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6 extra items to pack when travelling by yourself

<p>Travelling alone can be a life changing experience, but it also requires a few extra precautions. Pack these six things to keep yourself safe.</p> <p><strong>1. Doorstop</strong></p> <p>A simple wedge of wood or plastic can give you priceless peace of mind in a hotel room. Even if you lock the door, people might be able to break the lock or use a cloned key. A doorstop quickly and easily wedges it shut so you can sleep easy. If you want to go one step further, you can get special doorstop alarms that will emit a loud siren if anyone tries to force the door.</p> <p><strong>2. Extra lock</strong></p> <p>There are endless uses for an extra padlock or bike lock-style cable. You can double up on your hotel door, secure your train carriage or ship cabin, double lock your suitcase or chain it to something sturdy. Compact, sturdy locks are relatively cheap and easy to carry with you, and will deter most thieves or intruders looking for an easy mark.</p> <p><strong>3. First aid kit</strong></p> <p>If you don’t have a travel buddy to send down to the chemist, a simple first aid kit can be a lifesaver. Keep it stocked with band aids, basic bandages, pain killers, antibiotics, antihistamines and gastro meds, along with anything else you think will be useful. If you are really unwell, you’ll obviously need to see a doctor, but having the first line of defence within easy reach is always smart.</p> <p><strong>4. Whistle or personal alarm</strong></p> <p>If you will be walking through unfamiliar cities at night (or even in the day), a whistle or personal alarm can give you a feeling of security. If anyone unsavoury approaches you, a loud noise will startle them and generally scare them off. It also draws the attention of other people and makes them aware of your predicament.</p> <p><strong>5. Small torch</strong></p> <p>Never underestimate the power of a little light to make you feel safe. It’s great for finding your way through dark streets, looking for your keys in your bag or seeing the lock on your hotel door. You can get small lights that attach to a keychain or wallet and give out a surprisingly bright light. People are less likely to approach you if they feel they will be seen.</p> <p><strong>6. Fake wedding ring</strong></p> <p>This one is for the ladies – in some countries an unmarried woman is seen as an easy target. Buying a cheap, fake wedding ring can give you a simple cover. Men may be less likely to approach you and, if they do, you can simply say your husband is in the next shop or waiting for you back at the hotel.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

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"What has to happen?" Kyle Sandilands' controversial take after knife attacks

<p>Kyle Sandilands has shared his controversial opinion on arming security guards in the wake of two violent stabbing attacks in Sydney. </p> <p>On Saturday, six people were killed at the hands of Joel Cauchi who went on a stabbing rampage through Bondi Junction Westfield, while on Monday night, a teenage boy stabbed a bishop and a priest during a church service in western Sydney. </p> <p>One of Joel Cauchi's victims was Faraz Tahir, a security guard at the shopping centre, while another guard was injured during the rampage. </p> <p>In the days after the eastern suburbs tragedy, Kyle, who has a <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/kyle-sandilands-family-member-among-first-victims-stabbed-in-bondi" target="_blank" rel="noopener">connection</a> to one of the people injured during Cauchi's attack, launched into a tirade live on-air, calling for security guards to be given firearms. </p> <p>"I saw the [NSW] premier [Chris Minns] last night on TV saying firearms for security guards are not on the agenda. And I was like, 'Well, what has to happen before a security guard can actually secure the place for us?'" Sandilands raged. </p> <p>"Every shopping centre and every school should have armed security guards, trained specialists, not just some guy getting a little firearms licence. I mean, proper trained."</p> <p>Most retail security staff in NSW are unarmed, with batons classified as prohibited weapons that require special licensing and training. </p> <p>"There's people that work at Westfield, for example, women that work in shops that have told their husbands, 'I ain't never going back to Westfield. I'm never going back to work again'," Sandilands continued, adding that those retail workers are "traumatised forever" following Saturday's stabbings. </p> <p>Sandilands' opinions have been echoed by fellow controversial broadcaster Ray Hadley, who on Monday demanded on his 2GB Sydney radio show that security guards be armed across the state.</p> <p>"For years I've been arguing that all security guards in the state in hospitals and shopping centres should be better equipped," he said. </p> <p>"And these poor security guards, unarmed, unable to do what they should do - protecting the people that they are there to protect."</p> <p><em>Image credits: KIISFM</em></p>

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Attempts to access Kate Middleton’s medical records are no surprise. Such breaches are all too common

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bruce-baer-arnold-1408">Bruce Baer Arnold</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865">University of Canberra</a></em></p> <p>The <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-03-20/claim-hospital-staff-tried-to-access-kate-middleton-health-info/103608066">alleged</a> data breach involving Catherine, Princess of Wales tells us something about health privacy. If hospital staff can apparently access a future queen’s medical records without authorisation, it can happen to you.</p> <p>Indeed it may have already happened to you, given many breaches of health data go under the radar.</p> <p>Here’s why breaches of health data keep on happening.</p> <h2>What did we learn this week?</h2> <p>Details of the alleged data breaches, by <a href="https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/royals/breaking-kate-middleton-three-london-32401247">up to three staff</a> at The London Clinic, emerged in the UK media this week. These breaches are alleged to have occurred after the princess had abdominal surgery at the private hospital earlier this year.</p> <p>The UK Information Commissioner’s Office <a href="https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/media-centre/news-and-blogs/2024/03/ico-statement-in-response-to-reports-of-data-breach-at-the-london-clinic/">is investigating</a>. Its report should provide some clarity about what medical data was improperly accessed, in what form and by whom. But it is unlikely to identify whether this data was given to a third party, such as a media organisation.</p> <h2>Health data isn’t always as secure as we’d hope</h2> <p>Medical records are inherently sensitive, providing insights about individuals and often about biological relatives.</p> <p>In an ideal world, only the “right people” would have access to these records. These are people who “need to know” that information and are aware of the responsibility of accessing it.</p> <p>Best practice digital health systems typically try to restrict overall access to databases through hack-resistant firewalls. They also try to limit access to specific types of data through grades of access.</p> <p>This means a hospital accountant, nurse or cleaner does not get to see everything. Such systems also incorporate blocks or alarms where there is potential abuse, such as unauthorised copying.</p> <p>But in practice each health records ecosystem – in GP and specialist suites, pathology labs, research labs, hospitals – is less robust, often with fewer safeguards and weaker supervision.</p> <h2>This has happened before</h2> <p>Large health-care providers and insurers, including major hospitals or chains of hospitals, have a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/dec/22/st-vincents-health-australia-hack-cyberattack-data-stolen-hospital-aged-care-what-to-do">worrying</a> <a href="https://www.afr.com/technology/medical-information-leaked-in-nsw-health-hack-20210608-p57z7k">history</a> of <a href="https://www.innovationaus.com/oaic-takes-pathology-company-to-court-over-data-breach/">digital breaches</a>.</p> <p>Those breaches include hackers accessing the records of millions of people. The <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/nov/11/medical-data-hacked-from-10m-australians-begins-to-appear-on-dark-web">Medibank</a> data breach involved more than ten million people. The <a href="https://www.hipaajournal.com/healthcare-data-breach-statistics/">Anthem</a> data breach in the United States involved more than 78 million people.</p> <p>Hospitals and clinics have also had breaches specific to a particular individual. Many of those breaches involved unauthorised sighting (and often copying) of hardcopy or digital files, for example by nurses, clinicians and administrative staff.</p> <p>For instance, this has happened to public figures such as <a href="https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2008-mar-15-me-britney15-story.html">singer</a> <a href="https://journals.lww.com/healthcaremanagerjournal/abstract/2009/01000/health_information_privacy__why_trust_matters.11.aspx">Britney Spears</a>, actor <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/10/nyregion/10clooney.html">George Clooney</a> and former United Kingdom prime minister <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2024/mar/20/when-fame-and-medical-privacy-clash-kate-and-other-crises-of-confidentiality">Gordon Brown</a>.</p> <p>Indeed, the Princess of Wales has had her medical privacy breached before, in 2012, while in hospital pregnant with her first child. This was no high-tech hacking of health data.</p> <p>Hoax callers from an Australian radio station <a href="https://theconversation.com/did-2day-fm-break-the-law-and-does-it-matter-11250">tricked</a> hospital staff into divulging details over the phone of the then Duchess of Cambridge’s health care.</p> <h2>Tip of the iceberg</h2> <p>Some unauthorised access to medical information goes undetected or is indeed undetectable unless there is an employment dispute or media involvement. Some is identified by colleagues.</p> <p>Records about your health <em>might</em> have been improperly sighted by someone in the health system. But you are rarely in a position to evaluate the data management of a clinic, hospital, health department or pathology lab.</p> <p>So we have to trust people do the right thing.</p> <h2>How could we improve things?</h2> <p>Health professions have long emphasised the need to protect these records. For instance, medical ethics bodies <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h2255">condemn</a> medical students who <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-14/picture-sharing-app-for-doctors-raises-privacy-concerns/5389226">share</a> intimate or otherwise inappropriate images of patients.</p> <p>Different countries have various approaches to protecting who has access to medical records and under what circumstances.</p> <p>In Australia, for instance, we have a mix of complex and inconsistent laws that vary across jurisdictions, some covering privacy in general, others specific to health data. There isn’t one comprehensive law and set of standards <a href="https://theconversation.com/governments-privacy-review-has-some-strong-recommendations-now-we-really-need-action-200079">vigorously administered</a> by one well-resourced watchdog.</p> <p>In Australia, it’s mandatory to report <a href="https://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/notifiable-data-breaches">data breaches</a>, including breaches of health data. This reporting system is currently <a href="https://theconversation.com/governments-privacy-review-has-some-strong-recommendations-now-we-really-need-action-200079">being updated</a>. But this won’t necessarily prevent data breaches.</p> <p>Instead, we need to incentivise Australian organisations to improve how they handle sensitive health data.</p> <p>The best policy <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1475-4932.12693">nudges</a> involve increasing penalties for breaches. This is so organisations act as responsible custodians rather than negligent owners of health data.</p> <p>We also need to step-up enforcement of data breaches and make it easier for victims to sue for breaches of privacy – princesses and tradies alike.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/226303/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bruce-baer-arnold-1408">Bruce Baer Arnold</a>, Associate Professor, School of Law, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865">University of Canberra</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/attempts-to-access-kate-middletons-medical-records-are-no-surprise-such-breaches-are-all-too-common-226303">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

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Investigation launched over "major security breach" at Princess Kate's hospital

<p>New reports have claimed that there was an alleged security breach at the hospital where the Princess of Wales was treated, and an internal investigation is currently underway. </p> <p>According to the <em>Daily Mirror's </em>Royal Editor Russell Myers, bosses at The London Clinic have launched a probe into the claims that Kate Middleton's confidentiality was breached by staff.</p> <p>"The reason [for the alleged investigation] is that there is allegations that a member of staff accessed her private medical records," Myers, said on <em>Today </em>this morning.</p> <p>He also described it as "a major security breach," citing an unidentified insider who claims that Kensington Palace was contacted by the hospital bosses  immediately after the alleged incident and "assured the Palace there would be a full investigation."</p> <p>"Kensington Palace and indeed the Princess of Wales have been extremely guarded about the nature of the surgery," he added. </p> <p>"Sources have told me that it's something she may wish to discuss in the future but it is a private medical matter now in the UK."</p> <p>Myers also claimed that he had spoken with London's Metropolitan Police, but said that they "haven't confirmed they are involved" at this stage.</p> <p>Just yesterday, Myers commented on the footage of Princess Kate <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/princess-kate-filmed-in-public-for-the-first-time-since-christmas" target="_blank" rel="noopener">out in public </a>for the first time since Christmas, calling it "the video that everybody had been clambering for."</p> <p>"The main thing is, Kate looks very happy and fully healthy," Myers said on the <em>Today</em> show. </p> <p>Kensington Palace and The London Clinic have not provided a comment on the matter at this stage. </p> <p>The Princess of Wales is expected to return to her royal duties after easter. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

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Traveller's $3,000 mistake at airport security

<p>A grandmother from New Zealand has copped a whopping $3,000 fine after failing to declare an airport sandwich to border control officers. </p> <p>June Armstrong, 77, was travelling from her native Christchurch to Brisbane to housesit for a friend, and treated herself to a muffin and a sandwich ahead of her 4am flight. </p> <p>Ms Armstrong ate her muffin before boarding the plane, and stashed the sandwich in her carry-on luggage to eat later on the flight. </p> <p>However, the grandmother fell asleep on the plane and the sandwich was left uneaten. </p> <p>When she woke up from her nap, she filled out the declaration form to enter Australia, as she had prescription medication, but completely forgot about the sandwich.</p> <p>When she arrived at the security gates at Brisbane Airport and her bags were checked, she was met with an unfortunate welcome to Australia as she was slapped with the fine. </p> <p>“I was just sobbing and said “$NZ3300 for a little sandwich?” Ms Armstrong told the <a href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/canterbury-grandmother-fined-3300-for-chicken-sandwich-by-australian-border-officials/3KJUEZBB2JHVLHBNSXFY3XPKLE/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>NZ Herald</em>.</a></p> <p>She said asked the official who found the sandwich if they could throw it away for her, but after they walked away and came back, they allegedly just said, “Twelve points, $3300”.</p> <p>Ms Armstrong first thought they were joking, but when she realised they were serious, she broke down in tears as staffers "strongly advised" her to appeal the fine within 28 days. </p> <p>She went through with the appeal to avoid forking out the four-figure sum, but to no avail and eventually ended up coughing up the hefty fine. </p> <p>“My husband kept saying, 'Just pay it'. I said, 'It’s our pension, we can’t afford this’,” Ms Armstrong said, adding that they had about $30,000 in savings as well as their pensions.</p> <p>Ms Armstrong sent an email asking why she was fined, considering it was her first infringement, and why the cost was so high, especially considering the sandwich was untouched and sealed. </p> <p>She also outlined the impact the fine was having on her mental health, but she allegedly never received a response.</p> <p>Six months on from sandwich-gate, she has accepted she won’t be getting her money back and has since spoken out to warn fellow passengers not to make the same mistake. </p> <p>“Everybody I show the fine to is dumbfounded, they just can’t believe it,” Ms Armstrong told the <em>NZ Herald</em>.</p> <p>Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry said Ms Armstrong needed an import permit to bring the chicken sandwich into the county, adding it could have been a much higher penalty, as fines can be as much as $6260. </p> <p>“Meat has strict import conditions which can change quickly based on disease outbreaks,” a departmental spokesperson told <a href="https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/warnings/grandmother-who-forgot-to-declare-chicken-sandwich-cops-3000-fine-at-brisbane-airport/news-story/2bc94ac2e7e4f59cd16e5798fc7f9f7b" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>news.com.au</em></a>. </p> <p>“Uncanned meats, including vacuum-sealed items, are not allowed into Australia unless accompanied by an import permit."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

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Why do I have to take my laptop out of the bag at airport security?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/doug-drury-1277871">Doug Drury</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p>Anyone who has travelled by air in the past ten years will know how stressful airports can be.</p> <p>You didn’t leave home as early as you should have. In the mad rush to get to your gate, the security screening seems to slow everything down. And to add insult to injury, you’re met with the finicky request: “laptops out of bags, please”.</p> <p>But what does your laptop have to do with security?</p> <h2>The day that changed air travel forever</h2> <p>Airport security changed dramatically after the terrorist attacks in the US on September 11 2001. Before 9/11, you could pass through security with a carry-on bag full of everything you might need for your holiday, <a href="https://www.npr.org/2021/09/10/1035131619/911-travel-timeline-tsa">including a knife</a> with a four-inch blade. Indeed, that’s how the 9/11 attackers brought their <a href="https://www.npr.org/2021/09/10/1035131619/911-travel-timeline-tsa">weapons on board</a>.</p> <p>After 9/11, screening processes around the world changed overnight. In the US, private security contractors being paid a minimum wage were swapped out for a federalised program with highly trained security personnel. Anything that could be <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2013.00654/full">considered a weapon</a> was confiscated.</p> <p>Around the world, travellers were suddenly required to <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;id=6hBnJ-1hRp0C&amp;oi=fnd&amp;pg=PA86&amp;dq=why+do+I+have+to+take+my+shoes+off+at+airport+security&amp;ots=o6JIFHJzF1&amp;sig=B6azb6xqN2uxM9CP-VZdfyt3Ag0#v=onepage&amp;q=why%20do%20I%20have%20to%20take%20my%20shoes%20off%20at%20airport%20security&amp;f=false">remove their shoes</a>, belts and outerwear, and take out their phones, laptops, liquids and anything else that could be used as part of an improvised explosive device.</p> <p>This lasted for several years. Eventually, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212478013000944">more advanced</a> screening methods were developed to effectively identify certain threats. Today, some countries don’t require you to remove your shoes when passing through security.</p> <p>So why must you still take your laptop out?</p> <h2>Airport scanners have come a long way</h2> <p>The machine your bags and devices pass through is an X-ray machine.</p> <p>The main reason you have to remove your laptop from your bag is because its <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/traveller/reviews-and-advice/why-do-i-have-to-remove-my-laptop-from-my-bag-at-the-airport-xray-machine-20170320-gv1vqs.html">battery</a> and other mechanical components are too dense for X-rays to penetrate effectively – especially if the scanning system is old. The same goes for power cords and other devices such as tablets and cameras.</p> <p>With these items in your bag, security officials can’t use the screened image to determine whether a risk is present. They’ll have to flag the bag for a physical search, which slows everything down. It’s easier if all devices are removed in the first place.</p> <p>A laptop inside a bag can also shield other items from view that may be dangerous. Scanning it separately reveals its internal components on the screen. In some cases you might be asked to turn it on to prove it’s an actual working computer.</p> <p>With newer multi-view scanning technology, security officials can view the bag from multiple angles to discern whether something is being covered up, or made to look like something else. For instance, people have tried to <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212478013000944">mix gun parts</a> with other components in an effort to pass checked baggage screening.</p> <p>Some airports have upgraded <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/traveller/inspiration/no-more-removing-liquids-and-gels-laptops-at-melbourne-airport-as-new-scanners-installed-20191002-h1ijdf.html">3D scanning</a> that allows travellers to pass their bags through security without having to remove their laptops. If you’re not asked to take out your laptop, it’s probably because one of these more expensive systems is being used.</p> <p>Nonetheless, amping up the technology won’t remove the lag caused by airport screenings. Ultimately, the reason these are a major choke point is because of the speed at which staff scan the imagery (which dictates the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212478013000944">speed of the conveyor belt</a>).</p> <p>Unless we find a way to automate the entire process and run it with minimal human supervision, you can expect delays.</p> <h2>What about body scanners?</h2> <p>But your bags aren’t the only thing getting scanned at airport security. You are too!</p> <p>The tall frame you walk through is a <a href="https://science.howstuffworks.com/transport/flight/modern/airport-security3.htm">metal detector</a>. Its purpose is to uncover any weapons or other illegal objects that may be concealed under your clothes. Airport metal detectors use non-ionising radiation, which means they don’t emit X-rays.</p> <p>The larger body scanners, on the other hand, are a type of X-ray machine. These can be <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212478013000944">active or passive</a>, or a combination of both.</p> <p>Passive scanners simply detect the natural radiation emitted by your body and any objects that might be concealed. Active scanners emit low-energy radiation to create a scan of your body, which can then be analysed.</p> <p>The kind of machine you walk through will depend on where in the world you are. For instance, one type of active body scanner that emits X-rays in what’s called “backscatter technology” was once <a title="https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/high-tech-gadgets/backscatter-x-ray.htm" href="https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/high-tech-gadgets/backscatter-x-ray.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener">used widely</a> in the US, but is no longer used. It’s also banned in <a title="https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/about-us/what-we-do/travelsecure/passenger-screening" href="https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/about-us/what-we-do/travelsecure/passenger-screening" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Australia</a> and <a title="https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2011/11/15/europe-bans-airport-body-scanners-over-health-and-safety-concerns/" href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2011/11/15/europe-bans-airport-body-scanners-over-health-and-safety-concerns/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the European Union</a>, where only non-ionising technology can be used.</p> <p>Another type of scanner emits lower-energy <a href="https://science.howstuffworks.com/backscatter-machines-vs-millimeter-wave-scanners.htm">millimetre waves</a>, instead of X-rays, to image the passenger. Millimetre wave frequencies are considered to be non-ionising radiation.</p> <h2>AI in our airports</h2> <p>AI seems to be all around us lately, and our airports are no exception. Advancements in AI systems stand to transform the future of airport security.</p> <p>For now, human reviewers are required to identify potential threats in scanned images. However, what if an advanced <a href="https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/artiificialintelligenceinsecuritycheck/article/">AI was trained</a> to do this using a database of images? It would do so in a fraction of the time.</p> <p>Some airports are already using advanced <a href="https://www.in-security.eu/index.php/editorial/the-future-of-airport-security-faster-smarter-safer">computed tomography</a> (CT) <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/jun/21/3d-body-scanners-at-australian-airports-what-are-they-and-how-do-they-work">scanners</a> to produce high-definition 3D imagery. In the future, this technology could be further enhanced by AI to detect threats at a much faster rate.</p> <p>Hypothetically, CT scans could also be used for both humans and their baggage. Could this allow travellers to walk through a body scanner while carrying their bags? Possibly.</p> <p>Until then, you should probably try your best to leave the house on time.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/209041/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/doug-drury-1277871">Doug Drury</a>, Professor/Head of Aviation, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-do-i-have-to-take-my-laptop-out-of-the-bag-at-airport-security-209041">original article</a>.</em></p>

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“Turn your phone off”: The simple reason behind Albanese’s warning

<p>Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has issued a clear warning to the public, advising them to "turn their phones off" as a safety measure to avoid potential dangers.</p> <p>Albanese delivered this cautionary message last week while announcing the appointment of Australia's first national cybersecurity coordinator, Air Commander Darren Goldie of the Royal Australian Air Force.</p> <p>Goldie was quick to echo the Prime Minister's sentiments, emphasising the importance of mobilising both the private sector and consumers in the fight against cyber threats.</p> <p>"We all bear responsibility in this matter. Simple actions, such as turning off your phone every night for five minutes, can make a significant difference.</p> <p>"I encourage everyone watching to adopt this practice once every 24 hours, perhaps while engaging in daily routines like brushing your teeth," stated Albanese during the press conference.</p> <p>While rebooting your device on a daily basis may seem like a basic precaution, it can greatly enhance your protection against cybercriminals. Often, various applications and processes continue running in the background of your phone or computer, even when you're not actively using them.</p> <p>If unauthorised individuals gain access to these apps and processes, they can monitor your activities and collect your data, including financial information and identification documents, and even hijack your webcam or phone camera.</p> <p>By rebooting your phone, you force the closure of all background applications and processes, effectively evicting anyone attempting to track your virtual movements.</p> <p>Priyadarsi Nanda, a cybersecurity expert at the University of Technology Sydney, supported Albanese's advice, emphasising the importance of periodically turning off one's phone.</p> <p>"Considering how extensively we use smartphones in our daily lives, there have been cases where individuals haven't turned off their phones for an entire year," Dr. Nanda told <em>The Guardian</em>.</p> <p>"If there is a malicious process running, switching off the phone breaks the chain. While it may only provide protection while the phone is off, it undoubtedly frustrates potential hackers. Although not foolproof, rebooting can make it more challenging for hackers to compromise your device."</p> <p>It is crucial to note that this measure does not safeguard against all forms of cybercrime. If your password has been stolen or you are being repeatedly and strategically targeted, for example, a simple reboot is unlikely to deter the most persistent hackers.</p> <p><em>Image: Wikimedia / Australian Government</em></p>

Technology

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Huge fallout after panicked passenger opens exit door midflight

<p>Asiana Airlines has immediately stopped offering its emergency exit seats after a passenger opened a door during a flight over South Korea on May 26, sparking panic inside the plane.</p> <p>Passengers will no longer be seated in emergency exit seats on its 174-seat A321-200 aircrafts and the 195-seat A321-200s, as a safety measure.</p> <p>According to airline officials, the man, 33, who opened the door was seated near the emergency exit.</p> <p>During preliminary questioning, the 33-year-old told investigators that he felt suffocated and tried to get off the plane quickly, police reported.</p> <p>Twelve people suffered minor injuries as a result, with air blasting in the cabin and terrifying passengers.</p> <p>Some testified they suffered severe ear pain and saw others screaming and crying.</p> <p>A video shared on social media shows passengers’ hair being whipped by air blowing into the cabin.</p> <p>The emergency exit doors usually cannot be opened mid-flight due to the difference in air pressure inside and outside the plane.</p> <p>However, the 33-year-old managed to open the door likely because the plane was flying at a low altitude while preparing to land and there wasn’t much difference to pressure, Asiana Airlines officials report.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">(warning: distressing)</p> <p>A man traveling on an Asiana Airlines flight opened the plane's cabin door minutes before it came in for its planned landing. <a href="https://t.co/QUIUXuVDgD">pic.twitter.com/QUIUXuVDgD</a></p> <p>— NowThis (@nowthisnews) <a href="https://twitter.com/nowthisnews/status/1662179612804149249?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 26, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>The Transport Ministry said the plane was at 213 metres when the man pulled the door open.</p> <p>The aircraft, which was flying to the city of Daegu from the southern island of Jeju was carrying 200 passengers and landed safely.</p> <p>Passengers onboard included teenage athletes on their way to a track and field competition, according to Asiana Airlines.</p> <p>The 33-year-old told authorities that he had wanted to get out of the plane because he felt suffocated, <em>Yonhap</em> news agency reported, citing police.</p> <p><em>Yonhap</em> said the man told police he had suffered stress after losing his job recently.</p> <p>A district court in Daegu has since approved a warrant to formally arrest him.</p> <p>"I wanted to get off the plane soon," the man told reporters at the court ahead of his arrest warrant review.</p> <p>"I'm really sorry to kids," he said, likely referencing the teenage athletes.</p> <p>Daegu police said they have up to 20 days to investigate the man before determining whether to send him to prosecutors for a possible indictment.</p> <p>If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for breaching the aviation security law that bans passengers from handling entry doors, emergency exit doors and other equipment on board, according to the Transport Ministry.</p> <p>Those who were taken to hospitals were primarily treated for minor issues such as breathing difficulties.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Twitter</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Buckingham Palace in ‘total lockdown’ due to 'loud explosion'

<p>Buckingham Palace has been placed under lockdown after a man reportedly threw shotgun cartridges at the royal residence.</p> <p>International and British media surrounding the palace grounds were evacuated from the area amid the security scare, and a man has since been arrested – with <em>BBC news</em> reporting a controlled explosion was executed by specialists as a precautionary measure.</p> <p>Initial reports suggested King Charles was in residence during the incident, however, the <em>Washington Post</em> has confirmed he was just nearby with Queen Consort Camilla at Clarence House.</p> <p>According to the Metropolitan Police, the man was found to be in possession of a suspicious bag and was arrested on suspicion of carrying an offensive weapon.</p> <p>Speaking to <em>news.com.au</em> workers on the grounds said they heard a “loud bang” around 8pm. They also said the palace was not evacuated but surrounding media outside were cleared from the premises.</p> <p>The Mall, the street which lines from the palace to Trafalgar Square, is cordoned off from the public. Police are telling people in the area that the road is blocked off for a scheduled coronation rehearsal.</p> <p>British politician Jacob Rees-Mogg was in the area when the incident occurred and told <em>GB News</em> he was waiting to go on-air to discuss the upcoming coronation.</p> <p>“People came to us using yellow tabards to say there was an incident and we all had to go. Just an element, of I fear, not ‘keep calm and carry on’ [but] ‘let’s hustle and bustle’.”</p> <p>Ben Briscoe, <em>GB News’</em> Head of Programming, also told the program, “There was definitely a very, very loud explosion … As it stands the Palace and the surrounding areas are in total lockdown and it doesn’t look like it is going to be lifted anytime soon.”</p> <p>The royal standard, which signifies when the monarch is in residence, was not seen above the palace the following day but has since been erected on the roof.</p> <p>The incident comes as Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was one of the first dignitaries to meet the King ahead of the coronation, with his arrival at the palace on May 2.</p> <p>It is believed the lockdown has since been lifted as investigations proceed.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Getty</em></p>

News

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00-No: US traveller puts border security to the test with a golden gun

<p>A 28-year-old traveller from the United States has been arrested after Australian Border Force officers allegedly discovered a firearm in her luggage. </p> <p>According to a report on the ABF website, the weapon - a 24-carat gold-plated handgun - was unregistered, and the passenger was not in possession of “a permit to import or possess the firearm in Australia.”</p> <p>If convicted, she will face up to 10 years of imprisonment. And while she was arrested and charged, she was released on bail at Downing Centre Local Court, and is expected to face court again in a month’s time. She remains subject to visa cancellation, and faces the likelihood of being removed from Australia. </p> <p>As ABF Enforcement and Detained Goods East Commander Justin Bathurst explained, the discovery was made with a combination of ABC officer skills and detection technology, one that served to prevent a dangerous weapon from entering the Australian community. </p> <p>“Time and time again, we have seen just how good ABF officers are at targeting and stopping illegal, and highly dangerous, goods from crossing Australia's border," he said.</p> <p>“The ABF is Australia's first and most important line of defence. ABF officers are committed to protecting our community by working with law enforcement partners to prevent items like unregistered firearms getting through at the border."</p> <p>Photos distributed by the ABF present the image of the gun in its case, as well as a scan of the passenger’s luggage, with the gun clearly visible among the rest of her possessions. </p> <p>While travellers on domestic flights within the United States are able to carry firearms in their checked luggage - granted they are unloaded and securely locked away, and the proper authorities have been informed - Australia has much stricter laws surrounding firearms. </p> <p>In the wake of a 1996 Tasmanian tragedy, in which 35 people lost their lives to a gunman, all automatic and semi-automatic weapons were outlawed in the country. Meanwhile, in the United States, a frightening sum of 6,301 were confiscated at checkpoints as of December 2022, according to the Transportation Security Administration.</p> <p>For many, the news was broken on social media, with comments sections reflecting the shock - and disapproval - of the masses, with the occasional 007 reference thrown in. </p> <p>“Smuggling firearms into Australia is a serious offence,” wrote one on Twitter, “and should be met with the full force of the law as it endangers citizen safety.”</p> <p>“That’s a fantastic bit of security work by our airport staff,” someone commended. </p> <p>Another had one very important question, asking “how did she get it out of the US to begin with...??? TSA should have caught that at the airport before she even left. Even if it was in a checked bag, it still had to be declared.”</p> <p><em>Images: Australian Border Force</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Dog found hidden in carry-on bag at airport security

<p>A US Transportation and Security Agency (TSA) officer has discovered a small dog stashed in a traveller's carry-on luggage. </p> <p>The animal was found in a backpack when going through the X-ray machine at the Dane County <a title="Airport " href="https://www.9news.com.au/airport" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Airport</a> in Wisconsin. </p> <p>TSA told a local news outlet that the passenger was unaware of the screening protocol and did not tell security officers about her dog.</p> <p>After an officer explained the proper process and confirmed she disclosed she was travelling with a pet to the airline, she proceeded to her gate to board her flight. </p> <p>TSA Great Lakes confirmed that the woman's error was an accident on social media, while alerting people to the proper flying rules. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Video: Here’s the proper way to travel with your pet. Note: This is a <a href="https://twitter.com/TSA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TSA</a> PreCheck passenger traveling with a cat. If you think your pet will attempt an escape, ask to speak with a supervisor before removing the animal. Alternative screening options may be available. (2/2) <a href="https://t.co/NL2jNjni2l">pic.twitter.com/NL2jNjni2l</a></p> <p>— TSA_GreatLakes (@TSA_GreatLakes) <a href="https://twitter.com/TSA_GreatLakes/status/1600210121136537600?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 6, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p>"A dog was accidentally sent through the X-ray @MSN_Airport this week," it tweeted.</p> <p>"When travelling with any animal, notify your airline and know their rules."</p> <p>"At the checkpoint, remove your pet from the bag and send all items, including the empty carrier, to be screened in the machine."</p> <p>It then uploaded a video showing "the proper way" to travel with pets.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Twitter</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Meghan Markle’s life threatened

<p>A senior police officer has revealed the Duchess of Sussex was subject to several "disgusting" threats on her life, adding they were “very real” and led to prosecutions.</p> <p>Neil Basu, the outgoing assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police, told Channel 4 News that the threats were all deemed credible, saying Meghan Markle would've felt “under threat all of the time”.</p> <p>These threats were made while Prince Harry and Meghan were still living in the UK, and working as senior members of the royal family.</p> <p>His comments on the threat to Meghan's life could shed new light on Harry's determination to grant the couple extra security for any future visits to the UK. </p> <p>Earlier this year, Prince Harry claimed his family would not feel safe in England under the current security agreements, and The Duke of Sussex subsequently won the right to challenge a Home Office decision not to grant him automatic police protection when he is in the UK – despite offering to pay for it himself.</p> <p>When asked if there had been many credible threats against Meghan’s life, Basu answered, “Absolutely, and if you’d seen the stuff that was written and you were receiving it … the kind of rhetoric that’s online, if you don’t know what I know, you would feel under threat all of the time.”</p> <p>He added, “We had teams investigating it. People have been prosecuted for those threats.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

News

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Prince Andrew to appeal loss of another royal perk

<p dir="ltr">Prince Andrew has lost another costly royal perk in the wake of his various controversies, but his appeal against it may spark ire among Brits struggling with a cost-of-living crisis.</p> <p dir="ltr">The former royal has been told he will no longer be granted taxpayer-funded armed guards from next month, nearly a year after he was stripped of his titles and duties after his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein was publicised.</p> <p dir="ltr">Unlike titles and duties, security for the royal family is determined by the Royal and VIP Executive Committee, including the Home Office, Metropolitan Police and palace officials.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to <em>The Sun</em>, insider sources said Andrew has written to the Home Office and Met Police over losing his security detail.</p> <p dir="ltr">''He is going to write to the Home Office and the Met Police to complain about losing his taxpayer-funded security,'' the source told the outlet.</p> <p dir="ltr">Currently, Andrew is escorted by police guards whenever he leaves the grounds of Windsor, with the escort estimated to cost taxpayers up to three million pounds ($AU 5.3 million) a year.</p> <p dir="ltr">With the UK facing a cost-of-living crisis and skyrocketing bills this winter, there is speculation that Andrew’s complaints may cause more negative reactions towards him.</p> <p dir="ltr">''He doesn't seem to understand that he's in disgrace and people don't want to hear from him anymore - especially him with his begging bowl,” a Labour MP said, as reported by <em>Express UK</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">The latest loss comes after the 62-year-old was told to stop using His Royal Highness and his royal military titles in January, with his royal patronages also returned to the late Queen.</p> <p dir="ltr">In the following months, Andrew settled a lawsuit launched against him by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who accused him of sexually abusing her when she was a teenager.</p> <p dir="ltr">With the ultimate decision surrounding his security detail lying with Home Secretary Suella Braverman and given his recent controversies, it seems unlikely that Andrew’s appeal will be a success.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-d10cf40b-7fff-cd55-9619-9ca938bdf68d"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Australia’s approach to cyber security lacks citizen engagement

<p>Australia’s cyber security strategies advocate for a ‘whole-of-society’ response to countering foreign interference threats, but policy experts say efforts to engage the public are largely tokenistic.</p> <p>Researchers from Flinders University surveyed 1500 Australians and undertook in-depth focus groups across three states in late 2020 to assess public attitudes to institutional trust, digital literacy and perceptions of cyber threats.</p> <p>The research findings, <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14702436.2022.2138349" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">published</a> in <em>Defence Studies, </em>highlight a gap between policy rhetoric and action. The authors characterise Australia’s response as “top-down”, “technocratic” and “elite-driven”.</p> <p>According to the study, citizens’ attitudes and engagement are the key to resilience in the face of cyber threats, given foreign interference often seeks to undermine trust in democracy, manipulate public opinion, sow distrust and emphasise society’s underlying divides.</p> <p>Cyber-enabled foreign interference can come in many forms including disinformation, hacking, doxing, ransomware attacks, trolling, and the use of bots.</p> <p>Co-author Associate Professor Robert Manwaring says, “there’s generally little meaningful strategic effort to engage citizens in government-led responses, overlooking what’s often called the ‘social layer’ of cybersecurity.”</p> <div class="advert ad-in-content"><!-- CosmosMagazine - MPU- In Content (00000000001fc2ca) --></p> <div id="adn-00000000001fc2ca" style="display: none;"></div> </div> <p>The research finds Australia’s policy approach largely regards the public as passive, rather than as engaged and empowered to combat cyber threats.</p> <p>The paper highlights key areas where public attitudes about democracy, institutions and cyber threats are potential fodder for foreign actors.</p> <div class="newsletter-box"> <div id="wpcf7-f6-p225801-o1" class="wpcf7" dir="ltr" lang="en-US" role="form"> <form class="wpcf7-form mailchimp-ext-0.5.62 spai-bg-prepared init" action="/australia/cyber-security-citizen-engagement/#wpcf7-f6-p225801-o1" method="post" novalidate="novalidate" data-status="init"> <p style="display: none !important;"><span class="wpcf7-form-control-wrap referer-page"><input class="wpcf7-form-control wpcf7-text referer-page" name="referer-page" type="hidden" value="https://cosmosmagazine.com/technology/" data-value="https://cosmosmagazine.com/technology/" aria-invalid="false" /></span></p> <p><!-- Chimpmail extension by Renzo Johnson --></form> </div> </div> <p>Survey responses indicate Australians lack confidence in the integrity and honesty of public officials, influence over policy making, transparency and accountability.</p> <p>For instance, around 80% of survey respondents consider public officials not using public office for private gain as a fundamental feature of democracy, yet only 39% see this practice upheld in Australia.</p> <p>In addition, while the public service and security institutions of the police and armed forces enjoy high levels of trust, respondents overwhelmingly agree that Australia’s institutions are out of touch with regular people and run by “big interests.”</p> <div class="advert ad-in-content"><!-- CosmosMagazine - MPU- In Content (00000000001fc2ca) --></p> <div id="adn-00000000001fc2ca" style="display: none;"></div> </div> <p>The paper says such disillusion is ripe for exploitation and can hamper state-led responses to cyber threats.</p> <p>The survey results also show Australian citizens lack confidence in their ability to identify mis and dis information online, with only 20% “very confident” in their own media and digital literacy skills.</p> <p>Australia’s cyber defences would be bolstered by a stronger focus on understanding citizens’ concerns and narratives, the researchers conclude.</p> <p>Manwaring says, “we need to encourage a genuinely whole-of-society approach – something which, like Sweden and Finland, are making considerable inroads.”</p> <div class="advert ad-in-content"><!-- CosmosMagazine - MPU- In Content (00000000001fc2ca) --></p> <div id="adn-00000000001fc2ca" style="display: none;"></div> </div> <p><!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --></p> <p><img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=225801&amp;title=Australia%E2%80%99s+approach+to+cyber+security+lacks+citizen+engagement" width="1" height="1" data-spai-target="src" data-spai-orig="" data-spai-exclude="nocdn" /></p> <p><!-- End of tracking content syndication --></p> <div id="contributors"> <p><em><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/australia/cyber-security-citizen-engagement/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">This article</a> was originally published on Cosmos Magazine and was written by Petra Stock. </em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p> </div>

Technology

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“The gate is a no”: Apartment security gate draws ire online

<p dir="ltr">While security gates are meant to be secure, one installed at a property in the UK has left many questioning just how effective it will be.</p> <p dir="ltr">A photo shared by the account Design Fails shows a security gate that seems fully functional at first glance, but includes a glaring design flaw.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-e66f96fc-7fff-e187-a401-03dcf7d48f27"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">Though it has locks and an intercom panel, the design of the gate itself lends it to being a handy ladder that could be used to get inside.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">security gate that doubles as a ladder <a href="https://t.co/TQWmZBiyc7">pic.twitter.com/TQWmZBiyc7</a></p> <p>— Design Fails (@epicdesignfails) <a href="https://twitter.com/epicdesignfails/status/1587076092791328768?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 31, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">“Security gate that doubles as a ladder,” the photo caption read, with the post soon attracting over 33,000 likes, over 6,000 shares and plenty of comments pointing out its fundamental flaw.</p> <p dir="ltr">“OMG What on mother Earth was the designer’s thought doing that,” one person commented.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The gym I never thought I needed. I’d purposefully forget my access card,” another joked.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Whoever designed this gate heaven is waiting for her/him,” a third shared.</p> <p dir="ltr">“So the thieves can climb over the gate 😑,” one user noted.</p> <p dir="ltr">While some tried to defend the design by pointing out that it could be electrified, others were quick to point out the flaws in that argument too.</p> <p dir="ltr">“If its (sic) electric and still has a key, thats weird. To be a gate and a ladder, while not thinking the violator can climb over the gate too is weird. Saying its electrical and not keeping in mind that its on the street is weird. Only turning it on at night is weird,” one person clarified.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The gate is a no.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-e05cfff1-7fff-fca4-5c90-a84d44232244"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Twitter</em></p>

Real Estate

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22 signs your house is vulnerable to being robbed

<p><strong>How secure is your home?</strong></p> <p>Here’s how to make sure your home doesn’t become the latest crime statistic. It takes burglars on average five minutes to enter your home, so learn which aspects of your property put you at risk.</p> <p><strong>Your front door</strong></p> <p>This may seem too obvious to be true, but the majority of intruders come in through a door – and many of them are already open. Why? It’s easy access and burglars are all about doing whatever is easiest, says Jacob Paulsen, security expert. One in four homeowners confesses to frequently leaving the front door unlocked and half do it occasionally, according to a Nationwide Insurance survey.</p> <p>And considering that the majority of home burglaries happen in the daytime, between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., knocking on your front door allows thieves to pose as salesmen or delivery people while covertly checking your doorknob. So, yes, it’s obvious, but we’ll say it again: Lock your door! In addition, replace any hollow-core or sectioned doors with ones made from a solid piece or wood or metal, Paulsen suggests.</p> <p><strong>Your porch</strong></p> <p>People stealing packages off your front porch – aka porch pirates – is one of the fastest rising crime trends. Nearly ⅓ of people have had packages stolen and over half of people say they know someone who has, according to a survey done by Comcast. Thieves have even been known to follow delivery trucks around neighbourhoods, stealing packages almost as soon as they’re dropped off.</p> <p>Having a doorbell camera may deter some would-be pirates but your best defence is not having your packages delivered to your porch, Paulsen says. “Have packages delivered to your office or to a neighbour who is home most of the time,” he advises. “If those aren’t options, consider putting delivery instructions on the order form to leave the package at a side door or in a special box.”</p> <p><strong>Your garbage</strong></p> <p>The good news: Property crimes have been decreasing steadily for the past decade, according to recent data. But that doesn’t mean you can let your guard down. Setting out the box from your new 60-inch HDTV or high-end gaming console on the kerb is basically advertising the fact that those items are in your home.</p> <p>As electronics are the second thing burglars go for (cash is number one), this makes your home a very attractive target, according to the study. So buy a cheap box cutter and invest the 30 seconds it takes to break down large boxes and bundle them together so their labels can’t be seen. Plus, your garbage collector will thank you!</p> <p><strong>Your street</strong></p> <p>Thanks to better lighting and increased traffic, homes in high-visibility places, like on corner lots, are far less likely to be broken into, Paulsen says. There are simply too many potential ways to be seen. But townhomes, houses in the middle of the block, or houses in a cul-de-sac are much better targets. This is especially true if your property backs up to a forest, open lot, or another unguarded area.</p> <p>The trick, he says, is to make your house as difficult as possible to access from all sides. How much? “You don’t have to be Fort Knox, you just have to be less appealing to a thief than your neighbour is,” he adds.</p> <p><strong>Your health</strong></p> <p>As the opioid epidemic rages, thefts of drugs, particularly prescription painkillers, are on the rise. And as heartbreaking as it is to say, both professional thieves and junkies know that people who are elderly or chronically ill often have lots of medication lying around.</p> <p>So if you are in these circumstances, it might be worth taking extra precautions (such as installing a good home security system) to make your house a less attractive target, Paulsen says.</p> <p><strong>Your car</strong></p> <p>Breaking into your car is often the first step to breaking into your home, Paulsen says. Things like car registrations, insurance cards, mail, packages, and even pharmacy receipts not only show your home address but can offer big clues to what kind of valuables you may own.</p> <p>Always lock your car doors, even if it’s just parked in your driveway. “Don’t keep anything with your address on it in a visible place in your car or in your glove box,” he says. “If you do use the glovebox, make sure it stays locked.”</p> <p><strong>Your garage door opener</strong></p> <p>You’d never leave your house keys just lying around in the open yet many people leave their garage door openers visible in their cars – and your garage door opener is almost as good as the key to your front door, Paulsen says. Another garage issue is keypads with obvious signs of wear or using simplistic or repetitive passcodes, making it easy for criminals to guess your code and get into your garage and your house.</p> <p>In fact, nearly 40 percent of homeowners said they never change their garage codes, according to the Nationwide survey. Keep your openers out of view, pick difficult passcodes, and change them regularly. Some newer versions of garage door openers pair with your smartphone, eliminating the need for a separate opener all together. </p> <p><strong>Your windows</strong></p> <p>First-level entry windows are the second-most common entry point for burglars because it’s relatively easy to jimmy a window open, Paulsen says. And even people who are diligent about locking their doors will often leave a window cracked open, especially in warm weather.</p> <p>“A locked window is often enough to deter thieves but if you need some fresh air, install a window jam that will only allow the pane to be pushed open a few centimetres,” he says. You can also install alarms that let you know if your window is opened or broken while you’re away, he adds.</p> <p><strong>Your doorbell</strong></p> <p>Doorbell cameras are popping up everywhere and at first glance, it may seem like a great way to reduce all kinds of crimes in your neighbourhood. Unfortunately, the reality doesn’t seem to support that, with independent research showing no decrease in break-ins or overall crime in neighbourhoods that have the cameras, according to research published in MIT Technology Review.</p> <p>Researchers aren’t sure exactly why this is but Paulsen points out that the cameras can still be useful for many things, including helping you see who is at your door before answering it, so they are still worth having if your budget allows.</p> <p><strong>Your neighbours</strong></p> <p>Make friends with those who live around you, or at least a passing acquaintance, as watchful neighbours can be your best allies in home defence, Paulsen says.</p> <p>You don’t want to tell everyone when you’re headed out of town (especially not on the internet) but you do want to tell your plans to your neighbours and your neighbourhood watch program, if you have one, so they can keep an eye out for strange behaviour or people they don’t recognise.</p> <p><strong>Your front yard</strong></p> <p>Having an unkempt front yard, littered with door ads, old newspapers and weeds, is a blaring sign that no one is home and one that criminals look for, Paulsen says. If you’re out of town, ask a neighbour to pick up any papers, turn lights on and off, and basically make your house look lived in, he advises. Or, even better, hire a house sitter.</p> <p><strong>Your holiday pics</strong></p> <p>One in four people admits posting pics and check-ins on social media while out of town, according to the Nationwide survey. And while putting your holiday pictures online might get you a lot of likes, it also notifies your friends and acquaintances that you’re now far from home, making your house a prime target for anyone with ill intentions or just an opportunistic streak.</p> <p>Instead, make sure your social media profiles aren’t public, set your privacy settings to max, and wait to post your beautiful beach selfies until you get home, Paulsen says.</p> <p><strong>Your tool shed</strong></p> <p>Outdoor structures like sheds, detached garages and patios make great targets for thieves as they’re less likely to be secured and usually contain expensive items like tools, bicycles, electronics and machinery, Paulsen says. Make sure all outdoor structures are secured with a good padlock, he says, adding that it’s worth it to pay the extra money to get a lock that comes with a warranty.</p> <p>Some manufacturers offer a warranty both for the lock itself and for belongings that are stolen when the lock is broken by thieves. Make sure to read the fine print on lock warranties and in your home owner’s insurance policy.</p> <p><strong>Your neighbourhood's age</strong></p> <p>Criminals tend to target newer neighbourhoods and developments, hoping to take advantage of residents who are new to the area and might not be very familiar with it yet. This is especially true if the area is on the wealthier side. In addition, they target lower-income neighbourhoods as security may not be as tight.</p> <p>Close-knit neighbourhoods with long-standing residents, where everyone knows one another, are less likely targets. “This is even more reason to get to know your neighbours right away,” Paulsen says. “Give them your number and make sure you have theirs.”</p> <p><strong>Your neighbourhood's crime history</strong></p> <p>Certain neighbourhoods are more vulnerable to certain types of crimes, and that is especially true for burglaries. A quick glance at the weekly police blotter (or a quick call to your local precinct) can give you a heads-up to whether cars or computers are the hot commodities in your place, and then you can take specific steps to protect yours.</p> <p>For example, one neighbourhood experienced a rash of car break-ins and people used social media to point out the pattern, warn their neighbours and share tips.</p> <p><strong>Your alarm system</strong></p> <p>Simply having an alarm system won’t help you if you don’t use it, and 30 percent of alarm owners say they don’t bother activating it when they leave home, according to the Nationwide survey. In addition, nearly half reported almost never changing their code.</p> <p>Forget the old trick of having a security sign in your front yard – thieves are wise to that game and will still try the doors and windows, banking that you’re bluffing or forget to turn it on. You have to arm your alarm every time you leave your home.</p> <p><strong>Your landscaping</strong></p> <p>Tall, lush greenery is great at protecting your privacy from prying neighbours, but it’s also great at hiding burglars, Paulsen says. Thieves specifically target homes with shrubs or trees that grow thickly around the front or sides of the house, so keep yours trimmed away from walls and below window height – even if that means having to wave to Ned and Nancy over your morning coffee.</p> <p>Also, having a well-maintained yard indicates that you’re vigilant about your home and likely paying close attention to it.</p> <p><strong>Your door locks</strong></p> <p>Time is the most important factor in a successful burglary – the average thief is in and out in less than ten minutes. Picking a regular door lock is a piece of cake for most experienced burglars, but most won’t want to waste precious minutes messing with a deadbolt or more secure lock, Paulsen says.</p> <p>If it takes them more than a minute to get in, chances are the next house will be easier and they’ll just move on, he says. For maximum effectiveness, make sure you have the extra locks installed on all exterior doors – not just the front.</p> <p><strong>Your door plate</strong></p> <p>The strike plate is the piece of metal that holds the bolt when your lock is in the locking position – and unfortunately standard ones are very small and flimsy, making your door easy to kick in, Paulsen says. “This is an easy fix, just go to any home improvement store and get a bigger strike plate,” he says.</p> <p>For additional protection, you can purchase a door reinforcement kit for under $100 that will shore up the weak spots that thieves commonly exploit.</p> <p><strong>Your outdoor lights</strong></p> <p>At night, a burglar’s best friend is a dark home, according to Nationwide’s research. Fortunately, deterring criminals banking on the cover of darkness may be as simple as turning on your outdoor lights at night.</p> <p>Not a fan of wasting all that electricity? Go with motion-activated floodlights, especially in your backyard or dark corners of your home, Paulsen says.</p> <p><strong>Your mailbox</strong></p> <p>It takes two minutes online or on the phone to put a hold on your mail while you’re gone and subvert the number one signal burglars look for: an overflowing porch or mailbox.</p> <p><strong>Your dog</strong></p> <p>Dog owners, you’re in luck: A survey of 86 convicted thieves found that a “large sounding” dog is the single greatest deterrent to robbing your house, Paulsen says. And that goes for small, noisy dogs as well as larger, threatening-looking ones.</p> <p>If you can’t or don’t want to have a dog, you can buy a dog barking machine and set it to respond the doorbell or knocks or put it on a motion sensor, he advises. “Even a ‘beware of Rottweiler’ sign in your front window can help,” he adds.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/22-signs-your-house-is-vulnerable-to-being-robbed?pages=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Home & Garden

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3 times you should never “accept cookies” on a site

<p><strong>To cookie or not to cookie?</strong></p> <p>Cookie-consent pop-ups are one of the biggest annoyances on the Internet. Almost every site you visit has a notice saying, “This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Do you agree?” or something similar. Typically, we click “yes” or “agree” without even thinking about it because we’re eager to get to the content. But should we? Not necessarily.</p> <p><strong>What are cookies, exactly?</strong></p> <p>Before we delve into the dos and don’ts of cookie consent, here’s a little refresher on this Web tool: Cookies are essentially information collectors and trackers in the form of small text files stored on your browser by the sites you visit. Some are useful. For example, a cookie saved on your browser makes it so you don’t have to re-enter your log-in information every time you visit one of your favourite websites. Cookies can also remember your shopping preferences so that you get a personalised experience when you visit the website. Others, however, track how you use a website, how often you go there, your IP address, your phone number, what types of things you look at and buy, and other information you may not want to share.</p> <p><strong>Do you have to accept cookies?</strong></p> <p>Many companies have you click “yes” so that they’re compliant with current privacy laws. This means that once you click, you’ve given the company permission to use your information as they see fit without the worry of legal backlash. Most of the time, cookies are no big deal. There are a few occasions, though, where you should decline cookies. Don’t worry – if you find yourself in a situation where you need to decline or simply want to decline for whatever reason, most websites will work just fine without collecting your information. With that said, here’s when saying no to the cookies is a good idea.</p> <p><strong>Sketchy sites</strong></p> <p>Beware when you’re on an unencrypted website (these websites will have an unlocked lock icon by the web address) while using a public Wi-Fi network. The information collected by cookies can be intercepted by hackers because there isn’t any security to stop them. Your best bet when borrowing Wi-Fi from your local coffee shop or fast-food joint is to use your browser’s private or incognito mode. While in this mode, cookies aren’t collected by default (though you can manually turn off cookie blocking on some browsers), no matter where your Internet journeys take you.</p> <p><strong>Third-party cookies</strong></p> <p>If the cookie-consent pop-up mentions third-party cookies, click “decline.” Accepting gives the website the right to sell your browsing behaviour to a data broker. The broker then combines your behaviour on one website with information from other websites and builds an extremely detailed profile of you as a consumer. “The broker then sells that profile to other third parties who want to market to people like you,” says Harry Maugans, CEO of Privacy Bee, a proactive privacy management tool for consumers. “As you can imagine, this chain extends infinitely. Once you lose control of your personal data, it gets packaged and repackaged in all kinds of ways. It’s scary but true.”</p> <p>According to Maugans, some third-party cookies are even nefarious. You could become a victim of “cookie stealing” or “session hijacking.” This is when a hacker gains access to a browser and mimics users to be able to steal cookies from that browser. This can put you at risk of identity theft if hackers manage to steal cookies that store your personal information or credit card information.</p> <p>If you’re worried that you might accidentally accept third-party cookies, there’s an easy way to make things fool-proof. Go into your browser and choose to allow only required cookies or “first party” cookies. These cookies are the helpful ones mentioned earlier and are usually only used by the website you’re visiting.</p> <p><strong>When you’re using private information</strong></p> <p>If you don’t feel comfortable sharing the information you’re using or accessing on a website with a stranger, don’t use cookies on that site. According to Jeremy Tillman, president of the privacy company Ghostery, you should avoid cookies on sites where you do your banking, access your medical information, or use other private information.</p> <p>If you’re afraid that you’ve already accepted cookies on websites where you wouldn’t want your information gathered, go into your browser and use the “clear cookies” option. This will prevent sites from collecting your information in the future, as long as you decline the next time a site asks you to accept its cookies.</p> <p><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-ab23c7bc-7fff-94d0-086f-61fdae71f0de">Written by Alina Bradford. This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/science-technology/3-times-you-should-never-accept-cookies-on-a-site" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here’s our best subscription offer.</a></span></em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

Technology

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Hotel worker busted going through traveller’s luggage

<p dir="ltr">A traveller has shared a hotel story from hell, revealing he secretly filmed a hotel worker going through his possessions after he checked in and unpacked. </p> <p dir="ltr">The guest captured the footage of a housekeeper appearing to sift through his belongings and look in his safe, after he utilised the hidden webcam on his laptop. </p> <p dir="ltr">Sharing the video on TikTok, the traveller issued a warning to his followers, with the caption, “Pro travel tip: you can turn your laptop into a security camera.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The video then shows the housekeeper helping himself to a beverage out of the mini fridge, before starting to rummage through the wardrobe.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Be careful when you’re travelling. This was the first time I set up a camera and caught this.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Luckily, the housekeeper didn’t take any belongings from the savvy traveller, although they still reported the incident to hotel management. </p> <p dir="ltr">They said the hotel “managed the situation professionally”, and the housekeeper was fired “on the spot”.</p> <p dir="ltr">The guest said when booking the hotel, they noticed a series of reviews mentioning thefts but weren’t able to find any proof, hence they felt the need to set up the camera. </p> <p dir="ltr">The video has racked up over 170,000 likes, with many people in the comment section saying they rely on similar technology to keep their belongings secure. </p> <p dir="ltr">One nervous traveller commented, “This is exactly why I barely take anything out of my suitcase, always keep my lock on it and always travel with the keys.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: TikTok</em></p>

Travel Tips

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“A pain in the a***”: Security expert reveals why woman posing as Prince Andrew’s fiancée got past security

<p dir="ltr">A woman claiming to be Prince Andrew’s fiancée was able to get past security because staff were too “terrified” to check with the royal according to a specialist detective.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Spanish woman claimed to be Irene Windsor and was due to have dinner with the Duke of York when she arrived at the security gate of the Royal Lodge in Winsdor last April, and was allowed in without her identification checked.</p> <p dir="ltr">Her cab fare was even paid for by security officers, with her cover eventually blown when she entered the building and a suspicious staff member alerted police - but not before she walked around the grounds for up to 40 minutes.</p> <p dir="ltr">Philip Grindell, the founder of VIP security firm Defuse and a former specialist detective with the Met Police, has now claimed that staff were reluctant to check the woman’s story with Prince Andrew because of his reputation.</p> <p dir="ltr">Grindell, who was responsible for planning and running security measures for high-profile events that included those with royals and the military, made the claims while speaking at the International Security Expo in London, describing the royal as an “unpleasant character”.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Prince Andrew is a pain in the a*** and if you have ever worked with him, is an unpleasant character and the security were terrified of asking him 'is anyone turning up?'” Grindell said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"And because they did not want to upset him, no one asked and they assumed he must have an appointment and let her in.</p> <p dir="ltr">"The security were terrified of asking him."</p> <p dir="ltr">Paul Page, a former Met Police royal protection officer, separately shared a similar account about working with the controversial royal.</p> <p dir="ltr">"When I heard this it became blatantly obvious that the security involved were in the same position with Prince Andrew as I was 20 years ago, in that they were too frightened to question unidentified female visitors as it would always end in him abusing us for stopping them,” he said at the expo.</p> <p dir="ltr">"This is a classic example of what we feared would happen one day."</p> <p dir="ltr">At the time, the woman was found with maps of the Royal Lodge and other royal residences, as well as a self-defence key ring with two sharp prongs.</p> <p dir="ltr">She was arrested on suspicion of burglary before being sectioned under the Mental Health Act and eventually released without charge.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-bfff73ff-7fff-7826-a75c-88d6a93cf36c"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

Legal

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How to be safe online

<p>Are you wary of banking online? You’re not alone. Here’s a guide to being safe when using the world wide web.</p> <p>From banking online and paying your bills to doing your weekly grocery shop, the internet is handy. But is it safe to do all of those things? Yes, if you know how to be safe online.</p> <p>Many baby boomers have voluntarily shared personal information with people they have never met in person, according to anti-virus developer McAfee. This didn’t include online shopping or business transactions.</p> <p>A total of 57% of people had shared information or posted personal information online, which Michelle Dennedy, vice president and chief privacy officer at McAfee, says is a big concern.</p> <p>“The use of social networks among people 50 plus is trending now that it’s become more commonplace across all age groups,” she reveals. “It seems counterintuitive that sharing personal information with strangers would not concern them, however. This further highlights their need to better understand the difference between the real and perceived dangers online and how to best protect themselves."</p> <p><strong>How do you protect yourself online?</strong> <br />The first step is being aware of the dangers of using the internet. While researching for recipes or local dog beaches is relatively harmless, it’s submitting personal information, such as your contact or banking details, where caution needs to be applied. If you’re banking online, always make sure you go to your bank’s official URL (web address) and not a fake site and if you receive an email from what looks like your bank asking for your details, delete it.</p> <p>Banks are adamant that any emails from them will never ask for their customer’s banking details, since this is a security risk. If you’re ever unsure and do receive an email from your bank asking for information, contact their call centre.</p> <p><strong>Emails to delete</strong><br />Many online scams will come in the form of an email. While email providers have their own security measures to filter out what they think are dodgy messages, it’s best to know what to look out for. If you receive an email from a company or person you don’t know, treat it with caution.</p> <p>Emails that contain poor spelling or grammar, ask for your personal information, offer deals or prizes that seem too good to be true, or ask you to “donate” a large sum of money, delete it. The best policy is one of caution and constant vigilance.</p> <p><strong>Avoid banking online at a public computer</strong><br />When it comes to protecting your hard-earned cash, it always pays to be extra cautious. If you’re at an internet cafe or using a public wi-fi connection with your laptop or tablet, it’s best to avoid doing anything that requires you to share important personal information. While it may be safe with some connections, it may not be with others. Banking websites do have their own security measures for when you’re using their site, but it’s always better to be cautious.</p> <p>If you’re using a public computer, remember to log out of any sites containing your personal information. This could be your email, Facebook or your online dating profile. You don’t want the person who uses the computer after you to have access to your details. Another key consideration is to keep your passwords private. Avoid sharing them with other people and try to make it a series of letters or numbers you will remember, but that is difficult for others to guess.</p> <p><strong>Be a smart shopper</strong><br />If you love to grab a bargain online, be a smart shopper. Make sure the website you’re buying from is legitimate and not a fake version of the real thing. A good tip is to keep a record of all of your online receipts and to regularly monitor your bank statements. If you ever see a purchase on your bank or credit card statement that you’re not sure about, look back through your receipts before contacting your bank to investigate further.</p>

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