The Norton Group, Inc.



Posted by The Norton Group, Inc. on 9/15/2019

We risk being hacked every day. This risk can expose our financial, retail, and personal online accounts to intruders for malicious use, so it is important to be able to identify weak points and know how to protect them.

Know your email inbox.

Email is a potential area for malicious behavior to occur. Do not open emails from unknown people. Avoid opening attachments or clicking on internet links from unsolicited emails. Exercise caution with emails that have embedded links and images. Delete emails that make outlandish claims or offers that are too good to be true, just never even open them. 

Take precautions on social networks.

Social networking sites and their apps are convenient means for sharing personal information with family and friends. Open sharing can increase your risks. To protect yourself avoid posting information such as your home address, phone number, places of employment any other personal information. Limit the access to information to friends only and verify any new friend request. Review the security policies available from your social network provider quarterly or when the terms of use policy changes. Opt out of exposing personal information to search engines. Take precautions concerning any unsolicited request and links.

Guard your account access.

Keep your passwords secure and take steps to minimize misuse of password recovery options. Use different passwords for your accounts, not the same one for everything. Disable the feature that allows websites or programs to remember passwords. Change your passwords periodically. A standard password recovery method for sites is challenge questions. To prevent an attacker from leveraging any personal information, consider answering challenge questions with lies that you can easily remember, but that someone who looks up your history wouldn’t know. Avoid storing passwords and answers to challenge questions in plain text. If available use multi-factor authentication for logging into websites. Example of this is a passcode or pin is emailed, texted, or even provided to you on phone call.

Exercise caution when using public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Many locations such as coffee shops, hotels, libraries, and airports have wireless hotspots for customers to access the internet. The security of these hotspots cannot be guaranteed. Exercise caution when accessing any personal or financial accounts is necessary. When you can, use your cellular network to access the internet instead of a public hotspot. These days most of us have 4G cell network service that can be used for internet access instead of a public Wi-Fi hotspot. 

The next time you connect to a public Wi-Fi hotspot, post something, or email, remember to be aware of your online presence.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by The Norton Group, Inc. on 9/8/2019

After spending all day in your office in front of a computer, or outside working hard, the home should be a place of solace and comfort. Sadly, most individuals don't get that comfort they are looking forward to. If you fall into this category, you can make your home an oasis of relaxation with these useful tips:

Give Your Walls A Lighter Color 

Sometimes the colors on our walls are dark and cold, adding a bit of warmth and lightness is a great idea. Lighter colors such as gray are trendy. Gray would do well though, only if you have a lighter shade on your ceiling. Create accent walls with other vibrant shades or patterned wallpaper, thus creating that warm feeling.

Hang Some Pictures 

Hanging pictures is a fantastic way to make your home comfy. Although it might sound obvious, many homeowners tend to overlook it. Adding photos of things that makes you happy such as pictures from traveling, your favorite celebrities, family members, cartoon characters, flowers, cars, etc. is a brilliant idea. 

Buy Some Comfy Pillows 

Pillows are suitable for different areas of the home, from the bed or a chair in the bedroom to the couch in the living room. Buying some comfy, pillows is another way to make your home more relaxing. The cushions can be in different sizes; long bolsters are ideal for a bed or chaise, throw pillows or fur pillows for the couch. 

Make Your House Smell Nice 

A house that smells awful will surely be an uncomfortable place to stay. You can give your home a pleasant smell by using air fresheners or adding some flowers. Apart from making your home smell nice, plants will also help you purify the air in your home.

Invest in Area Rugs 

Considering an area rug is an excellent way to elevate your home. Silky shag rugs help to make a room feel warm and help to make your cold floors a little more bearable. Center an area rug in the middle of the room with furniture set at the edges.

Curtains Should Blend With The Paint 

Curtains make your home beautiful and homey, so hang a curtain that goes well with your wall paint to give visual expanse to the room. The enlarged appearance will make your home feel more comfortable.

Keep It Clean 

Cleaning your home is very necessary if you want to increase your comfort. Ensure you carry out daily cleaning tasks such as regular washing of towels and sheets, dusting accessories, mopping the floor, etc.

Add a bit of Decor

Adding decors make the home inviting and beautiful. A vase of flowers in the living room, potted herbs in mason jars at the kitchen window, fresh fruits and vegetables on the dining table and lot more will boost the comfort level of your home.

When preparing your home to sell, talk to your real estate professional about ways to make your home appear more inviting.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by The Norton Group, Inc. on 9/1/2019

It's the season of the year when one of the top priorities on everyone's list is to keep away from getting sick. While washing our hands and taking extra vitamins are important your bedroom could be a lurking danger to that goal. 

We spend on average 7 hours a night asleep or in our bedrooms each day, typically a little more in the winter months thanks to the sun's seeming hibernation. With so much of our time spent in that one room, you should make sure that it is not making you sick. A few things to make a habit of keeping clean are...

Bedding

So often it part of the house cleaning that we put off but sheets and pillowcases should be cleaned once a week. As you sleep on it dirt, oils, dead skin, germs, even drool can accumulate leaving plenty to make you sick. 

Pillows

For similar reasons, pillows should be cleaned twice a year. Thankfully most pillows can just be thrown into the wash and dryer with good results. If not, putting it in the sun can help to sanitize and deodorize it.

Under the bed

Whether you are a nit-pick or this area has become a catch-all for anything that hit your bedroom floor chances are that you overlook this area in the monthly deep clean. Clear out anything that might be negatively impacting your heal and run a vacuum or broom underneath to keep the dust from piling up.

Dust your ceiling fan

Again an often overlooked part of the room that requires regular cleaning. If you dust it once a month, it should not have a chance to send the dust fairies down onto you in the middle of your blissful sleep.

The air 

Huh? Yes, just as important to your health is the air quality of your bedroom. Let fresh air into your house and bedroom periodically. Doing this allows the air to circulate and helps germs to be flushed out. Another way to take care of the air in your bedroom is to use aromatherapy. If you are using good quality essential oils, they can help to kill bacteria and virus germs in the air and make your room smell fresh and clean. If you run the heater, it will also be a good idea to use a humidifier to make sure that dry air is not leaving your nasal passages dried out and stuffy in the process.

Your sanctuary from germs and allergens

Don't forget that your home can hold just as much responsibility for your health as many other elements around us. Do your part to stay healthy. Keep away from allergens in your home by keeping these often overlooked parts of your house clean. You will be able to remain confident, knowing that your home is your sanctuary.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by The Norton Group, Inc. on 8/25/2019

Whether you're planning on selling your home in the near future or just enhancing it now for your own enjoyment, your kitchen is a great place to focus some of your attention.

If your kitchen is dreary, disorganized, and grungy, then several aspects of your life could be negatively impacted.

One surefire way to start your day on a sour note is to be "greeted" first thing in the morning by stacks of unwashed dishes, dirty cookware, and spills! Sound familiar? It happens to everyone occasionally, but it becomes a major issue when it occurs on a regular basis. Messy kitchens can not only leave you feel frustrated and irritable, but they can be a contributing factor to family squabbles.

Here's a related scenario that's worth avoiding at almost all costs: Leaning your arm on a dirty counter and realizing you're now wearing last night's tomato sauce or Cabernet on your work clothes! We won't even go into that sinking feeling you get when an important document, research paper, or business report gets placed on a wet counter top!

There's no solution that works flawlessly every time, but establishing consistent habits, routines, and family responsibilities is a great starting point. While it may be a bit of hassle to keep reminding your kids to clean up after themselves and put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher, it's usually worth it when you know you're not going to have to wake up to a messy kitchen!

Other ways to ensure your kitchen is an inspiring place, rather than a depressing one, is to remove clutter from counter tops and tables, keep windows clean and unobstructed, and make sure artificial lighting is adequate in dining and food preparation areas. Replacing old, heavy window treatments and installing recessed lighting with dimmer switches can also enhance the look and feel of your kitchen.

Besides doing a partial or complete remodel of your kitchen -- which many homeowners need to do at least once -- there are a lot of small, more affordable touches that can make your kitchen a more inviting and enjoyable place to spend time. Colorful wall art, a bowl of fresh fruit, a flower arrangement, and the use of citrus-scented cleaners are a few simple touches that can set the stage for a cleaner, more cheerful living space.

Painting or re-staining kitchen cabinets may be more of a cumbersome job than you're willing to tackle, but it can dramatically freshen up the appearance of your kitchen. For some homeowners, cabinet refacing is an economical choice that is relatively simple and budget friendly.

Cleaning and organizing your pantry, kitchen cabinets, and refrigerator is also a good way to weed out expired grocery products and take inventory of what needs to be replaced. When ingredients and food supplies are easy to find, mealtime tends to be more relaxing and enjoyable for everyone.





Posted by The Norton Group, Inc. on 8/18/2019

Over the past four years or so, smart home technology has been snowballing in terms of popularity and capabilities. With a few devices, you can watch your entire home from the office or anywhere, turn off your lights while you are at the mall, and so much more. Unlike what you will hear, you don't need to spend thousands of dollars to make your home smart. Learn about some of the hottest intelligent home devices you can buy for under $100:

Blink Security Camera Price: $99 

This device, there is no need for expensive CCTV installation. The Blink Security Camera is wireless, easy to set up, uses AA batteries and can last more than two years. It features a motion sensor that lets it record when any slight movement is made your home. You can connect it to your smartphone to have a steady view of what's happening in your home when you are not around. It is waterproof, no monthly contract, and also has night vision. 

Google Chromecast Price: $35 

Google Chromecast transforms your ordinary TV to a Smart TV. Just plug it in into the HDMI port and power it through a USB. This will make your smartphone the remote control for your smart TV, allowing you to watch your favorite content from YouTube, Hulu, Netflix and many more. 

Amazon Echo Dot Price: $40 

The Amazon Echo Dot is a smart speaker that is linked to your Amazon Alexa. When you talk to Amazon’s Alexa, you can get weather reports, play music, set alarms and so much more. It's beautifully designed and convenient to use. 

Samsung SmartThings Hub Price: $89.99 

This device will allow you to control almost every gadget in your home through your smartphone rather than using individual applications for each device. This device acts as the central system for managing and monitoring your home from its easy to use Android app. The Samsung SmartThings Hub also works with Google home or Amazon Alexa. 

Ring Video Doorbell Price: $99.99 

This fantastic device features a motion sensor that alerts you of any movement outside your door. This wireless device also features a video and two-way audio so you can communicate with whoever is at your door from a smartphone, tablet or laptop with internet connection. With the Ring Video doorbell, you can keep an eye on your front door as well as have complete peace of mind whenever you are not at home.

Visit your local hardware store for the best smart home devices to make the kitchen a more convenient place for you.