Make a blog

Gabriel Nielsen

9 hours ago

Careconnect Health Insurance Group Review: 5 Numbers to Know for National Wear Red Day

If you’re seeing red today, it’s probably because some of your friends and acquaintances are using a splash of color to draw attention to the fight against heart disease in women. And with good reason: While coronary heart disease is recognized as a major threat to American men, a lot of people aren’t aware that it’s also the #1 killer of women.

 

Here are a few other numbers worth pondering in honor of National Wear Red Day:

 

80
80 percent of women between the ages of 40 and 60 have at least one risk factor for heart disease.

 

35

Take out a tape measure—if your waist is more than 35 inches, you’re at increased risk of heart disease.

 

30
You can protect your heart by getting as little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days. Exercising every day is even better.

 

82
If you’re at increased risk for heart disease, here’s a reassuring thought: Women can lower their risk by as much as 82 percent just by making healthy lifestyle changes.

6 days ago

Careconnect Health Insurance Group Review: 3 New Year’s Resolutions You Shouldn’t Make

January is a time for new beginnings, and a time for promises to ourselves that this year will be better, happier and healthier than the last. But why are we so often right back where we started by the time February rolls around?

 

“Research shows that about 50 percent of the population makes resolutions, and of those people about 50 percent or less stick with them,” says Robert Graham, MD, director of Integrative Health & Wellness at Northwell Health (formerly North Shore-LIJ Health System). “So, at best, only about 25 percent of us are making lasting changes.”

 

Often, that’s because we make resolutions that are unreasonable. “If you don’t have a realistic target, it’s going to be that much harder to achieve it, and frustrating when you fall short,” he says. So in the spirit of “New Year, New You,” here are three common mistakes not to make when thinking about resolutions -- and a few simple tweaks that will make your goals more attainable.

 

Wrong resolution: “I want to lose 50 pounds in three months.”
Make it right: Aim for 5 to 10 percent of your body weight.

 

A restrictive diet may help you shed pounds quickly at first, but is it something you can stick with for several months -- let alone the rest of your life? If not, you may find yourself gaining the weight back before you know it. Instead of making such a drastic change, says Graham, aim to lose 5 percent of your body weight within 6 to 8 weeks, and 10 percent within three months.

 

That may not be the dramatic makeover you’ve been dreaming about, but research shows that losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can lower your risk for heart disease and other chronic conditions. What’s more, a slow-but-steady approach is one you can keep up all year, allowing you to continue to lose.

 

Graham also recommends enlisting the help of nutritionist and/or a personal trainer, especially if you want to lose more than a few pounds. “It can be hard to do on your own, especially when you’re trying to create lasting change.”

 

Wrong resolution: “I want to finally get in shape … by jumping into a super-challenging workout program.”
Make it right: Start with 30 minutes of (any) exercise a day.

 

“So many patients tell me, ‘I’m going to start this crazy P90X workout’ or ‘I’m going to run a marathon in two months,’ when they were a total couch potato all year,” says Graham. “That’s great, but as we learned from being a kid: You need to learn how to crawl, then walk, then run.” If you start an exercise program that’s too challenging or that moves too quickly, you could quickly fall behind—or, worse, injure yourself.

 

It’s fine to have a lofty goal, like completing a race or becoming expert in a trendy new approach to exercise. But if you’re starting from scratch, set your sights lower to start: Just pledge to get 30 minutes of aerobic activity at least five days a week. That activity can include brisk walking and other forms of moderate exercise.

 

If you can keep that up for a few months and are feeling good, you may want to start increasing the duration or intensity of your workouts, says Graham. But always talk to your doctor before starting a new program that’s physically demanding.

 

Wrong resolution: “I smoked my last cigarette December 31.”
Make it right: Make a plan, set a date and make yourself accountable.

 

The decision to quit smoking is a big one, and it’s one of the best things you can do for your health. (So congrats!) Now you’ve got to actually make it happen. If you know you want to quit smoking in 2016 but haven’t given much thought to the specifics of how you’re going to do it, going cold turkey may not give you the best chance at success.

 

First, talk with your doctor about strategies that might make quitting easier; he or she may recommend nicotine patches, gum, or medicines that can reduce your urge to smoke. Northwell Health also hosts support groups, workshops and educational programs for people who want to quit; the Center for Tobacco Control in Great Neck, for example, has one of the highest success rates in the country for smoking cessation.

2 weeks ago

Cyber Security: Machine Learning and Big Data Know It Wasn’t You Who Just Swiped Your Credit Card

You’re sitting at home minding your own business when you get a call from your credit card’s fraud detection unit asking if you’ve just made a purchase at a department store in your city. It wasn’t you who bought expensive electronics using your credit card – in fact, it’s been in your pocket all afternoon. So how did the bank know to flag this single purchase as most likely fraudulent?

 

Credit card companies have a vested interest in identifying financial transactions that are illegitimate and criminal in nature. The stakes are high. According to the Federal Reserve Payments Study, Americans used credit cards to pay for 26.2 billion purchases in 2012. The estimated loss due to unauthorized transactions that year was US$6.1 billion. The federal Fair Credit Billing Act limits the maximum liability of a credit card owner to $50 for unauthorized transactions, leaving credit card companies on the hook for the balance. Obviously fraudulent payments can have a big effect on the companies’ bottom lines. The industry requires any vendors that process credit cards to go through security audits every year. But that doesn’t stop all fraud.

 

In the banking industry, measuring risk is critical. The overall goal is to figure out what’s fraudulent and what’s not as quickly as possible, before too much financial damage has been done. So how does it all work? And who’s winning in the arms race between the thieves and the financial institutions?

 

Gathering the troops

 

From the consumer perspective, fraud detection can seem magical. The process appears instantaneous, with no human beings in sight. This apparently seamless and instant action involves a number of sophisticated technologies in areas ranging from finance and economics to law to information sciences.

 

Of course, there are some relatively straightforward and simple detection mechanisms that don’t require advanced reasoning. For example, one good indicator of fraud can be an inability to provide the correct zip code affiliated with a credit card when it’s used at an unusual location. But fraudsters are adept at bypassing this kind of routine check – after all, finding out a victim’s zip code could be as simple as doing a Google search.

 

Traditionally, detecting fraud relied on data analysis techniques that required significant human involvement. An algorithm would flag suspicious cases to be closely reviewed ultimately by human investigators who may even have called the affected cardholders to ask if they’d actually made the charges. Nowadays the companies are dealing with a constant deluge of so many transactions that they need to rely on big data analytics for help. Emerging technologies such as machine learning and cloud computing are stepping up the detection game.

2 weeks ago

Security and Risk Online: 5 frauds you need to beware of

The recent demonetisation move in India has pushed us to move to a cash-free economy. This shift, which would have otherwise taken three years, is now expected to take just three to six months. Digital payments have also recently hit record transactions.

 

With digital payments witnessing record transactions and more and more people joining the cashless bandwagon, there is an obvious question on everyone's mind: are digital transactions safe? The pace of the development and integration of new technologies is much faster than the pace at which security protocols and defence mechanisms are implemented. This is what makes these technologies vulnerable to cyber-fraud. For example, 3.2 million card details were stolen in October in India - making the theft India's biggest data breach. 

 

Members of India's new digital economy need to be aware of the vulnerabilities in the digital and mobile payment systems. Here are the key ways in which digital payments can be breached. 

 

1. Key Logger: Just like tap dancers are strongly aware of how and when their tap shoes strike the floor, a key logger is a software that records the key-strokes made by the user on the keyboard. Static passwords like 3D PINs or banking passwords, that are entered regularly, are vulnerable to cyber-fraud through a key logger, as it can record regularly typed in passwords without the user's knowledge. Using a dynamic PIN is a smart solution to the breach caused by key loggers. It is also beneficial to use apps that have an in-app secure swipe instead of the ones that require the keying in of an OTP. 

 

2. Social Engineering: Those calls that seem to come from the bank might not really be from the bank itself. Credit and debit cards are used at many online merchants and marketplaces. Even if these online transaction use OTPs and CVVs, someone may call the cardholder and pretend to be a representative of the bank, acting as if an online transaction needs to be confirmed, and subsequently ask the cardholder to share the the received OTP. When the OTP is disclosed by the cardholder, a fraudulent transaction can take place. 

 

3. OTP Pop-Ups: As One Time Passwords have limited time validity (in minutes), they are believed to be secure. Although OTPs mostly appear as pop-up notifications on mobile phones. These pop-up messages are clearly visible, even if the mobile phone is locked. This means that the OTP can be easily accessed without the permission of the user, making the transaction open to being breached. 

 

4. OTP Accessibility: Although an OTP is essential, the medium through which it is delivered is of utmost importance. Most of the times, a One Time Password is sent as an SMS. The problem with this is that many apps can read SMS messages. This means that if an app is malicious it can misuse the OTP that has been received. Therefore, users should be aware of what privileges they give to the apps on their smartphone and also look at reviews and number of downloads of the apps they choose.

 

5. EDC Machines: Even with a second-step PIN verification, swiping a card on an EDC machine is not as safe as it seems. EDC machines are susceptible to breach and a compromised machine can copy the details of the cards when swiped. Most debit and credit cards have a static PIN, and even these PINs can be stored in compromised EDC machines. A breach like this can give easy access to the personal data of cardholders to fraudulent groups. A dynamic PIN for physical credit or debit cards could be a strong safeguard against compromised EDC machines.

 

As there are many threats and vulnerabilities with digital payment systems, we need a system that goes much further than regular security standards. This digital payment system should have more than two layers of security so that it is virtually impenetrable. The system should be planned in such a way that each layer both independently stands by itself and also smartly integrates with the overall security structure. From requiring a password just to access the digital payment system to not needing to key in a PIN, this system should have multiple security checkpoints so that only the authorised user can successfully, yet easily, make payments through it.

3 weeks ago

GAC Group Singapore R&D International Consulting: Our Values

We have chosen to build our company’s foundations on 4 core values, represented by the 4 bricks of our logo. These values are:

 

Independence

 

We are a family business with a single shareholder that guarantees financial stability, independence and responsibility to our clients, our partners and the well-being of our employees.

 

Know-How and Show How

 

Historically developed from a leading professional training center, we offer more than standard services by transferring knowledge to our clients during all our missions. Our employees regularly benefit from internal trainings and develop deep expertise and desire to go further on every topics and products.

 

Commitment and Enthusiasm

 

We rely on and invest in our employees and our employees are committed to the success of the company. This win-win situation results in a faithful commitment and a strong work ethic leading to personal development while strengthening our expertise and growth.

 

Entrepreunarial Dynamics

 

Founded by a serial entrepreneur, GAC federates its teams and acquires its clients’ loyalty around a common entrepreneurial vision and an international sense of challenge.

1 month ago

Online Security: Increase in Cybercrime to Boost the Global Antivirus Software Package Market

Technavio analysts forecast the global antivirus software package market to grow at a CAGR of close to 10% during the forecast period, according to their latest report.

 

The research study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the global antivirus software package market for 2016-2020. The report also segments the market based on end-users into home users and corporate users, with corporate users accounting for over 60% of the market share in 2015.

 

According to Ishmeet Kaur, a lead analyst at Technavio for enterprise application research, “Antivirus software packages are expected to gain maximum traction in APAC during the forecast period as enterprises in this region are highly dependent on the Internet and wireless technologies, which are more vulnerable to data theft and cyber-attacks.”

 

Technavio ICT analysts highlight the following three factors that are contributing to the growth of the global antivirus software package market:

 

•    Increase in cybercrime
•    Rise in number of online transactions
•    Growing dependence on Internet

 

Increase in cybercrime

 

Cybercrimes include malware, hacking and denial of service (DoS) attacks, computer viruses, fraud, identity theft, harassment and threats, and phishing scams. With cyber-attacks becoming more complex and sophisticated, the demand for antivirus software is growing. Mobile devices are becoming the most preferred devices for web browsing, e-mailing, making online purchases, accessing social media, and downloading apps. Therefore, they have become potential targets for cyber-attacks as they are increasingly being used to perform personal and business tasks by enterprises and individuals.

 

The increase in the number of cyber-attacks has raised awareness and fear among organizations with respect to the different security risks. For instance, in 2015, enterprises in the US alone, faced an annual loss of more than USD 525 million due to cybercrime. Most of the losses were due to malicious code and DoS attacks. This is compelling organizations to adopt antivirus software packages.

 

Rise in number of online transactions

 

Online transactions are gaining prominence among individual consumers because they are very easy, quick, and convenient. However, these banking and e-commerce transactions are most vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Therefore, vendors in the market are providing advanced features in their antivirus software packages to make online transactions secure and prevent fraudulent activities.

 

The availability of multiple online shopping websites, attractive offers, and a variety of choices are factors that are encouraging users to shop online. Users are increasingly using the Internet for financial transactions because they are quick and convenient.

 

“Security threats such as identity theft and phishing are on the rise due to an increase in the number of online transactions. Thus, the need for antivirus software packages is increasing with the rise in online transactions,” says Ishmeet.

 

Growing dependence on Internet

 

The worldwide use of Internet is growing at an exponential rate, with the number on internet users exceeding 3 billion in 2015, which was more than six times the number of Internet users in 2000. This is due to the spread of education and developments in technology ensuring better connectivity.

 

The Internet has penetrated the lives of individuals from all walks of life. People are increasingly using the internet for everyday activities and to stay connected because of which they end up posting a lot of personal information on the Internet. The increased dependence on web applications has made people vulnerable to identity theft. Cases such as phishing and data theft are on the rise, and new forms of attacks are emerging. Therefore, it has become essential for end-users to adopt antivirus software packages to protect critical information from security threats.

2 months ago

UK Banks Looking Into 'Next Generation' of Digital Cards to Help Combat Online Fraud

 

The digital bank cards have a security code that changes every 20 minutes.

 

A new form of digitally-enhanced bank card featuring an unpredictable three-digit security code is currently being analysed by UK banks and financial institutions as a way of combating increasing levels of fraud, according to security firm Gemalto.

 

The technology, which has been dubbed the "next generation" of payment card, is known as Dynamic Code Verification (DCV) and works by ditching the permanent three-number security strip code in favour of a digital readout that changes every 20 minutes.

 

Gemalto, which is developing a version of the technology, claims it will help to drastically slash the amount of card-not-present (CNP) fraud – when stolen bank card details are used to remotely make illicit internet, telephone or mail purchases.

 

"It means that you physically have to have the card in your possession in order to make a purchase online or over the telephone," Lysa Coombs, spokesperson for Gemalto, told Sky News.

 

"If you have simply harvested the card's details to commit fraud, you won't be able to do that as you won't have the up-to-date security code," she added.

 

Howard Berg, the firm's senior vice-president said UK banks are now accessing the advantages and disadvantages of the technology. "We are certainly seeing card holders like it [because] there's little change to the process they are currently using," he told Sky News.

 

A Gemalto brochure describing the technology stated: "[It] allows issuers to replace the static 3-digit visual cryptogram traditionally used for online purchases with a time based dynamic CVV/CVC displayed on the customer's payment card or on their mobile.

 

"The code changes every 20 minutes, dramatically enhancing the security level of online transactions."

 

According to an official report from Financial Fraud UK released in March this year, titled the 'Year-end 2015 fraud update', losses on purchases made remotely increased by 20% in 2015 (to £398.2m from £331.5m). It indicated the spike may be due to data stolen through "hacks and malware."

 

The research paper also noted: "Financial fraud losses across payment cards, remote banking and cheques totalled £755million in 2015 - an increase of 26% compared to 2014."

 

Tony Blake, a senior fraud prevention officer at the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit, a police unit with links to Financial Fraud Action UK, the Metropolitan Police and the Home Office, said the new technology could help reduce online card fraud.

 

"It is a huge growth area and criminals are always looking at new ways to make money as more of us go online to do our shopping," he told Sky News. "The dynamically changing digital security number on the back of the card is one of the things in development which looks quite promising."