staying safe on social media

5 Tips for Protecting Yourself While Enjoying Social Media

staying safe on social media

Social media is a huge part of most of our lives. Thanks to social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter not only can we easily stay in touch with friends and family, but can also learn of community events, help develop a fledgling business, and more.

The downside to social media is that it provides another avenue for danger to enter your life. It seems like every few days, there’s another news story about how social media was used to target someone, either for bullying or break-ins. It’s enough to make anyone seriously consider deleting all of their social media accounts.

You’ll be pleased to know that as long as your careful and follow these tips, you can continue to enjoy your favorite social media sites and also keep you and your family safe.

Don’t Post Vacation Updates/Pictures Until you Get Home

Sure, you’re getting great photos of you vacation and you can’t wait to start showing them off to your friends and family, but hold off for a few days. Wait until you get home before loading everything onto your social media accounts. By not talking about your vacation until you get home, you don’t accidentally alert a would be burglar that your home is empty and vulnerable. The same is true for checking into events and businesses, just wait until your home.

Avoid Public Hot Spots

Ninety-five percent of the people who use public hotspots are good people, but there are a few that use these hotspots to hack into computers and steal a great deal of information, including the passwords to your social media account. Once they have the password, they can use it to create all sorts of havoc. If you have to use a public hot spot, make sure you log out of any site that requires a password.

Know Who You’re Associating With

When you get a friend request or suddenly have someone contacting you a lot through social media accounts, take some time to explore that person’s profile. If it has very little information and none that would indicate you have anything in common with the person, block them right away. These types of empty accounts are created by people who intend to steal your personal information and your friend’s lists so they can hack into even more accounts.

Take Care When Following or Posting Links

One of the easiest ways for hackers to access social media accounts is by posting faulty links. Each time one of these links is opened or shared, the hacker becomes a bigger, and more sinister, online presence. The best way to protect yourself from these types of predators is by only posting links that were created by a trusted source.

Update Your Passwords

Even if you only suspect that your account has been hacked or you get a report that a friend’s account has been hacked, you need to change you password. It’s the single best way to protect yourself. Make sure the password is a strong one that uses a mix of upper/lower case letters and numbers.

safe biking in california

Safe Biking in California

safe biking in california

Deciding to ride your bike wherever you need to go instead of taking your car is always a great idea. Not only is this choice better for the environment, it’s also a great way to stay in shape. Unfortunately, deciding to hop on your bike rather than into your car is risky. In 2016 840 cyclists were killed and in 2015, insurance companies dealt with 467,000 bicycle related injuries.

The best way to don’t become one of these statistics is by making safety your number one priority.

Increase your Visibility

One of the reasons so many cyclists are struck by cars is because the cyclist is hard to see. Attaching a few more reflectors and some flashing lights to your bike dramatically increase the odds of you making it home safely after your ride. You should also wear bright clothing that has reflective strips woven into the material. The brighter you are, the easier it is for passing motorists to see you coming.

If you’re biking at night, stick to well-lit areas.

Chose a Safe Route

Before hopping on your bike, grab a map and really think about what the safest route is. Look for routes that allow you to ride on some of the great California bike pats that exist all over the state. Try to avoid any areas that are heavily trafficked. It’s smarter to take a route that adds extra time to your commute than to run the risk of a car/bicycle collision.

Use Hand Signals

Hand signals are as important to cyclists as blinkers are to drivers. They let everyone know what move you’re about to do, which allows everyone around you to drive defensively. Using the hand signals might seem strange for a few days, but it won’t be long before it becomes second nature.

Be Aware of You Surroundings

Don’t assume that drivers are going to look out for you. You need to be aware of where they are and how they’re driving. If one is getting to close or doesn’t appear to know that you’re on the bike, you need to take defensive measures. The sooner you act, the greater the odds are that you’ll make it home in one piece.

Wear a Helmet

Your helmet is a huge safety tool. Not only does it protect you from head injuries if you fall off your bike, but also softens blows from things like low hanging tree limbs. Having a helmet on if you’re in an accident decreases the odds of you losing conciseness and increases the odds of you being able to make decisions that help you get out of the way of falling debris, oncoming traffic, and other dangers after you’ve fallen from your bike.

Stay safe and happy cycling!

How Hot Is Too Hot?

leaving child in car laws

With the summer heat in full swing once again, it is important for everyone to do their best to stay cool this season. While looking out for ourselves in this sort of weather is one thing, we can’t forget about the lives that are in our care. Children and pets cannot take care of themselves the way adults can.

Young children can’t be expected to take care of themselves. They don’t know the warning signs of when a place is too hot, nor do they have the ability to deal with the heat. Due to these facts, a child should never be left unattended in a car when temperatures approach 70 degrees. If they are left alone in a car in warm conditions, they could face serious bodily harm or worse.

Even at a comfortable temperature like 75 degrees, the inside of a car can become unbearable. The interior of a car can drastically increase in temperature when exposed to the harsh summer sun. The insides can reach up to 118 degrees at this low of a temperature, and can reach up to 145 degrees if the outside is at 94 degrees.

Even if you were just planning on running into the store for just a moment, the interior of the car will begin to bake the moment you shut off the air conditioning. Leaving the windows open just a crack is not enough to cool off the car. The metal body of the vehicle absorbs heat while the glass windows magnify it. All of that warmth gets trapped inside the vehicle making it unsafe for anyone, child or pet, to be stuck inside.

At this time of the year, it is best to leave pets at home where the climate is more controlled, and to bring kids into the store with you. While this may be inconvenient, this can help save their lives.

online kids safety

What Are Your Kids Doing This Summer?

online kids safety

Summer is here and schools have let out for the year. Children are excited as they get to experience a bit of freedom for the next few months. However, parents might be approaching the break with a bit of apprehension. How are they supposed to keep their children entertained for the next few months while maintaining a proper work schedule?

Juggling kids and a job is not an easy task, but it can be done. Some parents may have kids who are old enough to take care of themselves during the work day. While this is nice, don’t forget to keep in touch with them. They still need an adult’s guidance from time to time.

In today’s modern world, it is easier than ever for kids to get ahold of material that may not be appropriate for younger audiences. It is very important for parents to monitor what their children are doing when they are online. Doing so can keep them from finding inappropriate content and ensure that they are behaving themselves online.

Aside from the online world, there is still the physical world to worry about this summer.

Some tips for ensuring your child’s safety this summer include:

  • Establishing a trusted network with other adults, such as neighbors and parents of your child’s friends. This can help keep you informed should anything come up, and give you someone you can rely on for help.
  • Getting to know your kid’s friends. By doing this, you will be able to see what kind of influence these friends might be having on your child.
  • Keeping snacks at home. This one is simple, but effective. By keeping plenty of snacks at home, you ensure that your child will regularly return to the house in order to find something to munch on.
  • Talking with your kids. You should set aside some time every day to talk with your child. This will help keep you in the loop and build a relationship with the child.

Summer break is finally here, and you can bet that your kids are excited. Your kid may be old enough to be on his or her own, but that doesn’t mean they are safe. Make sure that you keep in touch with them throughout the entire summer to ensure their safety and well being.

rialto bail bonds

3 Tips to Increase Your Credit Score

how to increase credit score

It’s a situation no one ever wants to be in, but it’s one that you may face in your lifetime.

Picture this: You’ve just been arrested, you’ve been booked and given a bail amount, and you’ve called someone for assistance. Now, you sit and wait in a holding cell while a loved one contacts a bail agent to help obtain your freedom. However, there’s a problem. The bail agency cannot issue a bond because, after running a credit report, their credit score isn’t high enough.

This is a serious problem because now you’re forced to sit in jail and wait until your court appearance. However, this is an avoidable problem. The answer is simple – keep your credit score up so that you never have to worry about it being too low to be approved. But what exactly is a good credit score? There is no right answer, however, according to Experian a credit score can range between 300 and 850. See below for an in-depth look at the credit score breakdown, courtesy of Experian.

experian credit score chart

In order to help ensure you and your loved ones have a good enough credit score to be approved for a bail bond, a home, or anything in between, we’ve compiled a list of three steps you can take starting today.

    1. Pay your bills on time – According to Credit Karma, one of the most important things lenders care about is the likelihood you are going to pay them back. This is determined through your history of paying your bills on time. By paying all of your bills on time you show lenders that you’re reliable and will uphold your end of the bargain.

    2. Pay off your debt – In order to grant you a loan, lenders want to ensure that you have enough room in your monthly expenses to be able to afford another bill. Be sure to pay down your current debt as quickly as possible so you have room for unexpected necessities.

    3. Don’t open too many credit cards at the same time – When you open a new line of credit, it creates a “hard line” on your credit report which stays there for two years. This could create a negative effect on your credit report.

If you’re looking to increase your credit score, it’s important to know what your score is. There are a lot of free websites that will allow you to check it for free, utilize them. Keep in mind that improving your credit score takes time and doesn’t happen overnight. You’ll want to ensure that you follow these three tips every month and develop good financial habits.