lock-143616_640This post brought to you by Choosi

How safe is your personal data in the digital world? In an era of online shopping, social media sharing and frequent internet browsing, it is a question that is vitally important to us. Research recently conducted by Choosi and CoreData found that 85.8% of Australians surveyed were concerned about online security and privacy. However, the number of people taking action to maintain their digital privacy was surprisingly low. Only just over half of respondents said they are always careful about posting personal information online that might be used for identity fraud, and a mere 22% always change their internet passwords.

These statistics are alarming, but are perhaps a reflection of how complex the issue of online security has become. It’s just so hard to keep on top of the latest threats and what we should be doing to protect ourselves against them. In the interest of making things easier, here are 7 simple online hacks to maintain your digital security.

1.      Be careful what you post

Nowadays, many of us choose to broadcast our lives across social media. We share our day to day movements, photos of our kids, and have the occasional vent. However, there are certain bits of information that we should never post online, because they can be used for identity fraud. These include our personal or work address, phone number, personal email (which is often used to access online accounts), financial information (including the name of banks at which your money is held), passwords and credit card details.

Further, you need to think carefully about details in the photos you share. A photo of your child in school uniform can reveal where they will be at school pickup time; a shot of you proudly standing in front of the ‘sold’ sign of the house you just bought may reveal your new residential address.

2.      Review your Facebook privacy settings

Have you ever clicked on the profile of a person you don’t know on Facebook, and been surprised just how many posts and photos you can access? If you share a lot of your life on Facebook, you need to check your privacy settings. Make sure only friends and family can see your ‘about’ information and photos, and don’t provide your phone number, email or home address in the about section or within any posts. Find out more about Facebook privacy here. And remember, if you access Facebook on a public computer, always log out at the end of the session.

3.      Don’t inadvertently reveal your home office address

Be careful when you list your home-based business online, as your address can generate a pin on Google Maps. Where possible, use a PO Box, your accountant’s office or generalised address like ‘Main St, Hawthorn’, and look for checkboxes that allow you to keep your address private. Also watch out for this information being automatically added to the bottom of your email newsletters by email services such as Mailchimp.

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4.      Purchase quality security software

According to the research conducted by Choosi and CoreData, only 46% of respondents always purchase and update their anti-virus software. If you are browsing the internet, you absolutely need to do this. In addition to virus protection, the software should also provide a firewall against outside networks trying to gain access to your computer. It also needs to identify phishing sites, which pretend to be bank sites, auction or online game sites, and that collect your username and password.

5.      Use secure passwords and change them frequently

The most secure passwords use a series of letters, numbers, capitalisations and punctuation – for example: Chrystal_clear#22.  Don’t choose a phrase relating to something important to you that can be guessed (such as a birthday or pet’s name), and of course, don’t use the same password across accounts, and don’t write them down. Now, that’s the official line. In reality, it’s impossible to remember all our different secure passwords when we need one for every online transaction and social media account. So, use password management software to store your passwords for you – you only then need to remember the ‘master’ password to access all others. Are password managers safe, I hear you ask? Apparently so.

6.      Delete your browsing history

Almost every time you visit a site, you download a small data file called a ‘cookie’ from that site, which tracks your internet usage. While this can be handy for you – your computer will remember where you’ve been and what you want to see – it can also be used by government or intelligence agencies to track your browsing and collect information about you. If that thought bothers you, then make a habit of deleting cookies and temporary internet files from your browser. And even if you don’t mind Big Brother watching you, at least delete your browser history whenever you use a public computer.  A tool such as CCleaner will do the job for you, or you can manually delete cookies directly from your web browser).

7.      The super sneaky stuff

Okay, that’s all the easy hacks sorted. There is still a lot more you can do to protect your digital privacy – such as using an internet browser that blocks cookies, or an email service provider that encrypts your data. It requires a little more reading to understand, and may be a step further than you are prepared to go (it’s a little like going off-piste in the ski fields). But here is an excellent article to explain the options and point you in the right direction if you want to go there.

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This post brought to you by GoTo Meeting

Ever wonder where some of the most-used phrases you use in work came from? Or even what they mean? Check out this fab infographic that explains 50 of the most annoying phrases you use:

INFOG -50 Annoying Phrases You Hear at Work_AU (1) (002)

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Hi! And thanks for taking the time to check out the Mother’s Day Gift Guide & Magazine.

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We have worked really hard to find a great range of unique and gorgeous gifts for the mum in your life and, best of all, they’re all supplied by amazing biz mums – so buying means you’ll make two mums happy!

Plus, there are interesting articles for mum to read and recipes for delicious brekkies to be served directly to bed.

See something you like? Click the ad and it will take you directly through to buy. Enjoy, Alli x

 

 

Click here to access the Gift Guide

 

 

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This post brought to you by Upskilled

Mums – we are an amazing bunch. We simultaneously look after babies, partners, households, sometimes our own businesses, and often even ourselves. We learn to make lunch with one hand whilst holding a sleeping baby with the other. We memorise sports schedules for multiple children, know exactly which sandwich filling is preferred by each child, and co-ordinate pick ups and drop offs with all the skill of an Uber app.

And yet, when it comes to re-entering the paid workforce, we are all too often wracked by self-doubt. We worry that our workplace skills have slipped away, that our industry knowledge is completely out of date, or that our sleep deprived brains won’t be able to process new information.

Honestly, we deserve a kick in the pants! Mothers are excellent contributors to the workforce. We’re focused and efficient, because leaving late is not an option. We have a wider breadth of skills than before we became mums. And for many of us, we’re actually pleased to be at work and using our adult brains. An enthusiastic employee is a company’s greatest asset!

Re-entering the workforce can feel really daunting, but there are many things you can do to gain confidence and prepare yourself for the transition.

Volunteer or intern

If throwing yourself back into a paid job feels like too big a step, or if it’s proving difficult to obtain your ideal role, consider working as a volunteer or intern. Working in any sort of capacity will remind you that you are a capable person who can learn new workplace skills, and give you the confidence boost you need to then set your sights higher.

What’s more, volunteering will give you something new to add to your resume, up-to-date references, and possibly an inroad into a paid position.

Educate yourself

It’s a common concern that, while you were keeping the little humans alive, your industry has moved on and left you behind. That may even be true. But this is a situation that can be rectified, and the internet is your friend.

It has never been so easy to learn what you want, when you want it. Sign up for webinars, subscribe to blogs, download business eBooks or enrol in an online course.

Registered training providers such as Upskilled provide online learning platforms with a wealth of course options and qualifications to choose from. Online learning can be perfect for mums who need to fit their training in around school runs and nap times. (As a bonus, Upskilled assign trainers to their online students, so you’re not left floundering on your own).

It’s also a good idea to start attending industry events again, both for the knowledge gained and the networking opportunities (along with the lure of canapes and wine, of course).

Gain confidence with a coach

If a lack of direction or self-confidence is holding you back, get some help with that!

The coaching industry has exploded in recent years, to the point where it may be hard to know who to choose. Look for a coach whose expertise aligns with what you most need – whether that be help with personal issues, industry insights, etc.

Take a good look at your prospective coaches’ training, testimonials, and experience in your industry (if relevant). Ask for a free 30-minute session or discussion, so that you can see if you are a good fit for one another.

Send out feelers

It can take time to find a new role, especially if, like many a mother, there are restrictions on the hours or locations in which you can work. So start by getting the word out that you’re looking.

Let all of your networks know what you’re after – get in touch with previous colleagues, attend industry functions, tell all of your friends and family, put it out there on Facebook. You don’t need to ask for a job, just for job leads. You never know who may be connected to someone that is looking for a new employee.

Above all, just get started, taking whatever small steps you can manage. Get that momentum going, build up your confidence, and soon you’ll be back in the paid workforce and realising just what an awesome asset you are to your employer.

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Biz School MumsDo you have an inner voice that questions whether you’ve got what it really takes to make your biz successful? That wonders if your biz is actually gonna make it?

Me too and it sucks.

But what I want you to realise is that we all have that shitty little inner voice that makes us question ourselves. You, me, and even that super successful entrepreneur you’ve been idolising. ALL of us.

But what separates the big players from the small ones – is the power you give your doubts and what you choose do with them, because it’s this that will affect your results.

And your choices will look a little bit like this:

  1. Avoid the feelings and don’t deal with them – but have them impact you nonetheless (FACT);
  2. Tackle them head on, lay them to rest and move onwards and upwards.

Now most people will opt for 1 – because it’s safer and as humans we actively avoid pain and discomfort (aka the comfort zone cling on). However, it’s only when you are able to embrace 2, that you will in fact learn and grow in self and business.

You see with most negative emotions there is actually an insight waiting to be uncovered that can help move you out of your discomfort to a better place. In coaching we like to see negative emotions as really just a red flag, a cue so to speak, to let you know something’s not working for you and you need to make some changes

So if you’re experiencing doubts in life or biz, then your message loud and clear is that there are probably some underlying issues to be addressed and you need to learn what those are and then get to work on them.

Let me expand on this further and bring it to life for you:

If you’re plagued with negative self talk like “I can’t do this”, “I don’t have what it takes” “I’m never going to be a successful entrepreneur” – there’s probably some negative belief systems working against you – that if left unchallenged, will continue to hold you back and keep you playing small… potentially for the rest of your life.

Likewise, if you have doubts about your business “I can’t stand out”, “my competitors are better than me,” “my marketing isn’t working”– there’s likely to be holes in your business model, process and / or strategy – or even in your skill set, which will obviously impact your ability to grow your business and be successful with it.

With all of this in mind then – I’m sure you’re beginning to see that perhaps your doubts can actually hold a key to a better place if you choose to lean into them and look to learn what lies beneath them so you can take positive action. Because the flipside (avoidance) really can and will cripple you and your business.

Ok so how do you get up close and personal with your doubts and really look to grow from them? Well it takes time and some work – but I’ve posted some kick ass coaching questions to get you started.

These questions have been designed to help you start thinking about the origins of your doubts and help you begin to challenge and work through them so you can move on and lay them to rest.

If your doubts come from your capabilities, work through the following:

? What doubts do you have about yourself and capabilities?
? Where do you believe they originate from (go back as far as you can remember)
? How valid are these doubts really?
? What evidence do you have for them?
? And most importantly what evidence do you have against them?
? How will holding on to this doubt move you toward the life you want?
? What new beliefs around yourself will better serve you in life that you can begin to embrace?
? How will your family benefit if you embrace this new way of thinking?
? What will you choose to believe about yourself moving forward?

If your doubts come from your biz:

? What are the 5 core challenges you are experiencing in business?
? And why specifically are these challenges?
? What areas of your business do you actively avoid and for what reason?
? What steps might you have you missed in your research / planning / strategy?
? Where do you feel you need help?
? What skills are you missing?
? Looking at your answer to the questions above… what can you start to do differently to address your problem areas?
? What goals / targets can you set yourself to fill any skills / knowledge gaps?

As you can see, there’s a lot of food for thought as you work your way through these.

Well ladies, that’s it, the choice is now yours. If you’re holding any doubts at all right now, I urge you to empower yourself and choose to use them as fuel for good – as a tool for life-long change and as a stepping-stone to the outcome you want.

So go lean in, learn and transform your doubts into certainty, assurance and belief and watch your results change.

Here’s to your success – and to you truly believing you can.
Now, if you’re keen to do a real deep dive into this area and REALLY take serious action when it comes to crushing any negative self-talk you have – then we’re hosting a 3-Day Mindset Challenge, which kicks off on Tues Apr 18 (the day after Easter) … where we’ll be delivering you hands on help to create some major mindset shifts across your life and biz.

This Mindset Challenge will have you walking away feeling empowered and ready to kick some massive goals in your biz.

To join us, CLICK HERE.

About the Author: Anna is a Life & Business Coach. And Owner and Co-founder of Business School for Mums.

Business School for Mums is an online business school designed to help Mums in Business Thrive.

Alongside business and marketing skills – mindset and life coaching sit at the heart of what Anna & her biz partner Flori teach go their students… to ensure that their students have a truly 360 approach to taking their business to success.

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