Posts tagged "data security"
Do you use the discount site LivingSocial? If so, your email and password could now be a little more ”social” than you wanted thanks to a new data breach that occurred on April 26.
A data breach has punctured LivingSocial and resulted in the exposure of the personal information of at least 50 million users. The leaked information includes names, birthdays and email addresses – very useful pieces of data if you’re an identity thief trying to figure out a way to get into someone’s profile or make a profit selling that same information. But what makes this attack even more devastating is that hackers were also able to get a hold of encrypted passwords. Even though the passwords were encrypted through processes called hashing and salting, it likely will not take hackers long to figure out the original passwords.
Despite its claim to being aware of social media privacy, Facebook continues to mine user activity for ad data. Now, it’s expanding beyond the boundaries of its site – and even your browser.
Though it claims to respect user privacy and keep its targets protected, Facebook is offering advertisers on its site a new way to narrow its audience through demographics based on specific purchases called “Partner Categories.” Beware of the rather innocuous official announcement which says that a local business could use it to find customers who may be willing to give them their business, according to recent purchases. The feature would accomplish this using third party data collection companies like Acxiom to build predictions based on what you have bought.
Previously, advertisers showed ads to us based on the interests we expressed on Facebook. Now, they have the added ammunition of knowing every product and brand we’ve purchased through our desktop or mobile.
A hack doesn't always target your personal secrets or your bank account. If you're a celebrity, sometimes a rumor does enough damage on its own.
Ever since the naughty bestseller "Fifty Shades of Grey" arrived on the scene, the public has been wondering about the inevitable film adaptation. A recent announcement that former Harry Potter star Emma Watson would be the film's heroine must have come as a shock to many…including Watson herself. Because she hasn't actually been cast.
The news comes courtesy not of an official press release but a data security breach into German studio Constantin films that resulted in the leaking of documents, among them one confirming Watson's involvement. But the studio has denied that this is true, claiming that the compromised information is outdated.
Watson herself took to Twitter to address the incident, saying "Who here actually thinks I would do 50 Shades of Grey as a movie? Like really. For real. In real life." At least she's still got her social media reputation intact.
Do you trust LifeLock to help protect your identity? The answer to that question can be just as crucial as the measures you take to monitor your identity on your own.
With online theft as active as it is, many are trying to cash in by offering protection against hackers. But you've got to have a keen eye to pick the ones that are actually going to help you out. LifeLock is one of the most widely-seen internet security companies in the country – but then again, LifeLock has a record that makes its viability somewhat questionable.
Oakland news station KTVU recently reported the local story of a woman whose identity was stolen after signing up with LifeLock. An outside source managed to apply for a loan in her name without so much as an alert going to the woman in question. I'm sure that person is going to be more cautious with the identity theft monitoring service they choose next time.
Here's a pop quiz: how many incidents of identity theft do you think happened in 2012? How often do you think they occurred?
Maybe you're aware of threats to your personal information. Maybe you've already taken steps to prevent identity theft. But do you really know how common it is?
Ok, I know I kind of gave it away in the title of this post, but take a guess anyway. A hundred thousand? Maybe a couple million?
The answer may shock you: there were 12.6 million cases last year, according to the 2012 Identity Theft Report by Javelin Strategy & Research. That breaks down to a new incident every three seconds, and it's higher than the year before. The total amount of money stolen through hacks and compromises was over $21 billion, and many victims of identity theft were targeted through their Social Security numbers.