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What Does Facebook Know About You? …you’ll be surprised.

You’ve probably heard by now that over 50 million Facebook users’ private information had been stolen by Cambridge Analytica during the 2016 presidential campaign. Here’s a summary of the story:

Since the exposure of this story, users around the world have been anxious to learn what information a data beast like Cambridge Analytica could have accessed after accessing the social platform giant.

I’m here to report that Facebook has an incredible memory and downloading my own Facebook data was not only a walk down memory lane but also terrifying. I have been a member of the site since 2007 and was presented with an insane amount of personal details that have been collected on my behalf over the last 11 years.

As you can see, it not only leaves space for contact information but my family is detailed along with an extensive work history to which is actually saved “privately” on my profile.  Apparently “private” only meant that third parties and hackers could see it, not the general public.

In addition, phone numbers and email addresses of over 20,000 people I had come across in my 10 years of sales and recruiting had been stored, many of which belong to people not even on Facebook. This was all listed under the “Contact Info” and obviously scraped from my mobile devices.

Under the “Friends” tab, I was able to see a running tab of who I had connected with over the years, when I connected and when I disconnected as well! With an account constantly flexing around 5,000 friends, the list in its totality under this tab included over 7,400 people.

The “Messages” tab was also surprising. If “de-friending” someone wasn’t enough to remove them from my data archive “Friends” tab, it certainly wasn’t enough to remove the messages either. Every conversation that I had encountered over the last 11 years from friends, strangers, exes and otherwise all reappeared and were obviously accessible to third parties and hackers.

But still, it gets crazier!!

When it came to the companies targeting me based on my preferences under the “Ads” tab, I was really surprised to find so many brands that I had never directly reached out to. After a little online research, I found this article by the Washington Post that outlines 98 touch points Facebook uses to connect us to their paid advertisers. It’s important to note as well, one of my male colleagues had a few surprising advertisers collecting his data: Rod Stewart, Sally Beauty and Cyndi Lauper. (He said he’s not a fan of any of those brands.)

There were over 1000 companies in this list for me.

But Facebook doesn’t consider this exposure a hack or even a “data breach”.  They will go as far as accepting that this was a “breach of trust” but that’s where their ownership stops.

Deputy general counsel Paul Grewal released a statement on Saturday writing that “the claim that this is a data breach is completely false” because the researcher got consent from everyone involved. Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, Facebook’s former vice president of ads, took a similar stance.

So many of us are left asking, “Is it time to delete our Facebook accounts?”.  Some brands went noticeably offline this weekend, deleting their Facebook pages, even igniting a #deletefacebook movement,  but is it necessary?

Not really.  There are plenty of ways we can start protecting our privacy more than ever.  Check out this article for some easy “Spring-Cleaning” tips to a safer online experience.

If you would like to download your own data, (and I think you should) follow the simple steps offered in your Facebook Privacy Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyday Habits that Leave You Vulnerable Online

Are you trying to figure out how to deal with stress at work? Then trust me, you’re not alone! Thousands of Americans are affected by work related stress on a daily basis, and a constant barrage of this stress could cause severe instability in your life.

Yes of course, many people like to say that “it’s just stress” and you should just let it pass by. But how long are you going to wait before realizing that this waiting game is never ending?

The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) has stated, “If stress becomes persistent and low-level, however, all parts of the body’s stress apparatus (the brain, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and muscles) become chronically over-activated or under-activated. Such chronic stress may produce physical or psychological damage over time.

This simply means that stress over time is not going to get better, and will actually only get worse unless you take action for dealing with stress at work.

There are many different ways deal with work stress. The first step? You have to admit to yourself that the stress is becoming a burden. Once you’ve convinced yourself.. go ahead and try out some of the stress relieving techniques below –

Coping with Stress at Work Through Exercising

Learn how to deal with stress at work with basic gymnastics

Start your day with a couple of basic moves to relax your body.

Exercise and stretching techniques go well together when it comes to dealing with stress at work. These two techniques are great for you to use outside of work and even during your breaks.

This doesn’t mean you need to go out and get an expensive gym membership, nor is there the need for extra finances being spent on equipment either because you can do these exercises with your own body weight.

Body weight training is simple and effective. Two great exercises to perform are push-ups and squats. Both of these exercises help release hormones in your body that suppress stress related mental blocks, and they are great for getting your body in better shape!

Push-ups exercise your entire upper body from your shoulders down to your stomach, and then squats tighten up your legs and midsection. Beat stress and look sexy? Hell yes!

Kick Start your Day!

So how do you go about actually doing these exercises? A great idea is to make the most of the morning hours. When you wake up and start to dread about the work day – take a deep breath, smile you yourself and then all you have to do is:

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These three basic techniques are going to get your body warmed up and refreshed for the challenges of your work day that are still to come! Be sure to eat a decent breakfast to give your body further energy that lasts throughout the day.

Stretch that Stress Away

Stretching techniques have been used for centuries by various cultures to ease the body and mind of physical and mental stress. Stretching could simply be rolling your head from left to right in order to relieve the tension in your brain cavities due to headaches caused by stress, or it could be more advanced techniques such as yoga!

Physiologically, yoga relaxes the body and mind. Yoga combines breathing and stretching techniques into an advanced, fluid motion of moving from one motion to another. You don’t need a class to perform the basics. Simply look up a few stretches and do them at home or at work.

Breathe In…Breathe Out…

deep breaths can help to deal with stress

Take a couple of minutes to breath. Go outside if you can.

Take a moment away from your busy schedule; take in a deep breath, and then exhale. Have you noticed that by doing so your body just naturally feels more relaxed and ready to take on the remaining work tasks? This is because every time you take in a slow, deep breath you send a chemical message to your brain. This message is to alert your brain that something is wrong, and then the brain takes the message and sends it via your nervous system to the rest of your body, which causes the relaxing feeling to occur.

The best part about using breathing techniques when it comes to coping with stress at work is that it’s free! No need for equipment and you can perform it anywhere you want, and to deal with any stressful situation at work. “Those things that happen when you are stressed, such as increased heart rate, fast breathing, and high blood pressure, all decrease as you breathe deeply to relax.”^

How To Deal With Stress At Work With Vitamins

Make sure B-vitamins are a good part of your daily nutrition. You will find it very helpful when it comes to dealing with stress at work. Dr Manny Alvarez has stated that, “B vitamins are known to promote proper functioning of the brain and nervous system, as well as help induce relaxation and fight fatigue.” All you have to do is make sure that you eat foods that are high in B-vitamins such as nuts and eggs – preferably in the morning when your body has just been fasted while you were asleep.

Tired of Feeling Like You Want To Rip Your Hair Out?

Dealing with stress at work just becomes cumbersome and tiring, and you understandably just want to start pulling your hair out. But hey, take a deep breath… and before you go crazy trying to figure out how to deal with stress at work – take an active approach. The methods shown above will help you get lead a better quality life with much less stress. Work is always going to be there so long as you have bills to pay, and a stomach to feed but stress doesn’t have to come with the package.

Taking an inactive approach only leads to depression, anxiety, and body fatigue, which only gets worse every day that passes on. Money is never an issue because most things you can do to prevent work related stress is free! So what do you think? Are you ready to change your life for the better?

Also learn how to deal with stress at work during pregnancy.

Do you have any tips on how to deal with stress and pressure at work? Do share – I’d love to know your thoughts.

 

^Murray MT, Pizzorno JE Jr (2006). Stress management. In JE Pizzorno Jr, MT Murray, eds., Textbook of Natural Medicine, 3rd ed., vol. 1, pp. 701–708. St. Louis: Churchill Livingstone.

 

3 Easy Ways to Balance Your Work and Life

A 2017 Identity Fraud Study by Javelin Strategy & Research revealed that nearly one in three consumers notified that their data has been breached became victims of identity fraud. With the recent Equifax cyberattack still fresh in our minds, more than 145 million Americans’ names, addresses, birthdates, social security numbers and other sensitive information may be at risk. Cybercriminals are clever and constantly exploring ways to swipe your personal information. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reported that phishing plots continue to lead its “dirty dozen” list of 2017 tax scams.

So what is the average American to do?

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) have once again joined forces to help consumers remain safe during tax season with tips for identifying cyber scams, actionable online safety steps and what to do if you fall victim to tax identity theft. To download their informational report, click below:

CLICK HERE: Tax-Time-Tip-sheet-2018

 

Red Flag Warnings of Identity Theft

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