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Facebook Launches New Security Feature

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Facebook has announced a new security feature that focuses on keeping users’ information safe from hackers attempting to gain access into your account.

The feature was announced last Thursday, and is similar to how secured banking sites work — they only let you access the site from approved computers.  If you are attempting to log onto your Facebook account from an unknown computer, device, or location, Facebook will notify you via email and lock down your account in case it is under attack. To regain access, you will have to follow the link in the email which will lead you through a security check to verify your identity. They will ask you a few security questions and have you acknowledge that it was in fact YOU (or if it wasn’t you, then you notify Facebook at this point) trying to access your account.

This change comes on the heels of one of the largest Facebook privacy issues to date. The social networking site that services over 400 million people made headlines recently when they chose to link users’ likes and interests to organizations and others on Facebook.  This raised major concerns that they were no longer acting in the users’ best interest.

Although it comforts some users that their pages are harder to hack, most users are more concerned with what Facebook is sifting from their profiles and sharing about them online. When it comes to anything on the Internet, be aware that what you think is kept private can be made public in an instant (even after the fact, like it has been recently on Facebook — the rules can change mid-stream). Be mindful of what you are sharing and if you wouldn’t want the world to see, hear or know something, don’t put it online in the first place…no matter how tight your security settings are!

Order your copy of the Facebook Safety Survival Guide to make sure you and your children are protected online.

John Sileo became one of America’s leading Information Control Speakers & sought after Identity Theft Experts after he lost his business and more than $300,000 to identity theft and data breach. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To learn more about having him speak at your next meeting or conference, contact him by email or on 800.258.8076.

Spokeo: Scary Bad & How to Opt Out

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I found out a way to get yourself off spokeo.com!

Go to the website and look yourself up, then click on your name… once you have done that copy the URL in your web browser. Now, go to the bottom of the page. In small faded blue text, click privacy (third from the left). At the bottom of this page, you will find an “Opt Out form” link. Select that and then paste the URL link you copied from the page you found yourself on and enter your email and the “I’m not a robot” box. This is a case where I would use a second email account (your designated junk-email account), not your main email to avoid the build up of possible spam emails that follow. It will then send you an email confirmation where you must click the URL to confirm removal.  Voila! You have been removed.

John Sileo is an an award-winning author and keynote speaker on identity theft, internet privacy, fraud training & technology defense. John specializes in making security entertaining, so that it works. John is CEO of The Sileo Group, whose clients include the Pentagon, Visa, Homeland Security & Pfizer. John’s body of work includes appearances on 60 Minutes, Rachael Ray, Anderson Cooper & Fox Business. Contact him regarding speaking opportunities directly on 800.258.8076.

Information Control: FCC Comcast Ruling and World War III

Information ControlInformation control will be at the heart of the next major war waged between nations. None of us yet knows if the battlefield will be virtual or actual, but it’s liable to be both. From this point forward, every business person (and individual) must understand the discipline of CIA, Controlling Information Assets. That’s where the profits are, and that’s where their battles will be fought.

Take Tuesday’s decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals, as summarized here by the New York Times (emphasis mine):

A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that regulators [Sileo Note: the FCC] had limited power over Web traffic under current law. The decision will allow Internet service companies to block or slow specific sites and charge video sites like YouTube to deliver their content faster to users.

So, for example, if Comcast completes its takeover of NBC, it would have the right to increase the broadcast speed of NBC-owned programs over the web while decreasing the speed of television programs provided by competing networks. Suddenly, American Idol is less attractive to watch because of frustrating download bottlenecks that make FOX’s show inferior to NBC’s The Biggest Loser. And that is how the average viewer becomes the biggest loser. All because Comcast has been given a higher degree of information control.

It would be similar to your phone company being able to restrict all calls from states that didn’t offer its services.

Now, apply this seemingly trivial but precedent-setting decision to the political sphere. China, flexing its information control muscle, says that it won’t do business with Google unless Google agrees to filter out references to Tienanmen Square and Democracy (among other topics) on its Google China search engine. In a creepy reincarnation of George Orwell’s Big Brother, China wants to control the flow of information so that it can influence public opinion in any way it likes. Google, on the other hand, by pulling out of China, is firing their own salvo at who controls the information. So in steps Microsoft and it’s Google rival, Bing, to pick up the competitive slack. It turns out that Microsoft doesn’t mind filtering out some results, as this is what a search engine is meant to do – filter results. Information control.

Or look at the story run by NPR today, Cyberattack: U.S. Unready For Future Face Of War:

The bloody little conflict between Russia and Georgia in August 2008 lasted just nine days, but it marked a turning point in the history of warfare. For the first time ever, the shooting was accompanied by a cyberattack.

In the opening hours of battle, unidentified hackers shut down Georgian government, media and banking Web sites. Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili insisted that Russia was responsible for the cyberattack, and U.S. officials subsequently said he was probably right.

The timing was propitious. Just as Russian ground troops were engaging Georgian forces in combat, the Georgian government was forced to deal with malfunctioning computer systems. U.S. intelligence analysts were convinced that the actions were carefully coordinated.

These aren’t doomsday predictions. They are a new arsenal of weapons put to play on a poorly-understood battlefield that bridges the virtual and the actual. What are you doing to prepare your organization to Control Information Assets?

John Sileo speaks on information control, identity theft prevention and data breach avoidance. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To learn more, contact him directly on 800.258.8076.