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Tips to Help You Stay Safe Online This Holiday Season


data-security-hacker-password-security-breach-mobile-patch-theft-370x229The holiday season is huge for retailers! It’s also HUGE for cybercriminals who gear up to take advantage of all that extra holiday shopping activity online. It’s predicted that e-commerce sales will rise 8% to 11% this year to more than $105 billion, and 56% of smartphone users plan to use their phones while shopping.

“As consumers shop, bank and share more while on the go, they open themselves up to threats from criminals who want to steal their personal information,” said Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at McAfee, part of Intel Security. “Understanding what to watch out for and how to properly secure their devices gives consumers additional information to protect their digital lives.”

So we thought it would be helpful to share with you what McAfee recently released in an effort to help educate folks on the most popular ways cybercriminals scam consumers during the holiday season as they surf their digital devices.


Here are their “12 SCAMS OF THE HOLIDAYS.” Read the rest of this entry »

Hard to Understand Drivers Who Still Text Behind the Wheel


textingAn Associated Press article last week reported on a survey conducted by AT&T in which 75% of the respondents admitted to still texting while driving, even though 98% said they were aware of the dangers.


It’s hard to understand the mindset, but here’s what they said about why they continue to do it: Read the rest of this entry »

Electrical Problems and Home Fires: Causes and Warning Signs


electfireThe U.S. Fire Administration says that there are 28,600 electrical fires every year, causing $1.1 BILLION in property damage. Those fires are responsible for 310 deaths and 1,100 injuries every year. (The largest percentage of home fires also happens between December and January so we’re heading into the more dangerous period!)


It’s easy to think, “It won’t happen to my family.” But it can and it does. So here’s a list of five key causes of electrical fires in the home and the warning signs you should know about to keep your home and your family safe! Read the rest of this entry »

Halloween: Be Smart; Be Safe; Be Protected


Trick-or-Treaters-fpu-journalismHalloween is this Friday. And while most of us think of it solely in terms of kids, costumes and candy —it’s important to also think about the risks to personal safety, property, or your bank account if an accident occurs.

So to help you protect yourself, your family, and your business against Halloween risks, here are a few safety tips (many of them common sense) to keep in mind on Friday: Read the rest of this entry »

“Small Business” Doesn’t Mean Small Cyber Risk


Data Breach SecurityFrom Home Depot and Target to Staples and K-Mart, it may seem like cyber criminals are only interested in hacking big business. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. A 2013 Verizon Data Break Investigations Report cites that 31% of all data breaches occur in companies with fewer than 100 employees.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fall Home Maintenance…Get to it while the weather is still good!


Fall-home-maintenance-tipsHere in New England, we’re (hopefully) all wise enough to know that the last thing you want to be dealing with in the middle of the winter is a dead furnace, chimney fire, or leaking roof. So here are a few key maintenance tasks to handle now, while the weather is still accommodating: Read the rest of this entry »

How to Get Your Free Credit Report


annual-credit-report-dot-comIt’s a wise idea to check your credit report every year to make sure that no one has set up credit using your name. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that each of the nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — provide a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. Read the rest of this entry »

New mobile phone rules for commercial (CMV) drivers

commercial driver cell phone use banned


Efforts to reduce or eliminate distracted driving on our highways are not exclusively focused on passenger vehicles. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) have new published rules specifically prohibiting interstate truck and bus drivers and drivers who transport placardable quantities of hazardous materials from texting or using hand-held mobile phones while operating their vehicles. The joint rules are the latest actions by the U.S. Department of Transportation to end distracted driving. Violations can result in fines and/or driver disqualifications and will impact a motor carrier’s and/or driver’s Safety Measurement System results. Read the rest of this entry »

If you rent and don’t have renters insurance—what’s your excuse?


rentersOnly 37% of renters have renters insurance. And surveys indicate that most of the reasons are based on misconceptions about the insurance. Here are a few of those excuses (unfounded reasons):


Excuse #1: It costs too much:

Reality: renters insurance costs on average $15/month ($180/year, and it’s less than that if you have it with your car insurance company.) In a 2013 survey 60% thought it costs more than $250; 21% thought renters insurance costs more that $1000.

Compare $15/month to the $148/month that 2/3 of American workers spend on lunch…and it puts the value in perspective. Read the rest of this entry »

Moving? Watch Out for Rogue Moving Companies.


Moving truckMost moving companies are reputable. But as in any industry, you’ll find fraudulent operations—in this case, rogue movers—and there are a number of warning signs you should know in order to avoid falling for a scam. Read the rest of this entry »