Rebecca Herold

The Privacy Professor's
Tips of the

September is here! Will you FALL for online tricks?



I was at a concert with a colleague recently when one of her Facebook friends posted right on her wall, "I see you at the Maroon 5/Train show!" My colleague was distressed because people then knew not only where she was but that her home was empty and would be for several hours! She personally knows the risks of posting too much information online... but she didn't post it; her "friend" did. Just a reminder, be careful about how much information you post not just about yourself, but also about others. They might not appreciate having their personal information shared with the world.


Did you know that LinkedIn now has a default setting that allows them to use your picture and name in advertising? Here's how to manually turn it off:


1) Click on your name on your LinkedIn homepage. (Upper right corner)


2) In the drop-down menu, click "Settings."


3) On Settings page, click "Account"


4) In the column next to Account, click "Manage Social Advertising." (Lower left)


5) Unselect the box next to "LinkedIn may use my name, photo in social advertising."




Criminals have phones, too.

Jail phones 

They may appear legit, but it's hard to know where they're actually calling from, isn't it?


Remember my run-in with the phone scammers from last month? They called back! They're persistent little con artists... even after I called them out on their evil - if cleverly positioned - plot. As a reminder, if someone is contacting you from a company you don't do business with and you've never even heard of, chances are, you don't want to give them the time of day. Certainly don't give them any information!


Tips, tricks and tidbits

You know about phishing... but did you know about vishing? It involves telephone lines, often using VOIP (phone calls made through the Internet), and crooks spoofing caller IDs or using some other social engineering scam to make unsuspecting consumers believe they're someone else in order to get personal information they can use to their advantage... and to the consumer's disadvantage. Always be leery of any caller requesting personal information from you. If a company you do business with seems to call you, you can always say it's not a good time and that you'll call them back. Then do so on their published business line.



Always be careful about clicking on links - you know that. But the next time you see a suspicious link, try hovering (don't click it!) your cursor over it and check out the URL. A current scam is this one:


"Do you wish you could dislike posts on Facebook instead of liking them? Check out this new Facebook app that lets you DISLIKE anything that you can LIKE."


That's not even possible, but it's tempting for many people. Especially because one of the URL's associated with this too-good-to-be-true offer has "Grandmother" in it! Now, nobody would want to turn a sweet little grandma down, right? The scammers are getting super-tricky with their addresses and often employ words with positive connotations to lure you into their devious worlds. When in doubt, don't click the link. (Grandma wouldn't want you to get into trouble!)    



Did you hear that NFL quarterback Peyton Manning brought up HIPAA in a recent interview, even saying "I believe in it and I practice it."? It's never been clearer that more than just healthcare workers are hip to HIPAA. People everywhere have increased awareness, are better understanding their rights, and expect that organizations take patient privacy seriously.



I recently supplied comments for a news story that involved patient information leaks at a hospital. The interesting perspective I supplied to the piece, however, was not laying blanket blame on the organization, because it's rarely that simple. If you want to read the article, click here - you might be surprised at my stance (most of which is on the third page). If I may provide solutions in your specific business situations, please contact me.




You may notice that I just supplied all of that information with only one link in the material. I'm cutting back on the links in my emails in an attempt to streamline my tips for your ease of readability and ease of message transfer. If you ever want to know more about a story, tip or resource... or if you have suggestions for me, please don't hesitate to let me know. You can email me using the link below. ;)



Here's wishing you a gorgeous fall in which fewer of us fall for criminals' capers. Talk to you next month when I'll reveal the spooky tricks that come out at night (and day) around Halloween!


Rebecca Herold & Associates, LLC
Mobile: 515.491.1564, Business: 515.996.2199