What is malware and why should I be concerned?
LinkedIn
Young people watching a live streaming on social media

In the era of Social media, our privacy and online safety becomes increasingly important. We’re sharing our lives online; however, we should also know how much is too much and how to save our private data from unwanted intrusion.

The point is, our private information is valuable to cybercriminals who use it to deprive us of our hard-earned money and even ruin our reputation by stealing our identity. Leaving our data “up for grabs” means we might have a difficult time applying for a home loan or even get a passport.

With this being said, it’s essential to know what kinds of dangers lurk around, being able to recognize it and protect ourselves from cyber-attacks.

That’s why we decided to explain thoroughly what is malware, what types of it exist, and how to ensure our data, privacy, and devices are safe.

What is Malware, and why is it so important?

“Malware” refers to malicious software, used to describe any software (or code for that matter) made to inflict damage on mobile and desktop devices by exploiting those devices or data they carry, without the consent of their owners. Malware is usually made to achieve some financial gain – whether it’s about seeking victim’s financial data, holding a computer for ransom, or taking it over in order to rent it out for malicious purposes to others. Without exception, every type of Malware involves some form of payment to the cybercriminal.

There are plenty of ways we can “adopt” Malware on our computers or mobile devices. Some of them include opening the attachment of the “infected” person, clicking on the link which automatically downloads a virus, or even clicking on an ad banner on a website.

He loves me; he loves me NOT.

It’s hard to talk about Malware without mentioning the ILOVEYOU virus, which caused immense damage in 2009. Considered as the most destructive virus of all time, the ILOVEYOU virus used to rename all files in the affected device with “Iloveyou” until the system crashed. Fast-forward to the present day; there’s an increased number of hackers using destructive Malware (Between 2017 and 2018, there was a total increase of 25 percent only) for malicious acts.

Is there a reason to be afraid?

For the ones wondering if they should be afraid of Malware, the answer is a loud: YES! Technology advanced so much that we’re basically carrying small computers in our pockets – in fact, more and more cyber attacks are connected to mobile devices. What’s more, it’s so easy to lose all our important data: text messages, apps we download and failing to update our OS is all the ways we become prone to cyber-attacks. It’s scary and devastating to know someone could ruin our reputation and finances with one single click.

Knowledge is the key.

Now when we have a clear picture of what Malware is, we should get familiar with different types of it. Then, armed with knowledge, we will be able to protect ourselves and our data from malicious cyber intruders. There are six types of malware: spyware, adware, scareware, ransomware, worms, and trojans. Now, we’re going to go through them and offer you a complete overview.

Spyware is not here to harm our computers but follow our every move instead. It attaches itself to executable files and once it is downloaded it completely takes over the control. It can track anything from passwords to financial data.

Adware presents itself in a form of pop-ads or unclosable windows. Luckily, adware doesn’t steal our data, but it tries to make us click on fraudulent ads. Furthermore, it can slow down our computer severely by taking our bandwidth.

Scareware looks and feels like adware, but its main goal is to make us buy software we don’t need by scaring us. Usually, scareware ads tell us our computer has a virus and we need to buy software to get rid of it.

Ransomware resembles hacker moves we’re used to seeing in the movies. Once is on our computer it encrypts our files and holds our information hostage until we pay them a fee to decrypt it.

Worms resemble viruses, however, they don’t need human intervention to get transmitted to another computer. Instead, they use security flaws to do it.

Trojans are designed to allow hackers to take over our computers. Usually, they are downloaded from rogue websites.

We should learn how to protect ourselves.

Now when we know what are the types of malware out there, we will know how to recognize it and protect our precious data and valuable info from cybercriminals. To avoid malware, we should make sure we’re not downloading and running any program from popup windows. Furthermore, we should check our OS is updated and be careful not to open any email attachments from unknown people. Other ways include avoiding the use of public WiFi networks, sharing data while connected on public WiFi and avoid opening emails and attachments from untrusted sources.

This Hidden Figure will be Hidden No More Thanks to NASA’s New Commemoration
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Mary W. Jackson working in office at NASA

NASA’s agency headquarters, located in Washington, D.C., was announced to be renamed the “Mary W. Jackson Building” to commemorate NASA’s first black engineer and hidden figure, Mary W. Jackson.

Though she is widely known from the 2016 film Hidden Figures, where she is portrayed by Janelle Monet, Jackson began working for NASA in the 1950s as part of the segregated area of Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, as a mathematician. Jackson was later reassigned to work on the Supersonic Pressure Tunnel, used to measure wind speeds on model rockets. However, her knowledge and skillset proved to be so impressive, she was asked to obtain the necessary training needed to become an engineer for NASA.

After gaining special permission to join the then segregated classes she needed to attend, Jackson became the first black female engineer at NASA in 1958. Under this new title, Johnson went on to oversee programs that would educate and hire women of all backgrounds into other science, technology, and mathematics roles within NASA.

Now, about fifteen years after Jackson’s death and only four years after the release of Jackson’s film, NASA the headquarters, appropriately located on “Hidden Figures Way” will now be honoring Jackson with her own building.

NASA administrator Jim Birdenstein has said of the building new name, “We (NASA) will continue to recognize the contributions of women, African Americans, and people of all backgrounds who have made NASA’s successful history of exploration possible.”

Create a Live Video Community (and Why You Would Want to)
LinkedIn
young black woman filming a video while playing guitar

There is a good chance that most people reading this have tuned into at least one live video over the last week. It’s something that is becoming increasingly popular, and is expected to continue to increase in popularity going forward. There are many good reasons why more influencers and businesses alike are turning to creating a live video community, and harnessing the power that it can offer. Now is the time to learn how to create a live video community and why it’s so important to do so.

“People are showing that they love live video and interacting with it in a big way,” explains Alexander Riesenkampff, the chief executive officer of GetVokl, a livestreaming platform. “We have helped many people build and grow their live video community, and know that as this field continues to grow, we will be helping many more.”

People tend to feel more urgency to watch a live video. Seeing that it’s live gets them interested. The area of live video offers a lot of potential for those who are brand influencers, businesses, or those who want to make a strong connection with their followers. Not only is viewing live video on the rise, but research shows that it tends to outperform recorded video.

Those interested in creating a live video community should spend a little time exploring how others have done it. GetVokl, for example, has many live communities that can be accessed, providing a good place to do a little homework and learn the ins and outs. Once you are ready to get started, GetVokl can help you create a larger community. They also make it easy to directly monetize the audience. The app allows each live video to be shown across multiple platforms at one time. This ensures that your video is live across all platforms, rather than being live on one and then having to post a recorded video to the others.

Here are 5 reasons why it’s a good idea to create a live video community:

  • Live video gives you the ability to increase engagement and interaction with your audience. It allows for immediate feedback and discussion. This helps to build authority, make a connection, and increase loyalty.
  • An effective marketing tool, creating a live video community can lead to an increase in sales and revenue. It gives all types of companies and influencers a way to increase their earnings.
  • Live video communities feel real and authentic. This is one of the reasons why people prefer it to recorded videos. Most recorded videos are heavily edited, yet people prefer the authenticity that comes with it being live.
  • There is a greater ability to make an impact when you engage in live video with your target audience. They can ask questions, provide immediate feedback, and get to know your personality more.
  • Audiences tend to watch for a longer period of time when the information is coming to them live, as opposed to in a recorded video. Keeping your target market watching longer makes for a more effective marketing experience.

“Creating a livestream community is something anyone can do,” added Riesenkampff. “Once you do it, you will see there are benefits. It’s like getting the chance to be with your people in the same room, even if they are thousands of miles away. Whether you hold Q&A sessions, offer how-to talks, host interviews, provide advice, or just offer fun looks into what you are doing, it leaves a powerful mark.”

GetVokl is an app that allows people to livestream across multiple platforms at one time. It’s free to use and ideal for podcasters, coaches, teachers, bloggers, reporters, or others who want their livestream to reach people on multiple platforms. It’s quick to set up and easy to use, requiring only minimal technical knowledge. GetVokl also features VCoin, which helps podcasters earn more money by letting people give tips or donations as the livestreaming takes place. To learn more about GetVokl or to download the app, visit the site: https://getvokl.com/.

 To learn more about how VCoin works, watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qroHqQY0IjY&feature=youtu.be.

About GetVokl:
GetVokl is a free livestreaming community platform built for podcasters, livestreamers, and hosts to unleash the potential of their audiences through interactive live shows that inspire and create vibrant communities. GetVokl allows a livestream to be broadcast over multiple social media platforms at one time. Join or create your live video community. To learn more about GetVokl, please visit https://about.getvokl.com.

Meet the Woman Behind Space X, President and Engineer Gwynne Shotwell
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Gwynne Shotwell smiling for the camera

This past weekend, the United States made history when Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched the Dragon Crew capsule into space, the first U.S. mission from U.S. soil since 2011. SpaceX is primarily associated with Musk, as he was the founder of the company, but many people don’t know about the company’s president and chief operating officer, Gwynne Shotwell.

Now responsible for SpaceX’s operations and growth, Shotwell has been working with SpaceX since the company was founded in 2002 and was immediately put on the board of directors. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics from Northwestern University and previously worked with The Aerospace Corporation and Microcosm Inc. in El Segundo, California. Wanting to apply her skills in engineering in a hands-on environment, Shotwell worked with The Aerospace Corporation in military space research, technical work, spacecraft design and thermal analysis. She spent much of her time specifically studying small spacecraft design and how to navigate such a spacecraft in and out of the cosmos. She later went on to work Microcosm Inc, a rocket building company, where she oversaw business development.

Having both the skills and knowing the ins and outs of spacecraft and business, Shotwell’s expertise at SpaceX still stands. Under her supervision, SpaceX has launched five billion dollars’ worth of crafts with the Falcon vehicle family and has now become the first privately owned business to send astronauts into space. Additionally, Shotwell recently became a member on the board of directors for Polaris, an automotive vehicle manufacturing company, and serves in many STEM-related programs. Her work in these areas have earned her several awards, including a spot in the 2012 Women in Technology Hall of Fame and as one of Forbes’ Magazine’s Top 50 Women in Tech.

Through all of her successes, it seems as if Shotwell has more large-scale accomplishments to come. As part of a multi-billion dollar deal with NASA, SpaceX will continue to work on a transportation system to take the first humans to Mars.

Virginia’s New Slogan should be “Virginia is for all Lovers”
LinkedIn
Virginia slogan being held by a hand on the side

On April 11, Virginia became the most progressive state in the southern United States in just two days. Virginia’s governor, Ralph Northam, signed the “Virginia Values Acts,” which will expand and clarify the protections of the LGBTQ+ community.

The Act specifically details the protections that the LGBTQ+ community has against employment, housing, and credit discrimination as well as protections of transgender students in the school system. Additionally, the act gives a non-binary option for driver’s licenses, expanded the definition of LGBTQ+ hate crimes, and makes the process of changing the gender on official documents an easier process.

The Virginia Acts Bill is only one of the many progressive bills that Governor Northam has passed this year. Along with about 16 other laws put in place to support the LGBTQ+ community, Governor Northam has also passed laws that protect reproductive rights and call for a stricter protocol on gun ownership.

The Virginia Values Act is set to take effect on July 1 and is widely supported by Virginia’s LGBTQ+ community. Northam is known by the community to be a longtime ally and vocal supporter of LGBTQ+ issues and legislation.

How to Celebrate Mother’s Day from Home
LinkedIn
Laptop webcam screen view multiethnic families contacting Mother on Mother's day by video conference

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching, and while we can’t go to a restaurant, or in some cases, even be close to each other, there are still plenty of ways we can celebrate the special women in our lives.

Here are three of our favorites.

1) Host a Zoom Get Together

Host a Zoom meeting with your mom, siblings, and other family members during the time you would normally get together for Mother’s Day. Gathering all of your mother’s loved ones in one place, even digitally, is a great way for your mom to feel loved on Mother’s Day while also feeling safe.

2) Surprise Delivery!

Whether it be flowers, food, a handwritten card, or a thoughtful gift from a local business, utilizing delivery services is a fantastic way to show your mom you are thinking about her, even if you can’t be there in person. You can even Skype, FaceTime or talk on the phone while your mom receives her present!

3) Make her the Center of Attention

Gather your family together (either virtually or in person if you are self-isolating together) and have everyone talk about their favorite story about their mom. It can be a funny story they have shared, their favorite memory, or about what she means to you and how you appreciate everything she does. Taking the time to celebrate Mother’s Day will show the significant woman in your life how loved she really is.

 

BECOMING – OFFICIAL TRAILER
LinkedIn
Michelle Obama book jacket cover

BECOMING is an intimate look into the life of former First Lady Michelle Obama during a moment of profound change, not only for her personally but for the country she and her husband served over eight impactful years in the White House.

The film offers a rare and up-close look at her life, taking viewers behind the scenes as she embarks on a 34-city tour that highlights the power of community to bridge our divides and the spirit of connection that comes when we openly and honestly share our stories.

Film Release Date: May 6, 2020
Format: Original Documentary Feature

Directed by: Nadia Hallgren
Produced by: Katy Chevigny,
Marilyn Ness, & Lauren Cioffi
Co-Producer: Maureen A. Ryan
Executive Producers:
Priya Swaminathan & Tonia Davis

A NOTE FROM MICHELLE
I’m excited to let you know that on May 6, Netflix will release BECOMING, a documentary film directed by Nadia Hallgren that looks at my life and the experiences I had while touring following the release of my memoir. Those months I spent traveling—meeting and connecting with people in cities across the globe—drove home the idea that what we share in common is deep and real and can’t be messed with.

In groups large and small, young and old, unique and united, we came together and shared stories, filling those spaces with our joys, worries, and dreams.

*BECOMING is the third release from Higher Ground Productions and Netflix*

For more information about the documentary visit, netflix.com/Becoming.

#IAmBecoming

How to be a better Ally: Five Facts you need to know
LinkedIn
Human Rights Campaign headquarters

The Human Rights Campaign released a five-point fact sheet on what the public should know about the LGBTQ+ community and the issues they face every day.

Here are the facts:

  • There are about 10 million adults in the United States who identify as LGBTQ+. That’s over 4% of the population.
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 Population Survey, 16% of LGBTQ+ couples in the United States were also raising children.
  • There isn’t a federal law that properly or consistently protects those in the LGBTQ+ community from employment discrimination. Thirty U.S. states also don’t have a law to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity, and 28 U.S. states don’t have a law to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
  • In the 2017 Legislative session, there were more than 50 anti-LGBTQ bills that were filed in 19 states.
  • In 2015, there were 1,167 hate crimes that were reported to the FBI that stemmed from gender and sexual orientations. Many more are estimated to have occurred and not been reported.

To find out more about LGBTQ+ issues and the Federal Laws in place to protect the LGBTQ+ community, check out the links below:

The Human Rights Campaign Official Website

Federal Laws

The Chronic-ness of Disorganization
LinkedIn
A woman's hands on a laptop, surrounded by clutter on a desk

By Regina F. Lark, Ph.D., CPO, NGLCC certified

Where are my keys? I don’t have time! Why am I always late? Is that due now?! Does this sound like you?

In the land of perfect order (wherever that land may be), keys are always nearby, our to do lists are completed daily, and we are always ahead of our busy schedules. Now, if this sounds like you, then you have probably ‘Marie-Kondoed’ your home or office to great effect (and admiration).

Here is a quick list of what we need to keep tidy: time; emotional, financial and management skills; the ability to plan, execute, and complete projects; prioritize easily; and not be susceptible to distractions or procrastination. An impossible dream list?!

In my eleven-year journey as a professional organizer, I’ve come to understand that many people have a hard time getting and staying organized. Most organizing books typically don’t ‘work’ for the people who need them the most. In fact, one of the first things we de-clutter when we start our work with a chronically disorganized (CD) client is her many books on how to get organized.

But if you’re the one asking the questions similar to those I posed above, I am going to bet that your workplace and homeplace contain clutter or at least feel disorganized, or both. And I imagine that clutter and chaos have been a part of your life for nearly the whole of your life. Being late or having clutter, or both, is likely having a negative impact on your life. No matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to maintain anything that looks like organized space. Hence, the chronic-ness of chronic disorganization.

My CD clients are particularly intellectual. They are successful, creative, talented, and people-oriented, with a broad range of knowledge and a wide range of interests. Many are fun and funny, compassionate, kind, considerate people. My chronically disorganized clients may have been diagnosed with ADHD, and/or depression, and/or other brain-based or neurological conditions. And they likely have a lousy sense of time. And honestly…I can’t think of a single book that will knock the chronic-ness out of their disorganization.

But I do have some ideas about thinking differently about the mess and clutter. First, if anything here resonates, become more curious about your brain and how you’re wired, starting with understanding your relationship with time. Google “time management for ADHD” even if you don’t have ADHD. The tips and strategies are useful to everyone. Second, if physical clutter is a problem, hire a professional organizer who is familiar with chronic disorganization. I’m not kidding. It’s a thing. De-clutter your entire house then schedule follow-up maintenance appointments until you start getting the hang of it. Third, look at your entire to-do list through the lens of delegation. What must come off of your plate and who else can do it?

Finally, and this is big, consider delegating the “emotional labor” parts of your life. Professional women are beginning to outsource a chunk of the physical labor required to manage a household (laundry and housecleaning services, grocery/meal delivery, etc.), but part of the territory of being a woman (professional or otherwise) has everything to do with the management of that which is not the physical labor of the household such as: grocery lists, pharmacy pick-ups, family birthdays, cupcakes, sympathy cards. The list is endless. Truly. For fun, ask your spouse or partner to list all the things they do around the house. You do the same. Now compare. What can you two agree on that will help even up the lists somewhat?

With some effort, concentration, and the support of a good professional organizer, habits and behaviors associated with CD actually do change. Best advice: focus on what you’re good at and/or what you enjoy, then delegate the rest. Your keys are calling!

 

5 Women Instagram At-Home Trainers To Follow
LinkedIn
woman fitness instructor in workout position on the floor

Just because we’re practicing social distancing, it doesn’t mean we can’t work out. Our top five Instagram fitness instructors will help you get fit without any gym equipment:

  • @doyourrumble: Julia and Andy Stern are an Instagram fitness couple who showcase their cardio and strength workouts, especially through boxing. As COVID-19 has ordered many to isolate themselves, the two have taken to hosting daily, live training sessions on their Instagram page.

    Their workouts are mostly cardio and strength training, but all of it can be done without owning any type of gym equipment.

  • @theunderbellyyoga: Jessyman Stanley is a body positive writer, podcaster and yoga extraordinaire.

    She lives by the motto: “Yoga is for Every Body” and is currently offering a two-week free trial for her online yoga program.

  • @kayla_itsines: Kayla Itsines is a fitness trainer who understands what it’s like to balance the responsibility of being a mom with the responsibility of taking care of your body. Her Instagram is full of wonderful fitness routines.

    Itsines is also the owner of the free app, SWEAT: Kayla Itsines Fitness, the No. 1 fitness app for women.

  • @emilyskyefit: Emily Skye is the fitness and health instructor for the FIT Program, an online workout resource.

    Emily manages to teach others to stay fit while not only balancing the typical challenges from self-isolation but also doing so with a toddler and a baby on the way. Currently, the FIT Program is offering a 30-day free trial of fitness and health instruction.

  • @jenselter: Jen Selter is an online health and fitness trainer who does much of her training sessions with the @fitplan_app.

    Currently, she is holding Instagram fitness sessions of easy-at-home workouts on her Instagram stories to stay healthy in a time of isolation.

Natalie Rodgers
Professional WOMAN’s Magazine contributing writer

6 ways to learn a foreign language for free while you’re sheltering in place for COVID-19
LinkedIn
smart afro american girl entrepreneur use computer, work training company career development seminar sit table hold takeout mug coffee in office

Your always-home lifestyle presents an unparalleled opportunity to expand your language skills. Why not go immersive? French radio! German podcasts! Spanish recipes for dinner!

Or, you know, just brush up. Much of the world is stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now, the best intensive language programs in the world are free:

  • Rosetta Stone. The grandfather of language companies is offering free three-month subscriptions to learn any of 22 languages.
  • Babbel. The course hub just opened up three months of free classes in a dozen languages.
  • Fable Cottage. These fun audio and video stories in French, German, Spanish, and Italian are usually locked under subscription, but are now freely accessible.
  • Conjuguemos. This teachers’ mecca of games, activities, and worksheets in seven languages (including Latin and Korean) is perfect for building an awesome curriculum of the nuts and bolts—verbs, grammar, and vocab. Free during the outbreak.
  • iCulture. Don’t miss Carnegie Learning’s immersion package of videos, articles, and songs in French, Spanish, or German, which are free through June.
  • Mango. The company provides high-speed learning in 70 languages for companies and schools. Its online language portal is freely accessible.

Bonne chance!

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

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*Please be sure to check event websites for latest updates on postponements or cancellations due to COVID-19 precautions.

Upcoming Events

  1. Women in Federal Law Enforcement Leadership Training
    August 3, 2020 - August 6, 2020
  2. 2020 American Society for Health Care Human Resources Association Event
    August 22, 2020 - August 25, 2020
  3. 2020 NAWBO National Women’s Business Conference
    September 21, 2020 - September 23, 2020

Upcoming Events

  1. Women in Federal Law Enforcement Leadership Training
    August 3, 2020 - August 6, 2020
  2. 2020 American Society for Health Care Human Resources Association Event
    August 22, 2020 - August 25, 2020
  3. 2020 NAWBO National Women’s Business Conference
    September 21, 2020 - September 23, 2020