Posts tagged with "safe"

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Hits High Point During Winter

Carbon monoxide is winter’s “silent killer.” Unintentional carbon monoxide deaths kill more than 400 Americans each year and sicken many others. It’s a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas undetectable to the human senses, so people don’t realize that they are being poisoned. Tragically in 2020, California lost a number of residents from carbon monoxide poison related to faulty wall heaters and other sources of carbon monoxide. Watch the video https://youtu.be/3BT_hDb4uqE.

Products that are typically involved in poisonings include malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, ranges, water heaters and room heaters; engine-powered equipment such as portable generators; fireplaces; and charcoal that is burned in homes and other enclosed areas.

Symptoms can be variable, ranging from headache, fatigue, shortness of breath and dizziness to loss of consciousness and chest pain. Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen slowly or swiftly depending on circumstances. In an effort to raise public awareness, California Poison Control offers 10 tips to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:

1. Have all heating equipment installed properly, and have a home or rental’s heating system inspected by a professional prior to turning the heat on when cold weather begins.

2. Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in all homes, apartments, mobile homes and workplaces. When a detector goes off, assume that a real danger is present, and get all people and pets out of the structure immediately. Do not re-enter until a heating professional, the gas company or the fire department has declared the area safe.

3. During home renovations, ensure that appliance vents and chimneys are not blocked by tarps or debris. Make sure appliances are in proper working order when renovations are complete.

4. Do not cover the bottom of natural gas or propane ovens with aluminum foil.

5. Never use fuel-burning camping equipment inside a home, garage, vehicle or tent unless it is specifically designed for use in an enclosed space and provides instructions for safe use in such an area.

6. In climates with snow, make sure that chimneys and vents do not become blocked with snowfall.

7. Never operate a portable generator or any other gasoline engine-powered tool either in or near an enclosed space such as a garage, house or other building, or outside of an open window.  Keep the generator as far from the house as possible.

8. Do not use charcoal or hibachi grills indoors to cook with or for heat under any circumstances.

9. Do not attempt to heat your home by turning on the oven or clothes dryer and leaving the door open.

10. Never let a car engine run inside a closed space such as a garage. Drive out promptly after starting the car, and turn the car engine off as soon as you drive into an enclosed space. Never have a garage door closed with a running vehicle inside, even for a few seconds.  

About California Poison Control

CPCS is dedicated to providing the most up-to-date information regarding poison prevention. In case of an accidental poisoning, consumers should immediately call the nationwide number from any state1-800-222-1222. Pharmacists, nurses, physician-toxicologists and poison information providers are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help.

Weekly tips about safety are available by texting TIPS to 20121 for information in English or text PUNTOS to 20121 for Spanish. Follow CPCS on Facebook and on Twitter @poisoninfo. CPCS is part of the University of California San Francisco School of Pharmacy and is responsible to the California Emergency Medical Services Authority.

Kicking a Soccer Ball illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

U.S. Soccer Foundation – 300 Mini-Pitches

300 Mini-Pitches from the U.S. Soccer Foundation Bring Soccer to Underserved Communities Research shows youth sports improve physical and mental health as well as academic performance in communities hit hardest by COVID-19 July 27, 2020 U.S. Soccer Foundation As a traumatic pandemic continues to grip much of America, particularly communities of color, efforts are underway to ensure that children and families across the country have positive recreational opportunities to look forward to when they return to school and play. 

The U.S. Soccer Foundation, with the support of its partners, this week reached an important milestone with the installation of the 300th mini-pitch in underserved communities nationwide since 2015. Through a collaborative effort with local governments, youth organizations, school districts, and companies of all sizes, the U.S. Soccer Foundation has continued installing mini-pitches during the pandemic, fulfilling a long-term commitment to children living in underserved communities. 

These communities are the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and will be the slowest to recover, which underscores the importance of these investments. “The trauma that young people in underserved communities face from this pandemic, from the loss of lives to family member’s loss of jobs to the closure of schools and community centers, has been profound,” U.S. Soccer Foundation President & CEO Ed Foster-Simeon said. 

“This is an unprecedented escalation in the already challenging circumstances that young people live with, day after day.” “The U.S. Soccer Foundation and our partners are sending a very real message to young people and their families through these projects: We are here for you. We continue to ensure that when communities are ready, more mini-pitches will be there for play.” The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s mini-pitch initiative is responding to a significant challenge faced by youth in underserved communities—a critical shortage of safe places to play.

Since 2015, the Foundation has worked with partners to install mini-pitches in more than 200 communities across the United States and more mini-pitches are on the way. The Foundation plans to install more than 100 in the next year, with a goal of creating a total of 1,000 mini-pitches coast to coast by 2026. With safe surfaces and high-quality lighting, these mini-pitches serve as an ideal place for both pick-up games and free play, as well as high-quality programming, including the Foundation’s Soccer for Success program. 

Mini-pitches fit into urban environments or other areas where space is at a premium, providing a safe place for kids to play and for community members to gather right in their neighborhoods. Corporations including Target, Adidas, and Major League Soccer and its clubs are national partners in this initiative and have partnered with the Foundation on hundreds of mini-pitches to date. Last September, Musco Lighting partnered with the U.S. Soccer Foundation to update the mini-pitch with a new modular system including lights, fencing, and goals. On average, these lighted mini-pitches add 2.75 hours of playing time per day on each pitch. 

Although participation in youth sports is associated with better health and academic achievement, more than 80 percent of children living in households making less than $25,000 miss out on the benefits of team sports. Furthermore, one in three Americans don’t have a park within a 10-minute walk from home, leaving too many kids without access to a soccer program or safe place for free play. To address these barriers, the Foundation and its partners have committed to increasing access to quality youth development programming and creating 1,000 new mini-pitches nationwide. In addition to providing access, the creation of mini-pitches has lasting community benefits: 98% of communities report that the people in their community are more active and feel safer with the addition of a mini-pitch. 

Further, soccer mini-pitches serve as neighborhood gathering places for families, and nearly one-third of the kids who come to play on them are new to soccer. To learn more about the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s work to make soccer everyone’s game, visit itseveryonesgame.org

The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s programs are the national model for sports-based youth development in underserved communities. Since its founding in 1994, the Foundation has established programs proven to help children embrace an active and healthy lifestyle while nurturing their personal growth beyond sports. Its cost-effective, high-impact initiatives offer safe environments where kids and communities thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Follow U.S. Soccer Foundation: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Computer Scams illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Craigslist Safety Tips

Safety Tips for Avoiding the Most Common Craigslist Scams

When you ask people if they’ve heard of Craigslist, the answer is invariable “yes.” Not surprising, as the selling portal is active in more than 70 countries. But what people don’t realize is that craigslist takes in over $1 Billion in revenue each year, but there are only 50 employees in the company! That’s due to the fact that the buyers and sellers on craigslist do all of the work.

But what most people don’t know is people use craigslist to scam others out of merchandise, data and money. Never has “buyer beware” been more important to follow than it has on craigslist. So what are some of the things that you need to watch out for? Let’s look at some of the most common scams.

Big Ticket – Big Scam

If you’re looking to purchase a big-ticket item, like a car or even a house, and the seller doesn’t ask for a credit check before engaging in a transaction, stop! The seller is just trying to get your financial information and will take your money and disappear. Buyer beware on this because without question, this is a scam.

Something to remember: the Internet and social media have the unique identity to mask the identity of the person you’re dealing with, so even though they give you a name or email address, you have to verify that it’s true. Start with Nuwber, an easy-to-use online tool that will verify the true identity of the person you’re communicating with, simply by entering his or her phone number or other pertinent info. Once you’ve received their true identity, if the person whom you’re dealing with is not who they say they are, end all communication immediately. The person is a cybercrook and scam artist and they’re only out to rob you anyway they can. 

Here’s another tip: if someone would prefer to call you rather than text or email you, watch out. They want your phone number in order to gain access to additional data and information, so never give out your number. Always use Google Voice to make or receive phone calls, because it lets you use a phone number that is totally different from your own. And always use craigslist’s proxy email to avoid revealing your own.

Avoid Wire Transfers

A sure giveaway to a scam is when the seller asks you to use a wire transfer to pay for merchandise. This provides an opportunity for the cybercrook to steal your financial data or your money without ever sending any merchandise! Avoid wire transfers. If you do want to use PayPal, use the website to get a link – never use one that’s provided to you by the seller. They’ll simply send you to a spoof site where they can access all the account information you enter.  

By following these simple tips to protect yourself, you should be able to buy and sell using craigslist without any problems.

Follow PayPal: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

CapitalOne breach: how to protect yourself

A massive data breach hit Capital One. Digital privacy expert Daniel Markuson shares the most essential steps consumers can take to keep themselves safer.

On Monday, it was announced that a data breach of Capital One compromised the personal information of approximately 100 million consumers in the United States and 6 million consumers in Canada. It is said to be one of the top 10 largest data breaches ever.

The bank announced that in addition to the credit card application data, portions of credit card customer data were also obtained, including credit scores, limits, balances, payment history, transaction data, and contact information. Stolen data also included 140,000 Social Security numbers, 80,000 linked bank account numbers.

What to do if your account gets compromised

NordVPN’s digital privacy expert Daniel Markuson shares the most essential steps consumers can take to keep themselves safer.

Get back into your account

The first important step is to log into your online account and change the password immediately. Go through the privacy settings and check if you can make your account more secure. Invoke all recommended security settings.

It is as well advised to sign up for email or text alerts about your monetary transactions.

Freeze your credit

The best way to protect yourself is to freeze your credit. This makes it very difficult to open new accounts in your name, even if someone is using your stolen financial information. It is important to note, that credit freeze doesn’t influence your score.

With credit freeze invoked – most creditors will decline to open a new account as they will not be able to check your credit history.

Place a fraud alert and check credit reports

If freezing your credit is not an option for you – contact one of the credit bureauses and invoke a fraud alert. Fraud alerts flag creditors and they verify your identity before issuing new credit in your name. Such alerts usually last for a year but can be renewed.

Capital One said that they “will make free credit monitoring and identity protection available to everyone affected.” Check for credit inquiries, balances, and new accounts that you haven’t opened or applied for.

Check credit card statements

It is very important to regularly check your credit card statements online, even if you think that your data hasn’t been affected by the breach. If you see any strange activities on your balance – try to recall whether you authorized the charge. If you can’t recall it, inform your bank and the merchant immediately.

Make sure to keep all your documentation, such as order confirmation numbers or receipts.

Beware of phishing scams

Since hackers may have detailed information on more than 100 million individuals, there might be a spike in more personalized phishing scams. Such scams are usually very effective as criminals use a piece of real information, for example, your name and address.

Personalized phishing messages are designed to look as if they are coming from a legitimate bank or other familiar organization. Be vigilant and contact the organization before clicking on any links, filling in forms or transferring funds. For additional safety, use a VPN, like NordVPN, when browsing.

Report unusual activities

And finally, if you notice something unusual – report the incident to the authorities. Raising the alarm can help not only you, but others affected by the breach as well.

ABOUT NORDVPN

NordVPN is the world’s most advanced VPN service provider that is more security oriented than most VPN services. It offers double VPN encryption, malware blocking & Onion Over VPN. The product is very user-friendly, offers one of the best prices on the market, has over 5,000 servers worldwide and is P2P-friendly. One of the key features of NordVPN is zero log policy. For more information: nordvpn.com.

The Cravings Solution

Great taste meets good health in a decadent line of low-carb, sugar-free Good Dee’s baking mixes. Born out of a love for baked goods and a passion for healthy living, Good Dee’s proudly uses only the highest-quality, innovative ingredients to deliver low-carb mixes with all of the flavor and no added sugar. Safe for gluten, soy and dairy-free diets, one woman’s lifelong quest to “have her cake and eat it, too” results in a KETO friendly solution the whole family will gladly devour.

For years, Good Dee’s creator and founder Deana Karim searched high and low for the perfect cookie. A lifelong struggle with weight gain and a family history of diabetes limited Karim to low-fat options, which lacked the full flavor of traditional baked goods while hiding some undesirable ingredients of their own. Unable to find an alternative that could satisfy sweet cravings and help maintain a healthy lifestyle, Karim resolved to create her own.

“I realized that if I kept depriving myself and thinking I was on a diet, I would fail,” explains Karim. “I embraced going low-carb and sugar-free and looked up alternative sweeteners. Through months of trial and error, I made a cookie that, after numerous taste tests, got a giant thumbs up.” With overwhelming approval by eaters of all different diets and lifestyles, Karim knew she had something special.

After the birth of Karim’s second child, she set to work launching Good Dee’s. The company featured a variety of baking mixes, from brownies to pancakes to cookies. A first-generation Middle Eastern immigrant who grew up watching her father start and run a successful business, Karim immediately took to entrepreneurship. Now with an expanded collection offering everything from cracker biscuit and grain-free cornbread to blondies and chocolate chip cookie one-bag mixes, Good Dee’s proves that a healthy lifestyle and good eats really do mix.

Shop the full line of mouthwatering grain, wheat, gluten and sugar-free mixes, including all-new coconut and lemon snack cake flavors, just $11.99 each at GoodDees.com. Also try the nut-free collection of brownies, cakes, and muffins. Learn more about this fast-growing company and its founder, Deana Karim, at GoodDees.com. Get inspired by innovative recipes and baking ideas to satisfy every craving on Instagram @GoodDeesMix.

About Good Dee’s:

Created and founded by native Texan-turned-New Yorker Deana Karim, Good Dee’s proves that health-conscious living and decadent indulgence really do mix. Give in to cravings guilt-free with Good Dee’s complete collection of baking mixes designed for low-carb, restricted, and special diets. The tasty solution to a lifetime of deprivation and struggle with weight gain, Good Dee’s offers innovative, full-flavor mixes free of gluten, soy, dairy, wheat, and added sugar. Also available in nut-free brownie, blondies, chocolate snack cake and muffin mix. Learn more and shop all flavors and varieties, priced at just $11.99 each, online at GoodDees.com. Find inspirational recipes and baking ideas on Instagram @GoodDeesMix.

All Hail the Driverless Car!

Aurora CEO Chris Urmson and SAFE Autuomous Vehicles VP Amitai Bin-Nun won a recent Intelligence Squared U.S. debate on the motion “All Hail the Driverless Car!” by convincing more of the live NYC audience that a self-driving future would lead to fewer accidents, less traffic congestion and carbon emissions, and greater accessibility.

Their opponents, arguing that driverless cars might never be truly safe or affordable to anyone beyond the wealthy, were NYU data journalism professor Meredith Broussard and MIT transportation researcher Ashley Nunes.

Hear the complete debate as a podcast now here (or on all podcasting platforms under “Intelligence Squared U.S.”): http://www.intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/all-hail-driverless-car

Read selections from all four debaters’ remarks in the new issue of Automotive News: http://www.autonews.com/debate-all-hail-driverless-car

Fire Fighters helping Fire Fighters

The International Association of Fire Fighters disaster relief team is on the ground in the Florida Panhandle helping fire fighters affected by Hurricane Michael’s devastation.

These fire fighters are helping other fire fighters by providing generators, supplies and financial help.

Here’s a quick video of this important effort: http://bit.ly/2NOHlUY

Treatment of Afghan Interpreters

Approximately one month, the Director of Faith Matters, Fiyaz Mughal, highlighted the plight of Afghan Interpreter, Mohammed Nabi, and how he was sleeping rough on the streets of Athens. Nabi’s case was initially documented and he was assisted by Jess Webster, who works with refugees in Greece.

Having heard of the case, the petition by the Director of Faith Matters, has now reached over 116,000 signatories within 5 weeks. It is now being backed by the Sun on Sunday and has also been highlighted by the Daily Mail and the Metro. Yet, the Government have made no headway in addressing this issue. There is therefore a groundswell of public opinion backing Nabi’s case, yet the politicians refuse to even acknowledge this case.

Mohammed Nabi worked for ISAF and British forces in Afghanistan between 2008-2011. He has received numerous commendations for his work with British Forces such as from the 1st Battalion of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. He was instrumental in interpreting Taliban commands in real time when in the field with British soldiers and thereby he was key to tracking Taliban troop movements and attack points against British soldiers.

Speaking to Mughal in Athens he said that:
“My role was to work with commanding officers and I was the bridge between Afghan forces and British commanding officers. When officers from the British army went to speak to village elders, I was with them. There was an unwritten command that Taliban leaders gave to their forces to kill Afghan Interpreters first so that British and ISAF forces would be blind in the field. I was at risk of suicide bombers in such situations in villages as they tried to target British commanding officers and their interpreters”.

Nabi left working with the British armed forces after 1 year, (in 2009), because of threats from senior Afghan commanders made against his family and against him. He rejoined ISAF and British forces within 3 months of leaving since his skills were suited to armed forces work and he could not find other work and served again as an Afghan interpreter until 2011.

In 2016, an attempted kidnap against him failed and ‘night knocks’ against his front door raised threat levels against him and he fled on foot through Iran and into Turkey where he lounged for 18 months with no assistance from aid agencies who were assisting families. They were therefore not focused on assisting young single men.

Repeated attempts to highlight his case and the threat to his four children and wife failed in Turkey and he was left destitute and penniless, where he took up shepherding for basic subsistence. Each month though, saw the Taliban makes gains and come closer to his village and Nabi said that the policy of the Taliban to the children of people who assisted ISAF forces was to call them ‘sons of snakes, who were snakes themselves’. In other words, the children of Afghan interpreters were at serious of attack.

In 2016, to highlight his case he left Turkey and ended up being arrested in Greece and jailed. He was eventually released and claimed asylum though ended up penniless sleeping on a park bench in Athens where the Director of Faith Matters met up with him.

Speaking about the plight of Afghan Interpreters and in particular Nabi’s case, Fiyaz Mughal OBE, who developed the petition and who worked with the Sun on Sunday to highlight his case, said:

“Nabi has been denied entry into the UK and given no assistance when he approached UK Government agencies. How can this be right when he saw Afghan colleagues die in battle and Nabi was there saving British lives by interpreting Taliban commands whilst rounds went over his head. The only possessions he has are the plastic-coated commendations from officers because of his work in the field. It is disgusting the way that this man has been treated.

“The treatment of Afghan interpreters is a national disgrace and what the petition and the support from national newspapers shows is that the public care, whilst politicians have shown little courage in addressing this matter. I believe that anyone who has served more than a year in Afghanistan supporting our armed forces and who can show that their lives are in danger because of their work, must be let in. We relied on them to keep our armed forces safe, and now they need our help. This national disgrace must end and I will keep speaking out”.

Off The Hook Seafood Festival

The 4th annual OFF THE HOOK Seafood Festival celebrates National Seafood Month on the iconic Santa Monica Pier on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018 from 4-7 PM (VIP access at 3PM). The event features tastings from the city’s best seafood restaurants and chefs, live music, the popular oyster shucking competition, sustainable seafood VIP Lounge and more. This seafood-loving food fest is 100% free of single-use plastics and benefits Heal the Bay who help to keep our oceans, waves and beaches clean.

We are delighted to be part of this year’s OFF THE HOOK,” said Apryl Boyle, Associate Director of Heal the Bay Santa Monica Aquarium, “This event brings together the best restaurants and seafood dishes while also helping to draw awareness for sustainability and ocean friendly lifestyle practices.

This year’s festival will feature Santa Monica’s top chef’s showcasing dishes with their underwater ingredients such as oysters, baja kanpachi, ahi handrolls, shrimp mac and cheese, lobster rolls and more. Participants include Chef and Restauranteur Jason Fullilove of Barbara Jean, Barbara Pollastrani from Heroic Deli and Govind Armstrong from The Lobster, and bites from other amazing restaurants such as BOA, Sushi Roku, Herringbone, Red O, Blue Plate Oysterette, 1212 Santa Monica, The Albright,T MBI Craft Indian Kitchen, Del Frisco’s Grille, Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, Enterprise Fish Co., Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., TrashFish Box, Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern and more.

The OFF THE HOOK Oyster Shucking Competition, sponsored by The Albright, is always a crowd favorite where competitors battle it out for “Best in Shuck.” The Heal the Bay Santa Monica Aquarium, located directly under the Pier, will also be offering free entry to VIP ticket holders.

Tickets are $50.00 in advance for general admission, which include tastings, access to beer and wine garden, spirits tasting, live music, games and more and VIP tickets are $85.00 in advance and include early entry at 3 p.m. and access to the Sustainable Seafood VIP Lounge with curated cocktails and specialty seafood dishes from FIG, Barbara Jean, and Omega Blue Seafood.

OFF THE HOOK is proudly sponsored by Peroni/Blue Moon, Odwalla, The Albright, Getaround, Kevita, Fresh Wata, Kikori Whiskey, Cheeky Plates, Get Around, Eco Eats Party Ware, Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, Buy Local Santa Monica, Santa Monica Daily Press, LA Weekly, Angeleno, ATOD Magazine and Yelp.

A portion of proceeds will benefit Heal the Bay to help preserve our local oceans, waves, and beaches for future generations. Tickets are available now www.offthehookseafoodfest.com.

ABOUT HEAL THE BAY:

Heal the Bay is an environmental nonprofit dedicated to making the coastal waters and watersheds of Greater Los Angeles safe, healthy and clean. To fulfill our mission, we use science, education, community action, and advocacy. Learn more at www.healthebay.org.

Social Links

Instagram – @othseafoodfest
Twitter – @othseafoodfest
Facebook – @offthehookfest

Focusing on People & Data to Distract Hackers

We live in times when it’s become easier than ever for hackers to breach an organization through social engineering. Breaches are primarily caused by phishing attacks, representing a huge security problem for businesses.

But why is this type of cybercriminal so widely represented in the statistics? What is it that makes it so easy and so profitable for hackers? We might not like the answers. The ever-increasing connectivity and focus on people and data is leaving us vulnerable to malicious attacks. To protect your business, you need to start thinking like a hacker. Let’s take a look at how they infiltrate big business and what can be done about it.

How Social Engineering Works

Since social engineering relies on personal information hackers can find online, it’s pretty difficult to counter. Before; that required some digging on the hacker’s part – now all it takes is a data-matching service like Spokeo and PeekYou, and they get all the information they might need and more. Cross-matching public records is one thing, but employees also freely share a lot of information on social media. This personal info is then used to target employees within a company with malicious emails, by posing as a trusted individual. From there, all a hacker needs to do is convince an employee to click on a malicious link or perform a wire transfer.

Are Individual Threats the Same as Company Threats?

As we can see, cybercriminals can efficiently use your social media information to reach their desired target within your company. Does that mean company executives should stop using social media altogether, or ban their employees from sharing any work-related information?

The short answer is yes. The long answer, if not “yes,” is that there should be strict policies in place about the use of social networks and what can and can’t be shared. For example, if a company executive posts about being on a business trip, hackers take that as a signal to try and perform BEC. Anything an employee posts about work projects or people they spend time with inthe office can help cybercriminals construct an elaborate and believable social engineering scam. It is why every employee must assume the whole world is watching them when they want to post anything work-related on social media.

The frequency of Social Engineering and Phishing

It’s no accident that social engineering and phishing attacks are responsible for 95 percent of data breaches. They exploit what will always be the weak link in any company’s security chain – the people who work there. Relying on traditional protective measures such as firewall, antivirus, anti-spoofing techniques, etc. cannot stop all of these attacks. Education is vital for prevention, but with these scams getting more elaborate and difficult to spot, it doesn’t ensure safety.

What Can Protect Your Business?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you didn’t have to worry about phishing? Good news, the worrying stops today. It seems challenging to prevent phish, but Area 1 Security offers an Anti-Phishing Service that finds and eliminates phish through a combination of web crawling and small pattern analytics. With Area 1 Horizon, your business will be safe, and you won’t be adding to the pool of $5.3 billion in losses due to phishing attacks last year.

With the ever-increasing focus on people and data, businesses are leaving themselves wide open to hackers. In those circumstances, there are two options – limiting the information hackers can get about you through social media, or investing in preemptive and comprehensive phishing protection. At Area 1 Security, we stop phishing for good.