Could Your Smoke Detector Steal Your Identity?

Ever get the feeling you’re being watched? The answer is probably yes. Most of your online life is likely being tracked and recorded by someone somewhere every single moment. It’s almost impossible to walk down a street without that innocent behavior being caught on camera. And even your phone is probably tracking your every movement if you’ve got something as simple as geo location switched on.

But what about in your own home? Your TV, your refrigerator, even your smoke alarm? Are they in on this surveillance thing too? The answer is yes, and while it might not be happening in your home, right now, it could happen soon. Because it’s already happened to others.

Welcome to the Internet of Things, or IoT, the latest and maybe scariest battlefront between you and those who seek to snoop on or hack your life.


How “Silent Calls” Lead To Identity Theft

We’ve all had the experience of answering a phone call only to hear nothing. Typically, we just hang up and shrug. But those “silent calls” are the first step in well-organized campaigns to steal identities and bank account balances. Here is how these scams work, and what you should do to protect yourself…


IRS Early Filing Tax Refund Scam Growing Like Mad

There’s a relatively new scam in town that’s been picking up speed like a bullet train and you might already be a victim. This scam involves identity thieves using your information to file electronic returns with the IRS claiming refunds, some much higher than you would be entitled to, and pocketing the funds before you have had a chance to file your tax return.  The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) states that there was a 62% increase in this crime from 2011 to 2012.


Basically, Every Car Is Now Vulnerable To Hacking

The auto world has been thinking a lot about hacking lately. For years, it wasn’t much of a concern, but now that many new cars are connected to telematics networks like Uconnect and OnStar and to cellular networks via dongles attached to their onboard diagnostics ports, our rides are becoming increasingly vulnerable.

As proof, consider recent stories about Volkswagen (including Audi and Porsche), BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. We have a feeling that this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Volkswagen’s story is perhaps the more troubling, and it’s definitely the harder to repair. That may explain why the automaker spent two years trying to hide the information from the public. VW’s vulnerability is rooted in radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips manufactured by Megamos Crypto. Those chips help keep…


6 Password Tips to Protect Against Business and Identity Theft

Ah, those pesky passwords. If you work in the corporate world or in an office, you have one for your PC/Network and, unless there is a password synchronization application that combines them, you probably have more than one for other applications. Add those to the ones that you have for your home Internet, your banking and other websites that require passwords, and before you know it you have a nightmare on your hands in trying to manage them. How easy a target are you for business and identity theft?

Part of the frustration has to do with the different requirements for password formatting. Some systems only require four characters, some require eight. Some need a combination of alpha and numeric characters and…


Internet roulette: Is the Internet of Things worth the risk?

Are we ready for the “Internet of Things”? Probably not. The phrase — coined in 1999 by researcher Kevin Ashton while working for Procter & Gamble — refers to things (cars, homes, factories, hospitals) whose performance is monitored and guided by digital networks. We already have one wildly successful example: GPS navigation that directs us to unfamiliar destinations. But countless other possibilities have excited futurists and tech companies.

Be skeptical. It’s not that technological opportunities aren’t genuine. The trouble is that they come with huge risks — risks that tend to be minimized or presumed solvable. The more activities we put on the Internet and other networks, the more vulnerable we become to hacking, cyberwarfare, software glitches and the like.


Next-Gen Cybersecurity Is All About Behavior Recognition

In the wake of devastating personal information leaks, like Target’s back in 2014 affecting more than 70 million customers and the more recent Ashley Madison data breach, concerns over cybersecurity are at an all-time high.

Financial advisers overwhelmingly cite cybersecurity as their number-one concern, with business owners and everyday consumers sharing in those worries.

There are a few ways to approach this problem, but the one on everyone’s mind is the most straightforward; we need to protect companies’ records from ever being breached in the first place.


Worst possible outcome for consumers: Over 140,000,000 Americans’ health information disclosed in data breaches

Almost half of Americans’ sensitive health information have been disclosed in data breaches increasing their risk of medical identity theft and medical fraud.

Medical identity theft is the worst possible outcome for consumers affected by a breach….


Was the Ashley Madison Database Leaked?

Many news sites and blogs are reporting that the data stolen last month from 37 million users of — a site that facilitates cheating and extramarital affairs — has finally been posted online for the world to see. In the past 48 hours, several huge dumps of data claiming to be the actual AshleyMadison database have turned up online. But there are precious few details in them that would allow one to verify these claims, and the company….


Crypto-Ransomware Attacks: The New Form of Kidnapping

The evolution of crime continues to push itself into the cyber world. Physical criminal operations are now learning to walk again as our generation continues to get its feet wet in the digital age. The low risk, high reward incentive involved with cybercrime opens the flood gates for criminal pioneers to evolve….