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

The 3 Best Practices to Shield Your Identity

January 7, 2016 2:36 am

The average American spends upwards of 10 hours each day connected to digital media. The problem with all that screen time? Many users neglect to safeguard their digital presence, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).

"We live in a global, always-connected digital age, and everyone needs to adopt good habits to lead a safer, more secure online life," says NCSA Executive Director Michael Kaiser. "As we think about how to better protect our virtual lives, we've identified three reliable practices that will empower Internet users to reap the benefits of connectivity with greater confidence.”

These three practices are:

1. Turning on Two-Step Authentication

To thwart cybercriminals, anyone who is active online should make a commitment to get two steps ahead and turn on two-step authentication—also known as two-step verification or multi-factor authentication—to make their accounts more secure. Activating this technology adds an additional layer of protection beyond a password to better protect the safety of your online identity and sensitive personal data.

Many of the Internet's most popular email services, social networks and financial institutions offer this key security step free of charge, but you must opt in to turn it on. Visit stopthinkconnect.org/2stepsahead to view a list of the websites that offer two-step authentication.

2. Limiting Exposure to Public WiFi

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, and the same goes for free WiFi. Free public WiFi is often a playground for lurking cybercriminals waiting to obtain your personal data once you connect to an open network. Public wireless networks, including hotspots, are not secure, which means that anyone could potentially see what you are doing if you use them on your connected device.

To limit what you do on public WiFi, avoid logging in to key accounts like email and financial services. Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) or a personal or mobile hotspot for a more secure connection.

3. Assigning Digital Chores

Almost 70 percent of American households have between one and five devices at home connected to the Internet. With this increased connectivity, there is a need for maintenance where everyone in the household has a role to play. Just as families have daily tasks, like making the bed, or weekly chores, like mowing the lawn, all households should take responsibility to keep their connected families safe by incorporating ongoing digital maintenance into their household routines. This can include updating software and backing up documents to keeping up with latest ways to stay safe online.

Source: NCSA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Want to Lower Energy Bills for Good? Small Improvements Equal Big Returns

January 7, 2016 2:36 am

There are several ways to improve the energy-efficiency of your home—and many are too costly for the average homeowner to finance. The truth is, you don’t have to spend a fortune to reap the benefits of increased energy-efficiency. In fact, you can save up to 30 percent on energy bills every month with a simple, DIY home energy audit, plus the following inexpensive fixes:

1. Take advantage of the automatic setting on your air conditioner. This turns your AC and heater automatically on or off to save energy.

2. Pay attention to rooms that you are not using. Close those air vents in order to avoid needlessly cooling or heating unused spaces.

3. Look for openings around window and door frames where air can enter or escape the home. Block them with weather strips or draft guards.

4. Non-insulated attics are a major source of energy loss, as they do not effectively protect your home's interior from outside temperatures. Make sure to insulate your attic properly and ask for help from a certified contractor if you are not sure how to do it yourself.

5. Replace incandescent light bulbs with LED or CFL models that last much longer and save significant amounts of energy and money in the long run.

Source: Homeselfe

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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