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Re: Has anyone installed Trusteer Rapport ?

My credit union Corporate America Family Credit Union put a pop-up on their site a few months ago encouraging people to install it. I was reluctant to do this, and messaged them about it. Their reply was that it was beneficial to most users but purely optional. A quick look at Apple's discussion pag...
by Bob.Beeman
Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone installed Trusteer Rapport ?
Replies: 4
Views: 632

Re: What do you use to protect yourself on the web?

davebarnes

I have an IMac.

No anti-virus software.
No malware software.


Ditto. But it may still be good to turn off Java and Flash, as these have some vulnerabilities, even on a Mac.

- Bob Beeman
by Bob.Beeman
Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you use to protect yourself on the web?
Replies: 12
Views: 981

Re: What do you use to protect yourself on the web?

Disable Java (not JavaScript) and Flash in your browser. Leave them disabled.

Fonts of Dis-Knowledge

- Bob Beeman.
by Bob.Beeman
Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you use to protect yourself on the web?
Replies: 12
Views: 981

Re: Bankrolled Her Brother, Regrets It (article)

12thman:

Thanks for the quote from Yoda:

"Give, or give not. There is no loan."
-Yoda.
by Bob.Beeman
Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bankrolled Her Brother, Regrets It (article)
Replies: 24
Views: 3934

Re: Telephone Calls! Help! [Telemarketing phone calls]

To clarify my previous post, it would be a good idea to ALWAYS ask if you can record a call when (wittingly or unwittingly) answering an unwanted call. Even if you don't have recording equipment, you should ask, and claim you ARE recording it if they ask. Why? If everyone does this (including those ...
by Bob.Beeman
Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Telephone Calls! Help! [Stopping telemarketing calls]
Replies: 100
Views: 6276

Re: Telephone Calls! Help! [Telemarketing phone calls]

If you do accidentally answer an unwanted call ask if its OK to record the call. If they say yes, then you have the right to use the recording or transcript any way you want, including disparaging the caller on your outgoing message or in other ways. If they say no, then a brief statement that you d...
by Bob.Beeman
Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Telephone Calls! Help! [Stopping telemarketing calls]
Replies: 100
Views: 6276

Re: Caught in the IRS fraud mess

The same thing happened to me on my 2012 return. I took the same steps and it was resolved in a couple of months. Apparently the person who did it was caught by the police, and this made things run more smoothly. I can only think of two ways to protect yourself. ⋅ File early. ⋅ M...
by Bob.Beeman
Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Caught in the IRS fraud mess
Replies: 24
Views: 5909

Re: Live URL links in seemingly genuine Vanguard emails?

Never clicking on links in EMAILs is good advice. It IS disturbing that Vanguard is "training" people to trust these. In terms of general security there are two obvious things that you can do to minimize your risk of malware being downloaded: Disable Java Plug-ins in your browser. (Java, n...
by Bob.Beeman
Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Live URL links in seemingly genuine Vanguard emails?
Replies: 11
Views: 888

Financial Times Article on Vanguard.

Vanguard funds prosper by low cost evangelism
Management fees at all US mutual funds are lower as a result
By Pauline Skypala

A fairly balanced article on why the Financial Industry is having trouble competing with Vanguard.

- Bob Beeman
by Bob.Beeman
Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Times Article on Vanguard.
Replies: 12
Views: 2707

Re: Any incorrect information on investing in wikipedia?

I don't know about Wikipedia and finance, but one area where I know for sure that Wikipedia is an amazing asset is Mathematics. It is amazing how many times our High School Mu Alpha Theta team has found the underlying information needed for "Interschool" test questions on a Wikipedia math ...
by Bob.Beeman
Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any incorrect information on investing in wikipedia?
Replies: 9
Views: 703

Re: 4% inflation-adjusted withdrawal over various periods

Clive: It looks like Bernstein's and Shiller's data show slightly different things. Shiller's shows the decline in value of an all stock market portfolio from hightest to lowest years. Bernstein's shows the decline in value of various stock/bond portfolios from which significant withdrawals are bein...
by Bob.Beeman
Sat Jun 21, 2014 12:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 4% inflation-adjusted withdrawal over various periods
Replies: 11
Views: 1008

Re: 4% inflation-adjusted withdrawal over various periods

To illustrate the truth of midareff's comment, consider William Bernstein's classic Retirement Calculator from Hell in the 1998 September issue of his online "Efficient Frontier" website. The article shows probable results based on annually rebalanced portfolios with 100%, 75%, 50%, 25%, a...
by Bob.Beeman
Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 4% inflation-adjusted withdrawal over various periods
Replies: 11
Views: 1008

Re: Preventing Office Theft of Food and Other Stuff

eschaef wrote: Make some brownies dosed with methylene blue and wait for the perpetrator to freak out that they are peeing blue/green! Jack FFR1846 wrote: Bait the frig with innocent looking food. Use crabgrass instead of lettuce on sandwiches or perhaps some silk or plastic leaves. The plastic or ...
by Bob.Beeman
Fri Apr 04, 2014 11:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preventing Office Theft of Food and Other Stuff
Replies: 78
Views: 7043

Re: IRS Website Certificate is Wrong.

I can duplicate your problem if I intentionally mistype the web address as https://www.irs.gov i.e. put an "s" after the http myself. I say "intentionally mistype" because I can't find any evidence that this is published anywhere as their correct homepage. I don't know of any go...
by Bob.Beeman
Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IRS Website Certificate is Wrong.
Replies: 4
Views: 731

IRS Website Certificate is Wrong.

I was surprised to find that the IRS website has an invalid certificate. This puts all of us at risk for having evesdroppers see what forms we download and what we enter into various online calculators. Its amazing that nobody noticed this. Doesn't anybody here use https when visiting sites? And why...
by Bob.Beeman
Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: IRS Website Certificate is Wrong.
Replies: 4
Views: 731

Re: Telephone Harassment

Try using a "disconnected" tone as her answering machine message. This YouTube video contains the message for a disconnected number. These are tones that the telephone company uses to indicate disconnected or unassigned numbers. The idea is to prevent people and organizations from repeated...
by Bob.Beeman
Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Telephone Harassment
Replies: 36
Views: 5249

Re: best tips for passwords?

I was always a little dubious about the math there...assuming each character had to be randomly cracked, when you just as well could dictionary attack and just need 4 hits in the right order to nail correcthorsebatterystaple. I think you may be misunderstanding how hashes work. You cannot guess a p...
by Bob.Beeman
Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best tips for passwords?
Replies: 141
Views: 10655

Re: Goodbye HAL

Every once in a while somebody asks me how powerful those old computers were. I have records that I have kept covering the past 32 years of a rather naive series of benchmarks of these old machines, culminating with my current iMac, purchased about 4 years ago. Note that the benchmarks were done wit...
by Bob.Beeman
Sat Mar 01, 2014 5:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Goodbye HAL
Replies: 35
Views: 2489

Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Today was typical: 7:15 - 11:15 AM Covered 1 Biology and 3 Anatomy and Physiology classes for a teacher who was ill at the local High School. 11:15 - 11:50 Lunch 12:00 - 12:45 Reset system passwords for students who were having trouble logging in on the school computers. 12:55 - 2:40 PM Covered 2 ho...
by Bob.Beeman
Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's your usual retirement day like ?
Replies: 184
Views: 35616

Re: Another Social Security spin......

I tend to be a cautious person generally, and my male relatives have mostly died at ages between 80 - 85, which means that I may have a significant number of years to collect SS even if I wait until 70 to collect, which I plan to do. I can think of at least one scenario where it may make sense to ta...
by Bob.Beeman
Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Social Security spin......
Replies: 48
Views: 3025

Re: New email service provider needed

Buy your own domain. GoDaddy charges $10/yr. Buy email for $3/mo Don't dismiss this idea so lightly. People can learn. The advantages of hosting your email on your own domain via a web provider (icdsoft is mine) are many: Your emails don't go through Google's email servers (at least at your end). Y...
by Bob.Beeman
Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New email service provider needed
Replies: 58
Views: 4338

Re: Call Received with Deceptive Caller ID

I always look at the caller ID. If it isn't someone I know personally, I let it go to the answering machine. Occasionally I make a mistake with this and answer. Since I am on the "Don't Call List" my lawyer assures me I am safe in giving out misleading information. When I'm really annoyed,...
by Bob.Beeman
Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Call Received with Deceptive Caller ID
Replies: 46
Views: 6305

Re: Jack Bogle on CNBC

Say what you will about CNBC. They DO have Jack Bogle on occasionally. Further, their series American Greed is a wonderful expose of swindles and scams. The network justifies its existence by just this program alone. Episode after episode people who expect high returns coupled with low risk are give...
by Bob.Beeman
Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jack Bogle on CNBC
Replies: 46
Views: 5111

Re: Rethinking 4% withdrawal article thoughts ?

The Trinity study does appear to be the origin of the "4% rule", but the first time I heard of something like it was in William Bernstein's excellent series of articles on his "Efficient Frontier" site titled "The Retirement Calculator from Hell". These are still worth ...
by Bob.Beeman
Thu Aug 08, 2013 3:02 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rethinking 4% withdrawal article thoughts ?
Replies: 37
Views: 3084

Re: Staying in same company for long - any benefits?

I started working with an engineering company (Telecom and Computers) in 1967, right out of college. I worked there through several corporate buyouts until 2003, when the division ran out of money (the parent corporation was OK). The work was interesting and challenging and in the course of my caree...
by Bob.Beeman
Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Staying in same company for long - any benefits?
Replies: 27
Views: 2960

Re: Unsecured wifi

Very Clever Lady Geek.

But note that this page does not pose a threat to anyone, as it has no content. It will always have no content because the page won't load content over http:

Still, that's clever.

- Bob Beeman.
by Bob.Beeman
Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unsecured wifi
Replies: 66
Views: 6351

Re: Unsecured wifi

Sites can FORCE you to use a secure connection. For example I use this for some things on my site. I DEFY you to get to the following page without being on a secure connection: http://www.bee-man.us/security_test.php Of course it only works if you get to the right place, but it protects people from ...
by Bob.Beeman
Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Unsecured wifi
Replies: 66
Views: 6351

Re: Any experience with Arbonne (scam?) ?

A long time ago my father heard a presentation for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holiday_Magic Holiday Magic at work and asked me to go with him to a presentation. It was a scam, and is often used today in law school as an example of a Ponzi Scheme. We took notes during the presentation and checked o...
by Bob.Beeman
Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any experience with Arbonne (scam?) ?
Replies: 22
Views: 19917

Re: Ethical Implications of Index Investing

I wonder if there is another, possibly ethical, issue connected with Index funds. John Bogle has identified the replacement of "owners' capitalism" with "managers' capitalism" as an important issue in today's corporate world. Since mutual funds, including Index funds, generally d...
by Bob.Beeman
Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ethical Implications of Index Investing
Replies: 12
Views: 1205

Re: Computer Hacked

A few years ago I filled in for a pregnant teacher at the High School where I work. One of the students in Honors Chemistry went to China for a week with his father, who had business there. He sent me an email asking if it was OK for him to take the chapter exam on the next Monday. I sent him an ema...
by Bob.Beeman
Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer Hacked
Replies: 12
Views: 2484

Re: Permanenr email address

One of the advantages of having your own domain is that you can generate a different email address for each company you do business with. These are all "forwarding addresses" so mail to them gets instantly forwarded to your "real" email address. So, you sign up for some deal at H...
by Bob.Beeman
Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Permanent email address
Replies: 45
Views: 3376

Re: Vanguard is on the Password Hall of Shame.

Thanks ladygeek.

When set to 100% probability (a brute force search of the entire keyspace) my calculator gives answers within a few percent of the ones at https://www.grc.com/haystack.htm

- Bob Beeman.
by Bob.Beeman
Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard is on the Password Hall of Shame.
Replies: 250
Views: 37088

Re: Losing Attractiveness Over Time

I work at a local High School and interact a lot with students. Being in my late 60s gives me a "grandpa" image, which eliminates a lot of stupid nonsense. Earlier this year kids started telling me that I look like Carl Fredricksen in the movie "UP!". I took that to heart and won...
by Bob.Beeman
Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Losing Attractiveness Over Time
Replies: 105
Views: 8068

Re: Vanguard is on the Password Hall of Shame.

First, I wanted to emphasize that yes, security is multi-layered, and you can't just focus on one thing (like password lengths). But there are only a few things that ordinary users can check for themselves. And if we find that these are flawed, why should that give us confidence?tadamsmar pointed ou...
by Bob.Beeman
Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard is on the Password Hall of Shame.
Replies: 250
Views: 37088

Re: Vanguard is on the Password Hall of Shame.

I have written a page that allows you to calculate the number of bits of entropy in a randomly chosen password with a given alphabet size and length.

The page is Here:
http://www.bee-man.us/computer/password_strength.html

More will follow.

- Bob Beeman.
by Bob.Beeman
Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard is on the Password Hall of Shame.
Replies: 250
Views: 37088

Re: Vanguard is on the Password Hall of Shame.

I for one am not even slightly worried about the password cracking thing. What I AM worried about is that Vanguard isn't taking a pretty obvious (even if it's only symbolic) step. The excuse that it would cost too much is nonsense. It would not be an overly complex change , even on a legacy system....
by Bob.Beeman
Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard is on the Password Hall of Shame.
Replies: 250
Views: 37088

Re: Vanguard is on the Password Hall of Shame.

I am confident that Vanguard, the largest mutual fund company in the world, employs the top security consultants in the business. I suspect we have almost no idea what security measures they use. Vanguard is certainly not going to tell us. To my knowledge, we have never heard or had a post from any...
by Bob.Beeman
Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard is on the Password Hall of Shame.
Replies: 250
Views: 37088

Vanguard is on the Password Hall of Shame.

Previous posts have discussed Vanguard's bad password policies, which appear to indicate that the site may have poor security, possibly even including storing passwords as plaintext (a BIG security NO-NO). Today I discovered that Vanguard is on the https://defuse.ca/password-policy-hall-of-shame.htm...
by Bob.Beeman
Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard is on the Password Hall of Shame.
Replies: 250
Views: 37088

Re: Who will back you up when your money is stolen?

About 3 years ago, as I got back from work at about 4PM, I heard the phone ringing and picked it up. The person on the phone asked me if around 12:30 PM I had made purchases at a BJ's location in Miami totaling $800. I replied "no". He then asked me if I had my Visa card in my pocket. I ch...
by Bob.Beeman
Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who will back you up when your money is stolen?
Replies: 27
Views: 3215

Re: How lazy can we be with Vanguard?

I don't worry about business risk with Vanguard or Fidelity, but I do worry about security. Not just "identity theft" type security, but the server farms themselves. I can imagine scenarios where one big explosion or fire wipes out a lot of data. I hope they engage in modern security syst...
by Bob.Beeman
Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How lazy can we be with Vanguard?
Replies: 38
Views: 5099

Re: 70 is the New 65

Yes. 70 IS the new 65, at least for retirement planning purposes. This should not surprise anyone, as retirement at 65 implies that we are kids and/or students for 22 years or so, work for 43 years to age 65 and then live another 15 years to 80. Sorry, but planning to spend 43 years working and 37 y...
by Bob.Beeman
Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 70 is the New 65
Replies: 67
Views: 5774

Re: Why not use black tarps to protect roof?

I certainly agree that covering the roof (when it is undamaged) with a tarp is a bad idea. Based on my experience in Arizona and Florida, when you choose the color for a NEW roof, choose the lightest-colored one possible, as this minimizes the damage to the roof from the blazing Summer sun. The phot...
by Bob.Beeman
Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not use black tarps to protect roof?
Replies: 58
Views: 8936

Re: Individual Stocks and CEO Risk

I agree. Individual stocks are incredibly risky. That's why I am slowly liquidating my Apple stock that I bought (mostly as a souvenir rather than an investment) back during the "Apple is going broke next month" days. Hopefully Tim Cook is an excellent CEO, but Steve Jobs is a really tough...
by Bob.Beeman
Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Individual Stocks and CEO Risk
Replies: 17
Views: 2596

Re: Once Again A Reason to Avoid Debit Cards

My wife and I keep our credit cards and checking/savings/debit accounts separate so that if somebody else maxes out one of our credit cards, it is extremely unlikely that it would affect both of us. Given the seemingly increasing irresponsibility/incompetence of businesses this seems like a prudent ...
by Bob.Beeman
Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Once Again A Reason to Avoid Debit Cards
Replies: 67
Views: 5158

Re: Vanguard Rep asked security question

I too wish Vanguard allowed longer passwords, but I'm hopeful that instead of working on that, perhaps they're concentrating their efforts on things that have a higher security ROI. ... So the upshot is - Sure, use a robust authentication approach, but don't go overboard. Authentication is just one...
by Bob.Beeman
Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Rep asked security question
Replies: 70
Views: 7271

Re: Vanguard Rep asked security question

The "visual symbol" and "name" is your selected image and phrase, which is to authenticate that you are actually at Vanguard (server authentication, although my trust in this system is very low and I'd rather rely on my bookmarks and SSL/DNS verification settings), not to authen...
by Bob.Beeman
Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Rep asked security question
Replies: 70
Views: 7271

Re: Vanguard Rep asked security question

Mr Beeman, I confess, your logic has beaten me into submission. If you say it is straight up UID + Password then it must be so. I have only my Vanguard Reps word for it being a dual level log on security system...how it works I admit I do not know...perhaps they are referring to the secure Corporat...
by Bob.Beeman
Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Rep asked security question
Replies: 70
Views: 7271

Re: Vanguard Rep asked security question

Ok I lied: one more post.

This page: http://kottke.org/12/06/the-worlds-worst-password-requirements-list shows that ING Bank uses a 4-DIGIT NUMERIC CODE for a password.

Look at some of the links. Pathetic!
by Bob.Beeman
Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Rep asked security question
Replies: 70
Views: 7271

Re: Vanguard Rep asked security question

Vanguards site is a 'dual password' type, with three levels of security...similar to many of the more secure banks. There is one password that allows the user to gain access to the website and another that allows them access to their account. The first password must be correctly entered before acce...
by Bob.Beeman
Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Rep asked security question
Replies: 70
Views: 7271
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