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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.

Shopping

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.

Traveling

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 (donotcall.gov), 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, www.scamicide.com, 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.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have You Recently Left Corporate Life?

What You Need to Know

  • Have you recently left corporate life either by choice or the result of downsizing?
  • Do you have the right tools for your job search?
  • Do you have the most cost effective system for your home office?
  • Are you an effective “Road Warrior?” Does your technology support your mobile needs?
  • Since you no longer have a support desk, do you have someone to help you with maintenance issues?
  • What about security issues, backup, and a disaster plan?

Setting up a Home Office

  • Equipment selection
  • Software
  • Services
  • Maintenance and security

On the Road – Mobile Needs

  • Laptops
  • Internet access
  • Smartphones and tablets
  • Minimizing communication costs
  • Online services (cloud computing)
  • Maintenance and security

Need help making the right decisions regarding your tech requirements for home and on the road? Contact me either by phone 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at jblue@bluetutor.com for a free consultation.

 

 

Do You Need Help With Tech?

The Wall Street Journal reports that seniors are relying too heavily on their children to solve their technology problems.  “Older adults are wising up to how iPads, smartphones and fitness trackers can improve their lives. But a key to conquering fears and thriving with new technology is knowing where to get help that won’t run out of patience.”

Writes Geoffrey A. Fowler,  “Click what?” “Plug where?” Asking your offspring for tech support is… just asking for it. Their responses, often accompanied by an eye roll: “Why is that so hard?” or “I already showed you!”

If you need tech support , find help from people who are technically sound and most important, patient.

To read the complete article from the WSJ, CLICK HERE

Why You Need a VPN (Virtual Private Network)

Your internet connection may not be as safe as you’d like to think. If you’re connected to a public Wi-Fi network (coffee shops like Starbucks, hotels, airports, public parks, etc.), it’s possible that another person on the same network could be sneaking a look at your internet traffic.

Your iPhone or Android mobile device can’t protect your data as it travels the internet. Using a VPN keeps your information safe and private, even when you’re connected through an insecure Wi-Fi hotspot.

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a network technology that creates a secure network connection over a public network such as the Internet.

To read a complete review from PCMag of all the best VPNs for your mobile phones, click HERE.

What You Need to Know About The New Unlimited Data Plans

US wireless customers (Verizon. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile) have released a range of “unlimited” plan choices. This is the latest in an outgoing price war that has been raging for years.

Before you start evaluating which plan will save you the most money, remember that you must determine which provider offers the best service in your area.  Are you frequently getting disconnected in the middle of a call?  How is the voice quality of the calls?  Quality and Coverage, not price, are the primary factors in picking a cell provider.

Click Here to read my blog on How to Select a Cell Phone Provider.

Having overcome quality and coverage concerns, which plan is the best? Although the basics for each carrier are similar, there are different trade-offs.

Click Here to read more.

 

 

How to Safely Access The Internet On The Road

VPNYou probably take for granted that no one else is able to see when you are using the Internet.  A Virtual Privste Network (VPN) allows you to create a secure connection as a shield for your browsing activity from others on public Wi-Fi, and more.  VPN is a technology that creates an encrypted connection over a less secure network. An example is an unsecured Wi-Fi network that is used by hotels, airport terminals, hotels, coffee shops, and other free Wi-Fi areas.

The protection provided by a VPN offers many advantages. It prevents anyone on the same Wi-Fi hotspot (or anywhere else) from intercepting your Web traffic. This is especially handy for travelers and for those using a public Wi-Fi network. VPNs also cloak your computer’s actual IP address, making it harder for advertisers (or spies and hackers) to track you online

Over 100 million Americans have their personal information placed at risk of identity theft every year. One of the major reasons of identity fraud is a result of entering personal information such as user names and passwords, credit cards purchases on unsecured Wi-Fi locations.

Click here to read more

 

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