BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR BLUETOOTH SETTINGS
Most of us aren’t careful enough when it comes to Bluetooth security. Bluetooth offers great wireless convenience for your smartphone, allowing you to connect to your headphones, car stereo, wireless speaker, and other devices without dealing with a tangle of cords and wires.
As a general rule, you should turn Bluetooth off on your phone whenever you’re not connected to a device.
Forgetting to turn it off will reduce your battery life because it continues to drain power even when there’s no device connected. But, there are even more serious concerns than that.
New hacker technologies, called “Blueborne” can scan for open Bluetooth connections and gain access to your device. Once a device has been hacked, it can then be used to gain access to additional devices. It’s not limited to one manufacturer either. Samsung, Google, Apple, and several car audio systems have all shown vulnerabilities.
So as a best practice, follow these two tips:
- Keep your phone updated. When Apple or Android releases an update, it’s not just for new operating system features—it also patches security issues.
- Make it a habit to turn off Bluetooth. As soon as you step out of your car or power down your headphones, you should turn off the Bluetooth on your phone. If nothing else, your battery will last a little longer.
Can you cut your Cable bill?
More and more people are cutting the cord and going without television service, but for many—especially those who watch a lot of live programming— cable is still a necessity. Cable and satellite companies love to sign customers to a two-year contract, but will dramatically raise your bill when a promotional period ends after one year. Suddenly, you’re paying $50 or more per month for the same services.
Here’s how to get (and keep) the best deals on television service.
Know what’s in store: Cable and satellite companies seemingly make it impossible to go online to downgrade your services, cancel service, or choose a new bundle. Even online chat support gives the cable company the upper hand. Picking up the phone and negotiating remains the best way to get the lowest price for your television service.
Knowledge is power: Before you call, do some research. Understand the terms of your current contract, see which bundles your cable provider is currently offering to new customers, and price out similar service offerings from other companies. You’ll be in a better bargaining position if you have the freedom to cancel on your current provider.
Make the call: Make it clear to the support representative that you are calling because your rates have increased and you’re considering cancelling if they cannot lower your bill. The support representative will initially try to offer higher-priced bundles or short-term freebies, but don’t give up on the negotiation—remember, you already know you can switch to another provider. If the sales representative won’t budge, you can even end the call, and try again with a different representative. In most cases, they would rather find a package that works than lose a customer.
5 Simple Ingredients for some of your Dreaded DIY Projects
Is there a DIY home maintenance project that’s been lingering on your to-do list for too long because you’re dreading the trip to the hardware or craft store?
Here are some projects you can tackle with items that are almost certainly already in your home.
- Vinegar: There’s probably a jug of vinegar in your pantry right now. You can soak items in vinegar to remove mineral deposits (like in a clogged showerhead), and you can boil vinegar in your microwave to remove odors and make it easier to clean.
- Cola: A can of Coke or Pepsi can be used to clean many surfaces, including your glass windows, porcelain toilet, or chrome fixtures. Just do some research before using it on metal surfaces, as it can be corrosive.
- Baking soda: This item may actually be more useful for applications other than baking. A baking soda-vinegar paste is great for cleaning bathrooms and kitchens. Baking soda can also be used to absorb odors.
- Butter knife: Screwdrivers are easy to misplace. If can’t find a screwdriver when you need one, a butter knife—preferably an older one that you no longer need for table setting—is pretty effective for both Phillips- and flat-head screws.
- Toothpaste: Is there an unsightly scratch on your car or bike? The grit in tarter-control toothpastes makes for an effective scratch remover. Clean the scratch, apply some toothpaste, let it sit for a few minutes, and then buff it out with paper towel.
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What Kind Of Accent Wall Would You Do?
An accent wall can totally transform a room, taking it from boring and drab to bold and exciting. Accent walls create a new focal point for your space, add liveliness and contrast, and are typically a very inexpensive DIY project.
The starter accent wall
You can easily add an accent wall to your room in one afternoon by applying a new paint color. Deep blues and bright oranges are common choices for accent walls, but choose a color that will complement your existing decor and overall design aesthetic.
Bright, contrasting paint is a good starting point, but there are other options for accent walls that are even more eye-catching and distinct. Floor-to-ceiling wood planks can make your home seem both rustic and modern all at once and provide a natural, outdoors-inspired feel. It’s more work than simply painting a wall, but it’s still relatively inexpensive. You can source the wood from pallets on Craigslist and stain it yourself before attaching it to your wall. It takes a little extra elbow grease, but it’s worth the effort.
Patterns, murals, and more
Paint and wood are bold enough on their own to transform a room, but they’re still pretty subtle compared to other accent wall options. A chalk paint accent wall is a creative idea for any room and makes for some fun moments when you’re entertaining. There are also endless options for wallpaper and stenciling if you want some patterns or you can get really bold with a mural or oversized art print.
Best Tips for Maintaining Your Houseplants
Adding plants to your home will give it a fresher and brighter feel and will also improve your home’s air quality. Although it does take a little bit of work and consistency to maintain your plants, but it’s well worth the effort. Here are a few tips for keeping your plants looking great.
- Use leftover water from cooking. Plants love the extra nutrients from your leftover cooking water that can’t be found straight from the tap. Instead of dumping the water right after boiling vegetables, let it cool and use it to water your plants.
- Coffee makes great fertilizer. Rather than throwing your used coffee grounds in the trash, empty out your French press or coffee filter straight into a planter.
- Dust your plants. This should be part of your regular dusting and cleaning routine. Keeping your plants’ leaves dust-free keeps them healthier.
- Pay attention to soil types. Different plants require different soils. Do some research to discover each plant‘s preferred soil. For instance, succulents require sandy, dry soil.
- Beware of root rot. Houseplants are prone to root rot because there’s often no where for excess water to drain from the planter. Prevent root rot by putting pebbles in the bottom of the planter, which elevates the roots. Use a water-hydrogen peroxide mixture for plants that are already showing signs of root rot.
Best Ways To Fix Scratches on Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors are highly desirable for most homeowners, but they come with their share of challenges when it comes to cleaning, maintenance, and repairs. After a few months or years of heavy use from kids playing with toys and chairs being shuffled around, it may be time for some DIY fixes.
Hiding scratches: If you’ve got a good eye for matching colors, you can actually use crayons or markers or purchase wax sticks from the hardware store to fill-in scratches. Try to match the stain color on your floors, but don’t worry if it’s a little off. If the color is close, once the scratch is filled, it’ll look like a variation in the wood grain.
Polishing floors: You can make a polish solution for your floors from household ingredients. Mix olive oil and vinegar in equal parts, pour it directly into scratches, and then wipe it off after 24 hours. It may take several applications, but this homemade polish will fill and cover most scratches.
Clever decor: It’s not a long-term solution, but sometimes the most painless way to fix scratches in your floors is to cover them with a rug or furniture arrangement.
Spot sanding: For deeper scratches, you’ll need to spot sand with fine steel wool or sandpaper, use wood filler, and stain and seal the repaired area.