Tag Archive for: Privacy Means Profit

How To Control Your Privacy Online

Identity theft is all about control. Who has control over your personal and financial information? Is it you, or the criminal on the other end of your computer using your information to apply for a credit card?  Losing control of your personal information can be all too easy online. But by taking some precautions, you can maintain privacy while safely surfing the internet.

Here are 5 tips to protect your privacy online:

1. Adjust social-network privacy settings

Facebook has been working to simplify their privacy settings, but they can still be confusing to the average users. Spend about 10 minutes a month making sure that your privacy settings are what they should be and are actually protecting your privacy.

To get there, log in to Facebook, in the top right of your screen it should say “Account” when you scroll over or click on that tab you can see you Privacy Settings. Click here for a step by step process of how to adjust your privacy settings.

Twitter, another popular social network, also lets you lock your account from public view. In settings, there’s a feature called “protect my tweets.” They have had breaches before, so it is always good to take every precaution you can to protect your information.

2. Frequently Change Passwords

It is good to rotate passwords on sites you use often. Especially sites that hold your financial information. Every 6 months or so you should change your passwords just in case someone has access to your online profile. A good way to keep track of these passwords is with a password keeper such as 1password. This way you can store your passwords to all sites in one place and use a master password to gain access.

3. Opt-out of ad tracking

Online ad networks often install a small file on the computers of people who visit certain websites. These so-called cookies can log your surfing habits, allowing advertisers to tailor ads to your interests.

If you are trying to keep some online privacy then you should opt out. In the settings panel of your web browser make sure that disable cookies from third party websites. Most advertising companies use this information to directly target you with ads of products that you use. They know what items you purchase because they see where you go on line and keep a record.

4. Use a secure Internet Connection

Don’t browse private sites and look at personal or financial information while on a public wifi connection. Never shop online at your local coffee shop because you never know who may be spying on you with that very same open internet connection. If you are making an online purchase, looking at your online banking, emailing a personal story or photo, ONLY do so on a secure password protected internet connection.

5. Think before you post

While this may seem like an obvious suggestion, many people don’t do it. Posting that you are at your local watering hole at 3pm on a Thursday after you called in sick could get you in more trouble than you planned on. Uploading an embarrassing photo of yourself may cost you a future job. I know of a company that didn’t hire a candidate for a position because when they checked out her Facebook profile her status was “I just need a job – ANY Job!”. That made her less appealing to hire than other candidates that were less vocal on their pages.

Use your brain. Posts are public, permanent and exploitable.

To learn more and begin to build your own good privacy habits order your copy of my latest book Privacy Means Profit Today!

Wiley & Sons has just announced my latest book, Privacy Means Profit, will be available in stores and online August 9, 2010.  This book builds a bridge between good personal privacy habits (protect your wallet, online banking, trash, etc.) with the skills and motivation to protect workplace data (bulletproof your laptop, server, hiring policies, etc.).

Click Here for More Information

Identity Theft for Businesses: Mobile Data Breach

Mobile Data Theft

Technology is the focal point of data breach and workplace identity theft because corporations create, transmit, and store so many pieces of information digitally that it becomes a highly attractive target. This book is not intended to address the complex maze that larger organizations face in protecting their technological and digital assets. Rather, the purpose of this book is to begin to familiarize business employees, executives, and vendors with the various security issues facing them.
The task, then, is to develop a capable team (internal and external) to address these issues. In my experience, the following technology-related issues pose the greatest data-loss threats inside organizations:

  • Laptop Theft: According to the Ponemon Institute, 36 percent of reported breaches are due to a lost or stolen laptop.
  • Mobile Data Theft: Thumb drives, CDs, DVDs, tape backups, smart phones
  • Malware: Software that infects corporate systems, allowing criminals inside these networks
  • Hacking: Breaking into your computer system from the outside, using networks, wireless connections, remote access, and your Internet pipeline
  • Wireless Theft: Wireless connections to the Internet in airports, hotels, cafes, and conferences
  • Insider Theft: When someone in the IT department (or elsewhere) decides to make extra money by selling your data

According to the Ponemon Institute, ‘‘Thirty-six percent of all cases in this year’s study involved lost or stolen laptop computers or other mobile data-bearing devices. Data breaches concerning lost, missing, or stolen laptop computers are more expensive than other incidents. Specifically, in this year’s study, the per-victim cost for a data breach involving a lost or stolen laptop was just under $225, over $30 more than if a laptop or mobile device was not involved.’’ Continue Reading….

The post above is an excerpt from John’s latest book Privacy Means Profit. To learn more and to purchase the book, visit our website www.ThinkLikeASpy.com.

Privacy Means Profit

Prevent Identity Theft and Secure You and Your Bottom Line

This book builds a bridge between good personal privacy habits (protect your wallet, online banking, trash, etc.) with the skills and motivation to protect workplace data (bulletproof your laptop, server, hiring policies, etc.).

In Privacy Means Profit, John Sileo demonstrates how to keep data theft from destroying your bottom line, both personally and professionally. In addition to sharing his gripping tale of losing $300,000 and his business to data breach, John writes about the risks posed by social media, travel theft, workplace identity theft, and how to keep it from happening to you and your business.

Online Privacy: 5 Good Habits

People will do something—including changing their behavior—only if it can be demonstrated that doing so is in their own best interests as defined by their own values.
—Marshall Goldsmith, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

People don’t change bad habits until they have a compelling reason. Too often that compelling reason is the result of a habit’s negative outcome; but the promise of positive rewards resulting from the establishment of good habits can be a strong motivator. In the workplace, aligning responsible information stewardship with personal and professional gain can set the stage for good privacy habits.

Here are 5 steps you can take towards perfecting your own Privacy Habits:

  1. Tighten up online passwords. Use a password management software like 1Password, Dashlane, LastPass or Keeper to create, protect and share long, strong, alpha-numeric-symbol passwords.
  2. Use Two-Step Logins. Watch this video about two-factor authentication for one of the best tools to protect your online accounts.
  3. Secure your Facebook. Tighten up the privacy settings and make your profile only available to your friends. We do a lot of posts on Facebook Privacy Settings because they have a tendency to change frequently. Watch the site and subscribe to our newsletter to stay current on how to protect yourself and your profile on Facebook.
  4. Opt-Out. Take the time to call 1-888-567-8688 or visit www.OptOutPreScreen.com
    to stop financial junk mail from ending up at your house and inevitably – your trash. Those mailers give thieves an easy way to set up credit card accounts in your name without your consent. They spend money on the card and default on the balance, leaving you with the mess of proving that you didn’t make the purchases.
  5. Order your free credit report. By law, you are entitled to one free report from each agency once a year. The easiest way to get a report is to visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. Make sure that you request your free annual credit report from one credit agency only, as you can order the other two reports throughout the remainder of the year. By spreading the reports out over time, you will be monitoring your files consistently and frequently.

 

5 Business Survival Lessons from Google's Spying

A few months ago, Google got caught sniffing unencrypted wireless transmissions as its Street View photography vehicles drove around neighborhoods and businesses. It had been “accidentally” listening in on transmissions for more than 3 years – potentially viewing what websites you visit, reading your emails, and browsing the documents you edit and save in the cloud.

Public opinion blames Google, because Google is big and rich and and scarily omnipotent in the world of information domination. It’s fashionable to blame Google. What Google did was, to me, unethical, and they should eliminate both the collection practice and their archive of sniffed data.

But the greater responsibility lies with the businesses and homes that plugged in a wireless network and did nothing to protect it. Don’t tell me that you don’t know better. When you beam unencrypted data outside of your building, it’s no different than putting unshredded trash on your curb – YOU NO LONGER OWN IT. In fact, when you take no steps to protect the data that flies out of your airwaves and into the public domain, you really have no claim against someone taking it. It’s like finding a $100 bill on an abandoned sidewalk – you can claim it or the next lucky person will. Tom Bradley of PC World agrees:

The lesson for businesses and IT administrators is that you have to put forth some effort to at least give the appearance that you intend for the information to be private in order for there to be any inherent expectation of privacy. The burden should not be on Google, or the general public to have to determine whether the data you let freely fly about unencrypted is meant to be shared or is intended for a specific audience.

The Google story illuminates 5 Business Survival Lessons:

  1. This, like so many other business issues, is not a technology problem. The technology to keep out unwanted eyes exists (unless a government wants to tap you) and is accessible and affordable. The problem is human — someone has decided to ignore what they know should be done (especially having read this article)
  2. Private information that you fail to protect is no longer your private information (pragmatically and probably even legally).
  3. In the marketplace of data, just like in business, it is your responsibility to control what you can. Not everything is in your power, but safe wireless transmissions are. Whether it’s trash in a dumpster, posts on Facebook or wireless signals, the responsibility is yours and your business’s, not just Google’s, Facebook’s and corporate America’s. You must do your part.
  4. If you don’t employ at least WPA2 encryption currently on your wireless networks, I can nearly guarantee your data is being watched. And the expense of upgrading is minor compared to the prospect of breach, so lose that excuse.
  5. Prevention isn’t sexy, but it’s profitable. Whether your are preventing data leakage, budget shortfalls, or a heart attack, the key is to do the hard work before it happens.

John Sileo is the award-winning author of Stolen Lives and Privacy Means Profit (Wiley, August 2010), a professional Financial Speaker and America’s leading identity theft expert. His clients include the Department of Defense, FTC, FDIC and Pfizer; his recent media appearances include 60 Minutes. Contact him on 800.258.8076.