October is Cyber Security Awareness Month

As a crime writer who studied criminology in college, I’ve always had a particular interest reading and writing about white-collar crime. A few years ago, I maintained two blogs a week, one devoted solely to the wacky, bizarre, and disturbing goings on in white-collar crime capers. Needless to say, there was a lot to write about.

My first two published mysteries, Taxed to Death (now out of print) and Fatal Encryption, were about fraud and computer hacking respectively. It’s still a topic that’s dear to my heart, and as you well know, computer hacking, scams, and other forms of fraud are more prevalent than ever. Whether we know it or not, just about all of us have been hacked and invaded at one time or another.

Cyber SecurityOctober is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and there are plenty of things we can each do to help protect ourselves and our families. Seniors are especially vulnerable, but so are teens who are acquiring their first credit cards and paying with debit cards or through other means that were unheard of a decade ago.

One thing you can do right now is check your social media sites. I see many people on Facebook receiving hearty congratulations for their birthdays. I see frequent pictures of family members and children from folks who include all sorts of personal information that just shouldn’t be there. If you can restrain yourself from revealing too much, then do so.

When you join a social media site, you don’t have to fill out every bit of personal information about yourself. In fact, I’d advise you not to. Facebook, etc, is one of the few places where you shouldn’t be completely forthcoming about your age and birthdate, family names and so forth. You never know who’s watching and learning all about you, as if we didn’t already know this, right?

For great tips and reminders about staying safe, please visit StaySafeOnLine .

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Preparing for Left Coast Crime Conference

Whale of a Crime, 2019It’s hard to believe that a decade has passed since I last attended a Left Coast Crime conference, or any crime-writing conference, for that matter. But as LCC begins tomorrow, I’ve been in preparation mode, accompanied by plenty of emails for the coordinators to remind us of various events. My itinerary looks something like this:

Thurs. morning, a 2-hours of book-pitching to potential readers.

Thurs. afternoon, 3:45 – 4:30 is our panel discussion, “Technology in Crime Fiction”.

Friday afternoon, is volunteering at the Crime Writers of Canada table, followed by escorting a group of guests on a walk, and then a meal.

Saturday: reading to attendees from my latest book, followed by Saturday night’s banquet Sat., where I’ll be co-hosting a table of ten people.

Somewhere in there, I’m hoping for time to schmooze and catch up with other writers. Meanwhile, I’ve come up with a to-do list, which is:

. double-check itinerary and review all emails to ensure nothing’s forgotten.

. check transit schedule to commute from my home to hotel

. gather books, business cards, panel notes, pens, granola bars, and a form for the bookseller

. prepare insightful answers for moderator’s panel questions

. choose wardrobe

. review information about fellow presenters

. find the registration area, check in, then dash to the first event.

I might have forgotten something, but I guess I’ll find out. The event finishes early Sunday afternoon. I might just need a nap after that.

Release Date for 5th Casey Holland Mystery, Knock Knock

Knock Knock, front coverI’m thrilled to announce that my 5th Casey Holland mystery, Knock Knock, will be available by ebook on Wednesday, November 8th! There will also be a print edition, so stay tuned for that release date. Meanwhile, if you wish to preorder an ebook copy, go to:

Amazon: myBook.to/KnockKnock

Kobo: http://tinyurl.com/y6wejnls

Apple (itunes). http://tinyurl.com/y96xscpv

Here’s the back cover blurb:

The latest attack in a string of violent Vancouver home invasions kills senior Elsie Englehart. Security officer Casey Holland is devastated. She is supposed to be watching over elderly bus riders in an affluent, high-risk area, but she’s let Elsie down.

Determined to keep others safe, Casey escorts an elderly man home, but an armed intruder attacks them both. Hospitalized and angry, Casey struggles to regain control of her life, despite interference from family and colleagues—and the postponement of her long-awaited wedding.

Yet another home invasion compels Casey to take action, but at what cost to her health and her relationships? In Knock Knock, Debra Purdy Kong’s fifth installment of the Casey Holland series, the risks have never been higher and the consequences more deadly.