Rebecca Herold

The Privacy
Tip of the Month


Don't accept gifts (or too-good-to-be-true offers) from strangers.




Did you hear about the 40,000 people who were tricked by a bogus offer of a free Ikea gift card? Unfortunately, the incident is not isolated. This time of year, more than ever, criminals are upping their game and preying on those looking for a deal (and who isn't?). Click here to see the latest gift card scams that can make for a blue Christmas.


So you've probably heard of phishing, but what about "smishing" - phishing via text. This might be an offer that's intended to get you to give up your personal information via web or a toll-free number. Often, the text message may indicate you've been signed up for a service, when you haven't. Then, when you contact the originator to dispute this, they ask for your information. Contact your mobile service provider if you receive such a text.

To check out this year's latest online and in-store shopping scams, click here.  


Gift WomanSpecial delivery! Crooks can enter your home in many ways, so don't let them in the door with a click. Posers are identifying themselves via email as legitimate companies (such as UPS) trying to make a delivery to you. With millions of packages in transit this holiday season, you might not know whether to expect a parcel or not.


If you receive such an email that seems generic, is from a suspect domain, has a blank "To:" line, or does not include specifics like a physical address, watch out, it might be phishing or malware. Don't worry - if there is truly a delivery problem with a package you're sending or receiving, you can address it by contacting the source directly.


This season is a glorious time of year... and a little heightened awareness can make it even brighter. From my family to yours, Happy Holidays!




Did you know...


January 28 is Data Privacy Day. Recognized throughout the world, this is the ideal date to do a check of your systems to make sure they are secure and protecting privacy. Why not do that in a fun way? Consider my Security Search, an interactive group tool to get everyone in your office in on the security game.  I'm currently working with a large university to use Security Search for their own Data Privacy Day event. Click here to learn more. 


Facebook just launched an email service, and their biggest hurdle might be protecting their users' privacy. Click here to learn more.


The White House has issued a "Stop, Think, Connect" public service challenge. Check out the video and learn how to submit your own ideas here.


I'll be giving a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) seminar at Western Michigan University on Wednesday, December 8. Learn more or register here.


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