BBB Offers Digital Spring Cleaning Tips to Protect Your Personal Data and Identity All Year Round

(Lake Havasu City, AZ – April 11, 2017) The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Better Business Bureau (BBB) are encouraging consumers to get their online lives in order by conducting a thorough cleanse of their cyber clutter and making “digital spring cleaning” an annual ritual to help protect valuable personal data. A NCSA survey found that preventing identity theft is a top safety concern for Americans, and there are several easy steps everyone can take that will go a long way in tidying up digital disorder.

“Chances are that over the years you’ve accumulated lots of digital clutter that can impact your cybersecurity posture. It’s critical to remember that just as you shred sensitive paper documents before discarding, you should properly destroy important electronic data,” said Michael Kaiser, NCSA’s executive director. “By following a few easy-to-use digital spring cleaning tips, you can be significantly safer and more secure online. In addition, you will have a renewed peace of mind that you are helping to protect yourself, your family and the community at large. NCSA and BBB want everyone to enjoy the internet’s extraordinary benefits with increased confidence.”

“Just as we urge people to safely shred old paper records, BBB is also urging consumers and businesses to make sure that electronic files are properly disposed of when no longer needed,” said Bill Fanelli, chief information officer with the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “Old hard drives, data sticks, cell phones, tablets…anything that contains sensitive data should be securely destroyed. Digital spring cleaning also means deleting old files, updating passwords and taking other steps to make sure your private information stays private.”   

BBB and the NCSA urge consumers to follow this four-week outline and clean up their online life with an easy-to-follow timeline and plan (click here for a downloadable PDF of the checklist):

Week 1: Keep Machines Clean

As a very basic first step, make sure all web-connected devices ‒ including personal computers (PCs), mobile phones, smartphones and tablets ‒ are free from malware and infections.

·         Keep all critical software current: Having all software current is one of the best security measures to take. This includes security software, web browsers, document readers, operating systems and any other software regularly used.

·         Clean up your mobile life: Most of us have apps we no longer use as well as ones that need updating. Delete unused apps and keep others current, including the operating system on your mobile device. An added benefit of deleting unused apps is more storage space and longer battery life. Actively manage location services, Bluetooth, microphone and camera – making sure apps use them appropriately.

Week 2: Make Sure You’re Secure

Building on Week 1, users can enhance the security of their online accounts – a fast and simple way to be safer online. There are quick and easy things you can do that have long-term safety and security benefits.

·         Get two steps ahead: Turn on two-step authentication ‒ also known as two-step verification or multi-factor authentication ‒ on accounts where available. Many of the internet’s most popular email services, social networks and financial institutions offer this key security step free of charge, but you must opt in to turn it on. Visit stopthinkconnect.org/2stepsahead to learn more and view a list of the websites that offer two-step authentication.

·         Secure your router: Make sure your router has a strong password and does not broadcast who you are through its name, such as “the Jones Family” or “123 Elm Street.” Update router software as well.

·         Create better passwords: If your passwords are too short or easy to guess, it’s like leaving the front door to your home unlocked. Longer passwords and those that combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols provide better protection.

·         Unique account, unique password: Having separate passwords ‒ at least for key accounts like email, banking, and social networking ‒ helps to thwart cybercriminals.

·         Write it down and keep it safe: Everyone can forget a password. Keep a list that’s stored in a safe, secure place.

·         Secure your phone: Use a passcode or a finger swipe to unlock your phone.

Week 3: Digital File Purge and Protection

Tend to your digital records, PCs, phones and any device with storage just as you would paper files.

·         Clean up your email: Save only emails you really need. Your inbox is likely stuffed with lots of outdated materials. Delete or archive what you don’t need and be sure to empty your deleted mail folders.

·         File upkeep: Delete or archive older files such as numerous drafts of the same document and outdated financial statements.

·         Manage subscriptions: Unsubscribe to newsletters, email alerts and updates you no longer read.

·         Dispose of electronics securely: Wiping data isn’t enough. When you dispose of old electronics, look for facilities that shred hard drives, disks and memory cards.

·         Update your online photo album: Back up photos you want to keep and delete old or less flattering pictures of yourself and your family and friends. In addition to not showing your best side, they take up space.

·         Update your online relationships: Review friends on social networks and contacts on phones and PCs to make sure everyone on those lists still belong.

·         Back it up: Copy important data to a secure cloud site or to another drive where it can be safely stored. Password protect backup drives and keep them in a different location off the network for maximum security. Commit to doing backups on a regular basis.

·         Empty your trash or recycle bin on all devices: Make sure to permanently delete old files.

Week 4: Clean Up Your Online Reputation

Parents and older kids with social media accounts can take an active role in making sure their online reputation is squeaky clean.

·         Own your online presence: Review the privacy and security settings on websites to be sure they remain set to your comfort level for sharing. It’s OK to limit whom you share information.

·         Clean up your social media presence: Delete old photos and comments that are embarrassing or no longer represent who you are.

·         Update your “online self”: Are your social media sites up to date? Review your personal information and update it where needed.

For more consumer tips on digital safety, check out the National Cyber Security Alliance at staysafeonline.org.

Businesses can do a cyber safety check-up with BBB’s “5 Steps to Better Business Cybersecurity” at bbb.org/cybersecurity.

Veterans interested in starting your own business

April 7, 2017

Good
morning Everyone,
I attended a seminar at the Mohave Community College in Kingman yesterday.

It was conducted by Edward (Ed) Molina, the Arizona Director of the Veterans Business Outreach Centers. Mr. Molina’s goal was to inform Active military, Veterans and their spouses that there are programs available to assist them to make the transition from BOOTS TO BUSINESS.

If you have had thoughts and the passion to start your own business and didn’t know where to turn for help, the Arizona VBOC​, ​the SBA​ and SBDC*​ will provide help in the following areas:

  • Business training
  • Counseling
  • Mentoring
  • Access to Capital
  • Contracting Opportunities
  • And more

Also, if you have already started your own business and need help, it is available.

Our VBOC ​and SBDC* ​Director in Lake Havasu ​C​ity is Mr. Mark Retersdorf. He works out of the Mohave Community College, Lake Havasu City.

Contact information:
928.757.0895
mretersdorf@mohave.edu
If you have any questions feel free to call Mark. He’ll be glad to assist you.

Kind regards & Semper Fi,
Russ

​*Small Business Development Center​

Vietnam Veterans’ Breakfast

Lake Havasu City​
has been a Vietnam War
Commemorative Partner since 2013.

Lake Havasu City is proud to honor our Vietnam Veterans with an open invitation to all veterans and their families to attend the Vietnam Veterans’ Breakfast, Wednesday, March 29, 2017, from 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at the Aquatic/Community Center.

Ceremony begins promptly at 6:45am with a presentation of “Colors” by ​the Marine Corps League.

This City event, hosted by the community for the community, provides a comfortable atmosphere to share a traditional pancake breakfast with fellow veterans. This City event is also sponsored by various veteran organizations, and is produced by many volunteers. The breakfast is free to all veterans and their families.

Anyone interested​   in donating, please contact Donna Brister-McCoy at (928) 208-1091 orbristerd@lhcaz.gov

Don’t Get Fouled by Ticket Scams During March Madness

Don’t Get Fouled by Ticket Scams During March Madness

(Lake Havasu City, AZ – March 16, 2017) Large sporting events, such as March Madness, draw massive crowds with consumers looking to score a ticket to their favorite game. Considering the high desirability of these tickets, fans will often have to resort to the secondary resale market. Scammers take advantage of fans looking for great deals by capitalizing on tickets that may not even exist. Before printing brackets and mapping out a schedule, know what to look for when purchasing highly desirable tickets. Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers tips to avoid buying fake tickets and missing out on a great game.

To avoid ticket scams during March Madness, BBB shares tips for buying tickets:

  • Consider the source. Know the difference between a professional ticket broker (a legitimate and accredited reseller), a ticket scalper (an unregulated and unlicensed ticket seller), and a scammer selling fraudulent tickets.

  • Buy from secure sites.  Use secure sites such as StubHub.com, SeatGeek and Vivid Seats for second-hand purchases. When buying online, look for the lock symbol and/or an “s” in “https:” to make sure a secure connection is in place before sharing payment information. Don’t click on email links or online ads, as scammers often create web sites that look very similar to well-known companies.

  • Know the refund policy. Understand the terms and conditions of the ticket seller. Sellers should disclose seat numbers and reference a seating chart. If tickets are not available immediately, seller should state an exact date and time when they will be shipped or ready for pickup.

  • Use a credit card. If possible, use a credit card to purchase tickets. Most credit cards offer additional protection and recourse should there be a problem with a purchase. Wire transfers and cash purchases are hard to track and recover if tickets turn out to be fraudulent.

  • Don’t fall for flashy ads. Online searches will likely result in advertisements for cheap tickets. Use good judgment; some ads might be scams, particularly if prices are extremely low.

  • Verify tickets. For peace of mind, verify tickets before purchasing. Visit the arena where the event will be held and present tickets at “Will Call” (customer service) where they will be able to verify legitimacy.

When looking for trusted ticket sellers, visit bbb.org. In Arizona, there are seven BBB Accredited providers ready to help you find tickets.

NOTE: The National Association of Ticket Brokers is a BBB National Partner. We thank them for their assistance with this tip.

March 6th, 2017: Bullhead City Press Release

Bullhead City Press Release

 

BULLHEAD CITY, AZ, March 6, 2017 – The City of Bullhead City Public Works Department has the following projects going on in addition to regular work around our city during the week of March 6:

 

  • City crews performing clean up at Rotary Park baseball tri-plex.
  • City crews will be slurry sealing a variety of streets within the City.  Please see official NSIP 28 Press Release for more details.
  • RTR Paving & Resurfacing will be doing roadway and drainage work along Gold Rush Road, Black Mountain Road, and Arcadia Blvd. between the southern edge of Riverview RV Resort and North Oatman Road.  Please follow all traffic control through the construction zone.
  • City crews will be performing city wide sewer cleaning in various neighborhoods.
  • McCormick Construction will be doing roadway and drainage work along Riverview Drive between Highway 95 and Balboa.  Please follow all traffic control through the construction zone.
  • City crews will be performing city wide sewer video inspection.

BBB Names 2017 Board, Adds Four New Business Leaders

BBB Names 2017 Board, Adds Four New Business Leaders

(Lake Havasu City, Arizona – February 15, 2017) Better Business Bureau Serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona (BBB) welcomes new industry expertise to its 2017 board of directors ranging from law enforcement and security to commercial cleaning and health and wellness.

David Lorenz, vice president and commercial relationship manager with First Fidelity Bank is BBB’s 2017 chairman, while Ken Bonham, partner at Lucid Agency, serves as vice chair. Mike Bontrager with Adolfson & Peterson Construction, Carrie Young with SRP and Gary Sneed with Desert Schools Federal Credit Union complete the board’s executive committee.

“Thanks to strong board leadership, our BBB relocated to a 30,000 foot campus in Central Phoenix last February. In the last year, we’ve become a meeting destination for local businesses and have created nearly 40 new jobs,” BBB President/CEO Matthew Fehling said. “I could not ask for a more engaged group of professions to help BBB ‘move the needle.”

Additionally, four Arizona business leaders join the 33-person, nonprofit board bringing diverse industry expertise. New BBB board directors include: 

  • Kim Anderson-Matich, CEO, Anderson Security Agency, Ltd.

  • Michael Kurtenbach, Executive Assistant Chief, Phoenix Police Department

  • Cheryl Lewis, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Isagenix

  • Chris Sharfner, Owner, C & J Professional Cleaning Services

Organizations and expertise also represented on BBB’s 2017 board include:

Ashley Furniture Homestores

Beni.fit

Commit Agency

Cox Communications

CRC Broadcasting

Cue Financial Group, Inc.

Dircks Moving Services  

Donley Service Center

Ignite Creative Services  

John’s Refrigeration Heating and Cooling   

JLS Consulting

La Campesina Radio  

Mu Shu Asian Grill

ProCopy  

Reveal Concepts Co.

Shadow Mountain Auto Service  

Shamrock Foods

Snell & Wilmer

Sonora Quest Laboratories    

Sun Devil Auto  

Triad Consulting Corporation   

U.S. Postal Inspection Service

Yates Buick GMC  

Y Scouts

“It is a highlight of my professional career to serve as board chairman for the Greater Arizona Better Business Bureau in 2017.  Matthew Fehling is an empowering leader surrounded by a staff of uniquely talented, hardworking team members. Likewise, BBB is supported by a board of experienced Arizona business leaders who really care to make a difference for consumers and businesses in the community,” Lorenz said.  

BBB.ORG

For more information or to schedule an interview with a BBB spokesperson, please contact Elaine Cullen at 928-302-3701 or ecullen@arizonabbb.org.

About Better Business Bureau Serving Central, Northern & Western Arizona

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau (BBB) has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and 11,000 charities, all available free at bbb.org.  Incorporated locally in 1938, BBB serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona serves 10 counties through its campuses in Phoenix, Lake Havasu City, Prescott and Yuma, supported by over 11,300 BBB Accredited Businesses. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to high standards of ethical business practices. BBB provides objective advice, free business reviews and charity reports, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust.

SPECIAL MCSO PRESS RELEASE

SPECIAL
MCSO PRESS RELEASE

February 10, 2017

REWARD OFFERED
Mohave Silent Witness is offering up to $750 reward for information in identifying this unknown female subject and/or any suspect information. Anyone with any information is asked to contact Detective John Goodwin at Mohave County Sheriff’s Office at (928) 753-0753 or Silent Witness at (888) 227-8780.


Composite sketches of this unknown person
(Image on the left appears to be younger while the image on the right may be older than this person)

 

The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a Death Investigation/Possible Homicide of an unknown female who was located on north Highway 93 between Kingman, Arizona and the Hoover Dam. The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office is asking for your assistance in identifying the subject, See below for details:

African/American or Biracial female, black/dark brown hair, between the ages of 13 to 17, approximately 5 ft 7 inches tall, between 105 and 130 lbs, pierced ears, no scars or tattoos were noted.

Due to exposure and decomposition no photo was obtained. The body was discovered on 09-28-16 and estimation of exposure time was one to two weeks. Dental records were obtained and are being uploaded into the National database. DNA samples were obtained and are being processed for profile.

Attached are reconstruction images from the Nation Center for Missing and Exploited Children and a Reconstructionist from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations. These images are reconstructions and may only resemble the true image.

The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating leads with the assistance of NCMEC and agencies from Nevada and California.

At this time, the Mohave County Medical Examiner has been unable to determine cause of death.

If you have any information please contact Det. John Goodwin or the Detective Division at the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office at 928-753-0753 ext. 4288.


ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE ISSUED 9/29/16

DEATH INVESTIGATION – NORTH OF DOLAN SPRINGS

Mohave County Sheriff’s detectives are investigating the death of a female subject located off the roadway of Highway 93 north of Dolan Springs.  Early Wednesday (9/28) evening, at about 5:27 p.m., deputies responded to the scene.  Upon arrival, deputies contacted the reporting party.  The RP advised that he and his wife were hiking in the area when they came across a body in a ravine.

 

The Medical Examiner responded and conveyed the body.  The deceased subject is a young African American female approximate height 5’05” between 110 to 120 pounds with dark hair.  This investigation continues and autopsy results are pending.

 

Anyone with information on a missing person matching this description is asked to contact the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office at (928) 753-0753 or Silent Witness at (928) 753-1234.

 

Helpful Tax Information!


If you earned $53,505 or less last year, you could receive a larger refund if you qualify for the EITC. If you have three or more qualifying children, you could get a maximum credit of up to $6,269. Even if you don’t have children, it could mean up to $506 added to your tax refund.

Unlike most deductions and credits, the EITC is refundable. In other words, if you’re eligible, you may get a refund from the IRS even if you don’t owe tax. Last year, more than 27.5 million eligible workers and families received almost $66.7 billion in EITC; with an average EITC amount of more than $2,400.

IRS-certified volunteers at our VITA sites (contact River Cities United Way for details) can help you find out if you quality for EITC and help you prepare your taxes for free. There is also an online tool, the EITC Assistant, available on IRS.gov. You don’t need to guess about your eligibility – use the EITC Assistant to find out for sure. And, when checking your eligibility for EITC, don’t overlook other tax credits for which you may qualify.

Some refunds held until mid-February

A new law approved by Congress requires the IRS to hold refunds claiming the EITC and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until February 15. By law, the IRS must hold the entire refund – even the portion not associated with EITC or ACTC. This change helps ensure taxpayers receive the refund they are owed by giving the agency more time to help detect and prevent fraud.

The IRS will begin releasing these refunds on February 15, but you shouldn’t expect to see them deposited into your bank accounts until the week of February 27 – assuming there are no processing issues with the tax return.

You can track the status of your refund with the “Where is my tax refund?” tool available on IRS.gov or the IRS2Go mobile app.

Victory for Lake Havasu: Boating Restrictions Lifted

Victory for Lake Havasu!

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Fully Withdraws Lake Havasu Boating Restrictions.

 

Lake Havasu City resident Ryder Bliss (pictured above) is a ten-year-old who had his favorite wakeboarding spot closed for no legitimate reason in May 2015 due to federal overreach from the Fish and Wildlife Service.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced that beginning on February 1, 2017, the ½ mile backwater no-wake restriction for Lake Havasu that was designated in May 2015 will be lifted:

“After nearly two years of tirelessly fighting back against an arbitrary and overreaching bureaucratic decision, Lake Havasu will once again be open for all users. Lifting the boating restrictions on the ‘Ryde Spot’ marks a complete victory for the countless stakeholders and community leaders who stood shoulder to shoulder with me and spoke out when the very livelihood of Lake Havasu City was threatened. This win sends a clear message to all federal agencies that we the people have real power when united behind a worthwhile cause. We will not stand for lawless, unilateral actions by rogue bureaucrats.

“I applaud the efforts of the many individuals who were instrumental in today’s victory including: Lake Havasu City Mayor Mark Nexsen; the Arizona Game and Fish Department; the Lake Havasu Area Chamber of Commerce; U.S. Senator John McCain; Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson; the entire Bliss family including Nick, Jenni and my pal Ryder. Tip of the hat to Director Tuggle for finally seeing the light and listening to local stakeholders.

“As the new Refuge Manager takes over next month, the Lake Havasu community and I will remain vigilant to ensure that any future Compatibility Determination (CD) is enacted lawfully, allows for multiple-use and is developed using a bottom-up approach that keeps Lake Havasu open for business. I couldn’t be more excited about today’s victory and can’t wait to join Ryder Bliss for a day on the Reservoir.”

Congressman Gosar is very appreciative to everyone that played an important role in this effort

Contact Congressman Paul Gosar

Downtown Merchants Beer & Wine Walk Continues

Downtown Merchants Beer & Wine Walk Continues

January 19, 2017 (Kingman, AZ) On Saturday, February 11th, the Kingman Downtown Merchants Association (K.D.M.A) will be holding their fourth Beer & Wine Walk – this time in celebration of Valentine’s Day. The walk will be from 3 to 6pm, starting at The Standard newspaper located at 221 Beale Street. Cost is $20, which includes your souvenir wine glass and map designating the various stations to visit.  You can buy tickets ahead of time at www.kingmandowntownmerchantsassoc.com

The event will focus on building awareness for members of the K.D.M.A. while introducing the citizens of Kingman to the wide variety of businesses in Historic Downtown Kingman. Proceeds will aid in K.D.M.A.’s efforts to revitalize Downtown Kingman.

KDMA has also set dates for future walks – June 17th and October 21st. You’ll want to put those dates on your calendar now so you don’t miss them!

Participating merchants are members of the Kingman Downtown Merchants Association. For information about the event or on how to join K.D.M.A., call 928-715-2394 or visit their website at www.kingmandowntownmerchantsassoc.com