Linking your life: privacy vs. simplicity, Tuesday Tech, Published by SRQ Daily Freshly Squeezed Content Every Morning – Tuesday January 26, 2016

19 January 2016,   By ,   0 Comments

Staying in control of your digital life and sharing content between all of your devices sounds like a dream come true… until you really look into it. Today, you have the world at your fingertips and can access whatever you need, whenever you need it – at home or in the office. But, are you sure you really want to do that? Let’s look at the pros and cons…

For starters, linking your applications among all devices is very simple and convenient, eliminates the chances of you missing an important call, text message, or email and makes you feel much more in control of your digital life. This connectivity helps you respond to communications in a timely manner, make changes or updates to social networks from anywhere at anytime, or take and upload photos instantaneously to access from any of your mobile devices.

Yet, this simplicity also comes with a drawback: the potential loss of your privacy. For example, say you are using Facebook on your office computer to chat with a friend. You step away from your desk and continue the conversation from your mobile device. If you’ve left Facebook open on your computer browser at your desk, anyone walking by will be able to watch your chat in real time – as it happens – with the text printing right on the screen. Logging out of one device before logging into another reduces this threat to your privacy. Password protect all of your devices with unique, challenging, and memorable passwords to safeguard your information and your content.

Take time to decide if your privacy settings are correct before responding to a message in a heated exchange. Do you really want to respond publically to a work colleague on Facebook who disagrees with a posting you made, or would a private message be a better way to get your point across? Think about where your message may end up due to connected applications. Strategize and be aware of acceptable forms of use for the internet at your company. If you are a boss – are you setting a good example? If you are a staff person – do you want to keep your job? Never assume anything. If you are using an application from your mobile device which is linked to all your devices assume everything you’re doing is accessible to others.

Want more simplicity? Save time using mobile applications by structuring your content feed (e.g., the order your email inboxes or calendars, etc. appear on your phone), designating groups and assigning priorities to those groups. Using “work,” “personal,” and “social” categories may be one way to do this. Under work you could include clients, teams, prospects, etc. Within personal home, kids, school, activities, etc. And social could be determined by the outcomes you’re looking for. If getting back to a potential customer is important, have sample answers to common questions created and crafted as draft messages on your mobile device. When you get questions on the road, you can customize the message and respond quickly. Make use of out-of-office messages, auto text replies to missed phone calls, etc. to optimize your work day.

Ensure your privacy is foremost by learning about new encryption technologies on the market. Depending upon your circumstances, you may want to install one on your mobile device – especially if you have client contact information or other confidential data stored on your phone. A good example of this is the SSL certificate installed on your website. When used correctly, it will encrypt all messages sent between your website and your mobile device including but not limited to your email. That means no matter where you are using a publicly available wireless networks or a private network your messages will be encrypted as the travel from your phone to the server to the end receiver. The cost for this service is usually under $100 a year and installing and using it on your devices takes just a simple configuration.

So what did you decide? Do you want privacy or simplicity? My bet is you can have it both ways and take control of your digital life. It just takes a little planning and the protection you receive will go a long way.