Category: Internet Security

The Internet and Photo Privacy

Digital Copy Machines – Security Risk?

Originally Published: 2010-06-17 – http://isc.sans.edu/diary.html?storyid=9010&rss
Last Updated: 2010-06-17 14:37:21 UTC
by Deborah Hale (Version: 1)

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I just happened upon a CBS News video that gave me pause for thought.  This once posted back in April however

I missed it until now.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6412572n

The video talks about the fact that "modern" digital copy machines, those sold after 2002, contain a hard drive.  These hard drives store the images copied.  These machines are traded in for new models and then refurbed and resold. However, the hard drives more than likely are not getting scrubbed to remove the content. One of the copy machines in the video not only contained content on the hard drive but also still had documents left on the copy bed.

This brings up some interesting discussions.  What is on your copymachine hard drive?  When it is sent in for repair what information may be gleaned from a quick glance at the drive?  Is your copy machine another potential target to aid in identity theft?
Food for thought.  Should there be processes and procedures in place for the disposal of these devices? Do you know what other devices in your organization contain a hard drive or other storage device?  Is there a process for cleaning before disposal? What does your company do if anything to ensure that no confidential data is leaked by disposal of old equipment?

Deb Hale Long Lines, LLC

10 Places NOT to Use Your Debit Card

 

by Dana Dratch
Friday, March 19, 2010

Reposted from www.creditcards.com

Debit cards have different protections and uses. Sometimes they’re not the best choice.

Sometimes reaching for your wallet is like a multiple choice test: How do you really want to pay?

While credit cards and debit cards may look almost identical, not all plastic is the same.

"It’s important that consumers understand the difference between a debit card and a credit card," says John Breyault, director of the Fraud Center for the National Consumers League, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group. "There’s a difference in how the transactions are processed and the protections offered to consumers when they use them."

While debit cards and credit cards each have advantages, each is also better suited to certain situations. And since a debit card is a direct line to your bank account, there are places where it can be wise to avoid handing it over — if for no other reason than complete peace of mind.

Here are 10 places and situations where it can pay to leave that debit card in your wallet:

1. Online

"You don’t use a debit card online," says Susan Tiffany, director of consumer periodicals for the Credit Union National Association. Since the debit card links directly to a checking account, "you have potential vulnerability there," she says.

Her reasoning: If you have problems with a purchase or the card number gets hijacked, a debit card is "vulnerable because it happens to be linked to an account," says Linda Foley, founder of the Identity Theft Resource Center. She also includes phone orders in this category.

The Federal Reserve’s Regulation E  (commonly dubbed Reg E), covers debit card transfers. It sets a consumer’s liability for fraudulent purchases at $50, provided they notify the bank within two days of discovering that their card or card number has been stolen.

Most banks have additional voluntary policies that set their own customers’ liability with debit cards at $0, says Nessa Feddis, vice president and senior counsel for the American Bankers Association.

But the protections don’t relieve consumers of hassle: The prospect of trying to get money put back into their bank account, and the problems that a lower-than-expected balance can cause in terms of fees and refused checks or payments, make some online shoppers reach first for credit cards.

2. Big-Ticket Items

With a big ticket item, a credit card is safer, says Chi Chi Wu, staff attorney with the National Consumer Law Center. A credit card offers dispute rights if something goes wrong with the merchandise or the purchase, she says.

"With a debit card, you have fewer protections," she says.

In addition, some cards will also offer extended warrantees. And in some situations, such as buying electronics or renting a car, some credit cards also offer additional property insurance to cover the item.

Two caveats, says Wu. Don’t carry a balance. Otherwise, you also risk paying some high-ticket interest. And "avoid store cards with deferred interest," Wu advises.

3. Deposit Required

When Peter Garuccio recently rented some home improvement equipment at a big-box store, it required a sizable deposit. "This is where you want to use a credit card instead of a debit," says Garuccio, spokesman for the national trade group American Bankers Association.

That way, the store has its security deposit, and you still have access to all of the money in your bank account. With any luck, you’ll never actually have to part with a dollar.

4. Restaurants

"To me, it’s dangerous," says Gary Foreman, editor of the frugality minded Web site The Dollar Stretcher. "You have so many people around."

Foreman bases his conclusions on what he hears from readers. "Anecdotally, the cases that I’m hearing of credit or debit information being stolen, as often as not, it’s in a restaurant," he says.

The danger: Restaurants are one of the few places where you have to let cards leave your sight when you use them. But others think that avoiding such situations is not workable.

The "conventional advice of ‘don’t let the card out of your sight’ — that’s just not practical," says Tiffany.

The other problem with using a debit card at restaurants: Some establishments will approve the card for more than your purchase amount because, presumably, you intend to leave a tip. So the amount of money frozen for the transaction could be quite a bit more than the amount of your tab. And it could be a few days before you get the cash back in your account.

5. You’re a New Customer

Online or in the real world, if you’re a first-time customer in a store, skip the debit card the first couple of times you buy, says Breyault.

That way, you get a feel for how the business is run, how you’re treated and the quality of the merchandise before you hand over a card that links to your checking account.

6. Buy Now, Take Delivery Later

Buying now but taking delivery days or weeks from now? A credit card offers dispute rights that a debit card typically does not.

"It may be an outfit you’re familiar with and trust, but something might go wrong," says Breyault, "and you need protection."

But be aware that some cards will limit the protection to a specific time period, says Feddis. So settle any problems as soon as possible.

7. Recurring Payments

We’ve all heard the urban legend about the gym that won’t stop billing an ex-member’s credit card. Now imagine the charges aren’t going onto your card, but instead coming right out of your bank account.

Another reason not to use the debit card for recurring charges: your own memory and math skills. Forget to deduct that automatic bill payment from your checkbook one month, and you could either face fees or embarrassment (depending on whether you’ve opted to allow overdrafting or not). So if you don’t keep a cash buffer in your account, "to protect yourself from over-limit fees, you may want to think about using a credit card" for recurring payments, says Breyault.

8. Future Travel

Book your travel with a check card, and "they debit it immediately," says Foley. So if you’re buying travel that you won’t use for six months or making a reservation for a few weeks from now, you’ll be out the money immediately.

Another factor that bothers Foley: Hotels aren’t immune to hackers and data breaches, and several name-brand establishments have suffered the problem recently. Do you want your debit card information "to sit in a system for four months, waiting for you to arrive?" she asks. "I would not."

9. Gas Stations and Hotels

This one depends on the individual business. Some gas stations and hotels will place holds to cover customers who may leave without settling the entire bill. That means that even though you only bought $10 in gas, you could have a temporary bank hold for $50 to $100, says Tiffany.

Ditto hotels, where there are sometimes holds or deposits in the hundreds to make sure you don’t run up a long distance bill, empty the mini bar or trash the room. The practice is almost unnoticeable if you’re using credit, but can be problematic if you’re using a debit card and have just enough in the account to cover what you need.

At hotels, ask about deposits and holds before you present your card, says Feddis. At the pump, select the pin-number option, she says, which should debit only the amount you’ve actually spent.

10.  Checkouts or ATMs That Look ‘Off’

Criminals are getting better with skimmers and planting them in places you’d never suspect — like ATM machines on bank property, says Foley.

So take a good look at the machine or card reader the next time you use an ATM or self-check lane, she advises. Does the machine fit together well or does something look off, different or like it doesn’t quite belong? Says Foley, "Make sure it doesn’t look like it’s been tampered with."

The Internet’s most successful scams

The Internet’s most successful scams – From MSNBC

Click here for the full article

Posted: Sunday, March 21 2010 at 06:00 pm CT by Bob Sullivan

Most people think they’ll never fall for a scam. In fact, that frame of mind is precisely what con artists look for. Those who believe that they know better are often the last to raise their defenses when criminals are nearby. Yes, Virginia, people lose money online. A lot of it. They wire cash to London, they can’t help investigating the one-in-a-million chance they really are related to a dead prince from Africa, and they sometimes even travel to Nigeria to find out. Just in case.

Many of the scams you read about are sensational, such as the silly "hit man" scam created by real amateurs (recipients get an e-mail that says send me all your money or I’ll kill you). And you’ve also seen lists that offer oddly skewed results, such as the recent FBI announcement that scammers pretending to be FBI agents are now the most prevalent Internet crime. You’d figure those numbers are a bit exaggerated because victims of FBI scams are a bit more likely to report those scams to the agency.

Fantastic stories like these only serve to convince many consumers to let their guard down even more, helping to increase the pool of marks for the professional scammers.

I know, because I hear from victims all the time. My inbox is littered with people whose notes say,"I know I should have known better, but …." And with that, they beg me for help restoring their ravaged bank accounts. In fact, every single victim I’ve ever interviewed says they had an inkling that something was wrong from the outset, but they ignored that feeling. That’s why the single most important factor in avoiding fraud is this: Learn to trust the feeling in the pit of your stomach.

Usually, I can’t help restore those bank accounts. But I can help you, if your turn hasn’t come up yet. And even if you are convinced you’d never fall for any online con, someone in your circle of friends or family is vulnerable. Please forward this story to him or her.

Because I hear from so many victims all year long, I know what people really fall for. Here are the top 5 ways cyberthieves separate people from their money, based on my 12 years of writing about Net cons.