Joe Biden’s Venmo account was discovered by reporters in ‘less than 10 minutes’

President Joe Biden.

President Joe Biden’s Venmo account was discovered after just a few minutes of searching, Buzzfeed News reported on Friday.

The transactions on the account were set to private, but it was reportedly linked to Biden’s family members.

Venmo accounts by default display connections, or “friends.” Accounts for Biden’s children and grandchildren were among those connected to the president’s account, according to Buzzfeed. The account had a handful of connections.

The search for Biden’s account began after The New York Times on Friday published an inside look at Biden’s time in the White House. The story said: “One advisor said he had sent the grandchildren money using Venmo.”

With that info in hand, it took “less than 10 minutes” to find Biden’s account, Buzzfeed said. Accounts linked to Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden were removed following the report, according to the outlet.

In a statement to Buzzfeed, a Venmo spokesperson said: “The safety and privacy of all Venmo users and their information is always a top priority, and we take this responsibility very seriously. Customers always have the ability to make their transactions private and determine their own privacy settings in the app. We’re consistently evolving and strengthening the privacy measures for all Venmo users to continue to provide a safe, secure place to send and spend money.”

Venmo has been in the political spotlight recently after Joel Greenberg, an ally of Rep. Matt Gaetz, reportedly made more than 150 payments via Venmo to dozens of women, as well as a 17-year-old girl. In one instance, Gaetz reportedly sent $900 to Greenberg.

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Tim Cook reportedly told Mark Zuckerberg that Facebook should delete all data it collected after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and he was ‘stunned’ by the suggestion

Tim Cook Mark Zuckerberg
Apple CEO Tim Cook, left, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, right.

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly had an unpleasant meeting in 2019.
  • They discussed Facebook’s user privacy after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the NYT reported.
  • Zuckerberg was said to be “stunned” by Cook’s proposed solution to delete any data Facebook had collected.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

In 2019, amidst a flock of billionaires gathered at the annual Sun Valley retreat in Idaho, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly had an ill-fated meeting.

Zuckerberg asked for Cook’s advice on dealing with user privacy issues in the fallout of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where data from over 50 million Facebook accounts was harvested, the New York Times reported on Monday, and Cook’s response “stunned” the young Facebook CEO.

Cook reportedly instructed Zuckerberg to delete all of the user data his company collects from outside of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

It was tantamount to Cook telling Zuckerberg that Facebook’s core business was “untenable,” according to the report.

Facebook notoriously tracks its users all over the web, even when they’re not using a Facebook service. That data is critical to Facebook advertising sales, which is core to how the social media giant makes money.

Read more: Apple is poised to rewrite its privacy rules for advertisers – here’s what’s at stake for all the players

Facebook and Apple have sparred publicly for years over privacy issues, going back to at least 2014 when Cook called out the business models of companies like Google and Facebook in an interview with Charlie Rose. “I think everyone has to ask, how do companies make their money? Follow the money,” he said. “And if they’re making money mainly by collecting gobs of personal data, I think you have a right to be worried. And you should really understand what’s happening to that data.”

Most recently, Apple appeared to take a direct shot at Facebook and with its iOS 14.5 update, coming this week, that will allow iPhone users worldwide to opt-out of tracking. In short, the new update enables iPhone users to stop Facebook from tracking them outside of Facebook’s own apps: The same suggestion Cook is said to have given Zuckerberg back in 2019.

Neither Apple nor Facebook responded to a request for comment as of publishing.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (, or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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Zelle is a safe way to send and receive money, but beware of scammers

pregnant woman making online payment with phone and credit card
When you’re sending money to a trusted recipient, Zelle is a safe option.

  • Zelle is safe, as long as you know and trust the person you’re sending money to.
  • Once you authorize a payment, it’ll go through, and there’s no form of fraud protection.
  • Zelle runs through your personal bank’s digital infrastructure, so it’s as secure as your bank.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

There’s no shortage of peer-to-peer digital payment apps; in 2017, Zelle joined the ranks of services like PayPal and Venmo as a simple way to send and receive money via your mobile device. Unlike the alternatives, though, Zelle is backed by hundreds of banks and directly transfers money between accounts in minutes.

That speed – and its status as the “official” digital payment system built into many banking apps – makes it a target for criminal activity, which has led some experts to question the app’s overall safety.

Zelle is safe if you know who you’re sending money to

Zelle was built by banks and was engineered to be safe. “Zelle is safe because it uses data encryption which offers users increased protection. From a privacy perspective, it’s safer than alternatives, like Venmo and Cash App, since it’s harder for scammers to access users’ personal information,” said Nishank Khanna, chief marketing officer at Clarify Capital.

But some well-publicized incidents of fraud are a cause for concern, and Zelle’s consumer protection isn’t especially robust if things go wrong.

The biggest drawback of Zelle is that it doesn’t offer fraud protection for authorized payments. In other words, if you purchase something online and use Zelle to pay for it, you have no recourse if you never receive the item you paid for.

For example, if you use Zelle to purchase an item from Craigslist, and it turns out you were scammed, Zelle won’t refund you. Thus, Zelle advises that you only use the service to pay people you absolutely know and trust.

Zelle app
To send money on Zelle, you need to enter the recipient’s phone number or email – but make sure you trust them.

Ted Rossman, a senior industry analyst at said, “The key with Zelle is to only send money to people you know and trust. Once the money is sent, it’s gone. There’s no pending status, no chargeback mechanism, no buyer protections of any sort. If you send money to the wrong person, you’re basically at the mercy of that stranger to send it back.”

In fact, some criminals try to capitalize on that. “Some scammers deliberately encourage you to pay them via Zelle with the intent of stealing your money. If someone you don’t know is requesting a payment via Zelle, I’d suggest declining,” Rossman said.

But you’re not entirely without protection. In many cases, it all comes down to whether you authorized the transaction; if you did, you’re not protected. But unauthorized transactions are usually fully reimbursable.

“Zelle’s ease-of-use can also make it possible for malicious parties and fraudsters to use social engineering to acquire Zelle credentials,” said Tom Kelly, president and CEO of consumer privacy company IDX. Social engineering is when a scammer lies about their identity or goal to trick victims into giving them personal information.

Criminals have used social engineering to contact victims and request the two-factor code that Zelle requires to set up accounts. In situations like this, criminals can easily set up a Zelle account on their own device using a victim’s credentials.

You can defend yourself against these types of attacks the same way that you defend yourself from phishing attacks, malware, and other social engineering attacks: Keep your data and personal information secure, don’t divulge info to people you don’t know, and make your passwords unique and strong.

online shopping laptop with credit card
Never hand out your payment info to an individual you don’t know.

How to use the Venmo mobile app to make or receive paymentsIs PayPal secure? How the service protects your transactions, credit card data, and more‘How secure is my password?’: How to test the strength and security of your passwords using an online password-security tool‘Why is my PayPal money pending?’: 5 reasons why PayPal holds funds, and how to expedite your transaction

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Facebook is under investigation in the EU for its massive leak of 533 million people’s data –¬†and it could face a fine in the billions

facebook mark zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appears before a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019.

  • A European regulator announced that it’s investigating Facebook over a leak of 533 million people’s data.
  • Ireland’s Data Protection Commission will probe whether Facebook broke EU privacy laws.
  • Facebook could face a fine of up to 4% of its $86 billion global revenue if found responsible.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Europe’s leading privacy regulator is investigating whether Facebook broke the law in its handling of a leak of over 533 million people’s phone numbers and personal data.

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, the body charged with overseeing Facebook’s privacy compliance in the European Union, announced it had opened an investigation into the social media giant on Wednesday. If Facebook is found to have violated the EU’s data rules, it could face a monetary fine of up to 4% of its $86 billion global revenue.

In a statement, the DPC said it believes EU data rules “may have been, and/or are being, infringed in relation to Facebook Users’ personal data.”

The personal data of over 533 million Facebook users were dumped online for free in a hacking forum earlier this month, Insider first reported. The data included phone numbers that users didn’t make public on their Facebook profiles, which were scraped by cybercriminals in violation of Facebook’s terms of service.

A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to Insider that the company is “cooperating fully” with the investigation, adding that the DPC is probing a now-patched vulnerability in a Facebook tool that made it possible to gather information about a Facebook user by entering their phone number.

“We are cooperating fully with the IDPC in its enquiry, which relates to features that make it easier for people to find and connect with friends on our services. These features are common to many apps and we look forward to explaining them and the protections we have put in place,” the spokesperson said.

When news of the leak first broke, Facebook said the data was scraped due to a vulnerability that the company patched in 2019, and downplayed the issue as “previously reported” – but the company never publicly addressed the vulnerability in detail until the data dump this month.

Facebook also said it does not plan to notify the hundreds of millions affected by the data breach because it’s not confident that it has full knowledge of which users are affected, and because users can’t take steps to fix the issue given that the data has already been published online.

The DPC investigation comes on the heels of pressure from the European Commission. Justice commissioner Didier Reynders said on Monday that he had met with the DPC head Helen Dixon regarding the Facebook leak.

The EU investigation will probe whether Facebook had a legal obligation to notify users and European regulators when it found and fixed the vulnerability. The EU’s data privacy rules, known as GDPR, require such disclosures – but the GDPR only applies to data processed after 2018, and it’s not yet clear if the leaked Facebook data was scraped before the GDPR went into effect.

The DPC said that it has already started questioning Facebook about the data leak and that Facebook has “furnished a number of responses.”

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How to find out if your data was exposed in an online breach – and how to protect yourself

Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg
  • Companies and government organizations are regularly breached, exposing people’s personal data.
  • Hackers buy and sell breached data in order to impersonate people or carry out scams.
  • Here’s how you can find out if your data has been leaked online and protect yourself.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

More records are stored online than ever – and it’s becoming increasingly common for large swaths of personal data to fall into the hands of cybercriminals.

Over 4 billion records have been stolen or accidentally leaked in the past decade, according to data collected by Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, with more than 7,000 separate breaches in that time, and the frequency of mega-breaches that compromise tens or hundreds of millions of people’s data is on the rise.

Most recently, a hacker published the personal data of 533 million Facebook users online for free, Insider reported Saturday, including names, phone numbers, email addresses, account IDs, and bios.

Cybercriminals use leaked personal data as a starting point for countless other scams. Stolen records are regularly circulated online by cybercriminals and used for fraud, while hackers can try to break into companies’ systems to deploy ransomware or extort them.

Here’s how to determine whether your data has been exposed in a breach and how to protect yourself.

Check whether your information was exposed using free online tools

Companies are legally required to notify users when their data is breached, but those disclosures are often made through vague public statements, and individual consumers can be left in the dark. Thankfully, security researchers keep exhaustive records of past data points that you can use to check whether you were affected by a breach.

One such resource is, a database maintained by security analyst Troy Hunt. The site lets anyone enter their email address and cross-references it with more than 10 billion accounts compromised in past breaches to determine whether they’ve been “pwned,” or compromised.

In some cases, passwords are also exposed in data breaches. Hunt’s site also provides a password search that lets people know if their password has ever fallen into the hands of hackers.

If you were affected by a breach, take steps to secure your accounts

If you find out your personal information was stolen in a breach, it’s time to protect your identity. Doing so depends on the severity of the data stolen – if your social security number or drivers’ license number were stolen, you’ll need to file a report with the appropriate government agency.

But in most cases, data breaches include less sensitive information like emails and usernames. If your email address was exposed, you should change your password to that email account and set up multifactor authentication to secure your email.

If you find out your password itself was exposed, you can no longer count on that password to keep your accounts safe, and should immediately change your passwords on all affected accounts. Setting up multifactor authentication is also a best practice.

Finally, stay alert for any suspicious activity on any of your accounts. If you do detect suspicious activity, change your password and contact that account’s administrator.

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Snapchat reportedly made plans to skirt Apple’s new privacy rules and keep tracking its user base

  • Snap, the company that owns Snapchat, explored ways to skirt Apple’s new privacy rules, FT reported.
  • Apple is about to roll out new tools that let people opt out of being tracked by their apps.
  • Snap reportedly wanted to gather data from third parties to keep tabs on users’ behavior.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Snap reportedly researched ways to skirt Apple’s new privacy rules that will ban apps from tracking people without their permission, The Financial Times reported Friday.

The company explored methods of tracking people’s behavior through third parties and cross-referencing that information with its own user database to keep tabs on users, according to the report, which cited internal documents and unnamed sources familiar with the situation.

The report comes as Apple is preparing to roll out new privacy policies that will ask people if they want to let their apps track them and block apps from doing so if they opt out.

The policies are expected to have a massive impact on the digital advertising market, which currently relies on tracking people’s behaviors across apps and websites to more precisely target ads. If most iPhone users opt out of the tracking, the policies could hurt major social media companies’ advertising revenue. Facebook has said Apple’s new policies could cut revenues for its Audience Network, which personalizes ads in third-party apps, by up to 50%.

Snap did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. In a statement to FT, Snap confirmed that it explored methods of tracking users’ behavior using third party services, but said that it would discontinue the system once Apple’s new privacy changes go into effect.

“We support and will follow Apple’s upcoming guidelines because we have always believed that advertising should respect consumers’ privacy,” Snap told the outlet.

Snap isn’t the only company to have explored skirting Apple’s new privacy rules. ByteDance, the Beijing-based company that owns TikTok, reportedly tested Chinese state-backed tools that would make it possible to keep tracking users in China even after Apple’s new standards go into effect.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Seeking nominations for the advertising and marketing execs helping their companies prepare for a data-privacy world

Google Office Logo Chrome
Alphabet Inc.’s Google logo.

  • Insider is looking for the top ad executives at the forefront of navigating data and privacy.
  • They could be pioneering things like a new contextual targeting approach or a first-party database.
  • Submit your nomination by 9 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 31.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Data has long been a buzzy word in advertising, but it’s never been as critical as it is today.

Google and Apple’s plans to phase out mainstay ad-targeting tools are forcing advertisers to evolve their ad targeting, while the consumer shift to digital streaming and e-commerce are changing the way marketers collect and use people’s data.

Some companies are responding by buying startups to help scale their approach to data, while others like ad holding giant WPP are building new data operations themselves.

Insider is looking for the advertising and marketing executives who are at the forefront of helping their companies navigate these changes, whether it’s pioneering a new way of contextually targeting or building a new first-party database.

This list will be based on nominations and our own reporting. The execs can come from marketers and agencies, but should be in the weeds of tackling data and privacy, not necessarily at the C-Suite level.

Submit your nomination through this form by 9 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 31.

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How to turn off location services on your iPhone and prevent apps from tracking you

iPhone XS Max
Turning off location services on your iPhone can save your battery and data, and protect your privacy.

  • You can turn off all location services on your iPhone in the Settings menu.
  • You can also disable location services only for specific iPhone apps or system services.
  • To turn off location sharing with friends or family, you can use the Find My app or iMessage.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

When you turn off location services on your iPhone, you’re disabling them across your device. This can be great to stop location tracking and preserve battery life. But it will cause some difficulties with apps like Find My or Maps.

You also have less extreme and more tailored options, such as turning off location services only for certain apps, or making sure specific people can’t track your location.

Here’s how to adjust all the location tracking services on your iPhone.

How to check your data usage on an iPhone, and manage each app’s dataHow to sync your iPhone and iPad with your email, photos, text messages, and more‘Why won’t my iPhone charge?’: How to diagnose and fix common iPhone charging problemsHow to easily delete all of the photos and videos on your iPhone at once

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Facebook stock jumped more than 4% after Mark Zuckerberg said Apple’s privacy update will help the social media giant

Mark Zuckerberg
  • Facebook stock climbed 4.1%, closing at $290.11 on Friday, after Mark Zuckerberg’s comments on Clubhouse.
  • “I’m confident that we’re gonna be able to manage through that situation,” Zuckerberg said on Thursday.
  • The Apple iOS 14 software update allows users to opt-out from being tracked.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Facebook stock climbed 4.1% on Friday after CEO Mark Zuckerberg changed his tune on Apple’s imminent privacy update.

The social media company had been fighting with Apple over the changes for months, but Zuckerberg reversed course this week and said he actually thinks the new policies will help the social media giant. Shares rose following the comments, closing at $290.11 on Friday.

“I think the reality is that I’m confident that we’re gonna be able to manage through that situation, Zuckerberg said in a discussion Thursday on Clubhouse. “And we’ll be in a good position. I think it’s possible that we may even be in a stronger position.”

The Apple iOS 14 software update will require app developers including Facebook to request permission from users before tracking them through Apple’s Identified for Advertisers (IDFA).

“Apple’s changes encourage more businesses to conduct commerce on our platforms, by making it harder for them to basically use their data in order to find the customers that would want to use their products outside of our platforms,” Zuckerberg said during the Clubhouse talk.

Facebook has been pushing back against the Apple iOS update since August. The company said in a blog post that the changes will impact its Audience Network by limiting its ability to deliver targeted advertising, which will slash its revenue on iOS up to 50%.

“This is not a change we want to make, but unfortunately Apple’s updates to iOS 14 have forced this decision. We know this may severely impact publishers’ ability to monetize through Audience Network on iOS 14, and, despite our best efforts, may render Audience Network so ineffective on iOS 14 that it may not make sense to offer it on iOS 14 in the future,” the blog post said in August.

During the Clubhouse discussion, Zuckerberg said that these changes will affect small businesses and developers. “I just think it’s one of the reasons why Facebook has been a bit outspoken on this is, there are certain principles that we care about and empowering individuals is one of them,” he added.

Apple has hit back at Facebook’s criticism, telling Insider’s Isobel Asher Hamilton it was standing up for its users by creating the new privacy features.

“Users should know when their data is being collected and shared across other apps and websites – and they should have the choice to allow that or not,” an Apple spokesperson said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Mark Zuckerberg has said Apple’s upcoming privacy changes could strengthen Facebook, after months-long PR campaign against them

Tim Cook Mark Zuckerberg
Apple CEO Tim Cook (left) and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

  • Mark Zuckerberg said Apple’s upcoming privacy changes could put Facebook’s commerce products in a “stronger position.”
  • The social media giant has been fighting Apple over the changes since August.
  • The change will force developers to ask users’ permission to track them for targeted advertising.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has struck a very different tone on Apple’s imminent privacy changes – which will force the company to ask users’ permission before giving their data to advertisers – claiming they could leave it in a “stronger position.”

After months of the social media company fighting Apple over the changes, Zuckerberg told a discussion on Clubhouse on Thursday, “I think the reality is that I’m confident that we’re gonna be able to manage through that situation. And we’ll be in a good position. I think it’s possible that we may even be in a stronger position.”

Zuckerberg’s words come after a public fight between Facebook and Apple over the upcoming changes that began last August when Facebook said the update could decimate part of its advertising business.

The changes on iOS14 are expected to roll out soon and will force app developers like Facebook to ask users for permission before tracking them via Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA).

In January, Zuckerberg said Apple had become one Facebook’s “biggest competitors” and accused it of stifling competition under the guise of privacy protection.

Read more: Apple is about to roll out privacy changes, and advertisers worry they’ll make it harder to tell if their ads are working

Speaking on Clubhouse, Zuckerberg said he now believed the changes could strengthen Facebook by encouraging sellers to go directly via Facebook’s commerce products, as targeted advertising on the platform was rendered less effective.

“Apple’s changes encourage more businesses to conduct commerce on our platforms, by making it harder for them to basically use their data in order to find the customers that would want to use their products outside of our platforms,” he said.

“But the thing that I’ve been mostly focused on is that a lot of these changes are going to make it harder for small businesses and developers. And I think the situation is going to be challenging for them to navigate.”

He added, “I just think it’s one of the reasons why Facebook has been a bit outspoken on this is, there are certain principles that we care about and empowering individuals is one of them.”

Facebook has consistently claimed the changes will hurt small business, in December going so far as to take out full-page newspaper ads saying, “We’re standing up to Apple for small businesses everywhere.”

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