Crime used to mean things like break-ins and thieves swiping packages from your doorstep. But now there's an increasing number of cybersecurity threats that are also crimes of opportunity. With more and more people using unfamiliar networks and doing lots of online shopping, bad actors have plenty of targets to choose from. By following these simple steps for data protection, you can keep your digital information secure.
1. Be careful when using insecure Wi-Fi networks
If you're traveling or out shopping, you may find yourself on an unfamiliar Wi-Fi network. Many stores, airports and rest stops offer free Wi-Fi as a convenience, but often those networks aren't secured. That makes it especially risky to make online purchases because the traffic from your device can be easily monitored and stolen. If you are using public Wi-Fi networks, then browsing to any website, make sure your connection is encrypted and secure by looking for the lock icon in the top left of the address bar. Also, always double check that the address you are navigating to is what you expected. Many modern devices, like the ASUS NovaGo, now feature built-in LTE, which offers a more secure experience for your online shopping.
2. Don't rely on passwords alone
Passwords and user IDs are a staple of cybersecurity, but they can only get you so far. To further ensure your data stays protected, consider using password management and verification apps. They let you use your face, fingerprint, eyes or other methods to access your data across devices. For example, the Microsoft Authenticator app adds an extra level of security with two-step verification that allows you to access your Microsoft account and apps quickly and securely without having to remember a password.
3. Avoid phishing scams
With so many companies emailing promotions, it can feel like your inbox is under assault. In fact, it very well could be. Some of those emails may be phishing scams designed to steal your private information. To protect your data, don't click on any unfamiliar links and carefully review all notifications from your bank to catch any potentially fraudulent activity.
Remember, scammers can be sophisticated. They may use personalized emails to gain your confidence or replicate the style of a well-known financial services company. If an email or link looks the slightest bit suspicious, don't click it. Go directly to your bank or other online account to confirm the information independently.
4. Back up your data
If all your data is stored in one place, it's vulnerable. Bad actors can lock up your device and demand payment to release your files. That's why backing your data up to the cloud is critical for protecting your files against ransomware attacks. The cloud allows you to safeguard your data and access it from multiple devices. Cloud storage services are secure and can also let you easily transfer your data if you're upgrading to a new device.
5. Utilize privacy screens
Preventing people from looking over your shoulder and stealing your information is the simplest and easiest way to protect your personal data. When online shopping in public, use privacy screens to hide your information. Some devices, like the HP EliteBook x360 and HP Spectre x360, have integrated privacy screens that instantly shield your screen with the push of a button. If your device doesn't come with one built in, you can purchase a privacy screen.
6. Keep software current
Using a modern operating system with the latest security updates and built-in anti-virus protection is the best way to ward off unwanted intrusions. Major tech companies continually upgrade software to account for the latest cybersecurity threats so you can be confident your data is protected. By keeping your software current, you can avoid many cyberattacks before they cause problems.
Pet owners will do just about anything they can to keep their furry friends happy and healthy, which is why the vast majority of pet owners say they're concerned about the ingredients in their pet's food. Based on a quality and safety Purina survey conducted in 2017, 84 percent of pet owners are concerned about the ingredients in their pet's food, and more than four out of five pet owners are likely to read the list of ingredients in pet food before buying it. Yet many dog and cat owners are often confused about what constitutes safe and healthy food, have misperceptions about ingredients, and aren't clear about what types of nutrients their pets need. A lot of thought has been put into the ingredients in the pet food you see on shelves and online, including many backed by full teams of scientists who work every day to create nutritional breakthroughs that will help pets of all ages live their best life.
Pet food science
A lot of research goes into developing food - both for pets and humans - and much of this innovation was born out of necessity. Since pets clearly have different nutritional needs than their owners, pet food scientists have developed complete and balanced meals that give pets all the nutrition they need in one product. Pet food companies like Purina employ hundreds of scientists to research different ingredients, combinations of ingredients and the nutritional needs of pets of different breed, size, age and lifestyle. Ultimately, they look beyond the latest ingredient fad and develop pet food based on a smart blend of nutrients that supports pets' overall health.
When developing pet food formulas, scientists keep in mind that some pets have unique dietary needs. They also account for pets who have ongoing concerns and formulate pet food based on age (whether a pet is in the early or later stages in life). Simply put, puppies and kittens have much different dietary needs than older dogs and cats.
In response, pet food companies have put increasing resources into developing life stage-specific pet food formulas. For example, Purina's Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ product contains enhanced botanical oils, and is a source of Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), which promote alertness and mental sharpness in older pets. These enhanced botanical oils can be used as an additional energy source for the brain in dogs age 7+. What's sometimes lost on pet owners is the ingredient benefits, and how varied a pet's nutritional requirements are based on age, activity level and overall health.
The knowledge gap related to food science isn't limited to pet food. Misinformation and lack of clarity about food science techniques have prompted people to change how they eat. In the pet world, this has led some owners to develop their own DIY food plans. But despite their best intentions, they may actually be depriving their pets of critical nutrients they need to stay healthy. This is where knowing your pet's nutritional needs comes into play.
Nutrition for your pet
When it comes to feeding your pet, it's important to understand that high-quality nutrition starts with nutrients, not just ingredients. Although the level of research may be similar among brands, the actual formulas can be quite different. To keep your pet feeling their best, try to match their food with their lifestyle and activity level. For example, if your dog is your daily running buddy, make sure they are getting enough protein and fat in their diet - try feeding them a formula like Purina Pro Plan Sport.
When in doubt, consult your veterinarian to better understand the specific needs of your pet. They can tell you when to feed, how much to feed, and which formula is best suited to keep your pet as healthy as possible.
Smart home products made major strides in 2018. More people than ever now use connected devices in their homes, and smart home hubs are constantly adding new integrations and capabilities. Research from Statista predicts that by the end of 2018, more than 45 million smart home devices will be installed in U.S. homes, fueling an exciting new phase for the smart home industry, offering consumers new and improved smart technologies and giving rise to a totally interconnected, easy-to-control environment termed the "smart home."
This innovation looks to continue in the new year with increasingly intuitive products that make life more enjoyable and interconnected. Here are the new smart home products ready to change the way we live in the new year, coming out of the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
Laundry made easy
The calendar might have changed, but your laundry needs haven't gone anywhere. Thankfully, smart home technology is making the chore a little easier with LG's Ultimate Laundry Room.
The LG Styler is a first-of-its-kind steam clothing care system certified as asthma and allergy friendly(R) by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). The Wi-Fi enabled smart LG Styler reduces wrinkles and odor and refreshes garments with the fastest cycle on the market today - as little as 20 minutes - thanks to the gentle power of pure steam technology. Furthermore, LG TWINWash(TM) with SideKick(TM) pedestal washer, an industry-first innovation for laundry, allows users to tackle small loads that are a big deal and can't wait or wash two loads at the same time.
With LG Styler for daily refreshes, the innovative LG SideKick(TM) mini washer for small loads that can't wait, and LG's award-winning top and front load washers and dryers, the LG Ultimate Laundry Room suite of products can be started, stopped or monitored from anywhere using LG's SmartThinQ(R) app. Users will receive notifications when a cycle has finished, or they can download new cycles, check energy usage and quickly troubleshoot minor issues using Smart Diagnosis. For added convenience, these home solutions can also be controlled with simple voice commands using the Google Assistant.
Smarter home with smart displays
Laundry is just one example of how smart home technology is making life easier. By adding other connected appliances and devices, you can develop a true smart home ecosystem in which seamless integrations produce valuable efficiency. One of the best ways to anchor your ecosystem is with a smart display like the new LG XBOOM AI ThinQ WK9 Smart Display. The advanced smart display builds on the capabilities of a Google Assistant speaker with the added convenience of a touchscreen display and, in partnership with Meridian Audio, delivers high-fidelity sound, precise vocal definition and accurate bass, despite its compact size.
In addition to its audio and video capabilities, the WK9 enables control of other LG ThinQ products such as LG TVs and home appliances, plus more than 10,000 smart devices from over 1,000 brands that work with Google Assistant. By establishing a go-to hub for all your smart home devices, you can increase connectivity and create a fully integrated smart home environment.
Stay connected on-the-go
As innovation continues, smart home technology is branching outside of the home itself. With new products, you can receive notifications regarding your home from anywhere, making sure you never lose touch with the most important things in your life. The first full-screen smartwatch with mechanical hands, the LG Watch W7 allows you to connect and control your smart devices. With two mechanical hands and a micro gearbox, users can enjoy the full WearOS smartwatch experience with the essence and mechanism of a true timepiece. With mobile connectivity, your life becomes easier no matter where you are.
Smart home technology is all about making our lives easier and more comfortable. Whether you're just doing laundry, looking to power your whole home, or even taking that control on the road, new smart home products provide a level of convenience that's changing the way we live.
Look at your desk. Chances are you have at least two screens in front of you. From smartphones to multiple monitors and even tablets, backlit screens constantly demand attention during the workday, but that quality of light could have a negative impact on health, comfort and productivity. For a quick fix, add a task light. Proper task lighting is an easy hack that can significantly improve your overall wellbeing and productivity at the workspace.
Did you know?
1) Light affects your health
It can be easy to forget the impact light has on our daily lives, but quality light is vital to keeping us healthy, alert and functioning at our best. It affects not only the biological circadian rhythm, but also emotions and overall sense of well-being.
2) Lighting needs vary based on age
According to Jonathan Puleio, a Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE) with Humanscale, "Individual lighting requirements vary based on age."
He explains, "By the time we reach our 60s, we require more than 250 percent more contrast to view the same documents we did when we were in our 20s. Compounding the issue is that monitors emit light whereas paper reflects light. This means that monitors and paper-based documents have completely different lighting requirements. Task lighting helps to address both issues, allowing users to adjust their individual light levels according to their task and their respective age. For these reasons, proper lighting has been shown to reduce visual symptoms and improve comfort."
3) Features make a difference
If you're ready to invest in a quality task light, here are a few key features to prioritize: quality of lighting, adjustability and footprint. Look for task lights with the latest LED technology, which provides superior light quality. If designed correctly, LED lights minimize glare, create a uniform footprint of light and cast a single shadow. Many task lights create multiple shadows on the work surface, adding visual complexities that can lead to ocular fatigue. Although you may not notice it, a task light that casts only a single shadow will significantly enhance your comfort. LED lights not only produce higher quality lighting, but they also are better for the environment and last longer too.
4) The light's reach is also important
A well-designed task light should also offer a wide range of light output so you can find the best brightness level to illuminate your work area. Adjustability of the light's reach is just as crucial so it can allow you to position the light where you most need it. And finally, a large footprint of light helps you shine high-quality light on more space, eliminating the reliance on subpar overhead lights.
Today's teens can easily connect with like-minded people by making videos and sharing them. For some 85 percent of U.S. teens, a smartphone is their tool of choice to watch, share and publish videos, according to Pew Research Center.
Video and social media platforms are great tools for teens to explore their interests, express themselves creatively and connect with communities around the world. Many creative teens have built personal brands and vibrant communities for people who like fashion, beauty products and video games.
Some teens even partner with companies like Star Stable - makers of the world's most popular online, horse adventure game - to create video channels for a global audience. The company credits the popularity of their video channel, Star Stable News, to the energy and ideas of the young hosts and the vibrant community they have built around the world.
The Star Stable News hosts Ylva Potatoheart and Matilda Opalpie are happy to share tips to create your own video channel. If you're not sure where to start, this guide can help you plan, film and promote your video content. But first, online safety is of utmost importance, so before filming and posting, make sure you talk to your parents about your plans and get their permission.
1. Determine the theme of your video channel.
Ask yourself what makes you happy. You may know immediately or it may take some soul searching. If you're unsure, grab a notepad and keep a list of things that catch your interest throughout the day. Ask yourself what kind of videos you like to watch? What would you love to discuss for hours on end? Talk about what matters to you, and your passion will show.
2. Pick your channel name with care.
Your video channel will be your trademark, so select a name that reflects the content you want to create. Some influencers use a nickname, some use their real name, some just pick a word, and some simply make up a name they like! Just make sure your channel name is easy to recognize and relates to you and your content.
3. Determine what action you want people to take.
Ask yourself what you want your viewers to think, do or say after watching your videos. Can you help others? Or do you want to spark a discussion? Do you want to inspire them to make the world better? Do you want them to laugh and be happy?
4. Plan and record your topics and content.
Plan ahead and map out content for the first five or six videos. Create and follow a basic structure so your viewers can follow your story. Each video needs a welcome message, an overview of the video's content, a deep-dive into the topic you're discussing and a conclusion. If it's easy for you to speak off the cuff with a simple list of subtopics, go for it! Otherwise, an organized outline can keep the video on track.
5. Publish and enjoy.
Once your video is complete and edited, it's time to put it out into the world ... and see how people respond! Share the video on your social channels, tag influencers and use hashtags to reach a wider audience. Don't forget the importance of a well-written title. To help people find your video, take time to come up with the right key words and be sure they appear in the title.
6. Engage your community.
When people leave comments, respond as soon as you can - it's a great way to build that community. Use your video and social channels to ask viewers for ideas for upcoming videos. Show your community that you care what they think and that you are listening to them.
It's never too late to tackle a new adventure, especially if you are up for the creative and artistic challenge. If you have an idea of what you want to do, grab your equipment, go out and start creating!
A cloudy but warm day in September was the perfect time for the New York City Maker Faire 2018. Though I was fighting this cold for the past week, it wasn't about to stop me from attending one of the biggest geek events of the year, so with hot tea and cough drops in hand, I grabbed my camera bag, laptop, phone, and ... oh yes, my husband and kids ... before heading out early for a two hour trip.
I almost forgot what it was like to see the city in the early bliss of a September morning. This city was stunningly beautiful looking from the outside in, but as we moved in closer across the George Washington Bridge, it became real ... very very real. Still crowded and nerve-wrackingly painful to drive in, the city life was never meant for people like myself who are used to casual driving in the mountains of Pennsylvania and sharing the road with Amish carriages. In fact, I think I enjoyed swimming with the sharks in the darkest, deepest waters off the coast of Hunama Bay Hawaii than driving the rough roads of New York City, but is there really a difference? I mean, both had me gritting my teeth and swearing every 5 minutes. Oh and that was with my husband driving too! I gripped the warm tea mug in my hand as people swirved in and out of cars like they were playing a video game and had multiple lives to spare, horns blew loud and long as raging drivers screamed out their windows at the driver right next to them, who simply turned their music up and ignored everything else. It wasn't even 9am yet and I had already felt a knot in my stomach on top of the pounding headache onset from my sinus congestion and chest cold. But I dragged onward ...
The Maker Faire was being held at the NEW YORK HALL OF SCIENCE, but the event was so packed that they literally had to shuttle people in from all over the surrounding areas. As we approached CitiField, I could see the line of the shuttle bus alone wrapped all the way around the field parking lot and across the street. It was one amazing turn out that had me absolutely thrilled yet exhausted at the same time. This was going to be a looooong day and I could barely talk to get my interviews in without sounding like Darth Vader. Funny, because I was wearing my Darth Vader sweatshirt just in case I had to impersonate him, so perhaps I could actually pull this cosplay thing off without actually cosplaying? *heavy breathing* The Dark Side shall get this done!
The knot in my stomach turned into excitement when I stepped off the shuttle bus and out into the sea of humans, tall and short. I stared at the amount of people who gathered this day with the intent to learn, play and discover something new or even something old that they cherished from their own past and I was taken aback at how the Maker Faire attracted all ages, all genders, all sizes and all with varying interests. It was truly inspiring to be among such talent, intellect, and creative makers. If I'd ever felt a moment of setbacks in my life, today was NOT the day. Today, I was among friends who wanted to teach, learn, and share their discoveries.
I grabbed my son, Alex, who is my Media Production Assistant (he does the photos and videos for me) and we headed over to the Media Check-In for our press badges and equipment check. Then Alex took off across the way to start doing his job while I went to find out where the Press Briefing would be. Luckily for us, it was only but a hop, skip, and a jump away in the Rotunda building with the big Maker Faire robot banner, so off we went to meet the rest of the press in the Media Lounge.
MAker Faire 2019 Press Briefing
The most inspiring moment of the event for me was being able to meet and speak with the Maker Faire Founder and MAKE Magazine Executive Editor, Mike Senese. His enthusiam and love for making and educating is highly contagious and I could see the encouragement in his eyes as he gave me advice on building my own STEAM Fest event in 2019. If I didn't know better, I was developing an intellectual crush on the guy as there is nothing more attractive than an intellectually stimulating and creative thinking conversation. So I left the Press Briefing with an absolute glow and ready to take on the entire faire.
So let's go explore the Faire ....
THE HAND OF MAN
The Hand of Man is an interactive sculpture by Christian Ristow. It is compromised of a 26 ft long hydraulically actuated human hand which is capacble of picking up and crushing cars, and a glove device that controls it.
SECOND LIVES | Friendship LLC & RPI Civil & Environmental Engineering, School of Architecture
Innovations in Architectural Product & Design, Engineered Materials, Innovative Structural Elements, Tensile Structures, Tiny-Houses, 3D Printed Buildings or Building Components, Ultra-Sustainable Products, & Waste Products Turned into Building Parts
CRAFT & SPROUT TINY TECH HOMES
I love watching these homes being built on Home & Garden Network, but to see them live and in person, is beyond words. These homes are compact, transportable, energy eefficiant, and definitely holds up to the saying "a place for everything and everything in its place".
NORTHAMPTON COMMUNITY COLLEGE FABLAB
I might be a bit bias here, but I love FABLAB. Not only are they a team of master craftsmen, entrepreneurs and expert technicians, but they're also from my own part of the world in Bethlehem PA. I was able to catch up with Jeff Boerner, Director of Northampton Community College's Fab Lab and discuss their amazing mechanical dragon, TOBOR. TOBOR is a larger-than-life robotic dinosaur with wireless remote control that can pick things up and be driven around! TOBOR was built to showcase the many talents of our instructors at the NCC Fab Lab in Bethlehem, PA. Jeff says they've been working on the dragon for about 2 years now, it's all volunteer work and hopefully by next year they can add on a little fire breathing.
Adam Savage and the about-to-debut Science Channel Mythbusters Jr cast was live on stage at Maker Faire. They discussed tales of tackling myths similar to those seen in MythBusters, ranging from driving, explosions, chemistry, physics, popular culture and more.
I absolutely love cosplay, but I have yet to create my own piece by piece. However, after hanging with the Mandalorian Mercs for a little and finding out what's involved with it, I'm determined to team up with my son and husband to create our own suits sometime soon.
And some Battle Bots ... WeDiscover these Battle Bots going head to head ... or metal to metal .. at the NYC Maker Faire 2018.
At the end of the day
As the evening came to a close, I had to grab my MAKER t-shirt, magazine, and travel cup so I could cherish this amazing day until next year. I was sad that I was only able to spend one day at this weekend event, but it was a day totally worth the time, money, and travel. There aren't many events that I can walk away from at the end of the day and truly have enjoyed myself, but MAKER Faire NYC had everything ever wanted out of an event and more. It was fun and educational, something I have always tried to influence in our community, both young and old.