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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 August 16, 2018

10 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader

10 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader

When you try to think of a leader at your place of work, you might think of your boss – you know, the supervisor in the tasteful office down the hall.

However, bosses are not the only leaders in the office, and not every boss has mastered the art of excellent leadership. Maybe the best leader you know is the co-worker sitting at the desk next to yours who is always willing to loan out her stapler and help you problem solve.

You see, a boss’ main priority is to efficiently cross items off of the corporate to-do list, while a true leader both completes tasks and works to empower and motivate the people he or she interacts with on a daily basis.

A leader is someone who works to improve things instead of focusing on the negatives. People acknowledge the authority of a boss, but people cherish a true leader.

Puzzled about what it takes to be a great leader? Let’s take a look at the difference between a boss and a leader, and why cultivating quality leadership skills is essential for people who really want to make a positive impact.

1. Leaders are compassionate human beings; bosses are cold.

It can be easy to equate professionalism with robot-like impersonal behavior. Many bosses stay holed up in their offices and barely ever interact with staff.

Even if your schedule is packed, you should always make time to reach out to the people around you. Remember that when you ask someone to share how they are feeling, you should be prepared to be vulnerable and open in your communication as well.

Does acting human at the office sound silly? It’s not.

A lack of compassion in the office leads to psychological turmoil, whereas positive connection leads to healthier staff.[1]

If people feel that you are being open, honest and compassionate with them, they will feel able to approach your office with what is on their minds, leading to a more productive and stress-free work environment.

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2. Leaders say “we”; bosses say “I”.

Practice developing a team-first mentality when thinking and speaking. In meetings, talk about trying to meet deadlines as a team instead of using accusatory “you” phrases. This makes it clear that you are a part of the team, too, and that you are willing to work hard and support your team members.

Let me explain:

A “we” mentality shifts the office dynamic from “trying to make the boss happy” to a spirit of teamwork, goal-setting, and accomplishment.

A “we” mentality allows for the accountability and community that is essential in the modern day workplace.

3. Leaders develop and invest in people; bosses use people.

Unfortunately, many office climates involve people using others to get what they want or to climb the corporate ladder. This is another example of the “me first” mentality that is so toxic in both office environments and personal relationships.

Instead of using others or focusing on your needs, think about how you can help other people grow.

Use your building blocks of compassion and team-mentality to stay attuned to the needs of others note the areas in which you can help them develop. A great leader wants to see his or her people flourish.

Make a list of ways you can invest in your team members to help them develop personally and professionally, and then take action!

4. Leaders respect people; bosses are fear-mongering.

Earning respect from everyone on your team will take time and commitment, but the rewards are worth every ounce of effort.

A boss who is a poor leader may try to control the office through fear and bully-like behavior. Employees who are petrified about their performance or who feel overwhelmed and stressed by unfair deadlines are probably working for a boss who uses a fear system instead of a respect system.

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What’s the bottom line?

Work to build respect among your team by treating everyone with fairness and kindness. Maintain a positive tone and stay reliable for those who approach you for help.

5. Leaders give credit where it’s due; bosses only take credits.

Looking for specific ways to gain respect from your colleagues and employees? There is no better place to start than with the simple act of giving credit where it is due.

Don’t be tempted to take credit for things you didn’t do, and always go above and beyond to generously acknowledge those who worked on a project and performed well.

You might be wondering how you can get started:

  • Begin by simply noticing which team member contributes what during your next project at work.
  • If possible, make mental notes. Remember that these notes should not be about ways in which team members are failing, but about ways in which they are excelling.
  • Depending on your leadership style, let people know how well they are doing either in private one-on-one meetings or in a group setting. Be honest and generous in your communication about a person’s performance.

6. Leaders see delegation as their best friend; bosses see it as an enemy.

If delegation is a leader’s best friend, then micromanagement is the enemy.

Delegation equates to trust and micromanagement equates to distrust. Nothing is more frustrating for an employee than feeling that his or her every movement is being critically observed.

Encourage trust in your office by delegating important tasks and acknowledging that your people are capable, smart individuals who can succeed!

Delegation is a great way to cash in on the positive benefits of a psychological phenomenon called a self-fulfilling prophecy. In a self-fulfilling prophecy, a person’s expectations of another person can cause the expectations to be fulfilled.[2]

In other words, if you truly believe that your team member can handle a project or task, he or she is more likely to deliver.

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Learn how to delegate in my other article:

How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

7. Leaders work hard; bosses let others do the work.

Delegation is not an excuse to get out of hard work. Instead of telling people to go accomplish the hardest work alone, make it clear that you are willing to pitch in and help with the hardest work of all when the need arises.

Here’s the deal:

Showing others that you work hard sets the tone for your whole team and will spur them on to greatness.

The next time you catch yourself telling someone to “go”, a.k.a accomplish a difficult task alone, change your phrasing to “let’s go”, showing that you are totally willing to help and support.

8. Leaders think long-term; bosses think short-term.

A leader who only utilizes short-term thinking is someone who cannot be prepared or organized for the future. Your colleagues or staff members need to know that they can trust you to have a handle on things not just this week, but next month or even next year.

Display your long-term thinking skills in group talks and meetings by sharing long-term hopes or concerns. Create plans for possible scenarios and be prepared for emergencies.

For example, if you know that you are losing someone on your team in a few months, be prepared to share a clear plan of how you and the remaining team members can best handle the change and workload until someone new is hired.

9. Leaders are like your colleagues; bosses are just bosses.

Another word for colleague is collaborator. Make sure your team knows that you are “one of them” and that you want to collaborate or work side by side.

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Not getting involved in the going ons of the office is a mistake because you will miss out on development and connection opportunities.

As our regular readers know, I love to remind people of the importance of building routines into each day. Create a routine that encourages you to leave your isolated office and collaborate with others. Spark healthy habits that benefit both you and your co-workers.

10. Leaders put people first; bosses put results first.

Bosses without crucial leadership training may focus on process and results instead of people. They may stick to a pre-set systems playbook even when employees voice new ideas or concerns.

Ignoring people’s opinions for the sake of company tradition like this is never truly beneficial to an organization.

Here’s what I mean by process over people:

Some organizations focus on proper structures or systems as their greatest assets instead of people. I believe that people lend real value to an organization, and that focusing on the development of people is a key ingredient for success in leadership.

Learning to be a leader is an ongoing adventure.

This list of differences makes it clear that, unlike an ordinary boss, a leader is able to be compassionate, inclusive, generous, and hard-working for the good of the team.

Instead of being a stereotypical scary or micromanaging-obsessed boss, a quality leader is able to establish an atmosphere of respect and collaboration.

Whether you are new to your work environment or a seasoned administrator, these leadership traits will help you get a jump start so that you can excel as a leader and positively impact the people around you.

For more inspiration and guidance, you can even start keeping tabs on some of the world’s top leadership experts. With an adventurous and positive attitude, anyone can learn good leadership.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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