Identity theft is the most common complaint lodged with the Federal Trade Commission, to the tune of 11.7 million a year. That means roughly one-in-five Americans over the age of 16 have become victims of identity theft. 14 percent of those victims experienced a monetary loss of $1 or more. Half of all victims resolved the issue within a day, but nearly one-third (29 percent) had to spend a month or more getting their life back on track. While identity theft gets a lot of the press, there are other forms of fraud out there, both on the Internet and off. The good news is that there are a my...
Mention “cookies,” and most people expect a treat to appear. When talking about computers, however, cookies aren’t what’s on the dessert menu. In fact, they’re not even physical objects. Yet they do a great deal of the work that makes it possible for you to browse the Internet—and they can cause trouble if you don’t know how to manage them.
Meet the Cookie
A computer “cookie” is more formally known as an HTTP cookie, a web cookie, an Internet cookie, or a browser cookie. The name is a shorter version of “magic cookie,” which is a term for a packet of data that a computer receives, then s...
Have you heard of something called cyber hygiene? Surely brushing teeth and taking showers isn’t something we traditionally associate with technology—yet the term is a useful metaphor for those of us who need to make smart decisions about our smart devices.
Good hygiene is something we’re taught as children and something that generally sticks with us for the rest of our lives. It involves three basic principles: using products/tools that fit our hygiene needs, performing these hygienic tasks correctly, and establishing a routine.
But what does that have to do with your computer?
Falling for an email scam is something that can happen to anyone. It’s a frightening concept, and one that frequently results in undiluted panic. Also known as a phishing scam, an email scam involves using email and fraudulent websites to steal sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, account data, addresses, and more.
Fraudulent emails are crafted to appear legitimate, such as messages from your bank or another trusted source. They request personal information, which criminals then use for identity theft.
So what should you do if you find yourself a victim of an e...
Online fraud is one of fastest growing crimes of our time. The ability to be anonymous, and the fact that it can be performed anywhere in the world makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for law enforcement to curb it.
As online fraud continues to grow, an unfortunate number of American citizens might face this scenario: It’s tax season, and you are getting your paperwork together in order to file your taxes. During the process you receive an email from the IRS stating “Congratulations on filing your tax return.” This is a normal email you would expect after you file taxes, however, ...
“IoT” is an acronym for the “Internet of Things.” And any device that can connect to the Internet and transmit or receive data can be considered a “smart” thing. That includes smart homes, also known as connected homes. Smart homes — in which IoT devices such as thermostats or ovens can be programmed from anywhere — are popular with consumers who seek convenience. Some people, however, may not realize the connected devices or appliances they’ve grown to depend on could leak private information or be susceptible to hackers. In the rush to get products to market, smart device makers may not see security as a priority.
Have you ever run your Internet security software only to find out that there’s malware on your computer? How did it get there? When you’re running a full Internet security suite, it can be very frustrating to find out that, despite your best efforts, there’s malware on your computer anyway. The fight against malware is a complicated arms race of sorts. Here’s how it works.
The Four Components of the Malware Arms Race
There are three main players in the malware arms race:
The malware coders are, unfortunately, generally the winners of the arms race. They write mali...
File sharing technology is an easy way for individuals or institutions to transfer content on the internet. There are several peer-to-peer (P2P) applications and services available. Some applications are free and others offer paid subscriptions for larger storage capacity, speedier service or extra security. File sharing is a very common activity for most online users, but file sharing also makes you susceptible to various online threats including identity theft, infection or attack.
If you plan on using file sharing technology be sure personal data and other sensitive materials are secur...
Mobile payment apps are changing the way we do business, but they can also be convenient ways to send money to friends and family. It’s easier than ever to send money to the people who need it, but also easier than ever for hackers to gain access to that money before it gets where you want it. How do you keep yourself and your money safe, while also being able to access the convenience of mobile payment apps?
How Mobile Payment Apps Work
You can pay using your phone, even without apps. Some companies, such as your phone company, allow you to pay your bill using standard text messaging....
Did you know that an attacker can flood your house via the water dispenser on your connected refrigerator? Or that bluetooth enabled locks can be picked from ¼ of a mile away using radio frequencies? I didn’t either, until I attended this year’s DefCon 24, an annual hacking convention in Las Vegas.
While a hotel in Las Vegas full of 22,000 hackers sounds like it might not be a good idea, it’s just the opposite. The purpose of this conference is to bring together Internet security professionals from all over the world to help educate, inform and learn how to make the Internet a safer place...