How Often You Should Clean Your Home, According To Science – Vivian Manning

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Cleanliness can be somewhat subjective: some folks wear things once and feel compelled to wash them, while others wear them five times before exposing them to some kind of soap. But when it comes to cleaning your home, there are some standards to consider, if only for your health’s sake.

If you saw what lived on your surfaces under a microscope, your skin might crawl: Teeny tiny bacteria and microbes consisting of viruses, soil, fungi, bacteria, animal dander, pollen, sweat, excretions and skin cells all invade your spaces on a regular basis. According to research in Popular Science, the life span of a germ varies greatly depending on the bacteria and the surface.

E. coli (intestinal bacteria that can make you sick) can live for a few hours to a full day, while the calicivirus (a.k.a. the stomach flu) can live for days or weeks. So how often should you clean your tub, or wipe down your toilet or change your sheets, before they become something of a biohazard? Probably more often than you think.

Try This Science-Backed Cleaning Schedule

We asked two experts, Jason Tetro, microbiologist, visiting scientist at the University of Guelph and author of The Germ Code and The Germ Files, and Becky Rapinchuk, a cleaning expert, and author of the books Simply Clean and The Organically Clean Home, for their advice.

How often should you change the sheets?

Once a week — two at the most. Though most bacteria on sheets is environmental (like dust) and mostly harmless, the bacteria and fungi, along with the dirt and oils sloughed off during sleep, can cling to sheets and your skin, contributing to acne and dandruff. To keep your bed clean, change your sheets once a week (as Rapinchuk recommends), or a minimum of every two weeks (as Tetro recommends), and wash them in hot water.

Disinfect the sinks?

Every day. Even if they look clean, sinks can get really gross — Tetro says the bathroom sink accumulates fecal matter (from washing your hands after you use the bathroom). Also, bacteria from food, like E.Coli and Salmonella, can contaminate the kitchen sink, especially if you’ve been handling raw meat. When water splashes back up onto your hands, they’re contaminated, too. To stay on the safe side, wipe down your sinks daily.

Vacuum rugs and wash floors?

One to two weeks. Rugs should be vacuumed weekly (more often if you have pets) to keep dust, dirt and allergens at bay. Give floors a good wash or steam once every couple of weeks, says Tetro. You might want to wash your kitchen floors a little more often, due to food bacteria that can spread around.

Wipe down the bathroom?

Once a week at least. Tetro says your bathroom is the ultimate bacteria host; E.coli can be found within six feet of the toilet and in the sink. To keep it at bay, disinfect the toilet and sink at least once weekly, and the bathtub every two weeks — more if you shower often. Your shower curtains should be disinfected weekly to avoid mildew, which can cause skin, eye and throat irritation in some people.

Swap out towels?

It depends on the room. Bath towels become loaded with bacteria (including staph and fecal) and if your towel doesn’t fully dry, that bacteria can grow. Plus, dandruff-causing fungi can also grow in them, Rapinchuk recommends swapping out bath towels every other day. Your kitchen towels collect bacteria every time you handle food and wash your hands. Tetro recommends washing those weekly, unless you handled raw meat. In that case, wash the towel immediately.

Swap out sponges?

Every few days. Your kitchen sponge gets awfully germy, with billions of bacteria on every square inch, says Tetro. But don’t get freaked out — most of the bacteria isn’t harmful. Because washing sponges with soap and water doesn’t really work, Tetro recommends dropping them into boiling water for 2 minutes, putting them in the microwave for 2 minutes while damp every couple of days, and replacing them when they deteriorate.

Wipe down doorknobs?

Once a week (in some rooms). Though doorknobs accumulate a lot of bacteria, they need only need to be washed infrequently, says Rapinchuk. However, doorknobs in the bathroom and the kitchen are bound to catch a lot more bacteria, so disinfecting them at least once a week might be a good idea, especially if there’s an illness in the house.

Does all this cleaning seem daunting? If you can’t seem to keep up, do your best. Rapinchuk recommends, at the very least, making your bed every day, if only because it encourages a productive mindset. It literally takes seconds and can set up your day for success, and, hey, it may remind you that your sheets could use a good wash.

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What is Growth Hacking and Why is it So Popular for Twitter and Instagram

 

 

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If you are a latecomer to using social media marketing for your business, then you might feel a bit overwhelmed at the task ahead of you. You may have checked out the Instagram and Twitter accounts of your competition, seen their large following and wanted to give up before you started. Or maybe you’ve been using channels like Instagram and Twitter for a while now, but aren’t seeing much growth from your efforts.

All of you are the reason I wrote this article.

Because you really need to know about growth hacking.

What is growth hacking and why do I care?

Wikipedia always seems to say it better than I can. Wikipedia defines growth hacking as a process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most efficient ways to grow a business. This process involves marketers, engineers, and product managers. Their job is to focus on building and engaging the user base of a business. Through a variety of non-traditional tactics such as rapid follow-to-follow-back campaigns, new and small businesses can quickly gain traction and find new customers. When it comes to growth hacking, the costs are low and the results are fast.

eady to master Twitter? How about Facebook? Google+? We’ve got that too! Take a look at more great resources to increase your social media presence.

Growth Hacking and Instagram

Airbnb, Hotmail, Dropbox, Youtube and Paypal are all brands you know. They also all happen to be growth hacking success stories. These companies used smart growth hacking tactics to emerge out of seemingly nowhere. On Instagram, growth hacking can have similar opportunities. An Instagram account with only a small following can quickly become an Instagram hit by playing your cards right. Let’s look at how.

 

How To Grow Your Instagram Account

DIY

  • Take the time to edit your photos – With modern camera phones, it seems like anyone can be a photographer. But editing can go a long way to help your photos stand out. Download a photo editor and get serious about your photos. Make sure you keep your style consistent, including the filters you use. If you are looking for an easy photo editor try VSCO, Afterlight, or Aviary photo editors.
  • Only upload your best photos – Don’t post every picture you take. Go for quality over quantity. Go back through any old photos and remove the ones that are not part of your defined brand.
  • Pick your niche – Don’t try and be popular on Instagram for everything. Whether you are representing yourself or your business, choose what it is you want to influence and stick to it. As a brand, you might be trying to drive certain products. Or, you might be focused on hiring, company culture, and career growth. Decide early what it is you are trying to accomplish.
  • Hashtag hacking – This point is so smart it almost feels like cheating. List up to 30 hashtags as a separate comment. Then, delete them after 24 hours and add a second set of 30 hashtags. This allows you to stay at the top of 60 different hashtags and also keeps others from stealing your best hashtag secrets. After another 24 hours, delete your second set of hashtags to increase engagement from followers you already have. If you’re wondering how to know which hashtags to use, read all about the art of the hashtag here.
  • Engage with other accounts – A big part of growth hacking is making friends. Like and comment on other photos. Your comments and likes will always appear to people that already follow you. Even when it’s not your own content, being active on social media keeps you fresh in others minds.

Bots & Tools

You aren’t left to tackle Instagram growth hacking all on your own. Different social media marketing services are out there to help you succeed. Experiment with growth hacking bots for Instagram. Most of these bots help you to mass follow and like photos, so that you can spend less time checking out other accounts but still boost your own in the process.

  • Instavast ($10/month) – Helps you to also mass unfollow people, which isn’t normally offered. You will also be able to schedule your posts in advance. And even at such a cheap price, you’ll be able to track which of your hashtags are working best so you can keep improving your strategy.
  • Archie.co ($19-$29/month) – A generally good and easy-to-use deal. The main appeal of this service is how easy it is to use for even the least experienced Instagrammer.
  • InstaMacro ($59.99/month) – More of the same, but faster and better. They’ll find you the best followers and take over all your tedious tasks.
  • Boostly.io ($150/month) – If the price already is making you fidget in your seat, let me calm you quickly be assuring you you’ll get what you pay for. Boostly is a social media marketing service, and they promise to take as much work out of your hands as possible.

Of course, no matter what bot or tool you were to use you are going to have to put in some level of effort. These are tools, not finite solutions, and it will take a bit of time to get the results you want.

Growth Hacking on Twitter

Growth hacking isn’t just for Instagram, you can also use it for Twitter. Again, even a seemingly quiet Twitter account can suddenly gain a large following thanks to growth hacking techniques.

Why Grow Your Twitter Account?

Twitter is a powerful tool for business when used correctly.  Twitter takes pride in real-time news feeds, allowing conversations to naturally take place around important topics. It’s kind of like a live chat session the whole world can be in on. This allows brands to get involved in relevant conversations. It also allows them to post frequently (note: frequently doesn’t mean the same thing over and over again) about the same topic, bringing it to the forefront of the conversation wherever it naturally can take place.  If you were to post multiple times a day about the same general topic to Facebook, that wouldn’t go over so well. Twitter is an entirely different world and one that few businesses have learned how to take advantage of!

While Twitter can help you generate more leads and drive clicks to solidify your brand awareness and increase brand visibility, you can’t build these connections if you have no followers in the first place.

 

How to Grow Your Twitter Account

A growth hacking twitter strategy is going to come down to getting more followers (and good followers) and increasing engagement with them.

For more followers and more engagement:

  • Tweet consistently – A good following and active engagement will require that you post often. You’ll need to pay attention to what is going on in your industry and stay involved in the conversation. Sporadic tweets every week or two aren’t going to cut it.
  • Share quality content – This can be your own well-orchestrated tweets, as well as retweets from industry influencers. Content also doesn’t have to be actually tweets themselves, but materials such as blogs, with the option to tweet certain quotes.
  • Pay attention to timing – Take the time to see how you are doing with tools like Twitter Analytics. This will help you to see which timing is getting you the most engagement, so you’ll know when to continue to post in the future.
  • Post images with your tweets – By now we all know that people are more likely to respond to an image than words. Bufferapp blog says that using an image with a tweet doubles its likelihood of engagement. So find good, relevant images and use them!
  • Use Twitter for customer service – As a business, when you respond to customer needs via Twitter a lot of great things happen. If you respond timely, the customer is usually pleased. They are also more likely to continue to engage and use you for customer service in the future. Seeing your past customer service responses also creates an incentive for other customers to start following you. Wins all around.

Tools

There’s pretty much a social media service out there for everything nowadays. We’ve already gone over what tools can help with Instagram, now let’s look at Twitter.

  • Jooicer (0-$99/month) – This is a tool that helps with following and unfollowing accounts, as well as setting up tweet scheduling. The variation in prices relates to how many accounts you will follow and unfollow per month.
  • TweetFavy ($9-$29/month) – This tool is less about followers than it is about impressions. Which, of course, can lead to new followers. The most basic package aims at 140-420 new followers a month. Which for $9, isn’t bad.
  • Tweepi ($10.75-$24.99/month) – Tweepi stands out as a Twitter tool because it helps you sleep with one eye open. Meaning, it helps monitor your competition and analyze their success so you can make it your own. And like the previous tools, it will help you gain new followers.

The What, The Why, The How

So now you know what growth hacking is and why it’s important for your business. And with a better idea of how to use growth hacking for your Instagram and Twitter, it’s time you stop reading this article and start growing your followings.

 About The Author

Caz Bevan

Caz is the Director of Marketing for Boostability and has deep experience blending business goals and marketing tactics into comprehensive company strategies. Her creative innovation and expertise has helped shape customer experiences and drive continual engagement for a variety of companies and products including Sony Music Entertainment and SpeedTV. Connect with Caz: @CazBevan | Linkedin

ect with Caz: @CazBevan | Linkedin

How to Keep Your Business Safe From Cyberthreats | SMALL BUSINESS CEO | Small Business Tips, Ideas and Trends

It is so important to safeguard your business from cyberthreats. By following a few simple steps, you can drastically reduce your chances of being targeted.

Source: How to Keep Your Business Safe From Cyberthreats | SMALL BUSINESS CEO | Small Business Tips, Ideas and Trends

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This hot fudge sauce is done in 10 minutes and makes all days that include it better than those that do not.

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WP Forcefield

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If you have a WordPress site, is your site safe from hacker, bot and spam attacks? Or, could you be in danger of losing your reputation, rankings and ultimately your income?If your site ever came under attack, or if spammers ever tried to to spam your site with their comments

Most vulnerabilities come from plugins, 1,305 or 54%, followed by 31.5% of WordPress core and 14.5% of WordPress theme vulnerabilities, with the most popular exploits are Cross-site Scripting and SQL Injection.

If you haven’t taken any special steps to fortify your site, it’s only a matter of time as to when will be attacked, spammed and crippled. There’s nothing more depressing after putting your time and effort into your website than to see it crippled by these scumbags.So we have planned the WP Forcefield protection too with the following characteristics:

*The program checks the integrity of WordPress core files to ensure that the foundations are healthy.

*It analyses your system for loopholes and security threats, and reports back the findings.

*When a vulnerability is found, it gives you a solution and allows you to close the loophole and toughen your WordPress site against attacks.

*WP Forcefield automatically rejects spam comments that spam-bots try to push onto your website, stopping them from reaching the moderation queue and wasting your time.

*By applying the clever anti-spam algorithm, the program makes the spammers’ job incredibly hard.

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Hacking for innovative solutions at tmforum… — Patrick Bouillaud Blog , L’univers du Cloud et du Digital

Hacking for #innovative solutions @tmforumorg #openhack May 6-7 & Keynote @tafuri_mary Hacking for innovative solutions at tmforum… IBM Technical Rock Star Program

via Hacking for innovative solutions at tmforum… — Patrick Bouillaud Blog , L’univers du Cloud et du Digital