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7 Security Tips to Protect Your New Stuff

by Cassie January 19, 2019


Security Tips

From the big-screen that Santa brought to the snazzy new phone you gifted yourself, your home is likely brimming with brand-new temptations for burglars. Here are seven tips to keep your family, your home and your new goodies protected:

1. Hide Your Priciest Loot from View

The number-one rule of thumb for not getting burgled? Don’t tempt the burglars. And that means keeping expensive deliveries out of view. Walk the perimeter of your home, and see what you can see: Can you spot the glow of your new 50″ TV from the road? Are laptops open within view of the front windows? Does your PS4 hang out near the window ledge? Slight relocation can remove them from the sight path of peeping eyes.

2. Don’t Leave the Evidence at the Curb

The second mistake of new gifts is to leave their packaging out for curbside trash pickup. That 50″ TV box at the curb – guess what it’s telling your friendly neighborhood burglar? Instead of leaving pricey packaging out for all to see, break down boxes and fold them inside out. Wrap them in bags, if the logos are still showing. And put them out the night before garbage day. Preferably when it’s already dark.

3. Sign / Sticker / Digitally Mark Your Gear

If you received new, shiny portable gear – fancy cameras, laptops, tablets, etc. – consider tagging them with identifying labels. (Tip: Don’t put your address on the labels; a phone number and email will suffice.) And if your new phone, tablet, camera or other tech gadget carries a memory card inside, add an IfLost.txt file, complete with your contact information.

4. Slash the Flash

And speaking of high-ticket portable tech, consider transporting it in a very low-ticket, uglified casing. In other words, don’t run out and buy a $250 leather laptop case or blinged-out phone cover; instead, stash your stuff in unassuming wrapping (like a laptop backpack) so it’s not an instant target.

5. Hide the Goods (But Not Everything)

Put expensive jewelry in a safe. Stash your gadgets out of view. Essentially, don’t leave thousands of dollars in gifts out in plain sight. But don’t hide everything away, either. It may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s a good idea to leave a bit of cash and lower-cost goodies in easy-to-find spots; that way, if a thief does find his way into your home, he’s more likely to snatch your barely-hidden goods and getaway, than to tear your home apart in search of the really good stuff.

 6. Secure Your Laptop

If you just got a new laptop, it’s time to secure it. Of course, you can physically secure it with a lock, but we’re more concerned with the information contained therein. And like home security, you’ll want to secure your computer with multiple layers of protection, like GPS tracking, and webcam mugshots, and password protections.

7. Aww, What a Cute Baby!

File this under weird but true: research has shown that your wallet is more likely to be returned if there’s a baby picture inside. Message received. Our advice: slip a baby photo into your wallet (doesn’t matter if you don’t have a baby, a neice or nephew’s photo will do!), but don’t stop there. Add a few to your camera’s memory card, stock a few on your laptop, etc. etc. Sprinkle baby pictures into all your tech, and it may just be the tipping point to getting your stuff returned someday.

Now you tell us: How are you keeping your new toys safe?

Home Security And Holiday Guests

by Amy December 14, 2017

During this wintry season, many people have guests stay with them to enjoy and celebrate the many holidays. Your home security system can be a great tool for keeping your home and your guests safe and unharmed. Ensure this holiday season is a cheerful time for all with these recommended home security solutions from the home security experts at My Alarm Center.

  1. Use Automatic Locks

The holiday season is a joyful season for family, gifts, songs, and celebration. The holiday season, unfortunately, is also a time for theft. You should never leave your doors unlocked, even if you are home. To ensure that only the guests you invited are entering your home, use automatic door locks that lock themselves after a few moments and can only be accessed with the proper temporary codes.

  1. Security Cameras

Your security system cameras help keep everything and everyone inside your home safe. You can monitor your home through any smart device, like your smartphone, and keep intruders away from your property. If you feel uncomfortable about a guest staying in your home, you can also use your security cameras to make sure guests are not in places that they should not be.

  1. Personalized Security Codes

Your home security service has different access codes for family members and different access codes for guests. No one can enter or exit without the proper code and you can even see who is coming and going. Their temporary access code will work for the limited time that you set it for. This way they won’t have access to your home throughout the rest of the year.

Your home security service will put you at ease throughout this stressful holiday season. Your home security system will keep you from having to worry about the safety of your valuables or whether or not any guests are going through your personal stuff. If anything happens, you’ll know about it.

How Home Automation Boosts Home Value

by Cassie May 16, 2016


Home Automation Home Value

Home automation refers to the electronic and automatic control of household activity, appliances and other features. With a home automation system, a homeowner can lock and unlock the doors, adjust the temperature of their home, turn the lights on or off and even open and close the blinds, all from their tablet or smartphone, using an automated service such as My Alarm Center’s MyHome. Investing in smart home technology can provide both convenience and additional security, both of which are appealing to prospective buyers. Here are some of the ways home automation can increase a home’s value.

Latest Technology

Millennials are accustomed to using technology in their daily routines. As this generation’s presence grows as first time home buyers and repeat home buyers, meeting their technological expectations in the housing market will best serve the home sellers profit interests. In fact, the National Association of Home Builders and the Consumer Electronics Association reports that a home automation system can increase the value of the home by three to five percent when it comes time to resell.

Increased Energy Efficiency

Many first-time home buyers are leading the way towards a greener environment. Interest in sustainable living has risen significantly in recent years. Incorporating home automation technology into a new or existing home makes it simple to reduce your home’s carbon footprint by lowering energy consumption.

Many home automation systems feature energy-saving smart lighting and energy consumption controls. These features allow homeowners to turn their appliances on and off remotely. They can automatically program climate control systems. Automated faucets and irrigation can help reduce water usage, as well. In addition to increasing the appeal of your home when it comes time to sell, home automation systems can save you money on energy bills until you do sell. In fact, energy savings can be significant and, over time, can completely offset the costs to automate a home.

Safety and Security

Home automation systems provide the latest technology in home security. With these systems, homeowners can remotely monitor indoor and outdoor home cameras. They can receive text message alerts when the kids come home from school. They can also monitor their pets when they are away from home. Some systems allow homeowners to remotely view delivery packages left at the front door, turn lights on and off when away on vacation and even institute safety measures when a carbon monoxide leak or water leak is detected in their home.

Home automation adds an increased level of safety and convenience for potential home buyers. In addition, many savvy home buyers understand that home automation systems have the potential to save a significant amount of money over the long run by lowering energy bills, reducing theft and even preventing catastrophic damage from burst pipes and carbon monoxide leaks. My Alarm Center is here to help protect your current home and help you increase the value of your property when it comes time to sell.

Common Home Security Mistakes You Can Avoid in 2016

by Cassie January 26, 2016

Home Security Mistakes

Every year, we promise to do better and every year, at least some of those promises fall through the cracks.

Your security cannot be one of those things. Not this year. Burglars have gotten downright savvy, so if you’re still making home security mistakes that were barely acceptable in the 90s, it’s time to up your game.

You Still Have a Hide-a-Key

Go outside and get it, right now. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s well hidden, it’s not. Thieves know all the tricks. All. Of. Them. Instead, give your spare key to a neighbor. Better yet, install smart locks so a key isn’t even necessary.

You Haven’t Upgraded Your Locks

Builder-standard door and window locks (or worse, locks on older homes) are often light-duty. Burglars eat light duty for breakfast. Consider upgrading your locks from standard to heavy duty, to make breaking in as hard as possible.

You Forget to Lock Up

We see this a lot. You live in a safe neighborhood. You love your neighbors. And so, you sometimes (almost always?) forget to lock your doors. Or, you lock your doors but leave the windows cracked for Fido. Or, you lock your doors and windows, but routinely forget to lock the garage. Folks, 2016 is the year for better locking-up.

Your Still Have Fake Surveillance Cameras

Dummy cameras were a great idea 20 years ago, but it’s 2016 and thieves are hip to this trick. Most burglars know when you’re faking them out and, what’s worse, your non-working surveillance equipment signals that you probably haven’t secured the rest of your home, either. You’ve just become a burglary target.

You’ve Let Your Landscaping Grow Wild

Did you know that trimming your trees, shrubs and bushes is important to your home’s security? That’s because burglars usually stake out a home in advance, and they use overgrown landscaping to hide while they peep. Cut back your plants, and thieves will have no place to lurk.

Your Perimeter is Dark

Speaking of, shadows are another good place to hide. Ban them with plenty of outdoor lighting and floodlights, preferably on motion sensors to save on your energy bill.

 Your Home is Dark

If you don’t get home until late, or if you’re going away for the weekend, or if you have a big business trip planned, don’t leave your home in the dark. Don’t leave just one light constantly on, either. Instead, automate your home’s lighting: create custom schedules, use the app to turn your lights on or off, and create rules to flip lights on if certain sensors are activated. In other words, create the appearance of someone at home.

Announcing Your Departure via Social Media

We know how tempting it is to post your excitement about an upcoming trip, or to check-in to Facebook at the airport, or post vacation-in-progress photos. But don’t. Wait until you get home, so the wrong person doesn’t catch wind that you’re away.

You Forget to Arm Your Alarm

This is such a common mistake, and it’s a bad one. This year, make sure to arm your security system every time you go out. (That’s why you bought it, right?) Stick a note on the doorknob until you get into the habit or, better yet, install smart features that auto-arm your system (or let you remote arm/disarm it via app, in case you forget).

Here’s to a safer, more enjoyable 2016!

New Trends in Home & Garden for 2016

by Cassie January 5, 2016

Home & Garden Trends for 2016

One of our favorite things about each new year, is planning our gardens and tweaking our design style.

This year, the Pinterest 100 – 100 of the most-pinned trends from the last few months – has clued us in to some of the hottest, most shared trends in home and garden:

2016 Home Trends

Is your home ready for an update?

Color Palette: Neutral Duality

What do you get when you mix black and white, geometric patterns, gentle accent colors, and organic elements? The favorite home interior palette for 2016, which chicly blends black and white to achieve a look that manages to be both warm and welcoming.

Gray is King

If black and white are hot, then so is their lovechild: gray. Home décor experts are calling gunmetal, slate and other dark grays the hot color of the year – as long as you dress it up with some seriously bold, seriously punchy accent colors. The overall look is cool, calm and collected, but your personality will still shine through in each accessory. 

Bold Accents

And speaking of pops of color, statement-making bold accent pillows will continue to be a trend in 2016. (They were already hot in 2015.) Choose stunning prints or bright graphics, and don’t be afraid to mix ’em up depending on the mood, the season or any other excuse you can invent.

Clean, Scandinavian Design

Were clean lines and minimalist design ever out of style? Maybe not, but they’re on the fast-track to super-star status this year.

African-Inspired Textiles

By now, the trend is becoming clear: 2016 will be a year of neutral backdrops, spiced up with bold accents that could only work with minimalist everything else. And one of those accents: artwork, décor and textiles either hailing from, or drawing inspiration from countries throughout the African continent.

Smart Space-Saving

You know those micro-homes you see all over the TV and Internet? We may not want to live in one, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn something from their tiny spaces: smart, space-saving organization that means more efficient, more enjoyable living.

2016 Garden Trends

Now we really can’t wait for spring to bloom!

Trend We Can’t Quite Love: Fire Escape Escapes

Let’s get this one out of the way: fire escape escapes made the list this year, and while they’re beautiful we can’t quite get on board. Why not? Well, there’s a reason that building codes prohibit putting anything on a fire escape: they’re escape routes. Any obstruction could be dangerous. That said, we love the idea of filling small spaces with flowers and greenery. Our suggestions? Try a window box, a ledge, or hanging planters.

Native (aka Low-Water) Gardens

Drought-prone areas have long been hip to this trend, but now everyone’s jumping on the bandwagon. (And we love it.) Basically, the idea is to populate your gardens with plants native to your area. The rationale: they know how to survive under normal, year-round conditions, so once they’re established you won’t have to waste water on your landscaping. Plus, they’re beautiful. Win-win.

Raised Garden Beds

Raise your hand if you’ve ever lovingly and painstakingly tended your garden (especially a veggie garden) for months, only to lose your produce to stray and wild animals. Us, too. Enter raised garden beds: pretty boxes that will protect your seedlings and plants, so you can enjoy the fruits of your labors.

Clever Garden Hacks

Have you ever hacked your own garden? We’re talking things like pot-in-pot landscaping, easy container gardens, upcycled seed starters, and grinding leftover eggshells to infuse your earth with calcium. Welcome to 2016.

Growing, Then Preserving Your Own Herbs

What gardener hasn’t worried over how to use pounds of fresh rosemary, sage or oregano? This year, don’t sacrifice your too-much-to-use-immediately herbs to frost; preserve them!

What home & garden trends are you most exited for this year?

The Weekly Roundup 12.25 Edition

by Cassie December 23, 2015

Cybercriminals to Target Apple in 2016

For the longest time, Apple has enjoyed relative safety from cybercriminals and malware creators. With their continued growth and brand reach, however, it was inevitable that they would eventually become a target for cybercrime. In just the last year, the amount of malware and hacks targeted at Apple devices has doubled. Additionally, with Apple’s new endeavor into mobile payment via Apple Pay, researchers predict that there will be increased threats to their payment system in the coming year. Still, far fewer Apple computers are infected on a monthly basis compared to other software providers such as Windows. 96% percent of malware targeted at mobile devices is aimed at Android products. Nevertheless, it is important for Apple users to be weary of potential threats and refrain from installing applications and other software that has not been vetted by Apple. With the popularity of Apple devices, an effective hack could have far reaching implications.

For the full story on, click here.

Audi to Use Headlight Lasers

From navigation systems, to automated vehicles, technology is modernizing the way we use automobiles. Audi aims to to go in a new direction in their new vehicles by changing the way our headlights are used. Everyone is aware of the current function of headlights, but Audi wants to employ a new system to allow your lights to be brighter without blinding other drivers.  The new system keeps the headlights bright on the road in front of your car but detects where other cars are on the road and is able to dim part of the headlight so as not to reduce their ability to see. Pedestrians are also protected by the new system, with marker lights that indicate when a person is standing in close proximity to the road. Another safety feature is the Audi’s camera that prevents brighter beams from shining on signs, which eliminates glare that impairs a driver’s visibility. While Audi seems to be leading the industry in headlight safety technology, we can expect this new light system to make its way to new cars from other companies.

For the full story on, click here. 

Holiday Safety Tips

The holiday season is a favorite time of year for most people. Use these tips to ensure that you and your family have a safe and happy holiday:

  • Lock your doors when you leave for holiday parties
  • Take holiday cards that contain cash or checks directly to the post office
  • Don’t leave empty boxes from expensive items out by the trash, as it attracts thieves
  • Shut your blinds when you leave the house so thieves can’t see that your house is decorated and may contain gifts.
  • Have a neighbor watch your house if you are going away for the holidays
  • Make sure outside of your home is well lit at night so that thieves can’t sneak onto your property

For the full list of safety tips, click here.

Malvertising, the Latest Hacking Threat

One of the most menacing threats to personal online security is malvertising. Unlike other cybersecurity threats, malvertising doesn’t require any action on the part of the internet user to open oneself up to the hack. Instead, malvertisers buy advertising space on other webpages and can infect your computer when you visit the webpage. Malvertising software looks for vulnerabilities in your computer to find a place that is easy to attack. While many reputable webpages use malware detection tools to try to prevent malvertisers from posting ads on their webpages, the system is not without flaws. To fully ensure safety from malvertising, the barrier to entry for ad buying is going to have to increase so that malvertisers are less likely to be able to afford online ad space.

For the full story on, click here.





The Weekly Roundup 1.1 Edition

by Cassie

Target Halts Hoverboard Sales

Borrowing its name from the mode of transportation made popular by the Back to the Future movie franchise, the hoverboard has become massively popular in the last year. The two wheeled toy that responds to the leaning of its rider has been featured all over social media and has found its way into various aspects of pop culture. Unfortunately, there have been a myriad of safety issues surrounding the product that are certainly cause for concern for both retailers and consumers. Following reports of up to 10 hoverboards catching fire, Target has pulled the popular hoverboard brand, Swagway, from its shelves. Amazon has also removed the popular holiday gift item from its site. If you received a hoverboard over the holidays, or gave one as a gift, it is important to look into safety precautions to make sure that you, or the person you gifted the toy to, are not in danger.

For more information, click here

Cities Unprepared for Driverless Cars

Driverless cars are certainly the automobile trend of the future, and have been championed by prominent companies like Google and Tesla. While these companies are prepping their vehicles and improving their autonomous-driving technology, it seems that cities are not getting prepared to handle these new vehicles. In fact, a study conducted by the National League of Cities revealed that 94 percent of the world’s cities have not made plans to accommodate these new cars. Audi has promised driverless cars for consumers by 2016, but it seems their plans may be stagnated by ill prepared cities that lack the necessary infrastructure to make driverless cars plausible. Hopefully, cities will eventually realize the need to make adjustments for these vehicles. The study also showed that the vast majority of cities’ planning also did not acknowledge driving services such as Uber that account for a significant amount of transportation.

For the full story on, click here

Vulnerability Found in Popular Antivirus Softwares

The popular antivirus softwares AVG, Kaspersky and McAfee have all been found, by a cyber security start-up, to contain the same weakness. The coding issue, when exposed, allows hackers to gain access to a person’s Windows system and potentially steal personal information or infect the computer with malware. The biggest issue with this recently exposed flaw is the fact that hackers would be able to actually use the antivirus software as a tool to access the computer. Additionally, researchers believe that this vulnerability is not only present in antivirus software and could be in other software and applications that access a large amount of your computer’s information. Since the hack was exposed, the antivirus companies have taken steps to patch the hole in their system and protect customers from potential future attacks.

For the full story on, click here

Online Shopping Safety Tips

The holiday season may be coming to a close, but plenty of people are still shopping online and taking advantage of post-holiday discounts. Keep your personal and financial information protected with these e-commerce safety tips:

  • Use a credit card instead of a debit card for online purchases
  • Choose trusted retailers to buy from
  • Only buy from encrypted sites
  • Delete any old retail accounts that you no longer use
  • Utilize strong passwords that contain letters, numbers and symbols
  • Avoid using the same password more than once
  • Refrain from clicking on ads, as they could be malvertisements

With these tips you can ensure a safer online shopping experience.

For more tips from, click here




It’s Been “A Long December,” and This Year Will Be Better Than the Last

by Cassie December 22, 2015

2016 My Alarm Center New Year's

Well, well, well. You’ve almost made it: Just a few more days, and it’ll be 2016. A new year. Tabula rasa – a new slate. What will you make of yours?

Every year, January 1 rolls around and with it, our country makes promises. We call them resolutions, and we imbue them with all our hopes and dreams for the coming year. But often, they’ve fallen to the wayside by the time February 1 dawns.

This year, we challenge you to uphold your resolutions. Of course, that means starting with resolutions you really want to keep – things that have been on your list for months (or years), and for which you’ve created a plan of action. Join an accountability group. Make a schedule. Create a personal rewards system for meeting your goals. Do what you have to do.

In the spirit of the season, we polled the office. Here are a few of the most popular resolutions bouncing around our cubicles:

Get More Exercise

Even more than the eternal promise to “lose weight,” our resolve focuses on exercise. We want to walk more, take longer runs, meet lifting goals, and see our gyms more often.

Tackle the Project List

What homeowner doesn’t have a miles-long, ever-growing list of projects to tackle? If you take My Alarm Center as your sample, the answer is exactly zero: we all seem to have a long, long list of must-do and wish-we’d-do projects we keep promising to finish. This year, we’re going to get professional quotes, book a few jobs, and even tackle some of the DIY projects that clutter our Pinterest boards.

Beef Up Our Home Security

Obviously, we all have home alarms, but some of us admit to not having updated our equipment to the newest, cutting-edge technologies. This year, we’re going to upgrade our sensors and alarms, check out the newest security cameras, and maybe even hard-wire our CO2 and smoke detectors.

Make Our Homes Smarter

Have you been meaning to add smart-home features to your home security system? We have, too. It’s one of those things we really, really want to do but never carve out enough time to plan. In 2016, a bunch of us have committed to exploring all the smart-home features and options, and deciding which are best for our families and homes.

Organize, Organize, Organize

Spring cleaning? Um… our last time was probably in 2009. It’s gotten overwhelming, so the plan is this: every month, we’ll tackle a small project. SMALL. Seriously. For example, in January we’ll do the coat closet; in February, we’ll clean out the catch-all kitchen drawer. By the time next December rolls around, we’ll be ready for the attic. We hope.

Do Something New

We love this resolution because it’s completely doable: learn or do something, anything new. It can be as simple as picking up an adult coloring book for the first time (they’re surprisingly relaxing, we promise!) or taking a new hiking route. Or, go big and learn a new skill like woodworking or cooking or knitting or baking or… well, what have you always wished you could do?

Happy 2016!

The Weekly Roundup 12.11 Edition

by Cassie December 11, 2015


Top Cybersecurity Issues to Watch in 2016

Cybersecurity is a consistent threat that is becoming a larger issue as technology continues to advance and more products and processes become vulnerable to hacking. With the new year approaching there are certain cybersecurity issues that we should remain cognizant of in 2016. While some issues like cyberespionage and the government demanding more information from companies may not be issues that we can affect, others have more personal implications. Mobile apps, for example, will continue to become the method of choice to target individuals and steal information. Additionally, the precedent we place on the convenience of apps and online services could be to our detriment as we often overlook privacy and security. To mitigate risk and help to ensure that your personal cybersecurity has minimal vulnerabilities, only use trusted applications and avoid freely offering information to expedite online processes in 2016.

For more Cybersecurity issues to watch, click here.

Every Business Should Have a Security and Encryption Policy

Internal business communications are normally confidential and may contain the personal or financial information of customers. Therefore, to protect customer privacy, it is crucial for businesses to ensure that these communications are secure. The best way to do this is to make sure that all messages are encrypted by the sender’s device and decrypted by the receiver’s device once delivered. Unfortunately, not all encryption techniques are equal so it is important to make sure that any encryption software businesses are using is up to date with the latest standards. As a consumer, it is a good practice to look to see if security is mentioned in an app’s privacy policy. If it is not mentioned, you should be wary as the company may not value the security and privacy of your data.

For the full story on, click here.

A $10 tool can guess and steal your next credit card number

When Samy Kamkar lost his American Express card, he noticed a pattern between the last four digits of his replacement card and his past cards. Eventually, after some research he was able to predict the full number of an individual’s next replacement card. Using this knowledge, Kamkar was able to build a device for $10 that utilizes the number pattern he found. The device can store over 100 credit card numbers and can emit a signal that allows the card to be swiped. If the number on a card is cancelled, the device is able generate the victim’s next card number. Kamkar built this to warn American Express of their security issue. Still, this is cause for concern as other hackers are likely using similar techniques to exploit companies for criminal gain.

For the full story on, click here.

Older Drivers are Okay with Tech Features

Cars are being implemented with the newest high-tech features that can often be complicated. Although these features may be new and difficult to understand, many older drivers are still able to see the value in them. A study done by Hartford/MIT found that nearly all respondents aged 50-69 years old would be willing to buy a car with new auto technologies. Most respondents said they would prefer back-up cameras, blind-spot warning systems, and collision avoidance systems. While many of the other new technological features may not cater as much to an older consumer, they are able to recognize the importance of the new safety features technology brings.

For the full story on, click here.




The Weekly Roundup 12.4 Edition

by Cassie December 4, 2015



The First Cyborg Plants Have Been Created

Thanks to a team of engineers at the the Linköping University Laboratory for Organic Electronics in Sweden, nature and technology are working together like never before. The team has been able to implant analog and digital circuits inside a living rose. What is most amazing about this development is that the newly modified plant is able to grow natural transistors and other electronic components. While this revolutionary new plant is still in an incredibly early stage of development, there are a myriad of potential practical applications for this “cyborg” plant down the line. Most importantly, the plants could be used to generate power through their photosynthesis process. We could also alter the plant’s makeup through a computer program to create new species of plants with new capabilities. One of the less practical but cool uses for this new technology would be creating plants whose leaves change color. This cyborg plant is an incredible break through and is a great stepping stone for more technological integration with nature.

For the full story on, click here.

Augmented Reality in Cardiac Surgery

Augmented reality can be used for more than just experiencing video games in a more realistic and interactive setting. The popular new technology has now been successfully utilized to assist in the success of a particularly difficult type of cardiac surgery. Surgeons in Poland used an optical, head-mounted device based on Google Glass to see a 3D recreation of the body part they were operating on during their procedure. With the success of the operation, it has been shown that augmented reality can be useful during medical procedures and can actually make a surgeon more efficient in his or her work. We can expect to see more applications of this technology in the health field and other industries in the future.

For the full story on, click here.

Holiday Lighting Safety Tips

With the holiday season underway, you may be thinking about decorating your house to get in the festive spirit. Use these tips to make sure your holiday lights don’t pose any safety risks:

  • Make sure any lights you use outside are designed for outdoor use and aren’t frayed.
  • Do not replace bulbs when the electricity is on.
  • Never let bulbs touch flammable material like plastic or dry leaves.
  • Don’t place lights on a metallic tree as faulty lights could electrify the whole tree.
  • Turn off decorative lighting when you aren’t in the room.
  • Avoid overloading outlets and extension chords.
  • Place wires in areas that they cannot trip anyone.

With these tips you can ensure that you have a safe and happy holiday season.

For the full list of tips at, click here.

Medical Devices Are Vulnerable to Hacking

It’s no secret that hacking and cyber security threats are some of the biggest challenges facing our internet-connected technology-dependent society. What we rarely consider is the range of different devices that are connected to the internet and therefore are susceptible to hacks. One field where hacks could have serious, and potentially deadly, implications is the medical field.  Medical devices such as certain drug infusion pumps can be hacked so that the device malfunctions and delivers a deadly dose of medication. X-rays can also be stolen from medical databases and expose confidential information about patients. It may even be possible for hackers to attack security vulnerabilities in pacemakers to deliver a lethal shock to a patient’s heart. As more medical systems and devices are integrated with connectivity capabilities, it will be incredibly important that they are rigorously tested for any security vulnerabilities.

For the full story on, click here.


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