September 2011

Just Say No to Scareware

Imagine: You’re happily browsing the internet one day when a host of urgent pop-ups tells you that malicious software has been discovered on your computer. These messages urge you to download software right away to fix the problem.

If you pay for and download the software, the program tells you that your problems are fixed. The reality: there was nothing to fix. And what’s worse, the program now installed on your computer could be harmful.

Proposed Changes to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule took effect more than a decade ago — a lifetime in tech years. That's why the FTC asked for feedback on whether developments in the online world warranted changes to the Rule.

Face Facts: A Forum on Facial Recognition

What can you tell about someone just from their face? Is it possible to take a picture of strangers and find out their name, where they’re from, and maybe even a portion of their Social Security number? Shocking as it sounds, recent research suggests the answer could be yes.

Blog Topic: Be Smart Online

America’s Role in Cyber Security

The commander of U.S. Cyber Command, Army Gen. Keith B. Alexander, discusses America’s critical role in cyber security. Read his remarks.

Zap Acne with Your Smartphone? Your Phone’s Not That Smart

We use mobile apps to order dinner, organize our to-do lists, check the forecast, and relax with a quick game. Could an app that treats acne be the next step?

Not likely. Marketers who advertised that their apps – AcneApp and Acne Pwner – could treat acne have agreed to stop making this baseless claim to settle charges brought by the Federal Trade Commission. According to the FTC complaint, marketers claimed that people using their apps simply had to hold the phone’s display screen next to the affected area of skin as colored lights treated the acne.

Staying On Top of Computer Security

Welcome to the new and improved OnGuardOnline.gov – the U.S. government’s site to help people be safe, secure and responsible online. It’s chock-full of practical tips and helpful resources, whether you're securing your computer at home; developing lesson plans for a school or community group; or planning a corporate training program.

OnGuardOnline.gov is a partnership of 15 federal agencies, led by the Federal Trade Commission. You’ll notice that we’ve linked up with the Stop.Think.Connect.™ campaign, managed by the Department of Homeland Security. We’ll have more to say about the Stop.Think.Connect. campaign’s activities and accomplishments in future posts – including its impressive partnerships with national organizations for youth.