Monday, October 31, 2011

Your Digital Footprint Part 2

A few of last week's posts were about your digital footprint and how to protect yourself online.  I read a great blog this week by Wesley Fryer about the app Socioclean.  This app, which is currently free, scans all your Facebook public status/wall posts, photos, and videos for anything which might be offensive or inappropriate.  This is a great way to do a little maintenance on your digital footprint.  If you have a Facebook account, I highly recommend you check out Socioclean!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Securing Your Facebook Account

Facebook has changed their security controls again.  If you have a Facebook account, take a few minutes to read this blog by Cameron Camp.  It gives step-by-step instructions on how to secure your account with the new updates.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Drop Box

By now you've probably heard about drop box.  For those of you who have not, drop box is a space to save your work "up in the cloud".  The free version gives you 2GB of space.

Right now you may be asking yourself, "why would I need Dropbox?"  Well, you can sync documents between multiple devices, including your home computer, laptop, mobile, and other devices with Internet access.  All you need to do is sign up for an account.  You have the option of installing Dropbox, which you may want to do on your personal devices, but not at Leyden.

See the tutorial below to use Dropbox without a download (at Leyden).  Ignore the first 5 seconds about going to your email.  Just click here to create an account.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Way Back Machine

Have you ever received the "this page has expired" type of error message?  The Way Back Machine is an oldie, but goodie.  It is an archive of the Internet where users can view pages from 1996 to a few months ago.

Students, what do you think about this?  Pros?  Cons?  How can this affect your digital footprint?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Your Digital Footprint

Believe it or not, each time you log onto a social network, send an email, post to a website, or visit a blog, you leave a little something behind.  That little something is part of your permanent digital footprint, which you will carry with you for the rest of your life.  This can be both exciting and frightening at the same time.

Things to keep in mind:

-Your future employers will use the Internet and "Google" you.  This can work to your advantage if you are creating and posting in a positive manner.
-Use Facebook and other social media to join groups and collaborate on your favorite topics and hobbies.
-Subscribe to blogs! Start a blog!
-Create a digital portfolio of all your best works.

Lastly, remember everything you post is out there for the world to see!  A lot of times you can't take it back once you hit send.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Password Bird

Can your best friend guess your password?  Does your password contain the name of your pet, a family member, friend, significant other, or yourself?  If so, it's time for a new password!

According to a strong password:
  • Is at least eight characters long.
  • Does not contain your user name, real name, or company name.
  • Does not contain a complete word.
  • Is significantly different from previous passwords.
  • Contains characters from each of the following four categories:  Uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols
Having trouble coming up with one on your own?  PasswordBird can help you out.  Check it out:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Google Searching Secrets

1. Google can be a dictionary.  Type "definition:word" to find the definition of the word in your results (i.e.: "definition: serendipity" will track down the definition of the word "serendipity").

2. Search within a specific website. If you know you want to look up snowboarding in Wikipedia, type in " snowboarding" to go directly to the Wikipedia page about snowboarding. It works for any site, not just Wikipedia.

3. Use Google as a calculator.  You can type in almost any math equation and get your answer.  If you type " 2+8".  You will get "10".

4. Use Google to convert.  Type conversions like "How many quarts in a gallon?"?  The search results will be "1 US Gallon = 4 US Quarts."

5. Find a term in a URL. This handy trick is especially useful when searching blogs, where dates are frequently used in the URL. If you want to know about a topic for that year only and not any other year, type "inurl:2009" and your keyword to find results with your keyword in URLs with 2009 in them.


6. No need to go to Google to search in Chrome.  Just type your search directly in the address bar.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Characters, Characters, Characters

Having trouble finding the degree symbol or other characters?  Insert almost any character into your tweets, emails, documents, and forums through

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

IYO TXTng = Gd 4 or NME of GMR?

Translation:  In your opinion, is texting good for or the enemy of grammar?  If you ask me, it's the enemy of grammar.  Using this type of writing in some environments can immediately label you as young, immature and uneducated. This isn't the image you want to portray in certain situations.  Would you use this style of writing on a job application?  In an essay for English?  Hopefully you answered no to both of these questions.  Tip of the Day:  Save the idks and other abbreviations for your cell phone and friends! 

As we begin to blog, treat your posts and comments as formal writing and don't forget to review the blogging guidelines!  Lastly, put some thought into your writing, even if it's just an email to your teacher.