Welcome to our ‘life hacks’ for 2017
Editorial Posted 5th February 2017 – By Holly Brierley – In today’s fast-paced society, convenience has become paramount. As a result, simple yet effective solutions commonly known as ‘life hacks’ provide many of us with quick and easy remedies to the more tedious and laborious aspects of modern day life. From ingenious kitchen life hacks which eliminate the frustrating process of peeling, slicing and dicing, to innovative work life hacks that help you organise your computer equipment and office supplies so that you can access them immediately when needed. Nowadays there is a life hack to solve any modern day dilemma!
So without further ado, listed below are 8 of our latest security life hacks that you can use to protect your property, private information and personal possessions;
- Protect your right to anonymity life hack – CO1 Form
Maintaining your anonymity is key to upholding your personal and professional security. Unfortunately, there are several online information services, such as 192.com, wherein users from across the globe can collate information on you from publicly available sources such as electoral rolls, telephone directories and companies houses. With just a few quick clicks, these users can learn your full name, age, personal and professional addresses and the price of your properties, as well as obtain aerial photos of your estate, company and director reports for your business and all manner of family records.
Although these comprehensive directories enable users to collate information about you that you may have previously thought were confidential, there is a hassle-free life hack that you can use to remove all of your personal and professional information from sites such as 192.com. All you have to do is complete a CO1 Record Removal Form and your private details will be removed from all such sites in a few days.
- Fraud life hack – Tin foil
Did you know that there are over 101.8 million contactless cards in operation throughout the UK? Although these technologically proficient payment methods can make our everyday lives more efficient, they are a veritable gold mine for criminals who seek to obtain your banking information through the use of contactless card readers. However, rather than fearing for your financial security and maintaining an ever-vigilant watch for potential hackers, there is a quick and easy life hack you can adopt to protect your debit and credit cards; tin foil!
Although it may sound absurd, lining your wallet in tin foil or purchasing a metal card holder will deflect the contactless card readers used by hackers to obtain your banking information.
- Identity fraud life hack – Credit Report passwords
As matters stand, identity fraud is the fastest rising crime in the UK which affects millions of people every year. In fact, figures from CIFAS have suggested that the number of victims of identity theft has risen by almost a third in recent years.
Out of all of the unscrupulous methods utilised by identity fraudsters, credit cards are their prime target; with CIFAS studies showing that credit card theft accounted for 41% of all identity fraud cases in 2015. You can save yourself from falling victim to identity fraud by utilising the following Credit Report password life hack; by introducing a password onto your Credit Expert account, you can implement a safeguarded system wherein any applicant must state this password upon applying for credit. In this manner, simply by calling your credit report provider and asking them to put a password on your account, you can substantially reduce the risk of your identity and financial information falling into the hands of criminals.
- Traveller life hack – TrakDot luggage tracking devices
If you have travelled abroad in recent months, then you will have most likely attached a luggage tag, coloured ribbon or identifiable marker onto your suitcase. Although these methods will make your luggage easier to spot on the baggage carousel, they do not protect your suitcase from being lost or stolen whilst in transit.
The solution? Our tracking system life hack! Fit your luggage with a tracking device such as TrakDot and you will be able to monitor your luggage’s journey from one airport terminal to another via an easy-to-use TrakDot app installed on your smart phone or tablet device. This small yet secure life hack will ensure that your business and leisure excursions always start off on a high note as opposed to a lamentable trip to lost and found!
- Document life hack – Using an ‘Electronic Dead Letterbox’
Aside from your money and phone, your passport is possibly the most important possession that you carry with you whilst travelling abroad. However, have you ever wondered what you would do if your passport or other vital travel documents were stolen? Rather than face the trials and tribulations of filing a police report in a foreign region where you do not speak the local dialect, you can completely avoid this unfortunate and expensive situation by utilising a process commonly referred to as an ‘Electronic Dead Letterbox’.
This virtual life hack involves creating a separate email account with a strong password and scanning all of your documents into the draft of an email. By scanning and saving copies of your passport, driving license, debit and credit cards, birth certificate and National Insurance card into the draft of an email but not sending it, you can rest assured that this information will never be transmitted out of the ‘Drafts’ folder of your email account but that it will be ready for retrieval should you become separated from any of your personal documents whilst travelling abroad. Be mindful not to share your login though!
- Parental control life hack – Monitoring your children’s Internet activities via apps
Here are some sobering statistics; only 15% of parents are ‘in the know’ about their children’s social networking habits and 71% of teenagers utilise more than one social media site on a daily basis. Even though these various social networking channels come equipped with recommended age limits for registration, more and more children as young as 7 years old are gaining access to their own social media profiles which places them at a higher risk of viewing inappropriate content and falling victim to cyber bullying and grooming from unscrupulous parties.
Thankfully, there are several parental control life hacks which you can implement in order to monitor and safeguard your children’s Internet activities. Apps and programs such as Net Nanny, Sentry PC and Qustodio can be purchased or downloaded onto your family’s various desktops, smart phones and tablet devices in order to quickly yet effectively set suitable boundaries on your children’s daily Internet usage and sanctioned websites. These parental control life hacks will also enable you to view comprehensive data on all the images, files and posts that your children transmit via their computer, phones or tablet devices. By keeping a watchful eye over your children’s Internet activities, you can ensure that your children view and share age appropriate content, that they develop a safe Internet usage behaviour, and that they do not fall victim to modern day practices such as cyber bullying, grooming or opening files containing harmful malware.
- Multiple passwords life hack – 1Password
From social networking profiles and online banking accounts, to separate personal and professional email systems, modern day life requires us to remember a multitude of different passwords in order to protect our most sensitive information from unscrupulous criminals. Fortunately, there are some highly useful smart phone apps, such as 1Password, that will synchronise all of your virtual accounts so that you only have to remember one Master Password. All you have to do is choose either a PIN code or fingerprint activation to serve as your Master Password and 1Password will deploy strong AES-256 encryption to safeguard all of your confidential data against theft and fraud.
- Private Communications life hack – Signal Messenger
Our clients handle sensitive information on a daily basis so it is vital that they have access to online resources which will ensure their conversations remain completely confidential. In these instances we recommend using Signal; a sophisticated smart phone app designed by Open Whisper Systems which utilises end-to-end encryption to certify that all your group, text, picture and video messages will remain private. No SMS and MMS fees. No separate logins, usernames, PINs or passwords to remember. Simply a sophisticated, completely private messaging/voice service with efficient archive functionality; what more could you ask for?
Ultimately, by adopting these quick and easy, yet extremely effective life hacks you can remain confident that your personal property, business information and confidential data will remain safeguarded against theft and fraud at all times. Simply taking a few minutes to implement these seemingly minor life hacks into your day-to-day life can save you a great deal of time, money and hassle in the long term!