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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Top 5 Tips to Stay Safe on a Public WiFi Network

Public WiFi networks, like the ones found in posh restaurants and coffee shops, aren’t nearly as safe as you might think.

No matter whether they have a password or not, you need to remember that you are sharing the network with dozens of other people. This automatically signifies the fact that your personal data is always at a risk unless you know the right ways of keeping yourself safe on a public WiFi network. Maybe, the following tips can help.
How to Stay Safe on a Public WiFi Network

1. Browse with a VPN


The most secure way of browsing a public WiFi network is to use a VPN for the job.

A VPN (AKA virtual private network) extends a private network across a public network allowing users to share data on the same as if their mobile device is connected to a private network, in particular. Here’s an overview of the different functionalities of VPN made through a simple diagrammatic representation.
Virtual Private Network VPN

2. Turn your file sharing OFF

When you are at home, you may consider sharing files, printers, etc. and may even allow remote users to get onto your network, but when you are on a public WiFi network, you must turn this feature OFF at all possible cost to prevent any sort of unauthorized data access.

Here’s how you do it:
  • ON WINDOWS:
    1. Go to Control Panel.
    2. Find Network and Internet and from there, go to Network and Sharing Center.
    3. Click on Change Advanced Sharing settings.
    4. Once you are there, turn file and printer sharing off. You may also consider turning public folder sharing and network discovery off to maximize your security in the best possible manner.
  • ON MAC OS X
    1. Find System Preferences.
    2. Go to Sharing.
    3. Uncheck all the boxes.

3. Not using WiFi? Turn it OFF


If you are not using your WiFi, turn it off. This will prevent your device to automatically connect itself to an open public WiFi network.

Open public networks (ones coming without a password or a captive portal) have high chances of being a malicious network set up by a hacker for stealing sensitive information from the users. Who knows whether the one you connect to isn’t malicious or not?
Online Hacker Hacking Activity
Therefore, it’s advisable to be on the safe side and turn your WiFi off when you are not using it.

4. Turn your operating system firewall on


Most operating systems (including the likes of Windows, OS X, etc.) come with a firewall that helps to monitor incoming and outgoing connections. Consider turning this setting on whenever you are connecting yourself to a public WiFi network.

Note: Turning a firewall on is definitely not the permanent solution. But at least, it can play some role in keeping low-level threats at bay. So use this feature to your advantage for your own good.

Here’s how you can turn your firewall ON on a WINDOWS device:
  1. Go to Control Panel.
  2. Find System and Security and locate firewall settings.
  3. And then click on the Turn Windows Firewall On/Off option to complete the job.
On MAC OX
  1. Go to System Preferences.
  2. Find Security and Privacy.
  3. Look for the Firewall tab and click on Turn on firewall.

5. DO NOT access sensitive financial information on a public network

Do Not Bank on Public WiFi Network
Accessing financial information (like doing online banking) on a public WiFi network poses a greater threat to your financial security. So AVOID at all possible cost.

Also avoid logging into sensitive personal accounts such as that of retail websites, virtual wallets, insurances, health providers, etc. while being on a public network.

A few more key mentions:
  • Always try to browse HTTPS and SSL websites whenever possible.
  • Make sure you use the latest antivirus software on your device.
  • If you have plans to travel, change your passwords (to more complex ones) before making the trip. Switch them back afterward.
  • Avoid getting onto a public network that doesn’t ask for a password.
  • Always make sure of the network name with the provider before getting on the same.
  • And finally, update your device from time to time to remove exploitable loopholes (if any).
So that sums up this article for now. Hope the tips mentioned above come in handy for your purpose. Stay safe!


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Thursday, October 19, 2017

How to Write an Amazing Scholarship Winning Essay

How to Write an Amazing Scholarship Essay

Guest post by Jason Mueller (Share your tips with 56,000+ Malaysian students)

Writing doesn’t come easy to everyone. We get it. Connecting thoughts and writing it all down on paper can be daunting. However, there are ways that this process can be much easier. It not only can improve your writing, but you can write something scholarship worthy. Imagine not having to pay for higher education all because of an essay that got you there.

Whether you want to study abroad, right in your own country or just want to have those writing skills that ‘wow’ those around you, being able to write a knock-out essay is a skill you might find useful in the future.
How to Write an Amazing Scholarship Winning Essay

Always Start Early

Forget that long night of throwing words together on a paper. You will need time to get your essay exactly where it needs to be. Start as soon as possible. Giving yourself enough time to go over topic ideas, make drafts, proof read, have someone else proof read and finalize the essay will save you the trouble of throwing something together and hoping it is the best essay you’ve ever written.

Know Your Requirements

Oftentimes, essays will come with a list of rules and requirements. Make sure to read them, highlight important parts and stick to the guidelines. Don’t overlook some of the smaller stuff, either. It is all important. All too often, people skip the requirements only to find that their essay has been rejected because they did not comply with the important things that needed to be discussed.

Consider Your Audience

It is important that you know who you’re talking too. Children have a different perception than adults. You want to engage your audience, but make it easy and interesting for them to read. Knowing who you’re writing too will also make your essay easier to write. Depending on the audience, the language used in the essay is going to be a very important factor on how it is received.

Brainstorm Ideas and Pick a Topic

Brainstorm a few different ideas based on the guidelines you’re given. Always go with a topic you feel strongly about and are passionate about. Being able to have enough to write is essential. When you feel strongly about a topic, it also helps when writing it. You put your feelings into words, which then comes out when someone is reading it. This makes it more interesting, compelling and captivating for the audience.

Start with an Outline

Know what you’re going to write before you start to write. An outline provides a skeleton for you to build from. You’ll easily be able to place the information in each of the areas if you know what you’re going to say next. This outline can help you form your entire essay and it is easy to move around if something doesn’t look right.

Proofread, Then Proofread Again

No, seriously. Proofread your work once finished, go over points you may have overlooked. Then, turn around the next day and proofread again. Have someone else proofread after this. By having a fresh set of eyes look over your essay, you have a different point of view on how the essay sounds when being read. As a writer, you know what you want to write and when you finish and sit back to proof it, it’s easy to miss minor mistakes that someone else might be able to catch quickly. Having a professional or teacher look over your essay will give you even more points!

Scholarship Essay Don’ts! 

There are always a few pointers to keep you on track, but what about the ones you should never, ever do? Here is a small list of things you should stay clear of when writing that essay.
  • Use a quote at the beginning of an essay
  • Explain “in this essay, I will….”
  • Use the exact same essay for every scholarship application
  • Put a lengthy resume down on paper
  • Use words new to you or words that you or others may be unfamiliar with
  • Place too many achievements throughout your essay
You want your essay to relate to you, open your life and tell a story. With these tips and tricks, you will have a better chance of being seen (or read) when the essay is handed in. Creating a unique essay that will stand out to the readers when they may have hundreds of essays to check will help ensure you are noticed for your academics and abilities. The more of you that you put into the essay, the better chance you will move ahead of the other entries and garner the attention you need to win. When you focus on writing the best essay to convey to the audience your thoughts, beliefs or skills, you may just get that scholarship after all.

Jason Mueller is very proud that his company is offering a scholarship. They have received many well-written essays that show a lot of promise for our youth. You can find more info here about the scholarship.


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