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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 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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