Category Archives: Online resources

Afterlife: How To Protect Your Digital Legacy

Death isn’t something many people are comfortable talking about, but it’s become more and more evident that planning for it is a wise move. You work hard to be able to live the life you want, and planning for contingencies in this case isn’t daring death to ‘come for you.’ It’s taking the time to pragmatically think things out, and then take control of how your personal, professional, and digital assets can be taken care of. Just in case.

Related article:  Disaster Recovery and Your Business

For a quick background context, here are four articles highlighting the issues people have encountered when they lost loved ones:

  • Don’t Let Your Husband Take His Passwords to the Grave (Leslie Milk , Washingtonian)
    “I told my email provider my husband died. Then they locked me out of our account. “
  • What Happens After A Hacker Dies (Patricia Hernandez, Kotaku)
    “On December 2014, Michael Hamelin, a hacker and physicist, died in an unfortunate car crash. He is survived by his wife, a scientist named Beth Hamelin—who not only has to deal with the grief that comes with a loved one passing on, but also has to manage the intense security measures that Hamelin left behind.”
  • Here is another viewpoint on the same family: Dealing With The Digital Afterlife Of A Hacker (Patrick Howell O’Neill, DailyDot.com)
  • Death leaves online lives in limbo (Peter Svensson, USAToday.com)
    “When Jerald Spangenberg collapsed and died in the middle of a quest in an online game, his daughter embarked on a quest of her own: to let her father’s gaming friends know that he hadn’t just decided to desert them.”

You have an on-line life as well as an offline life — don’t leave your family or business twisting in the wind by ignoring one in favor of the other, or by sticking your head in the sand. It’s neither good business practice nor well-thought out to do so.With the way we live, things are too  interconnected to “just leave it to God” and “hope for the best.”   And hope alone has never been a strategy.

Continue reading Afterlife: How To Protect Your Digital Legacy

The Difference Between Syncing and Backups

What’s the difference?

When you back-up your data, that is a different thing from syncing your data. A back-up is a copy used for safety and archiving.  It’s not supposed to change. When a glitch, breakdown, or an accident happens, you can revert or refer to a back-up to get the original, un-FUBAR’d copy of whatever it is you lost or was corrupted.

A back-up what you go back to in case something happens to your current set-up.  When you have a back-up strategy and keep you back-ups current, if something happens to your data today, you won’t lose much time recreating your data since you have a recent copy close by.

Syncing — keeping multiple copies stored and updated to current versions — is what you do so you can access the same data across computers and/or devices. When you’re synced, you can access the same data wherever you go, whatever you use. This helps people on the move keep their data updated whether they access it at home, on the go, or at work, as long as their devices are online.

Having a reliable back-up means that if you suffer the blue-screen of death or whatever mishap that takes your system down, versioning can help you roll-back to an un-infected or uncorrupted state. Having reliable syncing enabled means you’re updated wherever you are, whatever you use. Continue reading The Difference Between Syncing and Backups

How Much Do You Know About Digital Hygiene?

The fact that you’re scanning this proves that you have a device that connects you to the internet and lets you read on it. It doesn’t even have to be a personal computer, as the smartphone revolution has given billions of people access to the world wide web than ever before.

This means you have a digital device, a digital presence, and a digital foot-print. Whatever device you use — computer, tablet, phablet or smartphone — you have an internet connection and online accounts (email, social media) that lets you talk with other people. You probably have more than a few online profiles.

If you own an online business, even better. You have all that and pay for a domain name and registration, security certificates, and hosting for your website, as well as own business information, customer information, and mailing list data.

Data Storage Solutions, the original article that inspired this one, was written way back when flash drives were just starting to be a thing. To say that a lot has changed since then would be a massive understatement. Now more than ever, you have to be more digitally savvy of how to handle your on-line accounts and data resources.

On a universal level, security is vital. You protect your privacy and your data, it’s just common sense. Hackers can compromise your identity — not just your online persona, but your identity. They can hold your data hostage, or ruin your brand. One breach, and the integrity and security of your data can be devastated. Four words: credit-card identity theft. Which is just one example.

On the street there are ATM skimmers, online there are phishers, brute-force hackers, malware and ransomware.  On your side of the computer screen there’s, well — there’s you. When was the last time you checked if you had a strong password? Have you added 2-step authentication to all your important accounts? And get this — do you actually remember the answers to your security questions? Continue reading How Much Do You Know About Digital Hygiene?

Help Yourself: Resources For A Healthier Entrep

The background issue in running your own business is that it can take over the rest of your life, and even affect your way of looking at the world. Customer fulfillment, logistics, marketing, publicity….the calculating mindset  needed to juggle all those things  focuses on what gets the most bang for the buck.

When that kind of hyper-focus slowly spills over to the rest of your life, some things drift to the periphery and languish on the sidelines. They don’t seem urgent, they’re not a problem for now, and you got more pressing things to attend to, right? Right. And so you go on.

That is, until the niggling signs surface. Having a touch more irritability. Being a  little bit more snappish. But of course, who wouldn’t be, if they woke up with back pain. And maybe achy fingers, too. And the tired eyes? Well, that’s just part of the job, right? And if you want to sleep in on the weekends to recover, your friends and family will understand. You’re tired. You’re not up to seeing them right now.

And so, part of what suffers can be your health and your relationships. Part of that can be the rest of the life you’re living right now. Look at the entire picture, and not just the specific sections that take up your time. We’re talking about taking a 360-degree look-around here — something we need to do every once in a while to recognize our bearings and truly take note of where we are in our lives.
Continue reading Help Yourself: Resources For A Healthier Entrep

How To Clean Your Mental Gutters With Mind-mapping

Running a business doesn’t mean that you have to have it on your brain all the time. Too much work causes a life imbalance, and no matter what living you choose to put your hand to, first and last, you’re still a person with 24 hours in a day who has to sleep, at a minimum, at least seven hours of that to maintain some minimum standard of health. The other seventeen hours, you can choose to fill as you see fit — hopefully in a healthy way.

All work and no rest makes for a sick you, and no business will make up for that. Not only do you have to think about the health of your business, you also have to mind your physical, mental, and emotional health. One very helpful way to attend to all three is to use mind-mapping to help you get out the issues that plague you and address them.

We wrote about mind-mapping years ago in “Mapping For Mental Clarity.” When your mental inbox is over-flowing, mind-mapping essentially helps you clear it out and set a course of action to manage your to-do’s.

Mindmapping can help you:

  • Clear your head by letting you get out everything that’s been weighing heavily on your mind.
  • Generate and capture ideas while brainstorming choices, counter-moves, and possible options.
  • Plot out possible future moves by organizing ideas and passing thoughts that may be the seeds of something good.
  • Plan your actionables so you can get what you want, and get to where you want to go.
  • Plan around a goal and help you plot out the actual steps you need to take to achieve that goal.

Continue reading How To Clean Your Mental Gutters With Mind-mapping

Get The Numbers: Digital and Mobile Statistics

Knowledge is power. Data is key to that power. Understanding what the data is showing helps people make better decisions. But when you’re pressed for time focusing on your priorities, who can you trust to give you accurate reports from which you can can make practical plans and take insight-driven action that will guarantee successful goals?

Where can you go to get the data you need to make better decisions for your business? Better yet, where can you access data that has already been driven down into usable key points — saving you the time and trouble of the initial analysis and prediction?

Businesses run by numbers. Big businesses love running big numbers and big data.  Even better, there are  organizations already in the business of collecting, tracking and analyzing data, and interpreting the results. What you can do is set things up so you can tap these resources when you need them for forecasting, long-term planning, and bench-marking. What else? Just to start:

  • Check the latest consumer behaviors across  multiple channels and social media platforms.
  • Make decisions based on reliable data for presenting investment proposals for marketing.
  • Check your performance against your competition in the same niche.
  • Check sources to give you an idea on consumer behavior trends in e-commerce and mobile marketing.

Previously we presented five sources at the tail end of “Business By The Numbers: Smartphones.”  We’re expounding on some of them here and adding more to the list as well.
Continue reading Get The Numbers: Digital and Mobile Statistics

How Using SSL Protects Your Website

If you keep your browsers up to date you may already have run into warning messages when you try to go to unsecured websites.  For example, in Firefox the message is: “Your connection is not secure.” In Chrome it’s: ” Your connection is not private,”  and these messages are followed by  a possible explanation of why your browser is blocking you from going to the website you just tried to reach.

Now, you could brush it off as a mild irritant in your browsing routine, but the implications for your business are much heavier and far-reaching than you’d think. As a casual visitor to someone else’s website, those messages may not worry you that much, but if you’re on the other side of the table, you absolutely need a secured website when you have an online business. That’s where SSL comes in.

Get a basic overview here:  Google Chrome to start marking HTTP connections as insecure (PC World)

Here’s why SSL is important: In essence, it adds another layer of security and legitimacy over the operation.

  • It adds an extra layer of protection especially when you process sensitive, critical personal and financial information on your site — of course, encryptions protecting sensitive and critical financial information on the server side is also a must.
  • It provides extra reassurance to visitors and customers that your website has protection in place when it’s collecting any kind of sensitive data like log-ins and passwords, and credit card information.

 

Something else that your visitors may not have considered is their own browser personalization (whether desktop or mobile app). Plug-ins are also evolving towards greater security,  and your visitors may have ones that will block them from accessing your website for security reasons. Assuring them your website is secure can only be backed up by solid proof:  Using an active SSL cert.

The push is increasing internet security wherever possible due to the continuous evolution of hacking methods. Phishing, malware, holding information hostage… we have a lot to worry about,  and on an industry level, the people responsible for updating our browser engines are doing their part to help, and thus the warnings.

To protect your site  and anyone visiting  it, get an SSL certificate. Continue reading How Using SSL Protects Your Website

Top 7 Sites For Free High Resolution Images

We are a visually oriented species as a whole. We follow the shiny and we like  pictures  — the good ones speak a thousand words, after all. Couple that with the internet, and you’ll know that images are an important visual support and design element on websites. They can be the focus of an article. As accompaniment, they can help tell a story– and of course, pictures of products are an excellent way to showcase the goods.

The internet is basically a very fast way to communicate, and the better we get at telling our stories and sharing what we aim to be valuable content, the more we build value in our products and offerings.

Photographs are easy to come by for anyone with a smartphone and some free image editing software. But when you’re running your own business, how much time to you have to take photos, pick out okay ones, and pump them up a little before posting them within your article? Try: Not that much.

If you’re the kind to need different kinds  of pictures for your blog, website, e-books, brochures, or even your mind-mapping board, here are seven free stock photo resources for you.

Pexels

  • 50 new high-quality photos are made available daily, and each month adds  some 1,500 hi-res photos from trusted photographers and other sources like Gratisography and Unsplash.
  • Has over  10,000 searchable photos already available online.
  • All photos licensed under  the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means the pictures are completely free to be used for any legal purpose, for personal or commercial use. You can modify, copy and distribute the photos, with no need  for attribution or to  link to the source. Each photo provides source links.

Pexels helps designers, bloggers and everyone looking for an image to find great photos that you can use anywhere for free. If you aspire to take and share your own pictures, you can upload them as well. Continue reading Top 7 Sites For Free High Resolution Images

Read Easier Online: Eye-care For Busy People

Whether you think, you know, or you don’t mind that you’re spending too much time on the internet, don’t forget to take care of your eyesight.

It isn’t just reading that we’re talking about here. In the normal course of being online you can expect to browse and read for information, and then there’s also responding to things like posts, emails, and IM’s. And for business,  there’s also writing reports and things like preparing presentations, verifying information and the like.

Viewing, reading, and writing — whatever you do with all the time you spend online, you’ve probably experienced the following symptoms from over-use.

  • Dry, ”sandy’ feeling eyes.
  • Blurred or double vision.
  • Difficulty focusing.
  • Eye irritation and redness.
  • Headaches (Throw in neck and/or back-pain)

Related series:  You and Your Computer
Information: Computer Vision Syndrome (American Optometric Association)

This article will  show you what you can do to create a better, healthier reading experiences online under the headings of  brightness, formatting and content length. Included are certain browser plug-ins and programs — so play it safe and  back up your profile in your browser of choice before making any changes. Continue reading Read Easier Online: Eye-care For Busy People

A Little Toolbox To Combat Stress

Even with all the new advances in technology we see each year, it’s not likely we’ll ever  reach the point where businesses are fully run by AI’s and robots.  People will always be at the heart of any enterprise, and as such, stress will an inevitable and unchanging part of the human condition.

With the constant stress we are bombarded with daily,  what makes it feel worse is that it can look all but impossible to halt the assault.

  • Work environment: People are pressured more to produce more in less time, and are driven to unhealthy and unsustainable levels of performance. Without downtime to rest and detach from work-pressure, the mind and body cannot take needful rest in peace.
  • Technology tethers: We are exposed to constant, unrelenting stimulation via technology and work culture.  We deal with alerts, pings, and messages that can interrupt our focus and break our concentration.

We are overwhelmed with choices, and yet can be made to feel we have no choice.

Hey,  welcome back to Jrox Resources. Today’s article is targeted towards managing stress by using techniques to help you keep calm, or help you calm down, either by  practice, soothing sounds, or by  simple creative activities. Continue reading A Little Toolbox To Combat Stress