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4 Simple Steps To Make Your Internet Life Secure

4 Simple Steps To Make Your Internet Life Secure

Do you often wonder how much privacy you have online? From your emails, chat convos, and backups to running and maintaining a website or a blog, your internet life isn’t exactly 100 percent safe.

Yes, cyber attacks happen all the time.

But you don’t have to get paranoid about that as long as you take some precautionary measures that will save you a lot of trouble. The best thing you can do is to understand the basics of how to avoid exposing yourself and becoming vulnerable, and consider some of the tools that will keep you covered while you’re online.

Let’s look at a few ways of protecting yourself from the digital bad guys.

Why You Should Encrypt Your E-mail

Checking e-mails is the number one task we do online, at least twice a day. We need to communicate, stay in touch and exchange ideas. While setting strong e-mail passwords is always recommended, whether you’re using web-based solutions like Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook, or an e-mail client, this no longer seems to be enough.

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The main reason why you should encrypt your e-mail is to simply keep your data safe from people or organizations that have the means to break into your accounts, steal and reset your passwords and log in as yourself.

Not only can they read your e-mails, but they also pull information about you that should be yours and yours only. Just visualize for a moment the journey of your e-mail messages across different networks that are more or less secure and monitored. Scary, right? You don’t know when Big Brother looks over your shoulder and reads information that should remain private.

If you’re not exactly tech-savvy, there are easy solutions you can implement. Jack Wallen at TechRepublic has put together a list of five free applications you can use to easily encrypt your e-mail.

Keep Your Chat Conversations Between You and Your Counterpart

The same element of privacy goes for your online chat convos too. There are so many options for connecting with people across the globe and even more directions from where you can become a target of internet security breach.

You can encrypt, for instance, your Facebook Chat and Google Talk/Hangout conversations by downloading Pidgin, a trusted instant messaging client.

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Besides that, you might also want to have a look at chat apps that encrypt conversations such as Cryptocat and Chatcrypt, to name just a few.

Keep Your Data Safe with Secure Backups and File Syncing

As far as file syncing and backup options go, Dropbox stands out for being more than just a free file hosting service. It’s the best online backup option. You can sync files between your devices. With the free 2GB storage, you can share large chunks of data. No more attachments and removable media are needed. In addition to that, your stuff will always be safe and can be instantly restored if any of your devices get broken.

Another collaborative tool that syncs files and makes online backups is SugarSync.  You can try it free for 30 days. From individual to business, SygarSync offers you the plan that suits you best. It helps you decide what and where you want to sync, and automatically backs up all your pictures and videos. Also, you can share files in a snap, whether it’s through social media, e-mail or your blog. More important, the Remote Wipe option removes all synced files from your PC or Mac in case of theft or loss, while the data still resides in the cloud.

Last but not least, Mozy offers three types of products: for Personal Use, Enterprise IT and Business. Mozy takes care of your digital information by offering a simple automatic and secure cloud-based online backup service. Backed by EMC, it stores and protects more information for Fortune 500 businesses than any other company. To use it, simply download the software and create an account.

Use a Password Manager to Generate Strong Passwords

Setting a different password for each website you access may reduce the risk of your password being stolen. This can be a hassle as it may be difficult to remember all of them, especially if you work from different computers and, on top of that, use a smartphone and an iPad.

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This is where password managers can help. Simply put, a password manager generates strong, random and unique passwords and remembers them for you.

There are many online password managers available. While there are debates about how safe these are, more and more users would rather keep themselves on the safe side instead of having their social media, online banking and e-mail accounts hacked.

Lastpass is free and offers various features apart from generating a password for a new site. It helps you centralize your data while keeping it safe, back up your files automatically and send login information for shared accounts to friends and family who are also LastPass users. Plus, for $12 per year you can get unlimited mobile access.

Roboform manages all your passwords automatically and connects you to the websites of your choice. It’s fast, secure and intelligent. It works with Internet Explorer, Firefox, AOL/MSN, and many other browsers and fully supports Windows 7.

KeePass offers strong security, doesn’t require installation and the password database can be easily transferred to another computer. What’s even better is that it can be translated in over 30 languages!

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There you go! These are just four easy steps to keep you safe on your online journey.

Over to you:

What other tips can you share that make your internet life secure? Sound off in the comments below.

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Anca Dumitru

Freelance Writer & Content Strategist

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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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