Archives February 2015

Assign A Legacy Contact For Your Facebook Page

facebook-redFacebook now lets you assign someone to take over your Facebook page in the event you pass away or otherwise become incapacitated.  This is actually some useful news from FB — a change from the usual, certainly.  Read more about this addition in this article from CNN, (inaccurately and over-sensationally) titled “Facebook Now Lets You Post When You’re Dead.”

Your legacy contact will be able to write a pinned memorial post, update your profile and cover photos, respond to friend requests, and even download all of your prior posts and photos if you so choose. They cannot log in as you, remove any prior posts, photos, or friends, or read any of your messages. And Facebook will require them to verify you are dead, if that is the case.

A morbid subject, yes, but one that several of my friends have already had to deal with.  I would suggest you take advantage of this option now, rather than make your loved ones do it later.  To read more about memorializing Facebook accounts and legacy contacts, click here.  BTW, you can also do the same for your Google+ accounts, not that anyone cares… 🙂


Anthem Breach Affecting 2 Million Missouri Residents

Yes, another data breach, from another big company. In case you haven’t figured this out by now, your personal identity data is no longer safe online. Think that’s an overstatement?  Try this list on for size:

  • Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield
  • Target
  • Niemann Marcus
  • Michaels
  • Dairy Queen
  • UPS
  • Home Depot
  • Goodwill
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Jimmy John’s
  • KMart
  • Staples
  • Sony
  • The list could go on and on

In case you’re wondering what that hacker is holding, it’s called a “floppy disk”, which were in use the last time data encryption laws were updated.

Image courtesy of chanpipat at

All of these companies have suffered data breaches recently, in each case losing thousands, if not millions, of customer data sets to hackers. That data, depending on the case, could include your name, address, SSN, credit card number, birth date, telephone, email, and so on. With so many hacks occurring, odds are your information was included in one.

One of the most interesting things in the news about Anthem is that insurers aren’t required to encrypt consumers’ data under a 1990s federal law that remains the foundation for health care privacy in the Internet age.  This seems kind of strange at first, but consider that any law dated from the 1990s is as outdated as AOL dialup, and REALLY needs to be updated.

Regardless of who is at fault, Anthem is at least attempting to give aid to the 2,000,000+ Missourians affected (and those in other states as well), by providing 2 years of free credit monitoring and identity theft repair through AllClearID. To read more about the hack from Anthem, click here to visit I highly suggest you sign up!


Dialup Internet Access — Still Alive And Kicking

You know, I think I still have a few of these!
Image credit:

This article from my web host, titled “CyberLynk Discontinues Dialup/ISDN Internet Service After 20 Years“, got me to thinking about the old days of 56k and whether or not anyone still uses a phone line and a modem to access the Internet.  Turns out, they do!

Although I couldn’t find accurate statistics on current-day usage, a poll taken back in 2012 by the Pew Research Center found that 3% of Americans still used dialup. That may not sound like much, but it still means millions of people have to wait for that scratchy buzz and hum before surfing the ‘Net.

Believe it or not, some 2+ million folks still subscribe to AOL’s dialup service!! I have to wonder how many of those are not even aware that they’re still paying for said service.  Boy, thinking about the days when the only way onto the Web was through AOL sends chills of horror up my spine.

Most (though not all) of dialup usage is typically found in rural areas, where broadband is only available if you can afford satellite access. Of course, we’re talking about the U.S. here — I’m sure the figures are much, much higher in other parts of the world, if there is even Internet access at all.

The one thing I believe that will finally kill off dialup, even in rural areas, will be the overarching presence of smart phones — once everyone can get on the Web via their cell phone provider, even the small screen sizes won’t be as much of a hindrance as the achingly slow “speed” of dialup…