How Often Should You Wash Road Salt off Your Car?

If we are headed for another economic downturn (to say nothing of the subprime car loan bubble bursting) it’s more important than ever to keep what you have now in peak condition. Who knows what our financial or living situations will look like after the next big one hits. You may wonder if you can afford all the little upkeep items you do for your car, but what you really should be asking is this: Can you afford not to do those things?

There’s one big thing you can take care of now before it becomes a huge problem later, and that’s rust. It’s not a problem for our friends in the warm weather states where they don’t salt the roads—bless their hearts—but it’s a huge issue for cars that operate in cold climates. Once rust takes hold it spreads fast and is very difficult to counter. The best offense against rust is a defense, which is washing your car often when the roads are salted.

Salt, as you may know, is used on roads to melt snow and ice. But it’s horrible for steel because it accelerates the oxidation process. I know the slow-motion destructive power of road salt firsthand. It’s little wonder; my own home state of Michigan spends $24 million on 500,000 tons of road salt last year alone, the Detroit Free Press reports.

A tie rod in my first car, a 1995 Dodge Avenger, rotted through while I was driving it. Thankfully I escaped unharmed, but by then it was either spend $1,500 to repair a car worth maybe that same amount, or sink that cash into a long-term car loan. Now, as then, is not the time to be taking out loans. Now is the time for protecting what you have.

The easiest way to preserve your car is to become a neat freak. Wash it early and wash. It. Often. But how often?

Washing right after a snow is your best bet, according to the New York Times, not to mention good, old-fashioned, common sense. The weather report is really your best friend here. Try to wash your car the first snow-free day you can for maximum impact.

This guide in HowStuffWorks recommends drivers wash their cars every two weeks, but more if salt is involved:

Most experts recommend washing your car every two weeks or so throughout the year as a general rule. If you live in an area with a lot of salt — either from a nearby ocean or from salt trucks on the winter roads — you probably should wash it more, as salt can corrode the metal and cause rust.

Those who spend a lot of time driving through the backcountry should give their car a little more TLC, as well. The aforementioned bird business is acidic enough to eat through your car’s paint job if it’s left too long. Same goes for dead bugs and tree sap, so they should be washed off as necessary.

Your car can go longer between washes depending if you don’t drive it every day, or you keep it in a garage and out of the elements.

So yes, once a week should be the rust prevention goal.

Even once-weekly washes can go a long way towards preserving the structural integrity of your car, and don’t discount the importance of waxing and undercoat. Is that a lot of effort in the cold? Sure. But if we truly are stepping off of a cliff and down into an economic precipice, you might just find yourself with plenty of free time soon anyway.

Source: https://jalopnik.com/how-often-you-should-really-wash-road-salt-off-your-car-1831398962

Are you making these password mistakes?

From leaving passwords written on sticky notes laying around to using simple passwords to not using proper technology to secure client data, employees and companies still have much to learn about data security, according to a recent report. And with new research showing that cyber incidents are the top global risk for businesses, the blunders highlighted are a lesson in securing personal, corporate and client data.

Dashlane, a credential management company that stores and manage passwords through a desktop or mobile app, recounted the biggest mistakes companies and people made over the last year when it came to securing various accounts via a password in its annual Worst Password Offenders list.

Its top offender was Facebook, which made two critical mistakes from which all companies can learn. The company admitted that it not only exposed passwords of hundreds of millions of users internally to its employees, it also breached user privacy by asking for the email passwords of new users and harvesting contacts without consent. Facebook also violated security best practices by storing account passwords in its internal data storage system for years in plain text.

The tech giant then left a server unprotected – meaning, without a password – leaving 400 million users’ phone numbers and record exposed.

Facebook’s series of security blunders kept Google in second place for the year as the company admitted that it, similarly to Facebook, had stored passwords as plain text … since 2005.

Some of the worst mistakes weren’t done by corporations, according to Dashlane, as people were also inadvertently exposing their own passwords. Their mistakes are also a lesson for many others.

For example, how many people in your office have a password on a sticky note attached to their computer or desk that anyone walking by could see? Dashlane called out actress Lisa Kudrow who posted a photo of an article about an upcoming role. But included in the photo was a password written on a sticky note attached to her computer monitor.

Simple passwords continue to be a thorn in the side of security experts. U.S. Congressman Lance Gooden was caught on camera unlocking his phone with the code “777777.” Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres admitted that her password skills were lacking following a hack of her Instagram account. She was using the password “password.”

Dashlane recommends the following tips to secure accounts:

  • Use a different password for every account. “Password reuse is an epidemic. Repeating the same password across your accounts is a lot like using the same key for your house or your car,” the company said.
  • Use two-factor identification. It adds an extra layer of security by using two of three verification methods, such as your password, biometrics and a smart card.

Source: https://www.canadianunderwriter.ca/insurance/are-you-following-these-password-blunders-1004172791/