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So many ways to communicate online – remember virtual safety!

An article we found on GCF Global provided some great examples of how people are using online communication forums (vs email) these days.

We often use video chat to meet with clients or colleagues about their next Book Publishing project, social media to connect with the book writing community and Canadian authors, and LinkedIn posts to share articles of interest to our business book publishing clients and/or direct message questions or provide specific information.

However, in researching for new topics to write about we came across some interesting side effects to watch out for. Did you know that there are some free apps that have hidden in their settings access to your microphone, camera, photos, as well as possibly other facilities? While a flashlight might use the camera light for its light source, why would it need access to a microphone? Digging a little further we found there could be a data file mentioning another company in its title, i.e., perhaps the flashlight app was collecting point in time/place marketing information for another entity? Yikes! Needless to say we felt that while we talk about communication, we should also share a few tips below regarding safety (not by any means exhaustive and if you have any concerns, you should consult a technical professional and/or expert regarding the specific app.)

So a couple of key things, among many others not listed and common sense, these might help you think about how to keep your data safe:

  • Be vigilant; watch your apps and facilities and accounts for any suspicious activity.
  • As the article mentioned above says: Make sure you check what you have allowed/set for all your application settings, free or not, before you use any app.
  • Be thoughtful and cautious about what you are communicating, posting, commenting. Once it’s posted it’s out there.

Other articles on forms of online communication:

https://www.webopedia.com/DidYouKnow/Internet/internet_communications.asp (looking at popular forms of real-time internet-based communication)

https://www.hostpapa.ca/blog/customer-showcase/how-to-effectively-communicate-online-with-your-customers/ (evaluating ways to communicate and tips to make communicating with your business more accessible)

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/computer-science/online-communication (various aspects of online communication from using emoticons in business communication, photos on social media to using encryption techniques)

https://www.messengerpeople.com/global-messenger-usage-statistics/ (comparative data on social media platforms and chat applications)

https://www.textmagic.com/blog/text-messaging-statistics-for-businesses/ (statistics on texting SMS -Short Messaging Systems – how many people text and/or are willing to receive texts.)

https://www.commbox.io/top-communication-channels-most-used-by-customers-in-2020/ (types of communication; statistics about usage)

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