The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has some good tips on reducing spam.  With the steady increase in the amount of email spam the average internet user receives, it may become harder to discern which messages are spam and which are legitimate.  Reducing the amount of spam you must receive may help protect you from phishing attempts, as well as make your email inbox easier to keep tidy.  Read the linked article for the tips.

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Jul

14

Six Tips for Safer Online Banking

If you’ve used the Internet for banking or shopping in the last fifteen years, you’ve probably received numerous notifications, warnings, and bits of advice regarding ways to keep your information safe online.Security is fundamental to us at BankSimple, and below we’ve compiled six important tips that can help you independently safeguard your personal and financial data.

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Jun

17

Most Common iPhone Passcodes

Your smartphone is a computer.  And it has access to various pieces of data that should be considered private or protected.  So what kind of password are you using to protect access to your smartphone?  Are you even using a password?

Daniel Amitay, an iPhone developer, did some casual research on what the common iPhone passcodes likely are.  Similar to the most common password lists, the results show that most people choose insecure, or easily guessable passcodes.

Out of 204,508 recorded passcodes, the top ten most common were:

These 10 codes represent 15% of all passcodes in use.

Read the rest of the article.

Jun

14

Is It Safe to Bank Online?

The answer, according to top security experts, is a qualified “yes.” Using the Internet to bank, buy music, or shop is still as safe or safer than visiting brick-and-mortar locations, as long as consumers take precautions and know what to do if they notice any suspicious activity.

U.S. News has a nice article about Online Banking and includes 10 tips on how to help protect yourself.

May

31

How To Dispute Credit Report Errors

Over 80% of credit reports have errors on them, errors which could be lowering your credit score and keeping you from getting credit or paying more for it than you should.

Check out the Consumerist’s recommendations on how to monitor and dispute any errors on your credit report.

Lifehacker provides a little insight into the thought processes a  professional password guesser uses to guess your password.  Security expert Roger Grimes writes at InfoWorld how easily passwords can be guessed and says that these days passwords need to be longer than the mere six-to-eight characters typically used.

Consider lengthening your password and including special characters in it.  The longer and more random your password is, the harder it is to guess.  Lifehacker also provides a list of the most commonly used passwords.  Make sure your passwords are not on this list.  Also check out the password tips at the bottom this article.

It’s no secret that criminals try to use huge disasters to their benefit to make some cash,  this time is no exception!  We have been able to track several black hat methods to convince people to "help” Japan’s disaster-affected population.  The set of techniques are not new and usually involve:

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If you use Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, or any Social Networking Community website, you may want to take a closer look at your privacy settings.  The US-CERT, (United States Computer Readiness Team), offers some good tips on Staying Safe on Social Network Sites. One important tip is simply recognizing that infomation you post on the web for your friends to read may be open for the world to see.

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The Federal Trade Commission has launched the website and blog for National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) 2011, to be held March 6-12. The annual event, now in its 13th year, is hosted by the FTC and nearly 30 other government agencies, consumer groups, and national organizations. The website, www.ncpw.gov, provides information about consumer rights, and promotes free resources to help consumers protect their privacy, manage credit and debt, avoid identity theft, understand mortgages, and recognize frauds and scams.

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Dec

15

Many of us have that special someone in our lives who needs a little extra training on common computer tasks.  A new site has been “built by a few folks at Google to help keep tech support a family business.”  There are some helpful videos on a number of topics, including the following security related videos.

  • create a strong password
  • upgrade your browser

Give them a watch, then consider sending them along to that special someone at http://www.teachparentstech.org/watch