Personal Budget

Personal Budgeting Tips To Get Your Money In Order

Sometimes just hearing the word ‘Personal Budgeting Tips’ is enough to make us shudder. Budgets have been given a dull reputation by overzealous financial fanatics, yet they are nothing to be scared of and neither should they be avoided. Personal budgeting is something all of us should do.

In fact, the great entrepreneurRobert Kiyosaki even said,

“It is important to create a budget and stay faithful to it. Keeping track of what you spend is the best way to avoid buying things you cannot afford.”

A personal budget is an accurate plan of how much money we have coming in and going out each week, fortnight or month, depending on the timeframe we choose to set. It lays out in black and white all income, fixed expenses and discretionary spending money we may have.

A budget is a great way of keeping track of where we are spending money. Once we know where our money is going, we are able to tweak our spending habits to gain more control over our money.

In order to create a workable budget, we first need to know and do these four personal budgeting tips:

1. What is our income?

Generally our income is our wages, but this can also include any interest from savings accounts and any social welfare benefits.

The figure that is important to note is our net income, this is the amount we have left in our hands, so to speak, after any taxes are paid.

It would be helpful to record your budget on a excel spreadsheet or notepad to make it easier to read. When doing so, place your net income dollar figure at the top of the page, as this is the amount we need to start with to create a working budget.

2. What are our fixed expenses?

Fixed expenses include payments like rent or mortgages, insurance and rates, utilities such as power, phone, internet and gas, transportation expenses such as petrol, insurances, registration or train and bus ticket costs and finally any other debts or loans like student loans, car payments or hire purchases.

Other possible fixed expenses will change depending on your circumstances, such as needing to pay for childcare or any gym or club memberships you might have.

These fixed expenses do not vary much, if any, each week/fortnight/month. This makes is easy to budget for them, or in the case of petrol, to make an accurate estimation.

Simply subtract each expense from your net income and you are left with your discretionary income.

You can create a column for each of these areas under your total income figure and this makes it easier to see the amounts of money that each area spends.

3. What is our discretionary income?

Our discretionary income is a nice name given to the money we have left after we have paid all our bills.

However, our discretionary income is not just for buying clothes, entertainment or shopping money, but also the more fundamental things such as groceries and pay for doctor appointments, for example.

So, record the dollar amount of your discretionary income underneath the fixed income expenses columns and then we move onto identifying our variable expenses.

4. What are our variable expenses?

Variable expenses include everything else we might use our money for such as groceries, entertainment, regular saving deposits, clothing, medical appointments, haircuts, vet bills, lawn mowing and any little shopping spree splurges we might have.

Everybody’s variable expenses are different, so take the time to record each item in its own column underneath the dollar figure of your discretionary income.

Then, it is time to allocate a fixed amount to each area and make an educated guess of how much you usually spend.

Now comes the fun bit, you get to add up all your estimated variable expenses and see if you have enough discretionary spending money to buy the things you want!

The goal is to have your fixed and variable expenses equal your net income. If you have spent too much, simply reduce the dollar figures you have allocated for your variable expenses. While if you have surplus money, add it to your saving deposits.

A personal budget should be seen as our friend. Yes that does sound weird, but a budget allows us to see where we are spending money and gives us the chance to change our spending behaviors.

Don’t worry if your budget does not work the first time you use it, instead tweak it until it fits. After all, one size does not fit all.

Posts related to Personal Budgeting Tips To Get Your Money In Order

How Income Protection Insurance Will Save You During Tough TimesimageWhy You Should Cut Your Business Credit Cards In Halfimage10 Best Ways To Save Money In The OfficeimageAffiliate Marketing Basics. Earn Hefty Commissions The Easy Wayimage

Tags:  discretionary incomefinancial budgetpersonal budgetpersonal budgeting tipssave moneyvariable expenses

Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama Quotes A Guide To Happiness

The Dalai Lama XIV wrote the book on happiness – literally. It’s called The Art of Happiness. The Dalai Lama is always smiling and laughing and his joy is contagious for everyone else around him. Dalai Lama quotes inspire millions to better themselves.

"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions."Dalai Lama

Share This Quote:

He says happiness is a choice that comes from within.

Even the wealthiest person in the world could be a whining wreck while a homeless person out on the street could be totally at peace with themselves.

Happiness doesn’t come from money or fame. It doesn’t even come from other people or material possessions. The Dalai Lama will tell you that happiness is a choice and happy people have a different outlook on life.

Dalai Lama Quotes and Recommendations

Here’s how to nurture happiness in your own life.

Accept What Can’t Be Changed

"If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever."Dalai Lama quotes

Share This Quote:

To be at peace with yourself, consider whether your situation can be changed. Not if you had done something differently in the past, but whether you can in the future. If nothing can be done, stop obsessing over the unfairness of life and just focus on what you can control and improve that instead.

Be Grateful

Being grateful for what they have is the moniker of happy people. Happy people may not have everything they want, but they are pleased with what they do have. Count your blessings and recognize that there are people in far worse situations than yourself.

That being said, don’t compare yourself to others in order to feel superiority over them. Treat people as equals.

Forgive People

"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive."Dalai Lama

Share This Quote:

Happy people live by the phrase “it’s better to forgive and forget”. Feelings of resentment can lead to depression, anxiety, and stress. Don’t let the people who have wronged you take over your mind. Let go of grudges and gain a clear conscience. Some people do awful things. Let karma do the dirty work so that you can get on with your life.

No Excuses

Don’t blame other for failures in your life. Happy people are in control of their own destiny and don’t make excuses. “Live and learn” is the motto. Happy people own their mistakes and try to improve for next time.

Problems Are A Temporary Roadblock

"If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito."Dalai Lama

Share This Quote:

Instead of cowering at the first sign of problems, happy people view them as a challenge. When difficult problems are overcome, happy people feel rewarded, positive about their abilities and more confident to tackle problems in the future.

Aim High

People who dream big and aim high have a focused and positive state of mind. People who nurture this habit are more likely to accomplish their goals, or at least get close to it. If you aim just a little bit higher than you believe you can achieve, then getting close will still be extremely rewarding.

Don’t Worry About Little Things

Life’s too short, right? Don’t cry over split milk, and all that. Happy people tend to recognize that inconsequential things tend to happen from time to time, and for the most part, those things simply don’t matter. Not now, not ever.

Let it slide. Clean up the mess. Say sorry. If spending a few moments fixes the problem, why make a big deal out of it? There’s more important things in life.

Be Kind

"My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."Dalai Lama

Share This Quote:

Clinical studies have shown that when a person performs a selfless act, the brain produces a hormone called serotonin that makes give the person a mild high and feeling of happiness. Yay for science!

Treating people with dignity and respect also helps build stronger relationships and the feeling should be reciprocated back to you.

Listen To Others

The difference between listening to someone speak and merely hearing noise exit their mouth shows you have compassion and care about what they’re saying. Don’t just wait for you turn to speak. Engage and listen to what people are saying to you. They might impart some great wisdom.

Don’t Judge

"People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost."Dalai Lama quotes

Share This Quote:

People may be going through turmoil in their lives and you wouldn’t know it by their outward demeanor. Just like the saying “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, the same goes for people. Happy people tend not to judge others, but rather show compassion and think positively.

Be In The Now

Happy people live in the present moment, cherish the good times and take a mental snapshot to remember the good times being had. They don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future. They stop to smell the roses.

Engage With Positive People

"Choose to be optimistic, it feels better."Dalai Lama

Share This Quote:

Like attracts like and that’s why it’s important to hang around with optimistic people. Their positive energy lifts the spirits of people around them and create a cycle of positivity and appreciate for one another.

Nurture Relationships

Happy people understand that strong and healthy relationships with family, friends, and colleagues is a vital ingredient to the recipe of happiness.


"Irrespective of whether we are believers or agnostics, whether we believe in God or karma, moral ethics is a code which everyone is able to pursue."Dalai Lama

Share This Quote:

The Dalai Lama recommends meditating each day to silence your mind and find inner peace. Even if it’s just for 30 seconds at your desk, close your eyes and try think of nothing. It’s really difficult but once you master it, you’ll be able to calm yourself in any situation, no matter how frustrating.

Eat Well

Try avoid eating junk food, smoking and drugs. Happy people have a healthy state of mind and a health body. Good food improves your mood, energy, and mental focus.


Exercising is great for burning off excess energy, punching out accumulating frustrations and gives you a sense of self-accomplishment.

Live Minimally

Be organized and remove clutter from your surroundings. Keep your house clean, keep your desk tidy and help your mind focus without distraction. Having too much stuff can weigh you down and make you feel stressed by having to maintain, clean and put the stuff away constantly.


The truth will set you free. Lying only leads to stress, erodes your own self-esteem and makes you unlikeable to others who see through the lies. Honesty builds trust, appreciation and respect.

Choose Your Own Destiny

Happy people tend to choose their own paths and own their choices. They don’t take orders for others trying to influence their lives. Being in complete control of one’s own life brings positive feelings and a great sense of self-worth.

Posts related to The Dalai Lama Quotes A Guide To Happiness

10 Things You Should Do Right Nowimage33 Thank You Quotes Of Appreciation That Make Your Heart SingimageTop 10 Special Ways Entrepreneurs Stay Happy And Focusedimage24 Inspirational Steve Jobs Quotes That Help You Suck Lessimage

Tags:  Dahli LamaDalai LamaDalai Lama quotesDali Lamahappinesshappiness quotes

Break Time

Reduce Computer Eye Strain Symptoms With A 5 Minute Break

Our brains and bodies are not designed to work 24/7 and this lifestyle can lead to computer eye strain symptoms and searching for headache remedies.

Dr Joyce Brothers, American psychologist and TV personality, certainly hit the nail on the head when she said, “No matter how much pressure you feel at work, if you could find ways to relax for at least five minutes every hour, you’d be more productive.”

Our bodies require food and relaxation, even during the busiest times at the office. In fact the busier we are, taking a break becomes even more important. Do you need some convincing?

Reduce Computer Eye Strain And Remedy Headaches

No matter what type of work we do, we need to use our eyes to do it. Our eyes need a rest too, especially if we spend a lot of time looking at the computer or do close up work.

Computer eye strain symptoms include eye pain, blurred vision, red sore eyes, headaches, sore neck, back and shoulders and watery or dry eyes. It is helpful to take a 5 minute break to focus your eyes on a range of objects of different sizes, colours and at a range of distances.

This relaxes the focusing muscle in the eye and prevents accommodative spasm, which is when the eyes ‘lock up’ due to prolonged periods of focusing.

When we have a 5 minute break every hour, we rest and revitalize our minds and bodies. This allows us to continue to give 100% to our work and achieve more over our working day than if we did not have breaks. This period of rest is one of the best headache remedies and prevention of computer eye strain.

Here are more great reasons to take a five minute break every hour while at work.

Reduce Our Body Mass Index (BMI)

BMI is a measure of body shape, based upon height and weight. Sedentary office work can increase our BMI if we are not careful.

If we use our five minute break to take a quick walk up and down the stairs or try a few exercises, we raise our metabolic rate, or the speed at which we burn calories.

Just by walking around for five minutes every hour during an eight hour work day, the average adult will use an extra 132 calories. As long as we don’t replace what we are using with poor food choices, our BMI will reduce, as well as our waistlines!

Reduce Our Stress Levels

Even if we don’t admit it, being busy does make us more stressed. Just a short five minute break will reduce the level of stress our bodies are under.

A study in Finland found that office workers who did not take a break were more stressed and more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease due to a build-up of the level of plaque in their arteries. Their colleagues, who did take a break, were less stressed and consequently did not have the same levels of plaque.

When we are less stressed we also tend to think more clearly and are consequently more productive at work.

Reduce The Likelihood Of Making Mistakes

Walking to get a drink of water or standing and stretching for five minutes each hour, will increase our levels of alertness and concentration.

This in turn will mean we are less likely to trip over the rubbish bin or type embarrassing and potentially business losing errors in our emails!

As our levels of alertness increase we become more accurate, creative and productive, which means we would achieve more than if we just pushed through and continued working.

Reduce Physical Discomfort

Did you know that sitting down can hurt your back? When we remain in a sitting position for over thirty minutes, an unhealthy amount of stress is placed upon our spines.

Muscular atrophy and vertebral disk problems can be caused by sitting continuously for long periods of time. But when we take short breaks often and use this time to walk around, we can significantly lower the risk of this happening.

Walking moves our muscles and bones, which prevents repetitive strain injuries caused by using the same muscles in the same position for too long.

Ovid, a Roman poet born in 43 BC, whose poetry inspired European literature and art and who is one of the most important sources of Greek mythology, had it right when he said “Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.”

We all benefit from a break, so go on and take one now!

Tags:  Body Mass IndexComputer Eye StrainEye Strain SymptomsHeadache Remedies

Website Hacked

Website Hacked? 10 Things You Need To Do Right Now

You’ve had your website hacked and you’re wondering “How the firetruck did that happen?”. It’s not such a simple question to answer but you must fix and secure your site as soon as possible.

If you’re currently in this situation right now, please take a deep breath and try to calm yourself. Yes, it can be stressful and you may be worried about damage to your business or reputation but this is a time when you need to be strategic and not just run at brick walls.

Google has put together a site to help webmasters fix a hacked site. The tasks range from user experience of beginner right through to advanced.

View Google’s Help For Hacked Sites

To scan your website for malicious software hacks, use the free scanner at Sucuri

Most Common Website Hacks

In my experience as a webhost, the most common type of website hack is done through exploiting flaws in popular Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress and Joomla. While I’m not bad mouthing these two CMS’s as the only culprits, it’s their popularity that makes them an easy target for hackers.

Since WordPress and Joomla are open source, that means hackers can simply download the code and study it, test it and exploit any security flaws they discover. Not only that, but these CMS’s also enable the user to download 3rd party plug-ins and add-ons. This is where the trouble starts.

Third-party plug-ins can often be coded by bad programmers who do not care about security. Their plug-ins can have gaping holes for hackers to just breeze right in and take over your website.

Only install TRUSTED 3rd party plug-ins that have HIGH RATINGS from other users.

Step #1. Scan Your Computer

When your website was hacked, was your first thought to go ahead and change all passwords? You’re only half right, but you’ve just taken a false leap and it’s vital to be strategic about every move you make. If your computer is infected, it is possible that changing your website passwords will not help because the hacker could be notified about the password change – so, what did you achieve?

You may think your computer is virus-free but are you sure without thoroughly checking first? Are you aware that there are objects on your computer that a virus scanner will not pick up? They are called trojans or malware and you need to use a separate piece of software to scan for them – not a virus scanner.

Download and install this free software from Malwarebytes. Run a full system scan and accept any prompts to delete bad objects found.

Now you should also scan for viruses. I’ve used both AVG and Avast that offer free versions.

Additionally – you can never be too careful here – scan using Microsoft Security Essentials

Step #2. Restore Your Website From Backup

You’ve got a clean copy of your website, right? You don’t?! Ouch!

If you have a WordPress website, backing up your entire installation is as easy as installing a plugin called BackupBuddy

If you paid for your website to be designed by a firm, ask your website developer if they have an original copy. Since they created it for you, they should have it. The quickest remedy for this hack may be as simple as uploading the original files to the server.

If your web developer has dropped the ball, speak to your web host. Most web hosting providers have some form of backup. Depending on the time that has passed since the hack, your host may have an archived copy from before the problem began. If they do, you’re in luck. Ask them to restore the website files.

NOTE: Just because you have restored the website files does not necessarily mean you have fixed the problem. The hacker’s code may be residing in the database. We’ll get to that.

If you have successfully restored clean website files and your website does not have a database, you can skip to Step #7.

If you’re in the unfortunate position where you do not have an original/fresh copy of your website and neither do your web designer or web host, put the kettle on and pour yourself some calming matcha green tea, strap yourself in and get ready for a rough ride.

This is about to get technical and you may need professional help. The rest is not for beginners unless you are confident enough to pull out your trusty Sherlock Holmes magnifying glass and delve into the website code itself.

In some cases, your web host may be able to help but the tech support staff of larger hosts simply are not trained to do this sort of thing. Smaller hosts may not have enough experience.

Personally, I’ve never had any formal training. I’ve learned through years of experience dealing with website hacks and server attacks. It’s near impossible for a beginner to effectively clean a hacked website and I’ve seen unfortunate folks throw their hands up and actually walk away from their online business – seriously – because of a hack.

Please don’t walk away. You’ll get through this.

If you have no-where to turn, go to the professionals. Sucuri is web monitoring and malware clean up service who do this stuff every day. Their pricing is quite reasonable and they are fast and professional.

If you’re the adventurous type and enjoy snorkeling and deep oceans of code, let’s go diving.

Step #3. Dive Head First Into Code

I’m afraid I have to be quite general in my advice because each host’s system might be slightly different. Each hack is slightly different. My advice to you – try to understand from a technical level what I’m explaining so that you can proactively investigate where the hack may reside. This is not for beginners.

Login to your web hosting provider’s control panel and access the online File Manager. Your host may be running Plesk or CPanel. Both have a file manager where you can see the list of your website files. If not, you’ll need to login through FTP.

First, take a backup of the website files and database. Don’t be a cowboy and start editing files without having a local copy to restore in case you make a mistake.

In the online file manager, sort the order of files by date

Any file that has been touched by a hacker will have a recent timestamp. The files may include html, php, js, htaccess and even images gif, jpg, png. Also look for unusual zip and tz files. You’ll need to go through every folder and sub-directory including in public_html or httpdocs and also cgi-bin.

For files you find that have a recent timestamp, view the contents – the PHP or HTML code. Even with a hacked file, the code may look normal and that is why you need to look closely.

Start at the end of the file. If you see weird looking javascript or an iframe, you’ve found the hacker’s code. Save the weird code to a file for later. You’ll need it.

Look for any links that reference unknown domains or externally hosted javascript. Save those URLs to a file too.

Remove any weird code from every file you discover. In some cases, this in itself may be a monumental task – several hours of work.

Step #4. Check The Database

If you are using a CMS, you’ll have a database. You’ll need to gain access through your webhost’s control panel.

If you have the type of hack that has inserted code or text into blog posts, check the page source and locate the dodgy code. You’ll need to search the database for that code. Also search for the links, javascript or iframe code you may have found when you were checking the files.

What I do first is to save a backup of the database to my computer, for example into a .sql file. Make 2 copies of it because you will be editing one of them, store the other for safe-keeping. Open the database file in a text editor and search for the dodgy code. Remove all instances of the code from the database – it may be in there many times.

Once you’re confident you have killed all bad code, remove the online database (or drop all tables), then re-insert your clean database. This is an advanced step. Check with your web host if you’re unsure.

Step #5. General Server Scan

I’ve seen some hacks where PHP code is disguised as an image. The best way to search for this type of hack is to ask your web host to run this command (for linux servers only):

grep -iro --include=*.{jpg,gif,png} '<?php' /var/www/vhosts/

The last part “/var/www/vhosts/” should be replaced with the host’s directory structure.

Any images that are discovered in the above scan are dodgy and should be deleted.

Also, perform a second scan to search for a portion of the dodgy code you discovered in the files or page source.

grep -iro --include=*.{js,htm,html,php} 'insert dodgy code here' /var/www/vhosts/

This scan should tell you if you have missed any files that still need to be cleaned.

Step #6. Update Your CMS

If you’ve made it to this step, you deserve a slap of the back, a firm handshake and a cold beer. Well done. The hard work is over! Your website is now clean – hopefully.

However, let’s not get too comfortable just yet. At this point all we have done is get your website back to it’s original state. The vulnerability still exists and if you just stop now, you’re giving the hacker a free pass. You still need to FIX the underlying problem.

If you’re running WordPress, Joomla or any other CMS, you should update the software to the latest version. In most cases, this is easily done by logging into the CMS admin section and clicking Update.

If your website has been heavily customized, performing a CMS update may be more problematic. If you are unsure, speak to your web designer.

Step #7. Website Hardening

We’re still talking technical here. On the server, we need to look at the permission levels of all folders used by your website. The permissions allow a user to either read, write or execute files within the folder. There are also certain levels of user such as owner, group, public. This may not mean much to you, but that’s OK.

A hacker will look for folders that have permission levels set to full read/write/execute, or 777 attributes.

Through your control panel file manager, find all folders that have full permissions and change them to 755 attribute. NOTE: You may find that some CMS’s may not be able to upload files after doing this. Just do a quick test to make sure you can still upload.

Step #8. Change ALL Passwords

You’re on the home stretch and the only thing left to do now is change ALL passwords:

  • WordPress / Joomla / CMS admin password
  • Webhost Plesk / CPanel / control panel password
  • FTP password

Read our article How To Create An Unhackable Password You’ll Remember

Step #9. Back Up Your Clean Website

You can breath a sigh of relief. If there is just one lesson to take away from this ordeal, it has to be this:


Do it now. Get a backup of all website files and your databases. Save it to your computer harddrive. Save another copy onto a USB stick and put it in your desk drawer.

If you have a WordPress website, I recommend using BackupBuddy which automatically backs up all website files and databases. You can choose whether to email the backup to you, FTP it to another location, save it to dropbox or upload it to BackupBuddy’s servers for safe keeping.

Step 10. Monitor Your Website

No-one is immune to hacking and if you’ve experienced it once, you really do not want to experience it ever again. The sad reality is that you might!

For peace of mind, monitor your website with Sucuri Security who will alert you to problems and also clean the hacked code for you.

Always keep a virus scanner running on your PC.

You may think it’ll never happen to you … until it does.

Disclaimer: Links to 3rd party sites included within this article denoted with /go/ in the URL may result in commission being earned if you decide to make a purchase.

Posts related to Website Hacked? 10 Things You Need To Do Right Now

How To Submit Your Website To Search Engines Without The HassleimageHow To Change Domain Name Without Impacting SEOimageHow To Speed Up Your Blog Like A ProimageHow To Use Bitcoin QR Codesimage

Tags:  website hackedwebsite virus


How To Create An Unhackable Password You'll Remember

If your password is “password1”, you’re a very silly person – and I’m putting it politely. Passwords serve an important purpose that aren’t merely an annoyance to get past, but they’re meant to protect sensitive information, access to social media, emails, bank accounts, bitcoin wallets and a multitude of other online services.

Choosing a good password is simply not good enough. It needs to be unhackable! Perhaps that’s wishful thinking but we can definitely make our passwords much harder for hackers to crack.

Don’t Use These Passwords

  • Your birthday,
  • Your pet or child’s name,
  • Your street address,
  • Your phone number.

Any one of these passwords can be discovered by a malicious acquaintance, work colleague or the mailman.

Even if you are to choose a password that contains a word from the dictionary such as “aardvark5” or “zebra89”, you’re still in trouble.

Password Dictionary Attacks

A hacker may attempt to login to an online service by trying lots of different passwords. If they already know your email address, half the work is done. To crack your password, there is a process called ‘brute force dictionary attack’ that attempts to login to your account by running through a dictionary of words – often hundreds of thousands.

If your password is a dictionary word, you have no hope of stopping a determined hacker.

“But wait”, I hear you say, “I also have numbers at the end of my password”.

The same brute force attack is smart enough not to just stop at dictionary words. The attack will try, for example, “aardvark”, “aardvark1”, “aardvark2” … “aardvark1234” right through to 99999.

All this is done automatically without any input from the attacker, so the effort on their behalf is minimal.

Letter-by-Letter Password Attacks

Another common method of cracking passwords is to start at “aaa” and increment each letter in sequence, for example “aab”, “aac” … “aaz”, “aa1″… “aa!”.

This attack will also use symbols and numbers for each incremental attempt and may continue for a string of 12 characters. That’s a lot of combinations! Never-the-less, this type of attack will also eventually crack your password.

Making It Harder To Crack A Password

While you can see here that cracking a password may actually be ‘easy’ from a programmatic point of view, in reality, online services would detect these types of attacks and block them very quickly.

But what if you have subscribed to one particular website that doesn’t care about security? You’ve given them the same password that you use across all your online services, right? Whoops.

If a hacker discovers your password via an insecure website, they could just as easily breeze right in to your other online accounts knowing your password. Think this is a fanciful idea? Read how former Gizmodo reporter Mat Honan got hacked big time

To make it harder to crack passwords, ideally, you’d need to have a unique password for EACH website or online service. How could you possibly manage to remember all of them?

Learning To Leetspeak

What is leetspeak? Leetspeak is a form of writing whereby some letters in a word are replaced by a numerical likeness or other letters that create an identical or similar sound.

It’s quite simple. Replace the letter “O” (for Orange) with a “0” (zero). Replace the lowercase letter “l” (for lounge) with a “1” (one). Get creative and also use symbols such as replace “c” with “{“.

  • B = 8
  • b = |o
  • I = !
  • h = 4
  • a = @
  • … and so on

Make your own substitutes using numbers and symbols that you will remember easily. Each substitute doesn’t have to be one for one. For example, the letter “b” can be extended to 2 characters “|o” or capital “F” can be “I=”.

Creating A Unique Password

With your newly acquired taste for leetspeak, you’ll need a unique password for every online account you have and that may number in the dozens. Facebook, twitter, gmail, youtube, linkedin, your bank, local council, your friend’s blog, etc.

The best way to craft a great unique password is to use a short “seed” sentence with the website name in it. Then convert the sentence into Leetspeak.

For example, my seed sentence could be “I rode my Harley to “.

If I wanted to reset my Facebook password, I’d convert “I rode my Harley to Facebook”.

My password becomes “!r0d3my|-|4r13yt0I=4(3b00k”.

Try crack that. Alright, perhaps that’s a bit too complex and a real bugger to type. It could be simplified to “Ir0d3myHarl3yt0F4c3book”.

You get the idea.

Come up with your own seed sentence and Leetspeak substitutions that you are comfortable with.

Password Rules

  • Start with a seed sentence with unique name for each service/software,
  • Convert sentence to Leetspeak,
  • Minimum length of 8 characters,
  • Use both uppercase and lowercase letters,
  • Use symbols and numbers.

Never share your password, seed sentence or Leetspeak with anyone.

Also read 38 Things Not To Share On Social Networking Sites

Posts related to How To Create An Unhackable Password You'll Remember

Why Secure Email Is A Myth Worth Busting With A SledgehammerimageWebsite Hacked? 10 Things You Need To Do Right Nowimage7 Tricks To Grabbing The Best Domain Namesimage38 Things Not To Share On Social Networking Sites [NSFW]image

Tags:  passwordpassword managementpassword managerpasswords

Copywriting Pen

Cost Of Press Release - 5 Do's And 5 Don'ts To Save You Money

There’s a good way to write a press release and then there’s a bad way. Because of the cost of press release, we want ours to stand out from the crowd and have an impact, but only for the right reasons.

Anyone can submit a press release that is sent to major search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing, as well as 30,000+ journalists and bloggers around the world for just a few hundred dollars.

The publicity that can be generated has the potential to bring in more business than you can imagine, just for the cost of a press release. Companies like the #1 press release agency PRWeb offer 10% off your first news release.

PRWeb also deliver your press release to 250,000+ PRWeb subscribers and keep your news release on forever, serving over 3 million visitors each month.

If you go to the trouble of learning how to write a press release and the cost of press release is within your budget, there are some things to keep in mind. Let’s start with things not to write in a news release. Commit any of these errors and the cost of a press release will just fly out the window and go to waste.

How To Write A Press Release – The Don’ts

1. Don’t Be Demanding

No-one likes being told what to do, especially journalists and bloggers. Remember, when writing a press release, your target audience are primarily journalists.

Journalists are very busy people who see hundreds of press releases each week, so always be courteous, polite and don’t ask straight out to be given free promotion. Obviously, that’s the goal and journalists know it, but give them something to write about, so show some thought and appreciation.

2. Don’t Render Press Release Text Into An Image

Presentation goes a long way to make a good impression, but press releases are usually found in a specific format. When using images, don’t render a chunk of small font text. Sending a press release as an image (jpeg, gif, etc) makes it unusable because text is likely to become distorted when resized or printed. You can’t include clickable links in the image and the text is unsearchable by the search engines.

3. Don’t Blast A Press Release To Unwilling Recipients

Don’t spam people! If you have an existing mailing list, make sure they are your target audience and not just random people. If you have collected email addresses of journalists, bloggers and news agencies, blasting spam through the wrong channels could just get you into their bad books – forever. If someone asks you to stop sending them emails – don’t send them emails!

People working in the media industry subscribe to services like PRWeb to find news stories so they are already a willing audience.

4. Don’t Be Self-Centered

Don’t write your press release in the first person using words like “me” and “I” unless you are using a direct quote. Journalists would have to change everything to the third person because they need to generalize the story to not have it written from your perspective. Write in the third person.

5. Don’t Be Boring

Why would a journalist want to write about a boring story? Press releases don’t have to be boring. What makes your business interesting? What is interesting about you, the business owner. What makes your product better than your competitors?

Think about why it’s interesting and be sure to make a point of it. Don’t make the press release all about how great you are.

How To Write A Press Release – The Do’s

1. Do Introduce Yourself

Write a very brief, factual statement about who you are and what your business does. If you want someone to promote you, your business or your product, the least you could do is introduce yourself.

2. Do Include Your Website Address

This should be a no-brainer. Get your website in order prior to sending out a press release. Make sure to include either a ‘media’ section for journalists to gather more information about your services or products and also write a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).

Include a link to your website within the main text portion of the press release. This allows journalists and general readers to easily click through. Press releases are also great for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) purposes when linking your website to your target keyword. eg. “John offers a comprehensive service of mufflers in Chicago.”

3. Do Include Images or Video

Give readers a face to your name and include an image of yourself or your product or business. If you have the resources, also record a video specifically for the press release which will make a great impression on journalists.

4. Do Give Great Consideration To The Headline

A great headline is all you need to ensure a journalist or blogger will read your press release. But writing a great headline can be tough and it’s recommended to spend at least 50% of the time it takes to write the press release on the headline itself. If it takes an hour to write the press release, spend at least 30 minutes working on a great headline.

Read our article How To Write Great Headlines.

5. Do Follow Up

If a journalist or blogger has written an article based on your press release, follow it up with a thank you email.

By doing so, it’ll establish a positive connection between yourselves and open the opportunity for further publicity down the track.

The Cost Of Press Release

Press release agencies such as PRWeb offer discounts on your first press release, which start at $99 and range upto $1,000 depending on the agency.

Spend your money wisely and take advantage of first-time discounts where possible.

Disclaimer: Links to 3rd party sites included within this article denoted with /go/ in the URL may result in commission being earned if you decide to make a purchase.

10 Best Ways To Save Money In The Office

As the joke goes; If money is the root of all evil, why should we save money? When we’re running our own business, it’s very important to keep a keen eye on cash flow. Saving money should be right up there on our priority list, together with making more of it.

But we have all heard about how to do it, right? Figure out budgets, set up savings accounts, make sure to earn more than you spend, etc. Boring! So how about we spice up our saving money advice and check out the 10 best ways to save money in the office.

1. Saving Money On Advertising

When posting things like invoices or receipts, be sure to include your advertising material in the same envelope. Including things like newsletters or coupons when sending products out to customers encourages repeat business and avoids expensive advertising. Piggyback your advertising and pay once.

2. Save Money on Phone Calls

Use VoIP for phone calls. This is an internet based telephone and it is cheap to use. It does cost more to implement than a traditional phone, but the running costs are considerably less, especially for long distance calls. It is best installed when you are upgrading a phone system to avoid extra expenses.

3. Save Money on Lighting

Install motion sensors to control the lighting bills. They will automatically turn the lights on when entering a room and off after leaving. Why should we pay for something we are not using?

4. Hire contractors or freelancers

Sign up to Elance where you can find contractors and freelancers who will work for us only when we need them. This would reduce the size of office space we need and the amount of consumables such as electricity being used.

5. Save on Electricity

Purchase laptops instead of desk top computers. Laptops use up to 90% less electricity than a standard PC. Don’t worry about security, a laptop can be locked down with a Kensington lock which prevents it being stolen, but can be removed so you can take the laptop away if needed.

6. Word of Mouth Advertising

Ask clients to advertise for you. They could use word of mouth and tell their customers and colleagues about your services and even write a testimonial for your website. In return, you can do the same for them. Both parties would benefit from the free advertising. It’s a win-win!

7. Work From Home

Rotate staff so that they work from home one day a week or once a fortnight, possibly even in exchange for a small reduction in that day’s pay. This would save on power, phone and wages; they will save on transport, possibly even childcare! Now days we have many ways to communicate via the internet and suitable work can be scheduled to be done on those home days.

8. Share Office Supplies

Create a shared group area for office supplies. By having one area or even just a table in the office dedicated to office supplies, we will avoid repeated expenditure and wasted resources. We would only need to buy one stapler, one hole punch and even only one pair of scissors!

9. Buy Second Hand Products

Buy used products, not new. We can save a bundle of cash by purchasing second hand furniture, computers and even carpet for our offices. Pretty much everything we need can be brought from a dealer, shop, garage sale and even over the internet.

Other businesses are closing down or simply replacing items in their offices with the latest model or design. Make use of their splurging and buy up their things for a super cheap price and our bank balances will reap the rewards!

10. Ask For Specific Advice

Find a business mentor, somebody who has been where you are and done that. Sign up to websites such as LinkedIn and other social media and networking sites or ask around others who are also in your area of business.

A good mentor will often donate their time to share their ideas and experiences with you and be able to take an outsiders view to see other ways of how to save you money in the office.

It would also be really helpful to have our work colleagues on board with our money saving ideas too.

Perhaps we could set up a competition within the office that the person who saves the most money wins a reward, such as maybe working from home once a week or having ten minutes added to their lunch break for a month.

So saving money in the office can actually be fun and rewarding in ways other than financial. But it’s still great to see the money piling up too!

Disclaimer: Links to 3rd party sites included within this article denoted with /go/ in the URL may result in commission being earned if you decide to make a purchase.
Youtube Alternative

10 Youtube Alternative Video Hosting Sites

Creating video content is a great way to keep in touch with your audience and show your customers a face they can relate to. There are several big name Youtube alternative video hosting sites with established audiences and there is no need to feel trapped by the king daddy of video sharing.

There are several reasons why you’d want to host your video on a Youtube alternative. One of those reasons is that Youtube is very strict when it comes to copyright material such as using music and video snippets in your videos. In a lot of cases, you are allowed to use copyrighted material under fair use laws, however Youtube may still restrict your video regardless.

That’s not to suggest you shouldn’t host your video’s on Youtube, which has a massive audience. Youtube is also the 2nd most used search engine on the web, the first being Google of course. Google owns Youtube and favors showing Youtube videos within Google search results.

Youtube Alternative Video Hosting Sites

To get more engagement, shares and up-votes on your videos, they should be professionally shot and edited using software such as Roxio and make sure your audio levels are not too loud or too soft.

1. Vimeo

Vimeo is a popular video hosting platform for professionally produced videos. Sign up for a free limited account or usually pay $200 bucks per year (50% OFF Coupon) with advanced options and larger space allocation.

Vimeo Plus can be trialed for a month here for $9.95.

2. Facebook

You may not associate Facebook with video hosting, but with over 1 billion users uploading millions of photos and videos every day, Facebook has become a powerhouse in media hosting. If you already have a Facebook page, uploading video as posts is easy. Everyone who has liked your page will potentially view your video as soon as it’s posted.

3. Vevo

Vevo is a great Youtube alternative video hosting site for music artists and music lovers alike. Video quality is mostly HD so watching Vevo on your tablet or TV is pretty special. Due to content restrictions and the country you are in, the site may block you from watching music videos that are not licensed to your regions.

The downside of uploading videos to Vevo is that you cannot opt-out of the advertising shown alongside your videos.

4. Dailymotion

Dailymotion is a real contender as a Youtube alternative that allows users to search videos by tags, channels, or groups. Dailymotion uploads are limited to 2 GB or 60 minutes in length with resolution of 1280*720.

5. Veoh

Veoh is an Internet TV service for independent producers and studios with unlimited length videos that can be embedded in any site. Veoh has a vast community of like minded individuals that rate videos and drop comments in channels and the forums.

6. Metacafe

Metacafe is another great Youtube alternative that features it’s own algorithm to ensure high quality videos are surfaced more frequently and that no duplicates exist. Metacafe has short videos in multiple categories such as music, sport, video games, movies and TV and receives tens of millions unique viewers every month.

You can actually earn money through Metacafe for posting videos, for example, if your video reaches 20,000 views, you can earn $5 for every extra 1,000 views.

7. Flickr

Flickr is mostly known as an image hosting site, but it does also provide video hosting where a free account allows for 2 videos per month and the paid account has no limit except videos are to be less than 90 seconds and 150MB.

8. Break

Break is known for funny videos, movie clips and funny pics but videos are limited to 60MB in size. You can upload videos from the site, your phone or even email it in.

9. is popular for webisodes or serialized content that allows users to upload 1GB videos and sign up for 50/50 split in advertising revenue.

10. Viddler

Viddler is more geared to companies and offers business tools such as analytics, customized video players, upload straight to iTunes and split revenue with advertising.

5 Desk Toys To Kill Time And Obliterate Productivity

Tick tock tick tock. Ever get the feeling that time moves slower in the office than anywhere else? Well, stop counting down the seconds until lunch time and step on into the world of desk toys. No, not converting your paperclips into little sculptures, that is so last week.

Instead join the ranks of your happy and entertained work colleagues and check out these five amazing desktop office toys that will surely decrease your productivity!

Desk Toy Tengu

Ever wanted a companion to help you sing your favourite songs?

Let me introduce Tengu, your new best friend, or at least the face and legs of your new best friend.

Tengu, invented by some clever Japanese people, plugs into your USB port and responds to any sounds. He likes it when you talk, sing and even sneeze!

If you stop entertaining him with noise, he will fall asleep, but you can wake him up and change his facial expressions by blowing on him. Tengu has red LED facial features, including a mouth which moves in time with the sounds he is hearing. He is only 3 inches tall and connected to a 3 foot USB cable, so he is easily portable too.

What else could you ask for in a desk top friend? Perhaps one that cleans up after you!

Robo Vaccuum

Crumbs, crumbs everywhere and not a single one worth eating. Unless of course your name is Robo Vacuum!

He is the ‘after lunch crumb muncher’ who lives on your desk. Turn him on and push him around and he will eat all the little crumbs that you don’t want.

Robo Vacuum is a battery operated mini desk top vacuum which will pick up small bits of fluff and stuff off your desk. It does not have wheels; instead it has a rubber pad to ensure it moves smoothly over your desk.

It’s arms are moveable so you can position them anyway you like and it comes in red and black. Great for us muffin and cookie munchers. Our cleaners will thank us too!

Desktop Toys Racing Grannies

Picture this, two grannies wearing their cardies and slippers, pushing their Zimmer frames and each determined to beat the other one in a race.

Well, now that is possible thanks to these wonderful desk top Racing Grannies.

Put them on the start line, wind them up, shout “Ready, steady, go!” and watch them put their pedal to the metal.

If that wasn’t funny enough, you can even give them a handicap to slow them down, especially if one Granny is having a super speedy day. The Zimmer frames hold a little shopping basket in which you can place essential supplies such as paperclips and staples.

This could also be useful if you were wondering how you were going to get your bluetack from one side of your desk to the other!

Rockstar Finger Drums

WARNING: This video contains terrible jokes.

Our work colleagues can now sit comfortably at their desks and be entertained by a live rock concert. Sounds too good to be true? It’s not, courtesy of our very own set of Finger Drums!

Featuring three little drums, a bass drum and a cymbal, this musical desk top toy is ready and waiting to be played from the top of your desk. We can tap out well known tunes or invent songs to our hearts content and when we stumble onto a good tune; with the press of a button we can record it for playback later on to the delight of your co-workers.

Have a PA system at work? Play a little ditty before speaking your message to your work colleagues. It will sure get their attention and then there is more chance that they will remember what you say!

Overall this is a great desk top toy for drummers and non-musicians alike. But keep the ruckus to a minimum.

Desktop Tennis

desk toys

Fancy a game of tennis anyone? Challenging a colleague to a game of desk top swing tennis is as easy as putting your pencil into a racket handle and hitting the ball.

Those long slow hours will disappear so quickly as the little swing tennis ball bounces backward and forwards between the rackets. The swing ball pole sticks firmly to the top of your desk and the two little tennis rackets that are included have a hole at the end of the handle where you can put a pencil, giving yourself a longer handle.

Don’t worry though; scoring the games is optional, depending on how good you are of course!

No longer do we need to dread the boredom of downtime in the office. Instead, by investing in a few small desk toys we can provide great entertainment, build team spirit amongst work colleagues and provide interesting conversation starters.

Who knew work could be so fun!

Largest Robbery

The Largest Robbery In History Orchestrated By Criminals

The largest robbery most of us ordinary citizens would endure statistically is credit card fraud, car theft, residential break-ins or the theft of stock off from our shops.

With online retailing, businesses are fleeced of products from unscrupulous individuals using stolen credit cards. The business loses stock, the criminal benefits and the poor sucker whose card was stolen has the hassle of replacing it and combing through their credit card statements checking each transaction.

It’s an unfortunate reality of business that thieves will try to take advantage of us. More often than not, criminals will steal cash or items that can easily be sold for quick cash. Clever thieves will spend months and even years planning their robbery, especially when large amounts of cash are concerned.

The largest robbery from Central Bank of Iraq

According to Iraq law, 100% of the Central Bank of Iraq’s capital stock shall be held by the State and is not transferable.

On the 18th March 2003, US$920 million was transferred from the Central Bank of Iraq into the hands of Qusay Hussein, on the orders of his father Saddam – The President of Iraq at the time.
As well as Saddam Hussein’s son Qusay, other officials supervising the heist from the bank vault included the Finance Minister, Hikmat Ibrahim al-Azzawi.

It was one day before America began its bombing raid on Iraq and Saddam knew something was up. He told his son to present a handwritten note to a teller on his behalf, requesting that the bank account to be purged to the tune of almost $1 billion. Qusay and an unidentified man spent several hours from 4 in the morning loading up hundreds of boxes stuffed with $100 bills.

The sheer volume of the cash was so great that three tractor-trailers were needed to cart it off.

The banknotes amounted to one-quarter of the Central Bank’s foreign currency reserves.

$650 million was later found by US troops in one of Saddam’s sons palaces. The rest of the money is still unaccounted for.

In 2003, Qusay and brother Uday were killed in a firefight with coalition troops. In 2006, Saddam was sentenced to death by hanging, after being found guilty and convicted of crimes against humanity.

U.S. President George W. Bush expressed his opinion that Saddam deserved “the ultimate justice”.

A billion dollars would be a massive windfall for any thieve, but it’s surely out of reach for most. Some thieves merely settle for $100 million or so.

Let’s take a look at some more of the largest robberies and most interesting heists in history.

Kent Securitas Depot, England

US$95.2 million was taken from the Securitas cash management depot in Kent on 26 February 2006. This is known as the largest cash robbery in British history.

The drama started the night before when the manager, his wife and 8 year old son were abducted. First they were taken to a farm, where the manager was threatened with the death of his family if he did not cooperate, and then onto the depot where they found 14 employees bound and surrounded by balaclava wearing robbers.

These gun toting thieves stole £53,116,760 and were well gone before police arrived an hour later and freed the hostages, who were understandably shaken, but unharmed.

Harry Winston Jewellery Store, Paris

It was the 6th December 2008 and the streets of Paris were packed with busy Christmas shoppers.

Suddenly the Pink Panther gang, who were all dressed as women, burst into the store carrying a grenade and a .357 Magnum. Staff and customers were dumbfounded by this brazen theft in broad daylight and watched as the thieves smashed open the displays and took about US$108 million worth of jewellery and precious stones.

The Pink Panther gang, said to have hundreds of members, have continued to carry out many more robberies. Their name comes from the movie The Return of the Pink Panther, as it is reported that they hid a diamond in a jar of face cream, just like in the film.

Antwerp Diamond Centre, Belgium

The DNA from half an uneaten sandwich led investigators to the arrest of Leonardo Notartalo, and his gang, held responsible for the diamond, gold and jewellery heist at the Antwerp Diamond Centre on the 16th February 2003.

Approximately US$100 million of stock was taken during this well planned heist, which many thought could never happen due to substantial security measures which were in place at the time.

A lock with over 100 million combinations, infra-red heat detectors, magnetic fields, a seismic sensor, 24 hour video footage and a private security force were all out maneuvered by the gang who had spent years planning this diamond heist.

Once access to the vault was obtained, they systematically emptied over 123 private security boxes and removed jewels, diamonds and cash. Paramount Pictures have acquired the rights to make a film about this heist.

Steward Gardner Museum, Boston

On the 18th March 1990, the world’s largest art theft in history occurred.

Two fake policemen talked their way into the Steward Gardner museum by saying they were there to check out a disturbance. The two real security guards were tied up and the thieves helped themselves to thirteen irreplaceable works of art by cutting them from their frames.

Although an alarm was set off during this art heist, the police did not attend as it was only an internal alarm. The artworks, which are valued at over $300 million, remain at large, as do the thieves.

The Great Train Robbery

Perhaps the most famous heist of all occurred during the early hours of the 8th August 1963.

Robbers stopped the train, which was carrying mail and money, by using a red signal light that they had tampered with.

Over £2.6 million, mostly in £1 and £5 notes, were taken from the High Value Packages coach of this mail train, which carried postal mail sorters, but no security guards or police officers. Less than £400,000 has been recovered and only eleven of the seventeen robbers served jail time for this heist.

While thefts from our places of work are disheartening and reduce our profit margins, it is amazing to think about the lengths some criminals will go to in order to steal from us. But from a product point of view, we obviously have got it right, as they want what we’ve got!


List of Quotes Inspiring You to Be Better and Gain Skills

Copyright © List of Quotes Inspiring You to Be Better and Gain Skills