OnGuard Online Blog

A Tech Tip for Earth Day

Thinking of recycling an old cell phone in honor of Earth Day? Before you do, you’ll want to delete any personal information stored on the device. That way, your emails, text messages, contacts, photos, and other personal information won’t fall into the wrong hands.

Consumers Report: The FTC Fraud Survey

The FTC provides useful information to consumers, and consumers provide useful information right back through periodic surveys that ask them to share the important details about their recent marketplace experiences. Last year, we asked people about their experiences with 17 types of fraud, and learned that nearly 11 percent of US adults, or an estimated 25.6 million people, had paid for fraudulent products and services in 2011. Here’s what our researchers found...

fraud survey cover

All Things Connected

Your mobile phone sets your home alarm system. Your tablet schedules the DVR in your bedroom TV. Your smart watch sends your blood pressure levels to your physician. Every day more and more consumer devices communicate with each other over the internet. Some people call this growing network the “Internet of Things.”

Blog Topic: Be Smart Online

Is Your Mobile Bill a Cram Sandwich?

People have long complained about unauthorized charges — cramming — on the bills for their landlines. The FTC has responded loudly and clearly, bringing more than 30 cases, getting tens of millions of dollars back for consumers, and advocating for reforms to eliminate landline cramming. But fraudsters, trolling for new opportunities to cheat consumers, have found the bills for people's mobile devices to be fertile territory.

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

Annual Highlights

Springtime: For us here at FTC headquarters, it means warm weather, cherry blossoms on the National Mall, and the publication of the agency’s Annual Highlights.

.FTC Annual Highlights

Resolving Identity Theft? How to Help

FTC staff has a proud history of collaborating with legal services and victims’ rights groups, sharing legal resources and information and training hundreds of advocates throughout the country about a number of important consumer protection issues. Along the way, we’ve gotten many questions about how to help people reduce their risk of identity theft — and how to help them recover from the crime.

Robocall Challenge: And the Winner Is...

Drumroll, please! We've got a new national hero, or rather, heroes. Judges for the FTC Robocall Challenge selected two winners to share the $50,000 prize for Best Overall Solution to block illegal robocalls. Serdar Danis and Aaron Foss will each receive $25,000 for their proposals. Additionally, judges selected Daniel Klein and Dean Jackson from Google for the Robocall Challenge Technology Achievement Award. Organizations that employ 10 or more people were eligible for the Technology Achievement Award — there's no monetary prize, but there's all the glory that a National Hero status brings.

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

If They’re App-y and You Know It

Have kids in your life? Then you’ve probably got a collection of kids’ apps — or soon will. Whether it’s a game on your phone or a math app on your tablet, find out what apps might be doing — but might not be telling you — and what you can do about it:

The Truth About Cell Phones and the National Do Not Call Registry

Contrary to re-circulating email, there is no new cell phone national do not call database.

Blog Topic: Be Smart Online

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.

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