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.

Read more ...

Category: Press Releases

March4 RSTINLEY PARK- Starting Jan. 1, Illinois universities and colleges must establish a policy for awarding academic course credit for military training, thanks to State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park).

One of the biggest challenges facing returning servicemen and -women is figuring out how military training credits transfer to college credit. The new law will help standardize the process.

“Illinois’ veterans have valuable on-site educational experience,” Hastings said. “It’s our duty and honor to ensure returning veterans receive credit for the life and academic expertise they gained while serving our nation.”

Under the current system, universities and community colleges attempt to translate military experience into college credits, with confusion arising from inconsistencies such as descriptions for military training and college courses that don’t always match up perfectly. A military acronym on a transcript may also refer to a different class or curriculum depending on which branch of service uses it.

Often a credit transfer becomes a matter of the higher education institution’s willingness to research ways to find equivalent civilian academic courses. A standardized system would end confusion and create an easier transition for our military personnel, Hastings said.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, over 773,000 veterans are now using their GI Bill benefits to go to college, spending a collective $11 billion a year.

“Requiring veterans to take repetitive and redundant academic classes is a waste of time and money,” Hastings said. “The entire process can be discouraging. We need to help streamline the process to promote an easy transition for veterans into civilian life by cutting out the bureaucracy.”

Hastings believes returning veterans may be the key to solving workforce shortages in Illinois.

“The quicker our military men and women complete their college degrees; the faster they can enter the workforce,” Hastings said. “Our veterans have real life in the field training. Their experiences in high pressure situations make them ideal candidates to fill vacancies as registered nurses, EMT’s and other medical professions.”

House Bill 3701 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support.

Category: Press Releases

March 8 RSTINLEY PARK- Small businesses in Illinois competing for state contracts will no longer be pitted against large corporations that don’t play by the rules while.

A new law passed by State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) to level the playing field among businesses that compete for state contracts and investments will go into effect at the start of the New Year.

“Large corporations that dodge taxes should not be earning taxpayer money,” Hastings said. “If businesses are going to use offshore tax havens to avoid paying taxes, they should not be rewarded with taxpayer-funded state contracts and business.”

Hastings championed House Bill 3419, which prohibits expatriate corporations from submitting bids or entering into contracts with state agencies.

Some corporations use tax havens to avoid paying taxes. Figures reported by U.S. Public Interest Research Groups found the federal government lost over $150 billion in revenue in 2013 due to offshore corporate tax havens.

“We need to give local businesses that play fair and pay their fair share of Illinois income taxes a chance to compete and be successful when they bid for state contracts,” Hastings said. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. The more the state invests in them, the more they will invest in our great state.”

The new law will apply to businesses incorporated in any foreign country that does not impose a substantial income tax or substantial business activity tax.

Category: Press Releases


TINLEY PARK- State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) is outraged at the Federal Communication Commission’s decision to eliminate net neutrality protections across the United States.

Today the FCC voted in favor of rolling back the 2015 net neutrality rules that were put in place to empower and protect Illinois consumers and their rights to an open internet.

“Big corporate utility corporations will now serve as gatekeepers of the world wide web,” Hastings said. “The rollback of net neutrality rules means that the needs of consumers will now be put on the back burner as broadband providers engineer plans to profit and infringe on the privacy and freedoms we once had.”

Hastings was a proponent of protecting those freedoms, and earlier this year he introduced a resolution in the Illinois Senate urging President Donald Trump and members of the United States Congress to continue to protect net neutrality and open internet access.

Supporters of net neutrality argue that rules that took effect in 2015 are the only thing standing between greedy utility companies and impaired internet use. Without net neutrality, those companies could have the power to throttle traffic, charge for expensive "fast lanes" and completely block sites that displease corporate entities.

This means those corporate entities would have full control over information transmitted into homes or business via the internet.

On Black Friday, over 200 companies such as Twitter, Pinterest and Airbnb signed a letter warning FCC Chairman Ajit Pai not to roll back net neutrality protections. The letter states that record Black Friday sales are "a testament to the power of the free and open internet to encourage entrepreneurship, drive innovation, make our lives easier, and to support a healthy economy."

“Our military men and women have fought to protect our democratic principles,” Hastings said. “Freedom of information is a fundamental right our nation was founded upon. The fact Illinois citizens, organizations and businesses may now have to pay a toll to use the internet freely is a direct assault on our sacred values.”
Currently, 47 nations across the globe have laws or regulations protecting net neutrality, including the European Union, Argentina, Norway, South Korea, Tunisia, Turkey, Japan, Mexico and India.

“Net neutrality shouldn’t be a partisan issue,” Hastings said. “The decision made today will not only impact U.S. citizens but our friends and allies across the world. It’s our duty to work together to stand up against this injustice and I urge our federal officials to do the same. We cannot afford to accept policies that impede our basic freedoms.”

Hastings looks forward to future hearings and discussions addressing net neutrality in Illinois during the legislative session.

Category: Press Releases

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Welcome to the official website of Senator Michael E. Hastings. Please fill out our contact form to contact Senator Hastings directly or you may call any of our offices. We look forward to hearing from you.

Springfield Office:
118 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-9595

East Office:
813 School Ave
Matteson, IL 60443

District Office:
20855 South LaGrange Road
Frankfort, IL 60423
(815) 464-5431

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