Rule Your Technology or It Will Rule You

With each passing day, we become more enamored by online information and communication services. Concurrently, various Federal agencies should be on the lookout, seeking to shield us from the onslaught of web intruders, scammers, robocallers, and spammers. As we’re all witnessing, such protection is not happening.

Too many people have long been hooked and bagged, including some of your office mates. They have voluntarily surrendered vital, personal information to vendors: Vendors who will exploit that information for all it’s worth.

How can we protect ourselves and our communities, nevertheless, and ensure that we are the masters of the digital world rather than its servants?

Too Powerful and Constantly Abusive

Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, in her article titled, “Overthrow the Prince of Facebook” remarked, “The signal fact of Mr. Zuckerberg’s career is that he is supremely gifted in one area – monetizing technical ingenuity by marrying it to a canny sense of human weakness.” She observes that Big Tech, in general, has become too powerful and abusive.

If you’ve been cautious about where and to whom you dispense personal, private data, you have a decent chance of remaining out of the clutches of internet titans such as Google, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Apple, Amazon, Pinterest, etc.

To stay in relative control of your personal information, here is a basic roster of 30 tips and observations in five categories – daily behaviors, email procedures, social media activities, smartphone use, and web browsing:

Daily Behaviors

* Never send your social security number or other vital data via email or a website

* Use the Google ‘delete all searches’ procedure. Search no “Delete my Google browser history.”

* Work offline when being online is a distraction

* Clear cookies every night

* Backup your important work

Email Procedures

* Set your email junk mail filter to a highly protective setting

* Do not respond to any unsolicited offers that come via email

* Avoid opening any attachment from an unknown party

* Issue a statement to vendors that your contact information is strictly private

* Remove yourself from as many lists as possible

Social Media Activities

* Delete private information that you’ve posted on social media sites

* Forsake posting on news or social sites using an identifiable email address

* Chastise, on social media, any vendor who shares your contact information

* Quit reporting your whereabouts via social media sites

* Diminish your use of social media in general

Smartphone Use

* Turn off the GPS option on your phone as often as possible

* Bypass answering a phone call from 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, or 833 area codes

* Delete all phone apps that you don’t use

* Limit the data that you provide on apps that you do use

* Clear the cache and temporary data files on your phone apps

Web Browsing

* Change your internet browser every 90 days: for example, Chrome to Firefox, Opera, Vivaldi, etc.

* Undertake private web browsing with Browse Happy, Tor Browser, or Epic Browser

* Patronize search engines other than Google: Yahoo, Bing, Gibiru, Startpage, etc.

* Keep your browser software up-to-date

* Peruse a variety of news sites for greater objectivity

Long-Term

* Register your websites using the alias filing feature

* Update passwords on a periodic basis and make them unique

* Change credit cards every two years

* Remain alert: Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, etc., are not your friends

* Realize that cutthroat, globalist website CEOs seek to control you, not serve you

Break up Those Monopolies

I wish I could report good news, that the tech giants would tone down their aggressiveness and ruthlessness. It’s not going to happen without congressional action.

Where is Teddy Roosevelt when you need him? Most of these mega-companies need to be divvied up. They represent monopolies that do not benefit society. Even if that occurs, it won’t be for years, and they will still be unrelenting in their attempts to systematically extract your personal data. Let the user beware!

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Posted by Jeff Davidson

Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony.

Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including:
* Managing the Pace with Grace®
* Achieving Work-Life Balance™
* Managing Information and Communication Overload®

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