Online Privacy Using The Internet Safely

Copyright 1995 - 2012

Clearinghouse / UCAN privacy rights


  1. Clearly the activities of the Internet, such as how my personal information?
  2. Do you have people to obtain information about how my online activity?
  3. Cloud computing
  4. Resources


The Internet allows us to improve the communication, you can clear it by erasing the physical barriers, expand the education of us. Absorbed into our society has been extraordinary. It is applied to our job, we are to how to find the friends, from how to get our news here, touch nearly every aspect of our lives. Some Web sites, has been replaced, such as encyclopedias and phone book substantially, in some things.

However, skepticism has been reduced to acceptance. You may assume that is applied to the digital world as well the same laws and rules of society to protect the privacy of their own in the physical world. However, the Internet has not been regulated primarily, it is still developing governance policies. Online privacy laws is still to be developed.

To date, the U.S. Supreme Court has adopted a hands-off approach to online privacy can be adjusted in favor of freedom of speech and the Internet primarily. However, the federal government, through the law of child pornography and gambling, for example, are increasingly interested in regulating the Internet. If you want to depend on the law, the important point to keep in mind for your protection, if the laws of the United States is broken in other countries, to prosecute the criminals will be difficult or impossible to is that it may. See Also instant approval payday lenders .

Knowing how to navigate the Internet safely is essential in order to maintain your privacy online.

1: Internet activity, or disclosing personal information?

When you are online, to provide information to others at the stage of almost all of the road. Is necessary to connect this information before your photo is revealed frequently, such as puzzles. Unless it is combined with the information they provide to other people or companies you are, you provide information to a person or company may not make sense. Check out also instant approval online personal loans . Summarizes the more common way of giving information to others when you are using the Internet following.

Sign up for Internet service

You, if it is going to pay a fee for the Internet itself, you signed up for an Internet service provider (ISP). ISP provides a mechanism to connect your computer to the Internet. Provides a variety of services, there are thousands of the ISP in the world. Check out also instant 500 loan .

Each computer that is connected, including you, to the Internet, has a unique address called IP address (Internet Protocol address). It is, for example, takes the form of a combination of four numbers separated by dots: It allows you to send and receive information on the Internet is actually a number. Depending on your type of service, may be "dynamic" IP address is your, that is, in order to "static" change, or a regular one, as long as forever, you have to maintain service is assigned to you. Check out also instant low rate loans .

Your IP address does not provide personally identifiable information in and of itself. However ISP knows the IP address, it is a potential weak link to protect your privacy. They ISP is changing the policy for the length of time to store the IP address widely. See Also installment loans in austin texas . Unfortunately, ISP to disclose that many of their data retention policies are not available. This can be difficult to shop for ISP-friendly "privacy".

E-mail and list function

E-mail. You have been corresponding via e-mail you suspect is giving the information to the recipient is aware. It may also be passed, including who the message to the recipient of your employer, government, and e-mail provider, e, be provided with any information on the number of people. Federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), it will be illegal for someone under certain circumstances to disclose, or read the contents of electronic communications (18 USC 2511).

However, ECPA is a complicated law, and contains many exceptions. As of 2010, a lot of it is asking for clarification and reform of ECPA to more comprehensive. See Also instant payday loans no emplo . ECPA distinguishes between those that are stored on the computer and the message currently being transferred. Check out also installment loans, washington . Messages are stored, in general, has been given protection than those intercepted during transmission. The ECPA has several exceptions are as follows: here.

  • If it is suspected damage to the system or the sender, are trying to harm other users, you can display your ISP e-mail private. However, random monitoring of e-mail, you are not allowed in general.
  • If any of the recipients of the consent, you may e-mail ISP will display the legally private, to disclose the messages to the sender or inspection and information disclosure. See Also instant loan easy . When you sign up for the service, ISP many, you will need to agree a contract for the new member.
  • E-mail system, if they are owned by the employer, the employer is able to inspect the contents of the employee's e-mail on the system. Therefore, all electronic mail that is sent from the location of the business is not a private, perhaps. In several court has decided that the employer have the right to monitor e-mail messages of employees. (Please see Fact Sheet 7 of the PRC to monitor employee Www. Check out also instant direct cash lenders .Privacyrights.Org/fs/fs7-work.Htm ).
  • Service, you may need to disclose personal information in response to subpoena or court order. Summons, you can by law enforcement agencies, as part of a civil action or to obtain. Government will be able to obtain basic subscriber information of the summons. Government, you need a search warrant to retrieve the record further. As part of the private civil litigation, subpoena, you may want to disclose more personal information.
  • USA Patriot Act, the government makes it easier to for after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, passed by Congress, as amended in 2006, to access records related to online activity. Check out also instant no credit . In an effort to improve the speed record has been retrieved, this law is to eliminate many of the supervision provided by the other branches of government. And it will extend the types of records can be obtained without a court order. For more information about the USA Patriot Act, please refer to the Web site (ACLU) American Civil Liberties Union. Www.Aclu.Org , Center for Democracy and Technology, Www.Cdt.Org , Electronic Frontier Foundation, a Electronic Privacy Information Center, and, Www.Epic.Org .

Is V Warshak of the United States (as determined on December 14, 2010), the Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit, although the ISP has access to private e-mail, before the government to seize such an e-mail ruled that there is a need to, to get a search warrant. Court to deal with problems in this case, expectation of privacy was given to the e-mail that is hosted on a remote server. The court stated as follows.

[As a phone call or mail] similarities basic between the traditional form of e-mails and communication is given, it will ignore the common sense to provide protection of the Fourth Amendment low e-mail e-mail .... that would require strong protection under the Fourth Amendment, otherwise the following, the effective protection of private communications of the Fourth Amendment, although it is longer would prove essential purpose has been recognized ....

Decision, it is in some cases, to allow a search warrant of the e-mail, to the extent it is possible to spur Congress to update the federal law is particularly important.

It offers E-mail discussion lists and lists. If you participate in online discussion groups that are also called, please remember that the "feature list", either the sender or recipient agrees to the disclosure of inspection or e-mail. In addition, please note that you have given your e-mail address to many people junk mail if there are other messages or worry, your junk e-mail, has been transferred.

In many of these discussion lists, e-mail address of the members, through the Web site of the group, in many cases, by e-mail was sent, which is readily available at times. It has been subscription, you must use a password list, sometimes things interfere with another member of the list to collect your e-mail address and other information you can trust, do not have to distribute. Function of some message boards and list are archived. For example, Google Group has been discussion that you saved back in 1981.

To browse the Internet

In the browser, it may not seem to have given a great deal of information that you, when you browse the Internet, personal information is relayed to the Web site. Your browser, you will provide your IP address and information about which sites you visit to the operator of the Web site probably.

Almost all browsers, you can exercise some control over the information of the extent to which you are held, are stored. In general, you can change the settings in order to limit cookies to enhance your privacy. If you choose to have your privacy settings high, please note that it may not be able to use online banking and shopping services. Check out also instant online cash lenders . In most major browsers, you are presented with the "Private Browsing" tool to enhance your privacy. However, the researchers, "private browsing" is found that may fail to erase all traces of online activity. See Also installments short term loans . Browser plug-in extensions and a number of common, undermine the security of the "Private Browsing". / privatebrowsing.html Abstract ~ DABO / pub / .

Search engine. You can navigate the Internet using a search engine that most of us. See Also instant payday loans/ . Search engine, you can use with the ability to track each of the search. They are your IP address, the time you've used the search term, search, you can record and other information. Check out also instant loans tonight i hour . We recommend that you review the privacy policies of search engines closely.

It is also possible to publish the information through the search string you accidentally. Check out also instant payday loan lenders uk . For example, your social security number, you may do a search to determine whether it is displayed on the Web site of your choice. Google search string might look like this: you can enter your search terms a "123-45-6789 to Jane Doe" you # HL = EN & source = HP & Q = Jane + +123-45-6789 & btnG = GOOGL . Check out also instant direct loans online ... hold that the search string, the engine provides a means to search, have a record of your name and social security number You.

The major search engines, they are, in part, to hold personal data, in order to provide a better service, in order to prevent security threats, keep people from search rank results of the game said that for, that there is a need to fight fraud, click fraud. However, the major search engines, in many cases, seemingly well beyond the time frame required to address these concerns, more than a year, that holds this data. Recently, some search engine, has reduced the amount of time to hold the IP address of the user. To the major search engines, according to the following schedule, or anonymous, you can either delete the IP address:

  • Yahoo (18 months starting from July 2011) 90 days
  • Bing Mon -6 months (of MSN / Windows Live Old)
  • 9 months of Google

Start page ( Www.Startpage.Com ), Ixquick search engine based in the Netherlands will run it, are not recorded at all the IP address of the user. Privacy Policy, if a company that holds the information, it has been created partially in response to fear of being exploited eventually. The company has concluded "If the data is not stored, that user privacy can not infringe."

When you switch to the start page, does not mean you must abandon the other search engines. Start page is a meta search engine it means that the return results from other search engines top. Awarded one star of all the results are returned from different search engine - it has adopted a unique star system to rank the results. Check out also h and r block gives instant tax refund. This allows the top search result is returned from the maximum number of search engines.

Online privacy tips: This is for both Web-based e-mail, we recommend that you do not use the same Web site and search engine. If you want to use the same site as the search engines, Web-mail account, we will need some type of login always, your search, you can connect to your email account. By using the Web site of another corresponding to the various needs, you can limit the amount of information that is held in one of the sites - Yahoo and Google for the search probably your e-mail address. You can also log out from the mail, because it is not connected to your email address search and browsing, before going to other sites, and then clear (see cookies below) cookies in your browser.

Tip of online privacy: the search engine toolbar (for example, Yahoo toolbar and Google toolbar) to download, please be avoided. Toolbar, you can allow the collection of information about Web surfing habits. Watch out accidentally as when you download the software, do not download the toolbar of free software in particular.

You can read more information about the search engine.

Cookies. Much of the data site different Web sites deposit on your hard drive, for your visit, please refer to the "cookies" so-called. Cookies are pieces of information sent by the Web server to the user's browser. Check out also direct loans lenders . Cookies, so such, Login or Register to identify on the user's preferences, you can include information such as the information in the online "shopping cart". Each time the browser to save the information, the browser returns to the Web site and sends it back to the Web server. Web server, you can, or can use the Cookie to customize the display to be sent to the user, you can keep track of another page in the site user to access. Check out also instant installment loan lenders .

Like a TV or computer, such as, for example if you are using the Internet to complete the product registration card, you may be stored in the cookies in general, to provide your name and address You. In order to make a special offer regular returns to the user's Web site, we use the Cookie to keep track of the results of their advertising. These are called Cookie and Cookie First-party.

However, some cookies called Cookie of the third party to communicate data about your advertising clearinghouse online marketers and their data to other of the shares in turn are located. Some software products, you can, including the Cookie of the third party to detect the cookies, and delete Web browser. See Also instant payday lender .

For instructions that tell you how to delete cookies in a typical Web browser, read

. In addition, you can download the Windows PC cleaning tool such as CCleaner at least

The opt-out of data sharing initiative with members of the network advertising cookies. Go to / consumer / opt_out.asp


Flash cookies. Have begun to use a new type of cookie is called by many websites, the cookie is persistent than normal "flash cookies" (called "supercookie" sometimes). , The normal procedure for selecting the private data options delete cookies erase the history of the standard, whether to erase the cache, deleted in the browser, Flash cookies are not affected. Check out also instant loans online now . Flash cookies, to delete all cookies in this way, it may persist despite the efforts of the user. They are to be removed by the anti-spyware and adware removal program can not be any commercially available. See Also get a tax loan with no credit check. : There is a add-on is called if you use the Firefox browser, and helps remove Flash cookies "BetterPrivacy" the .

July and August in 2010, three class action lawsuit has been filed against several companies for use of flash cookies. These companies have been claimed, and that is tracking the user in a way that is not fully disclosed in their privacy policy deliberately. Defendant, which includes leading media companies (MySpace is, ABC, ESPN, Hulu, the Disney MTV, NBC and Universal, Warner Bros. Check out also instant advance fund .), and online advertising company (Clearspring of Quantcast, and Specificmedia,). btl/ad-network-at-center-of-third-flash-cookie-lawsuit/38346 Http://Www.Zdnet.Com/blog/ .

For more information about Flash cookies, you can download the paper at the University of California at Berkeley law the right of "privacy and Flash cookies" and "Flash cookies and "in HTML5 and the side of the current ETag: the privacy and II .

The fingerprint (or fingerprint of the machine) fingerprint of the device is an overview of the set of software and hardware that has been collected from your computer. Each computer has a different clock setting, and has other characteristics unique to that font, and software. When the computer is online, and then broadcast these details to other computers to communicate with it. Can be integrated together in order to gather these details, to form a "fingerprint" specific to that particular device. That fingerprint identification number is assigned, you can use for the purposes of cookies and similar.

Fingerprints, as the primary means of computer to keep track of the final, you can replace the cookies. Because it is tough to block than cookies, tracking company is accepting the fingerprint. Check out also instant 200 loan . If the cookie is subject to deletion and expiration, the user will switch to a new browser has been determined, will be rendered useless.

Unfortunately, the fingerprint, it is difficult to prevent in general, not visible to the eye, is a semi-permanent. Check out also instant direct payday lenders . An easy way to remove fingerprints have been collected is not available. Check out also instant advance . In order to prevent finger print, computer users of the decision, you can block the JavaScript on my computer. However, some of the web site (for example, for video graphics, and interactive) on the Web page space, as a result, can not be read. Is to use the Firefox browser with the "add-on" program called for one can be obtained in a manner to block JavaScript, and it NoScript Http://Noscript. Check out also instant online paydayloans .Net/getit . Combination of Firefox and NoScript, you can stop the JavaScript on the web site. See Also installment loans no credit check .

Social networks and instant messaging (IM): interactive use

In an instant message conversation (IM), the IM is, some that can lead to careless, has the feel of dryness about them. Is informal at first glance, you can IM conversations are stored archive, to record your computer just as easily as e-mail.

Rules, as well as conversation that "does not mean delete, delete", applies to e-mail, IM. In all IM programs, IM programs will be able to automatically turn on this feature and have the ability to effectively archive. When you archive a conversation IM, which means that you save your conversations in a text file the same way as other files such as Word document simply like this. Unless you choose otherwise you, some of these IM program will automatically save your chat.

Your conversation, even if only one person has agreed, to understand that you can save on your computer is important. Check out also installment payday loan . When you are talking to people via IM, they need to record, to indicate whether you want to save the conversations you do not have. You can select a feature called, if you want to ensure that the conversation partners of Google Talk does not save the chat on their computers to "off the record"

As with e-mail, IM workplace can be monitored by your employer. Details of monitoring at the workplace are described in our Fact Sheet 7 Www.Privacyrights.Org/fs/fs7-work.Htm .

IM has become a new target for spammers. Get-rich-quick scams or contain pornographic normal "spim". Spimmer, when you click the link, you are included, the link in the message you may have spyware installed on your computer often. By adjusting the IM account to only allow messages from people you specify, you can reduce your exposure to spim. See Also instant signing of loan papers .

Online social network of social networks is a web site that allows users to build a relationship and a connection to other Internet users. Social networks, rather than to store the information remotely on the user's personal computer. Social networking, you can use to find people to create stay in touch with friends, new contacts with similar interests and ideas. It has been adopted on a large scale in the late 1990s they first, the popularity of these online services is growing.

A lot of people are interested to post information about the social networks of people other than friends and acquaintances. Companies that are looking for a superiority theft ID, scammers, debt collectors, stalker, the market is using social networks to gather information about consumers. Company that runs its own social network is personalized service to the user, to sell to advertisers, it is both, has collected a variety of data about that user.

Our Fact Sheet 35 - Social networking privacy: how safe and secure Soshia Al l is safe as it does provide information about the advantages and disadvantages of using social networks, even if you post the type of information , as well as how to protect it, to allow access to various types of information are submitted to these networks who.

Personal Web sites and blogs

Please obtain the (Uniform Resource Locator) a URL or address of the Web site of its own, called the domain name many individuals of the domain name. For example, our domain name Www.Privacyrights.Org . Individual, you can use, such as: your name or variant Www.Johndoe.Com . Unless you pay the additional fee for your domain name should be private, domain registration is public information. See Also instant online payday loan . (In order to find the provider of this service, the search for private domain registration). Check out also instant line of credit .

You can check the owner of the domain name online using a service such as the following: nobody or / Whois.Html . To verify it is how easy it is to find the owner of the Web address, use either of these services for our domain name, check the Privacyrights.Org .

If you want to set your own Web site, you will need to provide address registration services that can be reached. See Also instant payday loan companies . If you look at your domain name they may be able to reduce the amount of information that have seen someone use a PO Box. See Also installment loans online texas . In addition, you can select the e-mail account does not reveal unnecessary information such as where you go to school like this. E-mail addresses from free webmail services, for example,. It may be desirable to any of the edu domain. See Also installment loans guaranteed .

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Online Privacy Tip: You can visit to opt out of tracking cookies from dozens of behavioral tracking networks. See Also instant loans of 10 000 . Tracking companies that offer an opt out provide a cookie that tells their systems not to record your behavior when your browser communicates with their servers. Instead of visiting each individual network to opt out, the PrivacyChoice site will collect opt out cookies in your browser from the participating tracking networks. If you use the Firefox browser, the Privacychoice add-on can tell when cookies are deleted from your browser, and in that event it re-writes all of the opt-out cookies.

Behavioral marketing is much more sophisticated than so-called contextual marketing by which marketers target users with ads that are served based solely upon on a given Web page's content. In February 2009, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a report, Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising. The report is available at . The report examines behavioral marketing and proposes principles to govern industry self-regulatory efforts. The FTC's principles generally provide for:

  1. transparency and consumer control;
  2. security and limited data retention for consumer data;
  3. affirmative express consent for material changes to existing privacy promises; and
  4. affirmative express consent to (or prohibition against) using sensitive data for behavioral advertising.

Examining these principles, the key issue concerns how online advertisers can best protect consumers' privacy while collecting information about their online activities. The report discusses the potential benefits of behavioral advertising to consumers, including the free online content that advertisers generally supports and personalization that many consumers appear to value.

The FTC report also discusses the privacy concerns that the practice raises, including the invisibility of the data collection to consumers and the risk that the information collected - including sensitive information regarding health, finances, or children - could fall into the wrong hands or be used for unanticipated purposes.

Most privacy advocates believe that self-regulatory principles are weak and are not likely to result in meaningful protection for consumers. According to the World Privacy Forum (WPF), self-regulation has been a proven failure.

. The WPF published a report documenting and analyzing various issues regarding the current self-regulatory regime.

For further discussion of behavioral targeting issues, see:

Official use: Court records / employers / government (law enforcement and foreign intelligence)

Court records. When you file a lawsuit for divorce or are a party to a civil lawsuit or criminal case, court records are accessible to the public. As the government increasingly moves to eliminate paper records in favor of electronic records, your personal information could end up on the Internet.

There are two ways public records are accessible electronically. Some jurisdictions post them on their government Web sites, thereby providing free or low-cost access to records. Government agencies and courts also sell their public files to commercial data compilers and information brokers. They in turn make them available either online or through special network hookups. The following are examples of public records containing personal information that may be available (availabilty may vary from state to state):

  • Property tax assessor files. Typical records contain name of owner, description of property, and the assessed value for taxation purposes. Some systems even provide blueprints and photographs of the property.
  • Motor vehicle records. Registration, licensing, and driver history information
  • Registered voter files
  • Professional and business licenses
  • Court files
  • Case indexes
  • Tax liens and judgments
  • Bankruptcy files
  • Criminal arrest and conviction records, and warrants
  • Civil court recordings
  • Registered sex offenders

You should also be aware that old newspaper articles are often available online. One potential risk is that an article containing inaccuracies about you may be found, but a corresponding correction or later article will not be readily apparent.

Employers. Individuals who access the Internet from work should know that employers are increasingly monitoring the Internet sites that employees visit. Be sure to inquire about your employer's online privacy policy. If there is none, recommend that such a policy be developed. If you are unsure of what the policy is or if there is no policy, assume everything you do on your work computer is being monitored. In most states there is no law requiring your employer to tell you if it monitors e-mail or Internet usage. In Delaware and Connecticut, an employer must advise employees in a conspicuous manner that monitoring is occurring. In Connecticut there is a limited exception for investigations of illegal activity.

See these PRC guides for more information:

Government. The government may want your personal information for law enforcement purposes as well as for foreign intelligence investigations. Various laws govern these procedures. Below is an overview of some of the ways the government may obtain your personal information. Many of the laws are in flux and are being reinterpreted. See Also instant approval payday advance net . Additionally, news reports have alleged that the National Security Agency has been wiretapping phone calls and e-mails without specific statutory authority. The legal implications of this program are unclear at this time. Check out also instant payday direct lenders .

Law enforcement access. Law enforcement generally can access your electronic communications and records in two ways: through wiretapping or through subpoena.

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA) provides some protection against government access to email and other online activities. ECPA is a difficult law to understand and apply, because the law relies upon outdated practices and technology. ECPA does reflect a legislative recognition that some Internet activities deserve protection. The difficulty is figuring out to which Internet activities these protections apply. Case law continues to address the proper application of ECPA.

Law enforcement can also use a pen/trap tap to get the following information from your ISP:

  • e-mail header information other than the subject line,
  • your IP address,
  • the IP address of computers you communicate with, and
  • possibly a list of all Web sites you visit.

A pen/trap is defined in the Patriot Act as a device or process which records or decodes dialing, routing, addressing, or signaling information transmitted by an instrument or facility from which a wire or electronic communication is transmitted, provided, however, that such information shall not include the contents of any communication. To read more on the definition go to 000-.html . In order to use a pen/trap wiretap, law enforcement only needs to establish that such information is relevant to an ongoing investigation. This is a lower standard than the probable cause standard required for a search warrant.

To learn more about how the Patriot Act has expanded the power of the government and law enforcement, go to the ACLU's Web site at www. Check out also instant payday loans online lenders .

Foreign intelligence investigations. Under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) the government is supposed to get a search warrant from a secret court for this type of surveillance. See Also instant approval loans online . The government is required to show that the target of the surveillance is a foreign power or the agent of a foreign power. Check out also instant 100 acceptance loan .

Illegal activity and scams

Criminals can capture your information online in various ways, but one distinguishing factor is that in some cases you give them the information yourself. And sometimes criminals use technology to steal your personal information without your knowledge. See Also instant payday loan no fax . It is important to recognize that theft occurs both ways. Even if you pride yourself on being wary of scams and never give your personal information to strangers, you should not overlook security steps for your computer. See Also instalment loan from zest .

Increasingly these activities may lead to financial losses. Losing money from computer crime can be especially devastating because often it is very difficult to get the money back. Because of the remote nature of the Internet, computer crime presents at least three challenges: (1) locating the criminal, (2) finding a court having jurisdiction, and (3) collecting the money. In fact many cyber criminals operate in other countries. Although law enforcement is becoming increasingly aware of computer crime, you should largely rely on yourself for protection.

Many of these scams are complicated, and criminals are always likely to come up with new tricks to stay ahead of the law. See Also instant payday loan approval . If you are buying over the Internet or setting up online accounts, be aware that these risks are out there.

Shopping online. Use a credit card for online financial transactions. Debit cards do not provide as much protection from fraud as credit cards. If a criminal uses your debit card, your entire checking account can be wiped out. With a credit card you are able to see the charges before you pay for them, which gives you an opportunity to dispute the charges.

When you provide your credit card account number to a shopping site, you want to be sure that the transmission is secure. Look for the unbroken padlock at the bottom right of the screen. You can right click on the padlock to make sure the security certificate is up-to-date. If it is not, you should not order from that Web site. Also make sure the Web address has the letter 's' after http in the address bar at the top of the page. The 's' indicates that your financial information will be encrypted during transmission. For additional online shopping tips, read the PRC's e-commerce guide at .

Online auctions . Online auction fraud takes many forms. Some forms of fraud are difficult to avoid, while others can be avoided by taking smart precautions. Fraud can occur when the seller doesn't ship what was bought or the product is not as good as promised. This type of fraud can be frustrating and hard to avoid. Buyers should pay close attention to fraud alerts posted by the online auction companies. If you pay with a credit card, your credit card company may be able to reimburse you for the fraud.

Never use a wire transfer to pay for something from an online auction site. See Also installment loans in california 2600 . The FTC issued an alert warning about the dangers of wire transfers. The full alert is available at .

Fraud also occurs when a buyer sends a seller a check for more than the amount of the product and asks the seller to wire the buyer the difference. This fraud can be particularly devastating. As the FTC points out in its alert, once you wire money it is virtually impossible to get the money back even in the event of fraud.

To protect yourself, never accept a check for more than the cost of the product. See Also instant gaurenteed payday loans . Even if the bank clears your check and deposits the funds in your account, that does not mean the check is legitimate. If it turns out the check is fraudulent, your bank will expect you to cover the funds that were put into your account. Consumers who suspect an online auction transaction is fraudulent should report it to the FTC at and to the auction company.

Nigerian 419 letters. Nigerian 419 letters, also called advance-fee scams, are sent via e-mail to millions of people. The letters typically relay a story of a foreign person who has inherited a windfall of money, but needs help in getting the money out of the country. The sender offers the recipient a share of the money for help in transferring the money. The assistance required is usually to front money to pay for "taxes," "attorneys costs," "bribes," or "advance fees. Although this scam sounds far-fetched the FBI reports that the average financial loss from these scams is $3,000. Check out also instant tax refund loan 2011 . The FTC has an alert warning of these scams at www. See Also installment loans no documents . You can also find information at .

Malicious Links

It is very easy to get duped into clicking on a malicious link. If you click on a malicious link, you will most likely be taken to a site that tricks you into providing personal information that can then be used to steal your money, or even worse, your identity. Clicking on a dangerous link could also cause malware to automatically download onto your computer.

Malicious links may look like they were sent by someone you trust, such as:

  • A friend or someone who you know.
  • A legitimate-looking company selling a product or service.
  • A bank or other business that you have an existing account with.

Most people think that malicious links arrive by email. But, criminals are finding even sneakier ways to trick you into clicking on a dangerous link. You could receive the malicious link in an instant message, a text message, or on a social networking site like Facebook or Twitter.

Malicious links are hard to spot. They often:

  • Are ever-so-slightly misspelled versions of well-known URLs.
  • Use popular URL shortener sites to hide the real URL .
  • Use simple HTML formatting to hide the real URL. This is the most common method for emailed dangerous links. See Also instance loan finder . You think you're clicking on a trustworthy link, but you are redirected to a dangerous link.

To protect yourself from malicious links, consider the following tips:

  • Do not click on a link that appears to be randomly sent by someone you know, especially if there is no explanation for why the link was sent, or if the explanation is out of character for the sender (ie horribly misspelled or talking about what a great deal they discovered).
  • Do not click on a link that was sent to you by a business you don't know that is advertising a great deal. See Also pay day loan. Instead, perform an online search for the business, make sure it's legitimate, and go directly to the business' website to find the deal yourself.
  • Do not click on a link that was sent to you by a business you have an existing account with. Either go to the business' site yourself, or call up the business and confirm the legitimacy of the link. (Note that some businesses may require that you verify your email address as part of a registration process, which requires you to click on a link contained in an email. Typically, the link will be emailed to you immediately after you register online with the business. It's a good idea to check your email right after you register with a business.)

3: Cloud Computi ng

What is cloud computing?

It is difficult to come up with a precise definition of cloud computing. In general terms, it's the idea that your computer's applications run somewhere on the cloud, that is to say, on someone else's server accessed via the Internet. See Also instant cash loans online approval . Instead of running program applications or storing data on your own computer, these functions are performed at remote servers which are connected to your computer through the Internet or other connections.

In telecommunications, a cloud is the unpredictable part of any network through which data passes between two end points. In cloud computing the term is used to refer generally to any computer, network or system through which personal information is transmitted, processed and stored, and over which individuals have little direct knowledge, involvement, or control. See Also instant credit payday .

With more reliable, affordable broadband access, the Internet no longer functions solely as a communications network. It has become a platform for computing. Rather than running software on your own computer or server, Internet users reach to the cloud to combine software applications, data storage, and massive computing power.

It's interesting to note that cloud computing is really nothing new. It's the modern version of the 1960's-era computer timesharing model. That model was based upon the high cost of computers at that time. See Also instant approval no credit checks . With computer and data storage prices plummeting, it seems odd that there would be a return to that sort of model. See Also instand payday loans .

Who provides cloud computing services and what services do they provide?

It's a bit easier to understand the concept of cloud computing by providing examples. Google operates several well-known cloud computing services. It offers its users applications such as e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets and storage, and hosts them "in the cloud"--in other words, on its own servers, not yours. So, for example, you can type a document without maintaining any word processing software on your computer. You can use Google's software in the cloud. All you need is an Internet capable device. It doesn't even need to be a computer.

Other examples of cloud computing include:

  • Web-based email services such as Yahoo and Microsoft Hotmail
  • Photo storing services such as Google's Picassa
  • Spreadsheet applications such as Zoho
  • Online computer backup services such as Mozy
  • File transfer services such as YouSendIt
  • Online medical records storage such as Microsoft's HealthVault
  • Social networking sites such as Facebook
  • Applications associated with social networking sites such as Farmville
  • Tax preparation services such as H & R Block
  • Word processing services such as AjaxWrite
  • Accounting and payroll services such as Intuit

The above services are ready to use out of the box. In addition, many cloud computing companies offer customized cloud computing services tailored to the specific needs of businesses and other organizations.

Some of the major players in cloud computing include:

  • Yahoo
  • Microsoft
  • IBM
  • Amazon
  • Salesforce
  • Sun Microsystems
  • Oracle
  • EMC
  • Intuit

What are the risks of cloud computing?

When users store their data with programs hosted on someone else's hardware, they lose a degree of control over their sensitive information. The responsibility for protecting that information from hackers, internal breaches, and subpoenas then falls into the hands of the hosting company rather than the individual user. This can have many possible adverse consequences for users.

The privacy policy and terms of service of the hosting company should always be read carefully. While generally lengthy and sometimes difficult to understand, they will provide a good outline of what the host can and cannot do with your information. However, it is important to realize that most privacy policies and terms of service can and do change. In fact, you may not have an opportunity to remove your information from the hosting site before such a change.

The location of the host's operations can significantly impact a user's rights under the law. The location of the records might not be disclosed in the terms of service or might be changed without notice. This could have substantial legal consequences.

Government investigators or civil litigants trying to subpoena information could approach the hosting company without informing the data's owners. Check out also instant fast loans uk . The hosting company generally does not have the same motivation as the user to defend against disclosure of the information.

Some companies could even willingly share sensitive data with marketing firms. So there is a privacy risk in putting your data in someone else's hands. Obviously, the safest approach is to maintain your data under your own control.

There is also a risk that the host might shut down its operations, declare bankruptcy, or sell the business to another provider. What might happen to your data if that were to happen?

Unexpected service disruptions can prevent cloud computer users from accessing their data or performing vital business functions. See Also installment loans only . For example, in June 2010, Intuit suffered a massive site disruption interrupting its Quicken and QuickBooks services. Customers were unable to access Quicken sites for an extended period of time.,2817,2365179,00.asp

One of the problems with cloud computing is that technology is frequently light years ahead of the law. There are many questions that need to be answered. Does the user or the hosting company own the data? Can the host deny a user access to their own data? And, most importantly from a privacy standpoint, how does the host protect the user's data?

So, before you utilize any cloud computing services, be aware of the potential risks. Check out also instant payday laons direct lenders . And make sure that you carefully read the privacy policy and terms of service of the hosting company to become aware of your rights.

Who is legally responsible for data breaches in the cloud. Check out also instant loans online no fax ?

If, through no fault of your own, information stored in the cloud were breached, who would bear responsibility for the consequences. Check out also installment loans in milwaukee wi ? The standard contract from the major cloud providers puts the responsibility for any data loss on the person or business placing the information in the cloud. Of course, it might be possible for a large business to negotiate the terms of the standard contract. As a consumer, you probably have no control over whether an organization you do business with places your personal information in the cloud.

Where can I find out more about cloud computing?

Read the World Privacy Forum's report on cloud computing (Feb. 2009), available at . The title is Privacy in the Clouds: Risks to Privacy and Confidentiality from Cloud Computing, by Robert Gellman.

For more information on the privacy implications of cloud computing, see Ann Cavoukian, Privacy in the Clouds-A White Paper on Privacy and Digital Identity: Implications for the Internet (Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario),

4: Additional Resources

Other nonprofit privacy organizations

Several nonprofit public interest groups advocate on behalf of online users. They also provide extensive information about privacy issues on their Web sites.

American Civil Liberties Union
Find your local ACLU chapter:
Web :

Consumer Federation of America, Fake Check Scams,

Electronic Frontier Foundation
454 Shotwell St., San Francisco, CA 94110
Voice: (415) 436-9333
Web : .
Also see EFF's "Surveillance Self-Defense" project:

Electronic Privacy Information Center
1718 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20009
Voice: (202) 483-1140
Web : .

Web :

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
3100 - 5th Ave., Suite B, San Diego, CA 92103
Voice: (619) 298-3396
Web: .

World Privacy Forum
Voice: (760) 436-2489

Government agencies

The Federal Trade Commission is the federal government's primary agency for online privacy oversight. Check out also instant advances . Its Web site provides a great deal of information on public policy matters as well as consumer tips.

Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20580
Web :

The FTC's Onguard Online Web site offers tips for avoiding Internet fraud, securing your computer and ways to protect your personal information.

Several federal agencies and public interest groups have sponsored the online Consumer Computer Privacy Guide at . This site offers extensive tips, a glossary of terms, and video tutorials with step-by-step instructions on how to take advantage of privacy settings for the programs you use online.

Federal law enforcement and industry representatives have joined together to produce a Web site called Looks Too Good to Be True , which educates consumers about Internet scams.

US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US Cert)

provides numerous computer security resources on its website at

. It provides downloads to a number of valuable publications at

Resources for parents and children

The Internet Education Foundation in cooperation with consumer groups and industry associations, has developed GetNetWise, a Web site for parents, children, and anyone wanting basic information on Internet safety. Visit this useful resource at .

The FBI publishes a Parent's Guide to Internet Safety, available at .

The Federal Trade Commission offers extensive resources for children and parents. Visit . To learn more about the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, go to .

See also PRC Fact Sheet 21, "Children in Cyberspace" at .

Note: For additional information on:

  • How to protect your privacy on the Internet
  • How to defend your computer against hostile penetration attempts, and
  • How Windows tracks your behavior (and how to stop it)
See "How to Secure Windows and Your Privacy-- with Free Software: An Easy Guide for the Windows User" at www. Check out also instant payday loans no verfactions . (Note: This is not a Privacy Rights Clearinghouse publication and is posted on our web site with the permission of the author, an independent computer consultant. Check out also instant loan net .)

Links to glossaries

Please note : We have provided the names and Web addresses of several commercial and freeware products in this guide. See Also instant cash loan in oxfordshire . Such mention does not imply endorsement.

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