Platforms, Credentials, and Encryption

The following is an excerpt taken from the article, “Developing a Mobile App? Follow These 12 Tips for Protecting and Securing User Data .” For more information please visit www.sba.gov.

Developing a Mobile App?

Don’t rely on a platform alone to protect your users

profile_ man_smartphone_shutterstock_128323376Platforms may offer features to make security easier, but it’s up to you to understand them. Use them properly, and explain them to your users in everyday language.

Create secure user credentials

If your app requires that users create usernames and passwords, make sure that these credentials are secure and appropriate to the nature of your app. For example

, a social networking app would require a higher level of authentication (password strength requirements) than a gaming app.

Encrypt any data that is transmitted

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Use transit encryption (SSL/TLS in the form of HTTPS) to secure usernames, passwords, API keys and any other important data that is transmitted from a device to your server. This is particularly critical because many users use un-secured public WiFi networks to access apps. If you use HTTPS, use a low-cost digital certificate from a reputable vendor and ensure your app checks it properly.

Be Seen, Be Safe!

The following is an excerpt taken from the article, “Bike Safety.” For more information please visit www.kidshealth.org.

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Wearing bright clothes and putting reflectors on your bike also can help you stay safe. It helps other people on the road see you. And if they see you, that means they’re less likely to run into you. Daytime riding is the safest so try to avoid riding your bike at dusk and later.

You’ll also want to make sure that nothing will get caught in your bike chain, such as loose pant legs, backpack straps, or shoelaces
. Wear the right shoes — sneakers — when you bike. Sandals, flip-flops, shoes with heels, and cleats won’t help you grip the pedals. And never go riding barefoot! Riding gloves may help you grip the handlebars — and make you look like a professional!

But avoid wearing headphones because the music can distract you from noises around you, such as a car blowing its horn so you can get out of the way.

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Developing a Mobile App? – Part 2

The following is an excerpt taken from the article, “Developing a Mobile App? Follow These 12 Tips for Protecting and Securing User Data .” For more information please visit www.sba.gov.

The FTC offers the following  tips to help developers approach mobile app security:

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  • Appoint a security lead

Your development team should include at least one person responsible for considering security at each stage of your app’s development. If you are a solo entrepreneur, then that person is you.

  • Review the data you intend to collect and maintain

Don’t collect or keep dat that you don’t need. If you don’t need user’s contact info, don’t collect it. Likewise, don’t keep user data any longer than you need to – including location data.

  • Understand the differences between mobile platforms

Each mobile operating system uses a different application programming interface (API), which includes different security features and permission handling. So don’t just assume one size fits all; adapt your code accordingly.

Helmet On, Now What?

The following is an excerpt taken from the article, “Bike Safety.” For more information please visit www.kidshealth.org.

Riding a bike that is the right size forshutterstock_106540973 you also help keeps you safe.

  • When you are on your bicycle, stand straddling the top bar of your bike so that both feet are flat on the ground.
  • There should be 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.6 centimeters) of space between you and the top bar.

Here’s a safety checklist your mom or dad can help you do:

Make sure your seat, handlebars, and wheels fit tightly.
Check and oil your chain regularly.
Check your brakes to be sure they work well and aren’t sticking.
Check your tires to make sure they have enough air and the right amount of tire pressure.

Developing a Mobile App? – Part 1

The following is an excerpt taken from the article, “Developing a Mobile App? Follow These 12 Tips for Protecting and Securing User Data .” For more information please visit www.sba.gov.

successful_businesswoman_phoneSmartphone and tablet users will download 70 billion apps this year, according to an estimate by ABI Research. And the total global mobile app market is expected to be worth $25 billion by 2015 reports TechCrunch.

If you have an idea for a marketable app or are currently developing one, then the world may just be your oyster. But before you take your app to market and get it accepted by an app store, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wants to ensure that your security policies are up to scratch and that you have taken the right measures to protect the data that your users share with you.

Why? Apps and mobile devices often rely on consumer data – including contact information, location, photos, and so on – all of which can be vulnerable to data breaches, digital snoops and tablet_man_istockregular theft. In fact, Markets and Markets cites the risk of data theft through delivery of phishing and spyware in mobile apps as the biggest downside to the growth in available apps.

The FTC offers the following 12 tips to help developers approach mobile app security:

Bike Safety – An Introduction

The following is an excerpt taken from the article, “Bike Safety.” For more information please visit www.kidshealth.org.

It’s a beautiful day — the sun is shining, the birds are chirping. What could be more perfect than a bike ride? But wait! Before you pull your bike out of the garage, let’s find out how to stay safe on two wheels.

Why Is Bicycle Safety So Important?

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Bike riding is a lot of fun, but accidents happen. The safest way to use your bike is for transportation, not play. Every year, about 300,000 kids go to the emergency department because of bike injuries, and at least 10,000 kids have injuries that require a few days in the hospital. Some of these injuries are so serious that children die, usually from head injuries.

A head injury can mean brain injury. That’s why it’s so important to wear your bike helmet. Wearing one doesn’t mean you can be reckless, but a helmet will provide some protection for your face, head, and brain in case you fall down.

A Helmet How-To

Bike helmets are so important that the U.S. government has created safety standards for them. Your helmet should have a sticker that says it meets standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). If your helmet doesn’t have a CPSC sticker, ask your mom or dad to get you one that does. Wear a bike helmet EVERY TIME YOU RIDE, even if you are going for a short ride.

Your bike helmet should fit you properly. You don’t want it too small or too big. Never wear a hat under your bike helmet. If you’re unsure if your helmet fits you well, ask someone at a bike store.

Once you have the right helmet, you need to wear it the right way so it will protect you. It should be worn level and cover your forehead. Don’t tip it back so your forehead is showing. The straps should always be fastened. If the straps are flying, it’s likely to fall off your head when you need it most. Make sure the straps are adjusted so they’re snug enough that you can’t pull or twist the helmet around on your head.

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Take care of your bike helmet and don’t throw it around. That could damage the helmet and it won’t protect you as well when you really need it. If you do fall down and put your helmet to the test, be sure to get a new one. They don’t work as well after a major crash.

Many bike helmets today are lightweight and come in cool colors. If you don’t love yours as it is, personalize it with some of your favorite stickers. Reflective stickers are a great choice because they look cool and make you more visible to people driving cars.

Tips : Air Conditioners

The following is an excerpt taken from the article, “Tips : Air Conditioners.” For more information please visit www.energy.gov.
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Bigger isn’t always better for an air conditioner. Learn effective ways to stay cool while saving energy.

Buying a bigger room air conditioner won’t necessarily make you feel more comfortable during the hot summer months. In fact, a room air conditioner that’s too big for the area it is supposed to cool will perform less efficiently and less effectively than a smaller, properly sized unit. The reason: an oversized unit will cool the room(s) to the thermostat set-point before proper dehumidification occurs, making the area feel “clammy” and uncomfortable. Central air-conditioning systems need to be sized by professionals.

If you have a central air system in your home, set the fan to shut off at the same time as the compressor, which is usually done by setting the “auto” mode on the fan setting. In other words, don’t use the system’s central fan to provide air circulation — use circulating fans in individual rooms.

Instead of air-conditioning, consider installing a whole-house fan. Whole-house fans work in many climates and help cool your home by pulling cool air through the house and exhausting warm air through the attic. Use the fan most effectively to cool down your house during cooler times of the day: your home will stay cooler through the hotter times of the day without using the fan.

Cooling Tips

  • Set your thermostat at as high a temperature as comfortably possible in the summer, and ensure humidity control if needed. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
  • Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.
  • Consider using an interior fan along with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air through your home without greatly increasing your power use.
  • Avoid placing appliances that give off heat such as lamps or TVs near a thermostat.cooling_fan

Long-Term Savings Tips

  • If your air conditioner is old, consider buying an energy-efficient model. Look for the ENERGY STAR® and EnergyGuide labels — qualified room air conditioners are 10% more efficient, and qualified central units are about 14% more efficient than standard models.
  • Consider installing a whole-house fan or evaporative cooler if appropriate for your climate.

Learn more about air conditioners and alternative energy-efficient home cooling systems.

Using the Heat Index to Protect Workers: Training Workers

The following is an excerpt taken from the article, “Training Workers.” For more information please visit www.osha.gov.

Training Workers

trainer talking with construction workersTrain workers before hot outdoor work begins. Tailor the training topic outline to cover employer-specific policies and worksite-specific conditions.  A single worksite may have some job tasks that are low risk for heat-related illness and others that are high risk.  Training will be more effective if it is matched to job tasks and conditions, and is reviewed and reinforced throughout hot weather conditions. The following training topics may be addressed in one session or in a series of shorter sessions.

Training Topics:

  • Risk factors for heat-related illness.
  • Different types of heat-related illness, including how to recognize common signs and symptoms.
  • Heat-related illness prevention procedures.
  • Importance of drinking small quantities of water often.
  • Importance of acclimatization, how it is developed, and how your worksite procedures address it.
  • Importance of immediately reporting signs or symptoms of heat-related illness to the supervisor.
  • Procedures for responding to possible heat-related illness.
  • Procedures to follow when contacting emergency medical services.
  • Procedures to ensure that clear and precise directions to the work site will be provided to emergency medical services.
Factors that May Cause Heat-related Illness
Environmental High temperature and humidity
Direct sun exposure (with no shade) or extreme heat
Limited air movement (no breeze or wind)
Job-Specific Physical exertion
Use of bulky protective clothing and equipment

See Training Resources for heat-related illness prevention training tools and resources. Also see OSHA’s Heat-Related Illness Prevention Training Guide [7 MB PDF*, 43 pages] for one tool to help you train your workers. The training guide includes instructions for teaching workers about heat hazards and a daily checklist to make sure all appropriate precautions are in place each workday.  OSHA’s factsheets and worksite posters (in English and Spanish) can help in communicating key messages about heat safety and health. Some labor and industry organizations offer industry-specific guidance for protecting workers, such as wildland firefighters [823 KB PDF, 2 pages], that face heat exposure under special circumstances. Inquire whether your industry offers any special guidance, or adapt information from industries with similar situations.

Using the Heat Index to Protect Workers: Planning Checklists

Use the following checklists to prepare for hot weather and to make sure that all appropriate precautions are in place.

Planning Ahead for Hot Weather: Employer Checklist1

Develop a list of hot weather supplies (e.g., water, shade devices, etc.). Estimate quantities that will be needed, and decide who will be responsible for obtaining and transporting  supplies and checking that supplies are not running low.
Create emergency action plan for heat-related illnesses (who will provide first aid and emergency services, if necessary).
Develop acclimatization schedule for new workers or workers returning from absences longer than one week.
Identify methods to gain real-time access to important weather forecast and advisory information from the National Weather Service and ensure the information is available at outdoor work sites (e.g., laptop computer, cell phone, other internet-ready device, weather radio).
Determine how weather information will be used to modify work schedules, increase the number of water and rest breaks, or cease work early if necessary.
Train workers on the risks presented by hot weather, how to identify heat-related illnesses, and the steps that will be taken to reduce the risk.
Plan to have a knowledgeable person on the worksite who can develop and enforce work/rest schedules and conduct physiological monitoring, when necessary, at high and very high/extreme risk levels for heat-related illness.

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Daily Planning for Hot Weather: Employer Daily Checklist2

Water Is there plenty of fresh, cool drinking water located as close as possible to the workers?
Are water coolers refilled throughout the day? (Has someone been designated to check and make sure water is not running low?)
Shade Is shade or air conditioning available for breaks and if workers need to recover?
Training Do workers know the:
 
Common signs and symptoms of heat-related illness?
Proper precautions to prevent heat-related illness?
Importance of acclimatization?
Importance of drinking water frequently (even when they are not thirsty)?
Steps to take if someone is having symptoms?
Emergencies Does everyone know who to notify if there is an emergency?
Can workers explain their location if they need to call an ambulance?
Does everyone know who will provide first aid?
Knowledgeable Person For high and very high/extreme heat index risk levels, is there a knowledgeable person at the worksite who is well-informed about heat-related illness and able to determine appropriate work/rest schedules and can conduct physiological monitoring as necessary?
Physiological Monitoring Are workers in the high or very high/extreme heat index risk levels being physiologically monitored as necessary?
Worker Reminders Drink water often
Rest in shade
Report heat-related symptoms early

blank_checklist1This table is adapted from concepts appearing in OSHA’s Heat-related Illness Prevention Training Guide [7 MB PDF*, 43 pages].
2
This table is adapted from checklist (page 18) in OSHA’s Heat-related illness Prevention Training Guide [7 MB PDF*, 43 pages].

The above is an excerpt taken from the article, “Planning Checklists.” For more information please visit www.osha.gov.

Summer Safety Tips – Part 7

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The following is an excerpt taken from the article, “Summer Safety Tips”. For more information please visit www.healthvermont.gov.

Healthy Swimming

safe_swimshutterstock_34027198Stay Safe: If you plan to swim in a river or stream, use extreme caution and stay away from swift moving water. Heavy rain and flash flooding makes many swim holes, rivers and streams unpredictable and dangerous.