Blog topic: Be Smart Online

Anthem Hack Attack, Part 2: Phishing Scams

Last week I told you about health insurer Anthem’s data breach affecting more than 80 million customers. This week, I’m telling you about scam artists who are sending phony “Anthem” emails that pretend to help customers, but actually phish for their personal information.

Share these online safety tips with your Valentine

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and yes, romance is in the air. But the month of love also celebrates Safer Internet Day on February 10th. Show how much you care by sharing this short online safety Q&A with your loved one.

Sending money out of love, or sending a scammer money?

Love is a powerful thing. So when a loved one calls or emails, saying they’re in trouble, you’d want to help, right? If they ask you to send cash immediately — should you follow your heart?

Hack Attack: Health insurer’s customer information stolen

Last week, hackers hit Anthem, the nation's second-largest health insurance company. As many as 80 million customers had their account information stolen. The pilfered data includes names, birth dates, medical IDs, Social Security numbers, street addresses, email addresses and employment information.

If you’re worried about your personal information ending up in the wrong hands, the FTC has a helpful reminder. A credit freeze, also known as a security freeze, lets you limit access to your credit report, which makes it more difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name.

Technology tips for domestic violence and stalking victims

We love technology. So it’s disturbing when it’s used to threaten or harass people – especially domestic violence and stalking victims. 

Blog Topic: Be Smart Online

Hotel Wi-Fi: Weigh the risk

When you travel, have you used your hotel’s Wi-Fi – maybe to pay a few bills or catch up on a report you need to read? You may want to think twice before logging in to accounts over hotel Wi-Fi. Hackers are using security vulnerabilities in hotel Wi-Fi to steal people’s passwords and other sensitive information. Here’s how it works: as a hotel guest, you try to get online using their Wi-Fi network and get a pop-up for a software update. But the network has been compromised. When you click to accept the download, you unknowingly load software designed to damage your computer or steal your information.

During your next hotel stay, consider whether you absolutely must share your login info over the Wi-Fi network. Weigh for yourself whether it’s worth the risk. If you decide to use a public network, take precautions.

Blog Topic: Be Smart Online

Is anybody horrified?

FTC blog posts don’t usually come with parental advisory notices, but in the case of Craig Brittain and his now-defunct revenge porn website,, we might need to make an exception. Because, in case you missed it: revenge porn.

Blog Topic: Be Smart Online

Fast-talk from Straight Talk and others about unlimited data

Unlimited talk, text, and data for $45 per month with no contract? That sounds like a great deal, but according to a recent FTC lawsuit, millions of people who bought  unlimited mobile plans from Straight Talk, Net10 Wireless, Simple Mobile, and Telcel America didn’t get what they paid for. And now they may be eligible for refunds.

Straight Talk Ad

Blog Topic: Be Smart Online

Happy Data Privacy Day!

Sorry, folks, I don’t have any cake to share for this celebration, but don’t let that stop you from participating in Data Privacy Day. There are practical things you can do today, and every day, to protect your personal information. Here are a few scenarios where people may share more information than they intend.

Image of computer connecting to Wi-Fi

Get ready for National Consumer Protection Week!

It’s about that time again. Are you ready?

Every year, National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), encourages people and businesses to learn more about avoiding scams and understanding consumer rights. This year, NCPW takes place March 1-7, 2015. NCPW highlights free resources from government agencies and consumer organizations to help people make smarter buying decisions and spot rip-offs.