The Air Force on Thursday announced the names of five candidate bases to host the second active duty-led wing of KC-46A Pegasus aerial tankers — Dover AFB, Del.; Fairchild AFB, Wash.; Grand Forks AFB, N.D.; Travis AFB, Calif.; and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.The installation selected wouldn’t start receiving the next generation air refueling tanker until fiscal 2020, according to a press release.Air Mobility Command will soon conduct detailed, on-the-ground site surveys of each candidate base, assessing each location against operational requirements, potential impacts to existing missions, housing, infrastructure and manpower. The command also will develop cost estimates to bed down the KC-46A at each site. Air Force leadership then will select preferred and reasonable alternatives for the operating location. Officials plan to announce the second active duty-led KC-46A preferred alternative by the end of 2016.“Bringing the KC-46A online is a critical first step in recapitalizing a tanker fleet that has been at the heart of global response for more than five decades,” said Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III. “This great new aircraft will achieve better mission-capable rates, suffer less maintenance downtime, and improve the U.S. military’s ability to respond rapidly to humanitarian crises and contingency operations around the world.”Jennifer Miller, deputy assistant secretary for installations, stressed the importance of following the Air Force’s strategic basing process to create deliberate, repeatable and standardized decisions.“In this process, the Air Force uses criteria-based analysis and military judgment,” said Miller. “We look forward to the next phase of the process when the preferred alternative is announced and our candidate base communities have an opportunity to participate by providing input for the environmental analysis.” Dan Cohen AUTHOR
CHELMSFORD, MA – Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian thanked the cadets, families and community partners involved in the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office 19th Youth Public Safety Academy (YPSA) this summer. Over 1,300 youngsters applied for this year’s summer camp, with over 1,050 participating.“YPSA is a true community program – it’s about our kids, our officers and firefighters, and our hometowns,” said Sheriff Koutoujian. “I am so happy we could welcome over 1,000 children to the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office this year to learn safety skills, challenge themselves and make new friends with classmates and officers alike.”YPSA cadets experience a week full of activities structured around team building, safety education and engagement with law enforcement officials. This year, cadets came from forty-four Middlesex County communities, including Acton, Arlington, Ashland, Ayer, Bedford, Belmont, Billerica, Boxborough, Burlington, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Concord, Dracut, Dunstable, Everett, Framingham, Groton, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lexington, Littleton, Lowell, Malden, Marlborough, Maynard, Medford, Melrose, Natick, Newton, North Reading, Reading, Sherborn, Shirley, Somerville, Stoneham, Stow, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough, Waltham, Watertown, Wakefield, Westford, Woburn and Wilmington.Officers and firefighters from many of these communities joined cadets throughout the camp. Several public and private organizations also provided educational resources, including AT&T of Massachusetts, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services (DFS), the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC), and the National Park Service (NPS).This year, a $23,500 grant from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) allowed the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office to accept an additional 146 cadets from its waitlist as well as hire additional staff.“We are incredibly grateful for the support of EOPSS and all of the72 public and private organizations who assisted with this year’s Academy,” said Sheriff Koutoujian. “They truly make YPSA the success that it is, and we hope to have all of them back next summer as we celebrate our 20th year.”Registration for next year’s YPSA is expected to open in early March, 2019. For information on the Academy and the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office’s other community-based programming, please visit middlesexsheriff.org/community.(NOTE: The above press release is from the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Related51 Wilmington Students Graduate From Middlesex Sheriff’s Youth Public Safety AcademyIn “Government”Attorney General Awards Middlesex Sheriff’s Office A Healthy Summer Youth Jobs GrantIn “Police Log”Middlesex Sheriff’s Office Receives State Grant For Popular Youth Summer CampIn “Police Log”
Sprint Best Buy Apple Pay vs. Samsung Pay vs. Google Pay 7:31 Mentioned Above Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (64GB, Lilac Purple) Tags See it $699 See It Read next: Everything we know about Samsung’s foldable phone for Feb. 20Read also: New phone designs aim to shake up MWC 2019 CNET may get a commission from retail offers. See It 11 Photos See It I was 30 miles from home when it hit me that my purse was at home, and I’d have to spend the day without my credit cards, ID or any cash. The only thing I had — apart from my backpack and puffy purple jacket — was my Samsung-loaned Galaxy S9 Plus review unit as my only source of money and ID. Good thing that months before I had loaded my credit card number into Samsung Pay, Samsung’s mobile wallet for contactless payments. That would have to do.Samsung Pay and I are old friends. More powerful and more forgiving than Google Pay and Apple Pay, it works on almost every terminal that reads a payment card’s magnetic stripe, which means I’d be able to pay for more things in more places than with either mobile payment rival alone. Only one thing worried me. I’ve used Samsung Pay all over the US, Asia and Europe, but I’ve never been forced to use it solo. I’ve always had the benefit of my credit and ATM cards as backup, and my driver’s license for ID. Being forcibly removed from them, without any sort of safety net, would be a real-life test of mobile payment’s power and influence. The best thing about ride-hailing services like Lyft is that you don’t need to carry a card or cash. Lyft We always talk about leaving the wallet at home, but does the infrastructure exist to make that work? Could I really get through a day using Samsung Pay and nothing else? It’s not Samsung’s fault that the answer was no, not quite.The ride, checkMorning travel wasn’t a problem, and that’s probably why I didn’t discover my mistake until I was 30 miles from home. Ordinarily, I’d have realized my purse wasn’t with the rest of my stuff a few minutes after leaving, slapped my forehead and sheepishly gone back to fetch it. Not this time. Share your voice Phones Online You can only do these cool things with Samsung Pay in Korea — for now (pictures) Preview • Why the Galaxy S9 Plus is the ‘better’ Samsung phone this year Amazon $349 Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Review • Galaxy S9 Plus is still worth buying, but wait a month — here’s why Mobile payments Samsung Comments 24 $699 $354 Now playing: Watch this: This time I’d called a Lyft to take me where I needed to go. That requires just my phone, not a travel card like the Bay Area’s Clipper system for the trains, ferries and buses. Already, that’s a sign of the phone standing in for the contents of my purse.Breakfast, checkI obviously needed something to clear the cobwebs clouding my sanity: coffee. I could have tried Samsung Pay with the classic-style swipe reader at the Marriott-owned Starbucks franchise across the street, but the Starbucks app on my phone did the trick simply and quickly. Whew. No purse needed there, either.Portable payment terminals make tableside mobile payments easy. Google Lunch, not so muchFast-casual eateries around the Bay Area have gotten good at outfitting their point-of-sale terminals with mobile payment readers. There’s often an attachment on top of the customer-facing payment terminal, or a white plastic puck from Square that you can hover your phone over. But there was no mobile payment option at my lunch spot, a sit-down affair I had planned with a friend.Restaurants here that value traditional service seem to keep their swipe terminals out of sight from customers. When I asked if this business could accommodate mobile payments, our server shook his head. No, no it could not. I didn’t want to press the matter, offering to go back to the cash register so I could activate Samsung Pay. But I did wish the US followed Europe’s model, where servers bring a handheld payment terminal to your table, a method that nearly always works with Samsung Pay (often to the server’s surprise).Fortunately my friend was there to foot the bill. Well, I suppose this is what peer-to-peer payment services such as Zelle and Venmo are for. The Zelle mobile app lets you send money from one bank account to another. Zelle Cash withdrawal: Genius strikes, then fizzlesLeaving lunch on the way to pick up supplies at the Walgreens pharmacy and convenience store, I spied an outpost of my bank. That’s when I remembered that I could use the banking app on the Galaxy S9 to initiate an ATM withdrawal. If I could take out some cash, I wouldn’t feel so unilaterally reliant on my phone, especially if it lost battery power. Feeding the bank card from Samsung Pay to my banking app wasn’t a problem. There was a clear method for that in the Wallet subsection of the app itself, and a bank attendant was there to get me started on the right path. There was just one problem — I had set up Samsung Pay with a credit card, but not my ATM account, so a cash withdrawal through the credit card would come with a hefty penalty if I went that route. Not worth it. That’s when my lunch companion shoved a $20 bill into my hand, just in case. Put it on my tab.Shopping at Walgreens is all winWalgreens terminals accept payments when you hover the phone near the top. Not all US stores have this feature turned on, even if the terminal is capable. Scott Stein/CNET I’ve used mobile payments at the Walgreens store multiple times, but as I stood in line with my arms full of tissue paper, cards and gift bags, a part of me wondered what would happen if the terminal was offline today. This has actually happened to me before, but I’ve always had the contents of my purse to back me up when a card reader was down or the point-of-sale terminal was simply too old to work with the phone. That’s something I was worried about even though I’ve witnessed Samsung Pay working with readers when Google Pay and Apple Pay wouldn’t. Mobile payments did work this time, smooth as butter. Now all I had to worry about was how to get home.The commute back, big failThe time was coming to reunite with my purse, but the train still stood in my way. This wasn’t the first time I wished my Clipper transit card worked on my phone, as transit cards do in so many places. And it wasn’t the first time I wondered why you can’t tap the transit card reader to charge the payment card stored on your phone, as you can on the London Underground.Still, I wanted to see if I’d overlooked a way to buy my ticket through NFC, the near field communications system that makes contactless mobile payments work. When I got to the BART station, I checked the contactless pad that lets you tap your Clipper card to add more value, but tapping a phone against it does nothing. Because it’s clear that trying to do that is as futile as trying to buy a bagel with a key card: You’ve got to fully insert your credit card into the hungry mouth of the ticket machine to pay for your fare. What hurts most is that this system is so close to contactless. Grateful for the $20 stuffed into my jeans pocket, I inserted the cash, praying the machine wouldn’t immediately spit it out. These are old rigs, prone to monetary indigestion. I didn’t even realize I was holding my breath until the machine coughed up dollars worth of change in quarters. If I hadn’t been able to buy my ticket with the machine, I’d have had to find another way home, probably at great expense.Noooooope. Jessica Dolcourt/CNET Saved? Mobile payments over NFC aren’t a slam dunk yetMy purse and I are reunited now, and after a severe self-scolding, I can think about the state of mobile payments around me: Apps on my phone can shuttle me around by car and keep me fed. Once I add my ATM card to Samsung Pay, I’ll also be able to get to my cash. So long as the phone’s battery is charged and I’m connected to a data or Wi-Fi network, I know I’ll never be truly stuck. (You can use mobile payments offline as long as you have active “tokens,” which contain your encrypted identity verification, but you need a connection to update these periodically. I once got stuck in South Korea for running out of tokens on a phone in airplane mode.) And even in the event of a large purchase, mobile payments already verify your identity, so you don’t need to fish out your ID.But there were problems during my few purse-less hours that could have led to a sadder ending. If my phone had run out of battery or hit a dead data or Wi-Fi zone, I’d have found myself in a tight spot. And with no way to verify my identity on my phone, I wouldn’t be able to get into a bar or buy a bottle of wine for dinner if I chose to leave my wallet at home.The fact that I couldn’t buy a train ticket or a sit-down meal without cash or card, the fact that I worried whether the NFC terminal was on the fritz, all speak to a larger insecurity. My day wasn’t unlike many of the city’s commuters’, but the infrastructure isn’t robust enough for us to rely on mobile payments alone. Maybe tomorrow I’ll wind my purse around the front door knob so I can’t forget it. Because I’m not ready to venture forth without my wallet again. And neither is San Francisco.Originally published Feb. 12 at 5 a.m. PT.Update, 8:11 a.m. PT: Added more detail on payment tokens.Update, Feb. 15 at 3:00am PT.
null Aston Martin DBS Superleggera has gorgeous looks and… Now playing: Watch this: Enlarge ImageLeave it to Aston Martin and Zagato to create a car with a grille that literally flows when the vehicle is started up. Aston Martin Aston Martin and design house Zagato have a six-decade-long relationship, combining forces to create some of the most stunning vehicles on the road. As part of Zagato’s 100th birthday, Aston Martin will offer up 19 examples of the new DBS GT Zagato, and the automaker is finally ready to show off its production-ready shape and offer up a bit more information about what to expect.Aston Martin on Tuesday unveiled a small handful of pictures that show the production form of the DBS GT Zagato alongside its old-school sibling, the DB4 GT Zagato Continuation. Starting with a DBS Superleggera, the body picks up some wild new styling, including a full carbon roof that eliminates the rear glass, as well as some stunning taillights, new flourishes on the sides and a curvaceous front end.To accommodate the roof, Aston Martin created a camera-based rearview mirror that still allows the driver to see behind the vehicle without any rear windshield. Consider it like those mass-market mirrors that let you swap between normal and camera-based viewing, only the former is impossible because there actually isn’t any rear glass at all. If you think that’s wild, take a look at the grille. It looks intricate, sure, but it’s even crazier than you might think. The grille comprises 108 pieces of diamond-shaped carbon fiber. When the car is off, the grille looks sealed up with a flush appearance, but upon starting the car, those pieces “flutter into life,” as Aston puts it, physically opening up to provide the car’s V12 engine with air. Good luck trying to get that repaired anywhere but the dealership.At a cost of roughly $8 million, the grille had damn well better mimic a living being. But then again, that price tag doesn’t just include one car. DBS GT Zagato buyers also receive a DB4 GT Zagato Continuation model, a handbuilt coupe finished in the same hue as the original DB4 GT Zagato cars that were built in the 1960s. All of a sudden, paying $8 million for two utterly stunning small-batch creations doesn’t sound so obscene.Enlarge ImageThe rear end of the DBS GT Zagato is breathtaking, and not just because it lacks a rear windshield. Aston Martin Aston Martin Preview • 2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera: Beast mode More about 2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera 2020 Hyundai Sonata first drive: An attractive and compelling midsize sedan Exotic Cars Superluxury Cars Performance Cars Coupes 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous Share your voice 0 More From Roadshow 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better Tags 8:32
MASS TURNOUTSHundreds of thousands more women thronged New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver and Boston, adding to a public outpouring of mass dissent against Trump unmatched in modern U.S. politics for a new president’s first full day in office.So-called Sister March organizers estimated 750,000 demonstrators swarmed the streets of Los Angeles, one of the largest of Saturday’s gatherings. Police said the turnout there was as big or bigger than a 2006 pro-immigration march that drew 500,000.Some 400,000 marchers assembled in New York City, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio, though organizers put the number there at 600,000.The Chicago event grew so large that organizers staged a rally rather than trying to parade through the city. Police said more than 125,000 people attended, while sponsors estimated the crowd at 200,000, the same tally they reported for Boston, and Denver..Smaller protests were held in such cities as Seattle, Portland, Oregon, Madison, Wisconsin, and Bismarck, North Dakota.The protests, mostly peaceful, illustrated the depth of division in a country still reeling from the bitterly fought 2016 election campaign. Trump stunned the world by defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton, a former secretary of state and first lady who made history as the first woman nominated for president by a major U.S. political party.Pam Foyster, a resident of Ridgway, Colorado, said the atmosphere in Washington reminded her of mass protests during the 1960s and ’70s against the Vietnam War and in favor of civil rights and women’s rights.”I’m 58 years old, and I can’t believe we are having to do this again,” Foyster said.Although Republicans now control the White House and both houses of Congress, Trump faces entrenched opposition from wide segments of the public, in contrast with the honeymoon period new presidents typically experience when first taking office.A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found Trump had the lowest favorability rating of any incoming U.S. president since the 1970s. Hundreds of thousands of women filled the streets of major American cities to lead an unprecedented wave of international protests against President Donald Trump, mocking and denouncing the new U.S. leader the day after his inauguration.Women activists, outraged by Trump’s campaign rhetoric and behavior they found to be especially misogynistic, spearheaded scores of marches in the United States and sympathy rallies around the world on Saturday.Organizers said they drew nearly 5 million protesters in all, far surpassing crowd expectations.The demonstrations also highlighted strong discontent over Trump’s comments and policy positions toward a wide range of groups, including Mexican immigrants, Muslims, the disabled and environmentalists.In contrast to the heated, often shrill tone of the presidential campaign, and the grim imagery of “American carnage” Trump evoked in his inaugural address, the mood during Saturday’s protests was largely upbeat, even festive.Chanting such slogans as, “We need a real leader, not a creepy tweeter,” and “Hey-hey, ho-ho, Donald Trump has got to go,” many marchers wore knitted pink cat-eared “pussy hats” in a reference to Trump’s boast, in a 2005 video made public weeks before the election, about grabbing women by the genitals.While women constituted the bulk of the demonstrators, many were accompanied by husbands, boyfriends and children.The planned centerpiece of the protests, a Women’s March on Washington, appeared to draw larger crowds than turned out a day earlier to witness Trump’s swearing-in on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.No official estimates of the turnout were available, but it clearly exceeded the 200,000 marchers projected in advance by organizers, filling long stretches of downtown Washington around the White House and the National Mall. AROUND THE WORLDWomen-led protests against Trump, who has vowed that U.S. policy would be based on the principle of “America first,” also were staged in Sydney, London, Tokyo and other cities across Europe and Asia.Sister March sponsors boasted some 670 gatherings around the world in solidarity with the Washington event, estimating a global turnout of more than 4.6 million participants tallied through online march registrations, although those numbers could not be independently verified.Trump, in a Twitter post on Saturday, wrote, “I am honored to serve you, the great American People, as your 45th President of the United States!”Attending an interfaith service at Washington National Cathedral before visiting the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters, Trump made no mention of the protests.But he angrily attacked media reports, including photos, showing that crowds at Friday’s inaugural were smaller than those seen in 2009 and 2013, when Barack Obama took the oath of office for his first and second terms as president.”I made a speech, I looked out, the field was, it looked like a million, million and a half people,” Trump said at his CIA visit. “They showed a field where there were practically nobody standing there.”Saturday’s march in Washington overwhelmed the city’s Metro subway system, with enormous crowds reported and some stations temporarily forced to turn away riders.The Metro reported 275,000 rides as of 11 a.m. (1600 GMT) Saturday, 82,000 more than the 193,000 reported at the same time on Friday, Inauguration Day, and eight times normal Saturday volume.The peaceful atmosphere of Saturday’s march contrasted sharply with unrest the day before, when groups of black-clad anti-establishment activists, among hundreds of anti-Trump protesters, smashed windows, set vehicles on fire and fought with riot police, who responded with stun grenades.Washington prosecutors said about $100,000 in damage had been done and 230 adults and five minors had been arrested.Clinton won the popular vote in the Nov. 8 presidential election by around 2.9 million votes and exceeded Trump’s support among women voters by more than 10 percentage points. Trump, however, easily prevailed in the state-by-state Electoral College vote that actually determines the outcome of the race.Trump offered few if any olive branches to his opponents in his Friday inauguration speech.”He has never seemed particularly concerned about people who oppose him,” said Neil Levesque, executive director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.But the lawmakers who Trump needs onside to achieve his policy goals may be more sensitive to the show of mass opposition demonstrated by the anti-Trump rallies, Levesque said.”Members of Congress are very sensitive to the public mood, and many of them are down here this week to see him,” Levesque said.
JSSTwo leaders of Jana Sanghati Samity (MN Larma reformist faction) were shot dead at Babupara in Baghaichhari upazila on early Monday.The victims were identified as Shatosiddhi Chakma, 38, general secretary of JSS-backed Jubo Samiti’s central committee, and Eno Chakma, 35, general secretary of its upazila unit.Jasi Chakma, a leader of the faction, said the two were resting after dinner when cadres of Santu Larma faction shot and killed them around 12:30am.But the attackers could not be traced yet.Police recovered the bodies and sent them to Khagrachhari Sadar Hospital for autopsy, said AM Manjurul Alam, officer-in-charge of Baghaichhari police station.
Share Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUTCameras monitor the detention facility in Karnes City.The American Civil Liberties Union has released a report based on some 30,000 pages of internal records from the Department of Homeland Security between 2009 to 2014, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. What they’ve found is what they call “the pervasive abuse and neglect of unaccompanied immigrant children detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.”Mitra Ebadolahi, an attorney with the ACLU, says the documents offer a glimpse into a federal immigration system marked by brutality and lawlessness.“The documents reveal mistreatment that is neglectful at best and intentionally cruel at worst,” she says, “including verbal abuse, such as calling immigrant children ‘dogs’ or ‘garbage.’ One migrant minor who was pregnant was told that her child would contaminate this country. That’s a quote. Children were threatened with rape and death.”She says the documents include allegations of physical abuse – small children were shot with tasers and run over by patrol vehicles – and sexual abuse. Ebadolahi says in one case, a teenage girl was subjected to a search in which border agents forcefully spread her legs and touched her genitals.U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities are not equipped for detention lasting more than 72 hours, she says.“The facilities are freezing cold. They were overcrowded. There’s evidence that they were unsanitary,” she says. “They were not given potable water. They were not given bedding, or necessary medical care.”Ebadolahi says the abuses could have come to light sooner if documents were more accessible to the public.“The government has fought tooth and nail to resist responding to our [Freedom of Information Act] request, which has necessitated years of litigation in federal court in order to get these documents,” she says. “Part of the delay is because the agencies are not being forthcoming, and are doing everything that they can to avoid providing the public with timely information about how they’re using our tax dollars.”U.S. Customs and Border Protection responded to the ACLU report, saying, “The false accusations made by the ACLU against the previous administration are unfounded and baseless,” adding that many of the instances outlined in the report were allegations.Written by Jen Rice.
Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This story appears in the November 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » 2 min read November 1, 2005 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Tired of the increasing costs of credit card transactions? A group of merchants have banded together to fight back with class action lawsuits charging Visa, MasterCard and other leading banks with illegally fixing prices on interchange fees.”The banks have become increasingly greedy with their fees, which is making life difficult for retailers and driving up prices for their customers,” explains Mallory Duncan, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Retail Federation. “Visa and MasterCard are essentially monopolies, and they are using their status as monopolies to increase profits at the expense of consumers.”Interchange fees–fees banks collect from retailers every time a credit card or debit card is used to pay for a purchase–first came under fire in 2003 when retailers won the right not to accept certain high-fee debit cards. In July 2005, Kroger Co. followed suit by banding with several other large retailers to charge Visa USA Inc. and Visa International Service Association with colluding on fees. And now small businesses are joining in with a suit filed by Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP on behalf of five businesses in California, Connecticut and Minnesota alleging that banks violate anti-trust laws by conspiring to fix interchange rates.Duncan attributes the rash of suits to a seemingly arbitrary bump in interchange fees, which have jumped from a weighted average of 1.58 percent in 1998 to 1.75 percent in 2004, the NRF reports–an increase of 10.8 percent. “[Retailers’] costs are in the hands of a third party who has no incentive to keep them in check,” says Duncan.While quick to note that legal processes take time, Duncan is optimistic about the suit against Visa. “We’re talking about a case with $20 billion a year in fees at stake,” he notes. “This is major litigation filed by reputable attorneys with the potential to bring about real change.” Enroll Now for Free
December 19, 2017 Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Enroll Now for Free Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 6 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. As holiday shoppers attempt to “wow” their friends, families and coworkers with the top presents of the season — think Amazon Echos, smart TVs and internet-enabled toys — they could be inadvertently exposing their giftees to a world of cybersecurity pain. Unfortunately, hackers looking to expand their attacks beyond networks and emails have set their sights on devices that are connected to our home networks.Despite the recent security issues with IoT devices (i.e. smart teddy bear flaw), a recent survey found that 65 percent of millennials are unaware of IoT risks and the same percentage don’t take this type of security seriously. However, with stockings already being hung by the chimney with care, it’s important to raise awareness about the types of threats plaguing these devices. Before making those final purchases, let’s explore which popular items are most at-risk and ways in which owners can secure their new toys.Related: Government Agencies and Hospitals Face Increasing Risk of IoT-Powered CyberattacksHo-Ho-Hold the Phone — Consider These Potential RisksThe newest, hottest devices are obviously high on holiday wish lists, and for good reason! Many of them are not only fun additions to the home, but also add a significant convenience factor when it comes to day-to-day activities like switching lights on and off, controlling music, locking doors and entertaining children. However, before bringing these items into the home, it’s important for consumers to weigh the pros and cons.One of the biggest risks associated with installing IoT devices revolves around the loss of privacy. As IoT evolves, devices that have video cameras in them should be avoided at all costs. We’ve seen vulnerabilities appear within connected cameras time and time again — see examples here and here. While using IoT cameras externally for security purposes makes sense, bringing them into the home can be, and has been, an issue.Besides security cameras, we are seeing video capabilities in TVs, toys and even appliances such as vacuum cleaners. Before purchasing and gifting these items, shoppers need to think long and hard about the potential implications.Related: 3 Reasons Why IT Security Must Be a Top Concern for Tech StartupsSo, Which Devices are on Santa’s Naughty List?Over the last year, there have been a number of toys designed for children that pose serious risks — the Cayla doll is a prime example. Unfortunately, as manufacturers continue to develop and release connected toys, security is not always top of mind when installing components like remote audio and/or video capabilities. Combined with the fact that children can easily be preyed-upon, shoppers should take great caution when selecting any internet-embedded technology device for a child.From a connected home perspective, smart speakers are a perfect example of a risky addition to the household. While these items will be all the rage this year, it’s important to evaluate the security implications. We saw just last month the BlueBorne vulnerability that left prominent devices within this category vulnerable to hackers via just a Bluetooth connection — through this, malicious actors could feed smart speaker owners false information (i.e. traffic reports and inaccurate schedules) and even spy on victims. And the scariest part? If a hacker gained control of the connected device, they could potentially spread to other networked devices or eavesdrop on network traffic communication.Additionally, smart systems that are used to control door locks and garage-door openers are being exposed by hackers. Apple’s HomeKit is the most recent example. As usual though, Apple was able to fix the issue quickly via a server-side patch.Related: Why Millennials Don’t Worry That Much About Online SecurityDoes This Mean IoT Devices Should be Taken Off Our Wish Lists?Let’s be realistic — the entire holiday shopping population isn’t going to abandon purchasing IoT devices as gifts due to the chance that they might be hacked. And, to be honest, a number of items still make great gifts — for example, ones that add convenience and entertainment like automation for lighting and switched outlets.With that said, consumers still need to do their due diligence for securing these items and be especially cautious with devices that contain video cameras. A few questions to ask before purchasing an IoT device include:Who is the manufacturer? Is it someone reputable, or a suspicious knock-off that may save you a few bucks? Look for products issued by companies like Amazon, Apple, Bose and Google this holiday season. Many of these companies — like Amazon and Google — have patching solutions already in place, so in the event that a vulnerability does arise, they can quickly mitigate the issue. It may cost more up-front, but the savings from a potential security breach are greater by leaps and bounds.What are the known vulnerabilities? Before completing your purchase, do a quick search to see if any security vulnerabilities have been discovered previously in your gift. Is the first Google search result on that product you’ve been eyeing a vulnerability exploit/issue? If so, you might want to stay away from that one and consider another gift.Will the device update automatically? Ensuring that the latest firmware is installed on any internet-connected device is of utmost important. Old firmware equals new entry points for malicious actors. One of the easiest ways to ensure this is the case is to buy devices that update automatically and don’t require manual firmware installations.IoT is Coming to TownWhether we like it or not, these devices are in our homes. Fear not, though, if you’ve already purchased and wrapped these gifts for your loved ones and coworkers. Give the gift of security this year and pass along these helpful tips with your connected purchase:Use the tech as it was intended: Make sure the device is deployed properly and used the way it was designed. Follow installation directions completely and double check that the latest firmware is installed.Change default password: Never stick with what’s given! Also, when selecting a new password, follow the same procedures you would when selecting one for your online bank account. Don’t use any of your personal information — that includes Fido’s name — and avoid passwords that contain words/phrases that can be associated with you, your business and/or personal life. In addition, don’t reuse passwords across multiple devices/accounts.We have enough to worry about this holiday season with 10s of family members running around the house fueled by eggnog and candy. Don’t let cybersecurity add yet another thing to your checklist. Follow these simple IoT security tips to ensure a carefree holiday for you and your loved ones.