Archives: Privacy Tips

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Privacy Tip #245 – Another Breach Notification Letter

This week, I received a breach notification letter from a large financial institution stating that my personal information, including my name, Social Security number, account name and number, contact information, date of birth, and asset information may have been compromised. UGH—that is highly sensitive information. Unfortunately, this is not the first time my personal information … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #244 – Beware of Scammers Posing as Utility Company Employees

The coronavirus pandemic has caused millions of people to lose their jobs and many are struggling to make ends meet, including paying their utility bills. With economic turmoil comes scammers ready to take advantage of heightened anxiety and to prey on individuals when they are the most vulnerable. Recently, scammers have been posing as employees … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #243 – Misconfigured Cloud Exposes Millions of Records of Eleven Dating Sites

Dating sites continue to be the source of compromise of sensitive personal information. Another example of this was discovered recently by security researchers at WizCase, who found that information on millions of users of up to 11 different dating service sites was accessible due to misconfigured cloud storage.  The databases that were discovered included users’ … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #242 – Protecting Children’s Privacy

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) has been on the books for years and is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). COPPA basically prohibits companies from collecting personal information from children under the age of 13 without parental consent. The FTC has an impressive record of enforcement actions under COPPA and compliance with … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #241 – Who is db851dd?

As you know, I very rarely download mobile apps. Except for a multi-factor authentication app, and of course, the Jumbo privacy app. This week, the Jumbo privacy app advised me that my name, address and email address had been involved in a data breach by db851dd. What the heck is that and how did they … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #240 – Update iPhone OS as Soon as Possible for Jailbreak Zero-Day Vulnerability

We have urged readers in the past to pay attention to the pushes received from mobile phone manufacturers to update operating systems. Although the pushes claim that new features are included, there are also patches included to plug known vulnerabilities. If you keep pushing “later,” and you don’t update as soon as possible, those vulnerabilities … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #237 – Nintendo Users: Change Your Password and Enable MFA

Nintendo has shut down some NNID logins and has told Switch owners to lock down their accounts following a series of fraudulent attacks. Nintendo has confirmed that it suffered an attack by hackers who accessed some accounts and are using PayPal accounts linked to the accounts to purchase items fraudulently. According to Nintendo, approximately 160,000 … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #236 – Foreign Government-Backed Phishing Attacks Pose as Fast Food Chains

Google has warned users in a blog article that nation state-backed hackers are using the COVID-19 crisis to ramp up phishing attempts and, in one example, are posing as American fast food franchises and sending malicious emails with fake offers and coupons to government officials and health care workers. Google has identified over 12 government-backed … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #234 – Children’s Privacy During the Pandemic

Kids are at home all day now, remote learning and surfing the web more than ever before. Parents are working from home too, and understandably are not always able to monitor and supervise their children’s computer use as much as they should or would like to. Scammers, fraudsters and evil doers know this and are … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #231 – Out of Work Because of Coronavirus? Beware of Scammers Pretending to Be Employers

It is an old trick, and one that scammers are once again using following massive lay-offs after the coronavirus outbreak and mandates to shelter from home. The trick is to impersonate an employer recruiting for jobs, or touting the ability to make lots of money while working from home. As the old adage says, “If … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #229 – Two RSA Conference Attendees Test Positive for Coronavirus

Our firm is a proud member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), as are those of many of my colleagues in the industry. I attend the IAPP Global Privacy Summit every year, and have done so since (I think) 2004. Yikes. Back in the early days, hundreds of individuals attended the conference in … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #228 – Coronavirus Scare Is the Perfect Cover for Fraudsters

The coronavirus—or COVID-19—has health care experts scrambling, and has caused global concern for health and well-being due to its rapid spread throughout many countries, including the United States. A scare like this is the perfect opportunity for scammers and fraudsters to prey on well-intentioned people. Unfortunately, during this global health care concern, criminals are using … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #227 – Sextortion Ransomware

Criminal minds are creative, and new ransomware strains show just how creative cyber-attackers can be. A new strain of ransomware, dubbed Ransomwared, requests a different kind of payment from the victim than the typical bitcoin request. Instead of paying for the decryption of data, or to prevent cyber-attackers from releasing private photos they have obtained … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #226 – Beware – Well-Known Brands Used for Phishing Schemes

A new study by Check Point Research shows that cyber criminals are using well-known brands to lure victims into clicking on nefarious links, providing personal information or credentials, or getting users to transfer money.  This is an old malware trick that we used to see and now recognize. Scammers send a phishing email after copying … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #223 – Navigating Individual Data Privacy in a World with AI

The same week that the National Institute of Standards and Technology came out with its Privacy Framework [view related post], highlighting how privacy is basically a conundrum, news articles also highlighted a new technology, Clearview AI, that allows someone to snap a picture of anyone walking down the street and instantly find out that person’s … Continue Reading
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