If you skipped stories about robberies in California over the holidays, you probably missed a hilarious video showing how a Los Angeles area Taco shop is biting back at crime. It all started with a late-night break in at Frijoles & Frescas restaurant on December 16. Thieves threw a rock through the window to break in, ransack the place and make off with the registers. This was all depicted on security camera videos.
Clever owners Alberto and Francisco used this footage to create the following clip which has racked up more than 4 million views. See for yourself why it went viral.
It’s satisfying that they mocked the burglars while doing a fun self-promo, and it’s also a clever way to get the thieves’ images out in public. The perpetrators haven’t been found yet, but here’s hoping. Meanwhile, reports say that Frijoles & Frescas is seeing increased demand for their tacos!
Wondering which financial documents to keep and which to shred? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers this handy shredding infographic along with an accompanying article A pack rat’s guide to shredding. Both offer helpful advice on what security experts say you should shred immediately (ATM receipts, credit card offers, sales receipts) to what you should keep forever (birth certificates, tax returns) and everything in between. This is only one of the many great Identity Theft resources available from the FTC.
June is Online Safety Awareness Month – good timing since we are approaching peak vacation season, it’s worth setting aside a few minutes to take stock of your mobile computing safety. As you travel, every place from coffee shops to hotels will compete for your business by touting the availability of free WiFi and high-speed internet access – a benefit that is great anywhere, but that is particularly valuable when you leave the country. But when using those networks, have you ever stopped to think about how secure those connections are? And even if you are on a secure network — one that requires a log in — you may still be exposed to others who are using that same network. Could that teen sitting near you be practicing hacking skills? Could the surfer at the corner table be looking to steal your identity? Others on the same network can access readily available tools to intercept unencrypted data that is passing over networks. Your session could even be hijacked. On a public network, you must use precautions when transmitting any information that is personal, financial, or confidential in nature.
Even people who take every precaution on home and work computers can be fairly cavalier when it comes to mobile devices – it’s easy to forget that our phones and tablets are really computers and subject to the same security risks. Lifehacker has a good article on how to stay safe on public wi-fi networks – explaining how to turn off Sharing and enable your firewall on various devices, and how to automate your public WiFi security settings. It also suggests using SSL whenever possible and explains what this means and how to do it. Another suggestion is to set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN). ArsTechnica talks more about VPNs and other security issues at public WiFi hotspot.
Here are more tips from experts: Tips for Using Public Wi-Fi Networks – from On Guard Online Four safety tips for using Wi-Fi from Microsoft Security Using High-Speed Internet at Hotels Identity Protection Tips for the Summer Traveler
He’s been called the world’s greatest conman. Leonardo DiCaprio played him in the 2002 film Catch Me If You Can – based on his successful cons while impersonating a Pan Am pilot, a Georgia doctor, and a Louisiana parish prosecutor. And he might just be one of the best people to listen to when it comes to protecting your identity.
Today, Frank Abagnale is one of the world’s most respected authorities on the subjects of forgery, embezzlement and secure documents. He’s been consulting with the FBI and with governments, businesses, and financial institutions around the globe for more than 35 years.
We spotted a recent article in The Guardian about how Facebook users risk identity theft that offers some great security tips from Frank – its worth reading. His biggest message is not to expect social media companies to protect your identity – its your responsibility to stay safe. Some of his advice:
“If you tell me your date of birth and where you’re born [on Facebook] I’m 98% [of the way] to stealing your identity,” he said. “Never state your date of birth and where you were born [on personal profiles], otherwise you are saying ‘come and steal my identity’.”
He also advised Facebook users to never choose a passport-style photograph as a profile picture, and instead use group photographs.
Click through to read the whole article and view the video interview. He’s worth listening to!
Passwords for more than 6 million LinkedIn accounts were leaked by hackers this past week, and just after that was announced, there was a leak of more than 1.5 million eHarmony user passwords. The strong advice from security experts: Change your passwords now.
Here’s the scoop: you should change your passwords for these accounts, and if those passwords were used on any other accounts, you need to change those, too. Run, don’t walk, to change passwords if any of those accounts are related to your financial data.
Creating and managing passwords is a nuisance for many, but it is one of your first defenses against preventing identity theft and illegal access to your important accounts. It’s something you should take seriously. Here are some security tips:
Ideally, you should use separate passwords for each account. At the very least, create and memorize unique, separate, and strong passwords for your banking and your email accounts, and any other accounts that have financially sensitive information. Do not re-use those passwords on other sites. That way, you would limit damage and exposure if one account is compromised.
Make it a routine practice to change passwords regularly, particularly for key accounts. At a minimum, do it twice a year at daylight savings when you change your fire alarm batteries.
Avoid storing credit card information online. Enter it in every time when making a purchase. Today’s convenience might be tomorrow’s headache.
Never enter a password into an email or a site you have clicked through an email. Phishing can be very convincing. Instead, if you get a notice from a bank or some other account, go directly to the website from your browser and sign in there.
Consider a password managing service. While we can’t make a recommendation for a specific service, some popular ones frequently cited on tech forums include LastPass, KeePass, and 1Password. These have different features and benefits, and help solve the problem of remembering and storing passwords. While there are free versions of password management services, this seems important enough to consider paying an annual service fee for.