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The Right to Know When I Am Not Left Alone – Is Not Enough.

The Right to Know When I Am Not Left Alone – Is Not Enough.

Our online privacy is continuously compromised with the scanning, skimming and scraping of our emails and our browsing behavior.

A recent study concluded that 92% of the population believes “that collecting the content of emails is unacceptable”. How many consumers understand that virtually every email is scanned, skimmed and scraped for information and their privacy is breached every day? A recent article in The Economist describes how people do not protect their right to privacy and anonymity.

Google scans the content of all emails on its servers as well as all emails sent or received by a gmail account. Google considers that users have no ‘reasonable expectation’ of privacy. This stance flies in the face of the predominant and consistent research about consumers’ ‘privacy expectations’.

Rami Essaid recently wrote in TechCrunch that, “The truth is, people will never achieve true privacy and anonymity online.” He concludes that tracking is here to stay and that it is getting more pervasive and sophisticated. His main thesis is that our discussion should not be about absolute the right to privacy or anonymity but about transparency.

If Essaid is correct, the horse has left the barn in terms of protecting our privacy and anonymity. Instead, he proposes focusing on making it visible and transparent about how our online privacy will be accessed or ripped off.  It is OK to to invade our privacy as long as it is transparent! Should consumers simply give up that they have any expectation for online privacy? This is almost Orwellian in concept – a dark road that we must not travel as this means that others have the right to observe us without our consent!

The Right to Privacy

In 1890, Warren and Brandeis wrote The Right to Privacy and their key argument was the “right to be let alone”. Here we are 100 years later. Do we really want to change the right to be left alone to the “the right to know when I am not left alone?” Transparency is an important need but we must not give up the fight for the right to privacy.

Posted in: Anonymity, Data breach, Email, Fraud, Identity, Phishing, Privacy, Uncategorized

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The week in review: Dodoname goes mobile, U.S. president proposes privacy protection, plus data breach updates

The week in review: Dodoname goes mobile, U.S. president proposes privacy protection, plus data breach updates

In our weekly roundup, we draw your attention to selected news and articles that highlight issues relating to invasions of your online privacy and threats to the security of your personal data, including problems that Dodoname can help solve. This week, Dodoname went mobile, Obama’s privacy proposition draws cheers and jeers, and data breaches and settlements for same continued to make news. For all our privacy, security and personal data related posts follow @MyDodoname on Twitter.

Protecting your online privacy: there’s an app for that

‘Round Dodoname HQ, this was a big week. After months of slaving over a hot app store, this week the free Dodoname iOS app was made available on the Apple App Store. Got an iPhone? Like privacy? Then head over to the App Store and download the on-the-go version of our platform.

From the news release:

Whether you’re shopping online, visiting a retailer’s physical store, working or browsing, the situation often arises where you are asked to provide an email address. Perhaps it’s to receive an electronic receipt, take advantage of a special promotion, or sign up for a newsletter.

But providing that email address can easily lead to a flood of annoying and unwanted email solicitations. In some instances, giving out your email address can lead to malicious spam and phishing attacks.

Dodoname puts an end to this privacy abuse.

Imagine going shopping with all your coupons and offers in one convenient app. Use Dodonames to register with your favorite stores or online merchants. The next time you go shopping the old-fashioned way, all your coupons are right there on your mobile device for merchants to scan at checkout. It’s the single best way to interact with any merchant or vendor to get the stuff you want – and only the stuff you want – without giving up your privacy and anonymity.

Early media reports peg the company as “one to watch in 2015” and we’re already getting some great user reviews on the App Store. Want to know what all the fuss is about? Download the app now!

President proposes privacy protection

Last year was a record year for data breaches globally; the U.S. government is not taking this fact lightly. This week, President Obama proposed legislation that would protect consumer privacy and demand disclosure from companies who fail to protect consumer data.

The proposed legislation has been subject to virtual reams of coverage, naturally, and there are proponents and detractors.

The pro side says:

Now, the government may step in, at least to ensure consumers are protected. President Obama on Monday proposed a new law called the Personal Data Notification and Protection Act, which would create a basic set of rules for how companies handle their customer information. It also would criminalize international trade in stolen personal identity information.

Aside from one specific rule that would require companies to notify customers within 30 days of the discovery of a data breach, there aren’t many other details available yet about Obama’s proposal. The president is expected to outline more specifics in his State of the Union speech next week.

In the mean time, tech industry executives and privacy advocates are excited at the prospect of a renewed effort to create a national standard. They say the bills that succeed are typically aimed at the government and how it handles information, rather than corporations.

Now that could change.

“This is a huge shot in the arm to a much-needed advancement for our legislative protections,” said Scott Talbott, who heads up government relations for the trade group Electronic Transactions Association. – From Cnet’s article, “Obama’s data-breach initiative has privacy advocates optimistic, cautious

The con side says:

But the reality is that even if implemented, the proposed legislation and other actions would likely do little to make American companies or individuals safer. The only real benefit is likely to be raising the overall awareness of online vulnerabilities, just as the TSA’s airport security rigmarole may not actually catch weapons or terrorists, but still makes it abundantly clear that aviation is a risky business that needs to be approached with appropriate caution. – From Network World’s article, “Unfortunately, Obama’s new cybersecurity measures won’t help much”

Only time will tell whether this gets passed into law and what impact it will have. In the meantime, savvy consumers can use tools like Dodoname to protect their privacy when interacting with merchants.

Zappos settles for data breach; AMResorts customers report unusual credit card activity

Another week, another slew of data breach news. After suffering a 2012 data breach, Zappos this week settled lawsuits about same, resulting in a modest payout and a commitment to do better in the future. Perhaps a future vision of what AMResorts may need to prepare for given news that consumers who used credit cards on that site reported unusual activity on their cards afterwards.

 

 

Posted in: Blog, Privacy, This week in review

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Classic relationship marketing diminishes the privacy of the consumer

Classic relationship marketing diminishes the privacy of the consumer

By Michael Gaffney

Privacy research firm, Pew Research, in the “The Future of Privacy” reported that ‘Internet privacy is a fantasy’ and that 55 percent of the population don’t believe that a ‘privacy-rights infrastructure by 2025 that allows for business innovation and monetization while also offering individuals choices for protecting their personal information in easy-to-use formats’ is achievable. We all need to remember that the remaining 45 percent is still a very large number.

Most disruptive events, political, social or technological, come from a tiny percentage of the population evoking a cause or an entrepreneur creating something new and needed. Dr. Martin Luther King and Steve Jobs were but two people in that 45 percent determined to make a change and they were quite disruptive to say the least. The doom and gloom naysayers who write provocative headlines like ‘privacy is a fantasy’ should provide motivation for the 45 percent who are concerned about privacy.

Relationship marketing is a relatively new phenomenon. It evolved out of the 1960’s when consumers began to have more competitive product alternatives to choose from and where there was sustained demand for those products. Merchants had to change from being focusing on the economics of supply to focus on demand. The foundations of what came to be known as relationship marketing – customer recruitment, retention and satisfaction – became the dominant focus of marketers for the past 50 years.

However, relationship marketing has seriously diminished privacy of the consumer. Why? Because by definition a ‘relationship’ typically means some form of intimate knowledge of the other party – in this case the consumer. In marketing terms, it means that the merchant, to effectively market to a consumer, needs lots of information about that consumer. Consumer data is captured, typically without prior knowledge or consent, in a number of ways by merchants. Facebook, Google and other social media sites have only accelerated the loss of privacy. Moreover, corporate customer relationship management (CRM) systems appear to be failing regularly in terms of data breaches and CRM’s are the key repositories of customer information.

So, what are consumers to do given all the scraping of our private information and the data breaches from CRM’s? Privacy and security have been foundations of society as long as we humans have been on the planet. Privacy is complex. We want privacy from our governments; privacy from the prying eyes of the public – especially if you are famous; privacy and protection from the bad guys; and privacy and protection from the merchants that hound us. Dodoname was created to address privacy from merchants and other consumer to business transactions and help address the risk of your data being stolen in a data breach.

How does Dodoname resolve relationship marketing and the loss of privacy? First of all, we designed a system that starts with the consumer in control of their personal and private information. Second, we designed a system that does not even capture your private information – only personal information. What is the difference between private and personal information? Private information is your actual name, street address, telephone number, credit card and banking information. Personal information is your sex, age (not birth date), postal code, married/single, likes, hobbies, etc. At Dodoname, we call the collection of your personal information your Persona. Remember, your Persona never includes your private information. Marketers don’t really need your private information if they have your Persona information. Hackers can hack us all they want but they can’t get what we don’t have. Relationship marketing and its problems with privacy breaches is solved when Consumers use Dodonames and Merchants market to Dodonames.

(Image: Flickr, Bernard Goldbach, link)

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in: Blog, Persona, Privacy

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Digital identity = digital currency

Digital identity = digital currency

By Michael Gaffney

Your digital identity is currency. It can be monetized. In an increasingly complex digital society, one of the biggest challenges for businesses is how to capture that identity.

Currently, totally beyond the control of consumers, a myriad of technologies and companies are scraping data, watching online activity, phishing, and working tirelessly to reveal – sometimes even steal – your digital identity. Your “digital identity” is the sum of all the available information about you and is growing exponentially; at the same time, big data capabilities are keeping pace in an effort to analyze all this information, your information.

The evolution of digital identities is a concern for consumers and merchants alike. On the one hand, consumers are concerned about privacy and losing control over their personal data. On the other hand, companies are increasing worried about data breaches – be it their own or third-party applications and the effects on breaking the trusted relationship between merchants and consumers.

In February 2014, it was reported in Forbes that the cost of the data breach at Target was $61 million. Target cautioned investors, “At this time, the company is not able to estimate future expenses related to the data breach.” The breach at Target, resulting in the loss of tens of millions of digital identities has had a massive impact on value for its shareholders, not to mention consumer confidence.

It’s cold comfort for Target and the shoppers impacted that at least they’re not alone, as evidenced by this infographic of the World’s Biggest Data Breaches.

The growth rate for ecommerce far exceeds traditional economies, whose growth rates are flat to shrinking. Consumer trust is one of the cornerstones of commerce for a merchant, especially in this age of digital identities. The ecommerce world with its real-time availability, product reviews and ability to rapidly provide consumers with substitute products is a dangerous place for merchants who cannot generate trust in their products and their interactions with consumers. Protecting the digital identity of consumers is paramount to maintaining that trust.

Opt-out is considered standard practice – in fact it is legislated in many jurisdictions – as a way for consumers to control their private data. Opt-in is typically used when the data required is even more sensitive. Studies have shown that consumers want control of their data but there is juxtaposition against convenience.

Consumers are willing to share their data with private and public organizations – conditional upon privacy controls and sufficient currency benefits. Trust, plus deals that consumers like, will cause them to spend and invest in their digital identities for the merchant’s currency.

For merchants to engage the consumer – to cause them share their digital identity to unlock value – companies need to epitomize and communicate a new digital identity perspective of — responsibility, transparency and the consumer in control.

(Image: flickr, Alan O’Rourke, link)

Posted in: Blog, Data breach, Identity

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The privacy dilemma

The privacy dilemma

By Michael Gaffney

When it comes to privacy, the needs of consumers and those of merchants are, on the surface, opposing forces: merchants need detailed information about consumers for personalization while consumers desire control over their personal information and how it is used for marketing purposes. This is, in a nutshell, the privacy dilemma.

Merchants want to know as much as they can about consumers because that information guides and directs the kinds of products to build for consumers, the messaging around those products and increases the conversion rates of those marketed to. In a 3,000-channel world, the merchant is desperate to gather and use information to exactly target a single individual. This is called personalization. Personalization is the process of tailoring communications and product features to individual users’ characteristics or preferences.

Personalization requires detailed information about the consumer. Currently, most of this information is collected without the consumer’s permission. Consumers think that they have opted in to share only a ‘little bit’ of themselves – how little we know! The advent of single sign on (“SSO”) has increased convenience while dramatically increasing privacy invasions. Using your Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin account to sign into a service creates a security risk. Using SSO makes it easy for one site to show the consumer’s actions and activities to other websites.

Using SSO opens a window to your privacy. Identity management should be a critical concern of all consumers. Online reputation is becoming more and more important, for both the consumer and for the merchant. ‘Big data’ is upon us and having correct information about consumers has an increasing monetary value.

Consumer concern about privacy is well known to be the number one issue of online consumers but consumer behavior regarding privacy is often contradictory to that fact. We claim to worry about privacy but we willingly surrender personal information all the time without really understanding where it goes and how it will be used.

How do I protect my privacy and still get the things I want on the Internet? Use a Dodoname whenever you need to register with a merchant. Since a Dodoname is not connected to any private information, there is nothing to be leaked or hacked. The opt-in persona function is your personal ‘marketing avatar’ that merchants can research and review to send offers without invading consumer privacy. Thanks to Dodoname, the privacy dilemma is solved.

(Image: Flickr, Mosier J., link)

Posted in: Blog, Persona, Privacy

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Data brokers: a threat to your online privacy

Data brokers: a threat to your online privacy

By Don Dobson

Two facts have collided in the early days of this millennium: one, much of our lives has gone digital and two, digital security measures have not kept pace with technological advancements and adoption. This is a huge problem.

Our commerce, work, social life, entertainment, information consumption and personal communication have all become digitized. Much of everyday life has either moved online or is touched in some way by our online activity, creating a stream of data coined by Google as our “digital exhaust.”

Secondly, not just laws and regulations but even broad social consensus around issues of security and privacy are falling behind the technological curve and the ever increasing collection capabilities for our data.

Consumer advocates and organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union are sounding the alarm on an industry many consider out of control. Its new video, Invasion of the Data Snatchers, paints a scary, dystopian view of our personal lives under scrutiny by governments and corporations. The intro to the video on their YouTube channel notes New technologies are making it easier for private companies and the government to learn about everything we do – in our homes, in our cars, in stores, and within our communities. As they collect vast amounts of data about us, things are getting truly spooky!

So, who is vacuuming up this so-called digital exhaust? One set of players in that business that few people know about and fewer still understand are “data brokers.” Pam Dixon is the executive director of the World Privacy Forum and her December 18, 2013 testimony before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, titled What Information Do Data Brokers Have on Consumers, and How Do They Use It?, sheds full light on a growing industry with somewhere around 4,000 companies. Dixon asked:

What do a retired librarian in Wisconsin in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, a police officer, and a mother in Texas have in common? The answer is that all were victims of consumer data brokers. Data brokers collect, compile, buy and sell personally identifiable information about who we are, what we do, and much of our “digital exhaust.” 

We are their business models. The police officer was “uncovered” by a data broker who revealed his family information online, jeopardizing his safety. The mother was a victim of domestic violence who was deeply concerned about people finder web sites that published and sold her home address online. The librarian lost her life savings and retirement because a data broker put her on an eager elderly buyer and frequent donor list. She was deluged with predatory offers.

[Consumers] not able to escape from the activities of data brokers…until this Committee started its work, this entire industry largely escaped public scrutiny… Consumers have no effective rights because there is no legal framework that requires data brokers to offer consumers an opt-out or any other rights.

Frank Pasquale, a professor of law at the University of Maryland, is the author of the forthcoming book, “The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information.” He writes, Every day, corporations are connecting the dots about our personal behavior—silently scrutinizing clues left behind by our work habits and Internet use. The data compiled and portraits created are incredibly detailed, to the point of being invasive. 

In a October 16th, 2014 op-ed in the New York Times entitled, The Dark Market for Personal Data, Pasquale suggests, We need regulation to help consumers recognize the perils of the new information landscape without being overwhelmed with data.

Media investigators are starting to inform the public that the personal data being brokered can be very personal indeed. Reports from Bloomberg indicate Tapping social media, health-related phone apps and medical websites, data aggregators are scooping up bits and pieces of tens of millions of Americans’ medical histories. Even a purchase at the pharmacy can land a shopper on a health list…People would be shocked if they knew they were on some of these lists…yet millions are.

According to the Data-Driven Marketing Institute, the data-mining industry generated $156 billion in revenue in 2012. Technology CEO and Harvard professor Nathan Eagle offers up his insight on the matter … it is just the first step for the data economy. By 2020, the global Internet population will reach five billion; ten billion new machine-to-machine connections will be created; and mobile data traffic will rise 11-fold. Given the dramatic growth in the amount of data being generated, together with ever-expanding applications across industries, it is reasonable to expect that…within ten years, the data-capture industry can be expected to generate more than $500 billion annually.

The World Privacy Forum has compiled a list of 352 consumer-focused U.S. data broker sites. Check out the list and see if you’re on any of these sites. Many of the sites offer the ability for those included to opt-out; might be a good use of your time to go through that process and engage in more privacy-centric online practices in future.

With these nefarious, data grabbing institutions at large, the urgency to protect your online data, including through use of a tool like Dodoname, has never been more real.

(Image: Flickr, Simon Cunningham, link)

Posted in: Blog, Data breach

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This week in review: a freight train of outrage, Google on cybercrime, bad telecoms and more

This week in review: a freight train of outrage, Google on cybercrime, bad telecoms and more

By Don Dobson

In our weekly roundup, we draw your attention to selected news and articles that highlight issues relating to invasions of your online privacy and threats to the security of your personal data, including problems that Dodoname can help solve. Catching our attention this week were posts about how fast the world of advertising is changing and how little most people know about the privacy implications of tracking, more telecom snooping, Google speaks, and a few top links on phishing and malware attacks. For all our privacy, security and personal data related posts follow @MyDodoname on Twitter.

Awareness lags reality in ad targeting

In digital advertising, the Holy Grail touted for driving ad performance is relevancy. That is, making sure the ads you see are relevant to you. Of course, in order to do that, advertisers need to know lots of things about you. An excellent article in The Economist notes that spending is moving rapidly from traditional media to digital formats (advertising that knows who you are) and reported on an Adobe poll that showed “most marketers say they have seen more change in the past two years than in the previous 50.” In discussing the privacy implications of it all, they quote the head of one British advertising firm who put it: “Once people realise what’s happening, I can’t imagine there won’t be pushback.” Forbes Magazine also agrees that awareness of what is happening is not what it should be when it offered up Nine Things You Don’t Know About The Gathering Of Your Personal Data. The potential for a coming freight train of outrage is being anticipated by the advertising industry. Exactly because the technology and resulting capabilities are so powerful, they want to make sure they continue to have the ability to track you and in fact, we see AdAge reporting: Agencies Load Up on Privacy Specialists, Hoping to Keep Consumers From ‘Opting Out’

Google speaks on cybercrime – why wouldn’t we listen?

I’m told Google have the data. That’s why it is always worth listening to what they are saying; in this case, it’s a Google Security Blog entry about cybercrime. It’s Google oriented, but it confirms many of the things we have been saying about phishing leading to identity theft, how easy it is to fall prey and how quickly it can happen. All conventional emails have these security issues Google deals with but what is interesting about this post is how it paints a picture of a criminal workforce of what they call “manual hijackers” who intensively work over their victim and always use phishing emails.

Telecoms: a snooper’s best friends

We shared information with you last week about so called “super-cookies” being inserted into your web traffic by telecom providers, in particular Verizon. This is important because they introduce the notion of physical tracking to web habit tracking. Further details have emerged including the fact that it’s not only Verizon but also AT&T. It didn’t take long for news of at least one user of the technology to become known. Twitter’s mobile advertising arm, MoPub, self-described as “world’s largest mobile ad exchange,” is all over it. Privacy advocates are freaking out.

While data is good for advertisers, this type of news can’t be a good situation when you consider that even before this revelation, reports indicate that consumers are already concerned that using their mobile phone for coupon and loyalty schemes puts them at risk of identity theft. When customers aren’t happy, retailers always also have a concern.

Filthy phishers flourish

Criminals continue to innovate in their phishing attempts like a new hybrid approach seen this week in Japan. Called Huyao, which means “monstrous fox” in Chinese, experts are concerned this technique of combining legitimate sites with a fake checkout procedure is set to spread.

Meanwhile, investors and students were warned about phishing attacks targeting them, web host GoDaddy was being spoofed, we saw how just having your email leaked by companies you deal with can lead to a very effective phishing attack and a growing trend involving fake wire transfer request e-mails that can clean out your bank account.

Posted in: Blog, This week in review

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Chances are your personal data has been compromised in a data breach

Chances are your personal data has been compromised in a data breach

This Throwback Thursday, let’s travel back to a simpler time, a time when the threats to your personal data online were not as frequent or severe as now. The year was 2009.

James Cameron’s groundbreaking film Avatar reigned at the box office. The world was introduced to golden-voiced singer Susan Boyle via a viral YouTube video. Yelp was emerging as one of the top iPhone apps of the year. America struggled to recover from the financial setbacks of the previous fall. And there were a mere 778 data breaches in the U.S. that year, according to a Risk Based Security and Open Security Foundation Report. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Fast forward to today, when there’s a good chance that your personal data has been compromised in a data breach. According to a CNNMoney/Ponemon Institute study, 47 percent of U.S. adults had their personal information exposed by hackers between May 2013 and May 2014. That’s a frightening statistic to behold. And that number is likely just the tip of the iceberg; retailers are decidedly cagey when sharing with the general public, the media and their customers just what data has been leaked, and so many consumers may be victims and not even know it.

The Risk Based Security and Open Security Foundation Report for 2013 provided some additional stats about how far we’ve come since 2009 in terms of the numbers of data breaches and the amount of records impacted. According to the InfoSec Institute, “During the 2,164 incidents, nearly 822 million records were exposed.” It’s not pretty, as you can see.

Databreaches2009to2013

The stats for 2014 are still being compiled, but anecdotal evidence (Adobe, ebay, Target, JP Morgan Chase… need I go on?) would suggest that it’s on track to be the worst year ever for data breaches.

Dodoname has none of your personal information. Ergo, when you use a Dodoname to engage with a retailer, they have none of your personal information. Retailers can’t knowingly or unknowingly give up information that they don’t have. As consumers become more aware of the serious risks associated with sharing personal data with retailers, we’re hoping that they’ll be open to using Dodoname to protect themselves – and their personal information – against future data breaches. With Dodoname, consumers can get the best that the web has to offer, without exposing themselves to data breaches.

(Image: Flickr, Justgrimes, link)

Posted in: #TBT, Blog, Data breach

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This week in review: scary tales of data brokers, info snatchers, phishing scams and more

This week in review: scary tales of data brokers, info snatchers, phishing scams and more

By Don Dobson

In our weekly roundup, we want to draw your attention to news and articles that highlight issues relating to invasions of your online privacy and threats to the security of your personal data: problems that Dodoname can solve. Catching our attention this week were posts about the fight for your data, those pesky data brokers, spooky tales of data snatchers, privacy terror and phishing season.

The fight for data: yours

While conversation around the issue of privacy continues to get louder, use of the word “fight” is really a misnomer, as in many respects the fight appears to be lost. This was underlined in a book review we discovered this week of What Stays in Vegas by Adam Tanner, a Harvard University scholar and business writer. The book provides an inside look on how personal data from credit ratings, voter lists, marriage licenses, police records and online behaviours are combined and sold on the open market.

Going for (data) broke(rs)

Frank Pasquale, a professor of law at the University of Maryland, is the author of the forthcoming book “The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information.” He writes, Every day, corporations are connecting the dots about our personal behavior—silently scrutinizing clues left behind by our work habits and Internet use. The data compiled and portraits created are incredibly detailed, to the point of being invasive. His October 16 op-ed in the New York Times, The Dark Market for Personal Data, notes there are at least 4,000 U.S. “data brokers” selling your information without proper regulation and without the control that consumers deserve.

Tales of (privacy) terror

The alarm is being raised by many, including the American Civil Liberties Union. Although the group was founded in 1920, their concerns remain highly contemporary. Just in time for Halloween, they have released a new video Invasion of the Data Snatchers. The intro to the video on its YouTube channel notes, New technologies are making it easier for private companies and the government to learn about everything we do – in our homes, in our cars, in stores, and within our communities. As they collect vast amounts of data about us, things are getting truly spooky!

Giving up your data for the greater good?

Like any big issue, it isn’t always as simple as it might first appear. Dr. Jean Marmoreo, a physician in Toronto, writing in the Globe and Mail Debate section, notes that the collection of personal data can provide big community benefits while acknowledging the privacy concerns. Inspired by a recent Toronto lecture by Sandy Pentland from the MIT Media Lab, Dr. Marmoreo endorses Pentland’s call for a universal bill of rights for collecting and using Internet data.

Phishing Season: Always Open

Seems there is news every day about phishing scams and this week was no exception. Whether on a local scale, like a restaurant reservation scam in Chicago, the local credit union, much wider schemes like Dropbox users worldwide being targeted, spoofing PayPal or “spear phishing” targeting students, the assaults never stop.  Kaspersky Lab published its Spam in September report this week noting that financial phishing accounted for 36.97 percent of all (its) detections.

There are many ways for phishing to compromise your security including malware that can install itself on your computer without you knowing. Your own protection efforts might benefit by taking a look at the most common malware emails currently hitting inboxes. You can find out if your email has been leaked during a reported data breach using a utility provided by the makers of password manager RoboForm. And if you have taken the bait, Andy Davidson writing on the Rogers Connected site answers the burning question, I Fell for a Phishing Scheme… Now What?

Posted in: Blog, Fraud, Phishing, Privacy, This week in review

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This week in review: cyber security awareness month, modern mobsters, phishing and data breaches

This week in review: cyber security awareness month, modern mobsters, phishing and data breaches

By Don Dobson

In our weekly roundup, we want to draw your attention to news and articles that highlight issues relating to invasions of your online privacy and threats to the security of your personal data: problems that Dodoname can solve. Catching our attention this week were posts about a yearly event for which Hallmark doesn’t yet make a card, the lengths we’ll go to for cookies, how the underworld is keeping up with the times, phishing trips, data breaches and a reminder that common sense goes a long way. 

Acknowledging the problem is the first step to solving it

October 1st marked the start of National Cyber Security Awareness Month in the U.S. and Canada. Follow it through the #NCSAM hashtag on Twitter or through various organizations in both countries promoting a more cyber security aware public, including @GetCyberSafe on Twitter, or their website, the @STOPTHNKCONNECT or @StaySafeOnline Twitter accounts or their respective websites at http://www.stopthinkconnect.org/ and http://www.staysafeonline.org/

Cookies may contain personal data (and nuts)

We loved this story about a performance art project that had people in Brooklyn thinking about personal information, privacy and data collection. Artist Risa Puno traded a cookie, a real one, not the cyber kind, for personal data that included their address, driver’s license number, phone number and mother’s maiden name. Very clever and cheeky, Risa!

www.stolencreditcardsforcheap.com

It’s hard for most folks to believe that there is actually a website where a criminal can go and buy a stolen credit card. Not only is that true,  so many stolen cards have become available that the criminals are dropping their prices in order to move inventory!

The underworld goes high tech

‘Commercialization’ of cybercrime has been identified as a new trend in a report released by Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre. The Mirror notes traditional organized crime gangs are getting in because they can now easily find people selling tools and services that allow them to carry out illegal activities such as data theft and password cracking without the need for specialist skills. Surely this phenomenon is not limited to Europe?

Phishy tales

There is never any shortage of phishing scams in the news: organizations as diverse as the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Virginia Department of Transportation EZ pass program have been impacted recently. It’s no wonder that cyber risk insurers are doing a brisk business these days.

World leaders: they’re just like us! 

It was reported that financial giant JP Morgan suffered a significant data breach, with reports that hackers grabbed contact information for 76 million households and 7 million small businesses, including names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses, as well as “internal JPMorgan Chase information relating to such users.” Even President Obama may have been impacted as Business Insider noted a White House press pool in July mentioned him using his JP Morgan card at a Texas barbecue restaurant.

An ounce of prevention…

Blogger Chrysler Summer’s post on personal responsibility for privacy and security on the Web struck a chord. She suggested that “the biggest problem is that most people are just not as cautious as they should be on the Web.” Although we can’t protect ourselves from all cyber threats just by being careful, it is a point worth noting. We think using a Dodoname is a great tool for being more careful.

Posted in: Blog, Data breach, Fraud, Phishing, Privacy, This week in review

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