Safety first, online.

think-safety-first-when-online

Yesterday I started helping a friend of mine to recover his facebook account. The process is still on. His account is hacked. The linked email account is hacked too. The hacker is sending messages to his friend list asking for weird things.

This can easily happen to you. There were recent hacks in to many accounts of FB. But hey, it is not just FB, there are multiple breaches every day in many digital services.

Have a good digital hygiene.

Here’s a previous post of mine. Change your password. Make it a better password. 

I have posted this earlier too. If you or a friend of yours is affected by hacking and online harassment, drop me a email ( isura.silva@gmail.com ) with details and links.

Doing the impossible

In a brainstorming session at a recent workshop, I listened to a banter between two participants. It made me laugh. It was also profound.

A: “It’s a dream you are proposing. It’s impossible. How can we make impossible happen?”

B: ” You mean, you don’t know how to do the impossible?”

A: ” yes, that is why it is called impossible”

B: “well the way to do the impossible is to do it. “

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Neil inside spacecraft Gemini 8 , in 1969

Later in that day I watched “First Man”, the movie about Neil Armstrong. As a kid, when I learnt about Neil, it was just a fact. Neil was the first man on moon. On that day in 1969, 530 million people watched him take the ‘giant leap for mankind.’

The movie shredded my perceptions about landing on moon. I never knew the hardships in many fronts. How Neil struggled at home with sick kids. His daughter died at age two suffering from a malignant brain tumor. Never knew about his wife’s enormous strength and endurance. How he lost 3 of his fellow astronauts from a fire in a testing capsule. Never knew he escaped near death in many a missions. How thousands of NASA team members worked day and night to achieve the impossible, while citizens marched against mega budgets dedicated to moon landing, which could have gone in to pressing needs in America like poverty and racial tension.

It was impossible to go to moon, until that very moment Neil landed on Moon.

The more we run from our fears, the bigger they get. Yet, when we go right in to them, fears evaporate and vanish.

Why we need after 6 months review.

SAMSUNG CSC

Youtube is flooded with celebrity state tech reviewers. I watch a lot of them. I learn a lot. But there’s a catch.

A new phone comes to market. They rush to do the ‘first-to-do’ unboxing and reviews. I found out all those new giga specs on paper that is celebrated , seldom translate in to durable performance, let’s say after 6 months.

So what we really need to watch is phone reviews after 6 months of usage. To do that, reviewers actually have to use a phone for 6 months. A rarity.  There are plenty of reviews from not-celebrity tech enthusiasts. If you are frugal about your spending on phones, and you want good value, those reviews are your life savers.

I am so much happy with Galaxy Note 5, which still serves me well for more than 2 years. How did I make the decision? I watched a ‘Note 5 after 6 months review’ in Youtube, two years ago.

Do we really care about our data ?

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It’s 3 days since the facebook data hackIt appears there’s so much more to the consequences than we thought. Because facebook is larger than life with more than 2 billion accounts and we are so connected to it for our daily work and life, we carry on despite all the warnings out there. The activists, governments and policy makers do not have much leverage in the face of rapid fire technological advances. There’s a concern, but nobody seems to know how to keep ourselves connected and secure at the same time. Let’s try with basic hygiene as a starter in this blog post.

So what can we do to gain some control of our FB data ?

Beginner Steps:

I strongly suggest you,

  1. Change FB password now.
  2. Don’t use facebook login for other apps like airbnb, booking.com, spotify etc. At least in future don’t use facebook login for other apps.

Advance Steps:

  1. Go to  Facebook’s ‘Security and login’ page in your settings which tells you where your account has been logged in from. If you see a login from a location you do not recognise, you might have been hacked.
  2. Don’t use same password for different social media accounts and websites. Change it to individual, confusing ones. Long passwords with words that make no sense, numbers and special characters, such as &!#@?, are much safer than simpler ones with phrases like family and friends
  3. Use 2 factor authentication – go to the ‘Security and login’ page in your Facebook account settings and set up two-factor authentication. When this feature is activated you will get an SMS to your phone, if someone is logging in to your account from an unknown device or location.