Cyber Safety: Avoid Scams On The Net

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The internet has brought a wealth of good things to the world. It’s made it so much easier to stay in contact with one another. And we have access to pages of information without having to leave our doorstep. But like with anything, we need to be super careful. After all, there are a lot of dangers to the net that you and the kids need to be aware of. You don’t want to be left short of money due to a mistake on the web. Therefore, here are some cyber safety tips you need to ensure you avoid scams on the net.


Always think twice before clicking on an email

It’s so common to get emails now which are attempts to get information out of you. And then these hackers will use this information to take money out of your account, or even to steal your identity. Therefore, as it says on, you need to be careful before you click on any email. After all, it might not be from the person who it says it’s from. The first thing to check is the email. If it doesn’t have the company’s name in the email, there is a good chance it’s a spam message. Also, you need to check the content of the message. If there are spelling errors and bad grammar, there is also a chance it’s not from the sender. You also need to be wary before clicking any links in the email. After all, if it gives you an uneasy feeling, there is likely to be a reason for this! You can often search on Google about the content to see if it’s legit as well.

Be wary when using survey and review sites

More people than ever are going online to make some extra money. After all, there a ton of ways you can earn some cash. And while there are lots of legitimate websites, there are a few which are scams. In fact, you might end up wasting your time doing a job for them to not receive any money at the end. Therefore, before you do use any of these sites, you should read reviews online first such as That way, you know whether it’s worth your time signing up and doing the work for them. And if you do read a bad review, it could stop you making a terrible error!

Keep your account details to yourself

It’s so easy to put your account information on websites. After all, it means you can quickly make payments when you want to buy an item. But if the site isn’t legitimate, they might use your details for fraud payments. And then you will soon see payments coming out of your account that you didn’t make. Therefore, always make sure it’s a proper site before you insert your details. Also be wary about giving information when you are entering contests and giveaways. After all, it might come back to bite you if you find out it was actually a scam!

And remember to always use complicated passwords. That way, a hacker will struggle to get hold of your password. And make sure you use different ones for each site. That way, you can protect your other details if you do get hacked!


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Easy Money : Your Finances Don’t Have To be Nightmare

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So you have the kids to dress, feed and entertain, and the house to look after, and that’s all outside of the time that you spend in work. In fact, you are so busy that if your finances are anything but easy, they just don’t get done. But don’t fret, below are some tips and tricks on how to turn your finances from a difficult nightmare into an easy dream.

Little and often

One of the best ways of turning your finances into a dream instead of a nightmare is in the simple act of keeping on the top of them.

That doesn’t mean pulling out every financial document that you have received in the last three years and pouring over them. In fact, it means that every few days, or at the end of the week you check what is left in your current account and what is still left to go out.

If you compare these against each other, you will then see that any money left is spare. Which can be put to good use in the savings, or even for having a fun day of out with the kids.

Fancy planners

Now some folks think fancy planners are a waste of money, but they can actually really help you get organized if it’s not your strong suit.

In particular, financial planners or planning sheets give you a structure. So you know exactly what to look for, record, and check every time you look at your books.

They also keep all the information all in one place. Which can be a godsend if you need to find some information a rush.

Pinpointing your debts

Now, not many people like knowing exactly how much debt they owe. They are worried that they will end up thinking about it all of the time. Or that it will become a millstone around their neck, just bringing them down. But there is no sense in ignoring what you owe, as this will just lead to trouble.

In fact, it’s much better to know what you have left on your car to pay off, and what the outstanding loan amount on your mortgage is.

This is because not only does it make you more careful with the money that you do have. But it also allows you to put any spare money towards paying your loans off early, saving you a lot of money and stress in the long run.

Joint accounts


Lastly, if you are still working on separate accounts in your household between you and your partner, this really needs to stop. At least for the bills, you will need a joint account. So it’s as simple as possible to track what is going in and what is coming out.

Otherwise, you end up having to transfer all sorts of money here, there & everywhere, and it can become a messy, overwhelming nightmare. Which is going to mean that your finances suffer and probably your relationship as well. Why do that to yourself?  


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5 Ways to Control Your Smart Home

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smart home technology icon vector illustration design

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With everything from locks, security, lights, and appliances moving from dumb to smart, smart home devices are meant to make life easier. But managing multiple devices can be a task, and there are many different options for controlling your smart home. Which option’s best?

1. Smartphones Control Smart Homes

When using your smartphone to control your smart home, you can control multiple devices from anywhere. With the right devices in place, you can turn off your coffee pot, disarm your alarm system, and make sure the garage door is closed all by pressing a button.

No matter how you choose to control your smart home, a smartphone is going to play a role. In addition to controlling devices you can use your phone to receive alerts of unexpected changes. You can also use it to check on things while you are away and to keep an eye on things. For example, with a connected camera you can use your phone to view live video feed, something not possible using the other control options.


  • Can View Live Camera Feeds
  • Control From Anywhere


  • May Require Multiple Apps
  • May Limit Access to One Family Member

2. Voice Commands

Have you ever wanted to say a word and make things happen? Maybe you want to change the channel, or you forgot to turn the light off in the kitchen before getting cozy on the couch. Voice activation and voice commands are no longer a thing of the future; they exist, and they’re getting better. There are many voice activated devices that you can add to your smart home. Currently, you can use Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s HomeKit for voice control. Soon, you will also have the option of using Google Home. As an added benefit, all three options are also capable of acting as personal assistants. They can make shopping lists, play music, answer questions, and even help with your home’s security.


  • Easy Way To Control Devices While at Home
  • Personal Assistant Features Included


  • Requires the Purchase of a Separate Device
  • Compatibilities are Still Limited

3. Bluetooth-Based Presence

By using your smartphone and certain Bluetooth devices like Zuli Presence, you can automate each room in your home that has one of these devices. Zuli Smartplugs, for example, are Bluetooth devices used to communicate with you smartphone. When you have at least Smartplugs plugged in, they can automatically sense your smartphone’s presence and triangulate your location in the room and adjust the lighting and the temperature to

  • Easy Way To Control Devices While at Home
  • Personal Assistant Features Included


  • Requires the Purchase of a Separate Device
  • Compatibilities are Still Limited

3. Bluetooth-Based Presence

By using your smartphone with Bluetooth devices like Zuli Presence, your devices can perform based on your location. Unlike geofencing, which knows when you are home or away, Bluetooth presence knows which room you are in. For example, when you walk into a room, lights will turn on. When you leave the room, they will turn off. When you have at least three Smartplugs, they will triangulate your location to pinpoint what room, assuming you are carrying your smartphone.


  • Works Automatically
  • Room Specific Automation


  • Requires That You Carry Your Smartphone
  • Requires a plug in every room for best results

4. Control with a Swipe

A fourth way you can control your smart home is by using gestures. Fibaro, for example, is an easy to install, non-permanent touchscreen that can be plugged in and mounted or battery powered and portable. It is used to control various devices in your home, both smart and non-smart. You can use Fibaro with your home security system, your entertainment system, and more.

Swipe allows you to control your smart home with 6 simple gestures: up, down, left, right, circle left and circle right. You can use a simple gesture or up to 6 gesture sequences to signal your devices to complete specific tasks. For example, swiping up and down or left and right can turn something off or on.


  • Mountable and Portable
  • Touch Free Gestures


  • Limited to 6 Gestures and 6 Sequences
  • Must be Close to the Device

5. Setting the Rules with Automated Rules

Setting up automated rules can be a long process, but once you have the rules set, you’re done. Automated rules are events that occur based on conditions or triggers. For example, if the kids arrive home from school Monday-Friday at 4:00 p.m., you can set a rule to disarm your alarm system and send you a notification when the kids walk through the front door. You can use motion sensors to turn on lights and even set rules to turn the air conditioning on and off at certain times or when the house reaches a specified temperature. Automated rules allow you to set it and forget it.


  • Runs Automatically
  • Can Control Multiple Devices With One Action


  • Initial Setup Takes Time
  • Assumes You Follow a Schedule

So which one is the best? For me, a combination is the winner. When you’re away from home, use a smartphone. When you’re home, use your voice. But in my opinion, rules are the epitome of a smart home. A home that knows what you want when you want it is truly smart indeed.

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Five Ways Employees Could Be Cheating Your Time and Attendance System

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Though most employees are reliable, there are still a couple who try to scam their timesheets; these are known as time thefts. Time theft is the purposely fraudulent act of an employee faking his hours worked.

This action implies that the employee receives pay for the time that was not put into work. This scam is costly and an extra baggage for a company. Hence, it is vital that you know the most widely recognized ways employees could cheat on your organization’s time and attendance system.

Here they are:

1. Untruthful Attendance Data Entry

In numerous companies, attendance data must be moved from time sheets or time cards into the payroll system. For this situation, a dishonest typist or in-charge might just alter the information. In addition to intended scamming, this system is susceptible to oversights and typographical error.

2. Buddy Punching

When an employee has another close employee to “punch” or sign the time sheet for him; because he is late or he is absent, buddy punching happens. This permits the worker to add hours to his time & attendance system for which he did not work.

3. Inflating Work Hours

Electronic or manual time sheets are utilized in several companies where compensation depends on an hourly rate. Fabricating these records might be as simple as writing the inaccurate start and close time, and inflating the hours worked, depending upon the system.

This data might be hard to validate when your employees start and end shifts at different times. In this case, you would be compensating an employee for hours he didn’t work.

4. Favoritism

Favoritism is precisely favoring somebody not because he is doing an excellent job, but because of some reasons not related to job performance. It shows for instance when a boss picks who gets overtime records even if that employee does not perform well enough to deserve them. Or sometimes he uses the power to override attendance.

5. Human error

When you depend on punch cards or time sheets, there is constantly a possible for human error. Your workers might mistakenly write down their time on the sheet. And your HR department can consume a lot of time amending these mistakes. The mistakes that were overlooked could lead to incorrect compensation for workers and other payroll issues.

How to settle it?

Selecting the most reliable way of tracking your employees time and attendance is a bit tricky. Scamming the attendance system is a serious matter, and as bosses, it’s your job to deal with your workforce in an intelligent and well-organized way. Being mindful that this problem is prevalent all over your workplace is an initial step to putting an end to this fraudulent action.   

Also, nowadays, with the initiation of modern technology, there is an assortment of reasonable yet advanced time and attendance systems that will support you in tracking your employees and avoid or at least lessen scam in attendance.


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What’s New in School Lunch Boxes?

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Perhaps you took brown bag lunches to school when you were a kid or carried one of those vintage metal boxes with matching thermoses. You may have been one of those kids with fabric lunch totes or perhaps you decided it was simpler to enjoy the cafeteria lunches (especially on pizza day). There have been significant changes in the way kids lunch boxes have been designed over the years. Your kid may be more likely to eat packed lunches with new features that keep food at a reasonable temperature and make it easier to carry different types of food.

The Right Temperature

Think about how differently you may view some of your favorite foods if they are served at different temperatures than you are accustomed to. Chances are, you probably wouldn’t like chili so much if it were chilled or a cool cheese or deli sandwich if it was left in the sun most of the day. You can find a kids lunch box that will keep your food at the right temperature and keep it fresh and appealing. There are few things more discouraging than to pack a delicious sandwich only to find that by mid-day it is unpalatable, with warm mayonnaise, wilted mayonnaise, “sweating” cheese and smashed tomatoes. An insulated box may not be a refrigerator, but it will keep your food tasty.

Stay Safe

You may not think of a packed lunch as a potential safety issue, but it is important to be aware of the potential threats posed by bacteria and harmful materials. Spoiled food can do more than give you stomach pain, but can harbor dangerous bacteria. Your child may be more sensitive to this than adults, so it is important to be vigilant and select a lunch box that prevents spoilage, regardless of the weather. In addition, look for lunch boxes that are free of harmful plastics and lead. While many lunch boxes have some plastics, select those that are PVC and BPA free.

Be Stylish

You may not want to advertise the fact that you are brown bagging it, so you can select a lunch box or tote that is stylish and doesn’t look like a lunch box. You can find a full range of fashionable totes that can blend in with our outfit and styles. Children get almost as excited about selecting designs for lunch boxes as they are outfits for Halloween. Your kid has to carry his or her lunch box every day, so make sure you choose a design that will bring a smile to their face.

Not the Same Brown Bag You Remember

Lunch boxes have come a long way from the time you went to school. They are so advanced that you may feel like taking your lunch to work rather than spending money at the café. You can opt for frugal, healthy lunches for you and your kids with attractive lunch boxes that keep food safe, free of bacteria and tasty. You won’t have to face another uneaten sandwich or another untouched fruit salad you packed with your kid’s lunch. Look for lunch boxes that will keep food fresh and delicious all day.

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Garbage Can Life Hack

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garbage can life hackMy husband came up with something pretty genius and I thought I’d share with my readers who likely have the same problem. Our children have a bad habit of stuffing the garbage can in the kitchen so the bag falls down into the can. Ewwwwww! Hubby came up with the idea to put 2 Command Strips upside-down on the sides of the can to hold the ties of the garbage bag down keeping the garbage bag in place. Genius!!!
garbage life hack

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How the Internet Can Help You Learn New Skills

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The internet has become one of the most effective technologies for teaching and learning new skills. Students can learn wherever and whenever they want to. Below are some of the most effective ways to learn online.

Mock Exam Websites

In some instances, you may be required to take some kind of test. The best way to prepare for such a test is to take a mock exam that is similar to the real test you will eventually take. For example, if you are learning to drive, you will have to take a driving theory test before you can take your practical. You can prepare for this theory test using a website like, which includes a range of mock exams that will help you prepare properly for the real driving theory test.

Online Video Technology

Video has become one of the most effective ways to carry out online demonstrations and to teach people. Many of the videos available online are free to view through video sharing websites like YouTube, Vimeo and Daily Motion. In other situations, teachers, lecturers and other experts charge a fee for access to their videos. However, the fees charged are usually much less than you would have to pay for the same sort of training or lessons carried out offline in a traditional classroom environment.

Video Conferencing

Video conferencing is particularly effective for one to one tuition as well as small group training. Skype, Google Talk and a range of other free and affordable video conferencing systems are available for this purpose. These platforms make it easy to take video conference calls from any location, which means you can easily learn a new skill from someone based anywhere in the world. If you’re an expert in a particular area, you could even help other people through video conferencing too. For example, many people teach English to non-native speakers in this way.

Membership Websites

Membership websites are a popular choice of site for many webmasters. A central membership website can be accessed by huge numbers of people who each have access to the content of that site. This content can include videos, text, documents and audio files. When setting up a site like this, it’s important to encourage interaction between the moderators and fellow members. This interaction increases the value of a membership website and makes it a more effective online resource for people who want to find out about the latest developments in a particular niche or industry.

Mobile Apps and Mobile Websites

Mobile app and mobile website technologies take online learning to a new level. Once you have a smart phone and the appropriate app or access to a mobile website, you can learn on the move and from any location that has a broadband signal.

The internet has become the number one destination for people who want to learn a new skill. However, many people don’t realise just how easy it is to use the internet in this way. The ways to learn online mentioned above are as effective, if not better, than the traditional methods we are accustomed to.

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3 Big Life Decisions (And How To Make Them!)

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Life is full of complex scenarios and situations. There are many decisions you must make that will shape your path. Here are three big life decisions and some advice on how to make them:


Having Children

Starting a family is a massive decision for anyone. People in relationships will eventually have this discussion. Talking about having children is a big moment in your relationship. It can impact the rest of your life. Most people want to have kids, but the big issue is timing. Take a look at your life and see if having children is a good idea right now. Are you both earning enough to start a family? If you think things will be difficult, then it’s not wise to start having kids. Take lots of time to analyze your situation and it will become clear to you whether or not you should have children.

For people that already have kids, the decision for more children is equally difficult. Of course, things are slightly easier given that you now have parenting experience. Again, try and picture your life with more children. If you’re struggling with one, then it might not be time for two. Life changes after having kids, make sure you make the right decision at the right time!


Moving Home

Moving home is a huge life decision that all families will experience at least once in their lives. The process can be tiring and extremely stressful. There are so many things to think about, the first being where will you move? Finding a new home involves lots of small decisions. You must find a house that’s close to work and schools, and in a nice neighborhood. Then, there’s the difficult task of packing your things and moving. There may be loads of boxes you have to move and a lot of stuff to throw away. Things can be made easier if you look at well-reviewed local movers. At least this will help take some stress away from the actual moving process.

It’s important that people take their time when organizing a move. Do plenty of research into the best places for families to live. Ensure that a budget is set so the new house is bought for an affordable amount. The worst thing you can do is rush into a decision.

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Making Money

Everyone needs to think about how they’ll make money. For some families, this means one person works and the other stays with the children. However, there are other choices too. Some couples both go to work, and their children are looked after by family or a nanny. If no kids are present, then both people can work and earn a dual income.

It’s important for your family that you know where the money is going to come from. As a couple, you must sit down and talk about this at great length. Decide which option is best for both of you.

The key to making all of these decisions is time. You need to take your time or you’ll make mistakes. Never rush into decision making, especially when talking about things of this magnitude.

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7 Important Things To Consider When Moving To Another Country

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If you’re planning on moving to another country or it’s something you’ve briefly considered, you must know that there’s a lot to think about. You should never take packing up and moving to another country lightly. This is a complete life change, and you need to be prepared for the changes it presents. To start you off, here are 7 important things to consider when moving to another country:

Finding A Place To Live

Finding a place to live is the first and most important thing on your to do list. You need to decide whether you’ll rent or buy, to begin with. If you’ve never been in the country for very long, then it’s definitely a good idea to rent before you decide to put down roots and buy. You don’t want to go through all of that hassle only to realize you’ve made a mistake. Take your time when finding a place to live, this is the most important part!


Your Prep Checklist

You’ll have a long list of things that you need to get done before you move to another country. Make a prep checklist and tick them off as you go so you know you’ve done everything you need to do. You’ll need to look into things like visas, injections, insurance, and things like that to make sure you can get into the country. You need to make sure you stay healthy and safe when you’re there to, so there are plenty of things you’ll have to sort out before you go.

Will You Use Professional Services?

Of course you can move to another country alone, but professional services can make the whole thing so much easier. The Chess international removalist site can give you an idea of the services on offer and things to look for when deciding what services you need. They can take so much of the hassle out so you feel better about packing up your life and starting over.

Your Family

If you’re moving with your family, you have a lot to think about there too. What do they think of where you’re going? Will it affect work and education? When will they start school? You need to consider them as much as yourself because it’ll change their whole lives too.


The Language

The language of another country can be a big barrier, so if you’ll struggle to get to grips with what’s going on you should immerse yourself in the language first. Of course throwing yourself in the deep end is probably going to be the thing that makes you fluent, but you should still learn what you can.


Each country has a different culture, so be prepared to change the way you live to fit in if you need to. Not only will you be more accepted to the locals, you’ll also have new, exciting experiences.


Finally, make sure you research the safety of the place and how to stay safe. This is so important for the health and happiness of your family!

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How To Make Your Car Work Harder For Your Family

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A great vehicle is unquestionably one of the greatest assets of any modern family. The car can open up a whole world of adventures while removing major stress from your daily activities too. However, it’s a very costly item to run. So you must make sure that you’re using it to the maximum capabilities.

Of course, the first step to getting this challenge right is finding the perfect family car. Nevertheless, there are various other measures that should be taken to increase your enjoyment and value for money. Here’s everything you need to know.

Prevent Unnecessary Problems

The cost of buying, insuring and running a car is huge. The last thing you want to do is make matters worse by failing to look after the vehicle. Small gestures make a big difference, and prevention is easily the best form of protection.

Maintaining an agreeable tire pressure and topping up fluids is easy. But the impact it brings is huge. Products like Peak antifreeze can also have a telling influence on the long-term health of your car. Ultimately, a protected car will perform far better and enjoy a far greater lifespan. If nothing else, it will journeys a little more comfortable.

Invest In Modern Tech

Car technology evolves at an extremely rapid rate. This can leave your car feeling a little outdated, even if it’s only three of four years old. However, you don’t need to feel pressured into buying a new car. Instead, you should give your car a more modern feel by adding the latest tech products.

Not every tech gadget is necessary, which is another reason to take this option. Nonetheless, parking sensors, Bluetooth, and Sat Navs can all inject an extra comfort to driving. Meanwhile, DVD players and other entertainment facilities are great for families with young kids too.


Go On Adventures

The car can quite literally take you anywhere. Most families find themselves restricted to the same daily routines. But organizing a road trip could be the key to getting even more out of the car. Life is all about creating those magical moments with the people you love. Why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of this opportunity?

It’s often cheaper than planning other vacations. Furthermore, you can quickly return home in case of an emergency. Let’s face it; the chance to drive on a few new roads will make a nice change too.

Earn Money

Cars do cost a lot of money, but they can be a crucial element for your career as well as your leisure life. But did you know it could also create an extra source of revenue? Becoming an Uber driver is relatively straightforward and offers a flexible form of additional income.

Alternatively, you could think outside of the box. Renting the car to a filming company can earn money for nothing. And you’ll get to see your motor on the big screen; that’s pretty cool. Either way, allowing the vehicle to actively repay your investment will remove some of the stress. Those savings can go towards the previously mentioned road trips.

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