PSA Uses ???Psychic??? to Demonstrate Dangers of Sharing Personal Info Online

PSA Uses ???Psychic??? to Demonstrate Dangers of Sharing Personal Info Online | Trending Now – Yahoo! News

PSA Uses ???Psychic??? to Demonstrate Dangers of Sharing Personal Info Online

Do you really need pyschic abilities to know intimate details about a stranger? Maybe not. A new video from Belgium that hit it big on Reddit and YouTube is proving that, thanks to the Internet and social media, learning a person’s deepest secrets and even just mundane info such as his or her favorite color or best friend’s name is only a few clicks away.

The video is actually a public service announcement titled, “Amazing Mind Reader Reveals His Gift.” It begins with random people being selected from the streets of Brussels. They are asked if they would like to participate in an upcoming TV program featuring Dave, described as a gifted clairvoyant. Once they agree, they are ushered into a white tent to meet Dave. He hugs them and dances around as he seemingly tries to get a sense of the person’s energy. As people are seated across from him, Dave tells them random facts about them, from the color of the motorcycle they own to their bank account number and even the types and locations of their tattoos.

As the unassuming subjects become absorbed in Dave’s trance and the factual information he is providing, the truth behind his magic is revealed. A curtain drops, and behind it is a group of computer hackers dressed in all black searching the Internet for information about each of the individuals. In fact, a large monitor sits in front of the hackers, displaying pictures and personal information about the subjects. Each person seems astonished, first at the curtain dropping and then at the reveal as they realize what has taken place.

The video was produced by a trade group called the Belgian Financial Sector Federation. They claim that the masked hackers dug up all the personal information on the subjects in real time while shooting the clip. They made the video to urge citizens to “be vigilant. Because Internet fraudsters can use information against you.”

The video has been viewed almost half a million times on YouTube, and commenters have left mostly positive reactions to it. One person wrote, “True. Very true.”

Although things were not as the people in the video perceived them, the people seem grateful to have been made aware of how careless they may have been with their personal information online. They seem aware that they left themselves vulnerable to crimes but are appreciative of the eye-opening experience.


This is Scary: Scientists find a way to erase frightening memories

This is Scary: Scientists find a way to erase frightening memories | Technology News Blog – Yahoo! News
The technique could be used to treat anxiety and other disorders

This is Scary: Scientists find a way to erase frightening memories

You know that irrational fear of clowns you have because one accidentally popped a balloon animal in your face when you were a kid? If a new technique developed by Swedish scientists had existed back then, that fear might never have developed.

Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden have found that it’s possible to interrupt the formation of memories during a crucial stage when they’re being cemented in your brain by proteins. In fact, it seems that memories associated with fears can be replaced entirely ??? if caught before this consolidation process can finish.

By displaying a photograph and simultaneously administering a small electric shock, the researchers were able to induce formation of a fear memory in test subjects. Then, by showing half of the subjects the same photo without the shock repeatedly during the consolidation process, they were able to stop a sense of fear from being permanently associated with the picture.

There’s still a lot of testing to be done, but the scientists believe that this technique could eventually be used to interrupt the association of fear with other memories, such as witnessing the horrors of war, that might otherwise lead to disorders like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Unlike scary clowns, that’s no laughing matter.

Hidden Dangers of Penny Auctions

Hidden Dangers of Penny Auctions | Upgrade Your Life – Yahoo! News

Hidden Dangers of Penny Auctions

Penny Auction sites like Beezid and BidFun advertize such amazing deals: laptops for 90% off and iPads for $18. This sounds too good to be true ??? so what’s the catch?

How Penny Auctions Work

Each time you make a bid, it costs you roughly between 50 cents and a dollar. Imagine if you went to a live auction and every time you raised your paddle you had to pay a buck. But this is an auction house with an unlimited amount of bidders.

To sign up, you have to buy bid packs. The more you buy at a time, the lower per-bid price you pay. On Beezid, for example, you can buy a pack of 30 bids for $27 (which works out to 90 cents per bid) all the way up to 1000 bids for $550 (.55/bid). Then you find an item you want to bid on, and start bidding. Each time you bid, it raises the price of the item by one cent and often resets a timer for another 10 seconds or so of open bidding. Bidding can be done manually, or you can set up auto-bidding, which will program the site to bid for you, usually at the last second.

But Here’s The First Catch
Each time you bid, you up the ante by one cent ??? but you use one of the bid credits that you bought up front for between 55 cents and a dollar. In other words, bidding a penny actually costs you at least 55 cents.

And Here’s the Second Catch
In a traditional auction, if you don’t “win”, you don’t lose either; if someone outbids you, you don’t pay anything. With most of these penny auction sites, the opposite is true: You could easily make 1000 “penny” bids and not win the item. But remember, each of those bids cost you at least 55 cents ??? so you’d be out $550 with nothing to show for it.

What Happened to Me
I bought $60 in bids and got in on an iPad auction. I bid occasionally, trying to time it when the counter neared zero, but I quickly blew 40 bucks in bids. Someone always jumped in at the last second, usually someone using the automated bid setting. So I signed up for automated bids myself, and I was amazed. My $20-worth of remaining bids flew out in 24 seconds. And I didn’t win. My 60 bucks was goners! In fact, I watched the most aggressive bidder make 30 bids a minute for 2 more hours until the auction ended. 3600 bids, at a minimum 55 cents a bid. That’s $1980 for a device that costs retail $499, and that guy didn’t even win!

And while this one example I witnessed is extreme, the other auctions I watched were not impressive. On another site, the winner of an iPad2 “won” the item for $0.83 ??? which the site will no doubt advertise as an example of the incredible deals their customers get. But in order to get the iPad for 83 cents, the “winner” actually paid $301 in bids, making his total cost $302. The exact same product sold on eBay that same day for $320. Okay, so he saved 18 bucks. But it could have gone differently: Don’t forget the 15 other bidders who walked away with nothing after spending a few hundred bucks in bids.  The auction site probably made over $3000 on an item that cost them $400.

FTC Warnings
The FTC has offered warnings on penny auctions, state consumer protection agencies have filed complaints, and there are class action lawsuits pending against many of these sites. Just as an example: Penny auction site Skoreit listed the retail price of an Invicta Speedway watch as $895 so bidders will really go all out, but when I checked Amazon, I found it for $299.

These sites bill themselves as “entertainment shopping” that’s like calling the craps table “entertainment banking.” Penny Auctions are thinly veiled gambling and the odds are NOT in your favor.

The Riskiest Places to Use Your Credit Card

The Riskiest Places to Use Your Credit Card – Yahoo! Finance 

Nonbank-owned ATMs and flea markets are some of the least secure locations to use plastic. Wi-Fi hotspots, too

The Riskiest Places to Use Your Credit Card

Even if you use the utmost caution, you can still be a victim of credit card fraud. Credit card companies
and banks are more and more often putting the onus of catching phony or incorrect credit card charges on the consumer. 

The most important thing is to check your billing statment, of course. And there are organizations like that offer tips on how to keep your cards safe as well. Here, we take a look at 10 of the riskiest places you might use your card, according to , and what you can do to avoid the dangers. 

Non-bank-owned ATMs
Encryption at these ATMs is often not as good as at  bank ATMs, meaning some locations are just not as safe. These ATMs also are more likely to be hacked. And in some cases, people have put up devices that look like ATMs but don’t give out cash. Instead, they are just card-skimming devices aimed at stealing your credit card or debit card information. 

Flea Markets

Flea market merchants are often transient and can be difficult to locate if there is a problem with charges. It’s especially true for vendors who don’t have online credit card terminals and instead make carbon copies of your credit card. 

That doesn’t mean those vendors are necessarily fraudulent, but it makes the transaction less secure. The credit card company might have trouble doing a charge back. If you’re going to the flea market, take cash. It’s also easier to negotiate that way. 

Small Shops/Cafes in Foreign Countries

These smaller merchants have a significantly higher percentage of credit card fraud as reported by large banks and credit card companies. Many of these transactions end up being written off by the banks because the merchants simply can’t be located. There’s just a higher chance of fraud when you get outside of the mainstream, so when in doubt, use cash.

Non-Secure Online Checkout
General common sense. Any safe, reputable e-commerce site is going to have a secure checkout page, like the one shown at left. If that doesn’t appear, it should be a red flag. You can almost be sure it’s not legitimate, and even if it is, you’re opening yourself to that transaction being seen by others. 

Wi-Fi Hotspots and Public Computers

If you’re going to be making online transactions over an unsecured wireless connection like in cafes, parks and other hot spots, data can be compromised or seen while in transit, even if you’re on a secure page while you’re checking out. The same goes for public computers like in libraries. It’s not advisable to ever transmit personal data when you’re in a public connection environment, especially on non-secure wireless.

Facebook can continue to monitor your internet activity, even if you are no longer logged into the site.

How to prevent Facebook from tracking you
Facebook has a sneaky way of monitoring much of your Internet activity, but you can fight back. Five options

Most people don't realize that Facebook (FB) can continue to monitor their internet activity, even if they are no longer logged into the site.

Using "Facebook Connect," and other social plug-ins, Facebook is able to set up a cookie on any site that has a "Like" or "share" button, giving Facebook access to a startling amount of user information. Technically, the purpose of these plug-ins is to authenticate users, but it still has the ability to collect personal information such as the IP address of your computer, browsing data, outside login information, phone numbers, etc.

The cookie, known as the "datr" cookie, has been a controversial topic for the past year. Using this cookie, among other things, Facebook knows what you have read on a web page even if you did not click the "like" button. As the Wall Street Journal reported, "for this to work, a person only needs to have logged into Facebook or Twitter once in the past month. The sites will continue to collect browsing data, even if the person closes their browser or turns off their computers."

To help users control how and when their information is tracked and distributed, companies such as Abine and Ghostery have developed tools that allow users to block Facebook social plug-ins, cookies, and other trackers.

We identified five practical options for consideration, including an option for web site publishers that will help protect their customers from trackers while keeping their websites running smoothly.