Tuesday, September 11, 2018

What is IoT, Internet of Things?

Internet of Things is the network of different types of devices and machines that are connected to each other via the internet. Vehicles, kitchen appliances, mobile phones, wearable technology, etc. can all be connected to the internet and communicate with each other to make your life easier. IoT is increasingly gaining popularity and more and more devices are being connected to the internet. Coffee machines, refrigerators, toasters, cars, etc. are now able to communicate and sync data with your phone and computer and you can pre-set your coffee brewing time, know when your milk is about to expire in the fridge and see what meeting you have while driving.

There are pros and cons to this innovation and although it will largely help improve your life and standard of living it raises security issues since if someone is able to hack into any one of your devices they will be able to get access to information from all the devices connected to that single item. This concerns people about the safety of their personal and private data.

Implementing Internet of Things in the workplace, especially manufacturing, will help increase the uniformity and quality control in tasks since everything will be synced and you can have better access to information. The overall productivity and efficiency will go up as well since fewer mistakes will be made because of better use of machines and technology. The decreased human interaction reduces chances of mistakes. Fewer people will have to be hired in the future if IoT becomes more popular and this will require fewer resources. Because of higher performance and efficiency less money will be spent on machine maintenance.

On the other hand, as mentioned earlier, privacy will be a huge issue since all your devices will be inter-connected on one single network and hence the chances of information leak is high. Secondly, not all devices may be compatible with each other. If two devices are from different brands and use different operating systems they may not be able to communicate with each other. Hence it may add to expenses if you have to go out and buy a new device that is compatible with the rest of the stuff you own.

Since so many devices are connected to each other the technology behind it all is also more complex and there are higher chances of failure. For example, if your refrigerator is reset in case of loss of electricity, it may send a notification to your phone that was originally meant to be sent at the start of each month. 

A few jobs may be lost since a lot of the work will be automated and fewer resources will be required. As more and more devices are taken over by the internet our lives will be dominantly run by machines and we may become highly dependent on technology which may make us lazier than ever!

With the high rate of increase in internet used in all our devices today we need a reliable Internet Service Provider now more than ever. Tikona high speed internet is a leading internet service provider in India providing the best internet plans for you, check out the details here

Internet saves the day! Notable cases in India

Just like how the internet helps us make our lives easier in our work place and helps us be in touch with our friends and family across the world, it also helps us in times of emergencies and crisis.
People use their phones or computers and laptops at least once or twice a day to check on their social media read about what is happening around them. People in India have time and again come together on the internet to help those in need during trying times.

Below are a few ways the internet came to the rescue of people in India:

·         The most recent case is the Kerala floods in India that took place in August, 2018. Once people got to know about the floods and the massive destruction that took place in Kerala they took to social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter to help collect any kind of donations to be sent to Kerala. People donated food, supplies and even money through online resources. Amazon India and Zomato were a few of the companies that allowed people to donate meals and supplies via their websites. Google built a database where in you could search for people who were affected and have gone missing since the floods.

·         Another interesting case is when an Indian engineering student helped saved a man’s life on an airplane thanks to the available Wi-Fi on the flight. An IIT engineering student named Karttikeya Mangalam found out that a Dutch passenger in the flight he was travelling in had forgotten his insulin pump and as a result his blood sugar levels were rising. There was a doctor present on the flight who had his personal pump and offered to use it to help the other passenger take his insulin shot. However, the insulin-pen that the doctor had did not fit the insulin cartridges of the passenger. Karttikeya offered to help by looking up a diagram of an insulin-pen online thanks to internet wi-fi available on the plane. He was able to use a pen spring to help the doctor administer the insulin to the passenger and save his life.

·          Humans of Bombay is an online blog that talks to people about their life stories that they would want to share with others. A lot of times the page has collected money from its viewers in forms of donations to help people in need. They share their stories on their page and have positively impacted a lot of people in need.

·         A lot of people empathize with others when they read their story or see the hardships they are going through but not everyone is willing to or is capable of donating money online to help those in need. Impact Guru motivates people to share posts regarding health issues and other such issues to increase the reach of the online posts on social media and to increase awareness among the people. Impact Guru has an initiative called ‘SMILE’ in which when a post gets 500 shares they slash their commission by 5%. Following this a lot of companies have started doing the same. They donate a certain amount to a charity or cause they want to support once the social media posts get a particular number of ‘likes’ and shares.

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Monday, September 3, 2018

How to be safe while browsing internet - Essential tips

The internet is a dangerous place these days with scams, hacks, malware and more. Most of the processes that worked offline are now only available online, and thanks to that, we are now exposed to even greater risks than we were facing a decade ago. The internet is a quintessential tool and is being misused as much as it is being used, with the number of cyber crimes increasing day by day. The proper exercise of the internet for safe surfing had hence become a necessity.

Here are a few tips to get started:

1.    Creating Complex and difficult to crack passwords: You cannot underestimate a hacker when it comes to passwords. So, creating a strong and unique password for all your important accounts to keep your personal information safe is a must. By one database breach, hackers can leak private information to thousands of sites. Even reusing a password makes the job of the hacker easier. A password manager can help you create a strong password. Also, check for multi-factor authentication of your online accounts so that logging into your account requires the code authentication and the password or requires you type the paraphrase sent to your phone.

2.    Network security: Once you secure your login, you must boost your network security. The network at your home or work is usually password protected but while on the road, though it may be tempting to use the free public Wi-Fi, you should avoid it as it is often unsecured. This way hackers easily can access your private information and that is why a virtual private network VPN is an intelligent investment. A VPN secures your internet connection for you, allowing you to connect safely anywhere you want to.

3.    Use of firewall: A Firewall restricts unauthorized and uninvited access to your computer and devices which is often included with the comprehensive security software. So, even if you have a secure network, using a firewall is still recommended. Internet of things or IoT devices like thermostats and webcams don't come with security measures. A firewall protects all the devices connected to your network including IoT, making sure there is no point of entry for the hacker.

4.    Avoid click baits: Phishing links tricks you into revealing personal information by opening spam emails, clicking on “free” offers, online quizzes etc. These dangerous links are created for fraud purposes. Be wary of the offers that are too good to be true or one ask for too much information. With smart Technology, it is important to click smart to stay safe.

5.    Be cautious about sharing personal information: When it comes to sharing personal information, be selective about which social media opportunities of sharing personal information ,online to chose. Sharing information intelligently is important to avoid impersonation and hacking of accounts.

6.    Secure your mobile: For minicomputers, mobiles are as vulnerable to online risks as are computers and laptops. Unsafe apps and dangerous links are often sent by text messages. Make sure you don't reply to any messages from strangers and download apps only from the official app store after reviewing them first. Also, use a security software for your mobiles like you do for your laptop or computer to avoid other risks.

7.    Surf and Shop Safely: The address of a site should start with https and not HTTP with a Padlock icon in the URL field - be extra careful while visiting websites for online banking, transactions and shopping to make sure it is safe. Your data can't be intercepted by others once it is encrypted by scrambling and also look for bad grammar or wrong spellings in the address of the websites to make sure they are not fake copies of legitimate websites. You can also use search tools to avoid any risky websites.

Is Social Media causing mental health issues in people?

They had said that the social media would bring the world closer, would make it merrier. But is that actually how things are turning out to be? If something like this is happening, then it’s probably happening on a surface level. Yes, that’s true, everything is superficial. Social media, believe it or not, is doing more harm than good, contributing towards issues like anxiety and depression, especially in youngsters. 

Humans have a penchant for passing judgments. People are creatures caught in their prejudices, prone to judging everyone we see on the streets: Their clothes. Their hairstyle. Their cars. But passing judgements on others is not necessarily a bad thing. As a matter of fact, it’s a kind of defence mechanism that protected our ancestors, and it still has some use.  We also cannot help comparing ourselves to others and also can’t avoid the need of validation. These are just some habits that make us human. But social media has turned these little habits into something sinister which has led to several health issues. 

A large-scale systematic review of scientific studies conducted by clinical psychologists at Lancaster University in the UK has shown us that the use of social media can lead to depression. This is especially true when study participants reported comparing themselves to other users. Another study which was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), determined that those who used social media the most were about 2.7 times more likely to be depressed than participants who used social media the least.

Many studies have demonstrated that using multiple social media platforms are linked with feelings of anxiety and depression. They also showed that the depression and anxiety had a strong relationship with the amount of time spent online. Not only this, but a lot of research conducted have pointed to the uncanny characteristic of social media leading to sleeping disorders. 

Spending a lot of time on social media can lead to negative body image. T.V and other printed mediums were previously blamed for portraying an unrealistic “so-called-ideal” body image to us. Social media has caught up them in making us feel inadequate about how we look, leading to negative body image, self-objectification and eating disorders in teenagers. Viewing and uploading photos and running behind feedback through status updates or viewing fitness pages on Instagram is associated with body image concerns in young men and women. 

Social media can be addictive. Receiving likes and comments on our posts and social interactions via social networking platforms usually results in the release of dopamine in our brains. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward system of our body. High level of dopamine in the bloodstream can lead to addiction. 

Anyone can succumb to the addiction and depression caused by social media, but there are ways to avoid it from happening. Simply turning off the notifications or limiting yourself can do the trick, and getting a new hobby can also help you to cope with depression. 

To summarise, everything used wisely has its benefits, but beyond a limit, even sugar is poison.