Holla!

Can we get serious for a second? Hard to believe with me, I know! 

As you’ve probably guessed, I’m a bit of a computer nerd. You and I are new friends, so I’d like to pass along some of my most valuable internet-safety tips. I GUARANTEE you’ll read this list and go, “My mom does that sh*t!” I know mine does! 

Don’t be an easy target to internet thieves.  Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is! 

Bess’s Top 10 Online Safety Must-Dos 

  1. Choose strong passwords! And do NOT use the same passwords across websites, especially for sensitive information like online banking, shopping, etc. To add a double layer of protection, activate two-factor authentication to prevent anyone from accessing your accounts.

    I know passwords are a drag, but there’s a reason this is in the #1 spot. Ever seen news about data leaks? Guess what? If you’re password gets leaked by your grocery store and it’s the same one you use for bank account…bye bye, rent money! 

  2. Keep personal information on social media to a minimum. Less is best, especially on the internet where everything lives forever. Don’t post where you live, work, or even where you went to college to public audiences. It’s information no one needs to know, especially hackers.  

  3. Use credit cards instead of debit cards for online purchases. Even seemingly secure sites may fall victim to information hacks, so it’s better to be cautious than regretful.

  4. Beware of fake news. “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet” is good advice, particularly when you haven’t fact-checked it. And please, for the love of everything good and pure, PLEASE fact check before you hit “share”

  5. Beware of fake people! Anyone can create a social media account with any picture they find online. They will sound soooo believable, but a lot of times they just want to take advantage of your good nature. Also, if you’ve ever seen someone you know suddenly have a new Facebook account, it might be an imposter trying to dupe you! Always verify (offline, when possible) that your real friend has a new account.

  6. Avoid phishing scams (via email and text). Delete spam from people and organizations you do not recognize. Don’t open messages or click hyperlinks from sources you don’t recognize. 

  7. NEVER send money to people you don’t know without verifying. Seems like a no brainer, right? But hear me out: LOTS of good folks are getting duped by scammers, and they are GOOD. They suck you in via online chats (over time) to make you trust them. The next thing you know, they need money because their kid is sick, or their car broke down, etc… So VERIFY! VERIFY! VERIFY! This goes for online fundraisers too. Anyone can create a GoFundMe. And these things pop up like CrAzY around disasters. Even verify offline before you send money online to peeps you do know. Remember, real accounts are easily duplicated by scammers!

  8. Don’t allow all your applications to “Share Your Location.” If apps can use this data to track you, people certainly can too. If you use this service, do so only with friends you know and trust. 

  9. Only log into secure Wi-Fi. Avoid connecting to public networks in high-traffic areas like airports or cafes because you may unwittingly give a scammer access to your private information. Or worse, you may have malware installed.

  10. Don’t advertise that you’re on vacation (aka your house is unoccupied) on social media. Only tell people who need-to-know like a relative or neighbor when you’re away on a trip so they can be on the lookout for any suspicious behavior.

I hope this is helpful. If you have any questions or need more advice, just holla! Or drop me a line in comments. 😉

 

Bess’s Full Spotify Playlist

Wow! I never expected my favorite songs to get so many hits! Since we obviously have the same great musical taste, here’s my full Spotify playlist of my favorites.

Girl Power!

Got any songs you think I should add? Drop your suggestions in the comments below!

 

April Fool’s Day is coming.

April Fool’s is right around the corner, and everyone who knows me knows I love to laugh! So, I’m sharing with you my top 5 favorite harmless-prank ideas to help you get in the spirit of having fun!

DISCLAIMER: Know your victim. My roommate is trained to kill people, and while I’m not dead yet, I’m careful to not push her too far! LOL 

Be safe.
Be kind.

Now let the shenanigans commence!

  1. Change their Autocorrect

    I successfully pulled this off recently with my roommate. I got so tired of her telling me “No” all the time, I made her phone change all her Nos to “Yes!”

    Nyx is still pissed, especially because she can’t figure out how to change it back. It’s actually “Text Replacement” in an iPhone’s settings and nothing to do with Autocorrect. Shh…don’t tell her!

    FOR IPHONE: Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacements
    FOR ANDROID: Settings > Languages & input (or something similar) > Personal Dictionary

  2. Family Portrait Infiltration

    It’s time to add a new member to the family! Print out a picture of your favorite celebrity or character, trim the edges to fit the collage frame, and see how long it takes for your family member to notice! My favorite way to do this is DIGITALLY! 

    My smiling face is now the screensaver of Nyx’s phone! (I’m wearing her down so she doesn’t make me move out!)

  3. Ringtone Switcheroo

    I pulled this off with Ransom recently. His phone now plays his personal theme song “I’m Too Sexy” every time someone calls.

    This may be tricky if they have a password-protected phone, and it might cost you a little (don’t pirate songs for ringtones!), but sometimes the best pranks require spending a couple of bucks.

  4. Voice Activated


    Now that I’ve convinced everyone in my life of my mad tech skills, I’ve put “Voice Activated” stickers on stuff. Nyx yelled at the coffee pot for five minutes yesterday before finally giving up and going to a Sapphire Java. 

  5. Singing Telegram

    And finally, here’s an old classic for everyone who hates technology. A singing telegram is one of my favorite go-tos to show my love and appreciation, like giving someone a bouquet of roses, but in song!

    Sure, you can have a service deliver a funny message in song format, but if your funds are a little tight (like mine!) it’s even more meaningful to deliver your message personally! The more public the setting, the better! 

    At the Sapphire Lake laundromat this week (our washer went to hell in the move), I serenaded Nyx with a heartfelt ballad about how she could “never wash away my love.” She was so moved, she walked out so no one would see her tear up. She’s so tough. ❤️

I can’t wait to hear about your April Fool’s shenanigans this year!

What’s the best prank you’ve seen, participated in, or heard of??? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS. 

 

Bess’s St. Patrick’s Day Drink Special

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, Bess is sharing her favorite Luck-of-the-Irish drink! The Dizzy Leprechaun (of Bess’s own creation) is the drink special at The Drexler this week, but if you can’t make it out to Sapphire Lake, make your own at home!


The Dizzy Leprechaun

 

 

Ingredients:

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Peach Schnapps
  • 1 oz Coconut Rum
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1/2 oz Blue Curacao
  • 1/2 cup Pineapple Juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon-lime soda

Instructions:

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Pour into your prettiest glass, and garnish with fresh fruit and a shamrock!

From your favorite Miss Independent…

Here is Bess’s favorite Miss Independent playlist. Perfect for those days when (no matter what your relationship status) you out and proud as a confident, kickass woman.  

What songs would you add? Let me know in the comments!

THE FULL PLAYLIST

Ready to jam out? Just click play to hear all her favorite songs!


TOP PICKS FROM BESS:

Kelly Clarkson – Miss Independent


Blu Cantrell – Hit ‘Em Up Style


Flo Rida – Low (Apple Bottom Jeans)


Kelly Clarkson – Since You’ve Been Gone