Digital Privacy

June 23, 2017
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No matter how many criminal complaints you read, the expression “JV” always sends chills down your spine. But this line, from a complaint filed April 27 in a California federal court, stands out.

“Petersen stated that he recently received via email from JV#1 a video of JV#1’s younger brother…masturbating in a bathroom. Petersen stated that JV#1 told Petersen he had recorded JV#2 without (his) knowledge. Petersen believes JV#2...

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June 12, 2017
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Have you ever been on a website and noticed the site owner or another user has written out their email address in some variation of the following?

Name (at) domain dot com

If you wondered if the person was just averse to using symbols, you may be interested to know it’s actually a decent method for reducing unwanted spam emails and protecting yourself from possible phishing scams and even ...

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June 7, 2017
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You may now add Miley Cyrus, Emma Watson and Amanda Seyfried to the pool of celebrities who’ve been hacked and publicly humiliated. No doubt, other high-profile individuals will follow.

It’s a reminder that “high net worth individuals,” or...

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May 18, 2017
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While the writing has been on the wall for a long time, on Friday, May 12, a new strain of ransomware called WannaCrypt, also known as WannaCry, raged like an out-of-control wildfire across Europe and Asia, ultimately impacting computers in 150 countries.

For many affected by this hack, a few hundred dollars in ransom money is a pittance when compared to the cost of hiring someone to attempt the recovery of your files after...

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May 1, 2017
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International business travelers take heed: Starting now, and even more so going forward, you’ll need to carefully consider how your computing devices serve as a conduit to sensitive company data.

This includes everything stored directly on your smartphones and laptops—and everything reachable from your personal computing devices that may be stored in the internet cloud.

Electronic media...

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May 1, 2017
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At first glance, internet-connected dolls, robots or other “smart” devices that can interact with your children may seem really cool. After all, your children already talk to their toys, right? Well how do you feel about a hacker listening into everything they say to a doll?

Suddenly the toys go from cool to creepy.

The truth is that beneath the shiny surface of smart toys there is a lot going on that could put your...

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April 4, 2017
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Travelers are facing more privacy risks as domestic and foreign governments take a greater interest in social media accounts and require devices to be stowed in checked luggage.

Fortunately there are a number of steps travelers can take to protect their rights and privacy. This Personal Tech Column from The New York Times offers seven...

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February 27, 2017
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Germany has taken steps to allay concerns about how the “Internet of Toys” could put children in harm’s way.

This past December, consumer groups concerned with child safety petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to look into a hot new doll, named My Friend Cayla, and its counterpart marketed to boys, i-Que Intelligent Robot. Privacy advocates expressed concern about the dolls’ capacity to spy on children.

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February 3, 2017
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Did you hear about the guy from Bucksnort, Tennessee, who sent a catfisher his life savings after a steamy back-and-forth on a popular dating app? The amount lost: $4,395.45, which was the supposed cost of airfare and visa expedition for the victim’s true love to get from Kiev, Ukraine.

If you think you did hear about it, you’re mistaken, because I made it up. The reason I did that: Too many catfishing scams go unreported. As a result, awareness does not match the threat.

Not...

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January 6, 2017
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Have you seen the Geico ad with the talking parrot? A 19th-century ship is boarded, the captain surrounded by pirates. The leader shouts, “Let’s feed him to the sharks,” (pirate cheers and swords held high) “and take all his gold” (more cheers). The parrot repeats these lines, and adds, “and hide it from the crew. They’re all morons anyway.”

The voiceover at the end of the Geico ad explains, “If you’re a parrot, you repeat things....

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