What We're Reading - 'Senators Introduce Privacy Bill of Rights to Protect Consumer Data'

Stories about data privacy and protection have been all over the news in 2018 – and for good reason.

As consumers increasingly worry about how they can best safeguard their most personal information when surfing the internet, making purchases, or even logging in to their social media accounts, Congress is taking some first steps toward securing individuals’ private data from prying eyes.  

Around the same time that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took to Capitol Hill to discuss privacy, data mining, and social media, a group of senators introduced a piece of legislation that takes aim at preventing future situations like the Cambridge Analytica incident (in which a company applied questionably-obtained data to target millions of internet users during the 2016 presidential election).

The bill has been called a privacy “bill of rights.” Officially, the legislation is known as the Customer Online Notification for Stopping Edge-provider Network Transgressions (CONSENT) Act.

What We're Reading - 'Timeshares and Fractional Ownership: How Condos and HOAs Fit In'

Recently, co-op and condominium news and resource site The Cooperator ran a piece entitled “Timeshares and Fractional Ownership: How Condos and HOAs Fit In.” The article offers a thorough, well-researched perspective that may be of interest to anyone curious in the shared vacation ownership industry.

What are a few takeaways from the article worth pointing out?

For one thing, it’s worth considering that timeshare ownership can be expensive, and quite different from condo ownership in many significant ways.

As The Cooperator points out, “the basic [timeshare] arrangement requires the buyer to pay a fee for the timeshare,” often between $50,000 to $500,000 – and that’s before “the buyer pays an annual fee” (which, as we’ve noted before, tends to rise, year over year, regardless of the rate of inflation).

What We're Reading - 'FTC Asking for Access to Your Computer? It’s a Scam'

As a rule, the vast majority of Americans today rely on computers, smartphones, and the internet more than at any other point in history.

Whether for banking, shopping, or carrying on private conversations, most of us have outsourced huge, and important, parts of our lives into the digital world.

At the same time, it’s important to recognize that we live in an era where scammers and fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated than ever – which means that all of the sensitive data that we put online is more exposed and vulnerable to attack than most of us would care to admit.

For that reason, it’s important to keep on top of the many scams circulating around at any given moment, threatening to fleece consumers out of their hard-earned money – and their most carefully guarded information.

What We're Reading - '10 Ways You're Opening Yourself Up for Fraud'

In an age where so much of our daily lives have migrated online, it’s important to remember that the internet is not without its risks – particularly the ever-present threat of scam artists and fraudsters looking to prey on unsuspecting consumers.

While “big ticket” data breaches tend to garner all the major headlines, there are all sorts of smaller scale events that affect consumers every single day, which many of us tend to ignore – until it’s too late.

A recent article from U.S. News & World Report throws this matter into sharp relief, and offers consumers some valuable insight on how to best protect themselves from identity theft and fraud.

Entitled “10 Ways You're Opening Yourself Up for Fraud,” the report from contributor Maryalene LaPonsie offers some “expert-backed strategies” for consumers to keep in mind as they conduct their personal business online.

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