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The Cyber Advisor

What you need to know, when you need to know it.

Hi there,

Critical iOS Patch - Be sure to update your iPhones and iPads to iOS 9.2.1 released last week. The patch inlcudes over a dozen security fixes, one of which prevents an intruder from impersonating your computer and logging on to your online accounts.

Apple computers and devices have been ignored by hackers in the past due to their small user-base compared to Windows. Those days of course are over, and we will continue to see sharp increases in Apple-targeted exploits and the corresponding patches issued from the company.

Freezing Credit Accounts for Kids  - The top targets for ID theft and credit fraud are kids and seniors. Hackers see them as less aware, more unprepared and under protected, and with ample room in their credit status to create bogus accounts. Consequences can be far greater than mild inconvenience and these hacks are one of the fastest growing crimes in the U.S.

According to a study by the Carnegie Mellon University CyLab on 40,000 minors, 10% of the study group were victims and most were not aware of the breach. The study was completed in 2012 and it is reasonable to expect that number is higher today, and will increase in the future. 

States around the country have successfully pushed the credit burueas to allow the creation and freezing of credit reports for minors as a defensive measure for what is expected to be a scourge for many years to come. 

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The lighter colored states in the map above are those that allow a parent or guardian to order a freeze on the minor's account.

 

The procedure varies by state, but you can find more here:  http://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/consumer-report-security-freeze-state-statutes.aspx

IRS Tax-Refund Scam - We're still harping on the tax-refund scam and at the risk of readers rolling their eyes, I have to bring it to your attention once again. The first quarter of the year is high season for this form of fraud and we will see record numbers of victims across the country, with Florida being the #1 state in the nation. 

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Last week we started to see the first of tax-refund scam emails we have been expecting with this versionthat was sent to some of our customers.

 

We wrote more extensively about this here: http://www.totaldigitalsecurity.com/blog/1-defense-from-tax-refund-fraud-in-2016

Speaking Engagements - We have lost of exciting things ahead for TDS in 2016 including exclusive speaking engagements with a few of the largest financial institutions in the country. If you have an event or function you would like to consider for a speaking engagement, please let me know. Audiences have been extraordinarily enegaged and appreciative as they depart feeling much better informed, and even better: empowered to manage their digital autonomy for success in the Information Age.

Have a great week and thanks for reading,

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For the Merrill Lynch Private Banking whitepaper we contributed to: "Social Media Policy for the Family", please click here.


Picking a Password Manager - Face it, you need one. You're leaving the front door open if you are still haphazardly managing passwords. This is a reasonably good article from the NYTimes. Their favorite, and ours. http://nyti.ms/1UbQLXT

We advocate LastPass and you can get a 14-day free trial here: 

lastpass-logo.png  Call me if you need help or advice.


Silicon Valley Community Does it Right - San Jose State University has teamed up with local Catholic Charities to facilitate early learning of cybersecurity skills by engaging elementary school children for cybertraining. Among other things, students at Community Organizing Resources to Advance Learning get a crash course in coding, with an emphasis on hacking prevention. 

Kids_on_computers_at_school.jpgIf you are in a leadership position influencing the curriculum for educating our kids, please take note. Initiatives such as this cannot start too soon and TDS stands ready to help in any way we can with board presentations, vendor support, and other advocacy. 

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