Plumbing: When to DIY and When to Call an Expert

The average home has an extensive plumbing network. Just think of how many items in your home require plumbing. There is maybe one faucet for the kitchen sink, another faucet for the bathroom, and yet another outside near your garden or shed. Add toilets, showers, and baths to the mix and you have a comprehensive plumbing system that supplies water throughout your home, among other areas.

However, at one point or another, something is bound to go wrong. One of your faucets may start leaking or simply not work at all. An underground pipe might burst and cause damage to your entire property. These are problems that need immediate fixing – but who should fix them? Can you fix them yourself or should you call a professional?

When to Do It Yourself

There is a host of plumbing jobs that you can tackle with confidence. One such job is a leaky faucet. Repairing a leaky faucet is easy once you know what type of faucet you have. There are four kinds of faucets: cartridge, disc, compression, and ball type. Of these four faucet types, only the compression faucet relies on rubber washers. If your compression faucet is leaking, then the washer is to blame – you will have to replace it. Make sure that you have the right size when buying a new one. If you have one of the other three faucet types, then you have to replace the O-ring or neoprene seal.

Another easy plumbing job is unclogging a drain. Who hasn’t encountered a clogged drain at least once in their life? If you haven’t, then you’re lucky. Still, knowing how to de-clog a clogged drain should be on your list of things to know. There are many reasons a drain could be clogged. One of them is hair, which can bind with grease and cause large blockages in your drain system. The best fix for this is to make sure that it doesn’t happen in the first place: put guards over your drains to catch hair and other debris – and ensure that you clean these guards regularly. However, if your drain is already clogged, the easiest fix would be to pour boiling water down the drain.

When to Call an Expert

contractor checking the sinkNo matter how handy you are, there are jobs that you really should not try to fix yourself. An example would be replacing any pipework. It may look like an easy and straightforward process, but you’d be wrong – make the smallest mistake and you’ll be starting over from the beginning, or even worsen the problem. The job could quickly spiral out of your control.

This is when you call in the plumbing experts. They’ll come in vans armed with flatbed toolboxes containing all the gear and equipment for the job. With the right tools, as well as experience and knowledge, experts can quickly and easily do the job.

It’s good to know how to fix things around the house, especially when it comes to plumbing. However, as systems and homes become more sophisticated, it’s best to call the professionals if you’re not sure you can tackle a job yourself.

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You Have Them: Four Qualities of Successful Businesspeople

When you want to achieve glory and financial success, starting a business is one of the best paths to take. You get to do what you want. You get to work on your passion. And you get to be your boss. And your chances of achieving your goals increase when you have a trusty partner to work with. However, it should be noted that doing business is a challenge. The road to success is paved with obstacles, which may even bend your spirit. But if you want it, you will always find a way.

Successful businesspeople have a lot of common denominators. They have almost the same set of qualities that sets them apart from the crowd. And these are the qualities that you might even have—all you need to do is to awaken them. You have to hone them. Be inspired by some successful businesspeople, such as Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs. Look at their characteristics and use these traits as your foundations.

Whether you are pondering on starting a cookie business or a tech one, here are some of the qualities you ought to keep in mind:

They are passionate

It has always been said that passion makes a business work. And it is, especially if the cause you are working on really matters for you. Passion is somewhat your raw fuel, which you will turn into an inspiration that will make your business work. Sometimes, the willingness to make things work happens when you are focused on the prize—so you ought to keep your eyes on the prize so that you will remain inspired.

They are visionaries

Businesspeople do not just think of their short-term wins and comforts. They are looking to make things last a long time. They are looking to leave a legacy or something that will change the way people view the world. This is evident among businesspeople and marketing leaders, such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

business people making plans

They network well

Businesspeople do not just stay within their shell. The world is their oyster, so they make the most of it by networking. They recognize the fact that they cannot always do things on their own. They need to find people who will complement their skills. They have to find someone who will become their mentor. With all these motivations, businesspeople are encouraged and inspired to become good at networking—that’s how they will be able to find the right people to help them.

They are unstoppable

There will always be challenges, and some of them can even break your will and drive. But successful businesspeople do not let these things crush them. They have this enthusiasm to take revenge on failures. They want to prove their naysayers wrong. They are unstoppable.

Being a businessperson requires you to develop a set of qualities and traits that will help you further your cause. Take inspiration from some of the contemporary visionaries and commit yourself to self-development and improvement. You can always find a venue where your idea can flourish alongside your qualities.

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Focus on These Ranking Signals to Get Ahead

seo icons on a laptop's screenThe ranking of your website matters because it may make or break your brand. If you are not on the first page, you won’t get as many clicks and fewer possibilities to convert. There are factors that will affect the rank of your site, know what these are and pour your resources on them to get the results you want.

An SEO consultant from Salt Lake City cites the following ranking signals to take note of when creating an online marketing campaign.

Click-Through Rate

The click-throughs your site gets is a strong and relevant ranking signal that you should integrate into your campaigns. Use Google’s Analytics to determine which pages get the highest traffic. Once you identify these, work on its calls-to-action to improve your conversions.

If the CTR is too low, you might have to change and re-write its meta descriptions and title tags.

Search Intention Sync

When a user browses the Internet, they have definite intentions that are along the sales funnel. They might be searching in general for a product or a solution to their problem, or already have something in mind and need a bit more convincing. If your page is relevant to their intent, Google will rank it higher.

Keywords play a role in identifying the behavior of a potential customer. If they input specific brands or places, you can get a glimpse of what they want. One of the ways to help you understand the thought process of a person is by inputting queries in Google and review the results.

The results that come out will lead you to an answer about their intentions.

Content is King and Queen

Algorithms and intentions change over time, but one thing will remain the same, content is still the king and queen of search. The videos, articles, podcasts and others you publish are the reasons people click on your links and browse your pages.

Focus on topics that your audience wants and needs. Build authority and an expert voice in your niche to draw leaders you can collaborate with. Authoritativeness entices people to listen to you and increases the likelihood of conversion.

Detailed is the Way to Go

Google is increasingly favoring longer posts; the search engine wants comprehensiveness from websites. When you make content, make sure it contains most of the information a visitor needs. Include details such as contact information, addresses, solutions, answers and others.

Use TF-IDF analysis to determine the frequency of particular search terms on the pages of your competition’s websites. This enables you to identify relevant keywords and concepts.

Bounce Rate and Time on Site

Closeup on businessman holding a card with CTA CALL TO ACTION message

These two signals are byproducts of user experience, and Google values them when it ranks websites. Create content and include calls-to-action that lengthens the browsing of a visitor. Keep them engaged throughout their experience so that they click the links that lead deeper into your website.

Tease them with snippets or topics that make them want to learn more about it.

When planning a campaign, consider these search signals; these can improve your ranking and get you more satisfied customers. Consult with your team to determine the metrics that enable you to identify intent and the types of content that works.

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Hide, Lock, Keep: Addressing the Property Crime Problem in Utah Cities

Around two to three years ago, major Utah cities, like Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Provo were notorious for property crimes, ranging from auto theft, larceny, and burglary. In 2016, motor vehicle was a pressing problem in the entire state. This was when 21 cars were reported stolen every single day, amounting to thousands of pilfered vehicles a year.

Property Crime in Utah Cities Before

The abovementioned places made it to some of the international lists for the most dangerous cities for property crimes. In 2016, Provo ranked fourth in FBI’s top cities for increased property crime. This was mainly due to burglary, which made up 56 percent of the total crimes. Vehicle theft follows at 35 percent and larceny at 30 percent.

Salt Lake City topped that same list just last year. For a population of 193, 918, it had 75.4 property crime cases per 1,000 people. This is an alarmingly high ratio for a town the size of Salt Lake City.

Property Crime in Utah Cities Today

Ogden

In general, crime rates in different Utah cities dropped, but to varying degrees. In Ogden, property and violent crimes decreased by 20 percent from 2017 to 2018. These offenses include robbery, burglary, larceny, theft, arson, rape, homicide, and aggravated assault. Ogden’s climb toward being a safer town is due to several factors.

Ogden Chief of Police Randy Watt said it may be a result of the police department’s decision to review and change some of its protocols after seeing an 11 percent increase in said crimes from 2015 to 2016. The department reorganized the divisions and bureaus to align with the same set of goals.

Another contributing factor is Ogden’s participation in Project Safe Neighborhood. This program is a collaboration between the national and local law enforcement agencies aimed at determining which cases that can be prosecuted on the federal level. The goal is to identify repeat offenders in Ogden and give them longer sentences out of state.

Provo

Automotive security in Provo, Utah is now a prime concern, according to the Provo police department. The department introduced Hide, Lock, Keep, a program that will help protect the community from criminals. Police officer Brooke Fox explained that students from the Brigham Young University (BYU) leave their valuables in their cars with the doors unlocked. They also don’t lock the front doors of their dormitories since they have roommates going in and out.

Office Fox explained that this habit makes people an easy target for criminals. They can easily peek through car windows, open the door, and steal the valuable item inside. Provo’s community policing unit printed cards that say “Hide, Lock, Keep” to remind residents to secure their cars, homes, and valuables.

Salt Lake City

theft opening the car's window

Although Salt Lake City is still struggling to reduce its property crime rates, it has dropped to number 2 in the most dangerous city for property crimes. It’s a significant reduction, from 75.4 crimes in 2017, to 70.82 in 2018, but still an alarmingly high rate.

Salt Lake City police reports that last May, 51 cars were stolen in just 14 days. Police say they are working on identifying the suspects. But it’s difficult since the incidents occurred in different areas in the city, so they can’t link it to just one suspect.

The United Police Department of Greater Salt Lake has the Community Watch program. This strategy involves the efforts of citizens in different areas who are trained to notice and report suspicious activities near their homes. The goal is to teach residents how to protect themselves and their families and work together to prevent crime.

Utah still has a long way to go in reducing property crimes. But the initiatives from each city is a step toward keeping its people safer and improving its law enforcement.

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What Is the Essential 8 Maturity Model?

Any company that needs network security management will find it easier if they follow the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC) Essential Eight Maturity Model, especially if your business is part of the healthcare sector.

According to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, the private health service industry accounted for 45 data breaches out of 245 recorded cases between July and September 2018. The finance industry ranked behind with 35 cases, followed by 34 data breaches in the legal, accounting and management services sector. Private education providers and personal services companies reported 16 and 13 data breaches, respectively.

What Are the Eight Models?

The following comprise the eight models under the ACSC’s guidelines:

• Application Whitelisting

• Patch Applications

• Configure Microsoft Office Macro Settings

• User Application Hardening

• Restrict Administrative Privileges

• Patch Operating Systems

• Multi-factor Authentication

• Daily Backups

You can determine the maturity of using these mitigation techniques based on Levels One to Three, which corresponds to “partial, mostly and fully aligned” maturity. Each level classifies specific tasks in line with the intended purpose of mitigation methods. However, the ACSC suggests fully aligned maturity for every model.

Level 3 Maturity

There are other ways to determine Level Three Maturity, but the information below provides a good illustration:

Application Whitelists 

• Is used for all servers and workstations to avoid implementing executable files to approve sets

• Prevents the execution of installers, scripts and software libraries, and scripts to approve sets

• Has Microsoft-suggested block rules for stopping hackers to bypass whitelisting applications

Patch Software and Operating Systems

• Fix security issues within 48 hours

• Update or replace vendor applications that are no longer in use

• Has an automated system oversee applications and driver patches among other installations

Configure Microsoft Office Macro Settings

• Users can’t change security settings

• Only allow signed macros to execute files

• Block macros in documents coming from the Internet

• Execute documents only from Trusted Locations

User Program Hardening

• Browsers block or disable Flash content

• Has configurations for blocking advertisements and Java from the Internet

• Use extra configurations for Microsoft Office

Restrict managerial control

• Validate privileged access to systems, applications and information at least once every year

• Restrict access to few, authorized people

• Has technical security controls to prevent users from doing irrelevant tasks (e.g. reading emails)

Complex Verification

data protection

• Confirm the identity of all remote users

• Authenticate requests for remote privileged network access

• Validate requests for accessing confidential information

• Has at least two ways of authentication (e.g. one-time tokens, biometrics)

Daily Backups

• Back up all valuable data, software and configuration settings at least every day

• Store back-up files offline or online using non-rewritable and non-erasable methods

• Keep back-ups for at least three months

• Test full restoration ability of all back-up files at least once

• Repeat tests for full restoration when there are changes to IT infrastructure

Find a reliable IT service provider for network security management and ask for advice about the ACSC’s models. You should also conduct an independent audit that includes network testing to learn more about the vulnerability of your system architecture.

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