Posts Tagged ‘Cyber Monday’
Happy Giving Tuesday!
Thanksgiving weekend has taken on a new tradition in our home. As the years have passed and our sons have got older rushing out on Black Friday to buy the latest toy or gadget has been replaced by staying indoors relaxing and spending time together watching movies. This year Shop Small Saturday and Cyber Monday were also days in which we kept money in our wallets instead choosing to clear out closets gathering gently used clothing to be donated to the Salvation Army which will be picked up on Wednesday.
Donating to Toys for Tots where a local RE/MAX Realtor sets up a drop box at the entrance of over 20 local developments and donating cans and non-perishable foods to the Delaware Food Bank is yet another holiday tradition.
Giving Tuesday is a globally celebrated day of giving back that kicks off the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and continues until the end of the year.
Giving back can be done in many different ways from donating cash or checks to charitable organization which has been vetted to giving time at a local soup kitchen, homeless shelter or delivering Meals on Wheels. Giving as a family can create a positive tradition that can be passed on to the future generations, fostering a sense of caring and responsibility.
There are so many local organizations that could use your support, if you don’t know of any personally there are several websites that will assist you in locating several of them; GuideStar, Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving site.
If you live in Delaware, here is a partial list of non-profit organizations that would love to accept donations in celebration of #GivingTuesday
Soul Saving Family Restoration Center, Inc.
Students for Haiti
Freedom Center For Independent Living
Christ Servants Mission Institute
Delaware Center for Homeless Veterans, Inc.
As you know, many of your donations are tax-deductible so keep a record of the amounts or items, as well as the dates and organizations for annual tax return filing.
Is #GivingTuesday part of your holiday traditions?
Happy Cyber Monday!
How was your holiday weekend? Did you find any Black Friday bargains or Shop Small Saturday steals and deals?
Not much of a shopper myself I didn’t leave the house, however, we recently had to replace our LG Washing Machine and the new model is awesome. It’s amazing how far technology has come in just a few short years…or at least in the past 10 years since we purchased the other model.
I hope we don’t need to replace any of our other major appliances any time soon, however, I have been curious about some of the new “Smart Appliances”. Still being a little reluctant to purchase one, especially with all these Cyber Security hacking in the news, I decided to do a little research and found an interesting article that I wanted to share from TechforAnyone.
Back in 2014, a security firm announced details that a number of smart appliances were used to send out spam across the internet. It was a wake-up call to the potential security threats that our new home appliance and electronics pose. Most people now own at least a connected television for streaming but the appliance makers are pushing out the boundaries of what information and capabilities these things have. But is this necessarily a good thing?
What Are Smart Appliances?
There are a wide range of features that appliances can have that a manufacturer might claim for them to be a smart appliance. After all, many devices have computers in them to help manage their energy consumption or adjust actions so that they perform their duties better. My fuzzy logic rice cooker is great at cooking all sorts of rice perfectly but is it a smart appliance? The real definition these days of a smart appliance is one that it is connected to other devices remotely. This can be as simple as a television that can stream video from a service like Netflix to an oven that can be setup with a meal that is refrigerated and then told remotely when to have the meal ready to eat.
Insteon Home Automation Controller
Home automation is one of the key aspects of smart appliances. The ability to turn on and off appliances at specific times, adjusting lighting remotely and managing power consumption are just a few examples. In the case of home automation, the appliances and light fixtures may not even be smart appliances but connected to a smart power outlet. The key here is that there is a home automation controller that is in essence a computer that somehow controls those devices and it can be accessed with a remote computer or mobile device via a web page or through a mobile application.
Why They Are A Threat?
Essentially, anything that is connected to the internet can pose a risk. As the event at the start of this article pointed out, the smart appliances were used to send out bulk spam. Similarly, they could be setup to do things like a DDoS attack to take out web sites on the internet, be used as remote relays to try and break into other network systems or just be hacked to cause malice to the appliance owner. If the devices did not have any connection with the internet, the threats would be significantly lessened.
Lack of Security Expertise
One of the biggest problems with the rise of smart appliances is the lack of a security focus. Computers have existed for consumers for a long time and have developed a set of security standards. While not all software is necessarily secure, you often can get third party security companies that help maintain the security integrity of your computers. This is where Synmatec, McAfee, Kaspersky, Sophos and Trend Micro to name a few make computer security products to help protect consumers and businesses. Appliances on the other hand are reliant upon the developers of the software working at those companies. This can best be claimed as security through obscurity.
Users are unaware of how their devices are managed or interconnected. They have no ability to put a security product on them to help prevent any sort of attack. In essence, they have to rely on the appliance manufacturer to make a secure product. Since they use a proprietary system, they think that it will be more difficult to hack but hackers were able to develop a means to remotely control a Prius or Ford Focus. They still needed local access to do this but who is to say as our cars become more connected that this could eventually be done over the internet?
Need to Limit Exposure
The concept is that these appliances need to be connected to the internet to make our lives easier. A refrigerator that can notify us when we are running low on certain groceries, an oven that can be told when to start cooking or just being able to program when a TV program will be recorded by a built in DVR. They are all ideas that are beneficial to some people but they are not critical features. The thing is that many of these things don’t necessarily need to be directly connected to the internet to do these tasks.
For instance, a refrigerator could be setup to monitor the age of various perishable items in it. When they hit an expiration data, it can modify a shopping list to replenish those items. Rather than being designed to order them via the internet, why not just design it to sync up with a mobile phone shopping list application via a near field communication to update the apps list of items to get. It still is a smart appliance as it will sync with a device but is not exposed to the internet.
What Can Be Done About it…
Whirlpool My Smart Appliances App
With the ubiquity of smart phones, I think that manufacturers should look at more ways to interface their smart appliances through a centralized system. This could be similar to a home automation system that could then be secured more readily by the consumer. After all, a smart automobile could route all its features through a smart phone or tablet connected to wireless internet. The phone security can then be used to hopefully prevent attacks. A central home automation server could do same with home appliances that need to be adjusted remotely. The downside to such a system of course is a single point of failure. That smart phone or automation computer breaking or being breached puts the whole system at risk. The different though is it is easier to secure a single point rather than multiple ones.
So, don’t give up on smart appliances. They can still be quite useful but as a consumer, be mindful of what those capabilities are and how vulnerable you may become through them. Hopefully manufacturers will start considering the smart appliance security implications now that real world threats have been found.
Do you own a smart appliance?
Hello friends, now that your Thanksgiving meal has been digested, the crowds have dissipated from Black Friday and you supported small businesses on Saturday, it’s time to go online in search of more deals and bargains.
Online shopping has increased dramatically over the years, but some things never change, and that is security and scams. So this year before you click with a credit card, review these 10 tips from internetsecure.com to keep you cyber safe this season.
1. Look for the latest credit card password procedures, such as Verified by Visa.
In the last year, each major credit card issuer has come up with a secure system online that involves use of a password known only to the credit card owner. This presents to you the highest form of online security possible when shopping, and so you should look for sites that support these new standards.
2. Check the return/refund, warranty, guarantee and other policies.
Take the time to ensure that you are dealing with a reputable, reliable merchant that will offer you the same shopping peace-of-mind that you would get elsewhere. If the online merchant doesn’t post sufficient information to provide you a degree of comfort about such policies, consider taking your business elsewhere.
3. Make sure that the checkout process is secure
Always make sure that you are using a site that provides full “encryption” over the credit card transaction, which helps to ensure that your credit card information can’t be accessed while it is in transit. You can determine this by looking for a small “padlock” at the bottom of your browser screen, or by a message indicating that you are entering a secure site.
4. Look for privacy and security policies
A company that is very conscious about security issues will most often post some information online for you to read. Take the time to look for the security and privacy policies that the online store might have posted and read them, since this will give you more comfort that you are shopping with a site that will carefully guard your credit card and personal information.
5. If concerned, do due diligence
If you are dealing with an online store, but are unsure whether they are reliable and credible, do a search for them on the Internet, to see if other consumers have expressed concern or have had positive or negative experiences.
6. Understand the “safe-shopping” policies established by the issuer of your credit card
Take the time to understand the guarantees that your card-issuer offers with respect to shopping online. You will likely find that even if you are subjected to an online fraud, you will not be liable for any loss greater than $50, which should put your mind to rest.
7. Shop around
Often what might seem to you to be a bargain might not be, once you factor in other costs, or if you don’t consider that there might be other online stores offering the same product or service at a lower cost. Take the time to look at alternatives.
8. Beware of hidden shipping, duty and other costs
Many of those who shop online are surprised by the hidden charges that were not well-documented on the site. Make sure you understand all the potential charges before committing to a purchase, and if something seems unclear — ask! Look for sites that clearly post such charges as part of the checkout process, or post the information elsewhere on their site.
9. Keep receipts and other documentation
Make sure you print out a copy of the receipt once you’ve finished the purchase. In addition, if the online store offers to send you a copy of the receipt by e-mail, take advantage of this option.
10. Order early!
The common complaint of every online Christmas shopper is that they ordered too late to ensure delivery of their goods by Christmas. Shop early — and shop often!
Stay Blessed ~ No Stress in 2014!
Have a Blessed day – Smooches!
This is a sponsored post for DressFirst.com, however, opinions are 100% my own.
Now that you’ve eaten the last of the Thanksgiving turkey, survived shopping on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, today is Cyber Monday so it’s time to start thinking about the holiday parties!
During this time of the year there are always special events to attend, whether it’s a Christmas, Kwanzaa or a New Year’s Eve party. There are also house socials with family and friends or little get-togethers with co-workers and neighbors.
Have you starting planning your outfits yet?
If you are you looking for something a little extra special make sure to check out Dress First.com Dress First is an online shop that carries a large selection of dresses for all occasions including Homecoming, Cocktail Parties, Proms, and even Weddings.
This is just one of the new arrivals of LBD’s which would be perfect for a New Year’s Eve celebration. Dress First also carries a large selection of shoes, and accessories all reasonably priced.
Dress First advertises weekly specials with savings up to 80% and free shipping on all all dresses.
So today while shopping online check out DressFirst.com and don’t forget to “Like” them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter so you’ll be the first to know about the specials, new arrivals and of course the Giveaways.
Happy Cyber Monday!
Hello Friends and Happy Shop Small Saturday
Black Friday has come and gone so today we celebrate and support small businesses and all that they do for their communities. Please join the SBA and organizations across the country in supporting them by shopping at a small business in your city or town.
On Main and Broad Streets in Middletown there are some great small businesses that feature unique and affordable gifts for everyone on your holiday list.
Decor by Moore’s located on 500 North Broad Street recently celebrated their First Year Anniversary, and if you mention DeDivahDeals you’ll receive an additional 10% off your entire purchase until December 31st. “Stop in and Be Amazed” at their wonderful and unique gift items including “Diva” ornaments, personalized wine glasses, animal print boxes, lighted pictures and handcrafted cabinetry.
Decor by Moore’s is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9-6, Wednesday and Friday, 9-8, Saturday 9-7 and Sunday 11-3.
Purple Sage Herbs & Gifts located on 41 West Main Street has more than 100 apothecary style teas and you’re sure to find something to soothe your soul or remedy anything that ails you. Now and until the end of the year they are featuring new holiday teas as well as the new Holiday Troll Beads.
If during this busy holiday season you are seeking stress relief or a little relaxation, make sure to stop in for personalized service and a cup of hot tea.
Purple Sage Herbs & Teas is open Monday through Friday, 11-7, Saturday 10-4 or Sunday 11-4.
A high end fashion boutique with warm friendly customer service can be found at Femme Fatale Boutique on 25 West Main Street.
Femme Fatale Boutique is currently featuring the “Black Friday Limited Edition Pandora Bead”, Alex & Ani and the Brighton collection.
Free gift wrapping and personal shopping assistance is available for the men who love the women in their lives but don’t know what to buy them!
New in stock are the Brazilian Butt Lifting Jeans, guaranteed to fit sizes 2-20. These jeans stretch but don’t sag and are available in assorted colors.
Holiday hours are Monday through Friday, 10-7, Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 11-3.
The Gibby or Gilbert W. Perry, Jr., Center for the Arts is a cultural staple in downtown Middletown featuring works by local artists.
Their Small Works Perfect Gift Shoppe is currently showcasing unique handmade jewelry, clothing, photography, ornaments and home decor.
Free parking across the street at the Municipal lot makes it convenient to shop Thursday and Friday 12-7 and Saturday 10-5.
A unique gift boutique specializing in jewelry and craft design can be found at Jewelapalooza. A recent transplant from Galena, Maryland, Jewelapalooza is located on 104 West Main Street and is featuring a Santa’s Workshop where kids can create homemade gifts that will be cherished for years to come.
Jewelapolooza specializes in Jewelry Making Parties as well as after school camps and workshops for the little ones in town.
Melissa & Doug Toys and Chamilia & Kameleon jewelry is prominently displayed throughout the boutique. Other unique boutique items include women’s shoes, dresses, sweaters, purses and totes.
I don’t know about you, but shopping makes me hungry so take a break and stop in at the mother and daughter owned bakery, Half Baked Patisserie located at 13 W. Main Street.
Make sure you get their signature Half Baked Cupcake which is made with chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookie dough center, topped with brown sugar frosting and sprinkled with chocolate chips….yes, it is AWESOME!!!
Vegan cakes, muffins, custom cakes and catering is also available during their daily Holidays hours of 10-4.
As you head out of town after a long day of shopping make sure to drive down to 725 North Broad to the Middletown Square Shopping Center and check out the newly opened Middletown African Market.
This Market features authentic African and Caribbean food items, Kente Cloth, clothing, videos, health and beauty products as well as kitchen items.
This long-needed ethnic market sells wholesale and retail fresh, canned, packaged and frozen foods. African spices, sauces and seasonings that is guaranteed to jazz up your holiday meals. The Middletown African Market is open Monday through Saturday 9-7.
Swinging after shopping was the best part of their day!
Why not catch a show at The Everett Theatre?
Where ever you decide to shop today, I hope it will be an enjoyable Shop Small Saturday.
Rest up tomorrow because next is Cyber Monday!
Hello Friends and Happy Cyber Monday, are you shopping online today? There are a few items that I’d like to get but nothing major so I think I’ll wait until this evening or perhaps even after the holidays for deeper discounts. On Black Friday I didn’t go to the mall instead I went to GW Boutique (Goodwill) in Middletown, it wasn’t crowded so I was able to take my time to find a few items knowing that I would return Saturday for the 50% off sale.
Jonathan Martin Polka Dot Skirt
Dressbarn 3/4 sleeve blouse
Mix It Blouse
Style & Co. Polka Dot Knit Top
Apt. 9 Brown and White Polka Dot Shirt Sleeve Blouse
In Vain Polka Dot Short Sleeve Blouse
Jones New York Polka Dot Maxi Skirt
Worthington mini dot skirt
All items were $3.75 each, I would have waited until Saturday but didn’t want the hassle of relocating them and I am not one who “hides” merchandise- lol
WantedShoes.com Leather Studded Pumps – $4.00
Givenchy Parfume Quilted tote – $2.00
Perfect size for carrying my iPad, note pad, wallet and cell phone
Holiday heels unfortunately were not my size
Have a fantabulous day – Smooches!