#3: I bet you don't think this is about you

Staying safe in these online streets and quitting goals when they don't align

I’m so sorry for not making it for drinks this weekend…but I have a good reason I swear it!

*orders a Witch’s Heart cocktail in honour of last week’s episode of WandaVision*

Okay, so hear me out. I’ve been wanting to talk to you about online privacy and data protection. And the fact that your eyes just glazed over at those phrases is exactly why it took so long for me to write this. It sounds boring and not like something the average Internet user should care about. But you should! And here’s a big reason why…

Without any warning, Google shut down this guy’s account and now, after 15 years of using their various services to mange his life, *poof* it’s all gone. That’s SCARY AF!

And that’s just the beginning. I’ve heard numerous horror stories of accounts being hacked, identities stolen, people lives being permanently upended because they thought their info was safe or inconsequential.

So what do you do about it? Well, there’s a whole lot. But you gotta start somewhere. So the first thing I recommend if you have a Google account (which most of us do) is this…

Go to your Google account page, check on your Privacy & Personalization settings. Next, go through the Security Checkup and enable all the recommended protection settings. Finally, visit Google Takeout and download a backup of all your data to your computer. (Bonus points if you add a reminder in your calendar to go through this process again at least once per quarter.)

You may think you’re a tiny fish in a huge pond when it comes to privacy breaches and data theft, but the truth it, that’s what makes you the perfect target. You’re easy to access and probably won’t notice anything until it’s too late.

Something for you to try…

Let’s keep the theme going. If you’re ready to go deeper into protecting yourself online, here are a few tools to help:

  • BitWarden - this app generates and stores your passwords so you don’t have to remember them. That way you don’t have to use the same password on every platform

  • ProtonMail - if you’re ever ready to ditch GMail for a provider that doesn’t read all your emails and use them to target you with ads, then this is your best bet

  • Brave - I’ve mentioned the Brave browser before as a great way to stop getting YouTube ads, but it’s so much more. It stops websites from tracking you online and blocks harmful ads. It’s also built on the same platform as Google Chrome so you get all the benefits, with none of the creepiness

What I’m up to these days…

I started the year with a big goal of becoming a Certified Notion Consultant, but two months in - after taking a good hard look at where I want to be in the next 3-5 years - I’ve realized it’s not the path for me. If I plan to move away from the hours-for-dollars trade I do now as a freelancer, I need to be investing my time into passive income opportunities and products, not just switching to a higher paying gig.

OMG, have you seen this?!

This one made me chuckle.

Thank you for being one of my first subscribers of #GrownUpCocktails. I can’t tell you how much it means to me. Your feedback is also very critical in making sure that I make this the best part of your Sunday, so please, hit reply and let me know what you think!

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