Dear Heloise: Most people think that by deleting material on their computer, they have effectively erased all of their past PERSONAL DATA. Well, they haven’t! If you are going to dispose of an old computer, it’s always best to make sure that none of your personal information is on there. The steps are too long to go into in your column, but people probably should hire a professional, who can protect them by erasing all of their personal data. Don’t risk letting someone get hold of your banking or investing information, as well as the addresses of family and friends. -- Glen D., Titusville, Fla.
SEND A GREAT HINT TO:
P.O. Box 795000
San Antonio, TX 78279-5000
SOLVING A SOCKING PROBLEM
Dear Heloise: I enjoy reading your column in the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News! I have a solution to missing socks. I bought some 2-inch safety pins, paired up the socks and wove the pin through the toes of each pair. My wonderful husband unpins them in the a.m. and re-pins them in the p.m. when going to bed. Then they are tossed into the laundry basket together. If the sock material fades a little, it all stays the same. -- Carole M., Kettering, Ohio
Dear Heloise: I really don’t need a mobile phone at home, but I keep a simple, no-contact phone hidden in the center console of my car just in case I need it. Pay phones are nearly a thing of the past, so this would be helpful in an urgent situation, like a flat tire, or worse. -- Carol J., York, Pa.
Carol, great idea, but be sure that phone is charged when you need it. Readers, check out the next letter for another cellphone hint. -- Heloise
A QUICK TIP
Dear Heloise: I have a quick tip about cellphone contacts. When I add a doctor or other business as a contact, I always take a picture of the address and hours from the website or business card, and save it as the contact image. It is helpful to have that info handy whenever I need to call. -- Tamaron J., Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Dear Heloise: I’ve worked in human resources for over 20 years, and I have a piece of advice for job applicants: Please do not have a friend or family member call a place where you once worked and pretend to be a potential employer doing a background check. I know everyone is curious, but there are some serious problems that might knock you out of the running for a job you really want:
* No matter how much someone wants to help you, it’s entirely possible he or she will ask illegal questions (such as date of birth) or get too inquisitive about your work history. This sets off a red flag. We wonder what you’re so afraid we’ll find out.
* Don’t assume you can sue a former employer just because your friend heard negative information from the person he or she spoke to. Your friend’s word will not hold up in court, especially if the information is true. -- A Reader, via email
WHEN TO TRIM
Dear Readers: Be sure to check your dog’s nails. Do they need to be trimmed? If so, make sure a professional trims them so you don’t accidentally cut into a vein or skin. -- Heloise
Dear Readers: We praise our dogs, but do we use a HAPPY TONE OF VOICE when we do so? A small sample of dogs was studied, according to Science magazine (www.sciencemag.org), and the research showed that dogs’ brains responded best when they heard encouragement in a friendly and upbeat tone of voice!
So, your dog can tell what mood you’re in -- give him happy praise, and use happy words! -- Heloise
Dear Readers: Cheryl and Al, via email, sent a picture of their 6-year-old cat Sparkey. When they got her, they were told that she was a boy, but much to their surprise, Sparkey is a girl! Once you love them, Cheryl says, it doesn’t matter what they are -- it’s who they are!
Meow! They love her dearly! To see Sparkey and our other Pet Pals, visit www.Heloise.com and click on “Pet of the Week.”
Do you have pets posed in their holiday finest, or around the Christmas tree? Share a picture at Heloise@Heloise.com. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: It is holiday party season, and I wanted to share some hints about dressing up without busting the budget. These work for me! Here we go:
* Basic black is a good starting point, but I go easy on “pops” of color.
* “Subtle” is the key word. You can use a basic black dress or pants set over and over just by changing accessories: a scarf, blouse, shoe or earring.
* Trends -- I avoid them. A ripped neckline doesn’t look chic at a party.
* I look in the men’s department for upscale T-shirts -- they are cheaper than in the ladies’ department.
* Party clothes have to be comfortable. Chances are, you’ll be on your feet for a long time, and itchy clothes are a no-go.
* Look for bargains at secondhand and resale shops. I can find high-quality designer pieces at good prices. -- Shelly S. in Chicago
Dear Readers: Let’s get your home in shape for friends and family with a deep cleaning of your living areas. Here are some major areas to cover:
Vacuuming under all furniture and rugs is a good way to start. Wipe down and dust the baseboards, and dust the ceiling fans.
Following the manufacturer’s instructions, moisturize any leather furniture, and buff and dust wood furniture.
Check labels and refresh window treatments and draperies. If you have them, wash artificial plants to make them pretty again.
Flip the mattress (if it flips), and consider new pillows, pillowcases and sheets.
These hints should refresh your home for company! -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: Very often, I would run out of the house without my phone, because it was charging in another room. Now I put a sticky note on top of my purse that says “phone” to remind me to grab it.
I also have one for “water” to remind me to take the water in the fridge. -- Jeri G., Washington, D.C.
(c)2017 by King Features Syndicate Inc.