Friday, 20 January 2017

Experts Are Warning Gmail Users About This Scam Email After They Fell For It

Scammers are always coming up with more and more inventive ways to get your information. According to Satnam Narang, Senior Security Response Manager at Norton by Symantec, scammers are targeting Gmail users by sending emails from contacts who have already been hacked. 
The email looks like it contains an attachment, but actually, it's an embedded image that once clicked, will send you to a page that looks like the standard Google sign-in page. And if you make the mistake of logging in there, the hacker will have your details. 
This is the closest I've ever come to falling for a Gmail phishing attack. If it hadn't been for my high-DPI screen making the image fuzzy…

This is disturbingly clever. You get sent to a text/html data URI! Not testing any further but, blimey, talk about using power for evil.

Narang warns that these scam emails are incredibly professional, and are designed to look much more realistic than your average phishing email. 
And people are already falling for it. In one school district, a compromised account sent out what appeared to be a practice schedule, which compromised more accounts. 
There is one thing you can do, though. "The best way to identify this attack is to look at the address bar. In this case, look for the words 'data:/text/html' at the beginning of the URL," Narang says. "If you see this, close the browser tab and alert your friend that their account has been compromised."
And if you enable two-step verification for your Gmail account, hackers won't be able to access your account even if you do fall for it. 
In a statement about the attack, a Google spokesperson said:

“We're aware of this issue and continue to strengthen our defenses against it. We help protect users from phishing attacks in a variety of ways, including: machine learning based detection of phishing messages, Safe Browsing warnings that notify users of dangerous links in emails and browsers, preventing suspicious account sign-ins, and more. Users can also activate two-step verification for additional account protection.”

Seattle Police Department's First Openly Transgender Cop Shares His Experience Coming Out

Last year, more members of the trans community were killed last year than any other year since a record on the stat has been kept. With all the tension that has been built up between rights groups and certain police forces over the years, one police department in the nation has worked towards becoming a progressive workplace for their officers.
Seattle Police Department's Officer Tori Newburn is their first openly transgender police officer. His three year anniversary at the station just passed in December, though it wasn't until May of 2016 that he came out to his fellow officers, and he hasn't received an ounce of negativity since doing so.

It's worth noting that Seattle is home to the Safe Place program, which aims to eliminate crime against members of the LBGTQ community. It has been so successful that other cities have begun emulating the campaign.
Mayor Buddy Dyer announcing Safe Place initiative for LGBTQ community in Orlando, similar to program in Seattle 

The Southern California native began his transition a decade ago. He had the full support of his parents and still does today.

Newburn credits those that came before him for the overwhelming acceptance of his peers, adding, "I have this amazing job with this great department. I have a lot of friends in this department. I have to use that to bring more positivity in the world.

School Employee Fired For Correcting Student's Spelling On Twitter

A staff member for Frederick County Public Schools in North Carolina has been fired after a tweet she sent to a student went viral.
Katie Nash, 34, had her employment after she responded to a students tweet asking for schools to be closed amid a snowstorm. "Close school tammarow please," the tweet from the unnamed student read. Nash replied from the official Twitter account for the school district: "But then how would you learn how to spell 'tomorrow'? :)"
The tweet quickly acquired thousands of retweets and likes, but following a four-minute meeting with her employers, Nash was fired.
"Dear Katie, this letter confirms our discussion today that your probation period as a Web Experience Coordinator for Frederick County Public Schools will not be extended," a follow up letter reads. "You will be terminated from your assignment effective January 13, 2017."

Nash told ABC11 that after being hired to manage the district's social media accounts, she was told by students at a focus group that "our tweeting was a bit flat,  they were looking for some more engagement."
She added that students "were looking for us to tweet back at them and I really took that to heart because I know that I am a little bit older and maybe not as hip as some of the students are, so I took that to heart and I took that feedback in."
Nash said that the tweet that got her fired was "an opportunity to respond and do so in a fun lighthearted way."
She says that most students found it funny, but that higher-ups told her to delete the tweet. 
"When they had reached out and when the community overwhelmingly saw it, for what it was just lighthearted banter and trying to engage with the students on their level."
"Out of this entire experience, that something really positive comes out of this because I think the community has sort of been looking at this and various reactions, most positive, but I really am sincere and I hope FCPS thinks how can we use social media to engage going forward."
Nash's tweet was obviously made in jest, and it seemed to go down well with students, so her dismissal seems to be a total overreaction. And if Wendy's has taught us anything, a smart social media strategy is everything. 

President Obama Writes Heartwarming Final Letter To The American People

Where does the time go? It seems like only yesterday that President Barack Obama was sworn into office. But eight years later, President-elect Donald Trump will take office in an inauguration tomorrow. 
And while it's common practice for the outgoing president to write a note for the incoming president, a tradition that President Obama will be maintaining, it's rarer for a president to write a farewell note to the American people. But this morning, Facebook users are waking up to this sweet message from the president.
"It's a long-standing tradition for the sitting president of the United States to leave a parting letter in the Oval Office for the American elected to take his or her place. It's a letter meant to share what we know, what we've learned, and what small wisdom may help our successor bear the great responsibility that comes with the highest office in our land, and the leadership of the free world."
"But before I leave my note for our 45th president, I wanted to say one final thank you for the honor of serving as your 44th. Because all that I've learned in my time in office, I've learned from you. You made me a better President, and you made me a better man."

Get the tissues ready. 
"Throughout these eight years, you have been the source of goodness, resilience, and hope from which I've pulled strength. I've seen neighbors and communities take care of each other during the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes. I have mourned with grieving families searching for answers – and found grace in a Charleston church."
"I've taken heart from the hope of young graduates and our newest military officers. I've seen our scientists help a paralyzed man regain his sense of touch, and wounded warriors once given up for dead walk again. I've seen Americans whose lives have been saved because they finally have access to medical care, and families whose lives have been changed because their marriages are recognized as equal to our own. I've seen the youngest of children remind us through their actions and through their generosity of our obligations to care for refugees, or work for peace, and, above all, to look out for each other."
"I've seen you, the American people, in all your decency, determination, good humor, and kindness. And in your daily acts of citizenship, I've seen our future unfolding."
"All of us, regardless of party, should throw ourselves into that work – the joyous work of citizenship. Not just when there's an election, not just when our own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime."
"I'll be right there with you every step of the way."
"And when the arc of progress seems slow, remember: America is not the project of any one person. The single most powerful word in our democracy is the word 'We.' 'We the People.' 'We shall overcome.'"
"Yes, we can."

The president went on to share some of his favorite photographs from his eight years in office. In the first, President Obama, the First Lady, and Rep. John
In the first, President Obama, the First Lady, and Rep. John Lewis, join veterans of the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches on the 50th Anniversary in March, 2015. 
15994775_590839994439178_8917394809270543621_o (1)White House / Pete Souza
President Obama visits the Community Children's Center in Lawrence, Kansas, one of the nation's oldest Head Start providers.
White House / Pete Souza
President Obama fist-bumps the robotic arm of Nathan Copeland at the University of Pittsburgh. The arm uses a medical breakthrough to provide Copeland with the sensation of touch. 
White House / Pete Souza
Audience members listen as  President Obama outlines his health care reforms in 2009. 
White House / Pete Souza
President Obama fist-bumps a medical professional in the Green Room of the White House.
White House / Pete Souza
President Obama views science exhibits during the 2015 White House Science Fair. These six-year-olds used LEGO pieces to design a battery-powered page turner to help people who are paralyzed or have arthritis.
White House / Chuck Kennedy
Following the mass shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, the President pauses while giving the eulogy.
White House / Pete Souza
U.S. Army Ranger Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg and his father Craig Remsburg greets President Obama at Cory's newly finished home.
16143805_590840037772507_1497889651895118103_o (1)
White House / Pete Souza
A soldier hugs the President as he greeted U.S. troops at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan.
White House / Pete Souza
The White House lit with the colors of the rainbow in celebration of the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage in 2015.
White House / Pete Souza
President Obama bends over so the son of a White House staff member can pat his head during a family visit to the Oval Office in 2009. The youngster wanted to see if the President's haircut felt like his own.

8 Natural Ways to Balance Your Cholesterol Levels

The topic of cholesterol has increasingly become confusing for most people. First, we’re told that HDL cholesterol is good while LDL cholesterol is harmful. More recently, many people have been reporting that cholesterol is fine and no longer a factor in heart disease. What’s a person to believe? Well, there’s truth in both sides of this story.
First, we need cholesterol. It’s involved in the repair of arterial walls as well as the formation of hormones, both of which are essential to our health. But, the reality is that we still need to maintain a healthy balance of cholesterol, rather than toss out our healthy diet altogether. Many people turn to statin drugs, but they are replete with many nasty side-effects (such as weakness, dementia and muscle pain to name a few) but in some cases dietary changes have been shown to be just as effective as the drugs. Here are some of the best ways to restore and maintain balanced cholesterol levels:
Apples: In a study funded by the USDA, postmenopausal women who ate dried apples daily experienced a 23 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol (the one known as “bad cholesterol”) and a 4 percent increase in HDL cholesterol (“the good cholesterol”) within six months. Another study published in the BMJ showed that eating just one apple a day resulted in an equivalent reduction of mortality from heart attack or stroke as taking statin drugs, without any of the drug complications. The British scientists estimated that if 70 percent of the 50+ population ate one apple daily, 8500 deaths every year due to heart attack or stroke would be averted in the UK alone. And, if 90 percent of the British population over fifty ate a daily apple, the number of lives saved would climb to 11,000 annually
BeansSimply adding a ½ cup of cooked beans like kidney, pinto, black, black-eyed, garbanzo, or other, to your daily diet can help reduce harmful cholesterol and keep overall cholesterol levels in check. That’s easy to do when you add them to a salad, soup, stew, curry—or enjoy hummus, chili or other bean dishes in your daily diet. 
YogurtResearch shows that yogurt made with the probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum improves cholesterol (as well as blood sugar levels and homocysteine levels, both of which are imperative to good cardiovascular health). Dairy-free yogurt options that contain L. plantarum likely confer the same benefits.
GarlicEat more garlic. It can lower high blood pressure, prevent hardening of the arteries and lessen cholesterol buildup in the heart.
Vegetables: Eat more vegetables. We hear it all the time, but the reality is that a plant-based diet offers many health benefits, including balanced cholesterol levels. And, it really isn’t difficult to increase your vegetable intake and find new ways to enjoy vegetables if you’re not a fan.
CilantroFresh cilantro may grace the dishes of Mexico and India, among others, but it also offers impressive protection against heart disease. That’s because it helps to keep arteries free of fatty deposits and plaque that build up when low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol molecules are oxidized by free radicals. It is also high in the flavonoid quercetin, which slows the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and potentially protects artery walls from damage.
Red Clover: That weed growing on your front lawn, replete with small purple, pink or white flowers, is more than just a nuisance, its potent natural medicine in the prevention and treatment of heart disease. According to research published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it reduces high levels of LDL cholesterol, while also improving the elasticity of arteries. Red clover is available in dried form (use one heaping teaspoon per cup of boiled water for tea).
GingerNot just good for gingerbread cookies, ginger has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, according to research cited in the book Healing Spices by B. B. Aggarwal and D. Yost. The study dose was 1000mg of dried ginger daily, which is available in capsule form. Alternatively, you can also add a tablespoon of freshly-ground ginger to your soups, stews, curries, baked goods or other foods to reap its health benefits.

50 Supermarket Tricks You Still Fall For

Food experts, industry analysts, and store employees share their insider strategies on how to save money on groceries, stay healthy, and beat the supermarkets at their own game.

We’re very aware of the role that the senses play in marketing.
When you walk in the door, you smell bread baking or rotisserie chicken roasting in the deli area because we know those smells get your salivary glands working. When you’re salivating, you’re a much less disciplined shopper. —Paco Underhill, consumer expert and author of What Women Want: The Science of Female Shopping

It’s no accident that shopping carts are getting bigger.
We doubled their size as a test, and customers bought 19 percent more. —Martin Lindstrom, marketing consultant and author of Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy

The more people buy, the more they consume.
If you used to buy a six-pack of soda and drink six cans a week but now buy a 12-pack because that’s the current standard size, you’re probably going to start drinking 12 cans a week. Be mindful when buying larger sizes to make sure your habits don’t change as a result. —Jeff Weidauer, former supermarket executive and vice president of marketing for Vestcom, a retail services company

The average consumer tends to remember the price of only four items:
Milk, bread, bananas, and eggs. Ninety-five percent of shoppers have no idea what all the other items cost and don’t know if they’re getting a good deal when they buy them. —Martin Lindstrom

The produce department is at the front of the store because...
its bright colors put you in a good mood and inspire you to buy more. That’s why I recommend that you start shopping in the middle of the store, with its bland boxes and cans. —Phil Lempert, grocery industry expert and editor of

Over 60 percent of shoppers off-load products as they check out.
So supermarkets started making checkout lanes narrower, with less shelf space, which means it’s harder to ditch goods at the last minute. —Martin Lindstrom

We let you linger … and it’s good for business.
Customers would tell me as they went through the checkout, “I just stopped in to get eggs,” and they would have $250 worth of stuff. —Jason Swett, former bagger and cashier at a grocery store in Kalamazoo, Michigan

To save money, wear headphones and listen to upbeat music as you shop.
Many stores play music with a rhythm that’s much slower than the average heartbeat, which makes you spend more time in the store—and buy 29 percent more. —Martin Lindstrom

Supermarkets aren’t out to steal from you.
The average supermarket makes about 1.5 percent net profit a year. To give you some idea of how low that is, the profit margin for clothing stores can be several times that. —Phil Lempert

Kroger uses heat sensors... track where people are in the store to determine when there’s likely to be a rush of shoppers to the checkout counters so that they can get cashiers to the front in advance. —Jeff Weidauer

Please have your money or credit card ready at checkout.
Some stores time each transaction. If you take too long, we get in trouble. —Aimee Brittain, former grocery cashier,

In my experience, food safety is the biggest priority...
...especially when it comes to produce. Employees were required to sterilize cutting boards every four hours; they had to fill out a cleaning log each time the boards were washed. Some employees would try to get out of doing the dirty work, so it was my job to pop into the department throughout the day and check the log. —Linda King, former store and department manager for a Connecticut chain

One thing that shocked me... that prepared food in the deli area, like chicken or potatoes, is thrown away at the end of the day. Stores can’t save it. They won’t even give it to their employees. —Aimee Brittain

Grocery stores can’t compete with Walmart on price.
So what are they doing? Bringing in people who are passionate about food. They’re hiring butchers who are skilled at cutting up meat, produce managers who are experts on fruits and vegetables, and a few dietitians who give seminars on healthy eating habits. —Jeff Weidauer

Most grocery stores have a budget for supporting local causes...
...and are interested in being a part of the community. So if your school is having a fund-raiser, don’t forget to talk to your nearby store. —Jeff Weidauer

You can’t win when you’re a bagger.
If you put a loaf of bread in a bag by itself, some people get mad because they want it with their other groceries. But other customers get mad if you don’t put the bread in a 
separate bag. —Jason Swett

People believe milk is located in the back of the store... that they have to walk through the aisles to get to it. But the real reason is simple logistics. Milk needs to be refrigerated right away; the trucks unload in the back, so the fridges are there so that we can fill the cases as quickly and easily as possible. —Jeff Weidauer

About 80 percent of what shoppers buy, they buy every week.
Keep your receipt, which shows the item and the price you last paid, so you can tell when something is on sale. That’s when you should stock up. —Phil Lempert

If you need a cake, don’t buy it the day you need it.
We’ll have to give you one from the display case, and those cakes have often been sitting out for a while. If you order in advance, we’ll make the cake for you that day or the night before, and it will be a lot fresher. —Lindsay Smith, former cake decorator and bakery worker at a grocery store near Birmingham, Alabama

Believe it or not... years of research have found that the average apple you see in the supermarket is 14 months old…or older. —Martin Lindstrom

Some of the same cheeses displayed behind the deli counter...
...are available in the dairy case. The packaging isn’t as fancy, but they’re much cheaper. —Phil Lempert

The mist that’s sprayed on your fruits and veggies...
...may make them look fresh, but it can make them rot faster. The water also adds to an item’s weight, so make sure you shake off leafy greens. —Martin Lindstrom

We recycle the vegetables and fruits that don’t sell in time... using them in our prepared foods. —Bradley McHugh

In a supermarket, a good sale is anything that’s half price.
“Buy one, get the second one 50 percent off” discounts are not good sales—that’s only 25 percent off each. Almost everything is reduced to 50 percent at some point. —Teri Gault

The store I worked at would make some of its sales very specific...
...and, in my opinion, very deceptive. For example, it would offer 50 percent off a ten-ounce package of deli ham and put the sign right between the ten-ounce packages and the 16-ounce ones. Shoppers would wind up grabbing the wrong one and paying full price. —Jason Swett

Customers think that when they buy in bulk, they end up with a better deal.
But that’s not always the case. In the produce department, individual peppers are almost always cheaper than those in the multi-packs, and loose avocados are usually cheaper than the ones grouped in mesh bags. —Teri Gault

The ten-for-$10 promotion is one of the most effective.
When a store does it, volume takes off, even if the promotion raises the price of something. We’ll take an 89-cent can of tuna and mark it “ten for $10,” 
and instead of buying six cans for 89 cents, people will buy ten for $10. —Jeff Weidauer

Do not assume...
...that if something is displayed at the end of an aisle, it is a good deal. Often, it’s not. Those endcaps are sold specifically to companies trying to promote a product. —Paco Underhill

Just because something is advertised in your grocery store circular...
...doesn’t mean it’s on sale. There’s a whole lot in there that’s full price. —Teri Gault

Grocery stores usually don’t have the best milk prices.
The milk at drugstores and convenience stores is typically priced 30 to 50 cents less per gallon; it may even be locally produced and hormone-free. —Teri Gault

Do you like the hot pizza from the deli?
It’s likely the same store-brand pizza offered over in the freezer section for almost half the price per slice. —Bradley McHugh, meat manager and deli clerk for an independent grocery store in Ohio

At the fresh seafood counter...
...most products are labeled previously frozen in small type. Those same products are probably for sale in the frozen-food case for 40 percent less. Not only that, but you won’t have to use them right away, since they haven’t been thawed out. —Phil Lempert

I’ve tasted every item in our deli case...
...and there’s very little difference between what’s been prepackaged and what we slice fresh. A lot of times, it’s the exact same product. But you’re paying $1 to $2 more per pound for the same product just to have us slice it for you. —Bradley McHugh

When you buy fresh bread...
...we give it to you in a brown paper bag. Why? Because the bread may go stale faster, sending you back to the store to buy more. A quick fix: Place loaves in airtight plastic bags as soon as you get home. —Lindsay Smith

Our French bread was exactly the same as our Italian bread...
...which was the same as our White Mountain bread. They were all made with the same dough and then shaped differently. —Lindsay Smith

If we’re having a sale on a baked item...
...and you don’t need it until the next month, ask if you can buy it now, during the sale, but not pick it up until your event. We let people do that all the time. They bring back their receipt a month later and get their order. —A cake decorator in an Ohio grocery store

If you see something in the bakery...
...or meat department that will expire the next day, say, “Hey, this is expiring tomorrow. Are you going to mark it down?” A lot of times, they’ll mark it down for you right then. You’re really doing them a favor, since they have to unload it anyway. —Teri Gault

There’s a lot that grocery store employees will do for you if you just ask.
The butcher will tenderize meat for you, the baker will slice a loaf of bread, and the florist will usually give you free greenery to go with your loose flowers. At some stores owned by Kroger, the seafood department worker will even coat your fish in flour or Cajun seasoning and fry it up for free. I couldn’t believe it the first time they did that for me. —Teri Gault, grocery savings expert and CEO of

Is there a product you want that the store doesn’t carry?
Talk to the manager. A lot of today’s supermarkets will special-order things for you. They’ll even arrange to bring something in for you on a regular basis. —Jeff Weidauer

If you can, shop when the store is not busy.
Studies show that most consumers buy more when the store is crowded because they 
subconsciously want to be part of the group. Mondays and Tuesdays are the best days to shop. Whatever you do, avoid weekends. —Phil Lempert

It’s almost always cheaper to buy a large cut and have us trim it for you.
We can cut a chuck roast into stew cubes, a whole boneless strip loin into New York strip steaks, or a flank steak into stir-fry strips. We’ve had people buy one big roast and have us remove the bone for soup, run half of it through the grinder for hamburger, and cut the rest into a pot roast. That can save you about 30 percent compared with buying everything cut. —Bradley McHugh

Just because a cut of meat is labeled Angus doesn’t mean it’s going to be a great steak.
What you really want to check is its USDA quality grade. Prime is the best, then choice (usually the highest grade available in grocery stores), followed by select, and finally standard. —Kari Underly, former grocery store meat cutter and author of The Art of Beef Cutting: A Meat Professional’s Guide to Butchering and Merchandising

Find out when your butcher marks down meat.
At most stores, it’s between eight and ten in the morning. —Teri Gault

One of our best-kept secrets... that you get filet mignon much cheaper by buying whole T-bone steaks. Every T-bone has a small filet mignon on the bone, and a New York strip on the opposite side. The price difference can be $3 to $5 a pound. —Bradley McHugh

If you’re worried about what’s in your ground meat... a piece of roast when it’s on sale and have your butcher grind it up for you in-store. A sirloin roast would be so delicious as hamburger. —Kari Underly

When I was training as a health inspector...
...the instructors beat into our heads how to inspect restaurants. But there was very little training focused on grocery stores. They took us through a grocery store in one day and then turned us loose, even though the stores have all this processing equipment that’s tough to clean. And I have to admit, I’d look at some of these machines on my inspections and say, “Yep, looks good.” But I didn’t really know what I was looking for. —Grocery store public health consultant

 When you buy prepackaged ground meat in one of those tubes or foam containers... may have come from hundreds of cows. If just one of those cows had E. coli on its hide, it’s now in your hamburger. If you ask a grocery store meat cutter to grind your hamburger in the store, it’s coming from just one cow. There’s still a risk of contamination, but it’s a much lower one. —Bill Marler, food-safety advocate and Seattle attorney who has frequently sued food companies

Everyone handles the produce.
I’ve seen customers drop something, pick it up, and put it back on the shelf. I’ve seen kids take a bite and put the item back. It took me a long time to start eating fresh fruits and vegetables again after working in a store. —Aimee Brittain

In almost every store we walk into...
...the employees tell us they don’t have enough time to clean properly. The result: I’ve seen some mice infestations so bad that they were living in the dairy cooler. —Grocery store public health consultant

The carts never get cleaned.
I’ve seen babies soiling carts and carts with chicken juice leaking on them. That’s why I give them a once-over with my own sanitizing wipes. —Aimee Brittain