Sunday, August 25, 2013

Private Internet Usage… Possible?

Private browsing
Internet Privacy

The term private Internet browsing encompasses a wide array of precautions that Web surfers can take to ensure that their activity on the Web cannot be traced. Motives for private Internet browsing are plenty, with both privacy and safety at the forefront of many Internet users' minds. Whatever the inspiration for browsing anonymously may be, the bottom line is that many people want to avoid leaving tracks behind. Is it even possible to keep all your web usage private? Most, if not all, of us would say no. With immediate access to social networking sites and email, it's easier than ever to dig up dirt on you on the web. While you might not be able to keep all your online activities private, there are a few ways to keep some of your personal information safe.

Useful Advice 
Search engines like Google and Bing track log and track your usage data and search histories. If you can break old habits of looking up quick facts and questions on these sites, experts recommend users to switch to sites like DuckDuckGo and Blekko. You can set privacy settings to disable the sites from tracking your data and DuckDuckGo in particular promises to not track or sell users' data. A few other good alternative no-risk search sites include or

Websites can take advantage of the cookie feature in popular browsers such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari to track what you're searching online even if you enable "private browsing" or "incognito mode." You might want to consider using Firefox 21, which provides only limited data to vendors, or Opera, which claims that it doesn't share or collect personal information. Surfing the web using HTTPS, an encrypted form of HTTP, is also a good idea. Using this should prevent communications from being intercepted. Unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots can pose serious security threats. There are several tips to stay safe in these locations. For example, when you connect to a new network, you should define it as a public network to Windows. Use a third-party VPN product that will create a virtual private network between your machine and their network. This virtual tunnel protects you against anyone who might try to intercept your Web session.

Be Real
Wiping out your Gmail account would not happen; there are other less headache-inducing options to secure your data as opposed to setting up an account with a different service. If your email system supports it, enable encryption for your messages as they're saved and sent. In general, think twice about what you send over email; do you really need to share your credit card number? You should also consider setting up two-factor authentication for your email.

Let's face it: you're not going to cut yourself off completely. It's unrealistic to expect users to stop using Internet service providers like Microsoft and Apple altogether, or to disconnect from Facebook or Twitter. You're also probably not going to ditch popular services from Skype to YouTube just to make sure that your web usage isn't being monitored. Even if you do switch to lesser-known alternatives, you'll have to convince family and friends to switch over with you. But if you want to make the change, there are alternatives like and Vimeo in place of Gchat and YouTube.

For the many of us who find this too troublesome, it's important to be aware of what you put in your search engines or share across video services. Consider setting up a two-factor authentication for your Facebook account and don't share sensitive information, like personal phone numbers, over sites such as Twitter. Scrapping your smartphone will be a start, but nobody's going to do that. However, it's true that mobile apps and services do gather a fair amount of personal information on you. Out of 65,000 apps analyzed in a 2012 study, 18.6 percent can access a user's address book, 41.4 percent track location, and 42.5 percent don't encrypt data. While this is poses obvious risks for users, it's not necessary to stop using your smartphone. There are plenty of mobile security apps that support web protection. Even if you know your internet usage isn't completely private, you should take steps to secure sensitive information to help protect yourself against attacks.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

My Facebook Account Has Been Hacked !

Hacked Facebook Account
Facebook Account Hacked

If you Google” how to” the first or second result is how to hack a Facebook account, so you can have good idea how many people are searching the net on how to hack Facebook account. Millions of computer users of various countries today use Facebook, a truly innovative communication tool and a real masterpiece of Mark Zuckerberg. Sadly, cyber hackers these days invent various methods of hacking Facebook accounts. Who knows someone might be reading your chat conversations, or might be using your account to abuse others or to do illegal activities. In many cases Facebook account can be hacked when users click a link that leads to a fake Facebook signup page, or login page. It outwardly looks exactly the same as the true Facebook login page, whereas the site address of this bogus Facebook login page is totally different. Sometimes users receive certain tricky messages from their friends on Facebook. These messages might prompt users to click certain link, supposedly containing some explicit pictures of videos of you. When they click such links they’re being automatically forwarded to this bogus Facebook signup page, where users are instructed to enter their login and password. By doing so the true Facebook account gets hacked, and now your own account begins sending the same spam messages to your friends and those in your contacts.

Generally, even if users click this bogus Facebook signup page, the secure Internet browser should warn you of a risk of identity theft. But in some cases the browsers are not updated on time, or even being duly updated, they fail to track the danger. Hence, it is obvious that the degree of vulnerability of your Facebook and other social network accounts is quite severe. You definitely need to have powerful and up-to-date security software that will be smart enough to warn you ahead of time about threat intrusion attempt or identity theft risks that might occur while you surf the web.

Now, what do you actually do if you think your Facebook page got hacked? First recommendation is not to panic. This is exactly what hackers want you to do. On the other hand, keeping silence is also not a good practice. First, we recommend you to change your Facebook password immediately. Users will get an email with a link they can click to begin the process. If details such as email have already been changed, most sites have a process for recovering your account. If the compromised account features a password you have used for other online accounts, change those too. When choosing passwords, make them as complex as possible. Use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols when creating a password, and use several passwords for multiple sites. Once you've created your passwords, if you have approved permissions to any third-party apps, disable that option. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to stay vigilant. Make sure that you observe the warning signs that state that you've been hacked. You need to visit the page for all issued related to accounts being hacked likewise. Finally, tell your friends about the danger associated with your account hacked as mentioned above. You need to instruct them to disregard any tricky messages that they might have obtained from you or other persons. Apply the Facebook share option above this article to spread this information around other online users. Finally, it’s strongly advised that you scan your system with the help of legitimate and powerful security software that will help you detect and neutralize all other forms of cyber threats and malwares on your system.

I'm sure we are all aware that Facebook isn't the most secure site on the Internet & if you have ever been through the drama of being hacked you will know what a pain it could be to gain access. The reality is that you and I are ultimately responsible for our own security. That means taking the time to learn and set things up securely. Yes, additional security can be seen as an inconvenience. In my opinion, dealing with a hacked account is significantly more inconvenient. It’s worth the trouble to do things right. If that’s still too much … well … expect your account to get hacked again.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

FOMO Anyone?

fear of missing out FOMO Social Media
FOMO - Fear of missing out

Have you heard about FOMO ?— “fear of missing out”? Most common among the under-30 crowd, it happens when someone feels anxious about not attending social events, like that amazing party everyone else enjoyed last weekend. The social media world that named FOMO has also made it an epidemic. It's hard not to develop this 21st-century form of anxiety when one glance at your smartphone reveals a thousand awesome things your friends—and enemies—are doing. People have always been worried about their social standing, but the explosion of social media has made FOMO a bigger issue, for everyone from middle schoolers newly toting smartphones to adults. We all know that social media can be an addiction, a slippery slope consumed by a syndrome commonly referred to as Fear of Missing out (FOMO). If you indulge in a few days away from your Inbox or Twitter stream, the emails start to pile up and key news is missed. As technology enables us to stay more connected than ever, the addiction continues to grow. In fact, a new survey conducted by revealed 56% of people are afraid of missing out on events, news and important status updates if they are away from social networks.

Teens and adults text while driving, because the possibility of a social connection is more important than their own lives (and the lives of others). They interrupt one call to take another, even when they don’t know who’s on the other line (but to be honest, we've been doing this for years before caller ID). They check their Twitter stream while on a date, because something more interesting or entertaining just might be happening. It’s not “interruption,” its connection. But wait a minute… it’s not really “connection” either. It’s the potential for simply a different connection. It may be better, it may be worse — we just don’t know until we check. We are so connected with one another through our Twitter streams and Foursquare check-ins, through our Facebook and LinkedIn updates, that we can’t just be alone anymore. The fear of missing out (FOMO) — on something more fun, on a social date that might just happen on the spur of the moment — is so intense, even when we’ve decided to disconnect, we still connect just once more, just to make sure.

Connected to this fear of missing out on something better that’s going on without you are these fake personas we promote on websites like Facebook. I say “fake” because we often present only the best side of our lives on social networking sites. After all, who wants to be “friends” with someone who’s always posting depressing status updates and who seems to be doing nothing interesting in their lives? So they are indeed fake, because instead of us being completely real, many (most?) of us censor what we post to our social media profile these days. The people on Facebook are often simply their idealized selves — with a bit of misery thrown in from time to time to “keep it real.”

FOMO is often associated with a perceived low social rank, which can cause feelings of anxiety and inferiority. When someone misses a party, vacation or other social event, he or she can feel a little less cool than those who showed up and snapped photos. In some cases, people are even afraid to miss out on bad stuff. FOMO is most common in people ages 18 to 33 — in one survey, two-thirds of people in this age group said they experience these fears. The survey also suggests FOMO is more common among guys than ladies, though it’s unclear why. Research suggests FOMO can take a negative toll on psychological health. Constant fear of missing events can cause anxiety and depression, especially for young people.
You may argue that FOMO is healthy motivation. But the first of FOMO's four words—fear—is the opposite of healthy. Fear can get us moving, but never happily. Living with constant or recurring fear, from post-traumatic stress to paranoia to FOMO, doesn't improve life quality; it just makes us haunted and tense, many teens stay up all night waiting for the next status update. They interrupt a face-to-face conversation to make sure whatever’s going on elsewhere isn’t better. Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a very real feeling that’s starting to permeate through our social relationships. The question is — will we ever settle for what we have, rather than cling to the fear that we may be missing out on something better? Social media like Facebook and Twitter are making this increasingly more difficult.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Smiley Face

smiley face original harvey ball
Original Smiley Face 
A smiley face (smiley or emoticon) is used in text-based communications to express an emotion, much in the same way we use body language. Text smiley faces are used in the same way that a person's voice or facial expression changes when having a face-to-face conversation with someone. Some chat and instant message programs will automatically translate text smiley faces into graphical emoticons. In the film Forrest Gump, there is a scene when Gump has a chat with a poor T-shirt salesman who needed to put a face on a T-shirt but the salesman couldn’t draw nor had a camera. During this discussion a truck drives by and splish-splashes Gump’s face with muck. He smears his face on a yellow T-shirt and hands it back to the salesman, telling him to “have a nice day.” The imprint of Gump’s face left a flawless smiley face on the yellow t-shirt. And thus, an icon was born, and end of story.
NO!, that was not how the iconic smiley face was fashioned. It’s generally recognized that the novel version of the “smiley face” was first created 50 years ago in Worcester, Massachusetts by the late Harvey Ross Ball, an American graphic artist and ad man. Ball came up with the image in 1963 when he was appointed to create a graphic to increase self-confidence amid the workers of an insurance company after a sequence of tough mergers and acquisitions.
Ball completed the project in less than 10 minutes and was paid $45 for his work. The Company made posters, buttons, and signs adorned with the jaundiced grin in the attempt to get their employees to smile more. It’s unclear whether or not the new logo enhanced self-confidence, but the smiling face was an instant hit and the company fashioned thousands of buttons. The authentic Harvey Ball-designed smiley face could always be recognized by its unique features: the eyes are narrow ovals, one larger than the other, and the mouth is not a perfect .Neither Ball nor State Mutual tried to trademark or copyright the design. Although it seems clear that Ball has the strongest claim to the second most iconic smile in history.
In the early 1970s, comrades Bernard and Murray Spain, owners of two Hallmark card shops in Philadelphia, came across the image in a button shop, noticed that it was extremely popular, and simply seized it. They identified that Harvey Ball came up with the design in the 1960s but later adding the slogan “Have a Happy Day” to the smile, the Brothers Spain were able to copyright the revised mark in 1971, and immediately began producing their own novelty items. By the end of the year they had sold more than 50 million buttons and countless other products, turning a profit while attempting to help return a nation’s optimism during the Vietnam War.

Smiley face news paper
Smiley Face News paper
There is a different claim to the development of the smiley coming from Europe when French journalist Franklin Loufrani turn out to be the first person to register the mark for commercial use in 1972 when he started using it to highlight the rare instances of good news in the newspaper France Soir. Consequently, he trademarked the smile, dubbed simply “Smiley,” in over 100 countries.
In 1996, Loufrani’s son Nicolas took over the family business and converted it into an empire. Today, the Smiley Company makes more than $130 million a year and is one of the top 100 licensing companies of the world. A stone carving found in a French cave that dates to 2500 BC, as well as a smiley face graphic used for a campaign by a New York radio station in 1960.
Communicating over Email or text could open whole new world of complications. Cause it’s hard to convey a tone. It’s a formula for miscommunication. That’s why many favor of using emoticons where it’s sensible. Unlike exclamation points, or italics, the smiley face has the potential to aid a striking drive in business correspondence, far greater than the boundaries of your conventional grammar and punctuation.