Good Day Alabama: March 6, 2017

Good Day Alabama: March 6, 2017

Here's what you saw on Good Day Alabama today....

JEH JEH LIVE - Jeh Jeh worked out on this Exercise Monday with Curtis Starks at EVO Be Fit. It is located at 2006 2nd Avenue North. Evo is a Boot camp style workout center with it's own personal training program tailored to your goals while sharing the attention of your trainer with a few other clients.  For more information, call 205-583-3000 log on to www.trainatevo.com.

ASK THE GARDENER - Brooke McMinn with the Birmingham Botanical Gardens joined us to take questions from viewers about their gardening needs. You can reach her at the Botanical Gardens at www.bbgardens.org.

MOMMY MINUTE - In today's mommy minute, Clare Huddleston shared a personal story about her daughter, Libby.  When Libby was a few weeks old, she was diagnosed with a tongue tie. A tongue tie is when the tongue is restricted by a piece of skin called the frenum.  It can cause pain when nursing and it can impact a child's speech later in life.  Doctors can cut or laser the frenum to give the tongue more freedom.  Clare Huddleston showed us how the procedure works in today's Mommy Minute.

SCHOOL TAX VOTE - Voters in Jefferson County get to vote on 100-million dollars in funding for Jefferson County schools. At least six superintendents and the Jefferson County Board of Education ask you to renew a property tax first approved in 1987. The referendum on March 7th would not add any new taxes... but rather extend the current tax rate for 30 years.  For example... if you own a 100 thousand dollar home, you'd see a tax reduction of at least $214 should the vote fail. But school officials hope to convince voters that the money generated is critical to several districts. Over the last couple of months, they've been distributing yard signs and even holding press conferences to let people know the importance of these funds and this vote. They say the loss of these taxes would be devastating to education in Jefferson County Schools. Learn more about the reasons they want you to vote yes at www.voteforstudents.org. There is no organized group in opposition to the tax renewal.

AMERICORPS WEEK - AmeriCorps Week is March 4-11. Do you know exactly what this program is and how it benefits the community? AmeriCorps is similar to the Peace Corps but is designed for those who want to serve within the United States rather than internationally. Last year, YWCA AmeriCorps members contributed more than 65,000 service hours to Birmingham and other communities in Jefferson, Shelby, Blount and St. Clair Counties.  
YWCA Central Alabama will celebrate AmeriCorps Week March 4-11, 2017 to spotlight the outstanding service of its 40 AmeriCorps members. Events include a Meet and Greet Celebration for staff, alums and partners on Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the YWCA, 309 23rd Street North, Birmingham, AL 35203. AmeriCorps is similar to the Peace Corps but is designed for those who want to serve within the United States rather than internationally. Last year, YWCA AmeriCorps members contributed more than 65,000 service hours to Birmingham and other communities in Jefferson, Shelby, Blount and St. Clair Counties.  "Since this year's program started in September, our AmeriCorps member have served more than 16,000 individuals, including veterans and disadvantaged children and youth," said AmeriCorps Assistant Director Angela Scott Abdur-Rasheed. In addition to serving with YW programs, members serve with partnering agencies, including:  One Roof, Community Policing and Revitalization, Safehouse of Shelby County, AlaQuest, Food Bank of Central Alabama, Heart Gallery of Alabama, Railroad Park Foundation, Girls on the Run, Girls, Inc., Junior Achievement, Alabama Environmental Council, Mothers' Milk Bank, Freshwater Land Trust, Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyer Program, YMCA Northeast Branch, Norwood Resource Center, YouthServe and Woodlawn United Foundation. Each AmeriCorps member devotes more than 1,720 hours each year to serving the community. Members receive a small living allowance during their service, an educational award at the end of service and the gratification of knowing they are changing lives for the better. For more information on the YWCA's AmeriCorps program, visit www.ywcabham.org/americorps.

BBB - David Smitherman with the Better Business Bureau joined us to explain how to protect smart devices from data breaches. On February 28, it was discovered that CloudPets toys had been hacked and more than 800,000 user accounts and 2 million voice recordings – mostly of children and family members – were exposed in a major data breach. The Internet of Things, technology that allows us to remotely connect to appliances, toys, security systems and more, has brought convenience and entertainment to our homes. However, the latest breach shows many internet-connected devices still have major data security issues. Better Business Bureau is urging consumers to be mindful of these vulnerabilities and take necessary steps to keep your homes protected. Some examples of this technology include:
    • Security systems, alarms or Wi-Fi cameras - video monitors
    • Thermostats
    • Wearables - fitness devices and smart watches
    • Smart appliances - smart refrigerators, TVs etc.
    • Entertainment devices to control music or television from a mobile device
Unsecured or under-secured devices give cybercriminals easy opportunity to intrude into private networks. BBB encourages consumers to take all possible steps to protect their personal information when using Internet of Things devices and consider these tips from the National Cyber Security Alliance:
    Learn how to maintain the cybersecurity of your IoT devices: Protecting smart devices like wearables, toys and connected appliances might be different than securing your computer or smartphone. Research the process for keeping IoT devices secure before you purchase them, make sure that you know how your data is being used on new connected devices and take extra measures like assigning new passwords to safeguard your devices over time.
    Own your online presence: Understand what information your devices collect and how it's managed and stored.
    Lock down your login: Fortify your online accounts by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device. Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media.
    Pay attention to the Wi-Fi router in your home: Use a strong password to protect the device, keep it up to date and name it in a way that won't let people know it's in your house.
    Research before purchasing: Check the cybersecurity history of devices before purchasing to see if there have been any previous security or privacy issues and if they have been resolved.