Month: February 2014

Update Apple Software – Now!

iphone

Apple has released an update to their OS X operating system for Macs and to iOS for iPhones and iPads.  These updates fix a serious security flaw that opens the door for your devices and your personal data to be compromised.  You should update everything now.  You can read about the security problem here.

On your Mac, click the Apple icon on the left of your menu bar and select Software Updates.

On your iPhone or iPad, go to the Settings app, select General and Software Updates.

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Update on the One RIng Scam

As I previous wrote, the One Ring scammers  steal your money by calling you, letting the phone ring once, and hoping you’ll call back.  The problem is that the numbers are pay-per-minute numbers.  The FTC has updated their information on this scam with the most used area codes.  They are: 268,284,473,664,649,767,809,829,849, 876.   Calling back one of these numbers could cost you $20 or more.

Bottom line:  if you get a call from a number that you don’t know, don’t call back.

Scam Alert: Don’t Call Back that Unknown Number

There’s yet another new scam out there:  You get a call to your phone and it rings once.  You don’t recognize the number but you think, maybe it’s a business call or something important, you call it back just to check.  This could cost you money.

The number may be a premium number, meaning that you will be charged a fee for every minute you are on the line.  Remember the 900 numbers for dating services, etc. that use to be advertised on TV.  This works the same way. Now the numbers are no longer so obvious as to begin with 900.  You can find a full explanation by the BBB here.

Bottom line:  if you don’t recognize the number, don’t call back. If it was really important the caller would have let it ring more than once, or they might have tried to call back, or they would have left a message.  If you still  think it might be legitimate google the area code, that should tell you if it’s coming from a real place or if it’s a premium number.

Goodbye Good Old Phone System

In 2003, 90% of American’s had an analog landline phone.  These phones communicated using a twisted pair of copper wire that required no external  power source to operate.  Today, only 26% of homes use this type of landline.  Most phone service now is digital over the internet, cable system or wireless cellular network.  The FCC  has basically declare that the old system is dead and will be phased out.

This decision was all but inevitable given the trends.  However, there is a big downside.  The phone system is highly reliant on the internet.  If the internet goes down, the phones won’t work.  And, all of it is reliant on the power grid.  I certainly remember times in the past when we’ve lost power but rarely did the phones stop working.  Now your phones will work as long as your back batteries last.

On the plus side, this will require reliable internet service be brought to every nook and cranny of the country.