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Highlights
Remote Work Has a Hidden Challenge: Data Security. Here's How Experts Overcome It

Mark Loveless, a senior security researcher at San Francisco-based GitLab, says data security is always a work in progress--especially for GitLab, a company that creates tools for software developers and has one of the world's largest all-remote workforces. Bennett says Privateer typically has three to five security tools running on each employee's laptop, which feature capabilities like remote access, remote wiping or bricking, and secure channels for communication. Loveless also says that when GitLab last upgraded its security protocols, it kept the old protocols--a more tightly restricted system, with access based on both user credentials and IP address locations--as a "break-the-glass" option to keep the business up and running during emergencies. The goal is for new workers to internalize best practices at their own pace, and each potential change to those protocols is measured by a simple litmus test: Will the increased security be worth the additional hassle to employees?The company also works to educate employees on new protocols by holding regular company-wide meetings, which Loveless says are "thoroughly documented" for anyone who misses.

This 30-Year Harvard Study Reveals 5 Daily Habits Can Add 12 to 14 Years to Your Life (and Cut Your Risk of Alzheimer's in Half)

A 34-year Harvard University study of over 123,000 people found adopting 5 simple habits can dramatically increase your lifespan by as much as an extra 14 years for women and 12 years for men. And it gets better: Just-released research shows that adopting 4 out of 5 of those habits (swapping in late-life cognitive activities for bodyweight) will also decrease your risk of developing Alzheimer's by 60 percent compared to people who follow none or one. The people who met the 5 criteria were over 80 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease, and over 60 percent less likely to die from cancer, than those who did not meet the 5 criteria. Compared to people who don't meet any of those criteria, do those 5 things... and if you're a woman your life expectancy will increase from 79 to 93.1 years old.

$74 Billion Worth of Merchandise Gets Returned Around the Holidays. This Startup Is Helping Retailers Deal With It

When the company was acquired by Nordstrom in 2013, they pitched their new parent company on a program that would allow HauteLook shoppers to return their items at Nordstrom Rack stores, eliminating the need to go to the post office and wait a week or more for their refund to process. Today, the Santa Monica-based company has $25 million in total funding and a client list that includes other e-commerce retailers such as Everlane, plus brick-and-mortar companies like Bed Bath & Beyond, Paper Source, and shopping mall owners Westfield and Simon. Happy Returns isn't the only startup trying to create a solution for the $369 billion of merchandise that gets returned to U.S. retailers every year, about 20 percent of which comes during the holidays. Washington, D.C.-based Optoro creates software that helps companies optimize reverse logistics--the process of routing returned products--while San Francisco-based Returnly offers a platform through which customers can exchange for new products before they've sent back their items.

The Most Important Factor for Wellness Has Nothing to Do With Food, Exercise, or Time Management

From "detox IVs" to "crystals for better energy," Stulberg goes on to document the current mania for any trick, technology, or outlandish practice that might make us feel a little happier and healthier despite the world's many worrying ills. And unlike tarot cards and "detox tea," this factor actually makes a huge difference when it comes to your happiness and health. The science of kindness and health We all know that both our diet and our genes play key roles in our health, but back in the 1970s when scientists gave a group of genetically identical rabbits the same unhealthy, high-fat diet to see how it affected their hearts, they noticed that some of the rabbits were doing surprisingly well despite their gross diet. This truth suggests the need for changes to our medical system -- more support for the vulnerable, a more personal connection with health care providers, etc.

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