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Category Archives: Safety

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5 days ago Safety

Pedestrian Safety Legislation Introduced to Protect High Schoolers

A bipartisan piece of legislation was introduced on January 14 that would expand federal funding to protect high school pedestrians. The bill seeks to widen the coverage of the Safe Routes to School Act, which originally only specified elementary and middle school children, and moves to call it Safe Routes to All Schools.

This legislation was brought by Senator Catherine Cortez Mastro (D-Nev.) and Senator Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.). The new bill proposes a change in the wording of the original act to include all elementary, middle, and high school students. This would ensure that the federal funding and Department of Transportation support that has been awarded to elementary and middle schools in the past would now be awarded to high schools around the country, too. Such a program would help improve infrastructure, increase safety tools and enforcement, as well as installing programs that would incentivize students to walk or bike to school.

Safe Routes to School Program

The original Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program was started in 2005 but has since developed through many legislative and policy changes. It was merged with other programs into the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) in 2012. The safe routes program works on the local level through the TAP, where practitioners run programs for communities.

The program works to encourage physical activity for kids by actively walking or biking to and from school. To achieve this, the program initiated city planning changes and infrastructure improvements that make it both easier and safer for people to walk and bike in that area.

The act also enlists different approaches to, and enforcement of, safety practices for both drivers and pedestrians. These include both educational and encouragement programs that push for strong policies on safe walking and biking.

As a whole, the program functions from what it refers to as the “Six Es.” These are: education, encouragement, engineering, enforcement, evaluation, and equity. The program is meant to serve all demographics, including students from a low-income family, with disabilities, and of different genders or races.

The idea is that walking involves no extra equipment that people may have financial trouble getting, and it is something many people do in their daily life already.

Since the program began in 2005, around 14,000 schools across the country have participated. The percentage of students who walk or bike to school has grown, therefore increasing the amount of physical activity they get.

These forms of exercise, when done regularly, have shown to improve respiratory health, muscular fitness, and heart health. Furthermore, people walking or biking to their destination have the potential to improve traffic in some busier, urban areas.

Pedestrian Safety

This new proposal was brought forth by Senator Cortez Mastro based on events that happened in the Washoe County School District in Nevada. There were reports of a high number of children being injured in traffic accidents, with 12 high school students involved in pedestrian incidents in the previous year, one resulting in a death. Senator Cortez Mastro brought the legislation to support the school districts of Nevada and in turn, the rest of the country.

Nationally, 10 to 14 percent of morning car trips are transporting kids to school. The goal of the SRTS program is to cut down that number and promote safety and exercise initiatives for the students on their way to school while doing so. “Encouraging kids to walk or bike to school needs to start with making those routes safe for them to do so,” says Attorney Ben Whitley of the Whitley Law Firm. “Students should not be put in danger on their way to school.”  A notably common safety issue is people speeding near schools. Drivers may think that going 10 mph over the speed limit in a low-speed zone is not very dangerous, but it can have a greater risk on a pedestrian’s safety than one may think.

According to the SRTS Enforcement Guide, a pedestrian’s chance of death rises by 40 percent when a driver is going 10 mph over the speed limit and by 80 percent when a car is going 20 mph over the limit.

While increasing driving awareness is crucial to pedestrian safety, ensuring that cyclists and pedestrians understand safe practices is also important. SRTS states not following signs and directions of the crossing guard as a dangerous pedestrian practice, as well as not obeying traffic signs and signals as a cyclist. Guidelines from the SRTS program lay out the risks and create resources to educate people on how to mitigate these risks. With the new piece of legislation introduced, it is possible that soon these guidelines and programs will apply to high schools as well.

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2 months ago Safety

8 Important Pedestrian Safety Tips You Need to Remember

Every year, around 143,000 pedestrians are injured or killed in collisions in the US. In fact, one pedestrian dies from a crash every 88 minutes.

Unfortunately, many of these injuries and fatalities happen because pedestrians aren’t taking precautions. Yes, drivers are legally responsible for watching for you and giving you the right of way under most circumstances. Still, that doesn’t help you when your life is on the line. Instead of hoping the drivers around you will do the right thing.

Use these pedestrian safety tips to protect yourself

1. Make Yourself Seen at Crosswalks

When it comes to crossing a street, you don’t get extra points for being stealthy. You want every driver on the road to be able to see you clearly.

There are several precautions you can take to make that possible. First, if you have the option of using multiple crosswalks, choose those that are well-lit when you’re walking at night.

You can go the extra mile and carry a flashlight to make yourself more visible too. Be careful not to shine it toward drivers, though.

Another strategy is to make sure you aren’t standing behind anything that would block drivers from seeing you. If there are parked cars, tall bushes, or other sight-blockers near the crosswalk, stand clear before you cross.

Finally, when possible, make eye contact with drivers so you know that they see you. Be especially cautious of drivers who may be turning right on red. They might be too busy looking for traffic, overlooking the crosswalk entirely.

2. Never Make Assumptions

We all know how the road is supposed to work and what rules drivers should be following. It’s never safe to assume that drivers will follow through, though.

Let’s say you’re waiting at an intersection and the light changes, giving you the right of way. You see drivers approaching the light that has just turned red.

Don’t assume those drivers will stop at the red light. Wait to cross until the cars have stopped.

3. Keep Your Senses Clear

While walking, it’s critical to be aware of your surroundings. Your vision, hearing, and other senses can warn you about approaching traffic and other potential dangers.

Avoid walking while listening to music with headphones. At the most, you should have your music in one earphone while leaving the other ear open to listen for warnings.

It’s also important not to walk while you are impaired by drugs or alcohol, especially if you are too intoxicated to reliably keep your balance.

Finally, it’s safer to wear sunglasses during the daytime so the bright sun doesn’t block your vision. At the same time, make sure the sunglasses aren’t so dark that they impede your vision instead.

4. Keep Your Eyes Off Your Phone

Everyone knows that texting while driving is dangerous. Texting while walking isn’t much better, though.

As this pedestrian accident lawyer notes, more and more people are texting or otherwise using their phones while walking. This stops you from seeing and paying attention to your surroundings. It’s easy to walk out into dangerous traffic when you’re focused on your phone.

If you must use your phone during your walk, step to the side of the sidewalk and stop while you send your text. Or, simply make your walk a phone-free time and enjoy the break from your daily stress.

5. Find Your Place

Walking in the right place is a critical way to stay safe as a pedestrian. Above all, any time there are sidewalks, stay on the sidewalks. Try to design your route so that there are sidewalks available for as much of your walk as possible.

At times when there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the street so you’re facing traffic. This makes you easier to see. Stick to the outside edge of the road as well so it’s easier for vehicles to pass you.

6. Be Cautious of Parking Lots

Walking through or past a parking lot is a high-risk moment for a pedestrian. Drivers are looking for parking spots or looking to make sure this is the right destination. They’re more distracted and may not watch for pedestrians.

If you’re walking on the sidewalk and passing a parking lot, be especially aware of the drivers around you. Look for the drivers that appear to be turning into or out of the lot and make eye contact to ensure that they see you.

When you’re walking through a parking lot at night, stick to the best-lit area of the parking lot. Be aware of which parked cars are running because they may start pulling out at any time.

7. Use Caution Passing Alleyways

Walking past a parking lot is risky because drivers may not be paying attention. Walking past an alley is even worse, though, because the buildings prevent drivers from seeing you, even if they’re paying attention.

While drivers should approach the end of the alley with caution, you can take extra care for yourself too. Stop at the edge of the alley and look to see if there are any drivers. Make eye contact with them if possible, but if you can’t, wait for them to either stop or pass.

8. Be a Fairweather Pedestrian

Poor weather like rain or fog makes every aspect of a trip more dangerous. Drivers may have poor visibility because of the weather, or they may be preoccupied. They might also have trouble stopping if they don’t see you right away.

Whenever possible, avoid walking when the weather is poor. If you must walk, wear brightly colored clothing and be especially vigilant about the other safety tips. You might want to rush to get out of the rain sooner, but it isn’t worth losing your life.

Knowing Your Top Pedestrian Safety Tips

For some pedestrians, there is comfort in knowing that it is often a driver’s responsibility to watch for them, not the other way around. In reality, though, this only matters when it comes to the legal case after the crash. The best way to protect yourself is be proactive and follow the pedestrian safety tips above.

For more safety tips to use in your daily life, check out more articles on our blog.

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3 months ago Safety

3 Technologies That Can Make 18-Wheelers Safer On The Road

Large truck crashes claimed the lives of 4,136 people in 2018, reflecting a 31% increase compared to 2009 when it was the lowest it has been. People traveling in smaller vehicles are often at a disadvantage when accidents occur involving large trucks. Vehicles such as 18-wheelers often weigh 20-30 times more than a passenger car. They are also taller with higher ground clearance. In addition, the braking capability of large trucks also plays a role in crashes, as due to their size and weight, braking times are slower and longer. Fortunately, crashes are preventable, and by using the right technology, it is possible to improve the safety of large trucks on the road.

Semi-Autonomous Trucks

One of the major reasons why accidents occur is distracted driving. The effects of distracted driving are horrible, reducing driving performance and causing rollovers, collisions, or near miss accidents. Deaths and injuries occur as a result of 18-wheeler accidents, and aggrieved parties of accidents often require the services of a specialist 18 Wheeler Accident lawyer to represent their interests in litigations.

Deploying semi-autonomous trucks on the road is one way to reduce accident rates and improve the efficiencies of 18-wheelers. These long-haul vehicles are fitted with sensors that will assist in mimicking defensive driving. They will follow safe distances and speeds, and the main aim is safety on the road for everyone. At the moment, driverless truck technology is being tested on the road with a human driver behind the wheel to oversee the system. Autonomous technology is definitely a game changer for the trucking industry that will reduce accidents caused by human error.

Collision Mitigation And Reduction Tech

18-wheelers are likely to create big damages when involved in a road accident due to their larger size and mass. Although research shows that it is usually the passenger vehicle drivers who are at fault in these accidents, any type of collision involving large trucks means expensive lawsuits and claims. Consequently, reducing avoidable collisions is in the interest of companies and owners for public safety and to preserve the profitability of trucks. Installing advanced collision mitigation systems helps in monitoring crashes and employing emergency actions when needed. Using radar and video monitor to scan the road ahead for obstacles reduces rollovers and loss of control. Blind spot protection in new systems are also offered, enabling the driver a good view of hidden obstacles or other vehicles.

A dvanced Camera Systems

In-cab camera systems have been around for some time, but they are getting better in quality and capability. Better known as dash cams, they are used by the trucking industry to protect the fleet and driver from potential insurance claims, saving companies money. Another advantage of new camera systems is that they serve other purposes apart from recording videos. Data analytics, advanced scene recognition, and smart sensing can assist in reducing distracted driving by monitoring driver activities.

Accidents and crashes involving 18-wheeler trucks are preventable. Advances in technology such as smart camera systems, data analytics, collision prevention, and autonomous trucks are expected to assist in reducing road deaths and injuries.

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4 months ago Safety

Digital Signature: The Online Authentication Means for Safe and Secure Transactions

Goods and Services Tax regime has been an innovative step by the government to create a transparent and efficient tax system. The use of digital technology helps taxpayers pay GST online in an efficient way. But the GST portal takes an extra step forward to make GST more secure by providing emsigner the digital signature software. Through this software, not only the security of a return filed gets stronger, but it also helps in authenticating the return filed. Filing return of GST on real estate, manufacturing, supplying, or any other field gets more secure with emsigner DSC software. Digital signature has been in use for quite some time now to authenticate crucial documents, and an option from the GST portal to use DSC on tax-related documents has been a welcome move.

Digital Signature

A digital signature is basically a digital process of authenticating a document. It’s either a unique alpha-numeric code or it could be connected with an authenticating device such as a fingerprint sensor. The code could be auto-generated, or it could be set in a specific manner. When you “Sign” a document. It creates an encrypted code that is attached to the document. If the document that is” Digitally Signed” is changed or manipulated, then it could no longer remain genuine. There is some digital signature software that helps keep the document remain authentic, and this is done through encryption where the document that is signed digitally cannot be manipulated or tampered with. A more scientific definition for a digital signature is that it is a numeric code or message that is mathematically calculated in the background for verifying the authenticity of a digital signal. There is a difference between a digital signature and an electronic signature. Electronic signature contains just a series of digital codes, whereas the digital signature can be numeric code, or it could be the fingerprint of the user.

A digital signature can be used to authenticate any online document like presentations, charts, templates, worksheets, documents, etc. This is mostly used in professions that need an extra layer of security or deal with sensitive documents like legal firms, finance firms, human resource companies, and various companies that need to keep their data protected.

Emsigner – The DSC software: Emsigner is a SAS (Software as service) product which is web-based and compatible with GST. It allows the taxpayer to authenticate documents such as returns and other tax-related documents. It is effortless and easy to use software that helps taxpayers add an extra layer of security to their documents. It works on all popular operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and Macintosh. It allows users to create their signatures, workflow, templates, and also helps companies create a user base of different departments to authenticate internal as well as external company documents. It is an efficient software that takes a few seconds to load and can be used as required. It doesn’t require any hardware installation or any separate physical key. It is clean to use, meaning it doesn’t leave any digital footprints on any server that helps keeps it more secure. It is compatible with all top browsers such as Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari. The features that stand out are Time stamping Services, Assisted Template Creation, Watermarking, API integration, White labeling, and vault service. Of these features watermarking and API integration are very useful, watermarking, because it prevents others from claiming the documents to be their own and API integration because it can be integrated with the existing system of an organization or company.

How to file returns using DSC:

  • Keep your digital signature ready to access. It could be a software or Digital Sign authenticators like a fingerprint reader or dongle.
  • Open GST portal, Click on the “Help” tab, then click “System Requirements.”
  • On the next page, there will be three links at the top of the page. Click the 3rd link that is Downloading and Installing the Web Socket Installer. Then click on the “DSC registration” link
  • It will open a new page where you will see operating systems “Windows,” “Linux,” and “Macintosh.” Click on the option “Click here to Download” beside the operating system that you use.
  • Emsigner software will download on your computer. After the software is finished installing, you will see a desktop icon on your desktop screen. Open and run the software.
  • Login to the GST portal and go to Dashboard, and from there, go to the returns page.
  • Select “Financial year” and “Return filing period” in the space provided, then click the file GSTR button under the GSTR that you want to file. ( GSTR1, GSTR2A or GSTR3B)
  • On the next check details, scroll down and click the “File Return” button.
  • On the next page, check the return filing for the GSTR box. A drop-down menu will appear. Select the appropriate option, then click “File with DSC.”
  • Emsigner will load, and it will process you forward to file the return using DSC.
  • Select the DSC from the dialogue box that will appear, then click “Sign.”
  • Enter the password.
  • A new page will open that will display a confirmation message stating your return is successfully signed, and the return is filed.

Conclusion

There is no need to go through any complicated procedure to pay GST online with DSC. With the intuitive DSC software that is available online, a safe and secure payment can be made effortlessly. Watermarking returns of GST on real estate can help authenticate the value of the real estate. Likewise, it can help verify other vital documents from different fields of work as well. Overall, using DSC for filing GST returns is an excellent way to keep your documents safe. It helps validate your returns and enables you to create more authority. With the other features, emsigner provides it not only helps in creating an added layer of authenticity, but it will also help create a better brand value. Like the White Labelling feature lets, you create a unique signer page with the logo of your company that will help in reinforcing your brand.

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6 months ago Safety

Car Safety Features Not Protecting Pedestrians

Today’s vehicles are being released with more and more safety features. While they have been praised by some, they have also been brought under heavy scrutiny by others. Now, after AAA has released a study focused on automatic braking systems — one of the most important components of any vehicle — critics have even more to discuss. 

AAA’s Study

Recently, AAA has partnered with the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center to determine just how safe today’s vehicles actually are. The automotive agency studied the performance of four midsize sedans with automatic braking safety features that detected pedestrians. The vehicles tested were the 2019 Chevy Malibu, the 2019 Honda Accord, the 2019 Tesla Model 3, and the 2019 Toyota Camry.

Focusing on those automatic pedestrian features, AAA wanted to learn how effective they actually are at keeping pedestrians safe. The results were disheartening. 

The study found that the systems are most effective when a pedestrian crosses in front of a vehicle that is traveling at 20 miles per hour, and when it is daylight outside. Under these circumstances, the systems detected a pedestrian 40 percent of the time. However, when the vehicle’s speed was increased to 30 miles per hour, most of the systems failed to detect a pedestrian at all.

Other troubling findings from the study include: 

  • Child pedestrians that ran out in front of a vehicle were struck 89 percent of the time
  • After making a right-hand turn, all pedestrian detection systems hit the adult pedestrians
  • When the vehicles approached two adults standing at the side of the road, the vehicles hit the pedestrians 80 percent of the time
  • When the vehicles traveled at 30 miles per hour or more, the pedestrian detection systems were not effective at all
  • When tested under nighttime conditions, the systems were also rendered ineffective

All pedestrian targets used in the study were simulated, so no one was injured during testing.

The Importance of Remaining Cautious

One of the biggest criticisms of pedestrian detection systems and other automatic safety features is that they cause drivers to become complacent. When motorists believe the car is essentially driving itself, there is a temptation for them to take their focus off of the road and put more faith than they should in the automated systems. This recent study shows just how dangerous that can be.

“Motorists must remain cautious and focused on the road ahead of them at all times,” says personal injury attorney John J. Sheehan of the Law Office of John J. Sheeehan, LLC. “When they rely too much on automated systems, whether it is one particular safety feature or a completely autonomous car, it becomes extremely dangerous. That danger is there for both the driver and anyone around that vehicle. Safety features are great, but drivers must still use their heads when behind the wheel.” 

One of the most troubling aspects of the study is that the automated pedestrian detection systems only work when pedestrians are at the least amount of risk anyway. Most pedestrian accidents — 75 percent, in fact — occur at night. Unfortunately, the latest study shows that pedestrian detection systems do not prevent these crashes from happening at all.

Drivers should also remember that part of being cautious is understanding exactly how the automatic systems of their vehicle work. Drivers sometimes only hear their vehicle is equipped with these features and do not attempt to learn more about them. However, these systems can only work when they are used properly. Sometimes, the driver must turn them on, while other times drivers may not be aware that signals they are hearing are actually the automated system alerting them to danger. When drivers do not take this level of care, it becomes extremely dangerous for everyone on the roads.

Although drivers have a responsibility to remain cautious, so too, do pedestrians. It is essential to always watch for approaching vehicles, even when the pedestrian has the right-of-way. It is just as important to use a crosswalk whenever possible, not to dart out in front of vehicles, and to teach children how to walk safely when vehicles are nearby.

Pedestrians and motorists have always had the responsibility to remain cautious and try to keep everyone safe. The latest study from AAA shows just how much this holds true, even with the latest safety features that are coming out in vehicles every day.

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8 months ago Safety , Laws

Learn about Legal Traffic Product Safety

It makes sense – burgeoning human populations mean more traffic and more chaos on the roads the world over. Getting to work in the morning has become the number one curse of the day with thousands of cars clogging the highways and byways and traffic moving at the speed of a snail. 

Extending a 2-lane road to 6 lanes seems to have little impact on lightning the traffic load and the queues continue to stretch for miles. If it were not for traffic signs and warning signals, you would be inclined to think you are on a highway to hell with all the chaos and increased probability of accidents

Traffic Management Systems to Keep Traffic Flowing 

At least traffic lights and road signs play a role in keeping the traffic moving and under control. A traffic product manufacturer is aware that soon there will be more than 2 billion vehicles trying to move around the many roads and they have to come up with products to avoid traffic jams and chaos. 

Keeping vehicles moving will require innovative traffic management systems, and Eltec, with their more than 50 years as a world-class manufacturer of traffic control signs and safety equipment will continue to have a huge role to play. 

Their focus is on programmable timing products and pedestrian safety with these products which they design and manufacture. All these products are easy-to-install, they are Internet-connectable and they are available in solar/DC or AC power and available with day- or night settings. 

Traffic Devices with Remote Monitoring 

In addition to LED technology, all ELTEC’s traffic products are cloud-connected devices that allow for remote monitoring of traffic devices. This is important for programming flashing crosswalk beacons which are found in important pedestrian crossing areas such as schools. These systems are advanced, eliminating the need for a technician to program them. 

Look at the role of a Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon (RRFB), for instance, and the way it can prevent pedestrian fatalities.

The RRFB is a traffic-control device used together with pedestrian warning signs. The idea with them is to provide drivers with a high-visibility strobe-like warning to drivers that cyclists or pedestrians are using a crosswalk. These beacons can improve safety at intersections where there are not enough other signals and signs. 

Attention – Pedestrians Crossing! 

An RRFB is a pedestrian-activated warning device with a  yellow LED rectangular flashing light. When you see this flashing light your attention has to be on the crossing, knowing that pedestrians are likely to be crossing the street. It is equal to an emergency flashing light on a police vehicle. 

ELTEC’s traffic control products are all customizable to meet your specific needs and you can discuss all the warning system needs with them. This way you ensure that in your area drivers, pedestrians and cyclists are that much safer.

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9 months ago Safety

How to Make Sure That You’re Driving Safely in Austin, TX

Texas is one of the greatest states in the US, famous for its rodeos, cowboys and amazing BBQs, but there is another thing that Texas is famous for which isn’t celebrated as much as it is loathed – Austin traffic. Traffic in Austin is notoriously bad, and in a rush hour it can be extremely easy to get into a car accident if you don’t familiarize yourself with the laws and roads of Austin and make sure that you’re driving safely. Here are some things you need to know about driving safely in Austin.

Know the Speed Limits

Another reason that driving in Austin is so famous yet so dangerous is the crazy speed limits that are in place in parts of the city. A 40 mile stretch of the SH130 toll road from Austin to Seguin has a speed limit of 85mph. As the average speed limit is 55mph for highways, an 85mph road will be crazily fast and increasingly dangerous, especially in wet weather where cars a more likely to spin out of control. Make sure that you’re aware of the speed limit wherever you’re driving in Texas, as driving too slowly when others are speeding past you is just as dangerous as speeding yourself.

Prepare for Rush Hour

Rush hour in Austin is famous for being difficult to navigate, and also dangerous due to the high amount of people who drive commuting to and from the city for work every day. Usually between 6am to 9am and 4pm to 7pm, rush hour in Austin can cause delays of up to an hour if you are heading into the north of the city, as this is the busiest part. Rush hour is particularly stressful if you’re not prepared for it, as people can be driving while fatigued and become incredibly impatient, potentially causing accidents, so make sure that you always monitor the traffic before you travel so you know what to expect when you hit the road. You can be the most careful driver in the world and still suffer from a crash because of another driver who was not being responsible, so make sure that you contact a lawyer if you’ve been in a car accident to make sure that you are fully protected if the other driver files a court case.

Prepare for Bad Weather

While Austin is hot most of the time, there are occasions where the heavens open and the roads can flood and ice can form, making driving in Austin incredibly difficult and dangerous during these times. Flooded roads are dangerous as your car can suffer from water damage and even worse, you can essentially drown if you attempt to drive on a flooded road. Icy roads are incredibly dangerous as you can’t control your car as well as you normally can, consequently increasing the risk of accidents. No matter where you are, you should always take precautions when the weather is taking over the roads, so make sure that you drive safe during these periods in Austin.

When you’re driving anywhere in the world, you need to be as prepared and as cautious as you possibly can, but this especially applies to cities like Austin where there is constant reconstruction and rush hour traffic to navigate.

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9 months ago Safety , Laws

A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Cybersecurity Laws in the U.S.

It’s difficult to keep up with all of the cybersecurity threats to your business. As news comes out daily about privacy and security breaches, legislators try to keep up.

There are a number of cybersecurity laws and regulations that you need to be aware of as a small business owner. You don’t want to be like one of the major companies hit with fines or lawsuits because you didn’t comply and were attacked.

What are the cybersecurity laws that you need to comply with?

Read on to find out the laws, regulations, and how you can protect your business.

Cybersecurity Laws and Regulations

The important thing to understand is that there isn’t one unified policy that governs cybersecurity. There are laws at the federal level. There are also laws passed by individual states, which can make it incredibly confusing.

On top of that, your particular industry may have specific regulations governing data privacy and international laws that impact how you collect and store data.

Main Street Cybersecurity Act

This is an act that was passed by Congress and signed by President Trump in August 2018. The law doesn’t have any specific guidelines or regulations to comply with.

It’s only meant to give small business owners the tools and information they need to prevent and handle cybersecurity attacks.

Other Federal Laws to Know

For the most part, federal laws don’t have any real requirements to abide by. The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014 is a voluntary program to enhance cybersecurity systems.

Other laws don’t impact small businesses, but federal agencies. For example, the Federal Exchange Data Breach Notification Act of 2015 requires the federal government’s health information exchange to notify people whose information was exposed.

If you are a contractor with a federal agency, you are going to have to comply with that agency’s data policies. You also have to meet the General Services Administration’s data regulations in order to work with the federal government.

State Laws

Since the federal government doesn’t have any hard requirements to manage security breaches, it’s largely up to states to pass legislation. Two states that have done so are California and New York.

California Consumer Privacy Act

California passed one of the most strict laws in the nation governing cybersecurity and data privacy. This law is due to go into effect on January 1, 2020. The state will offer a six-month grace period for companies to get into compliance.

Expect full enforcement on July 1, 2020.

What does this law require small business owners to do? Before you panic, it really doesn’t impact small business owners. It is only for larger tech companies that have over $25 million in revenue. About half of all revenue must come from personal data sales, which is usually advertising.

It’s loosely based on Europe’s GDPR regulations, which is designed to give consumers more control over their personal data floating around online.

Get Ahead of the Game

The good thing about California’s law is that it’s forcing other states and the federal government to address data privacy in their own jurisdictions.

The best thing you can do is put systems in place to comply with GDPR. That’s the General Data Protection Regulation put not effect by the European Union in May 2018.

What this does is give consumers the right to know what type of data is collected, how it’s used, and how it’s stored. They also have the right to ask for that data and have it removed.

You’re very likely to see similar stat regulations to protect consumers in other states and possibly the federal government. It would be wise to put systems in place to comply with GDPR now so you can be well ahead of similar regulations passed elsewhere.

Protecting Your Business from Cyberattacks

Even if you abide by all of these rules and regulations, you can still get hit with a cyberattack. Businesses have had to cease operations within six months of an attack.

Here are a few things you can do to protect your business.

Get Insurance

If you’re responsible for a treasure trove of data or you have a small business, cybersecurity insurance is a must for your business. Your general liability policy is unlikely to cover such an attack or loss of business because general policies tend to cover only physical property damage. To protect your hand, you use gloves. You can order gloves from a different marketplace like Everprogloves.

Cybersecurity policies range in scope and coverage. You can view here to find out more specifics about these policies and what they can cover.

Hire Hackers

Believe it or not, you can hire hackers to break into your systems. This will help you identify where security breaches are. These people are known as ethical hackers. They know the tips and tricks that hackers use to breach the most secure systems.

Have a Plan

You have to act with the assumption that a security breach will happen. As you can see from the various regulations and laws, you have to have a way to discover and report the breach.

Your plan and systems should be designed to protect your data, detect breaches, and act accordingly. You need to have a documented policy in place.

You should also document all of the steps taken to detect and secure any breaches. The documentation will help protect your business later on should there be any legal issues.

Stay on Top of Cybersecurity Laws

The world of cybersecurity is a confusing one. Not just from a technical perspective, but from a legal perspective as well.

You need to know the various cybersecurity laws or be subject to fines. You can’t say that you didn’t know and hope that holds up.

It’s ultimately your responsibility to know the federal, state, and international regulations that are passed and updated. It’s difficult to do because you already have so much on your plate as a small business owner.

If you need legal help, check out the directory to find an attorney who understands cybersecurity laws. That will ensure that your business is protected from a legal standpoint.

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12 months ago Laws , Rights , Safety

The Medical Ethics of Informed Consent

Most medical professionals take an oath before they begin practicing to promise to not do any further harm to their patients. Medical ethics is crucial to maintain an effective and helpful health care system. While sometimes deciding what the ethical choice may be, health care professionals must work to provide the best treatment for their patients. The ethical choice also might differ depending on which physician you ask. Many ethicists agree on four basic values to keep in mind when deciding on a medical ethics choice, which are  autonomy, justice, beneficence, and nonmaleficence. They must also look outside of their own personal values and keep in mind the values and wishes of patient’s and their families. 

Medical ethics ensures that physicians will make choices in good conscience. In many medical cases and emergencies, a patient is not able to make choices for themselves, leaving their doctor to make decisions for them, keeping in mind what’s in their best interests. One of the most important reasons to uphold medical ethics is to strengthen the doctor-patient relationship. A strong doctor-patient relationship can allow a doctor to provide better care for their patients. 

Arguably the most important part of the doctor-patient relationship is the need for a patient to be able to trust their doctor. A patient’s trust in their physician is typically associated with better outcomes from treatment. Trust is needed for patients to effectively address their needs to their doctor, as well as for their doctor to listen to these concerns. Aside from medical results, it’s also important for everyone to feel well-cared for when they seek medical treatment. All patients have the need to feel comfortable receiving care from any medical professional. Trust is the foundation in any relationship, for the one you have with your doctor to the one you have with a motor vehicle accident lawyer.  

What is informed consent?

Informed consent is a necessary part of medical ethics. It’s also an important part of maintaining a healthy doctor-patient relationship. Informed consent involves a healthcare provider explaining the details of treatment, including the risks and benefits to their patients. When patients are given adequate information about their care, they’re able to make decisions for themselves if they’d like to go through with that treatment, consider other options, or turn town treatment altogether. In most cases, typically excluding emergency situations, informed consent is the law and permission must be given to provide treatment. 

Importance of Informed Consent 

Anyone without medical education can’t make well-informed decisions about their treatment on their own and require their doctor to aid them with this. Patients are often given the choice to either receive medical treatment or deny it. Minors are not generally considered to be able to make decisions regarding their medical care, but doctors still have a responsibility to keep informed about what their treatment entails. Those who aren’t able to make decisions for themselves will often have a court-appointed proxy who can act on their behalf to make it for them. When a person isn’t able to give consent, it’s especially important for doctors to act ethically.  

Informed consent is needed most times a patient receives care, such as routine blood tests. While many medical procedures can save lives, they can also be extremely difficult and have the chance of reducing the quality of life for patients. For example, if a patient has a terminal illness, but treatment can be provided that might make the remainder of their life painful or difficult, they might understandably want to turn it down. Patients have autonomy and a right to be able to choose what happens to their bodies, and the only way they can properly do this is with the guidance of their physician. If doctors alone were able to make these life-altering decisions for their patients, people would often be subjected to pain and hardships against their will. 

Without informed consent, a patient can’t fully be able to trust their physician. Communication needs to be open for a patient to truly receive proper care. Doctors also need to understand the importance of transparency in their conversations with patients. Information regarding treatment should be unbiased to allow patients to decide what is best for them. When getting consent, it’s important for a physician to truly care about educating patients and respecting them, rather than convincing them to hand over their signature. Medical ethics play a heavy role in informed consent when doctors need to act according to what their patients want, not what they would want if they were in this situation.

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12 months ago Safety

Are Your Valuables and Documents Safe? A Storage Vault Can Provide You with Peace of Mind

Do you own valuable property that you’re hiding around your house? Under your mattress? In the freezer? If you’re a gold and silver investor, a coin collector, own heirloom jewelry, or possess other valuable property such as antique guns and artwork, you’ll sleep better at night knowing these items are safely secured in a solid storage vault guarded by a well trained security team armed with cutting edge surveillance and IT support. In fact, even cryptocurrency or virtual currency requires more security than you might have imagined. Wise and seasoned  money people know that one can never be too secure. 

Storage vaults are secured in a highly secure warehouse, so they are protected from the outside elements and often have top of the line security. Before choosing a storage vault provider, ask about their security system and temperature control. They should have numerous security cameras in place as well as limited access to the vaults for authorized employees only with a system of procedures for securing valuable assets–even from employees.

For the business traveler, if you want access to your storage vault when you’re on a trip, many vault companies also provide secure delivery services to key locations around the world. This is a service you’ll definitely want to consider before selecting a storage vault company. Do you really want to leave these items in a questionable hotel safe after all the time you’ve spent securing them at home? 

You’ve invested so much care in protecting these items through the years, and therefore, making the modest investment in protecting them is quite literally, a sound financial decision. The same care you take in selecting a fina

ncial lawyer should also be used in securing your private information. In fact, many business executives secure their corporation’s most important and private documents in storage vaults. The discretion and privacy of a storage vault is also an added benefit in keeping your most valuable data and possessions away from the prying eyes of competitors or modern hackers who seek data almost as much as hard goods in today’s black market.  

With many vault storage companies, you can lease a small space or an entire vault dedicated just for you.. Armed with specially trained response teams, secure IT services, 24-7 surveillance using all the cutting edge technology, vault storage companies have access to security your home can never provide. Generally, these companies provide multiple layers of backup security and power generators in the event of power failures during emergencies and other contingencies–when your property is at the most risk. And let’s face it, how many of you have a security system like that in our private homes? 

The layers of security a company can provide include dual key security, tamper proof seals, and obviously, owner verification procedures that make it impossible for anyone other than you to access your safe, vault, or safety deposit box. In addition, you can view, withdraw, or deposit your assets anytime, day or night.  

A storage vault in Los Angeles with a solid track record of safety, security, and discretion is the first step toward protecting your family’s legacy possessions. Criminals want what you have. Competitors want what you have. You’ll sleep better at night knowing you’ve safeguarded your most prized valuables, prepared for their distribution through estate planning,  and secured your most important documents by choosing a company with a solid reputation in your community.

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