Last month I kept getting "the connection has timed out" error messages when trying to access a website, so I checked the URL using my usual tool — Down For Everyone Or Just Me — and it let me know it wasn't the only one who couldn't access it. But then I discovered a website status checker that does a much better job of reporting website outages:
It's time for spring cleaning, and for more than just your house — it's also time for a checkup & cleanup of services that have access to your social media accounts.
Do you connect your Facebook or Twitter accounts to apps or free services you've forgotten about or don't use any more? Lots of free services offer the option to use your existing social media accounts to register, that look like this one:
Here's what Nick Bilton says in the NYT Bits Blog:
Whether you realize it or not, dozens — if not hundreds — of apps and services have access to your social accounts and can see everything you’re doing online. Tweets, Likes, your location, are all there for the taking. What’s worse, there’s a pretty good chance you unwittingly gave them permission.
I noticed that hundreds of old apps have access to my Twitter, Facebook, Google and LinkedIn accounts.
It was time to do a little cleanup.
Just like the spring cleaning rule that says, “If you haven’t worn it in six months, throw it out,” you should use the same edict with your online data: “If you haven’t logged in to an app or site in six months, revoke its access.”
When you need to shorten an URL, a service like TinyURL works great.
But when you need to provide multiple URLs in a small space — like I did for a library when there was room for only one link — there are free tools that make it easy to bundle those URLs into just one link. (Good to keep in mind for a post on your library's Facebook page, or for a 140-character tweet.)
Here's my favorite URL-bundling tool, with step-by-step instructions to create your own bundle:
Here's a handy trick to remember, especially if you're viewing websites on a small screen, or if you use extra toolbars that take up some of your browser's "real estate." For example, if you want to get the best view of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012 page, you may need to have your browser go full-screen.