Concerned About Online Tracking? You're Tracked Offline Too

The discussion about the tracking of our activities, purchases, likes, and so forth has been focused online. Now comes news about tracking us in stores and other places offline. While stores have used various methods to track customers within the store, these have usually been anonymous. Now stores are taking advantage of technology and using information that is transmitted by smartphones such as the media access control (MAC) address and retailer’s or shopping apps. In addition, apps provided by retailers can collect personal data and information about buying habits.

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Facebook Ad Policy is Changing. Is It Good or Bad? It Depends.

Facebook has announced that they are changing their Ad policy and giving users more control over the ads they see. Is this a good change for users or a bad change? It depends. If you want more relevant ads, this might be good. Currently Facebook shows ads based on your Page likes and other information you have shared on Facebook. Soon, the ads will become more personalized by using data collected from tracking your browsing and activity on other websites and apps you use.

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Beware of Scams That Follow Data Breach Reports

Data breaches are in the news so often that many people are ignoring them. By ignoring the breaches, these persons could be easy targets for scammers. Scammers are taking advantage of announced data breaches by using concern about the report or the stolen data to "phish" for more information such as credit card and bank account numbers. For example, with the recent eBay announcement, phishing scams have appeared as an email from "eBay" asking you to re-enter your credit card information and as a phone call from an "eBay" employee who wants you to verify your credit card information.

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What Do You Need to Know About the "Heartbleed" Bug?

By now you've probably heard of the "Heartbleed" security bug that may affect many of the web servers on the Internet. What is the impact of this bug? That's what makes it scary to some people. While the bug has existed for quite some time, affected servers can't tell if hackers exploited it. If hackers did, they might have gotten usernames, passwords, or other personal information.

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Beware of Extensive Phone Fraud Scam Targeting Taxpayers

On March 20th, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) reported that this is the “largest ever” phone fraud scam targeting taxpayers. The scammers have collected over $1 million from the thousands of victims.

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Do You Know How Much Data is Being Collected about You Online?

Many of us spend many hours a day online for work, shopping, bill paying, and fun. We choose to provide some of the sites we visit with our personal information. But did you know that there is a whole industry that collects information about us – with and without our explicit permission. They collect information such as the sites we visit, what we search for, what we buy, and forms we fill out.

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