(NewsUSA) - Identity theft is nothing new. It's been around longer than the Internet itself -- the process has just gotten more sophisticated.
The long and the short of it is, no matter how hard we try and protect what's ours (personal information, credit card numbers and bank account information), the more evolved criminals have become at circumventing these defenses.
To that end, it's never a bad idea to go over the newest forms of identity theft. Read on to find out how you may be (unwittingly) giving away your information and what you can do to stop it.
Internet Identity Theft
In this case, you may be unknowingly handing over information. Consider this: information can be stolen from the databases of banks, and retailers, or other third-party entities. What this means is that every time you log onto a website and provide personal information, be it credit card, debit card or a password, you are potentially giving away information.
Just like fishing, phishing uses a lure to catch its next victim. This often comes in the form of spam e-mail or a pop-up warning that looks like it came from a company you trust.
For the 57 million adults that have experienced a phishing attack, they know that one click is all it takes. The truth? Legitimate companies will never ask for personal information via e-mail.
Buying the Pharm
Pharming happens when a cyber criminal cracks a vulnerability in an Internet Service Provider or DNS server and hijacks the domain name of a well-known site. Anyone going to the site is then redirected to an identical, but bogus site. Personal information is then collected, which is used to log onto the genuine website.
Beware the Spyware
Spyware is technology that surreptitiously gathers information by logging all of your keystrokes, or by using Trojans to collect information from your computer when you click on a pop-up ad or view spam e-mail.
While it may seem impossible to protect yourself, there are companies that have made it its mission to defend consumers. VirnetX, for instance, a security and software company has created Gabriel, a set of secure communication apps derived from a U.S. Department of Defense project.
Gabriel transmits information using automatic virtual private networks with military-grade encryption -- think Cryptograms. In this way, your data and communication is invisible to hackers.
Gabriel offers its users secure mail, messaging and free voice and video calls.
Gabriel Collaboration Suite is free to try. For more information, go to www.gabrielsecure.com or the Google Play Store.
(NewsUSA) - When most people envision their ideal retirement, they picture themselves dancing, playing tennis or running around the playground with their grandchildren. Unfortunately, some seniors eventually find themselves losing their independence due to the natural aging process.
According to Marketing Charts, 26 percent of seniors surveyed rated losing their independence as their biggest fear. This is higher than 13 percent of seniors who feared moving into a nursing home, or 3 percent fearing death. Instead of seniors fearing a loss of independence, how can they regain it?
Here are some easy-to-adopt suggestions to help you or your elderly parent regain independence after an accident, medical condition or an inability to get around the house:
Invest in a Power Wheelchair
Power wheelchairs provide seniors with independence and comfort beyond a traditional manual wheelchair. Seniors can easily regain their independence with joystick movement, letting them choose speed and direction they are comfortable with. Power wheelchairs also let seniors recline and tilt, helping them raise their legs if they need to.
Install a Stairlift
Seniors looking to gain independence, especially when they can't make it up the stairs anymore, can install an Acorn Stairlift. Seniors with arthritis don't have to worry, because it's the only approved starlift, with the Ease-of-Use commendation by the Arthritis Foundation.
Available for straight or curved stairs, Acorn Stairlifts provide seniors with a safe and secure movement from sitting down to stepping off through its swivel seat and safety belt. Seniors also don't have to worry about malfunctions with its built-in safety sensors that prevent it from running into something it shouldn't. It also features an easy-to-read numerical display notifying seniors if it needs servicing -- preventing it from malfunctioning with someone on it.
Attach Bathroom Aids
Helping seniors regain independence after an accident is especially important when it comes to bathing. Installing grab bars or safety handles on tubs and walls, along with bath and shower chairs, can help seniors regain their independence by giving them the confidence they need to safely bath themselves, even if they have a home health aide helping them.
Learn more about how seniors can regain their independence by visiting www.acornstairlifts.com.
(NewsUSA) - Dating is hard these days. Never mind the whole getting-to-know you thing, the Internet has created a world where every foible, every flaw, every thing (literally and figuratively) is on display for all the world, including potential dating partners, to see.
"Surviving any worst-case scenario comes down to not panicking, having a plan and ultimately being prepared," David Borgenicht, author of The Complete Worst-Case Scenario Sur-vival Handbook: Dating & Sex, told the Chicago Tribune in an interview. "And this applies to the realm of dating."
That is why it's best to be prepared for any dating scene so you don't find yourself wondering whether leaving-by-the-bathroom-window is actually an option.
The following tips will help you avoid the minefield of dating.
* You spill wine all over the table, on yourself, or on your date. At best, you and your date can laugh it off. And if you like one another, it's an easy way to ask them out for a second one --to a dry cleaners where you'll foot the bill. At worst, if the sparks aren't there, you have an easy out.
* You're running late. It happens -- traffic, work runs over, mistiming on how long it takes to get ready -- and all of a sudden you've kept your date waiting. In this case, take a few minutes to send a text message or a quick call and let them know you've run into a snag, but will be there as soon as possible. Better yet, giving them a timeframe. One caveat: try to keep it light. If you sound stressed about being late, they'll be stressed about waiting.
* You're a smokeless tobacco user. For smokeless tobacco users, the thought of taking a spit cup or bottle on a date is horrific, and of course, an absolute no-no. So, what to do? You might want to consider a portable spittoon made by FLASR, an Atlanta-based company that specializes in creating smokeless tobacco accessories.
To avoid the messiness that can go along with using smokeless tobacco, the FLASR flask has an advanced closing mechanism, ensuring that it stays securely closed when not in use, thus eliminating the risk of spills and leaks often found with cups and bottles. In addition, the small size of the FLASR flask allows users to enjoy smokeless tobacco unobtrusively while in public.
For more information, visit www.flasr.com.
LOVINGTON, N.M. â€“ Much has changed around the Lea County Fair and Rodeo since the last time Cody Sosebee was the entertainer inside Jake McClure Arena.
â€śThe Lovington rodeo has a lot of chrome on it now and is really bright and shiney,â€ť said Sosebee, who will be the rodeo clown and entertainer during the five nights of rodeo action, beginning with the Lea County Xtreme Bulls on Tuesday, Aug. 4, and continuing through the full rodeo performances from Wednesday, Aug. 5-Saturday, Aug. 8. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m.
â€śItâ€™s a lot different now than it was then. The rodeo has finally been recognized as one of the best, and they have Xtreme Bulls and Pete Carrâ€™s bucking stock. Itâ€™s really a special rodeo.â€ť
That it is. The Lea County rodeo has been nominated as the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Large Outdoor Rodeo of the Year each of the past two seasons. Thatâ€™s quite an honor for an event thatâ€™s in the same class as the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days and the Pendleton (Ore.) Roundup.
â€śThatâ€™s a super good committee, and you can tell theyâ€™ve worked their butts off to make a good rodeo even better,â€ť he said. â€śWhen they came to tell me they were excited to have me coming back, it really was a great thing for me. I love that rodeo.â€ť
The rodeo committee isnâ€™t the only entity thatâ€™s been honored with nominations and awards. Sosebee is a five-time nominee for PRCA Clown of the Year and a two-time finalist for Comedy Act of the Year. He will be a big part of the action that is orchestrated by Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, the primary livestock producer thatâ€™s been nominated for Stock Contractor of the Year in 2013-14.
â€śYou get to work with an A team of personnel and an A team list of stock,â€ť he said. â€śAnytime you get to work with people who excel in their field, it only makes me that much better.â€ť
In addition to his clowning nomination, the former competitor also has been nominated for the PRCA Comedy Act of the Year two of the past three seasons. But thereâ€™s much more to Sosebee than meets the eye. Over his lifetime, heâ€™s competed in nearly every rodeo event possible and was at the top of his game in bareback riding.
Itâ€™s part of the life growing up in a family that was heavily involved in rodeo. His father was a pickup man, so Sosebee has been part of the sport as long as he can remember.
â€śI got into clowning by accident by filling in for guys,â€ť said Sosebee, who also owns a barbecue restaurant in his hometown of Charleston, Ark., just 25 miles east of Fort Smith, Ark. â€śI didnâ€™t know where I was going to go with my rodeo career when I quit riding barebacks, and it turned into a good living. I get to see the world.
â€śI live in a community with one four-way stop, and I get to go to a lot of great places where as soon as you pull into town, you are considered a rock star for a week.â€ť
A born competitor, the clown has made the adjustments he needed to get the true fix after a lifetime of being part of the contest.
â€śIâ€™ve always been a competitor in anything I did, from football to basketball to when I was in freestyle bullfighting,â€ť he said. â€śI miss putting my hand in the rigginâ€™ and nodding my head to be 80 points to win the rodeo, but Iâ€™m a realist. Iâ€™m 43 years old. While most of the guys I rodeoed with have slowed down and have found jobs, I get to be in the arena and get to make a living in rodeo doing something I love.â€ť
Sosebee also plays to his strengths. Bigger than many in the game, he showcases a true athleticism that is rarely seen among men of his stature. Itâ€™s comedy at the purest level.
â€śHaving the ability to laugh at myself is probably my biggest strength,â€ť he said. â€śI donâ€™t take anything too serious. When Iâ€™m watching a comedian, the funniest thing I see is when theyâ€™re honestly open and having a good time. I want the fans to see that Iâ€™m a real person and Iâ€™m having fun, and they can have fun with me.â€ť
Thatâ€™s why Sosebee has excelled as one of the premier rodeo clowns in the game. Thatâ€™s why the volunteer committee is bringing him to town. Itâ€™s another key reason the Lea County Fair and Rodeo is always at the top of the game.
(NewsUSA) - Water damage is the second most common reason for homeowners to file claims with their insurance companies; only home fires are associated with more damage and more claims. Water damage can stem from a variety of sources, including leaking water heaters, ruptured washing machine hoses, leaky pipes and failed plumbing systems. These leaks can cause flooding that can stain ceilings, warp floors and destroy personal property anywhere in the home.
Another consequence of leaks and water damage: mold. Indoor mold is an additional source of damage that, according to the Insurance Information Institute, costs the average $3,000 to $4,000; while water damage combined with mold yields homeowner insurance claims ranging from $15,000 to $30,000.
Mold can damage walls, stain ceilings, ruin carpeting and damage home ventilation systems.
Mold also has the potential to damage personal items, including personal electronics, clothing with sentimental value (such as a wedding dress) and fine art.
Not only is mold almost impossible to remove, it contributes to poor air quality in the home, which can cause health problems for homeowners with allergies or asthma. Even non-allergic individuals may experience skin and eye irritation or respiratory problems in moldy environments. Although visible mold can be cleaned from walls, and moldy rugs can be replaced, homeowners with mold problems must consider how to reduce or control the moisture content in the home.
An automatic water shut-off system can help stop mold before it starts by identifying leaks before they lead to major water damage. One example of such a system, FloLogic, acts as a circuit breaker for home plumbing. The System shuts off the water when it detects a leak, whether it is a pinhole leak, running faucet or malfunctioning appliance causing a flood. The FloLogic System automatically shuts off the water and alerts the homeowner with an alarm so the leak can be identified and repaired as soon as possible, limiting the water damage.
Homeowners who install and use a system such as FloLogic may be able to avoid the costly insurance claims associated with water damage. Some homeowners' insurance companies recognize the benefits of such systems and may offer discounts to homeowners who install devices to protect against water damage.
Visit www.flologic.com for more details about how the FloLogic System works.
(NewsUSA) - Movies have always fascinated Americans. They are a way to escape reality (if only for a couple of hours), a place to stay cool on hot summer days, a typically pure, unadulterated enjoyment.
Cinemas are now capitalizing on this from of entertainment by boasting reserved seating, fancier food than your standard popcorn and soda, and best of all, adult beverages -- all for a high-end price.
The rise of "dine-in" theaters aims to put the traditional dinner-and-a-movie all in the same place, instead of making people rush from one venue to another.
"It's a way for theater owners to capture that revenue and keep it there instead of seeing it go down the mall," Patrick Corcoran, vice president and chief communications officer for the National Association of Theatre Owners, told USA Today in an interview.
However, even with all the bells and whistles that are part and parcel of many movie theaters, there are still things you may want to bring to make your experience that much more pleasurable, as well as do's and don'ts to attending your favorite flick.
Do Bring an Extra Sweater
Movie theaters tend to get cold (which is why they're a great place to go in the summer), so bringing a long-sleeve shirt, or light sweater or jacket, is never a bad idea. You can also forego it if the theater temperature suits you.
Silence Your Phone
Out of respect to those around you, don't forget to turn your phone to vibrate, or better yet, turn it off completely. This way, you won't be tempted to see if anyone has texted you.
Don't Start a Conversation
While people have their thoughts on any given movie or scene, or want to opine with their date about whodunit, keep the chit-chat to a minimum. Even over the superior sound systems used in movie theaters today, voices still carry.
If you are a smokeless tobacco user, you might want to consider purchasing a portable spittoon. Look at it this way: taking a bottle or cup to a luxury theater is not a viable option (especially if it's a first date). But portable spittoons, such as those created by FLASR (OTCQB:FLSR), are discreet and, according to Everett Dickson, CEO of FLASR, "allows users to enjoy smokeless tobacco in public unobtrusively, without unwanted attention." To this end, the company's new 4-ounce pocket spittoon lets users open and shut it with just one hand. And FLASR's original tobacco flask has an advanced closing mechanism, ensuring that it stays closed when not in use, eliminating the possibility of spills and leaks.
For more information, visit www.flasr.com. Market listing: FLASR (OTCQB: FLSR).
DODGE CITY, Kan. â€“ Cody Cavanaugh, Mike Keiper and Josh Mertens have different thoughts on horsepower than most who are involved with the 2015 Dodge City Roundup Rodeo.
They are an integral part of Wisconsin Freestyle Motocross, which will be one of the featured pieces of entertainment during the five performances of the rodeo, set for 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, July 29-Sunday, Aug. 2. The three athletes will put on a spectacular display of freestyle motocross jumps inside Roundup Arena.
â€śWeâ€™re pretty excited about working that event,â€ť said Cavanaugh, the founder of WIFMX, based in Neenah, Wis. â€śWe always like going to new places. You get to meet the rodeo committee members and usually make good friends that way. Itâ€™s also nice for us to see a different culture.â€ť
The WIFMX players all have extensive motocross experience. Now in their third year as a specialty act in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, Cavanaugh and staff travel the rodeo trail putting on shows that expose some amazing feats on the backs of motorcycles.
â€śOne of the things that make our show unique is that quite a few of us can ride motorcycles and jump four-wheelers,â€ť he said. â€śI like the way weâ€™re diverse in that way.â€ť
Itâ€™s just another big piece of the entertainment pie that is Roundup Rodeo, which was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 2012. It already is a key stop on the ProRodeo trail and will feature hundreds of the top contestants in the game. By combining with WIFMX, the volunteer rodeo committee that produces the annual event is just increasing the value for fans.
â€śWe take a lot of pride in having the very best in rodeo,â€ť said Dr. R.C. Trotter, chairman of the committee. â€śWe have world champions in every performance of our rodeo, and we wanted to bring something else to the table for our great fans to enjoy.
â€śA lot of people come back to our rodeo year after year, and we always want to give them something special to enjoy. I believe having Cody Cavanaugh and his group here will really help make this yearâ€™s rodeo even better.â€ť
Though his primary focus is on riding motorcycles, Cavanaugh grew up in a rodeo family. His parents were raised in South Dakota, and his father grew up on a farm and was part of rodeo as a roper and barrelman.
â€śWhen my parents moved to Wisconsin, we had horses on the farm right away, and we still have a horse-drawn carriage business we still run,â€ť he said. â€śWe have a hobby farm with petting-zoo animals. Thatâ€™s how I had room enough to ride motorcycles around Wisconsin.â€ť
He was outfitted with a three-wheeler at age 3, then moved on to his first dirt bike at 7. He started building little jumps with friends, then the jumps kept getting bigger. He loved the idea of FMX because of what he had seen on television and found it to be a great outlet.
Of course, being outside and active was a big part of how he was raised.
â€śAs a kid, I roped quite a bit, and I come from a horse background,â€ť Cavanaugh said. â€śIn fact, our jumps are set up in a horse pasture.â€ť
The WIFMX team now has a customized ramping system it takes to rodeos all across the country, from Pleasant Grove, Utah, to Park Rapids, Minn., to Dodge City. It takes just a few minutes of set-up time, and the excitement in the arena takes off. Thatâ€™s where Cavanaugh, Keiper and Mertens show off the elaborate tricks theyâ€™ve perfected over the years.
â€śThere is a small crashing curve that comes with learning new tricks,â€ť Cavanaugh said. â€śIf youâ€™re going to push yourself, it can sometimes not end well. With a lot of practice, our confidence grew.
â€śI tell people all the time that weâ€™ve been allowed to do these cool jobs of just riding motorcycles. Find something you like to do and do it all the time.â€ť
It works for the WIFMX team, and for fans that make their way to Roundup Arena.
LOVINGTON, N.M. â€“ Eight decades ago, Jake McClure was the dominant calf roper in rodeo; the Lea County, N.M., cowboy had revolutionized his event and had earned titles at the most prestigious events in the game.
His hometown event, the Lea County Fair and Rodeo, was established in his heyday. This August, the exposition will celebrate its 80th year. Inside the expansive fairgrounds on the eastern edge of Lovington sits Jake McClure Arena, home to one of the most recognized events in ProRodeo.
â€śNo matter the amount of time that goes by, itâ€™s the one thing that brings the county together every year,â€ť said Corey Helton, chairman of the Lea County Fair Board. â€śItâ€™s gotten bigger over the years, especially lately with the concerts and the rodeo. Itâ€™s the one event that the residents of Lea County know is going to happen every year.â€ť
This yearâ€™s celebration is set for Friday, July 31-Saturday, Aug. 8, and will feature a touch of the historic, a splash of the new generation and a bushel of fun. The best part is the admission is just $8 for adults and $6 for children.
â€śA lot of people in this part of the country take pride in the county fair,â€ť Helton said. â€śEvery year it gets better and better, and I think people expect it to be what it is.â€ť
From the great concerts â€“ Ricochet, Cody Johnson, Crowder, Dan & Shay, Scotty McCreery and Gregg Allman â€“ to the various livestock shows to Lea County Xtreme Bulls and the rodeo to the food and carnival, there are numerous reasons why this county fair is such a must-see event.
â€śI think we all know the fair actually started with the kids and showcasing the kidsâ€™ hard work throughout the year with the livestock shows,â€ť Helton said. â€śWe can never lose sight of that. Itâ€™s still about that. Itâ€™s about the sale. Thatâ€™s the big thing about the fair. Yeah, weâ€™ve had the concerts and the rodeo, but without the kids showing animals, do you really have a fair?
â€śThe goal of every fair should be the kids.â€ť
The Lovington event is more than just a county fair. The Lea County Fair and Rodeo has been recognized as one of the top expositions in the region, and thereâ€™s good reason. There is a concert six nights of the nine-day event, and the rodeo will feature the very best in the game, cowboys and cowgirls who will have traveled hundreds of miles to compete in southeastern New Mexico and some of the top animals in the business from Pete Carr Pro Rodeo.
â€śI think one of the things thatâ€™s still part of the 80-year tradition is the rodeo,â€ť Helton said. â€śWe continue to draw the top 10 cowboys in each event.â€ť
Itâ€™s something Jake McClure surely would brag about if he were still on the rodeo trail. Itâ€™s something many people from Lea County talk about each summer as they anticipate the goings-on in Lovington.
â€śWeâ€™re going to be working with the Western Heritage Museum and recognize some of the older people in the community that have contributed so much over the years,â€ť Helton said. â€śWe all wanted to provide something for the people that have contributed something to the heritage of Lea County.â€ť
It should be quite the celebration.