Posts tagged with "online"

Cotton Style House – Holiday Edition

Warm weather is just about out, and cold weather is on its way in, so stir up some hot chocolate and grab a warm blanket and your favorite movie because Cotton Incorporated is here to help.

Cotton Incorporated announced the launch of its limited-time holiday shop Monday. It is called Cotton Style House – Holiday Edition and is available exclusively on Amazon.

From now until the end of the calendar year, a variety of cotton apparel, gifting and home items are available, all curated by world-renowned celebrity stylist Irma Martínez.

Using virtual programming and a goal to connect all communities and cultures, the collection aims to bring people together at a time during which togetherness has come in short supply.

You can see actress Debby Ryan and influencer Daniela Ramirez and her husband in their favorite styles by clicking right here. You can also see the entire collection and find the right pieces for your taste.

Marissa Barlin, director of brand partnerships for Cotton Incorporated, said The Cotton Style House is celebrating the holiday season with chic, cotton-rich styles to provide both comfort and joy.

“The collections speak to how consumers anticipate celebrating the season with a focus on personal panache or creating a cozy home,” Barlin said.

With brands like Mara Hoffman, Levi’s, Calvin Klein and STAUD, the collection shows the versatility and comfort of cotton.

Ryan Clark, Gregory Dava, Coco Bassey and Jill Wallace also joined to show off their favorite cotton styles and trendy designs that they’ll be sporting this holiday season.

Each creator worked alongside Cotton Incorporated and Irma Martínez to create unique looks that represent their styles and personalities, and now they’re offering everybody a chance to join in the fun.

To shop the whole collection, you can click right here.

You can also follow Debby Ryan, Jill Wallace, Ryan Clark, Patrick Van Negri, Daniela Ramirez and Gregory Dava on Instagram.

Tyson vs. Jones Jr. x Roots of Fight

by Justin Lyons

“Iron” Mike Tyson and Roy “Captain Hook” Jones Jr. will step back into the ring Nov. 28 for an exhibition fight at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Roots of Fight, the official apparel partner for the match, is getting fans ready with the official Triller Presents Tyson vs. Jones Collection, a collaboration with Triller, an AI-powered video app that will present the fight.

The collection is exclusive to Roots of Fight and includes graphic apparel across five styles on sweatshirts and shirts. It is inspired by the colors of the promotional posters that sport bright yellow, pink and blue.

It also draws inspiration from retro concert tees worn to support for the event, to show off your favorite star or even just to wear around town.

Items in the collection retail at $48 and $80 depending upon the style. It is available by clicking right here.

The match itself features two boxing legends. Tyson, 54, is the former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world while Jones Jr., 51, racked up 66 wins in his career and held belts in four different weight classes.

Tyson is one of the most well-known and feared fighters in the history of boxing. He opened his career with 37 consecutive wins and finished at 50-6. His last professional fight was June 11, 2005.

After retiring as one of the most recognizable faces on the planet, Tyson’s stock rose as a pop culture icon, appearing in television and film, including as the lead of “Mike Tyson Mysteries,” an animated series that sees the heavyweight champ solving Scooby-Doo-like mysteries.

The fight is available on Pay-Per-View by clicking right here. It will begin at 9 p.m. EST and cost $49.99.

While Tyson vs. Jones Jr. is the main event, Jake Paul vs. Nate Robinson, Badou Jack vs. Blake McKernan and Viddal Riley vs. Rashad Coulter are also part of the main card.

Jamaine Ortiz vs. Nahir Albright, Irvin Gonzalez vs. Edward Vazquez and Juiseppe Cusumano vs. Nick Jones will be preliminary fights.

You can learn more about Roots of Fight by clicking right here. You can also follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

Rita Azar illustrates relationship article for 360 MAGAZINE

In With the Old – The Eccentricities of Generation Z

Gen Z is….strange.

Born at a time where the Twin Towers were gone, Limp Bizkit were popular and Manchester United were kings of Europe, the genesis of Gen Y was certainly an exercise in the bizarre. 

It’s no surprise, then, that those born at the turn of the millennium have no shortage of quirks. 

Whether it’s the surreal sense of humor, ‘depression memes’, mumble rap, or hydro flask stickers, the self-expression of Gen-Y’ers is certainly much, much different than previous generations.

Why Are Gen-Z’ers So…Weird?

I don’t mean to use the word ‘weird’ in a derogatory fashion, much the opposite. This generation is more in-tune than ever in noticing, documenting, and even embracing, the absurdness of the human condition in the form of social media and news outlets – and their methods of self-expression are something that Existentialist philosophers would turn their heads at. Maybe this is due to the abnormal cauldron that was boiling away during Gen-Z’s formative years, and what ongoing events are continuing to influence the young minds of Gen-Z.

The 2000’s were a strange decade for us Westerners. We were getting to grips with the Internet, and the juggernaut of social media was in its infancy – never before was it so easy to connect with, talk to, and even stalk, our friends, families, and our friends’ friends. With the all-seeing visibility of social media platforms, Gen-Z developed a level of expectation and social pressure that was completely unknown to their predecessors. 

Generation Z was the first generation whose presence was truly immersed in the Internet. The effect of the Web can be seen not only in their sense of humour, but also their fashion choices, too. 

Gen-Z’s Value Comfort Above All Else

The rise of athleisure clothing in recent years has brought with it a level of comfort that other styles simply can’t offer. 

Though wearing gym-gear to the office sounds like something out of 1990s Silicon Valley to some, it’s become the norm to arrive at the office wearing yoga pants and a T-shirt. 

The rise of social media influencers have definitely had a part to play, too. Celebrities are often seen in public wearing candid, gym-based uniforms, and actors like Dwayne Johnson and Hugh Jackman have helped make healthy lifestyles cool. 

Not only does athleisure provide comfort, some of it is pretty damn stylish nowadays – and both are attributes that Gen-Z’ers value. 

 Are The Early 2000’s Back?

The fact that the early-2000s were twenty years ago is unfathomable for most of us. 

Simpler times, they were, but at least the 2020s have resurrected some nostalgia-inducing outfits for us to remember days long gone by. Whether it’s tiny sunglasses, low rise jeans, or mesh tops (for both men and women) some of the outfits worn by Gen-Z’ers are enough to usher in years of nostalgia, for better or worse.

Luckily for us, frosted tips, and baggy, Eminem-esque t-shirts remain on the ash heap of history, for now anyway.

Perhaps this return to the early-2000s is simply Gen-Z’s returning to the outfits they saw in their youth – perhaps it’s meant as an antidote to today’s current crazy climate, one that will unquestionably define their twenties and thirties. On the other hand, it could be neither of those – and Gen-Z’s are simply wearing them because they like them. Either way, retro-inspired get-up is all the rage in 2020. 

The Gen-Z Story Continues to Get Stranger

Those who are a part of Generation Z have had lives book-ended, so far, by two world-defining events – the 9/11 attacks and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It will be interesting to see how this weird and wonderful generation deals with the latter – and what social, personal, and political repercussions they have to deal with. Generation Z have always had their own way of doing things, and their thirst for eccentricity shows no signs of slowing down.

Music article illustration by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

Grow Your Spotify Plays Overnight

If you are looking for more Spotify exposure, then you can join the millions of other Spotify artists that are trying to do the same thing. However, it feels like all we are ever doing is just treading water. We post songs and playlists only to have them fall into oblivion. They never see the light of day and never get a hit. 

Promotions seem to go nowhere. It doesn’t matter how many times you Tweet out a link to your music. It all ends up the same way, low plays, low streams, and low follows. It doesn’t have to be this way. It doesn’t have to be so hard. You have to be proactive about your marketing, but you also need to focus on the metrics that will actually improve your Spotify rankings. Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook are all great places to start but you won’t grow a following unless you hit the below metrics. Once you understand what you need to do, just rinse and repeat. You will soon be basking in the glow of plays.

You need to market your music by increase your play and follower metrics. You need to buy Spotify plays. This common practice will get your listings over the hump to be seen by a new crowd.

Why Improve Your Plays?

The Spotify algorithm is specific to Spotify platform metrics. This means that you need to focus on improving your Spotify platform numbers. Like what was mentioned above, exposure on other platforms is great but it will only get you so far. You need those marketing events to convert into Spotify metrics.

The first metric you need to improve is the play count. This could be connected to an album, playlist, or a specific song. It all depends on what your goals are for your artistic talents. Song pay count tells the Spotify algorithm that people are listening to your stuff. It shows that you are relevant and significant to the current music scene. It could be based on a genre of music or just the industry as a whole. 

Plays matter over the course of time. If you have a bunch of plays in a single day, it isn’t going to boost anything for very long. You may appear higher in the algorithm for the next 24 hours, but afterwards you will be forgotten, again. Instead you want to think about the long term. More plays overtime is the better philosophy. So, if you got 100 plays, it is better to have 1 a day for 100 days than all 100 plays in the same day. 

Why Improve Your Followers?

Remember that it isn’t just about plays. If you stuff gets played a bunch, that is great, but it isn’t the end of the story. If you are looking to solidify a top spot in the Spotify algorithm, you need to show that it isn’t just about your music, it is about you as an artist. Take a band like Radiohead. Their music is wildly popular. However, Radiohead as a band is popular as well. So, if they were still making music, they would be recommended alongside similar artists because the “followers” action shows that it is more than just a single song or two that makes them so important.

This is obvious. When you look at other social media platforms you see the same actions taking place. Instagram and Facebook are the best examples of the potential for ranking improvements when there are more followers, not just likes or shares. The Spotify algorithm takes in the totality of the artist’s metrics in order to decide how worthy they are to be recommended to other listeners. Once you get there, royalties will start to improve as organic listeners start to steadily increase with time.

Are Certain Listeners Better Than Others?

Yes, certain Spotify listeners are more important than others. However, you want a mix of all types of listeners in order to really impress the algorithm. What does this mean? There are generally two types of Spotify listeners and they can interact with your account in one of two ways. So, basically, there are four different results that could happen. Let’s go through them.

First, you could have a free listener listen to a song once. This individual has the least amount of impact on your account. Second, you could have a free listener continually listen to your music. This has more impact because it shows that an individual really likes your stuff and wants to listen to it more and more.

Third, you could have a paid premium listener listen to a song once. This has some impact due to a higher royalty payment that comes from premium members. Fourth, you could have a paid premium listen subscribe and continually listen to your music. This has the largest impact of all of them. Make sure that when you are buying Spotify plays that you focus on the mix of different listeners.

Oprah Winfrey Virtual Town Halls

Oprah Winfrey announced plans Monday to host virtual town halls in states that look to play a large role in the upcoming election.

As part of OWN’s OWN YOUR VOTE get-out-the-vote initiative, the town halls will be a non-partisan effort to encourage, inspire and support voters across the country before Nov. 3.

The events are free and open to the public, and you can register in advance by clicking right here.

She will host an event for voters in Wisconsin Oct. 26, voters in North Carolina Oct. 27, voters in Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsylvania Oct. 28 and voters in South Carolina Oct. 29. All of the town halls will begin at 8 p.m. ET.

Winfrey will speak with local voters in an effort to acquire adequate resources, information and inspiration to create a more informed voting base. Local voters, national thought leaders, voting rights experts and others who can provide insight and resources to voters will join her.

Speakers at the town halls include Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Representative Gwen Moore, Kristen Clarke, Vi Lyles, Kamilia Landrum, Andrea Hailey, Tameika Isaac Devine, Arisha Hatch, Tamika D. Mallory and Sherrilyn Ifill.

Representatives from women’s organizations will also attend, like Dr. Glenda Glover, Beverly E. Smith, Melanie Campbell, Glynda Carr, Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Dr. Kimberly Leonard, Rasheeda S. Liberty and Valerie Hollingsworth Baker.

For this event, OWN YOUR VOTE has partnered with the following organizations: 

Advancement Project National Office

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

AME Church Social Action Commission

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated

Fair Fight Action

Higher Heights Leadership Fund

Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights

The Kapor Center

The King Center (Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc.)

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

The Links, Incorporated

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF)

National Council of Negro Women

National Urban League

Power Rising

Power to the Polls

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated

Sistahs in Business Expo

Vote Run Lead

Vote.org

VoteAsIf.org

When We All Vote

Woke Vote

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated

You can also learn more about OWN YOUR VOTE by clicking right here.

Has eSports Become a Part of Pop Culture?

A couple of decades ago, when video games burst into the mainstream audience for good, everyone could have guessed that gaming would soon become an important part of the entertainment industry. But what no one could have predicted is just how popular it would become not to play video games yourself, but to watch other people play. So popular in fact, that competitive video gaming, i.e. eSports, has slowly but steadily grown to become an important part of pop culture. But how and why did eSports gain so much momentum?

eSports expand their reach into the mainstream audience

When the first organized competitive gaming tournaments emerged where professional players vie for a prize, analysts very aptly dubbed the new practice “eSports”. And research reported by the Influencer Marketing Hub reveals that this new industry has quickly expanded its appeal and gained unprecedented growth. In 2017, eSports reached an audience of 335 million viewers, which climbed to 380 million in 2018. It is now estimated that until 2021 that number will reach roughly 557 million, exhibiting an annual growth rate of 14%. Out of those, 250 million will be regular viewers but another 307 million will be casual spectators. This means that casual viewers will constitute the majority of the eSports audience.

Furthermore, according to the same source, even people who do not watch eSports have still heard of them. In 2015, an impressive 800,000 people were aware of the industry. But a year later, over a billion people have reportedly heard of eSports – a jaw-dropping growth. In 2019 alone, eSports awareness was estimated to have reached 1.57 billion people around the world. The combination of these two facts, i.e. the number of casual viewers and the tremendous growth in awareness, lead us to the conclusion that eSports has now become an important part of pop culture.

How eSports became a part of pop culture

But if you want even more proof, just take a closer look at eSports betting. That’s right: betting sites now consider eSports as a sub-category of the traditional realm of sports betting, and punters can place wagers on the biggest eSports tournament just like they would on the NBA finals or the Super Bowl. It is no surprise, when you consider the hype surrounding the biggest eSports competitions. In 2019, the League of Legends World Championship gathered an audience of almost 4 million viewers, and the Fortnite World Cup Finals amassed an impressive 2.3 million. Speaking of Fortnite, it is perhaps the game that best encapsulates how video gaming and eSports are now part of pop culture in their own right.

Who could forget the iconic and hilarious scene in Avengers: Endgame that saw Thor compete against “Noobmaster69” on Fortnite? Just like people are still not over the live concert series that now takes place within the Fortnite game. Travis Scott was the first to take the leap of faith and performed virtually to raving reviews. Now, the digital concerts continue, with J Balvin reportedly set to headline the Fortnite Halloween Concert series, in a perfect blend of these divergent strands of pop culture that has had audiences going wild. Much like the music industry, other sectors have realized the potential of eSports and gaming that allows them to reach to a wider audience and are jumping at the chance. For example, Oakley has already announced that they would launch a new type of lenses specifically designed for gaming.

If we want to understand better how eSports have so quickly become a part of pop culture, we also need to look at the channels that enabled them to connect with their audience. Millennials are now in their 20s and 30s, and they have grown up in an increasingly digital world. Watching their favorite gamers play live on Twitch or YouTube, and interacting with them on chat or social media was an organic way for them to connect. Steven Spielberg’s recent blockbuster Ready Player One took the concept one step further. In a dystopian future, taking place in a VR gaming tournament has become the one shot its protagonist has at fixing everything wrong with the world – competitive gaming has somehow turned into something more real than real life itself.

For the young adults that are right now the driving force behind market trends, and are shaping pop culture, eSports are an integral part of life and culture.

5 Game-Changing Benefits That SEO Can Give To Your Business

Now may very well be a tough time for businesses to part with capital for marketing. The reality however is that taking such a decision, could make the difference between coming out of the pandemic in good shape, or not coming out at all. Marketing has and always will provide a great return on investment, and businesses need this more now than ever before. Any smart digital marketing campaign will feature a number strategies and SEO will form the foundation of your success. 

For big agencies like Local Digital SEO forms the bedrock of all campaigns and here is how it will be a real game changer for your business.  

Improved User Experience

In today’s world simply having an online presence isn’t enough and there is a higher focus than ever before on the type of user experience which you can offer visitors to your website. The better the user experience, the longer visitors will hang around and the more likely they are to buy. To meet with SEO requirements, ad agencies will start by bringing your website up to scratch, and the byproduct of that will be a better UX.  

Cost Effective Ad Strategy 

SEO is a one-time cost which will benefit your business for a long time to come. This is a strategy which gets more clicks than PPC and it is one of the most cost effective strategies out there. This is an inbound marketing campaign, there is less focus on going to your customers and a much higher emphasis on enticing them to come and see what you are all about.  

Improving The Awareness of Your Brand

The goal of SEO is to appear on the top pages of the search engine for a wide variety of keywords. In doing this you are going to be seen by a huge number of people, many of whom may not actually check out your site, at least not the first time. The more that you are seen on the search results however, the more a consumer recognizes the power of your brand, and that further increases your chance to make sales, and build a great online reputation. 

Attracting Local Customers

The reason why so many small businesses should focus on SEO is that it works wonders in driving local customers through the doors. Organic search is bigger than ever, and looking for businesses and services ‘near me’ is how the majority of consumers find new places to go. Through the implementation of SEO your business can really light up the local market. 

Optimizing Your Site For Mobile

No SEO campaign would be complete if it didn’t focus on mobile users and in order to do that, your business website will need to be mobile optimized. Just under half of all organic searches are made via mobile, if your website cannot be viewed on mobile, or if it only offers the desktop version, you will lose a huge opportunity to make sales. 

Squeezing out some capital for SEO marketing could be the way to secure long term success for your business. 

Salad Illustration for 360 mag

A Dream Food Journey through the Lanes of Spain

Getting up from the bed in your impressive suite with sunlight touching your face, the melody in the air, welcoming you to the beautiful city of Spain, is famous for many things. It is also a country that doesn’t need much of an appreciation as everybody knows that the country is known for its amazing food, fashion, and architecture. 

Few of the many popular things native to Spain comprise of La Tomatina, Corrida De Toros, and Tapas. Of all the great items found, Spanish football is a fascinating feature belonging to Spain. 

Speaking of Spanish football, the country is known for its love for sports betting, especially football betting. The land has given rise to a few of most amazing punters the worlds have ever seen. You may be new to the Spanish football betting, but www.slotsformoney.com is not, and will help you to increase the odds by applying strategic measures. You can also find various casinos in Spain that has a chef recommended special delicacies as well as cuisine for its customers. 

Of all the other things Spain is famous for, food cuisine is one of the platforms where Spain is celebrated throughout the world. The culinary customs of Spain is very different from the rest of the countries in the world. People, native to Spain, love the way they prepare their cuisine and is proud of how it resembles their culture.

Having said that, you must know that there is various explicit and exemplary must-try foods emerging from this country. We will see a few of the many in the following post. Once you read them, the next thing you would do is to book the tickets and fly to explore the land of rivers or the land of the setting sun!

Top Most Spanish Food Cuisine You Must Try your Hands-On

1. Tortilla Española

The first and the foremost one to top the list is none other than his greatness, Tortilla Española! If you are a friend of potatoes and eggs, this might be the one you are sure to fall in love with. Tortilla Española is a rich food depicting Spanish culture. 

You can find everything from Eggs, Potatoes, to Onions in the rich food. The smell of potatoes and onions slowing frying in the buttered olive pan and the elegant beaten eggs are pouring itself in to make the texture thick, sprinkling the heart of ham spinach, and chorizo… 

You may wipe that drool and either goes make this delicious food or save the dish from tasting later when you visit Spain.

2.  Gazpacho

You may as well do many sins that leaving Spain without trying this dish.  Gazpacho, the second one on the list is a popular dish with all mud red colour. Tomatoes, god forbid reddest and the ripest of them all are collected to make this wonderful dish. Other ingredients include olive oil, garlic, bread, peppers and cucumber. 

These veggies and condiments are mixed and blended to get a silky smooth texture which is later chilled and served in bowls. You can find this particular dish in every house of Spanish people, especially during the summertime. You will find this in every counter of Tapas bars as well. 

You can make this at home too if you have these ingredients. But, trying it from its native origin will be paying respect to the makers of this absolute splendid dish!

3. Paella

Paella may be considered as the staple food of Spanish people. There are various reasons for this. First, it is made up of rice, and second, it is a mixture of all nutritious in one bowl. This dish is mostly seen in the Valencia region of Spain where they boast that they eat rice irrespective of seasons. 

Here, Paella is a rice combo mixed either with ham or rabbit. You may also find runner beans as well as butter beans in your bowl. Yes, all the veggies and meat on point! You can have a whole meal with a refreshing drink, which will make up your brunch.

4. Patatas bravas

Spain is in love with potatoes, and tapas one can say, which is why we reached the fourth one on the list. Patatas brava is a splendid food cuisines mixture of tapas, potatoes, and to increase the tanginess, you may also find sweet and spicy pimentón in the dish. 

There are many people who like their Patatas bravas mixed with garlic, a pinch of secret ingredients, and olive oil. You must know that in this particular dish, Spanish never ever use tomatoes! So, if you are trying to prepare this from home, make sure you never add any bits and pieces of tomatoes.

5. Gambas al ajillo

Another famous food dish emerging from Spain is the popular prawns’ dish, Gambas al ajillo. This is one of the sightful seen you will ever see n any tapas bar. The moment you enter into the bar, the treat for your eyes will be presented before you. Spice rich sizzling prawns making the evening aromatic as well as nostalgic. This is one of the dishes any Spanish people will rely on to make their day special. 

The dish is easy, and you can create it in the home with few ingredients you can find it in the fridge. You can slice or mince the garlic into small pieces with green chilli, fry till golden brown, where you throw the prawns into this sizzling brownish garlic with the right temperature. You can also add few parsley and coriander leaves, according to however you like it to taste.

Conclusion

Spain is famous for its food, dance forms, bull-fighting, Spaniards, and even destinations. It is undoubtedly one of the best destinations to visit if you are a traveller and a foodie guy.  You can also keep track of the above-listed food delicacies if you really want to try the authentic Spanish delight.

Computer Scams illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

5 Tips for Safe Online Holiday Shopping

By Stephanie Benoit-Kurtz, faculty chair for cybersecurity programs at University of Phoenix

Black Friday might look a little different this holiday season as companies opt to close their doors to shoppers and instead offer virtual options to help stop the spread of coronavirus. While doing so may help prevent illness, it puts consumers at greater risk for another threat ― cybercrime.

This time of year has always been the busiest for online shopping, which has grown exponentially during the past decade. And that was before this year’s coronavirus outbreak caused e-commerce sales to rocket further.1 It all adds up to malicious online criminals having many more opportunities to steal valuable personal information.

Online shopping, although convenient, can be problematic if appropriate security measures aren’t implemented. Identity theft, credit card fraud and malware are among the many safety threats consumers face.

It’s important to take steps to protect your personal information while shopping online this holiday season — and throughout the year. These safety measures can help protect your identity and prevent credit card theft.

  1. Ensure the company is PCI compliant

Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance is directed by credit card companies to protect consumers. It mandates that a variety of standards be upheld to ensure secure credit card transactions. All organizations that accept credit cards must uphold the required standard.

If an organization is not PCI compliant, personally identifiable information is potentially at risk, either through a third-party seller or through the consumer’s computer or device because the end-point security necessary to shield the transaction is absent or inadequate.

If an error appears when you go to a business’s website indicating their PCI certificate is not secure or is expired, you should not conduct a transaction there. If you do, your personal information is at risk.

  1. Look for the lock

It is important that companies ensure the data you provide when making a purchase is encrypted. To determine whether an organization is using encryption, look for the lock symbol in the browser. This symbol indicates the website uses SSL, a data-transfer security standard that encrypts your data and ensures the server in use is authentic and secure.

Companies can go one step further with tokenization, which means they do not store, manage, maintain or transmit any credit card numbers in their completion anywhere. To determine a company’s security, look for this information published on their website. It should show what they are doing to secure their customers’ information from vulnerabilities related to personal identifiable data privacy.

  1. Firewall application software and active

Consider installing a firewall software application on your computer. If you already have the software, make sure it is turned on. While firewalls are generally used to prevent malicious cyberattacks coming from the outside, you should look for software that can protect your data in both directions — both incoming and outgoing data — to make sure the private information you provide when you make a purchase is secure.

  1. Antivirus or next-generation AI behavior-based antivirus

Antivirus software will help alert you if your network is victim of a malware attack. There are now more sophisticated next-generation apps that use artificial intelligence (AI) to learn about your consumer habits to better identify fraud. Consider installing AI behavior-based antivirus software before you start your holiday shopping online for an added layer of protection.

  1. Research the business

If you are purchasing from an online store that is new to you, be sure to do your due diligence before clicking “buy now.” Check for complaints made to the Better Business Bureau. Look at online reviews, checking specifically to see if there are challenges concerning refunds or processing cards. Visa and Mastercard have publicly available registries listing service providers that comply with rules and industry security standards.

Once you complete your transaction, it’s possible you will have no idea whether your online purchase has put your sensitive data at risk. It could be years before you know you’ve been a victim of cybercriminals. With the rise in online purchases and the biggest shopping season of the year nearing, it is a good time to do as much as you can to protect yourself.

About the Author

Stephanie Benoit-Kurtz is lead area faculty chair for cybersecurity programs at University of Phoenix Las Vegas Campus and director of cybersecurity at Stations Casinos in Las Vegas.

T.V. Illustration for 360 Magazine by Kaelen Felix

Watch Together with Sling

By Hannah DiPilato

SLING TV debuted a new co-watching feature today, Sling Watch Party, which enables customers to watch their favorite live programming together. With this feature, viewers can stream live television with up to three other viewers. Watchers can also interact in real-time by the video and chat features. This is an exciting first for the live T.V. industry! 

Recently, as corona has swept the globe, quarantine has led to everyone interacting six feet apart. Loved ones have had to find new ways to come together virtually. One popular activity, during this time, became watching shows and movies together while on video chat. Netflix Party was a popular extension for people to watch Netflix together. This third-party extension had a few flaws, but now SLING is making it easy to watch together, even T.V. that’s live. 

This feature is currently available to all existing SLING TV customers. SLING Watch Party can be accessed on Google Chrome web browsers by a laptop or desktop computer. Through a special beta preview, guests of the SLING subscriber can join a SLING Watch Party by easily creating a free SLING TV account. This free account registration is available through September 30th. 

Those with an account can choose from most live, On Demand and LookBack content to stream with their friends. Channels are available depending on which SLING plan you are subscribed to. Subscription plans include SLING Orange, SLING Blue, SLING Latino and SLING International services. These subscriptions differ and can be chosen based on your television watching desires. Channels available with these subscriptions along with any SLING TV Extra are able to be watched in a party. 

Everyone in the watch party has full control over their own video camera, the volume of the content on their individual device and the volume of video chat that is being received from other participants. The slingers in charge of hosting a Watch Party are able to manage player controls, including play, pause and rewind for all On Demand programming.

To host a SLING Watch Party sign on to sling.com on a Chrome Web Browser and select the program you want to watch. For live episodes, parties can be started up to an hour before the program begins. Select “Start Watch Party” and invite your guests with an email link. Then just start watching with your friends and family, but don’t forget your favorite snacks. 

For more information on the new service, check out SLING’s website. Be sure to follow them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for live updates on more exciting new features.