Using Technology to Improve Your Life

Health-related Apps & Gadgets |
Internet Safety

Technology is increasingly becoming an important part of our daily lives. From smartphones to laptops, it only seems natural to have some piece of technology with you.

Health-related Apps & Gadgets

Below you’ll find a few helpful health-related apps & gadgets that can help you achieve your health goals or live a healthier life.

Fitbit

The fitbit is one of many wearable health technology that has come out in recent years. This “watch” can track everything from your pulse to your sleep patterns. Along with its downloadable app, this wearable technology can help you include better, healthier habits in your daily life.

For more information, check out their site: https://www.fitbit.com/us/technology

myfitnesspal

myfitnesspal is a downloadable app (available on all platforms) that helps track daily exercise routines, weight, diet, etc. This app can also be paired with different wearable technology for an even more accurate tracking of your healthy habits.

For more information, check out their site here: https://www.myfitnesspal.com/

ShopWell

ShopWell is a downloadable app (available on all platforms) that is focused on dietary health. This app includes recipes, creating personalized shopping lists, and giving you information on specific products that you find in your grocery store.

For more information, check out their site here: https://www.innit.com/shopwell/

Dangers of the Internet

With technology increasing at such a rapid rate, there is also an increased number of people passing misinformation and stealing personal information.

Beware of Misinformation

What is misinformation? Misinformation is incorrect or misleading information.1

Often times, this misinformation is made to appeal to our natural human instinct, particularly the “survival” instinct.2

What can you do to protect yourself from misinformation?

Getting a Second Opinion

When a doctor gives a diagnosis to their patient, the first thing they’re told is to get a second opinion. Why not do the same for the information you get online?

The best way to avoid reading and spreading false information is to “get a second opinion” by checking citations and sources. Below are a few helpful tips for checking sources.

1. Always look for multiple independent sources with the same/similar information

  • Search key facts mentioned in the article, and check to see that both independent sources are similar when talking about the topic in question
  • In some articles, you can find sources at the end of the article

2. Check citations and references on noteworthy articles

3. Use fact-checking websites

Fact-checking website are websites dedicated to thoroughly investigating different kinds of information that surface on television, the internet, and more.

These websites can help you make better decisions and understand topics with confidence.

Here are a couple of fact-checking websites:

Keeping Your Private Information Private

Along with spreading misinformation, there are also people out there trying to steal your personal information.

Here are a couple of steps you can take to make sure your information stays private:

Check website URLs

Before putting in your personal information onto a website, check the web address to make sure it is the website you expect. For instance, some scammers use misspelled versions of a legitimate website (e.g., gogle.com instead of google.com).

Also check that the web address starts with “https” rather than the standard “http“. The s at the end stands for security. This indicates that the website is secure when sending user information (though it does not necessarily guarantee they will be secure with the information once it arrives to them).

Be cautious with unknown e-mails

Most e-mail inboxes sort out the spam e-mails for you, but sometimes a few may slip through. If you’re not familiar with the e-mail address or the sender, it is usually best to not respond to the email or open any attachments that might be included.

Sometimes people send e-mails containing malicious software that can steal your personal information from your computer or phone.

Password Management

Keeping your information safe starts with having a unique password for each online account. Having the same password across multiple devices/accounts will leave you vulnerable to hackers accessing your personal information. This is because if one account is hacked others will be easily hacked as well.

We recommend using one of the password management apps below to help you remember all the different passwords for your accounts.

1Password

This password management service offers a wide range of features which include:

  • Plug-ins for your browser which allow you to generate passwords and edit new passwords
  • Authentication: it creates a secret key to the encryption key, which doesn’t allow your passwords to be visible without inputting this secret key.
    • Note: if you lose this secret key, no one (not even 1Password) will be able to get access to your passwords.
  • Travel mode: you will be able to delete sensitive data while you’re out of the country and then restore that data when you’re back home. This prevents anyone from accessing your password vault while you’re out of the country.

Click here to check out more information on this password management service.


BitWarden

BitWarden is an open-source password management software. This means that it’s free with no limits, and anyone can freely inspect its code.

This service is available an as app for Android, iOS, MacOS, and Linux. It also has extensions available on all major web browsers.

Click here for more information on this service.

Dashlane

Dashlane is well-known for their one-of-a-kind features, like this one:

  • Site breach alerts: Dashlane actively monitors dark corners of the internet, looking for leaked/stolen personal data, and then alerts you if your information has been compromised

The desktop interface is also easy to navigate, and their mobile app let’s you have access to your data quickly. Additionally, Dashlane gives you the option to not have your password data stored in their servers, which keep your information private to just yourself.

Click here for more information on this service.

References

  1. “Misinformation.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misinformation.
  2. “Become a Snopes Founding Member.” Snopes.com, www.snopes.com/projects/founding-members/?utm_source=snopes-alert-banner&utm_medium=native&utm_campaign=fm2020&utm_content=become-a-founding-member.

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