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

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!

Threat From ‘Ransomware’ Is Expected to Grow

One thing for sure, Ransomware is not going away, in fact it is getting more prevalent than ever before.While it is true that some of the original group distributing and profiting from the crime have been caught, the new wave of thieves are more sophisticated than the prior group. According to Forbes this new strain of ransomware “Locky”is infecting as many as 90,000 systems per day.

Army National Guard struck by data breach

While the number keeps rising … who know how far it will go. The current admission is the about 24 million people have been affected in at least 6 different government breaches dating back to 2013. You wonder why this information was not encrypted or at least protect from access with a duel authentication system. Now in another separate breach announced this past weekend, the Army National Guard was breached …

Legendary Hacker Shows How It’s Done

It’s been about 20 years since the FBI considered Mitnick one of its “most wanted” criminals for hacking into major corporations. He led authorities on a manhunt but ultimately served five years in prison. He told the crowd he once wiretapped the National Security Agency when he was 16, and he said a federal prosecutor once warned a judge Mitnick could whistle tones into a phone to launch nuclear missiles.

Non-Traditional Costs of Financial Fraud

WASHINGTON — The FINRA Investor Education Foundation issued a new research report, Non-Traditional Costs of Financial Fraud, which found that nearly two thirds of self-reported financial fraud victims experienced at least one non-financial cost of fraud to a serious degree—including severe stress, anxiety, difficulty sleeping and depression. While the Stanford Financial Fraud Research Center estimates that $50 billion is lost to financial fraud every year, the FINRA Foundation’s innovative research examines the broader psychological and emotional impact of financial fraud.