Is your briefcase feeling lighter? That’s because your dog-eared copy of Volume 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations (where most FTC rules and guides live) is decidedly thinner these days. For the past two decades, the agency has undertaken a systematic review of its rules and guides to make sure they’re up to date, effective, and not overly burdensome. As each rule comes up for review, we ask ourselves — and you — four questions:
Blog Posts Tagged with Human Resources
Sometimes it’s great to put stuff to more than one use. Think the versatile Swiss Army knife, the iconic Little Black Dress, or the typical elementary school “cafetorium” where kids can eat lunch, shoot hoops, and put on plays. But when what’s at issue is information from people’s credit reports, that kind of double duty can violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act — as the FTC’s $1.8 million settlement with Teletrack, Inc., makes clear.
You have some job openings at your company or maybe you’re thinking of promoting people to new positions. You’ve winnowed that stack of resumes down to some promising candidates. Now it’s nitty gritty time: background checks.
The French movie classic “The Wages of Fear” — remade in 1977 as “The Sorcerer” by American director William Friedkin — was a taut thriller about a team of toughs transporting a payload of volatile nitroglycerine to a remote location in South America. They meet with hazards along the way: a rope bridge hanging by a thread over a flood-swollen river, a boulder blocking a twisted mountain path, and a stretch of road so pot-holed it’s called “The Washboard.”
According to news reports, hackers recently accessed the database of Epsilon, a large marketing company that sends emails on behalf of banks, stores and other businesses. Was your company an Epsilon client? If so, the stolen information could make it easier for crooks to send emails that appear to be from your brand.
Here are a few things you can do to help your customers avoid a phishing attack that abuses your brand.
As your customers' buying habits make clear, today’s consumer marketplace knows no borders. That’s why the FTC and officials from nine Latin American countries are meeting in Washington, D.C., this week to consider the challenges of global consumer protection.
No, not those unpleasant former colleagues, but the resurgent bane of the business traveler: bedbugs.
Bedbugs are coming out of the woodwork — followed closely by opportunists peddling iffy products aimed at on-the-go professionals. Although bedbugs don't carry disease, their bites can cause itchy, annoying welts. But before you shell out money for an unproven remedy, find out more about what will (and won't) protect you from these pests when you travel.
Consumers have found their voice. And last year they raised it more than 1.3 million times to complain about identity theft, fraud, and products that didn’t live up to the advertising hype.
Break out the bubbly and raise a toast: It's National Consumer Protection Week. NCPW is an annual campaign sponsored by the FTC and nearly 30 other federal agencies, consumer groups, and advocacy organizations, in conjunction with state, county, and local government offices that are sponsoring events nationwide. The goal? To encourage consumers to take full advantage of their rights and make better-informed decisions.
When the economic climate is uncertain, people tend to evaluate their options: Is a career move in the cards? Can a home-based business supplement my salary? Is now the time to be my own boss?
But if there's one lesson from Operation Empty Promises — a federal-state sweep involving more than 90 law enforcement actions — it's that entrepreneurs should take their time and resist high-pressure tactics when operators claim to have the inside track on enhanced income.
Of course, no legitimate business would put out a welcome mat for crooks. But as the FTC’s data security cases make clear, that’s the effect when companies fail to take reasonable steps to secure sensitive information in their possession — or data they allow others to access. Three recent settlements with companies that resell credit reports illustrate that point.
Whether you’re waiting to board an airplane or grabbing a quick cuppa at a neighborhood café, public wireless networks are a great way for busy professionals to keep connected.
Convenient? Yes. Secure? Mmm, not so much.
Unfortunately, most hotspots don’t encrypt what goes over the internet. So if you send email, manage your calendar, use social networks, or transmit financial data while using a public network, you make it easier for hackers to lift confidential info like user names, passwords, and account numbers.
If you work in the health care or HR field or have clients who do, you’ve probably run across it. A patient complains about a bill for medical services they didn’t receive. An employee who rarely goes to the doctor gets told they’ve reached the limit on their health benefits. Someone gets denied coverage because their medical records show a condition they don’t have.
Chances are a person you know — an employee, someone who works in your building, a neighbor perhaps — is navigating the process of getting a green card or work visa. Do them a favor and warn them about outfits that falsely claim an affiliation with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
You've just opened an invoice for office supplies you didn't order or for a listing in a business directory. It’s the same invoice you got last week – but this one is stamped "Past Due." Perhaps one of your colleagues says there's someone hounding her on the phone, demanding payment for Internet services your business didn’t request. You refuse to pay, and the next thing you know, they're threatening to take you to court, or turn the bill over to a collection agency and ruin your credit.
If your company keeps sensitive data like Social Security numbers, credit reports, account numbers, health records, or business secrets, you’ve probably instituted safeguards to protect that information, whether it’s stored in computers or on paper. That’s great. But it’s time to take those safeguards a step further.
Does your business have a wireless network? Do you or your employees ever use wifi to catch up on work from home? Think about all the data that could be transmitted over your wireless network – credit card numbers, bank account information, business secrets. You probably don’t want to share that information with everyone who passes through your neighborhood. But that’s what you’re doing if you don’t use strong encryption and take other steps to secure your home network. Someone nearby could “piggyback” on your network, or even access the information on your computer.
This is National Chemistry Week. It’s also National School Bus Week. And be sure to wish members of Team Jacob a happy National Wolf Awareness Week. But for most business travelers, the annual observance that really hits home – or the road – is National Protect Your Identity Week, October 17th through 23rd.
Maybe you work in the tech sector. Perhaps your firm has clients with a big internet presence. Or maybe you're responsible for paying attention to how your family uses the computer. That's why you'll want to know about the Net Cetera Community Outreach Toolkit, a free resource just released by OnGuardOnline.gov.
Many smaller companies want to extend health benefits to employees, but are concerned about keeping the price affordable. For people who own their own business or are looking for work, cost-effective coverage can be tough to find. If you’re in the market for health insurance, make sure that’s what you’re buying. Some programs pitched to small businesses, the self-employed, and the uninsured sound like affordable health insurance, but actually are medical discount plans. Although some plans may offer legitimate savings, others take people’s money and provide very little in return.