocalls

Are you getting hounded by robocalls and wondering what you can do about them? Reporting illegal robocalls helps the FTC and other law enforcement agencies go after the scammers behind them. But what can you do to stop those calls now? One option is a robocall-blocking app for your mobile phone.

Security smarts for smartwatches

Enjoying the convenience of a smartwatch means trusting it to keep your data safe. Smartwatches offer a variety of security features, so keep security in mind when you shop for one.

Free credit freezes from Equifax

Many people have had very sensitive personal information exposed in the Equifax breach — Social Security numbers, account numbers, even drivers’ license numbers. Equifax is offering free credit freezes until June 30, 2018. The company also will refund fees to anyone who already paid for freezes since September 7, when it announced the breach. If you’re thinking of placing a freeze, read this first.

Order free FTC publications for your community

Sharing what you know with your community can help others make sound financial decisions, avoid scams, and recover from identity theft. To help you spread the word, the FTC has created nearly 200 free publications on a variety of topics and in multiple languages. Order now — it’s free!

Fraud alert or credit freeze – which is right for you?

Considering a fraud alert or credit freeze? In the aftermath of the Equifax data breach, many people are. You don’t need to be an identity theft victim to use them – but it’s helpful to consider your situation. If you’re not sure which is best for you, here are some things to think about.

Equifax isn’t calling

Ring, ring. "This is Equifax calling to verify your account information." Stop. Don’t tell them anything. They’re not from Equifax. It’s a scam. Equifax will not call you out of the blue.

The Equifax Data Breach: What to Do

If you have a credit report, there’s a good chance that you’re one of the 143 million American consumers whose sensitive personal information was exposed in a data breach at Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies.

If influencers are paid, they must disclose it

My son loves to watch expert gamers playing video games on YouTube. Some of these online gamers have millions of followers who, like my son, watch them for hours, know all about them, and want to be just like them. They’re true online celebrities, influencers. I will never understand the fascination with watching others play a video game for hours, but I do understand that if online gamers are being paid to endorse a product in their videos or social media posts, they have to disclose that to their followers. It’s fair and it’s the law.

Lenovo adware created security holes

If you bought a Lenovo laptop between August 2014 and June 2015, you might have heard about the VisualDiscovery software created by a company named Superfish. VisualDiscovery was a pre-installed adware program that showed comparable products when you shopped online. But there was more to the software than met the eye.

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