Posted in Book Notes

The Now Habit Notes

“The now habit” by Neil Fiore is one of the most popular book that gives you insight on procrastination and productivity.
The book is written in such a manner that every person can relate to it and understand what causes procrastination and what effective measures can be taken to overcome it.

The Now Habit Book Summary

Definition of procrastination: Procrastination is a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision.

1. Why we procrastinate?

1. Procrastination doesn’t happen because of laziness, it happens because of the fear.
2. It happens because we try to defend our self worth and seek temporary relief in order to overcome the fear.
3. There are different types of fear that causes procrastination:
       a. Fear of failure
       b. Fear of being imperfect
       c. Fear of being overwhelmed
       d. Fear of success
       e. Fear of increased demands
4. Procrastination gives us that temporary space of relief and refuge. Often we use it as a daily tool because once a task is urgent it finishes either by taking up by someone else or some other factors.
5. To over come the fears, we need to understand that we are Human and can make mistakes. Nobody is perfect and you should not criticise yourself for not finishing the task.

Cycle of procrastination:
The more you procrastinate –> the more anxious you are –> the more you criticise yourself –> the more you lose confidence.
With lost confidence –> you procrastinate even more, because you are afraid that others will judge you.

2. How we procrastinate?

1. Best way to learn the pattern of how you procrastinate is to observe yourself for three to five days.
2. Don’t judge yourself. Just when there is a trigger of something you are going to put off, write what, how and why.
3. Write down your feelings and thoughts. After three days, review your notes.
4. This will give you insight on your procrastination habits.
5. Identify the attitude and self talk that keeps you from accomplishing your tasks.
6. Don’t judge yourself, allow yourself to make mistakes and ensure nothing is threatening you.

3. How to talk to yourself

1. Master the positive self talk because it determines the whole context or your life and your attitude to everything.
2. Replace the negative messages with positive ones. Give yourself the power of choice. Learn to say no
3. Replace “I Have to” with “I choose to”.
4. Replace “I must finish” with “When can I start?
5. Replace “This is so big” with “I can take one small step”.
6. Replace “I must be perfect” with “I can be human”.
7. Replace “I don’t have time to play” with “I must take time to play”.
8. Statement of a producer with a powerful focus is: I choose to start on one small imperfect step knowing I have plenty of time for play.

4. Guilt-Free Play, Quality Work

1. Schedule your leisure time first. Plan for your free time and how you are going to spend the time with your friends.
2. Once your leisure time is scheduled, start scheduling your work time.
3. It is an excellent reverse psychology trick. Since you are sure that at this time you are going to free or play or chat with friends, therefore your minds triggers a signal to complete your work now so that you can enjoy later on.
4. You get creative, and give high quality output. Moreover the distractions are less because now all your focus is on the work and after that work you are anyways getting a free time.

5. Overcoming Blocks To Action

The Now Habit offers three tools for overcoming blocks to action. The tools are:

1. Three Dimensional Thinking And Reverse Calendar:

1. Large tasks can overwhelm you without the proper perspective.
2. Consider the length, breadth, width of your task, and then divide it. Divide and Conquer.
3. Reverse calendar helps you to schedule your work realistically.
4. Start with an ultimate deadline and then work your way with smaller deadlines up-to the present moment. 

2. The Work Of Worrying:

1. You should respect your ability to worry as a means of alerting you of the potential danger.
2. Whenever you worry, figure out a plan for alleviating your worries and establish a plan to cope up the potential danger.
3. Constant worry drains your energy and preparing the plan with give you some peace at mind.

3. Persistent Starting:

1. Just “Keep on starting”. Don’t think about finishing. Think about starting.
2. However small, just start may be for 2 minutes, just start and finishing will be taken care by itself.
3. Always focus on what you can do next. Once little step.

6. The Un-schedule

1. On your weekly calendar, schedule leisure and non work related activities.
2. The un-schedule uses reverse psychology to spring you into action.
3. Aim for small work schedule to start with – like 30 minutes of work and track your every un-interrupted 30 minutes block of work. Log how many hours you have worked everyday and week.

7. Working in the Flow State

1. You are most productive when you can fully focus. Distractions, intensive emotions and concerns undermine your focus and productivity.
2. Remove all your distractions, emotions and concerns before you start your work session.
3. Write your worries down, do meditation, breathe, relax, and free your mind. 

8. Fine Tuning Your Progress

1. One of the best techniques in the book is called as “Planned Setbacks”.
2. Observe and Optimise your progress daily.
3. Consciously choose projects/tasks that you are most likely to delay and observe your thoughts and feelings.
4. Commit yourself only to the goals that you fully embrace. Don’t set the goals that you don’t care about. Develop Resilience.

Combining all together

1. Think about the reason you don’t want to do the work.

2. Break the work down into sub steps.

3. Discover the small sub steps you willing to do.

4. Start the timer and start working on your work for two minutes.

5. Get into flow and continue to work on it without thinking of the finish.

Posted in Productivity Rituals

How to be yourself? Top 10 ways of finding out

How to be yourself? We often search for this question on google. We often hear from the world like be what you are, be yourself, be original, don’t try to be something you cannot be and don’t fake it.

There are certain factors in life due to which sometimes we tend to be someone else. Let’s analyse what these factors are.

  

Why we tend to shy away with our own self?

1) Changing World. The world is changing fast and we don’t know how to match the speed of the changing world. Therefore, at times when we are confused whether to be like this or like that, we lose yourself.

For example, you see everyone in the world is using costly iPhone and to match the trends you too try to buy a costly iPhone even if it’s not in the budget. Because of this the hard earned money may get wasted or there have been cases where people have committed crimes just for the sake of owning a costly possession.

2) Influence. Sometimes we try influence other people and make them believe that you are not what they think of you. You try to make extra efforts in being like other people, but you don’t enjoy that and because of this confusion you lose yourself.

For example, you might try to impress anyone with fake accent. Because you are faking, the person who knows the actual accent can immediately make out that you are doing wrong.

3) Expectations. Sometimes due to expectations of people you tend go away from your actual self. To meet the expectations of family and friends, you forget that this is not you.

For example, you try to do your best for the family. But sometimes your family expects that from your next business trip you are going to bring lots of gifts. This raise in expectation gives you a panic attack and you tend to lose yourself either by buying unnecessary stuff or getting irritated. The entire loss is yours and it’s you who gets affected by this most.

 

What are the affects of faking your personality?

1) Bad Image. Because of not being yourself or true to yourself, you get highlighted in-front of the people as dual personality. People see you as a fake personality and because of this they try to avoid you.

For example, just to be cool you said to your gang that you like to party a lot and can handle the drinks easily. But in reality when party happens and people sees the real you and see that you were lying that you can handle the drinks, they set a bad image of you in their mind. This image is too tough to be changed and equally tough is to accept you in the gang.

2) Wrong company. Because of not being to yourself, you might end up in a wrong company where people can take undue advantage of yours.

For instance, you want to show people, how cool is doing drugs! You forget that it’s not real you and you might end up in jail for your entire life, but still just to prove to other people you go in the wrong direction. Problem- you might get addicted to drugs, lose all your money, get landed in jail or even face death.

3) Relationship Fail. If you are not true to yourself, you might have to lose your loved ones. You might end up hurting the people who care for you.

For instance: you see other people that how badly they behave with their wife. You don’t like this behaviour of them, but there is possibility that you might start behaving like them. Thus, from being a nice loving guy, you become a guy full of hatred. You start coming home late like others, you shout unnecessarily and you stop caring for them. Results! your loved ones will end up leaving you and hurting you just because of not being to true to yourself.

1) Don’t rush. Just don’t rush into anything flashy that comes towards you. See the things, analyse them, see what’s in it for you and make the judgement. Don’t rush, take your time and then make a move. Ask questions! Ask yourself, ask family members, ask your wife, ask your teacher, mentor, professor, doctor, anyone…..Ask ME!!.WHY? HOW? WHAT? WHERE? You will get the answers.

For example, If you see people buying this costly iPhone and you also gets tempted by it, follow these steps –
a) Breathe. Breath in and Breath out. Take 10 deep breaths in and out.
b) This will clear your mind. Now see where are you standing? Observe the surroundings. Do you see any rat race happening at your place?

You say No!

c) Then sit down and ask QUESTIONS:

Why do you need this much costly phone?Is it because of the world or is it because you actually need it! Sit. Relax. Decide!

Got your answer?

Next is..

What you are going to do with this phone? Does these high end features matter to you! Or you are going to just play Pokemon? 😉 . Sit. Relax. Decide.

How are you going to pay for this phone? Do you have enough budget!, Do you have any other priority like kids school fees or wife’s birthday party or a gift for mom! Sit. Relax. Decide.

Where can you utilise this much money or even partial money? Consider the price, brand, features. If you are getting same specifications in the same price, wouldn’t that phone a better choice!, May be you can save money and utilise it on paying your loans or put it under your savings! Sit. Relax. Decide.

2) Be Content. Yes, be content for what you have. God has given you enough to survive. You don’t need to show off and be fake to anyone. You live for yourself and on your conditions, just because of impressing someone don’t plan for the unnecessary and expensive possessions.

3) Values Inherited by You. Check within yourself and ask what are your morals and values you have been standing all over your life. What are the teachings of your parents and teachers that made you a better person. I am sure this bling bling and shiny world is not enough to break your values. Value your values and you will be yourself.

4) Inner Peace. Check within yourself and ask what are the conflicts you are facing that are shaking you to become a person you are not meant to be. Try to talk to people and resolve your internal conflicts. There is nothing in this world that cannot be shared or resolved. Try to get answers. Be in peace with your inner-self.

5) Stop Criticising Yourself. Yes, have a belief that you are good in every-way and be positive about yourself. Being positive will make you confident and people will like this actual you. For every-work you do, give your 100% and say to yourself, this day is going to be the best day ever. People who criticises you should not be given any attention.

6) Meditate. Yes, when in doubt, close your eyes and meditate. You will get your answers. It will help in clearing your mind and focus on important real world issues. It is due to the lack of focus that we seek pleasure somewhere else and tend to become someone else. Once you get back your focus, you will be real you and happy you.

7) Gratitude. Yes, this is the most powerful tool that lots of people underestimate. Why because they tend to forget the blessings and positivism what one get after greeting someone, saying thank you to all the people and thank god for everything. Show gratitude to all the important people in your life and they won’t let you go anywhere else. In the lovable company you will be always yourself. Gather blessings and thank God everyday and tell god that you are thankful for this day and you are going to make this day an awesome day.

8) Be realistic, don’t try to please everyone. Yes, keep only quality friends and don’t try to please anyone you see. Keep the important ones intact by showering love and care on them. Furthermore, if you try to please everyone, you may end loosing the real ones. You cannot meet everyone’s expectations and it is perfectly OK. It’s your life and you make decisions to please yourself not just any other person. Once you know that you cannot please everyone, you will be yourself

9) Keep you sense of humour intact. Yes, don’t just be that guy who doesn’t laugh and play because of his ego. Laugh out loud, play around, be childish and let people know your killer sense of humour. Furthermore, once people sees the real you, you won’t bother yourself to live like others and they will want to be like you instead.

10) Don’t be selfish. Yes, don’t just live for yourself. Help others and let people see the real you. The more you showcase yourself as a good person, the more people will change perception for you. Once you see the world respecting the real you, I am sure you wouldn’t want to change that. Everyone wants enjoy the company of selfless and true person.

These are the top 10 ways I thought might be helpful in knowing the real you. Please let me know your comments if you want to add any points. I will make sure to add them in my next article with your name in it.

Be Awesome. Cheers.

Be Yourself! Everyone else is already taken

-Oscar Wilde

Posted in Productivity Rituals

How to kick-start your perfect morning?

Perfect And Morning Eh!…Can these be two words together?

Sure they can be together. In addition, you will enjoy this routine.

But I have always thought Morning as boring, lazy, and gloomy event. In addition, what special difference this article is going to make? You may ask!

Well this article is going to list down the best ways to kick-start your morning routine and make it perfect.

Let’s see what we have it in here:

Start Slow. Start Slow? eh!..What do you mean start slow? I mean don’t rush into everything you want to do in the morning. Take it slow and let the world move its own pace. Give yourself extra time by trying to wake up early at-least half an hour before your normal wake up time.

Ya Ya!..As if it is easy to jump out bed every morning!..Easy to say then doing actually doing it.

Yes, I agree it’s not easy to to jump out of bed immediately and start the day. But with daily practice, I promise that you can be a morning person and wake up as early as you want. Take it slowly and steadily by reducing your sleep time by 5 minutes for a week. Reduce another 5 minutes next week. You may want to get in to bed early as well so that you compensate your morning sleep and feel fresh. Consequently you will change your habit and will wake up early.

Ok!..So I wake up, what’s next!

Freshen Up. Yes, run to your washroom and wash your face and freshen up. This is the critical part because this will decide where you are going to head next – back to bed or face the world. Again, take it slowly, don’t rush. Enjoy the fresh water splash on your face, see yourself in the mirror and say to yourself – I am going to rule the world (if you are still unmarried 😉 ) or I am going to make sure that today is going to be an awesome day.

Drink Warm Water. Your body needs lots of water after waking up and specially after the whole night sleep you need it water to improve your immune system. Please make sure that you drink a lot of water as soon as you wake up to keep your body hydrated and balanced. Furthermore, if you are comfortable with warm water, drink it warm and I can promise you that your immunity will be very strong due to which you won’t fell ill easily. In addition to this, you can mix honey and lemon to add taste giving you the benefits of natural healing. This will also reduce your weight.

Move your body. Yes, let’s dive into the day and move your body. There are plenty of activities that you can do to move your body:

Go to Gym

Do Some Running

Get ahead with Cycling

The good old Yoga

Aerobics

Basic Home Exercises

These activities will allow the blood to flow, make your heart strong and provide your body the necessary oxygen. Furthermore you will be in best of your shape, your body will feel light and free from rustiness. There are thousands of benefits of exercising. We will cover these topics in detail later on.

Meditate. So far we have been mostly talking about physical health. How about we start some exercise for your busy mind. Your mind runs more than you do entire day. So take extra care of your mind and make sure the mind of yours gets enough energy and peace so that your life during the day is in peace. Take timeout at-least 15 minutes to keep your mind free and clear it from tensions by doing the meditation.

You just have to sit in relax posture and count your breaths. That’s it!..It’s that easy. Believe me 15 minutes of meditation a day will make you feel divine. You will be able to see your thoughts more clearly, you will be happier then ever, and appreciate your loving ones. There are many benefits of meditation. We will cover the benefits and method of meditation in detail later on.

Take care of your body and mind. Now let’s move on to provide your body some energy to carry on the days work.

Shower. It’s time to take a shower. Take a cold shower. The after shower feeling is one of the best in the world. You feel so refreshed and all ready to take on the world.

Healthy Breakfast. After shower, it’s time to take healthy breakfast. As doctors say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So please make sure that you don’t skip it and eat a lot of quality food. You can eat lots of fruits, veggies, smoothies, milk, eggs. Please make sure that your breakfast contains good proteins.

We will discuss more on breakfasts in later posts. We will share sample meal plans and good tasty recipes. Stay tuned.

Writing. This is one habit that you should include in your morning schedule. Keep a journal, notepad, Bujo, Excel templates, sticky notes, anything you like, but please write something.

Write how are you feeling and how will you approach your day. Also write your top most priorities of the day. Add these priorities in your planner. Prepare your plan for the day and make sure you follow it till the very end. Do not stop without completing your Most Important Tasks. Writing will clear your mind. Once you dump your thoughts on paper or some application you will clear your mind from clutter and will focus on your task one by one. We will discuss on this topic in detail later on.

Reading. I am sure you will be tempted to check your mails, Facebook,  and News by now. But not just yet. Control for few more minutes and give your time for an effective reading. This habit of yours will generate ideas, motivate you, inspire you and will make ready to fight this competent world.

It’s not required to read an entire book at one go. Read small pages but effective pages. Even 20 pages a day will make you awesome.

Gratitude. Finally show gratitude.Often we are so busy that we forget the beauty around us and the God who has created all this for us. Appreciate the almighty every morning. Furthermore, thank your family and friends and make them feel special.

Thank your office colleagues and your boss (ya ya, there are times 😉 ) for providing you good and fighting opportunities in life and supporting on your judgements.

Goals. In addition, with all these early morning schedule, keep an eye on your Goals as well. Please make sure that at-least one goal of yours is covered in the morning habit and you are able to achieve goals such as reducing weight, becoming a writer, targeting a marathon run, or tour de france for that matter. Nothing is impossible if your Morning schedule is effective.

Please let me know your suggestions in the comments section and also let me know, how do you approach your morning and I will make sure cover your points with your name in my next posts whenever we dive into detailed habits.

B e.  A w e s o m e. Thanks for reading 🙂 

Posted in Productivity Rituals

Remember the feeling to remember the task/ habit

Always remember the feeling if not the actual tasks /habits. If you are planning to live your life in a better way and sometimes gets stuck/ bored/ lazy to exercise, meditate, work hard on priorities, changing habits, read, write, etc.

Then one of the things I do is to feel the moment when I finished my:

  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Finishing my work priorities
  • Read
  • Write
  • Daily plan setup
  • etc.

After realising this feeling, I get motivated enough to carry on these good things. For instance:

  • With exercise, I feel light and free from rustiness
  • With meditation, my mind feels so calm and focussed
  • With finishing my MITs (Most Important Tasks), I feel so accomplished and charged up
  • With reading, I feel to gain some wisdom and insight
  • With writing, I feel creative and free
  • With proper plan and completing my daily checklist, I feel on top of the world

How about feeling moment when you ran 5 miles?

How about the feel when you thanked someone and shown some gratitude?

How about the feeling when ate healthy food?

How about the feel when you meditated in the sound of rain falling on the leaves?

How about the feeling when people appreciated your new toned look?

Remember these feelings? I am sure you do. So carry on these good habits and don’t procrastinate on them.

Finish! What you Start. Yes! If you have started a habit to loose the weight, then wake up with the awesome feeling of how healthy and fresh you would feel if have lost your weight as per the set target. This feel will get you going and you will be able to finish what you have started.

Do let me know how are you feeling now?

Thanks for reading.

B e     A w e s o m e 🙂

Posted in Productivity Rituals

The Procrastinator – Now In Cinemas

The Procrastinator! Well! If there would have been a movie named – “The Procrastinator“, I am sure I would’ve been the hero of this movie.  But what would’ve been the plot of the movie?
The procrastinator would’ve stuck in the grim loop and would find the method of breaking it. Will he be able to succeed? Let’s find out!
Procrastination means the action of delaying or postponing something. Something means, like:
– Office work tasks
– Exercising
– Calling someone
– Replying to mails
– Household works
– Booking a ticket
– Cooking the necessary meals
– Writing a Blog or a Book
– Studies and other things….

When I said, I am the hero of “The Procrastinator”, I was very serious about it.
You know, I am the one who put PRO in the procrastination. Because I play it like Pro-League championship! Huh!
I even procrastinated for writing the article on procrastination! How worse could it go!

Procrastination should not be confused with reasonable delay. If there is a task that you have to do it, then delaying it with a reason that you would be completing it when you have extra time is fine.
However, if you are postponing the activity and saying to yourself that,
“I will be finishing this one hour work at 3:00pm exact after I see this youtube video”, this is a procrastination. If you do this too, then congratulations you are “The Procrastinator” :).
What happens after this is your clock strikes 3.05pm and you say yourself,
“Oh God!, I was supposed to start working by 3:00PM and now it’s 3:05PM, I will start my work at sharp 4:00PM”
and then you again make yourself busy in other non-important things like watching you tube videos, checking Facebook, checking tweets.
Slowly and slowly you end up in a loop.
…It’s already midnight and you have not finished that one hour work. What happens next?
Next is, you say to yourself, “Oh! its too late now”
and “I am tired”, “I will do it tomorrow, early morning”..
..and then you won’t wake up early and it’s been already one day for that one hour work. Huh!

Conclusion is, you will only finish this one work when you get a mail from your manager or any higher authority. At that time you will be working on multiple projects and you will find difficult to get that one hour to complete that pending task.

Result is, you will say that you are overburdened with work but fail to understand that what increased the burden at the first place.
This Grim loop is the villain of your heroic life. We have to understand why we ended up in this loop. The person who breaks this loop or avoid getting in it, is the actual HERO.

To understand this loop, first understand what is the reason of you being ended up inside this loop:
Your casual mood: Your casual mood always tells you that you are not in your perfect being to do this work..
You expect your mood to change after watching tv, videos, chatting etc..
But that doesn’t happen and you end up being more tired.
To cut this loop, there is are basic peaceful ways, which over the practice can reduce the procrastination. Let’s dive into it:

  1. Solution A: Remind yourself of the work and it’s importance and how you will feel after that work is finished. Take a sticky note, paste it on your laptop, book, table, on your head, body wherever you want, just paste it and keep it in front of your eyes. Multiple reminders can be put as well. Personal Journal, Sticky Notes, App based reminder, Master To-Do List just anything you feel will make sure that you are aware of the urgency of the work and it’s happiness after you complete it.
  2. Solution B: BLOCK your access to websites to access during the work. Yes, Block it all! Nothing will happen to the world, believe me!
  3. Solution C: Try it from the small. For instance if a work requires an hour to be completed and you are delaying it, then promise yourself to me that I will try focusing on the work for initial 5 minutes wholeheartedly and then decide the fate of the work. Just a little nudge and push is sometimes enough to get you started. Make it a habit by remembering the feeling of accomplishment.
  4. Solution D: Define the deadlines for yourself. Just say it to yourself, “I just need one hour to complete this work” and then I am free and I can chat with my friend as a reward.

Don’t depend on the mood too much. If you are feeling low, cheer up yourself by listening to some music and getting work again!(just don’t end in the listening music loop 😉 ).
Believe me, if you follow any of the steps diligently you will scare the shit out of procrastination.
Let’s all be the hero of Never Back Down. Let’s make a resolution stop being the procrastinator, because he is the villain of your life.

Well, in case you are wondering(or not!..I will say it anyway!) how did I break the grim loop of procrastination in writing this post. I tried Solution C 😉

Be Awesome. Cheers 🙂

Posted in Information Security

Information Security In Our Daily Lives

We live in a world where at times we expose unnecessary information to the unknown people because of our lack of importance to information security. Sharing your photos with friends and strangers, sharing your personal details like Name, Address, Phone numbers, etc. with the people who don’t need to know is a way of loosing your security of personal information.

Following is the list of certain examples from your day to day life that you unknowingly compromise with. So, if your answer is “no” for all the questions being asked, then you definitely need to read, understand and implement the parameters mentioned in this article. Let’s go one by one:

Personal Photographs. I am sure you certainly wants your travel photos to be seen by your friends, but do you really want them to been by the whole world?

Your Passwords. I am sure you love your wife, girl-friend, mom and dad, but do you really want to use their names as the password of your mails, social- profiles, banks, etc.?

Your Debit Cards. I am sure you certainly want to help poor people buy providing them the resources such as money, but do you really need to share your debit card number for that matter?

Your ATM Code. I am sure you want to remember the 4-6 digits number of your ATM card, but do you really want to write it down on a paper or in your mobile?

Your Medical History. I am sure you are concerned about your health and want to take inputs on your health checkup results, but do you really need to post your medical history on the public forum?

Your Secure Code. I am sure you are afraid that your credit card may get blocked due to some issue, but do you really need to share the critical CVV details on the phone with some executives?

Your Travel Info. I am sure you are excited about the whole trip you have been planning with your gang, but do you really need to put the whole itinerary on the public forum to let unwanted people know about your hourly plans?

Your Official Info. I am sure you are excited about the new multi-million contract you got from your client, but is it really necessary to share this sensitive client name on the public forum?

I am sure for all the above questions your answer would’ve been a big – big “No”. Nobody wants to share the private information in the public. It’s yours and sharing this information will affect you. That’s why it is called “Private”. But still after knowing all these things, we sometimes gets casual and share more than what’s required.

Take 5 minutes to realise what all you have shared, what all information you know of other people, what kind of passwords do you keep, where do you store your passwords, who all are your friends on Facebook, what pictures are stored in your gallery, who all has access to your phone, books, laptop, with whom you have shared your most personal secret and if that person is trustworthy, who all knows about your upcoming tour, and many other information you can think of. List can be very exhaustive.

List the high level points on a paper and plan to reduce the already shared information or how in future you are going to manage information security. For example, I list down the websites which needs my password whenever I am on my computer. Also I can list other information such as travel information to remind me that I am going with 5 friends and they only need to know about the plan:

* Password Required for: Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Hotmail, Bank, Official portal, Blog Administration.

* Travel Details: Going with 5 friends – Ram, Shyam, Bhola, Ramesh, Suresh.

* ATMs I have: 3 Debit cards.

Password Protection. But how do I make sure that I remember complex passwords without compromising my information?

Glad you asked!

There are different software’s and mobile apps that gives you features to save your password in the password vault and ease that pressure from you to remember the complex passwords. For example, for everyday purpose, I use KeePass. I simply use a complex password and store in the password vault. From next time, I don’t need to remember the password. I will just copy the password from the vault and use it anywhere. There are many Software’ providing these kind of facilities but I prefer KeePass because it open source and free. I know the internal mechanisms of security of this application. Here is an example how I use KeePass. Central idea of all the password vault applications would be same. The difference would be in terms of presentation and some additional features like syncing of password across various devices (Desktop, Mobile, Tablet).

* Install the application from KeePass website: http://keepass.info/

* Download and Run the application

* Set up a local database and master password ( just need to remember this master password!..Please keep it strong Smile )

information security add master password
adding master password to your password vault

* Now you will see the dashboard:

information security vault dashboard
keepass screen dashboard

Go to edit > new entry or press “ctrl + I”

* Add your entry such as:

information security add an entry of website
add an entry to your password vault

* Notice the dangerous password I have used. I have made it very complex because I know I may not use it again and again. My KeePass will do the job for me every-time.

* Finally dashboard will show Facebook as my link and its username and password stored in the industry standard encryption algorithm and displayed as masked.

* I just need to double clink on the URL and Copy my password on the Facebook login page.

information security set your password in vault
save your complex password in vault

* You can setup similar profiles for your emails, twitter accounts, official and bank portals.

ATM Protection. One of the most common frauds that are happening around the world is due to the information leakage from ATM cards. Sometimes, the leak happens from the bank’s side, and sometimes leak happens from your end.

Banks Responsibility.To avoid the loss happening from Bank’s end, please do a proper research on the reputation of the bank. Read reviews and security portals and get to know about the bank that how active and serious the bank is in terms of securing customer information. A good way is to check the security related compliance status of the bank. If it’s certified, that you will have confidence that your information is secure.

Your own responsibility. From your end, you need to make sure that you are aware on high level that what kind of credit cards and debit cards fraud happen these days.

Also know the basic terminologies of the Banking world related to the cards. Such as importance of CVV number, 16 digit card number, OTP (one time password), ATM password.

Make sure that at any point of time on call or chat, do not share your full card numbers, cvv and OTP. I repeat: PLEASE DO NOT SHARE YOUR CVV, OTP & ATM PIN.

Fraudsters sometimes call and ask for such critical information. In addition to this make sure that you are shopping from a well known website. Don’t enter your card number and CVV unless you are sure of the merchant is secure or not. Famous online shopping portals are required by the banks to get certified and are therefore safe to use.

I am sure you can remember your wife’s and girl-friend’s number. Therefore you need to practice to remember your ATM PINS. Do not write it down on any paper as there is a chance it might get lost and may end up in a wrong end. These numbers are 4-6 digits logs and I am sure it would easy to remember.

Personal Photographs, status messages, travel plans. Often you want to show your friends and families that where you have been and how you enjoyed your holidays, birthdays, weddings, etc. It’s great and I am sure your family wants to know too about your photos and experiences. But what if I say that the photograph you just uploaded can be used for other malign activities.

I am 100% sure, that you are not sure if 1000s of your facebook friends are to be trusted  to secure your information as is.

I may sound a little blunt, but get rid of the people whom you have no contact. If you see your list you will see that almost 50% of the list can be shortened. The remaining 50% are the ones whom you want to share your experiences with and who are really interested in knowing your experiences.

Filter out and this will reduce the risk of leakage by a big margin.

Don’t run behind the number of likes and shares. Your information security should be the top most priority.

Facebook has got seamless ways to secure your information. You can protect your information from the people you don’t want to share with by customising your posts and pictures.

Simply click on the post setting and see the options like these:

information security facebook share custom
To see how you can customise post and pictures in facebook

Click on Custom and choose with whom you want to share and with whom you don’t want to share:

information security share with friends
share your post and pictures with friends and family

Save the changes and enjoy the secure feature of the public forum.

Typically, most of our days involve the information related to the passwords of your websites, sharing of pictures and statuses, and bank account and debit card details. Information security itself is a huge topic and there are millions of ways of protecting your information. In this article I wanted you to make aware of the security of information that we ignore in our day to day lives.

I hope this article has given some idea on the importance of securing information.

In the next phase of my article on information security, I will give you some real life examples that I have come across during my job. The real world examples will amaze you. It will emphasise mostly on the scale on which the loss happens. Be it personal loss or money loss or relationship loss. Watch out this space Smile

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