I’ve been on a long break from blogging to work on my dissertation which is due for submission in less than a month . However my vain side would not let me rest without shouting this one on the hilltops.
Well today as I was going about my jolly business, I get a Facebook notification; lo and behold, it’s a link to my very own student profile page on the Edge Hill University website….imagine all the colors that came alive in my face . Well here’s the link to My Profile
have a nice read
In quite an uncharacteristic fashion, I decided last week to deviate from my regular banter to talk about keeping safe online, a subject which is very important to everyone who uses the internet, yes I mean you reading this right now!
I remember when there was a sudden spate of people’s email accounts getting hacked into. Identities were stolen, personal details of one’s acquaintances were also compromised and in many cases, fraud was committed with this information. And then we heard of the concept of social engineering. Criminals and good ol’ weirdos would stalk a person online, gaining access to information about them from their online profiles on social networks because their privacy settings were loosely set or by profile hopping from secondary level friends or acquaintances whose privacy setting were gapping. These weirdos would then use the information they gleaned to groom their victims for one nefarious purpose or the other.
And so back to our big question from last week: cross account sign-in, is it that much of a blessing?
Well the answer is a rather dodgy yes and no. In fact, every benefit like a two edged sword has its own caveats. Take for instance the fact that you no longer have to remember different usernames and passwords in order to access different website and web resources. This is good but it also means that the potential hacker also only has to compromise one account to gain access to your entire life and he doesn’t need to remember usernames and passwords. Also, your account information is only as secure as the platform where you have elected to host your real account and with the recent myriad of corporate system compromise by hackers, who knows which of these platforms will be next. So am I saying you should not link your social network and other accounts – NO. Am I saying that these providers are not secure – no. Am I saying you should stay locked away in a prehistoric cave because hackers prowl the internet – most definitely not!
So how do you make the best of these new technologies and still keep yourself reasonably sae online, well here are a few steps you can take
• Uncheck remember me: many of us would like never to enter our username and password again and so we check the ‘remember me’ or ‘keep me signed in’ button every time we sign into our accounts. Although some may think that this is safe on your own computer, but you will find that if you form the habit of checking that box, or leaving it checked, you will find yourself doing the same on public or unsafe computers and that’s like leaving home with your front door wide open
• Log out when you finish: Yes it means you will have to go through the mortifying pain of logging in again when you come back, but it definitely beats the inconvenience of your account being compromised.
• Log out from the host account: as a follow up to the previous point, it’s often best to logout from the main account (e.g. if you log into other sites through facebook, always sign out from facebook). This would normally log you out of other websites which use your facebook login.
• Get a good antivirus/spyware program: the importance of this cannot be overstated. Some people’s personal computers and even some public computers are a Pandora’s box of malicious programs waiting to be opened. It doesn’t have to cost u an arm and a leg, there are tonnes of free ones which are sufficient as long as you keep them updated.
• Avoid writing your login details on loose papers: for heaven’s sake if you have just one set of login details, it’s not too much to ask that you actually remember it.
• Do send your login details to someone else via email. Emails are hardly the best way to secure information and their contents can usually be sniffed easily on a wireless network. Also, if your email account is ever hacked, any lingering login credentials in your sent items, inbox or deleted items folder will be at the mercy of the hacker.
• Double check: double check everything, form the habit of taking time to ensure that you have done every thing right aand logged out, ended all sessions and closed all windows when you are leaving your computer.
This is by no means an exhaustive list but I hope it will be of immense help to everyone as we all try to keep safe online.
This week, I have decided to take a break from the regular chatter and discuss something somewhat serious. For those of you who do not know, one of the elements of my Masters course in Edge Hill University is Information Security and a pervasive part of that field is Internet security. Nowadays, people rely so much on the internet in order to run their daily lives. One way or another, we all make use of the internet, hell I’ve seen a couple of toddler profiles on facebook.
Matter of fact is, if you are reading this blog, you too are an internet user, what differs is how each individual uses the internet, but then again, this distinction seems to get thinner and thinner with each passing day. Almost every internet users use email! Whether yahoo, MSN, gmail etc, we’ve all got one somewhere. And then there is the social network phenomenon: facebook, twitter, linkedin etc. And then we have the ubiquitous blog, website, forum where a lot of people find answers to their problems, avenues to let themselves loose and a platform to showcase themselves. And then there are times when we really can’t distinguish between our social network platform and our email provider (facebook email and google buzz!!! :-/ )
In the past, we had to maintain a user name and password for all of our online accounts, and so we might have as well been a different person in every different online environment. Different sites had different authentication and security requirements and we had to battle with remembering user names and password combinations. And then someone though of using email addresses as usernames and it was the fad for a while.
Enter Web 2.0, social platforms and open authentication and the dynamics of user registration evolved dramatically. Not only did we not have to use a different username and password but in many cases we didn’t even have to fill a form to register anymore or sign in to get access to our profiles across different independent sites. It seemed like life couldn’t get any better. And then recently, we began to see cross email platform registration. The ability to sign into your email using your facebook login, accessing your yahoo email using your gmail login. It seems too good to be true, right? Before you answer lets backtrack a bit.
Read part 2 of Keeping Safe online for the answer to that question, the caveats to be careful for and how to keep yourself and your friends safe online.
Now that my stay in Edge Hill is fast approaching its end, I think back on some of the ‘grander’ moments in my experience and I cannot help but smile as I am overwhelmed with nostalgia…Ok before we get too mushy, lets jump in and get this wagon moving.
Some of my favourite activities on campus (second only to the nights out!) were the dinners. In the past year there have been several dinners but I as an international student have sadly only been invited to two, but then this was more than enough!
The first was the Thanksgiving dinner in October last year, in celebration of the American thanksgiving festival. I can quite appreciate the need for this as we had a very ‘healthy’ American student population. A rare chance too see so many beautiful people all nicely dressed, the thanksgiving dinner was indeed a very colourful event. The most interesting part however, was the food! It was my first American thanksgiving dinner so as you would expect I was eager to try out the typical American thanksgiving dinner. I was quite impressed as my previous impression of the American diet was a picture of two large bright yellow arches with the word “MacDonalds” emblazoned below. Well it is safe to say that my previous impressions were wrong. I particularly love the apple pie though I wasn’t adventurous enough to try the pumpkin pie. The food even managed to taste a bit different from the typical ‘blandry’ that English cooking is popular for.
The second was the common wealth dinner. Another very colorful event saw students from different countries coming in their native attires. I came in a jacket, couldn’t even be bothered wearing a tie :/. And as you would expect, the Americans who never cease to amaze you when you least expect it all showed up in….T-Shirts and jeans! Anyway, on to the food, we had an exotic selection of delicacies from different parts of the world. They even made an attempt with Nigerian chicken soup which I am afraid failed abysmally to taste anything like what the average Nigerian would keep down his stomach, but we had to smile and act like it was a good attempt!
All in all, I’ve had loads of fun with the dinners and I do look forward to attending a few more before I leave if the opportunity presents itself! Let me know what your own experiences are with dinners and the food you’ve had to experiment with, or just drop a line to say hi
WOW, it so amazing how time has flown by since I came here in September 2010. As a matter of fact, for me, the journey began in mid 2009 with a text message which was my ticket into the scholarship competition that has brought me to study at Edge Hill University. Almost 2 years after I participated in that competition, I am staring the end of my Masters degree program straight in the face.
It all dawned on me on the 11th of May, when I wrote my last examination for the semester and for my entire program. I felt a familiar nostalgia pretty much like what I felt when I finished my final exams during my undergraduate programme. And now with all of that behind me, all I have left is to write my dissertation and I can lay down my academic regalia once again. Who knows if it will be for the last time or whether I will be back down the glory road of attaining greater academic heights…. Well I guess time answers all questions and we can only wait and see.
It’s been a wonderful year, I have met some very wonderful people from all over the world, I have also met some not so wonderful people but I guess they are as important in the experience as any others. Anyway, I stil have quite a bit of time ahead of me and still a lot to see and learn so I will save the euphoric speech for when it is actually needed. Right now, I’m going to relax, watch some very good movies and think about what I am going to write in my dissertation/project that will get me that 60 credit A grade that I want more than anything right now….
Hi there again,
A lot has gone down in the last few weeks and I will hopefully try to share it all over the next few blog posts. Since I started my studies at Edge Hill University, I’ve been involved in quite a lot! We’ve had two dinners which I will be blogging about in the coming weeks; I have been to see London where I had quite an amazing experience! Recently, I went with Ruki and Jeanine to the city of SouthPort. I have to admit it was very different from what I expected. Having been to much larger neighbouring cities like Manchester, Preston and Liverpool, I think my expectations were rather high L I was however not totally disappointed, for where SouthPort fell short in the pomp of big city appeal, it more than made up for in beauty and a picturesque surrounding.
On getting to Southport, we had lunch at the Subway which I am afraid was another thumbs down. Then we walked to the beach. Now this was the highlight of the entire experience. We also walked down the Pier which was quite a marvellous experience. One other fascinating thing was how the tide went in so far during the day that there was no water in sight from the beach. Even after an almost 15 minute walk in the direction of the water, we were still not rewarded with even a glimpse! Of course the strong sea wind subtly discouraged us from venturing any further.
We got to Southport rather late and there was so much we were unable to do but I am sure that I will be making another missionary journey to Southport in no distant time. Well that’s all for now. Until I come back at you with more of my adventures and experiences…. Arriverdeci
Hi there again,
If you read my last blog post you’ll know how I found myself in London at the Trafalgar square on Good Friday. If you didn’t don’t despair you can read it right here.
So my sister (who was visiting London) and I went sightseeing to the Trafalgar square when we noticed that there was going to be an Open air play of the Passion of Jesus. So we rushed up to Macdonald’s to grab lunch and then back to the Trafalgar to get seated for the play in the blazing hot sun. The mixed crowd, which consisted mostly of tourists, was quite animated as everyone was eager and excited to watch the play. It was a proper pain finding a good place to set one’s self down because it was really packed and some people with baby strollers decided to set their perambulators smack in the middle of the place blocking the view of dozens of people behind them. I was unable to find a decent spot to sit down so I decided to take advantage of my height and stand at the back so I could get a clear view of the show.
The play began with a captivating introductory narration, the first few seconds of which told me the rest of the show might just be something I would want a memoir of so I got out my phone which luckily had a video camera and tape, roll action… I was Steven Spielberg for the afternoon (I don’t even know if the guy knows how to work a camera but I’m sure you get the drift )!
Having being raised a Christian, I have read the story of Jesus’ passion in the Bible and seen several enactments of the story, but this was something else! Brilliantly produced, the play held one spell bound, almost making you feel like you were right there when it all actually happened (even though I kept wondering how the Bible would have explained the backdrop of the red London buses and constant sirens but I digress). Watching the riveting performance, which was acted to include the crowd made it feel as if even we were part of the production. Being able to see the emotions of the different moments in the story without the comfortable insulation of a television screen was something I had truly never felt before. The crowd was ecstatic, bursting into thunderous applause at various points in the play especially when Jesus rose from the grave and appeared for the first time to Mary Magdalene!
It was such an amazing experience and when it was over, despite the near sun burn, parched throat and back ache, I was glad I had watched it and even more-so that I had taken the pain to record most of it with my phone video camera. If you ever consider visiting London around Easter, I definitely recommend you see this play if it is showing and you can be sure that you would have something worthwhile to remember!
Last week was a very interesting weekend for me. I had my sister come on holidays to London so as you would expect, I went off to London to pay her a visit over the weekend. It also happened that this was Easter weekend as well which is quite significant for me as well. Apart from a few hitches here and there my journey to London went smoothly and was largely uneventful. I left Ormskirk on Thursday but I stayed over at an old friend’s house at Dagenham so that meant I didn’t get to see my sister until Good Friday. Since she had never been to London, we decided to do the tourist walk around the interesting sights in the city of London and so we found a map and searched for the area with a high density of tourist areas. Well anyone who knows London will be able to guess where we decided to end up…..YES you guessed right – the Trafalgar Square! So we jumped on a bus and off we went to Trafalgar. It took quite a while as buses in London often do to cover the shortest distances but we finally got to Trafalgar square. First we took lots of photos around the square, the museum etc. We even saw a pink (which is naturally my sister’s favourite colour) stretch limo, which she made me take a picture of.
The highlight of the afternoon was when we noticed that there was going to be an open air play of the Passion of Jesus in about an hour. I will tell you all about this in my next blog and believe me it was the most interesting experience!
After the show, we walked over the Thames river to the London Eye where we bought some cotton candy (which we both hated), had some ice cream and had some much needed catch up conversations. And then we had to go home because I still hadn’t recovered from the pain of the recording the 1 hour 30 minute play at Trafalgar.
All in all, it was an amazing day and I definitely look forward to coming back next year to watch the play again if it’s on. Well that’s all for now, make sure you read the next blog on the Passion of Jesus Play.