RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

7 Tips for Safe Browsing

August 20, 2015 2:15 am

For all the Internet’s advantages, users remain vulnerable to fraud, identity theft and other scams and must take precautions online, say the experts at the American Bankers Association (ABA). To stay safe and secure while browsing, the ABA recommends users:

Secure your Internet connection. Always protect your home wireless network with a password. When connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, be cautious about what information you are sending over it.

Keep computers and mobile devices up to date. Having the latest security software, Web browser and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware and other online threats. Turn on automatic updates so you receive the newest fixes as they become available.

Set strong passwords. A strong password is at least eight characters in length and includes a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters.

Keep personal information personal.
Hackers can use social media profiles to figure out your passwords and answer those security questions in the password reset tools. Lock down your privacy settings and avoid posting things like birthdays, addresses, your mother’s maiden name, etc. Be wary of requests to connect from people you do not know.

Watch out for phishing scams. Phishing scams use fraudulent emails and websites to trick users into disclosing private account or login information. Do not click on links or open any attachments or pop-up screens from sources you are not familiar with. Forward phishing emails to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at spam@uce.gov – and to the company, bank, or organization impersonated in the email.

Shop safely. Before shopping online, make sure the website uses secure technology. When you are at the checkout screen, verify that the web address begins with https. Also, check to see if a tiny locked padlock symbol appears on the page.

Read the site’s privacy policies. Though long and complex, privacy policies tell you how the site protects the personal information it collects.

Source: ABA.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Leave Tree Work to the Professionals

August 20, 2015 2:15 am

For the DIY homeowner, outsourcing tree work may seem like an unnecessary expense. In reality, the costs of tackling tree care on your own can run high. “Most homeowners simply don’t have the tools, knowledge or experience necessary to safely attempt their own tree work,” says Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) Staff Arborist Tchukki Andersen.

Safe tree work requires extensive knowledge of tree physics and biology, which can take years of experience and study to acquire. For example, felling a tree in a controlled manner is not as simple as cutting through the trunk with a chain saw. It requires establishing a drop zone, making precise cuts, and sometimes guiding the tree safely to the ground with ropes as leverage.

Up-ended root plates or root balls are also unpredictable. Severing the trunk of a fallen tree from an up-ended root plate releases tension, which may be strong enough to pull the stump and root ball back into the hole, trapping anything nearby underneath it.

Other hazards may be invisible to the untrained eye. Rotten trunks and limbs, pest and fungal infestation and other defects can only be identified and treated by an experience tree care practitioner.

In addition, many trees grow near power lines and have their branches, leaves and limbs entangled in live wires. Navigating this danger is challenging even for professionals, and should never be attempted by homeowners under any circumstance.

Homeowners may also be unaware of proper tool usage, especially when using chain saws and ladders. Common mistakes are to use a dull saw, which forces the operator to use excess pressure and potentially lose control of the tool, and to saw branches on the ground, which can result in kickback. Ladders that are too short, on unstable ground or supported by a faulty limb can easily result in injury.

Tree work may also require tools the average homeowner does not own, such as stump grinders, wood chippers and aerial lifts.

The best option for homeowners seeking tree work or removal on their property is to consult with a professional arborist.

Source: TCIA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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