Genealogy websites have become mighty popular in recent years. But has anyone really considered the risks associated with sending off your DNA to a strange company? Unlike a password or an email address, your genetic code can’t be changed if compromised.
In this week’s batch of must-read articles, we’ll delve into the debate over our right to genetic privacy, you’ll discover where the drought is this week, plus learn how to eliminate over 20 different garden-variety insects — and more.
Here we go…
Last month’s arrest of the alleged “Golden State Killer” would not have been possible without the help of a small DNA analysis firm, GEDmatch. No court order was needed for law enforcement to access the samples collected by the Florida-based company for comparison.
While it’s certainly a good thing to get a notorious criminal off the streets, these investigative methods should concern you — even if you’ve never gotten so much as a parking ticket.
The fact is DNA testing is not 100% accurate. Not only could genetic testing lead to false convictions but it could also be used to discriminate in other situations, like providing insurance coverage, government benefits, housing or employment.
The bottom line is I do not recommend sending in your DNA to any centralized database. First of all, anyone can access an open-source database like GEDmatch. Second, private companies are no more secure — they can be subject to subpoena or hacking. Basically, why pay someone to make you feel less safe?
Here’s another way to keep your personal information from getting into the wrong hands. This breakthrough new device will STOP a hacker in their tracks — and I’m going to send it to you for FREE.
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The Hack Shield fits in any wallet (just like a credit card) and works by forming an electronic barrier around your cards, making them — and your personal data — invisible to identity thieves. I believe this product should be in the hands (and wallets) of as many people as possible. Click on the link above to claim yours for FREE.
Large portions of the South- and Midwest are feeling the heat this week. A continued lack of rain is contributing to drought-like conditions in several states, causing increased risk of wildfires, low crop yields and water restrictions.
One handy website I recommend bookmarking is the U.S. Drought Portal. It features the U.S. Drought Monitor (updated weekly), drought impact reports, links to regional climate centers, early-warning systems — and more.
It’s important to be aware of the conditions in your area for a couple of reasons. First, it will help you be a good neighbor by letting you know when to be extra-mindful of your water consumption.
In addition, with drought comes a higher possibility of wildfires. If the wildfire potential in your area is above normal, you should clear any flammable debris from around your home and be ready to bug out at a moment’s notice.
On your list of critical emergency gear, cardboard probably isn’t anywhere near the top. That being said, I suggest saving those Amazon boxes in the future because cardboard does have a variety of survival uses.
This post by the guys over at Survival Sullivan runs down 10 such uses — including how to control your home’s temperature, two ways to cook delicious food, the easiest way to make great tinder and more.
It pays to be creative in a survival situation. The more inventive uses you can come up with for household items, the better you’ll fare.
In the past few weeks, I’ve shared articles on ways to make your garden soil more fertile, drought-proof plants and vertical gardening tips. This week’s garden-related piece addresses the issue of pest control.
It would be extremely frustrating to put so much work into a garden only to watch it be destroyed by pesky little critters. Fortunately, this piece from New Life on a Homestead teaches you how to identify and get rid of 25 common garden pests — from wasps to worms to earwigs.
This very thorough article has links to a ton of other resources. Plus, it contains a video tutorial on how to make a natural DIY bug spray that will take care of many of the offending insects on this list.
Check it out.