data privacy: What is Synthetic Identity Theft? - 02/20/20 08:37 AM
Identity theft is when a person steals another person’s private and personal information, generally to make money from it. You probably already knew this, but have you heard of synthetic identity theft? This is a bit different.
With synthetic identity theft, a person creates a new and very fake identity by combining the real information from a person with made-up information. You might not think this is a big deal, but it can be very bad for anyone who has their identity stolen.
Here are three ways that ID thieves can create synthetic identities:
Creating a New Credit Profile
The most common way to create … (17 comments)

data privacy: DoorDash Admits 4.9 Million Affected by Data Breach - 11/07/19 05:03 AM
DoorDash has admitted that it has been the victim of a data breach, which has affected about 4.9 million merchants and people.
In a recent blog post, DoorDash announced that it noticed some odd activity early in September from a third-party service. After looking into it, the company found that an unauthorized third party was accessing user data from DoorDash on May 4, 2019. DoorDash immediately took steps to stop any future access and to improve security.
Those who were affected by this breach joined DoorDash on April 5, 2018 or before. Those who joined after that specific date were not part of … (14 comments)

data privacy: The “Mother of All Data Breaches?” It Could Be Here… - 05/16/19 06:57 AM
You have probably heard of one data breach after another these days, but this is one that you should really pay attention to: more than 772 million unique emails, along with more than 21 million unique passwords, have been exposed.
Troy Hunt, who runs the website “Have I Been Pwned,” first reported this breach, and he says that a huge file (87 GB) was uploaded to MEGA, a cloud service. This data was then sent to a popular hacking site, and now hackers have access to all of these passwords and email addresses.
This data breach, known as “Collection #1,” is very serious. … (12 comments)

data privacy: Second Hand USB’s Could Have Personal Info Still Inside - 04/25/19 12:08 PM
An unsurprising study was recently released that found even when a portable USB drive is erased, not all of the documents and images are always removed. That, of course, is frightening.
Here’s how the research was done:
Researchers went online to sites like eBay, to second-hand shops, and even auction stores. They bought 200 used USB drives, half from the US and half from the UK. Almost 2/3 of the devices had data on them! This data was, for the most part, personal data, and it can also be used by cybercriminals to steal someone’s identity. On top of that, these USB drives … (12 comments)

data privacy: 2017 Was the Worst year for Data Breaches EVER! - 09/06/18 06:30 AM
It seems like 2017 broke records for all the wrong reasons…one of them being the worst year for data breaches in history.
According to reports, hacking was the most common way to collect this data, but almost 70% of exposures occurred due to accidental leaks or human error. This came down to more than 5 billion records. There were several well-known public leaks, too, including the Amazon Web Services misconfiguration. More than half of the businesses using this service were affected, including companies like Verizon, Accenture, and Booz Allen Hamilton. The scariest part of this, however, is the fact that the number … (2 comments)

data privacy: Mainstream Email and Data Services Might Be Spying on You - 08/27/18 08:11 AM
The Internet nowadays flourishes on personal data. Many of the world’s largest companies rely on this intangible commodity that users have been too willing ‘donating’ as an exchange for a ‘free’ service.
As data replaces oil as the new premium commodity, buying and selling data is big business. While some companies do it legitimately, some entities do it illicit.
Let’s look at some stats:
Every day, there are more than 10 million hacker attacks Every hour, more than 228,000 data records are lost or stolen In 2017, thousands of data breaches exposed most everything from log-in names and passwords to Social Security numbers … (0 comments)

data privacy: Protecting Yourself from Data Breach requires Two Step Authentication - 03/08/18 06:47 AM
Have you ever thought about how a data breach could affect you personally? What about your business? Either way, it can be devastating. Fortunately, there are ways that you can protect your personal or business data, and it’s easier than you think. Don’t assume that protecting yourself is impossible just because big corporations get hit with data breaches all of the time. There are things you can do to get protected. 
All of your important accounts should use two-factor authentication. This helps to eliminate the exposure of passwords. Once one of the bad guys gets access to your password, and that’s … (11 comments)

data privacy: ISPs invading Subscriber’s Privacy - 07/26/17 06:41 AM
It’s hard to keep track of the news of politics these days, and even if you can, how do you know it’s even real? The political landscape has greatly changed since January, and there have been a lot of laws passed that will affect us all, including the repeal of a law that protected your privacy on the internet. Basically, with this repeal, your internet service provider, or ISP, can sell your browsing history to anyone.
If you use the internet, you will be affected by this law. Not only will this change allow your ISP sell your browsing history to the … (3 comments)

data privacy: Top 12 Tips to Destroy Your Sensitive Data - 05/18/17 04:52 AM
Believe it or not, you just can’t shred too much. If you aren’t destroying your sensitive data, my best advice is for you to start now. There are people out there who make a living diving into dumpsters in search of credit card info, bank account number, mortgage statements, and medical bills; all things they can use to steal your identity.
Here are 12 tips that you can use to help you destroy your sensitive data:
Buy a shredder. That said, I don’t own a shredder. I’ll explain shortly. There are a number of different brands and models out there. Some even … (10 comments)

data privacy: Security training: the Human Being is impossible to fix - 12/08/16 06:16 AM
As long as humans sit at computer screens, there will always be infected computers. There’s just no end to people being duped into clicking links that download viruses.
A report at explains how subjects, unaware they were guinea pigs, fell for a phishing experiment.
Subjects were sent an FB message or e-mail from an unfamiliar sender, though 16 percent of the subjects who ultimately clicked reported they knew the sender. The sender announced they had images from a New Year’s Eve party but not to share them. 43.5% clicked the FB message link and one-quarter clicked the e-mail link. Many of … (2 comments)

data privacy: Three ways to beef up security when backing up to the cloud - 03/21/16 12:14 AM
Disasters happen every day. Crashing hard drives, failing storage devices and even burglaries could have a significant negative impact on your business, especially if that data is lost forever. You can avoid these problems by backing up your data.
Backing up means keeping copies of your important business data in several places and on multiple devices. For example, if you saved data on your home PC and it crashes, you’ll still be able to access the information because you made backups.
A great way to protect your files is by backing up to the cloud. Cloud backup services like Carbonite allow you to store data … (2 comments)

data privacy: How to protect your network from malicious insiders - 03/06/16 09:53 PM
You may be putting your company at risk simply by hiring a new employee. Why? Because that person could have a hidden, malicious agenda.
This is known as an inside threat, and it means that someone within your organization is planning or conducting activities meant to harm the company.
There is a pattern that most insider threats use: The first step is to gain access to the company’s system. Once they have access to the network, they will investigate it and seek out any vulnerable areas. The malicious insider then sets up a workstation to control the scheme and spread the destruction.
What type … (1 comments)

data privacy: Can the cloud be trusted? - 02/21/16 10:12 PM
Most people have heard of storing information in “the cloud,” but do you know what this means, and if it is even safe?
A cloud is basically a network of servers that offer different functions. Some of these servers allow you to store data while others provide various services. The cloud is made of millions of servers across the globe and most are owned by private or public corporations. Many of those corporations are diligent about security, and you are likely using the cloud whether you know it or not.
Most customers using cloud services have faith that their information will remain safe. … (16 comments)

data privacy: How much is your Data worth online? - 02/08/16 09:36 PM
Cyber crime sure does pay, according to a report at Intel Security There’s a boom in cyber stores that specialize in selling stolen data. In fact, this is getting so big that different kinds of hot data are being packaged—kind of like going to the supermarket and seeing how different meats or cheeses are in their own separate packages.
Here are some packages available on the Dark Net:
Credit/debit card data Stealth bank transfer services Bank account login credentials Enterprise network login credentials Online payment service login credentials This list is not complete, either. McAfee Labs researchers did some digging and … (23 comments)

data privacy: Tips for backing up and protecting your data while traveling - 12/20/15 09:58 PM
The season of giving is now upon us — but don’t forget, it’s also the season of stealing — and no, I don’t mean your wallet or the gift package at your doorstep, but your Social Security number, credit card information, medical records and any other highly confidential information that you have stored on your computers.
Thieves want your data — the information stored in your smartphone, laptop and other devices. People are especially vulnerable to this crime when they travel. Don’t let the hustle and bustle of holiday travel detract you from protecting your data!
Make sure your devices have updated … (2 comments)

data privacy: Best practices for BYOD data storage - 11/15/15 10:12 PM
The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement has in some ways saved companies money, but in other ways put customer data at risk. Employees are onsite, telecommuting or traveling on business. This means their devices, and company data could be anywhere at any given moment.
A company manager or owner realizes that company use of employee mobile devices brings benefits. But employees also use the devices for personal activities, increasing the risk of hackers getting into company data.
The solution is to train these employees in BYOD, information security and awareness. They must be aware of how risky a data breach is, how … (0 comments)

data privacy: 10 Ways our Privacy is invaded - 09/20/15 11:53 PM
Once you become active online…and especially once you become “connected” with a smartphone…your privacy will be in sizzling hot demand—and in fact, you can bet that as you read this, it is already being invaded in ways that you couldn’t possibly imagine. Here are some of those ways, provided by
Someone could be collecting information on you via a keylogger: It’s a little tool that records your keystrokes, that someone secretly inserts into your computer. A keylogger, however, can also be deposited by malware that you unknowingly downloaded. Tracking technology that retailers use. You are in a large department store … (3 comments)

data privacy: Company for sale includes your Data - 08/13/15 11:45 PM
When you subscribe to an online service, be careful of how much information you give out about yourself.
Most businesses in their terms and conditions, say they “respect your privacy.” But what if these companies go under or are sold? An article from the online New York Times explores this concept. Today’s market-data-hungry-businesses can gather lots of data about subscribers. This data can be transferred to third parties in the event the company is sold or goes belly up.
The New York Times recently analyzed the top 100 U.S. websites, and the revelation is that it’s par for the course for companies to … (2 comments)

data privacy: Your Stolen Data around the World in 2 Weeks - 06/18/15 11:35 PM
Ever wonder just what happens to the data in a data breach incident? Does it go into some kind of wormhole in cyberspace, out through the other end? Well, the answer is pretty much so, when you consider that hacked data makes its rounds on a global scale, taking only 14 days to land in 22 countries spanning five continents—according to an experiment by Bitglass.
Bitglass, a cloud access security broker, did some research, generating over 1,500 fake names, credit card numbers, SSNs and other data that were saved in an Excel spreadsheet.
Then the spreadsheet, which was tagged, was sent out into … (0 comments)

data privacy: Is your Website and Data secure? - 05/27/15 11:44 PM
Imagine a lifeguard at the beach sitting on his perch. His job is to patrol and monitor for signs of trouble. He sees a surfer being attacked by a shark. Wow, a lot of good it does that he’s in a completely helpless position; by the time he scrambles off his perch and runs towards the water, the victim has bled out. Ouch.
This is the same concept behind cyber crime. By the time a business or everyday Internet user realizes they’ve been hacked…major damage has been done. We can’t just be reactive. We have to be preventive.
The damage can destroy a … (3 comments)

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Robert Siciliano

Realty Security and Identity Theft Expert Speaker

Boston, MA

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