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“There is a basic truth: It is the consumer’s information. It is not the information of the network the consumer hires to deliver that information.”
These were the words of Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the F.C.C., when it was announced that Federal regulators have approved new broadband privacy rules that require internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon to ask for customers’ permission before using or sharing much of their data. He went on to say that the information used “should be the consumers’ choice, not the choice of some corporate algorithm.”
Privacy groups were, of course, thrilled with the new rules, which move the United States closer to the stricter policies in European nations. The industries that depend on online user data were not quite as happy, with the Association of National Advertisers labeling the regulations “unprecedented, misguided, counterproductive, and potentially extremely harmful.”
What does all of this really mean for consumers?
Common Phishing Scenarios:
“Your account has been suspended” or “We suspect fraudulent activity on your account” or “You’ve won a contest” or “We owe you a refund”
If you’ve ever received an email, voicemail or text with a message like one of the above, you know how visceral your reaction can be. And chances are very high that the message is a fake.
Just as fishing is one of the oldest occupations around, phishing is one of the oldest scams around. Ever since email was invented, thieves have been phishing to get your information by cleverly impersonating a business or an acquaintance. They hope to trick you into giving out your personal information or opening a link or an attachment that downloads malware onto your computer so that they can gain access all of your data.
Are you prepared for CryptoLocker, the next wave of Internet virus?
CryptoLocker is the next generation of internet virus that is currently circulating all over the world in large numbers. Once a computer becomes infected it will lock all your files plus any network files it has access to, even your server. Once the files are locked it will give you a three day countdown to pay the ransom, usually $100 or $300. If the time expires your files are locked with no option to pay the ransom.
Currently there are only two known methods to remove the infection, restoring your files from a backup or paying the ransom. Please be aware that paying the ransom is not guaranteed to work. We don’t condone paying the ransom as it supports and encourages these cyber criminals.
Do you want to know how businesses can protect themselves and enhance their online reputations?
Would you like to know the answers to the following questions?
- Are businesses adequately protecting themselves online? If not, what more should they be doing?
- What is business fraud and how does it differ from consumer fraud?
- What should companies be thinking about when they get involved with social media?
- What can businesses do to monitor their online reputation?
- Should companies respond to everything negative said about them online? If not, what should they focus on?
- Should businesses be paying attention to their employees online? If so, how can they do that in an ethical way?
- What is the most important advice you would give a new business just starting to develop an online presence?
To learn the answers to these important questions, read the interview I recently did with Reputation.com.
Wrap Up Your Mobile Security this Holiday Season!
Your clients compute almost as much on mobile devices as on desktop computers. They read banking and investment emails on their smartphones, log in to sensitive financial accounts via their iPad and store mission critical data on their laptops. But along with the freedom and efficiency of mobile computing comes a great deal of risk – risk that threatens their net worth. Small devices are easier to lose, simple to steal and are tempting targets for data theft. And to top it all off, your clients protect their mobile devices like mere phones and book readers, instead of the computers they really are.
So, if you are thinking ahead about what to get your best clients for the holidays, we have the answer. How about a thorough list of privacy prevention practices to get them safely from Black Friday through New Year’s Eve? Sure beats a reindeer sweater or a fruitcake!
I’m in the business of encouraging people to keep their guard up. I’m always telling people to watch for signs of something that doesn’t feel quite right, take precautionary measures, and stay informed. But even I have to question the tactics some are recommending when it comes to reacting to the NSA PRISM surveillance program leaked by Edward Snowden. In a previous post on this topic, I said it isn’t a black or white argument, but some people are asking you to make it one.
Best-selling author, technology expert and Columbia Law School professor, Tim Wu, has said that web users have a responsibility to quit Internet companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, Yahoo and Skype if it is indeed verified that they have been collaborating with the NSA. In fact, Wu bluntly proclaimed, “Quit Facebook and use another search engine. It’s simple. It’s nice to keep in touch with your friends. But I think if you find out if it’s true that these companies are involved in these surveillance programs you should just quit.” Wu acknowledged that there is still much to learn about this program and admitted it was no surprise that PRISM exists, saying, “When you have enormous concentrations of data in a few hands, spying becomes very easy.”
When you log onto the Verizon Precision Market Insights website, the giant catch phrase that jumps out at you in bold red letters is:
“Know your audience more precisely.
Drive your business more effectively.”
Verizon is pulling no punches when it comes to letting advertisers know that they have valuable data- OUR data- and they’re willing to share it. For a price of course. Phone carriers, who see a continued decline in contract subscriber growth and voice calls, are hoping to generate new sources of revenue by selling the data they collect about us. They already collect information about user location and Web surfing and application use (which informs them about such things as travels, interests and demographics) to adjust their networks to handle traffic better. Now they have begun to sell this data.
School is out for the summer and the tasks that often fall upon the shoulders of your local schools are now sitting squarely on yours. In addition to making sure your kids practice their math facts, read regularly and get plenty of exercise, you’ll want to watch out for how they spend their free time when it comes to using Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and other sites that can expose their social media privacy.
Social Media refers to web-based and mobile applications that allow individuals and organizations to create, engage, and share new user-generated or existing content in digital environments through multi-way communication. Okay, that’s too technical. Social media is the use of Internet tools to communicate with a broader group. Some of the most common examples are listed above. If you have elementary aged children, they may use more secure, school-controlled forms such as Schoology, Edmodo or Club Penguin, but if your kids are older, I can almost guarantee they’re into Social Media sites whether you know if or not.