Archive for 2011

The Federal Trade Commission slapped Saint Nick with a $2 million fine for violating children’s privacy with his naughty or nice list.

For nearly 2,000 years, the jolly old elf tracked children’s consumer behavior; stored their name, age and address on an unsecured database; and shared the information with third parties to fulfill the children’s Christmas wishes.

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By Ondrej Krehel,

Have you ever considered how many websites house your personal information? If you haven’t here’s the list:

With the holiday season upon us and catchy jingles blasting in stores and in cars, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and forget about the everyday risks to your personally identifiable information (PII).

isn’t just financial – it includes medical information, employment information, email, passwords and more.

Consumers should be reminded of the 12 Frauds of Christmas to keep their holiday stress-free, their identity safe and their wallet happy.

1. On the first day of Christmas, an identity thief gave to me: one skimmed debit card.

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By Ondrej Krehel,

You can’t opt out of real life. Yet often that’s what a lot of cyber security advice sounds like. It’s true that social networks are a hotbed for malware, hackers and spam. But staying off Facebook — for some people in certain industries — could have real-world repercussions.

Signing up for an online service, participating in an Internet auction, enrolling in a rewards program: it’s almost like playing in a casino. Which is going to lose your data tomorrow? Picking online companies we do business with is almost like placing a bet.

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2011 proved to be a busy year for hack attacks. In this slideshow, relive the scariest and largest attacks of the year.

By Matt Cullina,

Kids practically live online these days, and they spend a lot of their time playing games on Facebook and their smartphones.

So I’m heartened to see the Federal Trade Commission that mobile applications must conform to federal children’s privacy regulations.

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True. Cyber crime now impacts more than 50,000 people an hour. That’s three times more than the 15,300 babies born hourly.

Buyer Beware

It’s a scary statistic, and one worth noting as the holiday shopping season approaches. As more shoppers turn to their laptop, iPads and mobile phones to get items crossed off their list, thieves are on the prowl to hack into systems to obtain customer information – email addresses, passwords, credit card data, PayPal account info, etc.

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A massive cyber attack on American infrastructure is the 21st-century equivalent of the neutron bomb. All buildings remain standing but systems inside them are rendered useless. Human beings aren’t killed on a large scale, but few, if any, are left standing either. And while this sounds pretty dire, it’s quite likely some segment of this nation will at some time be shut down by cyber terrorists.

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By Ondrej Krehel, Identity Theft 911

In an earlier post we talked about how malware is built to morph or change to avoid detection. This time we’ll look at what security firms are doing about it.

The short answer is heuristics or self-educating computer programs.
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