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The Weekly Roundup 12.18 Edition

by Cassie December 18, 2015

NASA’s Computer is 100 Million Times Faster than Yours

With the level of technology employed in the common consumer computer, it is hard to imagine a computer that is significantly faster than the best products on the market. A new announcement by Google and NASA indicates that the machines we employ at home hardly scratch the surface of fast computing speeds. The D-Wave quantum computer NASA purchased 2 years ago, proved to be 100 million times faster than current single core computers on the market when tested by Google. Sure, NASA is using their powerful computer for more than just word-processing, internet shopping and Facebook, but it is still astounding that this technology exists. It is unlikely that consumers will ever have access to machines with this type of speed, but it is promising that Google has taken notice. In a few years, our Google search inquiries could return faster and far more substantial results if Google utilizes quantum computing in its search.

For the full story on, click here.

Why Security Tech Will Use More of Your Tech Budget in 2016

Security spending may account for significantly more of your tech budget next year. The cost of cybercrime rose 19% in the last year, and the average company is spending 82% more to defend itself than in 2009. The increase in cybercrime has forced companies to become smarter to defend themselves against attacks. Some tips for stronger security include storing as little personally identifiable information as possible on your servers, as well as looking to respond to attacks rapidly after they occur. Also, make sure that your company’s leadership supports your security tech efforts. To successfully mitigate cybersecurity risks, top level management has to make prevention a priority.

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This New Machine Could be the Future of Airport Security

The Qylatron Entry Experience Solution could be coming to an airport near you. The new machine is comprised of multiple hexagonal boxes stacked on top of each other. A person’s bag is placed inside and the door locks. Inside, various sensors scan the bag for banned items. The machines sensors use multi-view x-rays, chemical sensors, and artificial intelligence. If the sensors detect a weapon or banned item, an alarm goes off and security is called. The Qylatron is an intelligent machine with different algorithms depending upon where it is being used. Given the importance of airport security, it is encouraging to see that new advancements are being made to increase the effectiveness of our baggage scan procedures.

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Security is Better with Cloud Providers

Financial firms have been weary about moving sensitive client data to the cloud, but more are beginning to do so. The cloud has been found to actually improve security. This is due to the fact that many cloud based solutions have security teams and tools to monitor operations. Additionally, data is able to stay protected behind internal firewalls. Another benefit of cloud use is that the sheer complexity of the cloud provides additional security from hackers. In order to hack a company’s data that has been stored in the cloud, the hacker would have to find the exact data center where the information is held and find a way to gain access. Many are still afraid of the cloud because it is fairly new and somewhat complicated technology, but in time we will see almost every company storing their data in the cloud or a similar solution.

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The Weekly Roundup 11.20 Edition

by Cassie November 20, 2015


Top Sites Are Leaking Your Data to Third Parties

Without your knowledge, 90% of top websites are sending your data to third-party sources. Recently, privacy researchers have shed light on the fact that sites that leak data share your information with an average of nine external domains. This means that multiple websites may be tracking you simultaneously. What is most concerning is that the data being shared is your private browsing data. Additionally, even if you have set your browser not to track you, your information will still be given out. Google, the most popular search engine in the world, tracks people on nearly 80% of sites using its Analytics. Sites like Facebook and other social networks are also guilty of tracking users. There are very few options for users who wish not to be tracked, as even incognito programs such as Tor cease to be affective the second you log onto any social account. For now, being tracked on the internet is fairly unavoidable.

For the full story on, click here.

Cost Effective Tips to Improve Your Company’s Security

It’s important to make sure your company’s information is secure. Here are some simple things you can do to improve your company’s security:

  • Update all software to ensure that you receive the latest security enhancements
  • Keep informed about security trends and threats relating to your industry
  • Make sure all passwords are strong, and are changed every 30-60 days
  • Don’t offer public Wi-Fi without password protection
  • Properly vet new hires for any security risks
  • Rid yourself of paper documents

With these tips you can help keep your company protected from cyber threats.

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Teen Hackers Breach Law Enforcement and Employee Records

The teen hackers who accessed CIA director John Brennan’s personal e-mails last month are in the news again. This time, the group has released the names and contact information for over 2000 law enforcement officers, government employees and military officers. This second leak has led experts to believe that the group has breached multiple classified law enforcement databases. With the information the group has obtained, it is more than likely that more classified data is going to be leaked in the future. One of the databases the hackers may have access to is the Joint Automated Booking System. This system includes arrest records from around the country and could also identify active police informants. Hopefully the group can be identified and stopped before any more information is leaked.

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Third Party Instagram App Removed from App Store for Stealing Passwords

The popular third party Instagram app, InstaAgent, has been removed from the App Store and Google Play for collecting users’ private data. The app which tracks who has viewed your Instagram profile, also sends unencrypted usernames and passwords of its users to an unknown server. Additionally, the app had reported to post pictures on users’ profiles without permission. With a reported 500,000 users using the app, a significant amount of passwords were stolen. If you have ever had the app installed on one of your devices you should change your Instagram password immediately as there is a good chance that it was compromised.

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The Weekly Roundup 11.13 Edition

by Cassie November 13, 2015


Many Homeowners Unclear on Carbon Monoxide Safety

Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of unintentional poisoning deaths in the United States. A new study shows that 66.5 percent of homeowners would not be able to recognize the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. Over half of those surveyed don’t know the best place in the home to install a carbon monoxide detector. The most concerning statistic from the study is that 34 percent of homeowners don’t have or are not sure if they have a carbon monoxide detector in their home. Every home should have a carbon monoxide detector as part of their home monitoring system. The best place for carbon monoxide detectors to be installed is outside of each separate sleeping area and not within 15 feet of heating or cooking appliances.

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Checked Bag Fees Bring Greater Security Risks

With checked bag fees putting more strain on travelers to consolidate their items into carry on bags, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners to spot security threats. The TSA has drawn scrutiny recently when it was revealed that inspector general’s investigators were able to sneak banned items through security in 96 percent of their attempts. Since these tests, Administrator Peter Neffenger has said that the TSA has improved its practices and continued to place an emphasis on vigilance in each layer of security. While it is the job of the TSA to ensure safety for travelers, the rising bag check fees imposed by airlines have certainly put more strain on TSA screeners.

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Signal, the Crypto App, Comes to Android

Already a household name among the privacy community, Signal is making its way to the Google Play store for Android. The encrypted calling and messaging app, which has been available in the Apple Store since last year, aims to give users a straight-forward and effective means for everyone to have secure conversations. Open Whisper Systems, the creators of Signal, are no strangers to Android as their encryption code was integrated into Whatsapp last year and is now on over half a billion Android devices. With personal privacy such a prevalent issue, one can certainly expect a lot of people to get the Signal app. We can also expect Open Whisper Systems’ encryption code to be integrated with other communication apps in the future.

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Snapchat Privacy Policy Called into Question

Snapchat became famous as the app with the disappearing photos, but do the photos really disappear? Questions have recently been asked about if photos still live on after they’re gone and whether Snapchat now owns them. Snapchat has cleared up the rumors going around about their new privacy policy change, saying, “The Snaps and Chats you send your friends remain as private today as they were before the update.” This means that the pictures and messages uploaded to the app are deleted from Snapchat’s servers after viewing. However, Snapchat has no control over screenshots taken by recipients. Snapchat will not share your messages with advertisers or business partners, but it does have rights over content sent on the app. If Snaps are submitted to Live Stories, your content can be shown around the world and possibly be replayed and syndicated.

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The Weekly Roundup 10.30 Edition

by Cassie October 30, 2015

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Halloween Safety Tips

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s important to make sure your children are safe while trick-or-treating. Here are some tips to ensure a safe and fun Halloween:

  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective
  • To keep your home safe for trick-or-treaters, remove anything from your front lawn that children could trip over
  • Make sure your outside lights are turned on
  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children while trick-or-treating
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on
  • Never enter a home for a treat
  • Stay in a group and communicate where you are going

Utilize these tips to keep Halloween a fun and safe holiday for everyone.

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X-Ray Scans Expose Chip-and-Pin Hack

While the chip-enabled credit card system is fairly new here in America, it has been used for years in Europe. Its purpose is to keep people’s information safe by requiring both the chip-enabled card and PIN number for use. However, French criminals have found a way around this system that puts users’ credit card information at risk. The criminals altered stolen credit cards by implanting a second chip inside of them and creating an alternate PIN number. The new PIN number takes the place of the old chip’s, rendering it useless. Fortunately, X-ray scans were able to reveal the hidden second chip inside the cards. After the discovery of this hacking technique, awareness has been raised and the chip system has been equipped with measures to counter potential breaches.

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Apple Bans Over 250 Apps That Secretly Accessed Users’ Personal Info

Apple has removed over 250 apps from the App Store that were using software to secretly access and store users’ personal information. Chinese advertising company Youmi was responsible for the software that allowed app makers to collect information like the user’s email address and the serial number of their smartphone. Many of the app makers who used the software unknowingly violated Apple’s security and privacy guidelines. Apple is working to rectify the issue and assist app developers in ensuring that their software is in compliance with App Store guidelines.

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Facebook Will Warn You If the Government Is Hacking Your Profile

Facebook has announced that it will begin warning users if it detects that your account is being targeted by a nation-state or state-sponsored actor. Facebook’s Chief Security Officer, Alex Stamos, explained that these attacks can be more dangerous than other attacks and require users to take actions to secure their accounts. In the event of an attack, Facebook will send users a message with information on how to secure their account. If you receive the message, you should enable two-factor authentication, which can be found under the Facebook “Login Approvals” tab. It is likely, however, that Facebook will not be able to provide an explanation as to why your account is being hacked.

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The Weekly Roundup 10.23 Edition

by Cassie October 23, 2015

My Alarm Center Weekly Round Up LogoThree Things You Should Do Right Now to Protect Yourself Online

With hacking so prevalent in the realm of cyber security, your accounts have become more vulnerable than ever. Companies do their best to protect you but there have still been significant password leaks recently. Having different passwords for all your accounts can make sure that, in the event of a leak, your other accounts aren’t compromised. Two step verification when you log on from a new device can also add another layer of security to your account. Lastly, try to avoid sites that don’t have a padlock symbol next to their web address in your browser. Sites that feature the padlock encrypt any communications you have with the site so that if any information is intercepted it will be unable to be deciphered. It’s impossible for you to make all your information completely secure online, but these steps can certainly help.

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Why You Should Destroy Your Boarding Pass

The last security measure that comes to mind in air travel is properly discarding your boarding pass after your flight. Although, disposing it may be more important than you think. From just the QR code on your ticket, people can gain access to your name, frequent flyer number and your travel record. One of the biggest ways your boarding pass can pose a security threat is by posting it on social media. Not only does posting your pass allow potential burglars to know when you will be out of your house, but also releases some of your personal information onto the Internet. The best way to make sure your boarding pass information remains safe is by carrying the pass with you off the plane and tearing it up or shredding it at home or when you arrive at where you will be staying.

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Hackers Can Control Siri from Over 10 Feet Away

Siri, the personal assistant on your iPhone, may also present a vulnerability for your phone when your headphones are plugged in. Recently, French researchers demonstrated that they were able to hack Siri using a radio transmission 16 feet away via the microphone on Apple headphones. The hack does not even require the person to speak, they can just transmit a frequency. This may not seem like that big of a deal until you realize the amount of things you can do via Siri. A hacker could use Siri to send your phone to a malware site or even eavesdrop on your conversations. Ultimately, the only real limitations to what a hacker can accomplish by exploiting this vulnerability are functions of your device that Siri is unable to access. To insulate yourself from this security attack, make sure that your Siri is not enabled for use while your phone’s screen is locked.

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Is Ingestible Technology the Next Big Thing?

From the Apple Watch to Google Glass, wearable devices seem to be the direction modern technology is heading. Well the CEO of Jawbone, Hosain Rahman, says tech may be getting even wilder. Ingestible technology is not out of the realm of possibility. One of the challenges for wearable technology is the constantly changing style trends. A device that may work well in the winter under a sweater may not be as cool to show off in the summer months. One way to overcome this hurdle is by utilizing ingestible technology. Swallowable data trackers already exist in the health world to measure medical adherence. It has yet to be seen whether a similar device could be used to adjust the heat in your house based on your body temperature or something similar. More and more technology is becoming an extension of our bodies. It seems ingestibles are just another step on the pathway to future tech.

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The Weekly Roundup 10.16 Edition

by Cassie October 16, 2015

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How Teal Pumpkins May Mean a Safer Halloween

Halloween, while an exciting time for most kids, can be a difficult time of year for kids who suffer from food allergies. A new initiative called the Teal Pumpkin Project aims to alleviate the stress of Halloween for kids with allergies. The project, started by the Food Allergy Research and Education non-profit, encourages people to put a teal painted pumpkin outside their house if they have non-edible treats such as small toys or stickers for trick-or-treaters. Starting in 2014, the Teal Pumpkin Project has had homes in 50 states and 70 countries participating. This year, the initiative hopes to have 100,000 households taking part in the project. With over 15 million Americans affected by food allergies, the Teal Pumpkin Project will hopefully continue to grow and give kids with allergies the opportunity to fully participate in trick-or-treating.

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Safety Tips for When You’re Walking

Home safety is immensely important, and there are many steps you can take to ensure your security in your house or apartment. But when you leave the house, it becomes far more difficult to control the environment around you. Here are some tips to keep you safe when walking outside:

  • Whenever possible, walk in a group
  • Travel in areas that are well lit and have other people around
  • Avoid alleys, stairways and other isolated places
  • Refrain from wearing headphones so that you don’t block out your environment
  • Map out your route, and avoid shortcuts through parks or empty parking lots
  • If you ever think you are being followed, run to the nearest group or local business for help

Utilize these tips to be more cognizant of your environment when walking.

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How to Properly Decommission Your Apple Device

With the purchase of every new Apple device comes the relegation of your previous mobile phone. Whether you choose to sell, trade-in or simply discard your old phone, it is important to properly remove the data before you do so. To start, make sure that you back up all the data on the phone before you erase it. Next, sign out of your iCloud account on the phone and make sure to reset the phone’s settings. Finally, under “General” settings, hit “Reset” and then “Erase All Content and Settings.” This will ensure that all your phone’s information is effectively wiped from the device. Once the phone has been wiped, anyone who comes into contact with the device next will not have access to your photos, messages and mobile banking information.

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New Teslas Can Protect You from a Biohazard

It’s no secret that Tesla cars are some of the most cutting edge vehicles on the market. Their new Model X boasts “Falcon Wing” doors that lift up to make exiting the vehicle easy, even in tight spaces. Still, this is hardly the most impressive feature of the Model X. During the car’s rollout, CEO Elon Musk mentioned that the car has a “biohazard button.” Despite laughs from the crowd, Musk went on to explain that the car’s air filtration is so advanced that it actually can filter out germs and other pollutants from the air. While other top of the line brands offer strong filtration systems that eliminate pollutants, none make the claim that they can filter out a biohazard. As a technology leader in the automotive industry, it is hoped other companies will follow Tesla’s model for exceptional filtration systems.

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The Weekly Roundup 10.9 Edition

by Cassie October 8, 2015

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The Smartest Building in the World

While smart homes are a growing trend in the tech world, one of the biggest advancements may be a smart office building. The Edge, a new office building in Amsterdam built by Deloitte, uses an app on your phone to direct you to an open parking spot in the morning, pick out a desk that best suits your daily schedule, and even alters the light and temperature in your work space to match your preference. With the massive amount of energy created by the building’s solar panels, the Edge produces more energy than it uses and is, therefore, one of the greenest buildings in the world. The purpose of the Edge is to create a collaborative, adaptable and convenient workplace. Chief information officer for Deloitte, Erik Ubels, believes that the future of office buildings hinges on their ability to connect both internally and to other buildings.  The current cost to create a building like the Edge is extremely high, but with technology like solar panels eliminating the cost of energy, constructing smart office buildings may be a worthwhile investment for companies.

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How to Prepare for Losing Your Phone

Many people who have owned a smart phone, may have also experienced the horror of losing one. Although it certainly is not an inevitability, the possibility of losing such an important device means that you should be prepared for the event. When you first buy a phone make sure to write down the serial number and Mobile Equipment Identifier, which can usually be found in the “about” section in the phone’s settings. To keep your mobile information safe, avoid putting sensitive information on your phone and always use a lock code. Another way to keep your information secure is to regularly back up your device to a computer or the cloud. Most new devices have a way of tracking your phone via GPS (Find My iPhone, Where’s My Android), so make sure to set up an account so that if you do lose the device you can determine its location. There’s no way to ensure you’ll never lose your phone, but you can reduce some of the stress of a missing mobile by planning for the situation.

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Travel Safety Tips

Traveling abroad is an exciting and fun way to utilize vacation time, but it is important to take precautions to stay safe. Use these tips to ensure that your trip goes smoothly:

  • When traveling to another country find out about their customs and laws
  • Carry money and documents in a bag/purse that is easily concealable
  • Do not go out alone after dark
  • Avoid wearing a lot of jewelry so that you do not attract predators
  • Use a business card as a luggage tag instead of your home address
  • Never tell anyone that you are traveling alone

With these tips you can stay safe while making the most of your trip.

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Your Credit Card Just Got Safer

By now, your new credit or debit card with the shiny chip in it may have arrived. This new chip will help to drastically improve your card’s resistance to identity theft. Unlike your card’s old magnetic strip which used the same 4-digit code for all transactions, this new security chip creates a unique security code for each transaction you make. This new security method greatly deters a thief from stealing your card information, because he or she is unable to steal the unique code for each transaction. One drawback to this new method of card security is that the payment process now takes about a millisecond longer because the chip has to communicate with your bank or card company for each transaction. Additionally, things such as online transactions don’t benefit from the added security of the chip. Still, this new technology, which has been used for a long time in Europe, is a good step to help prevent identity theft.

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The Weekly Roundup 10.2 Edition

by Cassie October 2, 2015

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How to Keep Your Mobile Device Safe

With the ever-increasing cost of iPhones, protecting these pricy devices is becoming more of a priority. There are a few key steps that you can take to help increase the life expectancy of your iPhone. To prevent your battery life from deteriorating, reduce the amount of time your phone is plugged into a charger every day. Also, try to close any apps that may be running in the background draining your battery. If you have ever experienced a “spiderwebbed” screen, you know that a screen protector is vital to protecting the iPhone’s fragile screen. Phone cases can also severely limit the damage your phone sustains if you drop it. Avoid placing your phone on hard surfaces when it is on vibrate, as the vibrating could cause the phone to fall off. Ultimately, it is important to be mindful of protecting your phone and refrain from putting it in situations where it could get damaged.

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Paralyzed Man Can “Feel” Again with Prosthetic Hand

A man who has been paralyzed for over a decade was able to not only control a prosthetic hand with his brain, but also experience sensations. The hand, designed by the Johns Hopkins Physics Laboratory, is manipulated by electrodes that are attached to a person’s sensory cortex. The sensory cortex is the part of the brain that can experience various external sensations such as pressure. Electrodes are also connected to the motor cortex, the part of the brain that controls movement. A person using the prosthetic can operate the hand with the same brain transmissions used to operate any of their other limbs. While this prosthetic technology has not been perfected yet, the program manager of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) said that he thought controlled prosthetics are “showing great promise.” With more research being devoted to developing prosthetics, the quality of life for amputees and victims of paralysis will hopefully continue to improve.

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Scientists Create an Ultra-Thin Invisibility Cloak

Any fans of the Harry Potter book or movie series are certainly familiar with the invisibility cloak. What most fans do not know, however, is that invisibility cloaks are not just reserved for  the fantastical universe created by author J.K. Rowling. Researchers at the University of California, Berkley, have developed an incredibly thin invisibility skin cloak, that is able to make small objects disappear. The cloak is comprised of “nanoantennas” that redirect light waves away from the object, essentially rendering it invisible. This is not the first invisibility cloak to be created, but it is far thinner than other cloaks and can be scaled to match the size of the object it is covering. The possibilities for applying this technology to things such as military equipment are endless. It will be interesting to see how various industries are able to adapt this technology as it becomes more accessible.

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Public Transit Safety Tips

For people that take public transit, especially women, it is important to be mindful of your surroundings to ensure that you remain safe while waiting for your bus or train and during your commute. Here are some tips to keep safe while traveling on public transit:

  • Have your ticket ready so that you do not have to take your wallet out of your pocket or purse
  • Make sure to wait in well lit areas, preferably near other people
  • When traveling on a bus or train alone at night, stay as close as possible to the driver
  • Remain awake while riding buses, trains and taxis
  • Take an aisle seat to ensure that you cannot be blocked in
  • Keep your belongings on you, instead of on the seat next to you
  • Pay attention to who gets off at your stop

Utilize these safety tips to be prepared for your public transit ride.

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The Weekly Roundup 9.25 Edition

by Cassie September 25, 2015

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How to Deal with a Burglar While You’re Home

With a burglary occurring every 15 seconds in the US, it’s important to plan for any situation. This includes the possibility that you could be in your house while it is being broken into. First, establish a safe place in your home that locks from the inside and has access to a phone. In the event of a burglary, you don’t want to waste time trying to find a good place to hide. You should also pick a safe word that alerts your family to the situation and prompts them to go to the safe room. Always try to avoid contact with the burglar- your safety is far more important than any possessions you have in your house. If you have a security system installed, and can get to it, sound the alarm. Burglars will often flee if they hear an alarm go off. With security systems and other new technology, there are plenty of other steps you can take to ensure the safety of yourself and your family.

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New Cars May Have Auto-braking Standard

Auto-braking, an expensive add-on feature in many cars, could be an industry standard in the near future. Ten prominent automakers, including BMW and Ford, have announced that they will be making auto-braking part of all of their vehicles in the coming years. Technology has already drastically changed the auto industry with the introduction of self-driving vehicles by companies like Tesla and Google. Now, the laser powered sensors used in those vehicles will help to ensure that every driver on the road is safer in his or her own car. While older safety measures sought to prevent injury in the event of a crash, new safety measures aim to take human error out of the equation and eliminate crashes altogether. Given the current trajectory of safety technology, one day all drivers will own fully autonomous vehicles.

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Disaster Preparedness Tips

September is National Preparedness month. Use these tips to help prepare yourself and your family for potential disasters.

  • Apply a plastic film to glass mirrors and pictures to avoid shattering in the event of an earthquake
  • Use furniture straps to secure bookshelves to walls
  • Clear any items that could fall and block your main entrance
  • Lock cabinets to prevent them from flying open during an earthquake
  • Keep provisions to last at least a week if you live in more disaster-prone areas

It is extremely difficult to predict when a natural disaster will occur, which is why it’s important to take the necessary safety precautions.

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Upgrade to iOS 9 To Avoid Bluetooth Hack

All iPhone iOS releases are eagerly awaited by owners of the popular device, and iOS 9 is no exception. Most people, however, don’t update their phone to the latest iOS for security reasons. With news of a new Bluetooth hack, it’s more important than ever to update to the latest iOS. The Bluetooth hack uses Apple’s airdrop technology to drop malware onto any devices that are within Bluetooth range. Macs that have earlier versions of OSX Yosemite are also vulnerable to this hack. If you do not want to upgrade your OSX, you can turn off Airdrop on your Mac to prevent your computer from being hacked via Bluetooth. For iPhone users, though, you not only have to turn off Airdrop, but also the ability to access the Control Center from your lock screen. Your best bet is to update your devices to Apple’s newest operating systems instead of trying to work around them.

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The Weekly Roundup 9.18 Edition

by Cassie September 18, 2015

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Driverless Cars Duped by Laser Pointer

Driverless cars have been cause for concern for many people due to their reliance on cameras to ensure the safety of others around them. A new hack may give those who oppose the autonomous vehicles further ammunition to distrust the car’s technology. The hack, which only requires a cheap computer and a laser pointer, tricks the camera into believing there is an object in the road. While this may only result in the car stopping due to a perceived obstacle, in extreme cases, the car may completely change its route if it detects that it cannot get by. This hack certainly isn’t the most threatening vehicle hack around, but the ability to affect the camera sensors in driverless cars could present larger problems as the vehicles become more prevalent on our roadways.

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Mac Computers Susceptible to Hack

Users of Mac computers have long felt impervious to viruses and other vulnerabilities that have plagued Windows computers. If we have learned anything in the past few years from cyber security breaches, however, it’s that every internet connected device has vulnerabilities, and Mac computers are no different. A new Mac hack let’s apps bypass passwords and gain root permissions which then allows them to install any malware they want onto the computer.  The hack also opens users up to being tricked by hacker-created ads, called malvertising, which aim to lure users into sharing personal and financial information. Apple has yet to fix this vulnerability despite criticism from members of the tech community. Cyber security continues to be an issue that spans a multitude of industries and could pose larger threats in the future.

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Hummingbirds Use Hawks for Home Security

All home security comes at a cost. For people, it is usually a small monthly fee, but for hummingbirds, the cost is the constant threat of being eaten by hawks. A new study found that 80 percent of hummingbird nests in the Chiricahua Mountains in Arizona are built near hawk nests. This may sound like a poor strategy, but it is in fact a good way to increase the chance of humming bird survival. On a day to day basis, only 6% of hummingbird nests survive. Nests built near hawk nests, however, have a 52% chance of survival. This is primarily due to the fact that hawks scare away many of the squirrels and jays that normally prey on hummingbirds. Also, hawks generally refrain from eating hummingbirds and hummingbird eggs, because they prefer more substantial meals. Still, relying on your security system not to devour you, because you aren’t as filling as other options, hardly seems ideal.

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Driving Tips for Older Drivers

You often see driving tips geared towards young drivers who have just passed their license test. Rarely do you encounter tips that focus on ageing drivers. Below is a list of tips that can help you stay safe behind the wheel as you get older.

  • Stay physically active so that you are ready to react when you are driving
  • Schedule regular vision and hearing tests so that you can make sure your senses are sharp
  • Manage any chronic conditions that may have an affect on your ability to drive
  • Consider any limitations you may have and adjust accordingly
  • Drive under optimal conditions whenever possible
  • Know your route before you get in the car so you aren’t distracted by a map or directions
  • Update your driving skills with a refresher course

Use these tips to stay comfortable and in control while you are driving.

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