For the past few months, I have been reading endlessly about technology. I even approached an IT manager to apprentice at his shop free of charge as long as I could learn as much as I could. He was visibly shocked although a tad happy but till now, I have yet to get back to him with regards to the arrangement as I have so little time to do what I really want to do because of my added commitment in life - my dog.
For the past three days, ever since I wrote my blog post on Time To Clean Up, I have been cleaning up my one particular social media account which I will not mention as I do not want this post to show up in any Google search or any other search engine. That is why this blog has not been updated. Serious housekeeping operation. I have:
- untagged myself from hundred of photos that others tagged of me e.g.articles, jokes, comics and all kinds of stuff and I still have about 500 more to go!
- deleted thousands of comments
- cleaned up by unliking what I liked
- removing urls from my wall
- limiting audience for various posts/albums/photos/updates
- etc etc
This afternoon, I reached my 2008 activity record and to my horror, there were thousands of html scripts in there. I nearly went berserk! Remember - once that application I alluded to in the post Time to Clean Up is launched - it will be a field day for stalkers and all kinds of weirdoes. And anyone can generate a detailed report on their target by using that computational engine I mentioned. Think again before you post anything on your wall, or like anything or share any photos because all your contacts and their contacts etc and everything about them will be linked to you and vice versa.
OMG!! Why on earth did I play all those games in 2007 to 2008 before blogging fever took over? I used to play Vampires, Slayers, Zombies, Pet Society, Scrabble, Scrabulous, Lexulous, Counter Strike Red Alert and easily twenty more games in that social media platform. And I am not exaggerating when I tell you that there were some days when I had hundreds of those updates from the games applications. Imagine the tedious process of deleting each and every item. :-( And I have yet to finish. It would be easier to delete the whole account but it would be a tiresome task to add the contacts again!
I kid you not when I say I fell asleep at the laptop clicking hide or block or delete. And then I found a shortcut.
Until a few days ago, I thought I had already observed safe habits when using that social media but alas, I thought it was safe, but in reality, it was not.
Yesterday, a girlfriend approached me for some assistance. She is due to deliver her second baby in the middle of the month and had this uneasy feeling that something was amiss with her dear better half. She asked me if there was any way of finding out the telephone numbers that have been deleted in the phone log. I advised her to approach the telco company but was informed that his number is mysteriously registered under his friend's name and a host of other mysteries. I tried to guide her as to how to convince her telco company that she is the legal spouse etc but I knew it was hopeless as the owner of the number is not her better half. Then she asked me what else she could do.
Off I went on a search as to how to track the location of a phone/its owner/log record etc and I opened Pandora's box. I am now fully convinced that the best telephone for me is the ancient Nokia 3310 which has served me brilliantly since the 1990's no kidding! Mind you, I am still using the original casing. It has NEVER given me any problems even though I have dropped it many times. It has even rolled down two flights of stairs and survived! To date, I have only changed the battery ONCE!
If you care to look hard enough, you will discover how dangerous it is to use any form of smart phone of any brand.
All it takes is one of those applications (surf on your own...all it takes is about half an hour for you to get the best of the many methods available) and once it is installed and activated, the other party will be able to do the following after only a 30 second connection with the target:
- read the target's sms messages, emails
- go through web history
- eavesdrop conversations
- view/copy/delete contact list
- track the target's location any time
- erase and wipe SIM card
- erase and wipe iMei number of device
- copy all data/files and that includes your photographs
- etc etc so think again if you want to spend $$$ to buy an expensive smart phone.
I am thankful only less than thirty relatives and trusted friends know my android phone numbers. Sometimes, I change phone numbers and never inform those with whom I have no desire to be in contact with any more. Also, I never answer calls from alien numbers. In fact, I seldom use the phone now (cost-cutting measure as well for retirees like me) and neither do I write/check emails as often as I used to. To illustrate, it took me two weeks to open my cousin's e-card and another three weeks before I replied his email. Technology is simply not safe at all!!! Now I understand what I read sometime in August last year that the next wave will be via smart phones and there is no escape - er unless you go back to ancient telephones like what I have done. Bless my lau beh Nokia!!! Besides, I do not want to expose myself to unnecessary EMF or RF radiation - the effects of which are irreversible!
Of course my students who saw me using my museum piece asked me why I had abandoned my smart phone....and then I explained that I would rather pay for a telephone call and sms than use whatsapp except for people whom I REALLY trust!
For those who begin to use smart phones, the first thing they do is to install as many applications as possible. Bad news!!!! Never ever do that because almost 50% of applications are known to contain malicious scripts and loopholes and you know the rest of the story.
Check out How To Boot Into Android Safe Mode On Your Smart phone / Tablet or How To Boot Your Android Phone or Tablet Into Safe Mode.
And if you think I am paranoid....mua ha ha...I am most certainly not. Please consider this excerpt from a report published a few days ago:
The Android OS is now installed on hundreds of millions of devices. In Q3 2012 alone, 122 million Android devices were sold, compared to 60 million for the same period in 2011 (Gartner – November 2012). Cybercriminals have clearly taken notice of the huge number of devices, as evidenced by the explosive growth of Android malware over the last year.
Commtouch’s Internet Threats Trend Report released today includes figures for Android malware growth over the last few months. Although January’s level was still astonishingly high (over 178,000 unique samples) it did represent a 16% drop from the over 214,000 samples collected in December 2012. Commtouch’s AV Lab analysts have explained that the December levels may have been an anomaly. MORE HERE.
Finally, please download and read this pdf report:
Trends for 2013 - Astounding growth of mobile malware produced by ESET.
Android malware could reach the 1 million mark by year's end by Zack Whittaker in ZDnet.
Summary: One security firm warns that Android malware could rocket this year and hit the 1 million milestone, as malware writers and hackers continue to target post-PC platforms.
Security firm Trend Micro's predictions for 2013 include one potentially concerning consideration: The post-PC malware threat has truly arrived, and Android will take the brunt of the targeted nasties throughout this year.
Another article worth reading:According to the security giant and anti-malware maker, 2012 showed that malware writers, spammers, and hackers have begun to capitalize upon the mobile market, with a particularly keen eye for attacking the Android platform. Not only does Google-owned Android have the greatest market share, therefore making it an easier target, it also has a more open platform to work with, compared to Windows Phone or the iOS-based platforms. MORE HERE.
Forbes report: Android Malware Quadruples Between 2011 And 2012
I hope you all have disabled your J***. If you do not know what I am talking about, please read:
Warning to disable
How to Uninstall
As for me, I spend very little time online these days. I check my mails once a few days. Get online to read tech stuff and NO POLITICAL stuff. A doctor friend called me from UK last night and asked me about Lahad Datu and was shocked when I told him I don't know anything except there is some standoff happening.
Reading all that and acquiring such knowledge does nothing for me except to get angrier. It is the same with political news.
True. I used to blog on political issues but that is history. From 2008 till January 6th 2012, I realised dreams and idealism can never match the cruel reality of the real world so I decided to concentrate on things that affect people directly i.e. health and inspiration. I could have written volumes on political issues and ranted till the cows come home but I know it could never rock the boat with much impact because there are things beyond our control and things controlled by unseen hands. Also, people in the limelight may not be who they project themselves to be so why bother. Now, I only bother about people who matter - my family, a handful of genuine friends and my former students.
Hence, I devote my time to things that matter - health topics, tech issues, pet stries, jokes to brighten our days and current global issues that affect this side of the planet because many still do not see the bigger picture of things.
So, do something good for yourself today. Stick to all the ancient phones that cost less than 100RM. Even those which served you for many years with no problems. Stick to those phones where you can get the battery easily!
Simplicity. That is what matters to me now.
So, I have gone down to the basics of enjoying life one day at a time, sipping my Rooibos tea, then green tea and jasmine or pu-er in the evenings while reading books again.
And like what I mentioned, this blog will be eventually open to subscribed readers only. If you still have not subscribed to the feed, kindly do so by looking out for the RSS feed. Once the other site is ready, Thanks!
Have a pleasant evening.