Manila, Philippines: Technology has made the world smaller and brought people closer. We monitor elections in a country from miles away, witness Facebook’s live video from space, and watch the live streaming of the Super Bowl’s halftime show where they happen, when they happen. But while the internet is a good platform for entertainment and be virtually part of world events, it also teaches us a sense of responsibility.


The media closely monitors the war in Syria, which started with a peaceful uprising in 2011. The United Nations reported that at least 250,000 people have been killed in the past five years, and displaced more than 4.8 million civilians. But the virtual world only started to really take note when a photo of a little boy from Aleppo, bloodied and shocked, went viral. Didn’t that image haunt you or made you ask “what can I do,” or “how can I help?”


A growing number of SEO professionals have taken the answer to that question a notch higher, and took on the challenge to be SEO Heroes. WIX, a cloud-based web development platform, started an SEO Hero contest for digital marketers and innovators. Everyone was invited to create a website optimized to the keyword, SEO Hero. If their website ranks highest for that search term in four months’ time, WIX will give the winning website $50,000.


The SEO Hero Challenge

Given the range of influence of SEO professionals in promoting businesses and making them thrive, they are also the best group of individuals to rally behind a cause such as drumming up support and assistance to the people of Syria. The SEO Hero challenge provides the perfect platform for SEO natives to do their part and make a difference. The Propelrr team is channeling this raw influence to spearhead a movement to help Syria’s children.


The WIX contest is open to all SEO professionals around the world. They are to create a website in English on any platform (not just about SEO professionals and experts that can be considered heroes. Every day, a moderator will search Google for the term “SEO Hero.” The site to rank highest on average over the period of March 13 to 15, 2017 at 12:00PM ET (noon) and 20:00PM ET will be declared winner within two weeks of the challenge end date.


Google’s guidelines for SEO will be followed and all participants are expected to comply with the rules of the competition. Eran Hurvitz, CEO of MRKT360 INC, was tasked to ensure that everyone does. Entries must also satisfy the following requirements:


(1) Domain must be purchased on or after November 16, 2016. Note that the submission of entries was completed between November 16 and December 16, 2016.


(2) An account with Google Analytics and Google search console by February 16, 2017 to be connected to participant’s SEO Hero website.


Why join

Propelrr, a digital marketing company from the Philippines, initiated to gather SEO professionals and show the people of Syria that the world cares by joining the Wix SEO Hero contest. They created and gathered digital influencers and SEO professionals based locally and abroad. The supporters were interviewed and asked about how the online community can impact society. In “Hero Talk,” supporters are encouraged to talk about their concept of being a “hero” and how they think the professional practice can help make a difference.


To hero up for Syria, just sign up with your name and email and share how SEO professionals can band together for a good cause. The simple gesture of signing up could mean a whole world of difference for Syria.


SEO professionals are also encouraged to share the website on their own sites and social media pages. There’s also a badge you can share to show your support.


Should the website win, the full amount will be donated to Karam Foundation, a group committed to provide much-needed aid to Syrian children.


The work of Karam

Karam Foundation is a non-profit organization that is on a mission to rebuild Syria and provide a better future for its citizens and children. Apart from distributing aid, the foundation also developed innovative education programs for the Syrian youth refugees and continues to fund sustainable development projects for Syrian families.


Karam means generosity in Arabic. And true to their name, the foundation, which was founded in 2007 in Chicago, has been helping communities in need, starting with a food drive on the south side of Chicago in its early years. Today, they also help communities across the western part of Asia, including Syria.


Among their programs is to encourage families to sponsor a Syrian refugee. There are around one million Syrian refugee children today who need not just aid but long-term support such as education and other future-building tools. Karam itself is sponsoring over 200 refugee children to go to school. This can be done by donating $50 a month.


Karam also distributes emergency aid to the communities of Aleppo, a rebel stronghold. The foundation also believes in providing “smart aid” or programs that are sustainable and respond to the needs of the population. They are also building a Karam House, which is expected to be finished this 2017. It is a space of healing for survivors traumatized by violence and displacement.


The road to healing and rebuilding of Syria is long. But by being SEO Heroes, you can make things a little better by letting civilians and refugees know that the world cares.




SEOHERO.SUPPORT is cause-driven call initiative seeking the support of all Digital and SEO professionals globally to win the WIX SEO Contest aimed to donate 100% all the $50,000 winning pot to the war-stricken children of Syria.



What are the Safety Challenges that Keep Every Homeowner Awake at Night

Nothing compares to a good night’s sleep. That moment when you rest your back flat on the bed, close your eyes, and shut down all the worries of the world is just priceless.

But what if you can’t?

What if you can’t find it in you to sleep peacefully into the night? What if you can’t seem to shut down the monsters in your head?  What if you just can’t let go of these terrible thoughts?

Home safety and security are among the reasons why people lie in their beds wide awake at night. A 2015 survey revealed that more than two-thirds of Americans, including 72% of women, do not feel safe in their homes. This is on top of other problems that people are thinking at night, which are obviously making it hard for them to drift away to dreamland.

What are the things that keep people up all night? We listed eight of them here.

Nightmare of financial (in)security

Oh c’mon, how many of you can honestly say that credit card debt and other bills did not keep you up at night, as if staying wide awake would reduce the interest? A research by found that 62% of respondents admit to being kept awake by at least one financial concern.

The fear of not being financially secure is a cause for worry for a lot of people. While people say money can’t buy happiness, well so does being broke. Money management, anyone?

When a fortress is unsafe

Blame it on action thrillers. According to the FBI, around 2 million home burglaries are reported each year. Every 13 seconds, a home intrusion is committed. That is how serious the issue of home security is.

Unfortunately, it’s the small things that oftentimes put homes and families in danger. Among the top security mistakes homeowners are doing is forgetting to lock the doors, leaving a key under a mat, and displaying all precious belongings near a window.  

A reliable home alarm system is this generation’s best defense against burglary. Convicted burglars admit to abandoning their plans when they realize that an alarm is installed. The debate on the best home alarm system available these days goes beyond the reduction of false alarms and extends to the importance of utility. What else can an alarm do?

Over the past decade, wireless home alarm systems were the coolest and most popular security devices. No cables, no wires, no sweat. But these days, a look into home alarm systems reviews would tell you that you can get so much more from a security system. With the power of technology and the Internet, you can now access, monitor, and control your home wherever you are. Remote capabilities also allow you to manage your home’s electric consumption. Now, that’s hitting two birds with one stone—security and energy.

An accident-prone home

In the list of home safety challenges, especially among parents with toddlers, is how to childproof their home. Parents stay up all night until they are sure that their child is peacefully sleeping. For homeowners with babies, crib safety is very important. For those with toddlers who never run out of energy, stairs, slippery floors, locks, doors, sharp objects, and just about anything they can climb, are very dangerous territories.

Living in dangerous times

So, you’re next-door neighbor just reported a case of burglary. Let’s see if you can sleep tight tonight. One of the safety challenges that keep people awake at night is living in a community that they thought was secure, and then proven wrong. At a time when guns can be bought like French fries and at a time when criminals have never been so daring, it is hard to get a peaceful sleep.

Perhaps, the top home security mistake that most homeowners are guilty of is pretending that crimes, violent crimes, can never happen to them. Crime does not discriminate. No community is totally safe so never let your guard down.

When something hurts

Another top sleep stealer, according to a survey conducted by Braun Research, are body aches and other physical pains. The study indicated that 69% of respondents are finding it hard to sleep when they feel something is wrong with their body. If your back or neck is strained or when your migraine does not seem to go away, good luck on getting that shuteye.

Losing sleep over work

People have never worked so hard in their life. A lot of employees clock in more than eight hours a day and are lucky to sleep for five or six hours. Not only will performance suffer, but overall health also takes a toll.

Job concerns are among the top stressors that keep people up at night. You would be surprised at how two hours have gone by just by thinking about your horrible boss. When you leave a pile of paperwork on your desk, you think about them too much during bedtime as if they are going to be completed just by obsessing over them. Job security is another major sleep stealer. When you are not sure whether you still got a job in the morning, you’d really rather not sleep.

Security in the family

We love our families dearly. And that’s also why we stay up wide awake at night thinking about them. Family stressors such as when someone needs medical help, someone goes through a tough divorce or when you don’t know how to pay for your child’s education expenses, a good night sleep is often let go. We want everyone in our family to be secure in every aspect—physically, spiritually and mentally.

Obsessing about the future

A research by likewise revealed the most common fear among people who can’t get a shuteye: not saving enough for retirement. About 40% of Americans worry that they have not saved enough for retirement and half of respondents approaching the retirement age admit that this concern keeps them up at night.

We work hard today to secure our future and that of our children’s. But when the certainty of a good retirement seems bleak, it is almost certain that people are going to lose sleep over it. So, up your money game now before it’s too late. Invest and save.

Of course, we are just humans and we worry. Sleep is elusive to people who worry. They think too much and they think too hard. For parents and homeowners, security in various forms, is a major concern. Whether it’s home safety, health security, financial security or job issues, they can cause sleepless nights. Do something about them now while you’re wide awake and ensure a peaceful and restful sleep in the days to come.

Now What?: A Guide to Coping After Burglary

When something feels like home, it should be sacred, almost like a sanctuary.  It is secure, it is safe.  But not until someone violates your space and breaks into your private world.

At the mention of burglary, people automatically think about monetary loss.  They think about the victim and how devastating it must be to lose everything you worked so hard for.  But what a lot of people do not realize is how violated a victim feels after a burglar breaks into the one place he thought was the safest — his home.

In an article for the Los Angeles Times, psychologist Mory Framer described the many layers of emotions that a burglary victim goes through: feeling of being violated, helplessness, anger, sadness, fear.  He said most victims cannot deal with the realization that an intruder has invaded their most sacred space. These intrusions are taken very personally by victims because to them, the home is an extension of themselves.

Homes are like castles to a lot of people.  So imagine how heart-breaking it must be to have that last bastion of security breached.  The fear that it may happen again is the reason why victims have trouble putting themselves to sleep, getting themselves to trust people, and make themselves believe that everything is going to be okay.

When burglary victims tell their story, they usually get responses like:  “thank God you weren’t home” or “thank God there was no confrontation.”  But while you are unharmed, the feeling of being violated does not go away.  According to most experts like Framer, there is no timetable for recovery and the best way to cope is to just let all the bad emotions take their course. Here are some of the steps that you can do to increase your home’s security and to avoid being a target of burglaries (again).


Report the Incident

Letting the police know immediately after the incident just happen or if it is still occurring will heighten the chance of stopping the burglar. Though not all break-ins would be stopped, the police will at least get a record of it and your insurance agent would take notice about the valuables that would be covered. If you’re away and your house have been broken into, don’t touch anything that the burglar might have touched and wait outside for the police to arrive.


Image from Russell Barnes via Flickr


Safeguard Your Home

While you let yourself heal, there are practical and easy things you can do to make sure you won’t have to go through that ordeal again.   According to FBI statistics, more than 2 million home break-ins are recorded every year, 30 per cent of which were through an open window or an unlocked door.  Home intrusions happen every thirteen seconds and homes without a security alarm system or surveillance equipment are 300 percent more likely to be broken into.

Burglars mark their target through a simple selection process — homes with easy access, greatest amount of cover and escape routes.  This process is even made simpler by homeowners who fail to take simple precautions.

According to a 2009 study by the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice, installed surveillance cameras or a home alarm system discourages a would-be burglar from breaking into his target residence.  It also showed that neighborhoods where burglar alarms are densely installed have lower incidence of home burglaries.

Surveillance Camera - weatherproof day-night w/ wide dynamic range, manual zoom, and long range IR

Photo from Alarm Systems Store via Pinterest


Showing the same results is a study by Cromwell-Olson-Avary about offenders’ perception of risk in criminal activities.  It found that nearly all surveyed convicted burglars, 90 per cent of them, said they would avoid homes with alarm systems.  Seventy-five per cent said they would think the planned attack over once they see even just alarm signs or decals.

A research team from the University of North Carolina also interviewed 400 convicted offenders to inquire about their decision making process when choosing a target and carrying out the attack.  Results of the study show that 83% of those surveyed took time and steps to determine whether a potential target has alarms or has a security system installed.

The importance of having security and alarm systems around the house cannot be denied but it seems majority of Americans see these burglary prevention techniques a little too lightly.  Based on FBI statistics, only 17% of homes in the United States are equipped with a security system.

So before you become part of the statistics and be one of the more than 2 million burglary victims yearly, do yourself and your loved ones a favor — secure your home and never let intruders and criminals brutally take away your possessions, your sacred space and your peace of mind.


Move to A Safer Haven

If the ordeal of having your private world violated becomes too tormenting and the hassle of never letting your guard down is taking everything out of you, maybe it’s time to look for a new place.  True, you would have to make adjustments here and there but there is no way that you are compromising your safety.

One of the most secured places to live is a condominium.  Unlike a regular gated and guarded subdivision, a condo takes pride in its many layers of security — from the main entrance, through the gate of a community, up to the lobby of the condo building, a security guard is on duty 24/7.  They also make rounds regularly to assure tenants that they have nothing to worry about.

As times get more and more dangerous, real estate companies have made it a requirement to install security cameras and alarms all over the place.  There are surveillance cameras and alarms in every common area, along streets and pathways, above hallways, and practically everywhere.

A good condo unit should be able to guarantee every owner or buyer a good night sleep, something that is very hard to get these days.  Having a condominium unit should be an assurance that you are living in a crime-free community.

So if you are planning on getting one for yourself, make sure that you put on top of your requirements a good security system when you look for condominiums for sale.   And as safety precaution, take simple yet necessary steps to protect your unit.  As soon as you move in, check all door and window locks.  If possible, install an extra lock or a deadbolt on your door.  If you decide to go for keyless entry, choose a reliable brand.  If you have balconies, make sure entrance is securely locked.  You may also add alarms and even covert spy cameras for monitoring.

These are just some of the few and easy steps you can take to make sure you won’t have to go through hell and back by being a victim of burglary.


Bizarre Security Systems That You’ll Surely Be Hunting In Stores

Home security has been there ever since people started to acquire houses and other properties. It is something that we normally have to prevent unauthorized access, damage, harm and sudden danger to our loved ones and personal property. Before, it was all about just protecting the area by putting barriers and signage to keep burglars away. As the times modernized, technological advancements became accessible that definitely guarantee home safety for owners.

These home security alarm systems include closed-circuit television or CCTV surveillance, mechanical alarm locks, access control panels, hidden cameras and sensors, and many others. These items make our lives easier, make us feel more secure and maintain our safety as well as protection to our belongings. Aside from these usual devices that we commonly see, there are a lot of weird but creative ways on how we can provide ourselves with home security. Below are just some of the interesting ones.

1. Wall Socket Safe

Who would have thought that you could actually hide something inside the wall socket? We all know that wall safes are the most common and are usually hidden behind huge paintings or shelves. Since everybody sees these kinds of safes everywhere, burglars might go for it first. They will not even think about looking into that tiny rectangle on the wall. The wall socket safe is simple and proven very effective. It looks like a simple and harmless electric outlet but it slides out like an ordinary drawer, revealing the hidden items inside. It is cheaper than any other type of hidden safes in the market.

Secret Wall Vault

Wall Socket Safe
Image courtesy of Marcela Castillo via Pinterest

Continue reading

A Question of Privacy: Subtle Threats we’ve permitted

It has already been three months since NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, stunned the whole world with information leakage regarding NSA phone and Internet surveillance programs. Since then, people have been arguing nonstop and contemplating on the issue but where have these put us, so far?

People must stop arguing about the issue of privacy v. security – which isn’t getting us anywhere – and instead focus on another, slightly overlooked, factor in this equation: ourselves.

The Trade-Off
In this ridiculously overwhelming information-ran world of today, information-trading is the name of the game. Francis Bacon was right. Knowledge is, indeed, power and whoever holds the most knowledge holds the most power. Surely, our intelligence agencies are at the heart of it. But maybe we played along ourselves.

Continue reading