You 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.
It’s tax time again. Income tax identity theft is a major problem. According to the IRS, “Tax-refund fraud is expected to soar again this tax season, and hit a whopping $21 billion.“ Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams and fake IRS communication.
The most common way income tax fraud occurs is when a thief files an income tax return using a victim’s Social Security number, along with a counterfeit W-2, indicating that a large refund is due.
It is important to note that the IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by phone, email, text messages or social media channels requesting personal or financial information. The IRS also does not threaten taxpayers with lawsuits, imprisonment or other enforcement action.
The simplest way to reduce the risk of income tax fraud is by filing your income tax return as early as possible. If you file early, your tax refund will most likely be processed before the IRS receives the fraudulent return.
Below is an audio file of an interview I had last year on my BlogTalkRadio program with Steve Weisman, a lawyer, writer, college professor, and one of the country’s leading experts in scams and identity theft. In the interview, we discuss how to reduce the risk of tax fraud and the steps you can take to minimize identity theft. I encourage you to take a few minutes to listen to the broadcast.
It’s tax time and we all know that income tax identity theft is a major problem. The most common way that income tax identity theft occurs is when the identity thief files an income tax return using his or her victim’s Social Security number along with a counterfeit W-2 that indicates a large refund is due.
In his most recent post, Steven Weisman, writes that “Filing your income tax return electronically can be both safe and convenient if done properly, but it also can be risky as evidenced by a recent study by the Online Trust Alliance, a nonprofit Internet Security firm which found that six of the thirteen companies used in the IRS Free File program had significant security issues that included failures to properly encrypt data.”
To read his entire post on Scamicide,com which offers tips on how you can make your electronic filing more secure, CLICK HERE.
Steve has been a guest on my BlogTalkRadio program several times discussing personal identity theft. To listen to my discussion with Steve about how to minimize your risk of income tax identity fraud, click on the BlogTalkRadio logo below.
Criminals seeking credit-card and other personal data are targeting hotels
A few years ago, computer criminals were focusing their efforts on U.S. retailers with specialized software that exploited gaps at the cash registers. Now, they are turning to the lodging industry, taking advantage of uneven security at hotels and the hotel-based restaurants, spas and gift shops typically owned by other companies, people familiar with the incidents said.
Cardholders aren’t responsible for unauthorized purchases, but they must scrutinize their bills for fraudulent charges.
To read the complete article in the Wall Street Journal CLICK HERE
According to Facebook, seniors are the fastest growing segment of the population joining their social networking site. Pew Internet Research reports that 27% of seniors now use social media. One of the major areas that seniors are interested in when I hold a workshop is how to use Facebook.
Why the popularity of Facebook among seniors?
– More and more seniors are choosing to live alone. Facebook offers the ability to socialize with family and friends without leaving their home.
– Social networking sites, particularly Facebook, offer new opportunities to stay in touch and search for friends and past business associates.
– Families are more spread out than in the past. Facebook offers seniors the opportunity to keep in touch with family members and friends anywhere in the world.
– Family members love to share photos. Many seniors access Facebook everyday to keep up-to-date with family events, particularly through new photos and videos.
– Facebook offers the opportunity to play games with family and friends.
For those of you who have not yet set up a Facebook account, my suggestion is to find a family member or close friend who can get you started. Here are some important ways they can help.
– Create an informative About Page which includes information about you. This should include your education and employment history. Having a good picture will help people recognize you.
– Learn how to search for friends and family members.
– Understand some of the safety rules regarding accepting and requesting friends.
– Have someone set up the appropriate privacy settings for you.
– It’s OK to post the month and day of your birthday but leave out the year.