Obamacare indeed appears to be the disaster that never ends. According to reporting from the International Business Times, nearly 1.5 million people from 32 states could see their coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) go the way of the wind in 2017. The problem, of course, is that insurance companies continue to bail on the health care exchanges, and are doing so because of…what else…cost. The requirements for insurers, including that enrollees with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage, have simply made their continued participation unviable. Although it was expected that enrollment would be substantial among higher-risk groups of... Read more →

Mystery shopping is real. Thankfully, it has been around long enough that most people know it to be a legitimate way to make money, but scams that use mystery shopping “opportunities” as vehicles to separate you from your money are, sadly, out there, as well. I will assume you’re familiar with mystery shopping, even while you may not have any direct experience with it as yet. If not, it can be quickly summarized as work wherein you act as an undercover shopper for the benefit of a given retail establishment, so that the customer experience can be evaluated and improved... Read more →

As more products become connectable to the Internet, the universe of the so-called “Internet of things” continues to grow almost exponentially. The “Internet of things” refers to products and devices of all kinds that are connected to the Internet. Although computing devices like tablets and laptops are technically included as components of the Internet of things (or IoT), the term really refers to those goods that do not have Internet connectivity as a principal function of their overriding purpose, but which nevertheless have both the hardware and software installed that enables them to be connected for collateral purposes. For example,... Read more →

The importance of online privacy continues to become clearer to more and more folks…including those who have been, to some extent, non-believers in its real importance. Case in point: While traveling via American Airlines from Dallas, Texas to Raleigh, North Carolina, journalist Steven Petrow was working on his article about the current dispute between Apple and the FBI; as you surely know by now, the FBI is demanding that Apple create a backdoor that would allow the feds to go into the San Bernardino terrorists’ phones in order to extract more evidentiary information, while Apple has so far refused, citing... Read more →

We talk a lot about digital privacy in this space, and we often assume that real Internet safety and security is a genuine priority for just about all thinking people. That, however, may not be the case. A global private network provider, HMA, in conjunction with Morar Consulting, recently conducted a study that found, in their words, that “while two thirds of respondents say they would like extra layers of online privacy and security, their actions prove otherwise.” The study revealed that although 63 percent of respondents declared they had experienced issues with online security, and 67 percent said that... Read more →

The federal government’s recent crackdown on for-profit “career colleges” has given hope to many students and graduates who believe they were duped by certain of these schools on the basis of untrue graduate career placement records, predatory financial and student recruiting practices, and deceptive marketing. In a stunning move back in June 2015, the U.S. Department of Education fully canceled the federal student loan debt of thousands of students of various of the Corinthian Colleges, a for-profit education company that had numerous “career colleges” in its stable of subsidiary schools, including Everest, Heald, and WyoTech. Another step in the direction... Read more →

In a startling article that appeared at Forbes at the close of 2015, Dan Munro reveals a recent disclosure by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights that data breaches in the health care industry in 2015 totaled over 112 million records. The news for the immediate future is not good, either; according to the article, the International Data Corporation’s Health Insights group is reporting “that 1 in 3 health care recipients will be the victim of a health care data breach in 2016.” 1 in 3! This information is another reminder that whatever convenience we... Read more →

Radio frequency identification, or RFID, is fast becoming the new standard in the maintenance and transfer of personal information. RFID involves the use of microchips that contain sensitive personal data, microchips which are now commonly embedded into such things as credit and debit cards, driver’s licenses, passports, and various identification cards. The idea is that the electronically-stored information can make it easier and faster to complete a variety of standard identification and payment processes commonly engaged throughout society. In a vacuum, it sounds like a great idea, except that when you think through the potential risks associated with such convenience,... Read more →

In the news this week was the revelation of multiple patent applications filed by Bank Of America related to the creation of a new cryptocurrency, could it be the next Bitcoin? Why online college degrees are now the smart way to get an education. How to get prepped in one trip to Wal-Mart, $100,000 Christmas bonuses, two scams to avoid this holiday season, and will gas prices stay this low for very long? Read more →

I am crossing paths more frequently with those who have decided to adopt a bit of an “anti-Internet” posture in their own lives. I know several people, for example, who have begun to turn their backs on social media. For them, the novelty of platforms like Facebook has worn off, and they no longer feel the need to share so much of their private lives with everyone on a real-time basis. Most of these folks still use the Internet, of course, but the point is that when it comes to online safety, we are usually our own worst enemies. I... Read more →

By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large One of the areas of Internet security that is increasingly intriguing to me is this idea that you can be on the Internet anonymously. I like that. Every time I turn around, it seems as though someone else is trying to intrude on my life…or into my wallet…simply by virtue of the fact that I am online. I’ve written before about the wonderful Patriot Privacy Kit digital book, and how I think it serves as a great manual for staying safe while roaming around online. I’ve previously highlighted the great information it... Read more →

By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large With automobiles lasting much longer than they did years ago, along with the need nowadays to save as much as possible on “big ticket” necessities, buying a pre-owned car or truck is something we, or someone we know, will likely do at least once every several years. If you’re like so many, however, you lack the basic knowledge necessary to make even a remotely informed decision about the condition of the vehicle you’re considering for purchase - you wish you had some kind of idea about what to look for when inspecting... Read more →

By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large Cell phones used to be just…phones. Years ago, while there were ways for those communications to be accessed, the idea of cell phones as prime hacking and eavesdropping targets was barely a consideration in those days. Now, of course, things are different, and it has a lot to do with the fact that cell phones are computers. “Smartphones,” as they are called, can do everything your laptop and desktop computers can do, which means they are every bit the targets for hacking as your stand-alone computers and tablets. If you’re like many... Read more →

Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large Christian Money.com has published a regular flow of articles here lately on the subject of Internet security, and hacking, more specifically. Not only is the subject more important than ever, but it seems as though hacking efforts have become more frequent than ever. Just recently, a friend of mine was the target of a specific, deliberate hacking attempt against all of his devices, and we’re hearing a lot now about smartphones being the new “favorite” targets of hackers, as more people spend more of their “Internet time” using their phones as the access... Read more →

Outside of the absolute basics (family, money, etc.), Internet security is perhaps the most important issue in your life…and you likely don’t realize it. We have all borne witness to high-profile compromises of the databases of various, well-known merchants over the last several years, compromises that have put millions upon millions at risk of identity theft in a variety of forms and fashions. In addition to those types of assaults on the security of your online information, there is, of course, the ever-present threat that one of your devices will become the victim of a direct attempt to pilfer valuable,... Read more →