Category Archives: Articles

30th Anniversary

Today marks 30 years being married to someone who was first my friend and then my partner and mate. I remember at our small wedding reception that people did not think we would last very long and my new wife stated that if we were both alive in 30 days then we had a chance to make it. Well 30 years later there is not even a scar so I guess for now we made it.
I always dreamed on our later anniversaries I would be able to take you on cruises, road trips and buy more diamond rings for you. Well dreams do not always match what life deals us. I have learned that it is not the trips or other material items people accumulate but the special things in life is holding hands and being able to kiss you good morning and good night.
Our road over the last 30 years have not been paved with gold as we dreamed of when we are young but reality has shown there are stretches that were smooth and easy to walk, stretches that were more like a dirt road, and at time stretches that were under major construction. No matter the portion of the road we were on, we had each other to show each other the way and encourage each other to take one more step on our journey.
Our days together started as rough as a grain of sand but like a grain of sand that is nurtured and carefully wrapped in the experiences of life you someday get a pearl that is called a deeper love with a special shine. That is why the 30th anniversary is the pearl anniversary.
Saying I love you is easy to do but showing you I love you has been my honor over the last 30 years.

When Your Health Care Provider Fails The Patients Part 5 of 5

What Can You DO When Your Health Care Providers Management Lies To You

Every patient of a health care provider deserves to be treated with respect. What happens when your attending physicians treatment is exemplary but when you need information outside of your physicians control the management of your health care provider gives you the “run around” and even lies to you. This is the case of some of the management personnel of Fairview Health Services.
No longer are physicians in control of your total health care. They must, at times, push patient through like a cattle milking operation except to the management “milk” is the number of patients the physicians see and how much management is charging for those visits.
I requested a copy of all my medical records for a specific purpose, as I suggest all people do and have previously said, seeing what is in your medical records are actually, in my opinion, is, as if not more important than your credit file. At first the director at Fairview Health Services was cordial and accommodating and when I though they only had to go back 6 years she corrected me and stated, “You do have a right to get copies of records going back as far as we have them. So we will add the older records into the CD that we are making, no charge.”
I did receive a CD with some of my medical records and information but not all the records and information I requested. I sent her a list of known missing items and then she started with excuses and tried to put me off. I believe she was hoping I was one of these farm cattle and would not know the difference between alfalfa and weeds when it came to what she was trying to feed me.
The last direct correspondence that I received from this director of Fairview Health Services pertaining to my requests of receiving my medical records stated “Medical Records: Fairview has provided you with complete information that constitutes your “designated record set” and therefore we have no addition information to provide you from other systems”. Well that is a surprise to me since I listed out several records and information that was missing from “my right to get copies of records going back as far as we have them. It should be noted I have been going to Fairview Health Services or the health care provider for nearly 3 decades. Guess it is easier for management to lie or mislead patients then to keep their word and help a patient in need.
If you have recently or never requested your medical records I would strongly suggest that you do so, soon. You will find out many interesting things about your previous medical treatment that you may never know or have forgotten about. It will also give you some insight to your health care provider.
I just hope you will not find out the hard way like I did with Fairview Health Services management, it is easier to lie than it is to do a job they said they could do.

All information is based on any or all of the following; My opinion, my experience with health care providers, my interpretation of conversations, written correspondence, or other forms of communication. This information does NOT reflex other people or companies opinions or reflections. All Rights reserved

When Your Health Care Provider Fails The Patients Part 4 of 5

Does Your Health Care Provider Hide Information from Patients

Health care providers have tried to eliminate personnel and say that by making it easier for patients to have access to medical information as well as make appointments and request refills of medication through a program called MyChart.
Fairview Health Services has such a program that is supposedly to make a patient’s information readily available to the patient. By Fairview Health Services own admission the MyChart program they use contains only a very small portion of what is needed for a patient or someone that helps the patient with their medical needs. I found this out the hard way. I compare this lack of information to going in and purchasing a new car from an auto dealer and when you go into the dealership to pick up the car it has no engine, transmission, backseat, rear window, and three tires are missing. Yes it is a new car but in my opinion is as worthless as a screen door in a submarine. So is only having access to only a portion of one’s medical information.
So why would a health care provider hide a patient’s medical information from the patient? Fairview Health Services has not answered that question and I wonder if maybe they are hiding something because what is hidden might be problematic for them. I find it critical to anyone with a medical condition to be able to review and discuss their medical records with people they trust, like family, close friends, and or other professionals in the patient’s life. So why only give a small portion of one’s medical information.
Maybe Fairview Health Services should rename their MyChart program, How We Save Money by Not Hiring People, or OurChart We Let You See What We Want You To, or maybe Order Medicine or Make an Appointment but Everything Else Is off Limits. For patients that only need to schedule an appointment, send the doctor a question, or order refills, the MyChart program will fill the bill but for someone who needs actual medical information it fails miserably.
Patients need information on upcoming appointment, insurance payments, lab results, and a host of other relevant information of a patient’s medical care. Not having all the information available forces a patient to call their health care provider and Fairview Health Services like most business has the press one for English, two for whatever, press whatever for this department or that department. If you are lucky to speak to someone and not have to leave a message they more likely will transfer you and by the time you get transferred a few times you are angry and it shows in your voice and either you get hung up on or you get put on hold. Do you really wish to start with the press one for English routine again? Maybe if an investment in people that truly care about their job and you as a patient were hired instead of the investment in a MyChart program that gives inadequate medical information to you, a health care provider like Fairview Health Services would have happy patients. Just a thought.

All information is based on any or all of the following; My opinion, my experience with health care providers, my interpretation of conversations, written correspondence, or other forms of communication. This information does NOT reflex other people or companies opinions or reflections. All Rights reserved

When Your Health Care Provider Fails The Patients Part 3 of 5

How Does Your Health Care Provider Treat Their Employees and Why Should You Care

This question may not even be on your mind but it should. How they treat their employee will directly affect how you are treated as a patient. Take as an example Fairview Health Services. Fairview has a slogan, “We are Fairview”.
When talking too many current and former employees about things, like a slow computer system holding up a patient registration, the sarcasm is evident when an employee says this while waiting and trying to apologize for the slowness of the computer system. Because I knew and still know a number of good employees and if I make this statement to them when they seemed stressed, they just smile in a manner that does not show that “We” is something they wish to be associated with, in my opinion.
Companies strive to be a top work place in this state. Companies take great care in developing employee surveys in order to better judge their weaknesses and strengths. I am familiar with a number of questions Fairview Health Services asks, and frankly with all the past and current employees I have made idle conversation with the questions asked set Fairview Health Services up for failure. My best guess is that a person has much better odds of winning the Powerball Lottery than the employees voting Fairview Health Services of making it in the top 5,000 companies in Minnesota.
Every company has its problems and its good employees and not so good employees. Some employees will drink the corporate Kool-Aid down in one gulp smile and then get out the pom-poms. Some will try to sip the Kool-Aid while trying to look happy but remain skeptical because of the ever changing atmosphere that creates an atmosphere of fear. There are many employees that just want to hang on to the job they are doing for their own reasons.
From the top level of management, orders are given and the people at the bottom are expected not only to abide by these orders but shut up and smile and say how much they like the daily changing of orders. Say something and you risk you not only your employment but your well-being.
The competition for being one of the top 100 companies is great but it is all the employees working to make things better that succeed in being named as one of these companies.
When so many different departments and the employees of those departments, like many at Fairview Health Services, are put between a rock and a hard place by management it affects the way patients are treated by people in those department. It is not my job so I will pass this person to someone else, it is easier to lie to this person than actually answer their question or help them, or even just ignore them or their request so that they go away.
It is a few people at the bottom of the food chain in any medical provider that continue to do the things that keep patients coming back. When too many of the caring employees leave and the remaining people show their uncaring attitudes aka “I have to have my job so I will drink the Kool-Aid and keep my mouth shut” then it is time to look someplace else for a medical provider that has your best interests at heart.

All information is based on any or all of the following; My opinion, my experience with health care providers, my interpretation of conversations, written correspondence, or other forms of communication. This information does NOT reflex other people or companies opinions or reflections. All Rights reserved

When Your Health Care Provider Fails The Patients Part 1 of 5

When Your Health Care Provider Goes Rogue

When you have a medical disability you would want the best medical services that you can afford. Sometimes it is necessary to have someone help you with going to and from the medical facility but many times it is just as necessary to have someone understand the medical procedures and what you need to do. In the latter cases you may decide to give another party a proxy in order for them to ask questions, look into your medical needs, or even accompany you to an appointment.
What happens when your medical provider refuses to honor the proxy you signed and provided to them, or is selective in who they allow to utilize the proxy to view any and all of your medical records that would help you maintain reasonable health. Fairview Health Services is just that type of organization. They pick and choose what medical information a proxy holder may or may not utilize.
It should be understood that there are a few restrictions that even a patient cannot view or receive in their own medical records and this pertains to anything that might involve mental health records that could be harmful to the patient if released.
Otherwise a patient or their proxy holder has the right to view any and all medical records that pertain to the patient and their medical information. Without having this ability a patient’s health can and often does suffer. It does not matter to Fairview Health Services that patients suffer because of their refusal to a proxy holder or even allow a proxy holder the legal right to review any and all medical records that a patient requests the proxy holder to assist the patient with.
There are rules on the federal and state level that pertain to the protection of patient information but there are also provisions in federal and state regulations that allow any patient to provide their medical provider with very specific allowance to a third party, proxy holder, the ability to view limited or all a patient’s medical records. Fairview Health Services does not care, they believe they have the right to restrict access to any or all of a patient’s medical records from anyone that has a legitimate reason to review these records.
Examples where Fairview Health Services has restricted access to a legitimate proxy holder, reviewing upcoming schedule appointment in or for the patient to understand when and where they are required to be to receive treatment, reviewing insurance payments because the patient is confused about charges that are occurring, or even reviewing previous appointments because more information is needed by the patient.
You may wish to discuss in detail, with your medical provider about how they handle proxies, especially if you are currently using Fairview Health Services because there have been numerous instances where proxy holders are penalized or restricted for their use of their proxy rights.
Do you really want your medical condition(s) to deteriorate because your medical provider utilizes the same tactics as Fairview Health Services?
It is especially important for people with children between the ages of 13 and 18 to have the children sign a proxy otherwise medical providers will refuse to discuss medical information with you. Fairview Health services does this all the time. It is also important for people who are taking care of or assisting their elderly parents or other elderly people to make sure a proper proxy is on file with the patients’ medical provider and the proxy holder fully understand their rights and what they medical provider will and will not provide them. Hopefully your medical provider does not use an ever changing determination like Fairview Health Services does.

All information is based on any or all of the following; My opinion, my experience with health care providers, my interpretation of conversations, written correspondence, or other forms of communication. This information does NOT reflex other people or companies opinions or reflections. All Rights reserved

When Your Health Care Provider Fails The Patients Part 2 of 5

When Your Health Care Provider Fails to Provide Medical Information

In today’s world nearly everything is done and stored electronically. I remember years back when people were hired to scan documents and records into a database in order to have an easier storage and retrieval system with a lot less room. Thousands of hours were devoted to getting rid of excess paper and storage space. This also made it easier and faster for a company to locate records they were in need of.
Medical facilities were no exception. What really happened to all you medical records? Request a copy of your medical records and find out. That is unless your medical records are at Fairview Health Services. Then it may be that records are missing, or even misfiled as in copied into someone else’s medical records.
There are times that medical facilities have a right to charge, for some records, at a specific amount per page. But in today’s world when nearly everything is an electronic records and if done correctly a quick search for a name, or patient number is placed into a computer and the data transferred over to an encrypted CD. Time factor for even for 30 years’ worth of records should be 5 minutes or even less. For a caring medical provider this should be done free of charge and the records should be a complete record of what medical treatment, prescriptions given, schedules made and schedules kept, insurance billing information, and anything related to your medical needs. Not at Fairview Health Services you get some of your records and then you get excuses and then you are told that they are going to charge you if you want more information. I only wonder what they or any company is trying to hide when these type of statements are made. Are my records missing? Could they have been scanned into someone else’s medical records? Is there a danger that a medical doctor that is treating a patient may not have important medical information pertaining to a patient’s health because something is not in the records or a mistake by the medical facility, is trying to be covered up?
Requesting your medical records is probably more important than requesting your credit file. Making sure both contain accurate information is crucial but one would be a nuisance to be wrong the other could be life threating. Not having your complete medical records or have someone else’s medical records mixed in with yours could easily result in costly treatments that were not necessary, mistreatment or mismanagement of your medical needs, or even continued pain and suffering on a patients part because of the lack of caring on a medical providers part.
Knowledge by you and the person you trust can not only make getting the right medical treatment less stressful but can also in some instances be a lifesaver. If, like Fairview Health Services, your medical provider says one thing and then changes their mind and creates a hostile situation because you asked to have a copy of all your medical records sent to you or your proxy holder say something to someone. The information and the life you might save could be yours.

All information is based on any or all of the following; My opinion, my experience with health care providers, my interpretation of conversations, written correspondence, or other forms of communication. This information does NOT reflex other people or companies opinions or reflections. All Rights reserved

Data Breaches and Fraud-Can It Be Stopped

Data Breaches and the theft of personal information continue to grow at an alarming rate. When a major retailer or organizations that are suppose to protect high profile peoples information are involved, it then becomes newsworthy, otherwise it is just something that happens and very few people hear about it and less people actually care about it.
I am sure that most people who look at these problems daily will find this as old news but I feel that it needs to be said.
Who is to blame for something that negatively affects millions of people and cost many billions of dollars each year? Is it the thieves who use technology to steal personal information or is it the companies and organizations and the people behind the companies and organizations who use technology to protect the worlds personal information. Maybe it should be the individual people that give their private information to the companies and organizations and expect their information to be safe.
Thieves are only doing what they have done for thousands of years, steal what can. People have changed attitudes since this new revolution of technology, they wish to be seen and heard, unlike the older generation. This makes a thief’s job much easier and makes them more efficient. Companies and organizations have always tried to protect their customers but are failing miserably because of the technology boom. Companies and organizations continue to use the old tried and true methods to protect private information but these methods are known by and exploited by the thieves.
I wrote over 15 years ago that if a company or organization builds a wall to protect their company or organization, thieves will do whatever they have to, including to, get a “ladder” tall enough to climb over and if that does not work they will dig a “tunnel” to get under it. Companies and organizations continue to think they are safe and boast this to customers until something happens. 2013 had 100’s of breaches that lost personal information, with the total losses in the tens of millions of pieces of information. 2014 looks to have an increase in these numbers. What the thieves are doing looks to be working. What the companies are doing, does not. And people are still opening up their life, for the world to see.
Until people start being selective to what they put out into cyberspace or start being very selective of what personal information they will share and to whom they will continue to be part of the problem. Companies and organizations, in my opinion, have failed at addressing the real problem when it comes to protecting this precious commodity of information and have lost much more of what they consider their precious commodity, money. Using the tried and true ways have not worked even with all the “Band-Aids” that have been place on these ways of protecting information through technology.
Maybe I am being too hard on the companies and organizations but over the years I have looked at mainly one thing before making a judgment in this area, a companies or organizations willingness to take the necessary steps to protect their customers and their own company or organization before something happens. Thieves evolve, and their evolution to find different techniques to succeed in their chosen job needed to be at the very least matched by companies and organizations. Losing a few hundred thousand dollars to a thief is nothing in comparison to the millions of dollars companies and organizations lose trying to re-protect themselves and the integrity lost from the customer’s confidence in them
The world is changing, many ways for the better, but people, companies and organizations need to find ways to understand and implement changes in what they do when it comes to protecting themselves and the precious commodity that the new age thieves continue to steal.

Unemployed- The American Dream turns into The American Nightmare

There are so many articles and news reports about unemployment it is very difficult to know which one is accurate. The newest government report shows overall unemployment fell to the lowest percentage in the last two years. Next weeks report will probably show a sudden increase in the unemployment numbers. There are also a number of articles that list older workers are having an especially hard time in finding employment. Congress is at odds on what to do about continuing long term benefits. Some states are almost double in the percentage of unemployed people the national average is listed at. Because of these items and so many more for America, the American Dream has turned into the American Nightmare.

All the aforementioned items make being unemployed more stressful than most people can imagine. Many of the people that are unemployed want only one thing, an opportunity to support their family and themselves by working. Unemployment benefits do nothing but help families survive at a difficult time. Most unemployed are required to use their savings and other financial reserves just to survive especially if they are one of the long term unemployed. I have heard it said that people on unemployment have little incentive to find work since they have money coming to them in the benefits they receive. The people making those statements are employed and bringing in wages and I doubt if this statement is ever made by someone that is unemployed.

This new computer age has the majority of companies using an online application process. Place your personal information online at their company’s career site or use third party information software they have contracted to gather this information. Once your information is entered, an algorithm can scan and evaluate whether the prospective party has the necessary skills the company is looking for. The problem with this automated evaluation is companies are losing people that have the majority of the skill sets that the company is looking for but more importantly they are losing people that want to do the best job possible and become an asset to the company.
Some companies were extremely selective and only hired candidates that are an exact match to their needs. An analogy of why companies are losing workers they need is as follows; a car dealership, example, GM dealership decides to close their doors and let their employees go. One employee has work at that dealership as a top salesman for over 30 years. A Ford dealership in the same town needs a salesman so this person applies. His application is rejected because he/she has never sold a new car with the Ford brand. In other words he/she does not have this portion of the experience that the company is looking for. Other companies may not have been able to find candidates with the necessary skills and are unwilling to dedicate the time or money to give the candidates that are applying for the open positions the remaining 10 to 20 percent skills that they might lack. Many times companies reject applicants because they are considered over qualified. Hiring managers forget that many of the applicants are just trying to support themselves and their family and hope that they can bring their experience to a company in such a way that will help the company. Maybe the hardest item to understand and accept, for applicants, is when an applicant is rejected for a position and that position continues to be advertised, sometimes for several months.
Early in my career I was one of four managers that hired for open positions. Because I enjoyed interviewing I was given an application by one of the other managers that did not wish to waste their time with an applicant. The application showed that this lady had not worked in over 15 years and I thought going in I would give her a few minutes and send her on her way with the normal promise to “let her know” later in the week. After about 10 minutes I thanked her for coming in and got up. She remained sitting and blurted out that “this was her 10th interview and everyone was brushing her off.” She stated “All I want is a chance.” I sat back down and we talked for another 45 minutes at which time I hired her. The other three managers thought I had lost my mind. Long story short, 2 ½ years later when I let the company she was promoted to my position and continued on with that company for several more years.
There is heavy competition for each available job. Articles have been written that about 13.3 million people were listed as unemployed in November 2011, which means there was an average of 4.2 people out of work for each opening companies had. Most major corporations require a college degree for any position their company lists. Some reports have shown that only about 25% of the people of working age have a college degree. This fact alone limits the number of applicants that a company will even consider. The percentage of college graduates with degrees is down significantly in older workers because when they either left or graduated high school they needed to get employment to help their families which limits the prospect of finding suitable employment even further. I have always wondered what type of college degree would be the equivalent of someone working for 10 or 20 or even 40 years in the job market. Reviewing the various articles and news reports that show the number of people that want to work and make every possible effort they can to support themselves and their families makes it difficult to understand the inflexible hiring rules many companies and organizations utilize.

Fulltime employed people mainly work 5 days a week 8 hours a day. A number of the unemployed people “work” 7 days a week in hopes of finding something that will allow them not only to work an average of 5 days a week but also give them the chance to survive.

There are some people, organizations and television shows that try to help some of the people that are unemployed or are having difficult times. Ellen DeGeneres has a show that my wife watches while we eat supper. She helps some people she and her staff believe need assistance. During one shows she featured a younger couple from Illinois because the husband had been off work for 18 months. The thing I found problematic was he stated he had applied for 15 jobs over that 18 month period. That comes out to one application every 36.5 days. What about the people that are applying for 5 to 15 jobs a week? Another family this show featured had several children and they were given a number of items to help them. This same family was featured a few weeks later on a different station, on the show Extreme Home Makeover, receiving a new home and a number of other items. I understand that people and shows like Ellen truly try and help people in need and she features things that affect society. The number of people and organizations that reach out to shows such as hers must be overwhelming. I hope that these people and shows continue to help the people and families that are truly in need and are making every effort possible to make things better for themselves, and the people around them.

If companies, government agencies, and organizations that are in need of workers would remember the one thing a woman once asked me when she applied for an open position, “All people want is a chance.” Companies, government agencies, and organizations might be surprised at the probability of finding dedicated and hard working employees. Giving people a chance can turn the nightmare faced by so many of the American people into a hope that someday they will once again be part of the American dream.

Al Cameron

Simplifying Pins and Passwords

For centuries mankind has tried to figure out ways to protect or lock up valuable items and information. We use a variety of locks as well as multiple other ways to protect what is considered important. The ever changing world has forced us to developed new ways to protect our homes and businesses. And now, for our electronic security, we need to “remember” passwords and pin numbers.

Pin Number Protecting
Have you ever forgotten a pin number you needed when trying to use a credit card or a debit card? Have you ever forgotten a password that is needed for a computer, document, or any number of other electronic items? Are you one of those people who need to change your password(s) often and use the unsecured way of remembering a password, the piece of paper you wrote it on that is hidden in your wallet, desk drawer, or taped to the bottom of your keyboard, because you believe no one else could possibly want it or find it. Another favorite place no one would look is on the back of that favorite family or pet photo frame that is on your desk.

Passwords and pin numbers has become part of our everyday life. Stealing those passwords or pin numbers have become a way of life for the thieves of the world. Once they have your information they can change it to what they want and lock you out of your own life. We have all read stories on how individuals have put electronic devices on ATM machines to capture our private information. Articles come out daily that warn us about phishing and pharming schemes that prompt us to provide our personnel information.

Only you can thwart giving the thieves this private information. How do you do this and still remember that password People have been asked to remember multiple passwords and pin numbers without writing them down.

If you can remember as little as three words or numbers you can secure anything with a password or pin number. Depending upon how much security is needed, you will need only a few words to develop the level of security you wish to assign to protect your files.

First let us look at pin numbers. Most pin numbers are either three, four, or five number long. Experts warn never to use your birthday as a pin number. Let us look at how two dates can protect us and make it easy for two people to remember them.

Use two sets of numbers that are not birthdates, anniversaries, or common dates that could be traced back to be common to you or your family. As an example take these two dates, 1-21-1858 and 7-5-1858.
The people who are required to know the combination for locks, pin numbers, or other related security could use something similar to the following. A three digit lock like a suitcase we share, and is mostly filled with her clothes and her other items, could be set to 121. A four digit lock or pin number that needs high security like a cash card, in room hotel safe, etc. could be set to 7558. In rare occasions where a 5 digit pin is needed for home security and other high security places, this could be set to 12158. Remember all parties need to know the codes for all items without really trying to remember. If you have multiple items or places to protect, like credit cards and do not want the same number, just reverse the numbers. You then only have to remember the two dates just understand the security level you are protecting. This does not have to be a date; it can be any shared number like a phone number. Do not use your home, cell or work phone numbers, but you could use a number that is out of the area that you both call. 312 555 6999. Three digits 312, four digits 6999, or five digits 31255.

Passwords made easy

Passwords have become a part of our life. How do we remember all these passwords? I have over 18 passwords that I use but only two ever changed. How do you remember what password you assigned where without compromising the security you are trying to provide? Before going on I want to relay one of the most common mistakes I have seen and that is to use the password you created as the hint or to use the public information as the hint. What is your mothers maiden name, What is your dogs name, Name of your high school, etc. As if someone can not go on line and get this making your security efforts nearly useless.

Using a word and adding a combination of numbers and letters will give you levels of security that will frustrate all but the best programs and people without taxing your patience or memory. Take any word or three words that you wish. Most of this can be accomplished with the use of one word allowing for one hint that has variations. For this purpose let us use the word mermaid. Since most passwords, especially the secure ones, are case sensitive you can easily adapt this to your own needs but for this article I will keep it simple.

Opening your computer at home you can type in mermaid or MERMAID. Opening your bank records or other credit or personal information I would high recommend the following. Mermaid,77ac77. Security expert recommend using a comma in all passwords. Below are different levels of security making it easy to remember what level you desired to assign to what you are protecting. Use mermaid mermaid,8 mermaid,88 mermaid,ac mermaid,8888 mermaid,ac8888 for different levels of protection.

I will now show you how to put your sticky notes out in the open and really confuse the people who might wish to steal your password and protection information. How do you give yourself a hint of what your password might be? Most of you will remember the passwords you have assigned yourself but when you need a hint or are required to give a hint for security purposes, your hint can be, woman, creature, fish, and ocean. Use the same hint every time but use something that means something only to you and or the person sharing the password. Remembering the security levels is just as easy. If I write something down I use these types of hints knowing that a comma will always follow my password. For secure items, I never hint at this. Use woman, woman–, woman–ll, woman—,woman–ll– The dashes represent the numbers I have assigned and the ll represent if I used letters in the password and where.

By utilizing three or less words to protect yourself and your information changing their value from simple to high you might have 5 or more passwords and not have to struggle with remembering what they are. This should make how to protect your data a little more simplified and a little more secure for you and your family.

Al Cameron

Risking your Mobile Payments Information

The financial and consumer worlds are once again set to embrace a new payment method. Mobile payment make it faster to purchase goods and services as well as make it cheaper and easier to process payments for the merchants and other companies involved. According to a Gartner there are currently over 100 million mobile payment users globally and estimates predict up to 90 billion dollars will be spent in 2011 using the mobile payment services that are currently being tested and provided.. Other reports expect this number to be at nearly 500 million users by 2014.

As companies and financial institutions are trying to develop more efficient avenues for consumers to make payments for their goods and services as well as making it easier for merchants around the world to accept payments, there is the risk side of this mobile payment technology. Every new payment method has been challenged with new forms of theft as groups of individuals and organizations spend their time and resources trying to figuring out how gain access to this data in order to steal. In the last 50 years it has included forging checks, stealing credit cards, skimming of the credit card mag strip, electronic readers to obtain information from the RFID chip, and the list goes on.

Consider a potential future crime, a gang of thieves may find it easier to rob a venue where people are gathered and instead of telling everyone to give them their wallets or jewelry, the thieves demand everyone given them their mobile devices. Transmission of the stolen mobile data could be transferred around the world in minutes and the financial information these devices have stored utilized minutes later.

The companies and financial institutions may have the counter argument that this could not happen because of the levels of security mobile devices currently have or will be required to have. I look at the levels of security required for different types of financial transactions like companies that are PCI compliant and the number of data losses that occur, or the security supposedly given to ACH and other payment methods and the financial losses that occur because of one reason or another. Obtaining pin numbers or passwords used to activate the ability to use the financial information on the mobile device might be a stumbling block. My argument would be, this has never been much of a problem for the thieves that have stolen ATM cards or other forms of payments that require pins or passwords I do not believe the new mobile payment technology will be any different.

Security for mobile devices has the potential to be compromised and a greater number of steps to protect the stored information will need. The need to review transaction history of each person purchasing history is paramount to stopping possible fraudulent transactions or attempted transactions. Employing this granular type of system would help in controlling losses.

Al Cameron