School's in Session    


We've all heard the expression "It takes a village to raise a child." And certainly this month will be evidence of that, as teachers, coaches, school administrators, counselors, parents and others come together to ensure great futures for the next generation. 




In many ways, privacy protection is the same. It takes a full community of educators, consultants, innovators, legislators and others to guard against the degradation of our privacy. As you'll see in the message below, the talented and passionate people in information security and privacy circles are working overtime to share important information with one another... and now with you.


Thanks to each of them for contributing to this communication and to each of you to continuing to read this monthly Tips message. 


Get Schooled on Your Car's Vulnerabilities


Have you ever had a near-miss in the car and thanked heaven your guardian angel was with you? As it turns out, those angels may be out of a job soon, at least if you listen to the innovators behind on-board collision-sensing technology. 


But, as we've learned, advances in "smart" technology often come with privacy risks. What might an insurance agent or an investigator do with information stored on your car's computer system? Could your employer or ex-spouse use that information to cause you financial harm? Worse yet, what nefarious tricks might a hacker be able to perform after breaching the system's security?


Sound too far-fetched to worry about? It's not, according to this article passed along by my friend Debbie (@DebbieMahler). Take a read and see what you think about the threat two U.S. hackers exposed with nothing more than a laptop, some hacker know-how and an audience. 



Has Your Personal Info Been Exposed?


Are you doing business with or using a site that has experienced a privacy breach? Not sure? This infographic will help you find out! 


Thanks to my Facebook friend Arif (@purescapism)for sharing this great source of info. 





Does Your State Allow Police to Pry?


Forbes recently posed this question: If the police arrest you, should they be able to snoop through your iPhone like a jealous lover? 


Their article then goes on to explore, state by state, legal precedent. With information and an interactive map of the U.S., the writer shares which states may allow authorities access to your smartphone and other devices without a warrant.


Thanks to Shaun (@PrivacyCamp) for exposing us to this eyebrow-raising article. 


Your Employees & Colleagues Are Using Social Networks   


Among the leading vulnerabilities companies face today is the potential exposure of company information via employee error or lack of knowledge. Sometimes it's a simple mistake that creates a leak of personal information, or some other type of confidential information. (Often this stems from an absence of information security or privacy training.) Other times, it's intentional. Still other times, it's the result of a phishing attack in which a fraudster has targeted your employee specifically. 


Think your employees or co-workers aren't online? Thanks to a pointer by my friend Sue (@SueScheff), we know 72 percent of the adults who are online are sharing the intimate details of their days on social networking sites.


What is your company doing to prevent phishing attacks? Education is a key component to preventing targeted fraud, other crimes and mischief among vulnerable employees. 



5 Quick Lessons


Being diligent about your personal privacy is a learned behavior. Often the best way to practice is to take a closer look at the every-day activities in which you and your friends, colleagues and family members take part. 


Below are some quick-hit resources that serve as good reminders of the privacy threats we are exposed to each day.



  1. A Quick Guide to YouTube Privacy 
  2. The Financial Dangers of Retailer Prepaid Cards
  3. Why Your WiFi May Be On, Even When It's Off
  4. Ramifications of Hacking a Friend's Facebook Account (not that you would do that anyway, right?)
  5. Just How Hackable Your Life Really Is (infographic)

The Web of Trust


From my adjunct professor experience, I can tell you first-hand that many very smart, very educated individuals can be tricked into believing misinformation found on the Internet. 


That's why I'm intrigued by the promise of Web of Trust, a safe browser tool that has a stated goal of allowing users to understand how trustworthy a website is (at a glance and without having to leave the site to check).


Not only does this service have great potential in the world of education; it has numerous possibilities for day-to-day research on everything from your next contractor to your next online bargain hunt. 



Privacy Professor on the Road 


  • Sept. 12 & 13, Des Moines, IA: Teaching IAPP CIPP Foundations & CIPP/US classes
  • Sept. 20, Santa Clara, CA: Teaching a IAPP CIPM class
  • Oct. 2, Seattle, WA: IAPP Privacy Academy; roundtable with friends Jules Polonetsky and Megan Hertzler, "Too Smart for Our Own Good? Privacy in the Information Age"
  • Oct. 8, Des Moines, IA: 10th Annual Iowa Homeland Security Conference; "Five Most Common Overlapping Privacy & Information Security Areas"
  • Oct. 16, Indianapolis, IN: Teaching IAPP CIPM class
  • Oct. 30, Warwick, RI: Security Awareness Day at Community College of Rhode Island; "Where Do You Draw the Creepy Line? Privacy, Big Data Analytics, and the Internet of Things"
  • Dec. 5, Phoenix, AZ: Teaching IAPP CIPM class

Need Help?


If you need any help with information security or privacy training and awareness, or if you must comply with HIPAA and need help (especially important with the September compliance deadline quickly approaching), please check out my Compliance Helper site or get in touch with me; I would love to help you!



You Have My Permission to Share


I receive a lot of requests to repurpose the information contained in these Tips messages, so I wanted to drop a quick note in here to say, "Yes, I approve!" Please use the following attribution so that others will know where to find me if they have additional questions about the material you pass along.


Source: Rebecca Herold (a.k.a. The Privacy Professor),



Back-to-school season is such a hopeful time of year. You can sense it in the air. 


My best wishes for an excellent year of learning (and a little fun, too!) go out to you and yours.  



The Privacy Professor®
Rebecca Herold & Associates, LLC
Mobile: 515.491.1564, Business: 515.996.2199