Friday, March 21, 2014


Don't know about you but I'm an avid traveller. Naturally changing times mean our travel habits are also transforming. Nowadays I find it hard to disconnect from the slew of gadgets I tote around especially if it's a working trip.

While I'm more vigilant when I'm out and about on my daily routine, staying safe online is a different kettle of fish all together. But thanks to some useful and timely tips from Norton by Symantec, I'm relooking at ways to stay safe online during my travels.

As a frequent user of the internet and various apps downloaded into my BB, I find these handy hints listed by Norton by Symantec worth sharing:

·       Secure our mobile device and tabletEnsure our mobile devices and portable tablets have Internet security software before we travel. A comprehensive security solution for all our gadgets such as Norton 360 Multi-Device from Norton by Symantec can prevent possible online fraud and stop strangers from using our precious gadgets in case of loss or theft. It will also detect and eliminate mobile threats, block unwanted calls and texts, and provides anti-phishing web protection at airports and other risky public Wi-Fi areas.

·       Mind our settingsSet any Bluetooth devices to "hidden" instead of "discoverable". Better still turn OFF the Bluetooth function and disable geo-tracking on smartphones.

·       Reset passwordsUse strong passwords on all mobile devices, laptops, and tablets.  Remind family members to do the same. Also, change your network configuration to manually select any wireless network that it joins instead of automatic selection.

·       Back up!Before you leave, remember to back up your files, programmes and your personal data.

·       Share with caution Avoid sharing actual holiday dates, places, and time with friends and family on social media and/or online as criminals always look for such information to locate your house and steal from you. Better to be safe than sorry so remember to be cautious when talking about your holiday plans online.

·       Beware of fake promotions – Be careful when clicking on travel promotions and offers for flight or hotel booking as they might be disguised to look like trusted and reputable brands to steal your personal information.

·       Avoid online financial or important transactions Complete all your financial transactions before you depart. Avoid entering user names and passwords on a busy, crowded, and unsecured airport Internet. Always assume your Wi-Fi connection, particularly at the airport, is vulnerable. Limit email and IM to casual communication.

·       Remind your kids Teach your kids about smart and safe Internet use in public places. Tell them to be wary of anyone sitting too close and  ensure they NEVER share their user names and passwords. Insist on them sticking to off-line games and videos instead of online activities especially at the airport or other crowded public places.

·       Stay alert“Shoulder surfers” are crooks that zoom in on people who are so absorbed in online activity that they won’t notice someone else 'memorising' their passwords and other information that's being keyed in.

These identity thieves hang around airports, hotel lobbies, crowded bars or restaurants – anywhere where you might be mindlessly surfing the Internet.  Be aware of your surroundings!   If you can read the magazine of someone seated nearby, they can probably read your laptop or tablet screen too. Why not buy an affordable privacy screen as a great in-flight option? They’re sold at most stationery shops.

·       Turn off file sharingIf you have highly sensitive, confidential or personal data, consider storing it elsewhere. Always turn off file sharing at airports and crowded public places.

So what's the solution for intrepid travellers like us? This is where the latest Norton 360 Multi-Device from Norton by Symantec comes in handy. Designed for compatibility with the new features of Windows 8.1, the Norton 360 Multi-Device software is a single licence that protects up to five different devices: PCs, Mac, iPhones, iPads, Android smartphones or tablets.

The latest version of Norton 360 Multi-Device is priced at RM189 and provides one year of protection for up to three devices. Now available for purchase in Malaysia through various retailers and online at


I'd love to hear from you! What are YOUR best tips on staying safe online 
The three (3) best answers will each receive a copy of Norton 360 Multi Device (worth RM249 each). Each copy of Norton 360 Multi Device provides one year of protection for up to five devices just for you! Share your tips in the Comment Box or email: before 1 April 2014. Winners will be notified by email.

 * * * * *
Congratulations to Lina for being the FIRST winner! 
Remember - you can still share YOUR TIPS to win
a copy of Norton 360 Multi Device software!

Here are LINA's enlightening tips for staying safe online. 

  1. Install a good antivirus software and make sure it is updated with the latest databases.
  2. Use a password that contains a variety of letters, numbers and symbols and change it regularly.
  3. Visit websites by typing the URL into the address bar, do not follow links. This simple action can help to prevent visiting a fake or malicious website. 
  4. If there is no padlock in the browser window or ‘https://’ at the beginning of the web address to signify that it is using a secure link, do not enter personal information on the site.
  5. Protect computers with firewalls. It reduces threats from hackers by filtering out potentially dangerous data and preventing unauthorized access.
  6. Use Wi-Fi safely with a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
  7. Do not open email from unknown sources. Some files transport and distribute viruses and other programs that can permanently destroy files and damage computers.
  8. Disconnect from the Internet when not in use. Turning off the Internet makes sure that someone else on the Internet can't enter your computer and cause harm.
  9. Do not be tempted to download programs or apps that are not from a trusted source, as they could contain malwares.
  10. Review all requests for permissions access carefully when installing applications.
  11. Treat all Wi-Fi links with suspicion. It could be a bogus link that has been set up by a cybercriminal that’s trying to capture valuable, personal information from unsuspecting users.
  12. Always log out of sites before closing the browser.

Sunday, March 09, 2014


Rich, smoky and roiling with big flavours, the Charred Seafood Noodles (RM38) at Signature by The Hill -- the trendy gastro-lounge that's one of the five F&B entities up on The Roof has scores of patrons making a beeline for it nightly with some even calling ahead to book their portions.
Nobody gripes about the princely sum since this dish is fit for a tycoon. Described as Signature's take on Penang's famous char kway teow, the noodles are laden with nicely cooked king prawns, oysters, calamari and scallops. We love how much 'wok hei' the flat rice noodles have; that elusive slightly charred nuance that leaves one hankering for more of those silky, spicy and garlicky ribbons. No wonder this item has become the outlet's hottest seller since opening.
There's lots of things going for Signature as a newish F&B haven. There's the expansive view of course but the extensive menu that includes creative cocktails and premium beverages alongside Asian and international fusion cuisine is worthy of your attention too.

The owners are savvy enough to realise that some of their patrons are bound to hanker for local delights hence they have gotten the chef to put in a discerning selection. Besides the deluxe CKT, you may want to sample the Imperial King Prawns Noodles (RM42) -- yet another upscale interpretation of sang har meen which has crispy egg noodles cooked with fresh king prawns, seared scallops and squid in thick egg gravy. We daresay it is another surefire winner that would go down well with the home crowd.
We also like the outlet's quirky humour when it comes to speciality cocktails. Giving a grown-up spin to Malaysia's most popular drink is such an ingenious move! The runaway winner has to be the rum, Bailey's and Kahlua-spiked Milo Ais (RM28) while those who want to relive their rabble-rousing frat and sorority house days, the Watermelon Slush (RM40) -- a potent concoction of Sminoff vodka, Midori, lychee liqueur and watermelon juice should remind you of those heady times.
Sober up for your meal with a salad or two but no worries, they're anything but boring. The current hot spell will make you appreciate the Summer Duck Salad (RM23) ever more for the cool, perky ensemble has juicy watermelon cubes, longans, slices of smoked duck breast and crumbled feta cheese clustered amidst mixed lettuce leaves and arugula, tossed with a peach dressing. A delicate play of sweet-briny accents against multiple textural layers, what's not to like?
Italian air-dried beef, Parmesan shavings and sliced mango give the Leaning Tower of Caesar (RM22) refreshing twists; punctuating the classic romaine lettuce and homemade Caesar dressing combo with their distinct mellow saltiness and fruity sweetness.
Personally I'm not keen on Brussels sprouts but the pile of rotund salad leaves drizzled with sesame dressing and adornments of quail egg halves, cherry tomatoes and thick-cut slices of sesame-speckled, seared tuna in the Seared Maguro Akami (RM26) showed cohesiveness of this veg with the correct choice of ingredients can turn it into a delightful offering.
From the Drinking Partners menu which serves nibbles and light bites to line the tummies of those out on night-long drinking sprees, the Drunken Garlic Clams (RM23) would be most appropriate. Soused in white wine, garlic, chilli and olive oil, the white clams and black shell mussels are sublime; tender with toothsome chewiness and the irresistible creamy winey sauce best mopped up with slices of garlic toast.
True to the saying 'once you go black, you never go back', I daresay once you try the Scallops Black Aglio Maki (RM45), you'd never look back either. Served in a sizzling hot plate, the dish proffers squid ink spaghetti sauteed with olive oil, garlic flakes and chilli gilded by several 'maki' (rolls). Upon closer inspection, those turn out to be grilled scallops in disguise, wrapped up in laver seaweed with tobikko topping. This pasta's quite a show-stopper in the taste department while its black on black presentation is oddly memorable.

Both the Signature Grilled Salmon Pasta (RM45) and seared Black Cod (RM55) fillet with braised leek and fennel with tomato jam will easily net their fair share of fans. The former featuring a thick slab of perfectly grilled salmon atop a bed of al dente spaghetti in mildly spicy creamed tomato sauce is piquantly robust; the fish and pasta's voluptuous richness tempered by a heap of fresh peppery arugula. 

The cod's subtler but no less unctuous flavours meld superbly with the braised leek and fennel; their natural pungency mellowed into slick caramelised sweetness which render the tomato jam somewhat redundant.
We like the playful element of how the King Prawns Linguine (RM49) is presented. Instead of piling everything into one plate, the chef has opted to separate the jumbo prawns into an old-fashioned airtight mason glass jar then present it alonside the pasta and a dollop of black caviar on a square plate. You'd have to secure the jar lid and shake the contents up to ensure the crustaceans are evenly coated in its olive oil, garlic and chilli flakes dressing before pouring these out onto the pasta. Trust me, the resultant outcome justifies the expended effort.
Meaty choices to sink your molars into include Black Angus Tenderloin (RM88) served with pumpkin mash, garlic chocolate, arugula and sauteed seasonal vegetables and chargrilled Rack of Lamb (RM58) with roasted pumpkin, Brussels sprouts fricassee and signature mint sauce.
Unlikely as it sounds, the collusion of garlic and chocolate sauce succeeds in giving the beef a unique taste dimension. For the latter, the textural and taste profiles are boosted by the accompanying side of Brussels sprouts, chunky chicken ham and onion fricassee.
Sweet endings appear in the form of timeless Western creations such as cakes and puddings as well as a cheese board. If you are like something light yet interesting enough to tickle the palate, Romeo Y Juliet (RM24) -- strawberry jelly complemented by an elongated crumbly cookie and a lemon curd tartlet should float your boat.
Chocoholics will find the Spicy Chocolate Lava (RM22) swoon-worthy enough since the molten centre cake comes with bursts of chilli hotness and a topping of Kahlua-infused mascarpone, and berries compote.
Besides Signature, The Roof's integrated F&B and entertainment hub has four other crowd-pulling concepts: Stratosphere -- Asia’s first luxury bar nestled on top of an infinity grassed helipad with a 360-degree view of the city and greater Klang Valley, Play -- a premium dance club with guest stints by local and international DJs spinning the decks, The Malt & Leaf -- a cosy haven where vintage malts are paired with the world's finest cigars and Score -- a lively sports bar for post-work tipples and R&R.

For reservations at Signature by The Hill, call tel: 03-7725-3588. Address: The Roof, Sky Level, 1 First Avenue, Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya.

Summer Duck Salad (RM23), slices of smoked duck breast are served with cubes of watermelon, longan, feta cheese and tossed with a peach dressing.  - See more at:

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