Why You Should Value Cyber Security

The digital age is riddled with tools and applications that help make our lives easier and easier. To start, most of today’s businesses and organizations heavily depend on their online networks for their communications, operations, and sales.

With more and more organizations wanting to digitize their services, the more applications and software systems are needed to fulfill the demand. While all of this is going on, however, many fail to see one aspect of putting up their whole operations online: cyber security.

Cyber security has always been there, along with threats to its existence. Unfortunately, some people think of it is a waste of resources. When in fact, you should prioritize it now more than ever.

Think of it this way. If you have a physical store or office, you willa most likely hire security guards and install CCTV cameras to ensure the safety of everyone in the area. The same principle goes with cyber security. If you want to protect your online information and avoid falling victim to identity theft, cyber security must always come packaged with your other digital plans.

To learn more about the value of cyber security, here are a few points for you to think about.

Threat intelligence

Threat intelligence is a unique characteristic that makes cyber security stand out from other digital services. This arms one’s self with sufficient knowledge to get rid of malicious parties and intruding viruses.

For cyber security to work, you need to know what kind of bad guys you are up against and the tools they use to do harm and inflict damage. If you do not have even the slightest idea of how these hackers and attackers are going to act and what type of tools they are going to use, then your information can easily be stolen or even held for ransom.

Not to worry, though, since many technology companies and consulting firms offer ServiceNow implementation services, which can help arm your organization with the right tools to fight back any breach attempts.

Incident and vulnerability management

Cyber Security Concept

Cyber security is always about upgrading and updating your security system to prevent any type of attack. With vulnerability management, your systems are repeatedly put to the test by in-house security experts or even by white-hat hackers to find all possible ways that the system can be breached.

Hackers nowadays are craftier and smarter. By doing regular testing and adjustments, you will always be one step ahead of them.

In the event that you are breached, incident management has certain safeguards and protocols that help protect your system. Most of the time, manual processes are slow and can be undependable with larger attacks. However, with automatic security infrastructure, you can stop the attack before it even infects your system.

Cyber security should be your priority, now more than ever. With many bad actors roaming around the world, only time will tell when they will strike next. Prevent your organization from being a target and a victim by beefing up your security.

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How to Know If Flat Roofs are Perfect for Your Home

If you look at it at first glance, flat roofs may seem like an improbable choice. After all, there’s a huge chance that all water could get stuck in any of its parts. Current manufacturers may have already made the necessary upgrades to make it resistant to wear and tear. But it’s still crucial to understand everything about it before the construction starts.

A few surprising facts about flat roofs

Most people assume that a flat roof often equates to lousy drainage. While sloped roofs have a design that gets the water off the roof, it doesn’t mean that flat roof doesn’t drain completely. You can install the proper drainage so that water can’t get stuck inside it.

Flat roofs are also more affordable compared to conventional roofs. Homify Online says that it requires fewer materials to construct. Even more, your house also doesn’t need much deeper property footing. That’s because it has lesser loads that must get placed on the property’s foundation.

Another factor that makes it desirable to some homeowners is the space that it offers. Unlike sloped roofing, flat roofs provide you with extra space that you can use for house extensions or even porches.

Because flat roofs lack pitch, it doesn’t require much effort to install it.

It means that you don’t need to spend much of your time installing it.

Disadvantages of flat roofs

Man repairing roof

One of the most common disadvantages of flat roofs is its roofing. Since it doesn’t have the slope design, you need to consider designing ways to drain the water moderately. Doing so can be extremely helpful, especially during the winter seasons, just as when the temperature drops to freezing temperature.

Since the molecules of water turn to solid, the foundation of your roof should withstand the pressure coming from the sheer weight of the frozen liquid. Also, Home Guides says that having flat roofs also affect your insurance claims, too.

Since insurance companies know that flat roofs are prone to flooding and poor drainage, it can result in higher rates to homeowners. Flat roofs also have a design made to absorb more heat. Since all parts of the roots get exposed to the sun all day, it can get hot, especially during the summer.

Maintenance can also be an issue. Although all roofs need to get checked now and then, flat roofs require more maintenance compared to other conventional roofs. Water can start to create a pool on your roofs, which can cause it to get damaged if left untreated.

That’s why a typical residential roofing company in Salt Lake City says that you need to ensure that it has a waterproof seal to protect it from constant exposure to the sun. Also, doing so will prevent any expensive repairs in the future.

These are only a few of the things that you need to know about flat roofs. It’s still highly advisable to consult roofing experts before the construction begins. Asking them for assistance will help you determine the best roofing option for your house.

It’s also an excellent idea to have the rubber membrane before the construction begins.

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What States Have the Lowest Homeowners Insurance Rates?

Homeowners insurance in Oregon only costs $48 per month and $574 per year on average for this year. The annual rates are so cheap that it’s 47% lower than the nationwide average, which costs $1,083.

An analysis listed the state as the most affordable place for homeowners insurance. Florida ranked as the most expensive state where average premiums cost $171 per month and $2,055 per year. If you live in North Carolina, the average homeowners insurance in Raleigh can cost $88 per month and $1,056 per year. The state ranks as the 29th cheapest place based on the cost of premiums.

The Top 5 Cheapest States

Idaho ranked behind Oregon as the second-best state for homeowners insurance. Monthly premiums only cost $49, while annual rates cost $590. In Utah, residents pay an average of $53 per month and $634 per year, while those in Wisconsin spend $57 and $686 on average for the same payment scheme. Washington State completed the top five as residents pay $58 and $695 for their annual and monthly insurance premiums, respectively.

The main reason for the affordable premiums involves the small likelihood of natural disasters in these states, as opposed to high-risk places such as Florida and Texas. According to the Insurance Services Office, property damage accounted for 97% of homeowners insurance losses. Wind and hail represented more than 30% and hence took the leading share of total losses.

The Top 5 Most Expensive

Florida and Texas ranked as the two most expensive places for homeowners insurance in the country, due to the frequency of natural disasters in these states. Insurance premiums in Texas cost $1,947 per year and $162 per month on average. Louisiana’s median yearly premium costs $1,847, while average monthly rates cost $154.

Oklahoma ranked next with $1,772 in average yearly premiums and $148 in monthly average rates. Those who live in Mississippi pay the fifth-most expensive premiums costing $121 per month and $1,447 per year. Residents in the five states typically spend almost 70% more than the average U.S. homeowner.

Lowering Insurance Premiums

person signing a home insurance

While you can’t control the consistent increase in insurance premiums, there are ways to reduce your actual expenses. Take a higher deductible as an example. You can save as much as 25% on your premiums if you decide to raise your current deductible of $50 to at least $500.

If that’s not possible, you can combine your vehicle and homeowners insurance policies by getting them from the same insurance company. Some providers can offer between 5% and 15% in discounts when you choose a bunded option.

The U.S. average for homeowners insurance rates have increased by nearly 50% in the last decade, so it’s more important than ever to shop around for rates from as many insurers as possible. Choose an insurance company that not only specializes in homeowners insurance. Some scenarios might only be covered under auto and life policies, so consulting a company with varied choices lets you have more options and ultimately make a better decision.

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Paying Off a Mortgage with a Second One

The merits of paying off a mortgage in the Beehive State are debatable. If you belong to the group of homeowners who think that life is better without this nagging debt, then do everything in your power to get rid of it ASAP. There are many ways to achieve your goal, but the least explored avenue to enjoying a mortgage-free life is taking a home equity loan in Utah.

A home equity loan is a second mortgage because it allows you to borrow against your house on top of the existing loan you used to buy it. It does not always work, so pay attention to the considerations below to understand this strategy’s viability and implications to your personal life moving forward.

Available Home Equity

The amount you can borrow depends on the outstanding equity you have built on your property over time. Your home equity grows as your house’s value increases, and your mortgage balance decreases. If you pay your home loan more than you should, you can accelerate equity growth at a faster rate.

Even if you make extra mortgage payments consistently, it will still take a lot of time to have enough home equity to pay off your primary home loan. Also, a lender will likely not let you borrow 100% of your home equity, so you might need to use your savings to come up with enough funds to pay off your mortgage early.

Monthly Repayment

two men having a dealYour monthly home equity loan expense depends on the length of its term, so your payment can be lower or higher than what you currently pay your mortgage lender. The size of your monthly payment, however, is not indicative of the money you can save every month. Instead, focus on the interest.

If you could get a lower interest rate than the one attached to your primary mortgage, then taking out a home equity loan might save you money even if it means dealing with higher monthly payment.

Out-of-pocket Expenditure

Home equity loans also come with fees and closing costs. You should consider these upfront charges when doing the math. After all, the interest rate alone does not represent the overall cost of borrowing against your home equity.

Prepayment Penalty

Not all mortgage lenders are happy when their customers pay what they owe ahead of schedule. Prepayment can affect their profit, which is why some of them impose a monetary penalty as a disincentive.

Review your mortgage contract to find out whether you entered an agreement with prepayment penalty to avoid getting blindsided.

Credit

Paying off your primary mortgage can lower your FICO scores, for it lowers the average age of all of your credit accounts. A new account will be opened when you take out a home equity loan, potentially making things worse. Although your closed account will still contribute to the “payment history” department, it will disappear from your credit reports after 10 years.

Paying off a mortgage early or on time can have adverse effects on your financial life. If you keep the said considerations in mind, though, you could see whether you should trust your gut and ultimately make the reasonable decision.

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Should You Worry About Your Kid’s Frequent Nightmares?

Have you found your child crying uncontrollably or making an earsplitting scream in the middle of the night because of a nightmare? Expectedly, this incident would make most parents very worried about their kids.

Nightmares, however, are a perfectly normal aspect of growing up. But if they occur regularly and are starting to negatively impact your child’s mood and daily activities, both at home and during toddler classes at school in Phoenix, they could become problematic.

Is It a Nightmare or a Sleep Terror?

According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), sleep terrors and nightmares are very common in preschool-age kids. This is the time children become more aware of things that could potentially harm them. So, they might go to sleep with scary thoughts in their heads and then wake up when these thoughts creep into their dreams.

Sad son hugging his mother at home

Since younger kids are not yet capable of separating reality from dreams, they naturally wake up feeling intensely scared, sad, disgusted, or anxious. Also, they want to share their dream so that their parents can allay their fears and comfort them.

But if your child wakes up immensely terrified and inconsolable, they probably woke up from a sleep or night terror. In general, kids do not remember what happened when they wake up in the morning.

What Triggers Nightmares and Sleep Terrors?

While kids can and do experience nightmares and night terrors from time to time, studies have shown that specific triggers make them more susceptible. These common triggers include exposure to different media, such as TV shows, video games, films, and billboard ads.

In certain cases, bullying and major life changes, like moving to a new home or facing their parents’ divorce, result in anxiety that can trigger nightmares. In addition, children with anxiety issues and lack restful sleep are more susceptible to experiencing nightmares.

What Should You Do After a Nightmare?

Woman comforting a crying child

Refrain from talking about your child’s nightmare right after it happens unless your little one wants to discuss it. Your main goal is to help your kid regulate their emotions. Make them feel safe and secure so that they can sleep soundly even after a nightmare.

You can then try talking to your kid about last night’s nightmare to help them understand that it was not real. In the event that your child has a recurring nightmare, it may help if they draw pictures of the nightmare but with a different ending. For example, if the nightmare involved a terrifying monster, let your child draw the monster and then have them tear up the drawing.

Your kid’s favorite stuffed toys, a night light, and other things can help your child feel safer in their bedroom. Consider special routines before bedtime, too, such as checking out the closet for scary monsters.

These nighttime rituals can be very reassuring for small kids. But if these do not help or if you believe that there is something more serious going on with your child, do not hesitate to consult your pediatrician.

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