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

9 Tips for Cyber Space Safety

June 2, 2015 1:09 am

Though social networking has become a mainstay of society, many of us don’t think twice about digital safety when surfing, chatting and sharing. According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, some thought must be given to ensuring that Internet-based activities remain safe and secure.

Whether posting pictures on Snapchat, posing questions on Ask.fm or using any of the thousands of other social apps and sites, we all love to share. Remember to:


Share with care. Sharing private photos or details online, even in emails, can cause problems later on. Even folks you consider friends can use the information you share online against you.

Be nice online.
Or at least treat people the way you want to be treated. If someone upsets you, try not to react; instead, use privacy tools to block them.

Be smart about pictures.
It is fun to share pictures, but you never know who might see them or how they might affect you in the future.

Avoid in-person meetings with people you don't know. It is not necessarily bad to interact with strangers online, but be careful with what information you share and very careful (by letting someone else know or having someone accompany you) before agreeing to meet someone you do not know.

Chat carefully.
If a game allows you to chat with other players, be careful about the information you disclose.

Know the apps. Make sure apps are only downloaded from reputable app stores and check their privacy disclosures and settings.

Be location savvy. Apps that share your location with friends and family can be great, but be sure only the right people can find out where you are.

Lock your phone. Make sure that you have a secret PIN (personal identification number), a password, fingerprint setting or other security measures in place so that only you can access your phone.

Know how to locate and wipe your phone. There are free tools (like Apple’s iCloud Find my Phone and Google’s Android Device Manager) that will help you find your device if it is turned on or wipe it clean if it becomes lost.



Source: National Cyber Security Alliance

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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5 Financial Planning Tips for College

June 1, 2015 1:06 am

Did you know the average American college student is now graduating with $33,000 in debt? And with more than half of parents placing higher value on college savings over retirement, learning to save smart is more important than ever, says nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC).

One way to do so is with a 529 plan–an investment plan operated by a state or educational institution, with tax advantages and other incentives to make it easier to save for college for a designated beneficiary, such as a child or grandchild. Operating similar to IRA and 401(k) plans, 529 college savings plans allow parents to save for a child's education tax-free through an array of investment options.

There are two types of 529 plans: prepaid tuition plans and savings plans. The plans are named after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code and are administered by state agencies and organizations.

In addition to enrolling in a 529 savings plan, students and families can save for college and manage expenses during school by:

Learning to Budget Now
– Developing a realistic and manageable budget is a valuable lifelong skill that is essential for anyone in college, preparing to go to college, or just graduating. Start by using a budgeting worksheet for students to get an accurate picture of your income and expenses. By comparing and contrasting your total income and expenses, you will be able to create a feasible budget plan. By sticking to your budget, you will avoid going into any unnecessary credit card debt.

Being Wary of Credit Card Debt
– Credit card companies target college students because they have little experience managing their money. If you sign up for a credit card, don’t get carried away. Get your payment in by the due date or you'll be slapped with late fees and create additional debt for yourself.

Working – Consider a part-time job, tutoring, paid internships or work-study programs to earn and save money while in school. If you’re looking to get an apartment after graduation, make your student loan payments, or relocate for a job, saving for your future will help you in the long run.

Using Your Student ID for Discounts
– Not only will you need it to enter your dorm, the dining hall, and the library, but your student ID can also earn you discounts at hundreds of retailers nationwide. If you are not sure if a company offers a student discount, just ask. You can also find a list of discounts at ConsumerCredit.com.

Taking Stock of Your Financial Situation – Too many students graduate from college without any idea of how much they’ll have in student loans, or how much to expect to make at their first job. Make sure you know how much school costs per year, what your parents are covering, what you’ll be expected to cover, and budget for rent and living expenses accordingly.

Source: ACCC

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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