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Home Décor, Apple Products, Cybersecurity and Cyberprivacy

This piece is brought to you and contributed by an outside writer.

Woman's legs kicked up on a coffee table, with Netflix loading on a Smart TV

Home Décor and Cyber Connected Technologies

With the proliferation of IoT devices and their involvement with more facets of our lives than ever, and those Internet of Things devices also becoming decorative, it might be easy to overlook other aspects of these fancy technologies.

In reality be it a smart holiday ornament, a smart picture frame or digital art on the the wall, all of those devices are likely to be cyber connected and operated remotely.

Even a fancy coffee machine, refrigerator can fall into this category and can be easily overlooked in terms of its cyber connected nature and its related potential ramifications.

Cyber connected devices as fancy and innovative as they may be come with an additional aspect which is the inherent security and privacy risks which are synonymous with the internet and Cyberspace.

Apple Products

Apple product enthusiasts may look for a free VPN Mac or free VPN for iPhone solutions. Perhaps because Apple products are well-known for their superior security and scrutinizing application approval processes for their iOS devices, an Apple user may not think that it is worth while to purchasing the best VPN for Mac solution.

Here are some reasons Apple product users should consider purchasing a reputable high-quality VPN solution for their devices:

  • MacOS does not have the ability to stop your ISP or Internet Service Provider to track your online activities.
  • iOS does not have the ability to stop your ISP or Internet Service Provider to track your online activities.
  • MacOS or iOS do not encrypt all your traffic including on non-secure sites, a VPN solution will fill that gap.
  • VPN will enable you to mask you real IP address on the internet, providing increased security and privacy. MacOS and iOS devices do not have the capability.
  • Bypass geo-content restrictions by obtaining an IP address for another country. For example if you are in Canada and there is a show or movie on Netflix that is not available for Canadian Netflix users, simply get an U.S address and enjoy that show and movie. Once again, MacOS and iOS does not offer these capabilities.
  • MacOs or iOS will not protect you from open and unsecure public Wifi networks such as the ones in cafes, restaurants, hotels, airports, public transport and more. A VPN will ensure all your data is scrambled ensuring your privacy is not compromised in those public locations.

New Devices, Cybersecurity and Cybersecurity

PC monitors, and monitors used to extend laptop display are not typically viewed as a device that would require a security and privacy related solution such as a VPN. The recently launched device by major technology players such as Samsung’s Smart Monitor which is classified by some as part of their home décor changes that picture. This device has the same capabilities as a Smart TV and also connects directly to popular content services such as Netflix Disney+, HBO Max, AppleTV, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and YouTube. A VPN solution is relevant for such a device as not only it connects to your home WiFi network and may be used outside your home, removing geo-content restrictions is likely to be needed as some point.

Device Scrutiny

We all should scrutinize every device, appliance and home décor item as it may be cyber connected will need a security-solution such as VPN.

Why Give Gifts?

This post is in collaboration with ValuedVoice.

Stuffed animal version of an avocado sitting on a yellow table against a green wall.

People love to give presents. Over the course of a year, there are many opportunities to gift your friends and loved ones unique items that they will enjoy; between birthdays, weddings and holidays like Mother’s Day and Christmas, gifts are a staple of any celebration. But why do people enjoy giving gifts so much?

Many Motivations

People give gifts for many reasons. Some like to make themselves feel good by basking in the glow of the recipient’s joy; others enjoy the thrill of the hunt when they find the perfect item from My Gift Stop. Either way, no matter what the gift or occasion is, gifts are practically a requirement for the majority of special occasions.


Many people give gifts because they get pleasure out of helping others. Whether it’s giving new parents clothes and equipment for their newborn, kitchen appliances for a child’s first home, gifts that have a necessary and immediate use make the giver feel good about their ability to directly and positively affect another’s life. In a similar vein, charitable donations to a loved one’s favorite charity or personal cause will make both the giver and recipient happy that so many will benefit from their largesse.

Status Symbol

Where some people are genuine do-gooders in their gift-giving styles, some give presents as a way of displaying their status and not so much out of the goodness of their heart. For these types, the type, cost and sometimes literal size are all meant to display their wealth.

Rather than a wedding gift picked off a registry or a modest gift in keeping with the recipients’ lifestyle, the wedding present may be quite a large sum of money or a complete set of fine china that most people could only afford to buy piecemeal.

Traditional To-Do List

For some families, gifts are simply something that must be done. For these people, a gift is given simply because that’s always how it’s been done. For example, if Christmas Eve involves a family present of matching pajamas and a movie to watch together, then that is what must always happen no matter the cost or inconvenience. This type of giver can experience some anxiety in his or her attempt to fulfill their self-induced gift-giving requirements.

Handmade Experiences

Some gifters prefer a more hands-on approach. This type of person likes to spend their time making their own gifts, whether it’s baked goods, a knitted scarf or a framed photograph. They also like to gift experiences like movie tickets, museum passes or tickets to a local theme park as a way of creating memories for those they love. For them, something made by hand or experienced is a one-of-a-kind statement of the love they feel towards the recipient.

There are many different ways to give, and reasons for giving, a present and just as many types of gifts. Whether the gift is a high-end watch, a donation to a local nonprofit or a batch of fudge, gift-giving is done best as an act of love.


3 secrets no one tells you when you copy trade Forex

This post is brought to you and contributed by an outside writer.

The foreign exchange market offers numerous opportunities, such as flexible trading hours and high leverage ratios. This helps investors extract profit from exchange rate fluctuations.

The most prevailing type of trading in the Forex market is copy trading. Copy trading makes it simple for individuals in the financial markets to replicate positions opened and managed by others. 

Just because you see the word ‘copy’ inside ‘copy trading,’ it doesn’t mean you’re cheating. Far from it. Buying and selling are automated, but it’s up to you to choose a good trading strategy. You observe the available positions and try to figure out the reasoning behind each movement. Once you’ve succeeded in identifying a connection, you need to be able to close trades, open up new ones, and attempt to control the result.

All you need to start is a PC or smartphone and an Internet connection. Select a reliable broker, create a trading account, open or download the terminal, choose your leverage, make a deposit, and start trading the foreign exchange market. Here are the secrets that nobody will tell you when starting to copy trade Forex.

Imitate an experienced trader in buying and selling 

Copy trading seems simple enough. You get in touch with one of the few Forex brokers who have their own CopyTrading platforms, put your money down, and start imitating successful traders.

However, there is more to it than meets the eye. You must get a good understanding of the facts that could possibly impact your profit or loss. If you copy the wrong Forex trader, you will end up disappointed and with an empty bank account. 

Set your eyes on a trader that shows consistent profits, not to mention a very appealing chart. You may be tempted to ignore the spread and buy at chance in the foreign exchange market. It is important to understand that it is just as easy to lose pips as it is to win pips. If you ignore the possibility of loss, your trading account will suffer for it. 

Follow Forex traders with A or B ratings. You’ll be amazed by the number of market participants that you can follow. Unfortunately, the more options you have, the harder it becomes to find a trader that will lead you to profitability.

When picking someone to follow, take into account your strategy, the risk-to-reward ratio, and, last but not least, think about how often the trades are placed. If you’re not the type of person who can multitask, choose a trader that makes fewer transactions a week. 

Do not put all your eggs in one basket 

You know the old adage. It means that you should not concentrate all your efforts or resources in one place because you risk losing everything. This saying holds true when it comes down to copy trading, so try applying the words.

Make your investment portfolio safer and less vulnerable to the whims of the currency market. You should have a portfolio made up of different traders with an assigned similar amount for each one. The road to long-term profitability implies diversification

Forex copy trading allows you to instantly add a level of diversification to your investment portfolio. Even a few trades will expose you to numerous assets, which can include currencies, stocks, commodities, and indices. You still need to copy more than one trader if you want to have success. Individuals do not seem to understand that even the best Forex traders have bad days. Losing days are inevitable, which is the reason why you need to put your eggs into several baskets. 

Follow several Forex traders and spread the risk. If your account is small and you cannot copy so many traders, 20 being the maximum number, diversify properly into more assets and limit the risk. You can enjoy a diversified trading portfolio even if you don’t have too much capital. Most importantly, do lots and lots of research. 

Take the profits from copy trading and reinvest them 

Copy trading could be profitable if you allocate enough time to your account. The profits that you make are used for copy trading. Even if your money grows as you continue trading, you’re still not going to become rich overnight.

There are two things you can do: Withdraw the profits right away or let them get reinvested back into the broker’s system when you copy trade. Tempting as it may be to withdraw your profits, you can let your winnings go into new, bigger trades. 

Making money out of copy trading is a real possibility, though the field is risky. Reinvest any profits you make and take advantage of the compound effect that enables you to reap huge rewards from insignificant actions.

It is not possible to predict how much money you will make buying and selling currency. The past results are not good indicators of future performance. As mentioned earlier, every Forex trader has bad days from time to time. If you want to make progress and be successful, embrace this aspect and take control of your investments. 

Do not hesitate to set a stop loss. This neat feature gives you the ability to manage risk when it comes to every copy relationship. It is based on profit and loss values. It is essential to put stop losses in place no matter if you are trading by yourself or automatically copying the moves of others. The stop loss is what prevents the trade from becoming a massive loss.

Easy, Peasy, Cheap Way to Clean Off Your Car in the Winter

First thing’s first: Happy MLK Jr. Day! Today’s a great day to engage in service for others. If you have kids in the Burgh, it’s a great day to head to the Mattress Factory for free, fun and educational programming!

Affordable. Fast. Easy.

Winter has been weird here in Pittsburgh. We had one snowfall in November, but it was light and dissipated quickly. Since then, it’s been fairly warm. Over the holiday break, it was so warm we abandoned coats in the Spring-like weather. The air was pregnant with an unseasonably warm humidity. Everyone I ran into simultaneously loved it and was, on a deeper level, disturbed by it.

All illusions of Spring vanished this weekend as we had our first real snow pass through. Things got icy. Things got a little dicey on the roads for a minute. For better or worse, it began to feel like a Pittsburgh winter.

I hate scraping off my car.

I’m not the tallest person. When this season rolls around, I typically bust out the car brush, curse myself for moving into yet another home without a garage (that rent tho!) and curse some more as I try in vain to get every last chunk of snow off of my car.

It’s a miserable process.

A lot of times, I’ll just “leave” half an hour early, sitting in my car with the heat blasting on defrost until things have thawed enough to make the job easier.

Burning fuel like that is not cost-effective and also is a pretty terrible thing to do the environment I claim to be so worried about.

Scrape-A-Round to the rescue!

Earlier this winter, Scrape-A-Round had approached me with a few free snow scrapers for myself and my family. I watched their videos and was intrigued. It looked like it was going to be a ton easier to clean off my car. And that’s something that makes me super happy.

This weekend, I had my first real chance to try it out.


I applied almost no pressure and easily cut through ice within seconds. I was able to reach the same parts of the windshield I am with the scrape-y part of a regular brush tool, so range was not an issue. Because it’s a hollow cone, I figured out a technique to scoop the snow off the car which was just as efficient as brushing it off had been in years past.

I’m never buying a brush tool again.

Scrape-A-Round is Affordable

You can get a pack of three Scrape-A-Rounds for $18, making them just $6/piece. Scrape-A-Round is an American company, and it’s probably best to buy directly off their website.

Their marketing indicates that they have had problems with knock-offs made in China. These knock-offs might be cheaper, but they also don’t work as well as the original. I’ve noticed this same problem with other products lately, especially when I order off Amazon. You have to be vigilant nowadays!

Best Ways to Make an Income from the Comfort of Your Home

This post is brought to you and contributed by an outside writer.

Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a college grad who knows they want to pursue remote work, there are several efficient ways that you can set your financial future in stone from the comfort of your own home.

Before determining your method of creating an income from home, you will need to assess your available finances to confirm which solution would be the most appropriate for you as an individual. Another factor you should consider include determining how much time and effort you will be willing and able to invest daily. Once you have set the groundwork for your ideal work environment, the following ideas have been effective for others.

Renting Properties

Even though most young professionals assume that you will only be able to create an income by renting property if you are able to purchase a property without a mortgage, comparing deals and opting for low-interest rates will garner optimal savings. While you will be able to compare deals with Habito, you should take as many measures as possible to save on your mortgage repayments – including creating an income in the process.

Charging market rent even after the mortgage is paid off and taking advantage of equity on the property when you are able to are just a couple ways that you can make money from renting a property. The key to this method is to invest as much as possible upfront. Then, you might set the goal of purchasing multiple properties. The intent of this move is to multiply your income and compound your profits.

Freelance Work

If you are unable to invest in purchasing properties, you could opt for work as a freelancer. There are several different fields to consider from graphic design to customer support, which means you won’t be limited for choice. Freelancing is widely considered the best form of self-employment as you will be able to rely on clients that could become ongoing without having to be tied down by an employment contract.

Trading Shares And Currencies

If you have time and some disposable funds to invest in your future financial situation after maxing out your tax-advantaged retirement accounts, trading shares and currencies may be a good solution for you. While many aspiring traders make the fundamental mistake of believing trading does not require effort, you will need to monitor your shares and investments to identify potential loss on a daily basis. Forex trading has become particularly popular in recent years as many traders have taken on the opportunity to create an impressive income from the comfort of their homes by trading with specific strategies on a daily basis.

Maximizing Your Income

You may find that one income stream may not be entirely sufficient for your needs. When considering that the ultimate goal should be to work towards financial freedom, it is best to use build up several income streams. What’s more, you should also create long-term goals, such as freelancing with intentions of saving and later purchasing properties to rent out as this would maximize your income in the future and provide ultimate financial freedom.