Archive for July, 2012

By Brian McGinley

In the spirit of the Olympic Games under way this summer in London, we’ve opted to award gold, silver and bronze medals to companies and government institutions for their performance in the 2012 (In)Security Games.

Find out which organizations experienced the thrill of a well-designed privacy plan and which ones endured the agony of an easily prevented data breach. The goal is simple. We want organizations to get smarter about data security to better protect consumers’ personally identifiable information.

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Foster kids who are about to leave the system and jump into the financial perils of adulthood will have an extra layer of protection against identity theft, thanks to a new law in Delaware.

I couldn’t be more excited about this new law, which will require the state’s Children’s Department to run credit reports for children in foster care when they turn 16 and help them learn more about credit and how it affects their future stability.

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Job seekers beware: The market just got more crowded.

Frustrated job hunters who are doing everything they can to get hired—from tattoo removal and elaborate résumé makeovers to stalking recruiters at the gym—now have to compete with people who have criminal backgrounds and financial troubles.

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The latest bill to address the problem of data breaches is just one of an increasingly long line of proposed federal breach notice regulations with little to no chance of becoming law this year.

The was introduced last month by Sen. Patrick Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican. It’s the eighth one of its kind to be introduced in Congress.

But with the upcoming election and a partisan fervor that unbelievably has trickled down into data security legislation, it’s unlikely to get voted on this year.

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A massive Canadian data breach , and it shows how governments and businesses are susceptible to big league data loss.

More than 2 million voter records from the province of Ontario were lost when two USB drives went missing. The drives went missing in April, but the news was made public only this week. In Canada 2 million is a relatively bigger number than in the Lower 48, since the country has 34 million people, while the United States has 311 million.

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Scammers don’t need to break into your home to steal your personally identifiable information. They have ways of getting you to give it up yourself—through phishing scams. Ondrej Krehel, Identity Theft 911′s chief information security officer, explains how phishing works in this slideshow:

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By now you’ve probably seen the video of bus monitor Karen Klein being taunted, harassed and bullied by a pack of middle school boys. The has earned more than 8.2 million views on YouTube. Klein has appeared on the morning talk show circuit. And an Internet Good Samaritan has raised more than $680,000 toward a “vacation fund” for the 68-year-old.

The case put a face on from the U.S. Department of Education. Roughly 30 percent of middle and high school students are bullied, and 10 percent of the incidents happen on a bus. More than 50 percent of the nation’s bus drivers claim bullying is a problem. Yet the department estimates two-thirds of bullying cases go unreported.

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Sometimes people are dumb. There’s really no way to sugar coat this, and I say this with all humility, as I have done more than my fair share of dumb things. But when I read last week that a Twitter account had been created whose sole purpose was to re-tweet pictures people had taken of their own credit and debit cards, as a cautionary tale, what else could I say? What these people did was incredibly stupid, but also very telling.

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As a security consultant who travels up to 40 weeks a year, T. Robert Wyatt has spent his share of nights in Hilton hotels. In recent years, he has noticed problems with Hilton that extend far beyond unclean rooms or clogged shower drains.

According to a lengthy recent blog post, Wyatt says that he has found a series of significant security problems on various Hilton websites. The problems may expose regular Hilton guests to the risks of data breaches and identity theft, similar to those that hit LinkedIn, LastFM, Sony and other prominent companies over the last year.

Wyatt also alleges that the company knows about the security problems, but has repeatedly ignored warnings about them.

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With the click of a button, smartphones will install helpful and entertaining apps with minimal download time.  Most users glance over the terms and conditions, but many apps have access to your private information, including text messages, pictures and personal accounts.

In this infographic, learn easy ways to protect yourself while on-the-go.
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