Over the past few weeks I have been involved in some Senior Expo style events.  It has been fun and I am meeting lots of people of all ages.  To be honest I was shocked to see how many people turned out at Husson and what a vast collection of things to learn about!

Don’t Let Fraud Get You Down

Learn about it -Knowledge is POWER!  Tomorrow, Senator Susan Collins, our Senator and the Chair of the Special Committee on Aging,  will be speaking at the Scam Jam that AARP is putting on at Spectacular Events Center in Bangor.  It’s FREE and click here to watch more about it .  You don’t have to be an AARP Member to Register and it is still FREE, here is a printed description.

You might be asking, “What does this Scam Jam have to do with Technology, Kelly?”

There will be many discussions about Cybersecurity.  There is a workshop by the State Police:  “Staying Safe Online: Maine State Police Cyber Security Unit.”

Come down and join us!  It will be fun, coffee, food, free.

Password, SMASHword!

In my previous post, I talked about hackers and hacking.  These are the people you should get mad at when your bank, your email provider or anyone that holds passwords or user names that endlessly seem to have to change.  I tearinghairoutunderstand the feeling of wanting to smash your keyboard when you pick one you will remember and the providers won’t accept it because it needs a number, a capital letter, a symbol or all three and until you useall three you can’t set up your account or use your existing account.  It is frustrating.  But it is not their fault.  They are trying to protect you and them from being hacked.  It costs companies BILLIONS annually.

HealthCare Records

According to Inc. Magazine, Healthcare records are the sweet spot for criminals.  And, if you get some weird call from someone that claims they are verifying some info and you don’t know who it is, you don’t recognize the number – HANG UP! These criminals may not have any information at all that can be used, but they have snippets and the information you give them or verify as they tell you, is a scam.  Do not give out personal information to anyone about yourself, your kids, neighbors, your grandchildren.  These criminals are looking for home addresses, telephone numbers, etc.  This information seems harmless, but it valuable to the thief.  As the Inc. article puts it, “…the real money is in leveraging the information to social engineer the person whose information was stolen.”

Military and Other Government Employees Hacked

What a disgusting thought that people serving our country, HACKED.  In June of this year, that is exactly what happened.  The Government Personnel Office was hacked and 20.1 million people affected.  I got a call to verify some information about someone and I smelled a rat.  Come to find out, I was right.  I am so grateful I gave no information to someone who sounded legit, but was not.  With 20.1 million people’s information flooding the black market, it is possible you will get a call yourself.  Please don’t fall for it, hang up.

Please don’t fall for it, hang up.  Next time you are talking with your own friends, tell them about this very real situation that is only growing every year. Don’t let them be a victim either.





Don’t blame it on the internet!

It seems that all around us are scams.
And more identity theft.

I had a friend of mine say to me around Christmas, “I never use my credit card online because of the risk of it being stolen.” At the time I was saying, “Well, you know ANYTIME, anywhere you use your credit/debit card, you run a risk of it, or the personal information attached to it, to be stolen.”

I know, we all are shaking our heads, right? It can be stolen even if it is swiped in a machine at grocery store checkout line. It happened here in Maine – Hannaford Supermarket. Got people pretty mad. It can be stolen just about anywhere these days. It wasnt long ago we were just rummaging through the trash to make sure the carbons were ripped up! Now it isn’t that easy!

The latest big one is Heartland. Again customers in Maine were effected. I had a friend that was on the road and learned by a “CONTACT YOUR BANK” notice after attempting to purchase something. So don’t let that happen to you.

First, to see if your bank is on the list check the link here. It is being billed as the Year’s First Major Information Breach by

Isn’t that “special” to be first of 2009?

I guess short of putting all your money in your mattress, since Banks have warehoused data (all on line), there really isn’t much you can do. Their Data Warehouses are as secure as the next hacker attack, I am afraid.

Other banks effected by other breaches this year.