Protect Your Identity from Hackers

Research suggests that more than 14 million Americans were the victims of identity theft in 2018, and the numbers only continue to rise. With data breach cases growing quite frequently, it’s important that you take all the necessary steps to protect your identity. Here’s how:

Shred Mail Documents and Personal Details

You risk personal information theft if you are not careful when discarding sensitive documents. By just digging through your trash, identity thieves can impersonate you to steal your benefits and commit crimes. Use a cross cutter shredder to destroy your documents before discarding them.

Leave Your Social Security Card at Home

To avoid Social Security identity theft, do not carry your card in your wallet or enter your number into your phone or laptop. Never give out your number in unsolicited calls or emails.

Monitor Your Credit

Keep tabs on your credit situation regularly and set up an alert feature. Order free credit reports and review them thoroughly. In case of any red flags, report identity theft immediately.

Reduce Social Media Footprint

Everyone loves social media, and so do fraudsters. Be wise about what you post, and make sure your accounts are private. Refrain from sharing your birth date as it makes it easy for scammers to guess your passwords.

Use Encryption

Encrypt all wireless networks and sensitive information with a unique username and password. For easy steps to use protection and encryption tools on your computer and digital data, check out some tools such as VeraCrypt and Bitlocker.

Activate a Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication is a must for online banking, email accounts, and cloud storage. It protects you from any instances of fraud by reconfirming your identity.

Use Public Wi-Fi Cautiously

Public Wi-Fi does not guarantee identity theft protection, so be cautious while using them. Never use public Wi-Fi for banking or sharing sensitive information and install a VPN for an added layer of security.

Consulting the best identity theft protection services have become a necessity. If you’re looking to get covered, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services. Our dedicated team is happy to help you with all your coverage needs today.

Tips for Starting a Business as a Woman

How to launch your own company.smiling business woman

With International Women’s Day right around the corner, you may be feeling inspired and motivated to get your business off the ground.  To help you launch your own business, here are some of the suggestions you should keep in mind.

  • Focus on Marketing

While many start-ups do not have the budget to launch major marketing campaigns, you should still do whatever you can to announce your business’s presence.  When money is a concern, it’s best to focus on quality rather than quantity.  By creating specific marketing materials and distributing them to your target audience, you can make the most of your small marketing budget.

  • Outsource to Address Your Weaknesses

Many entrepreneurs try to handle everything on their own.  However, this isn’t reasonable or sustainable.  One of the first things that new business owners should learn is how to delegate and outsource.  By hiring other people to handle things you aren’t good at, you can save yourself time, effort, and avoid serious mistakes.

  • Focus on Customer Service

When your business is small, you can’t realistically think of competing with big-name, national corporations.  However, there are some advantages to being a smaller operation.  By being responsive, polite, and ready to go the extra mile, you can attract a base of loyal customers.  This can help you generate a stable income that will help your business grow and succeed.

These are some of the suggestions that female entrepreneurs should keep in mind when launching their own business.  Remember, your business cannot get off the ground without comprehensive commercial insurance.  For assistance with all your business insurance needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services today.

Helping Your Teen Get Out of an Unhealthy Relationship

Helping your child escape a bad relationship.sad teen curled up in corner of dark room

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.  As the name suggests, this month is all about educating teens to recognize the signs of an abusive relationship, and offering them the support to get out of this toxic situation.  As a parent, the idea of your child in an unhealthy relationship is terrifying, and you want to do everything in your power to help them.  If you suspect that your teen is in a harmful relationship, here are some of the ways that you can help.

  • Listen and Offer Non-Judgmental Support

Oftentimes, it can be difficult to get your teen to talk about a bad relationship.  The best way to get them to open up is by offering gentle support without judgment.  If your teen does want to talk, then be a good listener.  Do not interrupt to offer advice or make accusations.  Let your teen lead the conversation and only offer insight when prompted.  Of course, if your teen is in immediate danger, then contact the necessary authorities or emergency services.

  • Don’t Impose Ultimatums

As a parent, you may have to resist the urge to order your teen to break up with their abusive partner.  While you are doing this out of concern, your teen may see this as interfering and shut you out again.  For a breakup to be successful, your teen needs to want it for themselves.  While it will be difficult, you have to accept the situation and trust that your child knows how to manage it.  Continue to offer support until your teen can find the strength to walk away.

  • Create a Safety Plan

Having a plan of action can help your teen feel safer and can empower them to break up with a toxic partner.  If your teen seeks your help, then ask them which steps they would like to take and discuss ways that they can accomplish this.  If your teen is not comfortable discussing a safety plan with you, then help them find the support they need.  Encourage them to speak to a trusted friend or counselor to help them with this process.

These are some of the things to keep in mind when helping your teen through an unhealthy relationship.  Want another way to take care of your children?  Then make sure they are protected with the right insurance.  For assistance with all your coverage needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services today.

How to Can Manage Work-Related Stress

Try out these stress-management tips at work.employee looking stressed at work

For most people, work stress is an unavoidable part of life.  Unfortunately, constant stress can wreak havoc on your mental, emotional, and physical health.  To protect yourself from the negative effects of stress, try out these stress-management strategies at work.

  • Take a Time Out

Everyone has moments where their job feels too overwhelming.  If you notice yourself starting to get panicked, then it’s important that you take a moment to calm yourself down and assess the situation rationally.  Momentarily step away from the stressful situation and take a bathroom break, have something to eat, or simply clear your mind.  Once you feel your anxiety ebb away, revisit the issue that is triggering your stress.  Now that you are calmer, you will have an easier time thinking of productive ways to deal with the problem.

  • Delegate

Having too many responsibilities on your plate can be stressful, even for the most efficient employee.  If you find yourself overwhelmed with work, you need to think about things rationally.  Rather than attempting to handle everything on your own, think about the tasks that you can pass on to a co-worker or subordinate.  Once you have taken some of the smaller things off your schedule, you can handle the remaining tasks more carefully and efficiently.

  • Be Flexible

No one wants to hear that they have a major assignment due in a couple of hours.  Unfortunately, getting hit with last-minute assignments is often part of the job.  Rather than wasting time lamenting the unfairness of it all, it’s best to accept the situation and start thinking about how you will complete things in the given time frame.  By being flexible and making things work, you can keep a cool head and earn the respect of your peers and superiors.

These are some of the things that you can do to manage work-related stress.  Are you looking for another way to reduce your stress?  Then turn to the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Service for the easy insurance experience that you deserve.  Our experts are ready to help you get the coverage that you need today.

How You Can Keep Your Home Safe

Try out these suggestions to protect against common home security and safety firefighter putting out home firerisks.

Protecting your home, loved ones, and personal property is a tall order to fill.  Fortunately, there a many small steps that you can take to keep your home safe.  Here are some of the things that you can do to protect your home from these common risks.

  • Natural Disaster

No matter where you live, you are at risk for some kind of natural disaster.  Whether it be wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes, or floods, it’s important to know which emergencies you are most likely to face.  Once you know which natural disasters you are most likely to be exposed to, follow expert guidelines to protect your home and prepare your loved ones.  For instance, you may have to create an evacuation plan, pack a family emergency preparedness kit, and make structural upgrades to your home.  It’s also important that you read through your homeowners insurance to see what your policy will cover after a natural disaster.  Oftentimes, homeowners need to secure supplemental forms of insurance to cover the damages related to natural disasters.

  • Fire

Home fires are one of the most common and devastating damage events that a homeowner can face.  In homes, cooking equipment is the leading cause of fire.  However, fires can also break out due to faulty lighting fixtures, malfunctioning appliances, overheated electronics, and so on.  Smoke detectors are one of the best fire prevention tools, and homeowners are advised to install a detector in every room and floor of their homes.  You should also keep a fire extinguisher on every floor of your home and in your kitchen.  This ensures that you can quickly put out a fire before it spreads.

  • Slips, Trips, and Falls

Falling is a common household hazard.  In fact, statistics show that one in three older adults fall in their homes, with one in five falls resulting in a head injury or broken bone.  The best way to reduce the risk for someone slipping or tripping is by keeping your home clear of clutter such as toys, electrical cords, loose papers, and so on.  You should also secure floor mats and rugs to ensure that they do not curl up and pose a fall risk for your loved ones.  Finally, make sure to install adequate lighting throughout your home, so family members have an easier time spotting and avoiding potential fall risks.

These are some of the top safety and security risks that homeowners have to face.  Want another way to protect your home, belongings, and loved ones?  Then make sure you have the proper homeowners insurance in place.  For assistance with all your home coverage needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services today.

Don’t Skip These Home Repair Jobs

Avoiding these home repairs will cost you.tool belt

When you own a home, it seems like there’s always something breaking down and going wrong.  While most minor issues can be handled at a later date, there are certain repairs that you need to take care of as soon as possible.  Here are some of the home repairs that you can’t afford to procrastinate on.

  • Roof Damages

Your roof is one of the only things standing between your home and the natural elements.  If your roof is damaged, leaking, or rotting, then it is more of a liability than a source of protection.  Failing to repair a damaged roof in a timely manner can lead to leaks, water damage, mold, pest infestation, and total roof collapse.

  • Clogged Drains

Clogged drains are more than a minor inconvenience.  When drains are left clogged, it’s possible for the blockage to pile up and extend through your pipes.  This increases your risk for burst pipes, flooding, and leaks.  Additionally, if a clogged drain backs up into your home, then you will suffer contamination from dirty water, foul odors, and harmful airborne particles.  To ensure that a single clogged drain doesn’t become a more serious issue, it’s best to unclog as soon as you notice this problem.

  • Mold

While mold and other signs of water damage may seem minor on the surface, they often indicate much more serious and major issues.  For instance, if you notice mold on a wooden surface, then it’s possible that you have water rot all through the wood, making it necessary to completely replace the damaged wood.  Additionally, mold poses a danger to you and your family’s health.  So, when you see mold and water damage, it’s best to hire a professional to inspect the damage as soon as possible.

These are some of the home repair jobs that you cannot afford to skip out on.  Want another way to take care of your home?  Then make sure you have the right insurance protections in place.  For assistance with all your homeowners insurance needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services today.

Protect Yourself While Using Public Wi-Fi

Safety suggestions for connecting to public W-Fi networks.student on phone

While you might not think twice about connecting to the Wi-Fi at your local café, it’s important to remember that using public Wi-Fi networks are can be risky.  To ensure that you protect yourself, make sure you employ these public Wi-Fi safety tips.

  • Moderate Your Actions While on Public Wi-Fi

When you are using public Wi-Fi networks, scrolling through social media and watching YouTube videos is pretty harmless.  However, you should avoid activities that require you to insert payment information, access password-protected accounts, or deal with your sensitive data.  These online activities should be saved for when you are at home and can use your own private, protected network.

  • Use Secure Connections

Another way to stay safe while on public Wi-Fi networks is by only browsing sites that have an “https” URL.  Https sites are encrypted while the normal http ones are not.  In other words, https sites offer an extra layer of security that protects your data and keeps you hidden from hackers and online criminals.

  • Activate Two-Factor Authentication

Many websites now offer users the option to take extra security steps to prove their identity before accessing the site or the user’s personal account.  For instance, before accessing your Facebook account, the site will ask for your password before emailing or texting you an additional code that you need to enter before allowing you to log in.  While activating this extra step takes more time, the extra security is worth it in the end.

These are some of the things that you should do to protect yourself while using public Wi-Fi networks.  Are you looking for another way to protect yourself?  Then make sure you have the right personal insurance in place.  For assistance with all your coverage needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services today.