Posts tagged "Online Safety"
Why fight parking-lot-road-rage, UFC-sanctioned-psycho-shoppers and 12 a.m.-midnight-start-times on Black Friday when you can shop from the comfort of your laptop or iPad while sipping eggnog on the couch (or more likely, from your office desk)? I’m talking about Cyber Monday, of course – the day that online merchants heavily discount their products and generally give free shipping as well. By shopping online, you get most of the same deals and discounts (some of them better) without the breakneck competition common in stores the day after Thanksgiving.
Online shopping during the holidays is a convenient, green, inexpensive way to celebrate the season with less stress. In fact, it’s such an efficient way to buy gifts that cyber shoppers will spend close to $2 Billion this coming Monday. If you are one of them, take a few steps to add peace-of-mind to your peaceful holidays.
Major data breaches like the recent Epsilon Breach occur frequently, even if you don’t hear about all of them. With all the publicity surrounding this particular breach, people have been asking how to remove themselves from some of those marketing lists that are frequently compromised.
Opting our of marketing databases is one way to lower your risk of becoming a data breach victim.
So, how do I get out of marketing data bases?
Most databases allow you to opt out of having them share and sell your information, you just need to find out how. Many sites make it tricky to get this done, but most sites that are selling or harvesting your information allow you to do so one way or another.
In response to the growing demands for more privacy on the internet, Mozilla implements a Do Not Track option in Firefox 4.
The most recent version of Mozilla Firefox, which was rolled out this February, offers users the option to opt-out of website tracking. Once enabled, the user’s preference to not be tracked is automatically sent to the website. That doesn’t mean that the website has to do anything about it, but there will probably be a bit of a stink about those sites that don’t respect user’s privacy preferences (it would be the equivalent of someone making a sales call to you after you join the Do Not Call list). Unfortunately, most users will never know which websites are participating in the opt-out Do Not Track function.
Check it out for yourself at www.spokeo.com. On most profiles, if Spokeo has your current address, they also have a picture of your home. It is the same as Google Street View, almost. The difference is that on Google Street View or Google Maps, you can’t easily look up someone’s address based on their name and find the corresponding picture of their home.
In other words, Spokeo aggregates your personal data in a more sophisticated way, ultimately giving users the ability to search on your name and peel back layers of your personal information. This has caused a recent web buzz on the subject and is pushing people to go on their site to remove information you don’t want to share with the world. A few months ago I posted a video about removing your information from Spokeo. Here are the steps.
Facebook Safety will make headlines in 2011, as it will be the year when identity theft, data breach, cyber stalking and cyber-bullying will move heavily into social networking. Social networking is the perfect platform for these crimes, as it aggregates vast quantities of your sensitive personal information that a social engineer (con artist), corporate spy, identity thief, stalker or regular old burglar needs to take advantage of you. It’s a one-stop data shop. As I speak around the country on information survival, I hear a lot of first-hand accounts of how people have been taken advantage of using their Facebook profile (among other social networking sites, but Facebook is definitely the big winner). Here are the Top 7 Deadly Facebook Data Mistakes (in no particular order, and unfortunately the list is not even close to exhaustive) that I address in my workbook, The Facebook Safety Survival Guide:
Your pet’s name is a fraudster’s best friend.
You may think you’re giving up precious little when you tell your Facebook friends that you’re dressing your pooch, Puddles, in your favorite color, red, for brunch at Grandma’s on Sunday. But you’ve actually just opened a Pandora’s box of risks.
The information consumers willingly, and oftentimes unwittingly, unleash on social-media websites sets off a feeding frenzy among fraudsters looking to steal everything from your flat-screen TV to your identity…
Too much information can hurt you in other ways. John Sileo, a Denver-based identify-theft expert, says your online chatter could equip an ex-spouse with ammunition for a court challenge. Future or current employers could have a problem with information about your personal life that they deem inappropriate for a member of their staff, he says. You also could be furnishing a would-be stalker with information about your whereabouts. Click Here to Continue Reading….
The many changes that Facebook has been making recently have users nervous. Nervous because they are lacking the control that they once had over their privacy on the social networking site. While Facebook has never been the mecca of privacy, the recent and swift changes they are making has created more of an issue for users. One by one they are voicing there concerns with the new features and why they feel Facebook is slowly revealing the end of your privacy.
Here are a few of the new features – although they are snazzy – they have many users concerned.
User IDs. With only your email address on hand, data miners can easily match it with the new user ID that has been issued yo you. Basically, the ID provides your name and profile picture no matter how your privacy settings are set. This can also include your hometown, photos, friends, and more depending on how strict your settings are. This gives companies the ability to advertise to you. If you are a young female living in Austin, Texas, there are literally thousands of products that can be marketed to you just using that information alone.
According to a recent New York Times article, the government may be creating a department solely dedicated to strenghthening privacy policies within the United States and other countries. A recent report details why such a force is necessary. Although this new office would lack enforcement authority, they would work directly with the administration and necessary agencies to attack and solve privacy issues.
“America needs a robust privacy framework that preserves consumer trust in the evolving Internet economy while ensuring the Web remains a platform for innovation, jobs and economic growth,” the Secretary of the Commerce, Gary F. Locke, said in a statement. “Self-regulation without stronger enforcement is not enough. Consumers must trust the Internet in order for businesses to succeed online.”
The policy task force already suggested we make visible exactly what information is collected online through a “Privacy Bill of Rights.” Companies that collect this information will then have increased accountability and limits on what they can do with information collected.