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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 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

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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