The Buckeye Connection

The Easter season is quickly approaching. One of the favorite activities most families enjoy is treating the children to an Easter egg hunt. To make sure this activity is fun and safe, plastic eggs should be used outside in the yard. The grass may have been sprayed with chemicals, there is dirt and animals may have been using the yard. Egg shells are porous and may allow bacteria or chemicals to enter. Also hard boiled dyed eggs should not be out of a refrigerator for any longer than two hours. When dying eggs, the eggs should be stored in the refrigerator and not placed in a basket on the table; unless of course, the eggs are used only for a decoration. However, if the eggs will be eaten they must be in the refrigerator. The hard boiled eggs will keep for one week stored in the refrigerator.

Fresh eggs can be kept in the refrigerator for four weeks. The eggs should be stored in their original container on a shelf in the back of the refrigerator. The eggs should not be place on a tray on the refrigerator’s door. Every time we open the door, the eggs are shaken and may crack. Also, the warm room temperature air will shorten the amount of time the eggs will remain fresh and safe to eat.

Never eat raw eggs or food containing raw eggs for example uncooked cookie dough. The eggs may contain harmful bacteria and should be thoroughly cooked. The best way to ensure the egg is properly cooked is to use a thermometer that reads 160Fahrenheit. Hard boiled eggs should be boiled for 15 minutes then cooled quickly in ice water, the shells peeled, and place in a bowl in the refrigerator.

As we enjoy the renewal of life through the Easter season, also take time to practice safe food handling processes.

The Buckeye Connection

Computers and the internet have changed our world. We now can work, learn, play, socialize, shop and manage our daily lives online, without leaving the comfort of our own homes.

But not everyone we interact with online is trustworthy. Some people use the Internet to anonymously harass or annoy others, to damage computer systems or data, or even to commit crimes.

Fortunately, some simple steps can help you avoid becoming a victim. By knowing what to look for, taking precautions, and using protective tools, you can enjoy the benefits of the Internet6t while keeping yourself, your family, your computer data and your personal information safe and secure.

Depending on how you use the Internet, you may be taking unnecessary risks. You might be at risk of identity theft (when someone steals and uses your personal information, perhaps to open new credit accounts); data theft or damage; or personal safety threats (sometimes called cyberstalking or cyberbullying).

Here are some of the ways crooks and con artists find victims online:

Phishing-an attempt to “hook” you into revealing your personal and confidential information by sending bogus emails that appear to come from a legitimate business.

Spam-unwelcome email and instant messages, which may offer questionable goods for sale or a promise of financial rewards if you give the sender money.

Malware-malicious software (spyware, Trojans, viruses and worms) that can be remotely installed on your computer, allowing the person who controls the malicious software to steal, damage or delete your files and other data.

Transactions that are not secure-sites that don’t have secure payment forms, or companies that store debit and credit card information without proper safeguards, may give crooks the opportunity to intercept your personal information.

Social networking-users may be at risk if they reveal too much personal information, or if they agree to physically meet people they first met online. Some social networking sites might even compromise sensitive personal information.

There are many ways that someone can gain access to your personal information. Fortunately, there are also many ways for you to protect yourself.

Use a firewall. A firewall is a virtual barrier between your computer and the Internet. Everything coming into or leaving your computer must go through the firewall, which blocks anything that doesn’t meet specific security criteria.

Install antivirus software. Antivirus software scans everything that goes into your computer, looking for known viruses.

Install antispyware software. Spyware is software that tracks your computer activity, gathering information without your knowledge.

Use a spam filter. Most Internet service providers and email programs now include an automatic spam filter, which reduces the number of unwelcome email messages that make it to your inbox. Delete, without opening, any spam or “junk mail” that gets through the filter.

Perform timely updates. Computer and software companies frequently update their programs to include protection against the newest security threats. So, simply updating your operating system and software whenever new versions become available gives you an added measure of security.

Create strong passwords. A strong password includes a seemingly random string of letters, numbers and symbols. It should never include personal information, such as your birth date, address or pet’s name.

Secure your wireless network. Leaving your network “unlocked” means that anyone within range of your wi-fi signal can access it-and possibly capture the data you send and receive. Securing your wireless network can be as simple as creating a strong password for your router and enabling its built-in encryption tool.

The Internet is a valuable resource and tool, but caution must be exercised to insure that your online computer use is safe and secure. For more information, go to www.cosumer-action.org and scroll down to find recent publications about Internet safety.

The Buckeye Connection

For more than 100 years The Ohio State University has been home to the largest out-of-school, educational program in the United States with over 7 million young people participating last year. This program, known as 4-H, was first developed in 1902 by A.B. Graham, Superintendent of Clark County Schools in Springfield, Ohio. Since those early days, 4-H has grown to include rural, suburban, and urban youth and continues to focus on critical issues facing young people in their local communities

Today, Ohio 4-H is still an exciting program for young people with over 318,000 members “learning by doing” and developing themselves to their greatest potential with the motto “to make the best better.” The vision of Ohio 4-H is developing youth to become positive, productive citizens and catalysts for effective change to improve our diverse society.

Ohio 4-H programs are designed to engage youth in healthy learning experiences, thus increasing self-esteem and problem solving skills. Programs address topics such as stress management, parent-teen communication, personal development, careers, environmental stewardship, and global understanding. A wide range of content offerings encourages youth to explore science, technology, and citizenship. Ohio 4-H offers over 200 different projects related to the needs of people living in a complex society.

To learn how youth ages, 5 and in Kindergarten through Dec. 31 of the year they turn 19, can join 4-H, contact Ohio State University Extension Belmont County Office at 740-695-1455.