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Know More About Facebook Safety Check For Disasters

Know More About Facebook Safety Check For Disasters

These days, we use social media for everything. Everyone, from kids in elementary school to senior citizens living out their retirement, check websites like Twitter and Facebook on a daily if not hourly basis. With social media as popular as it is, it makes sense that it would eventually start to be utilized for more important tasks than just checking up on what your favorite celebrity has to say, or posting a status about the latest latte you drank.

What am I referring to? Disasters. With everybody on Twitter, and Facebook especially, it makes sense that they be used as tools by which to inform those you love of your status during some kind of calamity. Whether you be caught in a snowstorm, a hurricane, an earthquake, or a fire, Facebook is trying to make you just a bit more safe and secure during these kinds of traumatic moments.

Facebook’s foray into the safety industry comes amidst a flurry of new services meant to keep you safe. One of these was covered in a recent Lifehack article, an app known as SafeTrek, which informs police of your location in potentially dangerous situations.

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Facebook’s service is similar, though meant to be used on a far larger scale. Whereas an app like SafeTrek is more suited for something akin to a home break-in or a store robbery, Facebook’s “Safety Check” is designed to keep tabs on your status during major disasters.

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    How exactly does it work? Since it is part of the Facebook app, it uses your personal information (such as the town you have listed as your current area of residence) as well as your internet activity to determine your location. If you happen to be near a disaster, the Safety Check feature will activate, and ask you if you are safe. This will notify everyone in your news feed of your status, a useful feature since anyone that cares for you will want to know that you are OK.

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    If for some reason Safety Check gets your location wrong, you can simply tell it that you are “not in the area,” and it will go away.

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      Safety Check goes beyond just informing people of your status in a disaster. It also allows you to see other people who were possibly affected by the same event, and lets you monitor whether they select if they are safe or not. That can be an incredibly useful feature if you are wondering whether or not your friends are all safe.

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      Development on Facebook’s Safety Check feature started mainly as a result of the 2011 Tsunami in Japan, an event that convinced the company to develop a more streamlined way to make Facebook a useful tool during a disaster, mainly because people were using it as a way to report their status after the wave hit anyways.

      While there are certainly other services like Safety Check out there, this one is particularly intriguing because nearly everyone uses Facebook. Therefore, it makes it that much easier to get informed about those you know who might be in danger. Previously, you would have to wait on texts, calls, or some other kind of social media status, all of which are more clunky to use than simply pressing the “I am safe” button in Facebook’s tool.

      What this feature really offers then is peace of mind. The only potential drawback I can see with this tool is that it tracks our whereabouts 24/7 That said, Facebook was probably already keeping tabs on us either way, and at least there is a good reason for location tracking to exist with Safety Check.

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      Facebook is not alone in releasing new safety features. The popular app Shazam has also released new features that help prepare you for disasters, and others are sure to follow. I say it is for the best. The more ways we have to protect ourselves, and inform those we love of our status during calamitous events, the better.

      Featured photo credit: Facebook/mkhmarketing via flickr.com

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      Published on September 20, 2018

      11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

      11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

      In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

      Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

      In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

      Minimizing Tabs

      Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

      Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

      Incognito Mode

      Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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      1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
      2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
      3. Download extension New Incognito Window

      This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

      Save Webpages as PDF Files

      Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

      Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

      Open Recently-closed Tabs

      Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

      One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

      The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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      Solve Mathematical Problems

      Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

      For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

      Play Media Files

      Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

      In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

      Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

      With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

      Stay Focus(e)d

      Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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      Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

      With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

      This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

      Grammarly for Editing

      Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

      You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

      Loom

      There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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      There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

      With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

      Chrome Calendar Extension

      No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

      Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

      Final Thoughts

      Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

      Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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