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7 Ways You Can Shield Your Computer & Smartphone to Avoid Identity Theft

7 Ways You Can Shield Your Computer & Smartphone to Avoid Identity Theft

With the advent of technology, the use of paper has decreased in offices. Nowadays all the sensitive information is kept on computers and smartphones. Accessing information on these devices is secure. But it important that you are highly careful about keeping the sensitive information safe.

With the increased use of smartphones, computers, and the internet, the cyber-crime has also increased. If you are not careful about securing your personal data, then it is not difficult to steal the information. Without proper security, you can become a victim of identity theft. People can steal personal information like credit card information, usernames, social security number, etc.

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Here are some of the tips that are helpful in making sure that your smartphones and computers are secure.

1. Choose your Passwords Carefully

Make sure that all of your accounts have passwords. Just securing the account with a password is not enough. You have to choose it carefully and make it difficult for anyone to guess. There are several passwords which are used commonly. People often use dates which are special to them like date of birth or anniversaries as their passwords. It is easier for them to remember them but it makes it easy for hackers to crack it and steal your information. Be smart about your passwords.

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2. Avoid Spams and Scams by Learning to Identify Them

If you are careful, it is not difficult to spot the scam emails. It is possible that the spam or scam website look very legitimate. You can save yourself from getting into the trap if you totally ignore the irrelevant links that are sent to you. Even if the link seems valid do not click it. It is better to visit the website using your search engine.

3. Using the Security Software

Make sure that your computers have an updated security software. Make sure that you have an anti-spyware, a firewall and an anti-virus so that all the personal information is safe and secure. It will make it difficult for anyone to hack into your system and steal the files. You need to install the security patches so you can keep the operating system secure and it will provide ID theft protection.

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4. Be Careful about Using Wi-Fi

It is important to be careful when using a public wireless network to send sensitive information. You can get a Wi-Fi connection at the airport, hotel, library, etc. but you have to see that the information you are sharing is protected. Using a secure wireless connection is important because it ensures that all the information you are sending or receiving is reliable. Using the encrypted website will only keep the information you share through the site secure.

5. Do not Forget to Lock your Laptops

You need to make sure that you have a username or password to log into your account which is hard to guess. It is the only way of keeping the information secure. When you are not using the computer, you should not leave it in the standby mode because it will allow other people to access the information. Always make sure that you log off when you are not using the computer so that no one cannot steal your personal information.

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6. Be Smart about Making Purchase on any Website

Online shopping is becoming popular as it saves time and offers more variety. But it is important that you choose a site which has a good reputation because while shopping you will have to share personal information such as credit card information. Make sure that the site is safe and legitimate before sharing your financial information.

7. Do Not be Careless While Downloading Apps

If you by mistake download any malicious apps then they will corrupt your phone. This can make it vulnerable which will make it easier for people to steal your information. They can be dangerous for your personal information because they do not encrypt the sensitive information and it makes it easy to access it. Before you download any app make sure that you check out the reviews about its security features. Never forget to read the privacy policies. If you read it, you will know how much information you are sharing.

To make sure that your computers and smartphones are secure and your information perfectly safe you need to pay attention to little things like passwords etc. You also need to stay alert and be on the lookout for any signs of identity theft such as missing bills, denial of credit approval, getting notices about due bills, etc.

Featured photo credit: Guiding Tech via beta.noroeste.com.mx

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Adnan Manzoor

Data Analyst & Life Coach

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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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