Most common passwords used.

RealtorMag.com | The obvious password you use for your devices may be making you vulnerable to a data breach. Keeper Security, a password management software firm, analyzed more than 10 million login details leaked online through data breaches that occurred in 2016.

The most popular password that continues to be used: “123456,” which the firm’s analysis showed was used 17 percent of the time by hacked accounts. The next most common password was the similar “123456789.”

The firm did note one piece of progress on the password front: The word “password” finally dropped from fifth position on the list to now eighth.

Here were the most commonly used passwords in 2016, according to Keeper Security. If you find one of your passwords on the list, be sure to go change your password now!

1. 123456

2. 123456789

3. qwerty

4. 12345678

5. 111111

6. 1234567890

7. 1234567

8. password

9. 123123

10. 987654321

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Follow these tips to stay secure on-the-go. Staying safe on the go!

Password-protect your smartphone: Always lock your phone when it’s not in use, set it to automatically lock after being idle for a set amount of time. Set your phone to use a longer and stronger password than the default 4-digit unlock code if this option is available on your phone. For even better security, set your phone to erase all data after 10 bad password attempts.

Clear data from your smartphone frequently
Delete text messages from financial institutions, especially before sharing, discarding, or selling your phone. If you visit banking websites using your phone, delete the cookies and cache regularly. Better yet, use dedicated apps for online banking.

Always download apps from reputable sources
Criminals try to lure people into signing up for mobile banking using fake apps and/or websites.
Always visit your direct mobile banking site to verify the sources of your online banking applications. If you’re considering adding an app to your mobile device, review the app’s permissions so you understand what the app is capable of doing before you decide to download it.

Remove personal information before replacing your smartphone.
Don’t rely on carriers, recycling firms or phone deposit banks to “clean” your phone before disposal or resale to third parties. Follow your phone manufacturer’s instructions to remove all personal information from your phone before decommissioning it.

Fire Safety and Prevention Tips to help keep you safe this winter

Redcross.org | The most effective way to protect yourself and your home from fire is to identify and remove fire hazards. 60 percent of house fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. Below are 7 fire safety and prevention tips to help keep you safe:

Fire Safety Tips
1. Talk with all household members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.

2. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.

3. Test smoke alarms once a month, if they’re not working, change the batteries. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.

4. Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.

5. Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.

6. If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL for help.

7. Talk to your children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach. Click here to download the Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies mobile game to teach kids about fire safety and other disasters.

Call today, let’s discuss your individual goals for purchasing or selling a property and find out if you can benefit by these low rates. Larry¬†Cirnigliaro (714) 394-6649 – For all your real estate needs.

Worried about Asbestos in your home? Then read this

I’m worried about asbestos in my home. What can you tell me?

A. Asbestos was once used for everything from fireproofing to Christmas decorations. For nearly a century, asbestos was everywhere.

By the time scientists discovered the danger, it was too late. Asbestos was already in more than 700,000 buildings in the US. If you have an older home, you’ve probably got some asbestos somewhere in it and you need to know the associated risks.

Asbestos is deadly. Even a small amount of exposure could leave you with mesothelioma – thousands of people contract the disease yearly.

DIY repairs can be fun and economical, but do not handle asbestos on your own, and do not go looking for it. This is strictly a job for professionals.

Asbestos was used in homes to fire-proof objects and as insulation in walls. It was also used extensively in ceiling products. You may think that if you have asbestos in your home you have to immediately get rid of it. That’s not necessarily the case. The main danger from asbestos is when it gets disturbed.

The fibers are tiny and when they get into the air, they can easily be inhaled. That’s why you need a professional to remove it. They have the necessary equipment for the job and know how to take the right precautions.

If you’re planning any kind of remodeling that requires breaking into walls of moving air ducts or insulated plumbing, call in a qualified professional to advise you as to how to safely and correctly handle the job.

I’d be more than happy to discuss this further with you and answer any questions you may have. Just give me a call.

Online Website Scams

Website scams using familiar company names are becoming more and more common. That means you have to be more and more vigilant. Follow these simple guidelines to protect yourself online and create the best and safest possible shopping experience.

The Domain Name – A lot of fraudulent websites will use a domain name similar to a brand name. If a company has a trademark on their name, their website usually matches the company name.

No Contact Information – Any company offering legitimate products or services will have a place of business (location) as well as a phone number and email to contact them. If none of this information is available, avoid them.

Test the Contact Information – If the website does list contact information, call, write or email the site, using their contact details, to check if it works. If you get an automatic voice messaging system, the number is not in service, or no one answers during business hours, then exercise caution.

Check the Grammar and Spelling – If a fake website is attempting to present itself as an American business, they will usually use English text. However, there will quite often be horrible grammar and spelling mistakes on the website. Excessive use of poor grammar and spelling should be an instant red flag.

Check the WHOIS – Do a domain WHOIS lookup to see who owns the domain. This will tell you the company that the domain was purchased through, when it was created, when it expires as well as contact details. Another thing to look for is how long the domain has existed. If it has been active for less than a year, then it is most likely a scam website.

Check the create account, and payment pages. Legitimate sites have an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. SSL certificates secure the transfer of your data when you submit sensitive information and cost money. A scam site won’t bother with an SSL certificate, as the site will likely be shut down within a couple months. If the website is legitimate and secure, they will have HTTPS on the URL and a lock icon.

Check the shipping and return policy. If the website is selling a product over the internet, they will have a shipping and return policy listed on their site. If it is a real company, they should tell you how and where to return a defective product. If they are shipping a product, they should give you an idea how long it will take to arrive. If they have no return address and a vague shipping policy, do not shop at that website.

Check the Domain Name in Google. Type the domain name into Google, if it is a real site, there should be links to that site from other sites. If only the domain comes up and no other search result appears, then it is very suspicious.

Look at reviews. Type the website’s domain name, followed by “reviews”, into a search engine. You will discover search results for other people’s experiences in dealing with the website. This is a great way to quickly find out whether a site is legit or not.