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Lone Star, but united partners

Everyone knows that The stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas. But did you know that The AG’s team is a partner’s dream, deep in the heart of Texas?

That’s the tune we’re humming to honor our colleagues at the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Texas Attorney General – recipients of the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection’s Partner Award. The Award recognizes their extraordinary contribution to our shared mission to fight fraud and deception in the marketplace.

The dark web: What your business needs to know

You’ve heard about the “dark web” and wondered how it affects businesses – including small businesses. That was one of the topics addressed at an FTC conference earlier this year on identity theft. Recent headlines about high-profile data breaches have added even more urgency to the discussion. So why should the dark web matter to your company?

Game of Loans: The stark truth about student loan “debt relief” claims

If you think the feuds among the Great Houses of Westeros get intense, consider the dinner table discussions about student loan debt. It’s not just taking a toll on the home front. Experts report that the $1.4 trillion debt burden carried by 42 million Americans is affecting workplace productivity, too. But at a time when consumers need accurate information, opportunistic outfits fly in like Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons with false promises of debt reduction or forgiveness.

Let’s focus on cybersecurity for small businesses

If you own a small business or work for one, you’re probably concerned with protecting your business’ data. You want to make sure that sensitive information isn’t accidentally deleted, turned over to a scammer, or hacked. So this week, during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, let’s focus on making sure you know the resources the FTC has to help you and your employees understand cybersecurity, maintain your business’ computer networks safely, and keep sensitive information protected.

A clothes look at the RN database: Q&A with FTC staff

It’s not much bigger than a postage stamp, but the label on many textile, wool, and fur products provides important information, including fiber content, country of origin, and a company name or Registered Identification Number (RN). The FTC administers the RN system and industry members will want to check out recent upgrades to the RN website.

Meet Ed – Ed Tech, that is

If you think Ed Tech is the gruff guy in the polo shirt who set up your network, you’re missing out on a revolution happening right now in America’s classrooms. With more than half of K-12 students able to access school-issued personal computing devices, Ed Tech – educational technology – is changing the way kids learn. The benefits are obvious, but it’s also raised questions about how the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) apply.

Stick with Security: Secure paper, physical media, and devices

High-profile hackers grab the headlines. But some data thieves prefer old school methods – rifling through file cabinets, pinching paperwork, and pilfering devices like smartphones and flash drives. As your business bolsters the security of your network, don’t let that take attention away from how you secure documents and devices.

FTC says company didn’t have support for “organic” mattress claims

Dads and Moms want what’s best for their babies, so some companies feature adjectives like “organic” or “natural” in ads for infant gear. Those are among the terms Illinois-based Moonlight Slumber used to sell its baby mattresses online and at some of the nation’s biggest retailers. But according to an FTC complaint, when it came to backing its mattress claims with proper support, the company was asleep at the switch.

LeaRN about the modeRNized RN database

During red carpet season, runway commentators invariably ask the question, “Who are you wearing?” Just once we’d like to see a celebrity look at the label, take out their smartphone, and run the information through the FTC’s Registered Identification Number (RN) database. As part of its regulatory reform initiative, the FTC has announced upgrades to rn.ftc.gov that make the system even easier to use.

Fraud alerts vs. credit freezes: FTC FAQs

Consumers are apprehensive about the security of their personal information and recent headlines about data breaches have moved the needle substantially on the -ometer that measures such things. As a business executive, your customers and employees may be coming to you with questions. Here are answers from the FTC about two topics on consumers’ minds: fraud alerts and credit freezes.

How an “invention promotion” outfit demoted the truth

It sounds like there was some “inventing” going on at Florida-based invention promotion firm World Patent Marketing, but a Preliminary Injunction in a case brought by the FTC suggests it wasn’t the kind that unsuspecting consumers bargained for when they forked over millions of dollars based on the defendants’ misleading promises about patenting and promoting their products.

FTC cases affirm commitment to Privacy Shield

The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework has been in place for more than a year and the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield went into effect in April 2017. Self-certification programs like Privacy Shield offer benefits to business and protections for consumers. The FTC enforces the promises companies make when they join the frameworks, as well as false claims of participation.

Three FTC actions of interest to influencers

If you have any influence over influencers, alert them to three developments, including the FTC’s first law enforcement action against individual online influencers for their role in misleading practices. According to the FTC, Trevor Martin and Thomas Cassell – known on their YouTube channels as TmarTn and Syndicate – deceptively endorsed the online gambling site CSGO Lotto without disclosing that they owned the company.

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