Cloud Encryption and Types of Encrypted Data

In the past few years, online data privacy has been one of the most known topics in the IT industry. With the continuous data transfer from analog to digital devices and applications, our data is compromised and becomes susceptible to risks and vulnerabilities.

And, the most effective way to data protection?

Cloud Encryption.

Cloud encryption is the process of encoding or converting data before it’s transferred to cloud storage. Encryption uses mathematical algorithms to transform data (plaintext), may it be a text,  file, code, or image, to an unreadable form (ciphertext) that can conceal it from unauthorized and malicious users. It is the simplest and most essential way to make sure that cloud data can’t be breached, stolen, and read by someone with an anomalous intention.

Cloud storage providers encrypt data and pass encryption keys to the users. These keys are used to safely decrypt data when needed. Decryption transforms the concealed data back into readable data.

The data that’s encrypted has three types: in transit, at rest and in use:

  • Data in Transit

An important portion of data in motion is encrypted automatically through the HTTPS protocol, which adds a security sockets layer (SSL) to the standard IP protocol. The SSL encodes all activity, ensuring that only authorized users can access the session details. As such, if an unauthorized user intercepts data transmitted during the session, the content would be meaningless. Decoding is completed at the user level through a digital key.

  • Data-at-rest

This is saved somewhere without being used or transferred to anyone or anywhere, which involves human beings, thirds-parties, software, among others. There are devices or units that this type of data can be stored or restrained. This includes database servers, system folders, mobile devices, USB pen drives, Network Attached Storage, local Hard Drives, and any physical or logical storage system. 

  • Data-in-use

The data is intended to be in use when it is not stored in external storage or hard drive but is processed by one or more applications. This means that it is in the process of being erased, affixed, updated, viewed, or generated. Basically, data in use are vulnerable to different kinds of threats and depending on who is able to access it or where it is located in the system. This kind of data is difficult to encrypt because it will possibly crash the application which has access to it.

Cloud encryption is necessary to secure and protect confidential information transmitted through the web. It makes sure that it sends the data to its intended user and not to malicious attackers.

Better encryption key management and access control can effectively delivers secure, centralized, and highly interoperable key and policy management across your enterprise or computing devices.

Choose better and eat better with COOP Fresh’s all-natural and organic selection

(MANILA, Philippines) – Over the past year, there has been a stronger preference for everything healthy and, naturally, it has led us to rethink our standards of what is good for us. Health is wealth and it can be achieved in even the smallest ways, like the food we eat. Recognizing this uptrend for healthier and cleaner options, online specialty grocer COOP Grocer has introduced its own line of all-natural and organic products: ranging from meat, seafood, fruits, vegetables, and ready-made food. Aptly called COOP Fresh, each item guarantees your food is non-GMO certified and was made with no growth hormones, preservatives, antibiotics, or pesticides. Additionally, all products are locally farmed from prime agricultural sites in Cavite, Laguna, Ilocos Norte, and Palawan—and its produce is freshly harvested every week using only natural fertilizers.

By working directly with local farmers, COOP Grocer effectively eliminates the middleman. This allows the company to offer competitive pricing for its customers and easier access to all-natural and organic items. When you shop the COOP Fresh catalogue, customers are assured of nothing but pure healthy goodness.

“We promote the use of affordable fresh produce for your everyday meals instead of going for highly processed or instant food. We have local produce at really affordable prices as we go straight to the source, but we also offer all-natural options if you’re more conscious of what you eat,” said Meileen Chang, COOP Grocer’s Brand Manager.

Offering 100% organic or 100% all-natural selections, COOP Fresh sets a premium standard for all health-conscious shoppers who can now save time from scrutinizing the ingredients lists and nutrition charts. Certified organic products guarantee that the animals used were only given hormone- and GMO-free feed and raised in an open range, sustainable environment. Natural, on the other hand, means that products were made with only all-natural ingredients and contain no preservatives, artificial colors, and flavors. Specific to its meat and seafood, all-natural assures that no MSG, additives, chemicals, or extenders of any kind were added in the preparation process.

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“Organic and natural products are used by farmers who practice good agricultural standards. When we eat meat filled with hormones or vegetables sprayed with pesticides, it eventually takes a toll on our bodies, leaving us more prone to sickness and diseases. That is why COOP Fresh is a welcome change for customers of COOP Grocer who have started to embrace a healthier way of eating,” added Chang.

Moreover, through the COOP Grocer website and app, the company eliminates the common obstacles of convenience and accessibility that health-conscious individuals face. Simply browse its wide selection of products, choose what you want, and click the checkout button at the end in one fluid and harmonious step – all from the palm of your hand.

With just a few swipes and clicks: you can enjoy a twist to your breakfast with all-natural cheese hotdogs, add some zest to your pork and chicken with organic pineapple slices, healthfully snack on hamburgers made with organic ground beef served with side of an all-natural cherry tomato salad, and top off every meal with a refreshing fruit smoothie made with natural cold-pressed frozen coconut milk.

Start choosing better by eating better with COOP Grocer and its selection of COOP Fresh products and more. Order now by visiting the official website (www.coopgrocer.com) or downloading the app from the App Store and Google Play Store.

What Makes Kids Picky Eaters?

Has your child been turning down a range of immune-boosting foods for kids recently in favor of a very narrow range of favorite foods? If so, you may be dealing with a picky eater. Although many kids can adopt picky eating patterns as they get older, teaching your child to eat a wide range of foods is important for his or her physical and mental development. Before you can begin to correct your kid’s eating habits, you may first need to learn more about what makes kids picky eaters.

Kids Often Imitate Behavior Observed at Home


One key component of getting your kids to expand their tastes and stop being picky eaters is setting a good example in your own kitchen and at your own dinner table every day. Children frequently imitate behaviors they pick up at home, so if you or a relative are picky eaters and actively shy away from certain types of foods at home, you may not be setting your child up for balanced eating habits later in life. In order to lead by example, try to:


• Consume a balanced diet every day filled with preservative-free foods
• Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits around your kids
• Talk about the flavor of each meal with your children
• Explain the different flavors and food groups to your kids

Kids’ Palates May Change Over Time With Greater Exposure To Different Foods


If you’ve been trying to shift your toddler from taking the best infant vitamin D drops to taking a children’s complete multivitamin, you may already be aware that kids’ nutritional requirements change over time. What you may not have known is that kids’ palates can also change over time, meaning that foods your child disliked at one time might no longer taste bad to him or her. You can push your child to give certain foods a second try if you:


• Introduce one new ingredient into dishes your kids already love to help them get used to the taste slowly
• Get your kids involved in the kitchen and ask them to help you prepare different meals so they will feel motivated to try what they’ve cooked
• Offer a wide range of foods, and especially a range of different types of fruits and vegetables, to your kids on a regular basis to get them exposed to various flavors
• Keep junk food and fast food out of the house as much as possible to encourage healthy eating

Some Kids May Reject Food for Deeper Emotional Reasons


Keep in mind that some food habits may be due to deeper emotional or developmental reasons. For example, a child may start to display picky eating habits if he or she is struggling with:


• Academic difficulties
• Puberty-related emotional challenges
• Bullying or other peer-related problems
• Feelings of not having enough control in their lives


If your child has become a picky eater recently, he or she is far from alone. Many kids develop picky eating habits throughout their childhood, which can become not only an inconvenience for their parents at mealtime but can even, in worst-case scenarios, deprive them of key vitamins and minerals. Thankfully, understanding what may be behind your kid’s newfound eating habits could help you correct course.

SOX Act Key Provisions and Controls

Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 or SOX Act, also known as “Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act” in the Senate and “Corporate and Auditing Accountability, Responsibility, and Transparency Act” in the House in the U.S. Federal law sets new or expanded requirements for all U.S. public company boards, management, and public accounting firms. It also has a number of provisions that apply to privately held companies, like the willful pull-down of evidence to disrupt a federal investigation.

It was enacted as a result of a number of major corporate and accounting offenses. It requires the Securities and Exchange Commission to construct regulations to define how public corporations should comply with the law. The sections of the bill cover control of the public corporation’s board of directors, and cast criminal penalties for certain misconduct. The law is intended to increase the accuracy and reliability of corporate disclosures in financial statements while protecting investors from corporate fraud. 

SOX is a complex law with 11 sections, each delineating mandates including oversight, auditor independence, and corporate responsibility.

Here are the 3 key provisions that are commonly referred to as per section numbers: 

  • Section 302 requires senior corporate officers to personally certify the company’s financial reports are in compliance with SEC disclosure requirements and that they have adequate internal controls in place for public disclosure.  
  • Section 404 pertains to the establishment of internal controls and reporting methods to ensure the adequacy of those controls. 
  • Section 802 contains the three rules that affect recordkeeping dealing with destruction and falsification of records, defining the retention period for storing records, and specifying which business records companies must store. And the applies to electronic communications as well.

It is all about corporate governance and financial disclosure. This requires financial transparency report on the Internal Control level. To secure accurate financial data, it demands a year-end financial disclosure report as a requirement. Now the SOX Auditor’s job is to review controls, policies, and procedures during an audit.

Using a control framework, all internal controls and procedures can be audited. The access and activity to sensitive business information can be easily monitored.

A SOX control is a rule that prevents and detects errors within a process cycle of financial reporting.

Internal controls for SOX Compliance don’t have to be costly, and strenuous. Best practices and solutions should provide the following focus for ease of compliance:

  • The automated, real-time solution to prove compliance
  • continuous control monitoring to ensure compliance tracking
  • monitors any violations to access controls
  • pinpoint and quantify the financial impact of any risks

In today’s modern enterprise, nearly 100% of the financially relevant activity happens in modern applications like SAP, Oracle, Workday, and NetSuite. By connecting directly into your business applications, the purpose is to prevent and detect deficiencies to ensure the consistent integrity of audits fulfilled by accounting firms or by an external auditor.

Internal and external auditors alike trust Pathlock’s reports to prove control enforcement and compliance with regulations. By connecting directly into your business applications, Pathlock can automatically monitor activity in these applications to surface any violations to controls and pinpoint and quantify the financial impact of any risks. 

Debt Settlement vs. Debt Consolidation

Debt settlement and Debt Consolidation are both useful financial approach in improving personal debt load. One reduces creditors, and the other reduces debt.

Debt settlement is simply defined as a reached agreement between a creditor and a borrower wherein a reduced payment is regarded as payment in full. This was usually offered by third-party companies that claim to lessen your debt by negotiating a bargain with your creditor. It is known as “debt-relief” or “debt adjusting” which sounds great at first, but can be risky because it can potentially affect your credit score.

Typically, the third-party company charge a fee which is often a percentage of the amount you’d save on the settled debt.

Here’s the benefits and risks involved:

Benefits:

  • Can lower your debt amount
  • Helps avoid bankruptcy
  • Get creditors and collectors off your back

Risks:

  • There is no guarantee that the creditors may agree to negotiate
  • If you stop making payments on your debt, it can end up to paying more interest and late charges.
  • Can negatively impact your credit score. If your debt settlement company advise you to stop making payments as they negotiate, and at the point of not having final agreement on anything, all the missed payments can lead to delinquent accounts on your credit reports.

Photo by Avery Evans on Unsplash

On the other hand, Debt Consolidation is a process that combines multiple debts into consolidation loan that has one monthly interest rate. Take time to compare the APR or Annual Percentage Rate, loan repayments terms, fees, and the credit score requirements to get the best option. The following are its benefits and risks:

Benefits:

  • If it reduces the credit utilization ratio, it may help improve credit scores
  • It makes monthly payments more manageable
  • Useful for reducing the total number of creditors you owe
  • It relieves the stress of having to juggle multiple debt payments 

Risks:

  • A debt consolidation loan may be secured or unsecured, you can learn more here.
  • Interest rates for debt consolidation loans may vary; some creditors may also charge fees.

So, which is better and the most viable option? It all depends on your financial situation. To have a better understanding of your financial circumstances, it is best to get connected with a debt advisor to easily determine which one to take. Carefully study which one can cause financial damage and can help avoid bankruptcy. And, with personal responsibility and legal knowledge of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you can be very specific about what a debt collector can and can’t do that can help you decide and act accordingly.

PACS – Basic Structure, Importance, and Limitations

PACS or picture archiving and communication system is a medical imaging technology that is fundamentally used in healthcare organizations to securely store and digitally transmit electronic images and clinically suitable reports.

It eliminates the use of physical films generated from different imaging devices by going fully digitized. It offers ease and convenience with reasonable storage solutions and eliminates transport transmission of traditional films.

  1. input from digital or digitized analog devices, which may be any radiological modality e.g. x-ray, CT, MRI or ultrasound. It includes whole-body solutions for diagnostic imaging needs.
  2. image acquisition device
  3. image cloud storage device or server for short or long term information storage
  4. transmits local or web-based network
  5. display and imaging workstations plus user interface
  6. convert hard-copy images on need basis
  7. integration with radiology information system (RIS) and hospital information system (HIS)
Photo by Owen Beard on Unsplash

A patient may undergo a battery of radiological investigations at separate locations, which need to be accessed by multiple radiologists and multiple treating physicians in different locations. PACS functions as major system for rapid transfer of images, while maintaining the original quality is a vital, rather complex technological need. 

Also, hard-copy films are difficult to store and archive, and the quality deteriorates over time (although electronic media are not immune to the latter issue).

Capital cost was a major limitation in the early years but entry of multiple vendors into the market, as well as the geometric increase in processing power and digital storage has significantly brought expense down. PACS vendors can now offer scalable high-quality systems with flexible configurations along with affordable hardware and software support.

The vital limitation of PACS or teleradiology devices, is the quality of images, which may be compromised by suboptimal resolution display monitors at different locations. Also, any technical failure, and improper back-up storage may hold back the data retrieval and carries the rare risk of massive data loss.

The systems accommodate to a wide variety of health care divisions including: IDTF, emergency centers, orthopedics, cardiology, hospitals, teleradiology, and numerous more for Cloud PACS.

Undeniably, a cloud-based PACS reduces overall costs since IT systems management is outsourced from IT experts. With the presence of a reliable, high speed internet connection, the adoption of cloud-based PACS can be fully operational.

Discover Rent Prices at Portland, OR

I wrote here before about the Top 3 Fun hangout Spots in Portland, the largest city in Oregon. Portland is home to some of the best entertainment venues and hangout spots in the entire country. So if you are thinking of getting a taste of the weekend fun and spend time in an amazing atmosphere of the place has to offer, you should check it out to know what locations you should look to.

The city straddles the Willamette River and is considered by many as one of the most advantageous places to live in the United States. If you are curious about the housing units for rent in Portland, you can use Zumper to easily search rates for houses, rooms, condos, or apartments.

Whatever draws you to visiting or moving to Portland, it is best to make a well-informed decision in facing the real estate market. Over the past month, the average rent for a studio apartment in Portland increased by 4% to $1,200. The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment remained flat, and the average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment increased by 5% to $1,793.

As per Zumper, the average rent for a 1-bedroom  apartment is currently $1,400. Compared to last year, the average rent price has remained flat.

You can instantly search with the help of filter by location, price range, bedroom count, pet-friendly, or amenity. And can easily submit digital rental applications and credit reports with its screening service, powered by TransUnion™. The rental data for Portland, OR is updated weekly. You can set an alert to get notifications so you’ll always see new rentals on Zumper first.

Here’s the Top Important Things to consider when renting an apartment to fit your budget and lifestyle:

1. Price

Get the typical rental rates on the neighborhood to know the market.

2. Quality

You can click ‘request tour’ and enter your availability details to set-up your tour schedule to learn more. Some offers convenient live online video tours. Ask about healthy and safety issues like bug problems, rodents, leaky faucets, molds, rust, or any issues that the landlord needs to be fixed. Better to be clear on this one

3. Neighborhood

Assess the general age and demographics of the community and its safety.

4. Pet policy

This is very important if you have a pet or planning to get one.

5. Utility costs

This should be clearly lay out to know what’s to cover on top of the rent.

6. Amenities

Choose the amenities that would fit your lifestyle.

The most affordable neighborhoods in Portland are Wilkes where the average rent can go for $868 a month, Centennial for an average of $895 a month, and Mill Park for an average of $925 a month.

By carefully comparing the prices and what it offers, you can make good judgement in getting a lease agreement.

Common Types of Resilient Flooring and its Pros and Cons

As per Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI), “Resilient Flooring is a non-textile floor that provides underfoot comfort. It is anything that is NOT carpet, hardwood, or laminated, stone, ceramic, or concrete. It refers to the floor coverings that are firm but has a certain amount of ‘bounce-back’ and are considered a durable type of flooring for residential and commercial space.

The three most common types of Resilient Flooring are:

  1. Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) – This is the common standard traditional vinyl flooring that is made of polyvinyl chloride resins and calcium carbonate (PVC).
  • cost-effective
  • thinnest core (4mm or less)
  • can be glued down or installed with click-locking systems

2. Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) – this is an upgrade from LVT. A rigid vinyl floor that is a combination of polyvinyl chloride, calcium carbonate, plasticizers, wood pulp, and a foaming agent.

  • ideal for settings where people are const.
  • provides additional padding with more sound without the use of additional backing
  • easily installed with a glue-less, click-locking systems without the need of an underlayment.

3. Stone Plastic Composite (SPC) – Made of 60% calcium carbonate (limestone), polyvinyl chloride, and plasticizers, these floors are extremely strong and are the most durable, waterproof vinyl flooring on the market.     

  • provides a hardest rigid core but only 3.2-7mm
  • more resistant to damage from impact or heavy weights
  • top of the line in rigid floors
  • most realistic looks that may have people wondering whether it’s real wood or stone
  • Engineered to withstand heavy traffic with minimal damage

For today’s consumers, vinyl flooring is a popular choice due to its extreme versatility and wide variety of colors and styles. Moreover, because it is resistant to water, mildew, and stains. Spills are not an issue with resilient flooring because the liquid stays on the surface and can be easily wiped away.

In choosing what’s the best fit for your place, Mannington Commercial can help you know more about raising your resilient flooring IQ. They offer a helpful resilient flooring guide that will tell you the life cycle impacts of a product and its pros and cons. Here are the basics:

Pros and Cons of Resilient Flooring

Ceramic tiles crack, solid hardwood flooring swells when wet, and laminates de-laminate. Every type of flooring has its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages, including resilient flooring:

Pros

  • Durability. Some linoleum installed over decades can still be wearing strong.
  • Flexibility. It is capable of bridging and riding over minor bumps and edges that would crack the surface.
  • Affordability. It is the cheapest floor coverings in the market.
  • Comfortability. Its flooring is soft enough to stand on over long periods.

Cons

  • Indentations. Appliance feet such as table legs can create small pressure points that can permanently indent the flooring. That is why it is it is always best to put floor glides under the pointed legs of the table and chair.
  • Inconsistent Value. There are premium, high-quality vinyl brands and low-quality vinyl squares that can wear down and peel away. This represents the buyer’s highs and lows of the value perception.
  • Rubber flooring can be recycled but NOT vinyl and linoleum.

Resilient Flooring was engineered for comfort, flexibility, and design. You can have the perfect material of your choice if you know you’ve got the right product in the right application.

“I Wish That I Thought Differently”

Dear Survivor,

Guess what??? You’re not a helpless little girl anymore.

I know it has been difficult adapting to the challenges that this coronavirus outbreak has brought all over the world. Everyone is doing their best to overcome this considerable degree of fear and worry as the pandemic continues to rapidly sweep and affect our lives.

It was completely devastating to witness people who started losing their sanity and the rising levels of loneliness, depression, and self-harm or suicidal behavior. Moreover, the shock and grief that consumes you after knowing that some people you personally knew have lost a family member to suicide or the virus itself.

If there’s a single thing that you would fit in and worth advocating for, it is to support mental health awareness. I know you have this toxic trait of not speaking up and instantly distancing yourself whenever you are feeling huge emotion that makes you catch your breath and lose sleep with anxiety and worry. But I also knew that you are able to bounce back stronger, every single time!

Remember, your only dream before was to find the courage to speak up and communicate your feelings? And as you grow older, you came to realized that what had happened in the past silenced you and made you anxious about almost everything? You are confused, irritated, angry, scared, startled easily, ashamed, and have negative thoughts and beliefs as a child. You are shattered even before you see the beauty of this world.

You do not have a better understanding of where all “those” emotions were coming from. You burst into tears alone whenever you have flashbacks of those unwanted memories. The worst part? It is not a single incident. It repeatedly happened until you reached your teenage years. In. Every. Chance. He. Can. Get. Sexual assault was something that’s too embarrassing to discuss. Those unwanted touches alone make you resist talking about what had happened. Why? You never want to go through that every detail, again. When you are instructed not to tell it to anyone? confused, but the 7-year-old you willingly obliged. Typically, the abuse came from someone you knew. A relative who is welcome inside your home, a close relative you have at family gatherings. It is a painful and traumatic family secret that even your sisters and cousins encountered and were forced to keep. That is how your old generation handled it.

Remember how you cope? You cope singing worship songs at church even if it means going alone. It is like pouring your heart out because only God sees your pain. You cope telling yourself that you are still lucky you did not end up getting raped. But still, it felt disgusting.

Do you recall the 11-year old you who curled up on the corner, heart pounding fast, and was too scared because you are left alone at home? He was trying to convince you to open the door, saying mom has left a message for you. You are too worried and scared. What if he successfully breaks in?! You felt relieved that he gives up trying. Good thing you are growing up and knew better at the time. You also physically grow up that you were able to protect your own self in every encounter.

But what you fail to protect was your feelings. It manifested a lasting effect on you. Sometimes you are okay, and the other time not. You are drowning with depression and cry your heart out and nobody knew. You become highly emotional. You struggle to manage your feelings. You struggle to maintain relationships even before they get started. You always run. You avoid emotional conversations and fail to express how you truly feel. You turn your back from everything whenever you experience recurrent flashbacks and unexplainable emotions. You create difficult scenarios in your head and wind up alone. You detached yourself because you overthink too much and refused to be a burden. And from overthinking comes a feeling of unworthiness and distrust. You ache for a lot of reassurance.

During those times, no amount of inspirational quotes or “this too shall pass” ever worked. What you needed is time alone, distancing yourself to regain your sense of self-control. And as you bounce back, the world is still waiting for a fresh start with people who choose to stay even if you kept on pushing them away.

But, you know what? I know you never quite fully heal. I can tell because it still weighing you down. You are still afraid to be alone with your thoughts because it repeatedly comes back. You still cry, a lot. And I am telling you now, learn to accept and release all your pain. The problem is, you are still insisting to deserve a better past rather than accepting what had happened. You still wished that it should have happened differently. You still wished that your younger self has someone who sits in with you and helps you NOT to suppressed all your pain and emotions.

Healing requires a lot of work and effort. You are now brave enough to share this struggle and advocate overcoming mental health challenges. I say I see you, and I’m here. 💙

Now go and help the world normalize seeking help for a mental health professional to heal and stabilize emotions. Together, let’s learn how to communicate and reach out. Remind everyone that we need to keep going and keep on surviving whatever life throws at us. We got this.

This story is an entry to ComCo Southeast Asia’s “Write to Ignite Blogging Project Season 2: Dear Survivor”. The initiative continues to respond to the need of our times, as every story comes a long way during this period of crisis.  The initiative aims to pull and collate powerful stories from the Philippine blogging communities to inspire the nation to rise and move forward amidst the difficult situation. The “Write to Ignite Blogging Project” Season 2 is made possible by ComCo Southeast Asia, with Eastern Communications and Jobstreet as co-presenters, with AirAsia and Xiaomi as major sponsors, and with Teleperformance as sponsor.

The Benefits of Playing Games for both Kids and Adults

There are several ways to ease stress and that includes playing games as a cheap form of entertainment at home. If you enjoy playing games, then you are allowing yourself to have an effective stress reliever that provides immediate comfort.

Truly, what works for one person might not work for another. Some may consider meditation, sports or exercise rather than playing games. But whatever way it might be, you are doing yourself a huge favor for prioritizing your well being.

This pandemic takes toll in our emotional and mental health, and had devastating impact even for young children. As we all have limited activities, kids nowadays turn to playing computer games or keeping it busy with their gadgets. Similar to a lot of aspects, the key is moderation. Parents should place limits of time spent on screen. We also need to constantly remind them (including ourselves!) to take a break and follow the 20-20-20 rule, that is, “rest your eyes for at least 20 seconds every 20 minutes by looking at something 20 feet away” to avoid eye strain”.

Surprisingly, there are known benefits of playing games which includes:

  • Healthy brain stimulation
  • Development of problem-solving skills
  • Stress relief

Again, stress relief! At this time, due to changes and restricted activities, let us allow ourselves to off load those negative emotions and fatigue by playing games. Our whole family actually, are into gaming as our way to de-stress. A few rounds of our favorite games can make us feel competence and relaxed, yet everything must be done in moderation. Playing games shouldn’t interfere with academics, work, household chores and physical activities.

When it comes to game type, I like simple ones like mind and word games. I also like similar to Bomber Man and Super Mario which takes me back to childhood and provides a nostalgic vibe while husband likes playing “Mobile Legends” with his friends. My 3rd grader loves playing war games, the likes of Kingdom Defense game, and yes, Plants vs. Zombies and works really hard to pass the levels.

On the other hand, my 8th grader prefers challenging and relaxing game. It’s different with my growing teen, he stayed on his own room and spend time alone enjoying his privacy.

When asked to describe what’s his kind of game, he then enumerated and described the following games that he’s playing for FREE at plays.org:

(NOTE: game review on his own words, unedited)

1. Minigolf World Mini Golf Game has very straightforward and easy controls and beautiful graphics and animation. It is unique because it has expansive course and you get to experience the terrain like nearby woods, lakes, and trees. It sets the mood for relaxation. and the back ground music is helping make things more relaxing. 

You must exert a lot of force while figuring out the best angle. If you want to make a shot again, you can press the redo circle button on the upper right of the screen. This game is challenging but relaxing. One of the most challenging aspects of the game is getting your ball on higher ground. It needs a lot of trials and error and patience.


2. 2 Minutes to Escape Game. This is timed Scrolling platform. The game has a nice Retro Pixels vibe and the controls are pretty easy. The tutorial does a pretty nice way of explaining and gives you all the things you need to know to finish a level. The game is very difficult and challenging and it needs a lot of focus, timing and patience. It is fun because of that and I’ll definitely replay this game if I have some extra levels i need to perfect. The game is original and the design is pleasing to the eyes and very basic and  you need to escape the ship in 120 as the name says it. It’s very important to define your strategy to get your character to the exits on the dot. Expect to play through the entire course several times before you clear the base in two minutes.


3. 8 Bit Dungeon Knight Game. While this game resembles classic role-playing games (RPGs), it is actually a puzzle game. Adding to the RPG flavor of this puzzle game is the presence of power-ups. You need this power-ups to defeat powerful enemies the hero needs to take these power ups to bolster their attack. The game is not that difficult it just needs patience and thinking and strategy which makes the game really fun. The layout of the level and the design is nice and basic the background music really gives out the dungeon vibe and the sound effects feels really  satisfying. But playing the game too much and speed running it can really make you tired because when you try to walk you can’t hold the move button and you have to press it multiple times and since the layout is kinda big it can really be tiring sometimes. You just need a couple of breaks while playing the game.

That goes our conversation now, it’s mostly about games as he spent most of his time on it. I can tell that those games can inspire the kids to be more persistent and to keep on trying. Playing games can teach them to learn from their mistakes as they make progress to reach their goal. Those missteps was somehow considered a learning opportunity to work towards their goal and be more confident in achieving it.

Studies have shown that playing games regularly may boost brain connectivity, memory, perception, and spatial navigation. Gamers are more likely to have good social skills and can build better relationships with others due to social and collaborative fundamentals to some types of games.

So yeah, playing games can truly provide concrete benefits in real life. 🙂