OCTOBER IS CYBER-SECURITY AWARENESS MONTH
The internet offers great opportunities for social interaction, business development, managing personal finances and communication from government agencies and has become an essential part of our lives. However, many dangers lurk in cyberspace, from bullying to financial scams, identity theft and terrorism and it is important to remain vigilant to cyber-security in your business and personal transactions on the internet.
I would like to warn residents of a new scam that has recently been occurring in our community. Phone calls from persons claiming to be affiliated with Microsoft or other technical support companies are offering computer “repairs” or seeking payment to validate accounts. Area residents have received phone calls from callers claiming to be from Microsoft and offering to correct computer “problems.” Scammers will ask for passwords, or advise residents to enter a given code, which enables scammers to gain control of the victim’s computer. Scammers may gain access to financial records and other vital personal information, and victims may be “locked out” of their computers. It is important to know that Microsoft and other computer companies NEVER send unsolicited e-mail messages or phone calls seeking passwords, credit card information, social security numbers or other personal data. You should NEVER disclose such information to anyone who contacts you. Hang up the phone immediately. If you have disclosed information to someone offering to repair your computer, you should immediately contact any financial institutions, stores and credit card companies whose accounts may have been compromised and report the potential fraud. Place a freeze on any bank or debit cards to avoid potential theft. Scammers may install malicious software or adware that may damage your computer. You should have your computer checked by a reputable repair person to be inspected for viruses and malware.
Many of us have received phone calls from people claiming to be from Microsoft or other companies seeking personal data or access to our computers. Legitimate businesses do not make phone calls or send e-mails or texts, soliciting personal information. Scammers try to scare or intimidate people into providing this information. It is important to remain vigilant and refuse to disclose personal information to unsolicited calls. Visit Microsoft Safety & Security Center for more information about how to protect yourself from text and email scams.
Please also watch this video for more information about this scam.
KEEPING YOU INFORMED:
The aftermath of Super Storm Sandy demonstrated Long Island’s vulnerability and how important it is to be prepared. Suffolk County has instituted a number of programs to protect and inform our community in emergencies. Please sign up for these vital programs to ensure that you and your loved ones will receive this critical information.
JEEP PROGRAM PROVIDES ASSISTANCE TO PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN EMERGENCIES
The Suffolk County Department of Fire Rescue and Emergency Services (FRES) Joint Emergency Evacuation Program (JEEP) provides shelter and transportation assistance for people with disabilities who have no other way to evacuate their homes in the event of a natural disaster or emergency. JEEP is available to those who are disabled and unable to leave their homes without emergency assistance. Residents must apply for this service. To obtain an application, please call FRES at (631) 852-4900, or the Office for People with Disabilities at (631) 853-8333 (voice) or (631) 853-5658 (TTY), or visit the county webpage, www.suffolkcountyny.gov and click on the J.E.E.P. icon.
CODERED PROVIDES EMERGENCY NOTIFICATIONS
You can sign up to receive Emergency Notifications of an actual or impending emergency at the CODERED link provided at www.suffolkcountyny.gov. Those without Internet access may call the Office of Emergency Management’s Customer Service Center at (631) 852-4900 Mon.-Fri., 9am to 5pm to supply their information over the phone. Residents with Smartphones can also download a CODERED application to get real-time emergency alerts.
SILVER ALERT/SPECIAL NEEDS ALERT
My groundbreaking, first in the state legislation created the “Silver Alert” program, which like “Amber Alerts” notify the police, media and residents when a person with a cognitive disorder is reported missing. This program has aided in the safe return of Suffolk County residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders. I am pleased to announce that the “Silver Alert” program has been expanded by the Suffolk County Police Department to include those with special needs, such as Autism, developmental disabilities and severe mental illness. Parents, guardians, relatives or other caregivers can now register information with the Police Department to assist in the safe return of those with Special Needs, should they become lost or wander away. Persons registering for the Silver Alert can also request a “Silver Alert” Bracelet that contains a distinctive number and instructions that can assist first responders. To register visit the Department website at www.suffolkpd.org, by clicking on the Amber/Silver Alert icon on the homepage or by calling (631) 852-6983.
NIXLE COMMUNITY INFORMATION PROGRAM
The Suffolk County Police Department has introduced the NIXLE Community Information Program. Residents of the Towns of Huntington and Babylon can sign up for free emergency notifications by e-mail, phone or text and receive news of community events. Visit www.suffolkpd.org, click on Precincts, click on 1 for Babylon and 2 for Huntington and click “Sign-Up” to enroll in this valuable service.
FROM: The Times of Huntington
Astute and empathetic advocate for veterans, seniors
Suffolk County Legislator Steven Stern: Man of the Year in Government
by Patricia Proven
December 30, 2010
The Times of Huntington honors Suffolk County Legislator Steve Stern (D-Dix Hills) as Man of the Year in Government for promoting a culture of government responsibility and responsiveness, and for pioneering legislation that will improve and protect the lives of vulnerable veterans and their families, senior citizens and children.