dataprivacy 012818In honor of Data Privacy Day, here are a few easy and quick ways to protect your sensitive personal information.

Create better passwords:

Changing and creating innovative passwords can go a long way toward protecting your information. Using a password that is easy to guess does not protect your sensitive data in our tech-savvy world.

Even though it is difficult to remember different passwords for each of your accounts, experts all agree that users should not use the same or similar passwords in all instances. If someone does discover your password for one account, all of your other accounts will then be vulnerable.

It is beneficial to include numbers, symbols and both uppercase and lowercase letters (depending on password rules set up by the program, app or website). The best passwords avoid using words that can be found in the dictionary.

Experts also are divided on whether you should change your passwords frequently, but if there’s any chance one of yours has been stolen in a breach, it is important to change it right away.

Don't use Social Security numbers, phone numbers, addresses, or other personally identifiable information as passwords.

Using numbers or combinations associated with other personally identifiable information as all or even part of your passwords is a huge security risk.

Don't use any part of your social security number (or any other sensitive info, like a credit card number) as a password, user ID or personal identification number (PIN).

If a hacker gains access to this information, it will be among the first things they use to try to get into your account.

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KidsFair2018PLAINFIELD- State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is searching for community organizations and small businesses to participate in her free Kids’ Fair.

The fourth annual Kids’ Fair will take place from 9 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19 at Troy Middle School (5800 W. Theodore St., Plainfield, IL.).

The fair provides area residents a free one-stop shop for parents and children looking for kid-friendly educational resources and fun activities.

“Our Kids’ Fair serves as a vehicle to connect children, parents, grandparents, educators and loved ones with remarkable organizations that impact our children’s lives in a meaningful way,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This annual event is a free resource for area residents to learn more about the tremendous work vital community groups do to assist and improve the lives of young people across Will County.”

There are openings currently available for child-oriented community organizations that gear a majority of their work toward elementary school-aged children. Bertino-Tarrant invites interested organizations click here to register. Once registered and approved, interested participants will receive an email confirmation at a later date.

Registration is free.

Storytelling, live animals and other activities are already scheduled for the event.

In addition, free haircuts will be given by the Professional’s Choice Hair Design Academy of Joliet. Special events such as a martial arts demonstration, various dance performances, kids hip hop fitness demonstration and a stroller fitness class will also take place.

For more information please call Bertino-Tarrant’s office at (815) 254-4211.

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois school districts that have not yet been able to afford the cost of installing reliable high-speed internet soon will be able to do so under a plan being advanced by a bipartisan group of state senators.

A proposal introduced by state senators Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood), Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and Sam McCann (R-Plainview) and  sets aside $16.3 million in the upcoming state budget to help school districts foot the cost of installing fiberoptic cable for high-speed internet.

The $16.3 million would be matched nearly three to one by the federal government to cover the installation costs, which often are cost-prohibitive for school districts in hard-to-reach areas of the state. Costs can range from $75,000 more than $420,000 per school.

About 100 Illinois school districts with nearly 90,000 students currently do not have high-speed internet through fiberoptic infrastructure. Fiberoptic is faster, more reliable and more cost effective over the long term.

“Technology in school plays an impactful role in the inequalities we see in our schools. Students lack quality learning experiences simply because of their ZIP codes,” said Bertino-Tarrant, chairwoman of the Senate’s Education Committee. “We need to recognize that tech goes beyond a teaching tool, but allows training opportunities for teachers and expanded course selections for students.”

When schools lack high-speed internet, students are unable to take advantage of such routine modern classroom activities as streaming educational videos, participating in online testing, browsing the internet, playing educational games and engaging in remote learning.

“There’s federal money on the table that we can take advantage of, and we want to make sure we do that on behalf of school districts that can benefit from this state-federal partnership,” Manar said. “Rural schools need to be a priority in Illinois. The digital divide is another example of the inequities among school districts that we have to work to address.”

“Too many of our schools are unable to obtain reliable, high-speed internet access, leaving their schools on the wrong side of a digital education divide,” McCann said. “This legislation is a promise to students that we will do everything in our power to make sure they have access to the tools they need to succeed.”
The $16.3 million will come from the School Infrastructure Fund.

04252017CM1305rPLAINFIELD- In light of the most recent spate of chaos created by Gov. Bruce Rauner, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is calling for a pause on the award of tax credits to scholarship donors.

“If our schools are not receiving state funding, scholarship donors should not receive tax rebates on the taxpayer’s dime,” said Bertino-Tarrant, chairwoman of the Senate’s education committee.  “It is concerning that the tax program is up and running while our schools have not received funding or even been informed how many state dollars they can count on for the next school year.”

Funding clarity has been denied to public schools because Rauner vetoed Senate Bill 444, a technical piece of legislation previously requested by the governor’s administration to help clarify and quickly implement school funding reform. His veto of the measure will do just the opposite of that.

“The chaos and uncertainty created by the governor’s administration is mind-boggling,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “If there was an issue with this legislation, Governor Rauner should have made it known months ago instead of sitting on his hands until the last possible minute.”

In November, the House and Senate worked quickly to address the governor’s concerns regarding the education funding overhaul which passed with bipartisan support, and Rauner has been touting the legislation as his greatest gubernatorial accomplishment ever since.

But because of this veto, Rauner has once again plunged education funding into uncertainty, removing clarity as to how much funding Will County schools will receive and raising the possibility of yet another delay in the disbursement of those funds.

“The governor’s office may work on whims, but it is unacceptable that Will County schools are once again subject to the uncertainty that legislators from both parties worked so hard and so long to relieve,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “School administrators need time to calculate and implement sound financial decisions for the next school year, yet this veto strips them of their ability to make these decisions with any certainty.”

Bertino-Tarrant is working with staff and the Senator Andy Manar, the senate sponsor of the legislation, to make sense of the governor’s veto and take the necessary steps to expedite the release of school funding levels for the 2018-2019 school year.

“The lack of guidance from our governor is staggering,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Now more than ever we need stability and certainty for Will County schools. Sadly, this veto threatens to take all of that away in favor of more in-fighting and political posturing.”

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Springfield Office

119 B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706 
(217) 782-0052

District Office

15300 Rt. 59 Unit 202
Plainfield, IL 60544 
(815) 254-4211
(815) 254-4213 FAX