Wi-Fi is a convenient way to stay connected to the internet, but be sure you're not divulging personal information to hackers.
TIP #1: WATCH OUT FOR FAKE WI-FI HOTSPOTS
We all love free Wi-Fi provided by hotels, airports and coffee shops, but beware of hackers who set up fake Wi-Fi hotspots. They'll get you connected, then steal your information. Be sure to check the authenticity of any Wi-Fi connection and don't use public Wi-Fi for anything related to personal finance, sur as checking your account balances, or making transactions or payments. An if you need to work on a public Wi-Fi, encrypt all your data by connecting through your company's Virtual Private Network (VPN).
TIP#2: LOCK UP YOUR WI-FI
Keep hackers from compromising your home or work Wi-Fi by making sure it's secured with password access. When setting up your Wi-Fi, remember not to use personal information in the password or network name to keep it anonymous and more secure.
Taxes are due April 18th this year - DON'T FORGET!
Once your taxes are done, take these final steps for a successful season:
Check your refund status, make a payment, find free tax preparation assistance, sign up for helpful tax tips, and follow the IRS on Twitter, Tumblr, and YouTube - all in the latest version of IRS2Go. Available via Google Play and iTunes.
ItsDeductible Charity Donation Tracker
ItsDeductible is an easy way to keep track of your donations and get back the maximum deductions you deserve for your charitable acts. Now owned by Turbo Tax.
Available via iTunes.
Whether you are traveling for business, medical, or charitable purposes, it can be hard to remember to write down your mileage. MileIQ lets you track your mileage quickly and easily with automatic tracking and provides a record of past trips.Available via Google Play and iTunes.
QuickBooks Self-Employed: Track Mileage, Invoices
QuickBooks Self-Employed finds tax deductions and keeps your finances organized by categorizing your business expenses, automatically tracking mileage, and attaching receipts to business expenses. Available via Google Play and iTunes
GoDaddy Bookkeeping (formerly Outright)
GoDaddy Bookkeeping syncs your bank account, PayPal, Amazon account, etc and the transactions are automatically pulled in to your account. So, you don’t have complex adding or importing transactions. Available via Google Play and iTunes.
Freshbooks Cloud Accounting App
Simply take a picture of your receipts, create client invoices, and follow up on payments, right from the app. Plus, you can print month-end reports and review financial income, expenses and more. You can even give your accountant a separate login (with restricted access) so they can get all the info they need. Available via Google Play and iTunes.
It's a wild and wily world out there, so security in your workplace is something that cannot be taken for granted. From hackers to peepers, from fires to leakers, it's time to look at your data and your equipment to make sure that everything is as safe and secure as can be. Your business depends on it
You're a safe person. You buckle your seatbelt. You look both ways. You exercise. You take vitamins. But when it comes to digital security, chances are you're vulnerable. For example, it's very likely that your Amazon password is your Gmail password is your bank password is your eBay password is—well, you get the picture. If that’s not the case, are you using your dogs name, kids birthdays or your anniversary date?
When's the last time you changed your passwords, or at least took a good look at how many systems or services you're using old, busted, insecure passwords with? Well, today is Change Your Password Day, and we're on a mission to make sure that you take the time to beef up your security, upgrade your password system, and most importantly, change your passwords now
The solution is as simple as changing your habits. Just five minutes can save you hours of trouble, and hundreds—maybe thousands—of dollars down the line. So go ahead: change your password. Keep what’s yours, yours.
Although passwords aren't as strong a protection as they used to be, they're still the frontline of our defense against cyber thieves, so it's worth the few minutes it takes to make your password as strong as possible.
As a refresher, Intel's blog notes that length is more important than complexity when choosing a password: "The password 'Br3ak1ead&7' would take a computer three days to crack, at 1,000 guesses per second. Meanwhile, the seemingly simple 'thunder showers before sunset' password, would take the same computer, guessing at the same rate, 550 years to crack." You want to use the strongest possible passwords especially for accounts such as your email address and financial accounts. And never use the same password on multiple sites.
Think you've mastered the perfect password? Challenge your friends and find out who's hackable and who's uncrackable with this password challenge from intel
Take the challenge now! Let us know how you did by posting on our facebook page! #TwistPasswordChallenge
Thoughts from an expert
For as long as social media has been around, office managers have asked the question…Should employees be allowed to be on their personal social media accounts during the work day?
Some believe that banning the use of social media is the best way to keep employees focused. While others think allowing it promotes creativity.
With smartphones in everyone’s pockets, it is simply impossible to completely ban all usage. So instead of constantly looking over employees’ shoulders, integrate ways that the office can be interacting and promoting the company online.
In my past role as a social media manager at a company of about 30 employees, my co workers had little to no idea of the happenings on the company’s social media accounts. Some didn’t even follow the company’s pages! As I built the social media strategy for the year, I created campaigns that would allow for the employees online presence to cross over with that of the company’s own social media followers.
For example, during Halloween we gathered the employees together and gave each department a pumpkin to carve. I then took pictures of each pumpkin and posted them onto the company’s Facebook page for the fans to vote for their favorite pumpkin. The pumpkin picture (or department) with the most likes would win a prize. As the page followers began to like the photos, the employees jumped on their accounts and started sharing their pumpkin picture with their friends in order to receive more votes. As the pictures began to spread, so did the company’s brand.
The results were outstanding! Not only did the employees enjoy taking part in the fun activity, but it built such a stronger community between the employees and online fans. The company’s social reach grew exponentially!
The benefits out weigh the cost by far! Avoid wasting time monitoring employees and their social media use. Instead, find ways they can be utilizing it to help the company’s online brand and reputation grow. And it builds great report among the employees!
“Are we there yet? I need a bathroom. I’m bored.” Travelling with kids can be a lot of fun, but it can also be stressful as well. If you’re planning on going away with the kids this summer, keep them entertained while on planes, trains, and automobiles by making sure you’ve stocked your iPhone or iPad with these super handy apps for a stress-free trip. (Available on Apple iTunes store, itunes.apple.com. Whether it's kid-friendly videos to watch as the miles stream by, or an education game that lets them play and learn about the world around them,here are the TwistOP top must-haves!
It’s about the journey. Turn an otherwise long and boring car ride into a part of your vacation by pointing out scenic routes, historical landmarks, fun restaurants and hidden local gems along your route. Routes include inside information and history from locals and experts in each community. (Free)
Good for: Families driving for hours with a backseat full of bored and cranky kids.
Pack & Go Deluxe
Never again forget to pack the important stuff. Provides ready-made packing lists for different age groups and lets you customize and check exactly what you need— with reminders—so you’re never left without your essentials ($1.99)
Good for: Moms who want to be organized but don’t have the time to create handwritten checklists for every child and suitcase.
Plan your route and your pitstops. From suggestions for Diners, Drive-ins and Dives to Route 66 Attractions and Offbeat hotels – this is a one stop shop road trip app whether you’re using it ahead of time or on the road. Check out the website before you download for lots of inspiration.
Good For: Finding great kid-friendly restaurants and parks.
Mom Maps helps you find family fun places, kid friendly locations on the go! Search our extensive list of kid's parks, kid's playgrounds, kid's restaurants, kid's museums and kid's indoor play areas. Search by category or zip code, and you're good to go! In addition to a comprehensive kids play guide, you'll find contact information, reviews by parents, for parents and directions. (Free)
Good for: Conveniently finding nearby places to fill vacation downtime.
Airports aren’t exactly known as fine-dining destinations, but GateGuru helps find the hidden gems in your arrival and departure locations. Upload your itinerary and the app lists food options—as well as shops and other services like ATMs—along with where to find them and ratings from other fliers. The app also provides estimated wait times for security lines and last-minute deals on rental cars. Shows information about terminals and amenities in over 100 airports, pointing out valuable traveler hotspots, like ATMs, coffee shops and bookstores. Includes user reviews to help you decide where to eat and where to skip. (Free)
Good for: Making waiting times and those oh-so-annoying delays more bearable.
Rest Area Finder
Easily find the nearest rest stop. This app automatically finds your current location and displays all nearby rest areas and welcome centers. (Free)
Good for: Finding good pit stops for snacks and stretches on long and draining drives.
Ever wanted to take your picture next to a crazy large object on the side of the road? This is your app. Introduce your kids to the weird and wonderful across our United States of America. Editors review their favorites and you can check off which ones you’ve already visited. And there’s even a sunset alarm so you get the heads up for your last photo opportunities. They also make it easy to share your discoveries through Facebook and Twitter.
It’s OK if Dad said you couldn’t plaster a magnetic States map across your car. This app lets you mark off which states you’ve already been to. It’s a simple app but does the trick. And you can brag to your friends about where you’ve been by sending them images of your map.
Bridge the gap between the old school road trip fun you used to have when you were a kid and the digital age version for your own children. Type in nouns, take pictures or use photos from your smartphone or iPad’s photo gallery, and watch the comedy ensue.
Good for: Passing the time and getting the family involved.It even saves your story as a photo for recalling the fun after the trip has ended.
Entertain the little ones with illustrated children’s books for easy flip-through, and allows kids the option of reading it themselves or listening to a recorded narration. (Free-$2.99)
Good for: Keeping young readers engaged without over-stuffing your suitcase.
Create individual and automatic post cards—actual physical ones— from your trip photos and sends them to its recipient. (Free to download, $1.99 for the snail mail delivery)
Good for: Sending out customized souvenirs for friends and family of your summer trip.
Stream a huge collection of your favorite shows such as Arthur, Curious George, Daniel Tiger, and more. You will need to have an active internet connection to use PBS KIDS Video.
Good For: Those evenings when you’ve arrived at the hotel and are trying to settle the kids down at night. Or for those flight delays that have you sitting at the airport for hours!
Road Trip Bingo
A game for the whole family! A great classic travel game joins the digital age. This app allows 2 players to compete at the same time by providing 2 bingo boards on 1 screen.
How to Avoid "Text Neck" and "Vulture Neck" and Other Mobile Device Hazards
For centuries people have worn out their bodies on equipment designed to make life easier or work more productive. Over the years the prolonged and repetitive motion of sewing machines, looms, typewriters, assembly lines and other "modern" devices have brought long-term circulation and back problems to millions.
Now that we've replaced mechanical equipment with electronic, we face similar health issues especially with our increasing use of mobile devices. Tablets and smart phones force us to unnaturally crane our neck to read tiny screens and tap on tiny keys. It's no wonder many of us suffer from tired eyes, sore shoulders and aching backs. But there's good news. You can avoid "vulture neck" and other hazards by adopting a few simple habits when using your mobile device.
Buy right. Don't buy a larger screen than you need if a smaller, lighter model will do. Be sure to test the brightness of the display, especially if you'll be using indoors and out.
Straighten up. The problem is how these devices are held. Your non-dominant hand holds the tablet, while the dominant finger touches the screen, clenching the other fingers so they don't accidentally touch the screen. Although tablets are usually very light, even one weighing a few ounces can cause strain when used for long periods. Practice the same good posture you use for your computer: feet on the floor, shoulders and neck relaxed, arms to your side and back supported by a chair.
Adjust your seat. Part of the "vulture neck" comes from placing your tablet below your field of vision when seated. Adjust your seat so the screen is at or just below your field of vision when holding your head and neck comfortably.
Raise it. Keep your tablet raised to eye level by placing it on a table instead of holding it in your lap. Keep it propped up with a stand that allows it to stay upright. If you must hold it in your lap, or are reading while lying down, use a pillow to raise it up and bring the screen closer.
Consider a keyboard. Tablets are made for convenience and portability, not for creating big documents or inputting large amounts of data as they don't promote good posture or comfort. For that type of work use a laptop or desktop. If a tablet is your only option, adding a keyboard and mouse will decrease strain.
Keep moving. They call these mobile devices so you should move around, stretch, change positions and take frequent breaks to keep your muscles from cramping up and to keep your circulation flowing.
Smart Phone Tips
Smart phones are used more for texting, emailing and browsing than talking. The small keyboard and screen, the unnatural position of your arm, shoulder, back, hands and fingers encourage poor posture and can cause long-term muscle injury. Reduce the stress and strain by:
-Holding your neck and back upright. Avoid lowering your head or rounding your shoulders.
-Using the phone in its vertical position. This reduces the amount of space your thumbs and fingers will have to reach.
-Keeping your wrist straight.
-Creating shorter messages. Reduce the keystrokes, and you'll reduce hand and thumb movements.
-Using word or voice recognition. Although it can sometimes cause embarrassing communication gaffes, auto complete cuts down on keystrokes while voice recognition eliminates it.
-Trying a stylus. Select one with a comfortable grip where you don't need to hold it too tightly.
For additional ideas on how to make your mobile device more ergonomic, consult with your Twist OP representative who can provide all the help you need to make sure you're comfortable and pain-free wherever you go.
This article was brought to you by our friends at
Looking for something specific? Search our site below for more content: