Friday 5 April 2019

My Linguistic Relativity thoughts!

I always believed that language helps or drive our thought process. But does an increased vocabulary change the way a person thinks? I'm not entirely sure about it! However it will drive for knowledge, conscious or not, that will leads to a larger vocabulary. A larger vocabulary may facilitate learning - example Nandu, my 10 year old son— he can connect ideas and information better. And knowing (and using) more words can help him communicate those ideas better.

If language can alter one's thought-paths, then certain languages constrain thought to a greater degree than other languages. The reasoning is simple: if our mother-tongue uses abstract terms to define concepts, one must first translate that abstraction to be able to parse it more effectively. This translation is, by its very definition, a constraint.

The native language we speak may determine how your brain solves mathematical puzzles, according to a new study. Brain scans have revealed that Chinese speakers rely more on visual regions than English speakers when comparing numbers and doing sums. Interesting!!  Our mother tongue may influence the way problem-solving circuits in our brains develop, suggest the researchers. But they add that different teaching methods across cultures, or genes, may also have primed the brains of Chinese and English speakers to solve equations differently.

I think most of Indian language, including my mother-tongue  Malayalam, speakers will be having more activity in the visual and spatial brain centre - visuo-premotor association network. The researches suggests that the native English speakers have more activity in the language network known as perisylvian cortices in the left half of the brain. This might be different to the first and second generation 
migrators. I particularly noticed my son's ability of visually thinking about things, but could it be a bit of hereditary 'genes " from us? My wife is pretty good at learning new languages. I speak three languages proficiently but she speaks four. However, I think I'm more of a visual person than my wife :) Unfortunately my  son speaks only 'English' though his parents are multilingual. We still trying to teach him Malayalam, our mother-tongue!

Another thought!

People who suffer some kind of brain damage that stops them using language can still think just fine. It may be that some people think more verbally and others visually; these are really just tools for the thought process;  probably even someone who was blind from birth and then suffered the additional problem of damaging the language centres of their brain, would still be able to think, although it's hard to imagine what that would be like.

The Telling Of The Tale

I tried to paint upon the blank canvas  
But all of the colours refused to show  
Just exactly what I was feeling  
And anything good decided to go  
So I dropped my feelings in a well  
To hide what I felt and please everyone  
Can you fill my brain with reasons  
For I feel I'm too late to carry on  

I bled in the shadow of my darkness  
Just to see if I could feel again  
I left my memories in the dead of night  
And shed away all fairweathered friends  
But looking back on my life I wondered  
Just exactly what the hell happened to me  
At one point in time I was hopeful  
But now I doubt that I'll ever be free  

In the telling of the tale that took ahold  
That warmed up the nights that's too cold  
A drop of hope would fill my eyes  
But I found out later it was just a lie  
And home is where all our dreams die

Thursday 4 April 2019

Get Rid of Your Negative Feeling!

Do you want to rid yourself of negative thinking, and make it so virtually any circumstance is not only surmountable, but appreciated?
If so, I've got a few tools that can help you make a shift towards optimism in everything you do and experience.
According to the Mayo Clinic, health benefits of positive thinking are plentiful, and include:
  • Longer life span
  • Less depression and overall distress
  • Greater immunity
  • Better cardiovascular health 
  • Better stress coping skills

The theory is that a positive outlook helps a person to cope better, which reduces stress, and also the harmful effects stress has on one's body.
Think about where you may have negativity in your own life: whether in relationships, at work, when times get tough (understandable), or elsewhere. Now, consider how much easier your day to day would be if that negativity was replaced with positivity.

Here's how to get started.

Be Kind to Yourself: Don't say anything to yourself that you wouldn't think was a kind thing to say to someone else. Instead, have compassion with yourself, celebrate your strengths... and go easy on yourself for your weaknesses.
Be Grateful: Instead of focusing on the bad things in your life or what you don't have, focus on what you DO have. I bet you'll find you have plenty in your own life that you should celebrate.Focusing on good things helps you to see the bad things in a better light; you'll be able to better see the balance of positive and negative, and it will lighten your overall worry load.Look Ahead: Instead of focusing on the past, and what "should have been", think about the future and what "could be possible". You can't do anything about the past, but you have a lot of opportunities ahead if you make wise choices in the future.

Monday 18 March 2019

പ്രപഞ്ചത്തില്‍ രൂപപ്പെട്ട ആദ്യ തന്മാത്രയെ കണ്ടെത്തി.

ബിഗ്ബാങിനു ശേഷമാണ് നാം ഇന്നു കാണുന്ന പ്രപഞ്ചം ഉണ്ടായതെന്നാണ് ഇതുവരെയുള്ള തെളിവുകള്‍ സംസാരിക്കുന്നത്. 1350കോടി വര്‍ഷങ്ങള്‍ക്കു മുന്‍പ് ബിഗ്ബാങ് സംഭവിച്ചപ്പോള്‍ ഹൈഡ്രജനും പിന്നെ ഹീലിയവും മാത്രമായിരുന്നു പ്രപഞ്ചം നിറയെ. ഇതിനെത്തുടര്‍ന്ന് ഹെഡ്രജനും ഹീലിയവും കൂടിച്ചേര്‍ന്ന് പ്രപഞ്ചത്തിലെ ആദ്യ തന്മാത്രയായ ഹീലിയം ഹൈഡ്രൈഡ് രൂപപ്പെട്ടു എന്നാണ് കരുതുന്നത്. ഹീലിയം ഹെഡ്രൈഡും ഹൈഡ്രജനും ചേര്‍ന്നാണത്രേ ഹൈഡ്രജന്‍ തന്മാത്രപോലും രൂപപ്പെട്ടത്.

സംഗതി ഇങ്ങനെയാണെങ്കിലും ഹീലിയം ഹൈഡ്രൈഡ് എന്ന ആദ്യ തന്മാത്രയെ പ്രപഞ്ചത്തില്‍ ഒരിടത്തും കണ്ടെത്താന്‍ ശാസ്ത്രജ്ഞര്‍ക്ക് ഇതുവരെ കഴിഞ്ഞിരുന്നില്ല. പ്രപഞ്ചത്തില്‍ നിരവധി ഇടങ്ങളില്‍ ടെലിസ്കോപ്പുകളും സ്പെക്ട്രോമീറ്ററുകളും കൊണ്ട് നമുക്ക് കഴിയുന്നപോലെ പരതിയെങ്കിലും ഹീലിയം ഹൈഡ്രൈഡിന്റെ പൊടിപോലും കണ്ടെത്താനായില്ല.

സിഗ്നസ് എന്ന നക്ഷത്രരാശിയില്‍ 3000 പ്രകാശവര്‍ഷങ്ങള്‍ അകലെ ഒരു പ്ലാനറ്ററി നെബുലയുണ്ട്. NGC 7027 എന്നാണ് ഇതിനെ വിളിക്കുന്നത്. (സൂര്യനെപ്പോലെയുള്ള നക്ഷത്രങ്ങളുടെ അവസാനകാലത്ത് അതിന്റെ പുറംപാളികള്‍ അകലേക്ക് തെറിച്ചുപോയി ഉണ്ടാകുന്ന വാതകക്കൂട്ടമാണ് പ്ലാനറ്ററി നെബുലകള്‍. )
ഹീലിയം ഹൈഡ്രൈഡ് ഉണ്ടാകാന്‍ എല്ലാ അനുകൂല സാഹചര്യവും ഉള്ള നെബുലയാണ് NGC7027 എന്ന് നേരത്തേ തന്നെ കണ്ടെത്തിയിരുന്നു. എന്നാല്‍ ഇത് ഉറപ്പിക്കാനാവശ്യമായ നിരീക്ഷണങ്ങള്‍ നടത്താന്‍ അനുയോജ്യമായ ഉപകരണങ്ങള്‍ നമുക്ക് ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നില്ല. ഭൂമിയില്‍ സ്ഥാപിച്ച ടെലിസ്കോപ്പുകള്‍ക്ക് അന്തരീക്ഷം ഒരു പ്രശ്നമായിരുന്നു. ബഹിരാകാശത്തെ ടെലിസ്കോപ്പുകള്‍ക്കാവട്ടെ ഹീലിയം ഹൈഡ്രൈഡിനെ തിരിച്ചറിയാനുള്ള സംവിധാനവും ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നില്ല.

അവിടെയാണ് സോഫിയ എന്ന പറക്കുംടെലിസ്കോപ്പ് രക്ഷയ്ക്കെത്തിയത്.  NGC7027  നെബുലയില്‍ സോഫിയ ടെലിസ്കോപ്പ് ഉപയോഗിച്ചു നടത്തിയ നിരീക്ഷണങ്ങള്‍ ഹീലിയം ഹൈഡ്രേക്സൈഡ് തന്മാത്രയുടെ സാന്നിദ്ധ്യം ആദ്യമായി കണ്ടെത്തിയിരിക്കുകയാണ്. ബിഗ്ബാങിന് ഒരു ലക്ഷം വര്‍ഷങ്ങള്‍ക്കുശേഷം പ്രപഞ്ചത്തില്‍ ആദ്യമായി ഉണ്ടായി എന്നു കരുതപ്പെടുന്ന അതേ തന്മാത്ര കോടിക്കണക്കിനു വര്‍ഷങ്ങള്‍ക്കിപ്പുറം നമ്മള്‍ കണ്ടെത്തിയിരിക്കുന്നു എന്നു പറയാം.

ഒരു വിമാനത്തില്‍ സ്ഥാപിച്ചിരിക്കുന്ന ടെലിസ്കോപ്പാണ് സോഫിയ. ഭൂമിയുടെ ഉയര്‍ന്ന പാളികളിലൂടെ സഞ്ചരിച്ച് പ്രപഞ്ചനിരീക്ഷണം നടത്തുകയാണ് സോഫിയയുടെ ജോലി. ശരിക്കും ഒരു പറക്കും ടെലിസ്കോപ്പ്. ഓരോ പറക്കലിനുശേഷവും താഴെയിറങ്ങും എന്നതിനാല്‍ ടെലിസ്കോപ്പിനെ നിരന്തരം പരിഷ്കരിക്കാന്‍ സോഫിയ അവസരമൊരുക്കുന്നുണ്ട്. അങ്ങനെ അവസാനം കൂട്ടിച്ചേര്‍ത്ത സംവിധാനമാണ് പ്രപഞ്ചത്തിലെ ആദ്യ തന്മാത്രയെ കണ്ടെത്താന്‍ ഇപ്പോള്‍ സഹായിച്ചിരിക്കുന്നത്.

ഈ തന്മാത്രയെ കണ്ടെത്താന്‍ കഴിയാത്തത് ശാസ്ത്രജ്ഞരെ സംബന്ധിച്ചിടത്തോളം കുഴഞ്ഞുമറിഞ്ഞ ഒരു പ്രശ്നമായിരുന്നു. അത്ര എളുപ്പമല്ല ഹീലിയം ഹൈഡ്രൈഡ് രൂപപ്പെടല്‍. ഒരു മൂലകത്തോടും കൂടിച്ചേരാന്‍ ഇഷ്ടമില്ലാതെ സ്വതന്ത്രമായി നില്‍ക്കുന്ന ഒരു മൂലകമാണ് ഹീലിയം. അതുകൊണ്ടുതന്നെ ഹീലിയം ഹൈഡ്രൈഡ് രൂപപ്പെടലും ബുദ്ധിമുട്ടാണ്. 1925വരെ കാത്തിരിക്കേണ്ടി വന്നു ആദ്യമായി  ഈ തന്മാത്രയെ പരീക്ഷണശാലയില്‍പോലും നിര്‍മ്മിക്കാന്‍.
NGC7027 നെബുലയിലാകട്ടേ അള്‍ട്രാവൈലറ്റ് സാന്നിദ്ധ്യവും ആവശ്യത്തിനുള്ള ചൂടും ഹീലിയം ഹൈഡ്രൈഡ് രൂപപ്പെടാന്‍ അനുയോജ്യമായ സാഹചര്യം ഒരുക്കിയിരുന്നു.  ഇതേ അവസ്ഥയുള്ള മറ്റ് നെബുലകളില്‍ ഹീലിയം ഹൈഡ്രൈഡിനെ അന്വേഷിക്കാന്‍ ഇപ്പോഴത്തെ കണ്ടെത്തല്‍ വഴിവയ്ക്കും എന്നു കരുതാം.

Sunday 17 February 2019

Lose Your Weight and Stomach Fat Fast With These 10 Diet Life Hacks

Ready to hear the dirty little secret no one tells you about how to lose stomach fat?
The secret is — you can’t. At least, not the way that you think.
Studies show that blasting your abs with tons of crunches won’t trim your belly fat, just like doing curls won’t give you tighter arms and squats won’t give you leaner legs.
Spot reducing fat or picking and choosing where you’d like to lose fat on your body, is a complete and utter myth.
The only way to get a leaner midsection is to shed fat from your entire body. To do this, you’ll need the right combination of diet strategy and exercise — something you can stick to long enough for your body to start tapping into the fat stores in your belly.
There are as many approaches to losing weight as there are people on this planet, but no matter who you are, here are 10 diet hacks to keep you on track as you lean down in your quest for a flat stomach.

1. Create a Consistent Calorie Deficit
Eating the right number of calories on a daily basis is the number one driver of fat loss. Don’t let the low-fat or low-carb gurus fool you!
What’s the right number of calories?
Well, a calorie is a unit of energy that our bodies primarily derive from food. Every day, we burn a certain number of calories depending on our size, age, gender, and activity levels. To burn fat, which is to say, to force our bodies to tap into our fat reserves and use them for energy instead of food, we need to eat fewer calories than we burn in a day.
The key is not to overcomplicate your diet by demonizing specific food groups or macronutrients. Aim for a deficit of about 500 calories per day. The easiest method to calculate this is to multiply by 12 calories per pound of bodyweight and eat that many calories every day. If you do nothing else on this list except consistently hit your daily calorie target, you WILL lose weight.
2. Eat Slower and Be Patient
Eating fewer calories to lose weight is really simple, but that’s not to say that it’s easy.Forcing your body to burn its fat stores for energy is an uncomfortable process that might leave you feeling drained and with less energy, while getting used to smaller meals may leave you feeling hungry at first.
One great workaround is to eat slower, chew more, and be patient. There is evidence to support the idea that eating more slowly can increase how satisfied and full some people feel after a meal, and decrease your desire to eat more. It simply takes time for your stomach to communicate to your brain that it’s full and satisfied! If you eat quickly, you might bypass this signal and wind up eating more than you really needed to feel full.
Not only that, but it takes a solid 2 to 3 hours for your body to convert food you’ve just eaten into actual, usable energy. Even after eating a large meal while dieting, you may still feel hungry, but that doesn’t mean you need to eat more.
If you’re patient enough and allow your body to do its work, you’ll usually feel a jolt of energy a few hours after eating.
3. Eat More Protein
If you hit the right number of calories every day, you’ll be well on your way toward losing your belly, regardless of the overall makeup of your diet.However, there is lots of evidence to suggest that people interested in fat loss should consider a diet high in protein.
People who eat more protein are generally more satisfied and tend to eat fewer calories overall. Plus, a healthy dose of protein every day will help you preserve more muscle mass and encourage your body to lose more fat.
Your protein needs will vary depending on your gender and activity levels, but most people should shoot for at least 40 to 50 grams of protein every day.
4. Delay Your First Meal

Ever heard of intermittent fasting? It’s an eating style wherein you drastically reduce your eating window during the day while remaining fasted the rest of the time. For example, you might be “allowed” to eat for 8 hours, from noon to 8pm, while the rest of the time you only drink water.
The health benefits of fasting are vast and go far beyond weight loss and include boosts in mood, energy, focus, longevity, and more. However, you needn’t jump right into long, extended fasts, though they can be extremely effective.
Try pushing your first meal back just a few hours after you wake up. You’ll likely trigger more fat burning than you would by eating right away, and surprisingly, you’ll probably be a lot less hungry eating nothing than you would after eating a small breakfast.
Even mild fasting can dramatically decrease your overall appetite and calorie intake throughout the day.
5. Work Your Core
I know I said you can’t force your body to lose stomach fat, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared for the day that it does!
Work your abdominal and core muscles 2 to 3 times per week to build strength in your midsection. As you begin to lose fat, you’ll discover better tone and definition in that area than if you ignored it.
What are the best core exercises? Leave the crunches on the bench and try some more challenging moves like:
· Planks
You don’t need much, just 2 to 3 sets of 20 reps or so a few times per week should be plenty to build those abs and prepare them for their big reveal.
6. Do the Right Kind of Cardio
Believe it or not, exercise is completely optional when it comes to losing weight. If you eat the right number of calories, the fat will come off regardless.
However, it will be much easier to create your consistent calorie deficit if you’re active and burning extra calories at least a few times per week. Plus, exercising is a whole lot better for your health that not exercising.
Cardio can definitely help! But you’ll have a few choices for how to go about it:
  • LISS (Low Intensity Steady State): Going for a long walk or light jog would be considered low intensity cardio. The benefits of this kind of exercise are that you’ll burn calories without taxing your body too badly and driving up your appetite. The downside? It can be kind of boring and lengthy, therefore difficult to incorporate on a consistent basis as a result.
  • HISS (High Intensity Steady State): Think going for a long run. The plus side of HISS is that you’ll burn more calories a lot faster when compared to LISS, however these workouts are more draining and difficult to recover from. You may find yourself extremely hungry as a result of the exertion.
  • HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training): HIIT refers to short bursts of intense exercise followed by stretches of rest or long intensity work. Imagine walking on a treadmill and occasionally working in high-speed sprints, or doing a circuit of pushups, air squats, lunges, etc. with rest intervals worked in. These workouts burn a ton of calories quickly and dramatically improve your conditioning, but they can also be difficult for your body to recover from and can drive up your appetite.
Each form of cardio has its place, but for fat loss, I’d recommend sticking mostly with LISS or HIIT workouts to burn extra calories a few times per week.
7. Eat More Filling Foods
Again, hitting a calorie target sounds simple, but that doesn’t make it easy!
If you find you’re consistently getting hungry throughout the day when trying to stick to a diet, you may need to change up your food choices.
Sure, you could technically lose weight by eating 1200 calories of Doritos every day, though I wouldn’t recommend it!Your best bet will be to eat lots of nutrient rich foods that satiate your body and take time to digest.
Simple carbs (white bread, sugar, etc.) are unquestionably delicious but offer little nutritional value, so your body churns through them quickly. They might briefly fill your stomach, but they won’t leave you satisfied for long.
Complex carbs (oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes) and lean proteins (chicken, turkey) will keep you full for longer and better fuel your body for any workouts you might incorporate.
8. Utilise Strategic Refeeds and Diet Breaks
You likely won’t need these strategies when you first begin your diet, but as you start to see results and get to a lower body fat percentage, you might find your body needs a break every now and then.
After all, burning your own fat for energy is difficult on the body and mind. Long-term adherence to the diet is a lot more important than getting results as fast as possible.
Consider adding in one refeed day per week, where you eat an additional 500 calories or so (usually complex carbs). This will help restore your body’s energy and promote a healthy metabolism.
You can also take a 2 to 4 week diet break, where you eat your body’s maintenance calories (around bodyweight times 15 calories per day) and allow yourself to recover and rejuvenate.
Funny enough, you may find that eating more actually encourages your body to shed some of the fat it’s been desperately clinging to. Studies show that people who take strategic breaks from dieting now and then have better long-term fat loss results.
9. Get More Sleep
So much of adhering to a fat loss diet comes down to willpower and mental focus.
Know what the number one killer of willpower is? A lack of sleep.
Sleep deprivation can cause chaos with your hormonal balance and ability to regulate your appetite, but more importantly, it can leave you with very little self-control. People who don’t sleep enough find themselves snacking more and overeating more frequently.
Blue light from phones, computers, and TVs, for example, is known to disrupt sleep patterns. Opt for a book before bed if you’re having trouble getting to sleep on time.
10. Track Everything
An extra bite of your friend’s dessert here, a quick snack there, and another dollop of sauce or oil on your plate… It all adds up, and those extra calories can easily derail your diet if you’re not careful.
To be sure you’re hitting your calorie goal every day, it’s best to track everything, even if you’re only using your best estimation (though calorie counters can help, too).
Tracking meals is one thing, but for the best results you’ll want to write down every single thing you take into your body including sauce, oil, sides, snacks, drinks, and more.
Forgetting about that 300 to 500 extra calories you had during the day will be the difference between losing belly fat fast, and not.
The Bottom Line
I wish there was an easy way to quickly lose fat from your belly, believe me!
What more people need to understand is that, although targeted fat loss is impossible, fat doesn’t come off of your body completely evenly, either.
For many people, especially men, the stomach is their body’s absolute favorite place to store fat. You may need to lose a significant amount of weight before your body is ready to start tapping into its belly stores.
Remember to set your calorie target and focus on hitting it every single day. Exercising, getting lots of protein, and incorporate tricks to stay motivated can really help, but the energy deficit is the primary driver and fat loss and should be your main priority.
You’ll likely need to stick with the plan for a long time before that stomach completely flattens out.

Science Direct: Calories do count
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite …

Sunday 16 December 2018

Moonfire Circus

Voices speaking from the piano's soul  
Is reaching out for anyone to be heard  
It's a simple composition  
Full of sounds with not a single word  
The signpost says "Hurry! Before it's too late!"  
But the eyes of the many won't reciprocate  
There is a skull to remind us all  
That our lives will leave soon  
For castled dreams and sunbeams  
For those with a good attitude  
A fortnight of passion to wrangle peaceful whims  
So tear up the contract and then we'll begin  
Read the banner and you'll  
Know where I got my name  
Several miles high we can see  
Exactly where they came  
Waste me in reason  
'Cos you know it's plain to see  
We never got as far  
As we really wanted to be  
And so now the circus begins    
She said "This ain't a sin  
From day to day it can change  
It'll pass in the picture frame."  
Born in a house  
Of esoterical thoughts  
The voiceless are many  
A plan has been bought  
They're dreaming in comfort  
To help heal the wounds  
The treasures are many  
And ours will come soon

Wednesday 5 December 2018

How Safe Is Online Banking on a Mobile Phone?

So, how safe is mobile banking? It all depends on how cautious and well-informed you are.

Hackers exploit weak passwords and vulnerabilities of public Wi-Fi to infect devices with malware. However, most mobile banking attacks happen through social engineering – when users are manipulated to give up their usernames and passwords to hackers, scammers and other cybercriminals.

Social engineering techniques range from phone calls, malware links, phishing websites to more advanced (and less frequent) attacks like phony banking apps. It’s much easier to fall for a scam than you think, and the best defense against them is knowledge. Here are some tips for safe mobile banking:

1. Don’t lose your phone

The biggest security threat of your mobile phone is also its greatest asset – its size. Phones are small, handy, beautiful, and easy to lose.

Losing a phone is as heartbreaking as losing a part of yourself, but it gets even worse. If someone who found or stole your phone uses it to access your bank account, you could lose much more.

A strong password (made of a random string of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols, at least six characters long) is the most secure way to lock your phone.

If you are afraid to forget the password, use a PIN key (something more difficult and unique than 1111) or a pattern lock with biometric identification, which can be:
  • Facial recognition – convenient but not secure, since it can sometimes be bypassed with a photograph.
  • Iris scanning – the pattern of your iris is unique and can’t be replicated with a simple photo.
  • Fingerprints – low false-acceptance rates, perfect if you don’t often wear gloves.
Iris scanning or fingerprint identification with a strong PIN will grant you easy and secure access to your phone.

Never leave your phone unattended. Install an anti-theft and recovery app that can locate your phone, lock it remotely, or even wipe your data if it gets stolen.

As a final layer of security, always log out from your banking app after you finish your operations.

2. Use the official banking app, not the browser

The second biggest security threat concerns the banking app. If you aren’t careful, you could download a fake banking app created by scammers to break into your account.

Make sure your bank created or approves of the app you are downloading. Get it from their website. Moreover, do not use mobile browsers to log in to your bank account – they are less secure than bank-sanctioned apps.

Finaly, before downloading any app to your phone, you should research the developer, read the reviews, check the app rating on Google Play or App Store. Poorly designed or malicious third-party apps could use your username and password to access your bank account and empty or monitor it.

3. Don’t just follow any link you see

You pick up your phone, open up the email app, and notice that your bank sent you an announcement about a new service. The letter ends, “You can save up to a thousand dollars per year! For more details, follow this link.” You click it, go to the landing page, log in, but some error occurs, and you are disconnected from the website.

You just gave your username and password to a scammer.

The email you got was not from your bank, but from scammers pretending to be your bank. You would have noticed it had you checked the sender details more carefully. The landing page was actually a clone made to look like your bank’s website. When you entered your password, you handed your data straight to cybercriminals.

Always check the URL and domain of any link you are about to click on, especially if it claims to be from your bank. If it looks suspicious – avoid it. The same applies to SMS messages or messages and links on social media.

Never send your username or password via email, social media or text message. If you did – change the password immediately.

4. Don’t use mobile banking on public Wi-Fi

Anyone on a public Wi-Fi network is in danger of a security breach. Most of these networks lack basic security measures and have poor router configurations and weak passwords. Mobile banking or any other activity that exposes your sensitive data should never be done on public Wi-Fi.

If a hacker is monitoring the public Wi-Fi or hotspot you are using, they could intercept the data being transferred to and from your phone and use it to access your banking account.

If you are scrolling in a library or a coffee shop and you need to access your bank account, use your cellular network instead. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than public Wi-Fi. Better yet, turn on a VPN and use public Wi-Fi without the risk of compromising your personal data. A VPN encrypts your web traffic, making it extraordinarily difficult to intercept and decipher.

Is Mobile Banking Safe on Android?

Since the Android platform allows its users more flexibility, it also leaves more security holes than iOS systems. Minimize your risks by downloading apps only from Google Play and update them in a timely manner.

Go to your Android settings and make sure that you have turned on Google Play Protect, which scans your apps for suspicious behavior. You can also use the Find My Device setting, which lets you find, ring, lock, or even wipe your device from afar.

Go through the apps you’ve downloaded and installed on your phone and delete the ones you do not need or use – each represents an unnecessary potential vulnerability. Old apps may also be poorly supported or have security holes or malware. A clean and tidy Android system is likely to be a secure one.

Is Mobile Banking Safe on iPhone?

Banking apps on iOS tend to be secure thanks to the rigorous standards of the App Store. The most vulnerable iOS systems are those that have been jailbroken.

Jailbreaking means cracking the standard settings of an iOS system so that you can modify your phone in ways that Apple does not allow. With a jailbroken phone, you can install apps not authorized by Apple, and you can also remove the security protocols that Apple has built into the device. Jailbreaking also voids the warranty, so you won’t get support from Apple when you might need it most.

If you are just a regular iOS user, you should never jailbreak your iPhone. Only use apps from the App Store, which are usually safe. Malware may bypass Apple’s defenses once in a while so you should always be careful, but they certainly catch many potential threats.

Final Thoughts

Is it safe to use mobile banking apps? Yes. Download the official banking app, update it constantly, use a VPN with a public Wi-Fi, and keep your phone close by!

However, that doesn’t make you completely safe from scams, malware attacks, and hacking. Your common sense is the last line of defense. A victim of mobile banking breaches will usually be someone who does not take their security seriously.

Wednesday 17 October 2018

What is the most effective way to read a book and what can one do after reading?

You will forget half of what you read after 2 weeks and 90% after 2 months.
Some people think taking notes and reviewing them is boring or not necessary. This is simply not true. You will not retain what you learn from a book unless you get multiple repetitions of the information over time.
People tend to want the shiny new thing ("fresh" information) when really they would be better off reviewing what they have already read/forgotten. One you fully realize how much time you are wasting by not reviewing your notes (because you are forgetting so much of what you read) you will start to enjoy it. Most of the best ideas come from going back and collecting and synthesizing disparate notes and quotes from the books we have read.
Timothy Kenny, author of Accelerated learning for Entrepreneurs, suggests a simple process to retain information from reading:-
1. Consume your information
This means you underline your book, take notes from an audio or video course or collect the best posts from a forum into a word document or page in OneNote.
2. Boil it down
Transfer your highlights or underlines to a separate piece of paper so you have your own set of notes.
3. Boil it down again
Use a highlighter to go over your notes and find the most important pieces. You can circle chunks of text in your notes to start organizing them.
4. Create Your final product
These are only useful for certain types of information. Some books are more general facts/information and may not be worht the extra time investment if you only have a few pages of notes and not many actionable steps.
A. Mindmap
Use your chunked notes to create a mindmap. Stick to one page and fit in as much detail as you can.
B. Action List
Go through your notes and decide what you want to take action on. Prioritize the list and put it somewhere where you will look at it again, like the wall next to your computer.
C. Notecards
Cut up your information into two sided notecards. You can do this by hand or digitally.
Tip: You can leave notes at any stage in the process and come back later. You can also skip or combine these steps depending on how aggressively you want to learn.
(End Game: The Ultimate Accelerated Learning System - Udemy)