Cheat Sheet Q & A:
Topic: iPhone Security
My question is regarding security on the iPhone and privacy settings. I know you had posted information last fall regarding this issue, however, I did not own an iPhone at the time and was not very attentive. I have entered the iPhone world and would like to have a repeat of the information you shared back then.
Bottom Line: This is a good time to discuss this topic as many people are new owners of mobile devices. While this will be iPhone specific the principals do also apply to most mobile devices. Here are my recommendations to help keep you and your info secure when using an iPhone.
I’ll drill down on the Wi-Fi auto connect for a moment. The biggest mistake people make is accidental and generally unwitting. Many of us want to limit the amount of data use against our plan if possible. For this reason it makes sense to use Wi-Fi when it’s available. What you don’t want to do however is have your phone connect to any possible Wi-Fi network it can find. Many hackers and ill doers hide out around public unsecured Wi-Fi networks looking for people who will connect with their devices and login into personal accounts. If you do ever connect to a public unsecured Wi-Fi network don’t login to any sensitive accounts.
As for privacy via locations services… That’s up to you. You can disable all location based services or choose app by app in your settings which you’d like to use your location.
Enough about security… Now go have some fun with your iPhone!
If you have a topic or question you’d like me to address email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Final reminder - key expiring tax breaks:
Bottom Line: This is a repost reminder (from the Cheat Sheet a few weeks ago) of a few of the most significant tax breaks that come to an end today incase you’ve missed them:
As of the time of this entry it’s clear that the budget deal passed in the US House will be signed into law creating a two period of budget certainty. It also appears to be the last piece of legislation that will be passed into law this year. If that’s the case than many popular and widely used tax deductions will end on December 31st. Among them:
There are others but these are the most effectual. I explain the impact.
The mortgage forgiveness act has been in place since the onset of the housing crisis. Simply put if you have a deficiency on a property sale through a foreclosure or short sale, on a primary residence, that deficiency hasn’t had any tax consequence for you. That will no longer be the case next year as the law stand now. So… Let’s say that you owe $200,000 on your mortgage and your home is sold through a short sale at $100,000. You’d have $100,000 added to your taxable income by
The Teacher Supply Deduction has enabled school teachers who buy supplies for their classes with their own money to deduct up to $250 per year in supplies. As of January that will no longer be the case. So… If you’re a teacher who plans to buy supplies, buy them prior to December 31st.
The College Tuition deduction enables households who earn under $160,000 to deduct up to $4000 worth of tuition expense if you’re paying for yourself or your kids. As of January 1st that’ll go away.
Bottom Line: So is it true that more Americans have actually lost insurance coverage under ACA as we enter 2014? The answer appears to be yes.
While numbers of up to 18 million canceled policies under ACA have circulated, most of the people have found similar coverage and do still have insurance as we enter the new year. However there are approximately 5 million people who haven’t replaced their canceled policies as of this entry. Also as I’m typing this there is a report that 2 million Americans have now signed up for plans through one of the exchanges (state or Federal). So even if all 2 million policies have been accessed by those who didn’t previously have insurance (which we know isn’t the case) you would still have 3 million or so fewer people on health care insurance as we enter 2014 vs. 2013… That’s quite the ironic failure. What’s worse is how much more the average person is paying for insurance for 2014 (6.7% more) and the tax increase that’s going to hit the newly uninsured under ACA.
2014 could finally mean full-time employment:
Bottom Line: In my analysis, (and view) of the economy, there are three critical economic growth levels that project what we can expect economically in
For the first four years of the recovery the average growth rate of the economy has languished averaging 1.9% (from the 3rd quarter of 2009 – the 2nd quarter of 2013). We finally may breakout.
The increased certainty with regard to ACA, the budget, and a political climate that is potentially steering towards a more conservative direction in 2014 bode well for businesses that have been standing on the sidelines. The 3rd quarter revision to 4.1% economic growth won’t be sustained but with what appears to have been a 3.5% increase in consumer spending during the holiday shopping season, 3%+ is possible. That would mean that we’d have half a year of meaningful economic growth as momentum entering 2014. So… 2014 has at least a 50-50 chance of finally being the year of a “real” recovery in the
New #1 most talked about company for 2013:
Bottom Line: We are a country of big brands and love or hate the media… They play a big role in driving the conversation. With that in mind… According to the number of media reports globally in 2013, we have a new #1 brand. It’s Google.
2012’s most reported on company was Apple with 165,000+ reports. This year Apple dropped to (just) 120,000+ reports. Meanwhile Google advanced from about 115,000 reports in 2012 to nearly 124,000 in 2013. No other company eclipsed 100,000.
Fourteen states raising minimum wage in January:
Bottom Line: The effort by labor unions, and not coincidently the President, to push the issue of the Federal minimum wage has continued as we enter 2014. Meanwhile many states are increasing their minimum wage beyond the Federal levels. All told:
And frankly that’s the way it should be handled. At the state and local level. Cost of living is so vastly different from state to state and even cities with certain states that one size fit all strategies simply aren’t fair, effectual or based in good economic considerations. With policy being crafted within states and cities businesses can make decisions based on the location and wage requirements and individuals can make those same choices.
Activations for tablets after Christmas:
Bottom Line: One of the most requested items for the holiday shopping season was a tablet. So which manufacture was the biggest winner? We still don’t have final sales figures yet but thanks to early activation data from Flurry Analytics, we do know which ones were the most activated on Christmas Day and immediately after. The top two may surprise you. The top four are:
So we’ll wait to see final sales figures but it appears as though price was a very important factor as the Fire and Acer tablets are among the lowest priced in the market.