Concerned About Online Tracking? You're Tracked Offline Too
The discussion about the tracking of our activities, purchases, likes, and so forth has been focused online. Now comes news about tracking us in stores and other places offline. While stores have used various methods to track customers within the store, these have usually been anonymous. Now stores are taking advantage of technology and using information that is transmitted by smartphones such as the media access control (MAC) address and retailer’s or shopping apps. In addition, apps provided by retailers can collect personal data and information about buying habits.
Facebook Ad Policy is Changing. Is It Good or Bad? It Depends.
Facebook has announced that they are changing their Ad policy and giving users more control over the ads they see. Is this a good change for users or a bad change? It depends. If you want more relevant ads, this might be good. Currently Facebook shows ads based on your Page likes and other information you have shared on Facebook. Soon, the ads will become more personalized by using data collected from tracking your browsing and activity on other websites and apps you use.
Beware of Scams That Follow Data Breach Reports
Data breaches are in the news so often that many people are ignoring them. By ignoring the breaches, these persons could be easy targets for scammers. Scammers are taking advantage of announced data breaches by using concern about the report or the stolen data to “phish” for more information such as credit card and bank account numbers. For example, with the recent eBay announcement, phishing scams have appeared as an email from “eBay” asking you to re-enter your credit card information and as a phone call from an “eBay” employee who wants you to verify your credit card information.
Two More Online Security Issues: Internet Explorer and AOL
It seems like there is at least one announcement every week about a data breach or online security issue. This week there have already been two: a security hole in the Internet Explorer browser and a security breach at AOL. Here’s what you need to know about them.
What Do You Need to Know About the "Heartbleed" Bug?
By now you've probably heard of the "Heartbleed" security bug that may affect many of the web servers on the Internet. What is the impact of this bug? That's what makes it scary to some people. While the bug has existed for quite some time, affected servers can't tell if hackers exploited it. If hackers did, they might have gotten usernames, passwords, or other personal information.
Don't Have Health Insurance Yet? March 31 is the Deadline
The Open Enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act ends on March 31, 2014. If you are required to have health insurance and don't get it by March 31, then you won't be able to get private individual insurance from your state's Health Insurance Marketplace or directly from an insurance company until open enrollment begins for 2015. If you start the application process on Healthcare.gov but can't complete it by Monday March 31st, you will be allowed to complete it. The penalty in 2014 for not having insurance is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, up to a maximum of $285 or 1 percent of income, whichever is higher.
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