Why You Should Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Why You Should Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

The importance of eating enough fruits and vegetables in your diet cannot be overstated. Sure, fruits may be sworn off by the most fervent No Sugar No Grain (NSNG) dieter, but the sugars in fruits are not exactly like processed sugars in candy bars. The NSNG crowd is not all wrong however, as there is some cause for concern for all kinds of sugar in our ultra-processed food ecosystem. Studies suggest you should avoid dried fruit as they contain more sugar with less nutrients. And smoothies and fruit juices should also be avoided, as they do not provide the benefits of an actual fruit but are densely packed with sugars.

According to NPR,

“There are lots of kinds of sugar. Fruits have fructose, glucose and a combination of the two called “sucrose,” or “table sugar.” But the sugars in fruit are packed less densely than in a candy bar, according to Elvira Isganaitis, a pediatric endocrinologist at Joslin Diabetes Center and a Harvard Medical School instructor.”

So it is better to eat a whole piece of fruit, as it contains fiber (providing the feeling of satiation after you eat) and other healthy nutrients and minerals. But, unfortunately, most Americans are not eating enough fruits and vegetables. Here’s why they should.

The Harvard School of Public Health, a fantastic resource for all things dietary, published a general list of benefits associated with increased intake of fruits and vegetables in your diet. These include:

  • Reduce risk of heart disease and stroke;
  • Prevent cancer;
  • Promotes healthy eyes.

And, helpfully, The Huffington Post, summarizes more extensively the relevant literature on the benefits of both:

Vegetables:

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, and part of the Brassica family, which also includes kale, collards, cabbage, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, turnips, and cauliflower. Members of the Brassica family are rich in phytochemicals, known to have antioxidant properties. Broccoli is a true nutrition powerhouse: It is chock full of vitamin C, the mineral calcium, fiber, and vitamin A. It is also rich in sulforaphane, a health-promoting compound that can fight cancer.

Carrots are a good source of fiber, which helps to maintain bowel health, lower blood cholesterol, and aid in weight maintenance. The orange pigment found in carrots are due to the antioxidant beta-carotene, also found in other deep orange foods such as sweet potatoes, pumpkin, butternut squash, papaya, and cantaloupe. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body and helps to maintain healthy eyes, support your immune system, keep your skin healthy, and protect against certain cancers.

Spinach is available year-round in grocery stores around the country, offering a readily-available source of many vitamins and minerals. Spinach contains the minerals iron and potassium, as well as vitamins A, K, C, and the B-vitamin folate. Spinach also contains phytochemicals that may boost your immune system and flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties that may be preventative against certain cancers.

Sweet Potatoes are rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene and are also full of fiber, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin C, and the mineral potassium. They are especially nutritious when eaten with the skin on, and contrary to a popular dieting myth, they are not fattening!

Beets contain healthy doses of iron, the B-vitamin folate, and fiber. Red beets offer betacyanin, a plant pigment which may protect against colon cancer.

Fruits

Cantaloupe. This member of the melon family is rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene, a plant-based vitamin A precursor that helps with eye health, among other conditions. It is also rich in the mineral potassium, which may help lower blood pressure and the risk for stroke. And, it is terrific if you are watching your waist — a one-cup serving contains a mere 50 calories.

Watermelon, which is especially terrific this time of year, offers a juicy, sweet taste and a high water content, while packing in the antioxidants lycopene, beta-carotene, and vitamin C, and the minerals potassium and magnesium.

Citrus fruits, including oranges and grapefruits, provide a significant source of vitamin C, folate, and potassium, as well as fiber. Pink grapefruits are particularly rich in the antioxidant lycopene. Eating these fruits whole yields more nutrients than drinking the juice.

Avocados are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which may help raise levels of HDL (good cholesterol) while lowering LDL (bad cholesterol). They are also high in the antioxidant vitamin E.

Grapes. Consuming grapes may reduce the risk of blood clots, lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), and prevent damage to the heart’s blood vessels, aiding in the maintenance of healthy blood pressure. Antioxidants called flavonoids may even increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind). The resveratrol found in the skins of red grapes may interfere with cancer development. Eating the whole fruit instead of consuming the juice contains the added benefit of fiber.

Kiwifruit, with its brilliant green inside, is packed with vitamin C and fiber.

As you can see, fruits and vegetables contain an absurd amount of vitamins and minerals. So much so that new guidelines suggest half of your plate should be split between servings of fruits and vegetables. Next time you’re in the grocery store, don’t leave out what could be the most important part of a balanced, healthy diet: eat more fruits and vegetables for a healthier life.

The post Why You Should Eat More Fruits and Vegetables appeared first on Apartments Indianapolis.

What is the Keto Diet?

What is the Keto Diet?

It’s all the rage these days: the ketogenic, or “keto,” diet. It tells you the ideal diet is the opposite of the food pyramid, which makes grain and carbohydrates the staple of a healthy diet. According to the Harvard Medical School blog, the “ketogenic diet is not something new. In medicine, we have been using it for almost 100 years to treat drug-resistant epilepsy, especially in children.” Continuing, the Harvard blog explains the diet succinctly:

“In essence, it is a diet that causes the body to release ketones into the bloodstream. Most cells prefer to use blood sugar, which comes from carbohydrates, as the body’s main source of energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we start breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies (the process is called ketosis). Once you reach ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift, from using circulating glucose to breaking down stored fat as a source of energy, usually happens over two to four days of eating fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day.”

Because this diet moves away from carbs, each meal contains more fats and proteins than a typical meal. There is, of course, no restriction on vegetables with this diet, but it is emphasized that the main source of energy come from fats rather than carbs. That’s what sets the ketogenic diet apart. As a result, people on this diet utilize oils to cook foods more regularly. And Dr. Cate Shanahan, a biochemist from John Hopkins University, provides a useful list of good and bad oils to use for cooking.

So is the ketogenic diet good? Dr. Eric Westman, director of the Lifestyle Medicine Clinic at Duke University, is summarized by Time Magazine as reporting it “can help reduce appetite, spur weight loss and improve markers of heart disease.” Dr. Westman’s studies also suggests that “a ketogenic diet can help treat obesity, type-2 diabetes and fatty liver disease.”

The main risk with the keto diet is confusing good fats with bad fats, and eating too much processed foods, which have been linked to an increased risk of cancer. As with any change of diet, you will want to approach with caution, consult with your doctor, and thoroughly research the keto diet if you plan to jump on the bandwagon.

The post What is the Keto Diet? appeared first on Apartments Indianapolis.

Don’t Fall for the Fruit Juice Trap

Don't Fall for the Fruit Juice Trap

As carbonated, sugary drinks fall out of favor with the public, fruit juices and fruit smoothies are on the rise. Whereas sugary soft drinks have been linked to obesity, squeezed fruit can’t be unhealthy, right? The logic is pretty simple: people believe fruit juices are equivalent to the serving sizes of a few piece of fruit, contain real fruit sugar, and have about the same effects as eating fruit. Unfortunately, this wrong in every case. In fact, the same scientists who blew the whistle on corn-syrup in soft drinks are ringing the alarm bell again.

In his interview with The Guardian, the scientist Barry Popkin warns us against the myth  that a glass or two of fruit juice is equivalent to one or two pieces of fruit:

“Think of eating one orange or two and getting filled,” he said. “Now think of drinking a smoothie with six oranges and two hours later it does not affect how much you eat. The entire literature shows that we feel full from drinking beverages like smoothies but it does not affect our overall food intake, whereas eating an orange does. So pulped-up smoothies do nothing good for us but do give us the same amount of sugar as four to six oranges or a large coke. It is deceiving.”

Indeed, because fruit juices contain little-to-no fiber, you don’t feel satiated after drinking them. According to Susan Jebb, a government advisor and head of the diet and obesity research group at the Medical Research Council’s Human Nutrition Research unit at Cambridge University, “Fruit juice isn’t the same as intact fruit and it has as much sugar as many classical sugar drinks. It is also absorbed very fast, so by the time it gets to your stomach your body doesn’t know whether it’s Coca-Cola or orange juice, frankly.”

But that’s not all. Barry Popkin continues,

“The most important issue about added sugar is that everybody thinks it’s cane sugar or maybe beet sugar or HFC syrup or all the other syrups but globally the cheapest thing on the market almost is fruit juice concentrate coming out of China. It has created an overwhelming supply of apple juice concentrate. It is being used everywhere and it also gets around the sugar quotas that lots of countries have.”

Disturbingly, “Popkin and colleagues found that fruit juice concentrate was the fifth most common sugar overall and the second most common, after corn syrup, in soft drinks and in babies’ formula milk.” And, “all the long term studies on fruit juice in anything show the same kind of effect whether it’s a smoothie or natural [juice] and whether it’s a diabetes or weight gain effect,” Popkin added.

As The Guardian reports,

“Researchers from the UK, USA and Singapore found that, in large-scale studies involving nurses, people who ate whole fruit, especially blueberries, grapes and apples, were less likely to get type 2 diabetes, which is obesity-related, but those who drank fruit juice were at increased risk. People who swapped their fruit juice for whole fruits three times a week cut their risk by 7%.”

So don’t fall for the fruit juice trap and don’t believe the hype that it’s a good addition to a balanced meal. At least, not all juices are created equal. Be sure to conduct thorough research before you make up your mind as to whether fruit juice will find its way into your fridge.

The post Don’t Fall for the Fruit Juice Trap appeared first on Apartments Indianapolis.

Cats and Apartment Furniture

Cats and Furniture

A common misconception about cats is that they’re mostly aloof. This well-known myth tells us that cats fend for themselves and do not need, and mostly do not want, interaction. But the myth is simply wrong. Although cats are not like dogs, catering to your every emotion, like all animals they enjoy playing and moving around. They have instincts: they’re excited by certain stimuli in their environment and ignore others.

The movement to declaw cats in large part is a consequence of this myth. The belief is that, although cats do not like interaction, they for some reason are destructive. Maybe it’s that they’re trying to make your home their own. Or maybe it’s that they just don’t like humans, period. Yet, these are just more misconceptions.

The plain truth is that cats need interaction: they love to play. Cats generally scratch objects in the house because it’s a form of stimulation and play. To prevent your cat from scratching, simply buy a few scratching posts for the house, and place them in areas your cat enjoys. Alternatively, you will find that playing with your cat will cause it to release less stress in the form of scratching. Like all animals, if cats do not move around, they build up energy and become restless. Most cats love laser pointers, and this could be a quick way to help your cat blow off some steam. Another way is to build or buy cat trees for them to climb and lounge in.

Whatever you do, don’t buy in to the myth that cats don’t need interaction. Your cat isn’t interested in destroying your things or staying as far away from you as possible. Although they don’t like to rough-house like most dogs, they do enjoy playtime. Figuring out what kinds toys are interesting to your cat is half the battle in preventing them from scratching your furniture. The other half is playing with them.

The post Cats and Apartment Furniture appeared first on Apartments Indianapolis.

Cyber Security 101

Cyber Security 101

Summary:

  • Change your default settings: usernames, passwords, and Wi-Fi network names;
  • Randomly generate long passwords for maximum security;
  • Use offline storage devices for optimal sensitive information security;
  • Ensure you connect to the correct network when in public;
  • Always keep your devices up-to-date;
  • Use a VPN for public Wi-Fi use;
  • If you must, only give sensitive information on websites with an HTTPS connection.

Today’s world is less than ever defined by the features, restrictions, and demands of the physical world. Where the processes of evolution placed geographical, time, and species barriers between us in the past, humanity has developed a virtual world in which nothing like the constraints of the world for the last 4 billion years obtains. We can see anywhere, talk with anyone, and create or purchase anything we want, at any time. The only barrier to entry is a modern technological device, which, if you don’t have a computer, can typically be found at any library in America. All this to say: our lives are becoming as much of an online presence as a physical reality.

What does this mean in terms of stability, security, and identity? Much e-ink is spilled over these questions. Today we just want to look at the basic components of online security. As you follow the tips below, you can rest assured in the knowledge that you have ground beneath your feet when you’re online, and have taken the appropriate measures to thrive in this new, virtual environment.

A Secure Connection at Home

Many believe home network security is taken care of by their internet service providers (ISPs). When consumers purchase routers from ISPs, the belief is that these routers come already pre-set with the best security settings. Unfortunately this simply is not the case. The main reason is because the factor default settings on routers can be discovered by hackers and stored in data tables for later retrieval. As a result, network home security can be improve dramatically simply by tweaking a few settings.

Passwords

How to create and store passwords is an often overlooked topic, though it couldn’t be more important for people who are connected to the internet daily. The best thing to do is randomly create a password for every login and use a password manager to store them all in the same place. As “How to Create and Securely Store Strong Passwords” explains, “Human behavior, even faulty behavior, follows certain patterns and rules. So the main thing is to create a password that will come to you unnaturally and will require memorization. Secure passwords have plenty of things in common: they are long, distinctive, involve a character mixture, and avoid hints and references to our personal lives.”

To begin your foray into the complex world of internet security, begin it on the right foot, by creating, using, and storing strong passwords in secure environments.

Storage

Since everything is online, you can of course use free programs like Google’s Drive to store sensitive information like passwords, financial information, and the like. Cloud services like the Drive are useful to many because they provide instant access to documents so long as the user has an internet connection. With Drive, you can access your documents from any device, at any time.

But with internet companies now selling data to advertisers and bad actors, it’s difficult to know how your information will be used. Luckily, there is a way to store information without exposing it to advertisers and hackers. External hard drives have quite a few benefits:With an external hard drive you can add a password protection. Another advantage is you won’t have your financial documents directly on the computer designated for everyday use. This will keep your sensitive files out of the hands of hackers and, maybe, your children. You won’t have to worry about accidentally sending the files or deleting them, as they’ll always be on the external hard drive, which you can disconnect from all devices when you don’t need access to the files stored there.”

Sometimes the best way to stay connected with your most sensitive information is to keep it disconnected from public spaces and services that are liable to be hacked or used by other people without your knowledge. A good way to disconnect your information is to keep it on an external hard drive.

Wi-Fi Router

There are many steps you can take to completely secure your Wi-Fi router, here we will just focus on a few. Most importantly, change your Wi-Fi’s name and password. This step may seem negligible, but there is more at stake than many people believe. The Rainbow Tables hackers use to gain access to systems actually have millions of stock Wi-Fi router username/password combinations stored. It is actually relatively easy to login to a router if the default username/password combination is used.

Similarly, you will want to disable Wi-Fi access to your router admin panel. Just as Wi-Fi username/password combinations are stored in Rainbow Tables, so are router admin username/passwords. There are actually websites that store factory username/password combinations for anyone to look-up. If somebody knows your router model, they can login to your admin panel through your wireless network and change all your settings, passwords, and restrict access to your network. As simple as it seems, changing your router’s username and password combination is one of the best ways to improve your home network security.

Tips for Public Internet Use

As public access to Wi-Fi networks grows, so do the security risks and threats. Many ordinary attempts at hacking your device comes through the “middle man attack” technique, when hackers use seemingly legitimate Wi-Fi network names like “HiltonGuests” to trick people into signing onto their networks, where they can then see all your device data. Although there are many ways in which to improve your public cybersecurity, below are just a few that will get you on the right foot.

Always Update

For as big of an inconvenience updating your device can be at times, keeping your device up-to-date can be one of the most important steps you can take in the fight against cyberattacks. As the security firm McAffee points out, the major Equifax data breach, which exposed the sensitive information of over 143 million Americans, could have been prevented with just a simple update: “A fix for this security hole was actually available two months before the breach, but the company failed to update its software. This was a tough lesson, but one that we can all learn from. Software updates are important because they often include critical patches to security holes.”

Use a VPN

After you double check your phone for recent updates, you’ll want to download a VPN. A virtual private network (VPN) is one of the safest ways to use the internet publicly, if you want to keep your data and your devices anonymous. Without a VPN, your information, including the public Wi-Fi router you are connected to, is open to anyone who might have the capability and know-how to listen in on your connection. Because the internet is a collection of servers and wires, and every action performed on the internet is performed through electrical signals and data packets, servers exchange this information to get you to the servers hosting the websites you want to connect to. This means that a lot of information about you can be in the open at multiple points of every connection.

A VPN encrypts your data with a secret code every time a connection is established to any server. This means that any information sent to any server is scrambled so that somebody trying to listen in cannot see what each data packet contains, unless they somehow unscramble it. VPNs can change their secret codes at random, making unscrambling nearly impossible. Secondly, VPNs actually work before the Wi-Fi network you are connected to can identify your device. This means that your location, your specific device IP, and which Wi-Fi network you are connected to all remains anonymous to any onlooker. VPNs are a really great way to stay anonymous in the virtual world, where privacy breaches occur regularly. And the Norton security firm offers one of the most cost effective VPNs on the market.

HTTPS Connection

A few years ago, the general belief was that HTTPS was only necessary for websites that stored and managed sensitive user information, like banks, ecommerce sites, and others. As Google has written, this is no longer the case, and perhaps never was. Because HTTPS encrypts data sent and received between a user’s browser and a website’s server, it masks user behavior. This is important, because although a visit to one unprotected website to play a game or read an article might seem benign, a hacker can expose your identity by piecing together behavior patterns. As Google notes, “For example, employees might inadvertently disclose sensitive health conditions to their employers just by reading unprotected medical articles.” This process is known as de-anonymization.

Conclusion

As we continue to move our businesses, personal lives, and social interactions online, privacy and security will become larger and larger concerns. Get ahead of the curve by staying up-to-date on best cyber security practices.

The post Cyber Security 101 appeared first on Apartments Indianapolis.

How to Use Public Wi-Fi Securely

How to Use Public Wi-Fi Securely

With streaming services, online banking, cryptocurrency, and social media coming of age all at once, it’s no wonder Wi-Fi is in high demand. It’s not just a minor inconvenience when a restaurant, or even now retail stores, don’t offer free Wi-Fi. Free Wi-Fi for the modern person is at times the deciding factor as to whether a business will be visited or not. It’s more important than ever, consequently, to be able to discern between secure public Wi-Fi options and insecure public Wi-Fi networks, to know the basic steps you can take to use public Wi-Fi safely and securely. Follow the tips below to use public Wi-Fi with some peace of mind.

First Thing’s First: Use the Correct Network

This may seem obvious enough. But the difference between HiltonGuest and HiltonGuests can mean waking up with an empty bank account. Wi-Phishing, which is what this kind of hack is called, entails setting up a Wi-Fi network that resembles a public Wi-Fi connection but which actually takes you to a hacker’s network. You are tricked into logging into the wrong network, and then the hacker has access to all your information. Be sure to pay close attention to the next public Wi-Fi network to which you connect. Hackers leverage the appearance of legitimacy to connect to your computer, so be sure you verify the network you connect to is, in fact, authentic, and doesn’t just appear that way.

Leave the Sensitive Data at Home

Since public Wi-Fi networks are public, they’re accessible by anyone with a device that connects to the internet. That means that anybody can access your information with the right tools and a certain level of know-how. The best way to ensure you stay safe is to refrain from doing online banking, making purchases, or dealing with any kind of transaction that involves personal information while you’re on public Wi-Fi. Or, if you must, follow the three tips below to give you the best chance at avoiding a data breach.

Connect to Secure Websites Only

HTTPS, the mark of website security, is now recognized by Google as an important ranking factor for websites. The largest search engine in the world recognizes how important encryption is for websites, and now you should follow suit. The fact is that website encryption is one of the most important methods of securing your private information on public networks. What HTTPS does is encrypt data packets you send through the wires of the internet (yes, the internet is, at base, a material thing, and not virtual). When data packets are encrypted they are scrambled into a randomized number/letter code so that it is not self-evident what kind of information is contained within the data packet. As a result, a text to a friend looks no different on the surface than a bank number or a photo like on Facebook. Look for the HTTPS or “Secure” symbol in your website browser to ensure you’re using a secure site.

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

VPN services keep your data secure by not only encrypting data transmission, but by also “masking” your data traffic. The most useful thing about VPNs is they reroute your traffic to something like a virtual tunnel. Whenever you use a VPN, the data packets you send and receive will not go through the public Wi-Fi network you happen to be connected to, but will go directly to a VPN server. This makes your location and information anonymous. Everyone who connects to the same VPN, for instance, will share the VPN’s server as the source of their data. This means that your information will not only be scrambled by an encryption, and secured by its transmission directly to a VPN server, but will also be scrambled with a multitude of other user encrypted packets so that it will become practically impossible to separate what belongs to who and what data packets are what. Helpfully, PC Magazine compiled a list of the best VPN services for your convenience. The trusted Norton security software now offers VPN services, and it appears to be the cheapest on the market.

Keep Everything Up-to-Date

And, of course, it is true that you should keep all your apps, and especially your device’s software, up-to-date. The reason is simple: updates are disbursed for two purposes, either to add a feature or improve what is already on a device. Most of the time updates include bug fixes, and a large portion of these bug fixes include patches for security flaws. So always keep your device updated and never trust a device that isn’t.

Conclusion

As public Wi-Fi networks are becoming more and more common, the need for security has grown as well. There are basic steps you can take to ensure you connect to public Wi-Fi networks securely, such as refraining from completing transactions online while your out in public, using only secured websites, and keeping your phone updated. And there are more advanced security steps you can take, such as utilizing a VPN or installing extra virus and malware software on your devices. Whatever you do, pay attention to the security measures you have in place to keep your private information safe.

The post How to Use Public Wi-Fi Securely appeared first on Apartments Indianapolis.

5 Tips for Keeping Your Wi-Fi Network Secure

5 Tips for Keeping Your Wi-Fi Network Secure

Personal home and mobile Wi-Fi networks are ubiquitous in our day and age. Many people who receive their routers from internet service providers (ISPs) simply use the default password and settings already associated with their routers. But this can spell trouble, as most Rainbow Tables (tables used by hackers to automatically generate passwords) come with millions of combinations (produced by basic algorithms) that may easily predict your password. You’ll want to come up with a random Wi-Fi name, or get creative. Either way, all is not lost as there are some basic steps to ensure your Wi-Fi security is in good health.

Lengthy Passwords

As you change your Wi-Fi network name, be sure to also change your Wi-Fi network password. As lifewire notes, “Longer passwords are better because the Rainbow Tables that are used to crack passwords aren’t practical after you exceed a certain length of password due to storage limitations.” For this reason, it is recommended that passwords are at least 16 characters long. Consider using Norton Antivirus’s password generator, as it avoids many of the common mistakes in creating a password.

WPA2 Security

Unless your router is a few years’ old already, this is most likely something you won’t need to worry about. Most older routers use WEP security, which sends all packets of data using the same encryption method. This means that if somebody is eavesdropping on your connection, and attempting to crack the data encryption, they just need to figure out the encryption for one packet, and everything you send can be read.

 

WPA2 (PSK) is the most secure for personal routers, as it ramps up encryption by using a 64-character hexadecimal character set, scrambling the encryption key, and verifying that data hasn’t been manipulated or altered during data transfer. If you have WPA2, you will want to enable it as soon as possible. Most likely, especially if your router is new, WPA2 will already be operative. And, if you do have a new router and it uses WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) which is supposed to make Wi-Fi setup quicker, be sure to disable that feature, as it contains known security risks.

Admin Login

The great thing about Wi-Fi routers today is they come with advanced options accessible through a simple admin login screen. From this screen, you can generally track which devices are connected to your router, remove and add devices, allocate router resources by prioritizing certain connected devices, change your Wi-Fi password, and, mostly, anything else you’d want to customize with your router. You will want to change this default admin login, however, for the same reasons you will want to change the default Wi-Fi name and password. Websites like RouterPasswords.com actually store admin login credentials based on router device model. MakeUseOf.com provides a simple guide for changing Admin credentials. You’ll want to do this as soon as possible, and, of course, if the feature is available, disable “Admin via Wireless.” If ever you need to adjust settings on your router, it is best to use a wired connection.

Firmware Updates

As security vulnerabilities are discovered and patched, ISPs release these patches in the form of router updates every once in a while. When you get a router, be sure to ask your ISP if the router will automatically update or if you have to manually download these updates and install them on the router yourself. If so, they can give you specific directions to do this. And, don’t worry, it sounds more complicated than it is. For being one of the most important security-improvement activities you can do, it only takes about one to two minutes, and generally involves just a few clicks of the mouse.

Firewall

Lastly, you’ll want to ensure your router’s firewall is activated. Firewalls are like castle walls, shielding and protecting everything within the network from attacks outside. Firewalls can take many different forms, from a hardware component in your router itself or specialized code in the software. The main way firewalls protect your network is by making the network invisible to hackers. Another way it protects your network is by comparing all incoming packets of data against a database of information, accepting the data packets only if they pass a certain test. To ensure your firewall is working, you can test it by following LifeWire’s guide. Just be sure your firewall is activated and running (if you have “stealth mode” turn this on also).

Conclusion

If you just recently purchased Wi-Fi, are in the process of moving, or are just updating your router, now is the perfect time to ensure your wireless network is secure. Although times of transition are perhaps the most convenient to establish and verify network security, don’t wait to do so. As more and more transactions are occurring online, and sensitive information is passed along to different websites daily, it’s important that you’re using a secure network. Follow these tips to ensure your wireless network is secure.

The post 5 Tips for Keeping Your Wi-Fi Network Secure appeared first on Apartments Indianapolis.

Eliminate the Waste: 5 Tips for Saving Money on Utilities

Eliminate the Waste: 5 Tips for Saving Money on UtilitiesOne can’t go wrong when taking steps to conserve energy use in their apartment home. Besides helping to save precious natural resources, residents can also save a good bit of money by making a few small changes in their units and in the way they live. These five useful tips for reducing utility use can ease one’s conscious as well as those monthly bills.

1.  Kitchen Energy Efficiency Tips

The use of ovens and dishwashers can make the kitchen one of the hottest rooms in the home. In warmer months, experts recommend using these devices in the evening time when it’s cooler to reduce the AC’s heat load. Furthermore, utility use can be further reduced by disabling the second rinse and heat cycles on the dishwasher and allowing them to air dry. Another way to keep the kitchen cool is to install small LED lights beneath counters to reduce use of heat producing and energy draining overhead lights.

2.  Smart Power Strips for Modern Households

In a gadget loving society, most households have numerous appliances, consoles and chargers plugged in at all times.  Whether they are being used or not, such juice drainers are called ‘energy vampires.’ However, today’s smart power strips are designed to save energy and money by shutting down energy flow. These modern accessories cost around $40, feature multiple outlets, provide surge protection and also power down connected devices when they aren’t in use.

3.  Water Wise Conservation Tips

Many apartment communities include water with rental rates as an amenity, so low-flow shower heads and toilets are likely already installed to minimize water use. However, some steps renters can take to further reduce water use and energy costs include:

  • Doing laundry in large loads and using cold water.
  • Running the dishwasher only when it’s full adjusting settings to shut off second rinse cycles and heat drying.
  • Keeping showers short or taking baths in lieu of showers to expend less water.
  • Collecting rainwater in buckets to use for watering plants. It’s free, and plants prefer it over tap water.

4.  Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Lighting

Traditional incandescent bulbs may provide ample lighting but are rather inefficient in a number of ways. They tend to burn rather hot and increase cooling costs. They also draw more energy than today’s modern options such as LEDs and compact fluorescent light bulbs that are far more efficient. Furthermore, energy-efficient options have a greater lifespan that incandescent bulbs, so renters can save even more over the long term. Changing the most commonly used five bulbs in the home can have a noticeable impact on utility bills whole reduceing one’s carbon footprint.

5.  Take Control of Heating and Cooling Costs

Depending on the age of the apartment building, there may be a traditional thermostat or a smart home thermostat installed. Regardless of the type, lowering the thermostat by one degree can reduce energy costs by 3 percent. However, energy rated smart thermostats can help renters save much more, as they can be controlled at will even while away from home. These are ideal for those away from home for several consecutive hours and want to reduce use but prefer to return to a cozy temperature.

At the end of the day, every small change made can add up to big savings. While upgrades are certainly helpful, habits can make a huge difference when they’re consistent. If you’re looking to help the environment or just want save a little bit more every month, these changes can get you headed in the right direction.

 


 

This article was written by Kris Lindahl REALTOR® CRS CLHMS
CEO/Owner The Kris Lindahl Team at Kris Lindahl Real Estate
Don’t Forget to Check Out Her All New “Minnesota Moving Guide“!
www.krislindahl.com
twitter.com/krislindahl
linkedin.com/in/krislindahl
www.minnesotacommercial.com

The post Eliminate the Waste: 5 Tips for Saving Money on Utilities appeared first on Apartments Indianapolis.

Tips for Living with a Roommate for the First Time

Tips for Living with a Roommate for the First TimeLiving with a roommate can be an eye-opening experience, especially if you’re accustomed to living in on your own. Yet, even if you roomed with a brother or sister, living with a complete stranger is a totally different experience. Conflicts can arise for, seemingly, arbitrary reasons. Sometimes unexamined habits, such as eating food in a certain area or leaving dirty dishes in the sink, may cause tension. A vital piece of advice: maintain open lines of communication and set clear expectations with your roommate from the very start. The following are a few boundaries you’ll want to discuss from the start to establish a shared understanding and maintain peace and harmony with your roommate.

Personal and public stuff.

This has to be clear: which stuff that you have in common areas are okay for common use and which stuff is only yours to use. Do you share your laptop and your books? What about pots and pans, utensils, knives? What about your shampoo and conditioner? Be clear about what you’re okay with sharing, and also have a clear understanding of what your roommate is willing to share with you.

Visiting hours.

Your apartment community may have their own timeline for this, but your roommate and you should also set expectations with respect to your own apartment.

Noise

Some like television, while others avoid it. Nevertheless, it’ll likely be on at some point, so make an arrangement as to what volume level is reasonable for the TV to be set at. Also, discuss music volume. Maybe certain times of the day are better than others.

Housekeeping schedule.

Make an arrangement on the everyday household tasks that will need to be completed, and set a schedule: Who deals with cleaning the floor, putting out the trash, loading and unloading the dishwasher? Will you take turns buying groceries? The significant thing is to be fair.

Lights out.

Different work and school schedules mean that you and your roommate might need to sleep or wake up at different times. Discuss expectations about when you both expect your sleeping, working, and studying schedules to be.

Bill payment.

Since you may have to pay for some bills such as water, electricity, in addition to cable and internet, be clear on how you’ll be sharing the responsibilities for the bills and use of these utilities. Also take notice of the items you’ll have to continually purchase. Have an agreement on how you’ll buy and use your bathroom and kitchen supplies and also food. You might want to buy your own or share the costs.

The best step toward living cohesively with a roommate is to set clear expectations and follow through on them. These expectations not only give you an idea as to what you have rights to in the apartment but also what you are responsible for. Follow the suggestions above and be flexible as new situations and issues arise.

The post Tips for Living with a Roommate for the First Time appeared first on Apartments Indianapolis.

Basic Tips for Keeping Clothes in Storage

Basic Tips for Keeping Clothes in StorageWhen the closet becomes full and room for new clothes is scarce, a self-storage unit can be just what you need for the clothes you’re not wearing but still wish to keep in a safe place. When placing clothing items in a self-storage unit, it is necessary to take every precaution to prevent your clothes from damage, whether by weather or pests. No matter if you’re storing your clothes for thirty days or one year, follow these tips to keep your clothes in great condition until you are ready to wear them again.

Clean all garments thoroughly before storage. For long-term storage, don’t use starch or any other form of fragrance on the clothes as it will attract moths or other pests. The place where you store your garments should be cool, dry, and dark. Sunlight, extreme heat, and moisture might damage your clothing. Extra care should be taken when keeping garments in regions with high temperatures, perhaps in these places, a temperature or climate controlled unit would be best.

Try not to leave clothing in storage without reviewing its condition on at least a quarterly basis. Leaving your clothes sitting for months-on-end could promote the growth of mold, especially if they don’t have access to appropriate ventilation. This is particularly true in regions of high moisture. Using silica gel is a fantastic way to mitigate humidity in these kinds of environments. And for moths, cedar cubes are a great, all natural method to discourage them. These will offer protection for the garments without the lingering odor of mothballs or other chemical pest control items.

When utilizing hangers, nonmetallic hangers are best because they won’t rust, and be specific when labeling storage containers. This will help retain the integrity of every item and protect against mildew or dye transfer between clothes, as will storing clothes with as few folds as possible.

Whatever you do, a bit of research can’t make your situation worse. Before you put your clothes in storage, being prepared with all the relevant information will make it anxiety-free and worthwhile.

The post Basic Tips for Keeping Clothes in Storage appeared first on Apartments Indianapolis.