Posts tagged with "protection"

Piggy Bank illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Financial Future

Securing Your Financial Future

Mark Williams, CEO Brokers International

When it comes to securing your financial future, the best time to start planning is today. There are a lot of tools and products available to help put a plan together, but they all have one thing in common: the earlier you take advantage of them, the better off you’ll be.

Studies have shown that younger individuals, particularly millennials, tend to prefer savings over retirement accounts. Whether that’s because they lived through the Great Recession and saw what happened to older generations whose retirement strategies were rooted in the stock market, a lack of financial literacy, or something else altogether, the fact remains that younger generations have a more conservative mindset regarding financial planning and investing.

Many people put off retirement planning until retirement itself moves more into focus. But to maximize the impact of your efforts to plan for a secure financial future, start as early as you can. Here’s where you should start.

Workplace 401(k)s

For many people in the workforce, a 401(k) is offered through their employer. Saving money for the future in a tax-advantaged vehicle is a wise move, but for those whose companies offer a 401(k) match, it’s a no-brainer to maximize that source of free money. Due to the power of compound interest, even a small regular contribution makes a major difference over time.

Consider this example. If you invest $50 a month into a 401(k), at an average 7% annual rate of return, that investment adds up. After 15 years, you’ll have invested $9,000, but it will be worth over $15,000. That same $50 a month after 30 years will amount to $18,000 out of your pocket, but it will have grown to nearly $57,000. And if you invest just $50 a month for 45 years, that $27,000 investment will be worth just under $171,500. (You may not get 7% every year, but as an illustration, the value is clear.)

Annuities

Planning for your financial future can be difficult when you may not even have a view of that horizon. You don’t know what your life will look like, what your financial needs will be, and what resources will be available to you once you are no longer working.

Annuities provide a great response to the uncertainty of long-range financial planning. It’s the only financial product available that guarantees an income stream for life — once you turn on that income stream, it’s fixed. Fluctuations in interest rates or the marketplace won’t affect it. An annuity will provide you with a paycheck every single month until the day you die — and some products even allow you to extend that benefit to your spouse or children.

Life Insurance

This is the big one, but many people overlook life insurance because they won’t be able to take advantage of it themselves. But ask yourself, at any stage of life, if you don’t make it home one day, who relies on you to provide financially? More than anything, insurance is a form of safety and protection, for you and for those you love. It’s critically important for someone who is married with children to have life insurance in case of tragedy, to be able to help cover debts, provide a future source of income and even allow space for grief without financial anxiety.

But even for single young professionals, just starting off their careers, life insurance should be a primary consideration in financial planning.

Consider a young, single, 23-year-old individual who may not have anyone who depends on their income. Why would that person want to purchase a life insurance policy in that situation? In part, because they don’t know what their situation will be like in 1, 5 or 10 years, and a 20- or 30-year term life insurance policy will provide financial safeguards for some of the possibilities that may arise. Additionally, there’s a popular saying in the insurance industry: money pays for life insurance, but health buys it. When you are young and healthy, you’ll never be able to get a life insurance policy as cheaply as you can at that point.

Just as you never know if or when your circumstances may change and you’ll find yourself wanting a life insurance policy to protect the financial interests of someone you married five years after initially deciding not to purchase a policy, you may also receive a diagnosis in that same five-year period that makes life insurance impossible (or prohibitively out of reach).

If you buy life insurance when you’re young and healthy, you can take advantage of the best rates possible and provide a blanket of financial security for your loved ones.

Plan Ahead

Financial planning isn’t a lot of fun for most people, but it is necessary. Whether you are aiming for a specific short- to a mid-range financial goal or turning your eye toward your eventual retirement, it pays to start thinking about securing your financial future as early as possible. The cost of doing so when you are young is comparatively lower than if you wait 10, 20, or 30 years to make some of the same decisions.

If you’re young, take advantage of your long time horizon and plan accordingly. If you’re older and already feeling close to retirement, you may not have taken advantage of the power of compound interest but it’s still not too late to reallocate some of your assets and shore up your financial situation as much as possible.

For anyone, I would strongly recommend seeking out the advice and experience of a financial professional — they will understand all of your available options and know best how to construct a strategic plan to help you reach your goals.

illustration by Gabrielle Archuleta for use by 360 Magazine

Differences Between Spray-on and Roll-on Bed Liners

The benefits of installing a truck bed liner far exceed the cost implications of installing one. Truck liners protect cargo, truck integrity, provide protection from internal dents and scratches and also convenience of keeping the truck clean. All in all, it is a good investment.

Truck bed liners are accessories made of polyurea elastomer composite. It is a durable material that lines the truck bed that can withstand outdoor elements and cargo workload.

Here we will dive deep into the differences between the spray and roll on bed liner application and the advantages and drawbacks, so you can make an informed decision before embarking on a DIY project.

One thing’s for sure – bed liners do provide protection for your truck bed against wear and tear. Trucks are for hauling, carrying debris, mobilization, or the usual rough off-road activities. These are harsh conditions that can wear out your truck bed.

Roll-on bed liners

A do-it-yourself roll-on bed liner can cost $100-$200, significantly cheaper than the drop-in and spray-on alternative by more than half.

There are four roll-on bed liners available in the market today – polyurethane formulation (the basic), oil-based, water-based and urethane. All vary in features, but all are inclusive of brush kits for convenience.

This option is like any homestyle painting activity. Most of the tools for a DIY bed liner project are available in any local hardware store. This great liner can protect your pick-up’s bed from corrosion and moisture with a guarantee of unrivaled UV protection for up to a decade. It also offers a textured finish that provides the bed with an anti-skid feature to keep items and gear from sliding down the truck bed. Wood, metal, and concrete are some surfaces that are possible to apply roll-on paint – a versatile material yielding a much cheaper end product.

Spray-on bed liners

As the name implies, a vital spray gun tool is needed to apply spray-on bed liners. Aside from a spray gun, an air compressor is also one of the tools. A unique feature for spray-on bed liners is the ability of the material to lull sounds and vibrations that are distracting while on the road. It is also resistant to rust and sun exposure. The only drawback of this method is that the application is not a DIY sort of thing. Manufacturers generally apply it using a spray system; thus, this can be a more expensive option. A professionally installed spray-on bed liner costs $500-$1,000. The application requires specific technical capabilities, especially on navigating the pressurized spray brush.

In summary, both roll-on and spray-on provide a textured finish product that acts as a non-skid flooring. Both also offer protection from scratches, corrosion, moisture and wear and tear. The differences lie in the method and ease of application and the costs. A roll-on bed liner appears to be much cheaper and relatively easy to apply. If you are budget-conscious, a roll-on bed liner is a good choice.

Immersive whale experience from Sarah Bronilla from Tribeca Immersive for use by 360 Magazine

Tribeca Immersive unveils experience to save orca whales

The Tribeca Immersive event during the 20th Annual Tribeca Festival will see the launch of Critical Distance, a social augmented reality (AR) experience built to engage audiences toward long-term protection of marine wildlife. Harnessing the power of Microsoft HoloLens 2, Critical Distance blends projection and holograms to bring audiences into the world of the Salish Sea, home of the endangered Southern Resident orcas and their struggle for a sustainable future.

Within a custom-built projection environment, audiences of four each wear the latest Microsoft Hololens 2 wearable technology to interact with the Critical Distance characters and narrative. Immersed in the underwater world of Salish Sea audiences connect with J pod, a close-knit family of 24 Southern Resident orcas with a spotlight on Kiki — a six-year-old female who carries the fate of the pod on her shoulders. The groundbreaking storytelling harnesses technology to help us see below the surface in an entirely new way, empowering audiences to “see sound” as they experience Kiki’s world of echolocation and her struggle to compete with human activity. This educational exploration narrated by youth climate justice activist and Co-Executive Director of Zero Hour Jamie Margolin, highlighting scientific efforts focused on Orca preservation, aims to entertain, inform, connect and motivate audiences to take action to support this critical species

Following the launch at the 20th Annual Tribeca Festival, Critical Distance will continue on to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History for a nine-month installation. Audiences are invited to experience Critical Distance between June 9-20, with tickets and advanced booking available at Tribeca.

Graph via BeyondTrust.com for Atlas VPN for use by 360 Magazine

In 2020 Number of Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Products Exceeded 1,000 for the First Time

Microsoft products are used by billions of people worldwide. Historically, however, they are known to have many vulnerabilities that pose security risks to users of the software.

According to data presented by the Atlas VPN team, the total number of vulnerabilities in Microsoft products reached 1,268 in 2020—an increase of 181% in five years. Windows was the most vulnerability-ridden Microsoft product. It had a total of 907 issues, of which 132 were critical. However, Windows Server had the largest number of critical issues. In 2020, 902 vulnerabilities were detected in Windows Server, of which 138 were critical.

Issues were also found in other Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer. Together, these browsers had 92 vulnerabilities in 2020. In total, 61 or even 66% of these vulnerabilities were of critical level. Meanwhile, Microsoft Office had 79 vulnerabilities, 5 of which were critical. 

Ruth Cizynski, the cybersecurity researcher and author at Atlas VPN, shares her thoughts on the situation :

 “These numbers are a massive problem because every Microsoft product has millions of users. Therefore, it is important that consumers update their software applications on time. Software updates can include security patches that can fix vulnerabilities and save users from getting hacked.”

Elevation of privilege is the most common Microsoft vulnerability

A wide range of vulnerabilities was discovered in various Microsoft products last year.  However, some types of vulnerabilities were more common than others. Elevation of privilege was the most frequently detected issue in Microsoft products. It was discovered 559 times and made up 44% of all Microsoft vulnerabilities in 2020.

Next up is remote code execution. In total, 345 such vulnerabilities were found last year, putting it in second place on the list. Remote code execution accounted for 27% of the total number of Microsoft vulnerabilities in 2020.

Information disclosure occupies the third spot on the list. There were 179 such issues discovered in 2020. Together, they made up 14% of all Microsoft vulnerabilities that year.

To learn more, click HERE.

3 Important Reasons Why You MUST Invest In Motocross Boots

In the world of motocross, thrills are the name of the game. It’s the reason why people take up the sport at all. But alongside the high flying stunts, awesome speeds, thrilling turns and twists and all the fancy tricks comes a part of the motocross sport that is not at all pleasant, but remains simply unavoidable. 

What are we referring to? Spills. Thrills and spills–that’s motocross.

That’s where motocross boots come into play. You may think that they’re only meant to protect feet (which is true), but that’s just not true.

There are other reasons why you must have high-quality motocross boots in your arsenal.

They Enhance The Look

You probably have a ton of images in your head of people posing with their bikes, fully clad in their extreme gear–including their boots. They look so cool, don’t they? They should, since gear nowadays is specially designed not only to be functional, but stylish as well. 

If you are looking for a pair of dirt bike boots, be sure to find one that matches your bike’s design, as well as whatever other gear you may be wearing.

They Offer Great Protection

When you’re racing along rough dirt tracks, leaping off ramps, and slamming on the ground after being thrown several yards or meters into the air, you’re probably going to want all the parts of your body to be safely covered up and padded. Protection will ensure that you’re not in constant fear that the slightest mistake will cost you an arm and a leg—literally! 

Also, bikers often use their feet to assist them when making sharp turns.

You’ve probably seen this before: a biker is nearing a turn, and instead of slamming down on the brakes to bring himself to a crawl, he slows down only a little. In this way, he can plant his foot down and use it as a sort of anchor that will allow him to swerve with more maneuverability than would otherwise be possible. 

They may make it look easy, but that’s only possible because they are wearing proper protection–namely, a good pair of tough, sturdy dirt bike boots.

Boots will also protect your feet from minor impacts, cuts and abrasions if you have an accident. Because good quality boots are usually made from tough materials like leather, these can withstand a lot more beating than normal human skin can and act as the first line of defense for your feet and lower leg.

They Help Improve Performance

As mentioned above, a good pair of dirt bike boots will allow a rider to make much sharper turns. But, this is not the only way that this kind of gear can enhance one’s performance. 

The soles of a good pair of boots are designed to give their wearer maximum traction, to ensure that their feet stay firmly planted on the foot pegs.

Modern boots are made to be as lightweight as possible, as not to hamper movement and balance. Finding a lightweight pair of boots allows you forget about them when having fun and getting your adrenaline rush on the dirt bike track. 

For these reasons and many others, dirt bike boots are essential parts of the extreme biker’s gear.

Final Word

Motocross boots aren’t only meant for protecting your feet, though that’s their primary function. You can also customize your boots to suit your bike’s design for aesthetic purposes. With motocross boots, you can focus on the ride more since you will be assured that your feet are safe from the gnarly ground. 

We hope you’re convinced why it makes sense to invest in a good pair of motocross boots. 

Do you have any questions? Ask us in the comments!

Graph via Sophos for Atlas VPN for use by 360 Magazine

India, Austria, and US Most Hit with Ransomware

Ransomware attacks are one of the leading cyber threats that organizations have to face.

According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, organizations in India, Austria, and the United States are among the most hit with ransomware attacks. To compare, more than 50% of companies in the mentioned countries experienced such attacks in the past year, while the global average is 37%.

Out of 300 interviewees from India, 68% suffered from a ransomware attack. At the same time, 57 out of 100 respondents from Austria experienced a ransomware attack in the last year. Next up, in the United States, 51% of participants, out of 500 questioned, reported that they were hit with a ransomware attack.

Retail and Education Sectors Suffer the Most Ransomware Attacks

Some organizations in specific sectors are more susceptible to hacker attacks due to their lower security levels or valuable data. However, cybercriminals do not shy away from attacking even the biggest companies or government administrations.

Out of 435 respondents in the retail industry, 44% were hit with a ransomware attack last year. Hackers strike retailers when it could hurt them the most, for example, on Black Friday or Christmas seasons.

Retailers share first place with education organizations—out of 499 education interviewees 44% experienced such malicious attacks. Cybercriminals usually deploy ransomware attacks at the start of a school year to cause maximum disruption.

The business and professional services industry suffered the third most ransomware attacks, with a total of 42% out of 361 respondents stating they experienced a ransomware attack in the past year. Companies in this industry are usually smaller with less staff, meaning they might not have a dedicated person to ensure security. Out of 117 participants in the Central government and non-departmental public body (NDPB) sector, 40% reported being attacked with ransomware in the last year.

Conclusion

Cybersecurity writer and researcher at Atlas VPN Anton Petrov shares his advice on how to protect your organization against ransomware attacks.

“Prepare a plan in case you… get hacked. Always have a backup of your data so you don’t have to pay a ransom. Investing in cybersecurity will cost you less than having to deal with the aftermath of a ransomware attack.”

Like with everything else, there’s a way to protect your data in order to make sure hackers don’t get to it and cause serious financial damage.

NB Pure illustration by Heather Skovlund (Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels) for 360 Magazine

Summer Tips for Melanoma Prevention

Protect yourself from melanoma without becoming deficient in vitamin D

By Leah Johnston, RDN

Don’t be so quick to overlook concerns around melanoma just because it’s often viewed as preventable. Melanoma is one of the most common cancers and the deadliest form of skin cancer. However, there is a conflict between how we prevent melanoma and how we ensure we are getting enough vitamin D. Sun exposure is the main source of this essential vitamin, but it’s also the primary culprit in the formation of melanoma. With May being Melanoma Awareness Month, it’s time to take notice and learn how we can protect our skin while still absorbing enough vitamin D.

The Stats

Cases of melanoma have been rising over the last few decades, especially among young adults, as it’s the most commonly diagnosed cancer among people aged 25 to 29. According to the Melanoma Research Alliance, one person dies from melanoma every hour of every day. The American Cancer Society reports that the risk for getting melanoma is approximately 2.6% (1 in 38) for whites, 0.1% (1 in 1,000) for Blacks, and 0.6% (1 in 167) for Hispanics. While fair skin poses a higher risk, darker complexions are also at risk.

How Melanoma forms

Melanocytes are cells that produce melanin and give skin its brown or tan color. It’s when melanocytes start to grow out of control on the skin’s top layer that cancer can develop and then spread to other parts of the body. Usually appearing as a brown or black spot or mole, melanoma is most commonly found on the chest and back for men and legs for women. It’s best not to ignore any irregular spots you may find on your skin because this cancer can also appear in other colors or patterns. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or tanning beds can damage DNA in cells and significantly increase the risk of melanoma. Early detection is important for effective treatment.

Tips for melanoma prevention:

  • Use a broad-spectrum SPF sunscreen all year when outdoors. This will help protect against sun damage, which can occur even when the sun might be hiding behind a cloud.
  • Limit sun exposure during the middle of the day when the UV rays are at their peak. Instead, plan outdoor time for the morning or later afternoon to lessen the risk. 
  • Opt for a spray tan over laying out by the pool. If you love to have a tan, spray tans are a safer option and will help protect the longevity of your skin.
  • Schedule annual skin exams with a dermatologist. This is especially important if you have fair skin or immediate family members who have had melanoma, such as a parent or sibling.

The importance of Vitamin D

What doesn’t vitamin D do? Known as the sunshine vitamin, the human body absorbs an inactive form of vitamin D from the sun, food, or supplements and converts it into an active form of vitamin that it can use. In its active form, vitamin D plays many roles in the body.

Bone Health: Vitamin D and calcium work together to maintain bone health and density. Calcium cannot be absorbed into bones without the help of vitamin D. A vitamin D deficiency can result in bone softening, known as osteomalacia, and muscle weakness. Osteoporosis can also be associated with vitamin D deficiency due to the lack of calcium absorption. Both osteoporosis and melanoma affect older adults making it essential to couple melanoma prevention strategies with vitamin D supplementation.

Immunity: Recently, researchers have been investigating a possible link between vitamin D deficiency and the severity of COVID-19 symptoms. While this research is still in its infancy, scientists have been finding that low vitamin D status may result in the increased severity of symptoms and higher mortality rate. More research is needed in this area.

Inflammation: Research has shown an association between vitamin D status and inflammation-related autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, and type 1 diabetes. Vitamin D also helps to regulate insulin levels for diabetes management.

Depression: People with depression are more likely to have low vitamin D levels. A 2011 study found that women who ate more foods rich in vitamin D had a lower risk of depression than women who got less vitamin D in their diets. Vitamin D has also demonstrated the ability to improve the symptoms of depression.

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is 15 mcg (600 IU) for most children and adults up to the age of 70, according to the National Institutes of Health. Adults who over 70 need 20 mcg (800 IU) daily.

Tips for getting enough Vitamin D:

  • Get outside but be strategic. As previously discussed, the best time to be in the sun is in the morning or later afternoon. Plan your days to limit your exposure to the midday sun.
  • Add at least one vitamin D rich food into your daily diet. These may include fortified dairy and non-dairy beverages such as milk or orange juice, fortified cereals, salmon (wild caught contains more than farmed), sardines, and egg yolks. Wild mushrooms or those that have been treated with UV light are a good plant source of the vitamin. 
  • Take a daily Vitamin D supplement. This may be particularly important if you live in regions of the world that are further from the equator, such as the Midwest. If you struggle to remember or don’t enjoy taking pills, NB Pure has a Vitamin D3 supplement in the form of a spray for the utmost convenience.
  • Have your doctor check your vitamin D levels at least once a year. Getting an annual physical is important for your long-term health. Ask your doctor to make sure they check your vitamin D levels at that visit.

The sun may be the main reason for the increasing rates of melanoma, but it’s also our number one source of vitamin D. It is possible to protect yourself from developing melanoma and ensure that you are obtaining ample amounts of vitamin D to prevent the consequences of a deficiency.

Transgender illustration by Heather Skovlund (Original Photo Credit: Pixabay) for 360 Magazine

Parents Open Letter to Lawmakers

1,500+ Parents of Transgender, Non-Binary, and Gender-Expansive Youth Condemn Anti-Trans Bills in Open Letter to Lawmakers

More than 1,500 parents of transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive youth — from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico — signed a letter imploring elected officials to oppose anti-transgender bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country.  

The letter — organized by the Human Rights Campaign’s Parents for Transgender Equality National Council — was sent to elected officials Monday morning.

The letter comes in response to a fast and furious effort led by national groups aiming to stymie LGBTQ progress made on the national level and in many states. There are currently more than 200 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country. Of these discriminatory bills, 106 directly target transgender people, including efforts to ban transgender girls and women from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity and prohibit evidence-based, life-saving health care for transgender youth.

“Transgender kids all across the country are listening to what you say and watching what you do. The act of writing bills like this, holding hearings, and later casting votes sends a direct message to them: ‘You aren’t real to us. We don’t believe you when you tell us who you are. Your existence is dangerous to the other kids around you. We are okay if you feel lonely, isolated, and unwelcome. We are willing to take away even the smallest concessions that have been made for you because we have power and you don’t,’” the parents wrote. “Transgender folks are so tired, tired of fighting for their existence. And parents like us are tired of begging you to see our kids and treat them as full and equal members of society.”

“Transgender children are children. They deserve the ability to play organized sports and have access to medically necessary care, just like all children. These bills are cruel — and parents are not going to be silent when elected officials attack their children through discriminatory legislation,” said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David. “Transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive youth impacted by these bills are among the most vulnerable to experience depression and engage in self-harm, including suicide. Legislators must realize the seriousness of this issue and remember that they were elected to lead — not call into question whether certain children have the right to exist, to be happy, or to live authentically.”

“As a trans person, I know what it means to have lawmakers try to write me out of existence — imagine being a trans child trying to cope with this reality. There is a coordinated attack on transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive youth being waged in state legislatures across the country and it is having a devastating impact on the mental health of kids, who just want to be kids,” said Jay Brown, Senior Vice President, HRC Programs, Research & Training. “Parents will not back down when it comes to protecting their children, and they will not tolerate their elected officials using their positions of power to harm and further oppress them. We will never give up hope that if people — including elected officials — hear from people at the center of the policy debate, and their loved ones, that their hearts will open, and their minds will change.”

The full letter is below.

April 12, 2021

Dear Elected Officials,

Many of you are sponsoring, co-sponsoring, or considering voting for legislation that would force transgender children to participate in sports based on a letter on their birth certificate rather than who they are – or not participate at all. Some of you are also sponsoring, co-sponsoring, or considering voting for bills that would criminalize best-practice, evidence-based, life-saving health care that transgender youth need (and deserve!) to thrive. 

Parents of transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive youth like us have called you, sent you emails, and have showed up in the midst of a global pandemic to testify about how devastating these bills are…not only if or when they pass and become law, but also right now because, by whipping up a firestorm of attacks on our kids, they have already caused damage to our families.

Parenting during a pandemic is hard enough. The fact that these bills exist at all—that the lives of our children are up for debate in any state in this nation—adds a layer of worry to an already fraught time. Let’s be clear: the impact of these bills goes far beyond sports and medical care; they call into question whether our children have the right to exist, to be happy, to live authentically. The answer is yes. They absolutely do.

We have shared studies with you explaining that trans youth are more susceptible to struggle with anxiety or depression, not because they are transgender but because of stigma and discrimination. You have heard that being able to participate in sports and being on a team with friends and classmates can improve their mental health. You have heard adolescents tell you how afraid they are of experiencing the wrong puberty or how terrified teenagers are of having their medically-prescribed hormones denied to them. 

This isn’t the first time. We tried telling you all of this a year ago before the pandemic thankfully cut many legislative sessions short and these bills floundered. After hearing some of these concerns last year, a senator in Missouri was quoted dismissively saying “We can’t be responsible for everyone’s mental health.”

We are pointedly telling you now that you actually are responsible for the mental health of these kids. We are holding you personally responsible for the amount of stress, anxiety, and fear our precious children are currently struggling with. We are holding you responsible for how some of our children are crying themselves to sleep every night, asking why so many people hate trans kids and want them to suffer. You are the reason they are asking to move somewhere where they will be protected, because their home doesn’t feel safe anymore with you in charge of creating its laws.

You were elected to your positions to lead. And leaders understand that in our great but imperfect system of government, we favor the concept of “majority rule, minority rights.” Leaders do not use their positions of power to harm and further oppress a struggling and hurting minority.

Transgender kids all across the country are listening to what you say and watching what you do. The act of writing bills like this, holding hearings, and later casting votes sends a direct message to them: “You aren’t real to us. We don’t believe you when you tell us who you are. Your existence is dangerous to the other kids around you. We are okay if you feel lonely, isolated, and unwelcome. We are willing to take away even the smallest concessions that have been made for you because we have power, and you don’t.”

Transgender folks are so tired, tired of fighting for their existence. And parents like us are tired of begging you to see our kids and treat them as full and equal members of society. 

Here is a powerful quote from Nomi Ruiz, a Puerto Rican trans woman, artist and performer, that we’d like you to take time to think about…

“The outside world will never truly understand the magnitude of the trans experience, especially that of a child who has an undying need to live in truth despite being ostracized for it. The only way for trans children to thrive is to allow them to live freely in the face of a society that abuses them for it.”

Stop abusing our kids by creating legislation that targets them. Kill these bills now and leave our kids alone.

Justifiably angry,

Parents of Transgender, Non-Binary, and Gender-Expansive Youth

Covid-19 illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

National Minority Health Month

National Minority Health Month: 
Working Together to Help Communities Become Vaccine Ready

April is National Minority Health Month, and this year, the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) and national, state, territorial, tribal and local partners will focus on the impact of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minority and American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Together, we will underscore the need for communities at higher risk of COVID-19 to get vaccinated as more vaccines become available.

The theme for National Minority Health Month is #VaccineReady and observance activities will support helping vulnerable communities get the facts about COVID-19 vaccines, share accurate vaccine information, participate in clinical trials, get vaccinated when the time comes, and proactively practice COVID-19 safety measures. 

“Since the start of the pandemic, data show that racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to test positive for COVID-19, more likely to be hospitalized and more likely to die from COVID-19 compared to non-Hispanic whites,” said RADM Felicia Collins, MD, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and OMH Director.  “While there appears to be light at the end of the long pandemic tunnel, it is important for all of us to be vaccine ready and to continue the public health precautions while we wait our turn to get the vaccine – wearing a mask, watching our distance and washing our hands.” 

Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping people from getting COVID-19 and the CDC recommends that everyone get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. As more vaccines become available, there are steps individuals can take to protect themselves until they can get vaccinated:

  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others and stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay at least 6 feet apart from others who do not live with you.
  • Avoid crowds. The more people you are in contact with, the more likely you are to be exposed to COVID-19.

Fully vaccinated people should continue to take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask, maintaining physical distance from unvaccinated people or people whose vaccination status you do not know, and practicing other prevention measures as recommended by the CDC

To learn more about National Minority Health Month, find resources, events, and information in English and Spanish, visit the Office of Minority Health website. Follow OMH on Twitter or Twitter in Spanish, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube

The Best Car Alarm Systems for Your Vehicle: 7 Great Choices

In 2019 there were roughly 721,000 vehicles stolen. Those thefts encompassed everything from cars to motorcycles.

Vehicle thefts can be costly, not only for drivers but for insurance companies. That then raises coverage rates which again, costs drivers additional money.

While there are several strategies you can use to reduce your odds of being a car theft victim, few are as effective as installing the best car alarm system you can get your hands on. There are a lot of car alarm systems on the market today. Few though will give you the quality and price you’re looking for in a protection solution.

If you’re curious to know which alarm you should invest your money in, keep reading. Below, our team breaks down a handful of excellent choices.

1. Pyle Car Alarm System

One of the best car alarm systems on the market today is also one of the most hotly mentioned car alarms on the internet. We’re talking about the Pyle Car Alarm System.

When you pop open your Pyle alarm box, you’ll see a couple of key fobs, a bit of wiring, and three accessories you’ll need to leverage to get your system running. Once your set up is in place, you’ll enjoy car jack protection, panic mode, and an ignition kill switch.

The Pyle system also has special modes like valet mode as well as an override switch that can help you get your car going again if your alarm is overzealous in its protection.

2. Compustar CS7900

Coming in at just under $200, the Compustar CS7900 is another wonderful system that’s worth your investment. Immediately, you’ll notice its key fob’s digital display which can make unlocking and checking on the status of your car a blast.

In addition to that fun feature, you’ll enjoy a car unlock range of 3000 feet, compatible impact sensors that can make your alarm more proficient at warding off thieves, and an alarm siren that reaches 105 decibels!

3. CarLock 2nd Gen

One of the biggest barriers people run into when considering the installation of some of the best car alarms is how hard alarms can be to install. The CarLock 2nd Gen takes that concern and obliterates it.

With the CarLock 2nd Gen, all you have to do to get protected is plug its dongle into your vehicle’s OBD port. Just like that, your car will be able to alert you to suspicious activity on your phone and can be tracked.

The downside with the CarLock is that it can be disabled by unplugging it. That can put your vehicle at higher risk but on the plus side, you won’t have to read this article to find affordable installers to help you get this device up and running.

4. CrimeStopper

If bang for your buck is at the top of your best car security alarm system want list, check out the CrimeStopper. In addition to having one of the most attractive brand names in the car alarm market, the car stopper package comes with two key fobs, a starter kill that can stop thieves from hot-wiring, and can even be used to work on two separate cars.

You read that right! This alarm system and its key fobs are capable of being synced with up to two vehicles which can provide a level of protection for both of your cars (assuming you have two) that are parked in the same driveway.

5. Avital 5303L

If your car isn’t capable of remote starting and climate reconfiguration the Avital 5303L can bring your vehicle up to speed if it’s compatible. That means no more getting in your car and waiting for the engine or the cabin to warm up before starting your commute.

Of course, in addition to that fun feature, the Avital does offer passive security features including the ability to alert you to suspicious activity should somebody be trying to hotwire your system or gain brute force entry into your car’s cabin.

6. Omega K8 Mundial

Another bang for your buck option that ends up on most of the best car alarm security system lists is the Omega K8 Mundial.

This device has a ridiculous loudspeaker which will definitely scare anybody trying to thieve your car away. Also, its transmitter offers ample options (4) which you can customize the behaviors of and control chirp volume on. That chirp volume control can be helpful if you get home late and are eager to not wake your neighbors when arming your system.

Finally, the Omega 8 has key-less settings that enable you to warm your vehicle remotely, much like the Avital 5303L.

7. Viper 5706V

Our last alarm pick is certainly not our worst. As a matter of fact, some would call the Viper 5706V among the best car alarms on the market.

From its digital fob displays to its door and truck triggers and cabin controls, this $300 timeless alarm system is well worth the buy!

It even has a one-mile activation range which can make finding your car with its panic button a breeze in a crowded parking lot.

Any Best Car Alarm System Choice Will Make Your Vehicle Safer

If you have any concern whatsoever that your car could be stolen (and you should) invest in one of the best car alarm system choices we’ve shared. Yes, doing so represents an expense but that expense pales in comparison to the amount of effort you’ll need to put into managing a taken vehicle.

We hope you found this post helpful and welcome you to read more of the content on our blog.