Since the pandemic started in 2020, there have been a record-breaking number of data hacks. While there have been a few instances of insider cyber theft and good old fashion data breaches, many of the cyber thefts that have occurred can be traced to the dark web.
The dark web is the underbelly of the internet where a lot of criminal activity like human trafficking, drug dealing, and the exchange of your personal data takes place. How does your information wind up on the Dark Web? Well, check out these quick tips that will help you find out how your information winds up there and what you can do to protect yourself.
The dark web has been around and has stayed under the radar for quite a while. If you want to picture where the dark web fits in in the grand scheme of the internet, think of the structure of an iceberg. Most of you are only familiar with what I will call the Surface Web. Like the tip of an iceberg, it's the portion that's visible. Sites like your email, streaming services, cloud services, and your favorite websites exist there. Believe it or not, your popular sites only take up about 4% of the Internet. Beneath the waves are the deep web and the dark web. The Deep Web makes up about 90% of the Internet and isn't accessible by the average person. This is where much government, academic, and medical information is stored. At the bottom taking up the remaining 6% of the Internet, is the dark web. Information on the Dark Web isn't indexed but can be accessed by using web browsers like Tor making it easy for any criminal to search and find countless data about you, your family, and friends.
How Do Criminals Get My Information from the Dark Web?
The primary items that hackers look for on the dark web are called "Fullz". This stands for "full package" and it refers to your personal information. It's a collection of your name, social security number, birth date, banking, and credit card numbers as well as other data that can be used to steal your identity.
How Does My Information End Up On the Dark Web?
The primary method of your information showing up on the dark web is from large-scale data breaches. Information targeted in those breaches is usually, customer and employee data, your email, phone numbers social security numbers, and more such as classified company data to get access to corporate sites and employees.
When criminals get their hands on this information, they either sell it to the highest bidder or they use the information to get access to your online accounts or trick you into giving up your personal information in the form of phishing, vishing, and SMShing scams.
What's on the internet and the dark web is there forever, which means once your information has been leaked, there’s virtually nothing that you can do about it. That’s why it’s essential to focus on taking preventative measures to mitigate security threats before there’s a problem. With this in mind, it pays to be proactive using the following methods:
1. Find out what information is lurking on the dark web.
The website 'haveibeenpwned' can help you find out if your information was leaked in a large-scale data breach. If you visit the website and find out you have been "pwned", make sure you change your passwords to your online accounts.
2. Password managers can help you monitor as well.
Password managers not only help keep track of all those complicated passwords, but they also monitor the dark web to see if any of the passwords you're using have appeared on the dark web. It's useful because criminals don't always act immediately if they get your information. There are password managers such as LastPass and 1Password that will keep track of your stuff, but you can also save your password in your favorite browser such as Edge, Safari, or Chrome.
3. ID Theft software plays a big role in helping you stay safe.
If you find yourself in a situation where your information such as social security numbers, addresses, and full names leaked on the dark web, you should make the investment. in ID theft software. When criminals get access to this type of information, it can allow them to take out a loan or open a credit card in your name, receive your tax refund or medical treatment they didn't pay for, and damage your finances, credit score, and reputation. There are a lot of companies like LifeLock that can help guard your identity and finances from scams and hackers, as well as assist you if you have become a victim of identity theft.
Ignoring cyberthreats and postponing preventive action is no longer an option. It doesn't matter what your financial situation is; you are being targeted by dark web hackers looking to capitalize on your personal information. I hope you can use these tips to prevent your information from being stolen by hackers. If you need further assistance, please reach out to me with any questions you might have. I am always happy to help!
Want to ask me a tech question? Send it to email@example.com. I love technology. I've read all of the manuals and I'm serious about making technology fun and easy to use for everyone.
Need computer or technology help? If you need on-site or remote tech support for your Windows\Macintosh, computers, laptops, Android/Apple smartphone, tablets, printers, routers, smart home devices, and anything that connects to the Internet, please feel free to contact my team at Integral. Our team of friendly tech experts can help you with any IT needs you might have. Reach out to us a www.callintegralnow.com or phone at 888.256.0829.
Missouri non-farm payroll employment decreased slightly from March 2022 to April 2022, and the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by two-tenths of a percentage point. Employment, seasonally adjusted, decreased by 5,300 jobs over the month. Private industry employment decreased by 4,200 jobs and government employment declined by 1,100 jobs.
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.4 percent in April 2022, down from 3.6 percent in March 2022. Over the year, there was an increase of 76,000 jobs from April 2021 to April 2022, and the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by 1.3 percentage points, from 4.7 percent in April 2021 to 3.4 percent in April 2022.
Missouri’s smoothed seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by two-tenths of a percentage point in April 2022, declining to 3.4 percent from the revised March 2022 rate of 3.6 percent. The April 2022 rate was 1.3 percentage points lower than the April 2021 rate. The estimated number of unemployed Missourians was 103,594 in April 2022, down by 6,399 from March’s 109,993.
The national unemployment rate remained unchanged from 3.6 percent over the month. Missouri’s unemployment rate has been at or below the national rate for the last five years.
The state’s not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate decreased in April 2022, falling by 1.2 percentage points to 2.4 percent from the March 2022 not-seasonally-adjusted rate of 3.6 percent. The corresponding not-seasonally-adjusted national rate for April 2022 was 3.3 percent.
Missouri’s seasonally adjusted non-farm payroll employment was 2,899,300 in April 2022, down by 5,300 from the revised March 2022 figure. The March 2022 total was revised upward from the preliminary estimate with an increase of 300 jobs.
Goods-producing industries increased over the month, with manufacturing gaining 500 jobs and mining, logging, and construction gaining 100 jobs. Private service-providing industries declined by 4,800 jobs between March 2022 and April 2022. Employment in private service-providing industries decreased in trade, transportation, and utilities (-3,400 jobs); education & health services (-1,600 jobs); other services (-200 jobs); information (-100 jobs); and financial activities (-100 jobs). Professional & business services increased by 600 jobs and leisure & hospitality employment was unchanged. Government employment decreased by 1,100 jobs over the month with losses in local government (-1,000 jobs) and federal government (-100 jobs).
Over the year, total payroll employment increased by 76,000 jobs from April 2021 to April 2022. Most of the major private-sector industry groups shared in the increase, with the largest gain in leisure & hospitality (+28,000 jobs), followed by professional & business services (+22,900 jobs); trade, transportation, & utilities (+10,300 jobs); mining, logging & construction (+8,800 jobs); other services (+6,500 jobs); manufacturing (+1,800 jobs); and information (+300 jobs).
Employment decreased in financial activities (-2,100 jobs) and educational & health services (-1,600 jobs). Government employment increased over the year, with a gain of 1,100 jobs. The largest governmental employment increase was in state government (+1,800 jobs), followed by local government (+500 jobs). Employment decreased over the year in federal government by 1,200 jobs.
The Board of Aldermen met May 9th, approving a series of resolutions and ordinances, including the first reading of an ordinance to sell the former Nichols building.
The first order of business was to administer the oath of office for Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) K9 Officer Dozier. Dozier's duties include interacting with those in crisis and providing a calm presence for law enforcement officers.
The Board approved a resolution to continue its agreement with the Grain Valley Partnership for another three-year term. The agreement outlines the relationship between the City and the organization and their partnership in economic development efforts. The Board also approved a resolution to continue an agreement with Utility Service Company, Inc. to provide maintenance for City owned water tanks and towers.
The Board approved the first reading of an ordinance which would authorize the sale of the former Nichols building to Scottish Investments at a sales price of $222,225. In their RFP, the development team of Nilesh Patel of The Patel Group Real Estate Services LLC and Jason Fenstermaker of Iron Kettle Brewing, outline a plan which they state has a goal of fostering "a spirit of community while giving back to organizations that are vital to Grain Valley".
The plan allows the Grain Valley Assistance Council to maintain their current space at 513 Gregg for the next 15 years, and mentions the possibility of partnering with the school district on a retail outlet owned and operated by Grain Valley High School in the remainder of the building. Additional uses for the space could include space for nonprofit organizations or office space to be used as an incubator for small business start-ups.
The space at 517 Gregg Street would be transformed into a facility for craft beer production and entertainment space, with an outdoor patio area to the east of the building.
The next meeting of the Board of Aldermen will be Monday, May 23rd at 7:00pm at City Hall.
The Grain Valley Partnership celebrated three years of honorees at its Annual Banquet on April 30th. The following businesses and community leaders were honored:
Business of the Year: Cosentino's Price Chopper
Business Person of the Year: John and Cory Unrein
Non Profit of the Year: Purple Peace Foundation
Mary Strack Community Advocate: Jerry Vaughan
Retailer of the Year: Funtastic Balloons
Business of the Year: State Line Door & Lift
Business Person of the Year: Lorne Meinershagen
Non Profit of the Year: Wild Souls Wildlife and Rescue
Mary Strack Community Advocate: Marcia Napier
Retailer of the Year: KC Classic Gourmet Foods
Business of the Year: Moxie Pest Control
Business Person of the Year: Melissa Winston
Non Profit of the Year: Grain Valley Education Foundation
Mary Strack Community Advocate: Dr. Cathy Dowd
Retailer of the Year: Crosetti Health & Wellness
Star Development Company, owner of land in the Mercado Plaza area north of 1-70, received approval by the Planning & Zoning Commission on April 13th for a site plan outlining the addition of a free-standing Starbucks Coffee location just north of Burger King.
The 2,225 square foot building with drive thru and parking spaces for mobile order pickup is currently undergoing the platting and building permit process according to Community Development Director Mark Trosen.
Representatives from Star Development did not respond to an inquiry regarding a projected completion date.
A free standing Starbucks location is planned at Mercado Plaza, just north of Burger King.
Photo credit: City of Grain Valley
I travel quite a bit to speak on technology/cyber security and I'm always worried that somebody is watching me with a hidden camera. Call it paranoid or perhaps thinking I'm James Bond when I travel. When you think of hidden cameras, you probably think of the latest spy movies, but because of technology hidden cameras are becoming more common and can be set up by anyone.
These devices can possibly be set up anywhere you stay from your home, rented apartments, hotel rooms, even your office, and that Airbnb you're staying in this spring or summer. In today's Internet-connected world, you never know who might be spying on you and your family. Here are some quick and easy tips to help you find hidden cameras where you're staying as well as other tips to stay safe.
I'm by no means a celebrity, but for even the average person you should be worried about Wi-Fi cameras. The good news is that cameras are pretty inexpensive, and they can connect to any Wi-Fi connection which allows anyone who has a smartphone and the camera app to monitor homes and offices. There are property owners who use them to protect from damage or theft which makes Wi-Fi cameras a great thing. On the flip side, you could have an abusive partner a prankster, or an extortionist who will take advantage of this technology.
Much like AirTags have been transformed by abusers to track your movements, people will pervert tech to take advantage of you. You might think it's fiction, but a recent survey of Airbnb users showed that 11% of people who have stayed at one have come across a hidden camera. What's even worse, Wi-Fi cameras can be as small as 2 millimeters.
How can you detect hidden cameras?
Use the old fashion method of physically checking your surroundings. When you stay in a new place put your detective hat on. I always open drawers, look at lamps and paintings just like in the spy movies, and I suggest you do the same any place you stay. Are there holes in the wall? Are there objects pointed at the bed? Strange things in the bathroom that don't belong? If you're looking for that red light identifier of a camera, you won't find it. The purpose of small Wi-Fi cameras is to stay hidden.
Use your smartphone.
You know you can ditch any special equipment and use your smartphone camera and the built-in flashlight. To use this trick it has to be dark so turn off the lights and close the curtains. Point your smartphone where you think the hidden camera is and you should see a glare on the screen of your smartphone. Sometimes your smartphone won't let you use the flashlight, which means you will have to use a separate flashlight. Also, there are brands of spy cameras that use infrared to record in the dark. If you use your smartphone camera in the dark to find an infrared camera, it should show up as a pulsing dot.
What to do if you detect a hidden camera.
Truth be told, webcam spying isn't going to occur when you're staying in larger hotel chains. If you find something that looks like a camera, take a photo of it and do an image search to verify it is indeed a camera. If it is indeed a camera, contact the local authorities, the administrator of the place you're staying. Most places have rules against hidden cameras. I know it sounds obvious, but it's best if you leave the property immediately.
It's always better to be safe than sorry.
I've given you tips to make sure you don't fall victim to a prankster or a landlord who may be filming you without permission. Whenever you're on the road for business or personal, there are more dangers than hidden cameras. Here are some tips to help you stay safe whenever you're in unfamiliar surroundings:
Want to ask me a tech question? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. I love technology. I've read all of the manuals and I'm serious about making technology fun and easy to use for everyone.
Need computer or technology help? If you need on-site or remote tech support for your Windows\Macintosh, computers, laptops, Android/Apple smartphone, tablets, printers, routers, smart home devices, and anything that connects to the Internet, please feel free to contact my team at Integral. Our team of friendly tech experts can help you with any IT needs you might have. Reach out to us a www.callintegralnow.com
by Phil Hanson, CEO & President, Truman Heartland Community Foundation
President Biden announced last Thursday that another $800 million in military aid would be sent to Ukraine to help in the fight against invading Russian forces. The President remarked that his actions "sent an unmistakable message to Putin: He will never succeed in dominating and occupying all of Ukraine." As the world watches, the Ukrainian people have fought back with such tenacity and an unbending spirit. I know I can speak for everyone at Truman Heartland Community Foundation (THCF) when I say our hearts go out to the people of Ukraine, and we are in absolute awe of their resolve.
THCF has been assisting fundholders in awarding more than $37,000 to charitable organizations assisting with Ukrainian relief since this needless war began in February, funding much-needed humanitarian efforts for those fleeing the violence. While the President and our nation's allies send aid to the Ukrainian military, the outpouring of local fundholder support for the people of Ukraine has been heartening.
Each day that passes is another day the Ukrainian people suffer. Like many of you, I often feel powerless in situations like this, when a crisis is so urgent and dire. And although I have leaned on my faith, I know prayers alone will not stop the Russian incursion.
Each year, the THCF allocates a modest amount of funding that, as the President & CEO, I can use in support of community-focused activities that come up throughout the year. So, when I received a request for an upcoming Ukraine Relief Benefit Fundraiser, I knew this was an opportunity to do something in our community that would impact people well beyond our borders.
Truman Heartland Community Foundation is proud to sponsor The Czech/Slovak Club of Kansas City's Ukraine Relief Benefit Fundraiser happening Friday, May 6, 2022, at the Mike Onka Memorial Hall. Located just inside the William Henry Harrison Park at 11520 Putnam St. in Sugar Creek, the event will feature the tastes and sounds of Eastern Europe. With beer and wine tastings, live ethnic music, food trucks, and loads of entertainment, it is sure to be a hugely successful event. Tickets are just $35 and can be purchased at slavicfest.com/together-ukraine.
The UN's refugee agency has reported that more than 1.7 million people have become refugees due to the Russian invasion. And as is often the case, women, children, marginalized communities, and the poor have been the most profoundly affected. Funds raised at the Ukraine Relief Benefit Fundraiser will support specific organizations in the Czech and Slovak Republics providing humanitarian aid to displaced Ukrainian refugees. Support may include transportation, medical and mental health services, accommodations, food, and clothing to save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain human dignity.
If you feel powerless, take action and get involved in any way you can. I invite you to come out and enjoy the Ukraine Relief Benefit Fundraiser, donate to humanitarian organizations like People in Need or Heart to Heart International, and continue to pray for peace.
In this cyber-crime environment we are currently in ,it’s more important than ever to keep your data safe and to keep a level of privacy while you surf the web. Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a great tool you can use to stay safe online. It creates a tunnel for your Internet, which means criminals and other prying eyes can't see what you are doing when you're online. With so many VPN companies out there, it can be hard for you to choose which one is right for you. Read on to find out how to choose a VPN that will work best for you.
VPNs have been around for a while, but the discussion about VPNs is appearing in mainstream media because they are being used in Russia to get around some of the restrictions the Russian government is placing on its citizens to prevent access to western media. Also, with many companies switching to a remote workforce, VPNs offer remote workers privacy and security as they can work anywhere in the world and keep company information safe.
Do You need a VPN?
There are many schools of thought of whether you need a VPN and sometimes that depends on your Internet habits. Here are some things to consider.
1. Beware of 'free' VPNs. Free is everyone's favorite price when it comes to online services, but nothing is really free in life and online. If you decide to use a free VPN service you may be bombarded with ads from other companies. Also, free VPN services won't offer robust security and could easily be compromised. The web browser Opera offers a VPN built into it's interface. It's fairly simple to use and is pretty good. However, it does have some weaknesses and should only be used if you want to keep your searches private if you're looking at social media and email.
2. Where your VPN provider is located matters. Kaspersky is an anti-virus company based out of Russia. Although there isn't any proof they are selling your secrets to Russia, in this day and age would you want to take that risk? Same with your VPN provider. These companies have to comply with the rules of their country ... which means their laws can allow them to share your data.
3. Watch those reviews. Yes, product reviews are good in helping you select hardware and software, but in this Amazon and online review age, not all reviews are honest. Some companies pay people to leave reviews. Check multiple websites for VPN reviews and reach out to your favorite tech expert (like me) to find out the right VPN for you.
5. Will the VPN work with all of your devices. If you're like me, you work off multiple devices. I'm writing this article from a MacBook Air, but next month I could write my blog post from my Dell 2-1 laptop, my MacBook Mini, or my Dell desktop. You get the picture. Most VPNs support Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, and iOS, but not all of them do. Check to see see how many devices you can connect to at once. Some VPNs allow unlimited devices, while others only let you connect a limited number.
6. Get good customer service. Look for a VPN with reliable 24/7 customer service. VPN service is reliable, but you know that tech challenges appear from time to time so work with a company that will get back to you in a short amount of time.
If your head is spinning after reading all of this information, check out my favorites for VPN services.
Missouri non-farm payroll employment decreased slightly from February 2022 to March 2022, and the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by one-tenth of a percentage point. Employment, seasonally adjusted, decreased by 200 jobs over the month. Private industry employment increased by 600 jobs, while government employment declined by 800 jobs. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in March 2022, down from 3.7 percent in February 2022. Over the year, there was an increase of 82,100 jobs from March 2021 to March 2022, and the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by 1.2 percentage points, from 4.8 percent in March 2021 to 3.6 percent in March 2022.
Missouri’s smoothed seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by one-tenth of a percentage point in March 2022, declining to 3.6 percent from the revised February 2022 rate of 3.7 percent. The March 2022 rate was 1.2 percentage points lower than the March 2021 rate. The estimated number of unemployed Missourians was 109,474 in March 2022, down by 4,541 from February’s 114,288.
The national unemployment rate decreased from 3.8 percent in February 2022 to 3.6 percent in March 2022. Missouri’s unemployment rate has been at or below the national rate for the last five years.
The state’s not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate decreased in March 2022, falling by 0.1 percentage points to 3.6 percent from the February 2022 not-seasonally-adjusted rate of 3.7 percent. The corresponding not-seasonally-adjusted national rate for March 2022 was 3.8 percent.
Missouri’s seasonally adjusted non-farm payroll employment was 2,904,300 in March 2022, down by 200 from the revised February 2022 figure. The February 2022 total was unchanged from the preliminary estimate.
Goods-producing industries remained unchanged over the month, with mining, logging and construction gaining 2,100 jobs and manufacturing declining by 2,100 jobs. Private service-providing industries gained 600 jobs between February 2022 and March 2022, with increases in education & health services (+2,800 jobs); leisure & hospitality (+500 jobs); financial activities (+200 jobs); and information (+200 jobs). Employment in private service-providing industries decreased in trade, transportation, & utilities (-3,000 jobs) and other services (-100 jobs). Government employment decreased by 800 jobs over the month.
Over the year, total payroll employment increased by 82,100 jobs from March 2021 to March 2022. Most of the major private-sector industry groups shared in the increase, with the largest gain in leisure & hospitality (+31,600 jobs), followed by professional & business services (+20,300 jobs); trade, transportation, & utilities (+11,100 jobs); mining, logging & construction (+9,900 jobs); other services (+6,100 jobs); educational and health services (+700 jobs); manufacturing (+300 jobs); and information (+200 jobs). Employment in financial activities declined by 2,600 jobs. Government employment increased over the year, with a gain of 4,500 jobs. The largest governmental employment increase was in state government (+3,000 jobs) and followed by local government (+2,600 jobs).