Guest Room

Surfin' Without a Net

By Bob on March 30, 2011 4:46 AM

Charlotte is the queen of online shopping. She can sniff out a shoe deal faster than an airport security dog can locate a kilo of coke. She's just. That. Good.
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The only trouble with her power-shopping is that I worry about her online safety.


Yeah, we have encrypted routers and other security tools, but there are a lot of bad guys out there who want more than her coupon codes for Piper Lime.


That's why I was happy to hear from our friends at CyberDefender Labs when they offered up a guest column to help savvy and not-so-savvy Boomers protect themselves online. There's plenty of great information here. No, they don't know Charlotte's secret for getting the best deals from Ann Taylor online, but hey, they're only human.


Online Shopping Survival Tips for Boomers

By Achal Khetarpal, Director, CyberDefender Research Labs


Every time I go out shopping it seems like the lines are longer, while parking spaces keep getting harder to find. So I've turned to online shopping. Unfortunately, shopping online can come with its own set of challenges. Cybercriminals worldwide know we are doing more shopping online, so they do their best to steal our hard-earned money with malicious software (malware), fake antivirus warnings and keyloggers that will record and send all our passwords to the bad guys.

It's important to shop smart online, and I've got some tips on how to do just that:


1.     Use an encrypted connection
Look for online retail sites that use https instead of just http in your browser, indicating an encrypted connection. Also, your browser should display a padlock next to the address that verifies the site is secure.  If the site you visit doesn't have the locked icon, don't shop there. 

2.     Install security software
To prevent trojans and viruses, make sure your PC has a security software suite installed. Check that all security updates have been performed.  Only 40% of all home PCs are protected.  Once malware has been installed on a PC, financial information can be stolen by criminals.

3.     Beware of email phishing scams
Avoid clicking on links in emails to access sites you want to shop with. Instead, go directly to the site you want to visit.  Phishers often send spammed emails that look genuine and even redirect the user to sites that appear real, but are actually fake. Users risk losing their identity by entering personal information into a fake site.

4.     Pay by credit card

Federal law limits your liability for misuse of a credit card to $50.  Also, never supply a merchant with your bank account or social security numbers. More so, once the money is transferred from a bank account, it's effectively gone while credit card transactions can be cancelled.


5.     Look for third-party security validation
Look for third-party validation for sites that you don't use often .The VeriSign Trust seal and the BBBOnLine Reliability seal are good indicators. Make sure that, when you click on the seals, they link to the organizations that issued them and give you more information about the site that you are currently visiting.


6.     Another security protection: browser validation

Most browsers have built-in validation and filters to protect you. Make sure to keep your browser updated - and all validation filters enabled.


If your PC is already infected with malware, CyberDefender can help. The company offers a 24/7 remote support service powered by live technicians for one yearly, call-as-often-as-you-want subscription fee. The LiveTech team is available to help with any issues related to home PCs (malware removal, performance, backup). CyberDefender can also assist with iPad/iPhone setup and syncing, network configuration, wireless printers and any other equipment often connected to a computer.
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Guest Room

Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

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By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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Windy City

It's been almost 18 years since Alison Krauss gave us a solo album, but the wait is over with Windy City. The release (her fifth solo studio album) features ten covers of classic songs (and some bonus tracks) she picked with producer Buddy Cannon.

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