The Technology Age: Tips to Keep Your Information Safe and Secure National Crime Prevention Council 2007
Goal of This Presentation To inform communities of various types of online information theft and security risks and to provide safety tips to help adults have a safe and secure experience online.
Objectives of the Presentation Describe identity theft and explore ways in which criminals access information Learn tips to keep information secure from theft Explore facts regarding Internet Service Providers and the security of your personal information Examine how newsgroups, personal web pages, and web browsing expose and jeopardize personal information
Objectives of the Presentation (continued) Understand how spyware, spamming, and phishing collect personal information and how you can protect yourself from them Review tips for safe and secure emailing Explore ways to shop safely online Learn about online auction fraud and discover ways to recognize and avoid it Review tips for secure wireless and home computing
The Internet The Internet is a powerful resource. Benefits of the Internet include being able to Access and share information Communicate with ease Conduct financial transactions Plan trips and vacations Conduct business Learn—it’s the world’s largest library Shop Have fun
"As the Internet [expands], more and more commerce takes place in it. It only makes sense that more criminal activity would take place, and it does allow this anonymous ability for criminals to do it.“ Greg Regan, U.S. Secret Service The Internet
There is an enormous amount of information available on the Internet. Think about the type of business, transactions, and information-sharing you conduct online. How Much Information Is Truly Available?
As a result of the Internet, criminals have found a new place to prowl. Within the last five years, cybercrime has really grown. Crime Fighting Goes Online
In 2006, the FBI Computer Crime Survey estimated annual losses from all types of computer crime at $67 billion a year!
The Numbers 81% of our home computers lack basic protection. – AOL and the National Cyber Security Alliance, Online Safety Study, December 2005 Each time someone is caught by a phishing scam, it costs about $850. – Consumer Reports, State of the Net 2006, August 2006 Last year, identity theft hurt 8.9 million Americans and cost each victim an average of $6,383. – Javelin Strategy and Research, 2006 Identity Fraud Survey Consumer Report
What Is Identity Theft? Stealing the identity of another person and using it to conduct a variety of activities The intent is to use that identity for personal gain, generally with the intent to defraud others by establishing credit, running up debt, or taking over existing financial accounts
Why Worry About Identity Theft? One in 33 households discovered at least one instance of identity theft during the last 6 months. Households headed by persons ages 18–24 and households with the highest incomes were the most likely victims of identity theft. One in five victimized households spent at least one month resolving problems resulting from Identity theft. (Source: First Estimates from the National Crime Victimization Survey, Identity Theft, 2004, Bureau of Justice Statistics Bulletin)
Where and How Do Criminals Get My Information? Theft (or “borrowing”) of your wallet, purse, or personal files, most often by someone you know Telephone calls asking you to “update records” Theft of incoming bills showing account numbers Theft of outgoing mail and bill payments
Where and How Do Criminals Get My Information? (continued) Redirected mail Phishing Rummaging through trash Discarded or unattended credit card receipts Second impressions of credit cards If your mail is delivered to a place where others can easily access it
How to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft Do not give out personal information. Shred all documents that contain personal information or keep them locked in a cabinet. Minimize the number of identification cards you carry. Protect your Social Security Number Don’t risk it, shred it
How to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft (continued) Protect your computer from online intruders Install firewalls Install antivirus software Avoid free stuff Keep your security programs up-to-date Create complex usernames and passwords
How to Prevent Identity Theft (continued) Be careful about phone card and ATM machine usage Protect your credit card number(s) Make a list or make a photocopy of all your credit cards, both sides. Order your free credit reports at annualcreditreport.com annualcreditreport.com
Steps to Take if You Are a Victim Place a fraud alert on your credit reports, and review your credit reports Close the accounts that you believe have been compromised or opened File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, www.ftc.gov; 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338);www.ftc.gov File a report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place.
Facts About Your ISP People can find out details about your Internet presence by using an old UNIX command known as "finger.” “Finger” allows people to ask your ISP who its customers are. Check your contract with your ISP to make sure that it won't sell your information to others.
Newsgroups, Personal Web Pages, and Web Browsing
What Is a Newsgroup or Blog? A newsgroup is a discussion group that focuses on a particular topic. Blogs have replaced some of the uses of newsgroups.
Bloggers Beware Posting a message to a newsgroup or blog lets everyone in the world know that you exist, as well as what some of your specific interests are. If you have a signature file that includes your address and telephone number, everyone has access to that data. These messages stay on the Internet for an indefinite period of time.
Personal Webpages Many people have personal webpages that list details about their jobs, interests, email addresses, and their families. Try to limit the personal information and pictures on your webpage. Remember, the information is available for the entire world to see. Companies that want to spam you now have access to that information.
Web Browsing Web browsing leaves tracks all over cyberspace, considered live “footprints.” Whenever you visit a website, the site records that you were there. Consider configuring your web browser to ask you before accepting cookies. Sometimes a site asks you to volunteer personal information. Should you give it, assume that the information is available to the world. Web browsers maintain a cache file that keeps the recent images and text that you have viewed, similar to your history files on your personal computer.
What Is Spyware and How Does It Work? Spyware, also called adware, is software that is designed to track your every move online through a variety of techniques including Recording your keystrokes Tracking the websites you visit Stealing your online passwords Burying you with pop-up advertisements
Results of Spyware? Loss of privacy More advertising Home page hijacking Reduced performance Security risks System instability
How to Protect Yourself From Spyware Install a program to block spyware Install a program to remove spyware Avoid pop-ups Avoid the “free” stuff Take advantage of your Internet Service Provider’s free downloads
What Is Spam? Spam is the abuse of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited, undesired bulk messages. The most common format of spam is via email. Spam email topics include low-cost drugs, investment scams, and porn. Phishing is email that steals.
Tips to Protect and Limit Spam Maintain a spam email account. Never reply to phishing emails. Don't open spam emails. Screen for spam. Get a spam filter. Get unlisted.
Online Shopping Tips Shop with companies you know and always initiate the transaction Keep your password private Use a secure browser Pay by credit card Keep personal information private Save all transaction information
Facts About Online Auctions Millions of people take part in Internet auctions every day. According to the National Consumers League, online auction fraud is the number one fraud committed over the Internet, with an average loss of $1,331 per consumer. Source: National Consumers League, 2006 Survey www.nclnet.org
How Auction Fraud Works Failure to deliver goods Nonpayment for goods delivered Misrepresentation of the merchandise Hidden charges Fake bidding Credit card fraud Black market goods Bogus escrow services
Online Auction Safety Tips Understand how the auction works Check out the seller before you bid Be careful if the seller is a private individual Be cautious if the seller is from another country Beware of “shills”
Online Auction Safety Tips (continued) Be wary of claims about collectibles and other expensive items Ask about delivery, returns, warranties, and service before you pay Look for information on the auction site about insurance Pay by credit card Look for bonded sellers
Online Auction Safety Tips (continued) Consider using an escrow service for expensive purchases Try mediation to resolve disputes Inform auction sites about suspected fraud Source: National Consumers League’s Internet Fraud Watch www.fraud.org
Dangers of Wireless No wires, no security As easy as eavesdropping Beware of rogue hotspots
Safeguards and Solutions Encryption is the key. Avoid connecting to any Wi-Fi network unless you either know it’s legitimate and secure or you can set up a secure VPN connection. Make sure your personal firewall on your laptop is turned on and updated. Avoid using websites that require password access when using a wireless hotspot. Look around when you are online. Keep your laptop with you at all times.
National Crime Prevention Council www.ncpc.org NCPC has a comprehensive Identity Theft campaign. Learn how you can keep your identity to yourself. Order a copy of Preventing Identity Theft: A Guide for ConsumersPreventing Identity Theft: A Guide for Consumers or download it in PDF format. Other resources include Reproducible brochures—Identity Theft (PDF) and Protecting Your Privacy (PDF)Identity Theft (PDF) Protecting Your Privacy (PDF) Article—Evolving With TechnologyEvolving With Technology Newspaper Mats—ID Theft (PDF) and Seniors and FraudID Theft (PDF)Seniors and Fraud
Resources National Crime Prevention Council (continued) Public service campaigns that focus on cyber-security and safety Partners including the Forum to Advance the Mobile Experience (FAME) and the Chief Marketing Officer Council (CMO Council) Download tip sheets and the publication Mind What You Do Online, report Internet crimes, and visit the security store www.bytecrime.org
Resources Identity Theft Identity Theft Resource Center www.identitytheft.org Justice Department Identity Theft www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fraud/websites/idtheft.html National Criminal Justice Reference Service www.ncjrs.org/spotlight/identity_theft/summary.html
Resources Internet Safety and Ethics CyberAngels www.cyberangels.org GetNetWise www.getnetwise.org Internet Keep Safe Coalition www.ikeepsafe.org Wired Safety www.wiredpatrol.org/
Resources Telecommunications Fraud Federal Trade Commission www.ftc.gov Federal Communications Commission www.fcc.gov National Fraud Information Center www.fraud.org National Consumers League www.nclnet.org
Resources Safe Home Computing About.com www.netsecurity.about.com National Cyber Security Alliance www.staysafeonline.info
The National Crime Prevention Council 2345 Crystal Drive Fifth Floor Arlington, VA 22202 202-466-6272 FAX 202-296-1356 www.ncpc.org
Presenter Contact Information 350 N. Guadalupe, Suite 140, PMB 164 San Marcos, Texas 78666. 877-304-2727 www.cscs.txstate.edu