My Cart  
You haven’t added anything to your cart yet. Once you add an item, you’ll see it here.

Total

Checkout
 

The Internet of Things

Identity Theft News

The Internet of Things

Be aware of the potential privacy implications with internet-connected devices

The “Internet of Things” or “IoT”—have you heard the buzz around it? Do you know what it is?

It is a phrase used to refer to those things that can connect to the internet to send and receive data. The “things” are too many to list but a few examples are:

  • Sensors in a lawn watering system that consider the recent weather conditions to decide when to water or how much.
  • A home lighting system that analyzes your lighting use patterns and mimics them when you are away from home so it’s not obvious to outsiders that you are away.
  • A health/fitness tracking device that records your exercise activity and sleep rhythms.
  • A home monitoring system that allows you to lock/unlock doors and program your thermostat remotely.

One of the thoughts behind the IoT is that life will be enhanced by the ability of the things to share data between devices and with the consumer. But, are there factors related to the IoT that could impact your privacy?

In a recent blog post titled Cool New Tech Devices: What Privacy Risks Are Wrapped Up Under Your Tree?, the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC) points out that “with people’s lives so connected to the internet, there are numerous potential privacy implications.” The PRC shares these privacy habits to practice with your internet-connected devices:

  • Keep the firmware on your wireless router up to date. Firmware is usually already on a device when you receive it but you should look for instructions on updating the firmware when required.
  • Change the default password assigned by the manufacturer of the internet-connected device. Create a unique password.
  • Use WPA2 encryption and a strong passphrase with your wireless network. WEP encryption is vulnerable to intrusion.
  • Read through privacy policies on devices and opt-out of data collection when you can. Be sure that you are comfortable with what data will be collected and how it will be used.
  • If you have an internet-connect device with a camera but you don’t need to use the camera to use the device, cover the camera lens with a piece of solid tape.

Beyond these basic tips, it is also important to understand the terms and conditions of use of the device and the privacy policy. Opt-out of data sharing when you can. Is there a default privacy setting that is set to “public”? Change it to private.

Consumers will need to keep security in mind and get answers to certain questions about an internet-connect device before they decide to use it. Some of those questions are:

  • What data is collected?
  • Can the data be encrypted?
  • How is the data used?
  • Will the data collected be sold?
  • Can a password be set up on the device?

Like most things, informed decision-making and responsible utilization are vital to beneficial use of an internet-connected device. If consumers take such steps, they will protect their privacy and avoid security lapses that could put their privacy and even their physical safety and identity at risk.

The Internet of Things appears here to stay. The challenge for consumers may be to keep up with the technology.

 

A service of the Investigators of Kroll. These materials are derived from the research and discovery activities of Kroll Fraud Specialists and Licensed Investigators, and have been gathered from personal, historical, and aggregated experience performing specialized restoration services on behalf of Identity Theft victims. While believed to be accurate, these materials do not constitute legal advice, and are not guaranteed to be correct, complete or up-to-date. These materials are provided for informational purposes only.

Be aware of the potential privacy implications with internet-connected devices

The “Internet of Things” or “IoT”—have you heard the buzz around it? Do you know what it is?

It is a phrase used to refer to those things that can connect to the internet to send and receive data. The “things” are too many to list but a few examples are:

  • Sensors in a lawn watering system that consider the recent weather conditions to decide when to water or how much.
  • A home lighting system that analyzes your lighting use patterns and mimics them when you are away from home so it’s not obvious to outsiders that you are away.
  • A health/fitness tracking device that records your exercise activity and sleep rhythms.
  • A home monitoring system that allows you to lock/unlock doors and program your thermostat remotely.

One of the thoughts behind the IoT is that life will be enhanced by the ability of the things to share data between devices and with the consumer. But, are there factors related to the IoT that could impact your privacy?

In a recent blog post titled Cool New Tech Devices: What Privacy Risks Are Wrapped Up Under Your Tree?, the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC) points out that “with people’s lives so connected to the internet, there are numerous potential privacy implications.” The PRC shares these privacy habits to practice with your internet-connected devices:

IDShield Investigator Insights: Social Media

April 20, 2017

Sharing on Social Media Today Can Impact Your Future

Many of us can’t remember life before social media. How did we make it through the day without our friends telling us how they were feeling or posting pictures of what they had for lunch?

 

While it seems like social media sites have been around forever, the first, Six Degrees, launched only 20 years ago, making social media a relatively new means of staying in touch. As social animals, our desire to connect with others is great, and social media, along with the proliferation of mobile devices, makes it easy to do. Since we like to think we can trust our friends, it’s easy to let our guard down when we’re commenting on a Facebook post or sharing vacation photos on Instagram.

 

IDShield Investigator Tips: Social Media

April 20, 2017

When It Comes to Staying Safe on Social Media, Listen to Your Mother

Twenty-one percent of adult internet users have had an email or social media account compromised.1 Applying some old-fashioned words of wisdom to our modern online lives can help prevent it from happening to you. Here are some tips from the Investigators at Kroll:

 

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Danger Lurks Where Technology Intersects Public Safety

April 13, 2017

It’s 3 a.m., and you are awakened by the sounds of sirens blaring outside. All of the cell phones in your house start to chirp, and when you look down, you see an emergency notification with a warning to evacuate immediately. The alert says to head north and that all major roads will be used as one-way streets to enable a rapid evacuation. Twenty miles north of your town the same thing is happening, except in this case, the warning is telling everyone that they should head south.

Simple Steps to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

March 17, 2017

Despite the fact that the U.S. Director of National Intelligence ranked cybercrime as the No. 1 national security threat, very few Americans take real steps to protect themselves, their family and their businesses against identity theft.

As the head of a company that helps consumers protect themselves from this issue, I've become increasingly aware of its perils, and how it impacts millions of people each year. I see identity theft as a growing epidemic that warrants immediate action. There are a number of simple steps to take, and some may seem obvious, but many people choose not to address the issue with preventive measures. How often do you back up personal and corporate computers, check your credit report and statements, or update your virus protection software?

When Consumers Get Smart, Scammers Get Smarter

March 16, 2017

So you think you’re pretty smart when it comes to scams. You know there is no wealthy Nigerian prince who needs money to escape – and there’s certainly no reward for sending him your hard-earned cash. You’re careful to not click on links or open attachments from email addresses you do not recognize. But as consumers become more aware, scammers become more savvy. They know we live online and on our phones, and they use both to get even the most wary individuals to fall for their scams. However, there are some steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim.

 

When it comes to phone scams, be smart with these tips:

Stay Calm and Trust No One: Protecting Yourself Against Scammers

March 16, 2017

Tax scams grab a lot of identity theft headlines, and for good reason: the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises that 25 percent of reported scams in 2016 were related to tax issues. But there’s more than one way to scam a consumer, and scammers are constantly thinking up new and more sophisticated ways to lure in victims. According to the BBB, last year’s fastest growing scams included:

 

Online Purchase Scams

These may involve sites selling fake merchandise, as well as sites that aren’t selling anything at all. By the time your “designer” duds have arrived, or you realize you’ll never get what you paid for, the scammers have your money as well as your name, address and credit card information, which is what they are really after.

 

Employment Scams