OnGuard Online Blog

Check Your Phone Bill Day

OK, it’s not really Check Your Phone Bill Day. But how about checking your wireless phone bill anyway? Pull it up online, dig out your paper copy, or if you don’t get a detailed bill from your phone company, go ahead and ask for one (we’ll wait).

virus detected image with a remove button

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

Don‘t Text Back

You get a text message claiming your email account has been hacked. The message asks you to text back in order to reactivate your account. Has your account really been hacked, or is this a scam?

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

Preparing for Hispanic Heritage Month? Order Our New Bilingual Bookmark!

If you are planning an activity to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15) here’s an idea: order the FTC’s new “Visit Us” bookmark and distribute it at your event!
Image of Bookmark

Blog Topic: Be Smart Online

Might Your Search Yield a Scam?

Do you ever look for products or information online by typing a word into a search engine? I do too. By now, I bet we both know there’s no guarantee that the first result will be the best one. Anyone can set up shop online with almost any name. You may get links to pages that are out-of-date, off-topic, or stocked with low-quality products. Here are some tips for your next search.

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

Ackk — My Email’s Been Hacked

Friends and family are getting emails or messages you didn’t send. Or your social media accounts have posts you didn’t make. What can you do when it looks like someone’s taken over your account? Here are the steps you can follow if you get hacked.

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

Can the Spam Texts (And Robocalls)

TXT MSG:
U won a FREE gift card!! Go 2 TXMSGSPAM, enter
code $$$ to claim card within 24 hrs.

RU getting the MSG? Recently, the FTC moved to shut down a network of scammers who sent spam texts that promised  “free” gifts, prizes, electronics, or gift cards. The catch? Clicking on the links in the texts sent recipients on a wild goose chase: a confusing and elaborate process that required them to pay for subscription services, apply for credit, or enter sensitive personal information – including their phone numbers. There were no free gifts or gift cards, but there were plenty of follow-up illegal robocalls. 

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

A-partment Hunting We Will Go

Apartment hunting for the perfect place to live? As you scan rental ads in newspapers, or on websites or listservs, remember that some ads may not be legit.

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

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.

Pages