The Face of Online Harassment – It’s not Only Kids Getting Bullied

Men are called names; women are stalked and sexually harassed. Bullying doesn’t end when bullies grow up; we just change the name of their behavior to harassment.frenemy

According to a new survey by the Pew Research Center, 73% of online adults have seen another adult harassed online and 40% have personally experienced it.

Of those that reported observing the harassment of others online, name calling (60%), deliberate embarrassment (53%), physical threats (25%), sexual harassment (19%), stalking (18%) and sustained harassment (24%) were the most frequent.

The numbers, like the behaviors, are appalling. But they give a clear window into the abusive patterns in our society as the online harassment closely mirrors similar off-line behaviors.  Continue reading

Why Online Harassment Data Should Inform Our Actions Against Cyberbullying

I just wrote an article titled The Face of Online Harassment – It’s not Only Kids Gettingcyberbullycomic Bullied discussing recent survey results by the Pew Research Center that every single adult should not only read, they should discuss with their friends and families.

What that report uncovers is that the rampant cyberbullying reported among children closely mirrors the same behaviors among adults – though we choose to call the adult version ‘cyberharassment’.

The report’s findings left me with several questions I’d like to pose to you as I don’t pretend to have all the answers. Continue reading

Cybersiege – Online Attacks Against Companies Increased by 48% This Year

Cybercriminals have dramatically stepped up their attacks on companies – and on the ProtectTheCASTLEconsumer data they hold – to the point we’re under a full-blown global siege.

By the end of this year, roughly 42.8 million cyberattacks will have been perpetrated against companies worldwide.

That’s roughly 117,339 attacks a day, and a 48% increase over last year according to a newly released study by the experts at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Furthermore, 94% of companies say they experienced some sort of cyberattack this year, with nearly 25% of companies saying they experienced more than 50 attacks.

We have no way of knowing the security measures used by the companies we interact with, we can’t affect which companies hackers choose to target, and we have no influence on the corporate espionage conducted by nation-states involved in cyber warfare. Continue reading

You CAN Significantly Minimize the Threat and Impact of Online Attacks Against You

Cybercriminals have dramatically stepped up their attacks on companies and consumersCyberAttackComic this year, to the point we’re now under a full-blown global siege. Learn more about the current threat landscape in the blog Cybersiege – Online Attacks Against Companies Increased by 48% This Year. In response, we can choose to do nothing and risk being flagrantly exploited by every crook and predatory company on the internet, or we can choose to take a few proactive measures that can significantly minimize the threat and impact these online attacks could have on ourselves and our families.  I sincerely hope you choose to protect yourselves. Here are some basic steps to do help you protect yourself, your devices, and your financial health: Continue reading

Phone Phishing and other Mobile Scams, Watch out for the One-Two Punch!

The IRS won’t call you. The Center for Disease Control won’t call you. The Social Securityphonescamcomic Department won’t call you. Neither will your bank, your insurance company, and so on. So, if you receive a call from someone purporting to be with the government, a company (that you haven’t been actively working with via the phone), or some other officious sounding entity, hang up, it’s a scam.

If you get a call from someone saying “your computer is infected” and the scammer claims to be online to help you install ‘security software’ or ‘clean your computer’, or perhaps even convince you to give them remote access to your device so they can ‘fix’ your computer, hang up, it’s a scam.

If you’re worried that the call might be legitimate, hang up. Then, look up the number for that agency or company, and call them. (Don’t call a number that they provided to you!) Continue reading

Ebola Scams Infect Devices around the World

EbolaComicEbola is no longer just a disastrous virus infecting people; criminals are leveraging our anxiety about the disease to spread their own types of viruses and other malware to unsuspecting users through email, texts and malicious web sites.  It’s a reality of our digital times that as soon as any kind of disaster strikes, scammers follow in its footsteps.

These Ebola scams are so prevalent that the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, posted an advisory to users to be on the alert for digital scams using the Ebola virus to motivate users into opening email or texts and then downloading malicious attachments or clicking on malicious web links. Continue reading

Should you Prune Your Social Media ‘Friends’ Lists?

FacebookFuneralIt used to be kids and teens who believed having hundreds (or thousands) of Facebook friends counted as a status symbol, and it was the adults advising them that restricting the number of people they shared personal information with was prudent.

Now, teens seem to largely have gotten the message, dumping Facebook for other sites that allow greater privacy and control of their privacy settingsi. In a newly published report by Piper Jaffray, Facebook use among teenagers aged 13 to 19 plummeted from 72 percent to 45 percent over the last 6 months. In other words, less than half of the teenagers surveyed said “yes” when asked if they use Facebookii. Continue reading

WiFi’s Role in ID and Data Theft – What You Need to Know before Logging On

Public wifi hotspots are almost ubiquitous, in hotels, cafes and coffee shops, airports and airplanes, parks, libraries, even on public transportation. The majority of U.S. adults take advantage of them.

So do criminals and criminal organizations.

Criminals use a number of tactics to steal data from users of these wifi hotspots or to fool users into believing they’re on a legitimate hotspot when they are actually on a malicious access point.iPublicWiFi Continue reading

Takeaways from the Apple and Snapchat Photo Breaches – Blame the Companies, not the Users

October 13th 2014 This hacking is getting out of control...Last month, reports emerged about the mass theft of nude and semi-nude photos from the private accounts of various celebrities using Apple’s services.

Now, it’s users of the photo sharing app Snapchat whose risqué pictures are on display. Reports indicate that 100,000 personal pictures and videos have been stolen and posted publicly. Many of these are images of partially or fully undressed minors, which fall into the category of child pornography. Continue reading

Understanding the Potential Risks in Embedded Images: Why Doesn’t My Email Automatically Download Images and Graphics?

SpamComicHere is one customer’s question that has relevance to everyone.

You know those emails you receive that show empty squares where images or graphics would be displayed? The ones where to see the images you have to click a link that usually says something like “to view images, click here”?

Like the customer with this question, many of you probably wonder why the images aren’t automatically displayed, and perhaps find it annoying to have to click the link to see them. Continue reading