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Protect Your Privacy With Pokemon Go On The Rise

Protect Your Privacy With Pokemon Go On The Rise

Pokemon Go is sweeping the nation. Following the app’s release in July, the game quickly shot to the top of the App Store and has been downloaded by fans and curious newcomers alike.

The game has had publicity high points, like Muncie Animal Shelter’s advertisements asking for players to walk the shelter’s dogs while they play. However, it has also been the subject of much criticism. Earlier this week, major new outlets reported the appearance of Pokemon in the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. The presence of players who are visiting the museum solely for the purpose of catching Pokemon has understandably irked the administration.

They’re not the only ones who are upset with where Pokemon Go is taking players. Police have issued warnings to players that catching a rare Pokemon does not justify trespassing, and homeowners and businesses alike have found found themselves shooing bold players off their property.

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Whether you’re a hardcore player or you’ll never touch the game, the existence of Pokemon Go will have an impact on your privacy. Since players are spread across a wide age range, from those playing during school recess to old fans who’ve grown up to love Pokemon cocktails, a variety of responses can be appropriate for securing your privacy. Here are some things that you can do to secure your home or business from unwitting trespassers.

1. Put up a sign

Sometimes, the simplest way to keep your private property private is to remind people where they’re walking. Something as simple as a paper sign will likely need replacing after bad weather, but it will definitely make your stance on trespassers clear and provide a gentle reminder to players about boundaries and where they should and shouldn’t be.

If you do make a sign, try adding pictures of Pokemon to it. This will catch players’ eyes and let them know that your interest in privacy has to do with the game specifically.

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2. See about delisting your house or business

Presently, there are no exclusion zones within the game. Pokemon can and do appear just about anywhere. However, with recent press and demand going through the roof, it’s only a matter of time before Niantic, the game’s maker, adds in a mechanism for concerned property owners to keep Pokemon out of their homes and workplaces. Keep your eyes on the news for any mention of this feature.

3. Get a security camera

If you’re seriously concerned about your privacy, then a security camera is a very official, very professional way to protect it. Plus, the days of expensive security camera setups are long gone. These days, just one camera can cover a large piece of property if you do your research and choose the right security camera.

Just seeing a security camera is enough to make most would-be trespassers think twice. Those that don’t will be caught red-handed in the act, whether you’re around or not.

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There’s also one more benefit to consider. With injuries already being reported and the certitude of more to come, having eyes on your property non-stop can protect you from liability. So, when a hapless player walks into a tree on your property, there’ll be no doubt in anyone’s mind that your hands are clean.

4. Get a guard dog

Well, maybe not so much a guard dog as the sweetest little puppy in the universe. Having a dog around who gives a gentle warning bark to players to remind them that somebody lives here can be a great help — just as long as they don’t try to throw a poke ball at it, that is.

5. Direct players elsewhere

Within the game, players can drop incense, an item that lures Pokemon to a specific location. Dropped in your home, incense can turn your yard into a gathering place for Pokemon and players alike. If you’re a player who likes the game and likes other players, but doesn’t want his or her home to become a hot spot, try dropping incense at nearby public locations such as a local park or school.

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Pokemon Go is an exciting augmented reality experience, but it’s quickly leading us into unknown territory. Going forward, players and non-players alike are going to have to figure out together how we can share our virtually augmented world respectfully. As a player and a private individual, these are some of my recommendations, but I’d love to hear about your Pokemon Go experiences on social media!

Featured photo credit: Eduardo Woo via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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