Tag Archives: information

Your Teen is Talking to Strangers and Giving Out Too Much Info

By: Wen Tong Neo

McAfee released a study in June that exposed a shocking revelation for the parents of tweens and teens. The 2014 Teens and the Screen study: Exploring Online Privacy, Social Networking and Cyberbullying exposed that teens often over share personal information and are willing engage strangers online.

The survey highlighted some important findings. Private lives are not so private. Teens often seek social networks considered to be the “no parent zone.” Cyberbullying is still prevalent on the world wide web and teens are often the victim. Cyberbullying conflicts are also carried into offline altercations.

Some of the statistics are startling. Continue reading Your Teen is Talking to Strangers and Giving Out Too Much Info

Stand Against Spying- A Coalition Seeking to Stop Government Mass Spy Programs

By: Alan Cleaver

A coalition of organizations from across the political spectrum has joined forces to fight mass surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA). The group has launched a website called “Stand Against Spying” and has become a watchdog of Congress. Although the organizations are vastly different in terms of missions, goals, and communities they all agree that mass surveillance is a violation of the United States Constitution. Electronic Frontier Foundation, Tenth Amendment Center, Greenpeace, Freedom of the Press Foundation, and UpWorthy are all part of the coalition fighting back against the government spy programs created by the NSA.

Stand Against Spying allows users to put in their address and zipcode to see how their representative is voting on issues regarding mass surveillance. Each member of Congress is rated on his or her actions to end or promote mass surveillance.

The method used to rate members of Congress was different for the House and for the Senate. For the House, votes for the two strongest bills against mass spying were considered; the Surveillance State Repeal Act and the original version of the USA FREEDOM Act. Senate members were rated on whether they co-sponsored the original USA FREEDOM Act and if they have come out publicly claiming a commitment to cosponsoring the Act when Congress is back in session (July 7).

The website requests that users sign an open letter to President Obama. The letter sets out the goals, beliefs and mission of Stand Against Spying.

It reads:

“Dear Mr. President,

As citizens of the Internet, we believe that mass surveillance by the NSA and its global partners infringes on our civil liberties, runs contrary to democratic principles, and chills free expression.

We’re calling on you to take immediate steps to end the mass spying. Specifically, we urge you to stop the mass collection and retention of telephone records and Internet communications of hundreds of millions of people who are not suspected of a crime.

In addition, we call on you to provide a full public accounting of the intelligence community’s mass surveillance practices.”

Read the full letter here. Internet citizens are encouraged to sign the open letter to take a stand against spying.


Secrets to Keeping Track of Family Records

Managing a family’s affairs requires keeping track of important records and paperwork. The problem with so many papers is that households can end up struggling to find ways to organize the paperwork and find storage solutions for necessary items that are not needed at the particular time. In addition, securing these documents can be a challenge, as most people don’t realize how important it is to protect their personal information. Even the smallest ATM receipt can give identity thieves access to someone’s account, and the typical person might not realize that leaving it on the coffee table could be a big mistake. Managing paperwork takes a little work, but ultimately it is worth the effort of getting organized.

Separate Documents Into Categories

According to Carolyn McKinney from the University of Ohio, households have documents that range from financial paperwork to medical documentation. With a wide array of different papers, a household should always begin the process of organizing by placing paperwork into different categories based on the purpose of the paper. Categories a family might consider filing paperwork under include financial, medical, religious and insurance. Organizing also makes it easier to differentiate between important documents and shredder material.

Break the Categories into 3 Groups

Get a good pad lock to secure important documents in a storage unit

Each category will have certain paperwork currently in action, papers that are necessary to keep for a certain time period and documents that are permanent to the family. Cynthia Ewer on OraganizedHome.com suggests breaking down the paperwork into three separate files under the ABCs of organization. Her suggestion is to divide paperwork into sub-categories for paperwork that is currently in action, basic household files that include routine expenses, and classic files that are a permanent part of family life.

Throw Out Receipts

The traditional advice to maintain receipts for a certain time period relates to Continue reading Secrets to Keeping Track of Family Records

New IRS reporting system affects PayPal accounts

Businesses that process payments through credit cards, debit cards or payment merchants like PayPal beware.  The IRS has a new reporting system and surprise, surprise, according to a Treasury Department audit released July 26, 2011 the system that includes “a revised form” that may be flawed. Imagine that?

In 2008 the enacted Housing and Economic Recovery Act legislated requirements for banks and other merchant services like PayPal to report annual gross payments processed by credit or debit cards or accounts to the IRS and to merchants.

So where’s the beef?

The TIGTA audit found that a newly revised form may not facilitate matches between what merchants report and what payment processors report.  To make matters worse, there’s mandatory back up withholding involved and the fear is that with the great volume of reporting this new system requires, mismatches may be unresolved when mandatory withholding kicks in. Continue reading New IRS reporting system affects PayPal accounts

Summer time travel: Credit cards are one hot commodity

It is expected that this year there will be an increase in travel throughout the summer months. As people are feeling better about spending money again, the amount of people taking vacations is expected to rise. Unfortunately, travel is not the only thing on the rise. Credit card theft, and credit card fraud is also expected to rise, and those who are vacationing are the primary targets.

There are scams everywhere

As a traveler it can be hard to know what to look for when it comes to credit card fraud. Traveling to a new place can be exciting. Imagine that you arrive at your hotel and check-in, you hand the clerk your credit card, and you then get your keys, your whole family is excited about what lies ahead.

Later that night you are in your room, your phone rings and the person on the other end says they are the clerk at the front desk. The clerk explains that there was a problem processing your credit card and that they need you to verify your card number and address, they even offer a discounted rate due to the inconvenience. Without thinking you give the credit card information and settle down for the night. What you don’t understand is that you just had your credit card information stolen from someone pretending to be a hotel employee.

Continue reading Summer time travel: Credit cards are one hot commodity

Geotagging Dangers

“Tag you’re it!” is a phrase I hear quite often as my children play the game of “tag” with each other and their friends at a park or backyard.  But I don’t want to see it on a Facebook page, as a Tweet on Twitter or on a website.  The latest technology on smartphones like the Blackberry, Android and iPhone systems, as well as many digital cameras, do just that.  They say “tag you’re it” and show just where “it” is, by placing the longitude and latitude of your position within the photo when you take a picture.

Just because you don’t see it on the photograph doesn’t mean that the geotag isn’t there.  Don’t’ think that you would have to turn on the technology for it to embed geotags on your photographs either.  In fact, it’s just the opposite. Continue reading Geotagging Dangers

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Where is your money going?

President Obama began his February 2009 televised address with promises to “rebuild” and “recover.”  Early in his address to Congress television audiences began typing he when President Obama announced announce the website Recovery.gov.  The idea behind Recovery.gov, the creation of which President Obama mandated as part of legislation, was to make the spending of the $787 billion from the 2009 Stimulus Package transparent to tax payers.

From the recovery.gov web site:

“The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be carried out with full transparency and accountability — and Recovery.gov is the centerpiece of that effort.” Continue reading American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Where is your money going?

Interview – Searching for Email Security: Review And Policy Surrounding What Is Email Security?

Email Security
Should you, as an individual, have a policy around email security? What is email security anyway??
In this interview with Paul Herbka from South Seas Corporation (policy and email security solutions review company based out of Colorado), we go in depth in a discussion of email security, and why it’s important for any individual or business to seriously consider what their policy is for email security.
He also goes into a review of email security products and services.
You can listen to the interview, and/or read the transcript below, for free. (Paul even offers you a discount if you mention this interview when you call him.)

Download the interview about what Email Security is in MP3 Format”

Continue reading Interview – Searching for Email Security: Review And Policy Surrounding What Is Email Security?

What’s Posted about You Online and Do You Really Want it There?

Have you ever Googled or used other search engines to find out what is posted on-line about you? What if you don’t like what you find? What do you do?

Continue reading What’s Posted about You Online and Do You Really Want it There?

Don’t Become In”Patient” with Your Medical Records

As physicians and hospitals transition from paper to electronic medical records there are concerns that medical information will be even easier to access on an even larger scale. What can you do about it to keep your family and your health safe.

Continue reading Don’t Become In”Patient” with Your Medical Records