Posts Tagged 'personal'

Stop scammers by posting their personal details

A couple of net scammers got their just desserts. Numerous sites charging unwitting consumers with suspicious charges, these 2 scammers made millions. Victims revolted, found out who they were and posted their personal details online, names, home address, photos, license plates, and even information about their girlfriends (I think stepped over the line but then again I’m not the one who got scammed). Shortly thereafter the sites were taken down.

Justice served? Is this the only way to battle scammers? Hopefully there are easier ways but this one definitely works. Maybe this will lead to actual criminal charges rather than a simple slap on the wrist. Looks like their scamming days are over.

Browsers woo users with privacy mode

This is great feature. Many are probably thinking “Why not implement this feature right from the beginning?” Why indeed. Microsoft was the first to come out with it’s “InPrivate” mode to protect user data. Next up was the surprise from Google, Chrome, which has the “Incognito” mode. And now Mozilla will be the last to the game (not counting Safari) to introduce a privacy mode with Firefox 3.1.

This is great news for web surfers. No longer will we have to worry about unscrupulous web sites reading cookies, history, or any other personal information stored in our cache files. As a secondary effect let’s hope that spam levels drop off and malware and spyware programs disappear … we can only hope.

Computer sold on eBay for $65 contained private data

In the company’s defence, the employee was probably “former” and “disgruntled”. Who sells corporate hardware without authorization?! You’d think after previous debacles of data loss and personal information issues banks would pay more attention to this kind of security leak. I’m just happy I don’t bank with them.

“American Express and NatWest/RBS said they were investigating, but would need to establish how many clients were involved before deciding on a course of action. Graphic Data said it was trying to recover the computer. (link)

Users sharing private data unknowingly?

Sadly I do this all the time. What’s this thing I need to click on to see that funny video, done. CLICK! Oops what did I just share. What? I need to install this widget on Facebook, done. CLICK! Why is my computer really slow now, and what’s this charge on my credit card? I’m more aware but I still make some mistakes. Do Internet thieves ever take a day off?

“Internet users appear to take the concept of privacy online seriously, but their actions don’t follow their words very well. AOL surveyed a thousand online consumers in the UK in order to get a feel for their understanding of privacy issues on the Internet and found that while 84 percent said that they would remain tight-lipped about personal details, even more ended up forking them over without any hesitation.” (link)

Data retention changing behaviour

A new survey shows that data retention laws influence the actual behavior of citizens in Germany. 11% had already abstained from single telecommunication acts, 52% would not use phone or e-mail for confidential contacts.

The problem with surveillance is not primarily that some bored officer might learn about some embarrassing private detail (although this is a problem as well). The fundamental problem with surveillance is that it changes people. People under surveillance behave differently than people who are not monitored – differently than free people.

Unfortunately, this fundamental problem has just been proven in Germany. Since the beginning of this year, communication providers are required to record who communicated with whom and when (but not the content of the communication). This data is stored for six months and available to law enforcement in cases related to certain forms of crime. (link)

Paypal: Safari is not safe, stop using it

While current browser share estimates for Apple’s Safari web browser hover somewhere in the 4.5 percent range, Safari is attracting some unwanted attention from PayPal, the eBay-owned payment company. PayPal is urging its users to ditch Safari and instead use alternative browsers such as Internet Explorer 7, IE 8, Firefox 2, Firefox 3, or even Opera.

The reason for the warning is Safari’s lack of anti-phishing technology. Currently the Apple browser does not alert users to sites that could be phishing for your info, and it lacks support for Extended Validation. PayPal is, of course, a popular site among phishers in their neverending search for personal information, user IDs, and passwords. (link)

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