Tech Friday With Dave Hatter

  • IRS warns about W-2 Phishing emails:
    • "Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication." - Wikipedia
    • The IRS Online Fraud Detection & Prevention Center (OFDP) reported a rise in Phishing emails going back to January 2017
    • The IRS has warned about tax related Phishing scams in the past
    • Criminals are showing increased interest in sensitive tax information 
    • OFDP indicated recent scams are targeting both individual data and mass data theft
    • In some instances, Phishing emails were followed by or combined with wire transfer requests
    • There are several variations of tax-related phishing campaigns targeting W-2 information
    • Phishing emails may come from hackers claiming to be tax preparers
    • A popular recent attack is to impersonate an executive to obtain W-2 information from a Human Resources
    • The IRS DOES NOT initiate contact with taxpayers and/or request sensitive information via email
    • If an attack is reported quickly, the IRS may be able to take steps that help protect targets from tax-related identity theft
    • To contact the IRS about a W-2 loss, email IRS at Make the subject “W-2 Data Loss”
      • Do not attach any personally identifiable information (PII) data to an email
    • Attacks should also be reported to state tax agencies and the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center
    • For more information from the FBI about what to do to, visit:
    • Businesses should limit the number of staff handling wire transfers, adopt multifactor authentication and verbally confirm requests for sensitive data
  • A new study reports that most consumers find marketing personalization creepy:
    • The 13th annual Accenture Strategy Global Consumer Pulse Research found 41% of consumers switched companies last year over a lack of trust and poor personalization
    • The study surveyed more than 25,000 consumers globally and 2,000 in the U.S. 
    • Some findings include:
      • 43% of U.S. consumers are more likely to make purchases with personalized experiences
      • 31% value services that personalize recommendations
      • 48% said they would use smart reordering services  
      • 92% state that privacy for personal information is important
      • 79% are frustrated that some companies can’t be trusted to secure personal information
    • InMoment's "2018 CX Trends Report" found:
      • 75% of consumers find personalization at least somewhat creepy
      • 40% of brands admit to being creepy in the way they personalize marketing 
      • Roughly half of consumers continue shopping with brands after a creepy experience, 22% left that brand
      • Almost half say they hesitate to give away information due to privacy concerns and lack of return on the information divulged
    • If you're not paying with money, you're paying with data
    • If you're not a paying customer, you're the product
  • Privacy mistakes that can have serious negative consequences:
    • Putting too much online
    • Not understanding social media "privacy" settings
    • Being too friendly with co-workers online
    • Not understanding your employer's policies
    • Careless email usage
    • Inadequate security for your devices
    • Poor password hygiene
    • Ignoring old social media accounts you no longer use
    • Leaking your location information
    • Being too private to the point of appearing nonexistent 
Brian Thomas

Brian Thomas

Based in Cincinnati, OH, the Brian Thomas Morning Show covers news and politics, both local and national, from a conservative point of view. Read more


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