October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

TIPS for your cell phone:

What hackers value

•The device itself: Your data can be wiped, the device reset, resold and reactivated. Thieves have gotten better at taking phones apart and reassembling them into new phones to sell.
•Your data: Your phone is likely linked to your email, financial accounts and other personal records. Armed with your smartphone, a hacker could access your banking or cryptocurrency accounts by resetting your email password or receiving a secure pin via text.

Lost or stolen phones: What to do before and after

•Track your phone with an app. The best ones track to within feet of where the phone is located. If your phone has been stolen, report its location to the police.
•Secure your phone with a password, swipe code or passphrase—use the highest level of security your phone allows. Set the security settings to wipe the data on the phone after a certain number of password tries. For example, many of us forget or mistype our passwords from time to time. In this case, a good number of guesses might be 10.
•If you lose your phone or it is stolen, notify your carrier right away and wipe the data if you are sure you cannot retrieve the phone.

Social engineering

Hackers are increasingly using social engineering to persuade mobile carrier customer service to fraudulently port or transfer phone numbers without your permission. Once they transfer your number to their device, they have password resetting capability for your email, banking and other accounts.

To help lower the chances of this happening to you:
•Place a “do not port” alert on your mobile phone account.
•Use a pin for your account and require it for all changes.
•If you receive a text or call from your mobile provider saying that someone is attempting to port your number, call them immediately. Do not respond directly to the message, as that may be a separate scam.

Phishing And Viruses

Texts and emails created by hackers can contain deceptive links or attachments that could infect your phone with malware. The malware can then steal your personal and financial information.

Your phone can also pick up a nasty virus by being plugged into a public charging station, a popular spot for hackers to spread malware.

Things you want to know about the solar Eclipse


On August 21, 2017, for the first time in 99 years, a total solar eclipse will occur across the entire continental United States, and just about everywhere in North America, you will be able to see a total or partial eclipse, as the moon blocks the sun. The so-called “path of totality” – the region from which the total eclipse is visible to watchers – is about 70 miles wide and will stretch across fourteen states, from Salem, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina. The event is predicted to last less than three minutes, yet will cause one of the largest driver distractions in years. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is urging drivers to not pull over at unsafe locations, such as stopping on an interstate or parking on the shoulder to view the eclipse. Drivers should also take great care to watch for pedestrians and cyclists who may be looking skyward. Agencies have provided specific transportation information on a state-wide and national level to keep traffic flowing and help drivers be patient as the three-minute eclipse passes by. Drivers should expect extra traffic congestion, especially on interstates, in the days leading up to the eclipse and on the day on the event, and should plan their trips in advance by visiting the FHWA website for traveler information. If you are driving during the eclipse, keep your headlights on and do not take any photos while driving. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has offered advice on how to safely view the eclipse, and protect your eyes at all times with the proper solar filters. Do not use eclipse glasses while driving and do not use everyday sunglasses while viewing the eclipse, as they are not designed to protect your eyes as you stare into the sun. The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters such as “eclipsed glasses” that are sold from reputable vendors.

Proper Tire Inflation During Winter

Most people will agree that driving with properly inflated tires will produce the best traction, MPG, durability, and safety that you can possibly get from the tires. However, figuring out the proper PSI for a tire seems to spark quite a debate among people. So how do we determine the proper inflation for a tire?

The recommended inflation amount is based on the tire being “cold.” This isn’t to say the ambient air has to be a certain temperature, but that the tire hasn’t been warmed up by any of the following:

•Driven for more than a mile
•Sat in direct sunlight for a long period of time
•Been in contact with hot pavement, even if parked
•Warmed by rising day time temperatures

As a general rule, your tire pressure will gain or lose 1 PSI for every 10° F change in temperature. This means that if the temperature rises 20° during the day (as it is known to do in North America), your tire pressure will increase by 2 PSI. So if we check our tire pressure in the afternoon, we may be running low pressure in the mornings when the air is cooler. The best time of day to check your tire pressure is in the morning before driving. This will give you an accurate reading and allow you to properly inflate the tire.

If you measure the PSI in your tire in the afternoon, it will be higher than in the morning but it doesn’t mean they are over-inflated. This is both expected and planned for by the tire manufacturer. They know that the PSI will increase as the tire is in use and the day warms up. You are still okay even if the afternoon PSI is greater than the “Max” PSI listed on the tire sidewall! That “Max” PSI is in reference to when the tire is “cold.” The max PSI is not the “bursting” point for the tire. Do not let air out of your tire in the afternoon just because the PSI is higher than the recommended level; otherwise, you’ll be running under-inflated tires in the morning. Again, the recommended PSI is based on when the tire is “cold” and the tire is designed to handle the extra PSI from normal use.

Regardless of the time of year, you should always run your tires at the proper PSI recommended by the manufacturer. Under-inflated tires will not maintain their shape causing them to lose traction, wear unevenly, and even damage the tire not to mention the reduction in fuel economy. In wet weather, under-inflated tires won’t shed water away from the tire as well as they should creating a significantly higher risk of hydroplaning.

Over-inflated tires become rigid and inflexible making them more susceptible to damage from road debris and pot holes, plus it makes for a rougher ride. Slightly over-inflated tires can provide better steering precision as well as cornering stability but only to a certain extent. This is primarily done for racing vehicles and should only be done by experts. Passenger and other vehicles travelling regular roads should stick with the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Cell Phones are Ruining Our Posture

Researchers found that millions of Americans suffer neck strain from looking down at their cellphones frequently. In fact, “text neck” is a real problem that occurs when overusing your phone puts excessive strain on your spine. This can cause injury and increase the risk for premature spinal degeneration.

Your spine supports your head, which weighs about 10 pounds. When you tilt forward to look down at your phone, gravity causes the weight to increase. And pressure on your spine can shoot up to 60 pounds or more—and stay there if you get caught in a long game of Candy Crush.

Preventing Neck Issues

1) Raise your phone closer to eye level.
2) Reply to long emails using a computer. Or make a phone call.
3) Take frequent breaks. This habit offers spine relief and can reduce headaches from eye strain

Neck Exercises

1) To relieve neck tension: Nod your head up and down slowly a few times. Then, holding one arm behind your back, use your opposite hand to gently press your head to one side until you feel the stretch. Repeat on the other side.
2) To counteract poor posture: Hold on to the sides of a doorjamb with both arms at a 90 degree angle. Lean your body forward through the doorway until you feel a gentle stretch across the chest.

Lastly, remember to be aware of your surroundings when walking & texting!!

Summer Activities – Water Safety

Water-related activities are popular for getting physical activity and have many health benefits. Drownings are the leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 4, and three children die every day as a result of drowning. Here are some tips to stay safe while having fun.

•Learn how to prevent recreational water illnesses and help protect yourself and your kids.
•Help kids get H2O Smart about water safety.
•Always supervise children when in or around water. A responsible adult should constantly watch young children.
•Teach kids to swim. Formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning.
•Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Your CPR skills could save someone’s life.
•Install a four-sided fence around home pools.
•Wear a properly fitted life jacket every time you and your loved ones are boating on the water.

When I was a kid, we collected aluminum cans to buy things for school. I even came in 2nd Place in the contest and we were able to buy new playground equipment and a new set of Encyclopedias (yes, I am dating myself!) Well, that accomplishment does not hold a candle to what this young lady has accomplished! Imagine, a middle-school student taking it upon herself to help a charity. Kudos to Arianna!!

Even kids can make a difference in this world!!

When I was a kid, we collected aluminum cans to buy things for school. I even came in 2nd Place in the contest and we were able to buy new playground equipment and a new set of Encyclopedias (yes, I am dating myself!)
Well, that accomplishment does not hold a candle to what this young lady has accomplished! Imagine, a middle-school student taking it upon herself to help a charity. She raised over $800.00 for Breast Cancer by herself. Kudos to Arianna!!


BBQ Safety this Memorial Day Weekend


Before You Use Your Grill:

•Check the major connection points between the gas (propane) tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, and where the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose.
•Check the gas (propane) tank hose for the potential (gas) leaks. To do that: ◦Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle.
◦Turn the propane tank on. If there is a gas leak, the propane will release bubbles around the hose (big enough to see).
◦If there are no bubbles, your grill is safe to use.
•If there are bubbles, turn off the tank and check connections, then have your grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
•If the leak doesn’t stop, call the fire department immediately.

When The Grill Is On:

•As you are cooking, if you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners.
•If the leak stops immediately, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
•If the smell continues, move away from the grill and call the fire department immediately. Do not move the grill.

Grilling Safety Tips:

•Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
•The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
•Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
•Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
•Never leave your grill unattended.

A very warm and appreciative salute to those that have fought for our country so bravely. Thank you.

Attention Graduates: Watch Your Online Activities

Manage your online brand. Have you checked yourself out recently online? Performing a quick search of yourself online is important to see what is being posted about you by others on the Internet. Consider setting up email alerts for searches on different variations of your name with your school(s), place(s) of employment, and other distinguishing details. For your social media accounts, regularly scan to see what pictures and content others are posting about you. Make sure to untag yourself from any questionable photos, even if it’s from college or high school, or hide them from your profile, if possible.

Set up privacy restrictions. Your online social media network has likely expanded to include managers and colleagues who, depending on your privacy settings, may have access to your photos, comments, check-ins, and status updates. Take the time to set up the appropriate settings for the various members of your network—keep your personal and professional worlds separate by customizing what your best friends see versus what your work and peripheral friends see.

Think twice before posting. Your former and future employers are likely on the web to find out more about you. What you say and do is visible to others, and cannot be permanently deleted. With newer digital applications, even your music preferences are visible to others. Make smart choices and think about how those online decisions might influence others’ opinions of you.