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P.O. Box 1750, Cockysville, MD, 21030
Personal Protection Bulletin
How To Be A Responsible Pet Owner
Owning a pet is rewarding for your entire family. To celebrate National Responsible Pet Owners Month this February, consider tips that help you all be better pet owners.
Encourage Shelter Adoption
Every year, millions of pets are placed in shelters. Instead of buying a pet from a mill or breeder, visit your local shelter and encourage your family and friends to adopt their next pet from a shelter.
Spay or Neuter
Prevent overpopulation and improve your pet’s health and behavior when you spay or neuter it.
See the Veterinarian
Regular veterinary check-ups help your pet stay healthy. You can also use these visits to gather important information about your pet’s health. Additionally, keep your vet’s phone number on speed dial for easy access during a pet emergency.
A microchip assists you in finding lost or stolen pets, so consider getting one this month. You can also give your pet a collar ID tag with your name and phone number.
Feed a Nutritional Diet
Quality food, treats and supplements give your pet the nourishment it needs for health, wellness and weight management. Discuss your pet’s specific dietary needs with your veterinarian, and follow his or her recommendations.
Every pet needs grooming. Clean or bathe your pet, trim its nails, brush its teeth, and wipe out its ears as you help your pet looks and feel its best.
Train your Dog
Teach your dog basic obedience to reduce behavior problems and strengthen your bond.
Many pets need exercise and movement throughout the day to reduce behavior problems and stay healthy and happy.
Carry bags so you can clean up after your pet if it goes to the bathroom outdoors. This responsible action prevents the spread of disease and maintains a clean environment.
Pet Proof your Home
Most pets are naturally curious and like to explore, so take steps to ensure your pet remains safe. Use pet-friendly cleaning products, remove choking hazards, research houseplants for toxicity to pets, and purchase pet-safe toys.
Teach Kids to Respect Animals
Children can be rough with pets, so supervise young children as they play with pets. Also, train kids to show respect to animals, and remind your children to ask for permission before touching a strange dog.
Purchase Pet Insurance
Afford expensive yet necessary medical care for your pet when you purchase pet insurance.
Provide a crate, harness or other safety gear when you travel in the car with your beloved pet. Remember to pack its favorite food, a water dish and toys, too.
These tips help you care for your pet properly. They also help you celebrate National Responsible Pet Owners Month.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
Ways To Make Money With Your Personal Vehicle
To make extra money, look no further than your vehicle. Your car or truck can become a source of income even if you’re not behind the wheel.
Wrap your Vehicle with Ads
Several companies pay you to wrap your vehicle with their advertisements. You receive payment based on the size of your vehicle and the miles you drive each day.
Become a Personal Driver
In exchange for a fee, give rides to seniors, new parents, college students, and other people who don’t have a vehicle. You can even run your own errands while driving others.
Drive for a Rideshare Service
Uber and Lyft are two rideshare services you can join. You decide where and when to drive, and your passengers pay you for each ride.
Join a Courier Service
Pick up and deliver dry cleaning, coffee, documents, and other items for a fee when you work as a courier. As a bonus, you can choose to accept jobs along your normal commute route and save time, fuel and wear on your vehicle.
Rent your Vehicle to a Peer
While you’re on vacation, at work or home for the weekends, rent your primary or spare car to a peer. Sign up at
or make rental arrangements with a friend, neighbor or co-worker.
Join a Carpool
Get paid to drive others to work every day. Alternatively, you can ride daily as a passenger and reduce your vehicle maintenance costs and fuel costs.
Drive Kids to School
Whether you’re a parent, teacher or friend, offer to drive kids to or from school. Get paid per child per trip.
Deliver Groceries or Pizza
Taxi rides can cost a small fortune, so start a delivery business. Receive payment as you deliver groceries or pizza around town.
Pet owners who need transportation to the vet or groomer will gladly pay you to provide reliable transportation. You may wish to purchase a sturdy crate to keep your furry passengers safe, and stock treats.
Pick up Large Objects
Put your SUV or truck to good use as a delivery vehicle. Advertise your service around town or sign up for
, and people will hire you to pick up and deliver large objects like furniture, bicycles and firewood.
Become a Tour Guide
Connect with tourists and other out-of-town visitors in your local area. Visit museums, attractions and historic sites during the travel season and share your expertise while making extra money.
These ideas help you earn extra cash with your personal vehicle. Before you start your endeavor, talk to your insurance agent and ensure you have adequate coverage for your new side business. Then hit the road!
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
Tips To Declutter Your Home For A Cause
Look around your home, and you probably see a variety of things you no longer value, use, want, or love. Make time in February to declutter your home and donate the proceeds to a good cause. Several tips can help you tackle this task with success.
Have a Goal
Decide which areas you want to declutter and when you want to finish the project. With a goal, your motivation to stay on track increases.
Create Five Bins
Stay organized as you declutter with bins or boxes. Label them keep, donate, trash, recycle, and relocate.
See if it Works
Toss items that don’t work or are broken unless you fix them immediately.
Consider When you Used it Last
Items you haven’t used in six months probably aren’t essential for your daily life and can be sold or donated.
Decide if you Love It
Your home is a calm and peaceful haven that should be filled only with stuff you love. Give yourself permission to get rid of items that no longer bring you pleasure and joy.
Forget Sunk Costs
Maybe you did pay a fortune for your clothes or kitchen gadgets, but if these items only take up space, sell or donate them. Forget the amount of money you paid and consider instead the value these items add to your life now.
Set a Timer
Improve your success and avoid feeling overwhelmed when you set a timer for 10 minutes. Stop working when the timer beeps and take a break before you begin again.
Play a Game
If you get stuck, turn decluttering into a game.
Sort all the green, round or smooth items in the room.
Toss 12 items, donate 12 items and keep 12 items.
See how fast you can fill a bag of trash or donations.
Challenge yourself to donate 20 or more pounds of stuff.
Race your family members to finish decluttering your assigned areas first.
Take Pictures of Sentimental Items
The heirlooms you inherited from grandparents hold sentimental value, but it’s okay to let them go. Take a picture of sentimental items and donate or sell them as you clear out your home.
February is National Declutter for a Cause Month. Consider giving your items to a local charity or organization. Alternatively, you can organize a yard sale and donate the proceeds to a charitable cause.
Update your Home Insurance
After you declutter your home, review your home insurance policy. Update the policy limits, remove any riders you no longer need and verify that you have the right coverage for your current needs.
This February, commit to clearing out your home. You’ll feel more peaceful and can support a good cause.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
Choose A Secure Password With 11 Tips
Celebrate National Cyber Security Awareness month with strong passwords. They protect your information from cybercriminals and keep you safe as you use the internet.
1. Use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols.
The best keywords are difficult to guess, so use a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers and symbols.
2. Use at least eight characters.
Longer passwords are more difficult to guess, so aim to make all your passwords at least eight characters long.
3. Avoid common words.
It's amazing how many people set common words like "qwerty" or "12345" as their passwords. You secure your accounts when you use more challenging passwords.
4. Opt for unique phrases.
Single-word passwords are easy for hackers to crack with their dictionary software. Phrases like "I like ham sandwiches" or "the dog ate my homework" are more challenging to hack. Consider misspelling phrases, too, and replace letters with numbers or symbols or abbreviate words. Examples include ilIkeh@msandw!ches or tHed@g8myhomew*rk.
5. Avoid using your name or familiar numbers.
Hackers can easily find information about your life and use those details to hack into the websites you use. Never use your:
Name, including nickname or maiden name
Social Security number
Family members' names or birthdates
Address, current or former
6. Don't reuse passwords.
When you change your password, pick a unique password that you've never used on any site.
7. Give every site a different password.
Use the same password for multiple sites, and you invite a hacker to access all your information. Instead, use a different password for every site. A password manager can help you remember all your different passwords.
8. Use a two-factor authentication.
A two-factor authentication or 2FA increases your log-in security. It typically includes your password and a PIN, code, fingerprint or voiceprint.
9. Don't save your passwords.
Browsers typically prompt you to save passwords. Always click no. Someone could gain access to your device and then log into websites using your saved passwords.
10. Log out of websites and devices.
After using a website or device, log out. This step reduces the chances of someone logging onto your device and gaining access the sites you used.
11. Change your passwords often.
At least once a month or more often for bank or social media sites, change the password. Set a reminder alarm on your phone's calendar if necessary.
Celebrate National Cyber Security Awareness month by securing all your passwords. When you secure your passwords, you make it more challenging for cybercriminals to steal your personal information. For additional safety tips and details about cyber insurance, talk to your insurance agent today.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
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