Anybody can be in an emergency situation and the latter can happen at the most unexpected times. This is why it is important for you and the rest of your family to know the basic procedures to handle some of the most common incidents. Knowledge of first aid and how to administer them can save a life. However, in the US, statistics show that as much as 70 percent of Americans do not know what to do in case something does happen.
Are you and your family ready? Let’s have a look at some of the most common emergency situations and what you can do to address each one immediately. Take note that while these procedures are recommended and necessary, the more important thing you should do before performing any of these is to call 911 first or ask somebody to call an ambulance while you get started. With that established, here are six procedures that everybody should know.
- Perform CPR
This is one of the first things that come to mind when it comes to “life-saving skills.” Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a technique that could make a huge difference to a person who is suffering cardiac arrest. It’s better to get training from a licensed emergency services specialist and practice the moves beforehand, so that when the time comes that your skill is needed, you are ready. Even just watching a one-minute video about CPR can already help make you better at thir procedure.
- Help someone who is choking
The Heimlich maneuver is the most popular way of relieving a person who cannot breathe due to a blockage in the airway. Some restaurants post illustrations and photos demonstrating how to do this procedure because choking happens while one is excitedly eating. However, not every place has these guides available. This is why you and your family should know what to do.
Note that before performing the Heimlich maneuver, you should first strike five blows to the person’s back using the heel of your hand to dislodge the food or object that’s blocking the air passage. If that doesn’t work, that’s the time you do the signature abdominal thrusts. Choking not only happens to people who are eating. It can also happen in children and infants who are prone to putting random stuff in their mouths. There are different techniques for adults and children, so train your family to do both.
For minor burns, you can immediately address the problem by running the affected area under cool water for at least 10 minutes. Then, get a moist towel to help further cool the skin. Do not put ice, or anything else on the burnt area and simply cleanse it with mild soap and water. For the pain, the person can take meds to manage it. Just make sure that he or she is not allergic to these drugs, or else you end up with a bigger problem.
Simple burns do not require dressings, as well, and just need to be aired out. Just make sure that open wounds are not contaminated so you don’t escalate the problem. Of course, if it’s a major burn, you must call for medical help right away or rush to the nearest hospital to be treated by a professional.
Bleeding can come in different forms, ranging from a simple scrape to the dangerous arterial type. In any case, the goal is to stop the bleeding ASAP and prevent further loss of blood. To address a bleeding issue, wash your hands and put on gloves (or a clean plastic bag) first to avoid contaminating the area. Elevate the site of the bleeding and remove any obvious debris and dirt from the wound. If there’s a large object embedded, do not touch it and just wait for medical professionals to handle it.
Apply pressure on the bleed site with a bandage or clean cloth for at least 20 minutes. During this period, do not open the cloth to check if it has stopped. Just wait until the time has passed before looking. If the bleeding doesn’t stop and there’s arterial damage, apply pressue on the artery itself and squeeze it against the bone, while ensure that your hand continous to apply pressure on the wound itself.
- Heart attack
Because a heart attack is life threatening, knowing how to spot signs of an impending attack and how to deal with it when it does happen is crucial. Signs includes dizziness, pain in the neck, shoulder or arm, chest pain, shortness of breath, and nausea/vomiting, among others. When you spot someone with these telltale signs, immediately call 911 or have someone do so. You can offer aspirin if available because it can help reduce the damage, then perform CPR when the person loses consciousness. Do this until emergency service arrive and takes over.
- Carrying someone bigger than you
There might be times when there’s another person hurt and only you can help bring him or her to safety. If that person if heavier than you or you are not that strong, you can still lift him or her without hurting yourself while doing it. What you can do is take the person’s arm and pull it over your shoulder. Then while crouching down or kneeling, have his or her middle part rest on your shoulder to hang. Thrust upwards using your hips and legs. Do not lean forward as this can cause injury on your back. You can practice this technique with children or small people first, just so you get the hang of it.
Hopefully, you or your family will not be in a situation that requires knowledge of emergency procedures. However, arming your loved ones with these skills makes you better prepared to handle them when they do happen. In addition, practicing these procedures as a family or a team can help bring you closer together because it’s a wonderful way to bond.
Social media has changed the way we interact with friends and family. In fact, it seems it has helped bring people together by allowing us a peek into their daily lives and special moments. However, our accounts have also made us more vulnerable to people who want nothing but to cause trouble. While social networks like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube play a significant part in our lives, they have also exposed us to security threats.
There are hundreds of millions of Internet users all over the world. And while these tools are great for keeping tabs on people we care about, they also attract those who want to know us for the wrong reasons. It’s not just on a personal level. With more businesses opening up accounts and using these as advertising platforms, the connections made via Likes and Comments on public spaces can open doors for criminals. Some click-bait schemes are even posing as “legitimate” pages to get information out of unknowing individuals.
Here are seven threats to security we should watch out for when using social media.
- Who Viewed Your FB Profile?
This scheme is clever because it preys on your natural curiosity. This usually appears as a message posted on your friend’s wall via accidental spamming or through ads. The moment you click on this, spammers gain access to your account and the people on your network. Even if you see this sent by your friends, don’t fall for any link unless you get verification that it’s legitimate — but this one certainly isn’t.
- Instant Twitter Followers
Avoid tweets that offer to give you “instant followers” by clicking a link. While a large following will lend more credibility to your online image, especially if you’re a business, a simple one-time authorization can lead to an attack on your entire profile. Scammers know exactly what you need online and they will exercise all means possible to get you attracted and clicking away. This is one such scheme that is so tempting, but know that it can and WILL compromise your security.
- The Facebook Color Changer
Apps that promise to get you out of that boring blue Facebook profile and turn it into a rainbow complete with “confetti” are a scam. Clicking this offer will lead you to phishing sites where you are asked to either enter your information, share the same “fun” app with your friends, or watch a video (while its bots creep into your account). This can also affect mobile devices, so be wary.
- “Shocking,” “Outrageous” and “NSFW” Video Scams
We all love controversy and almost any post with these labels are certainly intriguing enough to click. Don’t. This popular bait method is a favorite among cyber attackers and scammers. They present outlandish titles that promise explicit content to get attention and sometimes even controls your account to create a “viral” frenzy. When you click it, you will be led to fake websites or random surveys that ask you to enter information. Take note this can ruin both your social media account and your computer.
- Naked Video Scams
Similar to number 4, this preys on one’s curiosity. But, more importantly, it is an invasion of privacy. This scam poses as an “interesting”
video but all it leads you to, really, is a fake site that will plant malware on your system. It will usually say that your Flash player crashed so you can’t view the video and will need to “update.” Now that you’re wiser, stay as far away as possible from these things. They usually contain a Trojan virus.
- The “Just Saw This Photo Of You” Scam
the general content of this type of scam. This “invasion” on your personal space preys on one’s paranoia so you will feel compelled to click. Again, DON’T. It will hijack your account and spam your followers, making YOU the purveyor of the scam. Reportedly, this malicious post also installs spyware on your computer.
- Bogus Pinterest pins
Normally, people wouldn’t think Pinterest would be a target for hackers, but cybercriminals really know no platform and prey on everything. Users will be asked to click on fake pins that eventually ask them to answer “surveys” or lead them to phishing websites. These bogus pins usually come in the form of promotions, contests, or freebies that seem to come from legitimate brands. But, a closer look at the account will reveal one or two letters off. Once you click, this malicious code gets downloaded to your system and start spamming your network.
Protecting Yourself On Social Media
Of course, while these scams are easily avoided, one major issue about one’s security on social media is forgetting to change your settings to “Private” and oversharing information. Make sure that only your friends see your updates and posts. Sift through your Friends or Followers list to see if there’s an account you don’t know or have accidentally friended people you’re not really familiar with. Avoid updating your account with your whereabouts every time you move so criminals won’t know where you are or are not alerted that nobody’s home.
When it comes to your security on social media, majority rests upon you being extra careful and vigilant. Our social networks are a fun way to update friends and family, but if you’re not watchful, you could also be giving criminals the same sensitive information. Check the URLs carefully and make sure no letter is out of place, see that the address starts with https:// to indicate it’s encrypted, or run it against a link scanner first before opening it.
Five things you should never, ever share online are your 1) financial information, 2) full address and date of birth, 3) your children’s names and school details, 4) your social security, license, and credit card numbers, and 5) your daily schedule. Knowing what threats make you the most vulnerable and protect yourself.
The Internet is increasingly being a legitimate means of meeting someone for a real-life connection. This also applies in the search for Mr and Ms Right. However, sometimes in our excitement to meet and date somebody we met online, we tend to forego personal safety. Take note that while meeting people on the Internet is fun, it can also be potentially dangerous.
It’s very easy to fall prey to a good feeling, especially when you think you’ve met The One. So when the other party invites you to finally meet face to face, you tend to let your guard down thinking that you “know” the other person already. Some people are lucky and end up with either a love connection or a lasting friendship from an online meetup, but some are not so and end up in deep trouble.
- Sign up only on reliable and reputable dating sites
There are literally thousands of websites offering to have the right mix of singles that can potentially be the love of your life. And with that vast statistic comes a huge number of fakes and fraud.
ds. There are websites that are created for the sole purpose of duping people, so even if you live in a safe neighborhood you can never really be totally protected.
To be on the safe side, depend only on the larger, more reputable dating sites, such as Tinder, OkCupid, JDate, and more, because these sites have a better system and policy in protecting your private information. Of course, being in a reputable and paid dating site is not a full guarantee of your safety, so you still need to be vigilant.
- Ensure that your personal information stays private
Being cyber secure is different from being cyber savvy. A detailed Internet search by potential dates will likely reveal your social media accounts, LinkedIn URL, office location, your home address where you “checked in,” or telephone number listed on an ad.
That said, whenever you enter any personal information online, be sure to check those boxes that say your info will be available to you only unless you purposely share it. On virtual platforms, limit the amount of information you reveal about yourself. Your security settings should be set at their maximum level and never ever allow any app
How do you ensure that you are safe without hampering your chances of finally meeting the right person for you? Here are eight way to keep in mind at all times in your search for love on the Internet.
to access and post your location.
- Do some sleuthing on your potential date
While you shouldn’t be revealing too much about yourself to the other person on the screen, don’t think twice about taking advantage if he or she isn’t protective of his or her info. Google your date, search for his or her social media profiles or if there’s anything posted online about this person. You’ll be surprised by the stories that can get from the results. Some people have found their dates selling an engagement ring on Ebay a few weeks before the Tinder encounter, or revealing how old they really are.
Also, checking their social media posts will give you a better sense of how they really are in person. Because people are less filtered on these platforms, you might spot some traits that are not exactly to your liking, thus, saving you and the other person from wasted time and effort.
- Talk to the other person before the meet-up
While it’s very tempting to just schedule a first date, it would be to your advantage if you talk on the phone first so you get a better feel. This is the perfect time to vet the other party and you can even ask some pretty awkward questions to see if he or she is the right fit for you. You can even ask if they’ve ever been arrested before. While you probably won’t get a 100% truth, the way the other person will react to your bold question will send off signals on whether you should push through with an actual meet-up.
- Tell a friend
If after the screening and the phone chat you find that you still like to meet this person, you must let somebody know of your plans to do so. Tell a friend or family member who you’re meeting, where it will happen, and what time you are expected to be home. For added safety, show your friend your date’s photo, contact details, and other pertinent information, just in case.
Create a signal with your friend that includes calling you in the middle of the date to check if you’re all right. If you and your date decide to switch locations, check in by phone. Do this until you are finally safe at home. This seems like a lot of work but it will certainly help guarantee your security. More importantly, if this is your first date, drive yourself home and don’t let the other person know where you live — at least not yet.
- Seek the safety of a crowd
The first date is a getting-to-know-you stage and while being by yourselves is a romantic way to start things off, it’s not practical. If you both like to go hiking, try those popular walking spots in your community; just don’t go for those remote locations where there’s nobody else and there’s no way to call for help. Better yet, choose a nice coffee shop or a restaurant that offers just the right mix of public and quiet so you can talk.
Reputable dating sites encourage their users to report people who engage in shady practices. This is not just to protect yourself but also to protect other people from possible danger. You can also block a person who is relentless in pursuing you. If after the first date you feel that a second should happen, you should still practice the same safety measures. In fact, because you are meeting a stranger, invites to your home should not happen until after five or more dates have gone by.
Remember that a person who is out to target you will put his or her best foot forward and it is really up to you to catch those signals. If you suspect anything that’s off or something that’s making you feel uneasy, don’t hesitate to cut the cord. If that person starts harrassing you, contact the site’s client services immediately or file a report with the police.
Fraudsters and con artists prey on vulnerable people on the assumption that they are easier to trick into a scam. Elderly family members are a favorite target. Most senior citizens either have their own homes, have a “nest egg,” and/or have stellar credit, making them all the more attractive to criminals.
Rip-off artists go door-to-door to take advantage of this situation by usually claiming they are salespeople who want to perform a demo of their product or a contractor who needs to “check” the integrity of the home’s structure. In some cases, unknowing seniors are manipulated into writing checks up front for certain “products” or “services” or handing cash over. However, as soon as the money is given, they flee and are never heard from again.
High Rate Of Crime, But Only A Few Reported
It is despicable; yet, it happens in the US all the time. This is because seniors are less likely to report being defrauded. Why? Either they don’t know where to file a report and how to do it, are too ashamed that they were scammed or, worse, are still not aware of what happened to them. Some purposely hide the incident for fear that family members will think they do not have the mental capacity to take care of themselves or their finances.
According to the FBI, seniors also tend to make poor witnesses to a crime. Fraudsters are aware that age affects memory quality and will be counting on this weakness so investigators will see a dead end. Victims might also not be aware that they are being conned and will continue to meet up and send money to the tricksters. Some only realize after so many months, or when their finances have been depleted, that they have been scammed.
5 Ways Seniors Can Shield Themselves From Fraud
- Always look for authentic references.
Rip-off artists will not be able to supply authentic references because they are scammers. Make sure that your elderly family member takes the time to call each of the references listed to confirm credibility. If there are only new references, that should also be signal that they might be fake, too. If somebody comes to the door offering all kinds of awesome stuff but become edgy and evasive when asked for verifiable references, close the door.
- Never do business with a door-to-door salesman without written verification.
Unless a salesman is able to provide plenty of information about the company and can give a verifiable address, never ever do business with him or her. Emphasize to your family member that if the salesperson refuses to provide information about the company or dodges the question, he or she cannot be trusted.
- Never supply personal information at the door.
Never let your elderly family members give up personal information about themselves or your household to strangers (or to anybody, for that matter). Scammers will want to know what assets are inside the home, how many people live there, financial details, everybody else’s whereabouts, and more.
This information gives them the opportunity to steal right then and there, or map out a grand scheme. Even if they claim to be from the government or from a certain popular charity, tell the elderly members to never entertain them unless they have IDs and verifiable identities.
- Never hire anybody on the spot
Con artists who target senior citizens tend to trick their way into getting hired for a job as quickly as possible and to claim payment up front. Sometimes, they will useful aggressive methods just to manipulate the elderly to give them work. Often, they will not return to finish the job or will just disappear as soon as the money is handed to them.
To prevent your family members from becoming victims, never hire any contractor or agree to a payment-first scheme. It should always be work first, payment after. Better yet, take the time to check all references and ask for second opinions before agreeing to hire.
- Sign up for “Do Not Call” lists
This will prevent telemarketers from calling your home and eventually tricking seniors to buy into this and that scheme. It will be very easy for salesmen to ask your loved ones to give out credit card details over the phone because they’re selling something seniors “absolutely need right now.” Sometimes, telemarketers offering subscriptions to phone friendships can easily trick the elderly, especially if they’re always home alone and need someone to talk to regularly. These unassuming calls may seem harmless but are actually charged by the minute, leaving your loved one with a huge bill from someone he or she thought was sincere.
Protecting Elderly Loved Ones From Scams
The most common scams on seniors involve the sale of products that guarantee a boost in virility, memory function, or physical performance. They can also offer anti-cancer products, anti-aging devices, and so on. In the US, where there are “breakthrough” herbs or drugs being launched claiming to be the solution to all the aches and pains of growing old, con artists certainly have some leverage.
More sadly, some cons made on seniors are by those who are close to them, like another family member out for an early release of their inheritance, or a caregiver who has tricked the patient into leaving assets under his or her name. If you suspect that your elderly family member has been affected, check the recent changes in his or her accounts or if the monthly bills remain unpaid despite having enough money. Also observe if the senior appears confused and afraid about something.
Fraudsters will be amiable, friendly, and definitely sincere-sounding, and this will easily bait seniors because “they seemed nice.” Given this reality, take the time to discuss with your elderly family member and remind him or her not to be too trusting of the people around them. More often than not, scammers will be very well dressed and are masters at conversation, so they can’t simply be judged by how they look.
In the US, vehicle-related crimes are unfortunately a common occurrence. This is one of the reasons why we even bother to pay for car insurance. Similar to how we keep our homes and places of business secure, there are also technologies and methods that will help make our car less likely to be broken into or stolen. While we can’t really product if we’re going to be a victim, being proactive with security measures decreases the likelihood of being victims.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to ensure that our vehicles and their contents are safe. By implementing preventive measures, we don’t always have to worry every time we park our cars somewhere. Here are eight best vehicle security tips we have gathered.
- Never forget to lock the doors.
Often, the simplest task as locking the doors whenever we leave the car is forgotten, and this what burglars check first. Regardless if you’re going to be away for 15 minutes or just 5 minutes, never forget to make
sure all doors are locked. Better yet, install an automatic lock system on your doors so you can check even from a distance using a remote. If you have an old car that isn’t compatible with tech, make sure you test all doors before walking away.
Remember, it takes only seconds for thieves to get access to whatever’s inside your vehicle. Don’t be too confident that you’ll just be “away for a second,” because burglars, too, need only a second to snatch your things away.
- Install a vehicle alarm.
An alarm will serve two purposes. One, it will alert you if someone is trying to tamper with your car. Two, it will scare off anyone
attempting to do it because the noise will draw people’s attention. While an alarm will not really stop a burglar or carjacker from stealing, it will serve as warning sign to stay away. Car alarms usually have blinking lights installed where they are easily visible to signal to would-be thieves that an alarm is in place. For many of them, the risk of a sharp sound and the flashing lights is also a major deterrent.
- Keep your valuables out of sight.
Thieves won’t likely steal anything if there’s nothing to steal. If outsiders have a clear view of that laptop, fancy cell phone, or expensive piece of jewelry that’s just sitting on the dash or the seat, you can count on it being a favorite target. Thus, if you must leave your stuff behind in the car, be sure to keep them inconspicuous by hiding them under the seat, under the rug, or covered with unassuming things like stacks of papers. Some security experts recommend sticking two floor mats together and creating a pocket in between where you can slide valuables in. So even if someone do
es try to check under the rug, they won’t see anything.
- Park in a well-lit area.
Parking in a well-lit, visible area will deter most thieves from attempting to burgle or steal your vehicle. As much as possible, park close
to building entrances or areas where there are security guards keeping watch. Park near a lamppost or a store with bright signage. Thieves like to lurk and work in the dark, so having bright light shining upon your vehicle is an effective deterrent.
- Install a lock for your steering wheel.
Steering locks, handbreak locks, and gear locks are made of heavy-duty metal and are very difficult to break. If you a car alarm is not in the budget right now, you can keep your car from being stolen by putting any of these on. Steering wheel locks and the like are usually priced at less than $100 but, in general, if you want a tougher piece of metal, it will definitely cost you a little more.
While sophisticated thieves aren’t really unfazed by these locks, the fact that they will take a while to break will have them thinking twice about spending time and energy on your vehicle. When they see this on your car, more often than not, they will just pass over yours and move on.
- Install a car immobilizer.
A car immobilizer is a piece of tech that will prevent your vehicle from being started if the person doesn’t the right key. While it won’t stop burglars from opening your car, it will definitely stop the vehicle from being carjacked. If the thief has advanced skills, he or she can probably find a way around it but, again, it will take time. And these extra minutes will likely discourage him or her from making an attempt.
- Install a car tracking system.
Car monitoring systems entail hiding a transmitter in your car. While it won’t deter or stop thieves from driving off with your vehicle, the tracker can record where it goes so you can eventually recover it. There are basically two types of trackers. One is driven by a GPS system while the other via VHF. GPS can effectively point out exactly where your car is when it’s at street level. Meanwhile, a VHF will tell you if it’s hidden in a storage unit or at car park underground.
- Mark or etch your car with a unique identifier.
Etching and marking are two ways you can “brand” your car so you can indentify that it’s yours when it gets stolen. It can be as simple as using an invisible UV pen to write on your vehicle, or covering the body with thousands of micro-dots encoded with your specific details. This high-tech and somewhat fancy method “stamps” your car’s serial number into the light covers or windows. Again, this won’t stop your car from being jacked but it can certainly make recovery much faster.
Overall, the general principle behind ensuring that your vehicle is safe is by taking a preventive approach so are less likely to become a victim. Nobody can predict if a crime is about to be committed on your car, but you can surely make it less attractive to thieves.