Three ways to avoid holiday fraud

first_imgThere are few things worse than to get fleeced over the holidays. With millions shopping on the Internet, you have to be up on cybersecurity to protect yourself.Online fraud follows certain patterns. Generally, though, it’s about the theft of information — namely yours. Fraudsters are constantly probing and hacking to find out how they can steal valuable data such as Social Security numbers, bank accounts and other personal identification information.Once they steal your personal data, the small-time crooks will use it to buy stuff using your name. The more organized criminals will simply sell the information to other online thieves. Hackers, on the other hand, just want to create mischief.According to Sift Science, a firm that specializes in online fraud solutions, online hoodlums do things a certain way and fit a certain pattern. Here’s what they found in their “United States of Fraud” survey: 27SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

Purposeful Talent Development: Helping your staff navigate the ‘career jungle gym’

first_img continue reading » National awareness days and months are all over our calendar. For example, December 2019 is International Volunteer Day for Economic & Social Development month. Dec. 1 is National Pie Day. January is National Mentoring Month. The purpose of these days is to remind us to refocus our energy and efforts for a day or a month to bring awareness or—in the case of National Pie Day, a little joy—to our lives.Did you know that November is National Career Development Month? Now, this may not be as exciting as National Salsa Month (it’s May, if you are curious), but it is important. It allows us an opportunity to think about not just our development within our current roles, but our careers. This can seem like a big task for anyone, especially those that may not have any specific career goals or direction. This month is a great opportunity to reflect about what interests you and what might be good opportunities or paths help you do more in than vein.About six years ago, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, brought the term “career jungle gym” to the masses. From Sandberg, it’s the idea that you don’t have to have a set plan for your career development because you don’t know what opportunities might arise in the future. If we look at this concept from an internal organizational perspective, it’s championing the mindset that you don’t always have to move up in an organization to move ahead. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Blinded by the light, firefly species face extinction

first_imgThe Malaysian firefly Pteroptyx tener, for example, lives during its larval phase in riverside mangroves, many of which have been ripped up to make way for palm oil plantations and fish farms.The glowworm (L. noctiluca) has another problem — females are flightless, which means that can’t simply buzz off to a new location when their habitat is swallowed by a suburb, commercial crop or country road.Other species of fireflies, which eat only during their larval phase, are “dietary specialists,” meaning they subsist on one or two kinds of snail, earthworm or other soft-bodied prey. When fruit orchards in Mediterranean Spain are abandoned or give way to urbanization, so too do the snails preferred by aptly named Lampyris iberica, leaving the firefly larva nothing to eat.  Adult Pteroptyx in Malaysia, meanwhile, gather for nightly courtship displays in specific trees located along mangrove rivers. Many of those trees have been cut down. Of 10 possible drivers of extinction, experts fingered habitat loss as the top threat everywhere — except east Asia and South America.In those two regions, artificial light was seen as the biggest menace to the world’s luminescent beetles.”In addition to disrupting natural biorhythms, light pollution really messes up firefly mating rituals,” said co-author Avalon Owens, a doctoral student at Tufts.Many species of firefly depend on their ability to light up to find and attract mates.To make matters worse, that window of opportunity is very narrow: while the firefly larval phase lasts months to years, adults typically live only a few days. The twinkling beetles are so focused on reproducing that they don’t even eat. The survey found that fireflies are also being decimated by commonly used insecticides, the third major threat.”Organophosphates and neonicotinoids are designed to kill pests, yet they also have off-target effects on beneficial insects,” the researchers wrote.Fireflies light up by triggering a chemical reaction –- involving oxygen, calcium and an enzyme called luciferase — inside special organs in their abdomen, a process called bioluminescence.Their otherworldly glow has been an enduring source of fascination.  But firefly tourism — long popular in Japan, Malaysia and Taiwan — has also taken a toll, with fragile ecosystems damaged by too much foot traffic.The plight of fireflies at the beginning of the 21st century add a new layer of meaning to lines written more than a century ago by Canadian poet Bliss Carman.”And the fireflies across the dusk, Are flashing signals through the gloom,” he wrote.While climate change is not seen as a current threat, future sea level rise and drought also could accelerate the drive towards extinction.The dozen authors contributing to the study are all affiliated with the Firefly Specialist Group — set up in 2018 — of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which compiles the Red List of threatened species.  Topics : A few, such as the Big Dipper in the United States, seem to be flourishing.”Those guys can survive pretty much anywhere,” said Sara Lewis, a biologist at Tufts University in Massachusetts and lead author of the study, based on a survey of dozens of firefly experts.But other varieties — from the glowworms of southern England to Malaysia’s synchronous fireflies and the Appalachian blue ghost, both of which draw tourists — are being extinguished by humanity’s ever-expanding ecological footprint.”Some species get hit especially hard by habitat loss because they need specific conditions to complete their life cycle,” said Lewis.center_img Fireflies are in deep trouble, with many species facing extinction due to habitat loss and exposure to pesticides, according to the first major review of their global status, published Monday.Adding irony to injury, one of Nature’s most entrancing spectacles is also being snuffed out by artificial light pollution, researchers reported in the journal BioScience.More than 2,000 species of fireflies — which are, in fact, beetles — illuminate wetlands, marshes, grasslands, forests and urban parks worldwide.last_img read more

Kearns says Tipp can’t afford mistakes

first_imgKearns says his side’s semi-final win gave him plenty of food for thought…Our build-up to live commentary on the big match will begin at 1.30 on Sunday afternoon – with coverage brought to you in association with Tipperary Co-Op Supervalu, Tipperary Town. Tipperary will have to eliminate some of their defensive failings if they’re to have a chance of winning the Munster senior football final this weekend.Manager Liam Kearns says the team can’t afford a repeat of the closing stages against Cork last time out when they square up to Kerry on Sunday in Killarney. Tipp are seeking to win the provincial title for the first time in over 80 years.last_img