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Cyberbullying and Identity Theft Go Hand-In-Hand and Continue to Pose a Threat
The second Wednesday in October is one of the most important holidays we have since it impacts every single citizen in the world. National Stop Bullying Day is not only an awareness campaign about a crucial global issue, it is also one that impacts young and old, rich and poor, every race and nationality.
There was a time when bullying meant schoolyard taunts or some rude graffiti. Now, it encompasses horrific crimes like cyberbullying, including sextortion, doxxing, identity theft and account takeover.
The first step to stopping these and other cyberbullying problems is to understand when it is even happening. For too many people, especially parents of younger victims, the truth only emerges after something far more serious occurs. This guide contains more details, but some common signs include withdrawing emotionally, repeatedly missing school or work for no apparent reason, increased need for funds and dramatic behavior changes.
The organization Stomp Out Bullying has some great resources for this year’s important campaign, which can be found on their website. This article by the Cybercrime Support Network can also help. However, recognizing that cyberbullying is a very serious matter, one that can affect adults as well as young people, is the most important step anyone can take to avoiding this threat.
Stay Safe Online also offers a lot of helpful solutions, such as...
safety  security  privacy  bullying  identity_theft  children  teenager  cybercrime 
4 days ago by rgl7194
7 Ways to Prevent Identity Theft - SecureMac
Identity theft can upend your life. It requires a tremendous amount of time and effort to undo the damage—and the aftereffects can be felt for months or even years.
Even the largest companies experience data breaches, losing track of customer passwords and personal information that can then be used to commit identity theft. And smaller organizations, governments, and schools are increasingly under attack by cybercriminals as well. In short, we’re all at risk.
While you can’t do much to improve your bank’s cybersecurity posture, there are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself. If you want to prevent identity theft, here are 7 things that you can do.
security  privacy  identity_theft  passwords  networking  phishing  scam  telephone  credit_freeze 
15 days ago by rgl7194
Phone Hijacking: The Latest Identity Theft Threat - Identity Theft Resource Center
Security experts have warned consumers for years that their smartphones could be an easy gateway to their identities.
Think of it this way: a thief grabs your phone or someone picks it up in a coffee shop where you’ve left it. If you haven’t passcode protected it or it was still unlocked, they now have access to your email, your Amazon app, your PayPal app, your social media apps, your mobile wallet, and more, all with a few simple password changes.
Clicking “forgot my password” provides them with a link that’s sent to your email or phone number, which they now have access to. A quick browse through your social media might even provide them with the answers to your security questions, such as your mother’s maiden name and the town where you were born. They change all of your passwords and go on a spending spree, all while locking you out.
But experts are now warning about an entirely new threat involving your phone. Phone hijacking, as it’s been called, is technically a form of account takeover. A thief walks into a mobile carrier store and pretends to be you. With a few simple steps, they upgrade your account and walk out with a couple of brand-new iPhones. You only discover the problem when your real phone stops working because the number has been transferred to those new phones…or when the bill for those phones arrives.
This might sound like a random crime of opportunity, but the reality is smartphone hijacking doubled in 2016, and the damage from all forms of account takeover reached well over $2 billion that year.
security  privacy  smartphone  identity_theft 
4 weeks ago by rgl7194
New Law in New York Protects Citizens from Identity Theft and Data Breaches
Consumers have a new law in New York to thank for providing additional protection from identity theft and data breaches. The law, which was passed by the state legislature in June in response to the rash of record-breaking data breaches and updated regulations, spells out how companies must respond when a breach event occurs.
The new law in New York even applies to businesses outside of the state. If the victims of the breach are New Yorkers, the company must comply with the steps outlined in the law no matter where they are located. This can have a domino effect of sorts since disclosing the breach to those residents can help make consumers in other states aware that a breach has occurred, even if they are not going to be receiving notification letters due to their locations.
Moreover, the SHIELD Act in New York will cover biometric data, not just personal identifiable information like Social Security numbers or usernames and passwords. If a company gathers and stores things like fingerprints or blood type, that information is now considered worthy of triggering a data breach notification. In the past, different states have had different rules on what requires a notification letter, and until now, biometric data was not included in New York.
new_york  gov2.0  privacy  security  SHIELD  data  breach  identity_theft 
9 weeks ago by rgl7194
I Lost My Identity to a Fraudster, and It Took Six Years to Clean Up the Mess - Bloomberg
A Bloomberg reporter’s first-person account of trying to get back his name and credit rating.
This essay is going to scare you. There is a better-than-average chance that, at some point in the last several years, your personal information was stolen. Not something small like a credit card account, but the good stuff, your Social Security number coupled with your birthdate.
In fairness to thieves, we have all made this very easy for them to do. You and I hand over this information every time we apply for credit or a loan, open a bank account, check our credit score (Hello, Equifax, old friend), or do any of the other filling-out-of-forms drudgery that goes along with the modern consumer-financial economy.
security  privacy  identity_theft  fraud  credit_report 
9 weeks ago by rgl7194
Lost amid the Equifax and Capital One hacks: Identity thieves targeting kids with ‘blank slate’ credit histories - MarketWatch
A child victim of identity theft typically won’t find out their identity has been targeted until the first time they apply for a first credit card, job or apartment
People are understandably concerned about their online privacy in light of recent data breaches, but their children should also exercise caution.
Capital One COF, -2.29%  last month became the latest company to announce a massive hack, revealing that more than 100 million U.S. customers’ personal information — including “tokenized or encrypted” Social Security Numbers and linked bank-account numbers — had been stolen. The news came just days after an announcement that the credit-monitoring company Equifax EFX, -1.30%, whose 2017 hack exposed around 147 million people’s personal information, had agreed to a $700 million settlement.
But adults aren’t the only ones vulnerable to such attacks: The educational software company Pearson PSO, -1.20%, for example, suffered a recent cyberattack impacting about 13,000 school and university accounts.
privacy  security  children  identity_theft  SSN  social_media  credit_freeze 
9 weeks ago by rgl7194
What Parents Need To Know About Child Identity Theft
Parents instinctively protect their children from any danger that might come their way, but what do parents tend to overlook? Child identity theft.  Given the prevalence of this crime – more than one million cases of child identity theft cases were reported last year alone – it’s crucial that parents and legal guardians start taking the necessary steps to help minimize their children’s risks. To help encourage this thinking, Experian has deemed September 1 as Child Identity Theft Awareness Day to generate more attention around this prolific crime in hopes that it will reduce the amount of victims.
Children’s identities are seen as desirable because they are often left unmonitored for many years, giving thieves ample time to wreak havoc. For example, a recent survey conducted by Experian found that 45 percent of respondents didn’t discover they were a victim of identity theft until they were between the ages of 16 and 18.  Additionally, more than half of those surveyed didn’t discover they were a victim of child identity theft until they applied for credit as an adult or when they received a bill or credit card in the mail.
security  privacy  children  identity_theft 
9 weeks ago by rgl7194
How Fighting Data Breaches Has Changed - Consumer Reports
The Capital One and Equifax hacks highlight the need for different consumer strategies
As more companies report the theft of customer data, the chances that your personal information will be stolen or fall into the wrong hands grow every day.
As a result, consumers need to change the way they protect themselves and how they respond to data breaches.
Early this week, Capital One announced a massive data breach affecting more than 100 million consumers, and reports suggest that the hacker may have more data from other companies.
The Federal Trade Commission, for its part, announced that so many consumers had signed up for reimbursement from the settlement from Equifax's 2017 data breach that consumers are likely to get far less than the $125 that had initially been promised. (Read on for advice about how to maximize your reimbursement.)
As data breaches have increased, so has the need for consumers to employ new strategies. Though it's still smart to check your bank statements and use credit monitoring for some peace of mind, experts advise using new ways to protect your personal data and get maximum restitution if you're the victim of a data breach.
Here are three smart strategies for fighting back against data breaches.
breach  data  equifax  identity_theft  privacy  security  banking  capital_one  credit_cards  hack  credit_freeze  consumer  report 
9 weeks ago by rgl7194
Thinking of Providing Your Social Security Number? Think Again. - Identity Theft Resource Center
From doctor’s offices and financial institutions to college university admittance applications and summer camp registrations, the request for your Social Security number (SSN) has become commonplace. In fact, it’s become such a standard request that many individuals willingly provide this number without hesitation and without really thinking about the consequences behind this, one of which being an increased risk of identity theft.
Social Security numbers hold one of the keys to your identity. With it, you can open a new line of credit, gain employment, receive health insurance and file taxes. Thieves also know the power behind this nine-digit number, which is why it’s one of the most highly sought after pieces of personal information. There are a variety of ways that thieves attempt to obtain SSNs, and they include more low-tech methods like sifting through your trash, stealing a wallet, purse or laptop; or using more sophisticated ways like phishing emails and texts, scam calls and via data breaches. For example, there were nearly 158 million social security numbers exposed in 2017 due to data breaches.
While the exposure of your SSN is not entirely preventable – data breaches are a perfect example of this – consumers should refrain from giving it out unnecessarily to minimize their risks of identity theft. Basically, the frequency at which the number is exposed – whether intentional or unintentional, the higher the probability that it will be compromised. Here are some tips to help you protect your SSN and become a better steward of your identity:
SSN  security  privacy  data  breach  identity_theft 
9 weeks ago by rgl7194
Don't Fall for Equifax Settlement Scams - Identity Theft Resource Center
What It Is
Scammers are looking to cash in on the buzz surrounding the Equifax data breach, specifically the ability for consumers to check their data and file a claim if they were affected.
Who It Is Targeting
Any consumers who may have had their information stolen in the Equifax breach could be at risk of an Equifax settlement scam, but scammers may also seek out people who were not affected in order to sell them protection products.
What You Need To Know
Equifax is one of the three major credit reporting agencies, and they were breached in 2018. More than 147 million consumers had their complete identities stolen by hackers. Now, Equifax has launched its settlement website where you can find out if your information was stolen, file a claim for compensation and apply for credit monitoring. Equifax settlement scammers are capitalizing on the buzz surrounding this new website and have already targeted victims.
What You Should Do About It
Make sure you are only using legitimate websites for this process, namely the FTC’s site and EquifaxBreachSettlement.com.
You do not have to pay anything to file a claim, look into your data, receive credit monitoring services or otherwise participate in this settlement.
Never verify your information for someone who contacts you and offers to find out if you have been affected.
Never hand over your Social Security number to someone who contacts you in any way.
credit_freeze  credit_report  equifax  identity_theft  legal  privacy  security  scam  SSN 
10 weeks ago by rgl7194
Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft - Schneier on Security
I don't have a lot of good news for you. The truth is there's nothing we can do to protect our data from being stolen by cybercriminals and others.
Ten years ago, I could have given you all sorts of advice about using encryption, not sending information over email, securing your web connections, and a host of other things­ -- but most of that doesn't matter anymore. Today, your sensitive data is controlled by others, and there's nothing you can personally to do affect its security.
I could give you advice like don't stay at a hotel (the Marriott breach), don't get a government clearance (the Office of Personnel Management hack), don't store your photos online (Apple breach and others), don't use email (many, many different breaches), and don't have anything other than an anonymous cash-only relationship with anyone, ever (the Equifax breach). But that's all ridiculous advice for anyone trying to live a normal life in the 21st century.
The reality is that your sensitive data has likely already been stolen, multiple times. Cybercriminals have your credit card information. They have your social security number and your mother's maiden name. They have your address and phone number. They obtained the data by hacking any one of the hundreds of companies you entrust with the data­ -- and you have no visibility into those companies' security practices, and no recourse when they lose your data.
Given this, your best option is to turn your efforts toward trying to make sure that your data isn't used against you. Enable two-factor authentication for all important accounts whenever possible. Don't reuse passwords for anything important -- ­and get a password manager to remember them all.
Do your best to disable the "secret questions" and other backup authentication mechanisms companies use when you forget your password­ -- those are invariably insecure. Watch your credit reports and your bank accounts for suspicious activity. Set up credit freezes with the major credit bureaus. Be wary of email and phone calls you get from people purporting to be from companies you do business with.
Of course, it's unlikely you will do a lot of this. Pretty much no one does. That's because it's annoying and inconvenient. This is the reality, though. The companies you do business with have no real incentive to secure your data. The best way for you to protect yourself is to change that incentive, which means agitating for government oversight of this space. This includes proscriptive regulations, more flexible security standards, liabilities, certification, licensing, and meaningful labeling. Once that happens, the market will step in and provide companies with the technologies they can use to secure your data.
This essay previously appeared in the Rochester Review, as part of an alumni forum that asked: "How do you best protect yourself from identity theft?"
security  privacy  identity_theft  data  breach  hack  credit_cards  SSN  2FA  passwords  1password  credit_report  credit_freeze 
11 weeks ago by rgl7194
Equifax to pay $575M for data breach, promises to protect data next time | Ars Technica
The company promises free credit monitoring and not to screw up with security.
Equifax, the Federal Trade Commission, and other state and federal regulators have agreed on what Equifax owes in penalties, nearly two years after the company's massive breach of sensitive consumer information became public.
The company will pay at least $575 million, according to the terms of a settlement the FTC announced today. At least $300 million goes into a fund to pay for credit monitoring services for "affected customers," which includes more than 40% of the entire US population. That fund can get boosted by another $125 million if the initial $300 million isn't enough to compensate all consumers who make claims.
Equifax will pay another $175 million in fines to be split up among the 50 attorneys general who filed suit, representing 48 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico, and $100 million in penalties to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The company will not pay any penalties to the FTC itself, because the commission does not have the authority to fine companies for violations of the FTC Act or the Safeguards Rule, which requires financial institutions to take special care with consumer data.
credit_freeze  credit_report  equifax  identity_theft  legal  privacy  security 
11 weeks ago by rgl7194
What You Should Know About the Equifax Data Breach Settlement — Krebs on Security
Big-three credit bureau Equifax has reportedly agreed to pay at least $650 million to settle lawsuits stemming from a 2017 breach that let intruders steal personal and financial data on roughly 148 million Americans. Here’s a brief primer that attempts to break down what this settlement means for you, and what it says about the value of your identity.
Q: What happened?
A: If the terms of the settlement are approved by a court, the Federal Trade Commission says Equifax will be required to spend up to $425 million helping consumers who can demonstrate they were financially harmed by the breach. The company also will provide up to 10 years of free credit monitoring to those who had their data exposed.
credit_freeze  credit_report  equifax  identity_theft  legal  privacy  security  q&a  krebs 
11 weeks ago by rgl7194
Equifax to Pay up to $700 Million in 2017 Data Breach Settlement
Equifax, one of the three largest credit-reporting firms in the United States, has to pay up to $700 million in fines to settle a series of state and federal investigations into the massive 2017 data breach that exposed the personal and financial data of nearly 150 million Americans—that's almost half the country.
According to an official announcement by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today, Equifax has agreed to pay at least $575 million in fines, but this penalty could rise to up to $700 million depending on the amount of compensation people claim.
Up to $425 million of the fines will go to a fund that will provide credit monitoring services to affected customers and compensate anyone who bought such services from the company and paid other related expenses as a result of the breach.
credit_freeze  credit_report  equifax  identity_theft  legal  privacy  security 
11 weeks ago by rgl7194
You can go claim at least $125 from the Equifax settlement right now [Updated] | Ars Technica
You can't un-breach data, but you can claim some cash for dealing with the mess.
Update: As of July 31, the FTC says consumers can no longer claim the $125 cash option in lieu of credit monitoring due to "overwhelming" and "unexpected" interest.
Original story:
There is at long last a silver lining for the 144 million of us who had our personal data leaked in the gigantic 2017 Equifax data breach: cash money.
Under the terms of its settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, Equifax established a fund of at least $300 million to compensate individuals who had their data compromised.
You, the individual, get to choose which claim to file: up to 10 free years of credit monitoring service, or a $125 check.
Additionally, you may also be eligible to claim up to $500 in compensation for time you spent dealing with the fallout of the breach, and up to another $20,000 if you suffered identity theft you can tie back to it.
credit_freeze  credit_report  equifax  identity_theft  legal  privacy  security 
11 weeks ago by rgl7194
How to get your Equifax money and stay safe doing it - Malwarebytes Labs | Malwarebytes Labs
Following the enormous data breach of Equifax in 2017—in which roughly 147 million Americans’ suffered the loss of their Social Security numbers, addresses, credit card and driver’s license information, birthdates, and more—the company has agreed to a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission, in which it will pay at least $650 million.
Much of that settlement—up to $425 million—is reserved for you, the consumers. Here’s how you can see if you’re eligible for a payment.
First, you can check if your sensitive data was compromised during the 2017 data breach by going to Equifax’s new settlement website:
https://www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/
credit_freeze  credit_report  equifax  identity_theft  legal  privacy  security 
11 weeks ago by rgl7194
You’re probably not going to get your $125 from the Equifax settlement | Ars Technica
Equifax has somehow found a way to make the settlement even more disappointing.
If you haven't already filed a claim for cash compensation in response to the Equifax breach, you might be out of luck. The company is no longer offering payouts in lieu of credit monitoring.
The Federal Trade Commission page devoted to the settlement it announced with Equifax last week was updated July 31 to say that any consumer affected can claim up to 10 years of free credit monitoring. "Previously, a cash payment was identified as an option," the site now adds, "but there are limited funds available."
The FTC said in a statement that "public response to the settlement has been overwhelming." In a separate blog post, the commission said the "unexpected number of claims" would result in claimants not getting the money they thought.
credit_freeze  credit_report  equifax  identity_theft  legal  privacy  security 
11 weeks ago by rgl7194
FTC Tells Equifax Victims to Opt for Credit Monitoring Over $125
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says that Equifax data breach victims who already have credit monitoring and opted to get a $125 cash payment might not get it in full and should choose the free credit monitoring option instead.
Equifax disclosed the data breach which exposed the sensitive information of roughly 147 million people during September 2017. Under the settlement agreed upon with the FTX on July 22, Equifax said that it will spend up to $425 million to help the breach victims.
As part of the settlement, Equifax offered the victims the option to choose between 10 years of free credit monitoring (4 years with Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, and 6 more only with Equifax) or a $125 cash payment.
credit_freeze  credit_report  equifax  identity_theft  legal  privacy  security  gov2.0 
11 weeks ago by rgl7194
Equifax Settlement Won’t be Enough to Deter Future Breaches: The Law Must Catch Up | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Last week, news broke of a large financial settlement for the massive 2017 Equifax data breach affecting 147 million Americans. While the direct compensation to those harmed and the fines paid are important, it’s equally important to evaluate how much this result is likely to create strong incentives to increase data security for both Equifax and the other companies that are closely watching. 
We doubt it will do enough. Without stronger privacy legislation, the lawyers and regulators trying to respond to these data leaks are operating with one hand tied behind their back.   
In the meantime, EFF strongly urges everyone impacted by the calamitous Equifax breach to participate in the settlement claims process. Equifax must pay for the harm they have caused to everyone. And all too often, the fact that too few people make claims in these consumer privacy cases is used in the next case to argue that consumers just don’t care about privacy, making it even harder to force real security upgrades. If you do care about your privacy and want to make companies more responsible with your data, make your position known.  
credit_freeze  credit_report  equifax  identity_theft  legal  privacy  security 
11 weeks ago by rgl7194

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