Cyber Security Tip #4: Five cyber security tips everyone should be aware of. 1. If you don’t understand the warning message, say no. It’s easier to go back and say yes if you need to than be sorry and have to rebuild your machine. 2. Certificates: If you don’t understand a website certificate message, say no. It is easier to go back and say yes if you need to than be sorry and have to rebuild your credit. 3. Antivirus: Running antivirus does not slow your computer down nearly as much as a virus does. 4. Back-up: Backing up your data may seem like a waste of time — er, until you spill coffee all over your laptop. 5. Passwords: Writing down your password around your desk is about as secure as leaving a $20 bill lying on the dashboard of your car. How well do you trust anyone these days?
Cyber Security Tip #3: Protect Your Children Online It is important to talk to your children about online safety and let them know that you can be approached with questions about behaviors or problems that they may encounter when online. Parents can teach their children how to safely use a computer and the Internet. The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center listed some simple steps that parents can take to help reduce security risk to children. They are: • Keep your computer in a central and open location in your home and be aware of other computers your child may be using. • Discuss and set guidelines and rules for computer use with your child. Post these rules by the computer as a reminder. • Use the Internet with your child. Familiarize yourself with your child’s online activities and maintain a dialogue with your child about what applications they are using. • Implement parental control tools that are provided by some Internet Service Providers and available for purchase as separate software packages. • Consider using software that allows you to monitor your child’s e-mail and Web traffic.
Today’s cyber security tip is: Don’t get phished! The most common and easily detected cyber-crime is phishing. Phishing is a malicious attempt by hackers to acquire sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card numbers, through electronic media. Hackers often pretend to represent a bank or other trusted source in order to lure victims into disclosing information the hacker can then use to access their finances. Always think before you click on a link or attachment in an email, even if it’s from somebody you know. Look for oddly spelled words and strange attachments. Even if it’s from someone you know, ask yourself: ‘Would they really send this?’
Lake Havasu City, AZ – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that Mohave County will receive 13 additional vouchers for housing assistance for veterans in Mohave County under the Veteran Assistance Supportive Housing (VASH) Program. According to Supervisor Buster Johnson, the 13 additional vouchers will provide Mohave County with $73,339 to help veterans find and keep safe and secure housing. “These vouchers will help provide a better quality of life for our veterans who have sacrificed so much for this country,” Johnson stated. According to Mohave County Community Services Director Susie Parel-Duranceau, the 13 additional vouchers will bring the total vouchers available to Veterans in Mohave County to 63. In order for veterans to qualify, they must be VA health care eligible and must meet the definition of homelessness. Qualified veterans must also need case management services in order to obtain and sustain independent community housing. “The VA will qualify the veteran and then refer them to Mohave County,” Duranceau explained. Through the VASH program, the veterans will generally contribute no more than 30% of their income towards the rental of privately owned housing with Mohave County paying the remainder. Mohave County and Cochise County were the only 2 counties in Arizona to receive the additional vouchers. According to the Northern Arizona Veterans Resource Center, homeless veterans make up 32% of Mohave County’s homeless population. “After their service and sacrifice, too many of our veterans find themselves living on our streets. Through this program, we are able to help these veterans in their time of need,” Johnson ended. For more information on the VASH program, please visit: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/public_indian_housing/programs/hcv/vash
Today marks the 1st day of Cyber Security Month. For the next 31 days, I will be posting tips and tricks on how to stay safe and secure online. Today’s tip is: Change your password. It is important that individuals change their password every three months in order to avoid being hacked. The number one cause of cyber-attacks is a weak password. Take the Password Challenge and see if your password is strong enough to pass. You can take the password test by clicking here: http://blog.lastpass.com/2014/10/are-you-ready-to-put-your-passwords-to.html #NCSAM @cyber
Washington, D.C. – Supervisor Buster Johnson was among nearly 30 elected officials from around the country who were asked by the National Association of Counties (NACo) to participate in their Washington D.C. Leadership Fly-In. As President of the Arizona Association of Counties (AACo), Supervisor Johnson represented all fifteen counties in Arizona when he met with congressional leaders and officials from the U.S. Department of Interior and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to highlight the importance of the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program and what it means for Arizona counties. “Federal lands in Arizona make up roughly 42.1% of the state,” Supervisor Johnson stated. “Without PILT funding, Arizona counties would be forced to shift federal responsibilities to local tax payers or drastically cut essential services such as education, law enforcement, and road maintenance,” Johnson continued. During the Fly-In, Supervisor Johnson and Supervisor Liz Archuleta from Coconino County met with some of Arizona’s Congressional delegation along with Speaker of the House John Boehner and Congressional leaders from Arkansas and Mississippi to give testimony and real life examples of why PILT is so important for Arizona. “Several counties, such as Greenlee County where PILT represents one-third of their general fund, require these funds to balance their budget. Without it they would essentially go bankrupt,” Johnson stated. Federal regulations require counties to provide services in the form of road maintenance, law enforcement and search and rescue on federal lands. “Because counties are not allowed to collect property taxes on these lands nor allowed to let private economic development occur, the PILT payments help counties offset those loses,” Johnson explained. During fiscal year 2014, which is set to end September 30, Arizona counties received over $34 million in PILT revenue. Supervisor Johnson encouraged Congressional leaders during the fly-in to include a reauthorization for PILT in the 2015 Appropriation Bill, while at the same time expressed the need that a permanent funding source for PILT must be found. “Counties shouldn’t have to plead with Washington every year to ensure these funds are continued,” Johnson said. According to Johnson, Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon has proposed a plan to NACo to permanently fund PILT, but no legislation has been officially introduced.
Lake Havasu City, AZ –Supervisor Buster Johnson would like the public to know about a fun contest. “In conjunction with the International Route 66 Festival and the hosting city of Kingman, the County has initiated the Mohave County Passport program. This program is a chance for residents and visitors alike to see some of the beautiful assets our county has to offer,” Johnson explained. The object is to obtain at least six of the eleven participating locations’ stamps listed in the Passport Booklet; however, you are encouraged to visit all 21 locations. To obtain a copy of the booklet on the internet go to www.passport.mohavecounty.us in the upper right of the screen. Print the booklet and stamp collection sheet and begin a fun journey through Mohave County. Once you have completed your journey, cut out the stamp collection page, complete the information on the back and return it to the City Manager, City of Kingman, 310 N. 4th Street, Kingman, AZ 86401 by September 5th. The grand prize is $1,000, second prize is $600 and third prize is $400. The winner will be drawn at the Mohave County Fair on September 13, 2014. Winner need not be present to win. “The “Passport” is a fun way to see Mohave County and I want to thank Unisource Energy and Frontier Communications for contributing the cash prizes to this program,” Johnson stated. ###
Lake Havasu City, AZ – The Mohave County Flood Control District recorded over 1.50 inches of rain during last night’s storm for the Sacramento Wash area near Oatman and Golden Shores. “The Mohave County Public Works Department had road crews out there at 4:30 a.m. this morning to survey and determine the storm damage caused by last night’s storm,” Supervisor Buster Johnson stated. According to Johnson, road crews have been working around the clock to assess the damage in time for the International Route 66 Festival which is scheduled to kick off in Oatman tomorrow. According to Festival organizers, more than 80 international groups from around the world have already signed up to participate in this year’s festival. An estimated 10,000 people are expected to attend. “In consideration of the Festival, county road crews are working aggressively to remove debris and repair pavement and shoulder damage done to Oatman Highway,” Supervisor Johnson stated. According to Mohave County Public Works Director Steve Latoski, the county has the resources on hand to dedicate through the day and into the evening to mitigate the storm damage. During last night’s flood, the Flood Control District reported that the Sacramento Wash carried a large amount of storm water run-off across Oatman Highway south of Golden Shores. According to Latoski, the stream flow activity peaked at a flow depth of 2.38 feet. For a detailed report on last night’s storm, please visit: http://www.mohavecounty.us/ContentPage.aspx?id=124&page=13&cid=392 ###
Lake Havasu City, AZ – New figures released by the U.S. Department of the Treasury reveal that the total national debt has surpassed $17 trillion, up from the $10.6 trillion it was back in 2009. “These new figures are staggering,” Supervisor Buster Johnson stated. “The number one job of any government is to create a balanced budget. The federal government needs to come together to stop this out of control spending. They claim to have lowered the 2014 deficit, but they are still spending $492 billion more than they had in revenue,” Johnson continued. According to financial magazine Forbes, $17 trillion is just the tip of the ice berg. “The United States has nearly a hundred times that in long-term unfunded liability,” Johnson stated. According to Forbes, the total amount of unfunded liabilities is $126 trillion, or $1.1 million per U.S. taxpayer. “While the US National Debt Clock may calculate that every man, woman and child owes $55,346 in funded liabilities, it is the actual tax payers that will end up paying over $1 million in both funded and unfunded liabilities to pay this debt back,” Johnson explained. According to the Senate Budget Committee, $3.7 trillion has been spent on welfare which according to Forbes has contributed the most to the rising debt. “Social Security is not an entitlement,” Johnson stated. “Taxpayers pay into this fund and expect the money they put in to be there when they retire. The problem is our federal government keeps allowing those who have not paid into it to collect from it,” Johnson continued. According to the Forbes report, 70% of all federal spending is on dependency programs. “America still has a staggering 46.5 million Americans living in poverty today,” Johnson said. A report by the Senate Budget Committee shows the federal government is spending more on welfare than on education and transportation. “The transportation infrastructure in this country is in dire need of repair,” Johnson stated. The American Society of Civil Engineers predicts that if nothing is done by 2020, the US investment shortfall will grow to $1.1 trillion. “If the federal government spent half of what they do on welfare to fix our crumbling infrastructure, it would not only create jobs but ensure a flourishing economy,” Johnson ended. ###
Lake Havasu City, AZ – The Mohave County Elections Department is seeking poll workers for both the August 26th Primary and the November 4th General Elections. According to Supervisor Buster Johnson, workers are desperately needed in the Lake Havasu City area. “There are 17 precincts throughout Lake Havasu City. Each precinct needs 6 different workers made up of 2 Republicans, 2 Democrats, and 2 individuals from another party affiliation such as a Libertarian or a Green Party Member. The two other individuals can also be Independents or party not designated,” Johnson explained. For those interested, the job is an all-day affair usually lasting from roughly 5:30 a.m. until possibly 9:00 p.m. Poll workers are compensated for their time and will receive $105. In order to receive compensation, poll workers are required to attend a local training session prior to the election as well as participate in election set up the day prior. Anyone who is interested in becoming a poll worker should call the Mohave County Elections Office at (928) 753-0733, option 2, and ask for Nancy Krahulec. ###