Cyber Security Awareness Month

50% of all your calls next year will be a scam. With October being Cyber Security Awareness month, we’re spotlighting the importance of phone scams and how you can better protect yourself against fraudulent calls.

Did you know that phone scammers will disguise their numbers with local area codes so you might think it’s safe to answer? In the U.S. alone, fraudulent calls increased by 25.5% in 2018.

To better protect yourself:

  • Download a call blocking and spam protection app
    • AT&T Call Protect
    • RoboKiller
    • Number Call Block & Lookup
    • Hiya Caller ID and Block
  • When in doubt, ask for a call back number verifying it’s who they say they are
  • Ignore calls from unknown numbers
  • Never give out personally identifiable information to untrusted sources

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Copart IT Security.

Minute Monday: Ways to Help You Sleep

Have you ever lied in bed for hours to get yourself to go to sleep? Here are some tips that may help you fall asleep easier!

No technology devices an hour before bed

Technology devices emit blue light that disturbs our sleep schedule and essentially keeps up awake, so taking a break an hour before bed should help you sleep easier.

Take a shower two hours before bed

Cooling down is a signal that tells us we’re supposed to go to sleep, so it’s important to time our night showers just right. Plus, there’s nothing more relaxing than a hot bath.

Stretch

Just like taking a hot shower before bed, a good stretch helps your body relax. It’s a great time to meditate and wind down. Just a few minutes of stretching should do the trick.

Leave Some Background Noise

Sometimes having some background noise as you lie in bed will help you go to sleep, kinda like how all we want to do is stay in bed when it’s raining outside.  The whole point is to create a relaxing atmosphere, so find that perfect calming playlist and sleep away.

Minute Monday: 5 Easy DIY Fall Decorations

The leaves are changing, the weather is getting cooler and we’re switching out our short sleeves for warm, cozy sweaters… Fall is here! It’s time to finally embrace and celebrate the new season, which means decking out our homes and offices with Fall décor.

Here are five DIY easy Fall decorations:

Pile of Pumpkins

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Simple, yet beautiful. Just grab a bunch of pumpkins in different shapes, sizes and colors, and start arranging them! Who knows? You could be gifted in pumpkin arranging.

Floral Pumpkins

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If you’d like to add some flair to your pumpkins, consider painting your pumpkin and/or adding florals with a hot glue gun. Here’s some instructions for a magnolia pumpkin to get you started.

Fall Leaves Mobile

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Your blank and empty walls are just begging to join in on the festivities. Attempt this lovely idea of hanging colorful leaves from a branch!

Fall Flower Arrangements in Mason Jars

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Paint a few mason jars in fall colors and arrange some fall florals inside. This is super easy to attempt and will make any space seem more colorful, fitting the autumn season.

Fall Pumpkin Wreath

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Have a door in needing some decorations? Try sticking a festive wreath on it! Use fall leaves and florals as the base and dot some pumpkins around the arrangement. Fall will literally be knocking at your door.

Do any of these suggestions tickle your autumn spirit? Share with us in the comments what you’ve done to decorate your home or office just in time for fall. Pictures welcomed. We want to see it!

Minute Monday: Healthy Snacks

We’ve talked about easy and healthy breakfast options in an earlier post, but what about snacks to help you through the day?

Sometimes, we get the munchies in between meals. We’re tempted to reach for chips or candy to tide us over. But WAIT! There’s plenty of snack options that we can munch on instead that are healthy, energizing and won’t give us a sugar or carb crash later. Here are some of our favorites:

Let us know in the comments what your favorite healthy and easy to make snacks are!

Minute Monday: Help Care for the Environment at Work

Helping the environment doesn’t just benefit our future. It also helps our present.

Here are some small, easy tasks you can do to help the environment daily in our office.

  • Recycle

The office uses so much paper daily. If there isn’t a recycling bin at the office, grab an empty cardboard box and designate it as the new reusable recycling bin. You could also recycle aluminum cans, plastic bottles, etc.

  • Use less fuel to get to work

Carpool with a co-worker that lives near you, take public transport or opt for alternatives like walking or biking if your home and office are close to each other. This could also double as time to bond with your co-worker(s) or exercise.

  • Reduce waste with a cup or tumbler

When everyone uses those Styrofoam cups to drink the office coffee on the daily, you can imagine how many of those your office goes through in a year. Bringing your own cup or tumbler to use is the easiest task you can do to reduce waste.

Music that can Help with Productivity

Sometimes we need a little help to stay focused and be productive. Have you considered playing music in the background?

Music can be a great way to help with productivity, at work. However, not all music is cut out to help with concentration. Studies show that music with little to no lyrics is best because it’s less distracting, which is why songs of nature and meditation music are  a few examples that could help you focus.

Here are some genres that may help you concentrate better:

Video Game Music

Video game music is specifically designed to help players focus on tasks in the game without being distracted by the music. The same idea can apply when working.

Classical Music

Proven to help with concentration and focus, classical music is a great starting point to findthat perfect concentration playlist because it’s lyric-less.

Ambient Electronic Dance Music (EDM)

Seeking out EDM to be your source of focus may seem silly. However, there’s a subgenre of EDM called ambient EDM with slow and calm music.

Low Fidelity (Lo-Fi) Music

Lo-Fi music contains technical flaws, such as a distortion, hum or background noise, which may cause the brain to focus better.

Be careful about sound volume. You don’t want the music playing too loud, or too quiet. Find that perfect balance.

You may stumble upon playlists that claim to help you concentrate but may not work for you. Everyone is different in their music preferences, so create a playlist that works best for you.

Share with us what type of music helps you focus on work in the comments down below!

Minute Monday: Why You Should Disinfect Your Work Space

Germs, bacteria and viruses are all working against your health and productivity. There has to be a solution. Well, there is. A simple step is disinfecting your work space.

It’s easy for diseases to transfer from person to person in the office or work site, because everyone is in a contained space. Imagine all the people touching the handle of the kitchen coffee pot or the door to the bathroom daily. Ew. Even the keyboard, mouse and phone on your desk aren’t safe. Thousands of germs are just waiting to make you sick.

According to Science Daily, viruses can remain infectious for hours to days on a hard surface. Luckily, disinfectants are here to save the day by destroying those pesky viruses once you spray and wipe. There’s a reason why disinfecting hard surfaces in the workplace is critical to general health and productivity.

When deciding how to disinfect your office space, disinfectant comes in two options:

  • Spray
  • Wipes

So get out the disinfectant or purchase some. It’s time to start being healthy and productive.

Minute Monday: 5 Podcasts to Inspire Your Work Week

Podcasts are more than your average NPR talk radio show. In the past few years, podcasts have evolved from a boring talk shows to entertaining mind retreats. Multitasking becomes a breeze with podcasts. You can listen to thought-provoking anecdotes while mowing the lawn or get insight on the latest technology developments while sitting in 5 o’clock traffic.

Whether you’re a seasoned podhead or a newcomer, we’ve created a list of podcasts to help inspire your work week.

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Stuff You Should Know 

The old adage goes “you learn something new every day.” That saying comes to life when you listen to Stuff You Should Know, an eclectic podcast that covers a plethora of “fun facts.” It doesn’t matter if you’re a trivia buff brushing up on your skills, a connoisseur of useless information or needing some new small talk topics, this podcast is for you. Imagine starting your next dinner party conversation by saying, “Well, I heard on a podcast that…”

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The 5 AM Miracle

We love learning new ways to be productive. This podcast will give you creative ways of conquering the day ahead of you. Learn new early-morning habits and sun-rise rituals to keep you energized and motivated throughout the day. Podcast host, Jeff Sanders attributes his personal success by “dominating [his] day before breakfast”

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TED Radio Hour

TED Talks are undoubtedly one of the best things that the internet has given the world. This podcast combines the best of TED Talk videos into one commuter-friendly series. This refreshing podcast uncovers what truly makes us human. Get your day started by listening to this podcast and you’ll instantly feel motivated to hustle through your work week.

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ProdPod

Don’t have time to listen to a podcast? ProdPod is a two-minute podcast with a lot of actionable information in every episode. There’re no excuses to skip out on this productivity focused podcast. ProdPod covers topics about resilience, organization and innovation.

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Girlboss Radio With Sophia Amoruso

Who defined the word “success” anyway? Girlboss Radio emphasizes the idea of “failing forward” while interviewing boundary-pushing women who are making a true impact on the world. Co-hosts range from the founder of Jimmy Choo, Tamara Mellon; journalist Katie Couric; and actress Sarah Jessica Parker.

Minute Monday: 3 New Tricks to Drink More Water

Drinking water is vital to our health. We mentioned how water can help avoid a heat stroke here. It’s one of the most important tasks to stay in tip-top shape but sometimes it’s so hard to do. After a while, water might start to taste boring and drinking it might feel like a chore, discouraging you to drink the recommended amount. What if we told you that there was a way to shake things up? Here are Team Copart’s top three tricks to staying hydrated!

Spice things up

Drinking water can start to feel mundane, especially if you’ve just cut out sodas and other sugary beverages. Shake it up by infusing water with fruits, vegetables or spices. Testing out new flavors is exciting. Now, you can look forward to chugging your daily 64 ounces. Get started by trying some of these tasty combos:

  • Strawberries and cucumbers
  • Watermelon and mint
  • Apples and cinnamon
  • Classic lemons and oranges

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Carry your water in style

Carry around a water bottle that reflects your lifestyle. Maybe you want a super-sized, industrial water jug or a BPA-free carafe with floral designs or maybe you want to cover your water bottle in stickers that reflect your personal style. You’ll love carrying a water bottle that reflects who you are. You won’t be able to resist hydrating while showing it off to the world!

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Stay cool

Room temperature water isn’t everyone’s thing. Stay cool and keep your water cooler with ice cubes of all kinds. There is a lot of room to get creative.

  • Try making your own flavored ice with fresh-squeezed fruit juice or mint leaves.
  • Use a silicone ice mold to make creative shapes.
  • Invest in reusable ice cubes. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors so they’re great for adding an extra personalized touch.
  • Freeze fresh berries and add them to your water to stay cool and hydrated.

Water regulates body temperatures, aids in digestion, lubricates joints and more! Drinking 64 ounces a day is vital to everyone’s health. We hope that this Minute Monday gives you some inspiration for new ways to drinks water.