How not to get hacked! How secure are your accounts?

I’ve just spent the past few days changing all my settings on Facebook and my e.mail addresses as someone is trying to gain access to my Facebook account. This idiot I think has even managed to log in at one point as I got a text saying “iPad logged into your Facebook account at… bla bla..” the thing, is no one in my  household has an iPad so I  have no clue to what is really going on… 

I don’t share my password with anyone and have not used any public computers. The thought of someone being in my Facebook is really pissing off to say the least. Eventually I thought I better just change my settings, password and update e.mail addresses too. Better to be safe than sorry. 

With Facebook stepping up on security and privacy settings we are all still vulnerable to being hacked. Whether that may be on Facebook or our e.mails etc.  I have decided to compile a list of things that I think everyone should know about protecting themselves from hackers.

  • Keep your social networks (i.e facebook, google+ etc.) e.mail addresses private, that means don’t share them with anyone or display them on your profiles.  The most common way your accounts are hacked is through your e.mail addresses. I will tell you in a bit how to protect them too. 
  • For chatting, for instance on yahoo and msn, use separate e.mail addresses. As these are more public and you are more likely to share them out more. 
  • As we move more and more towards paper statements, internet banking and paying bills on-line and buying on-line our details are more likely to be in our e.mails. For your private affairs like banking, bills, accounts, credit cards and other private financial matters use a separate e.mail account. Don’t share these with anyone else. 

Okay, the reason why I’m advising on separate e.mail accounts for your most personal things is because even if they are hacked at least you wont have all your eggs in one basket. So if you keep things separate you are more likely to have some damage control in the worst case scenario. 

Now let’s move on to passwords. I am the type that uses the same password for everything as I find it hard to remember different ones. While it seems the best thing to do, it really is a big risk. An easy way to get hacked is to give a site your e-mail address and then use the same password at that site. The same goes if you use the same user name and password at two or more sites. If the site does not encrypt the password, then there is a huge problem. Anyone who works for the site and has access to this information (or gains it) now has everything they need to log-in to your account. While most sites protect passwords, there are still ways for employees to get it. Attacks from within a company are actually the most common. At the least, use a different password for your e-mail account than everything else.

Your password must always include numbers and letters of no sequence.. like 123456.. always jumble them up… I find it easy to use a word and then add numbers .. here is an example… 

princess…  1020princess2010… 

now the numbers can be the last four digits of a mobile number or a date that you will remember always… or you can put numbers in the word.. whatever you do… make sure it’s not something anyone can easily guess. 

Now let’s talk about your e.mail security questions. Remember to apply the same rule to your answer… because if someone knows you personally they will be able to answer your  security question no problem. So always mix up your answer with some numbers and extra letters. Even then if someone knows what street you grew up on or where your mother was born, they wont have the exact answer. 

Always set up alternate email accounts and make sure they are secure too. 

A recovery e-mail account is a method a lot of systems use to help you get back into an account that you have lost the password for. This could be for a site like Facebook or for another e-mail account like Gmail. The idea is simple. You ask the site to send you your password (some will just reset it). The site says: “Sure, it’s been e-mailed to you.” As long as you have access to that other account, you are just fine and dandy.

Check your recovery e-mail account every three months or so. If you do not, the account may be deleted. Someone else can now claim it. If someone claims that account accidentally and you reset your password, then you just lost control of your main account. If it was on purpose, then the next step is to simply go through the password recovery process.

My advice is to check this account before reading any further if you have not done so recently. This is the one tip that I found I had not followed when I heard about it. Fortunately, I grabbed the accounts back before someone else did.

Also most sites now as you to register your mobile with them so when you are in the recovery process they can just send you the code.  My suggestion is to apply everything to your account if they options are there to do so. So even if let’s say you can’t access your recovery email address you can use one of the other methods, security question or email recovery. 

While most of this stuff is common sense, we always think it wont happen to me but you just never know. So always be safe and be aware!

Best way to blog!

I came across this list of tips on how to be successful at blogging and was just wondering how many of these tips are just common sense and how many are an important requirement.

Many of just blog for fun or to pass our time or just to share what we are thinking and feeling. Plus there are those who do it as an occupation on a more professional level.

I don’t really follow any precise rules to blog I just go as I please. Personally I think following all these rules and tips takes the fun out of blogging but thought I’d share this with you guys anyway, you never know, you might find something useful here that you never knew about before. Some of it’s quite funny too. 🙂

  1. Get a .com domain
  2. Don’t get .us domain
  3. Use WordPress
  4. Don’t try to rip people off
  5. Be polite
  6. Write original content
  7. Back-up your blog
  8. Be extra patient
  9. Don’t try to make money
  10. Write in English
  11. Customize your Theme
  12. Use either no-www either www
  13. Update your WordPress version
  14. Create an About page
  15. Have a Privacy Policy page
  16. Comment on other blogs
  17. Don’t write long posts

    Continue reading

Right now –

– somebody is very proud of you.
– somebody is thinking of you.
– somebody is caring about you.
– somebody misses you.
– somebody wants to talk to you.
– somebody wants to be with you.
– somebody hopes you aren’t in trouble.
– somebody is thankful for the support you have provided.
– somebody wants to hold your hand.
– somebody hopes everything turns out all right.
– somebody wants you to be happy.
– somebody wants you to find him/her.
– somebody is celebrating your successes.
– somebody wants to give you a gift.
– somebody thinks that you ARE a gift.
– somebody hopes you’re not too cold, or too hot
– somebody wants to hug you.
– somebody loves you.
– somebody wishes you would lavish them with small things.
– somebody admires your strength.
– somebody is thinking of you and smiling.
– somebody wants to be your shoulder to cry on.
– somebody wants to go out with you and have a lot of fun.
– somebody thinks the world of you.
– somebody wants to protect you.
– somebody would do anything for you.
– somebody wants to be forgiven.
– somebody is grateful for your forgiveness.
– somebody wants to laugh with you all night long about old times.
– somebody remembers you fondly and wishes that you were there.
– somebody is praising God for you.
– somebody needs to know that your love is unconditional.
– somebody values your advice.
– somebody wants to tell you how much they care.
– somebody wants to stay up all night watching old movies with you.
– somebody wants to share their dreams with you.
– somebody wants to hold you in their arms.
– somebody wants YOU to hold them in your arms.
– somebody treasures your spirit.
– somebody wishes they could suspend time because of you.
– somebody praises God for your friendship and love.
– somebody can’t wait to see you.
– somebody wishes that things didn’t have to change.
– somebody loves you for who you are.
– somebody loves the way you make them feel.
– somebody wants to be with you.
– somebody is hoping they can grow old with you.
– somebody wants you to know they are there for you.
– somebody’s glad that you’re his/her friend.
– somebody wants to be your friend.
– somebody stayed up all night thinking about you.
– somebody is alive because of you.
– somebody is very remorseful after losing your friendship.
– somebody is wishing that you noticed him/her.
– somebody wants to get to know you better.
– somebody believes that you are his/her soul mate.
– somebody wants to be near you.
– somebody misses your advice/guidance.
– somebody has faith in you.
– somebody trusts you.
– somebody is sorry that they haven’t called
– somebody is changed because of you
– somebody wants to be like you
– somebody needs you to send them this letter
– somebody needs your support.
– somebody needs you to have faith in them.
– somebody will cry when they read this.
– somebody needs you to let them be your friend.

You don’t have to send this to all of your friends. But do send it to those who come to mind as you read it. Add to it as you pass it along for the little or big things in life you want your friends to have and to know. Sometimes, in the hustle and bustle of life, we neglect our friends, and these little things that friendships entail.

Jennifer Lopez And Marc Anthony – 5 Reasons Their Marriage Failed

Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony announced to People today that their seven year marriage is over. Shock! Hollywood is rarely full of shocks when it comes to relationships, mainly because tabloids like the Enquirer and Sun have a knack of announcing impending doom – even with their spotty record. So when Jennifer and Marc announced their separation today – there was some level of shock. I decided to ponder their seven year relationship to look for potential breaking points – of course this is purely in jest.

Reason 1.
Jennifer Lopez ended a highly publicized and criticized relationship with Ben Affleck in January 2004. Their relationship highlighted J. Lo as a high maintenance diva who would do anything to bask in the Hollywood lime light…less than a month later Jennifer is spotted with Marc Anthony

Reason 2.
Hardly 6 months later….Marc Anthony….the man who always loved Jennifer, even while married to the mother of his two sons, former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres filed for divorce. Merely days after their divorce was finalized, Marc Anthony and Jennifer were married

Reason 3.
Jennifer is so much hotter than Marc. And then there’s the height issue. Yes, it’s superficial. It’s Hollywood – We’ll leave it at that.

Reason 4.
Marc Anthony was reported for owing $3.4 million in unpaid taxes. Anthony’s rep quickly announced the bill was taken of. Jennifer is slowly working on rebuilding her flagging music and film career

Reason 5.
Jennifer Lopez succeeded in rebuilding her music and film career. She lands a $12 million deal to judge American Idol. J. Lo released a new album “Love?” and nabs her first top ten hit since 2003 with “On the Floor” featuring Pitbull. To top it off Jennifer signed up to join two major films one including “What to Expect when You’re Expecting” with Cameron Diaz. Lastly, it was rumored that Jennifer received resistance from Marc Anthony to re-sign with American Idol. Reportedly he wanted J. Lo “to spend more time with him and their children.” Jennifer has since denied the rumor.

Men’s rules… funny stuff!

I have posted a few girly lists here on my blog and they have been well perceived. So I have decided to give the male species a chance to have their say…

1. Men are NOT mind readers.

If we can read your minds then you can read ours… stop making excuses for being ignorant!

2. Learn to work the toilet seat. You’re a big girl. If it’s up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don’t hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

It was designed to stay down to sit on, which you men can do very easily. It’s a bit hard for a female to stand up and do her business! So.. down it stays!

4. Sunday sports It’s like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.

Okay we can grant you that one, leer if you must.  We females are confident enough to deal with the fact that you men have some sad fantasies that will never come true. So let us indulge you!

5. Crying is blackmail.

Crying is when you show you just how insensitive and inconsiderate you are of our feelings.

6. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one:

* Subtle hints do not work!
* Strong hints do not work!
* Obvious hints do not work!

Just say it!

And even that doesn’t work! How about you put the remote down and your phone and listen to us for once!

7. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

If you ever hear them…

8. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That’s what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

Yes and please keep in mind we don’t want you to get up and try to sort it for us or bark orders to us on how to sort it… just a normal conversation will suffice… and hey we wont be doing the sympathy either for you in future… keep it mind!

9. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument.
In fact, all comments become Null and void after 7 Days.

Works both ways mister!

10. If you think you’re fat, you probably are. Don’t ask us.

Yes babes you are losing your hair, you are stupid, you do have love handles and you do have smelly breath!

11. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.

And if we said you were the best, we were just saying that to make you feel better.  Oh and the neighbour is better looking!

12. You can either ask us to do something Or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

If you could do one thing properly without messing it up… we wouldn’t need to…

13. Whenever possible, Please say whatever you have to say during commercials..

And please when we are sleeping… refrain from waking us up!

14. Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.

So why do you always get lost then? It’s not that hard to find!

15. ALL men see in only 16 colours, like Windows default settings.
Peach, for example, is a fruit, not A color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

You have no idea what anything is…  but the colours of your football team!

16. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.

Yes forget manners and the fact you look like dogs when you do it!

17. If we ask what is wrong and you say ‘nothing,’ We will act like nothing’s wrong.. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

And next time you come home from work in a grumpy mood… remind us not to coax your woes of the day out of you and rub your back and make you feel better!

18. If you ask a question you don’t want an answer to, Expect an answer you don’t want to hear.

Yes darling, like I mentioned earlier, you are going bald. It’s the truth, I was just being nice and sensitive to your insecurities but I see we are not playing that game anymore.

19. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine… Really .

Then don’t moan at the end of the night that it was too low cut.. or too short!

20. Don’t ask us what we’re thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball or golf.

We can do that if you will discuss make up and jewellery and clothes with us…

21. You have enough clothes.

No we don’t!

22. You have too many shoes.

No we don’t! a girl can never have enough of anything… only we have enough of our men when they annoy and irritate us!

23. I am in shape. Round IS a shape!

Just like your big fat beer belly!

Friends and Facebook Etiquette…

I really wasn’t aware that there was facebook etiquette untill I spoke to a close friend of mines. She was annoyed that I was offending people on her Facebook by talking to them. Yes, it’s true. 

Apparently I have offended them by addressing them directly on her Facebook page in comments. Now correct me if I’m wrong but if someone puts up a status or tags you in a picture and it results in a discussion of about two plus people, are you meant to pretend they are not there? Or are you meant to act like you are the only one there talking to this one person? Can you not offer your educated reply or offer a bit of your own wit and charm to an on going conversation? 

According to her if you don’t know the person you do not talk to them and should only address her and only her! As we were discussing this on the phone last night I had this sad sinking feeling that perhaps I had  said something really bad to these people without realising it. She insisted it wasn’t anything bad or rude or offensive that I had said, but if you don’t know someone  you don’t address them or comment on their comments. 

I honestly thought I had missed something really important here. It Continue reading

Would you like a few million dollars?

As a regular net user for some years now I’ve come across quite a few scams in my time. 

At first glance I was probably more excited than anyone to know there was a chance to inherit a few million dollars from someone who had the same surname as me, then the intelligence inside me told this was too good to be true.

This lawyer was claiming that someone had died leaving a will but he was unable to trace a relative who stood to inherit the entire fortune. As I shared the same  surname as this person he would send the money to me instead by claiming I was this person and in return he wanted a certain percentage of it. 

I played a long just to see how far this could go and I knew there was a catch somewhere and lo and behold it didn’t take long for it to come. 

He wanted a photocopy of my passport and bank details. His emails promised a lot of money but it was clear it was some sort of scam to get my personal details. Needless to say I never did send them instead I replied by saying that for all those millions I really didn’t mind travelling to America to meet him and would happily bring any documents that he required with me.  

Well.. yes you guessed it .. he never replied back.. 

I’m glad my instincts were right and told me not to get taken in by this person but sadly very often many people do. There are so many scams that are on going and of different kinds too. I had a poke around and found quite a few and I’ve made a list, remember always protect yourself and stay safe on-line and if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. 

1. Fake designer goods 
It can be very tempting to buy a Gucci handbag or Armani shirt from a market stall at a knock-down price. But counterfeit goods of this kind are rarely well made.

Even though they are a fraction of the price of the real thing, you may still end up losing out as a result. After all, no matter how cheap a handbag is, if it only lasts a week before starting to fall apart, then it can hardly be seen as a good buy. Also those who know their stuff can tell a fake a mile off and that causes even more embarrassment when it’s pointed out. 

2. Lottery wins 
As they say in business, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Emails or text messages saying that you have won a big cash prize in a lottery you never even entered should therefore be treated with the utmost caution.

If not, you are likely to end up paying to receive a “prize” that never existed in the first place. 

Remember if you have to call up a certain number to get codes note that call is going to cost you a bomb too. 

3. Incredible slimming cures 
We have all seen adverts and spam emails marketing miracle slimming pills that can help you lose weight even if you continue stuffing your face and slouching on the sofa.

However, sending your credit card details to the companies supposedly offering these is likely to result in you losing the money and never receiving the pills.

What’s more, even if the miracle cures do arrive, the chances of them having any lasting effect is slimmer than you are ever likely to be as a result of taking them – and the fraudsters behind the scam may even use your details to steal your identity or spend on your card.

4. Long-lost rich relatives 
One of fraudsters’ favourite tricks is to dupe people into transferring money or handing over their personal details by tempting them with news of a huge inheritance left to them by a relative they never even knew they had.

However large your family, though, it is unlikely that the existence of a wealthy great-aunt or second cousin is going to have totally passed you by. And it’s even less likely that someone you have never met is going to leave you a vast fortune.

Things like that only really happen in the land of (badly written) fiction! 

And remember my story too!

5. Cut-price concert tickets 
Counterfeit tickets have always been a problem, but ticket fraud has evolved over recent years and the related scams are becoming more cunning by the day.

One of the most common tricks used by today’s sophisticated fraudsters is to set up fake websites offering tickets to sold out concerts, festivals and football matches.

When the tickets bought by music and sports fans fail to arrive, the scammers behind the sites then instruct users to claim the money lost from their credit card providers.

To avoid falling victim to this scam, check if the site is a member of STAR – the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers – before parting with any cash.  If unsure find a site that does.