Robert Siciliano

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      Robert Siciliano
    • Member Type(s): Expert
    • Title:Identity Theft Expert
    • Organization:IDTheftSecurity.com
    • Area of Expertise:
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    • Member:ProfNet

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    Young Kids Getting Sexually Exploited Online More Than Ever Before

    Tuesday, June 18, 2019, 10:08 AM [General]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    An alarming new study is out, and if you are a parent, you should take note…children as young as 8-years old are being sexually exploited via social media. This is a definite downturn from past research, and it seems like one thing is to blame: live streaming.

    YouTube serves up videos of kids, in clothing, that pedophiles consume and share as if it is child porn. It’s gotten so bad that YouTube has had to disable the comments sections of videos with kids in them.

    Apps like TikTok are very popular with younger kids, and they are also becoming more popular for the sexual predators who seek out those kids. These apps are difficult to moderate, and since it happens in real time, you have a situation that is almost perfectly set up for exploitation.

    Last year, a survey found that approximately 57 percent of 12-year olds and 28% of 10-year olds are accessing live-streaming content. However, legally, the nature of much of this content should not be accessed by children under the age of 13. To make matters worse, about 25 percent of these children have seen something while watching a live stream that they and their parents regretted them seeing

    Protecting Your Children

    Any child can become a victim here, but as a parent, there are some things you can do to protect your kids. First, you should ask yourself the following questions:

    • Are you posting pictures or video of your children online? Do you allow your kids to do the same? A simple video of your child by the pool has become pedophile porn.
    • Do you have some type of protection in place for your kids when they go online?
    • Have you talked to your children about the dangers of sharing passwords or account information?
    • Do your kids understand what type of behavior is appropriate when online?
    • Do you personally know, or do your kids personally know, the people they interact with online?
    • Can your kids identify questions from others that might be red flags, such as “where do you live?” “What are your parents names?” “Where do you go to school?”
    • Do your kids feel safe coming to you to talk about things that make them feel uncomfortable?

    It is also important that you, as a parent, look for red flags in your children’s behavior. Here are some of those signs:

    • Your kid gets angry if you don’t let them go online.
    • Your child become secretive about what they do online, such as hiding their phone when you walk into the room.
    • Your kid withdraws from friends or family to spend time online.

    It might sound like the perfect solution is to “turn off the internet” at home, but remember, your kids can access the internet in other ways, including at school and at the homes of their friends. It would be great to build a wall around your kids to keep them safe, but that’s not practical, nor is it in their best interest. Instead, talk to your child about online safety and make sure the entire family understands the dangers that are out there.

    Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

    Are Password Managers as Safe as You Think They Are?

    Thursday, June 13, 2019, 12:13 PM [General]
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    You have probably heard of password managers, and you probably think they are pretty safe, right? Well, there is new research out there that may might make you think twice, especially if you use password managers like KeePass, 1Password, Lastpass, or Dashlane. Frankly, I’m not worried about it, but read on.

    Specifically, this study looked at the instances of passwords leaking from a host compute or focused on if these password managers were accidently leaving passwords in the computer’s memory.

    What was found was that all of the password managers that were looked at did a good job at keeping these passwords secure when in a state where it was “not running.” This means that a hacker would not be able to force the program into giving away the user’s passwords. However, it was also noted that though each password manager that was tested attempted to scrub these passwords from the memory of the computer, it wasn’t always successful…meaning, your passwords could still be in the memory.

    Some of these programs, like 1Password, seemed to have left the master password, but also the secret key for the program. This could possibly allow a hacker to access the info in this program. But, it’s important to note that these programs are trying to remove this information, but due to various situational issues, it’s not always possible.

    Another program, LastPass, was also examined, and it, too, caused some concern amongst researchers. Basically, the program scrambles the passwords when the user is typing them in, but they are decrypted into the computer’s memory. Additionally, even when the software is locked, the passwords are still sitting in the memory just waiting for someone to extract it.

    KeePass, which is yet another password manager, was also looked at here. In this case, it removes the master password from the computer’s memory, and it is not able to be recovered. However, other credentials that were stored in KeePass were able to be accessed, which is also problematic.

    Should you be worried about this? Well, it depends on your personal thought process. Some people probably won’t care too much, and others won’t be affected because they don’t use password managers that have these issues. Since the researchers pointed out these issues each password manager has done their own updates and corrected any issues. The real vulnerability isn’t the security of the password managers but the security of the devices, their users and if the users are deploying the same password across multiple accounts.  Using the same password over and over is the risk here. So get a password manager so you can have a different password everywhere.

    Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

    Anyone Can Scam You, Even Your Folks

    Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 8:31 AM [General]
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    You might feel pretty safe with your parents, but more and more stories are coming out about scammer parents—especially when it comes to getting into college.

    By now, we have all heard of the famous faces who have gotten caught up in the college admission scandal, but they are not the only ones. Other families are also involved in the scandal, including a wealthy Chinese family who paid $6.5 million in 2017 to get their daughter admitted to Stanford. They did not pay the school, of course, but they did pay college consultant Rick Singer, who is at the center of the college admission scandal.

    The Los Angeles Times broke this story, and it is unknown, at this time, if the family knew that they were doing something wrong. Neither the family nor the student, who all live in Beijing, have been charged with any crimes. Stanford has released a statement to say that it has not received any money from the student’s family (or from Singer), and it was not even aware of any of this until the Times’s story was published.

    Other families associated with the college admission scandal are starting to get their days in court, including Bruce and Davina Isackson, who pleaded guilty in a Boston federal court for their involvement in the scam. They were the first to plead guilty and also the first who have said that they will fully cooperate with the investigators and testify against the other parents who are accused in the scandal.

    The Isacksons are accused of paying $600,000 to ensure that their daughters were admitted into the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Southern California. The money was paid to admit both of the girls to the schools as fake athletic recruits, and it was used to pay Singer to rig the entrance exam score for one of them.

    The couple did release a statement through their attorney. They expressed their regrets for their actions and stated, “Our duty as parents was to set a good example for our children, and instead we have harmed and embarrassed them by our misguided decisions.”

    There are many parents involved in this scam, including 12 parents who have already agreed to plead guilty. This includes actress Felicity Huffman.

    Other parents are fighting the charges, and they could be in for a rough road; the parents and coaches who are helping the investigators are full of information, and it could harm any efforts of those whom have pleaded not-guilty.

    Since the scandal has hit, even former coaches are stepping up, including those at USC and the University of Texas at Austin. This also indicates that there could be more indictments coming soon.

    Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

    Facebook Wants my Social Security Number!

    Thursday, June 6, 2019, 12:01 PM [General]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    WTH Facebook? Generally, I don’t have a problem giving out my SSN. That might seem contrary to the advice I give, but frankly, our SSNs are everywhere and if my insurance company needs it, I’ll generally just question them on it, maybe resist a bit, and if they insist, and I need that insurance policy, I’ll cough it up.

    My identity in regards to “new account fraud” is protected via a credit freeze and I also have identity theft protection in place. So between the two, I’m pretty locked down. This is the advice I give everyone. So I’m generally not alarmed or concerned when asked for my SSN.

    BUT, today friggin Facebook asked for it and of all the company’s or government agency’s on the planet to ask for this level of personal identifying sensitive information, Facebook is the world’s single most notorious abuser of privacy in the history of the world.

    There have been countless breaches and privacy issues with Facebook and this is so over the top I can’t even believe they have the nuts to ask for a copy of my Social Security card.

    Here’s how it played out….An email came in from Facebook subject line “Your sales are on hold” with the message:

    Hi Robert Siciliano: Security Awareness Fraud & Personal Security Expert,

    When Robert Siciliano: Security Awareness Fraud & Personal Security Expert’s shop was set up, Robert Siciliano’s information was entered. To help keep Facebook secure, we need to confirm the identity of people representing a business on Facebook or Instagram.

    Your sales have been temporarily put on hold until we can confirm Robert’s information. This is a standard process and should only take a few minutes to complete.

    Once you confirm Robert’s information, you’ll be able to receive payments again.

    Thanks,
    The Facebook Team

    WTH?!! OK, sure. So I sell my books on my Facebook page and e-commerce is involved. There’s a tax thing going on here. But they aren’t asking for my EIN or are engaging me in a formal process to vet my viability as a tax payer. They are asking for a copy of my SSN in the form of a scan to “verify” me!

    I clicked a link on Facebook to see where this debacle would take me and see here:

    So I clicked “Contact Us” to voice my frustration and my response was:

    And I’ll repeat: “Screw off. I’m not sending Facebook a copy of my SSN card. WTH is wrong with you? What are my other options?

    Stay tuned for how this BS turns out.

    To be continued. Robert.

    Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

    Robert Siciliano on FOX Nation

    Wednesday, June 5, 2019, 9:06 AM [General]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    I recently had the opportunity to join a panel discussion on FOX Nation. We talked about the grid, and how cyber threats could be the next medium for global warfare. I was able to share opinions with fellow experts on privacy, information security and cybersecurity. Please watch and learn why it is so important to take control of your own security, and ultimately your life.

    Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.


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