‘If you tell me your date of birth and where you’re born on Facebook, I’m 98 per cent of the way to stealing your identity,’
'World's greatest conman' Frank Abagnale says social network is rich seam for identity thieves. He said children in particular need to be made aware of the serious risks of unwittingly revealing information online…..‘Technology breeds crime.’
‘What I did 40 years ago as a teenage boy is 4,000 times easier now,’ said Mr Abagnale, who is known as one of the most successful impostors of all time, assuming the identities of pilots, doctors, lawyers, and even a U.S. prison agent.
"Something seemingly innocent, like posting our birthday on Facebook, can provide thieves with just enough information to access bank accounts, credit cards, sign up for credit and more."
You also give away a few more pieces of the identity puzzle by sharing whom or what you "like" or "follow." When you like a particular store or your neighborhood bank, for instance, you are giving a potential thief one more link to steal your information.
Hackers utilize the following distribution "touch points" to deceive users: malicious links and code, spam, friend requests, private messaging, user groups, gaming forums, videos and music.
"Social networking scams are 10 times more effective in spreading malware than email" is, said George Waller, executive vice president and co-founder of StrikeForce Technologies in Edison, N.J.
Blanton, who was once a police officer, added that people have always used personal information to commit crimes.
"The Internet just makes it easier," she said. And now social media has provided a gold mine for bad guys.
1. Change your name. If you tweak your name just a little, or use a nickname, life will be easier for you after the inevitable hack.
2. Stop geotagging your photos.
3. Lie about your age. While it's fun to get birthday greetings on your wall, it's a key piece of information needed to steal your identity. At least post the wrong year.
4. Don't store your credit card information on the site. Facebook has several services that require a credit card. Buyer beware.
5. Have some boundaries. When Facebook asks you where your photo was taken, keep it to yourself.
6. Less is more (peace of mind). …. Go through your timeline and remove posts that provide personally identifiable information.
7. Deactivate your account.
Bonus Pro Tip: Don't use your Facebook password anywhere else. That's making it way too easy for the bad guys.
Suicide is now the leading cause of injury deaths. Too many people are living lives of despair as the miserable economy takes its toll.
More people commit suicide than die in car crashes. A report in the American Journal of Public Health says suicide ranks first followed by car crashes, poisoning, falls and murder.
"Suicides are terribly undercounted; I think the problem is much worse than official data would lead us to believe," said study author Ian Rockett, a professor of epidemiology at West Virginia University…. For the study, Rockett's team used data from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics to determine the cause of injury deaths from 2000 to 2009.
Deaths from intentional and unintentional injury were 10 percent higher in 2009 than in 2000, the researchers noted. And although deaths from car crashes declined 25 percent, deaths from poisoning rose 128 percent, deaths from falls increased 71 percent and deaths from suicides rose 15 percent, according to the study.
In 2009, more than 37,000 Americans took their own lives, and more than 500,000 were at risk of suicide, according to Pamela Hyde, administrator of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Medical errors kill enough people to fill four jumbo jets a week. A surgeon with five simple ways to make health care safer.
All of them have to do with transparency
A staggering 94 million Americans exposed to potential identity theft through breaches in government agencies. And it's probably much worse.
Furthermore, out of 268 breach incidents reported since 2009, the 67 of the public agencies responsible (and I use that term loosely) couldn't even figure out how many records were lost. That fact alone will tell anyone with basic math skills and a lick of common sense that this epidemic is much worse than we know. …..
Premeditated attacks by hackers accounted for only 40 breaches since 2009, a mere 15 percent of the total….Plain and simple stupidity and negligence caused most of the rest.
the sad truth is that our own government's security policies -- or lack thereof -- have put us all at risk. …The GAO's report found that out of 24 major government agencies, 18 had inadequate information security controls….the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Health and Human Services, each of which have met just over 50 percent of the law's requirements.
Robert Morgenthau: The Death of Peter Wielunski
For every soldier killed in combat, 25 veterans are dying by suicide. It's time to broaden efforts against PTSD.
Online storage service Dropbox has admitted to a security breach that led to many of its members receiving unsolicited emails. A stolen password had been used to access an employee's accounts and copy a 'project document' containing user emails addresses.
The US company said that usernames and passwords stolen from other sites had also been used to sign in to some of its members' accounts.
'The Dropbox incident underlines the necessity of having different passwords for every website,' said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. 'As people pile more confidential information onto the web, hackers are being given a greater incentive to penetrate accounts.
Matt Honan over at Wired tells how his entire digital life was destroyed.
In the space of one hour, my entire digital life was destroyed. First my Google account was taken over, then deleted. Next my Twitter account was compromised, and used as a platform to broadcast racist and homophobic messages. And worst of all, my AppleID account was broken into, and my hackers used it to remotely erase all of the data on my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook.
In many ways, this was all my fault. My accounts were daisy-chained together. Getting into Amazon let my hackers get into my Apple ID account, which helped them get into Gmail, which gave them access to Twitter. Had I used two-factor authentication for my Google account, it’s possible that none of this would have happened, because their ultimate goal was always to take over my Twitter account and wreak havoc. Lulz.
Had I been regularly backing up the data on my MacBook, I wouldn’t have had to worry about losing more than a year’s worth of photos, covering the entire lifespan of my daughter, or documents and e-mails that I had stored in no other location.
An amazing illusion that I found here.
Speaking of illusions, how safe are you from identity theft?
A report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) reveals that that taxpayer identity theft more than doubled in 2011, skyrocketing to 641,052 taxpayers affected as compared to 270,518 the prior year.
As Eileen Ambrose of the Baltimore Sun explains, once a fraudster has someone's Social Security number, all they have to do is "make up W-2 information, submit a return before the legitimate taxpayer files and receive a refund directly deposited on a debit card."
That, said Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson during a July 10th House Judiciary Committee hearing, can mean a nightmare for victims. "Identity theft wreaks havoc on our tax system in many ways," explained. "Victims not only must deal with the aftermath of an emotionally draining crime, but may also have to deal with the IRS for years to untangle the resulting tax account problems. Identity theft also impacts the public …(Treasury)… as Treasury funds are diverted to pay out improper refunds claimed by opportunistic perpetrators….Identity theft is not a problem the IRS can solve on its own."
Phishing emails, stolen Social Security numbers, and fraudulent tax preparers are all cited as potential pathways for taxpayer identity fraud to occur.
Amy Feldman, writing for Reuters, says that "Fighting taxpayer identity theft is a bit like going after Nigerian email scammers, a constant battle that seems unlikely to be won anytime soon."
Cary Doctorow in Technology Review, The Curious Case of Internet Privacy, Free services in exchange for personal information. That's the "privacy bargain" we all strike on the Web. It could be the worst deal ever.
What we agree to participate in on the Internet isn't a negotiated trade; it's a smorgasbord, and intimate facts of your life (your location, your interests, your friends) are the buffet.
Why do we seem to value privacy so little? In part, it's because we are told to. Facebook has more than once overridden its users' privacy preferences, replacing them with new default settings. Facebook then responds to the inevitable public outcry by restoring something that's like the old system, except slightly less private. And it adds a few more lines to an inexplicably complex privacy dashboard.
People don't value privacy until they lose it.
You aren't the customer, you're the product being sold says Michael van der Gallen in The 8 ways Big Brother's Facebook's New Changes Alienate Its Users
Most of the changes aren’t meant to make life easier for users — that means: for you and me — but for advertisers. The goal clearly is to make it easier for them to target people whose Internet behavior implies they may be interested in a company’s products. If that means that you and I have a more difficult time using the world’s largest social network, so be it. Facebook has more important things to consider, namely money.
I am horrified to learn that Facebook is asking users to share their medical history, that the new profiles are "The biggest Breach of Your Privacy in Facebook's History" and that its new "Open Graph" creates a permanent record over which the user has no control.
Lauren Weinstein — an expert on the Internet and privacy – adds rather succinctly: Biggest fans of Facebook’s new Open Graph:
FBI, CIA, NSA, TSA, + (all Department of Homeland Security departments and assets)
Local Law Enforcement
Your medical and life insurance companies
Your auto insurance company
Department of Motor Vehicles
All lawyers (especially divorce and personal injury)
Anyone else who might want to know how you’ve spent your time, at any point in the future, based on the permanent data record created automatically by your activities at vast numbers of sites, all collected in one place for ease of court orders.