Tuesday, 26 October 2010
Monday, 25 October 2010
The above message might be common enough to many people on this Earth!one often wonders whether money really grows on trees and whether it is, after all, possible to win a lottery draw. The message on your E-mail might read, “ Congratulations, you have won a jackpot of one million dollars”, or, “your mobile number has been selected as a winning entry for the sweepstakes 2010, kindly send your details such as age, bank account number…etc. to the e-mail id," email@example.com.”
Gullible receivers of this message will no doubt be in for a rude shock when they realise they have been taken for a ride after having submitted a check for the purposes of verifying their signatures. Unfortunately there seems to be little that the authorities can do about reining in such swindlers! In India, a popular magazine keeps sending prospective subscribers documents pertaining to the entry of their names in the sweepstakes. The envelope is subscribed, Urgent, Sweepstake documents. The envelop contains a Business reply envelop and you have to return the documents, along with various stickers assuring you that you stand a chance to win a premium luxury vehicle along with the chance of winning a sweepstakes amount of Rs.100000/-!
Recently, I received a phone call informing me that I had won a Jack Pot of Rs.200000/- and the person at the other end told me to call a particular person on a particular number to claim my prize money. I never called back! I didn’t want to be taken for a ride! Unfortunately there are many who fall prey to such fraudulent attacks, and they reveal their credit card numbers, CVV numbers, and other sensitive personal information which makes them vulnerable.
The only solution to this problem is never to respond to suspicious messages, or unsolicited messages requesting for personal information. Many years back there was an African syndicate that used to send messages to the effect that the sender was an African whose father had stashed away a large amount of money before being killed during a change of regime. The message went on to state that the sender wanted to retrieve the loot and he wanted a bank account to park the money. Today, one is subject to numerous instances of cyber attacks, in the form of hacking. Phishing is in the form of unsolicited messages, which if opened, will lay open your computer to vicious hacking. Secret information in your computer is passed on to the sender of the suspicious message. Often your passwords, and t-pin numbers are laid open to the Hacker! The only defence is to have a good anti virus, and a good firewall. One should never click on a suspicious link, and one should always use a genuine Operating System. Always update your O.S. and your antivirus! Never do online transactions from a Cyber Cafe, and if you have to use a computer at a Cyber Cafe, then remember to clean up the Internet Explorer History. Remember to use a very strong password especially a mix of digits and letters. Use of nonsense words might be helpful! Remember, no one gives away money for free! The only money you win is the money you earn! Therefore, don’t be greedy, don’t go for easy money, no money is for free!
Friday, 15 October 2010
Monday, 11 October 2010
Saturday, 9 October 2010
The medal tally of our Indian sportsmen in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi has shown the world that Indians can be good sportsmen!There have been some pleasant surprises in gymnastics, athletics, archery, and wrestling. It seems as if we are, after all, not hopelessly backwards in sports! Unfortunately, our obsession with cricket might have caused us to ignore the other disciplines!
I was specially amazed to see the tenacity and determination of Kavita Raut who managed to keep up with the powerful Kenyan girls! It is the Kenyans and the Ethiopians who are the undisputed leaders in the marathon and for an Indian girl to keep up with them was particularly amazing! Kavita was able to clinch the bronze in the 10,000 meters Marathon, an amazing feat, no doubt! Our sportsmen did very well in wrestling, but the efforts of the women wrestlers were praiseworthy. I was able to watch a live telecast of Anita wrestling with Megan of Canada during the 67 Kg. final and it was an amazing match with the feisty Indian girl locking the strapping Canadian! Another athlete who amazed me most was Ashish Kumar, the rather young looking 19 year old boy who was able to garner the silver on the vault table event! It was amazing, whoever could have thought about an Indian winning a silver in Gymnastics ! The games were also about tears and emotions, and among these, the most touching were the tears of Babita who had to manage with the Silver in wrestling. Even on the podium she was inconsolable! Her sister had managed a Gold in wrestling. Dola Banerjee, Deepika Kumari and Bombayyala were able to win the gold in Archery recurve team event! While the performances of out sportsmen in the wrestling events were predictable, the performance of our sportsmen in the marathon, gymnastics and archery certainly were a pleasant surprise!
Looking at the performance of our sportsmen in the New Delhi Commonwealth games, I feel that there is still a good chance that our sportsmen can still do well in the forthcoming Olympics. All is not lost for our sportsmen. It is just that we need to do more for our sportsmen. They need proper training, proper facilities proper coaches, and of course, encouragement, respect and moral support from the society. It is high time we weaned ourselves from cricket, and instead gave more attention to the other games! Today a cricketer has more respect in the society than a boxer, or a swimmer or a tennis player! It is unfortunate that we didn’t do well in our National game-Hockey. It is high time we started working on improving the performance of the National Hockey team. We need to do better in swimming. To get talented sportsmen, we should identify talent at an early stage, preferably at the school level. Every school should have facilities for developing sports talent. There should be gymnasiums, stadia, Hockey fields…etc. Scholarships should be given to students who display talent in sports. It is only if we do all this that we will be able to field better sportsmen in International events! Our sportswomen have done very well in the Commonwealth Games, and they are an example for our sportsmen!