Category Archives: Hot Topics

Don’t let a data breach happen to you

Don’t let a data breach happen to you

Unfortunately, in today’s world, data breaches happen. Companies and websites get hacked, or scammers trick people—maybe even you—into revealing important information.

If you think your data has been stolen, your first step shouldn’t be to panic.

Instead, take a deep breath and follow these steps so you can regain control over your information and minimize any potential damage:

1. Figure out what information was stolen. Not all data is created equal. Some information about you is commonly available, but then there is personal identifying information.

If the leaked information would appear in a phone book, odds are, you’re only at risk of getting more junk mail. However, personal identifying information is a different story—it’s very sensitive because, if it falls into the wrong hands, it could cause substantial embarrassment, inconvenience or harm.

Your birthdate, social security number, and payment information are all personal identifying information that is part of your unique identity. If any of this information is stolen, you have reason to be concerned and take action.

2. Change your password(s)—immediately. And resist the urge to make them too simple or easy. Instead, make sure they meet the following best practices:

  • Have at least 12 characters.
  • Include symbols, numbers and a mix of capital and lowercase letters.
  • Do not contain personal information.
  • Do not have words straight out of the dictionary.
  • Is completely unique/not-used elsewhere.

Meeting all of these criteria—and actually remembering each and every password—can be a bit of a challenge. If you’re struggling, consider using a password manager such as LastPass, Dashlane 4, or Sticky Password which are all recommended by PC Magazine. If you use the same password at other websites, change those passwords immediately as well.

pexels-photo-2376753. Watch for any suspicious account activity. Even though you changed your password, someone else could have had access for long enough to do some damage. Keep close tabs on your accounts and report any unusual activity immediately such as:

  • Unexplained withdrawals
  • Missing bills or mail
  • New and unexplained bills or medical claims
  • Calls from debt collectors about debts that aren’t yours
  • Unfamiliar accounts on your credit report
  • Stores rejecting your checks
  • The IRS notifying you that more than one tax return was filed in your name

Tip: If you do spot something odd, save all documentation until the situation has been resolved.

4. Consider calling your bank and credit card companies. If you think financial information has been stolen, let your banking institutions know. They can place a fraud alert on any accounts locking them from any fraudulent activity. Most credit card companies will issue you a new card to replace a stolen one.

Tip: Record the date of each call as well as the names and telephone numbers of everyone you speak with. If something falls through the cracks, it gives you proof to back up your claims.

home-dialer-siemens-telephone5. Contact the credit bureaus. You can also place a fraud/credit alert on your name at the major credit reporting agencies. An alert makes it much harder for a thief to open new accounts in your name because businesses must take extra steps to verify your identity. A fraud alert lasts 90 days, is free to do, and includes a free credit report. You can find contact information for all the credit reporting companies on the FTC website.

Tip: With a credit alert, anyone can still run a credit check on you or open account without your authorization (assuming they have the correct information to provide). A credit freeze locks your credit file, preventing anyone from accessing your information—including you—without your authorization (which can take a few days). Credit freezes usually cost between $5-10.

6. Consider using an identity recovery service. If you believe you’ve been a victim of identity theft, some companies offer services to help you report and recover. An alternative to a paid service are the free, interactive recovery plans the FTC offers to help you handle the credit bureaus, debt-collectors, the IRS and more.

For more information about recovering from identity theft, visit identitytheft.gov.

Bridget Jones’s Baby, Sully, Suicide Squad and more On Demand!

Bridget Jones’s Baby, Sully, Suicide Squad and more On Demand!

This month’s selection of Movies on Demand includes the return of everyone’s favorite singleton, a hero on the Hudson, and a squad of anti-heroes. As always, on-demand movies are available in HD any time of day or night from BendBroadband. Here’s the best of what’s new in December! BRIDGET JONES’S BABY Available Dec. 13. Rated… Continue Reading

BendBroadband designates $10,000 to United Way of Deschutes County

BendBroadband is designating $10,000 to United Way of Deschutes County for 2016-17. This is in addition to what employees pledge to their local chapters. Each employee is also encouraged to volunteer up to 16 hours a year while still being paid. “One of our shared missions is to be good citizens,” said Dave Wittwer, CEO… Continue Reading

BendBroadband designates $10,000 to United Way of Deschutes County
Turkey Talk: the right and wrong ways to defrost a turkey

Turkey Talk: the right and wrong ways to defrost a turkey

The joy of a frozen turkey is that you can buy it well in advance of your holiday and eat it later—as long as you defrost it safely. If you defrost your turkey wrong? Well, you could be inviting bacteria to join you for dinner (and Staphyloccus aureus, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogens, Clostridium perfingens, or Enteropathoginec… Continue Reading

Community Spotlight: Healing Reins

Dita Keith considers her time with Healing Reins a privilege. Keith, executive director of the therapeutic riding center, has been with the organization for nine years, and to her, it’s an organization that truly matters in Central Oregon. “Our programs matter because they give families who live every single day with the challenges of caring… Continue Reading

Community Spotlight: Healing Reins
NBA schedules, Thanksgiving Day football, Christmas movies, and more

NBA schedules, Thanksgiving Day football, Christmas movies, and more

Another calendar page has turned in the book of 2016, and with it comes good entertainment on television. Here’s a look at what’s coming up on the boob tube in November. And, as always, check out your BendBroadband channel listing by clicking here. COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS Yes, Halloween is barely past and we’re looking ahead… Continue Reading