Connected devices and online security

This is a collaborative post.  We all know that familiar sinking feeling. When the laptop that doubles as a lifeline starts to play up. Slowing down, becoming unreliable. It starts to crash frequently and then one day, nothing. You can’t switch it on, a virus has wiped the data and thrown you out. Sometimes it’s reversible, but not always. Online security of connected devices Did you know that, just like computers, connected devices are vulnerable to security attacks? According to a recent survey by McAffee, 45% of people in the UK will be gifting tech gadgets this Christmas. 22% will…

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The loneliness of the mainland

The feeling had been stirring for a few weeks. Not a crippling emotional pain but a nagging sense of discontent. Nothing was quite going to plan. Cancelled work, stretched finances. Tired children, nagging doubts. And above all else, the dawning realisation that nobody really cared. Trying to speak It was the ongoing battle that tipped the scales of doubt. Countless attempts to tell somebody. Subconsciously willing them to stop what they were doing. Wishing with every fibre that one of them would rouse from the preoccupation with their own problems and listen. Just a few minutes, maybe an hour. Long…

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When charitable donations aren’t as generous as they sound

A twist of fate, a wrong decision, a stroke of bad luck. All of a sudden, you find yourself face to face with an almighty struggle. One unpaid invoice leads to rent arrears and a mountain of debt. Then, a charity may be your only hope. A food bank, or an organisation that helps people to get back on their feet. The big corporation and the charity I know enough about life’s cruel blows to understand that destitution often arrives through no fault of its victim. And that charities can be a lifeline in such a situation. And yet, I received an…

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The posture of parenting

Within the daily struggle of parenthood, being me has become my biggest battle. Last week, I was looking at my children playing at my feet when I had a sudden moment of realisation. I spend an inordinate amount of time with my head down. Watching the girls, looking at my laptop or phone, preparing food. Always with my head bowed, hunched forward. A posture that, to an outsider, might suggest that I was sad, shy or lacking in confidence. The power of body language Years ago, a social psychologist called Amy Cuddy gave a TED talk on body language. It…

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What determines whether large organisations have a corporate conscience?

Waking in a panic in the early hours of the morning has become normal. The overdraft limit is looming yet again, as it does for freelancers everywhere. But this time, it’s different. It’s not about lack of work, because I’ve got plenty. A small company or an individual unable to pay hasn’t caused the problem. It’s the global conglomerates and their unwillingness to pay on time. Why do many large organisations lack corporate conscience? Well, I have this theory. Small companies tend to have one or two employees. The company owner plays a big part in keeping the business going.…

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