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12 Hints To Help Protect Your Online Identity From Cyber Criminals

12 Hints To Help Protect Your Online Identity From Cyber Criminals

The way that we use the internet has changed significantly over the last 10 years, and now it is extremely difficult to live life “unplugged.” With all of the information relating to personal lives, businesses, and finances that is floating around in cyberspace, it is vital to take the steps that are necessary to protect your identity. Most of the steps are quick and easy and won’t cost anything other than a few minutes of your time.

1. Leave out personal information from social media profiles.

Private details like your address, phone number, and child’s school are all little bits of information that give hackers the info that they need. Remove the “friends” you don’t know personally, and revise any details on your “about me” section.

2. Protect online passwords.

In addition to making strong passwords, be sure not to use the same password for everything. Have more than one password for online accounts, and make sure they are not something easy to guess (or find on social media profiles), like middle names and birthdays.

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3. Review privacy settings on social media.

There is a “friends only” privacy option that should be used. Reset your security settings when social media websites make changes to their own privacy settings to increase your online privacy and security.

4. Check the privacy settings on your phone.

You will need to manually turn the GPS location services off. This will ensure that nobody is tracking your location. Some apps will ask you to turn the location services on in order for them to work more accurately, but this is normally not a necessity for using the apps.

5. Be cautious of phishing emails.

Spam emails are becoming more sophisticated, but never respond to emails with any account information or passwords. When you take a hard look at the email address that the scam has come from, it will normally look similar to a legitimate one, or will have one letter changed.

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6. Ensure that your communications network is secure.

Keep your WiFi password protected to the fullest extent. This will stop hackers from connecting to your network and performing malicious activities while using your WiFi.

7. Watch your bank statements and credit score.

When purchasing items online, keep an eye on your bank statement and credit score. Any significant changes in either can signify that someone has stolen your information.

8. Use strong and up-to-date security software.

This applies to both a mobile phone and computer. This will provide the first line of protection to your sensitive information. Many computers come with a firewall installed, but there are also free versions. Firewalls are a great way to deter hackers.

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9. Keep an eye on the https://

The “s” at the end of http stands for secure. Make sure any website you are entering sensitive information into start with https.

10. Use a private email address.

Use a separate email address to correspond with others than what you use to login to websites. This will eliminate a starting point for hackers that are trying to login and get private information.

11. Use login notifications.

Some websites will allow you to receive a text message any time an IP address that is not recognized tries to log in to an account. This won’t prevent a hack, but it will give you a heads up if someone is trying to get into your business.

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12. Enable two-step authentication.

Two-step authentication requires a second pin number to be entered after it is sent to your phone. It is sometimes annoying, but it does mean a pretty solid guarantee that nobody will be hacking into the account unless they are extra sophisticated.

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Last Updated on November 5, 2019

5 Best Language Learning Apps to Master a New Language

5 Best Language Learning Apps to Master a New Language

Learning a new language is no easy feat. While a language instructor is irreplaceable, language learning apps have come to revolutionize a lot of things and it has made language learning much easier. Compared to language learning websites, apps offer a more interactive experience to learn a new language.

The following language learning apps are the top recommended apps for your language learning needs:

1. Duolingo

    Duolingo is a very successful app that merged gamification and language learning. According to Expanded Ramblings, the app now counts with 300 million users.

    Duolingo offers a unique concept, an easy-to-use app and is a great app to accompany your language acquisition journey. The courses are created by native speakers, so this is not data or algorithm-based.

    The app is free and has the upgrade options with Duolingo Plus for $9.99, which are add free lessons. The mobile app offers 25 languages and is popular for English-speaking learners learning other languages.

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    Download the app

    2. HelloTalk

      HelloTalk aims to facilitate speaking practice and eliminate the stresses of a real-time and life conversation. The app allows users to connect to native speakers and has a WhatsApp like chat that imitates its interface.

      There is a perk to this app. The same native speakers available also want to make an even exchange and learn your target language, so engagement is the name of the game.

      What’s more, the app has integrated translation function that bypasses the difficulties of sending a message with a missing word and instead fills in the gap.

      Download the app

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      3. Mindsnacks

        Remember that Duolingo has integrated gamification in language learning? Well, Mindsnacks takes the concept to another level. There is an extensive list of languages available within the app comes with eight to nine games designed to learn grammar, vocabulary listening.

        You will also be able to visualize your progress since the app integrates monitoring capabilities. The layout and interface is nothing short of enjoyable, cheerful and charming.

        Download the app

        4. Busuu

          Bussu is a social language learning app. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS. It currently supports 12 languages and is free.

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          The functionality allows users to learn words, simple dialogues and questions related to the conversations. In addition, the dialogues are recorded by native speakers, which brings you close to the language learning experience.

          When you upgrade, you unlock important features including course materials. The subscription is $17 a month.

          Download the app

          5. Babbel

            Babbel is a subscription-based service founded in 2008. According to LinguaLift, it is a paid cousing of Duolingo. The free version comes with 40 classes, and does not require you to invest any money.

            Each of the classes starts with with a sequential teaching of vocabulary with the help of pictures. The courses are tailor made and adapted to the students’ level, allowing the learning to be adjusted accordingly.

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            If you started learning a language and stopped, Babbel will help you pick up where you started.

            Download the app

            Takeaways

            All the apps recommended are tailored for different needs, whether you’re beginning to learn a language or trying to pick back up one. All of them are designed by real-life native speakers and so provide you with a more concrete learning experience.

            Since these apps are designed to adapt to different kinds of learning styles, do check out which one is the most suitable for you.

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            Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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