The Gift that Keeps on Giving: How Our Online Habits are Paving the Way for a Society of Surveillance for our Children and how to avoid becoming a victim

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Cyber civil rights advocate, Raj Goel, provides tips for online security during the holidays.

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“It’s our own activity online that is putting us under the microscope and putting ourselves, and especially our children at risk for identity theft."

USA Today predicts that money lost by consumers from fraud will be higher this year than the $1.6 billion dollars lost in 2013 due to some of the major data breaches lately. Individuals’ activity online, especially during this season, will only propel this trend.

With nearly 40% of Americans sharing photos/videos of their loved ones during the holiday time (Ebates.com), it is no wonder as to why private lives are no longer staying private. From Facebook posts announcing births, engagements, weddings to unsecured webcams and baby monitors, the social media and technologies of today make it easy for wrongdoers to access children’s important information and create lifelong issues.    

Acclaimed cyber civil rights advocate, author and public speaker, Raj Goel, CISSP, says, “It’s our own activity online that is putting us under the microscope and putting ourselves, and especially our children at risk for identity theft. Think about the picture you just posted about baking cookies with your grandchildren this holiday season on your visit to their home in Cincinnati, Ohio. Now, an identify thief not only knows where you are, but also where your grandchildren live and their names. This just makes it easy for them to steal their identity and wreak havoc on their lives both present and future.”

“It is our responsibility as adults, parents, and grandparents to safeguard our children. Ensuring their online safety is just one way we can do that, so think carefully about what details you post this holiday season and beyond,” says Goel.

Here are three simple tips to keep your family safe:
1.    Turn off the GPS tracking on cell phones. This is the easiest way to ensure that hackers don’t know where one and his/her family are. Many apps today automatically track location, so people unknowingly give away this information. Using the settings to turn off Location Services for all apps fixes this.
2.    Watch app downloads. People inadvertently give away a tremendous amount of permission when they download an app. The game one downloads could be tracking spending, banking, financial transactions, and many other things.
3.    Maintain admin control of children’s phones. Knowledge is power, and in the case of children, they may not know what they’re giving up online. Maintaining a level of control allows parents and caregivers to ensure they’re not putting themselves in danger.
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About Raj
Author, entrepreneur, IT expert and public speaker, Raj Goel is globally known as the go-to man in cyber security and privacy law. He is committed to educating individuals and organizations about online safety and how to protect their most important assets – people and data. His expert advice helps individuals, companies and conglomerates navigate their way through the world’s ever-changing technology and increasingly complex IT compliance laws. He often appears in the media and at conferences world-wide to educate the public on cyber-security and digital privacy, a subject he is passionate about.

This subject was covered in great detail in InfoSecurity Professional. Read more here.

For more information about Mr. Goel and his work, please visit http://www.RajGoel.com

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Raj Goel
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