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Identity Theft Through Social Networking? Lessons to Take Now!

Identity Theft Through Social Networking? Lessons to Take Now!

In 2012, more than 12 million people became victims of identity theft and fraud, with an estimated total of $21 billion losses for the year alone, proving that these issues are growing problems in the US. The federal government, financial institutions and companies dealing with sensitive information are enforcing measures to protect their consumers from ID theft and fraud, but cyber criminals are finding ways to collect information—either through a data breach or by turning to social media to obtain information.

How social media can put you at risk for identity theft

Social media giants Facebook and Twitter recently suffered such hack attacks. Facebook claimed that no user data was compromised in the attack, while Twitter revealed that some 250,000 usernames, passwords, and email addresses were stolen.

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According to Facebook’s management, the computers of its employees were infected with malware that came from a mobile developer’s website that was already compromised. This particular attack shows that even though companies rely on technology to protect consumers, the latter is still vulnerable to attacks. Criminals focus their attention on the companies’ employees to gain access to their databases.

Criminals can also obtain your personal information through third-party applications. Most social media sites have apps that ask for permission to access your account information before you can install them. This is one way hackers steal your details to commit fraud.

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Unconsciously (or sometimes, consciously), you provide personal details you would not share otherwise on your social media accounts. Information such as your full name (including your middle name), date of birth, hometown, pet names, interests and hobbies, nature of work, and home or office address are just some of the personal details you post on your profile. Criminals can easily manipulate these details to commit fraud. Protecting this information just as you would protect your SSN and driver’s license number is one effective method of identity theft prevention.

You also put yourself at risk for identity theft when you post updates of your activities on your social media accounts. Posting that you’ll be out of town on the weekend might attract burglars. Opportunists will steal not only valuable items (jewelry, gadgets and cash) from your home, but also documents containing your personal and banking information. This could very well be the start of your identity theft problems.

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How to protect your information on social media sites

Before deleting your social accounts, you should consider that you can be smart about what you post or provide on your profiles. You can still enjoy participating in social media sites without falling prey to identity thieves and fraudsters. Here are some points to consider:

  • Be in control of the information you provide online. Find out how the site will use your information (such as for targeted advertising). As much as possible, never allow the site to make your personal information available to third-party application developers or marketing agencies.
  • Never provide your SSN or driver’s license number even if the site asks for either.
  • You should also avoid giving out your credit card number when buying additional apps or features for your account. This is one way to prevent credit card fraud.
  • If you plan on becoming active in social media sites, make sure you provide as little personal information as possible. You should also consider changing a few details (like the day on your birth date) so those who can access your details won’t have your actual information to use for ID theft-related activities.
  • Only invite or accept invitations from people who you know or have met, and avoid inviting strangers or friends of friends to your network.

Guarding against identity fraud

Not all identity theft cases lead to identity fraud, but it pays to be cautious. If your social account has been hacked, all your personal details may be compromised. Any combination of the details you provide in your profile (such as your full name and home address) can be used to commit fraud. You should regularly your check credit report to see if there are any suspicious activities involving your name. You should also check your credit score as some of these activities may have an effect on it.

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For the naturally wary, enlisting credit monitoring services is helpful in tracking suspicious activities. You’ll be notified daily or as often as necessary when changes in your credit occur. Some people think regular credit monitoring is only for the paranoid, but if you think about the financial and emotional costs of identity fraud, you’ll see that that this service is well worth your money.

Actively participating in social media sites puts you at a higher risk of identity theft simply because more people will “see” you and will have access to  your details. Being cautious of how much information you share (or overshare) on your accounts. Having control of how this information is used is the key to protecting yourself against identity theft and fraud.

Are you a victim of identity theft through social media? Share your story with us by posting in the comments section below.

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Digital Analyst

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Last Updated on May 28, 2020

18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. Undoubtedly, it has allowed us to connect, perform, improve, and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.

If you’re not taking advantage of some of the hundreds of time management apps and tools out there, you’re definitely missing a trick.

But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones to use?

Well, this will depend on your needs. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 18 of the best time management apps that can help you with the most common challenges of managing time.

Let’s dive straight into the list.

1. Rescue Time – Use Your Time Wisely

    If you have doubts if you are using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. Aside from its automatic time-tracking feature, this app also has distraction blocking and efficient report tools.

    RescueTime helps you avoid being overwhelmed by too many tasks. This app also has a team software that’s dedicated to time management among team members. With this app, you may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

    2. Remember The Milk – Keep on Top of All Your Tasks

      If you’re struggling to manage everything you have to do, and you work with many different devices, then this is the app for you. It’s a great free tool that is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc., and it allows you to sync all your devices for easier time management.

      This app will help you to manage your tasks easily and reminds you of them – wherever you are. You can share tasks and lists with others, making it a great tool for teams as well.

      Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

      3. Focus Keeper – Boost Motivation to Complete Tasks

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        This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and it is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It has a simple, efficient user interface that is easily customizable based on your needs.

        Focus Keeper is designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures. This is a great app to use if you want to prevent yourself and your team from being burned out.

        Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

        4. Toggl – Keep Track of Time Spent on Projects and Tasks

          Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks and through analysis – working out how you can manage them more effectively. Toggl allows you to do all this even with its simple design.

          Toggl includes great time-saving features integrated with its intuitive interface. This is a great alternative to time-sheets if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects.

          Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

          5. Dropbox – Store and Send Large Files Easily

            There are many apps that allow you to transfer content from your computer to other devices, but Dropbox is free and it is easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go. It is an easy way to share your files and documents with others for improved productivity.

            Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

            6. Evernote – Keep All Your Notes in One Place

              Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts, and images in many different ways (e.g., with voice, notes, or images). You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches, and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments, and share your files with friends. You can also sync Remember The Milk with Evernote to better optimize your time.

              Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

              7. MindNode — Focus on Tasks at Hand With Mind Mapping

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                Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mindnode is one of the best free mind mapping apps available. It helps you to become more organized by focusing your thoughts – thereby gaining clarity on what needs to be done.

                This app allows you to customize various visual tags and templates to suit your needs. You can also easily share your documents with others.

                Available on iOS and Desktop

                8. GoodSync – Back Up and Sync Your Files Effortlessly

                  This software allows you to back up, restore, and synchronize your files easily. It supports folders from a variety of locations, and it has filtering options that let you exclude subfolders from synchronizing.

                  This app also allows you to sync files to and from your phone. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this tool.

                  Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                  9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) – Manage Your To-Do Lists Effectively

                    Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, work with your to-do lists, and organize your goals. This task management software helps you target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives.

                    MyLifeOrganized is one of the best task management apps for focused work. It automatically generates to-do lists with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                    10. 1Password – Have All Your Passwords Remembered

                      1Password allows you to keep all your passwords in one encrypted database – protected by one password. This saves you time when you forget your passwords and need to retrieve them. This also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                      Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

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                      11. Pocket – Keep Your Eye on the Ball

                        When you’re surfing the web, it’s easy to get distracted by enticing and fascinating websites. That’s why you need effective time management apps like Pocket. You can use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time. This prevents you from getting distracted and negatively impacting your immediate work.

                        Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                        12. Focus@Will – Boost Your Attention Span

                          This amazing app combines neuroscience and music to boost your productivity. According to the developers, it’s possible to increase your attention span by up to 400% using Focus@Will, making this one of the best time management apps available.

                          Focus@will is ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working, or reading. It also helps you control your ADD.

                          Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                          13. Alfred – Interact With Your Computer in a Smart Way

                            This small and simple tool allows you to launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to go through the start menu to access what you want. The only downside is that it’s only available for macOS.

                            Available on desktop (macOS)

                            14. Forest – Boost Your Focus by Growing a Forest

                              Forest is a unique reinvention of time management apps. This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track by making you focus on another thing.

                              The concept is simple: whenever you want to focus, plant a virtual tree. If you stay focused, the tree will grow. If you lose focus, the tree will die. As the app’s name implies, you can grow multiple trees to create a virtual forest!

                              Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop (Firefox Add-on)

                              15. Trello – Track Your projects in a highly visual way

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                                Trello is a hugely popular app that you may already be familiar with. It works by allowing you to create cards for tasks that you need to complete. Each card moves across the Trello board, which is typically broken into columns such as To Do, In Progress, and Completed. This serves as your cue to start working on and completing the associated tasks.

                                Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                16. Quire – Unfold Your Ideas

                                  Quire is an innovative time management app that helps boost your team’s productivity. The strength of this app lies in its features for collaboration and ease of sharing. You can streamline and adjust your workflow based on your team’s needs and preferences.

                                  Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                  17. TimeTree – Have a Shared Calendar With Your Family

                                    This TimeTree app allows families or teams to share multiple calendars and appointments with each other. So, whether you’re planning a party or running a local sports team, Time Tree can keep everyone up-to-date with all current and upcoming activities and events.

                                    Available on iOS and Android

                                    18. Todoist – Capture and Order All Your Tasks and Activities Easily

                                      Todoist is close to being the ultimate digital to-do list and one of the best time management apps out there. It’s available via browser and app, and it lets you schedule all your tasks and activities. Each item can be flagged for priority as well as a given due date. There is also a neat option to add notes to any of your tasks.

                                      Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                      Final Thoughts

                                      The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools available. And the good news is that many of them are completely free of charge!

                                      So, what are you waiting for? Select the ones that will be the most valuable to you, and begin boosting your productivity now!

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                                      Featured photo credit: freestocks via unsplash.com

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