Beach holiday, don't forget your memories this holiday

Don’t forget your memories this summer

With the constant rush to always find and post about the next big adventure to keep up with those around us, we risk devaluing and forgetting the past, as well as accidentally archiving our own precious memories.

Are you following the mass exodus overseas or to the coast to make the most of the summer holidays?  Maybe you’re just trying to do something, anything, to fill up some of those six long weeks where the children are off school?

Whatever your plans, I’ll bet you’re expecting to take plenty of pictures to cement those lovely new memories you’ll make, of family time or fun with friends, where everybody is happy, relaxed and smiling, right?

Of course you are – it’s completely natural to document the best times of our lives, and then want to share the results with those who care about what we did and who we did it with.

But think back a year – can you remember what you were doing then? Who you were with, what you did, where you went?

Chances are you were having (another) brilliant time, which you documented by taking loads of pictures and sharing them to your social media platforms, probably to lots of likes and admiring or jealous comments.

But then what did you do? Unlike times past, where pictures would be sent away to be printed, with their return awaited with joyful anticipation and the whole experience relived as they were put in a photo album for posterity, things have moved on.

While online storage and display has many benefits, not least in saving bookcase space for actual books instead of photo albums, it has also made it much easier – arguably too easy – to archive our memories, both virtually and in the real world.

In the rush to find, and document, the next big thing and keep up with those we are connected with online, how often do we go back and relive the memories of good times past?

Those memories are still just as strong and vivid, the experience just as clear – and revisiting those pictures will evoke happy feelings all over again, but only if we remember to look for them and enjoy them once more.

But how to find them easily? If you’re an avid social media user – and that’s most of us these days – you’ll have posted many more pictures, albums and posts in the 52 weeks since last Summer.

While you can search within most platforms, these tools are clunky at best and can take just long enough to find what you are looking for that it takes the shine off the whole experience.

Not digi.me though, there all of your posted pictures (and statuses for that matter) are archived in an easily searchable way. And if you posted different ones on different platforms? No problem, they are all in one place, safely stored on your computer for you to enjoy in the way that best suits you.

Scroll through the dedicated photos section, with everything organised chronologically. Hit the flashback button and see what you were doing one, two and more years ago.

Maybe you want to make a collection of all of your holiday pictures from years past? See everything posted about your holiday across all social networks, complete with likes and comments, in one place – and export the data you want to a place of your choosing.

Whatever you want to do with your data, the story of your life, digi.me lets you. Download a copy for free now and release your memories as you let your data soar free.

rain

Friday Fun: Bring Back The Sun

Inevitably the school holidays start and the children are back at home for the 6 weeks of summer and the first thing that happens is it rains! What do you do… You can’t exactly send them outside to play in the rain and unless they are little they seem to be glued to the TV or computer.

Since we aren’t miracle workers here and can’t bring the sun back we thought we would bring you some top tips for how to find things for your children to do using your social networks.

My favourite resource for this is actually Pinterest because so many parents have had the same issue and the best of the resources have been pinned so many times that they come to the surface really easily.  So your first point of call is to do a Pinterest search for rainy day activities.  Just remember to try and give an age approximation – 18 month old, toddler, teenager etc. that way you will find the most appropriate pins.

Sometimes just browsing through your Facebook profile helps as you may see other parents have done some activities that you could do with your children. Make sure you like or leave a comment so that you can find these again another day. (You can always use the digi.me search feature to find them again then. Facebook search doesn’t tend to be much help unfortunately)

I don’t tend to find Twitter that useful for finding ideas and activities unless I ask my followers.  Sometimes it is just worth asking people to see what things they come up with.  Maybe ask what activities they did as a child on a rainy day.  That always comes back with some great suggestions.

What top tips do you have for those wet and rainy summers days when the children are full of energy…

Man on Phone Privacy

What Does Your Phone Know About You?

These days we really do rely on our mobile phones and it is quite scary to think how much your phone knows about you, where you have been and who you have seen.  It even knows some of your favourite hobbies, interests and activities. It is in essence your digital brain!  What would you do without it?

Mobile phones have moved on an incredible amount over the past 30 years, from a device that is clunky and cumbersome to small, light incredibly fast computers that fit in our pockets and handbags. We connect other devices to them such as our fitness trackers, smartwatches, children’s toys and much more.  They are the central hub of our daily lives.  As such they collect a massive amount of data about us.  Some of which is passed on to the applications that we use and some just sits idle on the phone.  Then there is some data that goes back to the carrier as well and some that is collected by the sites that we browse. They are complicated little devices and often we forget just how valuable that data is to us until we lose or break our phone.

A couple of weeks back I wrote a piece on how you can find your phone using the data stored online about you that relates to your phone and it’s location.  This week I thought we would look more at just what data there is on these devices and why it is important to secure and back up your phone and it’s content.

Most mobile phones these days have the option for you to store a copy of your photo’s and contacts in the cloud.  This means that every new contact and photo is saved both on your phone and somewhere on the internet.  The chance of losing this data is low unless of course you haven’t set your phone up to do that. It is one of the first things I set up whenever I get a new phone and I would recommend that if you haven’t done this already then do it as it is a life saver when your phone is damaged or lost as you still have all your contacts and those precious pictures of friends and family.

The next thing that I always set up is a way to secure my phone so that if I lose it someone else can’t just use my phone, run up a massive bill and cause all sorts of trouble. I have heard too many friends lose their phones abroad and because it is abroad they are still liable for the call charges made. Put a pin on it and it is at least a deterrent. You can also turn on phone tracking and remote wipe which take that process one step further. The only issue with these is that you need to have GPS turned on and this can be a bit of a battery drain. You can still find your phone’s last known location through other means so to me this is not essential.  Android phones track where you are using a process called triangulation which uses WiFi and cellular data to identify where you were last so I tend to use that as my fallback.

The apps that you have installed on your phone and have paid for are all stored by the app store where you bought them from so these too are recoverable. The data within these apps is stored remotely too by the app creators. As long as you have stored your contacts, pics and videos remotely you should be able to pretty much recreate your device time and time again. This is the beauty of distributed data.

Looking at this another way though all that distributed data is accessible from a single point – your phone. Once someone has that they have access and potentially control of everything. Just bear that in mind the next time you turn your phone on and you haven’t got any security turned on. You are putting your online identity at risk. That digital footprint that we have talked about here on the blog a few times could become compromised if you don’t protect it properly.

This article was brought to you by digi.me who put you in control of your social media content. Download it now to protect your digital memories. 

Walking

Friday Fun: Footprints

My Digital Footprint This week we have been talking digital footprints. Be that the footprint that we leave behind across every website we visit, or where we knowingly share content via social networks etc.

Whilst looking at some of the different aspects of digital footprints I came across this great piece of artwork by Jenny Hottle that I just had to share.  Whilst the work is from 2011 the sentiment of the article and the art still stands true today.

We all have our own individual identity online and how we share and want to view that is unique.  If you were going to create a digital footprint of your online life what would yours look like?  Would it look similar to this one of Jenny’s or would it be totally different… What unique aspects of your digital life would shine through and how do you think your digital footprint has changed over time?

If I think about my own digital footprint over time you would see my Facebook area being larger than Twitter for personal use, however if you had asked me the same question a year ago I would have said I was more focused on Twitter.  Instagram and PInterest have become more relevant to me and so has Ebay.  That gives you just a little insight into my personal digital footprint… Tell me about yours and how it has changed over time. I would be fascinated to hear about it.

Remember you can always use digi.me to backup your social media digital footprint and keep control of your social media data.  That way if you ever choose to leave a social network you will always have a copy of your data. 

diamond facets

Your Digital Footprint Revealed

Each person is unique like the facets of a diamond as a result your digital footprint online is also unique to you but how do you get to see those unique aspects of your digital footprint?  What patterns and relationships online are unique and valuable to you and how do you identify them in among the reset of the social media noise?

We here at digi.me understand that everyone is unique and we haDigi.me Puts You in Control of Your Social Media Datave been working on a range of different ways for you to interact with your social media networks.  Unlike when you go onto Facebook and view your timeline (or rather what Facebook allows you to see on your timeline) we show you everything you have posted in chronological order.  You can search, save and share that data.  You also have the ability to analyse your content and find your closest connections based on who you interact with most often.  You also get to see the combination of your social media updates from all of your different networks in one place.

If you are wondering who you haven’t been in touch with for a while you can even analyse an older set of updates and see who you might like to reconnect with by starting a conversation with them.  You can find out what your all time top photo’s were and even find out what days of the week you do post most of your social media updates on.

With our Flashback feature you can see what you were up to this time last year across all your social networks, or even look back beyond last year to the ones before that to see what you were up to then. You may be fascinated what memories and moments you come across.

Quite simply digi.me is a tool that opens up social networks on a personal level giving you that granular insight into those things that are most important to you.  If you think there is a feature missing or that you would like all you need to do is tell us and we will look into adding this in a future update.  

 

summer fete

Friday Fun: A Personal One

When it comes to having fun and enjoying ourselves we all want to come up with the ultimate weekend plans.  We look to one another for inspiration and ideas.  What better place to look for those ideas than on our social media networks.

This weeks Friday fun is one of working out what really makes us smile at a weekend.  What is it that we each love doing. Use digi.me to look back over your old social network content and see what fun things you have done last summer or even the summers before that for ideas about what you want to do this weekend.

I took a look at my own social media history and it jogged my memory that there is a country fete that is on this weekend every year that it would be nice to take my son to so that is now my plan! Let us know what plans you are making!

Capture Your Personal Data with digi.me for Free

Retrieving Your Personal Information

From time to time we all think about leaving platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  However before we leave we want to make sure we aren’t losing anything in the process but how do we go about doing that?  This article will run through some simple but effective approaches to help you capture and retrieve as much of your personal information as possible. 

Facebook

When it comes to retrieving your Facebook data there are a few different ways to get your data.  Unfortunately Facebook don’t make it easy to get a copy of everything you have ever put up there and if you want everything you will need to put in a personal data request and from what we hear that can take months for a response.  Officially if you are based in Europe they should be responding within 40 days to your request however history already shows this hasn’t been the case in the past.

In the meantime what you can do to retrieve a lot of your personal data is download digi.me and connect to Facebook to synchronize and retrieve the majority of your personal data.  This will provide you with your wall posts and images direct to your computer and you can export these into an easy to use PDF. To gain access to our private messages you will need to “download a copy of your Facebook Data” which you will find on Facebook under settings. The list of what you will get with this download can be found here and it does include your private messages.

Twitter

Again with Twitter you can use digi.me to automatically download your tweets as you go which will save you time and effort having to regularly remember to download your archive to keep up with your latest twitter updates.  As Twitter limits the amount of time you can go back historically we recommend that you also download your Twitter archive so that you have all your really old Twitter content.  That way you will have all your Twitter updates that you have ever created to date and all the ones you generate in from when you start using digi.me onwards will also be captured.  There are some very comprehensive instructions from Twitter on how retrieve your Tweet archive here.

LinkedIN

Digi.me also works with LinkedIN to help you keep copies of your most recent interactions on the social network.   However you may also wish to put in a request to gain access to every update you have ever made on LinkedIN through their access request page.  They do collect information about your search history and much more. You will be surprised just what this social network really knows about you and your data.

The other useful feature that you may wish to take advantage of within LinkedIN is the ability to export your profile as a PDF.  It is a great starting point for putting together your CV and is a fairly well hidden feature.  There is a little down arrow next to “View Profile As” when you are on your profile page. Click on the arrow and you will find a drop down with a few different options including the option to “Save to PDF”.

Let us know if you have found this article useful and remember to share it with your friends!

Keep Calm and Find My Phone

Friday Fun: Finding Yourself

When you lose your phone or your laptop fails you how do you find and restore your digital self?

The other day I lost my phone. Don’t ask me how I will never know!  Anyway it was lost for three whole days and along with it my sanity and my sense of humor were both starting to go as well.  All I will say is thank goodness that my digital life is mainly online and here’s how I managed to recover it!

First of all I started searching for my phone… I looked everywhere, turned the house upside down… then started searching my car and anywhere I’d been recently. It took forever and I didn’t find it.  So then I decided to play detective…

  1. What was the last social media content that I uploaded? What were the last pictures of me online and what was I wearing? (Maybe it is in my clothes or maybe it will give me an idea of where I was when I lost my phone… (I used the digi.me journal to do this bit as it was quicker than looking at each social network individually!)
  2. All my photo’s are backed up to the cloud so I also then went through the most recent image uploads there… The last images that were uploaded were at home… that’s a start then… it’s unlikely to be anywhere but home…
  3. My phone is on Android OS so I then decided to see what information Google had captured about my location to confirm this last assumption. All I needed to do was search “find my phone” on Google and it shows the last place it saw it.  Thank goodness it agreed the last place I had it was at home!
  4. So now to work out what I did with it.  I knew where I’d been that day so then went through the bags I’d used and voila my phone was found!

So you see social media and my online digital presence can be used to track my every move.

Your challenge today is to find out what information is out there about you and share your story online.  Remember when you share your story tag it with #itsyourlife and we’ll share the best of them on Twitter and Facebook!

technology

The Future of Personal Data

What is the future of personal data? How will it affect me personally and how will it affect my work and day to day life? These are all big questions when it comes to our personal data and these questions become even more prominent when we start to look at who currently has access to data about us.

Currently our banks, telecoms companies, social networks, fitness band companies, search engine providers and shopping sites all have information about us. Whilst this data is somewhat dispersed across the internet it is also duplicated. In some ways because it is not all in one place it seems safer.  However over time that data becomes out of date and unreliable.  We move house and have to inform everyone of our new address for example and it takes forever to get round to changing everything over.

These big companies aren’t allowed to share the core data about us between themselves without our permission but in some cases they have that permission without us even realizing it as we sign up to the small print or miss an opt out tick box.  Before we know it we have unrelated companies spamming us or cold calling.

Now imagine if we could easily revoke that permission to access the information about ourselves from those companies without having to write letters or chase, just at the click of a button.  Wouldn’t that be easier… and wouldn’t it be easier if we could give permission through simple but understandable terms and if we didn’t agree they couldn’t use our data.

Going one step further, if we owned our health data we could carry our health records ourselves when we travel and when we go to hospital with an illness or injury.  Lost medical records become a thing of the past. Clearly we would want to backup and securely store this information but once we can do that we can do so much more with it.

In order to make this sort of future a reality there are a few things that have to happen first. Companies need to understand better how data is owned and by whom, they also need to realize that it is no longer acceptable to lose data or sell it on without our knowledge.

Individuals need to realize that their data has a value, it belongs to them and is in fact part of their personal identity and not just something to be traded to the highest bidder for ad placements.  We need to stop giving away parts of ourselves without understanding how we can take control back of that data at any point in the future.

The “Internet of Things” is already a reality but the “Internet of Me” is just beginning. We all need to start taking a look at who we are, what data is of value to us and how that data could be used in ways that benefit us more as individuals.

Digi.me helps you to take that first step where you control of your personal web data.  We have started you off with putting you back in control of your social media updates and we look forward to bringing you even more control of your data.  Just remember we don’t see your data you do! It is yours and you own it all!

What is your Wimbledon Tennis Pose?

Friday Fun: Tennis Poses

The Wimbledon tennis season for 2015 is well underway and no matter who you are supporting it is good to have fun in the sun. When you watch the tennis you sometimes see people dressed as their favorite tennis stars whilst watching on center court but not everyone is fortunate enough to get tickets so we thought why not bring the center court fun online.

Our Friday Fun session today is one to get you looking and feeling like a tennis pro! Get your cameras to the ready with a friend and put together your best tennis poses… If you want to really get into it why not dress up like your favorite tennis star!  Post your picture on Facebook, Twitter etc with the hashtag #tennisposes #wimbledon and let’s see what fun we can all create!

And as a bonus bit of fun, leave a comment for us telling us who you think will be in the men’s and women’s finals.