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10 Ways to Protect Your Privacy and Stay Safe Online

10 Ways to Protect Your Privacy and Stay Safe Online

Privacy is a basic human right that is protected by the U.S. Constitution and international law. Despite the illegality of warrant-less spying, disclosures by whistle-blower Edward Snowden reveal that the NSA would like to know all of your secrets. Don’t wait for your government to do the right thing. Take action today with these ten ways to protect your privacy and stay safe online.

1. Block intrusive game requests and excessive event invitations.

Do you have friends you love dearly, but insist on sending annoying game requests and event invitations? Click here to ban them from inviting you to anything ever again (they won’t even know you did it). You can also block specific games and apps. I would suggest starting with the most common ones like FarmVille, Candy Crush, Mafia Wars, and Words with Friends.

2. Prevent online stalking by removing location information from your Facebook profile.

Let me illustrate how creepy Facebook’s Graph Search feature is. If I wanted to, I could search for who is single based on their location, employer, school (even high school), and interests. Even more specifically, I’m a single guy who likes to travel, and I happen to write for Lifehack all the time, so I could perform a search like this:

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lifehack search

    Note: I removed the names to protect the innocent (although I’m fully aware you could find them in 10 seconds if you replicate this search yourself, but please don’t abuse the power).

    If you ever get strange friend requests from people you’ve never met who send flirty (maybe awkward?) messages, they probably performed a search like this to find you. You can protect yourself from creeping by removing all searchable information from your profile, especially the city you live in, the school you attend (or attended) and your employer.

    3. Tell Mark Zuckerberg to stop being an Internet creep.

    facebook

      Facebook is now using your browsing and apps history for ads (despite saying it wouldn’t three years ago). While I’m not concerned with increased monitoring for marketing purposes, you have to remember that Facebook is a powerful weapon for governments who spy on their populations. Click HERE to tell Mark Zuckerberg to back off.

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      4. Use lists to protect posts from being viewed by the Internet at large.

      Facebook’s default post setting was “public” (meaning anybody could read your status updates) until very recently. While changing that setting to “friends only” is a welcome decision, you might want to consider using lists for added protection (click here for more information).

      5. Disable geotagging on Twitter.

      If you think it’s wise to leave a digital footprint of your location on every tweet, please consider how easy it would be to determine your home and work address with this information. Log-in to your Twitter and click HERE to make sure geotagging is disabled. While you’re there, I would also suggest making these quick changes (don’t forget to click “save” when you’re done!):

      • Protect your tweets if you want them to be viewed by friends only
      • Right below that, click “Delete All Location Information” to remove past tracking data
      • Uncheck the boxes for “Personalization” and “Promoted Content” for extra privacy protection

      6. Turn off your cellphone GPS unless you are traveling somewhere new.

      Your cellphone is practically a tracking device that could be exploited to determine your exact location at any time. Even though that sounds like an Orwellian nightmare straight out of 1984, it is an inconvenient truth you need to accept. Following these steps will make you more difficult to trace.

      7. Destroy leftover data from old apps with SD Maid.

      Even if you delete an app, that doesn’t guarantee it won’t leave behind data that could clog up your memory and compromise security. Click here to download SD Maid, which will remove useless files with ease.

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      8. Encrypt your text messages with TextSecure.

      According to the Guardian, “The NSA has collected almost 200 million text messages a day from across the globe, using them to extract data including location, contact networks and credit card details.” Click here to keep your personal conversations private with TextSecure.

      9. Protect calls from snooping with RedPhone.

      According to the Guardian, the NSA is monitoring the telephone records of millions of Verizon customers under a top secret court order that “requires Verizon on an ongoing, daily basis to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.” Click here to secure your conversations so nobody can listen in with RedPhone.

      10. Tell your representatives lawless spying is unacceptable.

      The best way to achieve positive change is to demand it from the politicians who represent you. Don’t take my word for it: take it from an ex-congressional employee:

      “Very few Americans, despite having a country with millions of us, ever call their legislators. 100+ phone calls per office in Congress would blow people’s minds. We receive that little contact from people despite each office representing 100,000s+ citizens. This is because so many people drink the kool-aid that they have no power or that money controls everything. This is untrue. What happens is money wins when people never complain (to their legislators!).” [source]

      Don’t wait for a politician or activist to save you, because you’re more powerful than you think you are. Click HERE to make your voice heard. Please share this article if you want to help your friends protect their privacy and stay safe online.

      Featured photo credit: Edward Snowden/The Guardian via theguardian.com

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      Daniel Wallen

      Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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      Last Updated on November 19, 2019

      10 Smartest Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

      10 Smartest Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

      Productivity is the ability to perform tasks efficiently and in a timely manner. In today’s busy and competitive business world, productivity is paramount for any business, organization or corporation.

      Productivity is more than just performing tasks successfully. It is about investing and allocating resources, so the company or business can perform to meet its core goals.

      As part of 2019, it is important to commit to new goals. When shopping around for new productivity software keep in mind the following things: cost, reliability, cross-platform compatibility, on the go, technical support, etc.

      In the subsequent sections, we will examine the most recommended productivity software in the marketplace. In addition, we will look at what makes them tick and what separates them from the rest of the pack.

      Projects and Tasks Management

      1. Monday dot com

        Monday dot com was founded to create a team management solution so people connect to workplace processes across any industry. The productivity tool is used in more than 140 countries.

        The user interface is intuitive and impressive. It makes collaboration productive and fun because of its simplicity.

        The tool is deemed to have one of the best user experiences across the mobile and online project and task management platform.

        The product includes usability, customization, admin control, group management and control, private or public control, in-group messaging and more.

        Check out the software here!

        2. Asana

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          The mantra behind Asana’s product is to enable teams from across different organizations to work together effortlessly.

          The software comes with lots of customizations. When you create a project as a user, you can choose between a traditional task view and the kanban-style board view. The dashboard allows you to see the progress on a project, and it includes an excellent advanced set of search tools.

          Also, Asana’s Android and iOS apps do retain the web interface’s clean look and feel.

          Check out the software here!

          3. Trello

            Trello was founded in the summer of 2010 and two years later the platform added 500,000 members. Anyone within sales, marketing, HR and operations can collaborate successfully with this product.

            Moreover, the tool has over 100 plus integrations with Google Drive, Slack, Jira and others. The product works flawlessly across various platforms.

            Some of the well-known features includes is speed, easy-to-use, and set up. The interface includes due dates, assignments, file storage, checklists and more.

            Check out the software here!

            4. Jira

              The Jira software is flexible and heralded as the next-generation project.

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              The software allows teams to design and adapt the software to an organization’s needs. This includes having visibility into long term goals, project roadmaps, status of work, real-time release information and more. In addition, the interface is customizable.

              The Atlassian Cloud does not support multiple separate domains, subdomains or domain aliases in Google Apps.

              Check out the software here!

              5. Evernote Business

                Evernote was founded in 2008 and reached 11 million users by 2011. The company was founded on the premise that their product should address the ever-increasing volume and speed of information.

                The product helps bring together groups of teams because of versatility and functionality. It creates documents, collaboration on projects, store information all a single location.

                Moreover, you can find information quickly and includes effective search capabilities and integrations with existing tools you may already use.

                Check out the software here!

                Communication

                6. Slack

                  Slack was founded in 2013 and the tool is heralded as a collaboration hub. Slack is where productivity happens. When you start a new project, hire new staff, deploy a code, review a sales contract, finalize on a budget, Slack covers all of these. Some of the major highlights include highly customizable notifications and seamless integrations with other collaboration and office tools. The free version of the software comes loaded with features, but does not archive old message. So, you have to review what are the best options for your organization or business.

                  Check out the software here!

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                  7. Spike

                    Newcomer Spike makes emails more conversational by helping teams maintain productivity, communication, and collaboration. All of these are achieved from within their inbox.

                    Spike works on top of any existing email (O365, G suite, and IMAP) turning it into a real-time messenger and making your communication much more functional and efficient.

                    Spike’s features include built-in groups and channels, voice and video calls, email encryption, instant access to all your files, and much more.

                    Check out the software here!

                    Creation

                    8. Office 365

                      Microsoft’s Office 365 could not be excluded from the conversation and especially as it pertains to productivity software.

                      Of course we are all familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. But there is more capabilities that come with it.

                      You have business-class email, online storage space, and teamwork solutions. These services can be accessed from just about anywhere.

                      Within this suite is Microsoft Sway, which is a presentation software and a step above PowerPoint.

                      Check out the software here!

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                      9. Grammarly

                        Grammarly helps to cut down time on editing. Professionals in several industries like law, healthcare, academia, marketing, engineering and journalism use it to provide instant feedback on the accuracy of writing in English.

                        Once you install the extension from Google Chrome, you can get corrections when you are drafting an email, using social media and other apps.

                        Grammarly is AI powered and it’s a wonderful tool to have to check spelling and grammar before a presentation.

                        Check out the software here!

                        Team Analytics

                        10. ActivTrak

                          ActivTrak is a business intelligence tool that allows you to access team behavior analytics. In other words, it is data-driven.

                          The pros include two-factor authentication with active directory integration. You can also automate your alerts and it has an intuitive interface with easy-to-use admin controls.

                          Furthermore, it comes with Google sign-in, iOS app, productivity track, and more. The bottomline is the product offers employee productivity metrics along with team behavior analytics.

                          Check out the software here!

                          The Bottom Line

                          Depending on the size, budget, resources, and immediate needs of your company, not all productivity software will exactly solve your problem. You will have to contact any of the providers above and probe extensively to find the right product that is made for your business.

                          More Productivity Tools

                          Featured photo credit: Domenico Loia via unsplash.com

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