November 2011

The FTC’s Settlement with Facebook: Where Facebook Went Wrong

When it comes to privacy promises, what businesses say about the personal information they collect from you has to line up with their day-to-day procedures. That’s the message of the FTC’s proposed settlement announced today with Facebook. Where did the company go wrong? The agency’s 8-count complaint boils down to this: Facebook’s privacy practices often flew in the face of its stated policies and, as one count alleges, the company made significant retroactive changes to its privacy practices, without getting users’ consent.

Blog Topic: Be Smart Online

FCC Launches the Small Biz Cyber Planner

Yesterday, the FCC launched its Small Biz Cyber Planner, an online resource to help small businesses create customized cybersecurity plans. The online tool is available at

New Research: Parents Matter

For years, the Pew Internet and American Life Project has been doing high-quality research on the online experience. Now, in Pew’s most recent study, “Teens, Kindness and Cruelty on Social Network Sites,” researcher Amanda Lenhart takes a close look at teenagers’ experiences on social networks. 

Seven Individuals Charged for Engineering Global Internet Fraud

Yesterday, United States law enforcement officials announced charges against six Estonian nationals and one Russian national for engaging in a massive and sophisticated internet scheme that infected more than four million computers with malware – including half a million computers in the U.S.

Let's Get Technical

Lots of visitors appreciate our practical, plain language tips for securing computers, avoiding fraud, and being smart online. But what about the tech savvy users – IT professionals, cybersecurity specialists, and other super computer users? has something for you, too, and you can find it on our new Techies Page.

All Cookies Are Not Created Equal

Today, the FTC announced a settlement with ScanScout, a video ad network that uses cookies to track people’s online browsing and deliver targeted ads to them. This is the first FTC settlement addressing a company’s use of flash cookies to track people’s online behavior.

A Gift-Giver’s Guide to Shopping Online

No need to wait for the turkey to be polished off – or the football games to be over – to start shopping online for the best holiday gifts. Take a few minutes before Thanksgiving to check out’s tips for comparing products online and staying secure through checkout.