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How this travel blogger pivoted during the pandemic

Gabby Beckford is an expert planner, even when things don’t work out as expected. Shortly after graduating from college and getting her first job in engineering, she realized that working in an office wasn’t for her. But this didn’t throw her off course, it presented an opportunity. Over the next two years, she used savings…

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Gabby Beckford is an expert planner, even when things don’t work out as expected. Shortly after graduating from college and getting her first job in engineering, she realized that working in an office wasn’t for her. But this didn’t throw her off course, it presented an opportunity. Over the next two years, she used savings from her job to become a full-time travel blogger. On her website Packs Light, Gabby writes travel tips for Gen Z, offers influencer guides and services and runs occasional partnerships with travel brands and companies.

In February 2020, Gabby planned to go to Bali for a month. But just a week later, the lockdown took hold and airports started to shut down. True to form, she decided to turn things around. “When the pandemic hit, I was in a reactive state anyway,” she says. “It was actually a benefit because I could pivot kind of easily.”

Luckily, she could live at her mom’s house and had a consistent, if small, income from the blog. Even though she (and everyone else) was stuck at home, she doubled down on travel writing — but now, she was pitching publications.

Gabby is happily traveling the world again, and now incorporates guidance on doing so responsibly during the ongoing pandemic. She has some tips for how creators can pivot in the face of unexpected challenges, and even uncover new prospects for growth and success.

Don’t quit, adapt

Gabby noticed that many travel bloggers shifted their focus to topics like beauty or fitness, but she decided to stay true to her core mission. “I knew that no matter how long this pandemic lasts, there would be a travel reboot eventually,” she says. “So it was an investment in myself to stay in this industry and continue building when the competition was low.”

Sticking to her mission while pivoting to evergreen topics, like how to apply for a passport or travel as a full-time student, also aligned with what her followers were interested in. “Just because people stopped traveling doesn’t mean all 10,000 of my Instagram followers stopped caring about what I did, or about travel in general,” she points out. This continued focus cemented her reputation as a dedicated travel blogger.

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Countering hack-for-hire groups

As part of TAG’s mission to counter serious threats to Google and our users, we’ve published analysis on a range of persistent threats including government-backed attackers, commercial surveillance vendors, and serious criminal operators. Today, we’re sharing intelligence on a segment of attackers we call hack-for-hire, whose niche focuses on compromising accounts and exfiltrating data as…

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As part of TAG’s mission to counter serious threats to Google and our users, we’ve published analysis on a range of persistent threats including government-backed attackers, commercial surveillance vendors, and serious criminal operators. Today, we’re sharing intelligence on a segment of attackers we call hack-for-hire, whose niche focuses on compromising accounts and exfiltrating data as a service.

In contrast to commercial surveillance vendors, who we generally observe selling a capability for the end user to operate, hack-for-hire firms conduct attacks themselves. They target a wide range of users and opportunistically take advantage of known security flaws when undertaking their campaigns. Both, however, enable attacks by those who would otherwise lack the capabilities to do so.

We have seen hack-for-hire groups target human rights and political activists, journalists, and other high-risk users around the world, putting their privacy, safety and security at risk. They also conduct corporate espionage, handily obscuring their clients’ role.

To help users and defenders, we will provide examples of the hack-for-hire ecosystem from India, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates and context around their capabilities and persistence mechanisms.

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Preserving languages and the stories behind them

Our Potawatomi tribe partner, Justin Neely, is using Woolaroo to promote and preserve the Potawatomi’s language, Bodéwadmimwen, among students and young people. “Words, phrases and verb conjugations show how the Potawatomi see the world — with an emphasis on connection to the earth, a high regard for mother nature and living beings, and a communal…

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Our Potawatomi tribe partner, Justin Neely, is using Woolaroo to promote and preserve the Potawatomi’s language, Bodéwadmimwen, among students and young people. “Words, phrases and verb conjugations show how the Potawatomi see the world — with an emphasis on connection to the earth, a high regard for mother nature and living beings, and a communal lifestyle,” says Neely. Neely felt that Woolaroo would suit children in particular, allowing them to use technology as a way to explore their heritage.

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Go on an epic adventure with Netflix’s “The Sea Beast”

Craving a different type of drive this summer? Go on a high-seas adventure without stepping off land. Activate Waze’s latest driving experience, inspired by Netflix’s newest movie, “The Sea Beast.” (Check out the trailer and the film on Netflix July 8.)Starting today, you’ll meet the dynamic duo of Maisie, a precocious stowaway, and Blue, a…

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Craving a different type of drive this summer? Go on a high-seas adventure without stepping off land. Activate Waze’s latest driving experience, inspired by Netflix’s newest movie,The Sea Beast.” (Check out the trailer and the film on Netflix July 8.)

Starting today, you’ll meet the dynamic duo of Maisie, a precocious stowaway, and Blue, a little beast with a huge mischief streak, and revel in the unlikely comedy of their friendship as they help you navigate every turn you take on Waze. And don’t worry: Maisie will help translate Blue’s sounds for you. You’ll also get to know some other Beasts that they find on their journey when you choose between three new Moods: Blue, Red and Yellow. Don’t forget to swap your vehicle for a Lifeboat, to get into the true adventurer’s spirit.

With Sea Beast Mode activated, get ready to explore the world together, on a journey full of surprise, wonder and funny banter — because where the map ends, the adventure begins.

If you’re interested in seeing the magic in real life, Netflix is hosting a series of experiences across the U.S. at aquariums, museums and more to celebrate the launch of The Sea Beast.

For a drive that takes you to the seas, visit Waze or click “My Waze” in your Waze app and tap the “Turn on Sea Beast Mode” banner to activate. It’s available globally, in English, for a limited time.

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