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microsoft windows OS

Rooting your Android phone: What you need to know

While your Android isn’t in the same sort of jail an iPhone lives in, rooting can help you break out.

If you’ve researched anything about Android on the internet, you’ve probably seen and read about “rooting” it. There was a time when many of the Android phones available didn’t live up to their potential, and root was the answer. Horrible software was the norm, applications that you would never use ran amok and wasted data and battery life, and the experience was bad all around.

Because every Android phone is running the Linux kernel and middleware very similar to a Linux distribution you would install on a computer under the hood, rooting them was the way to allow us to try and fix them our own way. Rooting is how you get complete access to everything in the operating system, and those permissions allow you to change it all. Modern Androids are quite a bit better than they used to be. Even the most inexpensive phone or tablet you can buy in 2019 will do more and perform better than the best Android phone available just a few years ago. But many of us still want to root our phones and are looking for more information.

Table of contents

What is root?
Should I root?
Getting ready
How to root
Samsung
LG
Huawei
OnePlus
Motorola
Pixel
Other phones

What exactly is root?

When you root your Android, you’re simply adding a standard Linux function that was removed.

Root, at least the way we’re talking about it here, is the superuser. Your Android phone uses Linux permissions and file-system ownership. You are a user when you sign in, and you are allowed to do certain things based on your user permissions. Apps you install are also given a type of user ID, and they all have permissions to do certain things — you see those when you install them on older versions of Android, or you are prompted to allow them on Marshmallow or higher — in certain folders with certain files. Root is also a user. The difference is the root user (superuser) has permission to do anything to any file anywhere in the system. This includes things we want to do, like uninstall application forced on us, or things we don’t want to do that can put your Android in an unusable state. When you’re doing things with superuser permissions, you have the power to do anything.

When you root your Android, you’re simply adding a standard Linux function that was removed. A small file called su is placed in the system and given permissions so that another user can run it. It stands for Switch User, and if you run the file without any other parameters it switches your credentials and permissions from a normal user to that of the superuser. You are then in complete control and can add anything, remove anything and access functions on your phone or tablet that you couldn’t reach before. This is pretty important, and something you should think about before you begin.

System root vs. Systemless root

Everything described above is how Linux-based systems normally work, and how Android worked before version 4.3.

Since the release of Android 4.3 the process that handles requests for root access has to run as soon as you turn on your phone. This daemon (that’s what these sorts of processes are called) also needs special permissions so it can work as intended. To make both of these things happen, files in the phone’s system folder had to be modified.

When Android 5.0 was released things changed and the boot image — software that does exactly what you think it does: boot up Android on your phone — need to be modified so that the su daemon was launched. Since this doesn’t modify the system partition, it was called a systemless root.

Systemless root is what you’ll have unless you can build Android for your phone and install it.

Work on systemless root was quickly halted when a way to root phones running Android 5 by editing the system files was found, but Google patched the method with Android 6 and systemless root was once again required.

It’s good that Google patches things to keep our phones more secure because most people don’t care about rooting phones and need these protections. In this case, it was also good for the rooting community at large because a systemless root is better in a lot of ways.

It’s easier when you want to update to a newer version of Android, it’s easier to remove if you change your mind, and what most users like about it is that a systemless root can be “hidden” so that certain apps and behaviors won’t know your phone is rooted and function normally. Yes, this means that things like Google’s SafetyNet, your bank’s app, or even a game that doesn’t allow rooted devices can work normally in many cases.

Unless you have a very old phone or just want to practice building Android yourself on a Pixel or other open hardware platform supported by Google, you’ll probably be using a systemless root method.

Should I root my Android?

Yes. No. Maybe. All three answers are perfectly valid. People have different reasons to want to root their devices. Some do it just because they can — they paid for the hardware and think they should be able to do anything they like. Others want to be able to add things that aren’t there, like internet servers or be able to “fix” services that are there but don’t work the way they would like them to work. People might buy a phone because they like the hardware, but hate the software and want to change it. Mostly, people root their phones because they simply want to get rid of the extra things on it that they don’t want. Every one of these reasons — as well as any reason you might have that aren’t mentioned here — are the right reasons.

Most people want root to get rid of the bloat.

Before you do any preparation to root your phone, you need to remember that it changes everything about the inherent security from Google and the company that built it. Plenty of us don’t like it, but being able to access an account with admin permissions was not included in release versions of Android on purpose. As soon as you add this capability, you are responsible for the security and integrity of the operating system and every application on it. For some, this is more responsibility than they want or need.

Rooting isn’t the answer for everyone. If you’re not sure about the ways you can break things by doing them as root, you should learn more about it before you start. It’s OK to not know things and to try and learn, but not knowing and doing them anyway can turn a very expensive Android into a paperweight. You also need to know that for many Android models, rooting means your warranty is null and void. Services (including apps as well as network access from your carrier) can be denied to you because of the security risk when you’re rooted. The risk is real because so many users go into it all blind and let security lapse. Not doing that is your responsibility — take it seriously!

Rooting your phone puts you in charge when it comes to privacy and security. That’s good and bad.

Finally, there are plenty of users who simply don’t care about this stuff. Any Android phone, no matter how restricted root access is, can do just about everything we want or need from a pocket computer. You can change the appearance, choose from over a million apps in Google Play and have complete access to the internet and most any services that live there. You can even make phone calls. It’s great if you’re happy with what you have and what it can do, and aren’t worried about trying to fix what isn’t (in your eyes) broken.

Getting ready to root

You’ll need to do a few things to prepare your phone for rooting, depending on which method you use. Many of the ways require you install the Android SDK or unlock your bootloader. This sounds like a lot of scary work, but it’s not difficult and knowing how to use these tools will help if things go wrong. The Android SDK is huge, and if you’re just rooting your phone, you don’t want to waste bandwidth or file space on it. XDA user shimp208 built Minimal ADB and Fastboot, a Windows tool that only contains the ADB and Fastboot components needed for rooting.

Here is our comprehensive walkthrough of how to set up and install the Android SDK

Depending on which phone you have, unlocking the bootloader is slightly different. The “standard” way is by using the OEM unlock command. If you’re using a Motorola, Sony, or LG phone you’ll be able to get an “official” cryptographic token to unlock your bootloader for some devices. You’ll find how to do that and who to get it from at each vendor’s developer pages in the links below. Remember that unlocking the bootloader on your Android may affect the warranty status.

Motorola bootloader unlocking
LG bootloader unlocking
Sony bootloader unlocking

How to root my phone?

How you root your Android is going to depend on which one you have. There are over 12,000 different Android models (and that’s only counting ones that can access Google Play) from hundreds of different manufacturers. Almost all of them have been designed so that they are hard to root. That’s because if it is is easy for you to root your phone when you want extra access, it may also be easy for someone else to root your phone and get the same access — which means they would have all of your important private data.

There are models specifically hardened to prevent unauthorized access (that means rooting, too) like the BlackBerry KEY2 as well as devices that were designed to be safely and easily unlocked for full developer access like the Google Pixel 4. Most phones fall somewhere in between, and when carriers get involved they have control over the process, too.

The best Android phones

With over 12,000 different models, we can’t cover every single method to root every single device. We can point you in the right direction and help you get there, though.

Rooting your Samsung phone

Samsung used to offer “developer editions” of their popular models, but weak sales (they usually needed to be paid for in full with no type of subsidy or financing) they seem to have stopped production. We have only ourselves to blame — it’s just not worth making something that nobody is buying.

Samsung also makes very lucrative deals with carriers, and most of the time those carriers want to prevent you from rooting your phone. Recent models from AT&T or Verizon are notoriously difficult to exploit, and all the U.S. versions of the Galaxy S9 are locked up and encrypted. There might not ever be a way to root them. This isn’t true for unlocked models sold outside of North America though.

Knox can pose special problems when trying to root.

To root most Samsung phones you’ll need to use a program called Odin. It’s a low-level firmware flashing tool that can push image files to the storage and overwrite existing images. You’ll also need the correct USB drivers for Windows computers. If you’re using a Mac computer or running Linux, the software that flashes images is called Heimdall. They both work essentially the same and carry the same risks — if you try and flash the wrong image or a bad image, your phone isn’t going to be able to start. While this is often recoverable, know that there is always a chance you can ruin your phone or tablet, and your warranty is voided as soon as you begin.

Also, many Samsung phones ship with Knox security enabled. Knox is part of Samsung’s special “Samsung Approved For Enterprise” feature where personal and work environments can be separated in a way that allows both to coexist on the same device. Knox can pose special problems when trying to root a phone that uses it, and it has a software counter that can show when device firmware has been tampered with. This means it’s very easy for Samsung to void your warranty if you start fiddling with things.

For more information about rooting Samsung phones, the best advice we have is to check XDA Forums for your particular model.
* Galaxy Note 10
* Galaxy S10
* Galaxy Note 9
* Galaxy S9

XDA Forums are a group of people, including some from the mobile industry, who are dedicated to the good sort of hacking of mobile devices. It’s one of the best places on the internet to learn about things like rooting your phone, and it’s the first place I check when I have any questions, too!

Rooting your LG phone

LG phones have several different methods to install the files needed for rooting. Some, mostly international models, are completely bootloader unlockable and it’s trivial to push the files through a custom recovery, while some are locked up tighter and require some special tricks. As we see with Samsung phones, carriers have a lot of influence here, so most new LG phones sold in the US are difficult to root.

In the past, phones like the LG G6 were trivial to root even if you tried on a carrier-branded model. Those days are gone and now the process may be risky. As with Samsung phones, the best thing you can do is to check the XDA forums for your model.

LG G8 ThinkQ
LG V30

Rooting your Huawei phone

Huawei doesn’t sell very many phones in North America, but the company is one of the largest smartphone manufacturers in the world and offers some really great products like the Mate 20 Pro, one of the best phones you can buy.

The company used to allow bootloader unlocking of their phones through an official program, but that was suspended in May 2018 because it felt that a better user experience could be provided and wanted to avoid issues for customers that flashed unauthorized software.

If you’re interested in rooting your Huawei phone, the best thing you can do is read up on your model at XDA.

Huawei P30 Pro
Huawei Mate 30 Pro
Huawei P20 Pro

Rooting your OnePlus phone

OnePlus has always been one of the more developer-friendly manufacturers, and all of the company’s phones except the T-Mobile branded OnePlus 6T can be rooted exactly the same way a Pixel phone can be — by unlocking the bootloader through the standard Android commands and transferring the correct files to the phone itself.

While carrier influence may make the T-Mobile OnePlus 6T an outlier, nothing has changed for the company’s latest version. You’ll find a full tutorial for unlocking and rooting your OnePlus phone at XDA Developers.

To root the T-Mobile branded OnePlus 6T, you’ll need to convert it to the standard model’s firmware. XDA Forums also has a full tutorial for you to follow. Other sections for OnePlus phones if you’re not using a 6T:

OnePlus 7 Pro
OnePlus 7t

Rooting your Motorola (Lenovo) phone

Motorola also offers a liberal bootloader unlocking policy for some models, which you’ll find at their developer site. Using the standard Android SDK tools, you can unlock your bootloader so that a custom recovery image can be flash. This allows you to flash any other system image to your phone.

If your Motorola phone isn’t covered under their bootloader unlocking policy (see the list here) you might have to resort to exploits or use commercial rooting apps. The best places to try are MOFOROOT or the relvant section at XDA Forums.

Rooting your Pixel phone

To root your Pixel phone, you should start with learning how to install and configure the Android SDK. There are plenty of one-click scripts or toolboxes that will unlock your bootloader and get you ready to flash (or even flash it for you) a custom recovery, but there’s a great reason to learn how to do it yourself — you are able to fix most anything if it goes wrong by using the Factory Images.

Google not only supports unlocking your bootloader, but they also give you full and complete instructions on how to do it, how to flash third-party images and how to go back. Unlocking the bootloader doesn’t break any warranties as Google realizes that there are many valid reasons to flash experimental on the developer/reference device for Android. Take advantage of this, and use the tools Google provides!

Once a third-party recovery image is flashed, you’re easily able to transfer the files you need to root to your phone. We highly recommend a Pixel phone to anyone who wants to tinker with the Android software platform.

Other phones

As mentioned previously, there are over 12,000 current Android models from hundreds of manufacturers. There’s no way to include each and every one on a single page.

Some of these phones come with a method (either approved by the manufacturer or found by a third-party) to unlock the bootloader and use the custom recovery method to root them. Many of these other phones can be rooted with applications you run on a computer or the phone itself. Look at specific forums for your device if you want to explore this.

Commercial root apps work but check out the pros and cons before you use them.

Apps like these work because they take advantage of an exploit (a bug or glitch) in the software. This means that many security applications will identify them as a virus, and that software updates can (and do) break compatibility with them. Not every phone can be rooted through an app that leverages an exploit, but many can. It’s certainly worth a look to see if your particular phone is supported.

It’s also good to question the methods and motives behind any company that wants access to potentially sensitive information, and a healthy dose of skepticism is a good thing. A lot of folks feel that these kinds of apps are unsafe or follow unsafe practices, and they may be correct. On the other hand, plenty of people have used the apps and services and are completely happy with the results. We can’t speak on it either way, as we’re not involved in the creation or testing of any of these apps. Our job is to inform you that they exist and let you know that there is always a bit of inevitable controversy surrounding them.

Updated February 2020: This article was completely rewritten to showcase all of the latest root guides and apps.

Read more: androidcentral.com

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microsoft windows OS

How to use Edge’s tools to protect your privacy while browsing

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Version 80 of Microsoft’s Edge browser, now based on the Chromium source code, launched on January 15th, and with it came an increased focus on privacy.

Edge includes tools to block both first-party cookies (used to keep you logged in or remember the items in your shopping cart) and third-party tracking cookies (used to keep track of your browsing activity). Below are instructions on how to change your settings, see what trackers are stored on your browser, and delete any cookies. We also address how Edge deals with fingerprinting, another method of tracking which identifies users by collecting details about their system configuration.

Deal with trackers

The new version of Edge blocks trackers by default using one of three different…

Continue reading…

Read more: theverge.com

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microsoft windows OS

Harvard Students Again Show ‘Anonymized’ Data Isn’t Really Anonymous

As companies and governments increasingly hoover up our personal data, a common refrain to keep people from worrying is the claim that nothing can go wrong because the data itself is “anonymized” — or stripped of personal identifiers like social security numbers. But time and time again, studies have shown how this really is cold comfort, given it takes only a little effort to pretty quickly identify a person based on access to other data sets. Yet most companies, many privacy policy folk, and even government officials still like to act as if “anonymizing” your data means something.

A pair of Harvard students have once again highlighted that it very much doesn’t.

As part of a class study, two Harvard computer scientists built a tool to analyze the thousands of data sets leaked over the last five years or so, ranging from the 2015 hack of Experian, to the countless other privacy scandals that have plagued everyone from social media giants to porn websites. Their tool collected and analyzed all this data, and matched it to existing email addresses across scandals. What they found, again (surprise!) is that anonymized data is in no way anonymous:

“An individual leak is like a puzzle piece,” Harvard researcher Dasha Metropolitansky told Motherboard. “On its own, it isn’t particularly powerful, but when multiple leaks are brought together, they form a surprisingly clear picture of our identities. People may move on from these leaks, but hackers have long memories.”

“We showed that an ‘anonymized’ dataset from one place can easily be linked to a non-anonymized dataset from somewhere else via a column that appears in both datasets,” Metropolitansky said. “So we shouldn’t assume that our personal information is safe just because a company claims to limit how much they collect and store.”

For example, one UK study showed how machine learning could currently identify 99.98% of Americans in an anonymized data set using just 15 characteristics. Another MIT study of “anonymized” credit card user data showed how users could be identified 90% of the time using just points of information. One German study (pdf) looked at how just 15 minutes of brake pedal data could help them identify the right driver, out of 15 potential options, 90% of the time.

Take that data and fuse it with, say… the location data hoovered up by your cell phone provider, or the smart electricity meter data collected by your local power utility, and it’s possible for a hacker, researcher, corporation to build the kind of detailed profiles on your daily movements and habits that even you or your spouse might be surprised by. And since we still don’t have even a basic U.S. privacy law for the internet era, nothing really seems to change, and any penalties for abusing the public trust are, well, routinely pathetic.

Yet somehow, every time there’s another massive new hack or break, the involved companies (as we just saw with the Avast antivirus privacy scandal), like to downplay the threat of the hack or breach by insisting the data collected was anonymized, and therefore there’s just no way the data could help specifically identify or target individuals. There’s simply never been any indication that’s actually true.

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Read more: techdirt.com

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microsoft windows OS

What Type of Massage is Right For You?

Choosing from a menu of massages can be frustrating. Which one do you choose? What will work best for you? Each massage concentrates on various recovery methods. Here are a couple of choices and factors to pick each.

Deep Tissue Massage

What is it?

A deep tissue massage is the mix of different methods utilized to increase the level of pressure used to the body. This kind of massage can be extremely reliable in eliminating issue locations.

What are the advantages?

Lower hypertension

Treat neck and back pain

Help Arthritis discomfort

Muscle rehabilitation

Relieve tension

Reduce persistent discomfort

Who should get it?

Deep tissue massage is normally a technique to think about for professional athletes in addition to the nine-to-five desk task. It’’ s likewise an excellent alternative if you have persistent muscle issues. Prevent deep tissue massage if you’’ re extremely conscious pressure.

Swedish Massage

What is it?

The most typical type of massage treatment in the U.S., Swedish massage is developed for relaxation. Through soft, long strokes, Swedish is likewise helpful for alleviating muscle stress, increasing blood circulation and breaking down scar tissue.

What are the advantages?

Full relaxation

Release knots

Increase blood circulation

Reduce tension

Increase versatility

Who should get it?

Most individuals who have actually never ever gotten a massage ought to select a Swedish Massage. This is a terrific massage treatment choice for you if you have a lot of stress or might be delicate to touch.

Sports Massage

What is it?

This massage is created mainly for pre- or post-sports occasion work. The strategies used by your massage therapist are busy. Extending is a typical part of this strategy.

What are the advantages?

Improve efficiency

Reduce muscle tightness

Reduce tiredness

Increase variety of movement

Who should get it?

Whether you are a periodic or severe professional athlete, sports massage is a fantastic choice from injury avoidance to active way of life healing.

Trigger Point Massage

What is it?

Trigger Point massage treatment is developed to position pressure and loosen up knots. Locations of tightness, called trigger points are eliminated with this kind of massage treatment.

What are the advantages?

Trigger point massage treatment can be reliable for dealing with the following:

Sciatica discomfort that can impact the lower back, feet, glutes and legs

Plantar fasciitis

Shin splints

Migraines

Computer shoulder

Chronic discomfort

Rotator cuff injuries

Who should get it?

If you struggle with injuries of persistent discomfort, trigger point treatment is a terrific choice for you.

Stretch Massage

What is it?

Stretch massage can be integrated with routine massage to enhance any of the conditions listed below.

What are the advantages?

Enhanced versatility

Improved posture

Increased series of movement

Better flow

Who should get it?

If your muscles are tight or joints have actually restricted series of movement, think about integrating extending into your massage.

At Elements Massage, our company believe your massage needs to be as distinct as you are. Find a place near you and arrange your massage today.

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Read more: elementsmassage.com

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microsoft windows OS

10 of the Best Project Management Software (Reviewed + Rated)

Today’s workplace is challenging, with complex marketing tasks becoming the norm.

You’re expected to manage a variety of projects, like website maintenance, blogging, email marketing, and automation. Not to mention handling traditional deliverables, special events, and so on and so forth. It seems like you’re doing more for your clients than ever before.

It’s understood, though, that taking on and managing work-based projects can be a drain on resources. Often, you’ll have multiple projects for multiple clients, and getting it all done can be difficult to effectively organize.

The traditional methods of project management just don’t cut it anymore. Typing information into a spreadsheet or using word processing software to compile notes takes too much time away from actually completing projects.

Thankfully, we now have project management tools to keep us organized and out of deep water.

What Are Project Management Tools?

As much as we all would love to think that we’re capable of keeping ourselves organized and accountable for our individual workloads, both personal and professional, that wish is very rarely a reality.

That fact is multiplied when you examine self-guided productivity across entire teams or departments.

via GIPHY

Project management tools are lifesavers when it comes to easing this pain. Designed to minimize the friction that comes with transitioning from one to-do list item to the next, a lot of features are built into the software to make managing tasks easy and standardized.

That isn’t to say that these tools are going to fix all of a user’s problems. That depends on how effectively the individual or team uses it. But when you take full advantage of all its gadgets and features, you’ll be blown away by what project management software can do for you.

Top Features of the Best Project Management Tools

When looking at what these tools can do for you, you’ll find that their best features are built for the specific purpose of making you and your team more efficient.

Checking tasks off a list is one of the small joys in any office’s day to day. What a little kick of dopamine.

These features can help you burn through your projects faster, making you feel great about what you accomplished:

Planning: Most project management tools centralize all of a team’s tasks onto one dashboard where team members can delegate and schedule each individual task as necessary.
Collaboration: Communicating within a team is made so much easier with tools that allow for commenting on task files, reviews and approvals, and organization. That means less email clutter or multiple trips back and forth across the office.
Documentation: A lot of software today has cloud storage, making file management a cinch. Upload, share, and download documents, spreadsheets, and other important files and take comfort knowing that it all exists in one place.
Tracking: This feature is great for projects that move across departments or for leadership members that need to monitor progress, productivity, and reporting.

10 of the Best Project Management Tools and Software

If your team is juggling deadlines, resources, and deliverables, we have a list of solutions for you. Dedicated project management software is available to keep everyone on your team on the same page and moving forward.

Let’s take a look at some of the best project management software out there that can help you stay organized, get the job done, and make you look like a rockstar to your clients.

1. Zoho Projects

zoho projects project management tool

Zoho Projects is an online project management software built to help users plan and execute projects with ease through collaboration and planning.

Part of the Zoho Business suite, you can communicate in the platform with team members and clients, share documents, keep timelines, and generate reports.

Any and all active projects are stored, tracked, and recorded on one central dashboard. The software is cloud-based, making communication and documentation easy and safe. You’re able to customize functionality based on the size of your team and projects, adding more features as needed.

When used in tandem with Zoho’s other software programs, your team is virtually unstoppable when it comes to taking your business to new heights.

This tool has a 5 star rating on PCMag.

Price: Zoho Projects Standard plan pricing starts at $18/mo.

2. Teamwork

teamwork project management tool

Teamwork is an online suite of three individual project management software tools that can work separately or together to streamline project management.

There are three separate modules designed to work individually or together so you can add functionality as you need it. Teamwork Projects is the project management app, Teamwork Chat is a communication module that allows team members to keep in touch as a project moves through the company, and Teamwork Desk is a help desk function that is invisible to your customers.

You’re able to increase a project by assigning tasks, communicating, and tracking progress all in a centralized place. The suite of products “talks” to each other so you can handle all aspects of your project without leaving the application.

PCMag gave Teamwork a rating of 4.5 stars.

Price: Teamwork offers a free plan with limited functionality. Larger plans begin at $45/mo.

3. Asana

asana project management tools

Asana is another free, cloud-based project management application that offers a ton of features to boost productivity.

It is also cross platform compatible working on Android and iOS devices including smartphones, tablets, and computers. While there are productivity boosting tools, Asana’s focus in on tracking project tasks.

Asana allows you to create to-do lists and reminders so you don’t miss deadlines. Plus you can add colleagues to the team, instructions to tasks, due dates, and comments.

It allows sharing of images from other applications and tracks everything you and your team are working on to make sure your project is running smoothly and on time. The program includes a list of teams and individuals on a project and includes a functional search option to find completed tasks easily.

PCMag rewarded Asana with a 4.5 star rating.

Price: Asana has a free basic plan. Premium plans start at $13.49/mo.

4. Basecamp

basecamp project management tool

Basecamp is a project management software platform that organizes all of your communications, projects, and client work together to provide you with centralized information and planning. It brings everything your company is working on into a single resource.

Organized, centralized, and clear, everyone can keep track of each element of every project and always know what needs to get done, where things stand, and where to get what they need.

Your dashboard gives you a complete overview of everything that’s happening in your business. You get an HQ section for company-wide communication, dedicated areas for teams to work together, and private areas where you can manage projects.

Seeing everything on a single screen can put you back in control, as well as to-do lists, automatic check-ins, and more.

PCMag gives it a rating of 4 stars.

Price: Basecamp has a flat fee of $99/mo. and a free program for those who are ok with limited features.

5. Wrike

write project management tool

Wrike stands out with its unique combination of request forms, customizable dashboards, and automation capabilities within its work management platform.

This tool has similar tracking and reporting features as the others on this list, but there’s a particular focus on providing teams with the ability to be competitive and productive at the same time.

Users can leverage pre-made solutions for specialized needs. For example, Wrike for Marketers possesses tools designed to help the efficiency of marketing teams with customizable workflows, fields, and data storage structures.

Wrike also allows for integrations with most CRMs, messaging tools, and other software.

PCMag rates Wrike 4 stars.

Price: Wrike has a free plan. Upgraded plans start at $9.80/mo. per user.

6. Trello

trello project management tool

Trello is a cross platform project management software product that is cloud based and compatible with Android and iOS devices. This tool offers a version specifically optimized for the iPad Pro as well.

One of the most popular project management applications, Trello allows users to organize and plan their work projects through a smartphone, tablet, or computer, making it perfect for mobile teams. It’s a free download with added functionality when you upgrade to a premium plan.

Trello uses boards, lists, and cards to organize and prioritize your projects in a flexible and rewarding way. It’s easy to use and allows you to dive into a projects’s details.

You can add comments, attachments and more to cards so that they’re accessible to your team, allowing them to collaborate on a project from inception to completion. Trello can be integrated with apps you already use and is always in sync across devices so you can access and work on a project from anywhere on any device.

This tool received 3.5 stars from PCMag.

Price: Trello is free to use. Premium plans start at $12.50/mo.

7. Jira

Jira project management tool

Jira is a project management software specifically for planning and tracking software development projects from concept through release. It’s most functional when used for agile marketing of products or implementing Scrum (an agile framework for completing particularly complex projects).

Jira allows you to plan projects, distribute tasks across your team, and track your release in full context, with complete visibility in real time.

A customizable project management app, it allows you to create custom workflows based on either the product in development or how your team works. While it is a standalone product, it also integrates with other tools you may already use, like Confluence, Bitbucket, Stride, and hundreds of other developer tools.

Jira allows for flexible planning, accurate estimations, and value-driven prioritization to your projects.

PCMag gave this tool 3.5 stars.

Price: Jira is cloud based with plans starting as low as $10/mo. for small teams of up to 10 users. Over 10 users, it moves to $7/mo. per user.

8. FunctionFox

functionfox project management tool

FunctionFox’s project management software offers visual, interactive, and customizable dashboards that assist with tracking projects to improve productivity.

With unique features like milestone tracking and budget comparison, users can receive a comprehensive overview of their projects and their team’s efficiency and effectiveness. With a built-in timesheet tool, users can track how long individual tasks take, allowing for the accurate billing of projects.

Although its functionality isn’t as robust as other software, it makes for an ideal tool for teams that don’t require a hefty program to get work done.

PCMag gave FunctionFox 3 stars.

Price: Plans start at $4/mo. per user.

9. ProjectManager.com

projectmanager project management tool

Projectmanager.com is a cloud-based project management solution for teams of all sizes with features that increase collaboration and productivity. With Gantt chart capabilities, ProjectManager.com welcomes teams that are seeking a tool for both simple and complex projects.

You’ll have real-time dashboards, the ability to create project plans online, task management, instant report production, and timesheets that take the headache out of project management.

You can also manage team workload and organize multiple projects at once. The program possesses GSuite integration, online file storage, chats and discussion, and to-do lists.

Price: ProjectManager.com starts as low as $15/mo. per user.

10. Scoro

scoro project management tool

Scoro works to streamline your workload with communication management, billing, reporting, and collaboration functionality. With a centralized portal, you can oversee all of your projects and tasks in one place.

The tool was created to help bring teams together in one system, increasing productivity by providing individual team members the ability to collaborate, rather than working in isolation.

Scoro provides a pretty wide deck, including time management tools, customer or client overviews, and reporting on sales and finance documents. You can plan, schedule, track, and record every aspect of your team’s workload.

Price: Pricing starts at $28/mo. per user.

If you manage complex projects for your clients, project management software is a must have for your business.

These recommended project management tools are a great way to get your team organized and help you plan, execute, and track every task that comes across your plate.

Put down the pencil, step away from the whiteboard, and enter the 21st century of project management with these easy to use project software management packages!

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7 Mistakes Beginner Photographers Make The Camera Can’t Be Blamed For

The post 7 Mistakes Beginner Photographers Make The Camera Can’’ t Be Blamed For appeared initially on Digital Photography School . It was authored by Kevin Landwer-Johan.

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 7-mistakes-beginner-photographers-make

There are numerous errors novice professional photographers make. It’’ s healthy to make errors so long as you gain from them. Want to comprehend why your images are not ending up how you desired them to. Don’’ t fast to blame situations or your electronic camera equipment when you screw up.

Here are some typical newbie professional photographer errors you can’t blame the video camera for.

.1. Poor structure.

Poor structure is among the primary errors newbie professional photographers make. Not getting close enough to your topic, leads to having excessive unneeded area in your photos.

Sometimes being too close can destroy a structure too. Are you cutting off your subject’’ s feet?

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Be conscious of what’’ s inside your frame. Ask yourself if whatever you see relates to the image you are taking? If it’’ s not, repair the error. Move more detailed, zoom or alter your position.

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Leaving extreme area above an individual’’ s head is the most typical compositional error I see newbie professional photographers make. Typically what’’ s above an individual ’ s head is not pertinent to the photo. Get more detailed or tilt your cam angle to lessen this area.

 errors newbie professional photographers make

© © Kevin Landwer-Johan

. 2. Hurrying your photography.

Take your time , and you will take much better pictures. Being impatient will never ever make you a magnificent professional photographer. Whatever design of photography you participate in, being client will benefit you.

Grabbed minutes wear’’ t typically record the very best photos. Naturally, there are exceptions, however generally it pays to prepare yourself and expect action prior to it takes place. Doing this, you can set your video camera and line up your structure.

Using manual mode will assist you decrease. You will imagine that you are photographing in a different way. Since you are required to believe more about every element of taking your images, this is.

During our photography workshops, I like to teach individuals how to decrease by utilizing handbook mode . Many people I teach establish their abilities rapidly. Since they are working more gradually, their pictures are well exposed and made up.

 errors newbie professional photographers make

© © Kevin Landwer-Johan

. 3. Sidetracking backgrounds.

Having disruptive backgrounds is another error newbie professional photographers make. It’’ s simple to focus on your primary topic and not see what’’ s behind them up until you take a look at your imageslater on.

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When you do see that you have a disruptive background, there are numerous choices to prevent this.

.Utilize a longer focal length lens.Move your subject elsewhere.Modification your cam angle or area.Utilize a large aperture to blur the background.

A longer focal length lens will lower the quantity of background you see. Return from your topic and utilize a longer focal length. You will see the background in a different way than utilizing a larger lens.

Moving your topic or your cam place will alter what’’ s behind your topic. Often you will not have the ability to move your topic. When you can’’ t, you ’ ll need to move. This often implies you require to jeopardize with the lighting or structure.

Blurring a background can in some cases be the very best method to prevent diversions. You’’ ll requirement to open your aperture large to attain this, other than when you are utilizing a long lens or focusing extremely near to your topic.

 Young Woman in the Park errors novice professional photographers make

© © Kevin Landwer-Johan

. 4. Not searching for alternative angles.

Taking a photo from the very first angle you consider, is not constantly going to make the very best picture. This is another typical error novice professional photographers make.

Move around –– even a little. Shift your electronic camera from side to side. Tilt it greater or lower. Take note of the relationships of components in your structure as you do this. Sometimes, even a really small change of your video camera angle will lead to a more striking photo.

Always think about taking both a vertical and a horizontal viewpoint with your video camera. When you can’’ t make whatever fit the method you desire, utilize a Dutch Tilt. Turning your video camera to an off-kilter angle to accommodate your topic can work effectively.

When you discover something fascinating adequate to picture, take more than a couple of frames. Taking a look at a topic from various angles will assist you imagine it in fresh methods. I believe among the benefits of utilizing prime lenses is that you are most likely to move about to alter your structure. You can not stand in the exact same area and zoom, so you will be more likely to look for various perspectives.

 Image: © © Kevin Landwer-Johan

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

. 5. Not providing individuals adequate instructions.

How frequently do you prevent providing instructions to individuals and have them position awkwardly? These prevail errors novice professional photographers typically make.

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Communicate well with individuals you photo. Talk with them about what you are doing and how you desire them to search in the picture. Start with some simple, unwinded positions so they ’ ll be more positive with you.

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If you leave them to come up with presents by themselves, they might not be extremely intriguing.

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People will feel much better when you provide instructions, especially if you do so with unwinded self-confidence. Be clearabout what you desire them to speak and do to them pleasantly.

.  Image: © Kevin Landwer-Johan

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

. 6. Stopping working to associate with your topic, whatever you are photographing.

© When photographing individuals, it’ s crucial to establish a relationship with them. Provide guidelines so you can get the pictures you desire. Linking with these individuals.

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If you invest your time looking down adjusting your video camera settings, your topic will probably feel uncomfortable. You may wish to change your electronic camera settings, so they are technically ideal. When you stop working to relate to your topic, you will not record the most fascinating picture.

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This is crucial when you ’ re photographing individuals, however not special. Whatever your topic, you’ll make more enticing images when you consist of sensation.

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Think about why you are photographing something.

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What attracted you to take these photos? How can you integrate this sensation into the images you take?

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Many newbie professional photographers will discover this difficult. As long as you are conscious of how you relate to your topic and look for to establish this, you will end up being more experienced at it.

.  Muddy female Ceramic artist

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

. 7.&Being afraid to take images.

Many novice professional photographers will think twice to pursue the photos they desire since they are afraid .

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If you wish to picture something hazardous, where there ’ s a high degree of threat, being afraid is healthy and natural. It wouldn ’ t be smart to get close to a bear cub or a harmful snake in the wild. These scenarios need worry to inspire us to keep our range.

. Since you are afraid that you may enforce is completely various, #ppppp> Not photographing individuals. If you can take their picture, you can ’ t understand how somebody will react till you ask. It ’ s taken me years to discover this, and still, sometimes, I think twice.

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Tame the unfavorable, afraid ideas in your head. Think about the factor why and how you can when you see something you desire to photo. Don ’ t be taken in by ideas and reasons of why not and how not.

Being devoted to the concepts you have about the images you wish to catch will assist you establish your individual photography design.

.  Chiang Mai market porter

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

. Conclusion.

Mistakes newbie professional photographers make can be really discouraging. You ’ ll see how to enhance and not keep making the exact same errors when you take your time and examine the pictures you take.

Moreover, examine the pictures you take each time you fill them to your computer system. When you have actually not erased the ‘ losers ’ off your cards prior to submitting, this is most practical.

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When you see your finest and worst pictures side by side, this can assist you grow as a professional photographer.

.  errors newbie professional photographers make

© Kevin Landwer-Johan

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Are there any other errors that you have made as a novice professional photographer that you ‘d like to assist others gain from? If so, please share them with us© in the remarks area.

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The post 7 Mistakes Beginner Photographers Make The Camera Can ’ t Be Blamed For appeared initially on Digital Photography School . It was authored by Kevin Landwer-Johan .

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Ways to promote a positive workplace culture at your company

You may believe that attempting to cultivate a favorable office as an evasive, lengthy waste of crucial resources, however research studies reveal that the reverse holds true. Developing a favorable business culture starts with promoting pleased workers.

Happy workers are 85 percent more effective, experience a 60 percent drop in absence and remain two times as long in their tasks as their less delighted associates, developing a quantifiable effect on engagement, retention, security, health, company brand name and even cost control objectives, according to the research study, The Science of Happiness , performed by Globoforce.

Here are 6 actions you can take towards supporting joy, developing a growing culture and increasing your organisation.

.1. Joy is based upon thankfulness.

Happiness is a practice that requires to be designed. As a supervisor or magnate, your disposition and mindset in the workplace has an effect on your workers. When you show joy you’’ re training your staff members to do the same.

Get in the routine of being grateful and revealing thankfulness for what you have. It can be a little thing –– I am appreciative for this cup of coffee, for the sun coming out today. When you make an effort to discover things to be grateful for, you’’ re training your brain to be on the watch for more of what is excellent in your world. By making thankfulness a routine, you will set the example for others and produce a favorable workplace. Concentrate on the favorable when communicating with your workers. Mention their capabilities and achievements. Advise them that they are a favorable force within your business which they have much to provide. This is an effective inspiration tool and it will assist to produce a ““ can-do ” mindset in your labor force.

.2. Applaud others.

As a magnate you’’ re prominent– your viewpoint matters, specifically to your staff members. Make it an objective to match individuals. Acknowledging even little achievements and applauding your staff member in conferences or in an e-mail can make a huge effect. It doesn’’ t need to be a huge gesture.

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We all understand that in some cases work can get frustrating and boring. State for instance that Mike is feeling a bit underappreciated and is irritated with his existing job. He pertains to a conference sensation beat and uninspired . You, as his supervisor, compliment his efforts and applaud him for a task well done. The effect is instant –– he feels valued. His temperament modifications, he ends up being engaged and leaves the conference with a newly found energy to tackle his task.

Make it an objective to compliment your workers and you will see impressive outcomes. It not just promotes your brain, it has an impact on the individual you are applauding.

.3. Have a sense of function.

People require to have a sense of function at work. Their joy is straight linked to understanding that they make a distinction. It’’ s inadequate for a supervisor to administer jobs . Put in the time to discuss why the private job is essential to the business as a whole. This will offer your staff members a sense of function and belonging that will inspire them to pursue more. Engaged workers are effective, passionate and want to do what it requires to assist your company prosper. Producing a sense of function for your staff members is a financial investment in establishing a favorable office.

.4. Offer social interaction.

With our hectic work schedules, often all we wish to do is close ourselves off from the remainder of the world, concentrate on our computer system and simply get it done. Frequently the finest thing to do when we’’ re in that mode is to take a break . It can appear counter-productive, taking a break can be invigorating.

The secret here is to look for a little bit of social interaction . Motivate your workers to take breaks and supply them with a location in the workplace to relax and speak with one another. Taking breaks is essential to both state of mind and concentration. Assisting your staff members link and unwind with each other throughout the day is an excellent method to assist them remain efficient and determined. Everybody requires a break from the day-to-day grind. Motivating your staff members to take breaks can increase efficiency, enhance psychological skill and even ease discomfort.

.What can you do to conquer the tough times?

Bad things take place —– companies are struck with financial recessions, individuals get fired, individuals stop, consumers snap. How do you conquer these scenarios and keep a favorable office ?

.5. Put things in viewpoint.

Encourage your workers to take a look at the larger image. State a worker is disturbed that a task didn’’ t go to her, or that she didn ’ t get the corner workplace. Attempt to direct her towards what she needs to take pride in: the job that she stood out at, the period she has actually constructed with the business, her fantastic management qualities.

Putting things in the ideal point of view can produce favorable momentum, even when times are difficult. Leaders who show a positive mindset in times of challenge can guide their workers towards a more efficient frame of mind throughout hard times.

.6. Motivate self-care and workout.

Cultivate a healthy environment at work for all workers to assist lower tension. Motivating your staff members to concentrate on self-care, such as opting for a walk outside throughout the day, is a fantastic method to keep spirits up. Offer them with info on how to lower tension , the significance of getting sufficient sleep and consuming healthy.

Being proactive as a leader reveals you appreciate your labor force which you’’ re there to assist. Getting in touch with your staff members and motivating them to get in touch with each other throughout difficult times will assist raise spirits and keep your company relocating a favorable instructions.

By developing a favorable office you will keep leading carrying out staff members and increase your organisation success. For more ideas on establishing efficient and favorable staff members, get our complimentary e-book, How to establish a first-class labor force that will accelerate your company.

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The Best Identity Theft Protection Services

Identity theft has gotten out of hand. In 2017, a record 16.7 million consumers were victims of identity theft.

It’s not a matter of if you’ll have your identity stolen, it’s a matter of when.

One option is to invest in identity theft protection.

Identity theft protection services include a range of products. Everything from basic  credit monitoring to identity restoration after it’s stolen. Here’s what to look for along with my recommendations for the best identity theft protection services.

The 3 Best Identity Theft Protection Services

Keep in mind that no identity theft protection service can completely prevent identity theft. However, some providers offer services that help you reclaim and repair your identity if your information is stolen.

Here are three of the best identity theft protection services to consider.

1. Lifelock Ultimate Plus

Due to its commercials, Lifelock is perhaps one of the most recognizable identity theft protection services on the market. The company’s “ultimate plus” plan offers comprehensive protection against identity theft.

Generally, this is a good plan for people who want widespread protection and who don’t plan to do any kind of identity theft monitoring on their own.

Pros:

Identity theft monitoring for all three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion)
Legal fee reimbursement up to $1 million if your information is stolen
Up to $1 million in stolen funds reimbursement
Identity restoration support

Cons:

At $29.99 per month for the first year, Lifelock’s Ultimate Plus plan is one of the more expensive identity theft protection plans out there, especially when you consider that this is for single coverage only. If you want to add identity theft protection for a spouse, you’ll pay another $29.99 a month. There is an additional $5.99 a month charge per minor child on your account.
In October 2019, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent refunds totaling $31 million to consumers who were Lifelock customers between 2012 and 2014. The money came as part of a $100 million settlement in which Lifelock was forced to pay fines and issue refunds based on the FTC’s findings that it “failed to establish and maintain a comprehensive information security program to protect its customer data.”

Lifelock’s run-ins with the FTC gave me pause, I started to avoid them myself.  However, former Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli, whose then-office investigated Lifelock’s business practices, has said the company’s problems stemmed not from offering subpar service but from misrepresenting its services as “guaranteed” and airtight.

According to Cuccinelli, Lifelock didn’t necessarily deliver a flawed product. Rather, it advertised something that was impossible to deliver. As Cuccinelli stated, no company can claim to offer a fail proof protection against identity theft. “Such claims,” he said, “are ludicrous on the face.”

2. Identityforce UltraSecure

Identityforce’s UltraSecure plan is a more affordable option compared to other identity theft monitoring services.

For $17.95 a month, you get round the clock monitoring of your financial accounts, public records, and malware monitoring on Windows computer systems. You also get up to $1 million in identity theft insurance.

Pros:

Real time alerts for suspicious activity
Family plan available for just $24.90 per month. This covers two adults and any minor children in the household.
Identity theft restoration services from Certified Protection Experts available 24/7.
Excellent customer ratings at both Consumer Affairs and Trustpilot

Cons:

The UltraSecure plan does not include credit bureau monitoring. To receive monitoring for all three bureaus, you must upgrade to the UltraSecure+Credit plan, which is $23.95 per month.
Website offers popup discounts, including the UltraSecure plan for $18 a month, but it’s unclear how long that promotional price lasts.
Some online reviewers say it’s difficult to cancel once you sign up.

Overall, the Identityforce UltraSecure plan is a good bargain for people who want the peace of mind of identity theft protection.

3. ID Watchdog Platinum

The ID Watchdog Platinum identity theft protection plan offers credit monitoring for all three bureaus, as well as the ability to freeze and unfreeze your credit report.

Pros:

Affordable at $19.95 per month.
Daily credit score tracking for your Equifax credit report.
401K/HSA Stolen Funds Reimbursement up to $500K.
Many employers offer ID Watchdog identity theft monitoring to their employees as a job benefit. The website has a specific landing page where employees can enter their activation code to enroll in the plan.

Cons:

The credit report freeze feature only applies to your Equifax and TransUnion reports.
No computer security features, which means you’ll need to purchase separate malware protection for your desktop or laptop.

ID Watchdog’s website isn’t as comprehensive as those of other identity theft protection services. The company is also owned by Equifax, so keep that in mind when shopping around.

Understanding Your Options: Different Kinds of Identity Theft Protection

Identity theft protection services can vary widely. Companies typically offer three kinds of products: monitoring your accounts and credit files, alerting you to suspicious activity, and helping you recover if identity theft occurs.

Monitoring

Account monitoring is the most standard feature identity theft protection services offer. This service is designed to detect new accounts as they’re opened, so you can make sure no one is using your information fraudulently.

Not all identity theft protection services monitor your credit reports, and some only monitor one credit bureau. If this is important to you, make sure that the monitoring of your service is as broad as possible.

Alerts

Many identity theft protection services combine alerts with account monitoring. Specifically, they will automatically notify you whenever someone opens an account in your name.

Recovery

Recovery can mean a couple different things. First, the majority of identity theft protection services offer insurance that covers attorney’s fees and other costs associated with getting fraudulent accounts shut down and reclaiming your identity.

Some identity theft protection services also offer a separate recovery option that gives you a dedicated recovery representation who works one on one with you to clean up the mess of identity theft if it happens. This service is usually an additional fee.

Tips to Consider Before Investing in Identity Theft Protection

If you’re considering paying for identity theft protection, there are two main things to keep in mind.

1. No Company Can Guarantee to Stop Identity Theft

The reality is that no business can give you a blanket guarantee that you won’t be a victim of identity theft. To put it another way, police officers can deter criminals by patrolling the streets, but they can’t stop all crime.

This is where companies like Lifelock have run into trouble. No matter how secure or robust a company’s account monitoring is, there is still a risk that an enterprising thief will hack your account or steal your financial information.

However, this doesn’t mean you should forego identity theft protection. Most homeowners know that having locks on their doors won’t necessarily stop a determined burglar, but it’s better to lock your front door than leave it wide open.

2. You Can Monitor Your Accounts on Your Own

Identity theft protection and account monitoring is convenient, but the companies that offer it aren’t doing anything you can’t do on your own.

For example, you can monitor your credit reports for free. Under federal law, you’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report from all three credit bureaus every 12 months.

You can also monitor your credit score for free using the Discover Scorecard, which doesn’t require you to be a Discover cardholder to use the free service.

However, identity theft protection services typically conduct routine monitoring across all your accounts, which lets you know any time someone opens a new account in your name. If you’re only checking your credit report once every 12 months, you could miss a new account.

For many people, the peace of mind that comes with constant monitoring is worth the monthly cost of paying for an identity theft protection service.

How to Choose The Best Identity Theft Protection

As you look for an identity theft protection service, there are a few points you should keep in mind.

It helps to compare and contrast certain things about each company, including what services they offer, how much they charge, and what their customers have to say about them.

1. Is Monitoring a Key Feature?

Some folks won’t need any help monitoring their credit report.

There’s enough free ways to get it that checking it once a month is pretty easy these days. If you check your report often, you don’t need to pay someone else to do it for you.

I don’t fall into that category. I check my own report maybe once a year.

In my case, monitoring has a much bigger benefit.

If you’re like me, get an identity service that has real-time alerts (or close to it) across all the credit bureaus.

2. Are You Protecting an Entire Family?

Individuals can expect to pay $15-35/month for the identity protection service.

Things get expensive you have a whole family and have to pay for each person on your plan. If you have a family and want to protect everyone, pay close attention to how much the total cost will be.

In most cases, you should get an identity protection service that has a family plan.

3. Check the Fine Print on Stolen Fund Reimbursements

Getting your credit report cleaned up is one thing, recovering your entire retirement savings is another.

The worst case scenario is having your key accounts emptied. It could take decades to recover from something like that. This is the type of scenario that I focus on when purchasing insurance or protection services. I need to know that I can depend on something when I really need it.

Definitely read the fine print for getting stolen funds reimbursed and get a plan that covers your liquid net worth (cash, stocks, bonds, etc).

The Best Identity Theft Protection Services is a post from: I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

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