Computer Security Day
Computer Security Day is held yearly as a way of reminding all computer users that computer security and safety is an important personal and workplace responsibility. This is a good day to do some basic security checks and to follow up anything you've been meaning to do for a while. Here we presents some of the things that you might like to consider doing on Computer Security Day or any day when you're concerned about your computer's security.
1. Read your workplace's computer security policy again. If your workplace has a policy, read it. Even if you've already read it before, it may have been updated, or you may have forgotten important parts of it. Read it for a refresher.
2. Check your computer station and office for security and safety issues. Looking around the area you work in can reveal a number of hazards that can be dealt with, easily provided you follow through checking them methodically. Here are some suggested activities:
- Check the batteries in your computer room's smoke detectors. Update them if needed. Install them immediately if you have none.
- Check for fire extinguishers. Do you have them near your computing and server equipment in case of a fire?
- Place monitors, keyboard and other computer equipment on anti-slip mats where needed.
- Have you got anti-static features in place to prevent shocks? This is especially important if you work with the internal hardware.
- Have you got power surge protectors in place for all computers and related equipment? If not, buy some today and install them immediately.
3. Check the security and safety of your computer hardware. Whenever you leave your room or office, can other people access or remove your computing equipment? If so, consider instituting practices that will prevent them from doing anything with your computer:
- Put computer security posters in the office or room to remind everyone of their security responsibilities.
- Use passwords to prevent unwanted access to computers.
- Attach computers to the wall or heavy equipment by means of locks in order to prevent them from being removed. This is especially important for laptops and notebooks.
4. Clean the hardware and your desk zone. A cluttered workspace and messy office can be the cause of sloppy work practices in relation to confidential information and the more at ease everyone has become with leaving confidential information lying about, the harder it becomes to break the slack cycle. Jump on it now!
- Vacuum the computer keyboard and computer area to remove dust build-up. Wipe down the screens with anti-static wipes.
- Ensure that all dust, including chalk dust, is not covering or inside computers and related equipment. Also remove pet dander, especially if your cat has a habit of sleeping next to your computer as you work.
- Clean the heads on disk drives and other magnetic media drives.
- Clean the area around your computer to remove clutter and to ensure that you know where all confidential files, discs, memory sticks, and other related confidential information actually is. Store everything securely.
5. Check for software and program vulnerabilities. Use the tools at hand to keep your computer software, applications, and programs in top shape.
- When did you last change your password? Do it today if you can't remember. Read How to choose a computer password that is hard to guess for more help.
- Do a virus sweep. Read How to remove a virus if you find one.
- Delete unneeded files. They use memory but also create clutter, making it both harder to find or spot problems, and providing more potential "gateways" for viruses to enter through. A regular clean up is cathartic.
- Get rid of your Adobe Flash cookies. Read How to delete Flash cookies for the instructions.
- Examine the audit files on your computers.
6. Verify computer inventories. If you're running a business or you're in the part of the organization that's responsible for computers, use this day to take inventories.
- Check inventories of all computer stock in the workplace. Chase up any missing or borrowed equipment.
- Check the inventory of computer utilities and packaged software.
- Check the inventory of computer applications.
7. Update computer security training manuals. Plan to give mini computer security sessions to staff and other people on this day. Send or hand out the new manual to people who need it.
- Include all issues of privacy, use of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter in a workplace context, etc. Be sure to discuss ethics and accountability for workers using external websites and internal chat and wiki facilities.
- For those working from home or who use computers at home, read up on security concerns related to using social networking sites and change your settings to protect yourself.
- Read How to manage Facebook privacy options for more information.
- Know how to spot and avoid falling for online scams such as phishing, hoax emails, pretexting, etc. Teach members of your family, community, and coworkers how to spot these scams too.
8. Back up your computer data. For every computer owned, back up the data. If you don't already back-up regularly, make today the day to draw up a plan to remind yourself to make regular back-ups, or use a program that will do this for you automatically.
- Develop a total recovery plan for all computer systems that might need one.
- Consider having several sources of back-up - online, cloud, USB sticks, hard drives, etc.
- Check that trouble logs are in place on each computer and are being used and followed up.
9. Think security and safety when you're out and about. Carrying laptops, notebooks, and electronic data gadgets can lead you into trouble if you don't pay adequate attention. Things to do include:
- Never leave a laptop or other electronic gadget in open sight in a car. Always store out of sight, or preferably, take it with you. And lock your car, even if all you're doing is paying for gas.
- Remember to pick up your laptop, USB stick, or other electronic gadget after using it. Leaving it behind on a bar, in a cafe, or at someone else's house allows anyone access to the information on the item.
- Avoid carrying laptops and notebooks openly in places where mugging and pickpocketing is known. While this is mainly of concern when traveling, always keep your wits about you.
- Avoid placing open liquids such as soda or coffee near your computer. Spills can be very costly, not to mention dangerous to your data!
10. Wipe clean old computers being donated to charity, schools, or the recycling depot at the tip. You don't want an unscrupulous person resurrecting your personal data.
- Read How to clean your computer to sell for more information.
Security is an important consideration when working with computers, the Internet or indeed any electronic devices. Use Computer Security Day to ensure that your passwords are regularly updated, that your personal information is safe and secure, and that your systems are protected.
National Meth Awareness Day
National Meth Awareness Day, November 30, is an effort to combat the abuse and use of methamphetamine. Coordinated by The Meth Project, a large-scale, teen-targeted prevention program of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids which aims to significantly reduce meth use through public service messaging, public policy and community outreach, the week will kick off with a digital media campaign and social content which asks teens to get involved and take action.
“Meth is powerfully addictive and can cause extreme damage to a young person’s body and brain,” explained Steve Pasierb, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids President and CEO. “Meth Awareness Week provides a pinnacle opportunity to educate parents and members of our community about the health risks of methamphetamine use and help prevent teens and young adults from ever using this devastating drug.”
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, methamphetamine is one of the greatest drug threats to the nation. The agency recently reported that the drug is at its highest levels of availability and purity; and lowest cost since 2005 because of increased levels of meth imported from Mexico, and growing rates of small-scale domestic production. RAND estimates methamphetamine costs the country between $16.2 and $48.3 billion per year in treatment, healthcare and foster care services, as well as the costs of crime and lost productivity associated with the drug.
The research-based program has had a profound effect, first in Montana, where teen meth use has dropped 63 percent and meth-related crime has declined by 62 percent. The success of the Montana Meth Project led to its adoption by five additional states that have seen similar results.
National Mousse Day
If you give a moose some mousse, he is bound to want a spoon - November 30 is National Mousse Day!
Mousse is a light, airy food made with a combination of eggs, whipped cream, gelatin, and flavorings. It can be served both hot or cold, and it can be savory or sweet, which can be a surprise to people who think specifically of chocolate mousse, a popular dessert form of this food, when they hear the word. There are a range of ways to prepare and serve mousse, making it an extremely varied dish. Many cookbooks have recipes for this dish, and it is also possible to find specific recipes online, whether a cook has a passion for pumpkin or asparagus mousse.
The use of beaten cream and eggs in mousse creates air pockets that make the dish light and fluffy. The gelatin helps it stick together, although some cooks just use eggs as a binder. As a result, mousse has a solid form, with a lightness that can make it feel quite refreshing, depending on what the ingredients are. Depending on the type, the dish may be served unmolded, or it may be served in the mold, typically in the form of individual servings.
Dessert mousses often incorporate berries and fruits in whole or pureed form, and layers are not uncommon. It is also possible to find them made from various forms of chocolate and spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg. Other cooks like to explore dessert ingredients like mint in their dishes. Dessert mousse is typically served cold, and it may be cooked or uncooked, depending on the recipe; uncooked mousse can present a health risk, unless it is made with pasteurized eggs.
Savory mousses are often made with seafood like salmon, although meats and vegetables are used as well. They are typically cooked, commonly in a water bath so that the ingredients do not curdle or crack, and they can be served hot or cold. A savory mousse is often accompanied with a sauce that is designed to bring out the flavor of the dish, and it is typically served in unmolded form, either as a single serving or on a central platter from which individual servings are cut.
This diverse family of foods originates in France, and many excellent examples of mousse can be found in that country and in restaurants around the world that serve French cuisine. If you want to experiment with making your own at home, you may want to consider investing in a French cookbook, which will discuss the basic principles of this dish and provide a few recipes for you to work with.
National Stay At Home Because You're Well Day
November is not only a month of turkeys and football, but there are many weird and crazy holidays that are being celebrated all month long! One holiday that not many people know about is happening next week on November 30th and it is “National Stay At Home Because You’re Well Day”!!
Everyone knows that staying home when you are sick is not only necessary, but no fun at all! Usually you are laying in bed feeling horrible and taking medicine every few hours in hopes of feeling like yourself again in a few days! But with this holiday, you have the ability to stay home from work, but not feel sick and tired! If you play hooky from work or school, you can go out and do what you want, or stay in and have a ball all while feeling A-OK!
If you decide to celebrate this holiday, here is a list of ten things you can do on your day off!
- Catch up on your favorite television shows: During the week you are way too busy with school and work to even think about what is going to happen next to the doctors of Grey’s Anatomy or which amazing singer just got voted off of The Voice, but if you stay home on this day, you can hang out all day with your DVR and see what you've missed all week!
- Go Shopping: Who says you have to spend all day at home? When you are busy with work, you never have time to hit up your local mall during the week! Usually you have to wait for the weekend and with all of the people being off from work, the lines are crazy and forget about parking! By taking off, you can hit up every store that you want to and find a killer outfit for your weekend plans, or maybe find that game you've been dying to get a hold of!
- Read a good book: Who has time anymore to sit down and read a book?! If you play hooky from your responsibilities for a day, you can finally pick up that dusty old Kindle that is sitting on your shelf and read the third book in that trilogy you've been dying to finish before the movie is released!
- Do some chores: Now this may not sound like fun, and I am the first to admit that I would do anything but clean my closet out! However, when you are busy and at work all week, you rarely have time to do what you have to do at home! Why not use the time off to organize your life a little more so when the weekend rolls around you can really enjoy the break! BONUS: If you play some loud music and dance around in your socks alla Tom Cruise in Risky Business then you are bound to have more fun than you thought!
- Start a new project: Have you always wanted to try something new or get into something creative like knitting or painting? If you have and never had the time, why not just use the day off to figure out where you want to go and what you want to do? Try something new and do something creative with your time!
- Play video games: As every girl will tell you, guys spending all day playing video games is one of the biggest mysteries we face today! How can they sit in front of the computer or X-Box for three hours and still be entertained? However, maybe there is something to it after all? If you are a guy then this will come as no shock to you, and if you are a girl who plays video games, then you will know exactly where I am coming from here! But, if you are someone who doesn’t play video games on the regular, maybe try it for the day! You may find that it is a lot more entertaining than you thought!
- Investigate some new music: If you are feeling musically challenged lately and like you just don’t have the tunes to get you in the mood anymore, literally or figuratively, than maybe it’s time to jump on your laptop and search for some new bands or singers that get your blood pumping! I love when I find a band that I didn't know about and fall in love with their music! It’s awesome to know how many talented singers and songwriters there are out there, and it’s a lot of fun to discover them!
- Go workout: With everything you are doing during the week, the last thing you probably want to do is workout! But, with all of this extra time on your hands, it may be fun to go to the gym or maybe go for a run and let off some steam! Research has shown that working out makes you happy, and maybe that is just what you need on your day off!
- Try cooking or baking something: Take the time to head over to Pinterest and look up those amazing recipes you've always wanted to try, but have never had the time to do. Cooking is fun, and with the extra time you have, you’ll become a regular Martha Stewart in no time!
- Make your friends play hooky too: Staying home alone and getting things done is all well and good, but why not make some of your other friends stay home too so you can have some company! Make everyone come over and watch movies if the weather is gross! If it is nice out, maybe go enjoy a fun time outside in the park, or if it’s really nice where you live, the beach! No matter what you do, having your friends with you will make it twice as fun!
Are you planning on celebrating the holiday on November 30th?!