5 Ways to Protect Electronic Data

Online data breaches are becoming more and more common, and many people aren’t aware of some simple steps you can take to secure your personal information. Experts say that hackers often choose their victims based on the lack of protection they have. Here are five steps to help secure your data and keep you from becoming an easy target;

  1. Use a stronger password – combine upper and lower case, symbols and numbers, and change your password frequently.
  2. Use a multi-factor authentication service.
  3. Learn what phishing attempts look like – always look at the actual URL for any abnormalities and do a little digging any time it seems suspicious.
  4. Back up your data on a weekly or monthly basis – for extra security you can use an external hard drive or a cloud system.
  5. Watch where you go online and what internet you connect with – public computers and public wifi often have much lower safety standards.

Knowledge is power and understanding how to recognize and avoid these online scammers could save you a lot of time and money.

Fall Favorite Recipe

As the mornings get a bit colder and the nights a little spookier, staying inside and enjoying some warm food while watching a movie sounds like the perfect date.

The following is one of our favorite recipes: Grilled cheese with Applewood smoked bacon

  • Country style white bread
  • Dijon mustard
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Apple wood smoked bacon
  • Butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Once pre-heated, place bacon on a cookie sheet over parchment paper and put it in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. This will keep the bacon from curling or getting stuck to each other.

 Heat up a skillet on medium-high with a tablespoon of butter. While it’s melting, spread some Dijon mustard on one side of each slice of bread. Once butter is melted, place the slice of bread into pan (mustard side up) and apply cheddar cheese…let it cook for a few seconds so that cheese begins to soften. Apply bacon and more cheese and top with second slice of bread, this one mustard side down.

Before flipping, add a little more butter to the skillet then flip, this will ensure that both sides are cooked to perfection. Remove and place on serving tray. Enjoy!

Get Ready for the Great Shakeout

Get ready to Shakeout! This Thursday, October 15th is International Shakeout Day, a day dedicated to practicing earthquake safety and planning earthquake preparation. It’s a great time to talk to your family about what to do in an earthquake, and if you can, participate in the nationwide drill at 10:15am.

During an earthquake, the SCEC recommended safety actions are as follows:

DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and also allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby
COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand
If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter
If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows)
Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs
HOLD ON until shaking stops
Under shelter: hold on to it with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts
No shelter: hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.

This day also serves as a great reminder to sort through your emergency supplies and restock anything needed, and take a look around your home for any potential hazards during and after an earthquake.

For more earthquake safety and preparation resources, or to sign up for the Great Shakeout, visit https://www.shakeout.org/.

D.I.Y. Fall Home Decor

Autumn is here and it’s time for some fun and easy D.I.Y. From the joy of carving pumpkins to the simple pleasure of collecting leaves for a table display, these fall decor ideas are sure to make your home feel a little more warm and festive.

To set the mood you can have a variety of candle holders that’ll not only illuminate but make your house smell delicious. Do this by gluing cinnamon sticks around a candle and tie with some yarn to secure, light it and await the delightful aroma. Or simply glue some leaves around a mason jar and insert a candle to watch it glow orange.

Create an inviting space with the perfect fall display. Take a wooden plank or small beam and paint it, then distress it and paint “welcome” on it in for the perfect fall farmhouse feel. Set this outside your doorstep next to a stack of pumpkins and collect compliments from all the ghouls and guys.

Finally, an inexpensive way of creating a picture-perfect decorated home is by taking old fabric or flannel t-shirts and making table runners, wreaths, or photo frames.

What are some of your favorite fall decorating ideas?

NBA Finals

Five months after the coronavirus shut down the NBA season, the playoffs have finally arrived. Taking place in Bay Lake, Florida in what’s known as the NBA bubble, the NBA’s most prized award is up for grabs.

As one of the first sporting events to come back during this pandemic, the series between the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat is sure to be a highly viewed finale.

With an estimated 15 million fans watching the final game each year, let us know which team you think will take the trophy this year.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. As the leading cancer affecting women in this country, we would like to emphasize the importance of yearly screenings to find cancer in its early stages. Below are some facts about breast cancer and the incredible remission rate when caught early.

  • 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime
  • Every 2 minutes a women will be diagnosed with breast cancer
  • 3.5 million have won the fight
  • 99% survival rate when detected early in yearly screenings

Take action now and know there is hope, you aren’t alone.

This Day in History

As an attorney, Thurgood Marshall argued 32 cases before the Supreme Court and won 29. As the first black justice, he played a vital part to ending segregation during the Civil Rights Movement. And as a human, he was instrumental in shaping society as we know it today.

Marshall was sworn in to the nation’s highest court on this day in 1967 and we thank him for his service and lifetime commitment to our country.

30 Minute Dinner Recipe

When it’s been a long day, the weather outside is chilly, the family is gathered watching sports and you want an easy meal to make that everyone will enjoy, look no further!

A crowd favorite: Enchiladas, but with buffalo chicken and scallions.

Here’s how;

4 cups of shredded chicken

8 oz. room temperature cream cheese 

2 cups of shredded cheddar

3 Tbl. of melted butter

¼ Tsp. of cumin

1 bunch of scallions

1 bottle of buffalo sauce

12-16 corn tortillas

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and set aside a deep baking dish, preferably 9-by-13 inches

In a large bowl mix chicken, cream cheese, cheddar, half of the scallions, cumin, butter and 1 cup of buffalo sauce.

Heat tortillas and keep wrapped to maintain them soft.

Spoon a generous portion of chicken mixture down the middle of each tortilla and roll up. Place them side by side, seam side down. Pour remaining buffalo sauce over and top with more cheddar cheese and remaining scallions.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Enjoy!

How to Avoid Theft of Online Shopping Purchases

Since Covid-19 made its appearance and stopped what we knew as normal back in March, we adjusted into becoming avid and expert online shoppers. This meant having everything delivered such as our groceries, gym equipment and even office supplies right to our front door.

Although it was convenient not having to leave the house and having everything brought to you, this in return created a steep increase in package thefts. And with the holiday season approaching, more packages means more opportunity.

Here are 3 simple ways we can avoid being victims of theft.

  • Installing cameras and recording devices. Most smart home systems connect directly to your phone and enable 24-hour surveillance from wherever you’re located.
  • Ask the delivery drivers to place your packages behind porch plants, under mats or in other hidden locations.
  • Opt to have your items delivered to a locker where only you have access to retrieve the item.

Take the time to plan your orders and track them so that you don’t become the target of unwanted porch pirates. Happy shopping!