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Child Identity theft is becoming Solvable

You’ve seen TV commercials and print ads about identity theft, and the “victim” is always an adult. That’s not realistic. The actor-portrayal should be that of a child. Yes, a kid. Children are 51 times more likely than adults to have their identity stolen, says research from Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab.You’ve seen TV commercials and print ads about identity theft, and the “victim” is always an adult. That’s not realistic. The actor-portrayal should be that of a child. Yes, a kid. Children are 51 times more likely than adults to have their identity stolen, says research from Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab. Crooks want kids’ Social Security numbers. And crooks like the fact that kids are debt-free. Wow, with no debt to the child’s name, the thief could easily open up a line of credit in that victim’s name and have a field day. Or, they can file a fraudulent income tax return. The thief can then sit back and relax for many years because usually, the victim doesn’t learn something’s wrong until they’re 18 and applying for loans or a line of credit. By then, lots of damage has already been done. Many thieves of children’s identity are family members. It’s easy for them to get their hands on the victim’s Social Security number and other data. Relatives coming and going in the victim’s house could make it too simple for someone to get ahold of private information if it’s not hidden and non-accessible. How can we protect children’s identity from being stolen?
  • If you live in s state that offers a “credit freeze” then apply, right now. As of the writing: Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.
  • Consider opting out of providing schools with personal information about your child. This can be done due to FERPA: Family Educational Rights Privacy Act. FERPA gives parents the right to authorize how much of their child’s personal information they want shared with a third party.
  • If a school fails to alert parents to this on a yearly basis, the school is breaking the law.
  • The FERPA does not necessarily apply to extracurricular activities of the school. Parents should investigate these on an individual level to see how much private information might be shared. For instance, a child’s Social Security number absolutely does not have to be given just for them to be on a softball team, member of the band, chess club, this or that.
  • Identity theft protection on a family plan should be a consideration. Generally these services will watch for activity regarding your childs SSN and new lines of credit.
_________________ Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to BestIDTheftCompanys.com discussing identity theft prevention.

Android Devices Alert

I want to share with you an informative and timely article a friend sent to me. The article is by Zack Whittaker for Zero Day; Mr. Whittaker wrote recently about the vulnerability of Android devices due to a newly discovered security flaw found on Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile networks. LTE is also referred to as 4G.

I want to share with you an informative and timely article a friend sent to me.  The article is by Zack Whittaker for Zero Day; Mr. Whittaker wrote recently about the vulnerability of Android devices due to a newly discovered security flaw found on Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile networks.  LTE is also referred to as 4G.

In his article, Mr. Whittaker discussed a recent alert from researchers with Carnegie Mellon; that alert was based on the LTE vulnerabilities discovered by Korean researchers ('All Android devices' vulnerable to new LTE security flaw"; October 16th). The flaws could permit hackers to eavesdrop on conversations, create false billings and generally invade users privacy.

The security issues are described in detail in Mr. Whittaker's article as well as in the alert issued by the Carnegie Mellon lab.  T-Mobile customers may have already been affected but a spokesperson for that company has said the issue has been resolved.

Apple products are not affected by the LTE flaw.

Mr. Whittaker's article and the Carnegie Mellon alert provide a timely "heads up" to consumers using Android devices.  Hopefully there won't be any adverse impact.  However, consumers should be aware of any issues with their bills and any alerts issued by AT&T and Verizon.

_________________

Ms. Diener is now an independent consultant on privacy, identity management, information protection and risk management. She served in senior managerial, legal, policy and legislative positions in all three branches of the Federal government. In addition to her privacy expertise, Ms. Diener played a lead role on such important domestic and international issues as criminal justice/law enforcement and financial services. She speaks frequently at industry and governmental conferences and meetings.

PROTECTING YOUR CHILD'S INFORMATION AFTER A DATA BREACH

If you’ve ever had your information exposed in a data breach, you know it can be stressful. Depending on what information is exposed, you might have to cancel credit or debit cards, change online passwords, or even put a freeze on your credit.If you’ve ever had your information exposed in a data breach, you know it can be stressful. Depending on what information is exposed, you might have to cancel credit or debit cards, change online passwords, or even put a freeze on your credit. But what happens if your child’s personal information is exposed, too? An identity thief could use your child's Social Security number to get a job or a tax refund, open bank and credit card accounts, apply for a loan or rent a place to live. And what’s worse, it might be years before you or your child realizes there’s a problem. So what can you do if your child’s information is exposed? First, check to see if your child has a credit report. Generally, children shouldn’t have credit reports — unless someone is using their information for fraud. Each credit bureau has its own process for checking: If your child has a credit report, follow the credit bureau’s instructions for correcting fraudulent information. For help, visit IdentityTheft.gov or review the FTC’s information about child identity theft. In some states, even if your child doesn’t have a credit report, you can place a freeze that will make it difficult for someone to use your child’s Social Security number to open new accounts. Each credit bureau has specific instructions for placing a freeze: Even if you aren’t aware of any problems, it’s a good idea to check your child’s credit history when he or she turns 16. That gives you time to fix any unexpected problems — before your child applies for a loan, an apartment, or insurance. To learn more about what you can do when there’s a data breach, visit IdentityTheft.gov/databreach. About the Author Nicole Fleming is a consumer education specialist at the Federal Trade Commission. This blog post originally appeared in the Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Information Blog. _________________ Stay Safe Online Blog is the official blog of the National Cyber Security Alliance, a non-profit aimed at educating and empowering people to use the Internet safely and securely at home, work, and school. NCSA also co-runs STOP. THINK. CONNECT., the national cybersecurity education and awareness campaign. 

Back to school Tech Security for College Students

Some of us remember college dorm days, when students were envied if they had their own typewriter. These days, college students must have a personal laptop computer, and a smartphone, and their lives revolve around these connected devices. Such dependency should be proactively protected from loss or theft. Some of us remember college dorm days, when students were envied if they had their own typewriter. These days, college students must have a personal laptop computer, and a smartphone, and their lives revolve around these connected devices.  Such dependency should be proactively protected from loss or theft.  Campus security now means more than just being beware of who might be hiding in the bushes at night. When you send your college kid off into the world, you want them to be prepared for life’s curveballs, and unfortunately, the occasional criminal too. How prepared are they? How prepared are you? Do you or they know that if they leave their GPS service on, some creep could be “following” them? Are they aware of how to lock down their devices to prevent identity theft? For cybersecurity and personal security, college students should: How might students get hacked and how can they prevent it?
  • They can fall for a scam via a campus job board, the institution’s e-mail system, off-campus public Wi-Fi or on social media. Be aware of what you click on.
  • It’s easy for devices to be stolen; never leave devices alone whether it’s in the library or a café.
  • Shoulder surfing: Someone peers over their shoulder in the study lounge or outside on a bench to see what’s on their computer screen. A privacy filter will make shoulder surfing difficult.
  • Be careful when buying a used device (which can be infected) and simply taking it as is. Wipe it clean and start fresh with the installation of a new operating systems.
  • If you’re not using your devices, consider keeping them in a lockbox or a hidden place instead of exposed in a shared living space like a dorm.
  • All devices should have a password protected screen lock.
  • Data should be backed up every day. Imagine how you’d feel if you lost that term paper you’ve been slaving over!
  • Get a password manager, which will create strong, complex passwords unique to every account. And you won’t have to remember them.
  • Avoid jailbreaking your smartphone, as this increases its hackability.
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi for transactions involving money or sensitive information, since hackers could easily snoop on the data transmissions. A virtual private network (VPN) will prevent snooping by encrypting transactions.
All devices should have security software that should be updated automatically. Virus scans should be done every day, or at least no less frequently than once a week. ____________________ Robert Siciliano is an Online Safety Expert to Intel Security. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked! Disclosures.