OnGuard Online Blog

Can We Talk?

Identity theft is an unfortunate fact of modern life. Do you know what to do if your identity is stolen? How can you make identity protection part of your routine? Get answers to these and other identity theft questions during our Twitter Chat July 10 at 2 pm (EDT). FTC staff will host a one-hour session with our partners at DoD’s Military One Source and Military Saves.

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

Got Kids Under 13?

It’s summertime. For kids, that might mean days at the pool, sleep-away camp, summer school…and hours on some computer or mobile device, if they can possibly get away with it.

Starting today, parents might feel a little better about their younger kids’ privacy online. That’s because changes to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) rule take effect today. The act requires operators of websites or online services directed to kids under 13 to give notice to parents — and get their verifiable consent — before collecting, using, or disclosing a kid’s personal information. The rule also applies to general audience sites that know they’re collecting information from kids under 13, and to sites and online services that have actual knowledge they’re collecting information from sites directed to children. The rule applies to apps, too, not just to websites.

Summer Camp Season

Aah, summer break. School’s almost out, and camp season is just around the corner. Whether your kids are attending a program for sports, arts, or education, there’s plenty of fun to be had this summer…and plenty of forms to be filled out.

Summer program forms may require you to provide your child’s personal information — like their Social Security number. While this may seem routine, it’s important to do what you can to protect sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands.

Give Dad the Gift of Cyberspeak

Does your dad think spyware is James Bond’s tux? When you tell him to be careful about phishing, does he ask you about mercury levels in the lake? When you remind him to clear the cookies on his PC, does he remind you he doesn’t eat in the office?

If you answered yes to any of these, it may be time to give Dad a lesson in cyberspeak.

Military Consumer Protection Day 2013

Calling all military families and veterans! Are you looking to protect yourself or your family from fraud, identity theft, and scams? Maybe you’re curious about the best way to use credit, shop for a used car, or maximize your security online. 

Military folks are consumers, too – and critical to the economy. Just ask the 1.4 million men and women on active duty or the 1.1 million in the National Guard and Reserve forces. But the unique challenges of military life – frequent relocation, separation from family and friends, and the stresses of deployment – can make military households an attractive target for scam artists. In fact, during 2012 the Federal Trade Commission logged more than 62,000 complaints from servicemembers, veterans, and spouses about their experiences in the marketplace.

That led the FTC and its partners to sponsor Military Consumer Protection Day on July 17, 2013. It’s a great day to empower military and veteran communities with information as the first line of defense against consumer fraud.

How to Make Sure Oklahoma Tornado Victims Benefit From Your Donation

In the wake of the destructive tornado that devastated Moore, Oklahoma, on Monday, you may be looking for ways to help, like donating to a charity or fund.

Before you give, just make sure of one thing — that your donations are going to a reputable organization that will use the money as promised.

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

“Green Card” Lottery Scams

The results for the 2014 Diversity Visa Lottery are now available at dvlottery.state.gov.

That’s good news for people who are hoping to become “lawful permanent residents” in the US (sometimes referred to as “getting a green card”).

But it’s also a good opportunity for scammers to try to confuse hopeful applicants.

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

Something Smells Phishy…

Have you ever received an email from a business that asked you to respond with personal or financial information? Maybe even a text from a company that threatened to close your account if you didn’t verify your identity? That smells phishy.

Join the FTC, Stop.Think.Connect., and others for a Twitter chat on phishing this Thursday, May 16 at 3:00 p.m. ET. Follow @FTC and use the hashtag #ChatSTC to join the conversation!

Phishing Scams Game

Blog Topic: Be Smart Online

Psss... It's Password Day. Pass it on!

If Hanson’s MmmBop was the number one single when you last changed the password for your email account, it’s time for an update. Like certain pop songs, passwords don’t stand the test of time.Login Screen

Reducing Robocalls: Practical Tips & Tricks

You don’t have to tell us twice, we know robocalls are annoying. Our Robocall Challenge generated advice we wanted to share, from consumers who say they’re using certain tricks to stop these harassing calls now.

FTC Robocall Challenge: Consumer Tips & Tricks

 

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

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