A Nugget from WordCamp 2019

Whenever I attend a conference, I’m satisfied if I learn one new thing that I didn’t previously know.   I want to share with you something, a nugget if you will, that I learned at this years WordCamp.  I don’t have an on-line business, but I think many of you do or want to have someday.  I think you would be interested in learning some of the questions to ask yourself to better market your business.  I have attached a handout given we workshop attendees by Rebecca Gill, who is a top marketing and SEO consultant. The handout is only one of eight pages, but gives you a flavor of what Rebecca does for clients.    Here’s page one of the handout:

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And there’s seven more pages of information like this page.  She offers a free e-book, “A Beginners Guide to SEO”, that might be of interest to you, especially if you don’t know what SEO stands for (Search Engine Optimization).  So if you have an interest in starting or marketing a business, here is a link to her website:

https://www.rebeccagill.com/

 

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WordPress WordCamp 2019–My Take

It’s Halloween and I’m on an Amtrak train headed to St. Louis.  My morning starts with a snowstorm, the second ever on Halloween, howling wind (appropriate for the day)  and biting temperatures.  But I’m warm, dry and comfy aboard train #33 service to St Louis.

It’s actually a very scenic ride with the blowing snow covering the empty corn fields and surrounding trees with a layer of wintery snow.  A lone coyote is spooked from its hiding spot by the train horn.  By the time we reach Springfield, the snow has stopped.  So much for the blizzard that was expected. In a little over 5 hours we reach our destination, St. Louis, Missouri.  This is the view from the train, The famous Arch:

Arch

One can actually ride to the top of it if one wanted.  I’m sure the view is spectacular.

Baseball season is over so hotel rooms are available only 3 blocks from the convention center, where the Camp is located.  Thankfully, it’s warmer in St. Louis.  OK for walking.

Truth be told.  I have attended hundreds of conferences, conventions, and workshops but none of them ever started with morning yoga.

arch6yoga

I wanted to do it, but my back still needed to heal from surgery.  (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)

This being my first WordCamp, I didn’t know what to expect (yoga ?), but the sign that read, Quiet Space Here, pretty much told me that this was not going to be a cookie cutter conference.

Here is a look at the Great Hall where vendors were telling their stories, presenting free swag (lots of it), handing out brochures but in a non-hassled way.  Very laid-back.  The likes of Google, Bluehost, Go Daddy, Amp and about 75 more very cool suppliers were in attendance.  Have a look:

This was quite early on Day one so it appears the attendance was low.  Not so.  I was told about 1000 were registered and at the free buffet lunch, yes all 1000 were there.

Now my opinion of the Camp and my recommendation to attend or not really depends on ones interest in the inner workings of WordPress.  I’m a blogger, as most of you may call yourselves.  I’m not a web designer, developer, a teckie, I don’t have a brand, or a web store and I’m not in competition with other attendees who have clients and want  a bigger slice of the pie.  Moreover, and here’s the biggest minus, the Camp is dedicated to those who use WordPress.org  I do not, I’m a WordPress.com blogger.  So most workshops were .org related and how different plug-ins and apps for .org users could help them with their sites.  I was also disappointed when the Google rep told me that Google Analytics were for .org users only (But Google might be working on something for .comers).  Bummer.  Oh, if you love to code, this is the place for you.  It’s a coders heaven.  However, writers, poets, photographers, not really a place for you.

My goal in attending was to find out more about WordPress and its inner workings.  I did, and I also realized that I don’t need to migrate to .org at least not yet.  I also attended a workshop that made me think about what I wanted from my blog and what kind of content I wanted to present to my fellow bloggers.  So I have no regrets for attending the conference.  I met some extremely talented young people who courteously  answered all of my dumb questions and made recommendations based on my goals for my site.

Yes, I’m glad I attended, but if you have questions about Slack, Bert, Gutenberg, Gatsby, Tide, Schema, Strategy patterns and so forth, I must excuse myself.  Not my cup of tea !

 

12 Apple Watch Accessories Worth Buying

12 Apple Watch Accessories Worth Buying

If you’re in the market for a smartwatch, and have a few dollars to spare, Series 5 offers more than any Apple Watch before it.

It took the fifth iteration of the Apple Watch to convince PCMag’s lead software analyst Michael Muchmore that it’s a worthy purchase. But there are lots of reasons to pick up a predecessor, too. Series 4 has been discontinued but a Series 3 can be had for $200 less than the newest model.

Whichever Apple Watch you choose, you’re going to want some accessories to go along with it. Our picks help you keep your watch charged, make it look like a modern-art showpiece, and pack it up perfectly. They work with every model of Apple Watch unless otherwise indicated

Elago W3 Apple Watch Stand

For nostalgia and style, it’s hard to beat this Macintosh-inspired Apple Watch stand.

Candywirez Portable Clip-On Speaker

When you want to share what you’re listening to without the burden of carrying anything too heavy, connect this tiny, clippable Candywirez speaker to Bluetooth via your watch.
  • Ember Travel Mug

    The Ember Travel Mug keeps drinks at a specified temperature through a commute or a day at the office. Using it with the Apple Watch app ups its portability.

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  • Native Union x La Boite Concept PR/01 Speaker

    Native Union partnered with La Boite Concept for a speaker that is a thing of beauty in terms of looks, sound, and function. The speaker slides open to cables and chargers, including for Apple Watch, so that its surface can be used as a wireless charger.

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  • HoldMyBands Compatible with Apple Watch Charging Stand and Bands Holder

    If you have a wardrobe of bands for your Apple Watch, you need a place to keep them. This case keeps eight of them and a charger organized and ready to go.

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  • Julk Case for Apple Watch

    For full protection of the Apple Watch face, get a Juuk case. Or two. This two-pack has one clear and one rose-gold-trimmed protective cover. They’re made of TPU and don’t stand in the way of touch-screen functionality.

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  • Tangram Smart Rope

    Instead of fumbling with a phone during a workout, use the Tangram Smart Rope in tandem with the Apple Watch.

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  • Twelve South TimePorter Accessory Travel Case + Bedside Charging Stand

    If you have room for just one travel companion, make it the all-in-one Twelve South TimePorter. It stores the Apple Watch, some extra bands, and a charge. It can also be used to wirelessly charge the Watch.

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  • Abanen Watch Band Organizer

    For those Apple Watch bands that don’t see regular use, the Abanen Watch Band Organizer is just the thing.

  • Belkin Valet Charger

    The Belkin Valet Charger is a 6,700mAh portable battery that can charge an iPhone and an Apple Watch simultaneously, making it an ideal travel accessory.

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  • Native Union Belt Watch Charger

    This durable Native Union Belt Watch Charger is an everyday essential to keep in your bag to make sure your Apple Watch is always charged. It stays tangle-free, has a 4-foot reach, and a handy leather snap to keep it tidy.

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  • Beats Powerbeats Pro

    Whether you’re out for a walk or working out, Beats Powerbeats Pro paired with your Apple Watch makes for a perfect listening experience.

About the Author

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Chandra Steele Senior Features Writer

Chandra is senior features writer at PCMag.com. She got her tech journalism start at CMP/United Business Media, beginning at Electronic Buyers’ News, then making her way over to TechWeb and VARBusiness.com. Chandra’s happy to make a living writing, something she didn’t think she could do and why she chose to major in political science at Barnard Co… See Full Bio

6 Smartphone Repairs You Should Never Pay Someone to Fix

Got a wet cell phone? A shattered screen? These smartphone repair techniques should do the trick.

Restore your charge

Mobile smart phones charging on wooden deskBacho/Shutterstock

If your phone won’t charge when plugged in, the cord might not be the problem. The charging port often accumulates debris which can cause it to charge slower or not at all. Fortunately, there’s a low-tech solution. “You can use a safety pin and run it around the inside of the port on your phone to clear it out,” recommends Shayne Sherman, CEO of TechLoris. “If your phone isn’t charging, give this a try before buying a new cord.” These are the 11 phone battery myths you need to stop believing.

Clean up fuzzy noise

Speaker, lighting connector, bottom microphone of smart phone isolated on whiteKwan Kajornsiri/Shutterstock

Turned off by inferior sound when you plug speakers into your headphone jack? Dirt can cause your device to stop turning on or prevent you from hearing your phone calls, says Liz Hamilton, director of People and Customers at Mobile Klinik, a mobile phone repair business.
“Cleaning out your charge port can be done carefully with a few quick blasts of compressed air to the area, or even with a Q-tip (remove some of the cotton if you have to get it to fit) and use a high alcohol content cleaner to wipe out the area,” Hamilton says.

Replace a shattered screen

Broken mobile phone screen, close-up, black and white frameJalisko/Shutterstock

“If you’re tech-savvy and willing to risk your expensive device that has many fragile and tiny parts, you can probably fix a screen yourself,” Hamilton says. But you’ll need the right tools for this smartphone repair job, she adds.

And it’s easier to replace the screen on some devices than others. For iPhones, for example, iFixit.com recommends applying some heat to soften the adhesive, keeping the screen on, and using opening picks to slice the adhesive apart in order to carefully pry the screen off. That said, replacing a cracked screen is more involved on Android devices such as the Samsung Galaxy series, says Craig Lloyd of iFixit. For example, you’ll need to take the back glass panel off first, which adds steps and complexity to the repair.

Resurrect a soaked phone

Phone in the water. Concept broken phone. Smartphone repair conceptAnastasiya Tsiasemnikava/Shutterstock

If your phone takes an unexpected swim, don’t follow the common wisdom to place it in a bag of rice. Instead, the first thing you should do for smartphone repair? Simply remove the phone from the water source and turn the phone off immediately. “Let it dry completely before attempting to turn it back on,” Lloyd says. “You can use a blow dryer on a cool setting to help dry out ports and such.” Some experts also recommend placing the phone in a box with packets of silica gel that come with shoes.
If your phone still isn’t working, though, many experts recommend that the safest bet for water damage is to turn off your phone and take it to a professional. “Good professionals will give you a free diagnosis and quote before any work is done and the best professionals won’t charge you if they can’t fix it, regardless of the efforts they take to save your device,” Hamilton says.

Replace the battery

smartphone batteriesMehaniq/Shutterstock

Wouldn’t it be great if it were as easy to replace the batteries in your phone as it is to switch out the ones in your remote control? Unfortunately, batteries are glued down in most phones, so replacing them is more of an involved process for smartphone repair. iFixit has detailed instructions to replace the battery in a Samsung Galaxy S8. Putting in a new battery is easier in iPhones, however, because they have handy pull tabs on the adhesive that makes battery removal a bit easier, Lloyd says. Know these places you should never charge your phone.

Improve a mediocre lens

smart phone camera and flash on wood backgroundIonut Musca/Shutterstock

Salvage a DVD player’s lens—the little piece that guides the disc-reading laser—and use it on your phone’s camera. Put the lens on top of a small piece of painter’s tape, cut a hole for it to peek through, and mount it over your phone’s lens with extra strips of tape for better pictures. Now, find out the ways you’re shortening the life of your phone.

This article was published in Reader’s Digest:

https://www.rd.com/advice/saving-money/smartphone-repair/

 

How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

 

 

Let’s face it. Identity theft has become a huge problem. For everyone.  At every age. And at every income level.

Over 16.7 million people were victims of identity theft in 2017. And fraud losses related to identity theft were $16 billion dollars.

In this post,  we will  answer your questions about identify theft. We will also give you tips and resources to protect yourself from identity theft.

Keep reading to find answers to the following questions:

  1. What is identity theft?
  2. Common ways identity thieves steal information.
  3. What do identity thieves do with your information?
  4. Recognizing identity theft. Red Flags you need to watch out for.
  5. What should you do if you think your identity has been stolen?
  6. What is your financial responsibility if your identity is stolen?
  7. 15 tips to safeguard your personal information and protect yourself from identity theft.

1- What is Identity Theft?

The United States Department of Justice defines identity theft in the following way. “Identity theft and identity fraud are terms used to refer to all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain.”

Identity theft has become such a problem in the United States that it is a federal crime.

Punishable by two years in prison. Identify theft that is related to terrorism can carry a five year prison sentence.

Protect yourself from identity theft safeguarding your purse and wallet

2- Common Ways Your Identity Can be Stolen

Skimming

A common technique used by identity thieves is called “skimming”.

Thieves place small devices known as “skimmers” on ATM machines, gas pumps or any machine where you can swipe to pay.

While the ATM is processing your transaction, the skimmer has read and stored your information.

Your waiter, waitress or cashier at any establishment could be operating a skimmer.

Stealing customer information and selling it on the dark web. Or using your information themselves.

Phishing

Fraudsters use an email technique called “Phishing” to steal personal information.

Emails are sent from what appears to be your bank, credit card or some other well known company requesting personal information or passwords.

These messages look official and use well known company names and logos.

Phishers typically use some sort of threat or consequence for failing to take action.

The threat scares people into providing information.

This may be something like “Failure to respond to this email within three business days will result in the termination of your account.”

A link provided in the email then directs you to a fraudulent web page.

Once you arrive at the page you are asked to provide information to verify your identity. Like your account number and personal identification number.

And bam! Your identity has been stolen.

Phishing – It’s not just for email

While email is the most common form of phishing. Thieves also use instant messaging, cell phone text messaging, chat rooms, fake job search sites. Even fake pop-up boxes.

3 – What do identity thieves do with your information?

Use your credit.

Identity thieves use your personal information to apply for credit cards or even personal loans and mortgages.

Identity thieves can run up your credit cards in minutes. Apply for new credit or even buy property.

Steal money from your bank accounts.

In the blink of an eye. The identity thief can drain your bank account.

They write fraudulent checks, use your debit card and even send wires.

Apply for healthcare.

Yes, they apply for health care or have medical services using your name and information.

They use your Social Security Number

They can use your social security number to steal your tax return.

Sell your personal information

Identity thieves can sell your information to other fraudsters on the dark web.

4- Recognizing identity theft – Red Flags

  • Keep an eye out for correspondence with generic greetings. If a message from your bank starts with “Dear Customer”. Beware.  Your bank, or anyone you have a relationship with should know your name.  And use your name.
  • Look for miss spellings and poor grammar in written communications. Most financial institutions have lawyers that perform multiple reviews of customer communications. Typos can happen but they are usually the exception and not the rule.
  • Suspicious Links – links that are longer than you would expect. Links that have strange characters or are miss spelled. Never click on a link. Always type the business’ URL into your browser.
  • Requests for personal information like account numbers, personal identification codes and passwords. Your credit card company is going to know what your account number is and will authenticate a customer with other information. Like your address, the last transaction or your account or other data.
  • Suspicious Phone Calls – Phone calls from the IRS requesting personal information over the phone or from debt collectors where you do not have accounts could be signs that your identity may have been stolen.
  • Tax Returns/Refunds not received. If you don’t receive your tax refund when you expect it. That could be sign of identity theft. Or the IRS notifies you that you have filed multiple returns.
  • The company you work for is a victim of hacking.
  • Accounts you didn’t open or hard inquiries you did not authorize are on your credit report.
  • You find you have an arrest warrants you were not unaware of.
  • There are strange charges on your accounts.
  • You receive medical bills for treatments you did not receive
  • Your medical insurance company rejects legitimate medical expenses because their records indicate you have reached your maximum benefit amount.
  • You are denied credit.
  • A healthcare plan will not offer you coverage because your medical records show a condition that you do not have.
  • Missing Mail. Make sure you receive all of your statements each month.
  • Your Social Media passwords don’t work any longer.Protect yourself from identity theft email

5 – What should you do if you think your identity has been stolen?

  1. Notify your local police department and file a police report.
  2. Contact any bank, lending or financial institution where you have an account.
  3. Consider placing a fraud alert or credit freeze with each of the credit bureaus. Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
  4. Contact the The Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They can be notified at the following links:
    • Federal Trade Commission
    • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  5. Change the password on the account that was stolen and any other account where you use the same password
  6. Review your credit report for any unauthorized accounts.
  7. Contact the fraud department of any company that has issued an unauthorized account in your name.
  8. Dispute any unauthorized accounts with the credit bureaus.

6 – What is your financial responsibility if your identity is stolen?

Credit Cards – If fraudulent charges are made using your credit card number only and not the physical card you won’t be responsible for any of the fraudulent charges.

If your purse or wallet is stolen you need to report the theft to the credit card company as quickly as possible.

If the thief uses your credit card before the theft is reported you could be responsible for up to $50.

Debit Cards are different. If you report the theft of the card within two days the maximum liability is $50.

If you wait more than two days to report the theft you could be responsible for up to $500.

7. 15 tips to safeguard your personal information and protect yourself from identity theft.

  1. Don’t carry your social security card with you. Store it in a safe place at home.
  2. Don’t write your social security number down on any forms other than a credit application
  3. Pick checks up at the bank’s branch. Don’t have them delivered via mail to your home
  4. Never leave your wallet or purse unattended
  5. Don’t give your social security number to strangers who call, text or email.
  6. Don’t post your date of birth, mother’s maiden name, pet or children’s names on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media accounts.
  7. If your bank offers suspicious activity alerts, sign up for them
  8. Store financial account statement, medical records and other important documents at home in a safe place.
  9. Request electronic statements from your bank and credit card issuers.
  10. . Protect your phone. Lock the screen. Use an app like Find My Phone that allows your to erase data remotely.
  11. . Shop online with caution. Use well known merchants.
  12. Use secure connections when shopping online. Stay away from free wifi when making purchases.
  13. Check your account statements every month for accuracy
  14. Check your credit report annually (at a minimum)
  15. Use strong passwords and mix them up. Don’t use the same password for everything.

Protect yourself from identity theft phone and credit cards

Protect Yourself From Identity Theft – Recap

Now you know what identity thieves do with your information. How they can get your information. Red flags that may indicate your identity has been stolen. What to do if your identify has been stolen. As well as,15 tips to protect your identity. That doesn’t mean identity theft won’t happen to you. But you will be in a better position to protect yourself from identity theft if you implement the tactics listed above. Please pin this post on Pinterest for future reference and share it with your friends and family.

This report was written by:

https://www.midlifemoneyproject.com/protect-identity-theft/

I’m a Burglar—Here’s How to Outsmart Me

This long Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to put these tips to good use.

Slide 1 of 13: The investigative team at Portland, Oregon, news station KGW conducted an anonymous survey of 86 inmates incarcerated for burglary in the Oregon Department of Corrections, and almost all of the burglars surveyed said they'd think twice if they saw a car in a driveway. Check out these other ways you can make it look like you're home when you're not.

drpnncpptac / shutterstock

 

 

One deterrent not mentioned in the article is a couple of lights attached to timers that go on and off at different times of the night.  Highly effective.

The article can be found at:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/smart-living/im-a-burglar—heres-how-to-outsmart-me/ss-AAG52Gi?ocid=spartanntp

 

Don’t make this mistake when charging your phone

Experts say it’s not good for your devices to be fully charged 24/7, but millions are ruining their phone’s battery every night.

Do you use your phone as an alarm clock ?  Your phone charges to 100% overnight and stays there for hours.  Doing this repeatedly will age your battery faster.   So, don’t overcharge your phone !  But don’t oversleep either.  Alarm clock anyone ?

From USA Today