Is Technology All It’s Cracked Up To Be

Grind for January 2nd, 2019
“You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war.”

– Napoleon Bonaparte

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The Headline

Is your Netflix account safe?

The Grind

The Federal Trade Commission has warned all Netflix users to be wary of suspicious emails from the streaming service.

On Wednesday, the agency said it had identified a new phishing scam that seeks to steal payment information from users.

The Details

The malicious email informs users their account is “on hold” because Netflix is “having some trouble with your current billing information.”

The email asks users to follow a link to update their payment information.

The FTC has advised users to delete emails with bad grammar/bad spelling or emails that begin with “Hi Dear” instead of a real name.

“We take the security of our members’ accounts seriously and Netflix employs numerous proactive measures to detect fraudulent activity to keep the Netflix service and our members’ accounts secure,” said Netflix in a statement.

“Unfortunately scams are common on the Internet and target popular brands such as Netflix and other companies with large customer bases to lure users into giving out personal information.”

The Future Is Now

The Headline

Turn your home into a smart house with Google or Alexa

The Grind

If you received a smart speaker for Christmas this year, you’ve probably explored the commands for playing music, telling jokes, ordering products, and sharing the latest headlines.

If you’re like me, you asked Google whether it was secretly working for the government.

In my opinion, the best thing about a smart speaker is its ability to sync with third-party devices for lighting, temperature, and home security.

The Details

With easy-to-install smart devices, you can teach Alexa or Google to operate everything from your TV to your kitchen lights.

Here are a few specific brands I recommend:

— For television: Google Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV – use voice commands to turn on your favorite show.

— For lights: Philips Hue smart lights – use voice commands to activate lights of any color.

— For switches: Belkin’s Wemo Insight Smart Plugs – use voice commands to turn on any device.

— For temperature: Ecobee4 thermostat – use voice commands to control the temperature in every room and use your smartphone to monitor and change the temperature while you are away.

— For home security: August Smart Lock – use voice commands to lock your doors and use your smartphone to monitor which doors are locked and to grant temporary access to friends or family while you’re away.

With the above features installed, the only thing your home speaker won’t be able to do is cook your dinner (but it can order delivery).

Did you know… The company that makes Nutella uses about 25% of the world’s supply of hazelnuts.