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

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Social Media Identity Theft

Stay Safe While Traveling this Summer

…s are fictitious or are actual pictures of someone’s home “stolen” from, for instance, someone’s family blog or social media profile. The thief will then put up a fraudulent ad for renters and will request a wired upfront payment. Book travel plans only via legitimate, reputable sites. McAfee® WebAdvisor is a tool you can use that will help to warn you of most unsafe web pages. Make sure to check reviews of any private lodgings and use legitimate…

Social Media Scams on the rise

Social media is a conduit for thieves to get personal data (they can use it, for instance, to open up a credit line in the victim’s name). Though many people are concerned their personal information will get in the wrong hands, the funny thing is that they continue posting personal information—way too personal. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center says that social media is a fertile area for criminals to scam people. Phishing You are lured…

Catphishing is a Heartless Scam

…Smith” and “John Miller” won’t get you far, but “Jaycina McArthur” just might. What comes up? See if they have social media accounts, as these suggest they’re a real person. But the absence doesn’t prove they’re a phony, either. Not every legitimate person is into the social media thing. Here are warning signs: More than one profile on a social media site. Few friends or followers on social media (but then again…this doesn’t prove they’re a catp…

Question: Should You worry about Kids on Social Media?

…ny parents are wondering if their worries about their kids being online are justified. We hardly hear about how social media has benefited kids. There’s nothing inherent about electronic communications or electronic media that makes it bad for kids. There will always be bad people out there—online and offline. An article on commonsensemedia.org lists multiple ways good things can come to kids who use social media. Makes friendships stronger. The…

3 Ways We are Tricked into Cyber Attacks

…that make it easy to trick employees into giving up critical information is the information employees share on social media about their company. People just freely post things and tweet all day long about company matters or other details that can be used by a hacker to compromise the company. What seems like innocuous information, such as referring to a company big wig by their nickname, could lead to social engineering (tricking users into beli…

6 Tips for Protecting Your Social Media Accounts

10 years ago, many of us were hearing about social media for the first time. Now, social media plays a giant role in our lives, allowing us to share pictures, connect with family and friends, and get updated news. Through social media, we can express ourselves to our inner circle and the world. So how devastating would it be if someone got a hold of your social media accounts? They could really wreak some havoc, like sending dirty links to all o…

Stolen Social Security number? Don’t Worry!

Just when you think it was safe to believe your Social Security number can’t get stolen…news breaks of the Anthem data breach. Over 80,000,000 patient records were compromised, including SSNs and home addresses. Like a meteor striking the earth, a disastrous ripple effect is underway, with patients getting hit up with phishing e-mails. If you ever suspect your SSN has been stolen, some suggest contacting the IRS and Social Security Administratio…

The Security Costs of being too Social

…se folks are letting burglars know they’re away from home and not returning too soon. Why You Should Curb Cyber Socializing It’s true: People have been burglarized because the thieves found out they were on vacation or away via their social media posts. Because posting your whereabouts in social media could lead to a burglary, you’ll have to pay for the natural fallout of the crimes, such as a homeowner’s insurance deductible and a higher premium…

SSN and Its Afterlife

…inistration’s Death Master File Index. Sometimes it takes months for bureaus to update their databases with the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File Index. Here’s how to avoid identity theft of the deceased: Report the death yourself by calling the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. Contact the credit bureaus directly to report a death and request the information to be recorded immediately. Right now, before anyone pe…

Social Media Identity Theft leads to Arrest

Are you one who believes you’re too smart, too savvy, to get your identity stolen in the social media world? Nobody thinks this will happen to them, and Stephanie Francis, 24, was no exception to that way of thinking. A report from firstcoastnews.com that the Jacksonville, Florida woman claims her identity was stolen—on social media of all places—and that the thief used it to create a phony Facebook account. This is interesting because there’s p…

Feds Perp Social Media Identity Theft

…It is necessary for law enforcement to use any means necessary and legal to capture bad guys. However there must be a better way to create a social profile, such as using a stock photo or even a computer generated one. The technology is readily available to make this happen. Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to BestHomeSecurityCompanys.com discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures….

6 Ways to prevent Social Engineering Attacks

…e dashboards that show where you’re logged in and what tools or apps are connected. This includes financial and social media accounts. Beware of emails coming from anyone, for any reason that require you to click links for any reason. Social engineering via email is one of the true successful ways to con someone. Just be ridiculously aware. Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to BestIDTheftCompanys.com discussing  identity theft preventi…

Robert Siciliano Joins Identity Theft Resource Center Board of Directors

…provides victim assistance and consumer education through its toll-free call center, website and highly visible social media efforts. It is the mission of the ITRC to: provide best-in-class victim assistance at no charge to consumers throughout the United States; educate consumers, corporations, government agencies, and other organizations on best practices for fraud and identity theft detection, reduction and mitigation; and, serve as a relevant…

8 Ways to bullet proof your Social Accounts

…ice, then pose as you in your Facebook account. #2 Log out. Setting your device to automatically get you onto a social media site eliminates the hassle of having to enter your username and password every time you want to visit the site. However, if the wrong person gets ahold of your computer, mobile or tablet, that person can easily get into your social media accounts. Log out. #3 Remove apps you don’t use. If your accounts like Facebook and Twi…

Spring Clean Your Online Reputation

…r expense, let’s just say I’d put money on it. When was the last time you cleaned up your online (especially on social media) profile so that prospective employers can’t discover “bad” things about you? McAfee conducted a study, and the results show that 13.7% of people ages 18-24 know someone who was given the pink slip, courtesy of online postings. Job seekers and upcoming college graduates take note: Difficulty getting or keeping a job due to…

10 Tips to Protect Yourself on Social Networks

…the prevalence of mobile devices, more than ever, it’s easy for us to share our lives with the world. And yes, social networks are all about staying in touch with friends and family, and sharing events in your life, but perhaps it’s too easy to share information? With just a few clicks, posts and messages, you could give away enough personal information to compromise your privacy and even open yourself up to identity theft. So that’s why it’s cr…

What is Social Engineering?

No, it’s not some new engineering field to develop social media sites. Social engineering has been around as long as the con artist has been around. The terms stems from the social science world where social engineering is deemed as an act of psychological manipulation. In our tech-laden world of today, social engineering still involves deceit but it’s used to deceive you into giving up personal or sensitive information for the bad guys’ financi…

15 Small-Business Social Network Nightmares

You may think you’ve guarded your company, but are your social media outlets unprotected? Look at these 15 potential weaknesses in your defense. Can you think of five social network nightmares you hope never happen to your business? How about 10? Well, I can top that, because there are at least 15 social network mishaps that can haunt a business owner. Here’s a closer look at 15 types of trouble you can encounter on Facebook, Twitter…

Dear Colleagues, Clients, Friends, Family, Media and all others

…as harrowing as others, but it wasn’t a good one either. I spent that evening and the next 3 weeks doing media, communicating my perspective of the event. Click or copy/paste my account here: http://robertsiciliano.com/blog/2013/04/19/2013-boston-marathon-my-best-worst-day-ever/ GRATITUDE AND GRACE: Gratitude and Grace: “The greatest gifts are those that can never be reciprocated, like the gift of health that the doctor makes to a po…

7 Social Media Security Tips To Protect Your Business

…life could open your business to some serious dangers. Many small businesses recognize the benefits of having a social media presence for customer service and long-term marketing purposes. However, many are slow to recognize social media’s security issues and how employees’ own social presence can add to the company’s security issues. Some companies restrict internal access. Others may prevent employees from having any corporate assoc…

The Definitive Guide to Facebook Security

Social media is permeating every facet of our lives. It is extremely important to understand security and privacy settings with so much personal information becoming so accessible. Here is the definitive guide to security on Facebook: Step One Logging In Social Authentication: Facebook uses social authentication to verify your account. This system asks you to identify your friends based on pictures. This is information that makes it incredibly…

7 Small Business Social Media Risks

Many executives are concerned about social media related risks (e.g., data security and ID theft), but far fewer actually have any social media training. A recent survey of executives puts the concerns into four categories: disclosure of confidential information; damaged brand reputation; ID theft; and legal and compliance violations. Another feature that the survey unveiled was that 71 percent of the participants believed that their company was…

IT Guys get duped Pretty Girl on Social Media

…t the agency to assist her with her new job. Around Christmastime the security experts placed a link on Emily’s social media profiles linking to a Christmas card site they created. Visitations to this site led to a chain of events culminating in the security team stealing highly sensitive information from the agency. Partner companies with the agency were also compromised. The experimenters got what they sought within one week. The penetration sc…

Oversharing on Social Media Common Amongst 50+

Thanks to social media, societal norms have undergone a seismic shift in the past five years. What was once considered private or even taboo is not only fair game, it’s expected. But this can have serious consequences from the ending of friendships to exposure to physical harm. I’ve talked about the concept of TMI or too much information and how social networking and mobile devices have made sharing so much easier and faster than ever before. Bu…

7 Tips to avoid ‘deadly’ social media

The vacant 5,000 square foot house next door to this kicking victim was on sale, and he had agreed with the realtor to keep an eye on it. Some kids got wind of this vacancy and put out a Facebook invitation to a Halloween rave party there. He called 9-1-1 and the police broke up the party. However, kids kept arriving because the Facebook notice was still up. A mob of perhaps 60 kids was brewing at the end of the street. The victim-to-be began ch…

Socint: disseminating cybercrime through social intelligence

…times arrest. The arrest part is very interesting. Law enforcement and government are paying close attention to social media and what is being said. A man in Toronto posts on Twitter he’s looking for a drug dealer, provides a location for where he is, and says, “I need a spliff”—slang for marijuana—and the Toronto police respond, “Awesome, can we come too?” But it goes much deeper than that. NextGov.com reports, “Criminals, organized crime syndic…

Identity Thieves Go After the Deceased

…Here’s how to avoid that information from falling between the cracks. Report the death yourself by calling the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. Contact the credit bureaus directly to report a death and request the information to be recorded immediately. Right now, before anyone perishes, get the person a credit freeze. Upon death (as in life), the person’s Social Security number will be useless to the thief. Invest in identity t…

Social Media A Big Risk To Banks

…existing security technologies help protect the consumer and bank from human error like downloading a virus or social engineering tricks like clicking an infected link and alert us to a phish email. But no technology or even security or privacy policy can prevent someone from exposing all their life’s details on a social media site. When criminals target an organization like a bank they start by looking for vulnerabilities in the network infrast…

Why Your Employer Needs Social in the Workplace

Social media is the fifth form of mainstream media. It encompasses all media, making it the king of all media. At this point, most people know how to use social media and how to navigate the various websites. But many employers are still on the fence. Hootsuites’ CEO says, “The world’s top brands—like Pepsi, Virgin, NHL and American Express—[are] now embracing [social media] company-wide.” MarketingDonut reports, “One of the simplest ways to con…

2013 Boston Marathon: My Best Worst Day Ever

…ssional, but she was real. She put me at ease and we got through the interview. Since then I’ve done more media on this than I wished, including the Boston Globe,  Dr Drew, Extra, Current TV, Canadian TV, again and again, Fox Boston and some radio. In early May after the blasts I was asked to speak to the North Eastern Massachusetts  Law Enforcement Council on the benefits of social media to law enforcement and how social can help get the w…

The Social Media Identity Theft of a School Director Via Twitter

…h School. A few years ago this would have been looked upon as a victimless prank. But times have changed and as social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and others have morphed into much more than just recreational websites, it’s not just unacceptable; it’s a crime. The Twitter account was created with the name and photo of Dr. Jubal Yennie, director of the Sullivan County school district. The account has since been deleted…

Social Media Security in the Workplace

Why someone would set up a fake social media profile? The answer correlates with news of cyber-attacks on businesses and other organizations being targeted with advanced persistent threats which has risen sharply over the past two years. The Register reports “Social engineering via platforms such as Facebook can be one of the early stages of an advanced persistent threat (APT), the latest buzz word on the information security scene and a techniq…

Social Media Security Risks for Small Business

…help protect consumers, banks and small businesses from human errors like accidentally downloading a virus, or social engineering tricks designed to fool targets into clicking infected links, by warning users about potentially dangerous webpages and phishing emails. But no computer security technology or privacy policy can prevent people and employees from exposing all their lives’ details on social media websites. When internet criminals target…

How safe is my identity? What are the latest threats? How do I protect myself?

The 2012 Identity Fraud Report: Social Media and Mobile Forming the New Fraud Frontier, released by Javelin Strategy & Research reports that in 2011 identity fraud increased by 13 percent. More than 11.6 million adults became a victim of identity fraud in the United States, while the dollar amount stolen held steady. Identity theft occurs when someone takes your personally identifiable information (PII), and misuses it, abuses it, and adapts…

Social Media Security Tips for Small Business

Corporations know there are long-term marketing benefits of social media and they also know the security issues with employees continue to be a problem. Many companies restrict internal access. Others prevent employees from discussing or mentioning the company in social media during private time. Follow these social media security tips for small business to prevent security issues: #1 Implement policies. Social media is a great platform for conn…

Ghosting Identity Theft Scams

…counts are opened under names and identities that have been entirely fabricated when thieves easily create fake Social Security numbers. Here’s how it works. Our system of credit requires a Social Security number as the first and foremost identifier. Lenders issue credit based entirely or almost entirely on the history associated with an applicant’s Social Security number. When a creditor issues credit based on these invented numbers and reports…

Holiday Phishers Use Social Media

Every social media website in existence depends on advertising for its survival, to some extent. Criminals exploit this by mimicking these familiar platforms when sending millions of phishing emails designed to entice users into clicking malicious links or visiting spoofed websites that resemble legitimate social media. They also create pages within popular social media that are infected with malware, or malicious links designed to infect the PC…

Social Security Number: All-Purpose Identifier

Your Social Security number was never meant to serve the various functions it is used for today. Over the past 70 years, the Social Security number has become our de facto national ID. The numbers were originally issued in the 1930s, to track income for Social Security benefits. But “functionality creep,” which occurs when an item, process, or procedure ends up serving a purpose it was never intended to perform, soon took effect. Banks, motor ve…

Social Web Loaded With Profile Misrepresentation

Social fakes” are invented profiles on social media (often referred to as profile misrepresentation), which can be used to harass or mock victims anonymously. But the more lucrative fake profile is one that imitates a legitimate business, damaging that business’s online reputation. The imposters’ ultimate goal? Spam leading to scams. Social-web security provider Impermium published the results of their recent analysis of the cost of social spa…

Bill Would Remove Social Security Numbers From Medicare Cards

The most basic advice for protecting your own identity is to protect your Social Security number. The obvious solution is simply never to disclose your number, but this is silly, since, depending on your age, you have probably provided it to hundreds of people, on hundreds of forms. It now sits in hundreds of databases, accessible to thousands, and possibly even available for sale. 40 million Medicare subscribers currently have their Social Secu…

Device Intelligence Helps Stop Scammers Targeting Social Media Sites

We’ve heard this story before, but unfortunately it happens over and over again. Social media and dating sites are overrun with criminals who pose as legitimate, upstanding individuals, but are really wolves in sheep’s clothing. In Florida, a man named Martin Kahl met a 51-year-old woman and they developed an online romance. A quick search for the name “Martin Kahl” turns up many men with the same name and no obvious signs of trouble. This part…

15 Social Media Security Tips

…ebsite safety advisor. 15. Invest in identity theft protection. Regardless of how careful you may be or any security systems you put in place, there is always a chance that you can be compromised in some way. It’s nice to have identity theft protection watching your back. Robert Siciliano is a McAfee consultant and identity theft expert. See him discuss social media scammers on CNN. (Disclosures)  …

Social Networking Security Awareness

…e protects users’ PCs from online threats, viruses, spyware, other malware, and includes the award-winning SiteAdvisor website rating technology. After the six-month McAfee AntiVirus Plus subscription period, Facebook users may be eligible for special discount subscription pricing. Robert Siciliano is a McAfee consultant and identity theft expert. See him discuss hackers hacking social media on Fox Boston. (Disclosures)…

Your “Status” is Important to Others

People have always paid attention to your status. Now they do it on social media. Status is your “standing” in society. It could mean whether you are married, employed, rich, poor, saving the world, up to no good, home or not. Status in terms of home security begins with your whereabouts. By now we should all know posting your whereabouts (or where you aren’t) can be an invitation for criminals to break into your home while you are gone. It’s si…

Judge Says Its OK to Post Social Security Numbers Online

…osting of personal information online. To make this point, she finds politicians’ personal information, usually Social Security numbers, on their own states’ websites, and republishes that information online. Publicly appointed government employees known as Clerks of Courts, County Clerks, or Registrars are responsible for handling and managing public records, including birth, death, marriage, court, property, and business filings for municipalit…

Prankster Creates and Kills Fake Social Media Profiles

This is just weird, but what about social media isn’t weird? We “friend” people we’ve never met. We share our plans, location, and mother’s maiden name with the world. In New Zealand, weird can be defined as a 28-year-old Auckland woman who created and used several fake online profiles depicting young, pretty women to befriend unsuspecting high school boys. I can definitely see my 16-year-old self falling for this. Sometimes, after creating a fa…

Teacher Bit by Social Media Identity Theft on Twitter

…an quickly and easily damage your reputation. Online Security Tips: Right now grab your name on all the popular social media sites. Sign up for every one of them even if you don’t intend on using them. If your name is gone use a hyphen or a dash. For free search over 500 popular social networks and over 200 domain names to instantly secure your brand across the social web at Knowem.com. Set up Google Alerts to determine of your name is being used…

Predators Using Social Media to Stalk Kids

…violent and the victims much younger.  We are even seeing infants being sexually abused.” With the openness of social media, predators know what a kid likes, doesn’t like, who their friends are, and often their phone numbers, where they live, go to school, sports teams they play on etc. The list goes on and on. Many of today’s social media sites are also incorporating location based services which allow the user to broadcast their location via a…

Phishers Using Holidays and Social Media to Target

Recent reports of “The Oak Ridge National Laboratory, home to one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, has been forced to shut down its email systems and all Internet access for employees since late last Friday, following a sophisticated cyberattack.” The sophisticated cyber attack was reported to be the lowly unsophisticated phishing email. Phishing is emerging as sophisticated due to ways in which the phish emails are disguised to look…

Lawmakers Push To Shield Last 4 Social Security Numbers

Most of us have become accustomed to giving out the last four digits of our Social Security numbers. But this customary request is becoming increasingly problematic, and two Rhode Island lawmakers are responding by pushing legislation to stop businesses from asking for the last four digits of customers’ Social Security numbers. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a reliable method for predicting Social Security numbers, incl…

Twitter Scam Hooks Thousands

…ount was most likely “Firesheeped,” which can occur when a wireless device is used to access an unsecured site. Social Media Identity Theft: Hundreds of imposter accounts are set up every day. Sarah Palin, St. Louis Cardinals coach Tony LaRussa, Kanye West, The Huffington Post, and many others have been impersonated by fake Twitter accounts opened in their names. Worms: Twitter has been plagued by worms, which spread messages encouraging users to…

Search Engine Doesn’t Need Kids SSN

…ed Doodle-4-Google, in which children can compete to design Google’s homepage logo, they requested contestants’ Social Security numbers in an effort to prevent duplicate entries. Americans have become accustomed to handing over the last four digits of their Social Security number as a password or identifier for various accounts and applications. But with the development of new technologies that have cracked the code for the distribution of Social

5 Gotta Have Social Media Apps

…age. I spend more time on my apps than I do making calls. That time spent is often with those I connect with on social media. Twitter and Facebook are the major players in social media and applications for them are a plenty. TweetDeck FREE. TweetDeck is your mobile browser for staying in touch with what’s happening now on Twitter from your iPhone or iPod Touch. TweetDeck shows you everything you want to see at once, so you can stay organized and…

10 Social Media Security Considerations

Social media security issues involve identity theft, brand hijacking, privacy issues, online reputation management, and users’ physical security. Social media provides opportunities for criminals to “friend” their potential victims, creating a false sense of trust they can use against their victims through phishing or other scams. Register your full name on the most trafficked social media sites, and do the same for your spouse and kids. If your…

Social Security Numbers Easily Cracked

It is easier than ever to guess or predict an individual’s Social Security number, which puts us all at a greater risk for identity theft. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a reliable method for predicting Social Security numbers, using information from social networking sites, data brokers, voter registration lists, online white pages, and the publicly available Social Security Administration’s Death Master File. Original…

10 Types of Criminal Social Media Impersonators

Social media is the fifth form of mainstream media. At this point, most people know how to use social media, and how to navigate the various websites. But what most users don’t yet realize is how social media can be used against them. Social media identity theft occurs for a number of reasons. 1.    An online impersonator may attempt to steal your clients or potential clients. 2.    Impersonators may squat on your name or brand, hoping to profit…

Cool Tools To Access Files Remotely

…a server. Once you’ve downloaded and installed Orb, you can use any Internet-connected device with a streaming media player (mobile phone, PDA, laptop) to log into mycast.orb.com and access all your digital media, anywhere, anytime. Orb is also compatible with the Wii, PS3, and Xbox, so you can enjoy your media on your television screen as well! While Orb is heavily focused on delivering digital media, it works with documents as well. If you’re…

Man Arrested For Stealing 15,000 Social Security Numbers

Now more than ever, criminal hackers are hacking into databases that contain Social Security numbers and using the numbers to open new financial accounts. Criminals use stolen Social Security numbers to obtain mobile phones, credit cards, and even bank loans. Some victims whose Social Security numbers fell into the hands of identity thieves have even had their mortgages refinanced and their equity stripped. WTEN.com reports an arrest has been ma…

Using Social Media Passwords With Critical Accounts

For some social networking sites, security is not a top priority. Some do not protect your data with the same vigilance you could expect from your bank, for example. Nor do social media require strong passwords. And if you use the same passwords for more critical sites, like webmail or online banking, having your social networking account compromised can make those other accounts vulnerable as well. Last year, 32 million passwords were posted on…

Americans Waking Up to Social Media Privacy

There have been thousands of privacy related news reports over the past year depicting social networks, Google, marketers and advertisers as evil privacy violators who are slowly sucking dry whatever privacy we have left. Facebook has been raked over the coals by advocates and watchdogs who say their tactics violate their own policies. In response, numerous lawsuits have been filed and government agencies have put the pressure on everyone involv…

Colorado Supreme Court: Using a Stolen Social Security Number is Not Identity Theft

I feel like my head is going to explode. The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled “that using someone else’s Social Security number is not identity theft as long as you use your own name with it.” The defendant in this particular case had admitted to using a false Social Security number on an application for a car loan, and to find employment. The court ruled that since he had used his real name, and the Social Security number was only one of many p…

15 Facebook Fiascos to Watch Out For

The following 15 activities, all of which are facilitated by Facebook and other social networking websites, are causing lots of heartache and headaches: 1. Posting illegal activities. In the little town where I grew up, 30 kids recently faced the wrath of their parents, school officials, law enforcement, and the Boston media, all because someone posted their party pictures, which depicted underage drinking, on Facebook. It’s never okay to show i…

Leaked Social Security Numbers Put “Personal Security and Safety at Risk”

…ublican Congressional candidate, is speaking out after a mailing from the Florida Democratic Party releases his Social Security number and his wife’s federal employee number. “It’s an attack against me and I think it shows the weakness of the character of Ron Klein and definitely the Florida Democratic party, to put a person’s personal security and safety at risk,” said West, “And also affects my family as well.” The Florida Democratic Party resp…

IRS Fully Reliant on Social Security Numbers

…n the Policy, Practice & Procedures page of their website, the IRS addresses the public’s concern regarding Social Security numbers on checks: “Complete Social Security Numbers (SSN) on Checks or Money Orders Remitted to IRS Issue: Tax Professionals and clients have concerns about taxpayers putting their full SSN on checks remitted to IRS in payment of a balance due. Page 74 of the Form 1040 instructions directs taxpayers to put their full SS…

McAfee Reveals the Top Ten Most Dangerous Places to Leave Your Social Security Number

…expert, on behalf of McAfee Cases of identity theft are skyrocketing, and 32% of all ID theft victims had their social security number compromised according to Javelin’s 2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report.  In honor of National Identity Protection week, McAfee set out to reveal the most dangerous places to leave your social security number. When your Social Security number is used to commit fraud, it feels very personal. It can take hundreds of ho…

Social Media is a Criminals Playground

Social media has become a playground for adults, teens, and tweens. And like on any playground, when you hit the jungle gym or horseplay on the seesaw, there is always a chance that you may go home with an egg on your forehead. Or, if you are like me, a broken collarbone. Twitter and Facebook have become the most popular sites for frolicking, and the most popular sites for identity thieves — the bullies in the playground. These criminal hackers…

Women Proved “Securest” in the Defcon Social Engineering Game

In a recent post (Hackers Play “Social Engineering Capture The Flag” At Defcon), I pointed to a game in which contestants used the telephone to convince company employees to voluntarily cough up information they probably shouldn’t have. Of 135 “targets” of the social engineering “game,” 130 blurted out too much information. All five holdouts were women who gave up zero data to the social engineers. Computerworld reports, “Contestants targeted 17…

Police Warn Burglars Are Using Social Networks

…For a few years now I’ve been warning people about how vulnerable they are when they post their whereabouts in social media. And it looks like the bad-guy figured it out and is taking advantage of peoples’ naiveté. In Nashua, NH, police busted a bunch of burglars they say used Facebook as a tool to gather intelligence on who is home and who is not home. “ Police said they recovered between $100,000 and $200,000 worth of stolen property as a resu…

Seven Social Media Landmines to Watch Out For

…tle with LedZeppelin.com that I regret, but that’s another story. Today that same battle is being played out in social media. Anyone can register any brand or likeness on social media with very little difficulty, and it’s free. Once the scammer owns your name, they can pose as you, blog as you, and comment as you. The basis of much of this social media identity theft, or “impostering,” revolves around social engineering. When a profile claims to…

What is “Social Registration”?

Social media has evolved into the fifth major form of media: print, radio, television, Internet, social. While social media functions on the Internet, there’s no denying that it is its own platform. It encompasses most forms of media in one tight and neat package. Some social networking sites have more users than number of residents in some countries. In the process of this explosive growth, a few social networking websites like Facebook, Twitt…

Stealing Secrets: Telling Lies Over the Phone

In a recent post (Hackers Play “Social Engineering Capture The Flag” At Defcon) I pointed to a game in which contestants used the telephone to convince company employees to voluntarily cough up information they probably shouldn’t have. At the recent Defcon event, social engineers proved that it doesn’t take much more than asking to get the necessary information that may lead to penetrating a person’s computer. Social engineering is a…

Researcher Proves Your Friend Isn’t Your Friend

…business cards, a shirt embroidered with the company logo, and a laptop. “Upon entering the building, he was immediately greeted by reception. Then displayed fake credentials and immediately began ranting about the perils of his journey and how important it was for him to get a place to check his email and use a restroom. Within in seconds, he was provided a place to sit, connection to the Internet, and a 24×7 card access key to the building.” S…

Social Media Identity Theft

100 Million Facebook Profiles Published via P2P

Personal information on 100 million Facebook users has been scraped from the social media site and is being shared and download as a single file via what is called a Bittorrent. BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing protocol used for distributing large amounts of data. Facebook  takes on the issue is the data that was scraped wasn’t private at all. To a degree, I agree. The data is being shared through the site, it’s already public. He…

10 Ways to Prevent Social Media Scams

The trouble with social media revolves around identity theft, brand hijacking and privacy issues.  The opportunity social media creates for criminals is to “friend” their potential victims in order to create a false sense of trust and use that against their victims in phishing or other scams. It was big news when someone had their Facebook account jacked by someone who impersonated the victim, claiming to have lost their wallet in the UK and beg…

Identity Theft – Common Consumer Errors

…had climbed the ranks from sales to broker/owner and oversaw dozens of employees. A former boyfriend stole her Social Security number and his new girlfriend used it to assume her identity. Over the course of five years the ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend traveled the world on stolen credit and destroyed the real estate agent’s ability to buy and sell property. Her real estate license was suspended and her life was turned upside down. Awarene…

Hackers Play "Social Engineering Capture The Flag" At Defcon

Social engineering is a fancier, more technical form of lying. An alternative to traditional hacking, it is the act of manipulating others into performing certain actions or divulging confidential information. Social engineering or “social penetration” techniques are used to bypass sophisticated and expensive hardware and software in a corporate network. Smart organizations train their employees to identify and resist the more common attempts to…

Study Shows Tweens and Teens are Clueless About Privacy

…al strangers, it should give society pause. Understand that as this trend continues, more and more kids will be blindsided when they are solicited by adults who, with an additional twenty or more years of live experience, know how to con a kid. Robert Siciliano, personal security and identity theft expert adviser to Just Ask Gemalto, discusses hackers hacking social media on Fox Boston. (Disclosures)…

Published Articles

…tp://robertsiciliano.vox.com/library/post/fake-bp-twitter-account-in-response-to-spill-httpowly1pyx5-results-in-socialmedia-identity-the.html?_c=feed-atom http://www.homesafetyproductsreview.com/24188/10-home-security-tips-you-never-thought-of-2/ http://knowem.com/blog/2010/05/25/fake-bp-twitter-account-in-response-to-spill/ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-siciliano/home-security-stalker-fra_b_588366.html http://blogs.transworldnews.com/Rob…

Consulting

…ing strategies to launch new products or sell an existing offering, via targeted messaging in multiple forms of media, as well as search engine optimization. Blogging Today’s consumers are smart, savvy, and resourceful. Capturing their attention and finalizing a sale is more difficult than ever for some, yet easy for those who possess a thorough understanding of the process. Old media is either slowly dying, or adapting to our newly fragmented, i…

Social Media Safety/Security: Online Reputation Management

…ty risks, damaged reputations, and significant business liabilities that put all operations in jeopardy. In the social media security program, you will recognize what puts you, your business, your data and your reputation at risk. Learn from others’ mistakes and develop policies to prevent employees, families and even you from saying, doing or posting things that you’ll regret later. Robert will answer all your questions and show you how to creat…

Media

…lp to Take Down Cyber Fraud Safe Banking On Your Mobile Device Necessary Security Updates for 2012 Phishers Use Social Media 2012 Threats: Are You Ready? Supermarket Skimming Scam Highlights Retailer Risk Securing New Digital Devices The new ATM skimming threats: How gangs skim to finance their activities How your child’s identity could be used to buy cars for criminals Giving your credit card to a hotel? Why you should think twice! Why tight-lip…

Your Personal Security and Identity Theft Speaker

…in. When you make your data and identity a tougher target to hit, you render it essentially useless to a thief. Social Media Security: In the social media security program, you will recognize what puts you, your business, your data and your reputation at risk. Learn from others’ mistakes and develop policies to prevent employees, families and even you from saying, doing or posting things that you’ll regret later. Robert will answer all your quest…

Watching Out For Criminal Hacks

…pdate your browser because it’s probably outdated, which is why you saw scareware in the first place. Beware of social media scams. Numerous Twitter ( and Facebook ) accounts including those of President Obama, Britney Spears, Fox News and others were taken over and used to make fun of, ridicule, harass or commit fraud. Often these hacks may occur via phish email. Worms infiltrating Twitter requesting to click on links would infect user’s account…

Reality Actor Jailed Six Months For Burglarizing Orlando Bloom's Home

…ris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, Megan Fox and others. Their methods were simple. They tracked their victims by using social media, Facebook and Twitter. They knew when they were home and when they were away. They even used Google Earth to scope out their homes. Police estimated that from October 2008 to August 2009, the “Bling Ring” stole more than $3 million in jewelry and high-end designer brands. A star of the E! show “Pretty Wild…

Want Privacy? On Facebook? Shut Up!

…re or software, anti-virus or critical security patches, make sure you are up to date. Lock down settings. Most social networks have privacy settings that need to be administered to the highest level. Default settings generally leave your networks wide open for attack. Register company name and all your officers at every social media site. You can do this manually or by using a very cost effective service called Knowem.com . Protect your identity…

Parents Navigating the Social Media Mess

…on. At one point political correctness crept into our culture and the fear of a child calling the Department of Social Services (DSS) on their parents because of a deserved fanny smack sent a cold chill down every parent’s spine. I’m certainly not saying it’s OK to beat your kids, or cage them for that matter. And when a child has zero fear of a parent, they tend to walk all over them. It’s in their nature to manipulate until they get their way….

Self-revelation Can Help Assemble a Social Security Number

…not done nor will I ever be done sounding that alarm, ringing that bell and informing you about how ridiculous social media is. I was asked in a radio interview today what it will take to get people to recognize they are sharing too much data. In a word, tragedy . When a home is broken into, they install a home security alarm . When someone is mugged, they take a self defense course. When planes fly into buildings, we get frisked. Being smart is…

Social Media Security: Using Facebook to Steal Company Data

….com. He has been able to accumulate significant numbers of emails for phishing targets from Facebook and other social networking sites. When he launched his companie’s Facebook spear-phishing attack, he usually got an average response rate of 45 to 50 percent. So nearly half of the employees responded to an email with the logins and passwords they use on their employers’ network. Steve says: — Officially sponsor the social netw…

Is Your Facebook Friend a Fed, or Sex Offender?

…ll over the world in big cities and little towns and never have to watch your back. Reports of sex offenders on social media abound. Do you know who your child is befriending? Many of the “strangers” came into my life as a result of what I do, and I appreciate and accept them for connecting. But I know plenty of other people who don’t write or do media and might be in college, and have 2000 friends! And they know 5 of them! Social media is weird….

Social Media Sticky Situations

…k page was a private one and she was speaking to her closest friends. What everyone needs to understand is that social media is anything but private. People are watch ing, and waiting and many are hoping and wishing you might say something controversia l which will give them something to talk about and a reason to point the finger. Plain and simple: Don’t give anyone any ammunition to be used against you. Don’t do or say or post anything that may…

Social Media Security in a Corporate Setting

…ter for the IT manager.  While corporations are still trying to figure out the  long term marketing benefits of social media, the security issues faced are a right now a problem. Many companies restrict internal access. Others prevent employees from discussing or mentioning the company in social media during private time. All of a sudden we’ve gone from print media, radio, television, Internet and now social media. This isn’t a fad or craze that…

Social Media Messages Telling Too Much?

…iting violence . ”  And that day may come. For years I’ve been barking about personal security as it relates to social media and the risks involved . I’ve written numerous times about how social media requires a risk vs . reward assessment.  P lain and simple, p utting all your life’s details in one place makes it easy for the bad guy to gather intelligence about you. While I believe the site has the right intentions to bring awareness to the iss…

Search Engines Link to Malware in Social Media Search

…Expert Now that the 3 major search engines Google, Bing and Yahoo index real-time search for Twitter and other social networks, consumers must be aware that not all relevant search is a safe click. Scammers and identity thieves see this as real-time free advertising for their malware. When news breaks, the social media is now considered a trusted source for cutting edge information. The search engines trust that data and place those keyword sear…

10 Ways to Manage Your Online Social Media Reputation

…ake and attempt to control it. Register your full name and those of your spouse and kids on the most trafficked social media sites, blogs, domains or web based email accounts. If your name is already gone, include your middle initial, a period or a hyphen. It’s up to you to decide whether or not to plug in your picture and basic bio, but consider leaving out your age or birthday. Set up a free Google Alerts for your name and get an email every ti…

Top 8 Worst Twitter Social Media Hacks

…Britney Spears, Fox News and others were taken over and used to make fun of, ridicule, harass or commit fraud. Social Media Identity Theft: Hundreds of imposter accounts are set up every day. Sarah Palin, St Louis Cardinals Coach Tony LaRussa, Kanye West, Huffington Post and many others have had Twitter accounts opened in their names or names likened to them. Twitter Worms: Worms infiltrating Twitter requesting to click on links would infect use…

10 Business Identity Theft Risks in 2010

…make whatever virus or spyware impotent, and any data on your machine typed in a browser useless to the thief. Social media identity theft is the act of creating a blog or social media site that models your day to day operations. At any time someone can register domains or social media sites with your brand as the face. They then sell product that they never ship and/or do things to damage your brand. Scoop up your social media identities with K…

Secure Your Social Media

…cters. Don’t use easily guessed words from the dictionary or pets names and kid’s birthdates, etc. Don’t access social media from libraries, internet cafes or any public computers that could have spyware. Make sure your own PC has updated virus definitions and security patches. Be careful with all the 3rd party apps in social media. Many are risky. Don’t click on links in emails from “friends” asking you to download a video or see pictures. This…

Protect Yourself from Social Engineering

…isn’t through an unpatched network, or an unsecured wireless connection, it’s via the phone, email, snail mail, social media or in person with a wink and a smile. Check out this very comprehensive article by Computerworld and these two recent posts here and here. Get a credit freeze. Go to ConsumersUnion.org and follow the steps for your particular state. This is an absolutely necessary tool to secure your credit. In most cases, it prevents new a…

Identity Theft 2010 Top 10 Predictions

…xploit the weaknesses of the current system and revictimize the individual whose information has been used. 10. Social Media Identity Theft: The meteoric rise in social media use has also created a launch pad for identity thieves. Social media identity theft happens when someone hacks an account via phishing, creates infected short URLs or creates a page using photos and the victims identifying information. My prediction for 2010 is that the incr…

 

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