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

Five Steps to Cyber Security

January 19, 2015 2:45 am

Amidst a digital age and the digitization of information, identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. Recent studies show that every minute, 19 identities are stolen. Headlines have shown data breach after data breach taking place at major retailers. And as seen in the case of Sony Pictures, no matter how large the corporation is, or how much security is applied to personal information, with today’s breaches, everyone is at risk.

To help prevent theft from occurring, the American Consumer Credit Counseling organization advises taking these preemptive steps.

1. Be elusive on social media. Try to exclude specific, important information from your social media profiles. Minimize details in your “About Me” sections, and leave out phone numbers or addresses. This information is prime knowledge for hackers. Also, be sure to set all your privacy settings to create a secure profile.

2. Strengthen your online passwords. While it’s easier to remember passwords with our birthdays or hometowns in them, try to make your password a little more complex. Use punctuation and different capitalization. Also, veer away from using one password for all your accounts; if one is hacked, all your information across accounts can be compromised.

3. Be wary with your email address. While shopping online, or creating required accounts, use a new email address. Creating an email address for yourself is an easy task, and it’s best to have a specific one for online activity. Use a primary email address for personal information; use your secondary one for shopping, newsgroups, or social networking sites. Make sure to only give your primary email address to people you know.

4. Look for signs. Look for suspicious red flags when you’re on websites or signing up for mailing lists. Make sure your online purchases come from companies with secure payment pages and privacy policies. You can check Web addresses: if there is an ‘s’ located after the ‘http’ (https://), the website is secure. If not, don’t use it. Never respond to emails asking for account information or passwords. If a “bank” is asking for this information electronically, make sure to call the bank directly.

5. Monitor what you’ve shared. Identity thieves gain access to personal information by piecing together information over multiple websites. Make sure to think about what information you have where online.

Source: ACCC

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Do Off-season Home Projects Now, Save Later

January 16, 2015 2:42 am

Remodeling projects have peak and off-seasons – winter, for example, is prime time for heating and insulation professionals. While you may need to do a cold weather repair this season, consider taking advantage of projects normally carried out in warmer months, too. Some ideas:

Install Central Air Conditioning

According to Consumer Reports, central air conditioners are 20-40 percent more efficient than those manufactured just 10 years ago. Air conditioning is probably the last thing on your mind in winter, but now’s the perfect time to score a deal from a qualified cooling contractor. And professionals are more likely to return calls, give you estimates and complete the project on time during a slower season.

Prune Trees
Since there’s no leaves to create mess, winter is the perfect season to remove dead limbs or trim back branches. It’s also easier to gauge what needs pruning without leaves obstructing your view, and there will be less debris to pick up once you’re finished.

Replace Windows
Most modern windows can be installed at any time of year, thanks to new, water-resistant coverings like vinyl, aluminum and fiberglass. Have your window installer measure each window prior to taking out the old one so that every new window can be fitted to the frame immediately.

Source: Consumer Reports

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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