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13 Google Plus Tricks You Probably Don’t Know

13 Google Plus Tricks You Probably Don’t Know

Google Plus is the fastest growing social network in the world now, with over half a billion active users and almost a million new users on a daily basis. With the rising popularity of smartphones with the Android OS, so did the popularity of Google+ grew. The whole world has gone mobile and people started connecting more over social networks, which greatly reflected on the world of e-commerce The users are connecting their devices with their Google accounts and are available to use all other Google products, which basically cover all the needs of an internet user:

  • Gmail

  • Google Drive

  • Google Analytics

  • YouTube channel

  • Google+

So, an email account, cloud storage, video channel, search engine and a social network – what more do you need?

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Google+ is probably the most user-optimized social network with rich, functional and yet highly practical features. You can easily connect with people and follow all trends and points of interest, engage in hangouts and air your broadcasts live. So, we are going to turn your attention to some tips on how can you make your Google+ experience better and more practical.

Connect with people!

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    Sync your Gmail account

    First of all, if you are starting to use Google+ and you would like to connect with the people you know, Google+ will run through your Gmail account and suggest them to you. If your profile on any other social network is connected with your Gmail and you are receiving newsletters, it will include them as well. This is one of the ways you can connect with people on Google+.

    People Search

    The second option is by hovering over the “Home” button and choosing “People” from the sidebar. Here, you can see all the people suggested to you, people that have you in their circles, people you have in yours and an option to discover even more people based on the personalized search.

    Communities

    The third option is to engage in communities that share your interests and connect with the people there. There are a great number of communities you can join based on various topics and interests or you can also simply create a community and invite people over.

    Shared Circles

    People often share their circles of people with common interest to the public, so they can connect and reach out to as many people. This is a natural way of expanding your circles on Google+ and to find more people with common interest to connect with. In time, you will share your circles too.

    Managing posts

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      Increase post visibility

      Plain text posts without any content connected get swallowed in the news feed because they are simply not eye-catching. Enrich your posts by adding a little value to them. For example, if there is a piece of text that you wish to emphasize, simply use the following:

      • *text* – for bolding the text

      • _text_ – for italic text

      • -text- – for strikethrough text

      You can mention people in your posts and comments by simply adding the “+” mark and just start typing the name. Google+ will suggest the name from your circles to you and it will add link leading to their profile. That way, not only will people be able to access their profiles but also the person in question will be notified that he/she was mentioned in your post.

      Take control of who sees your posts

      Before you publish any post, you may edit the list of people who may see it. Any post can be completely public and shared to as many circles and people as you wish. You can even set for just one single person to see your posts and that way, communicate freely over Google+ without having to overcrowd your email.

      Removing posts from your newsfeed

      If you have found something offensive, abusive or just irrelevant to you in your newsfeed, you can simply remove it by clicking the down arrow in the top right corner of the post and select the option “Mute”. After that, the post will be forever removed from your newsfeed. If you, by any chance, wish to ban future posts of that specific person, you can simply report it or use filter option.

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      Disabling comments

      There is an option in every post to disable the comments on it. That way, you can simply share an opinion, statement, news or a rhetorical question and you will not be bothered with notifications and replies.

      Another option is to create polls by doing this. Simply create a group of comments which should be the optional answers to the pole and engage people to “+1” them, as a vote.

      Photo and album management

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        Smartphone synchronization

        If you are using a smartphone with an Android OS and you have a connected and synced Google Account, you will be thrilled to see that every photo you take is uploaded to the Picasa cloud storage, awaiting your approval to be published or put in an album.

        That way, you can always share your moments with people which is in the nature of social networking.

        Using GIFs

        Did you know that Google+ is the only social network that allows you to use gifs in your posts or as your profile image and cover photo? It is a fun feature so feel free to try it out – be creative.

        Hangouts

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          Using Google+ Hangouts for personal conversations

          You can use Google+ hangouts to communicate with your friends and people in your circles via video or text. It is the fun form of communication, because you can add as any people and communicate simultaneously, which is perfect for study groups, friend chat, business meetings, etc.

          Using Google+ Hangouts for seminars, live discussions and broadcasts

          You can schedule an online broadcast by using hangouts and Google calendar. It is a perfect solution to stream seminars because you can control the authority of participants – who can engage in the discussion and who cannot.

          Following Trends

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            In the “explore” tab on your newsfeed, you will be presented with the latest trends and hot topics on Google+. When you publish a post, Google will automatically add a hashtag with a keyword in it and scale it on their list of hot topics. That way, your posts are more certain to be seen by larger groups of people with common interests in the topic. You can add hashtags to your posts manually and thus help your post become visible by a more precise group of people.

            Stay updated with the global Google+ trends such is a “#caturday” – people have devoted a whole Saturday for cat memes, puns and jokes, basically worshiping them and making it a long lasting and fun trend.

            Featured photo credit: Get to know Google+ via Google

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            Ivan Dimitrijevic

            Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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            Published on September 25, 2020

            10 Best VPNs to Browse the Internet More Securely

            10 Best VPNs to Browse the Internet More Securely

            When it comes to digital security, public Wi-Fi networks aren’t safe enough, making it much easier for hackers to access your personal data. Whether you are studying in a library or scrolling through Facebook in a coffeehouse, it is vital to have a VPN installed on your device.

            VPNs work wonders when it comes to securing your internet connection. By creating an encrypted tunnel between a remote server run by the VPN service, they protect your personal data from prying eyes. There is a variety of VPNs available on the web, and we have collated a list of the best VPNs that stand out from the rest.

            How to Choose a VPN

            • Free trial period – Free trials allow you to try the product risk-free. The same idea technically applies to those with 30-day full refunds as well.
            • Speed – You want your VPN to be just as fast as the internet speed at home. Good quality VPNs are ones where you see little difference between those speeds.
            • Device connection – Of course, the more devices that can connect to VPNs, the better. It increases the customers’ coverage and the product’s value. You also want to consider compatibility since fewer VPNs may work for Mac or Windows only.
            • Number of servers – The number of servers determines how much capacity a VPN can handle while you are connected. The more servers there are, the more users it can handle without running into potential disconnections or slow speeds.
            • Kill switch feature – Having this feature means that your IP address isn’t exposed if the VPN disconnects for some reason. A lack of this feature is a big deal since the whole reason why you’re paying for a VPN is to hide your IP address, among other things. (Find out how to avoid getting tracked online here: Big Brother Is Watching You Online: How To Avoid Being Tracked)

            Why You Should Trust Us

            Our hand-picked VPNs are incredibly efficient and offer such distinctive features that grant you safe browsing. They outperform many VPNs in terms of both speed and security. Their primary aim is to provide you the utmost security, thus enabling you to surf the web safely and prevent any potential threat from causing harm.

            Among the best VPNs’ many unique features include split tunneling, strict logging policies, high encryption level, and availability of international servers. We have gathered them in this article to enlighten our readers and offer the best pieces of advice before you get one. Therefore, take our word for it, and if you go for a VPN mentioned below, you’d be fully appeased.

            1. NordVPN

            The most popular VPN on the market these days is NordVPN, and it’s easy to see why. It has widespread coverage, offering a selection of over 5,000 servers spanning across 59 countries.[1] Due to the high number of servers, its speed is similar to your Wi-Fi at home.

            Lifehack’s CEO, Leon, has been using NordVPN for many years and wants to recommend it for its remarkable server count in different locations with no-logs policy. The VPN perfectly works with Netflix and Fire TV stick, too.

            NordVPN is also compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux. You can download the app onto Chrome, Firefox, Android, and Mac OS. Thanks to its massive coverage, it’s easy to connect multiple devices onto these servers.

            In terms of pricing, while NordVPN doesn’t have a free trial period, they argue that their plans are considerably cheaper than those of their competitors. For example, a one-year plan for ExpressVPN costs $8.32 per month, but NordVPN only charges $6.99 monthly.

            NordVPN has a new protocol called NordLynx that is based on WireGuard with speed benefits, though it’s still under development.[2] If you’re looking for general quality and affordability, this is one of the best VPNs around.

            Buy this VPN.

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            2. ExpressVPN

            ExpressVPN is the second-best option out there for keeping your privacy while browsing the internet. Like many other VPNs here, they will encrypt your IP address, offer vast coverage, and can have multiple devices connected to their servers.

            Compared to NordVPN, while the pricing point is higher, ExpressVPN’s biggest selling point is the number of countries that their connection covers. Depending on where you are in the world, this may be the only option you have. They have fewer servers — 160, to be precise — but they make up for the low server count by covering 94 countries.[3]

            Cost-wise, your best bet is to go with the yearly plan where they charge $8.32 a month. They also have one- and six-month plans.

            Buy this VPN.

            3. Surf Shark

            With regards to Surf Shark, you can connect multiple devices to its servers, and it’s compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac. It is also available on Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and FireTV.

            Furthermore, Surf Shark can whitelist apps and sites, letting them bypass the VPN. This, along with the lines of split-tunneling, is another feature that many VPNs offer. The difference is that Surf Shark allows you to whitelist specific apps or any website, while most VPNs will whitelist all sites or none at all.

            The other consideration for this app is the price. While lower-tier plans are more expensive compared to others, Surf Shark’s 24-month plan is priced at $2.69 a month, so it’s cheaper than even NordVPN’s equivalent plan!

            Buy this VPN.

            4. CyberGhost

            Another top-reviewed VPN is CyberGhost. They’ve been around for 15 years and have fine-tuned their offers and features to stay competitive. They provide the standard package of browsing the web and logging into accounts safely and give you access to regionally blocked content.

            The network also maintains security from hackers, malware, and phishing. Aside from that, you can connect multiple devices, and it’s compatible with all kinds of platforms.

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            What separates CyberGhost from the others is their extensive coverage. They have multiple servers, and the pricing point is still very low. It covers over 88 countries and has roughly 6200 servers for you to choose from, all while charging $2.75 for their 18-month plan.

            Buy this VPN.

            5. IPVanish

            IPVanish’s prime purpose is to give users online freedom by providing fast speeds and private connections. It’s clear that they can meet that promise as they provide many of the features that have been listed previously from their competitors.

            IPVanish is a part of SugarSync now. What is that, you may ask? It’s a cloud-based service that syncs files across devices and computers for sharing, backup, and many more. What this means is that other devices can access various files and videos so long as they are connected to your specific VPN. Furthermore, it can serve as a backup plan if you get hacked or lose your device for some reason.

            Buy this VPN.

            6. Private Internet Access

            Private Internet Access (PIA) is a remarkably generous company in many ways. Aside from the obvious features, they offer great incentives and discounts for people to try out their products. They claim to be the most trustworthy and reliable VPN around, and we believe that.

            One notable thing is that PIA offers a free two-month trial. Compared to other VPNs to this point, none have provided free trials (though all come with a 30-day money-back guarantee). On top of that, small businesses can avail of their VPN at a discounted rate. There is also the fact that their pricing plans go as low as $2.69 a month for two years, and they let you pay with gift cards.

            In terms of specs, PIA has over 2695 servers that cover 47 countries right now.

            These particular aspects make PIA unique and one of the best VPNs to consider.

            Buy this VPN.

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            7. Hotspot Shield

            Hotspot Shield is all about offering protection while you’re browsing the internet or using streaming services like Netflix. The encryption is military-grade, and its speed is ultra-fast. In truth, it is even marketed as one of the fastest VPNs.

            Hotspot Shield offers a plan that only costs  $7.99 a month; however, it’s one of the few in this list to provide its services for free. Like other Freemium apps, the free version comes with limited features. That said, it gives you a much better feel for the VPN.

            Also, take note that the encryption feature is still there, though the limitations in the free plan include connecting to one location in the US and having limited streaming options and speed.

            Buy this VPN.

            8. TunnelBear

            As unusual as a name choice for an online security protection service can be, TunnelBear is nothing short of incredible. It makes our list of the best VPNs for various reasons.

            The biggest one is that the company goes through a yearly security audit. This is notable because many VPNs don’t bother about independent audits to ensure their systems are secure and safe from any issues. This is critical as VPNs have gotten some bad reputation over the years, as TunnelBear has noted in their post about their security audit.[4] The fact that they are doing this annually ensures that nothing is being compromised.

            Furthermore, TunnelBear offers limited services for free, but even their paid plans are pretty cheap. For individuals, you’re merely paying $3.33 per month. The only catch is that you can connect five devices regardless of which paid plan you pick.

            Buy this VPN.

            9. Norton

            Norton has been on the security scene for some time, and it’s actually one of the founders of the internet security industry. It started with virus and malware protection in 1991 and has since branched off to other sectors as the industry has shifted.

            As you might expect from a company that’s been around for a long time, Norton provides excellent services, and a few of their other services have gone into the VPN package. In reality, Norton is the only one thus far to offer a password manager with their VPN services. They provide 50GB of cloud storage as well.

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            Norton has one of the cheapest VPNs, considering you can get their deluxe plan at $49.99 per year. That comes up to roughly $4.17 a month. It might be slightly higher than other equivalent plans, but you get a lot of extra value that makes it worth the price.

            Buy this VPN.

            10. StrongVPN

            The final VPN we want to cover is StrongVPN. Like many others, it’s great at blocking unnecessary web traffic and providing a fast and simple solution to navigating the internet without any hindrance.

            StrongVPN has over 900 servers. It is available in more than 30 countries and compatible with all devices. Beyond that, the only notable selling point it has compared to others is that it also offers Sugarsync services and 250GB of storage, irrespective of your chosen plan.

            As for the pricing, their year-long plan costs $5.83 a month, while their month-long one is $10.

            Buy this VPN.

            Bottom Line

            Getting online protection is important these days, and companies recognize this.

            With more hacks and breaches occurring every single day, the best VPNs can provide an excellent haven for many people who value their security and privacy.

            We hope that by putting together this list, you’ll be able to find the best VPN that you can trust and enjoy using. As you can see, there are several great options with no real wrong one out there. Pick the VPN that’s best for you.

            Featured photo credit: Petter Lagson via unsplash.com

            Reference

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