Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands

Grand Turk is the capital of Turks and Caicos Islands, located 90 miles north of Hispanola; the island shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Contrary to what its name implies; Grand Turk Island only measures 7 miles long. If you are looking for a relaxing beach vacation but do not want to brave the crowded sand in the more popular spots, you have found your place.

Book a room with a view of the beach: The island has retained its British colonial flavour, with wild donkeys and horses running in public fields and bright-coloured antique buildings; some of which have been turned into hotels and are conveniently located steps away from the shore.

You can certainly dive and snorkel in the beautiful Caribbean sea, but while on terra firma take a walk around town to meet the locals. An ethnically diverse group populates the island: Haitians, Grand Turk aborigines, and some United Kingdom natives, give this island a worldly flavour.

Visit the architectural highlights: The Methodist Church boasts quaint architecture, with exposed wooden beams running along the roof and white fans to keep the parishioners cool during prayer. The Simmons House is reminiscent of New Orleans French Quarter architecture. The Coverly Residence is a small, sinister, yet intriguing residence on Front Street, dating back to the 1830s, that is reputed to be haunted.

Try the conch fritters: These spicy balls are made with fresh conch, dusted with flour and deep-fried until golden. After your meal, find one of the local stores and get some quenepes; native fruit of the land.

Collect jewellery: Electric blue and jade sun-kissed glass pieces, make an excellent and inexpensive souvenir, and if you have any creative inclination; buy some wire from your local craft store and you can make some jewellery while watching the tides from your seafront hotel room.

See the video below for some great fun activities to enjoy in Grand Turk.

Data Security Protection; How to Secure Data and Networks

Information security and risk management are the single biggest needs any business has besides profits. So many businesses are being broken into, hacked by thieves and become victims of ID fraud, themselves. Information is stolen and exploited and bank accounts get drained.

There are data security technologies that can better ensure the security of data, employee records and the company’s accounts, and a few simple procedures that will help enable true security.

Control Network Security
  1. Require ID for all employees, even new hires; take care of photo ID before their first day. Instruct all employees that if there’s no ID, then there’s no entry. Strangers are huge threats to data security.
  2. Most industries are public-oriented and service-minded and letting a new hire or client in the office would be preferred. However, when there is an IT security risk, this is not the case. All workers should be instructed on what to do in this situation so nobody is caught off guard.
  3. Piggyback entry, or holding the front door open for others to enter the building should be highly discouraged, no matter how bad the weather may be. Threats to network security sometimes walk in the front door.
  4. Be aware of strangers already inside the office with no obvious form of ID showing and they’re unescorted by someone who works there. Information security vulnerability is seriously higher when strangers get access.
  5. Computer security policy should say that all unattended offices should be locked up tight, with the computer turned off, especially if they contain sensitive information or electronic assets.
  6. Never store passwords on the machine, in a file, taped to the bottom of the monitor or keyboard, or anywhere near the computer. Hide it away from there, making it harder for anyone to grab it and get what they want. Paperless environments and clean-desk policies should be strictly enforced to reduce threats to computer security.
  7. Wireless devices can make security nonexistent if left undiscovered for any length of time. Wireless implements can be very helpful to a business, but a monitor for rogue wireless devices is imperative to stop harmful devices right away, keeping data safe.
  8. The information security system should tell people that administrative access to secure programs should be kept to a bare minimum. The fewer passwords and people that access it, the less the risk of breach is. And, don’t link programs together so that the password to one will get someone access into another, as well.
  9. Users shouldn’t be able to install or download certain file types on the business computer without the IT security manager’s knowledge and permission.
  10. Only if user names and passwords must be stored on a list somewhere, make sure they’re encrypted and that a very select few have access.
  11. There should be a limited number of users who are authorized as domain administrators to limit network security issues. There should be different, more strict password restrictions and no sharing accounts. Each user should have their own specific accounts with separate and unique passwords.
  12. A network monitoring or intrusion detection system are important installations. These programs will alert users to intrusion attempts as they happen.
  13. Having a security management procedure in place for the incidence response team is imperative before the incidence can take place. That way, everyone knows what to do when the alert is sounded.
  14. A picture is worth a thousand words, or, a million bucks (or the amount the company is worth plus profits). Video surveillance is of utmost importance and it should be accessible off-site to only the head of network security administrators, on a secure connection. Cameras may deter some crooks, but unless there’s recording, the cameras don’t do much good.
  15. Do background checks on all employees, and make sure to know which ones are a risk to IT network security and which ones don’t.

If these simple steps are taken care of, there shouldn’t be too much concern for the safety of the company’s secrets, data or money. Just be aware.

Prawn Croquettes or Croquetas de Gambas

Spanish Tapas Dishes Make in Advance, Use Leftovers for Finger Food

Prawn Croquettes or ham or cheese croquettes are a great way to use up leftovers. Make these bites in advance for great little finger food tapas.

Croquettes are popular throughout Spain, they can be made from leftover bits of cheese, ham, jamon, chicken or fish. They are better served hot but can also be served cold with a garlic or chilli dip or mayonnaise.

For a great starter or tapas these prawn croquettes can be made in advance and put in the fridge or even frozen. If they are frozen they need to thaw out naturally and be fairly dry before frying or they tend to fall apart in the hot oil.

Try this version of Prawn Croquettes, then maybe next time alter the flavourings: add some mixed herbs or paprika perhaps a pinch of chilli powder. Have fun experimenting, the batch of mixture could be halved and then different flavourings added to each half. Adding some lemon juice with a fish mixture gives them an alternative taste.

Prawn Croquettes – Croquetas de Gambas Recipe

Ingredients for 12 croquettes
Read on
Tapas a bite of Spain By Janet Mendel
Spanish Tapas – Croquettes
Mediterranean Prawn Dish – Gambas al Pil Pil
55gm butter
55g plain flour
300ml cold milk
400gm peeled prawn, cooked and chopped
Tomato puree or tomato frito
55gm breadcrumbs, fine bought ones are best
1 large egg, beaten well
olive oil for frying
Parsley, for garnishing
Lemon wedges for serving

Method
In a saucepan melt the butter then slowly stir in the flour, let it cook for a minute or two, stirring all the time.

Add the milk very gradually, stirring well to avoid any lumps forming, until it becomes a lovely thick smooth sauce.

Add the chopped prawns, tomato paste and seasoing and continue to cook gently for 5 – 10 minutes, stirring continuously. The mixture needs to be fairly thick.
Let this prawn mixture cool down completely, overnight is better, but not absolutely necessary.

it’s time to shape the mixture use a spoon and scoop up about half a tablespoon then shape it into a cylinder, repaet with all the mixture.
Then cover the croquettes in breadcrumbs first then the beaten egg,. then breadcrumbs again.

They can now be frozen or put in the fridge for a day or two.

When it’s time to cook the croquettes, heat up the oil in a pan so that it is at least 3cm deep. Fry the cylinders for about 5 minutes each until they become a lovely golden brown colour.

Remove carefully with a slotted spoon onto some kitchen paper then transfer them onto a serving plate and garnish with parsley and wedges of lemon.