How to Ditch Your Student Loan Servicer

We want to believe our student loan servicer is working in our best interest, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Although student loan servicers are supposed to help you manage your student loans the right way, some fail to give appropriate guidance to borrowers. Along with mishandling payments, some servicers have allegedly nudged borrowers […]

The post How to Ditch Your Student Loan Servicer appeared first on Student Loan Hero.

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In defense of French fries

Originally Posted Here: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/in-defense-of-french-fries-2019020615893

I thought it must be a slow news day. The New York Times ran a story about French fries with a conclusion that shocked no one: French fries aren’t a particularly healthy food choice. But is this anything new? And just how bad are they?

Could French fries actually kill you?

Maybe. At least, that’s the implication of the study that triggered the latest news coverage. Researchers found that regular consumers of French fries don’t live as long as those who eat them less often.

Of course, I immediately wondered: is it really the French fries? What else do big-time consumers of French fries do that might affect their longevity? Are they couch potatoes (or should I say couch fries)? Do they drink too much? I’m guessing their other food choices might not be the best. Maybe it’s the Big Macs, cheesecake, and smoking that’s responsible more than the fries? So, let’s take a closer look at the study.

More French fries, more death

In June 2017, researchers publishing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition described a study of 4,400 older adults monitored over an eight-year period that found:

Higher potato consumption (including fried and non-fried potatoes) was not associated with a higher risk of death. Eating French fries more than twice a week was associated with a more than doubled risk of death. The findings held up even after accounting for obesity, physical activity, smoking, and alcohol consumption (as reported by study subjects during study enrollment).

The authors had some theories on why French fries might raise the risk of death, including:

French fries have a lot of fat and salt that could raise the risk of cardiovascular disease. During the years of this study, trans fat (a particularly unhealthy type of fat) had not yet been banned from the US market. High consumption of French fries could increase the risk of future high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity (which are known risk factors for cardiovascular disease and other health problems), High consumers of French fries might also be high consumers of other high-fat or high-salt foods, sweetened beverages, and red meat. So, as suspected, this study does not prove that the higher rates of death among higher consumers of French fries were actually due to the fries. But are French Fries really a “death food”?

This brings us to the real question raised by this new research: must you swear off French fries forever? I say no. Here’s why:

The higher risk of death was noted among those who ate French fries more than twice a week. Eating them once a week or less would likely have a negligible effect on your health. Portion size matters. This study didn’t provide details of how many fries study subjects ate at one sitting, but an “official” serving is just 10 to 15 individual fries (130–150 calories). Most fast food establishments serve three to four times that amount! Stick with one serving, or share a restaurant serving with a couple of meal mates. Homemade “baked fries” using minimal olive or canola oil aren’t French fries, but they’re close… and much healthier.

The coverage of this new research (“A weapon of dietary destruction!”) made it sound as though having fries with your meal is a death sentence. But let’s not overstate the “danger” of French fries. And let’s also face this irrefutable fact: they’re too good to give up.

But, if we think of them as an occasional indulgence and understand what a single portion of French fries looks like, there’s no reason to eliminate them from your diet. And they go great with a salad.

Follow me on Twitter @RobShmerling

The post In defense of French fries appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.


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Google Shares Online Tips and Tools for Internet Safety

Monday this week was Internet Safety Day, and to celebrate, Google is dedicating the whole week to protecting its users with advice and tools. To that end, Google has produced a series of articles on its blog, filled with online security tips.

From password checking tools to teaming up with Disney to promote safety online for kids, Google has really been throwing itself into the concept of keeping secure online.

We take a look at the highlights of Google’s latest advice, and more ways you can stay safe online.

Google Password Checkup

Password Checkup is a new automated tool from Google that you can add to the Chrome browser. It informs you if any of your passwords are compromised. With last week seeing the news that over 2 billion login details had been illegally obtained, the tool should be a welcome one.

The tool is a Chrome browser extension, and works by informing the user if one of the username/password combinations that they regularly use turns up in its list of compromised data, which is states amounts to over 4 billion credentials.

If spotted, Chrome will prompt you to change your password immediately, to mitigate the chance of any details being stolen.

The extension is available now.

Cross Account Protection

Should your account be compromised, Google now has a set of tools to help you manage the problem. However, it states that, until now, these protections haven’t extended to apps and sites that also utilize Google Sign In.

That’s set to change with Cross Account Protection. When implemented, it will enable apps and sites to receive information from Google about security events, such as an account hijacking, so that they can also offer the user protection.

The intention is to get ahead of the fraudsters, by sharing information within the Google infrastructure. Google states that the data it passes on will be limited, and will only happen when absolutely necessary. It could happen if a security issue has occurred on your Google account, or if any generally suspicious activity was detected.

Making the Internet Safer for Kids

In an effort to raise awareness for children’s online safety, Google has teamed up with Disney, and specifically the movie Ralph Breaks the Internet. It’s hard to imagine a better placed film to use as an opportunity to inform kids about how to stay safe online – at least Google didn’t pick The Emoji Movie.

It’s also expanding its Be Internet Awesome campaign. Google has created a guide that encourages parents to discuss the internet with their children, and gives advice on best practice.

Then there’s its partnership with the David’s Legacy Foundation, in which teens are partnered with younger children to mentor them to be kind to others online. The charity is dedicated to raising awareness of cyberbulling online, and believes that it’s teens, not adults, that make the best role models for children when it comes to being positive online.

Google’s 5 Tips For Staying Safe Online

Perhaps the most useful of its advice pages this week is Google’s Five things you can do right now to stay safer online. This is a collection of tips that are immediately actionable:

1: Set up a recovery email or phone number – According to Google, most of us already have a recovery email or phone number for our accounts. But, those who don’t run the risk of serious trouble getting back into their accounts if these are compromised.

2: Use unique passwords – Google says that 65% of people use the same password across multiple sites. That’s bad. If your password gets out there, a hacker could cause havoc across multiple sites and services that you use with just one set of details. The advice is to keep your passwords unique. We strongly believe that a password manager can remove the headache of thinking up and remembering multiple passwords.

3. Keep your software up to date – Software updates may seem a pain, but they keep your device protected from the latest known hacks and exploits. Accept that update request whenever it pops up.

4. Use two-factor authentication – Two-factor authentication is one of the best tools for beating hackers, as it depends on you having access to a separate device, usually your mobile phone, to verify you are who you say you are. It’s a security step that is hard to beat.

5. Take Google’s Security Checkup – This is an online assessment from Google that assesses your Google account, and recommends ways to improve any flaws found, as well as informing you of any recent security events and third party access.

Consider a Password Manager

One of the best ways to manage your online safety is to ensure that your login details are firstly unique, and secondly, hard to crack. With may of us juggling multiple passwords across various services and sites, remembering all of them can be a tall order.

That’s where password managers come in. Usually, a password manager works as app that connects to your browser – the best ones can be used across multiple devices.

Password managers remember your log in details for you – you only need to remember one master password for the manager itself. Not only that, but they can also suggest new, secure passwords to use, and alert you should your account be compromised.

They cost a few bucks a month, and are well worth the price for the piece of mind they’ll bring you. We’ve collected some of the best examples below:

Best Password Managers to Choose:

Scroll horizontally to view full table on mobile devices

1Password Dashlane LastPass Sticky Password 1Password logo Dashlane logo Sticky Password logo Overall Score ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★☆ ★★★★☆ Local Storage Option ✓ ✓ x ✓ Two-Factor Authentication ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Failsafe Function ✓ ✓ ✓ x Password Generator Function ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Help Instructions ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Email Support ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Live Chat Support x ✓ x x Phone Support x x x x Ease of Setup ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★ Features ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★☆ ★★★★☆ Overall Performance ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★☆ ★★★★★ Help & Support ★★★☆☆ ★★★★☆ ★★★☆☆ ★★★☆☆ Value for Money ★★★★★ ★★★★☆ ★★★★☆ ★★★★☆ Cost per year $36 $60 $24 $30 Discounts Available See Deals See Deals See Deals See Deals About our links

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The post Google Shares Online Tips and Tools for Internet Safety appeared first on TechCo.

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