Rebecca Herold
The Privacy
Tip of the Month 
It might not be fair, but slick online scams can be as crafty at swindling you as those shady carnival boardwalk games can be! But it's not a matter of just losing the big stuffed animal... your privacy and good reputation can be lost.
Boardwalk Shooting

For those that use craigslist and provide their email addresses as the way to get in touch with people (I do this so I won't get a lot of calls from people who aren't truly interested), it is common for crooks to send an email containing bogus interest in your item and a link.  If you go to the URL provided (using digg URLs is common since they look a little more legitimate), it will appear to be a craigslist page.  But, it is NOT. It is a page that asks you to provide your craigslist ID and password.  If you provide them, someone else will basically take over your craigslist account (in cybercriminal terms, they will "pwn" it).  What makes this particular scam look so real is that it provides a warning at the top of the page to look out for fraudsters providing bogus sites!

A popular scam on Facebook is asking those who use the site to join a group with a title such as, "I WILL NOT PAY TO USE FACEBOOK" with various dates attached. Many are joining this group only to find that their personal information, obtained from their profile, has been given (often sold for large amounts of money) to other businesses, and then they experience an increase in unsolicited spam messages, phone calls, postal mail, and, depending upon how much information is in their profile, various types of identity fraud. An example of this is an ad "Free Uggs for 38-year-old women! Click here!" when a user has her birthday and preferences in her profile. Avoid being drawn into such a ploy engineered by social engineering scam artists. Don't just join random groups - that involves sharing more information than if you just "like" a page.

It's almost the time of year to get back the books, but make sure your kids don't get schooled by cyberbullies.

A recent Washington Post article warns "Estimates on the percentage of students affected by cyberbullying range widely -- from about 15 to 35 percent in scientific surveys to more than 80 percent in a cybersafety advocate's informal poll."  That story also reports "When students were asked in one scientific poll why their peers engage in cyberbullying, 81 percent said it was because they found it funny." It's scary to think kids, and possibly some adults, do such horrible things just for fun!


ABC News recently ran a terrifying story about cyberbullying in which they reported that an 11 year-old girl has received dozens of threatening emails and calls each day after videos she created to defend her online reputation went viral.

Here are some tips to help parents and their kids address any online bullying problems:

 If children see bad posts about themselves online, they should not respond to them by posting something back.
Children should tell a parent instead. The parent should not post anything online either.

They should block all communications the children's accounts have with the cyberbully.  For example, if the cyberbully is a "friend" on Facebook, they should drop that friend connection.


  If the cyberbully is known to be a school mate, the parent should contact school leadership, talk about the situation, and make concerns known.


  If the cyberbullying is threatening in nature, the parent should consider contacting local law enforcement and/or the FBI, depending upon the nature of the threat.


 Parents must be very supportive of children in this situation by letting them know they are not in this alone.

I hope your summer has been fabulous! Be safe online, and thank you for reading, 


Did you know... 

ComputerWorld has indicated that they will soon send out a survey from Overbrook Research. If some of you happen to receive it, and if you have found my tips useful, please consider voting for me as Best of Privacy Advisors! (Many thanks in advance.)

Content provided by: 
Rebecca Herold & Associates, LLC
Mobile: 515.491.1564, Business: 515.996.2199