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Keeping Your Soul Safe: How to Prevent Identity Theft

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Today, identity theft is one of the growing fears in the financial world. One day you wake up, and discover that your life is in ruins – your credit, your name, your finances. You can’t get a house loan, you can’t get a job, you can’t file your taxes. What do you do in this situation? What do you do to prevent this?

Facts and Statistics:

-Up to 700,000 people in the United States may be victimized by identity bandits each year, according to the Justice Dept (during press release 2002 FTC Study)

-Over 500,000,000 fraudulent checks are written each year

-The Secret Service estimates that in 1997, consumers lost more than $745 million due to identity theft

-A recent report on identity theft warned that there is likely to be “mass victimization” of consumers within the next several years.

-Every 79 seconds, a thief steals someone’s identity, opens accounts in the victim’s name, and goes on a buying spree. (CBSnews.com, 1/24/01)

– Florida is the number 4 top state for identity theft (CA, NY, TX, FL, IL) in number of victims.

-Types of Identity Theft:

— Financial Fraud

— Debit & ATM fraud

— Checking account fraud

— Savings account fraud

— Store credit account fraud

— Loan account fraud

— Mortgage account fraud

— Identity Cloning (uses your credit rating to live a separate life

— Other crimes

— Drug trafficking

— Smuggling

— Illegal entry into other countrie

— Terrorism

— Money laundering

— Computer crimes

— Shoplifting

— Burglary

How your ID gets stolen:

– Credit cards: Every time you use your credit card, in person, on the phone, or on the Internet, there is a risk that an unscrupulous person may make off with your card details. Locations where staff turnover is high, such as restaurants, bars, and telemarketing companies, are especially high risk. Some thieves sell servers a small ‘skimmer’ that attaches to the inside of a jacket or coat, and will read a credit card when swiped. The server can then sell this ‘skimmer’ for $2000 after he’s swiped 20 cards.

– Don’t Trash It: Unshredded bank statements, credit card solicitations, account statements and other discarded mail is a target.

– Beware of the Workplace: Many times fellow employees steal sensitive information from unsecured personnel files, desks, or trash cans.

– Help Desk Impersonators: Sometimes an innocent call from your phone company, bank, insurance company or broker can be a cover for ID theft. Beware of anyone who needs to verify your address or SSN by YOU supplying the information.

– Check alteration: A recent case involved a man going to each ‘flagged’ mailbox and taking out checks being mailed to GTE. He changed the Payee to G.T. Edwards, opened an account with a fake ID, and cashed the checks. IRS can easily be changed to ‘MRS. XXXX’

– Fraudulent Check Printing: Whether by making color copies of an existing check and altering it or printing fake checks on purchased or stolen check stock, this crime is rising rapidly. There is check-printing software available, and many businesses and individuals now print their own checks.

– Checks Stolen: There are several ways a thief can obtain what he needs to create his own checks with your information:

— Stealing bank statements with cancelled checks from your home or mailbox

— Making a copy of a check you’ve sent out

— If you own a business, a scanned copy of your incorporation papers may be available online at http://www.myflorida.com. If so, it may have your signature on it, available for anyone to copy.

– Friends and Family: Many cases of ID theft and fraud are committed by family members, friends and roommates

– The Media: Your ID can even be stolen by someone who learned about you from a news story, or your company’s brochure.

– Unlike most crimes, it’s up to YOU to prove yourself innocent and restore your good name and credit. This process can take years and a lot of your own money. In the case of check fraud, you have 60 days to discover something wrong on your bank statements. After that, the bank assumes no liability. The person who is “in the best position to prevent the fraud” is held liable.

– While financial and commercial organizations must exonerate you if their debts were incurred by an impersonator, it is imperative that you act quickly to clear the responsibility for these debts from your name.

– One of the biggest victim complaints is that law enforcement sometimes refuses to take a crime report in identity theft cases. Without a police report, credit issuers simply do not believe that someone else is at fault. Further complicating the process is the fact that identity theft crimes committed in your name may often span several jurisdictions.

Things to do NOW

– Whenever you order checks, do the following:

– NEVER print your social security number on the check – even if asked to by a store clerk. They cannot require it.

– Don’t print your phone number (you can get driving directions to your house with just your phone number)

– Print only your first initial, keeping thieves from knowing either your full name or how you sign your checks

– Use a PO Box address, or a work address.

– Do not write your entire account number on the check when paying credit card bills. Instead, attach a payment coupon and only write the last four numbers on the check. This way, anyone handling your check does not have access to the whole card number.

– Never keep passwords or PIN numbers in your wallet. Even if you don’t indicate which card it is, all a thief has to do is keep trying each card.

– Sign up for the Telemarketer Do Not Call list at http://www.donotcall.gov

– Sign up for blocking your personal information from being released by the driver’s license department. For Florida, the website is http://www.hsmv.state.fl.us and click on “The Driver Privacy Protection Act”

– Copy both sides of everything in your wallet. In case it is lost or stolen, you need the card numbers AND the phone numbers to call in that they are lost. Obtaining a new drivers license or social security card are also much easier if you have a copy.

— Driver’s license

— Credit cards

— Social Security card

— Student ID

— Military ID

— Insurance cards

— Membership cards

— Voter’s registration

— Passport

— AAA card

– Call or write your three credit bureaus and tell them you want to ‘opt out’ of your information being shared. Whenever you receive a credit card offer, it is because a bureau shared your basic data with them.

– Before revealing personal ID information to anyone who calls you, make absolutely sure you’re dealing with the company you think you are. Arrange to call them back after you’ve found their number from your own sources. If they say they’re from a ‘separate call center’, refuse to deal with them.

– Any time you are required to give personal information, find out how it will be used and if it will be shared with others. Ask if you can choose to keep it confidential.

– Keep track of your billing cycles. If the bills don’t arrive on time, check your address on record with the creditor. If the address is correct, check your mailbox security, and perhaps get a Post Office box.

– Give your social security number only when absolutely necessary. Use other ID if possible.

– Try to limit the number of cards and personal identifiers you carry with you regularly.

– Get a copy of your credit report from all three agencies (listed below) and check for unauthorized activity. Be familiar with what is on your account, and see if there are any errors to be corrected.

– Keep items with personal information in a locked file or safe and in an unusual spot (not the desk drawer), especially if you share your living accommodations. Shred them if you don’t need them anymore.

– Ensure that charge receipts, copies of insurance forms, credit applications, bank checks, statements, and credit offers are shredded.

– Many people have credit cards they don’t use regularly and therefore don’t receive a statement. Check these cards for activity online, or use them at least once a month, in case someone has changed the address and is using it.

– If you are an online retailer, use AVS (Address Verification Service). It will reject any card that has a shipping address different from the mailing address.

– Teller Positive Pay (Bank of America) – you tell the bank what checks you have written, they will refuse any not listed.

– Try online banking – paper checks get handled by an average of 13 people each, while online checks go through 2 people. It is also cheaper transaction, and eliminates paper records to be stolen. The bank can send you a CD with the copies of the fronts and backs of checks.

– If you have been refused credit unfairly, or refused employment due to credit problems, it may be a sign of identity theft.

– Watch out for ‘repair your credit’ scams. They prey on the conscientious but gullible. Most real credit errors can be taken care of yourself, for no cost.

– For passwords, use a series of letters and numbers. Don’t use personal information such as your birthdate, parts of your SSN, or mother’s maiden name. Genealogical data is available in the libraries and over the internet, and can be used to access your accounts. Make it something different, like T5XQ8. Do not store these passwords in your purse or wallet!

– Make sure to have some sort of virus protection software on your computer, and update it regularly.

– Visit ID THEFT for more information on the subject.

Internet Security

– If purchasing from the Internet, check the privacy clause on each company to make sure they don’t hand your information over to ‘partners’.

– Use secure sites on the Internet. If the URL doesn’t start with https://, the data is not encrypted before transmission. (the S stands for secure).

– Some sites list fake security icons to fool the gullible. Click on them to discover if they really are authentic and reliable security companies.

– Print and keep receipts of online transactions. Check your credit card statements to make sure these are the only transactions that clear.

– Keep your PC software up to date with upgrades and security enhancements.

– Beware of installing programs from sites you can’t trust or opening emails with attachments from people you don’t know. Even if it is from someone you know, email them first to ask if they sent it

– it could be a virus on THEIR computer that they are not aware of, sending emails to everyone on their list. Some programs can hide in your PC and communicate your information when you connect to the Web.

– Verify your information: a recent scam involved members of eBay receiving messages requesting them to click on a link to update their personal information. The link took them to a site that appeared exactly like eBay’s secure customer area, but was in fact a bogus site designed to hijack personal ID and credit card information. This is called Phishing, and many companies have had this done to them, including banks, credit unions, AOL, MSN, Earthlink, etc.

– Free credit report emails – most of these are scams, though the three credit reports DO now allow you a free credit report, every 12 months, to monitor your credit. Take advantage of this offer, and do so!

– You have won a free gift or lottery – usually an email or phone call about a free gift or prize – just provide your credit card information for shipping costs.

– Some Nigerian prince who is reaching out to ‘a good person’ in the US who will help him recovery his $10 million from his country. All he needs is a little investment

– Email chain letters and pyramid schemes – There are many of these. They are for the most part illegal and are just variations on the old postal chain letters.

– Emails offering a service to “Find out everything on everyone” – usually just a scam to get your credit card information

– Job Advertisement Scams – there have also been scams involving Internet Job Websites. Never hand out your SSN or birth date on a resume or application until you are certain the company and position is legitimate.

– Charity Scams – we anticipate that consumers will get calls from ‘charities’ asking for donations. Do not provide credit card information over the telephone. Get the mailing address, verify it, and send a check instead.

– CLARK HOWARD, a consumer advocate recommends that you use one card for all internet transactions, one with a relatively low limit. This will limit the damage if there is a security breach. He also has a lot of good information on his website.

Things to do when traveling:

– Copy your passport, itinerary, and plane tickets and keep a copy with you, and one with a trusted relative.

– Stop deliveries to the house to avoid advertising that you are gone, or have a friend pick them (and the mail) up periodically. You can also have the Post Office hold your mail until you get back.

– On your luggage tags, put your work address. This keeps anyone who handles your bags from knowing which house will be vacant for a while.

– Keep your parking ticket from the airport with you, in a safe place. If it is left in the car, that’s all a thief needs to exit the parking garage safely.

– In idle conversation, don’t tell people seemingly innocent details, such as where you keep your parking ticket, how long you will be gone, or if you are traveling alone.

– Call your credit cards before hand and tell them you are traveling. Many now have fraud detection policies that will freeze the card if used out of town, and this can be very inconvenient when in Bangkok.

– Always have a second, or even third, cash source available in case one is stolen or frozen.

– Some thieves have doctored ATMs where it will seemingly not work, and will keep your card. They insert a plastic sleeve, and when you walk away frustrated, they come up and take the card, having seen you enter your PIN number from afar. To avoid this, run your finger along the card slot before you insert your card. The sleeve is rigid and has a couple of tiny prongs the thieves use to get it out of the slot, and you will be able to feel them. Also shield the keyboard with your body when you enter your code.

– Another ATM scam involves a touch-sensitive film, similar to the ones used to protect the keys from damage. This film records your PIN number. Most banks no longer use this film due to this reason.

– Passports and credit cards are easy targets for identity theft. When traveling, either keep these in a hotel safe (not the room safe) or on a money belt hidden under your clothes. In crowded areas, all it takes is a razor blade and quick hands to empty your back pocket, purse, or backpack.

– Keep in mind that 1-800 numbers do NOT work in other countries for the most part, and most credit cards will not accept collect calls. If your wallet is stolen while traveling, make sure to have other contact numbers for them, or get them off their website.

– Some hotels ask for a copy of your driver’s license, credit card, or passport for your stay – some even ask to hold the passport. If this is the case, first verify that this is indeed the policy, with the hotel manager. Then request that a copy be made instead of the original, and ask what is done with the copy later. If that is still not sufficient, request that they be held in the hotel safe. At least then only cleared personnel will have access to it (and make sure YOU have a copy on hand as well)

– Current TSA regulations allow unwitnessed searches of checked luggage. To deter unauthorized people from searching your luggage, lock them with plastic cable ties. This allows the TSA to open the luggage and relock it with their own ties, and you know they’re the only ones that have been in the luggage.

Things to do if your wallet is stolen:

– File a police report immediately, which shows the credit card companies you were diligent.

– Cancel your credit cards immediately. This is why it is so important to have the copies of everything in your wallet. You will need the toll-free numbers on the backs to call the companies. If you are not in the country, toll-free numbers won’t work, so have alternative contact numbers.

– Call your bank and make sure any unauthorized activity is stopped.

– Call the three National Credit Reporting Organizations immediately. This alert means that any company checking your credit knows your information was stolen and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit. The numbers are:

— Equifax 1-800-525-6285

— Experian 1-888-397-3742

— Trans Union 1-800-680-7289

– Also contact the Social Security Administration to get a new card and verify that no one has changed your information, such as address. 1-800-269-0271

Things to do periodically:

– Check your credit reports at all three agencies. If anyone is obtaining credit with your information, annual review of these reports should catch them.

– Check your Social Security account periodically. There is a form you can fill out to obtain a summary of your account with the SSA. This can help determine if someone is using your number to receive benefits, or work illegally in this country.

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Benefits of Online Foreign Exchange (Forex) Trading

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The advent of the internet has made it easy for investors, and particularly online Forex investors. Therefore, Forex trading can be performed online. It is different from stock trading because it involves exchanging currency online for purposes of making profits.

Online Forex trading offers the benefit of convenience, by allowing investors to trade anytime and from anywhere around the globe. All you need is a computer and an understanding of the trading requirements, to start the practice.

An understanding of online Forex trading is crucial for purposes of ensuring proper investment of money. There are several Forex trading websites that offer practice accounts to help investors learn the ups and downs. The benefits of online Forex trading include:

· 24 hour trading

The market is open 24 hours around the world. This means you can trade anytime, day or night, because there is an open market in some part of the world. Trading is usually open in many parts of the world from Sunday evening to Friday evening. A 24 hour market allows investors who are busy during the day, perhaps because of being in full employment or business, to participate in the market during their free time.

· High liquidity

An asset is said to be liquid if it can be converted into cash readily, without employing price discounts to attract buyers. Online Forex trading is highly liquid in the sense that large amounts of currency can be moved in and out of most currencies with very little price movements. Furthermore, you can exchange currency anytime, day and night with no restrictions being posed on you.

· Low transaction costs

Forex trading carries lower transaction costs compared with trading at the physical market. The broker is able to share some of the benefits in the form of costs savings, arising from facilitating the trade online. The cost of the transaction is covered by the price, referred to as the spread, which is the difference between price of buying and selling.

· Leverage

There are many trading strategies that can be employed by investors, such as leveraging to maximize the trading benefits. Leverage is the capacity to trade more currency than what is available in the investor’s account.

Online trading accounts allow investors to start trading with as little as $50. In contrast, trading with stocks and bonds requires a huge financial investment. Therefore, if you chose to trade at 60:1 leverage, you could trade $60 for every $1 in your account. Hence, you could end up controlling $60,000 using $1,000 of capital.

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Keep Your System Simple! Self-Defense And The Science Of Stress Performance

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“There Are No Superior Martial Arts,

Only Superior Martial Artists”

I’ve read, heard, repeated and written that phrase so often I can’t even remember where it came from. The reason I like it so much is because it’s true!

This article is not another effort to debate the merits of one self-defense system over another. Nor is it to argue about which style will or won’t work “on the street.” All martial arts have components within them that are powerful fighting techniques. It’s important to know which ones they are!

Self-Defense Systems Differ,

But Self-Defense Principles Don’t

On the surface, martial arts and self-defense systems seem different. However, if they are legitimate and effective, the principles underlying them are the same.

Principles are the rules about the way things are. They are inarguable, non-negotiable and unchanging. They have nothing to do with the way we think things are or the way we want them to be. Like the laws of physics, they just are.

As “Martial Scientists,” our goal is to explore, discover, test and confirm the operative principles that define and influence the reality of combat. Your ability to produce a desired result, in this case to effectively defend yourself, is a direct result of how well you understand and apply the principles of combat and human performance.

What Do You Know About

Performance Under Pressure?

This article is about how fear and stress affect fighting performance. Whether you consider yourself a seasoned martial artist, a self-defense enthusiast, or a self-taught “ham & egger” who just wants to stay in shape and boost your confidence, this information is important to know. If you are training for self-defense, you need to select and develop skills that will be effective in the chaos of a violent conflict. This article will help you in that process.

FEAR, STRESS AND SELF-DEFENSE

Stress Is Good, But Only If It

Works For And Not Against You

Stress is our response to a real or perceived threat that we inherited from our ancestors. It was, and is, essential for our survival as a species. That survival mechanism, often called the “Fight or Flight Response,” is a good thing. If properly managed, it can be a powerful force in fighting off (fight) or escaping from (flight) a violent assailant. However, if ignored or misunderstood, stress can impair our mental and physical performance and compromise our effectiveness in a fight.

What Is “Self-Defense Stress?”

Stress, as it relates to violence, is the response to a perceived discrepancy between a threat and your ability to control it under conditions where the outcome has the potential for death, injury or physical degradation.

The Symptoms Of Stress

Stress causes a variety of psychological and physiological changes. Without getting into the specifics of those changes, the affects of intense stress on performance fall into three categories:

1. Perceptual Distortion – loss of peripheral vision and depth perception, hearing may be impaired, changes in pain sensitivity, etc.

2. Cognitive Impairment – the emotional centers in the brain become predominant and creative or logical thinking is impaired.

3. Motor Skill Deterioration – the ability to perform certain physical actions is impaired by stress. However, other actions can actually be enhanced by stress.

Each of these categories could form an article (or book) of their own. However, for the purposes of this article, I’ll confine myself to information pertaining to the selection and performance of physical skills.

THE KYSS! PRINCIPLE (Keep Your System Simple!)

Why Do Black Belts Get Beat Up?

Why is it that so many martial artists get beat up? I’m sorry to burst your bubble if you thought otherwise but the fact is that many people, even after years of training, have been thumped by “unskilled,” intoxicated adversaries. How can that be?

Often people train with a distorted mental map of what it’s like to be in a real, knockdown, drag-out, anything-goes street-fight. They confuse sparring with fighting and find themselves hesitant, overwhelmed by fear or attempting techniques that just don’t work.

The more clearly you understand the realities of a “fight” and the affects of being in one, the better you can prepare yourself for the chaos of personal combat.

Motor Skills Classification

Motor Skills is a fancy name for physical actions or techniques. They can be divided into three categories:

1. Fine Motor Skills – are actions involving small muscles, dexterity and eye-hand coordination. The ability to perform fine motor skills deteriorates at low to moderate levels of stress.

2. Complex Motor Skills – are actions that link three or more components in a sequence that requires timing and coordination. At moderate to high levels of stress, the ability to perform these skills is also impaired. Many martial arts techniques are complex motor skills. This explains why techniques that may work fine in low-stress training fail in a high-stress street-fight.

3. Gross motor skills – are simple, large-muscle group actions like a squats, pushups and push/pull-type movements. This includes basic fighting skills like a straight punch, a hook punch or a Thai boxer’s knee strike for example. Unlike fine and complex motor skills, gross motor skills DO NOT deteriorate under stress. In fact, they are enhanced by the affects of fear and stress.

Obviously we want to rely predominantly on gross motor skills when designing a self-defense response system.

The “Less-Is-Best” Theory

Some self-defense and martial arts instructors believe in the “More-Is-Better” philosophy. They think that learning a high number of techniques will increase the ability to respond effectively to a wider variety of situations; that the more elaborate the fighting system the more adaptable it becomes.

If you hold this philosophy yourself, please forgive my bluntness but…YOU’RE WRONG!!! The More-Is-Better approach does not withstand scientific scrutiny. Complex or elaborate techniques don’t work in a real fight. It’s as simple as that.

In contrast, the “Less-Is-Best” approach is more practical, realistic and consistent with what science tells us about the way we perform under stress. Here are a few of the benefits of keeping the number of techniques to a minimum.

Faster Reaction Time

As far back as the 1800’s, researchers knew that the more responses you have to a stimulus, the longer it takes react. In 1952, a researcher named Hicks confirmed that for every response choice added, the amount of time required to react doubles! This is widely known as “Hicks Law,” and has been repeatedly confirmed by subsequent research. In a self-defense situation, the longer you take to respond to a threatening action, the more likely you will be injured and defeated.

Fast Results With Minimal Training

Another issue that supports the idea of keeping your inventory of techniques to a minimum is the amount of time you have to practice and the time it takes to build technique competence. (remember: competence builds confidence which reduces stress!)

Imagine you work on 20 techniques and you train for an hour per session. That means you have 3 minutes to invest on each technique. If however, you reduce the number of self-defense techniques to three (just an arbitrary number), you invest 20 minutes on each technique, conceivably investing 600% more time and repetition on each one. What technique wouldn’t be improved by six times more training?

The Brass Knuckle Effect (Cognitive Clarity)

Imagine you knew you were about to be attacked by a large, strong, psychopathic assailant. There is no way of avoiding the fight. Let’s say your self-defense system consists of 20 different techniques. In the stressful moments preceding the encounter your mind is reeling; trying to figure out the most appropriate course of action.

Keep in mind that your cognitive abilities are impaired by stress. Stress-related “brain damage” prevents you from forming a logical or creative solution to your predicament. What will you do?

Seeing your dilemma, a good friend (if he wasn’t before he is now!) discretely passes you a set of brass knuckles. What do you suppose has just happened to your thought process?

I’ll hazard a guess that the mental fog begins to lift, your stress decreases and your objective becomes clear. It’s now a simple matter of taking those brass knuckles and slamming them repeatedly into vulnerable parts of your opponent’s anatomy. Seems simple now doesn’t it?

The potential of you winning the encounter has been significantly enhanced. That same affect can be achieved without the brass knuckles by sticking to a limited, yet adaptable, inventory of dependable fighting skills.

THE SCIENCE OF STRESS POINTS TO THE NEED TO SPECIALIZE

Virtually all accomplished fighters are known for specific techniques that they excel at. However, if you ignore their “bread & butter” techniques, most of them would be considered “average.” Those fighters excel because of their ability to simplify their system and build on their superior techniques.

Knowing what you now know about technique selection and stress performance, what do you think about the merits of “specializing” in a core set of fighting skills? Here’s how to get started.

Explore Your Strengths

Don’t just latch onto a fighting tactic arbitrarily. Evaluate your existing skills and select a strike, a kick, or a finishing hold that seems like a “good fit” for you. What technique to you consistently land or apply when sparring? What is your best or favorite technique? What technique do you feel you would resort to under pressure? Answering these questions will get you started with the specialization process.

Adaptability

Having as few techniques as possible doesn’t mean that you limit your ability to respond to a wide variety of situations. The idea is to take that specialty strike, kick, joint lock or choke and train it in as many different ways as possible. Learn to apply those basic skills at different ranges (striking, clinching or on the ground), against different partners, against different apparatus and in as many drills as you can think of. Learn how to set them up and follow them up. Strive to learn a lot about a little, not vice versa.

Train to Momentary Exhaustion

A good way to see how well a technique holds up under stress is to train it to extreme fatigue. You can bring on the physiology of intense stress by exerting yourself. I call this “blitz training” in the heavy bag article: “There’s nothing like a swift kick to the bag.” on my site at:

http://www.protectivestrategies.com/heavybag.html

Blast out a technique or combination repeatedly for a specified duration or until you can’t do it any more. I can guarantee that gross motor skills will be the only ones conducive to this type of training.

Keep in mind that you wouldn’t do this training all of the time. You need time to recover between intense workouts like this.

Obviously you must be healthy and in good physical shape to do in this training. Refer to my disclaimer page for precautions before following this advice.

http://www.protectivestrategies.com/disclaimer.html

Simplicity Is Not Inflexibility

A final note in keeping things simple is that the process of specialization doesn’t mean that you stop learning, experimenting or that you abandon your existing training program in lieu of a “bare-bones” self-defense program.

If you are proud of your traditional martial arts system stick with it. If you love to jump up, spin around and kick things, then by all means, go for it! Just don’t confuse techniques that will work in a street fight with those that won’t. Apply the science of stress performance by adding specialty training to the degree that you want to develop practical self-defense skills.

SO WHAT? HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION

Using The “KYSS! Principle”

To Evaluate A Potential Specialty Technique

Now its time to put this stuff into practice: Based on the priority you place on “fighting skill.” (there are several other benefits and reasons to train) Take a good, hard look at the skills you have in your inventory and the amount of time you plan to invest in training.

Decide on what proportion of your training you want to dedicate to self-defense. Design your system based on the following “KYSS Criteria.”

=> is the technique a “gross motor skill?”

=> do you have confidence in your ability to perform the skill under pressure?

=> What technique is most successful for you in training sparring or competition? (however don’t confuse those activities with fighting)

=> Is the technique applicable in a wide variety of situations, at different ranges, in different environments, ring clothing that you were during your day-to-day activities?

=> Are you able to construct a wide variety of training drills to build adaptability and flexibility in your chosen techniques?

=> Are there techniques that you’ve selected that are redundant?

=> Do you understand the underlying principles and biomechanics of performing and applying the skill with optimal efficiency?

CONCLUSION

Stress in a combative situation is a given. Expect it. It’s going to be there. Your performance is the result of how confident and well prepared you are in addition to how well designed your self-defense response system is. Attack the problem of stress performance this way:

=> Simplify your system through specializing in a handful of effective and adaptable techniques.

=> Artificially create stress in your training sessions to inoculate yourself to it to some degree (more on this in future articles) and…

=> Select gross motor skills that will be efficient under stress.

Knowing what you now know about stress performance isn’t it obvious that the “KYSS! (Keep Your System Simple!) Principle” is worth incorporating into your training? Scrutinize and evaluate your inventory of fighting skills and select those that meet the KYSS criteria and you will improve your performance in a combative situation dramatically. The bottom line of what I want you to take away from this article is that if you are training for self-defense Keep Your System Simple!

Take care, train smart and stay safe,

Randy LaHaie

Protective Strategies

============== Self-Defense Quote =================

“There are no superior or inferior martial arts, there are only warriors and non-warriors”

“Each martial art is based on doctrine, a set of broad and general beliefs. People who study a single doctrine tend to shut out ideas from other sources and convince themselves that their’s is the one true way of fighting. They become slaves to the very doctrines they profess.”

Forrest E. Morgan, Maj. USAF

Living The Martial Way

A Manual For The Way A Modern Warrior Should Think

================================================================

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Start From the Bottom While Starting a Small Business Marketing Campaign

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Everyone starts from the bottom and everyone do not get the chance to go to the top. This is because the crucial method in order to be with the big boys at the top is to do baby steps while at the bottom; working your way up until you reach your goals.

Such is the case on starting a small business marketing campaign. Starting from scratch is having an effective plan while you rise up on the ranks. We can see a small business marketing campaign on the most inexpensive platform to launch it. The internet and its billions and billions of people, who patronize it, think of the potential to start a small business marketing campaign with almost zero capital.

The only thing critical while you start would be; a high speed internet service provider and your laptop or desktop. The right education on the basic marketing strategies on the internet can be a great help, but since you’re a computer geek everything could be smooth sailing.

Starting a small business marketing would consists of getting your product out in the open, since it will be small at the start, you may want to setup your own website just so people can get acquainted with whatever your are selling. Free websites are a dime a dozen on the internet and this is actually starting small, by capitalizing on the numerous freebies available on the internet you are setting the right course for your small business marketing campaign to flourish at the right time.

You’ve set up your website and you’re good to go with your product now it’s time to let it loose on cyberspace. Basic knowledge on how to broadcast your website through billions of users is the key to get the right exposure. Again taking small steps at a time by researching on the basic website optimization and promotion.Unfortunately there is a downside, not all computer geeks can be counted as successful in the field of small business marketing campaign.

People who love what they’re doing even if they have little or no computer experience can get the job done by learning patiently the ropes on the internet. Everything can be learned through the internet most especially the tactics of a small business marketing campaign. All you need is watering it with positive attitudes like patience, determination and perseverance, once you apply this you’re on your way to building an effective business empire.

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Finance

Why To Select Reliable CCTV Camera Dealers To Protect Premises

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Video surveillance confers multiple benefits to all those business professionals for whom their business’ security is of prime concern. They not only help in protecting outside break-ins and robberies, but also play a vital role in sustaining business premises to make it a safer place to work. Therefore, it’s better to hire security services offered by reliable CCTV camera dealers to yield high returns on investments. Let’s delve into details for more.

Reduces Employee Thefts:

It’s hard to believe that a company’s employees can actually steal business confidential details for their own benefits, but surprisingly it happens frequently. In accordance to the latest surveys, approx 80% of employees involve in such kind of activities. Thus, if businesses want to catch those culprits to reclaim their business assets safe and secure, then they need to install CCTV surveillance security solutions in their premises. When employees know they are under camera observations, then they will think twice before taking such big risks.

Offer Workflow Monitoring:

Are you willing to check whether your employees actually work for 9-hour shifts, or if they are spending their time in doing something waste? Workflow monitoring is not employed just to record theft measures within an organization. Additionally, CCTV camera installation practices in a workplace help management to take all needed measures to motivate employees for boosting their efficiency aspects. Workflow monitoring performed with the help of a high-tech IP camera helps retail owners to judge whether they are under or over staff. However, such retail security solutions also assist retailers to understand their operation model in a better way.

Provide a Safer Workplace:

Employees’ protection is equally important as business protection. Thus, it’s necessary to mount security cameras at entrances, exits, parking lots, office premises, warehouses, and cafeteria to create a safer working environment for employees. These security tactics don’t help in preventing vandalism, robbery, burglary, vehicle break-ins, but also helps in ensuring fire smoke heat detection practices. However, services conferred by a trustworthy IP camera dealer plays a significant role to reduce unwanted criminal activities that may happen in an office premises or any other location.

Helps in Avoiding Frivolous Lawsuits:

A camera’s ability to evade businesses from frivolous lawsuit incidents is one among the biggest reasons why most of the business professionals are moving towards security camera installation practices. On the other hand, security cameras efficiently play the role of an active deterrent in against of such type of criminal activities. However, physical fights between employees or harassment claims can also initiate lawsuits incidents. But, CCTV camera dealers will efficiently play an integral role in protecting businesses and employees as well.

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Crystal Healing – How to Use Quartz Healing Crystals

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What are healing crystals? They are crystals, a pair of Clear Quartz Crystals that are used to detox and heal your emotional, mental, physical bodies, your Aura and the Ethereal energy field. They can be used alone or in conjunction with other crystals and minerals.

What do these crystals do? These special crystals enable the user to direct pure Divine Energy into and through their physical body. Using crystals is a natural way to enhance the body’s own healing capability, to process energy at a higher rate of vibration.

Before you can begin using Clear Quartz Healing Crystals during healing sessions, it is essential to choose or allow the crystals to choose you. One of the best ways to discern which healing crystals are the right ones for you to be working with is to be open the vibrational frequency of the crystals themselves.

If you are lucky enough to find crystals already in pairs, most of the “work” has been done for you. You simply “ask” which set of crystals resonate with you. How would you discern which ones are the right ones for you? Calm yourself, breathe deeply exhaling slowly and pass your left hand slowly over each set. The crystals which radiate a warmth or distinct sense of energy into the palm of your hand are the ones which resonate with you and your energy best.

If you are unsure if what you are sensing or feeling is real, hold the crystals in the palms of your hands. Remember the point of the crystal in your left hand should be directed towards your wrist. The point of the crystal in your right hand is to be directed towards your fingers away from your wrist.

It is important for the Quartz Healing Crystals to be held in each hand with the points both facing towards and away from you, allowing energy to flow through you. When working with a set of healing crystals, you become a channel, a conduit for Divine Energy to flow in to and out of your physical body. If the points are both facing away or towards you it blocks the natural flow.

Once you have chosen which crystals you will work with. Cleanse and re-charge the crystals prior to using them for the first time. To cleanse and re-charge your crystals, rinse them in cool water, pass them over incense or place them in the Sun light for a few hours.

Now you are ready to begin using your Healing Crystals. Quiet your mind, hold your crystals in your hands, breathe deeply exhaling slowly and speak the Invocation of Light 3 times. You may speak it aloud or silently to yourself. The Invocation of Light is: I invoke the Spark if Divinity within, I am a clear and perfect channel, Light is my guide.

You will begin to feel a soft tingling vibration at first. It may take a little practice for you to actually feel or sense the energy from the crystals flowing though you. Whether you feel or sense the energy of the crystals flowing through you right away or not, trust that it is happening.

The healing crystal in your left hand draws in pure energy from Divine Source. As the energy flows in to, through and out of your right hand, it takes with it all that is no longer needed. Meaning, as you open yourself to Divine Source, allowing Divine White Light to flow through you, all negative energy that has been collected, stored and become stagnant is purged from within you and your Aura.

Remember your Aura is a direct reflection of what is and is not happening in your physical body.

You can perform this simple self-healing technique on yourself by laying down, sitting in your mediation chair or standing up with your feet shoulder width apart.

You may choose to allow yourself at least 10 to 15 minutes the first few times you practice this crystal healing technique. As you become comfortable, gaining confidence in you, you will begin to notice how differently your body feels. You will begin to feel and experience harmony and peacefulness more often and for longer periods of time.

When you have completed your self-healing session, cleanse and re-charge the crystals. It is essential to increase your intake of water over the next 24 hours to complete your inner detox and healing process.

This simple crystal healing technique is very effective. Working with crystals will enhance your daily life and expand your sense of conscious awareness.

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Finance

What Is VPSDeploy & How Does It Work To Provision "Cloud" VPS Servers Across Modern Providers?

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VPSDeploy is a new web platform designed to provide users with the ability to “deploy” web based applications to a number of different “cloud” VPS servers.

The system was originally designed to support “Ruby on Rails” application deployments, with an underlying application designed to provide users with a “one click” solution to getting their applications deployed.

Since the popularity of the system has grown, it’s branched out into the provision of a number of other services, including the likes of database provision and CDN integration.

The point of the service is that if you’re looking to utilize the MASSIVE wave of new compute resource that has been provided by way of the “cloud” service providers (Microsoft Azure, AWS, Rackspace, DigitalOcean etc) – you need a way to provision the servers you’re using.

Contrary to popular belief, you’re basically paying for a distributed VPS server running on 1000’s of servers in different data warehouses. The VPS’s you run will still require the installation of an underlying OS (Linux or Windows) and will also need the various libraries / applications necessary to get those systems working properly (typically the likes of web server software etc).

Whilst “deployment” services exist already (from the likes of Nanobox), the big issue they have is they are entirely focused on providing “per app” functionality. This means that you’re basically getting a system that deals with the provisioning of a single application – running on as many servers as required.

It has been created to provide server-centric software capabilities – allowing users to deploy as many apps as they want onto their server infrastructure. It works very similarly to the “shared” hosting we all know and love (which basically has a single server box with 1,000’s of user accounts on it).

How It Works

Its core is a vast API integration system which allows it to integrate directly into the various “cloud” VPS providers. Companies like Microsoft, Rackspace, DigitalOcean and others all provide simple API’s which gives the application the ability to connect to a user’s account on their provider of choice, and set up servers as required.

This capacity gives the application the ability to create, manage and provision a multitude of different servers on different providers. For example, if you wanted to guide UK traffic to an AWS-powered server cluster, you’d be able to do set that up in conjunction to the German traffic’s Hetzner cluster.

To get this working, the system also includes an “endpoint manager” – which basically helps people visualize their DNS setup. The DNS is essentially your domain names – they point users to different web servers.

Whilst the DNS side of things has been taken care of before, VPSDeploy’s endpoint manager is the first to provide a visual experience – backed by the ability to manage the various public-facing “endpoints” that a user may wish to use.

Regardless of how the system manages the various infrastructure you may have, the point is that it actually deploys a “stack” to each VPS you may want to deploy. This “stack” basically installs all the software that gets a server operating for the “web”, and thus means that if you’re looking to deploy applications to your server infrastructure, you’ll be able to tap into the GIT repositories established by the system, and the underlying libraries it will have installed – all via SSH (so it’s able to do it across a number of different providers).

Is It Effective?

The most important thing to remember is that it is not a replacement for cloud VPS provision; it’s a way to manage it.

The way in which the system is able to help you visualize, manage and optimize the various applications & servers you have running is one of the most effective systems that a developer may wish to use to deploy their applications.

Whilst running web based applications / services on “cloud” VPS infrastructure is not a necessity, it’s certainly one of the most extensible and modular ways to get up and running in a production capacity.

Why Would You Need It?

The main benefit of using the system is the way in which it allows you to manage your own infrastructure.

The way the “web” works is exactly the same as your home network (computer systems networked together) – except we have a huge system called the DNS which basically allows us to mask a huge amount of infrastructure behind “domain” names.

Domain names allow us to manage exactly what shows to a client when they want to access a particular service or content. This works well, BUT has a major issue in the sense that if you want to provide your *own* infrastructure (beyond “shared” or “dedicated” hosting), there is presently no way to do it.

The introduction of the many “cloud” VPS providers basically provided us with the capacity to determine exactly what our infrastructure looks like – without having to purchase / rent expensive hardware.

The only problem presently is that if you’re going to go down the “cloud” route, you need to ensure you actually have a way to both manage your infrastructure *and* (if necessary) determine exactly how that infrastructure is going to work cross-provider.

Other Solutions

If you are looking at moving (or adopting) to a cloud-centric infrastructure, you’ll be best placed looking at a number of different services which are able to help provision servers across the various providers.

Some of the more pertinent are Nanobox and Hatchbox – the latter being specifically for Ruby on Rails. Nanobox works very similarly to Heroku, except it’s able to deploy to a number of different services, and is very dependable.

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