Thursday, November 23, 2017

Shop Safely on Black Friday & Cyber Monday

5 Ways to Shop Safely on Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Source: National PTA One Voice Blog


The holiday shopping season now begins online on Thanksgiving (Brown Thursday), continuing through Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Some retailers have even taken it a step further: Mall of America and several other retailers have announced that they will be closed on Thanksgiving—making it a “cyber-only” day for many shoppers.

This new emphasis on “cyber shopping” means that both parents and kids need to be on the lookout for shopping dangers and keep protecting their identity top of mind.
Here are five suggestions that can go a long way towards reducing your vulnerability to identity theft and fraud this holiday season and year round.
  1. Keep a low profile. Avoid sharing personal information to receive promotions and offers. If you need to put in an email address to get a coupon or shop one time on a site, consider using a temporary one. Sites like 10MinuteMail.com can help.
  • Don’t save your credit card info on retailer websites, just in case the retailer suffers a data breach. Limit your social media sharing and never post personal information such as addresses, emails, phone numbers or birthdates.
  1. Pay with a credit card … or online/mobile payment. Always use a credit card, not a debit card. You’re not held responsible for unauthorized credit card purchases (beyond, in some cases, a $50 fee), but a thief armed with your stolen debit card could wipe out your entire bank balance—at least until an investigation is completed. Even better, use an online or mobile payment service such as Apple Pay, Android Pay or PayPal.
  2. Take protective measures online. Public Wi-Fi can expose everything you’re doing online. One of the best ways to protect your information online is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) from a trusted vendor. VPNs provide a “secure tunnel” that encrypts data being sent and received between your device and the internet.
  • Many companies use secure websites—HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure)—to provide online security. You can tell if a website is secure if it has “https” in its URL and has a small lock symbol next to it. However, even though the website itself might be safe, your personal information could still be vulnerable if your network connection isn’t secure.
  1. Watch your accounts closely. Be sure to regularly check your bank and credit card accounts for any unfamiliar charges or activity, and regularly update passwords with unique ones for each site. Online card fraud has risen sharply and this could mean you’re at risk. You can set up text and email alerts to keep track of your bank and credit transactions. Do a weekend recap at the end of a long shopping weekend, and review and shred your receipts when you don’t need them anymore.
  2. Have the Smart Talk. The majority of children receive their first smartphone between the ages of eight and 12. That means managing kids and their devices has become more of a juggling act than ever for parents. LifeLock and National PTA launched The Smart Talk, a free, online tool for families that helps parents have clear conversations with their children about using technology in order to agree on ground rules together. We want our children to learn and have fun through technology, and at the same time, stay safe. The Smart Talk provides an interactive experience that guides kids and parents through a series of questions and conversations about topics such as safety, privacy, screen time, social media, texting, and cameras. After agreeing on healthy limits together, a personalized, official family agreement can be stored on the computer or printed and posted at home. Visit org for more information.
Paige Hanson is the Chief of Identity Education at Lifelock. 




Wednesday, November 22, 2017

National PTA Legislative Conference



You won't want to miss National PTA’s premier advocacy conference this Spring in D.C.!
 
This year's National PTA Legislative Conference is inspired by the upcoming Olympics—because the best advocates are like athletes, always training and striving to be better.
 
Please join us in the nation's capitol, March 13-15. Early-bird registration is officially open, which means if you register before Dec. 15 you'll save $30!
 

We’ll hear from Washington, DC influencers, get face-to-face advocacy training from experts, and get a chance to speak one-on-one with federal policymakers! 




National PTA Advocacy Awards

National PTA is now accepting nominations for the 2018 Advocacy Awards! If you know of an outstanding youth or individual PTA advocate, or a local unit or state PTA that has done great advocacy work, nominate them to receive an award for their efforts from National PTA at the 2017 Legislative Conference. You can also nominate yourself!
 Award Categories:

The deadline to submit a nomination is Monday, Dec. 18


About the Awards
Shirley Igo Advocate of the Year Award
The Shirley Igo Advocate of the Year Award is presented to an individual PTA member, who through their leadership and advocacy efforts, affected federal policy priorities within PTA’s annual Public Policy Agenda. Shirley was a model of public service and volunteerism throughout her life. She was an impassioned and compassionate leader, dedicated to moving PTA forward and committed to ensuring that others would follow.

Outstanding Youth Advocate of the Year Award
The Outstanding Youth Advocate of the Year Award is presented to a young person—who—through his or her creativity, leadership, and dedication, has positively affected policy or change in his or her school or community in a way that aligns with PTA’s mission and goals.

Outstanding Local PTA Advocacy Award
The Outstanding Local PTA Advocacy Award is presented to a local, district, council or regional PTA that, through their dedication, leadership and efforts positively affected legislative and/or regulatory policy compatible with PTA’s mission and goals. These efforts must include an education/learning component for PTA members and the community-at-large. Working with multiple organizations or coalitions through grassroots collaboration is preferred.

Outstanding State PTA Advocacy Award

The Outstanding State PTA Advocacy Award is presented to a state PTA that, through their dedication, leadership and efforts positively affected legislative and/or regulatory policy compatible with PTA’s mission and goals. These efforts must be based on a statewide issue, involve working with multiple organizations or coalitions through grassroots collaboration, and contain a public awareness/advocacy training component for PTA members and the community at large.