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Archive for the ‘Paula’ tag

January 29th, 2013 at 5:00 am

Making Your Home with YoungHouseLove

Here’s the ingredients. A young family. Their second home-in-need-of-work. A budget. A boatload of creativity. A sense of style. And a great sense of humor. Put them all together and you have

Sherry and John bring you inside of their lives and share everything from the results of their home improvement projects, to their wedding, to the fun and funny things that go on in their daily lives via their family blog. They have a daughter and a dog and lots of friends and fans who take part in this mashup of home, family, crafting, gardening, entertaining and making a life. These two are a great example of how you can use all of the low cost resources out there to mix up a brew of style, creativity and fun.

Thanks to their site we can all watch them turn their finds from tag sales, thrift shops, discount stores and furniture outlets, into fabulous decorating and design solutions for their home and garden. They use smartphone apps, arts and craft supplies and everyday items to personalize and customize their surroundings.

They share what they see, what they do, and what their fans and followers contribute. The site is full of links and references to other resources that can help you reach some of your own home improvement, craft and organizing goals. They engage their followers in challenges and have even written a best selling book.

I love this site. As a tag sale junkie myself I can totally relate to many of the cool things they’ve done with their finds and the the really nifty ideas they have for projects they design and make themselves. Their house is their design palette and with their incredibly creative, low cost and practical solutions, they bring individuality into everything they do and the results are terrific. I applaud their success and look forward to continuing on their journey with them.

You can also find Paula on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @techsmart319. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

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January 31st, 2012 at 5:00 am

Practicing Safe Surfing

We are everywhere on the web. We fly from our email to Facebook, to Twitter, to Pinterest. We’re on the web at home, at the coffee shop, in airports. We log in and we log out. We use apps and sites for work, play, socializing, shopping and staying in touch. It’s fabulous. We are wizards at our screens.

But are we flying safely?

Here’s a few tips to help remind you to practice good security habits that will protect you from the darker side of the internet.

Just today I got two emails from friends which were very suspicious. There was a link in each one with an unrecognizable domain. Their email accounts had been hacked. It got me thinking about how vulnerable we all are when it comes to our login info.

Every year, we are reminded at Halloween to change the batteries in our smoke detectors. This is good practice. I’d like to use the new year as a reminder to change our passwords. Yes, I know this is a chore, but think of what a chore it will be to clean up the mess a hacker leaves behind when they get a hold of your accounts.

And please, make your password strong. Combinations of letters, numbers and symbols are that much harder to figure out. And keep this in mind. For every additional character in your password, the security is increased exponentially. Best practice? At least 8 mixed characters, and if you’re going to use recognizable words, replace some letters with symbols, like $ for s or 3 for e.

This article has a lot of really good tips for creating good, strong passwords that are very difficult to hack.

Privacy Settings
Another good habit to get into is periodically checking your privacy settings on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. As most of us FB users know, the user interface changes regularly and sometimes we’re unaware of some behind the scenes tweaking that might make us more accessible to outside apps and data-grabbing websites.

We are also more vulnerable to invasive websites every time we accept game or app invites, even from trusted friends and other apps that  want to connect through your Facebook or Twitter accounts.

So here’s a helpful site that makes it easy for you to check and monitor your privacy settings for some of the most popular sites. Go to and simply click on the app that you want to tidy up and it will take you directly to the privacy settings page for the site. Sometimes these pages are a challenge to find, so this makes it really simple to clean up and stop unwanted access to your account profiles.

You’ll probably be surprised, as I was, when you see what you didn’t know you were exposed to. It’s more than a little scary that our exposure is growing with every new web experience.

It’s a jungle out there my friends. Be smart. Be aware. Be safe.

You can also find Paula on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @techsmart319. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

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