The Internet of Things (IoT), A Blessing or a Curse

With the onslaught of the Internet of Things, the American people’s quest for convenience can continue to explode.

The Blessing
We can now remotely, through our phones, control the environment in our homes, check on home security cams, lock/unlock our doors, turn lights on/off, check & close the garage door, start the car, have appliances alert us if there is a malfunction, to mention just a few of the things we can do.

The Curse
The security for the Internet of Things devices is severely lacking. Most things mentioned above as blessings can be controlled by some kid trying to have fun by reversing functions OR be compromised by identity thieves who penetrate your WiFi network to get into your personal private information to STEAL your identity. In addition your system could be hijacked for participation in a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.

Click here for additional information on cyber exploitation of IoT Smart Devices

– And remember, you need to get Identity Theft protection.

Equifax Identity Theft Warning

Don’t trust Equifax!

Why? Because at current count they have lost 143 Million individuals critical personal identifiable information- name, SS#, birth dates, addresses, and in some instances, driver’s license numbers, credit cards & unknown docs from disputed issues. The identity thieves can now become you. In response to the loss the company is offering their own monitoring service free for a year-now here is one catch, if you can get through to the site to enroll, you may not want to give additional personal information to an entity that was just breached.

Pay particular attention to the auto renew section of this contract, it appears that monthly charges for the Equifax product begin automatically in the 13th month, unless you cancel. You will find also find that one of the terms requires you to agree to a mandatory arbitration clause waiving rights to take legal action against Equifax (this may be changing in response consumer complaints and but may be state specific). A law has been introduced in the US House to roll back mandatory arbitration agreements and also capping potential damages claims, and eliminate punitive damages against them entirely,

Lastly the CEO & several top execs sold considerable stock after the Equifax data breach but before this went public. They deny any knowledge of the breach which either makes the C suite totally incompetent or liars.

How will this impact you?
You are Vulnerable! Forever (not just for a year)! The thieves have all your info to become you and commit identity fraud – aside from financial fraud, they can get medical services, new drivers licenses, work, commit tax fraud, etc. – all as you. They know the answers to your security questions. It will be extremely difficult to prove the identity theft crime committed was not done by you. How is an entity that was defrauded, going to believe it was not done by you? You simply look like just another scammer.

To be safe, I suggest you limit or terminate any contact with Equifax.
To get another opinion of this disaster watch the clip highlighted below.
CNBC: US State Department Antiterrorism advisor: How to protect yourself from Equifax’s data breach

My suggestion – protect yourself and family from the impact of identity theft: purchase ID Shield

Cyber Security Moves to the C-suite

July 03, 2017 | Daily Herald | Jim Kendall
– You know the situation has worsened when George Vroustouris talks about social engineering and the need for C-suite leadership to combat what has morphed from certainly serious but by comparison relatively straightforward identity theft to cyber security issues.

With vulnerable data including employee personal information, customer information, vendor data and such intellectual property as formulas and other key processes, the security issue should move to the C-level…” Vroustouris says. Full Article

Millions of U.S. Voters Data Was Exposed Online

Voter data on 198 million (yes that’s million) US Citizens was improperly stored and freely available for 12 days on the internet.

There has never been a data breach this big. The information includes birth-dates, home addresses, telephone numbers, political views, suspected religious affiliations, ethnic background, where they stood on topics like gun control, the right to abortion and stem cell research.

This type of data can easily be used for nefarious purposes, from identity fraud to harassment or intimidation of people who hold an opposing political view. Worst of all, when the bad guys get a hold of this data, they can send highly personalized phishing attacks to you, looking like something totally legit. At this point, from here on out, treat any email you get at the house or the office with a healthy dose of suspicion and ask yourself if it could be a scam. Do not click on links in emails and do not open attachments you did not ask for. Also, be careful with robocalls, and phone scammers that seem to know a lot about you.

Summer time is a busy hectic time for many of us, mistakes are easily made.
Remember, Think Before You Click!

Protecting Against Elder Fraud

March 15, 2017 | Daniellah Salario, owner of Assisting Hands Home Care

At first glance, it looked like a local contractor was doing a good deed for the elderly in under-served Chicago communities.

Mark Diamond would seek out aging African-American homeowners on Chicago’s West and South sides, and offer them the opportunity to fix up their homes through a free government program.

In reality, however, Diamond was signing them up for reverse mortgages and running off with the cash without doing zilch, according to WGN. Over the summer, a judge found Diamond guilty of scamming some 47 homeowners out of a total of $2.3 million.

Full article, senior best practices and resources to protect against identity fraud