Friday, 31 October 2014

Protecting Yourself From Fraud

We do a lot of online shopping its hard not to we live miles from the proper shops and what I call “civilisation”.  In the sticks we have a few cute gift shops, the usual tat shops the boys love and a couple of places for food shopping other than that we need to rely on the Internet or face a considerable drive.

I was eager to learn some tips to protect myself from online fraud.  I use my computer a lot if I am not blogging; I am browsing online for deals and bargains for the boys Christmas lists.  I am familiar with the scam emails you can get declaring you have won a spectacular lottery prize or some beneficiary has died and left you with a small fortune if you conveniently hand over your bank details!  But the fraudsters have to be more and more sophisticated with their efforts, as people are better educated not to fall for their tricks!

Natwest have created this useful infographic to arm you with tactics to keep safe.  It makes for an interesting read and means you’re hopefully less likely to be a victim of fraud.

Incredibly online shopping fraud costs £163.3M a year, more than any of the other types of fraud!  It’s almost enough to put you off using the World Wide Web to get your presents on order.  Fortunately Natwest have some useful suggestions so you can protect yourself. 

It’s important to check your using a secure website, I always look for the change to https when I get to the payment screen.  Never open suspicious attachments on emails as they can contain viruses and spyware.  Stick to ordering from a computer you trust or be trebly sure you have logged out properly of public ones others will use after you.

With smartphones being logged automatically onto more sites with these fancy apps (mobile banking and so fourth) its vital you keep your phone to hand.  If it does get stolen notify the bank immediately so they can take preventive measures.

There is plenty more to learn, so I will be absorbing all the details to protect my family.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Creating a Garden Room

I have always craved patio doors, just because it’s a lovely idea having a room opening straight out onto the garden.  You can enjoy a breeze if its getting too hot inside and you can easily keep an eye on the children as they play safely under your watchful eye.  But why stop at patio doors when you can go that step further and create a garden room.

Having seen what offers I would be quite happy going the whole hog and having an entire side of the house folding open!  In the picture on their site they actually seem to open fully and completely so you can walk freely into the garden and back indoors again.  You can find out how much uPVC bifold doors cost to see if it’s an option worth pursuing.

I love the choice of materials the folding doors come in, but personally I would avoid timber at the moment seeing as our house had an infestation of woodworm when we moved in.  Hubbie had to go around the house in a special suit spraying the place with a special solution to get rid of the pesky things so I am all about upvc for the low maintenance side of things.  Although reading this article on the Telegraph I think we might have got a little carried away, it seems that the special treatment is more of a hard sell and the problem can go away on its own if a house is heated and vented appropriately!

I want a beautiful space for my family to enjoy that encourages them to appreciate the outdoors.  You want to keep the room light and natural.  I like the idea of adding nature inspired wallpaper (like this one from B&Q) to bring the indoor and outdoors space together, it comes across as quite tranquil and peaceful.

Woven or cane furniture can be used indoors then spill outdoors when needed.  Perfect for entertaining!

I think I might create a mood board and entice hubbie with my plan!

Philips Monstergraphic & Mickey Mouse SoftPal Competition

Children have very active imaginations; I was looking at some interesting research by Philips and what they found out about “monsters”.  My eldest thinks monsters live on Mars, they only come out to visit you on special days like your birthday to celebrate with you!  Which sounds quite positive really but he still has his moments when he is a bit unsure at night.

Philips learnt more about the characteristics of monsters, what they look like and how many are in each household!  If we are like the average (2.51) we will have more monsters than children in our family.  It’s a fascinating thought!  Mind you I think it would be hard pushed squeezing one monster under their bed, it’s so full of books, dust bunnies and soft toys!  Perhaps its because one of the top monster superpowers is doing the chores, so they can have a quick tidy before they settle down for the night.

Seeing a monstergraphic like this makes monsters look quite approachable, one in three are fluffy and fluffy monsters do not seem quite so scary somehow.  One child imagined up a 23-limbed monster, eldest went for four arms and seven legs when I asked him.  I suppose its good to get talking about monsters, you can learn more about what your child thinks and reassure them appropriately.

So with all this going on in their little heads it’s important to take efforts to soothe and comfort them at night, fortunately Philips have a range of night lights just for that purpose.  There is nothing like banishing imaginary monsters than a burst of light, the boys currently have no less than four night-lights in their one room and still showing signs of wanting a couple more!  It might look like the Blackpool illuminations by the time they have finished…

I have been offered an adorable Mickey Mouse SoftPal to giveaway.

If you would like to enter to win this cuddly companion please fill out the form below by the 19th of November.

Mickey Mouse SoftPal