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

Are You a Cyber Slacker?

October 5, 2015 1:48 am

There’s no question about it: those who fail to protect themselves online are vulnerable to identity theft. Are you a cyber slacker?

If you’re a millennial, you might be. According to a recent TransUnion survey, most millennials are not taking action to safeguard their personal information online, despite being the most concerned about cyber crime. In fact, almost 90 percent of millennials store bank account information on their phones, and about 85 percent check financial accounts while connected to public Wi-Fi – actions that put them at risk of identity theft.

In contrast, only a third of baby boomers report being concerned about identity theft, but at least half take basic precautions to protect themselves. Just half of boomer respondents said they store important information on mobile devices and just over half check financial accounts while connected to public Wi-Fi.

“Cybercriminals don’t care about your age; they just want access to your identity and credit,” says Ken Chaplin, senior vice president at TransUnion. “It is important for people of all ages to be aware of the behaviors that make them vulnerable to identity theft and to not sacrifice security for convenience.”

TransUnion advises all Internet users, millennial or otherwise, to heed the following best practices for cyber security.

• Activate password protection on your phone. Cyber criminals can install applications on stolen phones that give them access to the device’s personal information, like photos, personal calls and banking applications. Set a unique password on your phone to create a barrier that makes it difficult for anyone to access the information.

• Approach near field communication (NFC) applications with caution.
Criminals have traded spam and antivirus hacking methods in favor of third-party applications. NFC applications, which allow data to be transferred between two local devices, such as through tap-to-pay methods at checkouts, and other third-party payment applications should be approached with caution.

• Avoid accessing sensitive information on public Wi-Fi networks. Businesses that offer public Wi-Fi are required to share a liability notice, but many may not read it. By using Wi-Fi sniffing, when criminals intercept information while it travels from the access point to the device, your personal data can be at risk.

Source: TransUnion

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Ceilings: Leave the Popcorn to the Movies

October 5, 2015 1:48 am

(BPT) – Popcorn ceilings haven't represented stylish home design since disco was on the radio, but they've certainly stuck around. Whether you’re updating your home before putting it on the market or simply amping up aesthetics, revamping a popcorn ceiling is a worthwhile investment.

“Ceilings really do make a greater impact than people realize,” says Mark Clement, general contractor and blogger on MyFixItUpLife. “The right choice can help a room soar - but you probably won't get that effect with a popcorn ceiling. New ceilings are a great update, and with today's options, they're incredibly easy to install yourself.”

But before your grab your scraper, Clement offers a few words of caution.

“To remove a popcorn ceiling, you have to really be committed to the task. You can certainly do it yourself, but be forewarned that it can create a gigantic mess. You'll want to consider all of your options carefully, from removing to simply covering it up, based on your time and budget. Patience is also a factor!”

Keep in mind that water stains, cracks and other issues on your popcorn ceiling can make it difficult to simply paint over. At best, you'll be soaking your ceiling with water (and possibly your walls along the way) before scraping the resulting slop off with a drywall knife. At worst, the water won't get through all of your layers of paint, and you'll be breaking out the heavy machinery to sand or scrape through it all, kicking up dust. It's doable, but it's a lengthy process and not for the faint of heart.

You can avoid a DIY headache by installing a new ceiling over the existing one. Manufacturers like Armstrong Ceilings have many options: wood planks, metal tiles or patterned panels. How-to videos show how easy it is to install a new ceiling in as little as a day.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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