Data privacy: Be extra alert these days

This is timely news, since yesterday the United States, Canada, and 27 European celebrated the third-annual Data Protection Day (see Computer Weekly). Computer security experts are saying that cybercriminals are taking advantage of "the fear and confusion created by tumbling financial markets" with a "massive wave of schemes to steal people's personal data," USATODAY reports. Panda Security told the paper that the number of malicious software programs circulating around the Net "tripled to more than 31,000 a day in mid-September, coinciding with the sudden collapse of the US financial sector." What to be on the alert for: ads, emails, IMs, bulletins, comments, etc. promoting anti-virus programs, get-rich-quick opps, funny or suggestive videos, etc. – basically everything. Just be on the alert and tell your kids it's just good to be skeptical about messages that make something sound really good or interesting. There really is something to "think before you click."
[See also "Beware of Facebook 'Friends' Who May Trash Your Laptop" in a Wall Street Journal blog.]


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