Sponsor Robert Siciliano as he runs the Boston Marathon for Miles for Miracles, Children's Hospital Boston
ROBERT SICILIANO is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds.

FREE EBOOK

Check here if you're human

Sponsors

Smart Cards Security

How to Secure Your Home or Business On the Cheap

…secure your home or business against burglary, and it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Here are 5 ways that you can get peace of mind on the cheap: Repurpose Your Smartphone If you are like most, you probably have an old smart phone hanging around just collecting dust in a drawer. For free or a small fee, you can download apps for both Android and iPhone devices that allow your smart phone to become a surveillance system with almost no…

What age is it OK to leave Kids home alone?

Sooner or later, you’ll need to leave your child home—unsupervised, alone—for an extended period. And even though you may have smart devices to keep a constant check on your child, this doesn’t mean you can instantly teleport home in the event your smart security system relays a realtime video of a kitchen fire. It’s one of the toughest challenges facing parents: At what age can they leave a child home alone without breaking the law, without…

The Switch to the Chip Card – One Year Later

…d use this information to make purchases and even to learn more about you and steal your identity. Over the past couple of years, once again, we in the U.S. are changing things up when it comes to how we use credit and debit cards. Our new cards, the ‘chip cards,’ as in use in most other places in the world, are making it safer than ever before to make purchases. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, these new chip cards and terminals are working to eliminate…

Carders cashing out on Magstrip Cards

…he event the credit card is in a thief’s hands, you’ll be liable, but only for a maximum of $50, provided you report the problem to the credit card company. However, in many cases a “zero liability” policy may kick in. Debit cards fall under a different federal law than credit cards. Regulation E, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, says after two days, you could be liable for up to $50. After 2 days liability jumps to 500.00. Beyond 60 days, you…

Never put these Docs in your Wallet

…Anything with your Social Security number; again, just memorize it already. Home address Keys PINs and passwords (if you need an assortment of these to function while away from home, use an encrypted app—assuming you have a smartphone). Checks Credit cards you won’t be using on any given day you’re out in the community (though one emergency credit card at all times is a smart move). Birth certificate Credit card receipts Medical cards unless…

My EMV for a Week Challenge is DONE!

…, the biggest issue, or frustration, I think, is its lack of deployment. For instance, you may have to redo a transaction when a chip card is inserted opposed to swipe and then to be told by the cashier “We don’t accept chip cards yet, please swipe”. The opposite happens too, but less frequently. Otherwise, chip cards are a no brainer. The “learning curve” for EMV or Chip is learned in the first transaction. Once done, you’ll be able to do it…

Gemaltos’ “EMV For a Week Challenge,” starts now!

…’m being tasked with numerous tasks, some tacky, some essential to living. Gemalto, one of the world’s leaders in digital security, wants a real-world take on the EMV card experience. Which includes the security benefits EMV cards presents. You know EMV; it’s the “chip” credit card that by now, you should have. EMV by the way stands for Euro/MasterCard/Visa. The Euro part essentially means that’s where the card was first deployed. If you don’t…

Pay attention to your IoT Device Security

Wow cool! A device that lets you know, via Internet, when your milk is beginning to sour! And a connected thermostat—turning the heat up remotely an hour before you get home to save money…and “smart” fitness monitors, baby monitors, watches… Slow down. Don’t buy a single smart device until you ask yourself these 10 questions. And frankly, there’s a lot of effort in some of these questions. But, security isn’t always easy. Check it out. Was the…

12 Simple Smart Ways to secure your Home

…y’re doing there. Don’t show off. Like anyone else, burglars are attracted to the niftiest house on the block. Keep a low profile, consider how a new outside decoration might attract the wrong kind of attention Apps for your smartphone. There are so many ways you can use your mobile device when away from home to keep tabs on your house. Advertise your home security system. Burglars are repelled by the alarm company signs, decals and stickers on…

20 Security Tips For Overseas Travelers With Credit Cards

…logy is widespread in foreign countries. Memorize the PIN and make sure it’s enabled for foreign ATM withdrawals. Install the credit card company’s mobile application so that you can be alerted to any suspicious issues. Gift cards and debit cards should be authorized for international use. Set your phone up for international use. Activate the feature in your card account that alerts you every time the card is used. Alert the credit card company…

Internet of Things and Home Security

…even home security system. The Internet of Things is a godsend to cyberthieves. In short, if something in your house is wireless, it’s hackable, says a report on forbes.com. Now this isn’t to say that you’d better toss that smart baby monitor or milk-spoilage detector, but it simply means that now is as good a time as ever to be aware of how hackers could exploit these gadgets. And that people should weigh the benefits and risks of convenience…

Credit Card vs. Debit Card Fraud

…he event the credit card is in a thief’s hands, you’ll be liable, but only for a maximum of $50, provided you report the problem to the credit card company. However, in many cases a “zero liability” policy may kick in. Debit cards fall under a different federal law than credit cards. Regulation E, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, says after two days, you could be liable for up to $50. After 2 days liability jumps to 500.00. Beyond 60 days, you…

Self-Monitored Security System Market heating up

…table in your living room, and you have numerous windows throughout the house’s many rooms, and other door entries. Just slap a tag on these other windows and doors. When a tag detects activity it will send an alert to your smartphone (Angee comes with an app for this). The tags will detect motion via two motion sensors including the one that fitness researchers use to measure a person’s daily physical activity: the accelerometer. The motion…

A new kind of home security. Smart, voice controlled and autonomous

…espond to motion and rotate to face it. This allows Angee to capture events, wherever the action is. This way, an intruder will not be able to avoid camera range. Angee Knows You ’ re Coming When Angee is paired up with your smartphone, it will perform commands once you get near enough to your house after being out. So if you want the alarm to be disarmed as you approach your front door, Angee will do this—because it will detect when your mobile…

How Hackers are Hacking Smarthomes

…edirect your web traffic to them. Though nothing is ever 100 percent secure, the issue boils down to how important it is for you to control your home’s thermostat or coffee pot while you’re away, which means adding one more “smart” thing to your house, increasing its surface area of potential attack. Smart gadgets are especially vulnerable to attack because they may not be replaced for many years, such as a smart washing machine. This means the…

Stolen Social Security number? Don’t Worry!

…eing monitored 24/7 by professionals who will also restore your identity in the event of loss. Check with the companies Terms of Service and their features/benefits to determine what the will and will not protect against. Be smart. Though some hackers are amazingly ingenious and subtle with their schemes, other tricks are so obvious that it’s astounding that anyone who’s smart enough to use a computer could fall for them. A college degreed…

13 Cheap Simple and Smart ways to secure your Home

…s. Though some locks cost a lot more than others, we’re talking about door locks, not cars. If you want a $60 lock badly enough, this money will come out of the woodwork. Make your home looked lived in at all times. The BeOn smart lighting home security system is affordable and doesn’t have the month to month monitoring costs. Always keep the alarm on. A deranged sociopath doesn’t care if you’re home and it’s 2:00 in the afternoon when he needs…

11 of the Biggest Home Security Mistakes

…r door unlocked often enough overnight, and a burglar will find it. They’re all out there, working their third shift while you’re asleep, jiggling hundreds of door knobs to find that one unlocked door. Yours will be next. Be smart and lock up! This also includes during the day and when you’re gone. Penny pinching when it comes to locks. You get what you pay for. Don’t put a price tag on your home’s security. If you have a house alarm, use it. It…

Card Company’s boosting Payment Security with Mobile

…s and consumers (and banks) must continue to wrestle with the rampant crimes involving credit cards. Recently, MasterCard teamed with Syniverse, a mobile technology company, with the goal of stifling fraudulent use of credit cards. MasterCard’s approach relies upon the smartphone geolocator. The company’s plan enables the card to be used only if it’s within a certain range of the owner’s smartphone. Though at first, this sounds fool-proof, it…

Chip and PIN, will It save Us?

…rd for everything under the sun: even just a soda and bag of chips from the convenience mart. The more you use a credit card, the more likely it will be compromised by cyber thieves. The magnetic stripe technology for credit cards makes them so “hackable.” One way to help prevent credit card crimes is to implement a chip-and-PIN technology. It’s been touted as a sure way to keep crime at bay. But is it what it’s cracked up to be? After all, how…

Tips to prepare for Power Outage

…sible compartment in your house to store light-yielding devices including headlamps and flashlights. This compartment should be labeled with glow-in-the-dark stickers for easy finding. Invest in “smart lighting”. Yes, I said smart. The BeOn system of smart lights doubles as a home security system and works when the powers off. BeON operates during a power outage for general illumination as well (not just the security function). BeOn duplicates…

7 Things You Can Do To Protect Your Identity

…ls from opening accounts in your name and smearing your credit. Limit accessibility. In addition to using a shredder or scissors, consider getting a safe where you can store sensitive documents and limit the number of credit cards you carry with you. Have a list of important phone numbers (e.g., bank, credit card companies) already made up, in the event that you need to contact them immediately upon realizing you have lost or someone has stolen…

Chip and PIN vs. Chip and Signature Cards

…nologies like geo-location can be implemented to determine if the customer is the real owner of the card. There’d be multiple technologies in place for verifying ownership. The transaction can require voice biometrics with a smartphone: The system will approve the purchase only when the card user’s voice is identified as that of the real owner. The second point here would be contingent on authenticating the smartphone. But all that seems a…

11 ways to Let Santa in and keep Bad Guys out

You’ve heard of “dumb criminals,” right? Well…unfortunately, there’s at least as many dimwitted homeowners as there are criminals. Be a smart homeowner and use smart technology along with smart security tips and smarten up! The holiday season has arrived. Are you going to display a huge Christmas tree in your biggest window, shades up, so that thieves casing the neighborhood can see all the presents piled under it? “Those people have…

10 ways to Keep your Mobile Data safe from mCrime

…cam that’s designed to sucker the recipient into giving away personal information or money. In one study, 100,000 phishing e-mails were sent out. Three thousand people responded, and of those, almost three quarters came from smartphones. People are sloppy with guarding their smartphone, and this is how criminals infiltrate. But it doesn’t take a high IQ to beat the bad guys at their game. It’s only a matter of time before you misplace your…

The Futuristic secure and Smart automated Home is here

…eps further. Install BeOn and it will “figure out” your family’s light usage pattern, then duplicate this when the house is empty, tricking burglars who’ve been watching your house into thinking you’re still home. Now that’s smart! Check out their Kickstarter campaign and invest in the future of smart security. In addition, leave a TV or stereo on loud enough for any prowlers to hear. BeOn is developing a sounder module that will also make the…

The Credit Card Fraud Mob Boss

There once was a guy named Albert Gonzalez who dressed like a woman—but not because he got off on this, but because he wanted to conceal his actual appearance while he used a ream of phony cards to steal money from an ATM in 2003. A cop noticed the activity and didn’t quite buy the disguise. The police officer nabbed the thin, disheveled Gonzalez, and it turned out he possessed a computer at his New Jersey home loaded with stolen card data. He…

10 Get Smart Home Security Tips

The season to give is also the season to steal. Burglars are always looking for great deals—you know—the house that looks like nobody’s ever home; the house that has lots of shrubbery crowding out the doors and windows so that nobody can see the prowler spending 20 minutes trying to break in; the house with the huge Christmas tree in the window and a three-foot-high pile of gifts engulfing it. Here’s how to make your house look very unappealing…

Finally: a Proactive Layer for your Home Security System

…d they have done it in a simple and elegant way that gives you security without the stress while you’re away…and also yields safety while you’re at home. There’s “smart” everything these days, including light bulbs. But the “smart” light bulb you’re probably familiar with is smart only in terms of convenience. It’s a dunce in terms of security. But now, there finally is a truly intelligent light bulb: BeON Home’s smart lighting system, which is…

21 ways to Prepare your Credit Cards for Overseas Travel

…veling overseas; this way they can monitor your transactions. Before leaving, make sure your debit and gift cards are authorized for international use with merchants and ATMs. Bring with you the phone numbers for all of your cards. This includes non-800 numbers. Make sure you know whether or not your cards come with a foreign transaction fee. Have all the card numbers documented. Get a chip-and-pin card from your card company and bank. Chip and…

5 Reasons why You will get Hacked

…r yourself infected. Don’t Be a Myth Head A smart, sophisticated cyber criminal will go after smart, sophisticated users, not just the dumb ones. Don’t let your guard down for a second. There’s always someone out there who’s smarter than you—or, at least—smart enough to trick you, if you become lax. One step forward is to just commit to never, ever clicking on any links inside of e-mails. And when you receive an e-mail with an empty subject…

8 Tips to Credit Card Security

Despite the fact that tens of millions of consumers were hit by the numerous big breaches, and tens of millions more by less sensationalized breaches, you can still take the reins and yield some protection for your credit cards. Make online payments with single-use or prepaid cards. What a great idea! If you have multiple recurring payments for ongoing services, use only one credit card for those. For shopping, use a one-time or prepaid card….

6 Ways to Protect your Internet of Things from Hackers

…must click on every offer or ad that comes your way, or on links just because they’re inside e-mails. Don’t click on offers that seem too good to be true. Your mobile devices should be protected. This doesn’t just mean your smartphone, but the smart gadgets that your smartphone or tablets control, like that egg tray that can alert you when you’re running low on eggs. Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to Hotspot Shield. He is the…

How hackable is my Home Security System?

…So if you’re sitting there with no shirt on enjoying a movie on that smart TV…someone could be sitting a thousand miles away—or down the street—enjoying watching YOU. With the way cyber crime is evolving, the risks of having smart gadgets will likely grow bigger and bigger. The prognosis from the research: Looks like smart gadgets will be easy prey for cyber predators in the near future. Manufacturers need to improve their ability to secure…

Prepaid Cards risk of Fraud

…that you won a prize, and that you need to send in a prepaid card to pay a processing fee. Sometimes the scam comes in the form of a utility company payment or even government payment. Bottom line: Don’t send anyone prepaid cards! In that same dictionary after the term prepaid cards is scam! Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to BestIDTheftCompanys.com discussing identity theft prevention. For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE…

Smart Home Security Tips

It’s well-worth your time and money to make a burglar’s job very difficult. Employ the following home security tips: Lock up! How many times have you read about a home intruder who “entered through an unlocked window”? Keep your windows and doors locked as much as possible. Deadbolts. A deadbolt makes an incredible difference. Even a “determined” thief wants a quick, easy job. A decent deadbolt is about $25; you’ll get what you pay for. Lock it…

Medical Identity Theft Can be Deadly

…d need immediate medical treatment, memorize your health ID number. If you’re unconscious upon arriving at an ER, you’ll get treated anyways—it’s the law. Simply provide your medical card after the fact. Don’t carry identity cards either: Identification cards or Social Security number cards should also be left at home in a safe place. Since many medical systems use these numbers as your identifier on the policy, you don’t want them falling into…

Beware of Flight MH17 Facebook Scams

…eased victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17—claiming their credit cards were stolen from the crash debris. “Death hunters,” says Ukrainian MP Anton Gerashchenko on his Facebook page, are collecting jewels, cash and credit cards off of the victims. His post urges victims’ relatives to “freeze their credit cards, so that they won’t lose their assets to terrorists!” The Dutch Banking Association assured next-of-kin that they’d be compensated for…

Stolen Business Debit Cards at Greater Risk

…. Set up spending limits, set up text/email alerts. Suspicious events, such as exceeding a specified dollar amount in a purchase, should be alerted via e-mail or text. Implement limited access by employees to your business’s cards. Get to know your banker or credit union. Having to convince a bank that your money was stolen will be easier if you have a pre-established relationship with the institution. Does your financial institution know you?…

Protect your Cards from Multiple Kinds of Skimmers

…formation. Point of sale swapping. The skimming device is placed at the terminal where you make a purchase. Even busy places like McDonald’s have been targeted. These smart criminals can copy skimmed credit card data on gift cards, blank cards, hotel cardkeys or white cards, the latter being quite useful at self-checkouts. Protection comes in the form of: Anti-Skim Security built into the ATM from the factory or as an add-on solution, which is…

13 ways Protect your Credit Cards from Fraud

Here are a number of ways you can protect your credit cards from fraud. 1. Keep a sharp eye on your credit card accounts. Read through the purchases for every monthly statement to see if any unfamiliar or odd items show up. Don’t just skip past small purchases; a charge for $9.95 could still be fraudulent. A crook knows you’re less likely to pay attention to small numbers. Consider checking your statements online weekly or even better, download…

National Retail Federation pushes for Chip and PIN

…means a chip is embedded into the card. A “reader” reads the chip but also requires the cardholder to enter a PIN to complete the purchase: a two-ply authentication process. Magnetic strips allow thieves to make counterfeit cards that work, but the chip technology would prevent this. “It’s going to be a very expensive transition,” says Mallory Duncan, NRF senior VP and general counsel, referring to the switch from magnetic strip to PIN and…

Credit Card Fraud Security Bleak

…e for protecting consumers isn’t helping, either. Recently Congress demanded that the financial and retail industry leaders come up with plans for securing customer data. And they’d better act soon or consumer trust in these cards that drive the U.S. economy will take a big dive. “This has the potential for people to question the viability of our payment system,” points out Venky Ganesan, venture capitalist with Menlo Ventures. Cards are the…

Credit Card Theft increasing for Banks and Retailers

…of breaches. Physical loss such as forgetting where one placed a device, flash drive, etc., was responsible for 21 percent of the data loss incidents. The 2014 Data Protection & Breach Readiness Guide can help service providers and app developers for businesses grasp the issues, factors and solutions that will fire up data protection tactics and bring about a development of strategies for managing a data breach incident. Smart businesses…

5 Smart Ways to Protect Your Home from Dumb Burglars

…e online Times-Republican. The genius busted in when the homeowners were on a holiday trip, making off with several TVs, DVDs, clothes, even small kitchen appliances. Here are ways to protect your home from burglars dumb and smart, skittish and determined: Secure the garage. Many burglars gain entry via the garage. Make sure your automatic garage door opener, if in your car, is hidden from view. Always keep the door locked that joins your garage…

Kim Kardashian’s Identity Theft Case cracked

…merican Express claiming to be Kim Kardashian, knew her private information, then changed the account’s SSN to that of Flores’. The snail mail address was changed to Flores’ apartment’s. The caller then requested replacement cards. The Secret Service questioned Flores and Kyah Green, his mother, about the cards but they didn’t cooperate. The Secret Service also discovered that Flores had a history of fraudulent behavior. Additionally, Flores had…

Connected Home Security is Smart

…dimming), raising the thermostat, etc. All this will help you save on your utility bills. Imagine: You’re in the middle of an event somewhere and you just realized you forgot to lock the front door. No problem; whip out your smartphone and do it right there in your seat. And don’t forget about key codes that you can give to people who need to enter your house such as dog walkers or service technicians. The Touchscreen Deadbolt from Schlage…

Amber Alert GPS: Say Hello to Smart Affordable Child Locators

…amily members prone to wandering due to autism, Alzheimer’s and other disabilities, use the Amber Alert GPS Smart locator as an additional set of eyes and ears. The same level of innovation that goes into the Amber Alert GPS Smart Locator is also used in the accompanying smartphone mobile apps. Available on iPhone® and Android™, they allow you to keep track of your kids anytime, from anywhere. Families can download the free mobile app and…

Schlage Touchscreen Deadbolts are Smart!

Deadbolt technology just gets smarter and smarter. There are now electronic deadbolts that can be manipulated with an integrated keypad, a smartphone or opened with a key. After all, relying on the traditional key can be a nuisance, for obvious reasons. The Camelot Style deadbolt from Schlage offers the latest technology. The device can be registered with multiple z-wave enabled hubs including, Nexia Home Intelligence and Staples Connect and…

10 Credit Score Truths and Myths

…her smears remain for up to seven years following the first “infraction” date. 6. Cash-only payments will improve credit score. You can’t build good credit unless you use credit—and wisely. Get a couple small loans or credit cards and pay them off as you use them. 7. Improve your credit score by closing your credit card accounts. Closing a card lowers your amount of disposable income: the ability to pay off other debt. You don’t want to lower…

Older Technologies Facilitate Credit Card Fraud

…ewalls. Data should be encrypted, so that hackers see gibberish. This may be easier said than done, because implementing these safeguards isn’t cheap. The U.S. lags behind most other nations when it comes to credit and debit cards; most countries’ cards use the digital chips that contain account information. Every time the card is used, the chip generates a code that’s unique. This makes it a lot harder for criminals to duplicate the cards—so…

Debit Cards: Signature or PIN, what’s What?

…latantly notify the consumer of this, but this should be visible on the checking account statement. Usually safer than the deferred version, as a thief needs to know the PIN to use the card. For obvious reasons, direct debit cards are safer for online use than are deferred debit cards. Cannot be overdrafted unless you opt into overdrafting at the time of account creation. Deferred debit Think of a fusion between a traditional credit card and a…

12 biggest home security mistakes

…lock out there. Ladders in yards. It’s a good thing I’m not a burglar, because I see ladders in yards every day. They boost a bad guy to the unlocked second-floor windows easily enough. Lock ’em up. Disabled alarms. You were smart enough to get the alarm, so be smart and activate it when you are home, sleeping and away—even for 10 minutes. Set it and forget it. Opened unlocked windows. Sure, you’re only going to the store and you’ll be right…

I Really Want My Phone to Be My Wallet. Don’t You?

…s: Isis is a mobile payment network comprised of the major mobile networks. It’s supposed to launch nationwide and there have been a bunch of pilot tests, but no official launch just yet. Square is an app that accepts credit cards and allows you to pay with them in stores that accept Square-facilitated transactions. Apple has the Passbook app, which stores your cards and works with an iPhone. It should have taken off, but it does squat. Google…

Danger: Wireless Toilets Next on Hackers’ List

Just about anything wireless is hackable today. Everything—from PCs to mobiles to tablets to home automation devices to pacemakers to insulin dispensers and even cars—are hackable. And now “smart” toilets. CNET reports, “[Smart] toilets can be controlled using an Android app, but the Bluetooth PIN is hard-coded to ‘0000.’ Just knowing that code number means the awesome power of the Satis (toilet) could fall into evil hands. All a hacker would…

Medical Identity Theft: Ins and Outs

…cal information, insurance cards, records, etc., the crime is a form of account takeover fraud. Medical identity theft—the real kind—occurs when the thief’s motivation is obtaining medical procedures or healthcare. Insurance cards allow access to a hospital or doctor’s office. When requests for additional forms of identity are requested, the thief produces fake IDs. Often, the thief conspires with an employee at the facility who “sweethearts”…

5 Ways to Protect Your Credit Card

…ng your credit card statements every day is manageable, right? Even once a week is sufficient, and every two weeks is okay. Just be sure to confirm your bank’s cut-off date to refute unauthorized withdrawals. For most credit cards, it’s 60 days. 5. Protect your PC. Viruses on your computer will almost certainly result in account takeover. Install antivirus, anti-phishing, anti-spyware, and a firewall. One very effective fraud detection technique…

Secure Your Identity When Traveling

…is the act of copying credit card data off a magnetic stripe card, whether on an ATM or in person. US-based cards are more vulnerable because they are mostly magnetic. Overseas, particularly in Europe, EMV or “chip and PIN” cards are standard. Chip and PIN cards are much harder to hack. Many merchants will not, or cannot, accept US cards with magnetic stripes, which could put you in a difficult position when you need gas or have to buy a train…

Classifieds Ripe For Rental Fraud

…be. Whenever possible, deal locally. People who cannot meet you in your town are more likely to be scammers. And even when you do meet in person, you still should be wary. Never engage in online transactions involving credit cards, cashier’s checks, money orders, personal checks, Western Union, MoneyGram, cash or anything that requires you to send money to a stranger in response to money he or she has sent you. This is known as an advance fee…

8 Ways to Avoid Contractor Fraud

…provides its own set of pros and cons, and scammers use every resource. Reduce your risk. People don’t do their homework. People are naïve and have no clue that someone may be looking to scam them, and they think they are so smart that nobody can scam them. But if you are smart enough to know that this can happen to you and do your best to prevent it, you reduce the risks associated with contractor fraud. Do your homework. Read up on what the…

What is a mobile wallet?

…ply click a button. Mobile wallet is still in its infancy but the technology is quickly gaining steam. Google introduced Google Wallet, a mobile app that turns your Android phone into a wallet by securely storing your credit cards on your phone, and it has gained popularity by using promotional offers. When you make a purchase from a brick-and-mortar store that accepts Google Wallet, you not only pay but you can also redeem discount and…

Identity Theft Rings Focus On Loans and Credit Cards

…million people a year. In Wycoff NJ, 11 men and women were arrested on charges of stealing identities to open credit cards in an alleged scheme that is believed to have defrauded more than 70 victims. Patch reports: “Credit cards were opened in the victims’ names, and charges were made on their behalf by “authorized buyers.” The task force investigation found that most of the victims had recently refinanced or applied…

Security Benefits of EMV for Consumers

…st in 2007.” “EMV” refers to Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, three financial service corporations that collaborated to establish a global standard for secure, reliable, and consistent credit and debit card transactions. These cards are also called “chip and PIN” cards because they incorporate an embedded microprocessor chip and require a personal identification number for authentication. JPMorgan Chase began issuing cards with embedded…

5 Signs You Are About to be Scammed

…t relies on human interactions, such as trying to gain confidence of someone through trickery or deception for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or device access. This can take many forms, both online and offline. Smart criminal hackers use social engineering as a very effective tool and as a part of their strategy when gathering information to piece together the parts of their scams. In my opinion, it’s just a fancier, more technical…

BillGuard is Personal Finance Security

…harges, billing errors, misleading subscriptions, scams and fraud on your bills and statements and alerts you via email when your attention is required. A scan report email is sent monthly, providing a quick overview of your cards—and, along with it, much-needed peace of mind. BillGuard provides a beautifully combined view of all your credit and debit cards in one place and makes it easy to understand every charge on your statements. No more…

Get Smart─Lock Down Your Apps

Apps are what make smartphones smart. Without apps, smartphones would just be regular feature phones. Apps are what make our smartphones into our most personal computers. And like our computers, we need to protect our smartphones and apps. Some of the most commonly used apps on the Android platform such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Gmail don’t require a log in each time they’re launched, which is convenient, but from a security standpoint, not…

The Upside of Electronic Health Records – Will This Be Possible?

…ng their identity, carrying prescriptions and making health insurance claims. A fully integrated e-healthcare system makes it possible for a doctor to upload a prescription onto a national database and the patient’s personal smart card at the same time. The patient then takes the smart card to a drugstore, where the pharmacist can insert it into a reader to confirm the details of the prescription. Meanwhile, those details are now on the database…

Breach Means More Retailer Card Fraud

…which affected fewer than 1% of PIN pads in Barnes & Noble stores, was a sophisticated criminal effort to steal credit card information, debit card information, and debit card PIN numbers from customers who swiped their cards through PIN pads when they made purchases. This situation involved only purchases in which a customer swiped a credit or debit card in a store using one of the compromised PIN pads.” When the use of these stolen credit…

Identity Theft Crime Ring Leader Gets 25 Years

…s’ credit card numbers used to encode forged credit cards. Christopher Aragon and his co-defendants used credit profiles and personal identifying information of victims to make fraudulent California driver’s licenses, credit cards, and gift cards. The defendants encoded the magnetic strips of the credit and gift cards with stolen account information, and used the cards to purchase high-end merchandise, including designer handbags, jewelry,…

What Security Benefits Does Contactless Technology Offer?

…d technology includes strong security features optimized for applications involving payment and identities. Every day tens of millions of people around the world safely use contactless technology in their passports, identity cards and transit fare cards for secure, fast and convenient transactions. Multiple layers of security protect these transactions, making them safe for consumers and merchants. Some of these features are in the contactless…

What Differentiates EMV Cards?

…yields numerous vendors offering to sell skimming devices, which can be used to steal data from credit cards as they are swiped in an ATM. EMV, or chip and PIN cards, on the other hand, are far more secure. These so-called “smart cards” contain embedded microchips and are authenticated using personal identification numbers, or PINs. When a customer uses a smart card to make a purchase, the card is placed into a terminal or a modified card…

Banks Should Promote EMV

…ven when you hand it over to pay at a store or restaurant. Technically, account takeover is the most prevalent form of identity theft, though I’ve always been inclined to categorize it as simple credit card fraud. EMV credit cards—or “chip and PIN” cards—are safer than the magnetic stripe cards still used in the U.S. According to the Smartcard Alliance, “[EMV] transactions require an authentic card validated either online by the issuer using a…

Travel Smart With EMV Technology

…d the world. “EMV” refers to Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, three financial service corporations that collaborated to establish a global standard for secure, reliable, and consistent credit and debit card transactions. These cards are also called “chip and PIN” cards because they incorporate an embedded microprocessor chip and require a personal identification number for authentication. These security measures make chip and PIN cards far more…

Security Snapshot: How Is EMV Safer?

To understand why EMV credit cards—or “chip and PIN” cards—are safer, first we must understand standard magnetic stripe cards. The familiar magnetic stripe, which can be seen on all credit cards carried in the United States, has been around for more than four decades. The security technology behind the magnetic stripe has been compromised, since the availability of card reading and writing tools makes it easy to decipher the data stored on the…

Preparing for Your Summer Vacation Overseas

…a, AAA, and Wells Fargo are just a few of the institutions that offer traveler’s checks. Carry photo ID. When paying with a regular credit card, always have a valid ID available. A merchant who is accustomed to accepting EMV cards may feel skittish about your regular credit card, and may require that you present a photo ID. Train station kiosks require EMV. Many people travel on trains, especially when touring foreign countries. Purchasing…

How EMV Impacts International Travel

…ble and vulnerable to fraud. The other, more secure type of credit card is called “EMV,” which stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa. According to the Smartcard Alliance, “EMV is an open-standard set of specifications for smart card payments and acceptance devices. EMV chip cards contain embedded microprocessors that provide strong transaction security features and other application capabilities not possible with traditional magnetic stripe…

Selling Your Old Smartphone? Not Smart

…rs, addresses, emails, text messages and even passwords. While most of us would think we were safe if we did a factory reset on our mobile device, we also need to remember to remove or wipe any media like internal drives, SD cards, and anything else that stores data really should be destroyed. And for Android phones, even though some of the phones had done a factory reset, I was still able to find data on them. Furthermore, after having spent a…

Consumer Banking Security Products & Services

…seless in these situations. Travelers can use their old magnetic stripe cards, but will often find resistance or outright refusal of acceptance. In response big banks are issuing new EMV cards also known as “Chip and Pin” or smartcards. SMS Banking: Banks know you are going mobile and have built secure infrastructure to accommodate banking on the go. One option might include receiving notifications of various banking transactions for security…

5 Smart and Safe eBay Shopper Tips

Shopping is for people with time and money. When I am a consumer, it’s because I need something, and not necessarily the biggest or the best something. I need something practical, safe, and smart. eBay allows consumers to search for exactly what they need, and can be a great place to find hard-to-get items. Overall, eBay can be a good experience if you know what you are doing. But take it from me: knowing what you are doing takes time and…

Big Time Black Market For Your Credit Cards

…Security numbers are available for as low as $3 each. Most of this stolen data results in new account fraud. Fraudulent credit card applications are the most lucrative form of new account fraud. Identity thieves love credit cards because they are the easiest accounts to open, and they allow thieves to quickly turn data into cash. Meanwhile, consumers don’t find out that credit cards have been opened in their names until they are denied credit…

Underground Forums Selling Stolen Credit Cards

…ed to the underground and had created an entire backstory for Master Splyntr to get the criminals on the underground sites to trust him. In the course of his dealings with “carders” (criminal hackers dealing in stolen credit cards) he developed relationships with the leaders of a particular forum. This relationship proved paramount as an attack came upon this forum jeopardizing its existence. Master Splynter convinced the forums leaders to move…

Necessary Security Updates for 2012

…“EMV,” which stands for Euro MC/Visa, or “chip and PIN” is underway in North America. Both Canada and Mexico are going full on EMV and several major banks in the United States are beginning to test and even roll out EMV. EMV cards are far more secure than traditional credit cards, and consumers should embrace these new, more secure cards. Mobile security: The BlackBerry has always been relatively secure, and hasn’t been prone to viruses that…

Boosting Healthcare Security with Smart Cards

The Smart Card Alliance has put together a list of frequently asked questions about how smart cards work in a healthcare environment, and provided excellent answers. A smart card resembles a typical credit card, but is embedded with a small microprocessor chip, which makes it “smart.” That chip is a powerful minicomputer that can be programmed in different ways to boost security. Data and applications can be securely stored and accessed on the…

How to Prevent Gift Card Scams

…cammers know that almost 100 billion dollars is spent annually on gift cards and studies show that almost 2/3rds of consumers prefer to receive gift cards. The math of all this equals opportunity for criminals. Scamming gift cards is surprisingly easy. It works like this: gift cards have identifying numbers just like a credit card those numbers may be displayed on the card or embedded in the magnetic strip. Thieves will go into a retailer that…

Banks and Credit Card Issuers Move Toward Chip and PIN

…card, which is designed for U.S. cardholders who travel abroad. Bank of America has made a similar announcement of its expanded credit card technology aimed at international travelers. And Wells Fargo is already testing EMV cards in the United States, with its Visa Smart Card, which includes the traditional magnetic stripe as well as a microprocessor chip, in order to make the cards flexible and useable around the world. Wells Fargo’s pilot…

10 Things To Put In A Fire-Resistant Safe

…be protected. Wallet: Photocopy everything in your wallet front and back and put the copy and extra credit cards and cash should be protected. Identification: Birth certificates, passports, driver’s licenses, Social Security cards, insurance cards, and any other identifying documents should be protected. Titles: Deeds, boat, and automobile titles should be protected. Wills: Any and all documentation related to a will should be protected….

Bill Would Remove Social Security Numbers From Medicare Cards

…o Medicare beneficiaries, as well as requiring the Department of Health and Human Services to eliminate the unnecessary collection of Social Security numbers. Social security numbers should certainly be removed from Medicare cards and any other cards, for that matter. But while this bill is a step in the right direction, it cannot protect any of those 40 million subscribers from future fraud. Only identity theft protection, in combination with a…

Protect Your Automobile from Theft

…d auto thieves are always looking for hidden keys too. Don’t have valuable like laptops or bags exposed in the front seat. The idea is to make it difficult by incorporating multiple layers of security. Newer cars often have “smart keys” that make it difficult for criminals to hot wire a car and kill switches to override a popped ignition. But even these measures of protection aren’t enough. Doing things like parking in well-lit high trafficked…

Card Not Present Fraud Burdens eTailers

…t of sale. As a result, merchants pay higher fees for CNP transactions, and they pass those costs on to the customer. Identity thieves can use stolen credit card data to make CNP purchases, or they can copy the data to blank cards, which they can use at self-checkouts or when the thief knows the salesperson, who can “sweetheart” the transaction. Blank cards can also be pressed with foils to create the appearance of a legitimate credit card….

My Top 5 Mobile Commerce Apps

…ake payments within minutes of downloading. This can be handy when splitting a dinner check with a group in which everyone has a credit card, but no cash. KeyRing: Never carry plastic or paper loyalty, membership, or library cards again! You can save time, space, and money by storing cards and coupons on your phone, so you’ll never miss a discount at the point of sale again. I especially like that KeyRing fully backs up your credit and store…

Software Makes Dumbphones Smart for Facebook

Facebook for SIM, from Gemalto enables anyone to enjoy Facebook on all handsets, even if without a data connection or data subscription. With this technology, Gemalto brings Facebook to millions of mobile phone users regardless of their handset type. “Increasingly people want to be able to stay connected and communicate with their friends on Facebook anytime, anywhere,” said Henri Moissinac, Head of Mobile Business, Facebook. “Gemalto has…

Mother’s Book Recalls Serial Killer’s ’07 Massachusetts Home Invasion

…een screaming about my entire life. The always has been, there is, and there always will be Adam Leroy Lane’s jiggling another door knob. Protect yourself and family. Lock your doors and windows day and night because you are smart. Beef up the lighting outside your home because you are aware. Install home security cameras because you want a layer of protection. Be proactive with the help of ADT Pulse™, a new interactive smart home solution that…

Being Proactive Isn’t Living In Fear — Smart Home Solution

…ve smart home solution that goes beyond traditional home security to provide a new level of control, accessibility and connection with the home. Connectivity and interactivity are driving the way people live and manage their smart homes. ADT Pulse™ provides customers with anywhere, anytime access to their home via smart phones or personal computers, including an iPhone application to: • Arm and disarm their home security system. • Get notified…

Lost or Stolen Mobile Can Lead to Identity Theft

…’s so smart, I’m stupid and absent minded when it comes to my stuff. Where’s my wallet, where my keys, where’s my phone? After 40+ years I have a system of where I put my stuff, but it’s far from perfect. At Oktoberfest many smart stupid people lost stuff including 410 wallets, 4 wedding rings, 1 toaster, 1 set of dentures, 1 prosthetic leg and 320 mobile phones. I could easily be a one legged, toothless, ringless mess who lost his mobile and…

Britain Scrapping National Identification Card

…or benefits from the government. But the cards also allow citizens to access more secure e-Government applications. Some examples including secure electronic filing of taxes, e-Banking, and even e-Voting. More information on smart cards can be found at http://www.smartcardalliance.org, and at http://www.eurosmart.com/. According to Information Week, “Surveys of British nationals revealed they wouldn’t mind carrying such an ID, provided…

Planning To Travel Safely And Securely

…e news over and over due to their “Narco Wars”. 10’s of thousands have been murdered and kidnapped in many of the border towns all the way down to Acapulco. So where do I vacation? Mexico. It’s an easy trip, its economically smart, it’s usually warm and sunny, the food’s good, the people are great, and there’s always a good story to tell. I do my homework and understand where the risks are and aren’t. Despite the Travel Warning from U.S….

Lost and Stolen Wallets Lead To Identity Theft

…, before your wallet is lost or stolen, to mitigate future damage, and other things that should be done once a wallet is missing. While you still have your wallet, thin it out as much as possible. If you have multiple credit cards, store cards, Social Security cards, insurance cards, and more, then, “Houston, we have a problem.” All these ancillary cards serve no purpose other than putting you at risk for new account fraud or account takeover….

Retailers’ Point of Sales Terminals “Slurped”

…In response to their skimming problems, Australian is turning to chip and PIN technology. Last year, Visa announced a four-year plan to shift all Australian cards to chip and PIN. Since this past January, all new Visa credit cards in Australia feature embedded smart chips, and in 2013, signatures will no longer be accepted at checkout. You can’t protect yourself from this type of scam. But you can recover any losses by paying attention to your…

Top 5 Vishing Techniques

“Vishing” occurs when criminals call victims on the phone and attempt to lure them into divulging personal information that can be used to commit identity theft. The name comes from “voice,” and “phishing,” which is, of course, the use of spoofed emails designed to trick targets into clicking malicious links. Instead of email, vishing generally relies on automated phone calls, which instruct targets to provide account numbers. Vishing…

How Much Longer Does the Magstripe Have?

…stry’s efforts to enhance the security of cards transactions by migrating from the “magnetic stripe” to “EMV chip” cards, the Eurosystem considers that, to ensure a gradual migration, from 2012 onwards, all newly issued SEPA cards should be issued, by default, as “chip-only” cards.” In the United States the United Nations Federal Credit Union has adopted chip and PIN technology and Walmart is demanding it. Further, Travelex, the world’s…

 

Xtreme School

Featured in

Anderson Cooper John Stossel Robert Siciliano Featured in