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10 Ways to Secure Your Data When Working Remotely

10 Ways to Secure Your Data When Working Remotely

The freedom to work remotely is one of the many perks of self-employment. But working on the go makes your data more vulnerable to attack than logging online from home or your office. So, what can you do? Help keep your information safe wherever you connect to the web with these 10 security tips.

1. Install tracking software.

Before you work on the road, install tracking software like Prey. In addition to geo-locating your device if it’s lost or stolen, the service can also provide a picture of the person using it — which can help police locate your stolen device. To help prevent access to your data, Prey lets you remotely lock down your device and delete stored passwords. With Prey’s basic plan you can protect up to three devices at no charge.

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2. Create strong passwords.

One of the easiest ways to tighten data security is creating robust passwords and changing them regularly. Use a password generator to create passwords that are hacker-resistant, and avoid using the same password for multiple sites or applications. When possible, set passwords to expire every few months and never allow your device to “remember” them.

3. Use a secure email program.

Securing your email is a critical part of protecting your data when you work remotely, especially if you transmit proprietary or sensitive information. Using an email encryption service like Virtru or Tutanota can be an effective way to protect your communications. Both services offer free basic encryption plans that work with your existing email system.

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4. Migrate data to the Cloud.

Cloud-based storage can help keep your data safe in the event your device is stolen or compromised by a hacker or virus. Plus, using the Cloud allows you to access your data from any device, whenever and wherever you want. Cloud storage services such as OneDrive, Dropbox, and MediaFire offer basic plans at no cost.

5. Turn on your mobile firewall.

A firewall can help fend off many of the security risks presented by public Wi-Fi by blocking unauthorized access to your device — but only if it’s turned on. Before you use a public Wi-Fi network, ensure your mobile firewall is on and operating.

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6. Install updates.

When you receive software update notifications, don’t dismiss them. Software patches and browser updates are usually free, take only a few minutes to install, and could save you from a cyber attack. For the best protection, install updates immediately or at least within one week of receiving a notification. Be careful that you are only allowing updates and installations from trusted sources.

7. Use a virtual private network (VPN).

A VPN is an effective way to help keep your data secure when connecting to the web via public Wi-Fi. VPNs provide a secure tunnel through which information passing in and out of your laptop, tablet, smartphone, or other device can travel. To maintain data security, it’s especially important to use a VPN if you connect to corporate file servers or applications from a remote location. VPNBook and SpotFlux are two VPN services that offer complimentary basic plans.

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8. Get online only when you need to.

It’s convenient stay connected to public Wi-Fi even when you’re not actively using it, but doing so increases your exposure to everything from malware and worms to cyber criminals. When you don’t need Wi-Fi, log off the network.

9. Use a hotspot.

In lieu of public Wi-Fi, consider using a mobile hotspot or your smartphone’s personal hotspot. Although no means of getting online is 100 percent secure, hotspots protected by robust passwords may provide better protection than public wireless Internet.

10. Be sure you’re connected to the right Wi-Fi.

Before logging on to a public network, double check the name of the Wi-Fi connection for accuracy. Hackers will often create similarly named networks to fool users, and then collect passwords and other sensitive data.

Take these precautions to secure your data, and make working remotely as safe as it is rewarding.

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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