You’ve probably been hearing a lot of news about how the government shutdown is affecting people’s jobs, travel and life. But did you know that it’s also affecting the safety and efficiency of your online activities? Here’s what you need to know.
When government shuts down, so do government-run websites, including consumer protection ones like the National Do Not Call Registry, where a message stating that “due to the government shutdown, we are unable to offer this website service at this time” is all that you’ll see. Similar websites that have also been shut down include identitytheft.gov, an FTC site where identity theft victims can report such activity; and ftc.gov/complaint, where consumers can log complaints.
Government-run investigation’s into identity theft, privacy breaches and other activities that can threaten your safety both online and in the real world have also come to a halt, with the danger of never picking back up. One such investigation is the Federal Trade Commission’s probe into the Facebook privacy scandal, which has been put on hold indefinitely. The FTC has been probing the social network’s privacy scandals for months and assessing whether it violated a 2011 consent order to protect users’ data. Without the finances or staff to continue, the investigation has been completely halted, leaving any enforcement or resolutions up in the air indefinitely.
The agriculture industry has also been affected by the government shutdown, as many functions of the U.S. Department of Agriculture are suspended, leaving farmers and ranchers with limited online market information they depend on for price discovery and risk management operations for their business.
We want to assure you that Softcom high-speed internet service has not been affected by the government shutdown and our clients continue to receive the same access and customer service as usual. In an effort to help you learn more about online safety best practices, however, we’re providing the following links to helpful articles:
- How to tell if you’re a victim of a phishing scam (and what to do)
- How to create strong passwords
- Tips to avoid identity theft online