OnGuard Online Blog

OnGuard Online is moving!

After over 10 years, OnGuard Online is moving to a new home. Like any move, it’s bittersweet. But don’t worry, this isn’t goodbye.

OnGuardOnline.gov is moving to the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer information site. At FTC.gov/OnGuardOnline, you’ll find the same great articles, blog posts, videos, games, and toolkits — to help you stay safe, secure, and responsible online.

Image of moving truck with OnGuard Online logo

Official-sounding calls about an email hack

There’s a new twist on tech-support scams — you know, the one where crooks try to get access to your computer or sensitive information by offering to “fix” a computer problem that doesn’t actually exist. Lately, we’ve heard reports that people are getting calls from someone claiming to be from the Global Privacy Enforcement Network. Their claim? That your email account has been hacked and is sending fraudulent messages. They say they’ll have to take legal action against you, unless you let them fix the problem right away.

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

Got an ASUS router at home? Read this.

Many of us don’t think twice about our home wireless router after setting it up. And it might be tempting to rush through the set-up process. Here’s why you should pay close attention while setting up your router, and afterwards.

Report identity theft and get a personal recovery plan at IdentityTheft.gov

Millions of people are affected by identity theft each year. It might start with a mysterious credit card charge, a bill you don’t recognize, or a letter from the IRS that says you already got your refund — even though you didn’t.

If someone uses your information to make purchases, open new accounts, or get a tax refund, that’s identity theft. Recovering from identity theft often takes time and persistence. That’s why today’s announcement from the FTC is a big deal: New features at IdentityTheft.gov make it easier to report and recover from identity theft.

Image of IdentityTheft.gov

“Brain training” with Lumosity — does it really work?

Imagine if you could improve your memory, attention, and problem solving skills in all aspects of your life — just by playing some simple “brain training” games online or on an app. Games that could help prevent age-related memory decline, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Games that could help you at work, school, or with everyday tasks — like remembering where you left your keys, or quickly recalling the name of a person you just met.

That’s just what Lumosity claimed its games could do, based on “proven neuroscience research.” But the FTC charged that there isn’t solid science showing that Lumosity’s “brain training” games work the way they say they would.

Blog Topic: Be Smart Online

What’s worse than stale coffee? Stale Java.

If you own a computer, you’ve probably seen this message before: Java Update Available. You know that leaving outdated software on your computer can make it more vulnerable to viruses and malware, so you’ve always agreed to the updates. Unfortunately, the FTC says keeping Java updated didn’t necessarily keep it secure.

Your route to security

Setting up your home network? To keep it secure, don’t forget about your router.

Is that online review true? Watch this video.

If you’re like me, you probably look up online reviews before you go holiday shopping, make vacation plans, or even hire a plumber.

But did you know that some people are paid to say good things about a company, product, or service? That means you can’t always know if someone is giving a true and impartial opinion.

online reviews and recommendations video

Blog Topic: Be Smart Online

Unwanted software can cause unwelcome problems

Does your internet browser ever display ads that just seem wrong — for example, an inappropriate ad on a kid’s website, an ad that blocks content on the page, or an ad on a government site? It might look something like this: 

A scammy diet ad injected into a website for kids

Unwanted software could be to blame...

Tips for Cyber Monday success

Each year, Cyber Monday promises unbelievable savings – but before you start snagging deals, here are some tips to help you save money and protect your personal information.

Blog Topic: Be Smart Online

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