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Keeping Your Family Safe: How to Choose a Home Wifi Security Camera

Are you looking to buy a WiFi security camera for your home? If so, check out this guide to learn how to choose the best one.

Security is a big issue in today’s society. Long gone are the days when you could leave your door unlocked and you knew your neighbor. Burglaries are easier when you live in a largely anonymous society with millions of people, without regular policing.

For better or for worse more and more people are opting for a wireless camera to ensure their properties and their goods are kept secure. So if you are going to opt for a WiFi security camera, which one should you opt for and what are the pros and cons?

The Internet of Things

One of the biggest developments which has improved the user experience of the wireless camera is their ability to connect to smartphones and tablets and even home devices like the Amazon Alexa or Google Home.

The ability to connect all of your devices up is known as the internet of things. In years to come, most everyday appliances in the home and even whole cities will have some element of integration into this system. The internet of things may soon also play a role in public safety.

Wireless cameras, including the Nest camera, can be connected to a doorbell and your smartphone or tablet. This way when someone presses the doorbell you can see who is calling, even if you are not at home.

Some devices even allow you to let someone trusted such as a friend enter your home by unlocking your front door.

Storing Video Footage 

Another important consideration when buying a wireless camera is deciding where you wish to store the footage. If you want to access it locally then a USB flash drive or hard drive might be sufficient but this might mean you are not able to access a live feed remotely.

Instead, you might want to consider a camera that allows you to view the footage from your smartphone or tablet but for that, you may have to set up the cloud to store your footage. And doing that might be quite expensive, particularly if the footage is in HD, as it can use up space in the cloud quite quickly.

Is it a Webcam or a Genuine Security Camera?

Whilst it might seem like a webcam and a security cam are the same in fact there is an important distinction to be made. A webcam simply records what is happening in front of it.

Genuine wireless home security cameras can notify you of unusual activity. For example, if a motion sensor which is also connected to your internet of things security system is triggered. Genuine security cameras will generally be more expensive but it might be a worthy investment.

WiFi Security Cameras: A Sound Investment 

Like everything you buy, there are a host of options when it comes to WiFi security cameras and it can seem overwhelming. But there is no right answer as to which ones are better.

The decision comes down to personal choice and what security features you feel you need to protect your house. It also depends on the value of the goods in your house and whether you feel a wireless security camera is going to make you feel safer in your home.

If you are interested in learning more about keeping your home safe then be sure to check out our safety section.

4th of July Safety Tips for Pets

 

While the 4th of July can mean fun, food, friends and fireworks for people, for our pets, it can feel more like a scary alien invasion! Each year over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the U.S.1 and more pets are lost on the Fourth of July than any other day. According to the ASPCA, nearly one-in-five lost pets go missing after being scared by fireworks. In fact, July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters, which fill up quickly with animals who panic and flee the bright lights and loud noises of holiday celebrations.

Make July 4th a more pet-riotic holiday by following these steps for a stress-free day for both you and your fur-kids from Michelson Found Animals Foundation Executive Director, Aimee Gilbreath. Found Animals created the first, free national microchip registry to help keep your pup safe.

Be Prepared. The Fourth is a great annual reminder to be prepared in case your pet escapes or gets lost. There are three key steps to follow to increase the safe return of your pet:

    1. Make sure your pet is wearing an ID tag with the correct information
    2. Make sure your pet is microchipped.
    3. Double check that your pet’s microchip is registered and contains the correct name and your current phone number and address, otherwise there’s no easy way to reach you if they’re found! If your pet is chipped but not registered, you can register for free here.

Head indoors before the fun begins. Don’t wait for the fireworks to be in full swing before taking care of your pet. It’s best to bring him or her indoors or put them in a cozy spot well ahead of the first boom of fireworks. In addition, create a safe, escape-proof space in your home. Lower the blinds, close the windows, provide a bed or crate where they feel comfortable, offer a special chew or toy to distract them and turn on the TV or radio to help mask the noises outside.

Try a calming aid: If you’re worried about a pet that stresses easily, talk to your vet in advance about CBD and anti-anxiety treats, chews, drops or other remedies that can help your pet relax. There are plenty of prescription and homeopathic solutions out there that can help your pet get the extra dose of relaxation he or she needs. According to a recent study commissioned by Michelson Found Animals, nearly 1/4 of pet parents have used CBD or hemp-based products as a form of therapy for themselves, and of those who have tried CBD products, almost 3/4 have also given CBD oil or hemp products to their pets as well.2

Wrap them up. Confining movement in dogs and cats actually has a calming effect on them, which is why you might want to consider an anti-anxiety wrap or coat.  In a pinch, you can even create one from a scarf.

Check the Locks:  Make sure that your doors, gates and windows are all closed prior to the fireworks display. Not only will this help muzzle the loud sounds that frighten pets, but will help prevent an escape!

1 According to American Humane Association estimates

2 Furred Lines: Pet Trends 2019; online survey to 1,056 dog or cat owners aged 18+

Home Safety: The Family Gathering

 

Whether it’s Christmas, Thanksgiving or the 4th of July the family gathering can be a time of joy and cherished memories. With your family growing every year, your annual gathering may be getting bigger and bigger all the time. As the generations start to spread, you may find that you are entertaining children and seniors all in the same house and you need to be prepared for everyone’s needs.

No one likes to think about emergency situations during the holidays, but accidents can happen anytime. In a crowded situation, they can happen even more easily.  When you are getting ready to host a family gathering, take some time to consider the safety in your home and how it will affect all of your guests.

Being prepared, when you have a crowd coming to your home can mean more than having your food and entertainment ready. The comfort and safety of your guests are just as important. With many age groups represented in a family, it’s a good idea that at least one person has emergency medical knowledge or a CPR certification just in case of emergency. Take a look at some of the simple safety issues that you should address before your next family gathering.

Allergies

Many adults and children suffer from food allergies. Make sure that you have a list of any allergies or food items that you should avoid serving. Non-food allergies should also be considered. You may have a guest that is allergic to your pet or has a high sensitivity to odors or scents.

Diet

Some of your senior guests may be on highly restricted diets. Get their information before you start planning your menu and try to be creative about putting out options for everyone. Invite your guests to bring their own meals if necessary. It’s always a good idea to have some vegetarian options for the non-meat eaters in your family.

Babies & Toddlers

If it’s been awhile since you have had little feet running through your house, you should take a minute to do some quick child proofing before a family gathering. Set up barriers or gates to keep kids isolated to one area or level of the house and keep delicate or breakable items up high and out of reach.

Mobility

You may have family members with mobility issues that will need to be taken care of.  Always make sure that your entryways are clear of snow or debris to eliminate any fall hazards. Make arrangements to assist your family members on any stairs where necessary and get them set up in a comfortable area where they will not need to move too much.

Emergency Info

Having your guests bring their emergency information with them can be a really big help in case of any emergency. Basic medical info and a doctors contact info is plenty for most guests. Be aware of any guests that may be Diabetic, have heart issues or a pacemaker and require special care or medication.

Child Identity Theft, the Fasted Growing Crime in the US

*This is a sponsored guest post. The opinions expressed is that of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect my own. 

Have you ever thought about the importance of having some kind of identity theft protection? It seems like news reports are constantly reporting on corporate data breaches, such as 2018’s Panera, Facebook, Orbitz, Lord & Taylor and Saks. These breaches might have prompted you to think about getting protected. Exactly how many digital gates have been left open exposing personal, private information?

Even more startling, children may be at an even greater risk of identity theft. Most parents don’t think about protecting their child’s social security number. Often it’s because a child’s social security number (SSN) cannot be “legally” used until they are old enough to get a job, or when they are 18 and applying for college loans and/or credit cards.

“Legally” being the important word here. Hackers are always one step ahead. They are now creating “synthetic” identities using a child’s real SSN, along with a fake name and date of birth.  A hackers illegal use of a child’s SSN can go undetected for years!

How is this illegal activity going undetected? It’s because most parents don’t think about having to keep any eye on a child’s SSN because legally there should not be any activity associated with it.

Another thing to think about is in the other ways a child’s personal personal information is exposed. Such examples include when a child starts school, camp, and sports. Parents are filling out form after form with all their personal information including social security numbers. Have you ever thought about where this information is being stored? In a milk crate in the back of the coach’s car? In a filing cabinet at the school? The truth is, we have no idea!

There is a company called Identity Protection Planning LLC, that can help protect not only you, but also your child.

Identity Protection Planning LLC was founded by Dana Mantilia Coady. Dana is a business woman with three of her own children and four step children. Protecting children is very near and dear to her heart. Identity Protection Planning was developed to focus on educating, organizing, and protecting families from identity theft. There is a real need to help educate parents on the risks associated with both adult and child identity theft.

Identity Protection Planning’s family focus  is why they offer IDENTRON identity theft protection plans. Read why IDENTRON is different from other identity theft protection companies here – IDENTRON.com/Why-IDENTRON

IDENTRON provides the most comprehensive family identity theft protection available on the market today. The IDENTRON Parent Plan provides complete protection for one (1) adult and up to four (4) children for roughly 80¢ a day.

With everything busy parents have to deal with, they don’t have extra time to deal with cleaning up an identity theft mess for themselves, let alone their child. That is why you should take a few minutes to check out which IDENTRON plan would suit your family needs. You can learn more about their pans here – Identron.com/Plans.

For more information about IDENTRON, visit Identron.com.

Have you ever given any thought to your child’s identity being stolen?

Have you ever been the victim of a stolen identity?

About the author: 

Dana Mantilia lives in Connecticut. She is a Mom, wife and business entrepreneur. Dana has earned status as a Certified Identification Protection Advisor from the Identity Management Institute. While researching and educating herself on the increasing risks associated with identity theft, she realized how prevalent child identity theft. After speaking with hundreds of everyday parents Dana recognized a lack of child identity theft awareness. She developed Identity Protection Planning LLC. A company that focuses on educating, organizing and protecting all family members (including minor children) from identity theft.

*According to the Federal Trade Commission

Rescue Guard – Something you don’t think you need, but you do!

 

A few weeks ago we had a snow storm. There wasn’t anything special about it except it took the towns off guard and they were not prepared for it. They didn’t have enough salters and plowers on the roads, which caused a huge nightmare for anyone trying to drive in it.

My husband left work in New Jersey (we live in New York). It took him 45 minutes to drive to the end of the road (seriously). Forget the almost hour drive home on a good day. He ended up turning around and going back to his office to wait it out until the roads were finally salted and plowed so he can get home. He gets off work at 3:30 in the afternoon. He didn’t get home until 2:30 AM the following morning.

Our daughter had it much worse. Her car got stuck in the middle of the road. She did get some help pushing her off the road, but they pushed her off on the left side of the road (in the medium) and not to the right side.

Our daughter was stuck in her car for over 5+ hours. My husband couldn’t get her because he was stuck at work, and I couldn’t get her because I would have got stuck too (we don’t have four wheel drive). She called everyone she knew to help her and I did the same thing. The Police couldn’t help her because there were cars and accidents everywhere and the tow truck drivers were busy towing hundreds (no exaggeration) of cars off the road.

There she was with no warm clothing. No food. No water. Nothing. She had no safety products available to her.

Because of her experience, and the fact my husband could have suffered the safe fate if he were to continue trying to drive home, we created a “safety box” for our kids to keep in their car. In the box there are two pairs of thermal socks, heavy gloves, hats, scarves, a blanket, non-perishable food, water and a first aid kit. I want to get them other car safety products, but I haven’t had a chance to buy them yet.

No one really thinks about what they need in case of an foreseen emergency until it’s too late. Natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes can happen at any time, any where. You might find that you have to flee you home in a moment’s notice. If that were to happen, do you have the supplies you need for you and your family to survive for a few days or longer? Do you have food and fresh water? What about a first aid kit? A flashlight with batteries?

Stock photo of an emergency kit.

Many people have kits, but they might not be enough, especially for multiple people. For that reason you might want to check out Rescue Guard. Rescue Guard makes emergency backpacks filled with many of the things you would need in the event of an emergency where you had to flee in a moment’s notice.

The Rescue Guard backpack is filled with enough supplies for four people for 72 hours (three days). Hopefully within that time frame a person or family will find a safe place to be, but in the meantime it’s great knowing that you have the things you need to survive.

I received a backpack from Rescue Guard to review. Let me tell you, this backpack is HEAVY and its filled to the max with supplies. I was actually reluctant to open the backpack up because I was afraid I would never get everything to fit back inside.

Rescue Guard contains so much.

  • 60 Piece First Aid Kit
  • 212 Piece Deluxe First Aid Kit
  • 2 Squeeze Powered Lights
  • 4 Emergency Ponchos
  • 4 Emergency Blankets
  • 4 Dust Masks
  • 4 Latex Free Exam Gloves
  • 4 Biohazard Bags
  • 1 Deck of Playing Cards
  • 4 Tissue Packs
  • Light Sticks (2 pack)
  • Survival Whistle/Compass
  • Backpack
  • Firestarter Flint & Steel
  • Emergency Tent
  • Emergency Plan/Contact
  • 4 Emergency Food Rations
  • 24 Emergency Drinking Waters
  • Wire Saw
  • 12 Pre-moistened Towelettes
  • Duct Tape
  • Leather Gloves
  • Multi-Function Tool
  • 2 Survival Sleeping Bags

A peek inside the bag. The water “packets” are seen bunched together on the right side.

Yes, ALL of this is squeezed into the backpack (which is why it’s heavy). You can also add other items as needed.

I would recommend packing another backpack with diapers and baby supplies (if you have an infant) and/or pet food and supplies if you have pets. Don’t forget about your pets in a time of emergencies.

I have to admit, there are a lot of products in this bag that I would never think to pack, but they make perfect sense. Honestly, I would never give sleeping bags and a tent a thought, nor would I think about another way of making fire aside from matches (if matches get wet they won’t work). Gloves, duct tape, emergency blankets and glow sticks are other great products to have on hand that I would never have thought of.

The food rations consist of six highly food bars per person (for four people). The instructions read to eat two bars per day. I don’t want to open them up to try them out. I don’t want to waste them. They are vacuumed sealed in “bricks.” It says to replace them every five years, which is good to know.

The water comes in “bags” and the instructions are to drink two of them per day. My only concern with this water is leaving the bag in the car and having the water freeze. It might burst the bags open.

I could go on and on about this emergency bag from Rescue Guard, but there is just so much inside that this post would be super long if I went through each and every item.

Rescue Guard kits are available on Amazon. You can follow this link (where I linked on Amazon) to learn more and to learn more about each of the packs. It is NOT an affiliate link either.

Here are the available packs.

Basic Surival Pack ($49.95)

This kit contains the necessary food and water with a 61-piece First Aid kit and shelter items for up to 6 days for a single person or 72 hours for 2 people.

Intermediate Survival Pack ($99.95)

This kit contains food, water, and all the supplies needed for up to 12 days for a single person or 6 days for 2 people or 72 hours for 4 people. This is the kit that I was sent to review.

Advanced Survival Pack ($169.95)

This kit includes everything from the Intermediate Survival Kit. It also contains a survival knife, ax, lantern, gloves, as well as additional survival tools.

Now is a great time to think about your emergency plan. Are you prepared? Are you FULLY prepared? Be honest with yourself. If you’re not prepared, please make it a priority to prepare yourself and your family for the unimaginable. Natural disasters can strike at any time.

Stock photo – Hurricane Katrina – New Orleans, LA

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Give the gift of safety and power with a MyCharge AdventureUltra portable charger

 

When it comes to buying Christmas presents, I normally look for something fun and unique. I prefer those types of gifts over practical ones, but sometimes, practical gifts make the best gifts.

The winter months are fast approaching. Some parts of the country have already experienced their first snowstorms.

Snowstorms CAN be pretty – but driving in a snowstorm and shoveling out after one are no fun. Neither is losing power, which does happen a lot. Its easy for heavy snow and/or ice to weigh down a tree branch, break it lose and have it take down a power line. Depending on the severity of the snow storm, people can be without power for hours, days or even week or more.

Thankfully the longest we went without power last winter was six hours. It also happened at night, so we just went to bed early. When we woke up in the morning we had power restored.

I try and keep a supply of batteries on hand to keep flashlights and the radio working. Sadly, that doesn’t really help when it comes to keeping your phone charged.

My whole family has portable chargers (the small, pocket sized ones) but our kids never remember to check the charge from time to time. They find out the hard way when we lose power and they don’t have enough on their charger to charge their phones. Without their phones our kids have to – dare I say – TALK to us. LOL! We can’t have that happen.

A practical gift idea to consider is the MyCharge AdventureUltra portable charger. Not only can is charge MULTIPLE smartphones, but it can also charge iPads, laptops, lanterns and more. It can even run a 32″ television for up to three hours! How many chargers do you know that can do that?

This is not a single device only type of charger. This charger can charge multiple devices at the same time. Of course, the more things you have plugged into it, the quicker it will lose its charge (the electronics plugged into it drains it of it’s charge).

Thankfully the AdventureUltra can be recharged so it can be used again and again.

The AdventureUltra is one of our largest battery banks and has the highest power output. Designed to replace the heavy and bulky generators used when tailgating or camping, the AdventureUltra is a streamlined power source that can run a 32-inch LED television for up to three hours. The AdventureUltra has a maximum power output of 45 watts, enough to run a fan or recharge a drone battery. It can also be used with 2 in 1 laptops and new laptops, such as the 12-inch MacBook, that require less than 45 watts either when powered off and solely charging or when powered on and charging simultaneously.

I was sent one to review. Luckily we haven’t lost power, but I was able to test its ability with charging our devices from around our home (phones, iPads, my husband’s laptop…).

The AdventureUltra is not that large, or heavy. Its about the size of our router box for our internet provider. It’s measurements are .2 in x 5.8 in x 4.1 in, and it weighs barely over a pound. This makes the AdventureUltra very portable. You can take it with you when you travel, go camping or just about anywhere that you might need power.

If I recall correctly, the one I received to review (brand new, never opened) already had a charge on it. Just to make sure it was fully charged I plugged it in for a bit.

I believe the device holds a full charge for up to a year, but it’s recommended that the charge be checked every once in a while when not in use. I told my husband we should check it whenever we change the clocks and check the batteries in our smoke detectors. If we get into that habit we shouldn’t ever be caught without a full charge.

We were able to fully charge our phones (iPhones), our iPads (one newer, one older) and my husband’s laptop (his is small – my laptop is bigger) with no problem. We even plugged in the lamp in our living room and it worked like a charm (although I never thought to see how long it kept the lamp working). I much rather have light from a lamp than a flashlight in the event of a blackout.

Here are some more details about the MyCharge AdventureUltra portable charger.

  • Smart-sense: ensures complete device compatibility
  • Hyper-charge: ultra-fast charging of your devices; up to 65% faster than competitors
  • Power-stay: maintains battery power for up to 1 year
  • Max-power: maximum power transfer from powerbank to device
  • High-density battery: the smallest and lightest powerbank
  • Safe-cell: provides the highest level of battery safety
  • Rapid-recharge: powerbank recharges up to 50% faster than competitors
  • Pass Through Charging: will charge the powerbank and connected device simultaneously

I should add that there is a power display so that you know how much charge you have left on it. It also lets you know if it’s off or on. I can’t find the directions for it, but I believe it also shuts off when not in use to conserve power, but I could be wrong about that.

Ideally I’d love to have another one like this, as a back up, in case we lose power for a longer period of time. The longest was three days back when Hurricane Floyd (1999). Hopefully we never have to experience that ever again, but you can never be too certain.

With the holiday season upon us, the MyCharge AdventureUltra portable charger would make a great gift, especially for an elderly person, someone who loves to go camping, hunters, someone who loves tailgating or anyone you feel would appreciate this practical and very useful gift. I would even think this would make a great gift for a college student, just in case they lose power in their dorm.

For more information about this and other MyCharge products, visit MyCharge.com. The brand can also be found on social media. Their links are on their home page.

What do you think about the MyCharge AdventureUltra portable charger? Does it sound like something you need in your life? Would you consider giving this as a gift? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.