Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Yoga for Writers

As each of us knows all too well, sitting ourselves down in the chair and working is the only way to find success as writers. Unfortunately that process can also lead to some aches and pains, not only emotionally, but physically, as we hunch over our computers sitting on chairs that may or may not be comfortable.

That's why this month I decided to team up with Janna, from YOGA Joy to discuss how to keep flexible during those long writing periods where the muse is being particularly helpful and our bodies are taking the toll.

"Incorporating yoga stretches at work is particularly important for people whose jobs require them to sit at a desk in front of a computer for long hours. The following stretches can help with neck and back strain and increase flexibility of the fingers and hands," says Jana (RYT).

1. Head & Neck
Keep your shoulders relaxed, inhale and then let your chin drop to your chest from its neutral position, breathe and hold for 3-5 seconds. Lift your head back up to neutral while inhaling and then exhale and turn your head left, breathe and hold, then turn head right, hold and breathe. Inhale and return to neutral, exhale and move left ear toward left shoulder. Keep breathing for 3-5 seconds. Inhale return to neutral and then shift to move right ear toward the right shoulder.


2. Seated Cat-Cow Stretch
Bring both feet flat on the floor. Bring your hands to your knees. On an inhale, tip the tailbone up and arch the back while gazing up - make sure to keep your neck straight. On the exhale, round the spine and shoulders while tipping the chin toward the collar bone. Repeat for 3-5 breaths.


3. Seated Spinal Twist
Turn to sit sideways in the chair. Bring both feet flat on the floor. Inhale and lengthen your spine and then rotate towards the back of the chair. Relax shoulders and take 3-5 breaths before doing the same thing on the other side.

4. Seated Warrior I
Sit on the front edge of a chair. Straighten your spine. Inhale and turn to the right, straighten your left leg behind you while bending your right knee. Place both hands on the bent knee and find your balance. Then when ready lift your arms. Hold for 3-5 breaths.

5. Wrist and Hand Stretch
Rotate hands to the outside of your body so that the wrists face the computer and the fingers face the edge of the desk. Gently lean into the wrists and flatten palms as much as possible. Then open palms and spread fingers. Begin curling pinkie, then ring finger and continue until thumb is curled into a fist. Repeat to relax muscles. Gently fist hands and circle wrists one direction and then the opposite way. 

Take the time to stretch and then enjoy the rest of your writing day!
________________________________

D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction and a co-author of a Young Adult Science Fiction Series. Her latest book, House of Glass, Book 2 of The Exodus Series was written with coauthor, Austine Etcheverry.
D. Jean loves to tell stories of personal growth – where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole, and Perception. The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City.                                                                                              She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at www.djeanquarles.com                                       You can also follower her at www.djeanquarles.blogspot.com or on Facebook.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

From School Teacher to Business Owner—In 4 Months Flat

Guest Post by  M. Shannon Hernandez

During my 11th year as a public school teacher, I met my husband, who lived in Brooklyn, and I packed my bags to accept a teaching position in New York City. I was well aware I would need to return to college and earn my master’s degree, as this is a certification requirement for NY state. I enrolled in Brooklyn College and began working towards a degree in Biology Education. I also knew that I would be losing the tenured position I had worked so hard to earn during my first ten years of teaching in North Carolina. While I wasn’t thrilled about the latter point, because it meant, once again, “proving” myself to a new school district, I accepted it. Within three years of teaching in New York City, my tenure had been granted to me once again.

It was in October of 2012, when Hurricane Sandy blew through our area, that two pivotal pieces of information were revealed to me, changing the course of my life and career. First, I had just been informed by the New York City certification department that I would lose my tenure, again, once I began teaching under my new biology certification the following fall.

I was livid. I cried. I screamed. I made phone calls. And with each person I spoke to, the news was consistent: Because I was switching from a certification in ELA to Biology, my tenure would be taken from me, and I would have to prove, once again, that I was a teacher worthy of keeping.

The second piece of information that changed the direction of my life was revealed to me in my journal during this same week. Because the public schools were being used as emergency shelters for people who had been displaced by Hurricane Sandy, the employees and students were granted a week off from our normal routine. I have always been an avid journal writer, and I was using my journal as a tool to make sense of the destruction and sadness I was witnessing in our area. Because I was still bitter and raw about the tenure situation, pieces of that were also sprinkled throughout the pages.

I woke up on the fourth day of my unexpected week off and took out my journal. I read the previous day’s entry. What emerged on that page—one tiny sentence—changed my life. I had written, “I deserve to be happy again.” As I read that statement, it lodged itself in my heart, and tears spilled down my cheeks. I was sitting at the kitchen table in my Brooklyn apartment, sobbing, tears streaking the ink on the pages. How had I not realized before now just how unhappy I was in my career?

My husband, who was working from home that day, watched all of this emotion unfurl. He knew that I was sick and tired of working in a system that didn’t appreciate me for the teacher I was, and he knew I was struggling terribly with my personal happiness. I remember walking over to his desk, embracing him in a hug, and saying between sobs, “Babe, I have to find a way out of this career. I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I can’t return to the classroom next fall.” He hugged me even tighter, and said the four most powerful words that still bring tears to my eyes, “I will support you.”

The next three months were a flurry of activity and a combination of deep reflection, creative thinking, and making moves to get my exit strategy together. I decided that I would open a business in the beginning of 2013, teaching business owners how to write better content for their audiences, as well as helping them tell their own personal stories through digital storytelling. I named my company The Writing Whisperer, and brought on a team of people who were successful in various parts of business, so they could help me build my new dream and prepare for my launch in February.

This may have been one of the most stressful and sleep-deprived times in my life, but I knew I was on the right track because I was happy and excited about my future again! Most days I woke up at 3:00 in the morning and worked on graduate school projects until 6:40, when I left my house and boarded the train to Manhattan. Once I arrived in my classroom, I devoted all of my heart, energy, and focus on my students. When the final bell rang at 3:20, I packed my bags, walked out of the building, got on the train, grabbed a quick forty-minute nap, and headed to my evening college classes. When I finally arrived home at 9:00 at night, exhausted by a full day of work and graduate-level study, I devoted two hours to building my business.

When February of 2013 came around, The Writing Whisperer was ready to launch. Somehow, I had also, despite my hectic, sleep-deprived schedule, graduated with a 4.0 grade point average in my master’s program! Deep within my soul, even before I had my first client, I believed at my core I would be a successful business owner, which would allow me to chart my own course in life, and never have to prove to anyone else, ever again, that I was “good enough.” These are the thoughts that fueled me when uncertainty and fear crept into my brain.

In March, the decision was made. I told the administration that I would not be returning the following year. And in June…I turned in my resignation. I have never looked back. I am now a full-time business owner, author, and writer for The Huffington Post. But you know who else I am? I am a fantastic vegan chef, a student of yoga, a runner training for the 2015 NYC Marathon, and a fun-loving, big-ole-ball-of-energy-world-traveler. I am one happy camper once again!

About M. Shannon Hernandez:

M. Shannon Hernandez is the founder of The Writing Whisperer, and her mission is to help heart-centered entrepreneurs and heart-centered authors find their brand voices, share their unique stories, gain more visibility, establish themselves as experts, and create authentic marketing messages, all through the use of smart content strategy and engaging copywriting. The Writing Whisperer was named one of Top 100 Websites for Writers by The Write Life in both 2014 and 2015, and Shannon has been featured as a content strategy and copywriting expert on many prominent podcasts and websites. She is a leading voice in the world of authentic business writing and heart-centered education reform, and she writes regularly for The Huffington Post. Shannon’s memoir, Breaking the Silence, chronicles her exit out of public education, after 15 years, and provides readers an intimate view of her journey to business ownership, finding happiness, and reinvention.

About Breaking the Silence: My Final Forty Days as a Public School Teacher

America’s public school system is broken and M. Shannon Hernandez knows why, firsthand. After fifteen years in the teaching profession, three gut-wrenching realizations forced her to recognize that she must leave the career she loved so dearly. She knew that if she continued to work for a failing system, she would also continue to lose a little piece of her heart and soul every day.

You are invited into Hernandez’s classroom for the final forty days of her teaching career to understand the urgent need for school reform, clearly demonstrated in each story. You’ll witness the intelligence, vulnerability, and humanity of her students, and the challenges teachers like Hernandez face as they navigate the dangerous waters between advocating for and meeting students’ needs, and disconnected education policy. 

This book is not only a love letter to her students, her fellow teachers, and to the reformed public school system she envisions, but also a heartfelt message of hope, encouragement, and self-empowerment for those who feel they are stuck in soul-sucking careers. It is an essential read for each citizen who is seeking a life comprised of more purpose and happiness, as well as parents, teachers, administrators, and policymakers who know our nation’s education system is in desperate need of an overhaul.

Find Shannon online:

https://www.facebook.com/TheWritingWhisperer
https://twitter.com/writingwhisper
https://www.linkedin.com/pub/m-shannon-hernandez/61/98/731

~~~~~
Other Posts You May Find Helpful

What it Takes to Get Started as a Freelance Writer – Top 10 List
Essentials for Managing Your Writing Career
Blogging Smart




Tuesday, March 10, 2015

March Blogging Prompts

Spring into March with fabulous blog posts, designed to help your audience hop into the new season

Here are some ideas to get you started.

Spring Cleaning: One of the best things about spring is that you get a fresh, clean start. Help your readers take a fresh angle on a project or offer ideas to help them clean up their home or workspace.

March Madness: Are you a basketball fan? Do you love sports analogies about teamwork? Perhaps you're a food writer, who talks about social restaurant venues. You can also go full-on creative and craft a unique bracket, having nothing to do with sports. These are a few angles for writing about March Madness. 

Pi Day is March 14: Is it a food holiday? A math holiday? Maybe it's both. If you blog in either of those categories, make sure to acknowledge it.

St. Patrick's Day is March 17: Whether you celebrate the luck on the Irish or just love the color green, think of a unique way to incorporate one or the other into a March blog post. 

Plus:

March Holidays: March is Irish American Month, National Craft Month, National Nutrition Month, National Women's History Month, Red Cross Month, and Social Workers Month. National Goof Off Day is March 22, Make Your Own Holiday Day is March 26, and National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day (celebrating small business owners) is March 29. 

March Food Holidays: March is National Celery Month, National Flour Month, National Frozen Food Month, National Nutrition Month, National Noodle Month, National Peanut Month, National Sauce Month, and National Caffeine Awareness Month. American Chocolate Week is the third week of the month.

Bonus: Spring Break is coming. Fiction writers, have some fun and send your characters out on a wild vacay. It'll be lots of fun for you and your characters, and will open up tons of opportunities.

***


Debra Eckerling is the author of Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages. She's a writer, editor and project manager/goal coach, as well as founder of Guided Goals and Write On Online, a live and online writers’ support group. She is an editor at Social Media Examiner. Debra is also a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting and social media.


Friday, March 6, 2015

Tips and Tools to Make Your Writing Life Easier

   by Debra Toor

If you are a writer who is fond of eating, then you need customers for your books and articles. To get customers, you need to let people know your book exists. And while you are churning out promotional materials and networking, you also need to keep writing. Ugh.

I am a newly published author, and until I found specific tools to help me, I was in major stress mode. My book, Survival Secrets of Turkey Vultures, was released in December 2014. I have waded through countless blogs and books that recommended umpteen promotional tasks for authors. How was I going to get it all done?

I have discovered the following tools to help me manage my time, find data about my niche subject, and inform my niche audience about my book and website.

Free Tools and Apps


WiseStamp: http://webapp.wisestamp.com/

What: Wise Stamp combines your email signature with your social platforms.  Benefit: As you correspond with your networks, WiseStamp makes it easy for potential customers to know who you are, the books/services you offer, and how to find you.

My Example: My book cover and social networks, name, service, and website at one glance.


Canva: https://www.canva.com/

What: Canva is a design tool for creating appealing visuals.  Benefits: It offers handy templates for your Facebook page, Pinterest pins, twitter covers, Instagrams, and much more. There are a variety of free fonts, images, and background colours. Canva charges $1.00 per image for its premium service. I don't use the premium service. Instead, I upload my own photos and use the free fonts to create eye-catching visuals.

My Example: Below is my Facebook cover. The blank space is for my head shot.  I created all the covers (except my book cover) with Canva. Then I dropped the covers into the Facebook template.  

facebook feb2015.jpg


Free Images
http://creativecommons.org/: explains each license

Find photographs and diagrams to provide a visual story-telling element for your work.  But make sure that you do not rely solely on the image's attribution.  Contact the photographers or graphic artists for their written permission to use their images for commercial purposes. I have created a network of photographers who are happy to share their work for educational purposes. Go to my website to see how these photos enhance my subject.

Googe Alerts: 
https://www.google.com/alerts

Google Scholar Alerts, for peer-reviewed research:


What:  Use Google Alerts to find news and research to help your niche customers reach their goals.  
Benefits: 
1. Type in keywords for your topic and indicate how often you want to receive your alerts. This will help you stay informed in your area of expertise and help you with speaking engagements and workshops.

2. Find statistics on your subject matter to spotlight your book’s benefits.  For example, I can track statistics to show how my book, website and free resources provide important eco-literacy information. I would need data that shows how declining vulture populations correspond with the increase in the spread of diseases.

3. Use Google Alerts to track mentions of your book, blog, etc. Log onto Online Income Teacher for great promotional tips.

1-Click Timer: 
What: A Timer with an alarm. 
Benefits: Tackle your writing, research, and promotional tasks in 30 to 60 minute increments. Just launch the app and whittle away at your mountain of tasks. You will stay focused and get a lot done.


Next month, I will share more strategies and free tools.  What have you discovered that makes your writing life easier?

More on Writing and Promotions:
http://thewritingworld.com/
http://www.HowToDo ItFrugally.com
______________________________________________


Deb Toor is the author of Survival Secrets of Turkey Vultures. She spent ten years as Communications Director at Earth Day Canada, where she collaborated with environmental experts to develop publications and projects for schools and community groups to address local environmental issues.

Her website is packed with information, resources, and captivating photos.  Discover how vultures help ecosystems and human health.
photo
p:905-510-9804 | e:debtoor@gmail.com | w:www.ecostoriesbydebtoor.com

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Essentials for Managing a Writing Career


When I was on a panel at PALA (the Publisher Association of Los Angeles (an associate of Independent Book Publishers Association or IBPA), I was asked to give them the five most important tips to an independent writing career and this is an abbreviated rundown of what I told them:

  1. One of the most deleterious ideas—the one that has the most disastrous effect on the welfare of an author’s book—is that marketing is selling. Especially selling people something whether or not they want it (or can use it).This incorrect idea of what marketing is at its roots is unethical, destructive to creativity, and absolutely false. It is what marketing is not. Here’s what marketing is:
    1. It is having a passion for one’s own book, a passion coupled with a strong belief that it will help others—either a certain group of others or everyone. That it it is an authentic belief that the book will make their lives better. Help them. Entertain them.
    2. Marketing is the process of learning who those people are and showing them why it is right for them and helping them access it in the most convenient way for their needs.
    3. It is about caring and making it evident that this caring is  apparent through the campaigns and promotions the author does. Authors will be forgiven for that awful term selling if the reader can see—and feel—the caring. Both in the book and in the marketing campaign itself.
  2. Here’s my most inspirational tip:. You can now be in charge of your own writing career. That means you get to make your own decisions. Fortunately that also means you have the never-ending uphill learning curve to climb and I believe it’s fortunate because you will never get bored.
  3. There are no blanket rules—no undeniable, unforgiving, steel-clad rules in writing or publishing. But you must know the rules anyway. If you don’t,  and you put out a less than professional product (and it is apparent there is no good reason for having broken those rules), you have done yourself and all the other independent authors a disservice.
  4. Learn, learn, learn. One of the best ways to do that is to use the benefits offered by respected writers organizations. Use them to learn more but also use the benefits they offer to help you market. Both their paid services and the ones that come free with membership. Example: One that works well is renting one of their lists for a direct marketing campaign.  
  5. Learn to fight what is left of Book Bigotry or Entrenched Publishing Rules without spending time trying to change others’ minds. People only change their minds when they’re in enough pain. Be confident in knowing that entrenched (read that traditional) marketing ideas aren’t the best way to sell books anyway. The best way to use your marketing budget and time is to find the ways you can reach the most people in the least time (and where you can make the greatest net profit)—and that isn’t by selling through bookstores. . .or in airports.
  6. Tips: Read, read, read, but read cautiously. Everyone on the Web isn’t an expert. Find experts with newsletters written by experts who will keep you up to date.
    Examples: Amazon sends information about their new promotion opportunities to those who are already published. To get that information, you have to read their e-mails.  And read newsletters. My favorites are:

                           I.        Dan Poynter’s

                         II.        Hope C. Clark’s

                       III.        Joan Stewart’s (The Publicity Hound)

                        IV.        My SharingwithWriters (Subscribe at http://howtodoitfrgally.com/newsletter_&_blog.htm)

                          V.        And for speakers (one of the best ways to market), Tom Antion's letter for speakers

  1. Join organizations:
    I love Independent Book Publishers Associations (IBPA), of course, but there are lots more targeted associations like memoir writers, journalists, the Military Writers Society of America, PEN. Remember they only work as well as you work them.
  2. Join listserves, sometimes called social network groups or forums. IBPA has a great one. Author U is one founded by Judith Briles. Here’s a tip: Learn which contributors are experienced and which aren’t before you take advice to heart.

-----

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Submitting to Fiction Magazines with Themes--Spring 2015

From The First Line Magazine
Looking for writing inspiration or a new writing challenge?  Check out these upcoming themes from short story magazines.  Find one that strikes your fancy, write your best story, and send it in.  

Portals--Submissions accepted April 1-30
2065 (the year)--Submissions accepted May 1-31
Sport--Submissions accepted June 1-30
Crossed Genres.  (Science fiction or fantasy only, 1000-6000 words, Pays $.06/wd)
Submission Guidelines.

Lost in the Zoo--Due July 1, 2015
THEMA Literary Journal  (Print, Reprints accepted, Fewer than 20 pages prefered, Pays $25)
Submission guidelines

"Laura liked to think she was honest with herself; it was everyone else she lied to."--Due May 1, 2015
"The old neighborhood was nearly unrecognizable."--Due August 1, 2015
The First Line Literary Magazine.  (Print and PDF, 300-5000 wds, Pays $25-50, stories must start with the given line)
Submission Guidelines.

Nyx (the ancient goddess of night)--Due April 30, 2015
Monsters (dark fantasy and horror)--Due June 31, 2015
Pantheon.  (Mythology, The shorter the better,  Pays $.01/wd)
Submission Guidelines.

Dear Diary--Due March 28, 2015
Telling your kids about 'the birds and the bees' is always a difficult task--Due April 27, 2015
Modern spins on common fairy tales--Due May 28, 2015
Memory Loss--Due June 27, 2015
Infective Ink.  (Pays $10)
Submission Guidelines.

Learning--Due March 6, 2015--THIS FRIDAY
Check the website later for the next theme
On the Premises.  (1000-5000 words, Pays $40-180)
Submission Guidelines.

Perseus and Medusa--Due March 23, 2015
Timeless Tales.  (Fairy tales and myths retold in any genre, 2000 words maximum, Accepts reprints, Pays $15)
Submission Guidelines.

Un/Natural World (exploring natural and built worlds on Earth)--Due July 15, 2015
Story  (Pays $20/pg up to $200)
Submission Guidelines.

Kenya--Due April 7, 2015
The Dominican Republic--May 5, 2015
National Parks around the World--Due June 2, 2015
The Olympics--Due July 7, 2015
Faces (World culture and geography for ages 9-14, 800-word retold legends, folktales, stories, and original plays from around the world, Pays professional rates)
Submission Guidelines

Also consider Cobblestone's other magazines accepting 800-word stories based around themes:  Cobblestone (American history), Dig (archeology and history), Odyssey (science). 
Submission Guidelines


Themed magazines can also be a good way to find homes for your trunk stories, but be sure that the theme is a close fit, or you'll disrespect the magazine.  As always, pay close attention to the writers' guidelines.

And keep on creating!



Melinda Brasher's first fiction sale was in THEMA, one of the magazines above.  She has other stories published in various magazines, including On the Premises.  She also loves to travel and is currently writing a budget traveler's guide to cruising Alaska. Visit her online at http://www.melindabrasher.com/

Sunday, March 1, 2015

10 Must-Know Security Tips to Protect Your Data, Websites, Social Media Accounts, Email Accounts, and More

It seems more and more businesses and people are getting hacked. The most recent I heard of was a savvy pro-marketer. All his computer files, programs, and other data was actually held ransom. He paid the hackers $500 to get everything back.

Sounds crazy, right?

Well, unfortunately, this is a way of life today. These hackers have sophisticated programs and techniques that can hack almost anything.

And, once in your computer they will have access to your banking information, your credit card information, all you data, all your clients data, and so on, and so on.

Introducing a cyber attack to your computer can be as simple as downloading software on the internet or clicking on a link within an email.

In fact, with home automation (another online ‘convenience’) these hackers can get into a lot more than your computer and online accounts. The can virtually enter your home.

According to an article at DailyMail on cyber attacks, the criminals don’t “have to use sophisticated techniques to break into home appliances, including your front door.” (If  it’s on the system.)

But, I digress. Let’s get back to protecting your online accounts, including your email.

10 Safety Tips to Protect Your Online Accounts and More

1. This is critical – make sure your password is at the very least 10 characters. And, be sure to mix them up. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about: use capital and lower case letters, symbols, and numbers. And, super important, don’t use any kind of sequences, like abc or 123.

2. Another critical measure – change your passwords on a regular basis. Don’t wait until you get a warning or you’ve been hacked. Cyber criminals are smart . . . and clever. Given enough time, they can figure out your password.

3. Don’t make your security answers obvious. If the question is “Who is Batman’s sidekick?” You can be sure a hacker will guess Robin. If the question is “Who is Donald Duck’s girlfriend?” Don’t answer with Daisy. If it’s common knowledge . . . it’s common knowledge.

4. Keep your passwords unique. This means don’t use the same password for two or more accounts and don’t reuse passwords. If you have trouble coming up with unique passwords, you check out a tool that PC Tools offers: https://identitysafe.norton.com/password-generator/

5. Check with your email service provider to see if they offer a login activity feature. Both Gmail and Yahoo do. This tool will give you recent login activity. Knowing if unauthorized users are in your accounts is a huge deal. It allows you to take immediate security measures.

6. A BIGGIE – Always, always, always sign out of your internet accounts. Whether it’s your email, your social media accounts, you’re websites, online groups, or other, be sure to log out when you’re done. A number of online services, like Google and Yahoo, allow you to stay logged on, even after you move on. This is an unsafe practice. Log out when you’re done.

7. Keep all your passwords safe. It may be convenient to list them on your computer, but don’t do it. Keep a ‘hard copy’ list or keep it on a zip drive (see below for a warning).

8. Don’t open emails you’re not sure of. If it looks suspicious, delete it. And, don’t respond to any emails that request personal information or request you change your password.

9. Secure your computer with antivirus software. It may not prevent a high-tech attack, but it should prevent low-end stuff from happening.

10. Protect your mobile device too. It’s a wise move to use a password on your device and you might want to lock it also.

Note: When using a zip or external drive, if you keep it plugged into your computer and you’re attacked, the hacker will take over your zip drive also. This is what happened to the pro-marketer I mentioned earlier. So, if you do use an external drive be sure to backup your work and then remove the device.

A couple of extra tips or at least my thoughts.

Don’t use cyber automation for your home.  Referencing the DailyMail article again, General Manager of Proofpoint’s Information Security division David Knight says, ‘Many of these devices are poorly protected at best and consumers have virtually no way to detect or fix infections when they do occur.”

Use the cloud. There are a number of offsite services you can use to keep your data safe from loss. Services like Carbonite.com and Dropbox.com backup your data on a regular basis. This way if you get hacked or something goes wrong with your computer, you won’t lose vital data.

I hope these tips help keep you ‘cybersafe.’ Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, or maybe lots, lots more.

Karen Cioffi is a writer and online platform instructor with two eclasses through WOW! Women on Writing:

Become an SEO Writer in Just 4 Weeks
Get Traffic to Your Website with Inbound Marketing

(Both classes are in-depth and interactive.)

~~~~~
References

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2541306/Cyber-criminals-hack-REFRIGERATOR-send-malicious-emails-worlds-household-attack.html
http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherskroupa/2014/09/04/cyber-crime-means-business-potentially-yours/

~~~~~
MORE TO READ

The Shotgun Social Media Strategy
Blogging Smart
Book Marketing as a Beginner

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