Wednesday, 23 July 2014

How to keep your Google Account safe

Stay Safe On Google!

It's funny how, in the offline world, we always take care not to let people into our personal space.  We lock our doors, close our windows and look after our personal belongings.

And yet in the online world, many people forget to do this and can sometimes be careless and leave their doors open for people them to enter and invade their personal space, play with their content and create havoc with their accounts.

As a Google+ Top Contributor, I and the other TC's see a lot of questions about and pleas for help in the Google+ help community  for account security issues.

Questions like:

Someone logged in to my account by mistake and now they have changed my details how do I stop this happening in the future?

Help - I've lost all my settings - I think I've been hacked!

By taking just a few simple steps, you can avoid things like this happening to you and your belongings.

Keep your Google account safe by watching the short video below:

And here are a collection of useful links to put everything into action:


*Recovery alerts*

Choose how you'd like to receive alerts about suspicious activity and update your backup options to help you easily get back into your account if you're ever locked out.

Adding recovery options to your account - https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/183723

Security notification settings - https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/2733203

Choose how you'd like to receive alerts about suspicious activity and update your backup options to help you easily get back into your account if you're ever locked out.

Adding recovery options to your account - https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/183723

Security notification settings - https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/2733203

*Enable 2-Step Authentication*

2-step verification adds an extra layer of security to your Google Account, in addition to your username and password, you'll enter a code that Google will send you via text, voice call, or our mobile app. https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/180744

*Review Your Account Permissions*

On the Account Permissions tab of your Google Account, you can see a list of third-party sites and applications. These are sites and applications to which you’ve granted permission to access your Google Account, and you can see on this list to what parts of your account they have access.

*Recent Activity*

Security-related actions on your account, including sign-ins and password changes. Google will notify you if anything looks suspicious. Take a moment to make sure that everything looks good. https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/3067630

Is your account safe?

Many thanks to fellow Top Contributor +John Elstone for compiling the links for me to share in this post....

If you find this information useful, please do share with others and help more people protect themselves online too.....

Friday, 27 June 2014

All change on YouTube - See the latest updates

Well, if you blinked last night and then went to YouTube to start your live hangout or access your video manager, you may have thought you had moved to a different country as everything has changed.

Some say Boo! we lost our easy click buttons and don't know how to find things, others say Woohoo! new look, new options and features and we love it.

Whether you are in the No or the Yes crowd, things have changed and you will just have to get used to it, as things are always changing, updating and moving to different places.

Thank goodness for people like me you may be saying right now, as I do the hard work for you so you don't have to worry about staying up to date, and if you are a member of Hangout Professionals, then you will already know that I regularly update your how2 manuals, videos and strategies for using Hangouts and YouTube so you don't get lost or have to worry about watching out for new tools, features and design changes.....

So, what has changed?

Earlier I wrote an article about the new YouTube cinema mode - your viewing experience has been enhanced with that.  This blog is about where to find those buttons you need to be able to do the things you want to do on your YouTube channel.

If you are looking for your video manager - it's not there anymore (it used to be part of the upload button along with your settings cog!)

But it's gone!   Now it is part of your Creator Studio that you can find by clicking on your profile image (see below)

You can also see that your settings cog is right there next to the Creator Studio button too

Prefer to bookmark your creator Studio page (which is actually your dashboard) and go straight there when you visit YouTube?   That works too by visiting:  https://www.youtube.com/dashboard

And when you get there this is what you will see:

On the left your have your navigation panel and there is the well known Video manager - phew! it hasn't disappeared just been moved a little....

In the main area you can see your stats and info as well as some TIPS for using YouTube and enhancing your visibility.

You can also see your most recent uploads on this page too.

So there you have it - new design and new way to access your Video Manager (and of course YouTube Live events for those of you who start your Hangouts On Air using YouTube Live)

There is more to come very soon too as YouTube have also announced more new features are on their way including a TIPS jar (your way to let people give you a monetary tip to say thank you for your content!)

What do you think of these updates?  I kinda like them ......

YouTube videos now display in Cinema Mode

Have you noticed the changes to your YouTube viewing experience?

Before when you visited YouTube and clicked on a video, it would open in a small screen for you - now it opens in large screen viewing - almost like having your own cinema seat.

Simply go to YouTube and click on a video from someones video list:

This is what you will see:

Basically the video opens in a large screen across your monitor - just like being in the cinema (no wonder they call it "cinema mode"

.....  Now it does mean that if you want to comment you have to scroll down and lose some of the video area whilst you comment:

But fear not, if you want to watch a YouTube video or perhaps a Hangout On Air live stream, with the default viewer that you are used to,  you can quickly and easily change the view by clicking on the little icon at the bottom:

This will take you to the traditional way of viewing YouTube videos with the ads and suggested videos at the side of the video you are watching:

And if you want to go back to Cinema mode, just click that button again ....

There are lots of other new features coming for YouTube creators very soon too.... Watch this space.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Hangout Update - No more blue-boxing - time to Pin your Guests In Google Hangout

For so long people have been talking about remembering to "Blue Box" your hangout guests so that they show as the main person on the large video screen during a hangout On Air.

Well, you may not know it but the official word for doing that is actually "pinning" (makes total sense really)

And this week, Google hangouts removed the blue-boxing all together.  No, don't worry they didn't remove the feature that allows you to select who is shown on the main screen during a hangout, but they did change the colour of the border when you do that and click on their film strip and they also changed the size of YOUR thumbnail too.

So what does this mean to you?

Firstly - the size change of your own thumbnail in a hangout.  When you look at the film strip during a private or a hangout On Air, you will notice that your own thumbnail is actually more rectangular than square now, this means that you can see exactly what everyone else will see when they are viewing you in the large video area.

This is really helpful because often you join a Hangout and you are not the host, so you don't have the opportunity until the host "pins" you to the main video area or you take over that area because you are talking and then - Owch!  

You suddenly see that one side of you is showing more than you thought (because in the small square box you cant actually see the full area that the viewers (or other hangout guests) can see.  This is a very useful new feature, as I have often seen people who have cat litter trays on the floor that they thought were out of view, or they are in their bedroom and didn't realise that the bed is unmade and everyone can see it.......

Now you can see exactly what the audience and other Hangout guests will see, before you are live on the main video screen, because your thumbnail image is larger.

AND you will also notice that if you click on someones thumbnail in a Hangout it now has a white frame around it (and it is very square not rounded square too) so no more blue-boxing, only "white-boxing or pinning in the future)

What do you think - is this a useful new feature?

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Google+ Updates people - notifications and Hangouts

Have you noticed in the latest update that you now have some new icons on your Google Plus profile screen?

When you are at the top of the page you will see this:

You have your name, your apps box, Mr Jingles, the share box and your profile image.

Under that you used to have just the Hangouts icon.  Now,  you also have a people icon..

When you click the people icon it will open your people nav panel and from here you can add people to your circles:  

At the top of the people panel, you will see people who have recently added you to their circles

and under that you will see suggested people to add.

If you hover over their name in your people panel:

you will see their hover card, so that you can find out more before deciding whether to add them to a circle or not:

 The other thing you will notice is that when you start to scroll down the page, Mr Jingles is added to this area for you and it scrolls with you, so that you can select any of the icons from wherever you are on the page, without needing to scroll back to the top.

You can see your new notifications showing in the red circle and if someone new adds you to their circles the people icon will also have a red circle and a number in it too.

What do you think of these new updates?  Will they help your Google+ experience?

How To Tell When You Are Screensharing In Hangouts

Previously when you started to screen share in  Hangout - you could see the screen you were sharing in the filmstrip area (and full screen if you are the person who is blue-boxed or speaking)

But now when you click the screenshare button in a Hangout and start to share your screen, there has been a small update - have you noticed that you now have a little screenshare arrow icon on your film-strip image?

Is this a helpful update to Hangouts for you?

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Start a Private hangout Video Call from your G+ Business Page

Your Google+ Business Page just got a complete redesign and it's own navigation panel and all sorts of goodies and I will be adding new updates and posts as I go through all the awesome features but right now:

For me and I am sure for many other business owners who want to connect in person with their customers and followers, perhaps the absolute best goodie is that we have the ability to start a private hangout Video call straight from our business page navigation panel:

1. Simply go to your business page and open the navigation panel on the left:

Click Hangouts:

You will see three tabs at the top:

Home:  this is the main Hangouts area where you can see whats live now, who in your circles is holding a hangout and you can start a Hangout on Air too.

Hangouts On Air: Here you can see current live Hangouts on Air and join them as well as start your own Hangout On Air too

Video Hangouts:

Here you can see private video hangouts that are happening right now that you are invited to and you can start your own private video hangout too!

Just think how this can help you as a business, you can have multiple page managers so not only can you, personally as the business owner start a private video hangout with a potential or current client, but you could also use the private hangouts for........... 

Here's just two ideas:

Customer service (what could be better than having a live person to talk to face to face?)

Product demonstrations (think - someone has called the office and asked about a product and want to know more - your sales person can hop onto a private hangout video call with them and not only explain but SHOW them the product too)

And each page manager will be running the private video call as the business, not as themselves!

How will you use the new video Hangout feature within your business?