It seems like we constantly are hearing about Internet hacks and the stealing of personally identifiable information online. At this point, we use the Internet for so many positive aspects of our lives. Given that we inevitably are online, what are some steps that we can employ to keep our private information safe?
Here are just a few simple tips to keep in mind:
First, it is important to protect your credit card information. One way of doing this is to check and see that the website you are logging onto is secure. One thing to look for is whether the URL begins with HTTPS and not just HTTP. Also, it is important to log out of your customer accounts when you are done with transactions — especially financial transactions. Continue reading How to Keep Your Personally Identifiable Information Secure Online
Before the explosion of online communications, our world necessarily was smaller and who we came in contact with tended to people we already knew. Then our ability to reach out and communicate with others expanded dramatically and exponentially as we all started traveling at warp speed down the information superhighway.
We learned that not only could we interact with people locally, but with a few keystrokes and mouse clicks we could be communicating with people across the country and even in countries on the other side of the globe. Part of the fun was our ability to communicate anonymously, using pseudonyms.
We could be informal, we could be creative, and we could reinvent ourselves. Indeed, most of us probably remember the cartoon with a dog in front of a monitor and a keyboard that had a caption which read: “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” Case law developed making clear that First Amendment protections extended to the right to speak freely and even anonymously on the Internet.
All well and good, right? Perhaps for the most part. The Internet has provided a medium that has led to many beneficial communications and interactions for personal, business, and other purposes. However, human nature is not always pure. From the beginning of human history, it seems there always have been some people intent on mischief and even violent behavior. And unfortunately, with the increased ability for people to contact others via the Internet, there also is a heightened possibility for such contacts to lead to terrible results.
Continue reading Be Afraid, Very Afraid Of Who You Meet Online?
Do you ever get up in the morning, feeling sluggish and just not up to the tasks that await you? For most of us, the answer is yes, at least once in a while.
And does it ever seem that your Internet connection is having a bad hair day? Specifically, does it feel like it takes forever for Web pages to download, reminding you of the days of 32k and 56k dial-up modems?
If so, do you just sit there passively and hope and pray that the connection will improve? Well, there might be something you can do to give your Internet connection that coffee jolt that it needs to step up its game.
Case in point: There I was, trying to open Web pages so that I could accomplish work tasks remotely from my home computer last week. I kid you not, everything online was taking forever! Continue reading The Need for Speed Online: Don’t Just Sit There!
Once upon a time, holiday shopping meant schlepping from one store to another, braving traffic and crowds, with the hope of finding the perfect gifts for our families and friends. Countless hours and hassles later, we finally collected our stash of presents.
But with the advent of Amazon and other online shopping sites more than 10 years ago came the prospect of buying holiday gifts right from home.
At first, there was trepidation. Was it safe to shop online? Was it OK to share credit card information on the Internet? Would ordered gifts actually arrive? Could they be returned when appropriate? Continue reading Online Holiday Shopping Is Here to Stay
Last week, you were informed about the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) updating advertising disclosure guidance for search engines. But there’s more! On July 1, new FTC rules went into effect that are intended to provide greater privacy protection for children online. Indeed, the rules are supposed to afford increased safeguards when it comes to data such as geo-location and social media information.
By way of background, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) became operative in 2000, in the early days of the commercial Internet. The law was designed to enable parents to control personal information collected from these young children in hopes that COPPA would prevent children under the age of 13 from being targeted via personalized online marketing messages.
Continue reading COPPA Now Includes Greater Protections For Kids Online
Many web sites prohibit children under the age of 13. It’s not necessary out of altruism, but because the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) contains various provisions and requirements concerning special treatment that must be accorded to the children.
The statute is designed to protect young children from web sites that might seek to exert influence over them by obtaining personal data and marketing to them. Indeed, web sites are required to get verifiable parental consent before allowing such children to participate and they must follow certain rules to safeguard their privacy.
Continue reading How Many Millions of Children are on Facebook?
According to press reports, online dating websites eHarmony, Match.com and Sparks Networks have entered into a joint statement of business principles to protect users from sexual predators and to help prevent identity theft and other scams. California Attorney General Kamala Harris followed up on this development by stating that “consumers should be able to use websites without fear of being scammed or targeted,” in apparent recognition that a woman was assaulted on a date that came about through an online dating site.
The companies reportedly have agreed to use national sex-offender registries to check on subscribers, to quickly respond to reported abuses, and to give Internet safety guidance to members. The dating sites will also provide reports of suspected criminal activity to the Attorney General’s office.
Continue reading Online Dating Sites Vow To Protect Users From Sex Predators
There is so much good about the Internet. It allows us to communicate instantly, freely and widely for business and personal purposes. Unfortunately, whether there is good, the forces of evil also lurk.
This point is driven home by an international plot to hijack millions of computers, as has been reportedly disclosed by a recently unsealed New York indictment. The aim of the plot has been to use malware to hijack computers in various countries such that people visiting common Web sites such as Netflix, ESPN, Amazon and IRS.gov are rerouted to other sites. These other sites have generated millions of dollars of wrongfully gained profits.
Continue reading Major Computer Hijacking Revealed By Indictment