Archive for August, 2011

Ever contemplate just how much of your sensitive personal information is floating around in cyberspace? Ever wonder how you can mitigate that problem, or prevent it from happening in the first place?  Sarah Downey, a privacy analyst with online privacy company Abine, Inc., joins The Credit Line’s Adam Levin to discuss what consumers can do to prevent their sensitive information from getting on the Internet, and how to deal with what’s already out there.

In an age when identity thieves are on the lookout for personally identifiable information, we need to be all the more careful about storing and discarding our sensitive documents. . I accomplished this with three tools:

1. A scanner. I got the , which is a fantastic device that I’ve come to depend on every day since I put it on my desk in the spring of 2010.

By Ondrej Krehel,

Turns out Yale has more than a few Skull and Bones in the closet.

The Ivy League school fell prey to Google hacking, also known as Google dorking, when cybercriminals use Google search functions to access data on the Internet. USA Today’s Bryon Acohido has a on the topic.


By Betty Chan-Bauza,

For identity thieves, Christmas comes about three months earlier than it does for the rest of us.

September—that whirlwind season of back-to-school registration, dorm move-ins, and sports sign-ups—ushers in a sleighful of identity theft opportunities just waiting to be unwrapped. And it’s not just invincible first-time-away-from-home college freshmen who are at risk. Parents can expose kids to fraud without realizing it.


By Brian McGinley,

On this blog we’ve talked about security as a path taken, rather than a destination reached. Over the next three posts we’re going to look at 21 concrete steps to walk down that path.

Reviewing these recommend steps will help you better understand the risks posed to your business.

1. Understand Your Threat Environment—Operating Risk vs. Fraud


By Victor Searcy,

A Florida waitress found a way to get back at mean customers: She used a skimmer to steal their credit card information, make new cards and rack up thousands of dollars in charges at Radio Shack and Walmart—all on their dime.

But revenge is a dish best served cold, and the young apparently was as successful at crime as she was waiting on customers at the sports bar and grill. She and her two accomplices were arrested on multiple charges, including the fraudulent use of a credit card.

The 25-year-old told authorities she targeted customers who she thought treated her poorly by running her around. “Maybe she’s scared of a hard day’s work,” a detective told a news station. The feeling was mutual from Mugs N Jugs customers. “She couldn’t look you in the face when she waited on you. She didn’t greet you. She took a long time to come back to the table. She didn’t say thank you,” one customer said.

Skimming, the theft of credit card data, is so commonplace that one in five consumers has been a victim, according to Javelin Strategy & Research. The crime is typically an inside job committed by a dishonest employee most commonly at restaurants and bars where the perpetrator has access to a customer’s card and is out of view for a period of time. But it also frequently occurs at ATMs.



Earlier this year , an application that allows smartphones to function as credit card readers using a small device that plugs into the headphone jack. The advantage: anyone with the application can process transactions on the fly by simply swiping a physical card through the reader.

Now, two British technology security researchers have discovered a way to process transactions without having to swipe a physical card—meaning all a thief would need is magnetic stripe data in order to process transactions.

With so many scam artists and identity thieves infiltrating the web these days, I’ve learned to become extremely suspicious of any emails, Facebook messages and direct “tweets” requesting personal identifying information. I automatically filter all spam messages and delete any and all online communication requesting my Social Security number, bank account information or credit card number. If anyone needs my information that badly, they can just call me.

But recently, my ID theft radar made a false assumption—and I don’t think I’m alone.

By Eduard Goodman, Identity Theft 911

An interesting Appellate Court opinion was recently issued that, while limited in scope, requires us to acknowledge the expanding realm of our own identity footprints and the need for evolving views of how we define identity theft. The case, PEOPLE v. ROLANDO S., stemmed from a Juvenile Court case in Kings county California. The case involving teenagers was based on the following facts:

Rolando S., a minor, was one of several recipients of an unsolicited text message containing the password to the victim’s email account. Rolando, who apparently had been in trouble with the law before, used this information to gain access to the victim’s email account. Once he was in, he accessed her Facebook account and profile. Then Rolando proceeded to post vulgar, sexually oriented comments on the walls of a couple of the victim’s male Facebook friends pretending to be her. He even modified the victim’s profile adding additional sexually oriented comments.


By Matt Cullina,

I just returned from a business trip to Puerto Rico, where the government took precautions and declared a state of emergency to prepare for tropical storm Emily.

Though Emily brushed past the island, weather forecasters are watching to see if it will pose a significant threat to Florida.

Government officials and relief agencies aren’t waiting for a news bulletin to prepare for the worst—even if Emily fades and it’s only an exercise in caution.

Meteorologists expect this to be an above-average hurricane season, according to a from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

The tornadoes that pummeled the South and Midwest earlier this year taught everyone a hard lesson on the need for pre-disaster records-retention planning. (more…)