Social Networking

Help and advice relating to social networking and instant messaging sites and software

Suspicious Emails – how to tell if they are real or not…

I receive emails and phone calls every day from worried people all around the Costa Blanca, asking whether the email they have just received from Microsoft, Yahoo, Adobe, Apple (insert any company name you like here), is legitimate. Of course, the honest answer is “I don’t know without looking at it”. Most of these emails are so sophisticated and look so much like the real thing that it’s almost impossible to tell whether the one you’ve just received is a scam, spam or legitimate so this month I hope to give you some pointers in order to help you figure out truth from fiction.

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Update your SIP Card with key information from home…

As I am sure you are all aware the SIP card is used to get medical services here in Spain. The SIP card comes in a few different styles, but all do the same thing. As I understand it, your local medical centre will contact you using the phone number registered with your SIP card to arrange for your attendance for the COVID-19 vaccine. If your phone number is out of date or incorrect then they will not be able to contact you as easily. Thankfully its straight forward to ensure your correct details are registered to your SIP card without the hassle of booking an appointment at the health centre to get them to do it – you can do it all from the comfort of your own Internet connection. Read this entire article »

Attend & See Things You’ve Always Wanted To…

As we continue to endure the restrictions of this horrible global pandemic, we are trying to behave sensibly and stay inside, isolated, as much as possible to reduce the effect of unwittingly getting or passing on the virus, to help, I look for more and more ways to experience new and interesting things and spend my time with something to look forward to rather than Coronation Street. Read this entire article »

Online Security….

It’s becoming more and more important to take care of your online activities, your passwords, the places you visit and what you do. With companies like Facebook having millions of their users accounts’ compromised recently it’s a real possibility that some of your personal information has fallen into the hands of hackers and therefore criminals.

On the 30th September 2018 Facebook lost 30 million of their users’ account details to hackers who had exploited a vulnerability caused by three bugs on the Facebook system. It’s likely that you will already have been contacted if you were one of the unfortunate 30 million people involved, however if you want to be sure then visit the page whilst logged into Facebook and scroll to the bottom. You will see a blue highlighted section titled “Is my Facebook account impacted by this security issue?” and below that will be a message detailing whether or not your account was affected.

This, and all of the other high profile hacks brings me onto another great website that can check to see if your email address has ever been associated with any hacked sites. It tells you which sites and which information has been compromised. Armed with this information you can at least decide whether you want to continue to use the services of the companies that breached your data and if you do, you can take steps to change your password and lock down your security on those affected sites.

If you go along to you’ll have the option to check your email address in the search bar at the top of the page. Click the “pwned” button to find out whether your email address has ever been compromised and on which sites – you’ll see this information if you scroll down a little.

If your account has been compromised, then you can assume that whatever password and email combination you used is now known by hackers, so the first thing to do would be to change your password on the site that was hacked. The next sensible thing to do, would be to change your password on any other un-compromised sites where you use the same combination of email address and password as this is now not safe.

You see, once a hacker has this information, they know that many people use the same email address and password for multiple different services, so better to be on the safe side and change any accounts where you use the same email address and password. Also a good idea moving forward would be to use a different password for each service that you use, yes I know this means more things to remember but it also decreases the chance of multiple accounts being compromised at the same time.

Smartphone Apps that do good…

Now that smart phones are becoming more ubiquitous it seems normal to think of using them first for all sorts of things – for example when I want to find the answer for something, need a torch, find directions or even just to keep a note of something I use my smart phone. I realise that I may rely on my phone more than most but it has now become quite natural to turn to it first for many of its useful functions. So, in that light its not surprising that there are now many social apps that take advantage of this ‘always at hand’ nature of our touch screen friends – this month we look at a couple of those apps. Read this entire article »

Use your computer to help humanity…

Your desktop computer or laptop probably spends a good portion of its time not doing anything.  Some of you may even leave your computers permanently turned on (nothing wrong with that) so that when you’re ready to use it, it’s there waiting for your every command.

This ‘waste’ of processing time has caught the attention of some researchers.  You see, most of the time research involves using powerful super-computers to spend their time crunching away at data.  The issue is that these big computers can be very expensive – for example, to rent a 320 core computer for just one month for your research projects, would cost you around 30,000€ – and many research projects run for years.  SETI@home (the Berkeley research project to search astronomical data in search of extra-terrestrial life) for example has been running since 1999!  The 320 core super-computer mentioned above, incidentally is nowhere near the world’s fastest computer which has 3,120,000 cores! Read this entire article »

Happy Valentines Day!

This month will see an orgy of gift-giving and sloppy obsession as couples around the Costa Blanca show their appreciation for one another on Valentine’s Day, so this month I thought we would have a look at some technology you might want to buy your other half to help get them into better shape.

Of course if you really loved your partner you would have bought them a Microsoft X-Box One for Christmas like my lovely wife did! If you didn’t then don’t worry, by using the information in this article I’m sure you will be able to recover and once again ingratiate yourself with your other half. Read this entire article »

Micro Loans…

You could be forgiven for thinking that the Internet has turned into a big commercial shopping centre – a place where you can buy pretty much anything and not a charitable place at all.

We have previously, in this column, covered how you can even get things for free via the Internet, well this month we are going to look at how the Internet can allow you to help people less fortunate than us build a better life. Read this entire article »

What Is Twitter?

This month we look at Twitter, the communication tool used by many, including the famous to communicate with millions of people. 

You may, or may not have heard of it, but this month we look at how you can use it, why you would want to use it and what applications you need in order to access or post your tweets. Read this entire article »

FaceBook Games

For the past month I have been ploughing fields, planting crops, rearing sheep and chickens, milking cows and earning enough money to buy more land and farm equipment (tractors, seeders etc). At the same time I have been growing my commercial fish tanks, and I now have three tanks, each with 50 exotic fish in them. Read this entire article »