Criminals Disguised as Cupid for Valentine’s Day


Don’t Let More than Your Heart Get Stolen. In the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, many consumers are feeling hopeful, romantic, and generous – feelings online criminals prey on in order to scam you. Most online scams fool you into clicking on malicious (dangerous) links. This week, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse urges consumers to be especially cautious online.

Top 8 Things You Shouldn't Give Social Networking Sites


While websites like Facebook and MySpace make it easy to share vacation photos with old classmates, the personal information on social networks is also attracting people besides friends and family members.  Scam artists, identity thieves, debt collectors, stalkers, hiring managers, and companies looking for a marketing advantage are turning to social networking sites to gather valuable information. Before you publish your next status update, take care that you aren’t risking your identity, security or reputation.

Below are eight things you shouldn’t give to a social network – when signing up for an account, posting content or interacting with your contacts through the network.

10 Rules for Creating a Hacker-Resistant Password


Password-protected web sites are becoming more vulnerable because often people use the same passwords on numerous sites.  One study by Sophos, a security firm, found that more than 30% of users recycle the same password for every site that they access. A strong password can help individuals protect themselves against hackers, identity theft and other privacy invasions.

Want to develop tough-to-crack passwords that resist infiltration? Follow these 10 rules.

Spam E-mails Using PRC's Address


It has come to our attention that spammers have been using the @privacyrights.org email address to send fake emails (spam). These emails do NOT come from PRC. They are forgeries. They will show the sender as a fake person that is NOT affiliated with PRC. The address will appear as FakeUser@privacyrights.org.

Bogus E-Mail Message Impersonates Social Security Administration


The Agency has received several reports of an email message being circulated with the subject “Cost-of-Living for 2007 update” and purporting to be from the Social Security Administration. The message provides information about the 3.3 percent benefit increase for 2007 and contains the following “NOTE: We now need you to update your personal information. If this is not completed by November 11, 2006, we will be forced to suspend your account indefinitely.” The reader is then directed to a website designed to look like Social Security’s Internet website.

Bogus Email Claims Cell Phone Numbers Being Released to Marketers


Like so many emails these days you can't believe everything that comes into your inbox. A recent example of some of the half truths contained in well-intentioned emails includes the following which has been making the rounds on the Internet:

Google's New Email Service, Gmail, Under Fire for Privacy Concerns, Possible Wiretap Law Violations


Gmail has raised privacy concerns because users cannot opt out of having incoming emails scanned for keywords that Google then uses for content-targeted advertising. In addition, Google's Terms of Service admits that Gmail messages may remain on its system for an indefinite period -- even after an account has been deleted.

Thirty-One Privacy and Civil Liberties Organizations Urge Google to Suspend Gmail


The World Privacy Forum and 30 other privacy and civil liberties organizations have written a letter calling upon Google to suspend its Gmail service until the privacy issues are adequately addressed. The letter also calls upon Google to clarify its written information policies regarding data retention and data sharing among its business units.

Google's Email Service 'Gmail' Sacrifices Privacy for Extra Storage Space


Consumers attracted by the extra server storage space that other free email services like Yahoo and Hotmail just can't offer, may not know that those benefits come at a high cost to their privacy. 

For instance: "Residual copies of email may remain on our systems, even after you have deleted them from your mailbox or after the termination of your account."

Watch Out for "Phishing" Emails Attempting to Capture Your Personal Information


Email users are being bombarded with authentic-looking messages that instruct them to provide sensitive personal information. It's called "phising." Individuals who "bite" are exposed to identity theft.

Phishing occurs when a consumer receives a deceptively-legitimate looking email from what appears to be a reputable company. The email asks recipients to update their credit card information or their account will be promptly terminated. Or the message offers a service to protect their credit cards from possible fraud.

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