text

Target Security Questions

If you shopped at Target between November 27 and December 15, you could bit in for a bit of a shock: Target has confirmed that not only were credit card and debit card numbers hacked and stolen, but so were the PIN numbers as well. Although Target spokespeople say that the data is encrypted and that it’s not a risk, security experts know otherwise. Encryption is not “unbreakable” and merely buys you time – not 100% security.

This is quickly becoming a major story as reports confirm that two banks (including Chase) have diminished the amount that customers can withdraw from their accounts, pointing to the fact that stolen data may have already been compromised and exposed.

On the very interesting security blog KrebsOnSecurity, it’s noted that it seems to be a Russian nicknamed “Helkern” who is selling the card data on Rescator, a carding forum site.

Cyber crime seems to be ramping up these days, as I have personally been victim to more hacking this year than all other years combined. I even had a random credit card number stolen – and I hadn’t even used the card yet! It was brand new. Amazing.

What can you do to protect yourself from these cyber crimes? Well, one thing is for sure – you MUST protect your computer with antispyware and antimalware software. I personally use Norton 360, and I supplement with Spyhunter 4, a great antimalware software tool.

Keep an eye on credit card and bank statements. I personally use my AMEX card for most transactions when I can, as their fraud protection is the best, and dealing with them on the phone is never a problem and always easy.

Shred all mail that has compromising data, including credit card offers. SHRED THEM. Even if you have to keep a pile for a year and shred it once a year, do not just throw them out. Anyone can grab it and steal your identity as is what happened a week ago to a friend of mine.

text

Surfing In Florida

Surfing is a huge thing in Florida, and the state has spawned some of the best surfers in the world.  Kelly Slater, the best competitive surfer in the history of the sport, hails from Florida. The Hobgood brothers also come from the citrus state.  So before you pass Florida up on your surf trip destination list, think about that!

Sebastian Inlet is probably the best bet for consistent surf in the state.  It is divided up into three breaks; first, second, and third peak.  The downside is that this area can get quite crowded.

Florida has a LOT of beach breaks, and shifting sandbars can create surf spots in rather unusual locations, which can be then gone after the next storm.

Although the state is not well known for super consistent surf (flat spells in the summer can cause people to go nuts, but it’s like that for the entire Eastern seaboard), the warm temperatures can make up for it.  The water temperatures reach the 80s in the summer, lending a tropical feel to the white sand beaches.  Boca Raton is another consistent beach with surf, but no big name surfers have sprung up from the area.

If you want more information about EVERYTHING that has to do with surfing in Florida, then check out Florida Surfing.

Do you have to worry about sharks in Florida?  I would say yes.  Although there aren’t many fatal attacks in Florida, there are quite a few bites when compared to the frequency of shark attacks in other areas.

The proximity to Puerto Rico is another plus for Floridians who love to surf.  Just a hop skip and a jump and you’re in the Hawaii of the Atlantic, with excellent surf and a tropical feel.