Category Archives: Discussion

Backup Computer Key

Useful Backup Tools

You know that you need to backup your computer and your online content but what are the best tools for the job?  This article gives you some suggestions of tools that you can use to do just that.

PC Backup Tools

There are lots of options when it comes to backing up a PC and some of these are free or relatively cheap and some are paid for services.

Online vs Offline Backups… You have two options with your PC.  You can back your content up online or you can back it up to an offline device.  If you have poor internet access then we would suggest you go with doing offline backups to an external hard drive.  This would be your quickest and simplest answer however it is easy to forget to do it so set a reminder in your calendar to do it regularly.

If you have decent internet access then online backups are certainly a quick and painless approach if you don’t have loads of large files to back up. There are a range of services out there that offer this.

This article from PC Pro gives a good comprehensive list of cloud backup services for you to choose from.

Mac Backup Tools

Similarly to backing up a PC you can back up a mac to an external hard drive if you don’t have a good internet connection.

Cloud backup tools are also an option but remember with a mac you also have the option of backing up to iCloud.  You can find the instructions on how to do this here.

Mobile Backup Tools

Mobiles can be one of those things that you just completely forget to back up and yet they are one of the things that we use most and capture a lot of our memories with.  So how exactly can you back up your phone contacts, pictures and more?  If you have an iPhone the answer is easy. Just use iCloud and voila.

If you are on an Android or Windows phone then backup services such as OneDrive and GoogleDrive are great alternative options. This article on the 10 Best Android Backup Apps may come in handy for those looking for a tool to just do it all without any technical know how.  For Windows phone just follow these simple instructions to set where you want your data backed up to.

Social Media Backup Tools

When it comes to our online social media content we often don’t consider backing it up and yet we would be lost without it!  So how do you back up your content from social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIN?  The answer here is simple. You can download digi.me for free and back up your four favourite social media accounts for free for a year this World Backup Day!

Make the most of the offer and tell your friends and family!

Digi.me Download Offer

Why backups are so important

Every day you probably hear at least one person in the office go “Aaah help I’ve just lost everything I did in the last hour!” or something similar.  That is unless they have a backup and then they just revert to that and off they go again.

On the 31st March 2015 it is World Backup Day and to celebrate the occasion we are offering our software free for 1 year to all those who download between now and the 31st March.

What is a backup?

A backup is a recent historical version of the document, update or information that you have been working on. It is usually not as up to date as the latest version but it is there for you to fall back on should you ever need it.

Why would I need that?

Well quite simply we all make mistakes. We save over things, we delete things that we really didn’t mean to delete and we do things without realizing what or how that will impact things in the future. If the content is on a mobile phone or laptop then the content or the device could get damaged, lost or stolen.

When should I backup?

It is worth backing up your computer, phone and tablet at least once a week but if that is just a bit too often aim for once a month.

What about your online content?

Many people don’t realize that they can backup their online content especially their social media content. By using digi.me they can backup their social media content quickly on a daily basis so they never lose their updates or images ever again.

 

data retention

Data Retention: Why is it such a challenging issue?

You may have read recently in the news about the Netherlands Data Protection law being scrapped as it breaches human rights legislation.  This isn’t the first time that a country has had challenges with data retention legislation or with the clash between data retention and human rights.

Data retention is a complex issue.  On the one hand data retention is a good thing as it ensures that historic data is captured forever and can be looked back over.  This means that historic data can be used for learning and building upon.  On the other hand that data could be used for all sorts of other uses.  It could be used for evidence in court cases, it could be used to fight crime and for all sorts of other purposes.

The use of data is the issue that adds the complexity to data retention. Collecting and retaining data for 1 year – 10 years isn’t a technical challenge or even a business challenge.  It is a moral one. Who should own that data, where should it be stored and who should have access to it?

Data Ownership

Who should own the data about you? Should it be you, your government, your service providers, your infrastructure providers or an independent third party? Each of these options have their benefits and drawbacks. On a personal level we all like to think that we own our data however on a broader spectrum we currently give our data to third parties such as our phone providers, our governments and even our social network providers.

It is our basic human right to decide who we provide our information to. What we don’t have control over is how long those providers have access to that information and how they then use that information about us. This is where the challenges get complicated.

Historically we have controlled our data but our providers have owned it. The trend now is that we are beginning to understand what that means and we no longer all want our data to be owned, managed and controlled by third parties to use as they please.

We will start to see data being seen as more important than ever and new innovative approaches to us owning and controlling our personal data and the access to that data.

Data Storage

When we provide our data to third parties such as our government or our service providers we have no idea where or how that data may be used. For that matter we don’t know where that data is being stored or shared unless someone contacts us to let us know.  This again is a challenge.

Where should our data be stored. Should it be under our control which countries and companies have access to our personal data?  How would that affect how our data was used and would it be in our best interest for it to be stored by us in a location of our choosing?

Data Access

We have already touched upon data access a little but when we are looking at personal data we can’t help but talk about the access to that data. When third parties control our data they have the ability to share that data with whomever they choose. (subject to regulation of course) When we talk about this in terms of governments each government in each country has their own regulations on what can and can’t be done with personal data. Just compare the UK and the US for example. The regulations in these areas are vastly different.

So how does this affect us?  On the simplest level data access is one of the key causes of cold callers to your phone.  However data access also provides the ability to personalize advertising and online experiences. It also provides that ability to purchase things like road tax online here in the UK. There are benefits to having your personal data available to third parties.  There are also down sides. If you don’t know how that data is being used or if it is used for malicious purposes it causes significant problems. Phishing scams online are just one example of this.

Access to our data is essential but who has access and how is key.  So when you read headlines around data retention and privacy it is worth understanding how and who has access to your data.

The future is changing constantly and it will be interesting to see where the regulations end up in Europe and the rest of the world.

How do you see data retention changing in the future and how important is historic data really?

budget

The Budget 2015 – How does it affect our digital landscape?

The latest UK budget announcement sets the scene for the startup landscape in 2015 and beyond.  There were some interesting trends in this years budget that will affect startups and freelancers along with some larger impact projects that will speed up innovation in parts of the UK. Take a look at a few of the trends that we thought were of particular interest.

The Death of the Tax Return

A major step for freelancers and the self-employed, Osborne confirmed rumours that there would be an end to the annual tax return. Claiming “people shouldn’t be working for the taxman”, annual tax returns will be abolished by 2020 with information HMRC needs automatically uploaded into new digital tax accounts. The chancellor said that this will enable businesses to feel they are paying a “simple single business tax” – “tax shouldn’t be taxing”.

Basically all your tax records will become digital and managed through the web. The plan is to save time doing taxing tax returns each year. It will be interesting to see how this pans out in the long run. s

National Insurance Cuts for Self Employed

Class 2 National Insurance contributions for the self-employed will be abolished in the next government. Further consultations on this are to be announced.

This combined with the death of the tax return suggests that the UK government is pushing towards more self-employment within the UK as an employment trend. This means for startups there is likely to be less red tape for freelancers and more flexibility and availability of skilled people within the UK as more people go freelance.

Investment in the Internet of Things

Science and innovation will receive a major cash injection with up to £140m on infrastructure and cities of the future, and £40m in research into what is known as the Internet of Things (IoT). Osborne explained that IoT, featured in our Tech Trends of 2014, is connecting up everything from urban transport to medical devices to household appliances.

This technology trend has seen increasing growth globally and is becoming the buzz phrase for 2015.  With it comes new uses for technology and more personal data becoming available for multiple purposes. Consider how you want your personal and business data used and managed. (By you or by the companies who create the devices)

Supporting the Sharing Economy

Measures to support the sharing economy include the launch of two pilot ‘Sharing Cities’ in Leeds City Region and Greater Manchester in 2015-16.  The two cities, which will share £700,000 of public money between them, will be encouraged to trial local sharing initiatives in the areas of shared transport, shared public space, and health and social care.

The government also said it plans to introduce legislation that will make it easier for individuals to sub-let a room and for non-residential properties to rent out their existing parking spaces.

This trend opens up opportunities for start ups in the private room rental space, transport sharing and such like.  We may see more innovation in this space and legislation may have to continue to evolve to match the changing ways in which we work, live and travel together. 

What did you find interesting in the budget and how will it affect you or your company?  What trends have you noticed and how do you think they will affect you and your personal data?

Spring Newsletter

Newsletter: A Spring Update

This months newsletter brings you everything from an update on where digi.me is going through to a new guest article, a competition and even a prize draw.  It is one not to be missed!

Read the Newsletter Here
If you don’t already get our newsletter but want to you can register for our monthly Newsletter here!

selfie

Guest Post: The Rise of Selfies [Infographic]

Amy WilliamsAmy Williams is a journalist and former social worker based in Southern California.As a mother of two, she hopes to use her own experience as a parent to help other parents raise their children to be the best that they can be.

SelfieBoomAlmost everyone has mastered the technique of twisting their phone’s camera to capture the perfect photo.

In the halls of the local high school there are undoubtedly girls posing and snapping a selfie. It has become commonplace to walk by groups of people posing and preserving a moment in time.

The Selfie Phenomenon

The selfie fad has become ingrained in our hyper connected society. There are countless jokes on late night television and celebrities seek group photo ops. The term has even made it’s way into the Webster dictionary and inspired a song.

We often associate the term “selfie” with duck faces and provocatively posed teens. However, the selfie movement goes beyond self promotion. In fact, the first selfie documented wasn’t even taken in this decade, century, or millennia!

The first selfie has been traced back to a photo chemist, Robert Cornelius snapped during the year 1839. It can be fairly safe to say that Mr. Cornelius was ahead of his time and an unknowing trendsetter. The selfie was lost to the ages until 2005 when MySpace hit the scene and soon it was catapulted to epic proportions when new smartphones equipped with cameras became popular.

Selfies By The Numbers

Social Media was the perfect vehicle for this emerging subject matter and it quickly became a phenomenon. Here is a quick rundown of a few stats about the prevalence of the selfie revolution:

  • 91% of teens take or have taken a selfie
  • 52% of adult females have mastered the selfie
  • 50% of men admit to taking a selfie
  • Females might take more selfies than men. However, men over the age of 30 tend to share more selfies than women in the same age bracket.
  • Facebook appears to be the favorite site for sharing selfies
  • 70% of college-aged girls share selfies on Snapchat, a disappearing messaging app
  • Since 2013, the #selfie hashtag has grown 200%
  • Jim Krause, photographer, claims to have created the term “selfie” during 2005
  • Selfies constitute 30% of all photos taken by people aged 18 to 24 years

 10 Tips For Capturing The Perfect Selfie

 Selfies are often impromptu. However, they capture times spent with dear friends, highlights from a day out, or special occasions. Years later, these photos will be a wonderful collection of interests and events to look back on and enjoy in the future. Even if a selfie was clicked just to show off a good hair day- the image offers an authentic glimpse into your life.

 Here are 10 suggestions to help you take amazing selfies:

  •  Use an app to refine images. Look for filters, clarifiers, and hue adjustments.
  • Remove your phone’s protective covering. For some reason, a lot of covers can impact the clarity of a photo. Avoid mistakes and try snapping a pic without the cover.
  • If needed, use a “selfie” stick to avoid including your arm in the photos.
  • Avoid mirror and bathroom selfies.
  • Carefully examine backgrounds before posting. Make sure there are no embarrassing mistakes lurking behind you.
  • Keep your head at a 45 degree angle. This is the most flattering position.
  • Have great light. Lighting can make or break a photo.
  • Steady your camera. Blurry photos are a real bummer. Hold your phone steady and slowly release the button.
  • Capture your personality! This is the perfect medium for expressing yourself. Get creative and have fun.

Selfies For Prosperity

 Selfies might make good fodder for comedy, but they can be used to document memories and moments in time. The President, Pope, and celebrities are embracing the craze. In fact, selfies have went galactic with travelling astronauts.

 Selfies might seem unimportant, just a fun byproduct of our device driven society. These self images are wonderful tools to document a person’s life. By taking selfies and pictures, over time they are creating an evolving self portrait.  You can capture your timeline using Digi Me and save or share those moments forever!

 Selfies are not merely a fleeting fad, they are here to stay.

 

facebook-390860_640

Facebook Privacy: Why the EU Laws on Privacy Matter to you

Once again Facebook has been drawn into another privacy debate.  Basically their practices of updating their privacy settings in line with the EU data protection laws are being questioned again.  This time by an independent review team on behalf of the Belgian Data Protection Authority.

Why does this matter to the likes of you and me?

The question being asked is really quite simple really.  Why should you care how Facebook uses your data? After all you agreed to their terms of service and agreed that they could use your data right?  Well quite simply the question is around the control that you as a user have over their data.  Can you simply turn on and off what data you share with advertisers and is it easy to understand what data they can see.

The simple and uncomplicated answer to this is no you can’t.  But there have been some changes to the privacy settings so it is worth reviewing your privacy settings again as they did change a couple of months back to give more granularity.

 

How can I be in control of my data

So you want to be the one controlling and seeing what information advertisers and the like can see on your social networks.  You want to know what information they can see and what you have opened up to the world. We have a simple solution that also has the added benefit of giving you a copy of all your social media content on all your social networks in one location.  Your computer and you are the only person who sees and accesses it.

Download Digi Me and review your social media data today.  See what advertisers can see and if you don’t like what you see tighten up your security settings or remove your account. Remember you have a copy of all your data so you won’t lose it in the process!

Poll of the Month: Getting to Know You!

friday

Friday Fun: Password Management

If you are anything like me then you have passwords for everything from banking to logging into your social media accounts. So many passwords to remember or in my case forget! But what happens when you find an issue or alerted to an issue?

Have you ever seen Facebook come up with an alert stating that there has been a suspicious login on your account and that you need to change your password with immediate effect? I certainly have and it rattled me somewhat.  It made me realise how much I value my social media content.  Until then I didn’t enable the two step authentication on Facebook, but now I do.  And you know what it’s well worth enabling.

I don’t know about you but these days as a result of that little scare on Facebook I now treat my social media data and services differently.  I treat them more like banking services. I also make sure that anything that I put on social media I would be happy for people to see in public.  After all you never know what data breaches may occur.  It is worth being wary of third parties holding and storing your data.

Whilst you have probably already got all your new years resolutions sorted for this year you may want to consider adding one to your list.  Take security more seriously especially when it comes to your personal social media data.  Consider using unique strong passwords and two factor authentication on your social media data and remember to back up your social data regularly.

social media

Backing up your social data

A few weeks ago I read an article about the importance of data backups.  It really got me thinking about data and the importance of the data that we share across our social media accounts.

The article that I was reading was all about backing up your laptop or computer and ensuring that the data that was being backed up was secure.  Now I know many of us are terrible at doing regular backups of our personal machines but what about our online data, that information that we share with our friends and family?  What would happen if suddenly we accidentally deleted our account or it got suspended for some bizarre reason.

I would hate to think about a scenario where those precious shared images and videos went missing or were lost forever because I hadn’t backed them up.  My main reason for backing up my laptop is to ensure that I never lose my all important files and photographs.  I can’t remember a time when I haven’t backed up content and these days I do tend to back up most of my images to “the cloud” as well as to a local hard drive.  After all you never quite know when or where you will need access to your data.

Over the years I’ve used a range of backup services and only once have I had to revert back to my backups and that was when my laptop completely failed after getting rather wet. (I learnt after that to keep my laptop in a waterproof bag!) I spent a small fortune getting the data back and a new machine exactly how I wanted it.

It is amazing how many people just don’t think to do backups and it is so simple to do for your online data as well. Most of us think that it is just big companies that have things to lose if they lose their data but these days we all have data that we want to share and store forever.

Most of that data captured contains moments, memories and events.  These are all things that we just want to keep and look back on over time. Backing up your online social media data is simple just download Digi Me (formerly SocialSafe) and back up your online data regularly for free.