• Categories

  • Pages

  • Archives

3 Tools To Easily Unsubscribe From Emails

emails
(Our tip today comes from PCWorld.)

3 tools that easily unsubscribe you from emails

Use these services to get rid of unwanted messages and reclaim your inbox.

 

Unroll.me: This free service uses a simple web interface to surface all your subscriptions and let you unsubscribe from each with a single click.

Unroll.me displays all your subscriptions and lets you unsubscribe from each with a single click.

Just go to Unroll.me and sign in with your Google, Yahoo!, Outlook, or AOL account (if your provider is not one of those, you can sign in with your email address). Unroll.me then displays a list of all you subscriptions with three options next to each one: Add to Rollup, Unsubscribe, or Keep in Inbox. Click the Unsubscribe button next to each one you no longer want to receive.

Inevitably there will be some subscriptions you want to keep. In those cases, click Add to Rollup to have them added to a daily digest of newsletters to be sent to you each morning, afternoon, or evening. Rollups can be viewed as a list or grid, and you can add or remove subscriptions from them at any time. You can also opt to have Unroll.me notify you monthly of your new subscriptions.

Unlistr: Unlistr lets you keep or unsubscribe to email with the push of a button.
Similar to Unroll.me, Unlistr finds all your email subscriptions and allows you to easily opt out of them on iOS, Android, or in Outlook.

Once you sign in with your email account, Unlistr asks you to choose an inbox or folder to clean up. It then scans that selection and presents you with a list of senders. For each one, you just tap the radial button next to it then select either the Keep or Unsubscribe button at the bottom of the screen. Be sure about your decisions, though, as Unlistr warns that any subscriptions you “keep” will be ignored in future scans.

Unlistr is free for iOS and Android but requires a $20 annual subscription for Outlook.

Unsubscriber: With Unsubcriber, there’s no new app to download or separate interface to use. It allows you to unsubscribe from senders from right inside your email client.

Once you sign in on the Unsubscriber website with your email account, this service adds a new “Unsubscribe” folder to your inbox. Just drag unwanted messages into it, and those senders won’t show up in your inbox anymore. The process is similar in your mobile device’s email app.

All the email senders in this folder are compiled in an Unsubscribed list on the Unsubscriber website, from which you can resubscribe to any email.

Unsubscriber is free to use.

I’m going to take my own advice and finally (perhaps) attack these 33,000+ emails I’ve ignored for a few months. Years.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

International Travel- Important Info

Parents are planning their family vacations, exhausted professionals scheduling their foreign getaways – good and necessary breaks to rebalance focus and energy.

Below are several tips for foreign travel that you should know.

  1. Local emergency numbers

 

local emergency numbers

 

 

      2. U. S. Embassies, Consulates Diplomatic MIssions worldwide

https://www.usembassy.gov/

 

     3. Real ID: What is it, who is required to have it to travel and the mandatory deadline set by the Department of Homeland Security for all travelers to have this type enhanced driver’s license or government i.d. 

The REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards. The purposes covered by the Act are: accessing Federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft. Compliance by all states is mandatory by October 1, 2020.

See where your state stands n regard to compliance: https://www.dhs.gov/real-id

Get your documents in order and always have the consulate and emergency numbers info on hand when you travel outside of the United States.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

 

 

Definitions Of Defamation, Slander And Libel

Differences Between Defamation, Slander, and Libel

Credit: Brett Sember, Esq., reprinted by permission

Defamation, slander, and libel are terms that frequently confused with each other. They all fall into the same category of law and have to do with communications that falsely debase someone’s character.

Defamation Definition

What is defamation? Defamation is a false statement presented as a fact that causes injury or damage to the character of the person it is about. An example is “Tom Smith stole money from his employer.” If this is untrue and if making the statement damages Tom’s reputation or ability to work, it is defamation. The person whose reputation has been damaged by the false statement can bring a defamation lawsuit.

Defamation of character happens when something untrue and damaging is presented as a fact to someone else. Making the statement only to the person the statement is about (“Tom, you’re a thief”) is not defamation because it does not damage that person’s character in anyone else’s eyes.

Importance of Intent

Another crucial part of a defamation case is that the person makes the false statement with a certain kind of intent. The statement must have been made with knowledge that it was untrue or with reckless disregard for the full truth (meaning the person who said it knew that they were negatively shading the truthfulness but said it anyhow). If the person being defamed is a private citizen and not a celebrity or public figure, defamation can also be proven when the statement was made with negligence as to determining its truth (the person speaking should have known it was false or should have questioned it). This means it is easier to prove defamation when you are a private citizen. There is a higher standard required if you are a public figure.

Some states have laws that automatically make certain statements defamation. Any false statement that a person has committed a serious crime, has a serious infectious disease, or is incompetent in his profession are automatically defamatory under these laws.

Slander and Libel Definition

What is SlanderWhat is LibelLibel and slander are both types of defamation. Libel is an untrue defamatory statement that is made in writing. Slander is an untrue defamatory statement that is spoken orally. The difference between defamation and slander is that a defamatory statement can be made in any medium. It could be in a blog comment or spoken in a speech or said on television. Libelous acts only occur when a statement is made in writing (digital statements count as writing) and slanderous statements are only made orally.

You may have heard of seditious libel. The Sedition Act of 1798 made it a crime to print anything false about the government, president, or Congress. The Supreme Court later modified this when it enacted the rule that a statement against a public figure is libel only if it known to be false or the speaker had a reckless disregard for the truth when making it.

Damages for Defamation

Suing for slander, libel, or defamation brings a civil suit in a state court and alleges that under the slander laws or libel laws of that state the person who brought about the lawsuit was damaged by the conduct of the person who made the false statement. A libel or slander lawsuit seeks monetary damages for harm caused by the statement, such as pain and suffering, damage to the plaintiff’s reputation, lost wages or a loss of ability to earn a living, and personal emotional reactions such as shame, humiliation, and anxiety.

Defamation is an area of law that protects people’s reputations by allowing them recourse if false statements are made about them. This type of civil case is an effective way to protect your reputation.

==========================================================================

Our advice is simple:  If you’re being defamed, assess the source.  If the actions of your defamer have the real potential to harm you or your reputation, personally or professionally, consult an attorney and have your lawyer issue a cease and desist letter immediately.  If the harmful comments being made about you are from a source that is not respected and generally known to be an incompetent, jealous or otherwise petty person, your relationships with your family, friends and business contacts will not be affected.  Let the offender wallow in her undoubtedly miserable life.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

Assisted Living Facility Injuries

broken hip

Collectively, we are living longer.  That’s the good news.  Increased age, however, may become problematic in selecting one’s residence in latter years.  Often, health concerns prohibit our elderly family members from living at home or with family.  As potential caregivers, we wish to make parents and grandparents as comfortable as possible but if there are medical or housing issues, our desires are secondary to proper daily healthcare and well-being management.   Often, families and seniors look to assisted living facilities for elder residential and medical care.  The hope is to find a caring and attentive senior living facility but that is all too often not the case. Generally through negligence rather than malevolence, elderly people in these type of institutions are getting hurt- too often, from preventative injuries such as hip fractures.

The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that there are around 300,000 people in this age group who suffer from a broken hip each year. Of those, 20 to 30% will be dead within 12 months of the injury, and many others show a significant decrease in their functional abilities.

 

Main Causes of Broken Hips in the Elderly

The main causes of broken hips in the elderly are slips and falls. In an assisted living facility, falls are fairly common.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the average 100-bed nursing home reports 100 to 200 falls each year and that around 1,800 patients who fall die from their injuries.

There are many reasons that seniors in nursing homes may fall. Their muscles are weaker, their balance may be off, vertigo, poor eyesight and the physical limitations of moving from one place to another.  However, these problems are often exacerbated by negligence within the nursing home.

Of the reported falls each year, around 27% are due to environmental hazards. Some of the most common hazards include:

  • Wet floors
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Wheelchairs and beds that are not properly fitted to the patient
  • Improper monitoring and not providing assistance

Each of these hazards is preventable, and they are considered nursing home neglect when a patient is injured.

A thorough investigation should include a through review of the resident’s medical records, daily activity reports, maintenance records, incident reports, prior litigation involving the facility, identifying and interviewing potential witnesses, and many other factors that will become evident once an investigation is underway.

Broken hips in the elderly are serious, and when they occur due to nursing home abuse or negligence, you need to contact a lawyer for assistance to determine your rights in the situation.

Facebook Quizzes, Cute And A Perfect Tool For Identity Thieves.

Just about everyone on Facebook has been drawn to taking one of those “Share with your friends” quizzes – the last widely spread lure being “What Is Your Elf On A Shelf Name?”.  Full disclosure: I was halfway through that one myself when I realized what I do for a living. <facepalm>  In my defense, who doesn’t love a good quiz?  Aside from my Elf name, I was curious to know which Disney princess I am and what food matches my personality. Not smart.

Quite a few police departments have issued a Facebook quiz scam alert, warning that those “harmless” quizzes may not actually be all that harmless after all.

Think about the security questions we have to answer to just about every one of our online accounts – banking, credit reporting agencies, even Expedia, etc.   Who was your first-grade teacher? What was your favorite pet’s name? What’s the first name of your childhood best friend?  By providing this information in a social media quiz, you may be handing hackers the keys to your identity.  Hackers then build a profile of you through several different data sources.

An example of how quiz scamming works:

This quiz uses the first letter of your first name and your birth month to determine your “Elf” name. So, when you post your response, online hackers can figure out your birth month and then click through to your profile page to get more information.

facebook quiz scam alert

A nugget of information in isolation may not seem like a big deal, but combining that with other data that may be out there can result in a greater threat,” says Rachel Rothman, Chief Technologist for the Good Housekeeping Institute. “Be mindful of photos or posts that could give away information about your location or self (like your birthday) and consider if you are posting something that could be used to locate you offline or make it easier for someone to figure out any of your passwords.”

While the person posting and sharing these quizzes usually has innocent intentions, your response puts the information out there for all to see. That can be scammers or, as the Better Business Bureau points out, data mining companies who sell your information to other businesses.

With Valentine’s Day coming up this week, please resist the urge to respond to “What Does Your Valentine’s Day Cookie Say?” or “What Will Happen To You This Valentine’s Day”.  I can answer those two questions for you right now: 1. “If all you got for Valentine’s Day was this lousy cookie, consider dating someone else.” and “A lot or nothing.” There you go: informed, safe and sound.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

 

The Safest Seats On A Plane, Train or Cruise Ship

As holiday travel begins, we are once again asked for hard data on travel safety- specifically, the safest seats on various means of travel.   To that inquiry, our research indicates the following:

 

The safest seat on an airplane:

A recently published Popular Mechanics study concludes that, in an airplane crash, 69% of rear cabin passengers are more likely to survive than those in the front rows (generally the first and business classes or in all-coach flights, the first 15 rows).  In the same situation, over the wing seat passengers experience a 59% survival rate, which then drops dramatically to 49% for those in the aforementioned front rows.  Statistics show that the middle seats in the rear of an aircraft historically have the highest survival rates.  (Bear in mind, however,  that many factors are involved in aircraft mishaps that shape an incident; these statistics are based on otherwise “routine” flights in a standard design planes (rather than military or supersonic aircraft).

 

The safest seat on a railroad passenger train:

A railroad car or two ahead of the rear car is the safest seat on a passenger train.  According to the U.S. government’s transportation accident investigation authority, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), a  majority  of passenger rail mishaps damage the front cars; secondly, the middle cars in derailment situations; with the least damage occurring to the near to end cars.  Of course, in the case of a front to rear collision between two trains, the first train will suffer rear car damage, obviously, the first car(s) of the second train will suffer the most damage but these are the rarest collision types.  Final tip: choose a rear facing seat (in the direction of travel).  In a crash, you won’t be thrown forward.

The safest cabin on a cruise ship:

From the Cruise Critic, the safest berths on a cruise ship are the mid to upper cabins, facing outward, in the ship’s aft (rear) section.  Cruise line accidents, while extremely rare, tend to damage the hull (usually in the  front part) first, thereby exposing the lower and inner cabins to immediate flooding as well as by positioning alone, these cabins have more restricted avenues of escape.  Overall, we recommend staying away from any cruises along the Somalian coast, regardless of cabin choice.

We hope the above does not engender paranoia; you are safer traveling than you are in your own home:

The most recent statistics from the National Safety Council show that death by falling from a bed, chair or other furniture is almost as likely as death by air transport.  As of 2016, your odds of dying from an in-home fall are about 1 in 379,000 while your risk in an airplane is about 1 in 484,000.  You are safer hurtling through the air at 530 mph in a  metal container than you are standing on a chair in your own home reaching for a can of tuna.

Our Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, and especially when traveling, stay safe.

Happy Thanksgiving 2018!

Wishing our readers a happy and festive Thanksgiving with beloved family and friends!   And here’s to another year of giving thanks for all of the wonderful blessings our team has experienced!! 

Happy Thanksgiving from Beacon Network Investigations, LLC (BNI)!

Real I.D., Have It Or You Can’t Fly – Mandatory Compliance By October 1, 2020

We’ve been announcing the necessity for complying with the Real ID Act of 2005 almost from the start.  Now, the deadline is fast approaching and for those who believe they have plenty of time left (think, long DMV lines) or that compliance is a choice, they will be unpleasantly surprised.

Summary of the Act: All states will be required to be in compliance by October 1, 2020.  In essence, all state-issue I.D., will have to meet the standards of a Real I.D. Basically, a Real I.D. is a state-issued enhanced driver’s (or non-driver’s id) license without which one cannot fly – even domestically without additional forms of identification – AND that pertains also to work visas, delivery bonds (for aliens, a form of bail, so to speak) and physical border barriers.

To provide a comprehensive understanding of this law, below are the basics:

Real ID Act

The Real ID Act of 2005Pub.L. 109–13, 119 Stat. 302, enacted May 11, 2005, is an Act of Congress that modifies U.S. federal law pertaining to securityauthentication, and issuance procedures standards for state driver’s licenses and identity documents, as well as various immigration issues pertaining to terrorism.

The law sets forth requirements for state driver’s licenses and ID cards to be accepted by the federal government for “official purposes”, as defined by the Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The Secretary of Homeland Security has defined “official purposes” as boarding commercially operated airline flights, and entering federal buildings and nuclear power plants, although the law gives the Secretary the unlimited authority to require a “federal identification” for any other purposes.[4]

The Real ID Act implements the following:

  • Title II of the act establishes new federal standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and non-driver identification cards.
  • Changing visa limits for temporary workers, nurses, and Australian citizens.
  • Funding some reports and pilot projects related to border security.
  • Introducing rules covering “delivery bonds” (similar to bail, but for aliens who have been released pending hearings).
  • Updating and tightening the laws on application for asylum and deportation of aliens for terrorism.
  • Waiving laws that interfere with construction of physical barriers at the borders.

On December 20, 2013, the Department of Homeland Security announced that implementation of Phase 1 would begin on January 20, 2014, which followed a yearlong period of “deferred enforcement”. There are four planned phases, three of which apply to areas that affect relatively few U.S. citizens—e.g., DHS headquarters, nuclear power plants, and restricted and semi-restricted federal facilities such as military bases.[5] On January 8, 2016, DHS issued an implementation schedule for Phase 4, stating that starting January 22, 2018 “passengers with a driver’s license issued by a state that is still not compliant with the REAL ID Act (and has not been granted an extension) will need to show an alternative form of acceptable identification for domestic air travel to board their flight”. Starting October 1, 2020 “every air traveler will need a REAL ID-compliant license, or another acceptable form of identification, for domestic air travel.”[6] As of November 2018, 38 states and territories have been certified as compliant, and 18 have been granted extensions.[7]

Save yourselves the last-minute, hours-long visit to the DMV in your respective states by applying for your Real I.D. as soon as possible.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

 

 

 

Basics Of An Employment Background Check

background check

The professional investigator should conduct an employment background check from an experience-based template, outlining his/her methodology.  Aside from the consistency of results, wire-framing the investigation will ensure that the basics of a background check are researched and, serves as a solid springboard once the information pipeline begins to flow.  Starting with the very first step – in all cases – from an entry level employee to a potential new partner, all references and work history should be verified.

Below we will outline the various type of background checks and the situations wherein which they should be conducted.

 

New Hire (Non-Management Level, excepting positions involving access to client and or other financial information:

The most relevant and important features of a comprehensive background check are the:

1. Address, SSN and DOB verification.

2. Criminal history  (This level hire will not include criminal charges – only convictions.)

3. E-Verification clearance ensuring that the potential new hire is in fact legally allowed to work in the U.S.

4. Driving record, if relevant.

New-Hire (Management, fiduciary trust or client financials access and C positions):

A more comprehensive search than a basic new hire background check, those conducted for potential management, C positions and employees with access to client financial information should include the above and:

1. A full credit check.

2. Assets search.

3. An in-depth criminal records review.

New Partner:

In taking on a new partner, including all of the above searches, the following investigations should also occur:

1. Full litigation history.

2. Previous positions and conditions of departure verifications.

3. Professional license search (to ensure licensure validity and uncover professional sanctions, if any).

4. Full criminal check to include researching the backgrounds of the new partner’s former associates.

5. Develop the subject’s public and private profile.  (There are many methods employed by professional detectives that will allow the investigator to acquire the comprehensive information necessary to develop a 360 degree assessment of the subject.)  This is a critical part of  checking the background of a potential partner.  In today’s information age, no one can control all visible aspects of one’s life and there will be the inevitable professional and personal disclosures online.  While no single posting (unless of course it’s of a truly damaging event), will reveal the subject’s true character,  subsequent to assessing the all of the tangible search results, a pattern should become obvious to the investigator which will allow for an accurate analysis of the subject’s behavior.  The past portends the future.

The above recommendations for employment consideration are, as the title states, the basics of a new hire/partner background check.  Each industry – from transportation to healthcare – has in place employment policies specific to the field. By way of example, businesses involved in financial transactions – wherein the personal identifier information of a client may expose her to identity theft –  may have to impose an extra layer of records protection to ensure that this information is not accessed or used in a fraudulent manner.   (See the FTC Red Flag Laws.)

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

Facial Recognition Technology In Schools – Protective or Invasive?

Wired, July 17,2018:  Over the past two years, RealNetworks has developed a facial recognition tool that it hopes will help schools more accurately monitor who gets past their front doors. Today, the company launched a website where school administrators can download the tool, called SAFR, for free and integrate it with their own camera systems. So far, one school in Seattle is testing the tool and the state of Wyoming is designing a pilot program that could launch later this year.

On its face, this type of facial recognition technology appears to be a significantly helpful tool in monitoring unwanted visitors in our childrens’ schools but there are privacy and technology defect issues that need to be addressed as well.

One group in particular, the Electronic Frontier Foundation published a white paper outlining how facial recognition technology often misidentifies black people and women at a much higher rate than white males.  (Let’s stay away from any racial debate and stick to the tech flaws that are currently embedded in the software that obviously needs major tweaking.)  Amazon employees are strongly protesting the use of its FR product,, Rekognition for law enforcement purposes.  Last week, Microsoft President Brad Smith called for federal regulation of facial recognition technology, writing, “This technology can catalog your photos, help reunite families or potentially be misused and abused by private companies and public authorities alike.”

Every parent or guardian of a child should have the knowledge that their children are secure in their schools but at what cost? Children are as entitled to privacy as are adults.  And, will the technology simply search for unwelcome visitors or closely monitor targeted children?

Our stance is that this technology needs to be refined so as to not misidentify children and its use regulated to maintaining a safe environment against intruding elements – not to track children.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

 

As always, stay safe.

%d bloggers like this: