Today’s hackers are attacking a lot more than just computers. They’re going after the “Internet of Things” or IoT products – such as internet-connected cameras and refrigerators and using them to create havoc on the Internet.
In October, hackers used the “Mirai” malware to attack unsecured IoT devices, turning them into zombie computers to overwhelm and shut down huge websites including Netflix, Paypal, and Twitter, said Ari Lazarus, Consumer Education Specialist for the Federal Trade Commission.
Attacks like that can put your information at risk. So what can you do to reduce the risk of compromise to your home network and smart products?
A safety database for household, outdoor, and children’s products – in operation for five years by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission – offers valuable information for consumers.
SaferProducts.gov enables consumers, government agencies, public safety groups, health care professionals, and child service providers to report dangerous products and search the reports that others have submitted.
In a report, “SaferProducts.gov: Five Years Live,” five consumer groups – the Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Kids In Danger, Public Citizen, and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group – say the database offers important information anyone buying products for children, relatives, or friends this holiday season.
Samsung is recalling about 2.8 million top-load washing machines.
The washing machine top can unexpectedly detach from the washing machine chassis during use, posing a risk of injury from impact.
Samsung has received 733 reports of washing machines experiencing excessive vibration or the top detaching from the washing machine chassis. There are nine related reports of injuries, including a broken jaw, injured shoulder, and other impact or fall-related injuries.
The rains have come to the Seattle area where I live, so I was out in my garden today picking the last of the tomatoes.
I had many gardening successes this year: a couple of dozen zucchini, a few larger than I would have liked; lots of Swiss chard and kale; a couple of servings of beans; carrots, most of which I have yet to harvest; the usual tomato dilemma here – a few red ones and lots of green ones.
The cucumbers were a surprise: They came on late, but were prolific. My daughter asked for some July and early August, but I had mostly blossoms then. I have lots now. It’s hard to get them all eaten. I see why people make pickles.
The mistakes. I accepted some tomato plants from my neighbor. I had many more tomatoes than I could use. And, for three of the plants, I just let them lay on the ground rather than staking them up. Not a good idea. Slugs got to them easily.
Other disappointments: corn seedlings on sale turned out to be popcorn, rows of lettuce were too long to eat easily, and the green beans didn’t produce as much as I would have liked.
However, the biggest failure in my yard was three emerald green arborvitae that I had planted to replace two that had died. The new ones didn’t make it either.
Here what’s going on with other baby boomer bloggers:
Upgrading and replacing appliances and other items are to be expected when living in an older home. Meryl Baer of Six Decades and Counting briefly considered replacing a household necessity in her 70-year-old house. Baer decided against spending the money now. Read about her thoughts in “Toilet Talk.”
Tom Sightings of Sightings Over Sixty went to a seminar focused not on money, but on all the other aspects of retirement. And yet, as he describes in “Retirement: An Attitude Adjustment,” one of the best lessons he learned was how to take the pressure off of your retirement finances.
It's hard to believe a boomer anthem that's some 50 years old captures the 21st century so powerfully. But Carol Cassara at Heart•Mind•Soul explains why she believes that and includes a powerful contemporary version of the song for your consideration.
This is the 469th issue of the Best of Boomer Blogs. Click on the links to read more. And, I hope you have many successes this week.
Copyright 2016, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist
When using cleaners and other household products, it’s important to use the amount recommended. Using more pours money down the drain and can be bad for your appliances, your belongings, and the environment.
Colleen Tressler, consumer education specialist for the Federal Trade Commission, offers these tips that are good for your wallet and the planet:
Too much can make your clothes stiff and cause a buildup of mold and mildew in your machine that can shorten its life. Detergent "overpouring" creates a high, foamy tide that lifts soil and lint above the water level so it isn’t rinsed away. That leaves residue on clothing that fades colors and attracts more dirt. Detergent buildup inside the machine promotes odor and bacteria growth.
Labor Day is a holiday that recognizes the social and economic achievements of American workers. It was established in 1894.
What’s happening on Labor Day 2016 and who are American workers today?
More than 3.5 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Labor Day weekend, according to WalletHub, a personal finance website. Of those, 85.8 percent will travel by car. Seven percent will fly to their destination. It’s the fifth straight year travel volume has increased.
Labor Day is coming and we have to think about summer ending and school starting soon.
If shopping is one of your favorite Labor Day activies, the report, “Best Labor Day Sales” by WalletHub, a personal finance website, provides helpful information. And, if you’re like me and enjoy holiday information, its “Labor Day 2016 by the Numbers” report is interesting reading.
Highlights from the reports are:
Tablets, dishwashers, and strollers – The best items to buy in September compared with the rest of the year.
5-plus million – The number of Americans who will travel 50 miles or more from home during the upcoming Labor Day weekend. It’s the fifth straight year travel volume has increased.
$1.4 billion – Cost associated with Labor Day weekend travel congestion caused by infrastructure problems.
2 – Average number of vacation days taken by American workers in 2015. Twenty-three percent of workers earn no paid vacation time.