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Your home is the easiest target for a burglar when you are away. While going on a vacation, whether it be for months or just two to four days, it is best to make sure your home is protected. If you take a little precaution, or better still spend a few bucks on security, you will be able to minimize the chance of a burglary or at least be prepared for it.
Here we list some simple practices to help you protect your home while you are on holiday to make sure you spend the least cash while doing so.1. Make It Feel Like You Are at Home
The best way to avoid a burglary is to not be a target at all. If you make it feel like you are still inside the house, the burglar will most probably spare your house. However, the burglars are as smart as you are, and you need to be smarter than them. Below are some things you can do to trick them:
Use Digital Light Timer: Digital timers can randomly turn lights on and off in your house per your instructions. This will make it feel like someone is at home and using lights. However, make sure you use a random time each day to ensure no one suspects a device. Digital timers can cost anywhere between $10 and $20, and you can find many on Amazon. Some timers can even turn appliances on/off like your TV.
Take Care of Outside of Home: Depending on the season, you should make sure snow is cleaned or your lawn is mowed on time to keep things regular. You can hire a professional service or even give few bucks to a trusted teenager for this easy job.
Use Smart DoorBell: Okay, so you have done everything to fool the burglar, but guess what, they can just press the doorbell to know if you are at home or not (so much for being a smartypants). In such situation, a smart doorbell will help. It will let you both see and talk to the person at the door using your smartphone from anywhere. Some good smart doorbells include Ring Video Doorbell and SkyBell WiFi Doorbell.2. Don’t Start an Advertisement Campaign About Your Vacation
Yes, it feels good to brag on social network websites about going on a vacation to Hawaii, but you are actually sending an invitation to rob you. Knowing that you will be away from your house for quite some time, burglars can easily plan a robbery. Only spread this information to minimum people, and educate your children about this practice as well.
If you really do want to tell people, make sure your posts are limited to friends or family (who you can trust, of course). Public posts can even be searched in search engines. With a few key words, burglars can spot such a post. Furthermore, while you are on vacation, make sure you don’t upload pictures or post about it publicly; anyone will be able to know you are not at home.3. Take All the Keys with You
It is smart to hide a spare key outside your house so any trusted person may access your house in case of emergency. However, it is not a good idea when the burglar has enough time to check every inch near your house. Either take all the keys with you or give a spare key to a trusted neighbor or friend.
If you can’t give the keys to anyone and there will be someone who will have to visit your house often to feed your pets or to water the plants, then a controllable lock may help. There are locks that can be opened or closed using a dedicated app in your smartphone. Some of the options include August Smart Lock, Lockitron and Schlage.4. Unplug All Electrical Appliances
To decrease the risk of fire while you are away, it is best to unplug all big and small appliances that have no duty to perform. Of course, you should keep the appliances on timer plugged in, but unplug all the unnecessary ones, such as the toaster, TV, microwave, coffee maker, etc.5. Use a Surveillance System
If you are very concerned about your home protection, then a security camera system is a must. It will help keep a tab on pets, avoid hazards and call the police during a burglary. You don’t have to get an expensive high-tech surveillance system for this; a few Wi-Fi cameras at key places should work. You can easily get some good security cameras from Amazon for as low as $20.
Additionally, you can also create a free DIY security camera using your old Android or iPhone. There are many apps for this purpose.
Android: AtHome Camera, Alfred, WardenCam Home Security IP-Cam
iOS: iWatcher remote camera FREE, iPCamera, Eye Spy Camera LiteConclusion
Following the guidelines mentioned above, you should be able to stay low on the target list of burglars. A surveillance system is highly recommended, as it will at least help you call the police if other measures fail.
Karrar is drenched in technology and always fiddles with new tech opportunities. He has a bad habit of calling technology “Killer”, and doesn’t feel bad about spending too much time in front of the PC. If he is not writing about technology, you will find him spending quality time with his little family.
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The best apps to entertain your kids during school holidays SketchAI
SketchAI is a graphics and design software created by PicsArt. This tool is based on artificial intelligence technology and is capable of generating digital creations from drawings, photos, or any images. With filters and a description accompanying each image, SketchAI allows childrens to unleash their creativity and become an artist. Whether your child has a good sense of design or not, SketchAI is sure to keep them occupied for hours.
Download SketchAI for iOSGeocaching
Geocaching is a real-world and virtual game that combines the best of both worlds. The goal is to solve puzzles and find hidden treasure in a specific place. The game operates on a community principle, so players can exchange clues, share photos, and obtain GPS coordinates. Geocaching is a great app that has over 10 million users. It guides its users in the search for new treasures.Disney+
Disney+ is a video-on-demand platform that is perfect for children and families. The platform offers a vast catalog of content that is geared towards the youngest and the family, making it a complementary offer to Netflix. The Star universe, however, remains a poor relation and will require several years of work to catch up with its competitors.Art Puzzle
Download Art Puzzle for AndroidYouTube Kids
YouTube Kids is a mobile app designed for children under the age of 13. It is a kid-friendly version of the regular YouTube app, with content that is filtered and suitable for children. The app features a wide range of videos, including educational content, games, music, and more.
These five applications mentioned above are sure to keep children busy and entertained during the school holidays. From transforming drawings into works of art to going on a treasure hunt, these applications have something for everyone. So, when the weather is bad or you need indoor activities, turn to these applications for hours of fun and entertainment.Other ways to entertain your kids
Entertaining kids can be a challenge. Especially when it comes to keeping them engaged and occupied for long periods of time. However, in today’s world, smartphones and tablets have become an indispensable tool for keeping kids entertained. As they offer a wide range of educational and entertaining activities that kids can enjoy. Here are some tips for entertaining your kids using a smartphone or tablet.
Educational Apps – A great way to entertain and educate your kids at the same time is by downloading educational apps on your device. These apps range from simple games that teach basic skills such as counting and spelling, to more complex games that teach subjects such as science, history and geography. Some popular educational apps include Math Duel, ABCmouse, and ScratchJr.
Music and Videos – Another great way to entertain your kids is by using your smartphone or tablet to play music and videos. From nursery rhymes to kids’ songs and educational videos, there is a wealth of content available that is both fun and educational. Services like YouTube Kids and Spotify Kids offer a wide range of content that is safe and appropriate for kids.
Online Games – Online games are a great way to keep kids entertained for hours on end. From simple games like Tic Tac Toe and Hangman, to more complex games like Minecraft and Roblox. There is a game for every age and interest. Many of these games can be played for free, or for a small fee, and can be enjoyed by kids of all ages.
Books – Reading is a great way to entertain and educate kids, and there are many apps available that allow you to download and read books on your smartphone or tablet. From classic children’s books like “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “Alice in Wonderland”, to popular picture books like “Goodnight Moon” and “The Cat in the Hat”, there is a book for every child’s interest and age level.
Art and Craft Apps – If your child is creative, you can entertain them by downloading art and craft apps. These apps allow kids to create and color pictures, create collages, and even make their own animations. Some popular art and craft apps include PicsArt, Colorfy and Paper.
In conclusion, smartphones and tablets are a great tool for entertaining and educating kids. With a wide range of educational and entertaining apps and content available. You can be sure that your kids will never be bored. Just be sure to set limits on the amount of time they spend on their devices. And always supervise their online activities to ensure that they are safe and appropriate.
Don’t work harder; work smarter. That phrase was coined in the 1930s, but it’s still applicable today. Nobody wants to waste hours doing something the long way when a few keystrokes could help get it done in just a few seconds.
To help you increase your efficiency on your Mac, we’ve selected five tips that are easy to implement. You’ll get your work done faster, so you can have more time to play.
Table of ContentsmacOS Tip #1: Configure Spotlight Search
If you haven’t used Spotlight before, you should. Spotlight search can locate files, find information on the web, and even perform basic math calculations. Best of all, you can access it via a simple keyboard stroke.
Use the steps below to configure what items Spotlight will search for and how to use it.
1. Open System Preferences from the Apple Menu in the upper left-hand corner.
2. Select Spotlight in the preferences.
3. Use the checkbox to select the categories you want Spotlight to search. Uncheck the categories you don’t want Spotlight to search.
4. Select the Privacy tab. Add folders you don’t want Spotlight to search.
You can use Spotlight search by selecting the magnifying glass in the upper-right corner of your screen or by using the Command+Space bar keyboard shortcut. When Spotlight search opens, you can enter a word or phrase into the search bar and Spotlight will display the results.macOS Tip #2: Create Text Shortcuts
macOS lets you create text shortcuts that automatically expand into longer text phrases. You can even add emojis to your text phrase.
For example, you could set up macOS to replace $rec with “I received your message and will respond soon.” These shortcuts can be a huge timesaver, and they’re super easy to set up.
1. Open System Preferences from the Apple Menu in the upper left-hand corner.
2. Select Keyboard in the preferences.
3. Select the Text tab.
4. Find and select the + button in the bottom left corner.
5. Enter your shortcut in the Replace column. Choose a shortcut that is unique and not text that you would commonly type. Use a symbol like % or ~ if needed.
6. Enter the complete text string in the With column.
Once added, you can type your shortcut into any text field, and macOS will replace it automatically.macOS Tip #3: Use Hot Corners
If you’ve never heard of Hot Corners you’re not alone.
This often-overlooked feature allows you to perform an action when you hover your mouse in one of the four corners of your display. You can choose to lock your screen, show the desktop, and more. You’re limited in what tasks you can perform, but the available ones are useful.
Setting up your hot corners takes just a few easy steps. Follow these steps below to get started.
1. Open System Preferences from the Apple Menu in the upper left-hand corner.
2. Select Mission Control in the preferences to open the Mission Control settings.
3. Select the Hot Corners button.
4. Use the drop-down menu to select the action for each corner.
Select OK when done.
To use your hot corners, you simply need to move your mouse to the edge of the display in that specific corner.macOS Tip #4: Safari Picture-in-Picture
You need to use Safari, but it works with any video streaming service, including YouTube, Vimeo, and others.
1. Open Safari and select the + in the right corner to open a new tab.
2. Start playing a video on YouTube, Vimeo, or another video service in this tab.
4. Select Enter Picture in Picture to open the video in a smaller window
5. The picture-in-picture video will now float on top of your browser window.macOS Tip #5: Useful Keyboard shortcuts
There are many keyboard shortcuts inside macOS. It’s almost impossible to learn them all, so we made it easier for you by choosing ten of the most important ones to commit to memory.
Screenshot tools: Use Command+Shift+3 to screenshot an entire window, Command+Shift+4 to screenshot a selected area, and Command+Shift+5 to open a suite of screenshot tools, including video (macOS Mojave). Usually, the screenshots are saved to your desktop, but you can quickly copy them to the clipboard. Just add the Control key when you are using the screenshot keyboard shortcuts. For example, Control+Command+Shift+3 will screenshot an entire window and copy it to the clipboard.
Close an app: Use Command+Q to quickly hide an app from prying eyes by closing it with this simple keystroke.
Forward Delete: By default, the delete key in macOS deletes backward by removing the characters to the left of the cursor. Press Function+delete to delete in the forward direction by removing characters to the right of the cursor.
Move between apps: Hold the command key and tap the tab key to cycle between apps.
Move between windows within an app: Use Command+Tilde (~) to cycle between windows.
Minimize a window: Command+M will minimize the active window, while Command-Option-M will minimize all open windows.
Force Quit: Use Command+Option+Esc when an app is frozen and you need to force it to shut down.
Lock your Mac: Use Command+Control+Q to lock your Mac.
Open Spotlight Search: use the Command+Space bar to launch Spotlight and search.
Open Emojis and Special Characters viewer: Control+Command+Space bar in any text field will open the Emojis and Special Characters viewer.
These keyboard shortcuts are helpful, but these are only the tip of the iceberg. Check out our full-length article for a comprehensive list of keyboard shortcuts.Using macOS Tips and Tricks to Be More Productive
How To Use Google Hangouts While Working From Home? Google Hangouts- What is it and what it offers?
Hangouts were originally introduced by Google+, years before the launch of the standalone Hangouts app in 2013. However, Google+ faced it’s death few years back but this brand name keeps on going with some added and lost set of features. Now, the current version of Hangouts is split into three segments, i.e. Google Hangouts Chats, Meets and Dialer.
What else does Google Hangouts offer? Well, the list is long as the Hangouts ecosystem is full of applications for Google Voice subscribers and GSuite users. It means that the Google Voice account holders can make voice calls to anyone across the world using its Dialer app for free. On the other hand, the GSuite holders can use Google Hangouts Chat and Meet, quite similar to Slack.
If you wish to give this amazing communication tool a try, check out this guide.How To Use The Google Hangouts?
Google Hangouts is a multi-platform application that makes it easy to work remotely. Whatever the case is, be it you are in your living room with your laptop or you are demonstrating something in the phone, Google will always have an app that has you covered. Yes, you can use Google Hangouts on all devices including- Desktops, Laptops, Smartphones, and tablets etc.
Desktop or Laptop: No matter whether you are using Windows or Mac OS, you can easily access Google Hangouts as a Chrome extension. If you do not use Chrome browser, you can also directly login on Google Hangouts official website on Safari, Edge or any other browser.
Smartphones and Tablets: Whether you’re using an iOS or an Android device, you can download Hangouts native app for a smooth use including quick chat, and audio/video calls.
While accessing Hangouts on Mac or Windows, it will continue to run in the background even after you close the Chrome browser. While if you are using a Google Hangouts website, you’ll be required to login every time you start your PC or Mac.What Can I Do With Google Hangouts?
Share Screen Using Google Hangouts
You can use Google Hangouts even if you are a novice and you can take help from your coworkers to sort any difficulty you come across while working remotely. Most of the tools available on Google Hangouts are fairly simple and you can use the Hangouts share screen feature to show your participants the presentation on either Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides.
Make sure that you are already having your presentation or query opened in the taskbar or in the background of your Hangouts window for quick access.
Also Read: Best Zoom Alternatives For Remote Meetings/ Video Conferencing
Add Attendees To Your Meeting
Video meetings or calls made on Hangouts are not limited to just one individual, rather you can add up to 25 participants to chat and call simultaneously. In case you have a business account of G Suite, you can have upto 250 participants and 100,00 live stream viewers over a single call.
Use Emojis To Enhance Chats
While using Google Hangouts, you can also use some of its secret emojis to add some grace to your chats and conversations. For instance, bikeshed will change the background color of the chat window, /happy will show a happy face etc.How to Use Google Hangouts in App, Web Browser and Extension?
Look at the steps below, if you do not know how to access and initiate conversations on Hangouts. Wherever you access Hangouts, remember all the data gets synced in real-time and you can access from anywhere.
Tap the green and white “+” button at the bottom right of the app and select either New conversation or New video call.
You can then type in the name, email address, or phone number of an existing Hangouts user to start a text-based conversation or video call. In case you have to start a new conversation with someone who does not use Hangouts, it will send them an invite to use the service.
You can add more people to groups at any time by selecting the three vertical dots at the top right of the app and tap People.
You can also invite more people to an ongoing video chat by tapping the three vertical dots at the top right of the video call and selecting invite.
There’s an option to share a link to an ongoing video call. People with the link can join the video call by simply signing in with their Gmail account.
That’s all people! Enjoy working from home smoothly using this guide on how to use Google Hangouts as your communication tool. Go ahead and set up your video meetings, check in on family members, or catch up with friends, no matter where they are in the world!Quick Reaction:
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Are you looking to make friends on Instagram?
Sending direct messages is the best way you can make friends on Instagram.
This is because it’s just one tap of a button.
In fact, you can even send a direct message to a private account.
That is if the person sets their message request settings to, “everyone”.
However, you should try not to send a direct message to anyone without context.
This is because it’s highly unlikely that you’ll get a reply if you’re just saying “hi”.
So how can you start a conversation with someone on Instagram then?
In this article, you’ll learn 5 surefire ways to make friends on Instagram.
By the end of this article, you should be able to apply these ways to make meaningful connections.How to Make Friends on Instagram
To make friends on Instagram, you can either join follow for follow communities, reply to stories, or ask a question on your story.
You can also try interacting more with other people’s posts and follow mutuals.1. Join follow for follow communities
The first way to make friends on Instagram is to join follow for follow communities.
There are lots of them on the web as you can find them from Facebook, Reddit, Discord, and more.
But the best ones are typically from Reddit—r/Instagram, r/Followback, r/FollowForFollow.
Joining follow for follow communities is a great way to find people in your niche to follow.
Follow for follow communities are places where you can share your Instagram link with others.
As you do so, people will start following you on Instagram and you’ll have to follow them back.
In addition, you can follow others first and send them a direct message saying that you came from the respective community for a follow back.
That’s when you can start a conversation with them if you have the same interests.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can use follow for follow communities to make friends on Instagram:
For this example, let’s use r/Followback.
Sign up for a Reddit account and log in.
Post your Instagram link to r/Followback.
Follow others that are in the same niche as you on Instagram.
Send them a direct message saying that you came from Reddit for a follow back.
Using this process, you can potentially gain 10 to 20 quality followers a day.
There are some people who made really great connections from these communities.
Moreover, your engagement rate will increase if you’re following people in your niche.
However, there are certain restrictions you’ll have to be aware of.
Don’t repetitively follow or direct message others as you may be action blocked by Instagram.
If you happened to be action blocked, you’ll typically have to wait for 24 hours for it to be lifted.
So, instead of following or direct messaging others repetitively, do so in intervals.
The best interval is to follow and direct message others are once every 10 minutes.
In other words, you should follow and direct message one person every 10 minutes.
This will prevent your account from getting action blocked by Instagram.2. Reply to stories
Replying to stories is probably one of the most effective ways to start a conversation with someone on Instagram.
Replying to someone’s story is a great way to start a conversation on Instagram.
Stories serve as context—which means that you don’t have to think much about your message.
You should try not to send a direct message to someone without context as you’re most likely not going to get a reply.
Hence, there are more things that you can talk about.
In addition, you’re more likely to get a response by replying to someone’s story than sending them a direct message.
Sending a direct message to someone is much harder as just saying “hi” won’t make the cut.
Moreover, when someone asks a question in their story, you can answer it.
If someone asks a question on their story, they are inviting others to respond to it.
All in all, replying to someone’s story is a great way to start a conversation on Instagram.
So if you’re looking to make friends on Instagram, you can start by replying to someone’s story.3. Ask a question on your story
Are you the type of person who dislikes sending the first message?
If you’re too lazy to respond to stories, you can post your own story.
That way, people can respond to it instead of you responding to theirs.
Asking a question in your story is a great way to get a ton of responses.
You’ll be surprised by the number of responses you’ll get by asking a question in your story.
A lot of conversations on Instagram begins with a story.
The general idea is that the more stories you post, the more likely someone will respond to them.
However, in order to get someone to reply to your story, it needs to intrigue them.
Your story needs to be intriguing enough for people to respond to it.
A simple way to do that is to ask a question in your story.
You can ask a question by adding a text to your story.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can do so:
Tap on the camera icon on the top-left of Instagram’s home page.
Tap on create (on the left sidebar).
Type out your question.
Add it to your story.
Asking a question in your story openly invites people to respond to it.
You’ll be surprised by the number of responses you’ll receive if you do so.
If you were to post a normal story, people will naturally tap right to go to the next one.
However, if there’s a question in a story, some people will stop and read the question.
If it manages to intrigue them, they will respond to it with an answer.4. Interact with others’ posts
The fourth way is to interact with others’ posts.
When you like someone’s posts frequently, they might start to notice you.
If you do so, they are more likely to reply to you if you send them a message.
Consistently interacting with posts from the people that you’re following will benefit your account as well.
When you like someone’s post, you are no longer listed as a ghost follower.
As such, people are less likely to unfollow you.
This shows that you care about your followers, and they will be more inclined to interact with your posts.5. Follow mutuals
The final way to make friends on Instagram is to follow mutuals.
Mutuals are people that are followed by someone that you’re following.
If someone has a lot of mutuals, there’s a high chance that you might also know them.
Mutuals are people that are followed by one or more users that you’re following.
Following mutuals is a great way to increase your connections on Instagram as they are more likely to follow you back.
Following mutuals is a great way to increase your connections on Instagram.
This is because mutuals are more likely to follow you back as compared to someone with no mutuals.
Instagram has a feature where you can see how many mutual followers a user has.
You can see how many mutual followers someone has from the “Followed by” phrase under their bio.
For example, if a user is followed by 10 people that you’re following, you’ll see the phrase, “Followed by x and 10 others” under their bio.
That’s when you can tell that the person might know some of the people that you’re following.
Consequently, if you follow them, they have a high chance of following you back.
You can find people with a lot of mutuals by looking at the “Suggested for you” and the “Discover people” sections on Instagram.
To find the “Suggested for you” section, visit someone’s profile and tap on the down arrow icon.
On the other hand, the “Discover people” section is located on the menu in your profile.
Using these couple of sections, you can find many users with a lot of mutual followers.
Then, follow as many of those users as possible and some of them will follow you back.Conclusion
In this article, you’ve learned 5 ways to make friends on Instagram.
To recap, here are some of the key takeaways:
Join follow for follow communities.
Respond to someone’s story.
Post a story with a question.
Remember, try not to send a direct message to someone without context.
Instead, find opportunities to send a direct message as you’re more likely to get a reply that way.Further Reading
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