The answer is not as clear as it should be, largely because these disbursements of $ 125 are initially capped at $ 31 million. And although we do not know exactly how many people have filed so far, the FTC has released a blog article Wednesday noting that the settlement administrator You have received an "unexpected number of complaints". The settlement documents have always said with great caution that the payment would be "up to" $ 125 because with $ 31 million to spend, the number starts to drop after 248,000 claims.
"The public response to the regulation has been overwhelming," said the FTC wrote. "Given that the total amount available for these alternative payments is $ 31 million, each person who chooses this option will get a very small amount – nowhere near the $ 125 they could have obtained if there were not had such a huge number of claims filed. "
The message from the FTC triggered an understandable fury. If you knew from the outset that you will likely get less than the $ 125 promised, you may have opted for the alternative offer of free credit monitoring for 10 years. Or you may not have joined the settlement at all.
"Do not miss an opportunity to inflict some pain on Equifax."
Marc Rotenberg, EPIC
But all is not lost, and there is still a good chance that Equifax pays you the full $ 125. Ace Slate highlighted, the $ 31 million ceiling will be raise, assuming Equifax did not spend all of the $ 425 million of its "Consumer Fund" – money it's committed to covering, among other things, the who can specifically document the losses resulting from the violation – in four and a half years. At this point, all that remains of this $ 425 million will be applied to the 125 payments, presenting better opportunities, even if they are late.
The FTC argues that victims should anyway opt for the offer of credit monitoring because it is "better value for money" that will provide long-term protection. While this suggestion has some advantages, especially since credit monitoring includes a $ 1,000,000 identity theft insurance, it's not an obvious choice. Claiming money is a source of cold hard money – not a lot of money, but a gesture in the general sense of repayment – in the hands of consumers. You are probably already eligible for at least one year of free credit monitoring through previous data breaches like Marriott. In addition, credit monitoring means that Equifax pays its rival Experian to offer you the service, thus further fueling the credit data industry.
When the FTC declares that "you will be disappointed with the amount you receive", this minimizes this distinction and excludes the possibility that the payment cap is actually lifted. The FTC told WIRED in a statement: "The regulation was designed with the 10-year credit monitoring product as the primary source of redress for the consumers concerned, as it was considered the best source of future protection against theft. d & # 39; identity. " If you have asked for money and would like to proceed to credit monitoring, you can send an email to info@EquifaxBreachSettlement.com and let them know.
The biggest problem, says Marc Rotenberg, president and chief executive of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, is that without the strict congressional policies, such as solvency oversight and free credit reports for all, strict federal laws relating to data protection, and even a federal agency dedicated to confidentiality. -There is no ideal way to negotiate adequate settlements or other consumer remedies in the event of incidents such as violation by Equifax.
"People should exercise their right and ask for $ 125. It's possible the final figure is lower, but I really think people should take advantage of it," Rotenberg said. It also encourages consumers to request larger payments if they can show that they have suffered losses as a result of the breach.
There is also the frustrating reality that the FTC itself did not sentence Equifax to the fine as part of the deal because the agency currently does not have of legal authority to impose a first fine on offenders. Last week, the agency asked Congress to adopt a new law granting this power. But Rotenberg notes that without a comprehensive response plan to data breaches within the federal government, a settlement like that of Equifax might not have been much more effective even with a fine from the FTC .
"Should there be more money?" Yes, but agencies like the FTC simply do not have the authority, resources, or expertise to act as "money". privacy agency, "he said. "This is a structural element that Congress needs to get involved in. In the meantime, do not miss an opportunity to cause some suffering at Equifax, because it has certainly inflicted a lot of pain on us."
Whenever you receive a check of the settlement over the next decade, do not forget the most important part. Even if it's just a dollar, cash it.
If you want to oppose online tracking, you have a choice of options when you choose a default browser. Browsers place users' privacy at the top of their list of priorities.
You might know DuckDuckGo as the anti-Google search engine, but it's also diverse to create your own mobile browsers Android and iOS. Not only do they protect you better online, but they give you a lot of information about what they are blocking.
DuckDuckGo starts by enforcing encrypted HTTPS connections when the websites offer them, then rate each page visited based on the aggressiveness with which it tries to exploit your data.
This is a good choice for getting maximum protection with minimal effort.
To keep you anonymous online, DuckDuckGo blocks tracking cookies that can identify you and your device, and even scans and ranks the privacy policies of the sites. You can erase tabs and data automatically at the end of each session, or you can erase those data manually with one click. You can even set a timer to automatically clear your history after a period of inactivity.
The browser extensions for Chromium and Firefox do a very similar job, so you do not have to give up your favorite desktop browser to take advantage of DuckDuckGo's strict privacy controls. Again, extensions classify sites based on their privacy features and block attempts to track your online activities.
What really entices DuckDuckGo apps and browser extensions, is their ease of use. You do not really need to do anything but install them, so it's a good choice to get maximum protection with minimum effort.
Like the mobile apps from DuckDuckGo, the Ghostery Browser tells you exactly which trackers it is blocking and how many monitoring tools are installed. If you find some sites well maintained, you can mark them as reliable in one click.
Or, if you find a site full of tracking technology, you can block each cookie technology (for commenting systems, media players, etc.), even if the site may break.
Ghostery is also developing an extension that works with just about any desktop browser. Again, you can see the follow-ups on each site, then take appropriate action or leave Ghostery decides and his intelligent intelligence decides what needs to block
Ghostery's tools are a little more in-depth and advanced than those offered by DuckDuckGo. So you can take this into account if you want to increase control over blocked traces on sites.
Tor Browser is synonymous with navigation "without tracking, monitoring, or censorship" and is worth watching if you want anonymous browsing and no tracking, no tracking, unless you're on iOS, where it's not still available.
The browser application for Android, Windows and macOS is actually part of a larger project aimed at preserving Internet browsing on the Internet. The Tor project routes your Internet surfing through a complex, encrypted network of community-run relays, making it much harder for anyone to accurately determine where you are going on the Web.
In addition to this additional layer of anonymity, Tor Browser is extremely strict regarding the type of background scripts and site tracking technologies that are allowed to run. It also blocks fingerprints, which allow advertisers to recognize the unique features of your device on multiple sites, even if they can not tell who you are.
At the end of each browsing session, everything is cleared, including cookies left by the sites and the browsing history in the Tor Browser application itself. In other words, the private browsing mode is the default mode.
Because of the additional encryption and anonymity measures, Tor Browser can run slightly slower than other browsers, but to remain invisible on the Web, it is the best software that exists. It can even help you connect to countries where the Internet is blocked or censored.
Brave is a project by Brendan Eich, eleven of Mozilla, developer of Firefox, and his mission is to prevent you from following your tracks on the Web and find a better way to offer you advertisements. It's a dichotomy that does not quite fit yet.
There is no doubt about the effectiveness of its tracker blocking technologies, though. Browser applications Block the default ads and place strict restrictions on the information that sites may collect about you through cookies and tracking scripts.
You can block tracking tools, scripts, and fingerprint identification technologies (when sites are trying to identify your particular device), but unlike DuckDuckGo and Ghostery, you do not have a detailed breakdown of the arrested elements.
Brave also tries to block phishing attempts on the Web and enforces HTTPS encryption where it is available. It's a complete package that establishes a judicious balance between simplicity and power.
Time will tell if Brave's attempts to create a new advertising platform respecting confidentiality succeed but it tests the idea of paying users to watch ads and splitting revenue with content creators. You can also pay micropayments directly to the sites you like, although all of this is totally opt-in.
As we mentioned at the beginning, Firefox now blocks third-party cookies by default. These are the pieces of code left by advertisers trying to pull together what you do on multiple sites to create a more detailed picture of your personality. .
It also gives you a ton of information on every website that you visit on trackers and cookies that have tried to leave and on those that Firefox has blocked. Access permissions to your location and microphone can also be easily managed.
All of this is on the desktop – mobile apps have not been removed yet – but whatever platform you use. install Firefox onyou have many privacy features. On mobile, you can again take control of the blocking of trackers and cookies and erase the data stored each time you close the application.
For an even stricter protection of the tracker and the blocking of advertisements at the start, there is Firefox Focus Android and iOS. This is a lite version of the main browser, without all that is needed for Firefox, but if speed and privacy are your top priorities, it's definitely worth a try.
The leading Firefox applications for desktops and mobile devices occupy a prominent place in balancing privacy with convenience. There is something for everyone, as those who want to better control how their data is collected, have the usual features of the browser (such as extensions and password synchronization).
Apple continues to add anti-tracking technology to Safari with each successive version on iOS and macOS, although this is not an option for your browser of choice if you are on Windows or Android of course.
Safari has already declared war on third party tracking cookies that attempt to link the points of your web activity to multiple sites and also blocks device fingerprinting techniques that try to identify you from the way your phone or your laptop is configured.
These protections will tighten even further with the arrival of iOS 13 and macOS Catalina in the fall. The browser warns you when you try to use a weak password on a new website or service.
Safari also acts in the context of Apple's commitment to collect as little information about you as possible and to keep most of this information locked on your device rather than on Apple servers.
Like most Apple products, Safari is an obvious choice if you use a lot of other Apple products in your everyday life. You can seamlessly switch between browsing an iPhone and a Mac, for example.
. (tagsToTranslate) privacy (t) browsers (t) applications</pre></pre>
The problem is that most of us do not know what makes a good password and are not about to pick hundreds every day.
If you can remember strong passwords for hundreds of sites, do it. Assuming you use secure passwords-This is first of all a shortcut for long Passwords: This is the safest, though slightly crazy, way to store passwords. It could work for Memory Grand Master Ed Cookebut most of us are not willing to make this effort. We need to delegate this work to password managers, who offer secure storage locations that can replace our failing and overloaded memories.
A password manager is convenient and, more importantly, will help you create better passwords, which will make your online existence less vulnerable to password attacks.
(Note: When you buy something using the retail links of our items, we can earn a small affiliate commission. Read more about how it works.)
Most web browsers offer at least a rudimentary password manager. (It's here that your passwords are stored when Chrome or Firefox ask you if you want to save a password.) Although this is better than reusing the same password everywhere, browser-based password managers are limited.
The reason why security experts recommend the use of a dedicated password manager comes back to the fore. Web browsers have other priorities that have not left much time to improve their password manager. For example, most of them will not generate strong passwords for you, leaving you immediately at "123456". Dedicated password managers have a single purpose and add useful features for years. Ideally, this leads to better security.
A good password manager saves, updates and updates passwords for you at the touch of a button. If you are willing to spend a few dollars a month, a password manager can synchronize your passwords on all your devices. Here's how they work.
One password to remember: To access all your passwords, you only need to remember one password, which the password manager uses to unlock the vault containing your current passwords. Just needing to remember a password is great, but it means a lot of motions about this password. Make sure it's a good one.
Applications and extensions: Most password managers are systems rather than just one thing. They consist of browser applications or extensions for each of your devices (Windows, Mac, Android phones, iPhone and tablets), with tools that allow you to create secure passwords, store them securely and evaluate your existing passwords. All this information is then sent to a central server where your passwords are encrypted, stored and shared between devices.
Correction of compromised passwords: Although password managers can help you create safer passwords and protect them from prying eyes, they can not protect your password if the site itself is violated. This does not mean that they do not help in this scenario. The three cloud password managers below provide tools to warn you of potentially compromised passwords. Password managers also make it easy to quickly change a compromised password and search through your passwords to make sure you do not reuse compromised codes.
You must disable automatic form filling: Some password managers will automatically fill out and even submit web forms for you. This is very convenient, but for added security, we suggest you disable this feature. Automatically fill out forms in the browser rendered password managers vulnerable to attack in the past For this reason, our favorite password manager, 1Password, requires you to sign up for this feature. We suggest you do not.
1Password started life as a password-centric solution for Apple, but has since expanded its offering to include iOS, Android, Windows and ChromeOS. There is even a command line tool that will work anywhere. There are also plugins for your favorite web browser, making it easy to create and change new passwords on the fly.
1Password is different from others by the number of extras it offers. In addition to password management, it can act as an authentication application (like Google Authenticator), and, for added security, adds a secret key to the encryption key used, which means no one can decrypt your passwords without this key. (The disadvantage is that if you lose this key, none, even 1Password, will be able to decrypt your passwords.)
Another reason why 1Password offers the best possible experience is its tight integration with other mobile applications. Rather than having to copy / paste passwords between your password manager and other applications, 1Password is integrated with many applications and can be filled automatically. This is most visible on iOS, where inter-application communication is more restricted.
The other reason why I like 1Password is "Travel Mode" which allows you to delete all sensitive data from your devices before traveling and restore them in one click once the border crossed. This prevents anyone, even law enforcement at international borders, from accessing your entire password safe.
1Password costs $ 3 per month ($ 36 per year) for one person and $ 5 per month ($ 60 per year) for a family of up to five people. There is a 30-day free trial for each package, so you can test it before you commit.
I met Dashlane for the first time several years ago. At the time, it was identical to its competitors, but recent updates, including Dashlane 6, added several features not found elsewhere. One of the best features of Dashlane is what it calls site violation alerts. Dashlane actively monitors the darker corners of the web, looking for leaked or stolen personal data, then alerts you if your information is found.
The desktop client is easy to navigate and mobile apps can retrieve your data everywhere, although there is no synchronization between devices without buying the Premium version ($ 5 per month). Nevertheless, it is simple to configure and use a secret key to encrypt your passwords, much like the 1Password configuration process.
We also appreciate the option of not storing any password data on Dashlane's servers. If you use this feature, you are responsible for managing and synchronizing your password vault between devices. It's less convenient, but your passwords stay with you. This is not possible with 1Password or LastPass. The Premium Plan has other great extras that you will not find with other services, such as a free VPN.
Dashlane Premium costs USD 5 per month (USD 60 per year). There is also Premium Plus, which costs $ 10 a month ($ 120 a year) and includes identity theft and recovery tools. There is a 30-day free trial for either plan, so you can test it before you commit.
LastPass is one of the most popular and well known password managers. It works on almost every platform and device available. This is the only service we recommend that offers password synchronization between devices on its free package.
Like 1Password and Dashlane, LastPass stores your credentials and other sensitive encrypted data on its server, and you access your data through applications or browser extensions. You can choose whether LastPass can automatically fill out forms, warn you of potentially compromised accounts, or search your password vault for weak passwords.
The main disadvantage of LastPass is its mixed safety record. LastPass had a number of high-profile critical bugs and some data breaches. But overall, LastPass remains a good choice for tight budgets.
Upgrading to Premium at $ 3 per month ($ 36 per year) adds support for two-factor authentication (such as a fingerprint reader or YubiKey), encrypted file storage 1 GB, priority customer service and emergency access. Emergency access allows you to grant one-time access to your vault (including all your passwords and other data) to another LastPass user. It is intended to give a close access to your data in case you can not. You set an access time, which means that LastPass will notify you when the person tries to access your information and allow you to refuse the request. If you do not refuse, LastPass will grant this person access to your account after the deadline.
There is also a family plan of $ 4 per month ($ 48 per year) for up to six users.
Want to keep more control over your data in the cloud? Try using a desktop application such as KeePassXC. It stores encrypted versions of all your passwords in an encrypted digital vault that you secure with a master password, key file, or both. The difference is that of a hosted service such as 1Password that synchronizes it for you. You synchronize this database file by using a file synchronization service such as Dropbox Edward Snowden recommended service: SpiderOak. Once your file is in the cloud, you can access it on any device with a KeePassXC client.
Why do it yourself? In a word: transparency. Of all the solutions in this list, only KeepassXC is an open source, which means its code, and has been inspected for critical failures.
Download the desktop application for Windows, MacOS or Linux and create your safe. There are also extensions for Firefox and Chromiumbut not Edge. It does not have official applications for your phone. Instead, the project recommends Keepass2Android or Strongbox for iPhone.
. (tagsToTranslate) buying guides (t) Shopping</pre></pre>
Most people have old floating email accounts, forgotten USB drives in a drawer, and years of shit in a download folder. All this is a handicap. Saving the date you want or that will be useful to you someday is somehow the goal of the digital revolution, but keeping accounts and files that you no longer really want exposes you unnecessarily to all sorts of risks. Your devices may be lost or stolen (or pirated) and large companies may suffer from relationship violations who accidentally expose your information. So, the less there is, the better you are.
"The physical presence of the data is so small that sometimes we do not consider it a clutter," said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance. "But we are accumulating huge amounts and some of them can be harmful if they are lost or stolen."
Here are some expert tips on how to clean up this clutter before it comes back to haunt you.
First, talk to your physical devices. Destroy old CDs, USB drives and external hard drives you no longer need. (Do not forget the box of floppy disks in your basement.) Take into account old PCs, game consoles and smart gadgets for the home and save whatever you want from these devices before wiping them off. . You can consult tips on the digital and physical destruction of data. right here with bonus cleaning tips right here.
Then deal with your current devices. Sort on your desk and clean your documents folder. Eliminate old PDFs of credit card statements or medical forms for which you no longer needed to do much to protect yourself. And it's a good opportunity to develop a plan for the sensitive documents you want to keep. You can save them to a cloud service or password-protected external hard drive and remove them from devices you use every day that could be lost or stolen.
The purpose is not to separate from personally significant or useful data. Your goal is to find what you have. Thus, if your data is validated, hackers will not receive any copy of your friend's X-ray, with their name, date of birth and social security number, for no reason. You can always remember how it was an impressive break without the responsibility of defending these files.
"When we talk about security, we often talk about protecting our own business," said Kaiser. "But in reality, in the digital world, we do not have a lot of information about others, and you need to consider this if you want to reduce and store data more securely."
Now go further. Enter applications, Internet services and the cloud. The most important account to consider is your email, the central data center of your online life. Your email account would be a valuable price for a hacker because it could contain information about many other people (friends, family, colleagues) in addition to yourself. Remove emails you no longer need and export emails you still want in the cloud or on a hard drive, this is a smart way to reduce the risks that could be compromised if your email was hacked. Virtually all courier services, including Google and Yahoo Offer ways to export your messages and other account data so that you can get them locally and delete them from the company's servers. And do not forget to purge and delete old email accounts that you no longer use.
Once Marie Kondo has discovered the data and devices on your computer, take a step back and think about what you might forget.
You should also take advantage of the email search features (especially on Gmail) to browse your old messages. You can bulk delete everything that was before, before certain dates or all contacts of a particular contact. And you can also be strategic about it. Look for the name of a former owner, for example, to delete all the emails you sent him because these are more likely to contain personal information such as tax forms or pay stubs. You should also periodically search your email for the last four digits of your Social Security number and delete all messages, or the complete number, that appears in. If you can, ask the sender or recipient of these emails to delete them as well.
"Think about the information you have recorded," says the US Computer Emergency Preparedness Team marks. "Is there information about a bank or credit card account? Income statements? Passwords? Medical data or other personal data? Personal photos? Sensitive information about the company? … Depending on the type of information that an attacker may find, he may use it maliciously. "
And as with USB drives, you can have random files in all kinds of services offering free storage like Box, Google Drive and Dropbox. Sort what exists and eliminate anything that could pose a specific risk, such as old tax returns or financial documents.
If you are using a password manager (which you have already done, is not it ?!), you can view your list of connections to remind you of old accounts that you have configured a long time ago .
Find the apps on your phone and tablet, streaming devices, game consoles, and computers that you're not using anymore, and close them. Are your save photos on four different services for some reason? Clean that. Do you still have an account with an email application that you used eleven years ago? Why is this 2014 Calorie Counting App still on your phone? Cancel and delete. This type of exposure is an unnecessary risk.
Finding the accounts you still have is easy enough. On iOS, go to the App Store, tap Apple ID, then Apple ID, and then Subscriptions. On Google, tap the Menu button, tap Account, and then tap Subscriptions.
Instead of just removing the app from your phone, be sure to clean it and close your account with the app developer so that it keeps as little data as possible about you. Closing an account does not necessarily mean that a company deletes all your data or deletes the basic information that it knows about you. Data processing procedures must be defined in the application's service conditions. However, it prevents the account from remaining active and being able to continue. collect data. For example, a fitness app that you have not thought about for months might track your pace, heart rate, or even your location, without you even realizing it. And if an account is disabled, the company that manages it will always keep the data from it in its folder, but criminals will not be able to find the account's credentials, log in and, example, to use a credit card file to go shopping.
If you feel bold, use this step by step guide delete your data and accounts from all major social networks. And even if you do not want to go to the end, you still need to make sure your social media privacy settings are locked. Here is a detailed guide how to do it on Facebook-And delete data from your social network profiles that you no longer want or that you no longer need.
Once Marie Kondo has discovered the data and devices on your computer, take a step back and think about what you might forget. Are there pictures of credit cards and your driver's license in the film of your smartphone? Did a friend trust you with his bank account information while traveling and in a dead end? Do you have passport scans of your family members and other documents from a visa application or the coordination of other immigration applications?
You should also check the apps you have left on each device. Use this guide to check the permissions of your apps on Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS to limit the data that apps can collect in the first place.
And once your data cleaning is complete, try to keep these best practices in mind as you will inevitably accumulate more digital data. Think twice about downloading cool apps or starting free trials. Back up what you need, then erase the data storage on the hardware as soon as you move to something new. And if possible, delete the documents as soon as you are done. The more your digital fingerprint is understood and controlled, the easier it is to defend.
. (tagsToTranslate) clutter (t) cybersecurity (t) data (t) data breaches</pre></pre>
But online fraudsters do more than pretend to be the IRS. Some have fake versions of online accounting tools like QuickBooks, while others want to be technical support agents. Lookout, the cybersecurity firm, has discovered more than 100 websites registered in recent months designed to fool people trying to file taxes. The fields target a large number of potential victims: more than 135 million Americans deposited their taxes electronically last year, according to the IRS.
Lookout discovered that tax cheats started early: dozens of these websites were created in December, around the time people started receiving their W-2 form. (Some sites have also targeted victims in the UK.) Many domains seem designed to steal login credentials or personal information such as passport numbers. Other varieties lead people to download malware.
One of the most basic scams that Lookout has discovered are the sites that usurp the accounting tools of the company Intuit, which manufactures popular software such as Quickbooks and TurboTax. These sites often use very similar domain names to real ones, such as "quickbooksltd.com" or "accounts-quickbooks.com". Domains are often designed to steal users' login credentials for legitimate sites.
Lookout has also found a series of sites that seem to modernize a classic online scam for the tax season: pretending to be a tech support. Tax software is not used regularly by most people. It is therefore logical that many users are looking for help to use them. Unfortunately, fraudulent websites such as "quickebooksupport.com" and "quickbooks-helpline.com" are waiting for them. "The attack mode is SEO optimization," says Jeremy Richards, security intelligence researcher at Lookout, which means that scams are trying to trap people looking for help like Google or Bing .
At 1-800 numbers listed on these sites, people posing as "support" technicians often request remote access to victims' computers in order to steal sensitive personal information. Other systems use the numbers to sell fictitious and useless software. Similar sites have been built spoof the identity of Apple's support technicians, and the podcast Reply All has deep diving a comparable support fraud in 2017.
Richards also discovered more than 50 tax related domains that appeared to be part of the same malicious advertising network. It's unclear exactly how the scam works, but once on the site, users would be prompted to download malware disguised as items such as software updates. The site group can be a clever way for phishing scammers to fool you, even if they can not get your login information or personal information.
In general, says Richards, phishing websites redirect you to Google if you do not reach the appropriate phishing scam or if they present a Error 404. "But now they are redirecting in a way that they can monetize," I explained. You have not given your login credentials? Here, have a bad guy Flash update in place.
To find these tax scams, Lookout used a AI tool built in 2017 that monitors Internet infrastructure organizations, such as companies offering free web hosting for suspicious domains. Lookout discovers every day thousands of new potential phishing sites and regularly searches for companies that scammers are trying to imitate.
But as the tool only monitors websites, it can not give a complete picture of how each tax scam works. For example, if a fraudster sends an email inviting you to click on a fake IRS link, Lookout can detect the domain, but not the email itself. It's like "we see blood on the floor but we do not know where the knife is," says Richards.
Lookout's research is only a small part of the total number of tax scams this year. Other recently reported scams involve the use of social media to target users who have incorrect information about fake tax breaks in order to obtain their personal information. But websites show that scammers are evolving and indicate that phishing is still a serious threat. There is still a lot to learn about the number of these scams, but in the meantime there is simple ways to stay safe.
L & # 39; IRS said he usually contacts citizens first by mail, not by e-mail. If you have not received a paper letter, it is unlikely that an electronic communication purporting to come from the agency will be real. Legitimate support agents do not need to either see your screen or get your login information to help you. And it's always a good idea to use a password manager instead of reusing the same password on multiple accounts.