It’s not a cheery handout today. But as we keep hearing news reports the importance of security and privacy grab our attention. Of course, there are things we need to know and do. Keeping up with the latest information is a necessary precaution for all of us. Here is just a few possibilities for current sites for you to review.
ID Theft, Opt Out Directions, Free Credit Report, Social Networking Danger
See http://www.worldprivacyforum.org lists articles on ID theft, security, privacy, cloud computing, medical info on HIPAA, medical identity theft, and more.
Lots of links are provided on this website. One article brought to our attention was “Top ten opt out list.” The information goes into detail and when printed out is 12 pages long as it describes the various opt-outs you can use to stop information about you from being collected, circulated, and sold among various companies and government agencies.
One company is described which builds detailed dossiers on consumers with “information scraped from social networking sites like Facebook, and is combined with public record data.” Dossiers have been used in political campaigns and other businesses. According to their quotation from Wall Street Journal this company’s segments recently included “a person's household income range, age range, political leaning, and gender and age of children in the household, as well as interests in topics including religion, the Bible, gambling, tobacco, adult entertainment and ‘get rich quick’ offers. In all . . . more than 400 categories, the documents indicated."
This site also gives consumer tips and links on how to get your free annual credit report.
A February 2010 report discloses Digital Signage Privacy Principles which might be a new term and a previously unexplained form of sophisticated digital information collection.
Traveling Brings New Challenges for Security and Privacy
Defending privacy at the U.S. Border: a guide for travelers carrying digital devices states that “for now, a border agent has the legal authority to search your electronic devices at the border even if she has no reason to think that you’ve done anything wrong.”
It discusses such agencies as CBP, ICE, TSA. Which other countries have you recently visited before entering the United States? What other connections do you have there?
Be aware of two basic precautions: make regular backups so if your computer is ever taken, lost or destroyed you’ll still have access to your data, and encrypt the information on your computer.
It gives details on how and why. Talks about hard drives, flash drives, mobile phones, details, date and disk encryption, digital cameras. It goes into how to interact with border agents, what to say, how to behave. The appendix lists 47 sources and their links with descriptions.
You can click to download a PDF with this material. This might be something you’d want to pass along to your grown kids and friends who plan to travel this summer.
These are not just the yummy ones Ginger brings to PMUG! Read on . . .
What Info is Available for Internet Sites to Take?
Using Firefox: are you collecting lots and lots of cookies? See how to view history and clear what you don’t want saved. http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-clear-firefox-cache Using Safari: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1677
See http://kb.iu.edu/data/ahic.html Indiana University knowledge base, dated 3-3-13. Brief description of cache, cookies, history. How to: for Firefox, Internet Explorer 7, 8, 9, Chrome, Opera, Safari, Mobile Safari for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android.
Password Managers Can Help
How Safe is My Info on a Thumb Drive?
A handy little thumb drive can hold a lot of info. But they can be misplaced, lost, mishandled. Make a plan to store them and use them. How long of a life do they have? Probably you’ll want to back one up, then buy a new one & copy over again in a few years?
An infected USB thumb drive can infect a computer. This discusses software encryption, hardware encryption. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_USB_drive
An Unexpected Phone Call From Your Grandson
Oh, it was a young man’s voice on the phone, but he said, “Grandma, I’m calling from Rome and I need help.” Who wouldn’t be concerned? How did he travel so far from home? What’s going on? Asking a few questions like, “Maybe you have the wrong number. What did you say your name was? What’s your sister’s name?” Ask anything that only the real grandson could possibly know. “Give me your phone number and I’ll call you back after I ...“ Make some quick excuse and sound sort of confused. Your brain’s internal warning device is in full swing now. You’ve heard about scams like this. Don’t be cheated out of your $$$.
Facebook gives crooks the information so they can find information to pretend to be your grandchild. http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/01/16/scam-artists-using-facebook-to-target-grandparents/
Alert your grandkids about posting information on Facebook, etc that would jeopardize you or them! A good reminder now and then shows you care about their safety.
So, What Can We Do?
While we are bemoaning the loss of truth, honesty, and respect in the world today we of the “generation with years of experience” must continue to be relevant and responsible. It’s part of our heritage, how mama and dad raised us to be decent and trustworthy. It’s like doing push-ups for exercise. Now, we’re exercising our brains. And part of that is continuing communication. Listen and learn. Respond as best as you can!
Let your computer help you keep in touch. Let PMUG help you learn.
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This was today's PMUG meeting handout from Elaine Hardt, May 18, 2013