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Why Sharing is Not Caring for Your Online Safety

Why Sharing is Not Caring for Your Online Safety

We live connected and we are used to sharing everything – after all, millennials invented the amazing sharing economy. Yet, there are many dangers we are exposing ourselves to – with a simple share. The internet is amazing, but what appears on the internet, stays on the internet.

In other words, do you remember that time when you were showing off how crazy you were? Well, the internet allows your potential new boss to admire the pictures of you while dancing on the bar in a tiny swimsuit. This might be leaving you without a new job, but there are hackers out there who can leave you without your identity! Not to mention all the stalkers who are now drooling over your pictures!

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In order to stay safe online, you need to filter who gets to see what from your posts. I wish this article could answer the question of how to stay anonymous online, or at least, give you as much information as possible.

Start with social media and your blog

Where do we post frequently? On our social media accounts and on our blogs! This means those accounts are most prone to being hacked. Social media platforms also collect vast amounts of data on you, your shopping habits, viewing habits, profile, whom you connect with. All those “Free” apps are not free at all – they are gathering marketing information about you, then they sell it to other companies or use it for their own products, which is a huge danger for your online safety.

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In order to prevent hacks and information gathering, update your privacy settings on regular intervals. Most social media sites provide various settings to make your account undetectable, but they also update their policies very frequently. What most people forget about are their picture platforms and their blogs. Flickr, for example, can provide a nice back door for hackers, so you need to adjust the privacy settings on those accounts as well.

Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that most social media platforms track your location by default, which can let everyone know where you are at a certain moment. Disable this feature, in order to preserve your privacy.

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Be a little narcissistic

Have you ever googled your name? If not, you should be doing it as soon as possible. What you can see when you search your own name on the internet can be seen by anyone else. The good news is you can probably work on removing anything you don’t want to be seen by others. Google offers you the option to fill a form and ask for the site where you’ve found the sensitive content about you to be deleted. If the person or site where the content you don’t want online doesn’t remove your information, you can ask Google to do it for you.

Here is an advanced tip: if you want to use the internet to your advantage and direct people who look up your name towards certain information, use your blog and specific SEO tools to market yourself. You can register as a Google Author and link your social media accounts to your blog, especially your Google+ page, so when you post something new on the blog, it will show up when someone looks up your name.

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Use the latest tools available

Your online safety requires lots of privacy check-ups and some smart tools. There are apps which can let you know when someone you don’t want to see is around. There are apps and softwares that keep your location and IP secret while browsing.

Cookies are a serious issue these days, as websites are looking to be more informed about where their potential customers are, and how to interact with them. Not only do sites collect data about your Internet habits but they use that data to send you adverts. To avoid this, use the incognito mode on your browser, it doesn’t save your history and will delete any cookies that attached themselves during your visit to their website. Deleting your cookie cache regularly from your computers will also help maintain your privacy.

Be aware that incognito mode disables extensions, so using it prevents sites such as Google, Facebook and other sites that track your internet movement using cookies from following you onto incognito. But be aware this is not a panacea for anonymity as your employers, your web server and some of the sites you visit can still track you. Using this mode when on an unfamiliar computer is the sensible option so you do not leave your digital footstep in an unfamiliar place.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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