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Topic: Mary Clement

Cyber Security Month offers reminder of the Internet’s risks

 

Tennessee Consumer Affairs

Nashville, TN – Technology tends to make life more convenient. We are online at home, school and work – using laptops, desktop computers and mobile devices to connect to the Internet. Even when we are not connected, the Internet supports our financial transactions, transportation systems, power grids, emergency response systems and communication.

Products and services are a click away. Unfortunately, the same can be said for hackers and identity thieves. «Read the rest of this article»

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Send phishy e-mails seeking your information right to your spam folder

 

Tennessee Consumer Affairs

Nashville, TN – “We suspect an unauthorized transaction on your account. To ensure that your account is not compromised, please click the link below and confirm your identity.”

Have you received e-mail with a similar message? It’s a scam called “phishing” – and it involves Internet fraudsters who send spam or pop-up messages to lure personal information (credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security numbers, passwords or other sensitive data) from unsuspecting victims.

Email

“It’s impossible to keep up with the variations of these types of scams because they are forever changing,” said Mary Clement, director of the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs. “The best way to avoid being victimized is to practice safe computing and report fraudulent e-mails.”

According to the Federal Trade Commission, phishers send an e-mail or pop-up message that claims to be from a business or organization that you might deal with – for example, an Internet service provider (ISP), bank, online payment service or even a government agency. The message might ask you to “update,” “validate” or “confirm” your account information. «Read the rest of this article»

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End-of-year charitable giving? Exercise caution

 

Check with Consumer Affairs, Charitable Solicitations and Gaming before donating

NASHVILLE – A word of caution to those planning to end 2009 or start 2010 by giving money to what they think is a good cause: The state Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming and the Consumer Affairs Division are reminding Tennesseans to check out charitable organizations before making donations.

“While consumer complaints filed with us do not automatically mean organizations are at fault,” says Consumer Affairs Director Mary Clement, “learning about complaints does sometimes affect whether a consumer goes forward with a donation. It’s really easy to check to see if Consumer Affairs has had complaints against an organization.”

Complaints filed with the Consumer Affairs Division are forwarded to the Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming for investigation. The Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming, which is part of the Department of State, has authority to levy civil penalties against groups that engage in unfair, false, misleading or deceptive fundraising practices. The division’s investigators also can refer cases to the district attorney general if criminal activity is suspected. «Read the rest of this article»

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The Savvy Consumer Column

 

Use common sense, street smarts for cyber security

tnconsumeraffairsdivisionNashville – Technology tends to make life more convenient. Through the Internet, you can make travel arrangements, modify investment portfolios and secure loans. Products and services from around the globe are only a click away. Unfortunately, the same can be said for hackers and identity thieves.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Consumers must be vigilant by employing the latest in security technology and by employing the same intuition that is used in the “offline” world.

“Cyber criminals are opportunistic,” says Consumer Affairs Director Mary Clement. “They seek out vulnerabilities on computers to send spam and phishing e-mails or try to trick consumers into providing information that allows them to wipe out bank accounts and steal identities.” «Read the rest of this article»

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Safely dispose of old cell phones to protect private information

 

tnconsumeraffairsdivisionNashville – If you own a cell phone, at some point you are likely to upgrade to a newer model. The Division of Consumer Affairs urges you to safely dispose of your old phone.

“It is important to properly dispose of your old cell phones to prevent your personal information from being stolen,” said Mary Clement, Director of Consumer Affairs. Cell phones are like laptop computers, they are often repositories of personal and sometimes sensitive information, including addresses, phone numbers, passwords, e-mail and account numbers. You wouldn’t dispose of your old laptop computer without wiping the hard drive clean; mobile devices deserve the same level of attention before you discard them. Encrypting passwords and other sensitive data stored on your cell phone can help prevent unauthorized access even after your cell phone is no longer in service. However, certain data on your phone, including contacts, photos and web search items may be recoverable with simple and inexpensive software programs.

Before you dispose of your old phone: «Read the rest of this article»

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