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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Can Hackers Use Bluetooth to Boost Your Ride?

By Catherine Powell

Image courtesy Pixabay

Modern automobiles are more like computers with four wheels and an engine than motor vehicles these days.  Everything from the way we operate them to the way they're serviced seems more like mission control than old fashioned auto mechanics.  While all this technology has given vehicles the ability to do things we could only dream about in decades gone by, it has also opened the door to hackers and car thieves like never before.  While I pointed out in previous blogs how hackers can crack keyless entry systems and use trackers to steal your vehicle, recent advances in black hat hacking technology has made boosting your ride as simple as point and click.  Before you head out to the office or the store only to discover your vehicle is missing, I want to share some of the latest examples of high tech auto theft that can prove to be a menace to you.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

What to Do When the Water Rises

 By Catherine Powell

Image by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Pix4free

I don't know if you noticed, but lately the evening news has looked more like the Weather Channel due to all the storms and floods that have been inundating areas around the globe.  Just last night I witnessed the devastation that occurred in Syria after 16 inches of rain caused two dams to fail.  Last month they aired footage of historic floods in places like Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont.  Whether these floods are caused by climate change or not, it just goes to show how quickly rising water can upend people's lives.  Being that I live in Hurricane Alley, it doesn't take that much foresight to imagine the damage that rising water can do to the place where I live.  Even if you don't live in areas that are prone to flooding, as the news coverage proves, this doesn't mean that your town or your home can't be subjected to a flood.  To help you deal with such a possibility, I have come up with ten things you can do when the water rises.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Fraud-as-a-Service + AI = Bad News

 By Catherine Powell

Cyber crime by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Pix4free

As scary as the wild weather has been this summer, there's another storm brewing on the horizon that's even more terrifying: Fraud-as-a-Service.  This kind of crime ran rampant during the pandemic.  International cyber gangs made billions at taxpayer expense by submitting fraudulent unemployment applications using stolen identities.  Just like drug cartels, these gangs would use local affiliates to cash in before paying them a percentage of the take.  Even if caught, the local mule wouldn't be able to implicate those higher up on the food chain, since all their instructions were delivered electronically.  The FBI determined that the hierarchy of the biggest cyber gangs originated in places they had no jurisdiction, like Russia, China, and Nigeria. What's worse is that these illegal enterprises proved so lucrative that the organized criminals running them decided to up the ante by using artificial intelligence to amp up both the scope and range of their shenanigans.  If you don't want to get roped into these cyber frauds, there are a few things you need to know.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

How Smart is College Tuition Insurance?

 By Catherine Powell

Image courtesy Pixabay

As they say, education doesn't come cheap.  In fact, the average cost of a year in college in the US including room and board is $26,027.  For that amount of money, you can get a pretty nice car.  If you did, you'd no doubt insure it to protect your investment.  Believe it or not, you can do the same with higher education.  That's right, there's an insurance product called tuition reimbursement insurance that can help recover some of the funds lost should a college student be forced to withdraw from classes due to extenuating circumstances.  Below I'll reveal what you need to know in order to make an informed decision as to whether this product is right for you and your college student.

How Ghost Jobs Can Come to Haunt You

 By Catherine Powell Image courtesy Alpha Stock Images They say it's hard to find good help.  While this little ditty has stood the test...