It’s time for a refresher course in how to play nicely in the digital sandbox. Some of these tips are simple etiquette, some are user guidelines, others are just common sense.
CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD
The top passwords in a Yahoo! hack this summer were discovered to be 123456, password, and welcome. That’s not good people.
Tips: use numbers to spell out words. $ for S, 4 for A, 3 for E – things like that. Mixing case, letters, and numbers is key. For something that’s easy to remember, use foreign words and then spell some of the letters with characters.
Using a system like 1Password will also help you as you just create a solid password to get into the site and then it manages all your other passwords with strong strings of characters.
VERTICAL VIDEO SYNDROME
This is going to get worse as smartphones get skinnier and taller (I’m looking at you Mr. iPhone 5). Think of how your tv sits – that’s how you should hold your smartphone when shooting video. When you’re using your smartphone as a camera – hold it like a camera. Vertical photos are bad, vertical video looks terrible.
TEXTING AT THE TABLE
This needs to stop, it needs to stop now. Phones face down on the table when you’re out with someone. You don’t need to see the screen calling you with random texts or alerts, but you’ll able to hear or feel if it rings and your kids are in trouble. Otherwise, phone face down. Pay attention to the people you’re with. Apple has a Do Not Disturb function built in to iOS6, learn to use it.
You might also want to suggest a phone stack if you’re out with friends and nobody can talk for longer then 5 minutes without their face in the phone. Pile them all in the middle. First one to grab their phone from the stack pays the bill. 🙂
BACK IT UP
Like Sir Mix A Lot says, Baby Got Back (Up). Just do it. Do it today. You can get free storage from places like Dropbox, iCloud, or Google Drive. You can have your photos passworded on a site like Flickr, your home movies on a site like YouTube. There are thumb drives, external drives, cloud solutions, physical media. There are dozens of ways to get it done so do it before you lose it.
SOCIAL MEDIA SCREAMING
If you’re not comfortable shouting it on a megaphone in a crowded room, don’t say it. A good thing to do is roll back through your stream and see what you’ve said and look at it from the point of view of an employer – are you always being on point with what you say? While you’re doing an inventory of your social, have a double check of your settings. Keep the private things private. It really is okay not to share EVERYTHING.
They look ridiculous when you leave them in your ear all the time. They’re great for the car, it’s a simple and affordable hands free solution. But you don’t need to keep it in all the time, they look ridiculous.