YOUR INFORMATION NEWSLETTER FROM NORTHFIELD CENTER TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE
PAUL G. BUESCHER
~ KEEPING NCT RESIDENTS INFORMED SINCE 2005 ~
#519 FRIDAY DECEMBER 22, 2017
ELECTION RECOUNT RESULTS ARE OFFICIAL
The Summit County Board of Elections posted their OFFICIAL Recount Results, which are shown below. I actually gained one vote!:
SUMMARY REPT-GROUP DETAIL Summit County Ohio Recount Results
2017 General Election
November 7, 2017
Run Date:12/20/17 02:42 PM
NFLD CTR TWP TRUSTEE
Vote for not more than 2
(WITH 5 OF 5 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
Russ Mazzola . . . . . . . . . 821 27.86
Paul G. Buescher . . . . . . . . 729 24.74
Marc A. Pepera. . . . . . . . . 721 24.47
John J. Romanik . . . . . . . . 676 22.94
STOPPING SCAMMERS, HACKERS & SPIES 101
Most households and businesses are connected to the outside world by at least three sets of wires; Electric lines, phone lines and cable TV/Internet. All of these are capable of sending and receiving information to and from your home and you, with or without your knowledge or permission. Yes, even your electric power lines!
While these conduits of information can be useful and helpful they can also be invasive and sometimes, even dangerous. And they are ALL susceptible to hacking!
We are all constantly bombarded by unwanted phone solicitations and scams. Many of these are “Robo” calls. These are calls made by computers. Many of them wait to hear you say “hello” the SECOND time before they activate their preprogramed message. Whenever I answer my phone, I say hello once and if I do not hear an immediate response, I hang up. Usually however, I simply do not answer the phone if I do not recognize the number on my caller ID. In these cases, if the caller has legitimate business with you, they will leave a voicemail and then you can call them back.
Your phone is the number one way for scammers to ply their trade on you. These scammers misrepresent themselves as government officials (IRS, Courts, etc.),police, credit card companies, charities, utilities – You name it, they’ve tried it. NEVER NEVER give any of your private information to anyone who calls you that you do not know or who you were not expecting a call from. Some will threaten you with arrest or legal action against you if you do not give them the information or payments that they demand. DO NOT fall for it. And unfortunately, many folks have paid upfront money to stop the threats or to receive prizes and other rewards. Again, DO NOT fall for it. Remember the old saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!”
Your Internet connection might even surpass phones when it comes to your vulnerability to scams and your loss of privacy. Your “Google” searches are all recorded and sold to commercial interests to bombard you with advertisements. Just recently I began looking into Dodge trucks. Within a day I was hit with emails from Dodge dealerships and began receiving ads on my smart phone and in emails!
We’ve all received those “Nigerian” emails asking us to handle millions in oversees money if we just send some money upfront for handling expenses. This was one of the first scams started on email. Since then, email scams have exploded exponentially. There are also many dangerous emails sent on a daily basis containing ransomware, spyware, malware and a host of other hidden dangers that can spy on your computer and even shut it down permanently. Most of these hidden dangers are contained in attachments to the emails. NEVER NEVER open attachments from senders who you do not know. You should even use caution when considering opening attachments from your friends because they might inadvertently forward you an attachment containing a virus.
Many of these viruses and other spy-ransom-malware dangers are loaded into your computer when you visit certain websites. It is imperative that you have current versions of anti-virus and anti-spyware protective programs installed in your computers! In just the past year my virus and spyware protection programs have caught and stopped over 400 “attacks!” I guess someone out there doesn’t like me!
Most Internet providers allow their users to block troublesome emails. Many will also allow users to block entire domains. This is a big help in stopping unwanted emails. In just the past two years I have personally blocked over 1,400 domains, which has greatly reduced the number of solicitation and other unwanted emails.
Cable TV is another area of concern. Did you know that cable companies keep your TV viewing habits in their data records? And if you have a “Smart” TV, many of them have the capability to watch you in your homes? Read the fine print in your TV manual! In addition to making more money, this could be another reason why the cable companies are now requiring their boxes on all of your TV’s!
Believe-it-or-not your electric lines have the ability to allow utilities and hackers to learn your living habits and to control your appliances IF you have an electric SMART METER on your home. New appliances (furnaces, refrigerators, stoves, air conditioners, etc.) contain circuitry to communicate through the smart meters to show usage and to be regulated by the utility company (or hackers) whenever they desire.
The electric companies advocate these Smart Meters by promoting them as cost saving devices, but for Who? You or them? If you are comfortable with allowing strangers from outside your home to regulate your thermostat and other appliances then this is one area that you need not concern yourself with. If you are concerned then do not allow a Smart Meter to be installed on your home!
An interesting and true story comes to mind involving Smart water meters. I wrote about these meters about two years ago when they first began appearing in our area. A few months later I was talking with a well-known area elected official and I brought up the subject, including what the Water Company could do with the information. He was shocked and told me that he received a call one day from the Water Company informing him that he had a water leak somewhere in his home because their records showed a flow occurring regularly around 3:30AM each morning and that he should check his plumbing. It turned out that it wasn’t the house plumbing that was the problem but it was his own. He told me that now some strangers know that he has to go to the bathroom every morning at around 3:30AM!
One last area of concern are wireless devices. ALL wireless devices (cell phones, wi-fi, baby monitors, convenience & security, etc.) use radio signals. Since 1970, I’ve held an advanced federally issued radio license and can assure you that ALL wireless devices can be intercepted, manipulated and interfered with.
The bottom line is that YOU need to use common sense when dealing with people who you don’t know and the devices, methods and tactics that they try to use to trick or scare you into falling for their scams. And don’t hesitate to contact law enforcement if someone is trying scam you!
FROM MY FAMILY TO ALL OF YOU AND YOURS, I WOULD LIKE TO WISH YOU A VERY: MERRY CHRISTMAS