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How to Check If Your Boss Is Creeping on Your Slack DMs

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Perhaps you’re one of the rare employees who uses Slack exclusively to discuss work-related matters. But if you're like plenty of people on the professional messaging service, you're not above sending the occasional cat GIF, personality quiz, and yes, juicy piece of office gossip. Depending on how comfortable you are sharing sensitive information with the same tool you use to chat with your boss, you might not be thrilled about your DMs being seen by the wrong eyes. Luckily, there’s a quick way to check if your private Slack messages are actually private, as reported by Mashable.

While spreading office gossip on a public Slack channel, even if the person you’re talking about is not a member, is never a smart move, you may think you’re safer within the confines of a locked channel or a direct message. It’s true that so-called private channels aren't visible or searchable to outside users, but if someone ever demands to be granted access, suddenly that after-work happy hour you didn't invite them to is public knowledge. Direct messages are a little less conspicuous, but if your boss ever felt the need to, he or she could easily sift through them behind your back.

If your company is on Slack's Plus plan, Team Owners (usually your boss) have the ability to enable compliance exports. This means that all of your office’s Slack data, including locked channel messages and direct messages, is exported as a document that’s easy for him or her to search through or read in full. Slack users have no way of knowing if this feature is activated unless they check their office's account settings.

After visiting https://[your team name].slack.com/account/team, check the bottom of the page for the heading that says Compliance Exports. This section will tell you whether this function is enabled for your workplace. If it’s not, don’t be too quick to breathe a sigh of relief. There’s also a possibility that your company has integrated a third-party software into Slack’s API and is capable of archiving and reading private messages this way.

To see if that's the case, go to https://[insert your team name here].slack.com/apps/manage, where you’ll find the list of apps connected to your Slack team. Click the "access type" drop-down menu and select "can access messages." By looking at each app's App Info and Settings sections, you’ll see if any team members have given the apps permission to "access content in users' direct messages."

Even if everything checks out in your in favor, it only means all of your DMs up until this moment are safe. Your Team Owner could enable compliance exports whenever he or she feels like it and read all private messages sent from that point forward. So if you really can’t resist complaining about your boss’s choice to reheat tuna in the office microwave, maybe move that conversation to a different forum.

[h/t Mashable]

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You Can Finally Mute Users on Instagram
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Since launching as a photo editing and sharing app in 2010, Instagram has grown into the third most popular social media platform behind YouTube and Facebook. That means the list of people you follow likely includes friends you like as well as exes, distant family members, and former high school classmates whose constant updates you could do without. Now BuzzFeed reports that Instagram just made it a lot easier to trim your feed of unwanted content without the user’s knowledge.

To mute someone without unfollowing them altogether, tap the ellipsis to the right of their username next time you see one their posts. Next, select “Mute” from the list of options that pops up. From there you can choose to just mute their regular posts or block their posts and Instagram Stories from showing up on your end. There’s no way for the user to know you muted them (at least not yet), and you can visit their profile to unmute them any time.

Instagram had already made it possible to mute someone’s Stories by tapping and holding their profile icon, but this is the first time users have the option to hide all posts from a person as well. Prior to the update, users either had to put up with obnoxious oversharing or hit the unfollow button and risk their friend (or acquaintance, family member, etc.) noticing their follower count dropped.

Interested in curating your other online feeds? If politics is your biggest social media peeve, here are some ways to see less of it.

[h/t BuzzFeed]

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Not Sure How to Plan a Multi-City Vacation? A New App Will Do It for You
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If you want to explore the world but planning a multi-city vacation seems overwhelming, Eightydays is the app for you. The service, which we spotted via Travel + Leisure, is designed to help you decide where to go on your vacation and how to get there by auto-generating potential travel itineraries. And it can help you do it cheaply.

Eightydays uses an algorithm to generate potential travel itineraries to get you between major cities in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, finding you flights and trains that will be both budget-friendly and convenient. And it does it more or less instantly, saving you the time and hassle of sorting through travel times or staring at maps.

The algorithm excludes remote airports that are far from cities and limits choices to direct flights and trains, making sure you spend the bulk of your time exploring, not sitting in transit. It also limits departure times so that you don't have to wake up at 3 a.m. to make your flight.

You can choose to stay in up to six cities in one trip, or limit your itinerary to just a few different destinations. It provides links to buy tickets from Kiwi.com and suggestions for accommodations from sites like Airbnb and Booking.com. If you don't like the initial destination suggestions, you can hit "shuffle," and it will suggest a different itinerary.

Screenshot of Eightydays.me showing a suggested itinerary starting in Barcelona
Screenshot, Eightydays

If you aren't the most creative trip-planner, Eightydays can help you find destinations beyond the basic cities on every world traveler's bucket list. To test it out, I asked the app to find me destinations around Europe between August 1 and 8, starting in Barcelona. It suggested I hit up Narbonne, Montpellier, Marseille, Toulon, and Nice, all for a total of $200 in train tickets. On a second try, it suggested my Barcelona vacation include stops in Stuttgart, Strasbourg, Metz, Luxembourg, and Cologne instead, for a total of $242 in air and train fare. These are definitely not cities I would immediately think to visit if I were planning on my own, but they're relatively cheap and easy to get to from my preferred starting point.

There are some limitations. You have to start and end in the same city, and it won't create an itinerary for more than 20 days or more than six cities. But if you're looking to see as many places as you can on a limited budget and a limited timetable, Eightydays is a simple way to do it.

Get it for iOS here, or browse online at eightydays.me.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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