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Your online accounts, computer files, and personal information are more secure when you use strong passwords to help protect them. You can test the strength of your passwords for free at this site. Enter a password in the test box to have Password Checker help determine its strength as you type:



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Facebook - Security & Privacy Tips


Avoid Using a Weak Password.

Do not use names or words you can find in a dictionary, even with numbers tacked on the end. Instead, mix upper-and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. A password should have at least eight characters. One good technique is to insert numbers or symbols in the middle of a word (for example, houses to HoU$3s or even better to hO27u$Es).


Avoid Leaving Your Full Birth Date in Your Profile.

Your birth date is an ideal target for identity thieves, who could use it to obtain more information about you and potentially gain access to your bank or credit card account. Go to your profile and click on the Info tab, then click on Edit information to choose to show only the month and day or no birthday at all.


Do Not Overlook Useful Privacy Controls.

For almost everything in your Facebook profile, you can limit access to only your friends, friends of friends, or yourself. Restrict access to photos, birth date, religious views, and family information, among other things. Consider leaving out contact information, such as phone number and address.


Never Post a Child’s Name in a Caption.

Don’t use a child’s name in photo tags or captions. If someone else tags the child, delete it by clicking on Remove Tag. If someone else includes his or her name in a caption, ask that person to remove the name.


Avoid Mentioning That You’ll Be Away from Home.

That’s like putting a “No one’s home, please rob me” sign on your door. Wait until you get home to tell everyone how awesome your vacation was and be vague about the date of any vacation or business trip. Avoid including your exact location in your posts.


Restrict Search Engines from Finding You.

To help prevent strangers from accessing your page, go to the Search section of Facebook’s privacy controls and select Only Friends for Facebook search results. Be sure the box for public search results isn’t checked. (Lock, More Settings, Privacy, “Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline?”)


Never Permit Youngsters to Use Facebook Unsupervised.

Facebook limits its members to ages 13 and over, but children younger than that do use it. If you have a young child or teenager on Facebook, the best way to provide oversight is to become one of their online friends. Use your e-mail address as the contact for their account so that you receive their notifications and can monitor their activities.


Limit Your Audience When Posting.

Before clicking the “Post” button, click on the “Friends” button at the bottom of the posting window to see who will be able to see your post. Consider limiting your post to “Friends;” allowing “Public” or “Friends of Friends” can allow thousands of people to see your posts. (Click Home, Update Status, then Friends)


Review Who Can See What.

Limit what people see on your timeline, who can see your posts, and where you’ve been tagged. (Click Lock icon, then Who Can See My Stuff)


Liking and Commenting Settings.

If you “Like” or “Comment” on a post, your comment will be seen by friends of the person who posted it or a wider audience, depending on his or her privacy settings.


Screening Friend Requests.

Only accept friend requests from people you know. Alternately, if you are friends with people you don’t know very well, considering adding them to your Acquaintances list and setting your sharing settings to “Friends except Acquaintances.”


Setup Login Approvals.

Turn this on to have a security code sent to your mobile phone if  you login to Facebook from a new device. If your Facebook password is stolen, the thief will not be able to log in without the code. (Click Lock icon, See More Settings, Security, Login Notifications)


Control Apps.

Limit the amount of information each app accesses, posts on your time line or allows others to see. (Click Lock icon, See More Settings, Apps, then the various sub-categories)



If you don’t want your name or picture to appear in ads for products you’ve liked, set to “no one.” (Click Lock icon, See More Settings, Ads, then the various sub-categories)


General Settings and Access to Security and Privacy Settings.

(Click Gear icon, down arrow, Settings, Privacy Settings)


These suggestions will help ensure that your friends, acquaintances, and others only see what you want them to see and nothing more

How to "Opt Out"


Cablevision Systems 

Customers can opt out of targeted ads in two different ways: Either by calling their special “Opt Out” number, 888-425-2591, or by going directly to www.Optimum.net (Cablevision), signing in, and then searching for Opt Out or Addressable Third Party Advertising.


Charter Communications

Customers can only opt out of certain data-collection items, and opting out of what they do allow, is a tedious process. Start here:




Has a somewhat new pivacy opt-out policy, so you should start here: http://xfinity.comcast.net/privacy/2014-01.



Customers can opt-out by calling  and going through their menu choices at 1-800-531-5000 or by email request, asking how to opt out, at:




Customers can contact customer support at 877-367-8486 to change the Opt-In and Opt-Out Status for Tivo.


Data are attached to everything you do on a computer or phone. A simple sharing of a status update can reveal important information and leave you susceptible to hackers. Be proactive and use the tips below to ensure your data are secure!


The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, has free information to help you fight fraud and detect deception.


Do you want to:


Report a rip-off?

www.FTCComplaintAssistant.gov or call 877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357)


Sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry?

www.DoNotCall.gov or call 888-382-1222


Learn more about credit, loans, & mortgages?



Get a free copy of your credit report?

www.AnnualCreditReport.com or call 877-322-8228


Report ID theft?

www.FTC.gov/IDTheft or call 877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338)


Stay safe online?



Hang up on phone fraud?



Read up on saving energy?



Get the skinny on health & fitness?



Get consumer tips and Free publications before you buy?



Find consumer resources in Spanish?


Numbers to Know & Places to Go

App Tips

Need free computer services?




FromThe Economist – Mind the App October 14th, 2017

Fake apps are designed to trick inattentive users.  The Economist found that half of the 50 top-selling apps in Google Play had fake counterparts.  Google and Apple have been working to police and take action against fake apps, but many still make it through to users.  These fake apps are able to trick users in a few ways.  Fake apps can appear to be legitimate, by using real store logos or simply copying real apps or adjusting the name of the app from ‘Google Translate’ to ‘My Google Translate.’  Fake apps also trick users by filling gaps in the market, for example a company may only have apple version of their app or a website but no app.  These fake apps can be loaded with malicious code that slows down devices, unlocks users’ bank accounts, or push advertisements.