Beacon Links & Apps – January 2018

By: Barbara Ruben

Go take a hike You don’t need to scale Mount Everest to net the many benefits of hiking. Even a moderate one-hour hike can burn around 400 calories. Find a trail near you at, which features GPS and elevation data, as well as user-generated tips for almost 14,000 trails, from beginner to advanced hikes. The website also offers a forum where hikers can compare... READ MORE

Restaurants use tech to increase spending

By: Candice Choi

Restaurant chains are making it easier to order food with a few taps of the screen — so much so that you may lose sight of how much you’re spending. The convenience that technology offers may make us less vigilant about how much we’re buying. Digital ordering also lets companies better track our spending habits, and may lead to increasingly personalized offers that are more likely... READ MORE

Toys today can spy on kids. What to do

By: Joseph Pisani

The toys your grandkids received over the holidays could invite hackers into your home. That Grinch-like warning comes from the FBI, which said earlier this year that toys connected to the Internet could be a target for crooks who may listen in on conversations or use them to steal a child’s personal information. The bureau did not name any specific toys or brands, but it said any... READ MORE

Lock your phone to prevent data breaches

By: Justin J. Kumar

Your phone is essentially a one-stop shop for your data and, if stolen or exposed to identity thieves, can compromise your identity and financial accounts. People are using smartphones for more of their digital needs, but even if you don’t use mobile banking or financial apps, your phone could store sensitive data from online shopping, social networking, games and more. An unsecured... READ MORE

Try before you buy from online retailers

By: Joseph Pisani

Amazon is set to launch a service that lets customers order clothes, try them on at home, and pay only for what they keep. It sounds novel, but Amazon is actually late to the party. Several online startups have offered try-before-you-buy options for items including jewelry, clothing, glasses and more.It makes shoppers less nervous about buying online, the companies say, and also gives... READ MORE

How to reuse, recycle or sell old phones

By: Barbara Ortutay

It’s natural to get the phone-upgrade itch when the likes of Apple, Samsung and others keep coming out with newer models. And sometimes your old phone is just kaput.But what do you do with a serviceable but outdated gadget? Rather than relegate an old phone to a desk drawer, consider reusing, recycling or reselling it. Of course, there’s also the option to donate.Here’s a... READ MORE