Monday, December 10, 2018

4 Tips on How to Give Safely Online


By Stephen Jackson
November 19, 2018

(6 minute read)
We live in scary times — at least from the standpoint of cybersecurity. According to a recent report, 3,676 breaches were reported in the first nine months of 2018, resulting in the exposure of 3.6 billion records. And although this marks an 8 percent decline in "data compromise events" from 2017, bad actors are getting savvier by the minute, and new threats are emerging before old ones have been fully addressed. It's important to stay vigilant as an individual — especially as we enter into the peak season of online giving.

There are tons of scams out there. But they shouldn't prevent you from giving a gift to a cause you believe in. And with Giving Tuesday right around the corner, it's a great time to learn about some of these threats and the best practices for staying safe online.
Paige Hanson is chief of identity education at Symantec. She's been with Symantec for a little over 12 years and has a deep understanding of the ways that criminals use sneaky tactics to prey upon their victims.

Paige spent a decade traveling around the country training law enforcement on new and emerging trends in identity theft. She sat down with us and shared four things to be aware of to make sure that you and your personal information are as safe as possible this giving season.
1. Pay Close Attention to Hyperlinks

It's sad to say, but the time period directly following a catastrophic event — such as a natural disaster — is prime time for fraud. It's typical for momentum to build behind making donations to a relief agency or a cause supporting disaster victims, and giving is often heavily promoted on social media.
In some cases, cybercriminals make fake landing pages posing as a nonprofit providing relief to those affected. Sophisticated email campaigns can also be mounted to trick well-meaning would-be benefactors, pushing links to these fraudulent sites.

This same approach is used during other popular times to donate to charity — like Giving Tuesday. Taking just a few moments to examine an email you receive in this context can really pay off.
"Hover your cursor over the hyperlink and see who the email is coming from," Paige explains. She uses the hypothetical example of an email from someone claiming to be from the American Red Cross. "Let's say I wave my cursor over the link, and the description box shows that 'Red' isn't spelled right, or the address has '.UK' — that is a red flag that it's likely a scam email that will take you to a different landing page that looks like the Red Cross, but isn't," she says.

Technically, this tactic is called "business email compromise," and Paige notes that it's a growing trend. It's not only prevalent in this context, but also in cases where an email appears to be coming from within your own organization. An example here might be a message from your "HR department" asking you to provide personal or financial data. In either case, the best rule of thumb is to always pay close attention to links in any email that involve the transfer of sensitive information and not to click on any links that look suspicious.
2. Take Extra Measures to Verify the Nonprofit to Which You Are Giving

Check out the validity of an organization asking you to give. This is especially important for smaller or seemingly "new" nonprofits. Again, it's not uncommon for a scammer to set up a private business claiming to be a nonprofit in the wake of a disaster or over the holiday season.
"It sounds really simple or even a bit silly, but be on the lookout for even misspellings on a website," Paige says. "Also, punctuation errors and dead links. Usually when you get an email from a legitimate organization and you click on a photo, it will take you somewhere. It's important to take an extra second to read through the email instead of just reacting. You may have been meaning to give back, and since it's Giving Tuesday you'll just do it really quickly. But you have to slow down."

Paige also suggests verifying a nonprofit's legal status using a database lookup tool such as GuideStar. Another savvy way to make sure you are going to the website you intended to is by typing in the nonprofit's name directly into your search bar. That method circumvents the risk of clicking a fraudulent link altogether.
3. Consider Using a Credit Card, Always Use a Secure Site to Make a Donation, and Be Mindful of Your Digital Footprint

Paige recommends using a credit card versus a debit card when you give to a nonprofit. "In case there is any fraudulent activity, you're using the credit card company's money, not your own. And if you notice any fraud at all, you want to notify your bank or credit card company as soon as possible to get those charges reimbursed, or at least to get the investigation started."
Also, whenever you enter payment information online, it's imperative to make sure that you are using a secure website. This is easy to verify. Just take a look in your browser and confirm that there's an "https://" in the search bar. HTTPS indicates that a nonprofit is encrypting its data on its end, thereby better protecting the information you give it from cybercrime.

Lastly, Paige says that even with verified, legitimate nonprofits, it's always important to take a moment and ask yourself, "Do I want to extend my digital footprint to this organization?" Be mindful of which personal information you are sharing. Make decisions with care when signing up for newsletters or giving out information needed for the purposes of a tax write-off.
"You might not want to be part of their email database. You need to take control of where your information is being stored," she says.

4. Always Be Aware of How You Connect to the Internet


This last one is perhaps the most straightforward piece of advice. It has to do with the security of your Internet connection itself.
"When it comes to connecting to the Internet, there's a good, better, and best practice," Paige says. When using public Wi-Fi, the "good" practice is never visiting a site that requires you to enter a username and password. In these cases, limit your Internet use to reading the news, looking at a map, or watching videos on YouTube.

She continues in saying that the "better" practice is to use your mobile data plan or create a mobile hotspot. "Let's say you log on at a coffee shop, but realize that it's Giving Tuesday and you're going to make that donation. At that point we suggest switching to your personal hotspot, if you're not on it already."
A mobile hotspot is more secure than public Wi-Fi, and it prevents an Internet service provider from selling your information and online activity to a third party. (In many cases, companies are legally allowed to do this.)

When it comes to connecting to the Internet, the "best" practice is to use a virtual private network (VPN). "A VPN can be an app or something that's installed on your computer. A VPN ... encrypts communications between your computer — or phone — and the Internet." And in some cases, a VPN can even prevent your Internet activity and personal data from being sold to a third-party company.
Keep these four tips in mind as you enter into the 2018 giving season — and any other time you make a charitable donation online.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

A Letter To Lebron James - "Sports Political Expert."

Lebron James calls President Trump a "Bum" and thinks that Obama was the best.
His fans listen to him because he has a talent for basketball and buying big mansions.  The letter writer below, a sports journalist, tells the truth and that truth applies to most celebrities on the left.

A GREAT Letter to Lebron James from former Houston news reporter Hal Lundgren.  It’s a must read, and definitely should be distributed. Post it, send it.  Whatever.  People really need to know these things.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

August 6, 2018
Mr. Lebron James

The Los Angeles Lakers
2275 E. Mariposa Ave.
El Segundo, CA  90245<


Dear Mr. James,
No one in my circles discusses French Modernist artists. That comforts me.  Such a conversation would expose me as an illiterate on French Modernism, just as I am an illiterate on how to cook.

When I know nothing of subjects, my mouth stays closed.  That's at least one difference in us.  You are an economics illiterate.  You prove it often. The dishonest "reporters" who cover you want to be your buddy. They won't embarrass you by being honest journalists and treating your words as economics illiteracy.


When you call Trump "a bum," none of them will tell you that statistics rank him as one of our best presidents for black Americans. His tax cuts and freeing us from absurd regulations have resulted in -- after only 18 months -- the lowest unemployment numbers ever for Hispanic and black Americans, and one of the lowest numbers for women.
DURING THOSE 18 MONTHS, TRUMP'S POLICIES CREATED ABOUT FOUR TIMES THE OF MANUFACTURING JOBS CREATED DURING THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S LAST 18 MONTHS.  Remember when Obama mistakenly told us "Our lost manufacturing jobs are not coming  back."  Maybe manufacturing job growth depends on a president who knows what he's doing.

As a professional journalist, I cringe at some of Trump's buffoonery, like repeating sentences and wearing us out with "great," "fantastic" and other empty adjectives.  He is often coarse  He was not my candidate.  But there's no question his policies have helped many more minority Americans than Obama.  It's not even close.  Today he's working to free many black and Hispanic prisoners who in his opinion have been in prison too long for relatively minor offenses. Are you aware of that effort?
You need to look up Gross Domestic Product, adjusted for inflation, and learn what it means to everyday Americans.  Learn what one GDP point means to employment, and see how Trump has kept the number climbing.

Your buddy Obama?  In addition to being our worst foreign affairs president and worst military commander-in-chief, his economic numbers all deserved an "F."  He is our  ONLY eight-year president who failed to give us at least one 3% or higher year of adjusted GDP growth.
EVERY other president achieved at least one year of 4.28% or higher growth.  Aided by Vietnam spending, Johnson had an 8.48 year.  The best peacetime year -- 7.83 -- belonged to Reagan. And Obama couldn't even score a 3!!!  Look it up.

You say you would speak to Obama but not Trump?  How tragically uninformed you are.  Obama had BY FAR the worst debt accumulation record of all our presidents.  His economic blunders added about $9 trillion to our debt.  NO OTHER PRESIDENT EVEN CAME CLOSE.  That indebtedness will fall to you and your children.
Poor families suffered most.  Obama's awful job numbers forced a record number of people to take food stamps.  Black household income  under Obama fell steeply as black unemployment rose.  Look that up, too.

But the worst part of what Trump inherited is that Obama, like Bush and Clinton before him, thought bribes and sweet talk were the best ways to deal with North Korea.  As the North Koreans neared being able to wipe out Los Angeles with a nuclear-tipped missile, Trump became the first president to stand up boldly to the rogue nation.
Notice North Korea, because of Trump, has stopped launching missiles over Japan?  Notice North Korea has released political prisoners? Notice North Korea has begun to return remains of U.S. Service members?  Absent sturdy spines, Clinton, Bush and Obama could not approach those major achievements.

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Florida Elections & Corruption At Its Finest


Broward County: Employee’s Affidavit Confirms Elections Staff Filled Out Blank Ballots
Geller Report
November 11, 2018 7:15 PM
200,000 non-citizen votes cast, invalid provisional ballots mixed into valid batch, tens of thousands of votes show up after election day, Florida official overseeing vote count destroyed ballots, now this.
Tim Brown / Washington Examiner/ November 10, 2018:

Seriously, is Broward County full of crooks and criminals? It sure seems so. The latest out of the county where elections staff under the direction of Brenda Snipes now stand accused of election and voter fraud as a Broward County employee has filed an affidavit claiming to have seen staff members filling out blank ballots.
The news came by way of former Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkamp, who tweeted out the information on Friday evening after ballots were supposed to be turned over by Snipes per a court order.

“Affidavit filed by Broward Election’s employee in support of Caldwell lawsuit provides eye witness account of Elections staff filling in blank ballots. When this was reported the employee was fired and told not to come back. #sayfie,” tweeted Kottkamp.

According to News-Press.com, the lawsuit being spoken of by Kottkamp is tied to Matt Caldwell.  Matt Caldwell has followed Gov. Rick Scott’s lead in filing a lawsuit Friday against the Broward County Supervisor of Elections in one of the state’s closest races.

The campaign of the Republican candidate for agricultural commissioner sent a news release Friday afternoon announcing that his attorneys filed a lawsuit in the 17th judicial circuit “asking the court to protect the integrity of all ballots and all public records relating to the election for Commissioner of Agriculture.”

Caldwell thought he had edged out a victory in the agricultural commissioner race Tuesday night when he had about a 40,000 vote lead over Democratic candidate Nikki Fried.

But the latest vote count shows Caldwell losing by 3,120 votes to Fried. The difference between the candidates is .04 percent, signaling an automatic recount, and a likely manual recount.  “Over the course of the last two and half days, the Broward supervisor has continued to magically find boxes of ballots that have potentially altered the course of the race,” Caldwell said in an interview Friday. “And after all that time, we still cannot get a straight answer as to where they came from, when they were cast. We just heard there is another magical box of 2,100 ballots they supposedly found here (Friday).”

He said what is happening in Broward County is unacceptable.  “The fact that it’s my opponent’s home county and you continue to have ballots just be found at random times without any explanation I think it just undermines the faith in the entire process and certainly leaves me doubtful about the current count that has been presented out there,” Caldwell said.

Caldwell’s suit has not only called for all communication between Snipes and her team and staff and any third parties but wants verification of whether or not she added or removed votes after polls closed.  His lawsuit also states something that we have repeated before, and that is that Snipes and her office have “a record of gross incompetence and illegal behavior.”

“There is no serious person that looks at this and doesn’t suspect there is something incredibly wrong going here, and we are going to get to the bottom of it by demanding answers through the court of law,” Caldwell said.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A 39 Second Read !


A 39 second read you will want to pass on.

In their infinite wisdom, the United States' Founders created the Electoral College to ensure the STATES were fairly represented. Why should one or two densely populated areas speak for the whole of the nation?

The following list of statistics has been making the rounds on the Internet. It should finally put an end to the argument as to why the Electoral College makes sense.

Read this very carefully and DO SHARE THIS.  It needs to be widely known and understood.

There are 3,141 counties in the United States.

Trump won 3,084 of them.

Clinton won 57.

There are 62 counties in New York State.

Trump won 46 of them.

Clinton won 16.

Clinton won the popular vote by approx. 1.5 million votes.

In the 5 counties that encompass NYC, (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Richmond & Queens) Clinton received well over 2 million more votes than Trump. (Clinton only won 4 of these counties; Trump won Richmond)

Therefore these 5 counties alone, more than accounted for Clinton winning the popular vote of the entire country.

These 5 counties comprise 319 square miles.

The United States is comprised of 3,797,000 square miles.

When you have a country that encompasses almost 4 million square miles of territory, it would be ludicrous to even suggest that the vote of those who inhabit a mere 319 square miles should dictate the outcome of a national election.

Large, densely populated Democrat cities (NYC, Chicago, LA, etc.)
DO NOT and SHOULD NOT speak for the rest of our country!

And...it's been verified and documented that those aforementioned 319 square miles are where the majority of our nation's problems foment.

Well worth the 39 seconds to read? 

Now please pass it!

 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Congressman Wittman & President Trump End The Medicare Drug Cost "Donut Hole"


Friend-

Medicare has served our nation well, providing medical benefits and retirement
security for millions of Americans. As you may know, Congress and the Trump
administration have been working on ways to help lower the cost of prescription
medications.

Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) contains a coverage gap referred
to as a “donut hole.” This means that after a patient, and their drug plan, have
spent up to a certain threshold, the patient has to pay the remaining costs out-of-
pocket up to a yearly “catastrophic coverage” limit before the coverage gap
ends and the drug plan helps cover the costs again.

By signing the 2018 government funding bill into law, President Trump agreed
to close the “donut hole” for Part D enrollees. The Medicare Part D "donut hole"
will be closing for brand-name drugs in 2019 and generic drugs in 2020. Come
2020, the “donut hole” will be completely closed and Part D beneficiaries will
no longer be forced to shoulder the full burden of this gap in prescription
coverage—a long overdue fix.

Additionally, Congress has passed, and yesterday
President Trump signed into law, a pair of bills that will increase drug pricing
transparency. The Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act and the Know the
Lowest Price Act will eliminate “gag clauses” that have prevented pharmacists
from telling customers whether or not they can save money through out-of-
pocket expenditures instead of through their health plans—allowing patients
to get the lowest available price while simultaneously increasing transparency
in the marketplace.

While health care costs continue to rise, know that I’m working on solutions
that provide transparency, reduce costs, increase quality, and empower patient
and providers.

It's an honor to serve you and Virginia's First District in the People's House.

Sincerely,
Congressman Rob Wittman