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How to Chat Online Safely

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Presented by BetterHelp.

We use the internet for all kinds of connections, from getting advice to finding dates. With so many forms of social media and other ways to connect, most human interaction is now happening online.

Therefore, online safety is more important than ever. With the anonymity of the internet and the rise of scams, trolls, and bots, you can’t be too careful when meeting people online. Here are some tips to stay safe while chatting with others online.

Don’t Give out Personal Information

If you don’t know who you are chatting with, you shouldn’t give them your personal information. You have no idea what that person will do with your information, and giving it out can make you susceptible to much harm.

People are often scammed out of their name, address, social security number, and other important information because they think they can trust the person they are chatting with. However, people can easily use this information to scam you out of money or commit identity theft. Many people have ruined their lives by trusting the wrong people they chatted with online.

Be Careful with the Topics You Discuss

In addition to not giving out your personal information, you should be mindful of other information that you divulge to others. For example, be careful when mentioning where you frequent often or where you work or go to school. You never know when someone online may intend to follow or stalk you.

Furthermore, don’t allow conversations to drift into any topics that make you uncomfortable. For example, if you are just looking to make friends while playing an online game, but one person keeps trying to make sexual advances, either end the conversation or stop interacting with the person.

Block People That Make You Feel Uncomfortable

The anonymous nature of the internet makes it easy for people to conduct harmful or illegal behavior without being found out. As a result, many people are targets of threats, harassment, and bullying every day.

Some people believe that the best way to deal with these folks is by further engaging with them and making the situation worse. However, as soon as you feel uncomfortable with someone, you should block them or limit your interactions. Engaging with them rarely improves the situation, and they may use your further engagement to further intimidate or control you.

Don’t Engage in Harassment or Threats

Furthermore, you shouldn’t engage in any harmful or threatening behavior. In many cases, the person harassing you is looking for a reaction, so by acting out, you are giving them what they want.

Moreover, don’t conduct in harassing or threatening behavior yourself. Even if someone is annoying, holds controversial beliefs, or engages in harmful behavior, conducting this behavior yourself will not solve anything. Few arguments and disagreements are ever settled online, so find a healthier way to engage or report the person.

Be Careful with Your Trust

By now, it should be clear that you should be careful with your trust when engaging with others online. Even if you have chatted with the same person multiple times, they may still have unsavory intentions. Without knowing the person in real life, being able to read body language, or knowing their other peers, it can be hard to make an accurate judgment over whether someone is trustworthy or not. Therefore, be careful with your trust and don’t assume that the person you are talking to cares about your well-being or has the best intentions.

Always Keep Your Guard Up

Even though it may be easier than ever to interact with others online, you should always keep your guard up. You never know when an online interaction can deteriorate or go undesired. Furthermore, people may not show their true colors or show any sketchy behavior until the two of you have interacted for a long time. Therefore, you need to be vigilant and careful no matter who you are interacting with.

Bottom Line

Various forms of online chat have helped the world become more connected than ever. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone online has good intentions or is even a real person. Therefore, online safety tips are more important than ever before. By following these tips and using mindfulness and common sense, you can easily navigate the online social scene without any major consequences or issues.

For more information about chatting with others online, you can find more guidance and resources at the link below:

https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/chat/

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Life Tips

The Five Furniture Items Every Church Needs

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If you are furnishing a church, you need to know what essential furniture items every church should have. A church is nothing more than a social place where people feel in harmony and, in some way, can connect with a heavenly being. However, for these social centers to become functional, good furniture is required that allows the person to feel comfortable during their stay.

There is endless modern church furniture that you as a pastor could buy, but among the most important, you will find:

1. Chairs/Pews

Since ancient times, people who go to church have remained standing, although today, everything has changed. In the present, a church should have chairs and benches so that people can enjoy the church service without problems.

These church chairs could be plastic, wood, or metal. Likewise, the church could have static pews made of wood or metal with padded seats. One way or another, the church should have enough seats for its congregation.

It is also good to know that church chairs or pews must be ideally located, so they do not interrupt the people’s movement. In general, church pews form two rows leaving three open spaces that would be the center and each end.

2. Tables

Just as the chairs are essential in the church, so would the tables used in the service. Although you may doubt it, tables are also crucial for the growing church, so you should buy them.

However, it would help if you focused on having the most functional tables for your congregation to make a good purchase. You will find it necessary to buy large and even small tables that will be used by four people at most.

The tables in the church will serve Sunday schools. On the other hand, these tables will be necessary for the meetings you schedule within the church. Conveniently, you buy portable church tables so that they do not take up ample space when you are not using them.

3. Lecterns

Now that you can buy the church tables, you have to look for another essential piece of furniture, such as the lectern. This element will be the protagonist of any church service.

A lectern would be that piece of furniture where the pastor or priest places his bible and then proceeds to give the sermon. A hydration fountain would also be placed on the lectern for the pastor to use throughout his day.

While purchasing the lectern, you will see several options, but usually, people tend to buy wooden ones. You will also be able to visualize the acrylic and metal lecterns that are typically less traded.

Over time, church lecterns have also been optimized. Some even bring a closed audio system. This way, the pastor or priest can give his sermon without being dependent on an external microphone.

4. Portable room dividers

Among the church sanctuary furniture to purchase would be portable room dividers. They are elements that have been used since the 7th century and are still gaining importance today. With room dividers, you could give privacy to an area in the church for personal use or some congregation members.

The best thing about room dividers is that they allow you to divide some areas of the church for a brief time. It can also be used to separate the cultural activities in the congregation.

Portable room dividers could be wood, PVC, or canvas-metal composites. These elements will also serve as acoustic dividers, so you should not avoid buying them for the church.

5. Baptism Furniture

The last piece of furniture to buy for the church, but not the least important, is the furniture for baptisms. This element will be indispensable if you try to furnish a catholic church.

The baptismal furniture consists of a sink, a table, and objects that decorate the area. It is a piece of furniture in the upper part of the church, where the priest is located every time he gives a sermon.

In conclusion

To furnish a church from scratch, you must focus on buying essential elements such as pews and chairs. Likewise, you can include the purchase of furniture for the baptism, the lectern, and the portable room dividers, among other furnishings.

Church furniture allows parishioners to enjoy the sermon and, of course, will help its growth. Do not forget that on the internet you will find several options in furniture for the church.

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Life Tips

Worst Thing to Do When You Get a Traffic Ticket

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We all break the speed limit from time to time and we might not be completely honest about how much of a hurry we are in. But when we are driving, there is so much more out there that is even more dangerous than speeding. You may be feeling a sense of dread and panic when you see that orange slip of paper saying that you are receiving a traffic ticket.

But the good news is that there is no need to worry if you know what to do and when to do it. So the fact that you finally got caught doesn’t have to be the end of the world. But you need to remember there is one thing that you should NEVER do when you get a traffic ticket and that is NOTHING!

Getting a ticket can be frustrating, especially when you don’t know what to do with the ticket. If you don’t take action on it, eventually it will lead to a larger fine and possible points on your license.

When you get a traffic ticket, avoid doing nothing. The worst thing you can do is not contest the ticket and then show up to court on the day of your court appearance.

Pay it

I think that this is the worst option because you are admitting to having done the violation and as a result will be subject to points on your driver’s license, an almost guaranteed insurance increase, and a fine.

Pay it and elect traffic school

There are a few things you should know about traffic school.  You can get the ticket dismissed if you pay it immediately, AND you must pay the cost of the class, AND you must spend at least 4 hours in traffic school.  I’m going to assume that you have been to a 4 hour class within the past 12 months and that means that for every 8 hours of traffic school you complete now, there will be 5 documents in your file that say “this is an 8 hour class” so don’t waste them!

Fight your ticket

You don’t have to be a lawyer to fight your own traffic ticket. You get to elect how much you want to pay, and if you lose the court battle, you get your money back. The hardest part is knowing when it’s worth it not to just pay your fine. This article will explain everything you need to know about fighting your own ticket.

I would always recommend taking the matter to court yourself, but only if you are certain you are right and feel very well prepared.  Fighting your own ticket can be fun and exciting, but it should not be taken lightly.  You will have a lot of reading to do, and some research to complete before hand so that you can fight with confidence. Fighting the ticket on your own is not only time consuming, but can also feel overwhelming. If you’re unsure of what to do and worried about the legal repercussions, hire a lawyer so that you can be confident that everything will be taken care of appropriately.

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Life Tips

Ways to Reduce Auto Repair and Maintenance Costs

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Taking your car in for regular maintenance and repairs is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean it has to break the bank. You can do a few things to avoid being overcharged or upsold for services you don’t need. Here’s what you need to know.

Repairs

Car repairs are costly, no matter where you take your car. But avoiding the less than honest repair shops can save you a lot of cash in the long term. When your car is repaired correctly and using the best parts and tools, you will get a longer, more reliable life out of your ride. Here are a few tips to help you discern the good guys from the scalpers.

Get a Second Opinion

If you’re unsure whether a repair is necessary, get a second opinion from another shop or a mechanic you trust. Auto shops often recommend repairs or services that aren’t necessary to pad their bottom line.

On the other side, they will often tell you when they find something getting ready to break so you can get it done before the issue leaves you stranded. Getting a second opinion can help you avoid being taken for a ride or confirm the suspicions of the first mechanic.

Do Your Research

Before you take your car into a shop, research the average cost of the repair or service you need. That way, you’ll know what you should be paying and can more easily spot if you’re being overcharged. You can use sites like RepairPal or Edmunds to get estimates for standard repairs and services.

If you’re unable to figure out the initial problem, you can take it into the shop to get a consultation without committing to services. Then take the time to call around and ask about pricing or research online the average price for that type of repair.

Negotiate Costs

If you feel like you’re being overcharged, don’t be afraid to negotiate with the mechanic or shop manager. If they’re not willing to budge on price, see if there’s anything else they can do to sweeten the deal, like throwing in an extra service at no charge. It never hurts to ask!

If you’ve done your research, you have tools to negotiate with, such as quotes from other mechanics and the price of the parts being replaced. Use these little tidbits of information to negotiate an agreeable price, and don’t let the mechanic or shop manager upsell you on unnecessary fixes. Another option is to ask about payment plans.

Maintenance

Routine maintenance is a crucial step in preventing the need for repairs. However, even if you maintain your car to showroom standards and always keep up with the manufacturers’ schedules for auto services, you’ll still need to replace parts on time. One of the best money-saving investments for car owners can be an extended warranty. For example, CarShield costs are significantly less than replacing the drivetrain or transmission in your car.

Regular Oil Changes

Regular oil changes are the most critical maintenance task that will prolong your car’s life and save you money. Every car has a different ideal interval for oil changes, so consult your owner’s manual to see how often you should change your oil.

Tune-Ups

Tune-ups are another form of routine maintenance that will help keep your car running smoothly and prevent more significant, more expensive problems down the road. Refer to your manual to determine how often you should service your car.

Tire Tread and Pressure

Good tires are essential for both safety and efficiency. Your car’s tires should have the proper tread depth to maintain traction on the road, especially in wet or icy conditions. You can check your tire tread by inserting a penny headfirst into the tread. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, your tread is shallow, and you need new tires.

Tire pressure is also essential for maintaining traction as well as preventing blowouts. You can check your tire pressure with a gauge at most gas stations. Most carmakers recommend checking it at least once a month.

Brakes

Your car’s brakes are one of the most critical safety features, so keeping them in good working order is essential. Have your brakes checked at every tune-up, and if you hear any squealing or grinding when you press the brake pedal, take your car in for service immediately.

You should also be aware of the warning signs that your brakes need attention, such as the dashboard brake light coming on, a squealing noise when you apply pressure to the brake pedal, or a burning smell when you press the pedal.

Final Thoughts

By following these tips, you can avoid being taken advantage of by unscrupulous auto shops and save some money. With little effort, you can keep your car running smoothly without breaking the bank.

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