Sunday, July 30, 2017

Smishing - Cyber Criminals and Your Smartphone



There's a new kind of "hacking" in town, and it's been around for a little while. It's called "Smishing".  Smishing is similar to fishing, except for instead of using e-mail, it's using SMS text messages to fish for information to be used against you.

I'm sure we have all received these from one time to another.  The most important thing is NOT to click the link.

And if the message instructs you to contact a phone number, validate the information first.

In this day and age, criminals both professional and unprofessional alike, are getting much better at scamming us for our money, identities, and more.  Would you like to protect yourself from these and other scams, and not only protecting yourself, but your family as well. This IDShield program is not just something off the street, it's led by Kroll, the world's leading company in ID theft consulting and restoration.  If you want some more information on the IDShield protection and what it can do, you can go here and click on "IDShield Plans".  In this time and age I strongly recommend an identity theft protection for yourself and your family. I personally love the peace of mind it offers both myself and my wife and daughter.

*NOTE* This article written below was taken from nbcnews.com and is not authored by myself.  You can access the original article here :

How Cyber Criminals are Targeting You Through Text Message

Cyber criminals are increasingly targeting victims through a text message scam called "smishing" that can infect your smartphone and let thieves steal your personal information.
That means social security numbers, addresses, and even your credit card information can all be vulnerable through a simple, unassuming text message you receive.

"It may say something like, $500 was just withdrawn from your bank account, did you do it? If not, call this phone number," Pierson Clair, senior director of cyber security and investigations at Kroll, told NBC News. "There are millions of these text messages sent out every single day targeting everybody from small children to grandmothers and everybody in between."

Hackers usually send the smishing messages with a link or phone number. If you call or click, they'll then be able to harvest more data. Americans lost $1.3 billion to cyber crime in 2016, according to the FBI. That number is expected to rise as criminals get craftier and go after unsuspecting victims in new ways.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Top 25 Legal Issues Facing Americans



Good day.  I wanted to present to you some of the legal issues which plague Americans, and what we can do about it to combat the system.  Have you ever had one of these things happened to you, and wish you could have a lawyer to go to bat for you, but didn't want to pay the $285/hour (estimated - varies per state) rate?  Or were you too nervous to seek legal counsel even though you know you weren't at fault?  You need to check out LegalShield.  LegalShield was designed with us little guys in mind.  We can leverage major law firms in each state for a low monthly rate.  Imagine being able to send in a traffic ticket with your smart phone, and have an attorney fight the ticket for you!  Or if you have a contract you want an attorney to read and validate (such as a used car purchase, etc).  What about a will?  Free living will and will preparation included, with a yearly update included.   Got a legal question?  No problem, you can call your provider law firm anytime and ask your questions and get sound legal advice, without paying extra fees.

Here's the list, as put together by a study called "The Legal Needs of American Families" You can download the study at the link on the right - a very good read. These are in no particular order.

The Top 25 Legal Issues Identified

Automobile Accident
Execution of a Contract
Secured a home mortgage/refinanced a home
Divorce
Speeding ticket or traffic violation
Prepared a will
Marriage
Leased an Apartment or Home
Set up a trust
Became executor of parents' estate
Was subpoenaed
Vehicle damaged while parked on the street
Sold faulty merchandise
Identity Theft
Inherited Property
Filed Bankruptcy
Friend who owes you money filed for bankruptcy
Injured someone accidentally
Leased a vehicle
Challenged a will
Creditor taking legal action
Adoption of a child
Property was damaged while in storage
Dog bit someone
A tenant sued you

According to the study, many Americans go at it alone.  We tend to forgo or avoid legal help because of cost, access and trust issues.  Over 93% of respondents believe lawyers charge too much for their services.  And 76% of respondents said they were hesitant to call a lawyer, probably because of these three reasons.

The study further identifies 10 critical issues faced without attorney assistance

IRS audit
Divorce
Automobile accident
Spouse died without a will
Arrested or detained by police
Adoption of a child
DWI or DUI
Identity Theft
Bought or refinanced home
Unjustified property repossession

Have you faced any of issues?  What if one of these issues faces you?  What would you do?  Wouldn't it be nice to already have legal protection in place and the backing of a certified attorney to defend you and provide you the legal assistance you need?

Interesting enough, 9 out of 10 respondents said if attorney cost was more affordable, they would seek legal advice for even trivial issues such as a traffic ticket or the review of a rental agreement.  Concurrently though, nearly 90% of Americans say they don't have any form of legal insurance or legal protection service that could make getting qualified legal help easy and affordable. And two-thirds of Americans say they have never heard of any such plans and services.

What if I told you that protection was affordable for just you and your family (depending on the state - averages around $24.95 for family protection and $22.95 for single protection monthly - you can check out the website and find the rates here under Legalshield Plans) . That equates to a year of legal protection for less than or almost equal to the cost of having an attorney for one hour.

Isn't peace of mind worth that?  I think it is, and I'm proud to be a LegalShield member, and know that the law firm that backs me is well respected, as I've talked to a few attorneys/prosecutors and they said the law firm was excellent.

Finally, legal protection for the 99%.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Three Critical Steps to Breaking Bad Habits


(Taken from http://moneyinc.com/breaking-bad-habits-three-steps-breaking/ )

Here is a blog post which was written by Legalshield CEO, Jeff Bell which I think is a great read, as posted on the Money Inc Blog.

Bad habits. We all have them. Some of them are addictions that are particularly well known, like smoking cigarettes, drinking too much alcohol, eating poorly, or living one’s life by proxy through social media.

For Judson Brewer, learning to identify and stop bad habits, and swap them for beneficial ones instead, is the focus of his distinguished career. Brewer is the director of research at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. For him, the answer is mindfulness. Mindfulness changes our way of reacting to stressful situations.

Here are my ultimate three steps to breaking bad habits, fueled by more than two decades of experience leading teams, and mentoring and guiding our LegalShield associates. Keep in mind that our lives are a work in progress. We all have tough days and occasional setbacks. Your mind has to arrive at the destination first. Remembering these rules can help set our mind in the right direction and establish better ways of coping.

Step 1:

Recognize that bad habits are merely a way of coping with a stressful situation. It does not fix an underlying issue. Whether you bite your nails or devour French fries, it doesn’t matter because the brain processes these actions as the same thing. There’s a trigger and then a behavioral response that feels like a reward. You must realize that your bad habit is simply coping with something else; it’s a reflex, an instinctive reaction. You find yourself on autopilot, not in control. As soon as you realize that you are in control, then you can start to make a difference. Greasy fried potatoes are seductive indeed, but they are no match for the mind.

Step 2:

Pay attention to how you are feeling. Great leaders need an elevated sense of self awareness. Don’t judge yourself; this is important. This is not an exercise in zeroing in on your flaws. It’s about being intuitive, empathetic and honest with yourself. Notice what you are feeling and what are you worried about. It is shocking how often we fall into a state of exponential negativity because we compound our fears. For instance, if you’re worried about being worried – then all you are is super worried! When we gain a heightened awareness of our feelings, we begin to realize that bad habits are merely faux solutions; they’re useless and get in the way of helping to actually fix the problem. You don’t really feel any better after you eat that gallon of ice cream or smoke a lot of cigarettes. This realization is the key; it is what will help to break the cycle.

Step 3: RAIN:
Recognize, Accept, Investigate, Note. Recognize the bad habit. Dealing with an issue is impossible to do if you don’t realize that it’s there in the first place. Accept the existence of a bad habit. This doesn’t mean give in and move on, but accept that the craving is there.  For many of us, bad habits translate to a disconnect from reality. We crave the temporary relief from a hard day, so we scroll Facebook mindlessly, drink alcohol, or just sit on the couch flipping through television stations. Don’t try to ignore it; don’t try to distract yourself. Don’t even try to fight it. Accept it and then take a measurable step to improve. If you improve even by one percent every day, then eventually you will reach your goal. When you find yourself reaching for the ice cream – recognize it, accept it. Next, investigate the bad habit. Normally, you deal with bad habits by simply trying to brush them under the rug as quickly as possible.  The mindfulness strategy does the opposite; you get curious and pull those bad habits out for some forensic analysis.  How does your body feel the moment you want to “do” the bad habit? How do you feel? Is your action really fixing how you feel? Pay close attention. Finally, take note of what you are feeling. I’m an advocate of daily journaling. Write down how you feel; when you give it a name, your brain begins to calm down.  Use a single word or a short phrase to label what it is you’re feeling and thinking. “I have restlessness in my stomach.” “I’m having a rising sensation of anxiety.” “I’ve got a burning sensation.” Write down how you feel before you have this craving to begin. Maybe you feel sadness or loneliness. If you get distracted, return to the investigation by repeating the question. Shout out it out, if you must. What does my body feel like right now? If you can write it out until it is completely gone, then you’re making progress.

Implementing mindfulness into your life is a huge step in breaking bad habits and fixing, not coping, with underlying issues in your life. Good habits come from a vision and are attained through action and awareness. For a company like LegalShield, the vision of our founder Harland Stonecipher, who believed in equal access to legal protection, led him to pioneer a new way to insure people against legal issues. His vision lives in our hearts and guides our actions. At Legalshield we know that together, truly being together and supporting and loving each other, the best is yet to come.

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I hope you found this quick post enjoyable, and encourage you to check out LegalShield and see why many people, like myself can worry less and live more!