RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Stay Safe Online: What Is Ransomware and How Can I Avoid It?

June 17, 2016 12:21 am

Reports of ransomware—an invasive software that demands ransom to access unlawfully locked digital files—have risen in the last year, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) (StaySafeOnline.org).

Ransomware, which can attack any user, “kidnaps” a range of information, from financial records to photographs, in an attempt to gain ransom in exchange for the return of the information. Generally, it strikes through an attachment or link containing a ransomware code.

“As cybercriminals become more cunning and sophisticated, we must become more vigilant about basic digital hygiene and protecting our data and devices—including smartphones and tablets,” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the NCSA, in a statement. “There are simple things everyone can do, like keeping all software updated, turning on two-factor authentication, backing up data in the cloud or other removable media and making strong passwords.”

To ward off attacks, update all software, including security programs, on every internet-enabled machine or device. Be sure to regularly back up important information to a secure location—ransomware criminals cannot demand payment if you can access your information by other means.

Setting a difficult-to-determine password is also wise. Aim for a password that is at least 12 characters. To further reduce your risk, consider adding two-step authentication, which is a process that requires two steps to log in to any password-protected account. This process, sometimes called “two-step verification” or “multi-factor authentication,” may include second steps like text message codes or fingerprint swipes.

Remember: always err on the side of caution. If an email, online advertisement or social media post appears even the slightest bit suspicious, delete or ignore it.

Source: National Cyber Security Alliance

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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5 Principles of Lawn Care

June 17, 2016 12:21 am

Forget the HD TV.

Millennial homeowners would sooner have an enviable lawn than a top-of-the-line television—a preference in surprising contrast to that of older homeowners seasoned in lawn care.

Millennials’ affinity for their lawns—a finding from recently released research by John Deere—comes despite a lack of maintenance know-how.

Millennial homeowners who wish to make their lawn the best on the block should follow basic lawn care principles, says Mark Schmidt, principal scientist for John Deere.

“By learning best practices and using properly maintained equipment, homeowners will likely see an improvement in the overall appearance of their lawns,” Schmidt says.

These principles are:

1. Water – Water your lawn before the sun reaches midday, preferably before 10 a.m. Water for a long time once, instead of watering for a short amount of time more often. Avoid mowing the lawn if it is wet.

2. Food – Fertilize cool season turf in early spring and fall. Fertilize warm season turf in spring and summer.

3. Height – Mow the lawn no more than one-third of the grass blade down—any more can cause damage and an unsightly lawn.

4. Time – As with watering, mow your lawn around peak sun periods—in the morning or late afternoon is best. This minimizes stress to the lawn.

5. Maintenance – Tune-up your mower once each year according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. This may include sharpening the blade, inflating the tires and replacing the spark plug.

Following these principles to the letter will keep your lawn lush and thriving for years to come. Who says you need a television?

Source: John Deere

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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