8 things to stop doing immediately

We can always take online security a little for granted but some behaviours put us at more risk than others. This isn’t an exhaustive list so if you can think of more, please add it to the comments. Another one I wanted to add but couldn’t find a picture for is failing to verify a BSB/Account Number with someone you are transferring money to. You should always verify over two different mediums before transferring e.g. sms/email/phone (especially if you are transferring a large amount of money). People have lost a lot of money by missing this simple step.

1. Give away personally identifiable information about children’s whereabouts, likes/dislikes and birthdays.

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2. Plastering family/bumper stickers all over your car. You might as well wear a “come rob me” sign.

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3. Using Windows XP and/or Internet Explorer 6. No anti-virus/spyware protection

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4. Checking emails/banking accounts/social media accounts over “Free Public Wifi”. Ok so if this is a little hard to avoid, at the very least be aware of the risks, avoid doing banking over this channel and change your passwords frequently. Also, set different passwords for your accounts…

FREE WIFI

5. Logging in/entering your password details from email links. This can be a phishing attack to steal log in credentials. Instead, always log in via the official website.

PHISHING

6. Going to the official site and entering login/password details in without checking the URL/certificate details. Instead, look for a green bar.

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7. Doing stupid things in public like Karen Bailey’s epic racist rant against Chinese people. You will be publicly disgraced and even arrested.

Do: Stand up to racists (non-violently). The guy in the background became a national hero after hitting back with “You’re scum”

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8. Posting stupid things online that you can never take back. Justine learnt the hard way after losing her job after this tweet. The tweet spread like wildfire and a campaign for her immediate dismissal had taken off during her return flight. By the time she landed, she had already lost her job.

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The new social. Will you thrive or get left behind?

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Social media is changing everything. It is changing the way we get jobs, run businesses and consume content. The changes are becoming as disruptive as the internet. So…how will this affect you? History tells us that those who ride the waves can thrive and even make millions out of thin air just by keeping abreast of the trends. For example, Kevin Ham, built a $300 Million Empire from just reserving domains before companies got to them. Just from reserving www.greeting.com, he made a cool $350K. We are on another cusp of great change, and we have been on this journey for a while now. So given the changes…

DWP

How we get a job
The typical cover letter and resume is becoming less relevant. Although it is still very much used during recruitment, employers and recruiters are increasingly turning to social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook to filter candidates. LinkedIn was recently valuated at $26.15 Billion dollars in July 2015, which is almost triple what LinkedIn was worth at the same time in 2012. According to experts, 98% of recruiters and 85% hiring managers use LinkedIn to find and scan candidates. Fashion models now require an active Instagram account with a strong follower base to be selected for campaigns.

So what does this mean for you and future you?
There is a growing trend of candidates being directly approached by recruiters through social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter. So instead of employees approaching employers/recruiters about jobs, it has flipped. If this continues to increase, there will be less jobs advertised and obtained through traditional means. How do candidates stand out in this environment? Will it depend on how they market their skills or through their activity/influence on social media? Perhaps both?

o-JUSTIN-BIEBER-TWEETS-facebookHow we consume news
Before the internet, print was king as this was the only way to receive news. The printed press has been on a steady decline ever since. Nowadays, more news is consumed on Social Media than ever before as everyone is reading and sharing news content. Instead of visiting a news sites, news is shared on Twitter/LinkedIn and Facebook feeds. Consumers choose what they want to share and journalists/bloggers and businesses can reach their readers instantly. People are also able to provide feedback. There is nothing more gratifying than for a wronged consumer to write a very public customer complaint and to receive a few hundred likes and shares by other disgruntled consumers.

So what does this mean for you and the future you?
The scale of citizenship journalism today offers a freedom that no other generations have had in the past. Now anyone and everyone can create newsworthy content and influence public opinion on matters close to their heart. This presents an opportunity for everyone to participate in any discussion they like.

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How we conduct business
The internet challenged many bricks and mortar businesses. There is an online countdown on the death of certain types of businesses, from music and record stores (e.g. Sanity) to book shops (e.g. Borders). Businesses learnt pretty quickly that the difference between sinking and swimming is to establish an online presence and have great SEO. However, consumers are now expecting to be able to establish an authentic connection with the brands they shop with. Recently, Forbes wrote an article about millennial consumer habits and discovered these insights:

  • 99% aren’t influenced at all by advertising
  • 43% value authenticity over content
  • 62% engage with brands on social network
  • 75% expect brands to give back to society

http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2015/01/20/10-new-findings-about-the-millennial-consumer/

What does this mean for business today and in the future?
As people are spending more time on Social Media and connecting to businesses through these platforms, will the success of building an active and connected follower base become as important as SEO?

Why China is a parallel universe

shanghai

Visiting Shanghai this time felt like stepping into a parallel universe where things were similar but different. In a world where Apple, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Google or Youtube doesn’t exist, people connect through HuaWei, Weibo, WeChat, Baidu and Youku. In the West, where English is the predominant language of the Internet, the predominant language of the internet is Chinese (obviously). In both cases, there is a proliferation of cute cat videos. It is a world where Kim Kardashian doesn’t seem to exist whilst Hugh Jackman continues to be as popular there as he is everywhere (yay!).

Disconnection in a connected society

Even though I consider myself a fairly connected and active user of social media, I was almost invisible in China. My current follower base may be humble, but it is big enough for me to feel that I have a voice and am connected. In China, where people were sharing news and photos on their social networks, I was left feeling rather isolated. With one default Weibo follower (Expecting another one soon – I am waiting for a follow back from my cousin) and a handful of friends on WeChat, I am pretty much invisible in the Chinese online community. I also have limited things to share, as the content I consume is blocked in China.

A selfie of a selfie

You know in the past when it was considered polite to walk around someone taking a photo or wait for them to finish? Not possible. If I had to wait for someone to finish taking a selfie, I would never get anywhere! There were people even taking selfies of selfies. The dedication to the selfie has also resulted in the selfie stick, now sold everywhere in Shanghai. These selfie sticks are also like nothing I have ever seen. Multi-tiered and adjustable, these are the full works.

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Another favourite memory is also one of a rainy visit to Yu Yuan market. The rain was so bad that whole crowds had gathered under covered roofs to wait for the downpour to stop before crossing over to the next covered roof. That didn’t stop the dedicated selfie takers from walking into the middle of the downpour to pose for their perfect selfie though!

Solar panels, electric cars? Old news

I was walking around the neighbourhood of ZhongShan, a wonderful part of Shanghai that is characterised by the famous ZhongShan Park which is filled with the old and the young keeping active with dance and Tai Chi. I walked past three electric cars. One was being charged, another drove past me and the third one was parked. On a separate day, I was walking in People’s Square when I also came across Solar Panels fitted on the roofs of random convenience shops. The realisation that China is using solar to power an ice-cream fridge, whilst we (in Australia) focus our efforts on trying to sell coal, is just a little bit scary. Candlesticks anybody?

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QR Codes everywhere

Want to add a friend, search for a link or get information on anything? All you need is a mobile phone and a QR code. Every advertisement seems to have one that allows users to access the URL without having to type it in. It can also be used for website log in, payments, virtual stores (remember those?) and adding friends on WeChat. Whilst QR codes never really seemed take off in Australia, it has in China – big time.