Robert Siciliano's Blog (381)

Your Kids Digital Lives Are in Shambles

If you have a teenager, you probably have a battle in play: do you or do you not manage your teens mobile devices. Though some parents see this as an invasion of their child’s privacy,(which, frankly, is stupid) there are many reasons why you should start managing what they are doing online.

Some of these reasons make a lot of sense. Mainly, what your kid does at age 17 and under, is your responsibility, or in essence, your fault if they screw up. If they send a nude…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on January 17, 2019 at 4:12pm — No Comments

Should You Worry About Contactless Credit Card NFC Skimming

If you have a contactless card, you might have worries about skimming. A contactless card or “frictionless” or “tap and go” is a card that has technology in it that allows payment over secure wireless like Apple Pay, Android Pay etc. Basically, this is where a criminal literally digitally pickpockets you by scanning things like your debit card or passport. What’s scary about this is that anyone can get an app for their phone that will allow them to skim. Is there protection for this?…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on January 9, 2019 at 4:42pm — No Comments

Protect your USPS Mail from Getting Stolen

USPSID stands for U.S. Postal Service Informed Delivery. It is a good thing to sign up for because it informs you of your expected deliveries.

But there’s a problem: Someone ELSE could pose as you and sign up for this service, getting your mail before you have a chance to.

In fact, it has already happened. Crooks have signed up as other address owners and collected their mail.

This can lead to credit card fraud if some of that mail includes new credit…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on December 20, 2018 at 4:47pm — No Comments

Beware of Rogue Cell Phone Charging Stations

Humans have evolved a new body part: the cell phone. One day it will be part of anatomical illustrations of the body in health and medical books probably an appendage on your head. I’m not a Dr. so don’t quote me.

For now, we have to figure out a way to keep this appendage juiced up without being lured into a data-sucking battery-charge station.

There’s even a name for this kind of crime: juice jacking. The kiosk is designed to appear like a legitimate battery…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on December 6, 2018 at 3:38pm — No Comments

Protect Yourself From Gift Card Scams

So maybe Christmas now means the very predictable gift card swap, but hey, who can’t use a gift card? But beware, there are a ton of scams. This includes physical, not just digital, gift cards.

Regardless of who gave you the card, you should always practice security measures. Below are two common ways that fraudsters operate.

Transform Gift Card to Cash Twice.

If someone gives you a $200 gift card to an electronics store and…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on December 6, 2018 at 3:37pm — No Comments

How to Protect You Frequent Flier Miles NOW

Social Security numbers and credit card numbers are not the only types of data that hackers are after. Now, they are looking at frequent flyer accounts, and they are stealing reward miles, and then selling them online.

How do Hackers Steal Frequent Flyer Miles?

As with other types of ID theft, hackers use info that they have illegally obtained to access frequent flyer accounts. With more data breaches happening than ever…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on November 29, 2018 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Genealogy Websites Scare Me, But This is Good

Investigators in Sacramento have arrested Joseph James DeAngelo for rape, but they only found him based on records from a genealogical website.

The effort wasn’t easy, but this guy is now off the streets. The process started with taking a look at DNA that was collected from the crime scene, which happened many years ago. Investigators didn’t have a match. However, recently, they started comparing DNA with genetic profiles that have been collected from ancestry sties.…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on November 25, 2018 at 12:53pm — No Comments

How Your Username Can Be used to Track You

You probably have a few usernames, or you might have just one that you use for every site. Either way, your user names can be used not just to identify you online, but it can also be used to track you and find out information about you. How do people track you based on your user name? They do the following:

They Start with a Google Search

The first thing people do to track your username is do a Google search. You will be amazed by all of the…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on November 20, 2018 at 5:18pm — No Comments

Financial Preparedness in a Disaster

You have probably heard that it’s important to be prepared for a disaster. You might have a first aid kit set aside, food and water, or a battery-operated radio. But, are you financially prepared?

Creating an Emergency Fund

It might be tough but try to set aside some money a little at a time. Even if you can put $10 a week in an envelope, it’s better than nothing. Saving change can really add up quickly, too. Keeping a credit card available is…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on November 6, 2018 at 4:28pm — No Comments

How to be a Grandma Identity Thief Murderer

Lois Riess is a woman from Minnesota who police say shot her husband, went on the run, and then killed a woman in order to take on her identity. Here are some shocking facts about her:

Riess Looked Like her Victim

The woman Lois Riess killed, Pamela Hutchinson, looked like her. This is why Pamela lost her life. When the body was found, police said her ID, credit cards, cash, and car was gone. Police put out an arrest warrant for Riess, and…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on October 30, 2018 at 4:02pm — No Comments

Should You Use Facebook to Login to Websites?

Have you ever used Facebook to sign onto another site? Many of us do this pretty blindly simply because it is very convenient. But, this convenience could come at a cost.

You know the drill. You go to a website and it says “Log In With Facebook.” or Google. Usually, it just takes a couple of clicks and no logging in with other usernames or passwords. However, when you do this, Facebook essentially becomes your online identity. This means that anyone who knows these…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on October 23, 2018 at 3:49pm — No Comments

Does Your Mobile Have Spyware on It?

You have a mobile phone, you might think it’s pretty safe, but what you might not realize is that these devices can have spyware on them. Keep in mind, many of the “signs” listed below are everyday normal phone behaviors. But combined, might mean spyware. Here are some of the signs:

Unusual Background Noise

While common, humming, static, or other weird noises could be a sign that someone is tapping your line. Though all phones might have…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on October 19, 2018 at 2:19pm — No Comments

Do Not take that Stupid Facebook Quiz

Where should you live in the world? What Game of Thrones family are you in? What is the food that best describes your personality? All of these answers are given and found by doing quizzes on Facebook. You have surely seen them if you use Facebook, and have may have taken these quizzes, but you definitely might want to consider stopping. If you have ever used one of these quizzes, you have probably given these third-party apps permission to access some of your personal data. Not…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on October 11, 2018 at 3:54pm — No Comments

Check Your Free Credit Report Now

When is the last time you checked your credit report? If it has been more than a year, you can get a free one. The issue is, however, is how to really understand it. Here’s some information about obtaining and reading your credit report.

Obtaining Your Free Credit Report

Based on US law, everyone is entitled to look at their credit report from all three major credit reporting agencies. If you want to look at more than that, you can pay a fee.…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on October 4, 2018 at 5:29pm — No Comments

Bitcoin Scams Up the Ying Yang

If you are thinking of jumping onto the Bitcoin bandwagon, or any type of cryptocurrency, you have to make sure that you are watching out for scams. There are a ton of them out there, including the following:

Fake Bitcoin Exchanges

You have to use a Bitcoin exchange if you want to buy or sell Bitcoins, but not all of them are legitimate. Instead, many of them are created for the sole purpose of taking people’s money. Only use well-known…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on October 3, 2018 at 4:40pm — No Comments

2017 Was the Worst Year for Identity Theft EVER!

Javelin Strategy & Research recently released its Identity Fraud Study, and it revealed that the number of identity theft victims rose by 8% in 2017 when compared to 2016. That’s almost 17 million people, which is a record high. Despite more information and industry efforts to make people aware of these practices, $16.8 billion was stolen due to ID theft in 2016.

The study also showed a shift in how ID theft fraud was being done. Credit card accounts were the…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on September 27, 2018 at 4:57pm — No Comments

Beware of the Social Security Administration Employee Scam

There is a new Social Security scam in the news, and you should definitely know about it. The Acting Inspector General of Social Security, released a statement that warns people of this new scheme. Basically, scammers are impersonating Social Security Administration employees.

The scam started out fairly small and localized, but now, people from across the country are reporting that they are getting calls from people stating that they are from the Social Security…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on September 27, 2018 at 4:54pm — No Comments

Background Checks Don't Tell the Whole Story

When it comes to background checks, the National Crime Information Center is the gold standard. It is only available to law enforcement agencies and is the most accurate and complete database tracking convictions and arrests in the US. That sounds pretty great, right? Unfortunately, it’s not all as it seems.

The Department of Justice

The Department of Justice recently released a report based on a two-year study of convictions and arrests from…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on September 14, 2018 at 5:29pm — 1 Comment

A "Credit Profile Number" is a fake SSN, and it Works

Cyber criminals are constantly trying to stay one step ahead of the good guys, and there is now another scam out there that you should know about: synthetic identity theft. Basically, the criminals take information from someone, and then make up the rest. They also often use fake Social Security numbers, called CPNs, or “credit profile numbers,” or names.

This type of identity theft shows us that our credit system is more vulnerable than we might think. Basically, it…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on September 12, 2018 at 5:22pm — No Comments

2017 Was the Worst year for Data Breaches EVER!

It seems like 2017 broke records for all the wrong reasons…one of them being the worst year for data breaches in history.

According to reports, hacking was the most common way to collect this data, but almost 70% of exposures occurred due to accidental leaks or human error. This came down to more than…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on September 7, 2018 at 4:06pm — No Comments

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