Category Archives: Information Technology

Rules of good and bad smartphone etiquette

cellphone etiquette
We have all experienced rude smartphone users and aware of the loss of social etiquette. The lure of constant connectivity can often prove too much for most people to resist. A smartphone is a superb piece of technology that offers us the freedom to move away from our desks and still be able to keep in touch, share life events, and remain in contact with the office. But society has to have some boundaries.

Research has shown that almost 60 percent of smartphone users cannot go more than an hour without looking at their phones. “Smartphone are the cigarettes of this decade. Making other people suffer your impoliteness on the phone is akin to blowing secondhand smoke in their faces” – Rebecca R. Hastings. How we communicate with each other is evolving rapidly, and the experience of simply being with someone and being around each other is changing.

To avoid offending anyone, follow these basic rules of smartphone etiquette:

  • Silence your phone during meetings – There is no valid excuse for using a phone during a business meeting.
  • Remove your bluetooth devices – Always  remove devices during face-to-face interactions and the pulsing blue light that distracts others.
  • Avoid goofy ringtones –  If you forget to silence your ringer before the meeting starts, don’t compound the error by broadcasting an attention-getting ringtone.
  • Don’t use your phone as a watch – using your phone as a watch often leads to reading of emails, messages and news headlines notices.
  • Ask permission to swipe — When we hand you our phone to look at a photo this is not carte blanche to swipe through our entire photo album.
  • Never check your phone during client meetings – During a face-to-face conversation, you should never take a non-urgent call or text message unless you work in the emergency field. So put your phone away and leave it alone
  • Stop shouting – Respect those within earshot and be aware of your own voice and speak quietly. Be cautious when discussing business matters over the phone in public places.
  • Don’t use your phone when you are bored — You look like a zombie when you do, and it makes us all feel sad.
  • Put your phone away when someone is in your office – A smartphone on the desk can send a message to others that the phone is symbol of something that’s more important than the person across the desk.
  • Control the urge to check your messages – There is a time and place to check your emails or messages. Wait till a client vacates the office before picking up your smartphone.
  • Put your phone in your pocket at networking events – The whole point of a networking event is to talk to others and stay focused on the person you are talking to.
  • Create a real signature – No one is interested in what type of smartphone you are using. It is easy to prepare a signature  with your contact info.
  • Communicate with care – Always remember to use spell-check, grammar-check, and auto-correct.
  • Don’t use phone when you walk or drive – When driving or walking, pull aside for a conversation so you don’t block traffic or put people in danger.
  • Respect the people in your presence – Be present and aware of the people you are with physically.
  • Notifications are for you only – If you’re engaged with people, put the phone away and on silent until you’re prepared to answer it.
  • Avoid multitasking – Avoid sending text messages and sending emails while talking to someone. It is a sign of disrespect and that you not interested in the people around you.
  • Remember to silence your phone – Always put your phone on silent when entering a meeting. Phones vibrating can be a distraction for others.
  • Leave short and to the point messages – Don’t leave long, complicated voice messages where you speak so fast that it sends the other person scrambling for a pen.
  • Excuse yourself when taking a call – Don’t have conversations in front of other people at all, especially professional conversations. It is incredibly inconsiderate to the people around you.
  • Use a professional ringtone – Avoid using a loud and annoying ringtones. better yet, turn the ringer off, or on vibrate and avoid making the people around you listen to every text message you receive.

Create Strong Passwords and Protect Your Privacy

Safety concept: Contoured Shield and Password Security on comput

As we become more reliant on modern technology, we also become more vulnerable to cyber attacks and hackers. Your first line of defense against hackers is your password. Protect yourself with a password that are difficult to crack but easy to remember. If you have multiple logins and password, perhaps you should consider buying password management software.

What does  it mean “difficult to crack”?

Every time cyber criminals break into and hack into databases of passwords, they are able to learn more about the login details and passwords people are using. Today, cyber criminals with the right technology to crack passwords are able predict what passwords people are using. Passwords that you think are complex can be easily guessed by hackers. The best passwords techies are those that are the most unpredictable.

A strong password should consist of the following:

  • Must contain at least 8 characters
  • Is not your user name, real name, or your company name.
  • Is not a complete word
  • Passwords must always be significantly different form any previous password.
  • Never use the same password on different websites.

How you can protect your password

Once you have a created a password, you need to protect it from potential hackers. you can do this by following these simple rules:

  • Never share your password with anyone.
  • Never give your password to anyone who calls you or sends unsolicited email.
  • Change your password on a regular basis.
  • Tell your children need to share their passwords  yours.
  • Evaluate and buy  a password managers app and make sure that they use encryption.

Passwords you should never use

Today, we are continuously hearing stories of major corporations being hacked and passwords and personal details being stolen. To protect yourself and avoid being a victim never use the following passwords:

  • 123456
  • 12345
  • 123456789
  • Password
  • iloveyou
  • princess
  • rockyou
  • Your username
  • Your username followed by 123
  • abc123

It is recommended that you never use password on multiple websites. Cyber criminals can penetrate website with low security and then use passwords to penetrate and target more secure websites and environments, such as banking websites.

Take the time and make the effort to change your password on a regular basis, especially those password that protect your computer, important accounts like email and social media networks, sensitive information like financial and health data.

If you decide to buy password management software you will be able to create very complex passwords with 30+ characters, for example  “Ded>mat@vu<0v+bE6nk:ur7%oU”,   without having to worry about remembering them. All you will have to do is remember one password to open the password manager app.

Inappropriate and Bad Mobile Behavior

Mobile Phone Etiquette

The ways in which people use their mobile phones are changing daily. No longer are these phones just used to place calls — people now use them to edit documents, watch TV and keep up with their friends on Facebook. As people use their phones more often, mobile phone behavior has changed.

Here are a few things to avoid:

Avoid phone rings in meeting – Survey undertaken by Intel found that phones ringing in meeting to be the most offensive and annoying thing.

Leave your personal social networking for your private time – Never engage in non-work related social networking during a meeting. You are at work and home.

Place your mobile off the table – Expert etiquette expert, Anna Post, states that placing your mobile phone on a boardroom or dinner table is distracting and sends out the wrong signal.

Never ignore face to face networking – At business or social events you should network with people in the room not on your mobile device. Using your mobile in a social setting is a sign of disrespect and a sign that you are unavailable and uninterested.

Never text during meals – Meals are not the time to be sitting with your heads in your phone and texting. It just signals that you uninterested and a sign of disrespect.

Avoid load public personal calls – No one is interested or want to hear your personal calls and life.

Always use headphone in public areas – Never listen to music or watch movies without headphone in the office, bus, restaurant, or airport.

Turn off that distracting vibration – During a meeting it is advisable to keep your phone on silent. Don’t just turn of the sound.

Delete all loud and obnoxious ring tones – A sure way to alienate yourself is to use ear-splitting ring volumes, inappropriate ring tones or grating rings.

Filter your screen in public areas – If you are suing a laptop, tablet, or mobile phone and don’t have a filter, always be aware of who is looking over your shoulder especially if you are working with sensitive information or inappropriate material.

Is your LinkedIn Summary as good as it should be?

2014.08.01 linkedin-tips

First impressions are critical in today’s world. The second after you meet someone, know they are going to google you! This makes your virtual brand critical. It means you must be able to tell your story online creating a complete picture of who you are.

Your professional summary is the place to tell your story. Read your summary as though it was the first time you were seeing it. Read slowly; don’t skim. Then rate yourself, track your rating, so you can add up at the end and see for yourself!

  1. Is your top line catchy?
  2. Is your profile accurate, real and precise?
  3. Do you stand out?
  4. Is it relevant?
  5. Is it compelling?
  6. Does it tell people how you add value?
  7. Does it share your personal brand attributes?
  8. Is it well written?

Now, total your score. You should be getting over 80% for your answers, if not, you have some work to do!

Now identify a few people who will provide you with honest comments:

  • a colleague
  • a mentor
  • a personal friend or family member

This is a great way to keep everyone current on the brand called you.

 

How to make your LinkedIn profile stand out

LinkedIn Profile Features

Over the past few months, LinkedIn developers have been hard at work refining their product and launching new features. In order to stay abreast, manage, and improve your online personal branding, it is important to keep up to date of their new features. Here are 5 features to help your profile stand out.

Add a Background Image – Upload a custom background image for the header of your profile, and in turn,  clearly convey the heart and soul of your personal brand. Currently this is only available to premium customers but will soon be available to all customers.

Who has viewed your profile – This feature, one of the better features, allows you to gain valuable demographic data about those who are looking at your profile. This feature allows you to identify the keywords people are using to view your profile, how they found you, and where they come from. You will also be able ascertain their job titles, the industry they work in, and the current name of their employers.

Profile ranking – LinkedIn now provides you the opportunity to see how you rank amongst your connection based on the number of profile views. This piece of data will assist you to have a deeper understanding  about those who are generating the most interest. With this knowledge, you understand better how you compete with your connections who are your peers and competitors.

LinkedIn Connected app – This is iPhone user only for the moment. The Connected app, simply, reduces the  workload she it comes to networking and makes your easier to stay in touch with your contacts when it comes to promotions, new jobs, work anniversaries and birthdays. With all this information at your finger tips, there is a higher probability that your profile will be viewed more often.

New Publishing Platform – The ability to publish your content on LinkedIn network is available to all members, or will be soon. Publishing on LInkedIn is no reserved for those official LInkedIn Influencer. This feature allows you create and publish your content.

Make you LinkedIn stand out today and take advantage of all these powerful personal branding tools and features.