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Much has been made about encryption lately. And on some level, you probably have a vague idea about what it means. Maybe. You might recall, for instance, that the FBI and Apple have tangled over it. (Apple won.) Most large companies such as Google and Facebook support Apple’s position. And that encryption keeps your “stuff” safe from unwanted eyes. The problem is that the idea of privacy is just that these days — an idea. “The way technology is woven into our daily lives, you can’t do without it,” “So what’s your other option? Are you gonna go back to a pager? I just assume that all my private information is already available through my IP address. You don’t even think privacy exists, because it doesn’t anymore, right?” Most people agree, saying the arm of the law is getting too long. “ Nobody appreciates that. “We don’t want the government to be able to use our phones to see our information.” This, say experts, is why encryption is necessary and important especially in our current 24/7-connected environment where everything is done on a smartphone. By having your information scrambled so that only the person you are sending it to can see it, your privacy is maintained and your information remains secure. To that point, technology from VirnetX, a company that created an app called Gabriel, which uses encryption technology derived from a CIA national security program may be the answer. The Gabriel app, available at the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, was designed and built with personal privacy and security as a foundational principle. For only $10 to $15 per year, users can take advantage of the Gabriel app and benefit from uncompromising encryption security when they talk, video chat, text, email or share photographs or documents. No one will be able to see, hear, or intercept your communications except the party you’re in contact with because Gabriel does not transmit or store data with any third party. It’s person-to-person encryption that all but eliminates hacking possibilities. Other benefits include: • Making free voice or video calls or sending instant messages to other Gabriel members. • Receiving spamless email. • Sharing pictures or files that can’t be intercepted. For more information, or to download Gabriel, please visit www.gabrielsecure.com.
The following information is directly from the Canada Revenue Agency website. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is noting an increase in telephone scams where the caller claims to be from the CRA but is not, and is asking Canadians to beware—these calls are fraudulent and could result in identity and financial theft. Some recent telephone scams involve threatening taxpayers or using aggressive and forceful language to scare them into paying fictitious debt to the CRA. Victims receive a phone call from a person claiming to work for the CRA and saying that taxes are owed. The caller requests immediate payment by credit card or convinces the victims to purchase a prepaid credit card and to call back immediately with the information. The taxpayer is often threatened with court charges, jail or deportation. If you get such a call, hang up and report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. These types of communication are not from the CRA. When the CRA calls you, it has established procedures in place to make sure your personal information is protected. If you want to confirm the authenticity of a CRA telephone number, call the CRA by using the numbers on its Telephone numbers page. The number for business-related calls is 1-800-959-5525. The number for calls about individual concerns is 1-800-959-8281. To help you identify possible scams, use the following guidelines: The CRA: -never requests prepaid credit cards; -never asks for information about your passport, health card, or driver’s licence; -never shares your taxpayer information with another person, unless you have provided the appropriate authorization; and -never leaves personal information on your answering machine or asks you to leave a message containing your personal information on an answering machine. When in doubt, ask yourself the following: Is there a reason that the CRA may be calling? Do I have a tax balance outstanding? Is the requester asking for information I would not include with my tax return? Is the requester asking for information I know the CRA already has on file for me? How did the requester get my email address or telephone number? Am I confident I know who is asking for the information? The CRA has strong practices to protect the confidentiality of taxpayer information. The confidence and trust that individuals and businesses have in the CRA is a cornerstone of Canada’s tax system. For more information about the security of taxpayer information and other examples of fraudulent communications, go to www.cra.gc.ca/security. Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre For information on scams or to report deceptive telemarketing contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or toll free at 1-888-495-8501.If you believe you may be the victim of fraud or have given personal or financial information unwittingly, contact your local police service.
(NC) Despite the wide-ranging evidence of the benefits of physical activity, many young girls continue to make the decision to drop out of sports. According to a new report called Women in Sport: Fuelling a Lifetime of Participation, social pressures frequently influence this decision – one of eight contributing factors. The report, commissioned by Canada’s dairy farmers and the Canadian Association for Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS), demonstrates that these social pressures range from peer influence to lack of self-confidence, and ultimately lead to the ever-present gender inequality of sports culture. According to the study, 41 per cent of Canadian girls between the ages of three and 17 do not participate in sports. That number more than doubles to 84 per cent, when it comes to adult women. As they enter adolescence, sport participation for girls drops by 22 per cent, and school sport participation drops close to 26 per cent. “These findings demonstrate that there isn’t one reason why girls stop participating in sports – these social issues are complex and deserve Canadians’ attention,” says Karin Lofstrom, executive director of CAAWS. Increased support is imperative in encouraging girls to play. Looking to role models, such as female athletes, can help demonstrate to girls that success in sports is attainable, and can provide them with the confidence and determination needed as they seek to overcome life’s hurdles. “As champions of healthy living and playing an active role in their communities, Canada’s dairy farmers are addressing these inequalities through an initiative named Fuelling Women Champions. The initiative’s goal is to raise awareness of females in sport, while creating role models for women and young girls,” says Caroline Emond, executive director of Dairy Farmers of Canada. For more information, to obtain a copy of the report or to get involved in the initiative, visit www.womenchampions.ca. Follow and join the movement online to #ChampionHer.