How to protect yourself from identity theft

First, I would like to thank Snsfox.com for allowing me to post such information. I have been a fan since I read their article on deleting personal Facebook messages.

Falling victim to scams and having your identity stolen can be one of the worst feeling in the world, it’s like having your privacy invaded by a stranger and not even knowing about it. Today we will talk about methods to stop anyone from invading your privacy and potentially becoming you.

Internet Phishing

Phishing is a popular term often used within the internet community. The way website phishing works is by changing the URL of websites to be relatively close to the original and then fooling the user into inputting his personal information. Make sure to double check all websites and see that they are HTTP: secure. Most often phishing scams tend to look for this type of information:

  • Social Security Numbers
  • Home Addresses
  • Full Names
  • Possible Credit Card Info
  • Email
  • Health Insurance ID Numbers
  • Bank Account Numbers

These scams can be evaded easily by taking the extra second to double check the URL. If you ever see something out of place, make sure to leave the site immediately.

Email

If you are like 80% of the world you will most likely have an email sitting around with some private information. Make sure to protect your email as much as possible as there could be even info you might have forgotten about in there. A good way to protect such things is by creating strong and complex passwords. If you’re like me and were never good at passwords, then you can relax, because there are many website that can take care of password generating for you.

Unsolicited email is also another way phishing scams happen. Make sure to have your spam filters up and running on your settings to be able to detect those for you. The majority of the time email filters do a great job of this and you won’t have to worry about anything accidentally being thrown away.

Anti-Virus

With many programs available for use on the market it is easy to find one that suits your desire. Having a good anti-virus can help keep malicious software from taking root in your hard drive. Take the extra step and keep your anti-virus up to date, as they are always patching to help protect from modern threats. The benefit of having one of these programs is that you can have it running 24/7 and never let something slip by without your consent.

Disposal of Devices

Don’t allow your old devices to be sitting around with important or person information. Make sure to clear all data from the drives before disposing of them. If you do not know how to do this you can always access digital manuals online that can give you a detailed report on how to do it. Remember to do this, because once the item is gone, you never know whose hands it could land in.

Social Media

With the rise of social media, we all want to tell everyone exactly what we are doing in that given time. This can be a little dangerous don’t you think? I always found it odd when people post where they like to eat and even their address for get-togethers in the event sections. All this type of information should never be given out to strangers. Some might argue that they only have friends on their social media – but did you know others can read those comments? This is a great way for others who potentially took your information to know even more about you.

Never use the GPS location application that most of these sites contain. What it does is link your current location with the post whether it is a picture or a text post.

Virtual Private Networks

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is the best security measure for all your online activity. This is a tool mainly to secure and mask your identity; a good example would be if you place all your computers data on a cutting board and chopped it up into a jigsaw puzzle. Anyone who would want your information now will have a hard time recognizing and using such data. Any time you finish using the virtual private network, and disconnect, all the information goes back to normal, so don’t worry. This is also a great way to work safely anywhere if you connect to public Wi-Fi networks.

Take all this information and use it to your advantage in fighting online identity theft. Many of these tools are easily configurable and don’t take long to figure out for any level of users.

Researchers from IBM have Created a Very Impressive and Affordable New Photovoltaic System

IBM’s researchers have invented a very impressive new photovoltaic system that is capable of producing 80% of sun’s light into useful energy.

The impressive photovoltaic system uses a huge parabolic dish that focuses the sun’s rays in triple junction photovoltaic chips that only measures 1 x 1 cm. These chips are able to convert the focuses light into 200 to 250 of electrical power

very impressive new photovoltaic system

IBM says that technically it would take only 2% of the solar energy from the Sahara desert to supply all of the world’s electrical needs.

Bacteria used to store data by Chinese Researchers

Bacteria used to store dataWe know how devastating the effect of having viruses on our computer is. Moreover, the disruption in our daily activities caused by different PC viruses can get us really annoyed. Though there are a lot of virus scans already available promising to end the battle of infected computers, researchers continue to look for other ways on how to fight off the bad thing on your PCs. With that said, let’s take a look at the study of some researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

According to the Chinese researchers, the bacteria found in your computer can actually be a good thing in the near future.  Using a colony of the E. coli bacteria, the team demonstrated a cool way of using the E. coli to store data which can be encrypted through the use of a site-specific genetic recombination.  The 18-cell bacteria colony was actually able to store enough data that the Declaration of Independence need.  Moreover, 1 GB of bacteria would actually be able to store 90GB of data when scaled up.

The research is in fact exciting to see how it would work. However, we could only hear news for it now as it’s obviously way too ready to be actually used on your PC.  Possible deleted data as well as retrieval of them needs a sequencer which can actually cause you to shell off some of your resources.  Finally, the bacteria used in the technique may mutate thus destroying the data stored on your machine.

[via SlashGear]

Sony Demonstrates Solar Panel Windows – The Flower Window

Are you looking for solar panels which could actually slash the cost of your electric bill by making electricity from the sunlight? If you are, then take a look at what the guys from Sony has demonstrated just this past weekend during the Eco Products 2010 held in Tokyo.

Meet the Hana Mado otherwise known as the Flower Window. Apparently, the device is a dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) thus converting light into electrical energy.  During the demonstration, the device was attached to a small fan showing how it generates power continuously.  It was also shown how the fan stopped once the light is blocked. Sony expressed that the Hana Mado solar panel is actually of great advantage because the gadget can be easily installed in buildings.

Sony Demonstrates Solar Panel Windows

Moreover, the device is crafted beautifully which makes it really pleasing to the consumers.  It is made with screen printing which can actually be customized based on the consumer’s choice apart from the yellow and green design that was shown during the demo.

However, people from all over the region still have to wait further as the release date as well as the price of the Sony Hana Mado or Flower Window solar panel is not disclosed, yet.  We just hope we could see this being commercially available as possible.  Meanwhile, let’s take a look at the video taken during the demo in the Eco Products 2010.

[via gizmag]

World’s Fastest Scooter

At a first glance, it would seem as though it’s nothing but your usual mobility scooter which you can bring when going out to visit shops nearby, but examine closer as this mobility scooter has more than what it could offer.

Colin Furze, a British plumber, must have thought it would be even better if mobility scooters could go faster.  Therefore, he came up with the world’s fastest scooter to which runs at an incredible speed of 69mph and is nine times faster that an ordinary mobility scooter.

worlds fastest scooter

The guys from the Guinness Book of World Records told him that he could only change the engine, but he couldn’t change the appearance of the scooter. He then took a 125cc engine from his motorbike and fitted it into the scooter along with five gears and double exhausts. Moreover, he was told that his power-petroled scooter would have to travel atleast 61.4mph to finally make it to the record, thus he started it up and reached 69mph very quickly.

However, it doesn’t end there as Furze is trying to take the world’s fastest scooter into a drag strip and test the speed. He’s aiming for 70mph. So, we’ll he be happily accepted in the record book? Let’s stay tuned as we’re going to hear more of him in the near future.

Skylifter Balloon Which is designed to Transport Heavy Equipment

Transporting heavy equipment won’t be a challenge now as the Australian aeronautical firm Skylifter has launched a balloon that will be able to get heavy equipment in remote locations despite the absence of railways, runways, and roads.  The giant balloon is expected to carry tons of loads which can even transport the entire buildings.

skylifter

The Skylifter Balloon is a 150 meter disc shaped which looks like a flying saucer is capable of carrying 150 tons compared to a heavy cargo helicopter’s capacity of carrying heavy gears. Also, the firm has designed it to provide a more stable and less susceptible to winds during flights of up to 1240 miles. The disc shaped balloon also acts like a parachute during its fall which according to the makers will provide a gentle landing while the control pod keeps it from being too heavy.

On the other hand, a mini remote-control version is currently being tested to show how the thing fully works. It is tested three meters across and it can carry half a kilo of load. The company is planning to build a full-sized prototype of the Skylifter balloon in the next three years.

Wow, how cool is that, eh?!?

WowWee’s Roboscooper – Robot that Cleans, like Wall-E

This cute little toy is the Roboscooper, the new robot from WowWee, makers of all sorts of cool toy robots.  The new robotic buddy resembles a hunched-over baby RoboSapien.  Also looks like the Pixar movie Wall-E but unlike Wall-E Roboscoopers has six wheels to roll on.

WowWee Roboscooper is designed to help you clean and pick up small things not heavier that one ounce. Small stuffs like like paper clip, nails, and nuts.  It can also talk funny phrases like “Lets get to work”, and “1 step closer to cleaner world”

WowWee Roboscooper - Robot that Cleans

The robot is powered by 6 AAA batteries.  It can be controlled by remote or you can just also leave him in “autonomous mode” and he will clean and grab things he sees.

You can get the WowWee’s Roboscoopers for the price of $70.   Availabe at Hammacher Schlemmer for pre-order now for a late August delivery.

Sikorsky X2 – World’s Fastest Helicopter

Sikorsky X2, – the fastest helicopter in the world has recently achieved a mojor ground-testing.  First announced in year 2005 but not launched yet and still continues its trial.

The Sikorsky X2 has future helicopter design. It has two rotating blades powered by LHTEC T800 turboshaft and combined with electronic controls to avoid shaking while hovering.  It also has rear-facing propeller that pushes the X2 forward.  The design of the blades eliminate the angular momentum and dissymmetry of lift allowing the aircraft to achieve faster speeds w/ greater efficiency.

Sikorsky X2 Helicopter - Fastest Chopper in the World

The World’s fastest helicopter Sikorsky X2 can achieve speed at 366 Km/h but recently in the experiment performed at the Flight Center in Florida, the aircraft has broke its own record and has successfully achieved cruising speed of up to 225 knots (equal to 416 km per hour).

Sikorsky believes that the it can still break that record and still pushing the cruising speed of the X2 demonstrator to 250 knots or equal to 462 km per hour, thats nearly twice the speed of today’s choppers.