FixMeStick’s Weekly Cybersecurity Round-Up: Aug 5th-Aug 11th

It’s Tuesday – and that means we’re back with another cybersecurity news round-up for you! This week, we saw yet another Internet of Things device being hacked, an update on the prolonged Equifax settlements, and some new stats about online dating in 2019. Read on to stay security-savvy, FixMeFans.

Last year we saw the bluetooth-enabled smart toys, CloudPets, be exposed to security vulnerabilities, and consequently we learned that hackers will take advantage of even seemingly innocent products to steal personal data.

This week, our point was proven further by a hackable online chat service for children called PetChat. The chat app exists on the LeapPad Ultimate, a tablet made for children ages 3 to 6. The app lets users talk to each other in a chat room using pet avatars.

Sound cute? It was, until researchers found out that security vulnerabilities in the tablet’s app made it easy to find children’s specific locations and addresses. So which devices can you actually trust in your home? We’ve got some suggestions for you.

2 years after the massive Equifax breach was first reported, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) finally put up a website for Equifax customers to check whether their data was exposed this week.

However, just as quickly as the FTC established the site, cyber criminals jumped at the opportunity to create fake claim settlement websites for unsuspecting victims to hand over their personal data.

The FTC noted that you never have to pay to file a claim about the Equifax settlement. So if you receive a convincing call or email encouraging you to file a claim for a hefty fee, it’s probably a scam. Protect yourself from data theft and read the whole story here.

Looking for love online? Tread carefully. The Internet Crime Complaint Center issued a warning on Monday about the rising number of scammers who use online dating sites in order to run what are known as romance or confidence frauds.

The conman or woman will gain the victim’s trust, then convince them to send them money for various reasons under the guise of love and romance. The most commonly targeted demographics are elderly, women, and widows or widowers.

Here’s the good news: you can still look for love online and be cybersafe. You may feel that you’re not gullible enough to fall for one of these scams, but why not stay informed just in case? Here are 6 sure-fire ways to protect your heart and your bank account while looking for your special someone online. 

These days there are quite a few apps out there that claim to help you get rid of those pesky spam robo-calls. But are these so-called ‘Robocall blocking’ apps exchanging their service for your privacy?

An analysis done on some of the most popular robocall blocking apps like Truecaller, TrapCall, and Hiya found that these apps may block spam calls, but they might also sell your personal data to third parties without your explicit consent. Read the full story here.

What’s next in Facebook’s long saga of privacy scandals? Last Thursday, the social media giant lost an appeal to undo a class-action lawsuit against them for collecting facial recognition data from millions of users without their consent.

Shawn Williams, a lawyer for the plaintiffs in the class action suit, said: “It’s not like a Social Security card or credit card number where you can change the number. You can’t change your face.” This news comes on the heels of Facebook’s $5 billion dollar settlement to the FTC after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. They just can’t seem to get out of hot water.

That’s all from us this week. Stay cybersmart and check back with us next week for more updates!