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2 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

Facebook Security Breach Affects Nearly 50 Million Accounts

On Sept. 28, 2018, Facebook announced that nearly 50 million user accounts were compromised in a data breach. The breach, which can be traced back to July 2017, is one of the largest in the company’s 14-year history.

While investigations are ongoing, the company said hackers exploited a software vulnerability in Facebook’s "View As" feature to steal access tokens and gain control of user accounts. Access tokens are effectively digital keys to specific accounts, and stealing them allows attackers to view private posts or compose status updates without the knowledge of the affected user.

In addition, the attack allowed the hackers to see anything that users can see on their own profile, including the names and birth dates of friends and family members. Such information could be used in future phishing attacks.

In response to the attack, Facebook reset 90 million logins automatically, fixed the software vulnerability and informed law enforcement officials. While the company says that users do not need to change their passwords, individuals experiencing login issues should navigate to Facebook’s Help Center.

As a safety precaution, users are encouraged to log in and out of all of their accounts on every device. Users can see all of the devices they’re currently signed into here.

To learn more about the breach, read Facebook’s official blog post.

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3 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

The Dangers of Job Site Cellphone Use

According to a recent study, the average person checks their cellphone 100 times a day. While there is a time and a place for cellphones, using it at the job site can be extremely dangerous.

If you’re distracted for just a second while operating a power tool, working on a roof or driving a forklift, you can injure yourself or a co-worker. You can also face civil or criminal liability for damages you cause by operating a motorized vehicle while using a cellphone.

It isn’t only operators of machinery who need to be mindful of the dangers of cellphone use on the job site. Simply looking down at your cellphone and not paying attention to your surroundings could put your life in danger.

Cellphone Safety Tips When On-site

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) prohibits cellphone use by operators of cranes and similar equipment. Most organizations prohibit any kind of cellphone use on the job site—not just for crane operators. It is your responsibility to know how your company’s rules apply to you and follow them accordingly.

If you struggle with the temptation to check your phone while working on a job site, consider the following safety tips:

  • Get in the habit of sending and receiving text messages before or after your shift, or during one of your breaks.
  • Remind family and friends that you may not be able to respond to their messages right away. Provide them with your workplace contact information in case of emergencies.
  • Turn off push notifications so you’re not distracted by any apps.
  • Don’t carry your cellphone on you if the temptation to check it is too much. Instead, leave it in a safe place where it won’t distract you from your job.
  • Follow your workplace policy for cellphone use at work and on the job site. Be aware of any cellphone-free zones.

Besides creating enormous safety risks, employees who are texting at work are not doing what they are getting paid to do. For this reason, these workers may be subject to disciplinary action.

If you have questions about ’s workplace cellphone policy, or if you notice inappropriate cellphone use on the job site, don’t hesitate to discuss it with your supervisor or HR.

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3 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

More Than 132,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Products Recalled



More Than 132,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Products Recalled

On Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that Cargill Meat Solutions would be recalling over 132,000 pounds of ground beef products.

The recall news comes after an investigation found that these products were made from the chuck portion of carcasses that may be contaminated with E. coli. According to the FSIS, 17 people have been sickened in the outbreak and one person has died.

Details of the Outbreak

The recalled products were packaged on June 21 and have an "EST. 86R" label inside the USDA inspection mark. Because the recalled products were sold at major stores nationwide, it’s important to check your products to make sure they’re not on the recall list.

Specifically, the following products have been recalled:

  • 3-lb. chubs* of “OUR CERTIFIED 73/27 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF” with a USE OR FREEZE BY JUL/11/18 and case code 00228749057646.
  • 3-lb. chubs of “OUR CERTIFIED 73/27 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF” with a USE OR FREEZE BY JUL/11/18 and case code 00228749002653.
  • 10-lb. chubs of “EXCEL 73/27 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 00228749089098.
  • 10-lb. chubs of “EXCEL 73/27 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 90028749002751.
  • 10-lb. chubs of “EXCEL 81/19 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 90028749003536.
  • 10-lb. chubs of “EXCEL GROUND BEEF 81/19 FINE GRIND” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 00228749003568.
  • 10-lb. chubs of “EXCEL CHUCK GROUND BEEF 81/19 FINE GRIND” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 90028749402773.
  • 20-lb. chubs of “EXCEL 81/19 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF COMBO” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 90028749073935.
  • 10-lb. chubs of “Sterling Silver CHUCK GROUND BEEF 81/19 FINE GRIND” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 00228749702416.
  • 10-lb. chubs of “CERTIFIED ANGUS BEEF CHUCK GROUND BEEF 81/19 FINE GRIND” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 90028749802405.
  • 10-lb. chubs of “CERTIFIED ANGUS BEEF CHUCK GROUND BEEF 81/19 FINE GRIND” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 with case code 00228749802413.
  • 10-lb. chubs of “Fire River Farms CLASSIC GROUND BEEF 81/19 FINE GRIND” with a USE/FREEZE BY: 07/11/2018 with case code 90734730297241.

The recall has been classified as a Class I recall, meaning there is a "reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death." This means that if you’ve purchased any of the contaminated products, you should throw them away immediately and not consume them.

What are the symptoms of E.coli?

Symptoms of E.coli can vary, but generally begin three to four days after ingesting contaminated food or drink. Common symptoms include diarrhea, severe stomach cramps and vomiting. Most people are able to recover within a week, but severe cases can last longer. The CDC recommends contacting your doctor if you have symptoms of an E.coli infection.

For More Information

For more information on this recall, visit the FSIS’ website.
 
 
 
 
*”Chub” refers to ground beef packaged in a cylindrical, plastic tube.

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4 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

Safety Measures That Prevent Employee Theft

Employee theft, fraud and embezzlement can cause serious financial and reputation damage to your company. Implement several safety measures as you prevent employee theft and protect your business.

Review Your Hiring Practices

Start with honest employees, and you could reduce your theft risk. Consider implementing the following pre-employment checks for all employees, particularly those who work with finances, confidential data or inventory.

  • Criminal history of theft, fraud or violence.
  • Civil history of fraud, collections or restraining orders.
  • Driver’s license report of serious or numerous violations.
  • Education verification of degrees and certifications from accredited institutions.
  • Employment verification of positions, length, performance, reasons for leaving, and eligibility for rehire.

Utilize Internal Controls

Prepare for the possibility of theft with policies and procedures that limit this risk. 

  • Separate duties – Place different employees in charge of transaction processing and recording.
  • Control access – Only authorized employees should have access to accounting systems and physical and financial information and assets.
  • Authorize control policies – Develop a secure process for initiating, authorizing, recording, and reviewing financial transactions and inventory.
  • Update security – Install security cameras, engrave “do not duplicate” on keys to sensitive information, and change locks and security codes when cleared employees leave.  

Perform Impartial Audits

In addition to regular audits, hire impartial parties to conduct random audits. Examine financial, inventory and other records as you encourage employees to resist temptation.  

Create a Positive Work Environment

When your work environment supports collaboration, fairness, and recognition and implements clear policies, organizational structure, and communication, your employees will probably remain honest. They will feel goodwill toward the company and may be less likely to commit theft and jeopardize the supportive, friendly and healthy environment. 

Educate Your Employees

Partner with your employees to avoid and prevent theft. They should know your company’s internal controls, conduct and ethics policy, and discipline process. Ask new employees to review these documents and sign a form indicating they’ve done so, and review the policies at least annually.

Use an Anonymous Reporting System

Equip employees, clients and vendors with the power to report suspicions or proof of theft, fraud or embezzlement. An anonymous reporting system protects your staff while giving you valuable information that protects your company.

Investigate all Theft Reports

Demonstrate that you take theft seriously when you investigate every theft report you receive. The investigation should be thorough, prompt and transparent.

Purchase Adequate Insurance

Commercial crime insurance protects your business as it covers financial losses and liability. Your insurance agent can help you purchase the right insurance coverage and adequate policy limits.

Protect your company from employee theft when you implement several security measures. They can reduce your theft, fraud and embezzlement risk.

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1 month ago · by · 0 comments

3 Tips for Hiring Farm Labor

With some farmers struggling to find reliable farm labor, it is important to invest some thought in the hiring process. Here are some tips for finding the right help:

Examine your needs. You might have a general idea in your head of what work needs to be done, but it’s best to be specific. Narrow down broad processes into specific jobs so you can determine how much help you truly need.

Think about desired traits. Do you need someone to fill a temporary need, or are you hoping that person can go on to fill a managerial role? You’ll have to determine whether people skills are more important than manual labor or machinery skills, and list those traits in your job description.

Consider hiring for a trial period. If you’re hesitant about a candidate but need immediate help, consider hiring them for a short-term trial period. This saves you from high employee turnover while buying you time to recognize your needs. It allows both you and the worker to communicate any frustrations and expectations after the trial period before considering whether the working relationship is worth investing in long term.

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1 month ago · by · 0 comments

Multistate Salmonella Outbreak Caused 1 Death, 17 Illnesses

On Thursday, Aug. 29, 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced that salmonella-tainted chicken caused at least 17 illnesses and one death.

Investigation Details

Reported illnesses ranged from Sept. 25, 2017, to June 4, 2018, but the agencies didn’t begin their investigation until June. The investigation was launched after the New York State Department of Health said several of those who have become ill reported eating kosher chicken. When they were asked what specific kosher chicken brand they ate, they reported it was Empire Kosher brand.

At this time, the CDC isn’t advising against eating Empire Kosher brand chicken. There also haven’t been any recalls issued. Instead, they issued a public health alert on Aug. 24 out of an “abundance of caution.”

What You Can Do

Salmonella is a bacteria that causes intestinal illness. If you experience the following symptoms, seek medical attention for possible salmonella infection:

  • Diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps
  • Symptoms beginning 12 to 72 hours after suspected ingestion
  • Symptoms lasting four to seven days

The CDC recommends doing the following to reduce your risk of contracting salmonella:

  • Do not eat raw or undercooked eggs, poultry or meat.
  • Avoid cross-contamination of foods. Keep uncooked meats separate from produce, cooked foods and ready-to-eat foods.
  • Wash hands, cutting boards, counters, knives and other utensils thoroughly after handling uncooked foods.
  • Always wash hands before handling food and between handling different food items.

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Scurich Insurance Services
Phone: (831) 661-5697
Fax: (831) 661-5741

Physical:
783 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Suite7,
Aptos, Ca 95003-4700

Mailing:
PO Box 1170
Watsonville, CA 95077-1170

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(831) 661-5697

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