Nov 11, 2014

Firefox 33.1 Brings a Forget Button To Clean Out Your Mistakes

Firefox is celebration it's 10 year anniversary with a new version of firefox, which is geared towards giving easier access to your browsing history. They have added a 'Forget' Button, which can delete the last 5 Minutes, 2 hours or 24 hours of browsing history with one click.

You will have to add the button from the new navigational menu. Clicking on it popup a menu as seen here. Clicking 'Forget' will close all tabs, remove the last 'x' minutes/hrs of browsing history, delete recent cookies, close firefox and open a new fresh window.

This should be useful in an cyber cafe, where once you are done with browsing, you can clear all tracks. Or at home where several people use the same laptop/computer. This feels like a shortcut to 'Incognito Mode', but you do not have to open a new window.

Nov 9, 2014

How Not To Create Your Password

There have been lots of password leaks in the near past. Lastpass, analyzed the recent Google password leak and found out what kind of characters make up your password. If you emply similar tactics, beware that your password must be of simple enought to be cracked.

Here are some of the Observations by Lastpass.

Source: Lastpass
So if you are using names of your loved ones, or your pets, numbers in triple, F-words, 123, Love, Red, change your password to a more secure one.

Nov 8, 2014

Searching In Excel For Partial or Unknown Word

Many a times, you get stuck in the versetile excel, when you want to search for a particular word and/or it's variants but cannot exactly find it. This is where wildcards come in.

Suppose you want to search for "Collaboration", which is simple as searching the word itself. But people do make mistakes and hence misspell it as 'Colloboration','Collabaration',Collobaoration',etc. A simple search never finds these words, as the search is a literal search, it does not check for variations.

So when you want an approximate search use a wildcard character. There are 3 wildcard characters, which are usable in excel

1. Asterisk ( * )
Using '*' after means, search for anything following these characters.
e.g. Coll*, will give you Collaborate, Colloborate,Collage,College.etc

2. Question Mark ( ? )
A '?' denotes a single character. Hence it's usuage means find different variations of these words
e.g. Coll?b?ration, will match all the following combinations.
     Collaboration,Colloboration,Collabaration,Collobaration
But it will not search for
     Collaborate,College,Collage
This is because we are asking it to search for a word with 13 characters, a few of which we do not know

3. Tilde ( ~ )
But suppose if you want to search for these wildcards? Use a '~' before the character you want to search
e.g. India~?, Android~*

These wildcards can be used in search as well as some excel formulas, such as the below ones
AverageIf
AverageIfs
Countif
Countifs
Hlookup
Vlookup
Sumif
Sumifs

Hope you use this knowledge in your daily excel work. Please share if you found the article useful.

Nov 7, 2014

Pushbullet Now Lets You Send SMS From Your PC


The grand integration, has begun, on a small scale. I always wanted to use by PC/Laptop as an extension of my mobile. With SMS integration into Pushbullet, i am one step closed to achieving it.

In case you haven't used Pushbullet, you should try it out now. It sync your notifications across devices & platforms, gives you news, uses IFTTT for automation and now let you send messages from your PC/Laptop

Install Pushbullet for your Android,Iphone, Firefox, Chrome from here. 

How To Set it Up?
  • Install Pushbullet on Android
  • Login using your Google Account
  • Install Pushbullet for your preferred browser
  • You are now ready to use
Note: If you want to disable contact auto complete, you can do so in the settings of the app.

Oct 31, 2014

Inbox : Why Google wants you to shift from Gmail to Inbox

Why have Google, who have the best email service (which no one can beat) create a new version of Inbox? This is the question that pops up when you see Inbox. Add to that, Gmail itself says in the invitation "Try using Inbox instead of Gmail". Does it suggest they are going to phase out Gmail?? Well answering that question should be left for another time. Let's go on to see how Inbox looks like.

Inbox Inbox


 

As you can see, Inbox is clean and minimalistic, with a Lollipop color scheme. After spending 15 minutes in Inbox, I can say it's not intuitive. You don't right from the start get how things work. It will take time to understand how inbox works and how you need to change the way you approach email to get the best experience from Inbox. First and foremost

"It would be best, if you have all your email in your inbox, instead of individual folders"

Inbox works best, when you haven' created any rules to auto archive emails to different folders. Now suppose you are one of the majority who haven't yet tried the smart labels in Gmail or created Extra folders to sort your emails, you are good to go.

You have Search, Hangouts shortcut & Google+ Notification Items on the Title bar.You also have a toggle, which shows the Inbox view and Pinned view.

Emails
 With all the changes, the most confusing change is to the email item.


Email item when clicked, works just like a normal email. But Google wants your to treat your email as an  to do item, marking them Done (which archives them) or postpone it for later, or pin it (so when you mark all done pinned items remain in the inbox). It seems Google is pushing you towards a clean Inbox.

Bundles 
Inbox carries the smart labels from Gmail and adds new smart categories and presents them as Bundles. New additions to the already existing (Social, Updates, Forums) are Travel, Purchases, Finance, Promos. You can also create your own bundles.


You can create your own bundles, which is just like the rules you created in Gmail. But with bundles, you have the option to surface the bundle either once a day or week when an email arrives. This leads to a lean & clean Inbox. Smart.. 

Folders are segregated based on rules governing them. If a folder has a rules moving emails to it it is shown as "Skip the Inbox", which you can convert to a bundle. If there is no rules but you manually move the emails the folder they are shown as "Unbundled". You can convert the "Skip the Inbox" folders into a bundle, while for the Unbundled ones, you still need to manually move them.

Reminders
Reminders are a new addition to any inbox. When you create an reminder it gets added to your Inbox. You can do the same actions on it as on an email item. Mark it Done, Snooze it , Pin It or Delete it.

But the best functionality of reminders is the intelligence behind it.


It gives you suggestions on what your type. As seen in the screenshot, i want to pay Airtel bill, if i just type "Pay Air" it starts giving me the topmost suggestions for paying bills. Which is helpful. You can also set a later date (which puts the reminder in snoozed section).

So these is what Inbox is right now, hope the article gave you enough insight into the new service. Please share it if you like it or wants your friends to find out what Inbox is.

Oct 20, 2014

Tips & Tricks To Keep Yourself Safe From Hackers


As the internet celebrates Web Safety Week, these are some of the guidelines you should follow to ensure your safety from hackers, crackers & malicious activity.

Keep a Clean Machine

  • Keep security software current: Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
  • Automate software updates: Many software programs will automatically connect and update to defend against known risks. Turn on automatic updates if that’s an available option.
  • Protect all devices that connect to the Internet: Along with computers, your smartphones, gaming systems and other web-enabled devices also need protection from viruses and malware.
  • Plug & scan: USBs and other external devices can be infected by viruses and malware. Use your security software to scan them.

Protect Your Personal Information

  • Secure your accounts: Ask for protection beyond passwords. Many account providers now offer additional ways for you verify who you are before you conduct business on that site. 
  • Make passwords long and strong: Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password. (Hint: Use the LastPass password generator.)
  • Unique account, unique password: Having separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals. (Hint: LastPass will remember each unique password for you.)
  • Write it down and keep it safe: Everyone can forget a password. Keep a list that’s stored in a safe, secure place away from your computer. (Hint: LastPass helps you securely manage your passwords & other important records.)
  • Own your online presence: Set the privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing. It’s ok to limit how and with whom you share information. 
 

Connect with Care

  • When in doubt, throw it out: Links in email, tweets, posts and online advertising are often the ways cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete or, if appropriate, mark as junk email. 
  • Get savvy about WiFi hotspots: Limit the type of business you conduct and adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your machine. 
  • Protect your $: When banking and shopping, check to be sure the site is security-enabled. Look for web addresses with “HTTPS://,” which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. “HTTP://” is not secure.

Be Web Wise

  • Stay current. Keep pace with new ways to stay safe online. Check trusted websites for the latest information, share with friends, family and colleagues and encourage them to be web wise.
  • Think before you act: Be wary of communications that implore you to act immediately, offer something that sounds too good to be true or ask for personal information.
  • Back it up: Protect your valuable work, music, photos, and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely.

Be a Good Online Citizen

  • Safer for me, more secure for all: What you do online has the potential to affect everyone – at home, at work and around the world. Practicing good online habits benefits the global digital community.

Find a downloadable version of the above tips and more great resources at StaySafeOnilne.org.

Sep 27, 2014

How To Secure Your Facebook Account By Using a Code Generator

With the rising security threats around the world, it is becoming very very important for us to secure our data. What are the threats we face, you should ask? Well the most basic one is identify theft, which in turn leads to theft of your bank details as well as many other accounts.

Take Facebook, which has almost all your details. Your birthday, birth year, your age, your location, your likes, hobbies, your relationships. A smart hacker can use all these details to easily hack in your system. Many of us are lax about our passwords which are as simple as '1234' ,'password' or combinations of our names or our loved ones, or even our interests. This makes it easier for any hacker to crack your password. We can of course not make the details public as a simple security rule. But most of us haven't even looked into the privacy settings of facebook.

One of the security measures facebook employs is browser code. How it works is, you confirm that only you use the browser for facebook, which although is a good idea, but is suseptible to social hacking. Hence you need a powerful method of security which is in your hands. This is where code generators come in.

How to enable it?













The above image shows the security settings, which can be accessed thorught the small lock icon from the top right corner (2nd from last, the one besides the arrow). Go to Security menu, and click on setup in the code generator section. You should get a screen like below.

 The box contains a QR code and a secret key. As they are unique to each person, i have hidden it for my screenshot.

Now instal Google Authenticator App. And open it. You can scan the QR code in the app or enter the Secret key to create an account. The Google authenticator app works on the time based key, so every 60 seconds it changes, making it difficult for anyone to duplicate it. Once you have installed the app, click the overflow menu to get the screen below.


Once you setup your account, you will get a code, which you will have to input in the security code box in the facebook page. Once it confirms that it works, your code generator is ready. Now every time you login, it will ask for the code, which can only be generated from your phone (which hopefully you never forget to take with you). This way, if anyone tries to access your account, he cannot go further than this screen, making it really hard to get access to your account

Now just for note, this is a highly important security app, if your phone crashes, the code goes away and you will have to follow some steps to regain access to your facebook account. Also never uninstall it before you disable the code generator settings in facebook.

If you find the article interesting, share this information with others, so they also can secure their facebook accounts.