Today’s post gives helpful advice for summer safety and wellness.
Simple Steps to Cyber Security Recent Internet bugs and vulnerabilities have had a widespread impact, compromising the security of computers as well as personal information you may enter online.
Although you can’t stop criminals from attempting a cyber attack, you can take several steps to reduce your risk of having your personal information stolen, misused or deleted. Start by using strong passwords, avoiding malware and viruses, and protecting yourself against scams and security breaches.
• Do not use the same password for multiple accounts, especially important accounts such as online banking or an online store with your credit card on file.
• Passwords should not be a word found in the dictionary or a combination easily guessed by a friend; be creative and mix up letters, numbers and symbols to make a strong password.
• Passwords should be periodically changed, especially in the wake of the Heartbleed bug that left much encrypted information vulnerable to exploitation.
• Don’t click on links or download attachments in unsolicited emails.
• Don’t download anything from sites you don’t trust.
• Don’t enter personal information on a website if you clicked on a link; instead, type the URL into the address bar to make sure you go to the site you want.
• Scan all external devices, such as USB flash drives, for viruses and malicious software (malware) before using.
• Install antivirus security software.
Scams and other security breaches
• Never email personal information on an unsecured Wi-Fi network; the network can be hacked and the information accessed by unauthorized users.
• Don’t disclose private information unless necessary, and always verify the source if asked to input sensitive information into a website or email.
• Before entering credit card numbers or other payment information when shopping online, double-check that you’re on the website you think you are and check the URL for “https,” which is a general indication that the page is encrypted for your security. Some browsers also display a “lock” icon to indicate that a website is secure.
Firework Safety Month
As warmer weather arrives and Independence Day approaches, fireworks may be part of your various summer celebrations. While the bright colors and flashing lights of fireworks are a great addition to a summer party, make sure you use common sense and a few basic safety guidelines to keep the fun from turning into a fire or injury.
• Buy fireworks from a reputable source; don’t alter them and don’t use homemade fireworks.
• States have different rules for fireworks; if they’re illegal, leave them to the professionals.
• Follow local laws when shooting and report any illegal explosives.
• A designated adult should supervise all fireworks, and children should not handle them.
• Use fireworks outside in a clear area away from buildings, vehicles and animals.
• Have water buckets or a hose nearby.
• Soak duds and spent fireworks in water before disposing of them in the trash.
• Never consume alcohol before shooting fireworks.
• Light fireworks one at a time.
Summer is a great time to go swimming, and pools and beaches come to life with families enjoying the water. Swimming is a form of cardio exercise as well as a fun way to get a reprieve from the hot sun. Follow these tips to keep your swimming safe:
• Never swim alone. The buddy system should always be in effect, and it’s best if there is a lifeguard present.
• Always supervise children who are in or near water. If a child is missing, check the water first—seconds count if the child is underwater.
• Do not dive in shallow or unfamiliar water, and be aware of hidden obstacles that might be in the water.
• Stay hydrated by drinking water; avoid caffeine and especially alcohol.
• Don’t swallow the water you’re swimming in, and avoid swimming with open wounds—you don’t want to allow harmful germs into your body.
• Reapply sunscreen frequently; the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) no longer allows sunscreen products to claim to be “waterproof” because, depending on the sunscreen you choose, they typically only offer the stated SPF protection for up to 40 or 80 minutes when in water.
Healthy Grilling Grilling is a popular summertime cooking option, and a cookout is a great way to bring family and friends together on a warm afternoon. Here’s a few tips to make sure the grill is a boost to your diet:
• Toss veggies on the grill—zucchini, eggplant, corn, asparagus and bell peppers are all great grilling veggies.
• Trim fat off meat—not only does this keep you from eating excess fat, but it also reduces potentially cancer-causing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from forming in the smoke that coats the meat after fat hits the flames.
• Avoid charred parts of grilled meat—the black portions of your hamburger can contain heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which are another carcinogenic compound formed when meat is exposed to high heat.
• Use a spicy marinade—it can make your grilled meat healthier by helping to reduce the number of HCAs that attach to the meat during cooking.
It’s about that time of year when many people are thinking about firing up the grill. Here’s a great grilled vegetable recipe to celebrate summer’s approach.
• 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 3 sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch slices
• 3 corn cobs, cut into 2-inch sections
• 1 eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch slices
• 12 green onions, trimmed
Mix oil and garlic in a large bowl. Add vegetables and toss. Place vegetables on broiler pan or grill. Cook 10 minutes, turning twice until vegetables are tender. Place vegetables on platter and serve.
Yield: 6 servings. Each serving provides 190 calories, 5g of fat, 0g of saturated fat, 0mg of cholesterol, 45mg of sodium and 8g of fiber.