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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 November 17, 2019

20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

Saying, “Thank you,” can be difficult to do. Some things just demand a little something extra because of the magnitude of the favor or the depth of appreciation involved. But what can you do to say thank you in a meaningful way? Sometimes you have to get a little more creative than just firing off an email. Here are 20 creative ways to say thank you that your friends and family will remember and cherish!

1. Make a gift bag.

A unique, homemade gift bag with a custom label or a note is a simple but heartfelt way to show your appreciation for the wonderful things your friends or family have done for you.

2. Give a toast.

Many people fear public speaking more than death, giving this particular thank-you a little extra meaning. Composing a sincere, eloquent toast and delivering it is a nice way to show appreciation that truly comes from the heart.

3. Write a poem.

“Roses are red, violets are blue…” Uh, you could write that...but why not put a little extra zing in it? Find out what their favorite kind of poetry is: haiku, free verse, iambic pentameter, and so on. (Google them if you don’t know what they are.) Then write one that expresses why they deserve your thanks…and why you’re glad to give it!

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4. Create your own labels.

There are a number of websites that offer custom gift labels. Find one that fits your personality and that of your friends and create a personalized thank-you label!

5. Give a gift card.

Sometimes choosing what to give a friend can be tough. A gift card is a good way to get around this problem. As always, be sure to include a personalized note or card thanking the recipient for their friendship and help.

6. Send a letter.

Snail-mail is a largely lost art form. Don’t worry about how long the letter is, though. What really matters here is that you took the time to put pen to paper and express your feelings sincerely and honestly!

7. Use social media to send a special message.

If someone’s done something you think the whole world should know about, why not put out a social media blast? Use your blog, your Facebook, your Google+ account, and your Twitter to spread the word about why this person’s someone your friends will want to know too!

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8. Make your own digital greeting card.

While an email isn’t always the best way to go when saying thank you, a digital greeting card that you put time and effort into creating can really brighten someone’s day! Make the card reflect the recipient’s personality and compose a short message of thanks for their generosity.

9. Make a YouTube video.

Sometimes, actually hearing someone say, “Thank you,” can make all the difference. Why not take it a step further and create a special video of thanks for your friends, family, and those special people who helped make your day so important…or who helped you through that rough time?

10. Deliver cookies or candies.

Making something yourself is a fun and delightful way to say thank you to someone. Create a sampling of baked goods or homemade candies and decorate them with a simple message, or make them so they form letters! (Think Valentine’s candies, only situationally appropriate.) Attach a thank-you note or label and surprise those special people with the gift of your time and creativity.

11. Make surprise gifts for guests.

There’s no need to wait until “later” to send a thank-you message. Why not do it at the time? Create little gift packets or bags for your guests with surprises inside. This is a great way to say thanks to the people who attended your event, and make sure they won’t want to miss the next one!

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12. Put together a flower basket.

Whether you prefer fresh or artificial flowers, assembling a flower basket with a thank-you note is an excellent way to brighten someone’s day and show you appreciate them.

13. Take a picture.

Sometimes capturing the moment is the best way to put a smile on someone’s face. Have someone take a picture of you receiving that special gift or opening that surprise package and send the giver a copy with a quick but sincere note to say thanks!

14. Repay their generosity by paying it forward.

The best gifts come from the heart, and the best way to repay a gift is to pay it forward. If your friend has a special cause they care about or something they believe in passionately, why not make a donation in their name or volunteer some of your time to the cause? This will mean more than any number of cookies, candies, or thank-you notes because you’re taking your friend’s love and spreading it around to others.

15. Do something special for them.

Take them out to dinner. (See “make a toast.”) Give them that movie they’ve been wanting forever. Cook them dinner and give them a present when they arrive. Any of these are good options for showing someone you really appreciate them and how grateful you are to have them in your life.

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16. Reciprocate their help.

Everyone needs help sometime. Whether it’s holding their hand through a particularly traumatic incident or helping them replace the alternator in their car, being there when they need it shows you remember what they did for you and how much it meant. It also shows that you’re willing to be just as good a friend to them as they were to you!

17. Be there for them.

Not every thank-you gesture has to be a grand public spectacle. Sometimes just giving them a place to come hang out when they’re lonely or showing up to offer them a sympathetic shoulder means the world to a person.

18. Listen to them.

Listening is almost as lost an art as the handwritten letter. When your friend or family member needs to talk, listen to them. Ask questions when appropriate, but just letting them know you’re there and paying attention to them to the exclusion of all else for a little while is a great way to say thank you for the times they listened to you.

19. Say it in another language…or two…

A simple thank you is great…but why not spice it up a little? Instead of just saying, “Thank you,” write or make a video of you telling them thank you in different languages. Some examples might be, “Gracias! Merci! Danke schoen! Spasibo! Mahalo!” and any other ways or languages you can think of. (The ones listed above are Spanish, French, German, Russian, and Hawaiian, in case you were wondering.) If you want to really get tricky about it, say a short phrase in each language that conveys why you’re thanking them!

20. Show them some love.

A simple touch, a hug, or helping out when they need it without being asked may be the most powerful gratitude message you can send. Offer to take the dogs for a walk, sit for the kids for a few hours, or run to the grocery store so they don’t have to. The little things are often the most important and meaningful. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still send a note, but sometimes your simple presence and willingness to help is all that really matters.

Featured photo credit: Hanny Naibaho via unsplash.com

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