How Do I Avoid Identity Theft?

While I realize this is not exactly golf related, it’s a subject that I think everyone, golfers included, should be thinking about. It can and likely will affect all of us at some point. Identity theft is a serious matter that needs to be addressed by all people.

The Short Identity Theft Prevention Guide

Identity theft is still the number one consumer crime in the United States today! This has led to a huge rise in demand for identity theft monitoring services. Here’s our short ‘DIY’ Identity Theft Prevention Guide to help you avoid becoming a victim of identity theft.

Most people these days have access to the Internet, either from home or from a public point such as an Internet cafe or library. This has resulted in an estimated 75% of the adult population using some form of internet banking to pay bills, transfer funds or simply to manage their day to day accounts. Although online banking is typically a very secure medium, which provides an exceptionally convenient service in comparison to physical branch banking, it also opens the door to the possibility of fraudulent attempts to access your account or personal details.

What Are ‘Phishing’ Attacks?

The most common type of this is known as ‘phishing’ and the most common form of ‘phishing’ attacks come in the form of emails. The recipient will receive a compromised email posing to be from a large institution or banking organisation, claiming there’s an issue with your account and asking you to log in. These emails frequently look like Ebay, Paypal and major banking companies. These high tech phishing emails are designed to perfectly replicate the authentic site it is trying to impersonate, even using logo’s, graphics and font types that you’d find on authentic emails.

Unknowing victims will then enter there personal details believing they are logging into their own account, when in fact they are providing the criminals with their account details, passwords and security questions! This is potentially very dangerous if it goes unnoticed as identity theft can literally ruin people’s lives.

A recent awareness of identity theft had led to most organisations tightening up security policies and has also meant that some email service providers can now filter out recognized phishing emails. The widely used MSN Hotmail service offers users the option of reporting suspicious emails as ‘phishing’ with the click of a single button. However the problem remains that the majority of identity fraud victims are unaware of the problem and it can often be years before they realize, with 53% of victims being between 18-39 years old.

How Can I protect Myself From These Attacks?

Generally you will receive an email appearing to be from a large organisation or company that you are familiar with, such as your bank, credit card provider or mortgage lender (More recently Ebay and Paypal style Phishing attacks have become more and more frequent). The email will explain there’s some sort of problem with your account, such as your password is expiring, or your address needs updating and asks you to log in immediately to avoid your account being frozen for security reasons.

By following a few crucial identity theft prevention steps you can avoid becoming a victim of ‘phishing’ attacks. Firstly do not put your login details or passwords in to any email requests, regardless how professional they look. If you are unsure, open a new Internet window and type in the web address of the company by hand before logging in. This way you will be certain that you are putting your details in to the authentic site. Although no financial institution will ever ask you for personal details via email!

Another really effective tip is to look at the address bar in your internet browser. You will see that the ‘http’ found at the beginning of the web address will become ‘https’ on secure websites. If there’s no ‘S’ on the web address, the site is not secure and you should certainly not enter any credit or debit card numbers!

You should remember that offline security is just as important as online, so shred your personal letters and never leave your cards in public view. Also never let a waiter or bar-person take your card out of your site. A sophisticated piece of machinery known as a credit card skimmer will record the details of your card in one single swipe!

In this article we’ve discussed the implications of ‘phishing’ attacks and how it might affect you. Awareness is the key to avoiding identity theft, but there are many more advanced techniques thieves are using to steal your identity!

The tips in this article are taken from a new Identity Theft ebook The Max Black Report which explains the new and emerging threats to your identity in 2016 and beyond, then provides effective defensive strategies you can begin to use instantly!

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Golf & Performance Enhancing Druges (PED’s)

Human Growth Hormone and Steroids

There’s been a lot of talk on the PGA Tour in the past few years about the banning of PED’s among professional golfers.  This includes products like deer antler velvet, megadrox supplement as well as human growth hormone and steroids. During the Major League Baseball steroids scandal, both HGH and steroids were discussed at length.

And frequently, HGH and steroids were discussed in ways that made them seem to be one and the same. But there are differences.

In this article, we’ll highlight 3 things you should know about the differences between human growth hormone and steroids.

So what are three differences you should know about HGH and steroids? To begin with, it’s important to understand that both the derivatives of anabolic steroids and HGH are found naturally in every person’s body. They are important to the overall growth and development of a human being.

This is one of the main similarities between human growth hormone and steroids. While there are others, the differences are more notable.

The first main difference is the side effects. While HGH has some side effects like aching joints and increased blood pressure, steroids’ side effects are much nastier.

The side effects from steroids are different in both sexes with some overlaps that affect both men and women.

We’ll look at the male side effects first.

Reduced Sperm count: Anabolic steroids can reduce sperm count up to 90%, and in some cases this decline is permanent.

Impotence: In some cases, steroid abuse can cause complete impotence. This means a man cannot attain or sustain an erection for sexual intercourse or he can’t do so on a frequent basis.

Development of breasts: Also known as gynecomastia. Using anabolic steroids can also increase the amount of estrogen in a man and cause breasts to develop. This is a common side effect.

Shrinking of the testicles: The opposite is also possible – a swelling of the testicles which can result in infection.

Difficulty or pain while urinatingThere are other side effects found only in women. They are as follows:Facial hair growthDeepened voiceBreast reductionMenstrual cycle changesAnd the side effects that overlap and affect both men and women are as follows:

Bloated appearance
Rapid weight gain
Clotting disorders
Liver damage
Premature heart attacks and strokes
Elevated cholesterol levels
Weakened tendons

There are a few other side effects including:Premature growth stoppage in teens

Severe mood swings and psychological disorders such as severe aggression, feelings of being invincible, and suicidal depression.

Another difference between HGH and steroids is that when a long-time steroid user stops using, they may go through withdrawal — including cravings and an inability to stop using steroids.

The third difference is the way human growth hormone and steroids are administered. Steroids are given through injections. Although HGH can as well, it can also be taken or gained through pills, sprays or creams. It’s a lot easier to absorb HGH into your body than it is to inject steroids.

All of these differences highlight the benefits of using human growth hormone versus taking steroids. It’s important to know the best way to use HGH is by increasing your own body’s production. And a simple way to do this is by using Trans-D Tropin.

Trans-D Tropin uses all-natural ingredients to stimulate your pituitary gland to release more of your body’s own HGH. No side effects, no injections and no withdrawal symptoms. Trans D Tropin is the better HGH alternative to steroids.

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4 Week Golf Workout Plan

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Long gone are the days of out of shape, beer belly professional golfers who don’t take their health & fitness as seriously as their golf games.  With the insane amount of prize and endorsement money on the table, having ripped abs and biceps is almost a must for tour pros who want to compete at the highest levels.  We’ve seen this in Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and even back to the originator of golf fitness, the great Gary Player.

These players spend as much time working on flexibility, strength training and cardio performance as they do on their putting and short games.  So if these guys are so serious about their fitness routines, should’t you?  Unfortunately too many amateur golfers, who don’t have the benefit of expensive personal trainers, tend to do the wrong exercises, which may actually be hurting their golf games.  To see a benefit in your golf game from your workout regimen, you need to be specifically targeting the muscles and areas of the body that are used in the golf swing.  Which means the moves you do in the gym need to replicate the stress and movements that take place when you’re bombing a driver or hitting an iron from a side hill lie.  Eating healthy and using appropriate diet supplements  (see: forskolin extract) is also a huge benefit and goes a long way in boosting your golf workout plan.   You can read details about this golf plan at the link below.

The Men’s Health Golf Workout

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How To Clean A Laminate Floor

Laminate flooring is exceptionally durable, however like any floor, it calls for care to maintain its charm. Taking appropriate treatment of your laminate floors will certainly compensate you and also your home for years to come. Right here’s some advice to maintain your laminate floors looking their greatest:

Sweeping & Mopping

Dirt as well as dust function as a rough on a laminate’s surface and seriously plain its appearance. This fact of life can be avoided by regular sweeping, dust wiping or vacuuming to eliminate loose dirt and gunk. Either a mop or a hoover without a beater bar will do the trick. Vacuum cleaner accessories work to catch dust as well as dirt between planks or along edges.

A periodic moist wiping is additionally suggested. Yet take care when cleaning laminate flooring can increase when it comes in call with extreme water. After a moist wiping, a tidy cloth needs to be utilized to clean the floor completely dry.

Placing mats at each entryway is likewise a good idea to gather extreme moisture and also dirt prior to they enter your residence.

Dos and also Don’ts.

Do use moves or flooring protectors under of furnishings will certainly stop scratching or abrasion.

Don’t utilize soap-based cleaning agents or mop-and-shine” products.

Do lift heavy furniture as opposed to dragging or pulling it to avoid damaging and also abrasion.

Don’t utilize abrasive cleaners, steel woollen or scouring powder.

Do usage carpet pieces deal with down under heavy items when moving them throughout a laminate flooring.

Don’t flood your floor with water or cleaner. For info on steam cleaning hardwood flooring, see our post on Floor Talk.

Do your place cleaning and periodic full cleaning making use of the maker’s advised products.

Do not aim to refinish or sand your laminate flooring. Eradicate this thought from your mind.


While it’s not a smart idea to drag sharp items or walk throughout laminate floorings with spike heels, it’s wonderful to know that replacement products are available. Substitute laminates might be a slightly various color great deal and/or structure compared to your original installation. With time as well as use, however, the replacement item will blend in with the remainder of your floor.

With correct care as well as regular upkeep, laminate flooring will give you and your house with many years of appeal, warmth as well as longevity.

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2015 Masters- Who are the main contenders?

With less than a week to go until the first major of 2015, the excitement is building for the Masters. As ever, the tournament will be held at the Augusta National and will provide the sternest of tests for the world’s best players. The field for this year’s event will be as competitive as ever, with every player capable of putting in an outstanding performance, but the deciding factor will be consistency and mental strength. One good round is not enough to win the Masters. The Green jacket must be earned and, with the length and complexity of the course, players must keep up their concentration for the whole of the four days.

As recently as 2007, the Masters has been won with an over par score. Zach Johnson’s victory by two strokes, despite carding a one over par 289, shows just how challenging the course is. It is hard to see such a high score walking away with the title this year but the players will know that they need their wits about them if they are to do enough to win. On recent form, it is possible to suggest that a score of 10 under par would be sufficient to win the title. But, with three of the last six tournaments going to play-offs, it looks sure to be tight at the top of the leader board. With betfair paying out on seven places, an each way bet could offer punters the best possible value. In this article we look at some of the contenders for those top spots.

Rory McIlroy

All eyes will be on 25-year-old Rory McIlroy going in to this year’s Masters. The Northern Irishman enjoyed a scintillating run of form throughout 2014 and will be desperately looking for it to continue into this year. McIlroy finished tied for eighth place in last year’s Masters but then went on to win the The Open Championship and the PGA Championship, leaving him just the Masters required to complete the career Grand Slam. Having burst on to the scene in the late 2000s, McIlroy’s prodigious talent has long been evident for golf fans to see and his rise to the top of the sport has surprised few.

In recent times, it appeared that McIlroy’s focus had shifted away from golf and a much-publicised split from tennis star Caroline Wozniacki seemed to hit his form. He also opted to take up a sponsorship deal with Nike which entailed him switching clubs and adapting to new equipment. With all of these factors taken into account, it was perhaps no surprise that McIlroy’s form dipped and, after winning the 2012 PGA Championship, he endured a difficult 2013, failing to make the cut at that year’s Open Championship. Thankfully for European golf fans, McIlroy is now back to his best and he was a pivotal member of last year’s Ryder Cup-winning team, taking three points as Europe stormed to victory. McIlroy arrives at Augusta having finished 11th at the recent Arnold Palmer Invitational and having won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic back in February. If he is in the mood at Augusta, then he will be the man to beat.

Jordan Spieth

At just 21-years-old, Jordan Spieth is the new kid on the block when it comes to golf superstars but, despite his tender years, he is already making waves and he is well fancied to challenge for the Masters. Spieth is, by his own definition, enjoying something of a run of form of late, having won the Australian Open last November, then winning the Hero World Challenge in December and finishing tied for second in the recent Shell Houston Open. He could not be going to Augusta with much more confidence. His victory at the Valspar Championship in March made him the third youngest player in history to win multiple PGA Tour events, and expectations of what he could go on to achieve are rising rapidly.

Having only turned professional in December 2012, Spieth has only limited major experience, appearing three times in the US Open (once as an amateur), twice in the Open Championship, twice in the PGA Championship and once at the Masters. Spieth has so far failed to shine in all of the majors, barring the Masters. His best finish in the other three majors was a tie for 17th at last year’s US Open. At Augusta, however, Spieth seems to have found a home and in his only Masters appearance he finished tied for second behind Bubba Watson. Had Spieth managed to hold on to the lead that he held at one stage during the final round of last year’s tournament, he would have become the youngest champion in history. If Spieth can take the positives from his 2014 Masters experience and build on the confidence that he has gained, then he will take some stopping in this year’s Masters. If he can handle the weight of expectation from the home crowd and keep his mind focused on the job in hand, then he could be a great bet to win a memorable title.

Sergio Garcia

If Spieth is golf’s great young hope of the moment, then Sergio Garcia was certainly its great young hope in the early 2000s. The mercurial Spaniard has been one of the PGA Tour’s most consistent performers over the last 15 years since turning professional in 1999 after shooting the lowest amateur score at that year’s Masters. Like Spieth, Garcia seems right at home at the Augusta National and even registered an albatross on the par five second during a practice round in 2002. He also began his career at lightning speed, winning the 1999 Irish Open, just his sixth tournament after turning professional, and becoming the youngest PGA Tour winner since Tiger Woods when he won the 2001 MasterCard Colonial aged just 21.

Spieth will most probably hope that the comparisons with Sergio Garcia end there. For all that the 35-year-old Spaniard has achieved on the Tour, he has 11 European Tour wins and eight PGA Tour wins to his name, he has yet to lift a major championship. Garcia, who will forever be popular with European crowds because of his achievements in winning the Ryder Cup five times, has made 47 appearances in major championships but can only boast four top-two finishes (two at the Open Championship and two at the PGA Championship). Garcia’s best result at the Masters came back in 2004 when he finished tied for fourth place. In last year’s event he failed to make the cut.

There is no doubt that Garcia has the ability to win the Masters but, having failed to win a major on so many occasions, it is possible that his temperament could be called into question. Prizes are not given out for consistency, or for effort, but if they were Garcia would surely be in line for a major. It has been said for many years that Garcia will win a major but the longer his drought continues the harder it is to see it happening. A win for Garcia may not be too popular with the Augusta crowd following his public spat with Woods, but few golf fans could deny that Garcia is worthy of being a major winner. The question is, can he deliver at Augusta? It seems a very long shot but stranger things have happened.

Bubba Watson

Defending champion Bubba Watson really has got the measure of the Augusta National course and, regardless of his current form, he will be a tough man to beat at the Masters. Watson won last year’s tournament by three strokes from Spieth and Sweden’s Jonas Blixt, showing great heart and spirit to reclaim the lead from Spieth during the final round. Renowned as one of the biggest hitters on the tour, Watson’s drive gives him a significant advantage at Augusta and has been one of the key factors in his success at the Masters over the years. As well as winning last year’s event, Watson was successful two years earlier and will go into this year’s tournament full of confidence.

Aside from the Masters, Watson’s record in Major Championships leaves a lot to be desired. Watson has made 22 appearances at the other three majors but has only made the cut on 12 occasions. Last year he missed the cut at both the US Open and the Open Championship and only finished in a tie for 64th place at the PGA Championship. Watson’s last tour victory came at the HSBC World Golf Championship in November. In his last tour appearance, the 36-year-old finished fourth at the Cadillac Championship in his native Florida.

Having worked hard to earn his tour card, and risen to prominence in the game slowly and without the kind of hype that surrounded Spieth, Garcia and McIlroy, it is easy to see why Watson may be popular with Augusta fans. Having played so much of his golf in the South Eastern United States, it is also easy to see why there may be some local support for the former University of Georgia student at the Masters. On the course, however, Watson is not such a popular character and a recent poll of pro golfers suggested that 25% of them would not help him in a fight. If there is one man that the whole field will be looking to beat at this year’s event, it is Watson. In the past, Watson may have thrived on this ill-feeling and used it to his advantage. If he is to win in 2015, he will have to do it all again and will receive no favours from his fellow pros.

Tiger Woods

All eyes will be on Woods at Augusta next weekend. The 39-year-old’s last tour victory may have been at the Bridgestone Invitational back in August 2013, and he may have suffered a huge loss of form and fitness in the weeks and months since then, but he has the quality and pedigree to make a real impression at Augusta. Woods is a 14-time major winner, the second highest total of any player behind Jack Nicklaus, and holds the record for the most consecutive weeks as the world’s number one golfer. With 79 PGA Tour wins and 40 European Tour wins to his name, Woods has one of the most formidable records in the game but in recent times his form has been on the decline.

Over the last few years, Woods has made the headlines for all the wrong reasons, allegations of infidelity and personal problems have overtaken news of his golfing achievements. In addition to this, the four-time Masters winner has also had to overcome significant injury problems, most recently a back complaint which resulted in him being granted a leave of absence from the tour. Woods’ absence, and his loss of form, has famously seen him drop out of the top 100 of the world golf rankings for the first time since 1996 – a year before he won the Masters for the first time. Woods has not won a major since the 2008 US Open and his best finish last year was a 69th place at the Open Championship.

If reports coming out of Augusta are to be believed, Woods is looking in great shape ahead of the tournament and has carded a number of impressive scores in the practice rounds. Given his lack of form, Woods will be down in the odds but he cannot be ignored and an each way bet could prove to be great value. Few players will want to find themselves paired with the Tiger in the closing stages of the competition. If he is playing his best golf and is in the right frame of mind, then he will be exceptionally hard to beat. If Woods cards a solid opening round, expect him to get stronger as the tournament goes on and he could record a fairytale fifth win at Augusta, ten years on from his last.

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