In this issue: Trim Those Trees the Safe Way, 7 Ways to Protect Your Money from Bank Fraud, and Coffee: The Good and the Bad
Trim Those Trees the Safe Way
Winter means the trees are bare and the wind is chilly. Luckily, it’s a great time to get to that overdue chore of trimming and pruning. Before you get that ladder out, let’s talk about how to trim those limbs the safe way.
Thousands of people end up in the emergency room every year with tree-related injuries, when they could have been protected by following a few common sense rules. For instance, don’t attempt trimming or removal a tree within 10 feet of a power-line. That’s a job for professionals. If you have to climb a tree, always test limbs and branches for stability, and ensure ladders are securely positioned. Never climb while holding tools. Whether you’re trimming branches or removing an entire tree, look and see where they will fall and make sure the area is clear before starting.
Always wear goggles and other safety equipment, including strong gloves and sometimes even a hard hat. This is particularly important if you’re using a chainsaw. In addition to heavy work gloves, you should wear thick clothing and even consider chaps as an extra layer of protection. Also, don’t attempt big pruning jobs if you’re tired or unwell, or if the weather is stormy or wet.
Finally, if in doubt about your abilities, call in a pro — and stay safe!
7 Ways to Protect Your Money from Bank Fraud
There used to be one way to get money from the bank: walk in, talk to someone, walk out. Modern life is a little more complicated. With identity theft and having everything in our lives online, that has changed. Bank fraud is a real risk, and everyday people are worried about protecting their hard-earned income from scams and hacking. The bad news and the good news are the same thing: most of this is based on our own habits and practices. This can happen in several ways: unintentionally giving away your bank account details to the bad guys; being tricked into switching your funds into anew account that they can access; or losing your cash at the ATM. But it is good news, because habits can be changed and risks avoided.
Here are 7 ways you can keep your bank account safe:
- Use a unique, difficult-to-guess password for your bank account alone and change it regularly. A mix of letters, numbers, and symbols is best.
- Never share your password with anyone else, no matter who they say they are. Banks never call or text to ask for your password — if you get a request, it’s a scam.
- Ignore requests to help your bank with a security issue by withdrawing or transferring cash. Banks don’t do that!
- If you bank online, make sure you type in the correct address in your Internet browser. Crooks set up websites with similar names that look genuine, tricking people into giving out their sign-on information.
- Be skeptical about any communication — email, text, phone call, or letter — that says it comes from your bank. Check it out independently with them before giving any information about yourself or your account.
- Don’t use an open Wi-Fi hotspot or a public computer (such as in a library) for accessing your bank account. They’re not secure.
- Check your account and statement frequently; daily if you bank online. Look out for small withdrawals you don’t recognize. That’s a sign that your account information has been stolen, and the thieves are doing a test-run.
Coffee: The Good and the Bad
Coffee. Some people can’t start their day without it. Others turn up their noses and sip green tea or kombucha. Meanwhile, the debate rages on: Is coffee good or bad for you?
Of course, if there were a clear answer to this question, well, you wouldn’t be reading this. But the science seems to have points on either side of the argument, with different experts disagreeing with one another.
The reason why there is so much uncertainty and controversy is the issue hinges on whether we’re talking about caffeinated or decaf coffee. And now there is the topic of so-called “green coffee,” which is supposed to help with weight loss. There are benefits.. For instance, according to the world-famous Mayo Clinic, studies suggest coffee may protect against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and, because it’s high in antioxidants, liver cancer.
“Coffee also appears to improve cognitive function and decrease the risk of depression,” the clinic adds. Not only that, but a study involving thousands of people reported by Time magazine found that people who drank up to four cups a day had a lower risk of stroke than non-drinkers.
“Coffee may even help you live longer,” the magazine reported in 2017. “A recent study involving more than 208,000 men and women found that people who drank coffee regularly were less likely to die prematurely than those who didn’t drink coffee. “Researchers believe that some of the chemicals in coffee may help reduce inflammation, which has been found to play a role in a number of aging-related health problems, including dementia and Alzheimer’s.
The bad news: research has also shown that high consumption of unfiltered (boiled or espresso) may raise cholesterol levels slightly. And drinking two or more cups a day
increases the risk of heart disease in some people with a common genetic mutation that slows the breakdown of coffee in the body. Although Mayo believes the benefits of drinking coffee may outweigh the risks, the fact remains that caffeine itself is an energy-boosting, potentially addictive drug and you can have too much of it. As little as a teaspoon of pure caffeine powder can be enough to kill someone.
While too much may be too much, to some the benefits outweigh the risks. It’s up to you to decide how much coffee, if any, is right for you.