Top 10 Tips For Staying Safe Online

Dallas Home InspectionWhile the ever-evolving conveniences of online shopping and digital communication often make life a little easier, sharing valuable information over the Internet comes with a considerable amount of risk.

Consumers should not only be aware of the dangers of being online, but should also take preventative measures to avoid becoming a victim of online scams or fraud.

“Protecting valuable information online is just as important as securing a home, car or personal possessions,” says Rebecca Smith, vice president of marketing for Master Lock. “It is essential that people educate themselves and take the proper precautions to safeguard their information online, ensuring important account data and passwords are protected within the digital space.”

1. Firewalls Are Your Friend: Be sure to activate your computer’s firewalls as they are great tools to provide you with a line of defense against hackers and Internet crime. Firewalls monitor all the communication occurring between your computer, a network (say at the office) and the Internet and can prevent strangers from accessing your information. [Read more…]



Rx For The Busy Parent: Simple Tips To Reduce Stress And Feel Your Best

Few Americans Are More Time-Strapped Than Parents.

dallas home inspectionFrom the moment the alarm chimes, it can feel like a race to get through the day. From prepping for school or day care, to finalizing school projects and running to after-school activities, there’s hardly a moment to spare! And with career demands, the stress of being a busy parent can really set in and negatively affect the body in many ways.

Luckily, some simple tips can help you reduce stress and feel your very best while being a good mom or dad to your family. Dr. Keri Marshall, a licensed naturopathic doctor who specializes in pediatrics, women’s medicine and chronic disease management, understands the high demands of modern parenting. She offers some important tips that all parents should consider to help reduce stress and improve overall health and well-being. [Read more…]



Snow-fighters Keep Roads Clear And Save Lives

Snow And Ice Affect More Than 70 Percent Of The U.S. Population, According To The Federal Highway Administration.

dallas home inspectionEach winter the average driver in these areas will see more than five inches of snow on the roads. And when the snow is falling there are few things more comforting than the sight of snow plows and salt trucks making highways safe for commuters, shoppers and travelers.

In the Snow Belt, citizens expect roads to always be cleared of snow and ice, no matter how bad the storm, says Bret Hodne, public works director for West Des Moines, Iowa. To help meet those sky-high expectations, Hodne orders salt months before the first snowflake falls. His motto is “don’t trust your climate,” because if you plan for an average season it’s bound to be a record-setting winter of snow and ice. [Read more…]



Five Steps To Help Improve Financial – And Physical – Health

Plans To Improve Health And Finances Are Among Tthe Most Common Resolutions Americans Make Each Year.

dalllas home inspectionBoth are worthy goals, but did you know that improving your financial health may boost your physical health as well?

“Money problems are a well-known cause of stress, and the negative impact that stress has on one’s physical health is well-documented,” notes Lule Demmissie, managing director of investment products and retirement at TD Ameritrade. “It makes sense that relieving stress through better financial planning, among other remedies, can help contribute to better physical health.” [Read more…]



Click With Confidence: Three Tips To Protect Your Privacy When Shopping Online

Foreclosures in Dallas If the growing online shopping statistics from the past few years have been any indication, buyers will again be flocking to online retailers this holiday season – perhaps in larger numbers than ever before.

However, as people become increasingly savvier as Web shoppers, awareness and concerns about online privacy and safety have also grown. As many as 91 percent of consumers say that they’re concerned about privacy when shopping online. Frequent news stories about consumer information being sold or mishandled have helped contribute to an atmosphere of mistrust, and more than half of consumers say they don’t trust businesses with their personal information.

For those who love the convenience and choice that come along with online shopping, there are a few ways to ensure that your information is kept safe and private.

1. Read Privacy Policies. You’ve probably seen them countless times, but how often have you actually read a privacy policy? If you’ve shopped without reading, you’re certainly not alone. While 97 percent of websites have a privacy policy, those documents average nearly 2,500 words – which is almost twice as long as the Declaration of Independence. It would take the average person at least 10 minutes to read that, and not too many online shoppers want to spend that much time. However, reading the privacy policy will give you the details about what a site is doing to keep your information safe. [Read more…]



Three Unexpected Areas Where You Can Improve Home Safety

Making Home A Safe, Secure Environment Is A Priority For Any Parent.

Foreclosures in Dallas It’s why we have smoke alarms and deadbolts, secure screens on second-floor windows and set the temperature of our hot water heaters to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. But what about unexpected sources of danger in our homes?

While it’s impossible to anticipate and guard against every eventuality, it still pays to think about some dangers that are often overlooked – but that can be every bit as tragic as more obvious threats. Here are some accident risks that are statistically worth worrying about when you’re working on making your home as safe as possible for your children.

Tipping TVs

TVs keep getting bigger and more of us have multiple sets in our homes. Unfortunately, many of those TVs will end up on dressers, coffee tables, and folding tray tables that were never intended to hold a television. Even TVs placed on a stand made for displaying a set can tip over if not properly secured. [Read more…]



Fire Safety Tips Protect Your Family Through The Holiday Season

Foreclosures in Dallas With colder temperatures forecast across the country, activities are moving indoors, and families are preparing to celebrate time-honored traditions and new beginnings.

Boxes of decorations, candles and strings of lights will be unpacked and spread throughout homes. Seasonal family feasts will be prepared. While intentions are great to keep safety top of mind when decorating and entertaining throughout the cold weather months, fun and frolic often take precedence.

A hazard that usually is the furthest from one’s mind – fire – is one of the easiest home risks to address. More fires and fire deaths occur during the winter than during any other time of year. Before your company arrives this year, perform a three-step home fire safety check to ensure your family and friends aren’t at risk. [Read more…]



Gas-Saving Holiday Travel Tips

Dallas Texas  Real Estate The Holidays Are For Giving, But With All The Driving Around For Shopping, Parties And Family Events, You May End Up Giving More At The Gas Station Due To Grinch-Like Fuel Costs.

Holiday jeer can quickly become holiday cheer, though, by simply practicing some gas-saving tips.

“There are all sorts of ways to make sure you’re getting the best fuel efficiency out of your car,” says Andrew Briggs, director of product planning for Yokohama Tire Corporation, makers of a variety of truck and car tires. “One of the best – and easiest – is to properly inflate your tires. Tires that are under-inflated by eight pounds per square inch (psi) can reduce vehicle fuel economy by as much as 2 percent. By keeping the right air pressure, you can begin cutting down on your annual fuel costs.” [Read more…]



Clearing The Air: What An HVAC Cleaner Should Really Do In Your Home

Foreclosures in Dallas Those Statistics About Indoor Air Pollution And It’s Relation To Respiratory Problems Convinced You It Was Time To Get Your Heating, Ventilation And Air Conditioning System (HVAC) Cleaned.

You were even looking forward to the increased energy efficiency that a clean system can provide. But $49 and one very noisy service call later, you’re still sneezing and you haven’t seen any dip in your energy bill.

What Happened?

“A very low service charge may indicate the service provider isn’t performing a thorough cleaning and maintenance of your home’s entire HVAC system,” says Matt Mongiello, president of NADCA, the HVAC Inspection, Maintenance & Restoration Association. “He or she may have done nothing more than blow air through the ducts and clean off vent grills inside the home. A cleaning performed to NADCA standards – which are cited by the EPA as a best practice – encompasses much more than just the ductwork.” [Read more…]



Make Your Home Smarter And More Efficient This Winter

Foreclosures in Dallas The Coldest Time Of The Year Can Also Be The Busiest.

With holiday entertaining, overnight guests and winter getaways, it can be hard to ensure your home heating and other systems are performing for optimal comfort and efficiency. In addition, the Department of Energy reports that no matter what-energy-source you use, heating this winter will cost more, an important consideration since heating and cooling typically makes up about 54 percent of your utility bill.

Now, thanks to new home automation technologies, you can run your home in a smarter and more cost-effective manner than ever before – from wherever life takes you – even from a smartphone, tablet or Web connection. [Read more…]