March 9, 2018

Be prepared to lose an hour on Sunday when you should advance your clocks by one hour.  The debate is on to eliminate this long-held practice and individual states are discussing the pros and cons of maintaining DST.  Daylight Savings Time is also a good time to change batteries in your smoke detectors and weather radios.  

March 2, 2018

Every day over 2,000 Americans suffer from an eye injury.  This means that almost one million Americans have experienced some vision loss due to eye injury which results in more than $300 million in lost work time, medical expenses and workman's compensation according to 

The most common eye problem is computer vision syndrome. 

Too much screen time and not enough breaks can cause headaches, inattentiveness, neck pain, back strain, and dry eye. Studies show that staring at a screen for extended periods of time lengthens the interval between blinks, preventing eyes from staying lubricated and moistened (Source: Eye Med).

How to prevent computer vision syndrome and keep your eyes feeling comfortable, follow these tips:

Reposition your screen. Adjust your screen to be at a right angle away from any direct light source. Invest in an anti-glare screen for your monitor to make computer work gentler on your eyes. Remember the 20-20-20 rule. This rule reminds you that every 20 minutes, you should look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Don’t forget to blink. While it may sound ridiculous, write yourself a note and place it on your monitor. Write “Blink Often” or any other message that will remind you to regularly close your eyes to keep them from getting dried out. Use artificial tears. Over-the-counter eye drops can be extremely helpful in preventing dry eye and keeping your eyes comfortable. Drink water. Adequate hydration can make a big difference, especially during the winter months when heaters and furnaces can make the air particularly dry. Schedule regular comprehensive eye exams. Nothing can replace the importance of having an eye exam by a licensed ophthalmologist at regular intervals. If you have any concerns about your vision or experience any changes with your eyesight, do not delay in making an appointment.

To help you with your eye exam expenses, think about purchasing a Vision Insurance Policy.  Give us a call to find out more.

Source:  Eye Med,

February 28, 2018

What an exciting time for us at the DiMatteo Group

Because family-owned businesses are the backbone of the local and national economy, the Fairfield County Business Journal and the Westchester County Business Journal presented an award program which recognizes the counties' outstanding family-owned businesses.  This year, 2018, DiMatteo was recognized and we couldn't wait to share with you.   Click here to see John DiMatteo's acceptance speech.

February 23, 2018

Malicious cyber activity cost the U.S. economy between $57 billion and $109 billion in 2016, the White House Council of Economic Advisers estimated in a report on Friday.

The report quoted the U.S. intelligence community as saying the main foreign culprits responsible for much cyber activity against U.S. targets are Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.

But it also said malicious cyber activity is not limited to foreign actors. Corporate competitors, activists seeking to advance a political agenda and organized crime are also responsible, it said.

The report said effective public- and private-sector efforts to combat the illicit activity would contribute to gross domestic product growth.

2018 is starting off with daily cyber attacks.  Is your business prepared? 

Source:  Reuters

February 19, 2018

Have you considered a career in insurance?  It's more than a job, it's more than "selling" -- it's about working with a client to provide them with the very best insurance coverage to meet their needs and mitigate their risks. It's a rewarding career. 

If you are interested in helping others to protect themselves from catastrophic loss, then we want to share our client experiences with you to see if the insurance industry is a good fit for you.

It's all about caring.

February 9, 2018

Throughout the coldest months of the year, winter flooding is a country-wide risk. 

What causes winter flooding?

Coastal flooding, ice jams, and rapid snowmelt cause water damage.  High winds cause wide-spread tidal flooding and severe beach erosion.  Strong winds cause water levels to rise and create storm surges. 

Long cold periods cause surface rivers to freeze, causing ice jams.  As these large junks of ice beak apart, they create severe flooding by significantly raising the water levels in a short period of time.

Because cold weather causes the ground to freeze, it is hard for water to penetrate the ground resulting in flooding.

So, consider a flood insurance policy before the big thaw occurs.  Remember, it takes 30-days for a flood policy take effect.

Call us today to find out more.

February 2, 2018

Today, we observe Groundhog Day!  According to USA Today - Punxsutawney Phil, the world's celebrity groundhog, was coaxed from his burrow in western Pennsylvania early Friday as an anxious nation watches to find out whether we'll have an early spring or six more miserable weeks of cold and snow.

Also, according to legend, if it's sunny and Phil sees his shadow, the scared groundhog returns to his burrow and the U.S. will endure six more weeks of winter. But if it's cloudy when the groundhog emerges on February 2, the critter won't see his shadow and will leave his burrow, meaning winter will soon end and an early start to spring is coming.

NOAA reports that since 1887 Phil has seen his shadow 103 times - 6 more weeks of winter - to 18 times not seeing his shadow which means spring is on the way.

Well, Phil saw his shadow and it looks like we're in for six more weeks of winter.   We have safety tips on our site to assist you in dealing with storms.

Happy Groundhog Day!

January 26, 2018

Smaller businesses have become targets for cybercriminals because criminals know they have fewer defense resources than large enterprises.

If cybercriminals can breach a small business and steal credentials (e.g. for banking accounts or email access), they can use that information to steal money directly, create attacks on its customers and work their way around the business ecosystem in other nefarious ways.

The 2016 State of Small & Medium-Sized Business (SMB) Cybersecurity report, independently conducted by Ponemon Institute, LLC, and sponsored by Keeper Security, surveyed 598 individuals in companies with 1,000 or fewer employees.  The survey revealed the following:

50% of SMBs have been breached in the past 12 months. The most prevalent attacks against SMBs are: web-based attacks, and phishing/social engineering. Negligent employees or contractors and third parties caused most data breaches; however, almost a third of companies in this research could not determine the root cause. Companies are most concerned about the loss or theft of their customers' information and their intellectual property. Strong passwords and biometrics are believed an essential part of the security defense; however, 59% of SMBs have no visibility into employee password practices, such as the use of unique or strong passwords and sharing passwords with others. Password policies are not strictly enforced.  65% of SMBs that have password policies say they do not strictly enforce them; moreover, the policies do not require employees to use passwords or biometrics to securely access mobile devices. Current technologies cannot detect and block many cyber-attacks.  Most exploits have evaded intrusion detection systems and antivirus solutions. Personnel, budget and technologies are insufficient to have a strong security posture.  As a result, some companies engage managed security service providers to support an average of 34% of their IT security operations. Determination of IT security priorities is not centralized.  The two functions most responsible are chief executive officer and chief information officer; however, 35% of respondents say no one function in their companies determines IT security priorities. Web and intranet servers are considered the most vulnerable endpoints or entry points to networks and enterprise systems.  The challenge of not having adequate resources may prevent many companies from investigating in the technologies needed to mitigate these risks.  Web application firewalls, security information and event management (SIEM), endpoint management and network traffic intelligence are not considered very important in current security strategy.  At a minimum, anti-malware and client firewalls are considered the most important security technologies. Cloud usage and the prevalence of mobile devices that access business-critical applications and IT infrastructure will grow and threaten the security postures of companies in this study; however, only 18% of respondents say their companies use cloud-based IT security services.

This survey is courtesy of StaySafeOnline and its National Cyber Security Alliance.  Review each bullet point with your IT staff and see what safety practices you can put into place to protect your business. 

January 19, 2018

Flu season is here and flu viruses are often passed from person to person.  What can you recommend to your employees to prepare themselves and their workstations from these invisible bugs?  Read on.

Prevention Tips:

Wash your hands frequently for at least 15-20 seconds with soap or sanitizer After washing, turn off the faucet with a paper towel Dry your hands with a clean paper towel Use a paper towel to open the bathroom door Use hand sanitizer between washing Avoid touching your face, eyes, or rubbing your nose. Clean shared items such as phones, keyboards, handles and doorknobs with alcohol wipes or other sanitizer-type wipes. Avoid close contact with anyone who has a cold or flu Sneeze or cough into a tissue, throw the tissue away, wash your hands or use sanitizer Drink plenty of fluids Get lots of fresh air Exercise regularly Eat healthy foods - grains, fresh fruits, vegetables Don't smoke and decrease alcohol consumption

Lastly, if you get sick and can do so, stay home to avoid spreading the flu to others.

January 12, 2018

As we start the new year, it is a great time to check the following devices to insure they are in top working order

Fire Extinguishers
Make sure the pin is intact and tamper seal is unbroken.  Confirm the pressure gauge or indicator is in the operable range or position, make sure the extinguisher is full.

Fire Alarm/Co2 
Test your alarms and replace batteries

Dryer - Lint
Clean the duct out to the exterior wall to eliminate potential risk of fire.  Ongoing, empty out your lint filter after each use

Tamper Resistant Receptacles
Small Children - Install Tamper Resistant Receptacles

Ground Fault Interrupters
Install interrupters in kitchen, bathroom, laundry rooms and garage

Replace Appliances with worn, frayed, or damaged cords

Start the new year off right by putting these safety checks in place.

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