The Internet of Things – Protecting Your Smart TV

We just got a new Smart TV and I’m super stoked. Sean and I worked from home the day it arrived and we also ordered tacos which turned into a great game of tv or tacos?! It’s my first time having a *brand new* TV.

Our previous model was bought 2nd hand years ago, we’re retiring it to the cottage now.  The Sony 4K Android Smart TV is so clear and it was really easy to set up. It comes with Google Play, Netflix, and internet connectivity making it easy to watch your fav shows, download movies, or watch videos on YouTube.


Over the last year, I’ve been making our home smarter with the addition of Hue Lights, a Dyson fan, Alexa, and now an Android Smart TV.  As we start to make our home smarter, we’ve got so many entry points putting us at risk for privacy and hacks.

90 percent of Android TVs are reportedly vulnerable to hacking

The solution is to make sure we can browse the internet and watch all our fav shows without having personal data compromised. ESET is a leader in security solutions for home computer & mobile.  They’ve created the world’s first ever security solution for Android Smart TVs, using tech to guard against cybercriminals with their eyes on connected TVs.


I quite like their i-Robot style dude below. 


There’s a free version available for download as well as a paid version that gives you premium features for a year at $14.99. I went for Premium. If you have a Sony Android TV, the app is already downloaded you just have to pop into the HOME section from the remote and click Accept.

Android TVs are run on the Android OS used for phones and tablets meaning the software can extend to more of your devices. ESET can be used on up to 5 devices under one Google Account.

You wanna watch more Wild Wild Country tonight, honey?

There’s Anti-Virus and Anti-Phishing and the ability to set up regular scans anytime. It also keeps an eye on any browser you might be using on your tv. One thing that really peaked my interest was the ability to watch for spying using TV sensors like the microphone and camera. Audio spies really creep me out, we’ve all seen ads on Facebook after having a conversation about something. 


In a time where we’re getting smarter with our gadgets, it’s time to get smarter with our home security. 

 

 

 

 

 

This post is in partnership with ESET. Smart home security is important. Take the time to secure your networks and always use a smart password!

For more information about making sure your Android Smart TV is secure, check out ESET for a free download.

 
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TRANSFORM – What to See at FITC Toronto 2018

Over the past couple years, I’ve attended FITC in Toronto and highly recommend it. I’m not shy about my love for emerging tech and welcome any opportunity to see what’s new, learn from innovators, and get my hands on the latest gadgets. If you love that stuff too, you should GET A TICKET NOW. Use code FITCCASIE for a 20% discount. Tell your boss you need to go for professional development. 


FITC is a hub for creatives and stands for Future, Innovation, Technology, Creativity. My first FITC was in 2011 and I was blown away by all the cool stuff I saw. It’s amazing to think about how technology has changed since then.

Last year I was walking around showing off my Snapchat glasses and this year nobody really uses the app anymore. I love tech because it moves so fast and it always changing. I’m writing this to you from the tech centre of the world in San Francisco, California. 🌁 Since 2012 FITC has held events all around the world bringing people like-minded people together to embrace design and technology.

FITC: The Technology & Creativity Conference

 


What to See at FITC Toronto 2018

Here’s a few things I picked I’ve added to my schedule. You can make yours on the website. The list of speakers is great and there’s heaps to learn. Something I really like about the website is for each session they detail an overview, objective, target audience, and 5 things the audience will learn. This helps you maximize your conference experience based on your own personal interest and desire to learn.

One of my fav things last year was the lounges set up for chatting and relaxing between sessions, one had mini massages and essential oil, another had bean bag chairs and beer. They have everything! 

FITC, casiestewart, tech, blogger


Wondering who attends? All kinds of people including a couple well-known companies you *might* have heard of. It’s a great place to meet people, network, and be inspired.


I would love to meet you there and attend sessions together/catch up. Use my code FITCCASIE for a 20% discount and LMK when you get a ticket.

 


Watch the 2017 FITC Highlight Reel

 


This post is in partnership with FITC. FITC produces design and technology events worldwide which inspire, educate and challenge attendees. Since 2002, FITC has brought together like-minded professionals and students in Toronto, Amsterdam, Tokyo, San Francisco, Chicago, Seoul, New York, Los Angeles and many other cities.

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Encouraging Women in Tech w/ Ladies Learning Code + Booking.com

Last week I attended a Women in Tech Panel hosted by Booking.com to kick of March which includes International Women’s Day. It was nice to see some of my fav ladies and be inspired by powerful women on the panel. The panel included: Melissa Sariffodeen, CEO & Co-founder of Canada Learning Code; Helen Papagiannis, Ph.D, a world-leading expert in the field of Augmented Reality; Huda Idrees, the founder and CEO of Dot Health; and Ioana Popa, Strategy Manager at Booking.com. It was refreshing to hear their stories of creating new things, fighting stereotypes, and career struggles.

Nadia (Addicted Magazine), me, Jenn (JennandtheCity


This year, Booking.com is honouring International Women’s Day with a month-long series of events in partnership with Canada Learning Code.

I’m quite familiar with Canada Learning Code, it was Ladies Learning Code was founded by some awesome Toronto Women. Since 2011, LLC has had over 17,500 participants and held over 600 events. The organization is dedicated to ensuring all Canadians – particularly woman and girls – are given equal opportunity to access education in tech, a field still mostly run by men. Yes, ladies! 


March Workshop w/ Ladies Learning Code

Booking.com has a two-part Ladies Learning Code workshop on March 21st and 28th. For $65, you’ll learn basic coding skills and build your own website in a positive and encouraging environment. It’s totally a-ok if you aren’t a code whiz, this workshop is perfect for beginners.

There’s more! Everyone who takes part in the workshop is has a chance to win a $500 Booking.com travel credit which can be used at any of the 1.6 million properties available on the site. PLUS, you’ll receive a professional one-hour mentorship session with a top female tech leader at Booking.com. Props if you get to chat with my friend Carolyn Van


How to Enter

 Participants must Tweet about a woman that inspires them using the hashtag #BookingFEMpowers. Winners will be announced at the start of the second workshop on Wednesday, March 28th.

Get Tickets Here

Time to get tweetin!


 “Connecting with strong female role models is crucial to help women advance their careers, especially in the tech industry. Our recent research revealed that 90% of female respondents would be inspired to chase their dreams just by seeing more women in leadership roles,” says Gillian Tans, Booking.com’s CEO. “Booking.com explores female mentorship opportunities wherever we can so that we can continue to support women to progress and excel in their careers.”


The workshop is presented by Booking.com and the title partner is my BFF Telus. Both companies are committed to encouraging women in tech and it’s my pleasure to work with them both. Thank you for supporting us!


This post is in partnership with Booking.com and in line with my goals of female empowerment in tech. Booking.com is dedicated to providing women around the world with the tools they need to succeed in the tech industry. From the inaugural Booking.com Technology Playmaker Awards, to Women in Technology scholarships at the University of Oxford and the Delft University of Technology, to now partnering with Ladies Learning Code on coding workshops in Toronto, the company is working harder than ever to empower women around the world to achieve their digital dreams. Learn more here.
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This is the Best Travel Accessory EVER.

Mum and I arrived in New Zealand earlier this week and the flight was pretty great. I was a little nervous about driving in NZ on the other side of the road with a right-hand drive car but it was totally ok.

I was super alert after sleeping half of the flight from San Francisco to Auckland.

NOT A GOOD TRAVEL PILLOW

Everyone knows the travel pillows below but they’re bulky, not that stylish, and don’t really hold up your head.

Well, do I have the best travel accessory ever for you! 

I ordered the Trtl pillow from Amazon and when mum came over before we left, she was like “ok I need one of these too”. So now I have ordered two. It was an absolute lifesaver for the journey here. It wraps around your neck like a scarf and the plastic bit under the cover holds your head up. I slept 5 hours on the 11-hour flight, incredible! 



I picked up a few other things for this trip and they’ve already come in super handy. We’re in Auckland this week and driving up to the Coromandel Peninsula tomorrow to spend some time at the beach with some family on my dad’s side. I love it here so much.


With love from New Zealand!

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Need New Headshots? No Problemo!

Last weekend on my way home from New Orleans I popped into the Iris Photobooth at the MSY Airport. I’d seen these booths on the internet and really wanted to give it a try. I thought the company was owned by LinkedIn but I have since learned it is not. The pop-up headshot station is marketed to LinkedIn users for new profile photos. Amazing idea if you ask me.

Photos are $20 for 6 photos including retouching and you get 1 hi-res download. I unlocked the remaining 5 for $5. I also did 2 sessions because I love having my photo taken! 😝

I think the photos turned out really good despite the fact that my hair wasn’t done, I did my makeup in the car, and had rushed to the airport. The lighting is super bright, almost better than a human headshot setup. (Sorry photographers, the robots are coming!) You can edit the photos right in the booth before saving in a FaceTune kinda way (smoothing, remove blemishes, whiten teeth etc).

If you’re looking to get some new photos done in Toronto there’s a booth at Ryerson near YD Square or you can catch them at airports around the USA. See locations here. I would love to be able to book it for a day at our office. I think I’ll pop into the Ryerson one next time I’m on the area. I had been meaning to get a couple photos for ages and this was SO EASY.


OK THAT’S ALL FOR TODAY OFF TO GET MY HAIR DONE BYE!

This is not sponsored I don't even know them.

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Did you buy any stuff today? I’ve been out and about around New Orleans but I’m back in my apartment to check on and share a few deals before the day is done. Last week for Black Friday I ordered a new Instant Pot from Amazon and an Echo Dot. I’ve been obsessed with the Instant Post since we got one last year for Christmas and I use it a couple times a week.


SOME OF MY FAV DEALS ON AMAZON TODAY!


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Social Media Week Kicks Off Today – Visit YouTube, Twitter, Inspiring Speakers

Today kicks off Social Media Week in Toronto. I’ve been part of it every year since it started, in some capacity. This year I’m on the SMTWO  Advisory Board for my second year and speaking on a panel Wednesday. It is truly amazing to be part of an industry that has grown and developed SO MUCH the last 10 years.


I could go on an on about how special the start of it was and how there were so few people. Back then, the role of Community Manager didn’t exist, we couldn’t’ schedule updates, there were no analytics, no budgets, and advertising was few and far between. 

Back then people had influence, we called them leaders. Fearless self-starters who took chances, tried new things and did things differently. We followed to see what they would do next. Influence came from their work and the impact it had on others, not just followers. 

Things have really changed and they continue to change. This is what makes Social Media Week such an important event for our growing industry. Every year the topics are different and there’s new platforms, policies, and processes to discuss. For the past couple months, I’ve been tweeting ‘NEW THINGS EVERY DAY‘ almost daily when a new feature is added to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat. It’s a challenging space to work in because your tools and the entire drawing board are always changing.



#SMWTO has TONS of cool things, here are a few of my favourites!


Thank you to Michelle & Pinch Social, all sponsors and partners for making this happen another year.  I’m excited to attend a bunch of sessions, meet new people, and catch up with old friends.

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On a rainy day last week I was almost late to pick Embot up from daycare so we decided to go for burgers and test out Prodigy Game. Em spent hours playing over the next few days. In that time she created an avatar for herself, explored Prodigy Game’s world, enhanced her math skills and even described it as ‘really fun.’

Prodigy is a free math game with over 20 million students, teachers, and parents using it worldwide.  It combines gaming and education for students in grades 1-8, alleviates math anxiety and teaches valuable math skills aligned with the student’s curriculum at school.

Prodigy Game was also recently named by Canadian Business as one of the top 10 fastest-growing start-ups in Canada. Companies like this are educating our young people and also providing cool jobs for our tech sector!


I wasn’t very good at math in high school and did summer school or night school every year until I graduated. Safe to say I’ve always been on the highly creative side. It’s important to work on these skills as a kid so you’re equipped with the tools you need to excel in the future. Last year, our provincial government implemented a $60-million math strategy, but math scores in Ontario are still low with half of Grade 6 students not meeting the provincial standard. Prodigy Game addresses that major issue in our education system and helps students tackle – and beat – their math anxieties.

Emily doesn’t mind math but she reallllllly loves her iPad. Legit this kid could watch videos all day of people making slime or doing funny challenges on YouTube. I was so glad to see her using it to play an educational game, by choice. Parenting WIN.

Prodigy Game


Em was on Level 3 when 2 kids about her age passed by and saw her playing. The younger one said “She’s playing Prodigy” and her older brother said “I’m on level 77.”  Ok, this is good. He mentioned that his teacher uses Prodigy Game in their class. I wish there was tech like this when I was a kid! 

A cool feature of the game is the ability to create a parent account. You can check in on how your child is doing, where they excel and where they are having challenges.

Screenshot of Emily’s Progress


When I asked Em for feedback about what could make the game better she said “more math”.  To learn more about Prodigy Game visit the website and download it from the App Store here.

If you’re looking to work for a cool Canadian tech company, see open positions here. They have a lot of cool perks you’d expect to find at a tech company! 

This post is sponsored by Prodigy Game and I told Emily I would buy her a Lego or new toy in exchange for her honest review. 🤓

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A couple weeks ago I sat down with Stacey from Toronto based production studio Incite Creative Media, to have a candid chat about influencer marketing and how it really works. I think there are a lot of misconceptions about this whole new world of social media/influencer/brand partnerships so I shared some things I’ve learned over the years.

Stacey asked me a few more questions than you’ll find in this video so please LMK if you want to see more. I love talking about this stuff and think that’s the only way to build a better industry.

If you have any questions I’d love to know! Comments are open!

Ever wondered where to start with Influencer Marketing? Well today we’ve got you covered with 6 insights from Toronto blogger + influencer Casie Stewart. From where to find them, to what you can expect to pay – it’s all here. Enjoy friends!  – Incite Creative Media 


We shot this at my fav local spot in the Junction Triangle (where I live), Drake Commissary. They have amazing food and the entire atmosphere is trés chic. Very Drake. I highly recommend the tomato salad, miso cauliflower, sweet potato walnut loaf, and the Sterling Road Tiramisu.


 

casie stewart, influencer, influencer marketing, toronto, blogger, incite creative

 

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Last week I attended an event at Telus HQ in Toronto to celebrate how they’re creating change in communities across Canada. Telus is unleashing the power of the internet and mobilizing people around the world to donate an hour of their time to collectively donate a MILLION HOURS this year for Canada 150.

casie stewart, telus, #millionhours

As a company, Telus is working with partners and local business leaders to make the future friendly. They’re collectively dealing with crisis, addressing social issues, and building a brighter future for Canadians. They’ve created Telus community boards for community giving with 13 boards across Canada and 5 globally.

In 2016, Telus gave out $6M in charitable grants & 600 projects in Canada. Earlier this year, Telus made a donation in my name a charity of my choice. I picked SKETCH, a Toronto arts-based charity that helps youth and the donation went towards their new Media Arts program. I’m planning to get involved with the program!

 

 

 


One cool project supported by the Telus Media Fund last year was CUT OFF a documentary by VICE. It was shot by Sean’s company OCCUPIED VR! You can see his business partner J Lee with Chris Mooresby beside the camera, behind Justin Trudeau below. Watch the doc on VICE here.


IN OTHER NEWS…

I was totally caught off guard when a very cool person on the Telus team asked me about my iPhone and then surprised me with A NEW PHONE. I’m now on the new iPhone 8 Plus and will be testing out new features and sharing my thoughts on it soon.


If you’d like to get involved with the Telus #MillionHours initiative, check out this link and sign up! Here’s to making the future friendly!

You know this already but I'm on Team Telus and have been for years! Check out previous posts and giving back efforts we've worked on together over the last 8 years here.
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Best Buy Life and Tech Show 2017

Earlier this month I attended the Best Buy #LifeandTech event at YD Square. This is my second year attending and honestly, it feels like Christmas for tech lovers! I got to test out and bring home some of the coolest tech around. You can find everything mentioned in this post at BestBuy.ca. I’ve been working with Best Buy Canada for the last couple years and it makes ME SO HAPPY. I love being invited to test out the latest wearable tech, smart home gadgets, and overall life-enhancing products.

Here’s a few of my favourite things from the Best Buy Life and Tech show!


SMART HOME

SECURITY: One of my ultimate favs is this Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell Pro. I haven’t set it up yet but I can’t wait to creep anyone who comes to my door or walks past. Since moving into a house with a front door (from a high-rise condo) I get so freaked out when I’m home alone and someone knocks on the door. Who does that! Unexpected! Gah! I get all packages delivered to the office so it’s extra weird if someone sends something to the house.

With the new Ring, you are able to monitor hour home with audio and video from anywhere. The rep I chatted with was from Minnesota and he showed me his backyard while we were chatting in YD Square. He’s able to record video, sound an alarm, or say something to an intruder if he see’s someone suspicious around. So cool! Imagine yelling ‘HEY BUDDY GET OFF MY LAWN‘ from another country, haha!

 

 

 


SMART LIGHTS: Earlier this year I went to the National Home Show with Best Buy Canada and decked out our house with the Nanoleaf Aurora Smart LED Light Panel and Phillips Hue smart bulb starter kit. The lights are so cool, I have them set to dim every night at 11pm and have really grown to love the ‘concentrate’ setting for its bright whites.


BIG SOUND for INDOOR OR OUTDOOR: Talk about boom for your buck! This little UE Wonderboom speaker has loud, 360 sound, and is waterproof. I took it on my recent trip from Toronto to Montreal and New Orleans, the battery lasted the whole trip for hotel room dance parties and background noise while I worked (up to 10 hours battery!).

I also tested the waterproof-ness at the cottage over the weekend and can verify, it is definitely water safe.  I only tossed it in the lake for a couple seconds but the speaker can be immersed in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. It’s also avail in pink, red, black, lilac, and grey.

ui portable speaker, life and tech, bestbuy, best buy, speaker, 360 sound, casie stewart


WEARABLE TECH

MEDITATION: I got one of these a couple years ago around TIFF and I can tell you Muse, the Brain-Sensing Headband definitely helped me feel calm. Muse is like a personal meditation assistant, it measures how calm or active your mind is, then helps you channel that energy with guiding sounds. It’s created by Toronto company Interaxion and the co-founder Ariel Garten is a friend!


FITBIT: Fitbit’s new wireless headphones are so cool! Since I’ve been working on trying to live a healthier life, I’ve come to really love my FitBit. I currently have the new Fitbit Alta HR and Sean has the brand new Ionic (with Fitbit Pay!). These headphones can withstand the sweatiest workout, have great sound, 6-hour battery, and have music & call controls. This is my first pair of wireless headphones, I love the future! 

DON’T LOSE YOUR STUFF:  What is that tiny little gadget you ask? This is TrackR Bravo, a Bluetooth tracking device you can add to your keys, wallet, luggage, purse, child, anything, then keep an eye of its whereabouts from the app. I used it recently on my luggage and although I was only doing carry-on, I knew where my stuff was at all times.

You know when it’s a full flight and they still make you check your tiny suitcase? This is a great way to make sure all your outfits are on that plane. I also keep one inside my purse, god forbid I ever leave it somewhere!


Another great moment from the day was chilling in this Lamborghini w/ Alcantara interior. Microsoft was on site to highlight the Alcantara fabric used in the new Surface Laptop. I tested the Surface Pro earlier this summer, great machine! The laptop has a 13.5″ PixelSense touchscreen and Alcantara fabric covers the keyboard for comfortable, quiet typing. Find it at Best Buy here.

Ok, when can I take this baby for a test drive?!


LIFE AND TECH FTW!

 

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