preventing christmas tree fires

Tips for Preventing Christmas Tree Fires

preventing christmas tree fires

Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without an evergreen tree standing tall and proud in the living room. This is why thousands upon thousands of people will be getting cut evergreen trees for their homes this year. While the trees look stunning, especially when fully decorated, they can pose a bit of a problem. Pine and other evergreen trees can be very flammable, especially as they dry out.

If a person wants to avoid the possibility of a fire in their own home, then they need to follow these tips.

  • Choose a fresh tree. A person should be able to touch the tree and not see a bunch of needles fall from the branch.
  • Place the tree away from any sort of heat sources that could cause the tree to ignite.
  • Replace any light strands that are broken or damaged as they can cause a spark.
  • Never place candles on or near the tree.
  • Water the tree daily to keep it hydrated.
  • Turn the lights off when leaving home or going to bed.

Once Christmas has come and gone, the tree should be removed from the room as quickly as possible. Over the course of the month, the tree will dry out and become more and more of a fire hazard. It should be removed as soon as possible and kept away from the house until it is removed completely.

how to avoid getting hacked

How Secure Are Your Electronics?

how to avoid getting hacked

In today’s modern world, everyone has at least one internet capable device. Typically though, people have more than one device like this. They have laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones. All of these devices are constantly connected to the internet to ensure that their user can access whatever they need whenever they want. There is all kind of information out there that can be accessed with the tap of a finger.

Unfortunately, if a person is not careful, that connection can work both ways. Hackers fill the internet with malicious websites and files in an ongoing effort to access other people’s private information. If someone is not careful, they can unknowingly provide a random person with access to every private bit of information stored on their device.

Keeping their device safe and secure is in everyone’s best interest. After all, a person doesn’t want to let a hacker into their bank account, or provide one with enough personal information that they can steal the victim’s identity online.

Keeping Devices Safe

One of the most important steps that a person can take to keeping their device secure, is simply having anti-virus and anti-spyware software along with a firewall installed on it. Anti-virus and anti-spyware software protect devices from malicious files that could potentially end up on them. They monitor and scan files that are downloaded onto the device. They also scan the device itself to make sure that no known viruses are already installed.

Firewalls, which are named after the metal walls that would prevent fires from spreading in buildings or vehicles, monitor network traffic on a device. They contain data “fires” by preventing information from spreading without control. They see what programs are sending information and, and what information is being sent back to the device. If information is coming from an unsecured or untrustworthy site, then the firewall blocks the communication. The same happens when an unknown program within the device tries to send information out. The firewalls blocks this communication and alerts the user. The user can then determine whether or not the communication is safe.

These kinds of things should be installed and used on all devices that connect to the internet in order to ensure that they remain safe and secure. However, simply having them installed is not enough. Hackers are always updating their schemes, meaning that the software designed to stop them needs to be constantly updated as well. A person needs to make sure that they regularly update the software that keeps their computer safe so that it can continue to effectively do its job.

Being Safe Online

Once a person is sure that their device is “locked up” safe and tight with anti-virus software and a firewall, they then need to learn how to be safe while online. By learning to avoid certain situations and scenarios, they can reduce the chances of ever needing to use the protection software.

For starters, a person should be wary of where they connect to the internet. Yes, public Wi-Fi may be nice because everyone can connect to it, but that is exactly what makes it dangerous. Anyone can connect to public Wi-Fi sources, including hackers. When devices are on the same network, they can easily share data between them. Hackers can exploit this when connected to public hotspots. This is why a person should only connect to trusted Wi-Fi networks.

Another thing to keep an eye out for are scam emails. It is never a good idea to click on a link or download a file from email that was sent by a stranger. The link could take the person to a malicious website that could try to infect the person’s computer with a virus or trick them into handing over personal information. The file in the email could contain a virus, and by opening it, the person allows it to infect their computer. Even emails sent from “friends” can be dangerous. Often times, hackers will set up their email to display the name of someone in the recipient’s contact list, making it seem as though it came from a friend. That is why it is best to never open links in emails.

Consequences of Hacking

Computer crimes, such as hacking, in California are defined under California Penal Code 502. Computer crimes are defined as any unlawful accessing, changing, or damaging of a computer, a computer’s system, or a computer network. This includes smart devices such as smart phones and tablets.

Committing any kind of computer crime can result in severe fines and imprisonment. Fines can range anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000. The imprisonment can be served in either a county jail or state prison. The sentence can be anywhere from one year, 16 months, two years, or three years. The severity of the punishment depends on the severity of the crime committed.

Unfortunately, these consequences don’t prevent everyone from hacking into computers that aren’t theirs.

Keeping an Electronic Device Safe Is Easier than You Think

People are sometimes surprised by everything they have to do to ensure their electronic device’s safety. However, after a person has installed protective software and learned the tricks to keeping their devices safe, things get easier. It will become second nature to spot malicious sites, files and emails.

By following the tips mentioned above, a person can ensure their devices safety. By doing so, they keep all personal files safe and out of harm’s way of most hackers. This means less chances of someone stealing their identity or accessing their bank account.

black friday shopping tips

Tips for Staying Safe This Black Friday

black friday shopping tips

Thanksgiving is almost here and while many people are preparing for a big family get together, others are prepping for all of the sales and deals of Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving, stores go all out and bring the holiday shopping season into full swing with insane one-day-only deals. Unfortunately the amazing deals have a tendency to make people a little crazy.

There have been far too many stories of people getting injured, or even killed due to the craziness of the day. In the mad rush to get a good deal, people get trampled, or people get into all out brawls trying to get certain items. It is all a bit much, especially after a day of giving thanks for what you have.

If a person is planning on going deal hunting on Black Friday, they need to be careful. No one wants to end up as another Black Friday news story. Here are some tips to stay safe and healthy this Black Friday:

  • Bring snacks and water if you are going to be shopping for long periods of time.
  • Bring hand warmers if you will be standing outside in lines.
  • Park in well-lit areas and keep keys in hand when walking to cars.
  • Leave kids at home, this is too chaotic for them.
  • Keep wallets secure by storing them in front pockets or fanny pack.
  • Never set a purse down, if you take one.

Keep all purchases in brown bags since thieves will be prowling parking lots looking for bags from high end stores. Remember that not getting an item is not the end of the world. Nothing in any store is worth starting a fight over.

If a person follows these tips, they can help keep themselves, and others, safe this Black Friday.

consequences for driving drunk

Have a Safe Thanksgiving This Year: Don’t Drink And Drive

consequences for driving drunk

The holiday season is officially here, and many people are getting ready to have some fun at family parties. Everyone celebrates in their own special way, but many celebrations will be including alcohol. If that is the case, then a person should be prepared to get home safely that evening.

Thanksgiving is all about having a nice big dinner with family and being grateful for another year together. Since it’s a dinner celebration, there will likely be a bit of alcohol consumed. If that does happen, the person needs to have a safe ride home since, as everyone knows, driving with alcohol in your system is dangerous and illegal.

In order to avoid getting pulled over, best case scenario, or getting into an accident, worst case scenario, a person should have a designated driver. This can be a loved one who has not had any alcohol, or it can be a hired driver. That is the great thing about today’s modern world, it is so easy to get a taxi, Uber, or Lyft to take a person home. Often times, it can be done through an app on the person’s phone.

Drinking and driving is very dangerous, and results in dozens of deaths every single day in the United States. It is estimated that a person is killed in a drunk driving related accident every 50 minutes. This is a statistic that no one wants to be a part of. Luckily, that can easily be avoided by drinking responsibly, and having a designated driver.

When a person has an assigned designated driver to get them home, they do not have to worry about how much alcohol they are consuming at Thanksgiving this year. All they really have to worry about is not giving the rest of the family another embarrassing story to talk about for years to come.

Do You Hate DUI Checkpoints? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t

Do You Hate DUI Checkpoints? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t

Do You Hate DUI Checkpoints? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t

Whenever a holiday that involves a lot of drinking rolls around, you can bet that there will be an increase in DUI checkpoints. With Saint Patrick’s Day right around the corner, you will definitely be seeing more of these checkpoints.

Most people do not like DUI checkpoints, and for obvious reasons. Checkpoints like these slow the flow of traffic and can cause gridlock. When a person has somewhere they want to be, getting stuck at a checkpoint can be understandably frustrating. However, while DUI checkpoints can be annoying, the police officers create them for a reason.

Roughly 800 people are injured by drunk driving accidents every single day, and that is without the excuse of a holiday to start drinking. In an effort to reduce the amount of accidents that could occur around a holiday, local police setup DUI checkpoints to catch people who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Going through a checkpoint may be slow going, but it is incredibly easy if you have not been drinking. When you arrive at a checkpoint, an officer will wave you forward. The officer will then ask a few questions such as:

  • Where are you going?
  • Where are you coming from?
  • Have you been drinking?

After all of the questions have been answered, if everything checks out, the officer will send you on your way. However, if the officer suspects that you have been drinking, they will ask you to pull over to the side where another officer will perform a more thorough investigation. If it is determined that you have been drinking, then you will be arrested for DUI.

Driving while under the influence of any substance is never a good idea. Substances like alcohol affect a person’s abilities to make good decisions and their control over their motor skills.

Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while drunk endangers the driver’s life, as well as the lives of every person that they pass on the road. DUI checkpoints help catch drunk drivers before they have a chance to hurt anyone, thereby making the roads safer for everyone around any day where people will be consuming more alcohol than usual.

upland bail bonds

How to Recover from Identity Theft


We all only have one identity, and for most people that is enough. However, some bad people out there like to steal other people’s identities to gain access to funds they normally wouldn’t have. This is called identity theft and can be very damaging to the person whose identity was stolen.

Most people learn about identity theft after some damage has already been done. They discover the theft when strange bills start coming in, or when they try to apply for a loan. That is when they find out their identity was stolen, and their credit ruined.

Thankfully, this is not the end for them. It is possible for a person to recover from identity theft. The first thing they need to do after discovering the theft, is contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and file a report of the identity theft. The FTC will ask questions about the theft, and inform the person on how they can recover from the theft.

After that has been done, the person will then need to contact the companies where they know fraud from the identity theft occurred, and alert them to the problem. The person should also issue a fraud alert and get a credit report, which will allow the person to check for any other incidents of fraud. Lastly, a person can file a report with their local police department.

Learning of identity theft can be startling and upsetting, but it is possible to recover. The most important part of recovering from identity theft is remaining calm. This will help the person make good, clear decisions while on the road to recovery.


Motorcycle Laws


Each state has different laws in regards to a lot of things, but what you may not think about is the difference in motorcycle laws. California has a different set of laws pertaining to motorcycles than others states. If you’re thinking about getting your motorcycle license (M1), you may want to look at all the laws and requirements first. It’s not as simple as buying a bike.

Here are some of the laws the California DMV has in regards to motorcycles:

  • Eye protection is not required.
  • In order to be street legal motorcycles must have turn signals and a mirror.
  • The age requirement to obtain a M1 is 16.
  • If you are under 21 years old, you must take a safety course in order to get your M1.
  • If you are over 21 years old you must take a skills test in order to obtain your M1.
  • “Lane Splitting” is authorized per California Highway Patrol.
  • Helmets are required of all motorcycle riders and must be Department of Transportation (DOT) approved.
  • When carrying a passenger, footrests for the passenger are required.
  • There is no age limit for a passenger.
  • Periodic safety inspections are required by law, but are at random.
  • Daytime use of headlights is required for all motorcycles from 1978 and later.

There are several more technical laws in regards to handlebar height, insurance speakers, and ear plugs. There are two laws that vary the most between the states. Those two are the helmet laws and lane splitting.

The helmet requirement, even though it seems obvious for safety reasons, is not a law in other states. States like Texas don’t require riders to wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle. As long as they have completed a rider safety course, or have the proper insurance coverage. However, if you are under 21 in the state of Texas you must wear a helmet.

The lane splitting law is also different between states. Again, most states, like Texas do not authorize lane splitting. Lane splitting is when a motorcycle shares the lane with another vehicle, or rides the line between lanes. Lane splitting is common in heavy traffic situation. Motorcyclist will use lane splitting to pass vehicles.

If you’re ever in doubt of motorcycle laws in your area, the DMV suggests looking at their Motorcycle Safety pamphlet. Another great source of information for motorcyclist is the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) website. On AMA they also have more information about off-road motorcycle laws, as well as all of the road laws.

Motorcycles can be fun, and freeing to ride. However, if you don’t follow the laws you might not be a free-bird for very long.


Getting a Safe Ride Home in 2018


It is the start of a new year, and that means new laws will be going into effect. One such law is California State Assembly Bill 711. This new law will allow alcohol manufacturers and licensed sellers to provide customers with discounted or free transportation through a taxi or other ride sharing service.

The idea behind this new law is to try and reduce the amount of drunk driving accidents that can occur. This will provide people who have consumed alcohol a safe and convenient way to get home. With this new law, bars and alcohol manufacturers will be able to offer vouchers for free, or discounted rides through a local transport service. Examples of these services include taxis, Uber, and Lyft.

Before this law, alcohol manufacturers and providers were not allowed to provide their clients with any sort of reward or incentive to drink their product. Under this new law, these providers will be able to offer vouchers for free or discounted rides home, however, they cannot be offered in a way that forces customers to purchase their product.

California is not the first state to allow alcohol manufacturers to provide this kind of service. There are 44 other states that have enacted a similar law in an attempt to reduce the amount of drunk driving accidents that occur on their roads.


Partying too Hard


The official countdown to the New Year hasn’t started just quite yet, but your party planning for the New Year may have. Whether you plan on staying in, or going out, plan your New Year’s celebration wisely. This is the time of year where DUI checkpoints are around every corner, so don’t drive drunk, and remember your driver’s license.

On top of being responsible, try to be kind to your body as well. has several tips on how to be safe when consuming alcohol. The first tip is to know your limit, and stick to it. Consuming too much alcohol can land you or a loved one in the emergency room with alcohol poisoning. When consuming high amounts of alcohol it is wise to keep your body hydrated with water and eat a well-balanced meal beforehand.

Prevention Lane also recommends slowing down and sipping your drinks. Along with sipping your drinks, it is also suggested that you alternate between alcohol and water. While you’re alternating between water and your drink, also try to space out the drinks. The faster you consume your drinks, the faster you will become intoxicated.

Most importantly, have a designated driver and friend. The more you drink the lower your ambitions and cognitive abilities get. Having a friend to help guide you and make safe decisions, can help you have a successful New Year Party.


New Year’s Resolutions


It is that time of year where people begin to form a list of promises they want to make to themselves. New Year’s Resolutions are positive and uplifting to some, while they are a joke to others.

According, Newswire, the top ten New Year’s Resolutions are:

  • Stay fit and healthy
  • Lose weight
  • Enjoy life
  • Save more money
  • Spend more time with friends and family
  • Get organized
  • Learn something new
  • Travel more

The pros to having resolutions are that they provide you with an opportunity to reflect on your life. In order to form a list, you have to first look back and evaluate your life. Another positive thing about resolutions is that they give you a goal and help you plan the next year.

The cons to a list of resolutions is it enables procrastination. For example, if you failed to lose weight this last year, no worries, you can procrastinate again this year. Also, there’s a lot of pressure to actually do your resolutions, especially if you share your list with friends on Facebook. Ultimately it is a personal choice whether to have a list or not.