What President Obama’s Proposed Cyber Safeguards Mean for You

Following recent high-profile hack attacks on U.S. companies, President Obama wants new protections for American consumers.

On a visit to the Federal Trade Commission, Obama unveiled several pieces of proposed legislation he said will boost cyber-security, improve consumer privacy and prevent identity theft. The measures are expected to be included in his State of the Union address next week.

“This is a direct threat to the economic security of American families, and we’ve got to stop it,” Obama said of cyber-crime. “If we’re going to be connected, then we have to be protected.”

Congress will need to act on the proposals, and require Republican support. Here is how Obama’s proposed measures might impact you:

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New Va. bill to allow school security officers to carry nonlethal weapons

Civilian security personnel at public schools in the Fredericksburg area and statewide could carry stun guns and other nonlethal weapons if Del. Mark Cole gets his way.

Cole, R–Spotsylvania County, has introduced a bill for the upcoming General Assembly session that would allow school boards to equip security officers with stun guns, batons and spray devices such as Mace.

The bill would not let those officers—who are employed by school systems, not sheriff’s offices—have actual guns.

“I’m not concerned about them having to Taser a student or something like that,” Cole said. “I’m concerned about an armed intruder.” He added that he thought a bill allowing nonlethal weapons rather than guns had the best chance of passing.

School systems in Spotsylvania and Stafford counties have security officers at every high school.

They also have armed school resource officers. or SROs, at all middle and high schools. SROs are sworn deputies who report to sheriff’s offices.

Some Spotsylvania officials have questioned the effectiveness of the unarmed security personnel, with Supervisor Greg Cebula calling them “glorified hall monitors.”

Last year, the Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors voted to reject state grants that would have partially covered the cost of hiring security personnel at Lee Hill and Spotswood elementary schools.

Cole, who is also Spotsylvania’s deputy county administrator, said his bill is unrelated to that discussion, which he said “highlights the plight” of the security officers. Spotsylvania’s security personnel carry radios but don’t have any weapons, schools spokeswoman Rene Daniels said.

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Shoplifter stole nearly $3,500 in TVs, game consoles, video games

Roxbury- A township man was charged Monday with stealing nearly $3,500 in televisions, video game consoles and video games from Walmart over the past two weeks, police said.

Starting Dec. 14, police received several complaints that a man in his late 20s to early 30s was walking into the Walmart on Route 10 in Ledgewood and walking out with several hundred dollars worth of electronic equipment for which he hadn’t paid, police said in a news release.

Based on the description of the man and his vehicle, police “actively waited” near the Walmart anticipating he’d show up again, police said.

Police say Jason Riker, 29, of the Ledgewood section of Roxbury matched the description available to officers, so they watched him enter the store Monday and leave a short time later.

When officers approached him after he left the store, Riker was unable to produce receipts for the items in his possession, police said.

Township police spokesperson Jennifer Dillard said Riker stole flat screen televisions, Playstation game consoles and video games during four incidents from Dec. 14 to Dec. 29, totaling about $3,473.

Riker was charged with four counts of shoplifting, possession of a controlled dangerous substance (heroin), receiving stolen property, possession of a controlled dangerous substance in a motor vehicle and driving while suspended, police said.

Police were able to recover the items taken on Dec. 29, but the other items were believed to have been sold to pawn shops, Dillard said.

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NJ Target store cashier voided transactions

RIVERDALE NJ Dec 26 2014– A Target cashier allegedly canceled out thousands of dollars worth of transactions and let shoppers leave the store without paying for items, police said.

Authorities did not say whether Zariah Lozada was granting the deep discounts to people she knew or if she was doing as a nice gesture for for strangers doing their holiday shopping at the Target in Riverdale, but police said the 18-year-old is now facing charges for reportedly voiding out $3,830.96 worth of transactions over the past week.

On Wednesday evening, Riverdale Police Officer Joe McDermott was dispatched to the Target on Route 23 after the store’s security personnel contacted authorities regarding an employee theft, Lt. James Macintosh said.

McDermott met with security officers who reported that one of the store’s cashiers, Lozada, “had been involved in a scheme where she would allow people to pretend to use a credit card, then void out the transaction and let the people leave with the merchandise,” Macintosh said.

Authorities did not say whether she was canceling out entire transactions or just knocking a few items off a total bill.

Subsequently, Lozada, who resides in the Haskell section of Wanaque, was arrested and transported to Riverdale Police Department, where she was charged with theft and conspiracy to commit theft, he said.

She was also charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance after officers discovered she had four Oxycodone pills, Macintosh said.

Lozada was released with a Dec. 24 court date at the Morris County Central Judicial Processing, he said.

When asked whether Lozada was still employed at the Riverdale Target, an on-duty supervisor – who declined to identify herself – told NJ Advance Media she could not comment on matters involving the store’s personnel.

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TWO-STEP AUTHENTICATION ADDS EXTRA SECURITY TO ONLINE ACCOUNTS

A password is not enough to protect your personal information – a second level of security is needed to block thieves from hacking your email or social media accounts. In the cyber world, you’re a target.

“Your Twitter, LinkedIn account, Facebook, your email accounts – that’s where the bad guys are going because they follow where the most people are, so they are trying to hack you by getting into those systems,” said Kristin Judge, National Cyber Security Alliance.

Step 1, like this Google email account, is your password, but now, two-step authentication goes beyond just a password to make sure it’s really you and not just someone with your password.

This public service message is the latest push by the National Cyber Security Alliance, which held a conference in Chicago on Friday.

“Two-step protection is out there, consumers don’t know about it. Google has been doing it since 2011, what good is it? Consumers really need to understand it, they need that extra security,” said Steve Bernas, president and CEO, Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois.

“The message today is to add an extra layer of protection to your online accounts,” said Judge.

You can add two-step authentication on online accounts like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo! Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

On Facebook, you start by going to “security settings” and down to “login approvals.” You’ll put in your phone number, click on the box to require a security code. That code will be texted to your phone, along with a password, you’ll need that code to log-on to your Facebook account. Kristin Judge with the Security Alliance uses two-point authentication on Gmail.

“It’s going to say to me, enter the code that comes to your phone. I didn’t ask it to send me the code, it just knows,” Judge said.

Again, you input the code as a second security step. This isn’t well-known, yet, but Chicagoans are learning.

“I’m going to tell everybody now, that it’s something need to look into and start doing it for their personal protection,” said Tony Quintana, a private investigator.

You don’t have to do two-step authentication repeatedly on devices that you use all the time, like your phone and iPad. But if a criminal somewhere tried to log on to your computer, they couldn’t – they would need a text message with the second step

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Footscray Hospital security fighting violence with body cameras

Australia Dec 1 2014 Security guards are arming themselves with cameras to tackle violence and aggression at Footscray Hospital.

Western Health has credited the security cameras with a decrease in attacks by helping to deter potential offenders and capturing evidence if an incident unfolds.

Security services training and operations co-ordinator Trevor Lawson said many incidents had been successfully resolved since the guards began wearing the cameras on their shirts, because people understood their behaviour was being recorded.

He said the hospital had undergone a security review and had a designated, on-site training facility.

It comes as data reveals “code grey” alerts for aggressive and threatening behaviour are on track to decrease at the hospital.

There have been 755 incidents to October this year, compared with 1054 incidents last year.

Meanwhile, “code black”, serious threats, occurred six times in 2013, with five so far this year.

Neurosurgeon Dr Michael Wong is lucky to be alive after he was stabbed 14 times in the back, arms, hands, chest, legs, abdomen and head as he arrived for work at the hospital on February 18.

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Victorian secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said the figures didn’t reflect the true magnitude of the problem as many nurses had given up reporting violence because nothing changed.

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Savannah College of Arts and Design Installs Gunshot-Detecting Technology

SAVANNAH, GA The Savannah College of Art and Design is upping its security to keep students safe. The new technology will help in case of a school shooting. SCAD just installed ShotSpotter, the same technology the city of Savannah recently purchased.

“The technology detects gunfire and helps police pinpoint the threat in seconds,” said SCAD Security Dir. John Buckovich.

The SCAD campus may be spread out over the city, but in the Command Center student safety is monitored around the clock. Besides more than 600 security cameras watching people on campus, the college also has rolled out ShotSpotter technology.

“When gunfire is detected within our campus area whether it’s inside or outside an alert will come on screen,” said Buckovich.

SCAD Security Director John Buckovich said gunfire detection sensors are placed in all of the academic buildings. If a gun goes off, the information is sent directly to Savannah-Chatham Metro police so they can quickly respond.

“It will tell you how many rounds were fired, it will tell you very closely within about 25 meters where the shot occurred, and it will tell you if the individual shooting the rounds is moving,” said Buckovich.

SCAD student Kathryn Larrabee said she already feels safe on campus but this extra precaution can’t hurt.

“It’s kind of hard with an open campus to get that balance of security and letting us learn at the same time so I think this secure campus is really exciting for us students to know that they will be there no matter what,” said Larrabee.

Buckovich said this technology will make a difference in an emergency situation.

“We hope that this never happens on our campus but it’s a proactive way that if it ever were to happen we have a system in place we can respond quickly and effectively,” said Buckovich.

SCAD is the first college in the United States to install this system on campus.

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Husband coaches wife through shoplifting heist via text

HAYDEN, Idaho - It wasn’t exactly a Bonnie and Clyde story or an Ocean’s Eleven heist, but a husband and wife were arrested in Hayden on Friday in a shoplifting scheme that went bad according the the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office was notified by Walmart security that a woman named Celeste Vanmeter was shoplifting, and it appears her husband Russell was in the parking lot texting her instructions on how to do the deed.

Security said the pair were suspicious inside the store and then they split up. Russell went out to the parking lot, and Celeste stayed inside the store, checking her phone, and filling her cart with various items, including paint buckets, light bulbs, a small heater and an XM stereo. Security then watched as Celeste left the store with at least $148 worth of stuff before they stopped her.

Once deputies arrived and began their investigation, they asked Celeste if there was any evidence she and her husband had been planning to steal on her phone. Deputies said Celeste said no and gave them permission to look. The deputies then found the following text exchange between Celeste and her husband (Note* The text messages are written just the way deputies found them, with spelling errors):

Celeste: “I’m at Walmart.”

Russell: “Go out the grocery and wait for a bunch of people to go threw and then merge with them.”

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Mother and daughter charged with baby formula thefts

NORTON SHORES, Mich. (WZZM) - A mother-daughter team suspected of stealing hundreds of cans of baby formula across Michigan to resell are being charged with recent thefts from a Meijer store in Norton Shores.

Sue Surian, 55, and her 29-year-old daughter Lisa are scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Muskegon District Court on felony charges of first-degree retail fraud and organized retail crime.

The two have quite a bit of experience in shoplifting, according to court records.

Both were convicted in Montcalm County of shoplifting from a Walmart store in Greenville and sentenced to six months’ probation. A week after the Oct. 27 sentencing, Norton Shores police released surveillance photos of two women suspected of stealing more than $1,000 worth of baby formula.

It did not take long for investigators to identify the Stanton women as suspects in the Norton Shores thefts.

Muskegon County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Tim Maat said the pair stole between 15 and 30 cans of baby food formula at a time, often concealing it in garbage cans. Surveillance video from a theft at the Meijer store in Norton Shores helped lead to their arrest. Maat says the thefts are part of a disturbing national trend.

“The attempts have been to get baby formula and to sell it nationwide,” Maat said. ” And this is not a situation where a young mother is struggling to find enough formula for their infant child. It’s being stolen in volume so that it can be resold for criminal reasons.”

Maat says the pair sold the formula stolen in Muskegon County for $2,000, charging $5 for the smaller cans and $8 for larger sizes.

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New bomb-sniffing dogs working Sea-Tac security

SEA-TAC AIRPORT, Wash. – Brand-new screening measures are in place at Sea-Tac Airport ahead of the busy Thanksgiving holiday travel rush. TSA is now using specially-trained bomb-sniffing canines at security checkpoints.

As passengers walk by with their luggage, the working dogs have the ability to sniff out explosives, including components to make a bomb. Then, the canines will alert their handlers if a passenger needs to be checked out for something suspicious.

“We know from intelligence and from experience that explosives are the number one threat against aviation, and so we can stop those from getting pass security check-points everyone can feel a little safe,” said TSA spokesperson Lorie Dankers.

Because they are working dogs, travelers are asked to not pet the dogs or give them treats.

Screening for and stopping prohibited items, especially knives of all sizes, continue to be an issue TSA agents see at checkpoints, which slows down the check-in process.

Among the items surrendered at Sea-Tac Airport checkpoints this week were a pair of 3-foot-long novelty scissors, blades that fold out from credit card-size holders, power tools and an ice axe.

To get through security smoothly and faster, TSA recommends dressing light and double-checking all carryon bags for any prohibited items.

The TSA still occasionally spots people trying to bring firearms through security. If you’re packing a firearm, it must be unloaded and inside a locked, hard-sided container in your checked bag. You cannot carry a firearm, firearm parts or ammunition on the plane with you. Realistic replicas of guns are also banned from being carried on, but rifle scopes are allowed.

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