Professional Networking

Networking is such an important part to any online or in person activity. Networking allows for new connections to form which can turn into helpful relationships down the line. As for me, I find I’m quite reserved when networking, so a goal of mine in the coming years will be to put myself out there more and try to foster a relationship with at least two new people. Something I heard a while ago said that while networking, find someone in your ideal job position. Talk to them briefly about your qualifications, what lead you to want to be in that field. Then ask them about their job- understand their role/career, understand their path and then ask them for advice. After that, you’re supposed to update them every few months on how you’ve been implementing their advice. 7/10 times down the line when they have a job opening, they reach out to you. As for personal networking relationships, while you’re talking to someone, talk about them. It’s no surprise that people like talking about themselves- even if they don’t know it. When you talk about them and actively listen to what they have to say, they tend to think more highly of you.

Over the next 6-12 months, I plan on implementing these strategies by attending at least 3 events with the intent to network.

Your Fingerprints Aren’t as Unique as You Think

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Passwords have been on electronic devices since before I can remember. It wasn’t until September 2013 when Apple Inc. introduced the Touch-ID feature onto the iPhone 5s. This technology has been used on all Apple products, until recently being upgraded to Face ID (iPhone X and newer).

It used to be that when you turned on your phone, you would be asked to type in your 4 digit pin code. Now, with Touch and Face ID becoming increasingly popular, is your phone really safe?

“It’s almost certainly not as worrisome as presented, but it’s almost certainly pretty darn bad. If all I want to do is take your phone and use your Apple Pay to buy stuff, if I can get into 1 in 10 phones, that’s not bad odds.”

– Andy Adler, Professor of Systems and Computing Engineering at Carleton University

Touch and Face ID is so convenient. With just a tap of your finger or look at the camera, you can order a new pair of shoes, pre-pay your credit card bill or transfer thousands of dollars overseas.

Apple claims a 1 in 50,000 chance that your fingerprint would be matched to someone else’s, a 1 in 1,000,000 with Face ID, and a 1 in 10,000 chance someone could guess your four or six digit passcode. Think of all the times your younger sibling stole your phone and guessed the passcode on their- what? third attempt… That’s not very reassuring to me.

When you initially set up Touch ID, you’re asked to shift your finger several times, taking photos of each part of your unique fingerprint. But when someone tries to get into it, they only have to match to one of those, say, ten images.

“Matched is a word that most people associate with ‘identical’, meaning that it’s the exact same and that there’s no other alternative. So if you say, in relation to a hair examination ‘the hair matched,’ to them it means that it’s from that guy’s head or from that guy’s body. But there’s no scientific basis for that, in reality, especially in cases involving things like hairs and fibres and paint chips… Consistent means that they have the same properties and they could be from that location, but not necessarily.”

– Nick Petraco, Former NYPD Cop and Present Day NYPD Forensic Consultant

Dr. Nasir Memon, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at NYU, says that if they could somehow create a magic glove with a MasterPrint of each finger, you could get into 40-50% of iPhones within the five tries given before locking you out.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

So my question is this- After hearing this information, which method of authentication are you most likely to use?

Twitter- Is your phone safe? Find out! **

Facebook- When you unlock your phone, you may unlocking more.. Find out! **

When Was the Last Time You Read the Terms + Conditions?

‘I have read and agree to the Terms + Conditions’ is probably one of the most frequently told lies in the entire online world. The terms and conditions are often seen as an inconvenience or an obstacle, but in reality, it could be the difference between the freedom to browse and a stolen identity.

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In June of 2014, Mikko Hyppöen, security expert, spent an entire week actually reading the terms and conditions, before agreeing to anything. After reading through over 146,000 words of confusing legal documents, he set out to prove a point. Backed by Europol (European law enforcement agency), his company F-Secure setup a free WiFi hotspot in London’s financial district. Hidden in the terms and conditions was a “Herod Clause”. In exchange for WiFi, the “recipient agreed to assign their first born child to us for the duration of eternity.” Six people signed up.

“EULAs (End User License Agreements) suck – we can all agree on that. They shouldn’t be binding, because nobody reads them. But from a legal point of view, they just might be.”

Mikko Hyppöten

I don’t know about you, but it makes me rethink every terms and conditions I have ever “read and agreed to.” But incase that didn’t hit close enough to home for you, here are several other examples of terms and conditions from companies we use every single day.

Twitter > They have the rights to all of your content.
iTunes > You don’t actually own any of the music you buy.
Facebook > They can do whatever they want with your photos and information.
Instagram > They are free to use or modify anything you post.
Netflix > They reserve the right to disclose your information AND they don’t guarantee your security.
Spotify > They have access to basically everything stored on your phone. (They even have reports of credit cards being charged without authorization!)

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

In the long run, it may be worth it to take the extra time to read over what you are agreeing to. When is the last time you read the fine print?

When was the last time you read the terms and conditions? **
When was the last time you read the terms and conditions?**

5 Ways to Boost Social Media Engagement this Fall

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Has your social media engagement been dropping lately? The new Instagram algorithm killing you? You’re not alone! With these five simple steps, you’ll have your engagement higher than its ever been before!

1) Produce Quality Content. Most likely you’ve heard the phrase ‘Quality > Quantity.‘ In this case, it’s true. Think about the last time you were on social media. The posts that stood out to you were the ones that were boring and neutral right… WRONG! If you were to go over your own posts, the ones that got the most likes, comments, etc. they were the ones that were high quality, fun, creative pictures that catch your attention. Make that your goal!

2) Post photos with a face. Georgia Institute of Technology and Yahoo Labs analyzed 1.1 million instagram photos and found that images with faces got 38 percent more likes, and 32 percent more comments. “Even as babies, people love to look at faces. Faces are powerful channels of non-verbal communication. We constantly monitor them for a variety of contexts, including attractiveness, emotions and identity” said study leader, Saeideh Bakhshi.

3) Consistency is key. Think about it – people will remember your name if they see consistently see it on their newsfeed. Even if you don’t do something “Instagram worthy” every weekend, it’s okay to bank selfies or photos from the weekend before. Not posting often can negatively impact your engagement as well. With the newest Instagram algorithm, your posts are correlated with how often you post, meaning, if you post lots, your photos will appear on lots of other timelines, but if you don’t, it may decrease in views.

4) Use relevant hashtags. Hashtags have been around for so long they’ve gone from uncool to helpful a few times now. The trick is to find the sweet spot. According to a study done by, hashtags are ineffective unless used properly. Using 11-30 active hashtags (including niche related keywords and influencers) is believed to be the most effective when it comes to boosting engagement.

5) Engage with your audience. This includes replying to comments, DM’s, instagram/facebook story stickers, etc. The more interactive you are with your audience, the more interactive they will be with you.

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Working to increase your social media engagement is a never ending effort. It takes time and dedication to find your niche and how to really excel in it. That’s why a lot of people use analytics! This saves you the time of analyzing your own profile, giving you the time you need to really focus on your content!

Twitter: Has your engagement dropped? Learn how to pick it back up!! **

Facebook: Grow your social media engagement today!! **

Hiding Instagram Likes: Is This Helping or Hurting Us?

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This past April, the popular social media app, Instagram, issued a statement saying they were going to run a test, hiding the total number of likes and views for some users, in an attempt to create a “less pressurized environment where people feel comfortable expressing themselves…. We want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get” explained Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram.

Over the years, Instagram has changed from being a simple communication tool to more of a digital frenzy filled with influencers and algorithms. Now a days, getting a considerable amount of likes on a photo can seem like you’ve just won a gold medal; positive feedback that you are doing something right.

Studies show that dopamine is released into our brains following many activities, including successful social interactions. This makes us feel as though we are being rewarded. Meaning, that when we get a notification, whether a text message or a ‘like’, this chemical tell us that what we are doing feels good and should be done again. This reward pattern is exactly what social media developers use to keep you engaged online, similar to gambling. When this feel-good drug comes at as small of a cost as checking your phone, social media can turn into an addictive habit. The Royal Society for Public Health released a survey, explaining that Instagram is the leading cause of health and wellness problems, with more than 5% of young people suffering from social media addiction.

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To help write a more balanced blog, I decided to put it to a vote. I went on my Instagram account and asked my followers if they liked the app better seeing how the likes were now hidden. Of everyone that responded, 59% said they liked Instagram better now, whereas 41% want it back to the way it was before. So, my question is, do you feel less pressure with this new update? Do you need to see the numbers?

Are you being affected by Instagram’s hidden likes? Find out! *LINK*

Are Instagram’s hidden likes affecting you? *LINK*