art, Music, Personal

GMF 2017

I GMF2017recently attended the Gasparilla Music Festival in Tampa, Florida. It’s an all day, all weekend music, local foods & brews, arts & crafts festival that is truly fun for the whole family! I was so impressed with this event.  Here’s why:

  1. There was something for everyone. For kids of all ages, there was fun around every corner. I felt most akin to the giant art wall and the musical tent designed to inspire and empower children to paint the next Mona Lisa or play an instrument they’ve never seen before.
  2. Live music.  There’s just something so wonderful about live music. Wouldn’t you agree? I was inspired to write this blog because of new bands I was introduced to at this festival. They had me buying their albums the next day and I’ve been listening ever since. This festival packs a cultural line up. Again, a little something for everyone. A kids corner for rockin’ out with the festively dressed Bears & Lions. Live music could be enjoyed from any of the four stages throughout the days with local bands from all different genres. From rock to indie to the big brass sounds of New Orleans all the way to Venezuela for some latin influence and of course, more mainstream headliners, Cage the Elephant and Ryan Adams, to bring it all home. It was a jam packed line up designed to cultivate and spark the senses.
  3. I love the cause. While researching, I discovered the festival is not only back by many local supporters, but also put on by local nonprofit. The Gasparilla Music Foundation is an arts and cultural organization dedicated to youth education through local music promotion. What a cool thing for my city! With continued budgets cuts to schools and in response, having to scale back on extracurricular activities like music education, it’s good to know I live in a place where the community can come together and fill the gap.
  4. The food and beverage selections. Every vendor was local. They didn’t populate the park with carnie food trucks, nope. They classed it up and went to the local restaurants. Each tent decked out the same and very nondescript. Instead event organizers let the aromas of delicious food guide you to the vendor. Local breweries, and there are many mainly because Tampainians like to drink, were decked out with their latest pours and well staffed to really execute and move the lines quickly.  Which is a major deal at large events like this. Another note worth mentioning was how clean everything was. I loved that not only did they place their garbage cans strategically, but they had constant maintenance of them to ensure they didn’t overflow. This is a small thing but such a big deal.  Good for you, event planners! You get a big A for Awesome on that one.
  5. And finally, the location. You could not ask for a better venue for this. Located in Curtis Hixon Park, right in downtown Tampa on the Hillsborough River side. This park provides wide open spaces and two levels. Perfect for separate stage setups. This park also has its own amphitheatre which naturally presents event organizers with another stage option. There is cause for concern because this park offers very little shade and in Florida, even in early March, the sun and heat can be brutal. Fortunately the event contained several large tents for festival goers to lounge under.

If you live in the Tampa Bay area, this is a must attend event! Check out the details about this event and more at: https://gasparillamusic.com or peruse pictures from this year’s event on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/gasparillamusic/ 

See you next year. Cheers and rock on!
erinalbertson.com 

 

technology

Digital Security: 5 Ways To Protect Yourself

Security will be top of mind in 2017. I know it has been top of mind for me lately. The increase of my credit/check card being stolen has increased tenfold within the last two years. That’s just me too. I’m just one single person amongst billions of other persons on this planet, so you can imagine how others may feel on this subject. That is why securing data will be topics of conversation for many IT professionals this year and for the foreseeable future as we continue to see the rise of internet hacking and theft. End users and technology service providers alike will look to detection and response as forerunners to wage this new battle.  According to Gartner, worldwide spending on information security is expected to reach 90 billion in 2017 with a 7.6% uptick from 2016.

Why are we seeing this trend?

swiss-cheese-analogy-1In the last few years, with the advances of mobile technology and IoT, we are now accessing the internet through many unsecured means. Think of it as Swiss cheese and there is literally a Swiss cheese model describing security, learn more here. The WiFi network at the coffee shop, the device, the application on the device, we have made ourselves vulnerable by allowing the conveniences of our technology to create gaps in our cheese. If the technological means (WiFi, device & apps) are not properly stacked, the holes in our Swiss cheese become exposed.

What you can do to protect yourself:

  1. Stay up to date on your software updates, especially on your mobile devices. This includes the applications you use on those devices as well.
  2. DO NOT save or cache your passwords for major accounts you login and use to transmit payments. And do not link your credit/check cards to those accounts for easy access later.
  3. Change your passwords frequently. Every 90-180 days is reasonable without driving yourself crazy. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts. Example: Your email and bank account should NOT have the same password.
  4. Run AV/Malware software on your devices to prevent and detect an unwanted intrusion.
  5. Pay attention to suspicious emails with attachments. Usually you can spot a malicious email by its use of poor grammar but then again, hackers are getting smarter about it. Stay alert and check the email from addresses and double-check URLs are actually going to the site domain you are receiving the email from.

securityUnfortunately, there are a number of ways your card information can be compromised outside of email and infected computers. Card scanners are another increasing threat. What makes this rising threat frustrating is that scanners are so easy to get and even easier to use. Don’t believe me? Watch this.

Security is a constant moving target and the best way to combat it is to never lose sight of it. Stay aware of new threats as technology changes, stay up to date on your devices and apps you use, and finally, stay alert to accounts you maintain an online presence with.

 

http://www.erinalbertson.com