OnGuard Online Blog

Identity Theft: What To Do, What To Know

Do you know what to do if your identity is stolen?  What steps can you take to protect your identity?  Knowing what to do is important because an identity thief can hijack your tax refund, alter your medical records, prevent you from getting credit or a job, and even borrow money in your child's name.

Lottery Fraud: If You Have To Pay, You Didn’t Win

The pitch is simple. You receive a call from a foreign lottery announcing that you have won money, a car and other prizes. The caller tells you that you entered a contest: a form you submitted in the mail, or on the internet, or while shopping. You have won, but you must pay taxes, insurance and other up-front fees in order to get your prize into the United States. Despite several payments totaling thousands of dollars, you never receive the prizes promised to you.

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

Tips for Yahoo! Users

In light of recent news that a Yahoo! service was hacked and some 400,000 usernames and passwords for Yahoo! and other companies were stolen, OnGuardOnline.gov offers the following tips:

An Internet Knock-off

Thanks to some malware that’s been around since last year, but that the FBI believes is still affecting more than 60,000 computers in the U.S., some people could find out on Monday that they no longer have internet access. If that happens, you’ll need to get help from your service provider to get back online.

Got a Video Game System? Then You’ve Got Parental Controls

If you’ve got kids, it’s likely you also have video games — played on a game console, like an Xbox, Wii, or PlayStation, or on a handheld gaming device.

If so, there’s something else you have: parental controls. They’re already built into many game systems. You just have to use them. Parental controls help you make sure your kids play according to your rules, whether it’s limiting which kinds of games they can play or keeping them from accessing online features.

To Forward or Not to Forward

That is the question. In fact, it’s one of the most common questions we hear from OnGuardOnline.gov visitors.

Email etiquette is important – not only for the sake of your personal and professional relationships, but for your computer’s security, too. Here are a few tips to help:
 

How Can You Help Older Americans Avoid Fraud? Talk About It.

Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, a day to learn the signs of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Yesterday, I participated in a day-long symposium at the White House on the role that financial exploitation plays in the wider problem of elder abuse.

Lessons from a Controversial App

In the mood for love, or just after a one-night stand? [This app] puts you in control! Reveal the hottest nightspots, who’s in them, and how to reach them . . .”

“Browse photos of lovely local ladies and tap their thumbnail to find out more about them.”

“[This app] is a revolutionary new city scanner app than [sic] turns your town into a dating paradise!”

- The pitch from a controversial app

Many people join online dating services. But recently, a controversial mobile app created profiles of men and women, many of whom didn’t know their information – including their location – was being shared by an app advertised as a “dating paradise” for finding “love.” The app created profiles of these men and women by collecting information that was publicly available through foursquare and Facebook – like location, photos, and contact information -- and presenting it in a context that many people found surprising, and even disturbing. Users of the app were able to scan their surrounding area to view the profiles of men and women who were nearby, even though many of those men and women never signed-up to be a part of the service. 

Blog Topic: Be Smart Online

Don't Take It From Us...

When it comes to advice about online dating scams, you could listen to OnGuardOnline.gov. We have advice to help you protect yourself and your money. 

But why not go straight to the source, too? Many online dating sites now offer really practical advice on how to avoid relationship scams.
 

Coordinating Voluntary Efforts to Fight Botnets

Over the past several years, a new threat has emerged on the Internet, increasingly putting consumers at risk. Some industry experts suggest that as many as 1 in 10 computers in the U.S. are part of what is called a botnet.

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