OnGuard Online Blog

New Research: Teens and Technology

I don’t know about you, but I got my first cell phone when I was well past junior high. Fast forward to the year 2013, where 78% of teens ages 12-17 now have a cell phone, and almost half of those teens own smartphones.

These stats are hot off the press from Pew Internet and American Life Project’s new study, “Teens and Technology 2013.” The research takes a closer look at smartphone adoption and mobile access to the internet among American teens, with some eye-opening results.

Developing Mobile Apps? Watch it. (Our New Video, That Is).

The mobile apps market is thriving and lots of app developers are striving to be players in the game. If you’re developing apps for smartphones, tablets or other mobile devices, there are some basic truth-in-advertising standards and privacy principles that apply to you.

Blog Topic: Be Smart Online

Traveling for Spring Break?

Oh yes, it’s that sweet time of year again — Spring Break is almost here! Whether you’re off to sunbathe on the sand, see the sights, or ski the slopes, it pays to be an informed travel shopper.

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

Sentencing Commission Report Examines Child Pornography Cases

The United States Sentencing Commission recently submitted to Congress its comprehensive report examining federal sentencing policy in child pornography cases.

Although still only a small percentage of the overall federal caseload, child pornography prosecutions have grown significantly during the past decade and now account for nearly 2,000 federal cases each year. That growth reflects the increasing role of the Internet in child pornography offenses. Before the Internet, law enforcement officers had significantly curtailed the child pornography market in the United States.

Bogus Text Message Prize Offers

If you've ever gotten a text message on your cell phone telling you that you've won a free prize, you're not alone. During the past year, the FTC has gotten tens of thousands of complaints about unsolicited text messages.

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

This is National Consumer Protection Week!

National Consumer Protection Weeks begins today, and it’s the biggest and best NCPW in 15 years. Thanks to 64 federal, state and local agencies and nonprofits that are putting the spotlight on the critical consumer protection work they do year-round, consumers have easy access to a tremendous variety of timely, useful information about recognizing and reporting frauds and scams, managing credit and debt, using technology, and staying healthy and safe.

Which HTC Devices Will Get Security Updates?

The FTC and HTC America announced a settlement recently that requires the company to fix security flaws in their smart phones and tablets that put users’ sensitive information at risk. If you’re wondering whether your device was affected, you’ll be relieved to know there’s a new webpage for HTC users that lists affected HTC devices and the status of updates, along with a toll-free number for information (866-449-8358) that is staffed from 8 am to 1 am EST.

Patching Things Up

If you own an HTC phone or mobile device, you may be affected by a settlement announced today between the FTC and HTC America.

Loan Aggregators, or Loan Aggravators?

If you’re thinking about applying for an online payday loan, you might be dealing with a direct lender – or you might be dealing with a loan aggregator. A direct lender lends you the money; a loan aggregator is a middleman – a company that collects your personal and financial information on a loan application and shops it around to lenders who might offer you a loan.

Tough Luck, Hackers

Every day, you hear about scammers, hackers, and thieves using the internet to steal money and financial information from people. Just as we do things to make it tough for bad guys to break into our homes and our cars, we can make it tougher for them to break into our computers, too.You can take simple steps — like keeping your computer software up-to-date — to deter a hacker and protect your financial information.

Want some more tips? Here’s a new OnGuardOnline.gov video with steps you can take to keep your computer secure.

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