Yearly Archive for: ‘2018’

Do You Have a Password Strategy?

One of the most common ways that hackers break into computers and mobile devices is by obtaining passwords. Although, I realize that it is easy to have one password for all your sites, this approach significantly increases your risk of identity theft.
 Here is my 10 top list of simple password rules:
10 – Do not share your passwords
 9 – Avoid using birthdays, family names, addresses, or any other obvious personal information 
 8 – Include letters (at least one capitalized), numbers, and symbols
 7 – Do not use the same password for your e-mail and web based accounts
 6 –  Do not reuse the same password for all your accounts
 5 – Change your passwords every 6 months or as soon as you suspect any unauthorized activities on any of your accounts
 4 – Do not respond to ANY requests (e-mails or text messages) for personal information
 3 – Do not enter password information at any free wi-fi locations such as coffee shops, public parks, hotels, airports, etc. 
 2-  Always log off when you leave your computer or device, and if you are using anyone else’s equipment
And my number one recommendation:
Some of you may already be using one of the many online password managers. However, the important point is that you have a strategy that you are comfortable with that reduces the risk of being hacked and a victim of identity fraud.


Are You Being Overwhelmed by Spam Phone Calls and Text Messages?

Unwanted calls and spam texts are annoying, but you can do something about them. The New York Times has reported that there are steps you can take to block and report spam calls and texts. Here are some basic recommendations.

– Block and report individual numbers.

– Don’t dial any numbers in an automated menu, don’t reply to any text messages with “STOP,” don’t even talk.

– You can put your number on the Do Not Call list and report unwanted calls to the Federal Trade Commission.

CLICK HERE to read the complete article in the New York Times and learn more about the action you can take to reduce the number of unwanted calls and texts.


What is Malware?

Wikipedia describes Malware as any software intentionally designed to cause damage to a computer, server or computer network.

PC Mag reports that the following are the most common signs that your computer has been infested with Malware.

Popup Ads Start Popping Up Everywhere

Your Browser Keeps Getting Redirected

An Unknown App Sends Scary Warnings

Mysterious Posts Appear on Your Social Media

You Get Ransom Demands

Your System Tools Are Disabled

In addition to having an anti-virus program (with the latest updates) installed in your computer, a strong malware program such as Malwarebytes must be installed as well.

Concerned about your iPhone battery life?

Business Insider reports on the 5 common myths about iPhone battery life

Myth #1: Closing apps you’re not using can save battery life

Myth #2: Charging your phone overnight can hurt the battery

Myth #3: Apple’s $29 battery replacements are guaranteed to improve your device’s battery life

Myth #4: Turning off settings like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi will always save your battery life

Myth #5: Letting the iPhone adjust brightness automatically hurts battery life

Click here to read the entire article from Business Insider

Apple offers many suggestions for each of your Apple devices on how to increase your battery life. Click here to read the Apple post.


How to Review and Delete Your Alexa History

Alexa records everything you say and stores it all in the Alexa app.

Want to review what you’ve asked Alexa (and maybe delete some of the more embarrassing inquiries)? Here’s how.

Click here to read the complete article and the steps you can take to delete your Alexa commands.


How to Minimize the Risk of Identity Theft

What are the most causes of Identity Theft?

When someone obtains your personal information – name, address, phone numbers, e-mail address, birthdate, social security numbers, driver’s license, credit cards.

While it is impossible to totally eliminate the risk of identity theft, here are some helpful tips on how to minimize the risk.

What about the Equifax Data Breach?

Call each of the three major credit companies and freeze your credit file.

Equifax  800 685-1111  Experian 888 397-3742  TransUnion 888-909-8872

Income Tax Fraud

Do not send your social security number by text message or e-mail. Respond to IRS requests received by mail only. File early. Send all tax reports and checks by certified mail.


Use only credit cards when shopping. Credit card charges can be challenged. Do not use debit cards. On the Internet, make sure that the site begins with https.  Do not store credit card information with retailers. Remember the data breaches with well known retailers such as Target.


Beware of free public wi-fi networks in hotels, coffee shops, airports, public parks, etc. Do not access sensitive sites such as your bank, financial institutions, and online purchasing sites requiring password information.  I use a private internet access service which provides the privacy you need in these public places. CLICK HERE to read more about VPN services.

Protect Your Computer

Update all anti-virus and malware programs. Download and install program updates as requested. Ignore phone call warnings about your computers. Hang up immediately. Delete popups warnings about viruses from unknown sources. Delete e-mails from banks and shopping sites asking to update personal info. Never respond to any requests for personal information over the Internet. To learn more about “phishing,” CLICK HERE. I would avoid requests such as “please rate my site or performance and winning a trip.”

Mobile Phones.

Password protect your phone. Do not include lists of personal information or passwords on your mobile phone. Do not download mobile apps from unknown sources or third parties.

Do Not Call Registry

The Do Not Call Registry accepts registrations from both cell phones and land lines. To register by telephone, call 1-888-382-1222. You must call from the phone number that you want to register. To register online (, you will have to respond to a confirmation email.

What to do if you are a victim of Identity Theft

Call your bank and cancel your ATM/debit card

Call your credit card companies and report your card has been stolen

Report your missing driver’s license to your local DMV and get a new one

File a police report

Call the three credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, Transunion) and have a fraud alert placed on your account

Debt collectors – Tell them you are a victim and provide them with documentation

Tax time is almost upon us, and each year, I rebroadcast an interview I conducted on my radio show with Steve Weisman, a lawyer, college professor, author and one of the country’s leading experts in cybersecurity, identity theft and scams. His website,, is updated daily and is one of the most comprehensive sites in the field of cybersecurity,

Below is a link to my interview with Steve on the subject of income tax fraud.