SIDEBAR Summer 2019 - 6
By Joel B. Bernbaum, Esq.
ost of us have multiple
screens that we use and
share with others. We
have phones, desktop computers, laptop
computers and tablets. In addition, we
have all kinds of data stored in "clouds,"
flash drives, disks, external devices, etc.
We subscribe to websites for buying and
selling, e-filing, news sites such as the
NYT, financial sites and on and on. We
are overwhelmed by requests for passwords
and user names. In an effort to keep them
all straight, many of us maintain password lists on our devices.
With the avalanche of spam, hacking, phishing and outright fraud,
your privacy and productivity is threatened with every use of your
technology. You can do something about it.
The following tips encompass three areas of focus - Prevention,
Privacy and Productivity - that will help you navigate the pitfalls
of technology every day.
First, password protect youR devices. Most of them have some
kind of password or numerical sequence that must be entered to
access your device. Fingerprint security is becoming the standard.
Even facial recognition is being rolled out as an option. Make
sure you implement this for all of your devices. That's right - all
of your devices, including your phones, desktops and tablets. In
many cases you are being offered dual authentication - passwords
and some form of additional security such as a pin number, picture
identification or text message. I know it takes time and may seem
annoying, but it doesn't compare to being hacked and experiencing
your data (as well as your finances) being compromised!
Once you have established your security "wall" (excuse the
expression), you need to maintain it by changing the passwords
and pins on a regular basis. I use letters, numbers, caps and special
characters (#$%). You don't have to change everything, just one
or two in the string. Plan a routine and follow the schedule. It will
prevent many problems, including spam email.
Speaking of spam emails, you need to
take steps to curtail these growing problems
and their phone-call counterparts. Your
email application has settings for spam and
scams; use them. In Outlook, they can be
found in the "junk" menu. Here, you can
mark the emails and block future postings.
They may still get through, but they will be
cut back. Make sure you check your "junk"
folder to make sure it is not catching
legitimate email. Spam blockers and filters
are available for a fee and they work; they
also are available for viruses and other maladies. Utilize them with
caution; they can be expensive and compromise the capabilities of
Next go to your Facebook page. I know a lot of people won't
admit they use Facebook, but in reality, millions of us not only
use it, but are constantly posting and sharing. On the main page,
select the bell icon for notifications. Alongside a notification, you
will see three dots. Select the dots and a selection for notifications
appears. Use it to stop the notifications you dread. Less emails and
Facebook engagement means safer computing.
Finally, here is one of the best tools for productivity there is,
and it is free. This is for iPhone, but other phones have similar
features. Go to your Notes App on your phone. Open it and select
the "new note" icon in the lower right-hand corner. You will see
a row of icons. Select the circle with a plus in the middle. From
among the list of features, select "Scan Documents." You can now
scan from your phone any document such as an order, tax return,
or any other document you need. The scanned document can be
saved, emailed or printed. This is baked into the operating system
and totally free. James Bond be damned.
I encourage you to reach out to me with any questions,
comments or suggestions. This column is the better with YOUR
Enjoy and be safe out there!
SIDEBAR Summer 2019
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SIDEBAR Summer 2019
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