THREATs of the Week for March 31

Welcome to the first edition of Threats of the Week, our weekly topic providing insights into threats that you need to know about. How will you prepare for and manage these threats?

TECHNICAL: Your Online Privacy Is For Sale, 3 Ways to Protect It

Congress is killing your personal privacy (see below for more).

If you’re online, and you are, then you should probably care about your personal privacy. This issue is definitely a wake up call that your ISP – and many other companies – have access to your online activity and they want to use it to take your money, or worse.

It’s up to you to defend yourself online. Nobody is going to do it for you.

Where do you begin? Get started with three privacy tools that block your internet provider from tracking you. Then read the other sources listed below and start educating yourself about your online privacy and security.


  • What do you think of these three changes to protect your online privacy?
  • How do you manage your online privacy and what do you recommend others do?
  • Does this issue concern you enough that you’d stop using Gmail?
  • Who do you trust online?


HEALTH: Heroin and White People

Opioid prescription drug abuse has been a big news topic in the past few years, but what you may not know is that this huge problem is opening the door to big time heroin abuse.

Over the past decade white men aged 18-44 have led this resurgence. Heroin is a mainstream problem. In fact, heroin use is climbing in all the major regions of our country.


Opioid abuse is finally getting recognition as a major health crisis by the Federal government. Abuse of those drugs is a problem, but once prescription sources become unavailable, opioid addicts turn to heroin and fentanyl because it’s so easy to obtain.

And you know what happens when people get hooked on heroin – crime rates go up, people get hurt, lives are destroyed.


  • What’s your experience with opioid or other pain killers?
  • If you get hurt, what’s your plan to avoid becoming dependent on prescription drugs?
  • Have you ever asked your kids if they are aware of opioids and heroin? Why not?


RAIDS, ROBBERY, RANSOM: Teacher Takes Student; They Vanish

A teacher who had been suspended for preying on 15-year-old Mary Catherine Elizabeth Thomas has apparently taken her and gone into hiding.

This is the sad story of an at-risk girl with low self-esteem who feared this teacher and went out of her way to avoid him. Read the sources below for details.


  • What can you learn from this?
  • Could this happen to your children or family members?
  • Do your kids have friends who have similar fears of teachers, adults, or even their parents?
  • How are you going to discuss this with your kids?


ENVIRONMENTAL THREAT OF THE WEEK: The Best Weather Apps That You Need to Know About

Reliable weather apps are crucial for summer adventure-planning, so these folks spent a month testing dozens to find the best ones.

Why is this important to you? So you are not caught by surprise when you travel, or even when you wake up. Traveling and running into seriously bad weather puts you at a huge disadvantage. A good weather app can help you avoid problem areas, or at least do what you can to be prepared.


  • What’s your favorite weather app?
  • When has a weather app helped you to avoid a serious weather issue?


AGENCY: House Kills Your Privacy

So it looks like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and other ISPs are now going to be able to sell information about your online habits to marketers, financial firms and other companies that mine personal data. And you’ll be seeing highly targeted ads based on the financial information that you use online.

Here’s the situation. I’m not turning this into a political attack or conspiracy. The fact of the matter is that your online privacy is now very much at risk and it’s up to you to implement protection measures.

To do this, you need to know what’s at risk, how and by whom. You’ll want to read these sources and more to get the full details of this new threat to your privacy. Then read our threat section above for steps you can take right now to improve your online privacy situation.

Just know that this is a start. You’ll need to do your research regularly to find the latest and best methods to protect your online privacy.


TERROR: Laptop Ban on Airplanes

If you fly from particular Muslim-majority countries to the US or UK, you are no longer allowed to bring your laptop, iPad, tablet or other devices larger than a cell phone aboard direct flights. This action was initiated by the Department of Homeland Security in response to intel that Daesh is developing bombs that can be hidden in portable electronic devices.


  • Supposing there is a bomb in a laptop, how does moving that bomb from the cabin to the cargo hold make a flight safer?
  • Isn’t it better to get a hand inspection of laptops in the passenger inspection rather than relying on bulk cargo inspections?
  • What about all those lithium batteries in the cargo hold – hazard?
  • Does this action make you feel safer?


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