What would you think of millions of people having the ability to download the pictures and videos on your smartphone, or copy documents from your tablet computer, without your even realizing it?
If that sounds like a problem, you might want to take a look at the FTC’s just-announced settlement with a peer-to-peer (or P2P) file-sharing software developer. The company, Frostwire, offers free P2P file-sharing applications for Android devices and desktop and laptop computers.
The Federal Trade Commission today told a House Subcommittee that it is committed to protecting children online, and that the agency recently proposed changes to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection (COPPA) Rule to make sure the Rule keeps pace with fast-changing technology.
Senior Internet Policy Advisor, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Hackers use software programs to search the internet for computers that aren’t protected by up-to-date security software. When they find unprotected computers, they try to install malware that allows them to control the computers remotely. Many thousands of these computers linked together make up a “botnet,“ a network controlled by hackers to steal people’s personal information or send spam. Millions of home computers are part of botnets.
On Monday, the White House issued a Presidential Proclamation to recognize National Cyber Security Awareness Month. The White House Blog featured a post by Howard Schmidt, Special Assistant to the President and White House Cybersecurity Coordinator, that highlighted a few government websites – including OnGuardOnline.gov – that everyone can use to help protect themselves online.
Assistant Director, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC
The digital revolution has enabled us to connect to the internet virtually anywhere at any time. Even when we are not directly connected, the internet supports our everyday lives through our financial transactions, transportation networks, emergency response systems, personal communication and more. This reliance on the internet will only continue to increase as technology advances and access to the internet expands. To maximize the potential of a digital society, we must protect the resources that make it possible.
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.
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.
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.