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Saying Math is Racist Will Only Lead Todays Students to Financial Problems Later in Life
Children & Finances

June 11, 2021 - In case you hadn't heard, some people are now saying that mathematics is racist. That claim may sound ludicrous to you... as it should... but it has gotten the attention of a number of pandering politicians and has started to gain some traction. The State of Oregon actually developed a micro course for educators focused on "math equity." As a part of that course, teachers are being told that focusing on getting the correct answer and forcing students to show their work is based on "white supremacy." Unfortunately, focusing on nonsense like this only decreases the likelihood that students will succeed in mathematics. And having a basic understanding of math is a primary key when it comes to avoiding unnecessary debt and leading a financially successful life.

Amazon Sidewalk Raising Privacy Red Flags - What Owners of Echo and Ring Devices Need to Know
In The News

June 8, 2021 - it is no secret that big tech companies aren’t exactly privacy friendly. Depending upon which type of cell phone you have, Apple and Google track you pretty much everywhere you go. They also watch what you do online and deliver adds accordingly. And Amazon knows just about everything about what people shop for and actually purchase. So it probably won't surprise you to learn that without asking customer permission, they are about to launch a feature that has the ability to further destroy personal privacy. And better yet, Amazon's customers will wind up paying for that privilege.

A Single Unsolicited Text Message is a TCPA Violation - 5th Circuit Ruling
In The News

May 28, 2021 - A ruling from the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has determined that a single unsolicited text message from a business is enough to confer standing to anyone who chooses to sue that business using the Telephone Consumer Privacy Act (TCPA). The ruling results in a circuit split between the 5th and 11th Circuits in similar cases. The 11th Circuit has already ruled that a plaintiff needs to show a concrete injury from an unsolicited text message in order to be able to sue. The latest ruling means that it will likely be up to the Supreme Court to settle the issue.

Get Ready for a Wave of Personal Bankruptcies
In The News

May 25, 2021 - Bankruptcy filings in 2020 were at near record lows. That sounds a little odd considering that the country was locked down for months on end and millions of people lost their jobs. But there was also a tremendous amount of government money that was made available. It came into the market in the form of loans and mandates that impacted everything from foreclosures to evictions. But all of that money is starting to dry up and recent bankruptcy statistics are indicating that there are some difficult times coming for many.

60 Minutes Story on Police Misuse of Facial Recognition Software is Worth Watching
In The News

May 19, 2021 - Most Americans already know that the they are being watched nearly all of the time. That's largely because of the technology that most of us choose to carry with us on a daily basis. As smart phones have become ubiquitous, the technology they use has become more intrusive; tracking where we go, what we do online and even who we come in contact with. But smart phones aren't the only threat to privacy. There are both government and commercial systems which you don't carry with you, that are tracking your movements. And as a recent story from 60 Minutes points out, the results these systems produce can be devastating to anyone who is misidentified by them.

Colonial Pipeline Co Back In Business after Paying Ransom
Federal Issues

May 14, 2021 - After the much ballyhooed cyberattack on Collonial Pipeline shut down the movement of petroleum products on much of the US East Coast, gas stations began to run out of fuel. One station in Virginia reportedly raised the price of a gallon of fuel to $6.99 in a matter of hours and gas lines have become common. So there was a lot of pressure on the company to get their operations back to normal. Since the attack on the company was all about extortion - their files became encrypted due to ransomware - the easiest thing to do was for them to make payment. And that is just exactly what they did. $5 million to be exact. But that raises a couple of significant questions. First, was the payment legal? And second, will the federal government do anything about it? 

Should Use of Cross Border Ransomware be Considered an Act of Economic Warfare by the US Government?
Federal Issues

May 11, 2021 - In case you haven't been paying attention, within the past few days the Colonial Pipeline Co. was hit with a ransomware attack that shut down its pipeline system on East Coast of the United States. The attack is causing fuel shortages up and down the East Coast, and forcing fuel prices to rise. It is widely believed that the group behind the attack - known as the DarkSide - operates out of Russia. That's because the software they use is setup to avoid targeting companies with Russian language websites. While the Russian government isn't believed to be directly involved with the DarkSide, they aren't exactly rushing to arrest its members either. This begs the very real question: Should the United States hold the Russian government responsible for the attack and take appropriate measures against them? And should we do the same with other governments, such as China?

Vizio Loses Privacy Lawsuit Filed Against Insurer
In The News

May 7, 2021 - Vizio makes a very good TV. The company has repeatedly won awards at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). But TVs aren’t the only thing that they've been known for. Back in 2015, ProPublica published an article that would cost the company millions of dollars. That article detailed the ways in which the company was selling consumer data from their smart TV's. And they were doing it without specific permission from their customers.

Telegram Now Being Used in Ransomware Attacks
How to Protect Yourself

April 30, 2021 - Since January, the messaging application Telegram has gone through exponential growth. The application now has more than 500 million daily users and it is continuing to expand. And that expansion has made it quite attractive to cybercriminals. The app is now being used to distribute a piece of malware known as Toxic Eye.

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06/17/2021 06:10:26