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

Cyber Alert! Is that App a Fake?

There’s a new breed of malware designed to look like popular social network apps. These lookalike apps fool consumers into sharing personal information so criminals can exploit their data.FakeApps

In the first eight months of this year, more than 15,000 fake apps have affected more than 100 million users across all the major social networks, with Facebook being the most vulnerable site with 8,107 imposter apps detected, according to researchers at the Cheetah Mobile Threat Lab. Continue reading

Don’t Get Hooked by Malicious Social-Media Phishing Schemes

Frequent Facebook users, beware. A new study shows those logging heavy FaceLIKEbook time and accumulating large numbers of friends are more susceptible to social-media phishing attacks, which criminals use to gather potentially useful personal information.

The study, published in August, 2014, in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, notes that Facebook power-users are more likely to respond to requests without considering who is sending the request, how they are connected to them, or who else may be connected to the requesters. Continue reading

Rollout of Credit/Debit Cards with Embedded Security Chips a Major Win for Consumers, but, We Need More

Europeans, Mexicans and Canadians have been using credit and debit cards with embedded security chips for several years, but this level of protection has only recently started to rollout in the U.S., and the transition may not be as fast as we’d prefecomiccomicr.

According to an article in Forbes, by the end of 2015, only 70% of U.S. credit cards and 41% of U.S. debit cards will have exchanged the magnetic strip for the newer security chips. This slow shift away from magnetic strip cards means U.S. citizen’s financial accounts continue to be more lucrative targets for criminals. According to Julie Conroy research director in retail banking at Aité Group, “the fraud rate has doubled from 5 basis points to 10 basis points [in the U.S.]. It speaks to the fact that criminals are targeting the U.S. because we are the weakest link in the chain.” Continue reading

October Observance Highlights Our Collective Responsibility for Cyber Security

National Cyber Security Awareness Month, sponsored in part by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, kicks off in October. The launch of this observance is a good time to reflect on how, as Internet users, we can make our online experience just a little safer and more secure.piggybank

As part of this effort, the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign was created with the help of DHS to increase the understanding of cyber threats and empower the American public to join in the shared responsibility for cyber security. Continue reading

The Convenience of “Internet of Things” Comes with Some Risky Strings Attached

IoTIf you’re not yet familiar with the term, “Internet of Things,” chances are that you’re already playing a role in it. Millions of homeowners and consumers are links in the Internet of Things (IoT), which encompasses billions of objects accessed, managed and monitored through the internet – devices and sensors, cloud-based infrastructure and data tools used daily.

It includes household items from electronics, appliances, fitness bands and smartwatches to thermostats, security systems and garage-door openers. Continue reading

Latest Malware Attack on U.S. Retailer Reinforces Need for Consumer Vigilance

Yet another reason to carefully and frequently check your bank and credit-card accounts surfaced recently, when the Department of Homeland Security issued an August 22 advisory about a point-of-sale-skimming malware package known as “Backoff.” It is suspected of enabling cyber theft of consumer payment information contained in millions of transactions.HelloMyName

The advisory estimates that this recently discovered variety of infection has affected approximately 1,000 U.S. businesses of all sizes – and many may not yet be aware of the security compromise because until recently it was undetectable by antivirus programs. Continue reading