Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Identity Theft

This Facebook Scam Might Cost You Thousands

Your Facebook friend asking for money might actually be a hacker, not a friend. This is an old scam that has been around for several years but a new variation of it is making the rounds on Facebook. In the previous versions, you might receive an email message from a friend or relative who claimed to be traveling overseas and had his or her wallet stolen, along with all his […]

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The Real Life “Catch Me If You Can” Con Artist Says You Should Never Post These Three Things on Social Media

Frank Abagnale, a reformed con artist and author of “Scam Me If You Can,” was famously portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie “Catch Me If You Can.” He now works as a private consultant, author and public speaker with the goal of preventing fraud. He has some advice for everyone who uses a computer, tablet, or smartphone: stop giving away your information to scammers. Abagnale thinks technology is only […]

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Popular Facebook App Timehop Suffers Data Breach That Affects 21 Million Users

Here is still another theft of personal information from Facebook users. This time it wasn’t a theft from Facebook itself. Instead, a hacker stole information personal information about 21 million users from Timehop, a separate company. However, Timehop is a popular application that runs on Facebook which accesses users’ photos and posts and resurfaces them. All 21 million people who suffered the data theft are both Timehop and Facebook users. […]

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Two US Senators had Their Identities Stolen and Used to Post Fake Public Comments. Good!

Two US senators — one Republican, one Democrat, who both had their identities stolen and then used to post fake public comments on net neutrality — are calling on FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to address how as many as two million fake comments were filed under stolen names. Apparently this is the motivation that works to get our legislators to pay attention to one of the most serious problems of […]

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Equifax says Data Breach Could Potentially Affect 143 Million US Consumers

Equifax, which supplies credit information and other information services, said Thursday that a data breach could have potentially affected 143 million consumers in the United States. The population of the U.S. was about 324 million in 2017, according to Census Bureau estimates, which means the Equifax incident affects a huge portion of the country.  Chances are that YOUR information was stolen. Be on the lookout for  possible identity theft. Equifax […]

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Still Another So-Called Family Tree Website Reveals Your Personal Address and Family Information

I wrote recently (at about a new web site that claims to be a family history and genealogy service but seems to be primarily a site that publishes personal information about individuals. That web site is not alone. Still another web site has now appeared with a very similar offering. In fact, there are dozens of such web sites on the Internet that make money by selling your personal information […]

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Get the Latest FTC Identity Theft Info

The Federal Trade Commission has new and revised identity theft publications that reflect features of that make it easier to report and recover from identity theft. Here’s what’s hot off the presses: Identity Theft – What to Know, What to Do gives an overview of identity theft and steps to recover from it. If you’re teaching people in your community about avoiding and dealing with identity theft, this is […]

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