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12 Ways To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

12 Ways To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Identity theft has been going on for centuries, but with the development of the Internet, it has only become easier to steal other people’s personas. It’s very common to hear about someone’s identity getting stolen along with their bank information. These criminals use fake identities to steal money from their victims.

If you don’t want to be a victim of this scheme, here are some ways that you can protect yourself from identity thieves.

1.Don’t post personal information online.

Your name should be enough to reveal your identity to the people who actually know you. Posting your home address, telephone number, email address, and other social media profiles all in one place can make it very easy for thieves to duplicate your identity. As much as possible avoid sharing those details publicly, especially your bank information and social security number.

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2.Don’t use the same email and password for all of your accounts.

A lot of people make this mistake, which only enables thieves to access more of their accounts. Using the same email and password for all of your social media profiles may seem acceptable but with the prevalent security breaches online, it’s not a risk worth taking. Mix and match your email and passwords for all of your online accounts.

3.Use mobile verification.

Gmail, Facebook, Twitter and other select networks have mobile verification that notifies you via SMS if your account was accessed in a suspicious place, like abroad or at a different state. The person who logged in will also be asked for a verification number which he or she won’t be able to access since they don’t have your mobile phone.

4.Save your passwords in a secret place.

Using multiple passwords can make it hard for you to remember all of them, but you can save a copy in a secure location. Instead of saving them on your computer, write your passwords down in a small notebook which you keep safely in your home. You can also write them in unusual places like at the back of your favorite book.

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5.Don’t throw away bills and other documents that contain sensitive information.

Bank statements, utility bills, and other documents that contain your name, account number, birth date, social security number, and other personal data should never be thrown in the garbage. You can burn or shred them so that no one can get your information from them.

6. Don’t give away your ID numbers.

If anyone online asks for your ID number for any particular reason, don’t give it. If you know the person and the reason for asking your ID number is valid, you can meet somewhere and share information there. However, ID numbers are only needed for particular transactions, so you should already be wary if anyone asks you for it.

7.Be careful when sharing on social media.

What you share can be used against you, especially if it’s accessible to the public. Identity thieves can create a brand new account and use your name, photos, and other updates to make their accounts look legitimately yours. Likewise, if you always post where you’re going or what you’re doing, the thieve can take the plot to the next level and find an opportunity to steal from your home.

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8.Mix up your activities and routines.

Identity thieves can easily track your routines if you do the same things repetitively, especially if you post about them online. A smart thief can use these routines to make your fake identity even more convincing. It’s also easier to steal personal paraphernalia from you if you’re easy to track down.

9.Be mindful about unusual activity in your accounts.

If you see a status update on your wall which you didn’t write, it’s time to change your password. Anything that doesn’t make sense should already alert you. Don’t be lenient, especially if you have plenty of assets that can be stolen.

10.Install a security system in your home.

Some identity thieves are also stalkers and they might frequent your home without your knowledge. Having a security system will keep thieves out, especially those who are already very familiar with your house.

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11.Report any threatening or weird messages that you receive.

If you have a stalker, it’s likely that you will receive usual messages like “I saw you” or “I know what you did”. Don’t ignore these. Report them to your network provider so you can change your mobile number or block that number.

12.Don’t trust people easily—especially on the Internet.

A virtual identity is very easy to copy, and if you’re not careful, you might be the one handing identity thieves the information they need. Be mindful about the people you interact with online. You should also have a secure connection to keep your computer protected at all times. Using a SSD cloud VPS hosting service will help you achieve this.
On the Internet, safety is a major concern. You should always be careful with your personal information and take precautionary measures to avoid identity theft and other cybercrimes. If you don’t give thieves what they need, they will never be able to steal anything from you. Last, but not least, be careful when buying products online.

Featured photo credit: Ways To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft via google.com

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

7 Strategies to Keep Employee Motivation High

7 Strategies to Keep Employee Motivation High

Highly motivated employees are essential to the success of any business. Most people spend a third of their lives at work.[1] That’s a significant amount of time away from home, apart from the people who make us happy and the things we love to do. So keeping employee motivation high is essential for creating an office environment that gets the best out of our people.

But do you know what motivates your people?

It’s simple:

  • Is their work stimulating?
  • Does it challenge them?
  • Is there room to grow, a promotion perhaps?
  • Do you encourage creativity?
  • Can they speak openly and honestly with you?
  • Do you praise them?
  • Do you trust your staff to take ownership of their work?
  • Do they feel safe in their work environment?
  • And more importantly, do you pay them properly?

Every one of these factors contributes to the general happiness of your employees. It’s what motivates them to come into the office each day and work hard, hit goals, and get results.

In contrast, an unmotivated employee is typically unhappy. They take more sick days, they’re not invested in seeing your business succeed, and they’re always on the lookout for something better.

Stats show that 81 percent of employees would consider leaving their jobs today if the right opportunity presented itself.[2] So it’s up to you to set aside time and energy to create a work environment that benefits every one of your employees.

These seven strategies will help you motivate your people to consistently deliver quality work and, more importantly, to stick around for the long term.

1. Be Someone They Can Rely On

You rely on your people to turn up to work each day, to come to you when they have a problem they can’t solve, to be honest, and to always engage professionally with customers.

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But this is not a one-way street. You, too, need to be someone your team can rely on. They trust you to have their backs when a client is unreasonable, to know that the decisions they make are in your best interest, and to make good on your promises.

If you say you’ll attend an important meeting, be there. If your company makes a profit and you’ve said you’ll pay a bonus, pay it. The goodwill of your people is something you never want to test, let alone lose.

Be reliable; it’s astounding how much this motivates your people.

2. Create an Awesome Company Culture

There’s no denying that company culture trickles down from the top. Your leadership and attitude massively influences the attitudes, work ethic, and happiness of your staff. If you’re always stressed-out, overly demanding, and unreasonable, it’ll create tension in your office which will adversely affect your employees’ motivation levels.

In fact, the HAYS “US What People Want Survey” found that 47 percent of staff who are actively looking for a new job, pinpoint company culture as the driving force behind their reason to leave.

So if you have high staff turnover, you need to determine whether your company culture might be the motivating factor behind your churn rate.

Here are four ways to build a culture that keeps your employees highly motivated.

  • Be conscious of the image you present. Your body language and attitude can positively or negatively impact your employees. So come to work energized. Be optimistic, friendly, and engaging—this enthusiasm will spill over to your people and motivate them to be more productive and efficient.
  • Appreciate your people and be reasonable. Celebrate your team’s achievements. If they’re doing a good job, tell them. Encourage them to challenge themselves and try new things. And reward when deserved. If they’re struggling, help them. Work together to find solutions and be a sounding board for their ideas.
  • Be flexible. Give your people opportunities to work remotely—this is highly motivating to staff, particularly millennials. They don’t want to be battling traffic each day on their way to work. They don’t want to miss their kids’ baseball games or ballet rehearsals. Stats show that companies that offer flextime and the ability to work from home or a coffee shop have happier and more productive employees.
  • Create employee-friendly work environments. These are spaces that inspire and ignite the imagination. Have you ever been to Google’s offices? No headquarter is the same. From indoor slides and food trucks, to hammocks, and funky work pods on the wall, gaming rooms, and tranquil interior gardens, there’s something for everyone. It’s a space where people want to be, catering to their need for creativity, quiet, or team building; you name it.

So take a look at your company culture and ask yourself, Is my business an attractive workplace for talented professionals? Does it inspire commitment and motivate my people? What could I do to improve my company culture?

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3. Touch Base with Your Team Weekly

Make time for your people, whether you run a remote business or work in an office, set aside time each week to talk to your people one-on-one. It’s non-negotiable.

When there’s an open line of communication between staff members, work gets done. Don’t believe me? A study by Gallup found that 26 percent of employees said feedback from their leaders helps them to do a better job.[3]

Your people want to feel trusted. They want to take ownership of their work, but they also need to know that when they have a question, they can reach out and get answers. If you’re unwilling to make yourself available, your team will quickly become unmotivated, work will stagnate, and your business will stop growing.

So block off time on your calendar each week to touch base with your people, even if only to let them know that what they’re working on matters.

4. Give Them the Tools They Need to Do Their Jobs Well

Imagine trying to run your business without electricity. How would you contact your clients? What would happen when your phone or computer battery died?

Technology is super critical to the success of your businesses. It allows you to work more efficiently, to be more productive, and to handle matters on-the-go. That’s why you need to give your people tools that will make their jobs easier.

Make sure their equipment is in good working condition. There’s nothing more frustrating than a laptop that takes ages to boot up. It’s got to go. Replace outdated software with new software. Don’t make your designer work in Coreldraw; give them access to the most up-to-date version of Adobe Creative Suite. Take it a step further and buy them a subscription to Shutterstock or Getty Images.

Make working for you a pleasure, not a pain; and watch your employees’ motivation levels rise.

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5. Provide Opportunities to Learn and Upskill

Would you believe me if I told you that 33 percent of people cite boredom and a need for new challenges as the top reason for leaving their job?[4] If you want to retain your talent, you need to upskill.

Thanks to technology, we live in a rapidly evolving world that demands we change with it. A copywriter is no longer just a writer; they now need to be experts in SEO, Google Adwords, CRMs, and so much more.

A pastry chef needs to be a food stylist, photographer, and social media manager. An entrepreneur needs to be a marketer—or at least take ownership of the marketing message for their business—if they hope to scale.

Technology makes all of this possible. No matter your location, your people can continuously expand their knowledge and gain new skill sets—something that’s highly motivating to employees. They want to know that there are opportunities to grow and develop themselves.

If you won’t invest in your people, then your business becomes just another job to tide them over until they find where they truly belong. So be the company that sees value in developing its people.

6. Monitor Their Workload

Overworked employees tend to be unproductive and unhappy. Your people cannot be at full capacity every day, month to month. Something’s got to give. They’ll become deflated and their work will eventually suffer, which will negatively impact your business.

What I like to do is implement a traffic light system. It helps me to keep a finger on the pulse of my business. So there’s red, yellow, and green:

  • Red means they’re fully loaded.
  • Yellow means they’re busy, but they can potentially take on more.
  • Green means they haven’t got enough to do.

I use this traffic light system because I don’t want my team members to be stressed out of their brains all the time. If they are, they won’t make good decisions and they won’t do good work.

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If my people are regularly overloaded, I have things to think about. Perhaps I need to hire a new person to help ease the load or take a closer look at what projects are good to go, and which can take a back seat.

And this is why #3 is essential. If I’m regularly engaging with my people, I’ll know that while they’re coping with their workload, it is impacting their performance and health, and I’ll take action.

7. Don’t Mess Around with Your Employees’ Pay

Never mess around with your people’s salary. As a business owner or high-level manager, it’s easy to forget that most people live from paycheck to paycheck. Delayed compensation can mean a missed bill payment, which could result in costly penalties they can’t afford or hits to their credit score.

So it’s your job to ensure that you pay your people on time.

The Bottom Line

A motivated team is an asset to any business. These people never give up. They get excited about coming to work each day and can’t wait to test a new theory or tackle a particularly tricky challenge. They’re proud of the work they do. And more importantly, they have no reason to leave.

Wouldn’t you rather be part of their success story than the business that drove them away?

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Featured photo credit: Emma Dau via unsplash.com

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