Ensure Your Child’s Safety When Driving This Winter.

When driving, it’s a big responsibility transporting any passengers, and extra care and preparation is needed when younger children are in the car.

Are you really driving as safely as you can?

Keeping Your Car in Tip Top Condition

You need to make sure your care is road worthy, that tyres are in good condition, oil and water and screen wash is kept topped up, and that you have a battery charger for those cold winter days when it just won’t start. For the best equipment for your car, you can look at Best Buy Auto Equipment  who can also be a stockist for car parts if you find your car suffering from problems with the engine, clutch etc. Here you can find out the answers to questions such as how much does it cost for a car lift? and can get the best price for equipment.

Distractions

Even taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds can be extremely hazardous. In a few seconds you’ll have travelled several yards, and in that time the situation in front of you can change rapidly.

Are you prone to, say, looking at the radio or heating controls instead of the road? Do you tend to look back to address people in the back seat? Try to curb these tendencies. You owe it to your passengers to maintain focus.

Preparation

Ensure you know the laws regarding child seats. Make sure young children are properly seated and secure. If you’re using child seats, are they still up to the job? Can you fix them securely?

Have you remembered to switch off the airbag if your child is seated in the front? Indeed, can you switch off the airbag in your model of car? If not, be careful of what size child sits in the front as an airbag going off could injure rather than protect them.

Why not re-acquaint yourself with the rules of the road? Your knowledge may be outdated, so check the Highway Code and try some of the questions asked in example driving theory tests.

Check that you have the correct car seat.

Check that you have the correct car seat.

Tiredness and being alert

Do you drive when tired or fatigued? If so, be aware that reduced reactions can have dire consequences. It’s important to take breaks or not even drive in the first place if you think you’re not 100% alert.

Using phones and other equipment

While against the law, do you still use your mobile hand-held while driving? As in ‘distractions’ above anything that takes some or all of your attention off the road is highly dangerous to you and your young passengers.

Use a hands-free Bluetooth device if your car doesn’t have it built in. Even then, protracted and in depth phone conversations on the move are not advisable.

The same applies to adjusting music devices such as iPods or stereos.

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Margins for error

While modern cars have many safety features designed to reduce the likelihood of accidents, don’t become complacent. For example, in wet conditions slow down rather than rely on your car’s anti-skid features such as stability control and anti lock brakes to get you out of trouble.

Safety equipment is there to help as a ‘back up’ but it can’t compensate for irresponsible driving.

Using sat nav

While sat navs make a big difference to finding the way in unfamiliar territory, be aware of your actions while following directions. When you’re told to turn or change lanes, don’t forget to take the usual precautions such as checking the mirror and indicating properly.

Set Sat Nav before you start driving, or stop to reset it.

Set Sat Nav before you start driving, or stop to reset it.

Safety first

Driving yourself and young family members about is a major responsibility, and there’s much you can do to be safe. A lot is common sense, but preparation and keeping your focus on the driving plays a major part. While you must focus on seats etc, remember that the vast majority of the things you can do to ensure your child’s safety involves your own performance as a safe, responsible driver.

 

Online Identity theft – Are we oversharing?

We spend so much of our time online these days. We shop online, consult online doctors, do our banking online, book our holidays online and do our tax returns online. There seems to be nothing that we cannot do at the click of a button and businesses often rely on the ability to work online, many being completely based on the internet, with virtual premises and systems. Whilst this is brilliant for our convenience in a modern world, it does mean that our personal data is out there, floating around cyberspace as we give our details out to everything from TV licencing, filling out tax returns, to ordering presents for Christmas.

More data and information is shared through our love of social media. I am a huge fan of social media, using Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram pretty much everyday. I am not ashamed to say that I use them all, both as a tool for sharing my work (and gaining more work) and also in a personal capacity. Facebook in particular is a way to keep in touch with friends and family who you don’t necessarily see all the time, to share photographs of Joe, and his milestones as he grows up. But are we putting ourselves in danger by our new obsession with over sharing.

Well, the answer is both yes and no. Online companies, and other companies who use the internet in some way are now taking our data, and its protection, very seriously. Companies collect data through master data management, with Microsoft’s Master Data Services becoming a preferred way of storing personal information – not just about the general public, but also about employees of said company. High levels of security have been put into place to monitor and restrict who is able to access and view our data which companies hold due to transactions and services. This is more reassuring than in the past, but our oversharing in other areas can still be a problem.

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This makes me giggle, but are we oversharing?

This makes me giggle, but are we oversharing?

Emails are a way that fraudsters can try to get us to give our personal details, and although Google is very good at filtering the spam from real emails, these spam emails still get through. As a blogger this has been a definite issue for me personally, with my email freely available on my blog for anyone who wants to try and make contact. This led to me removing my email from my homepage, there were just too many emails from cranks.

It got to the stage where I was getting email after email that claimed to be from my bank, or from Paypal, along with scores of emails about unclaimed vouchers and money I’ve inherited. Most of this was luckily filtered as spam, but some of it looks very plausible, and younger, more vulnerable people could well fall victim to it.

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Ultimately we need to be more vigilant ourselves when it comes to our data. We need to read the small print to see just how it is stored and used by the companies we give it to. The Data Protection Act of 2018 definitely improved matters, but you still need to look at whether you are ticking boxes to opt in or opt out. You have to carry some of that responsibility.

Strategies for Buying Online With Good Customer Satisfication

The benefits of online shopping are nothing to brush under the rug, but making purchases electronically can carry risks and can be a very different experience to shopping your High Street. However, you should be able to great deals, stay safe, and be satisfied with your all around experience.

Expect the best from the product and service

First of all, you should expect the same level of product and service when buying online as you when you buy from a store. The good news these days is that many companies are measuring their business in levels of customer success. Companies like User IQ explain this in terms of desired outcomes for business, with the ‘Desired outcomes representing what customers seek to do with your product combined with an adequate user experience.’ Many online businesses even us business software in order to measure this customer success, which could also be called customer satisfaction.

In short, you should be happy, not just with the product, but also with the ease of using the website, the delivery time, the way it was packaged, the courier used. Your whole shopping experience from start to finish.

Keep on Top of Security

 As Mike Homnick of PCWorld points out, basic techniques such as keeping your browser updated and installing a top-notch malware protection application can reduce the odds that a cybercriminal is successful with an attack. Additionally, check that you see a padlock icon in the url bar as you shop or make your payment to vendors through third-party sites, such as Paypal. This icon, along with https:// rather than http:// preceding the website address, indicates that the website is secured with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption. Online payment services also can provide more protection in that they often allow you to transfer funds without giving the retailer your credit or debit card information, all while protecting you with unauthorised transaction coverage and monitoring for suspicious activity. Using only secured network connections and sticking to only well-recognised retailer applications are additional tips. Finally, find and verify the phone number and physical address information for the company you’re considering buying from, as the National Cyber Security Alliance recommends. Legitimate businesses readily supply this data to prove they’re valid enterprises, as well as to facilitate good customer service.

Internet Security

Insist on the Minimum

 Many great retailers ask you for a little more information, such as your email address, for niche marketing or customer service purposes. Some pieces of data, however, such as your Social Security Number, specific date of birth or driver’s license number, have no marketing or delivery value for a legitimate seller. If you can’t place your order by providing your name, address and credit card/third party payment option, be suspicious. The fewer fields you have to fill out, the better.

Be Willing to Compare and Research

 The online market is incredibly competitive. If you buy from the first retailer you see, you might miss finding a better price from another seller, especially when you take into account that some websites offer incentives like cash back. Take the time to shop around, and don’t forget about options like coupons, which can reduce your bill even if your primary seller isn’t offering a deal. As you compare vendors, read as many reviews as you can, not only about the product you’re interested in, but about the sellers themselves. Aim to use only retailers that have satisfaction rates of 99 or 100 percent during the process, and check the company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to be absolutely sure the good reputation you’re seeing is valid.

Keep Documentation

Documentation such as confirmation emails or transaction numbers can assist with refunds, exchanges or other problems. Terms and conditions, price pages and product descriptions also fall into this category.

Assume a Return

Although you hopefully won’t need to return what you order, never buy anything online unless you’re aware of the seller’s return/refund policy. Many vendors won’t take back products without receipts, return numbers or original packaging.

Conclusion

 Online shopping can be a convenient way to get what you want or need, provided you take steps to protect yourself. Simple strategies greatly reduce the chances you’ll have a bad experience and of your marking your experience a customer success.

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