Cyberbullying A Dangerous Trend

What was once confined to the school yard has expanded into cyberspace, and these days, cyberbullies are causing more than just hurt feelings. Studies suggest that more than 42% of kids have been bullied while online. With serious results in many cyberbullying cases, including suicide, it is a concept that definitely deserves the attention of computer users on a worldwide basis.

What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullies use various aspects of technology to threaten, harass, or embarrass other internet users. Victims are often teens or preteens who live in the same area or attend the same school district as the cyberbully.

On a fairly frequent basis, cyberbullies send e-mails, instant messages, or text messages to the intended victims mobile phone or computer. Cyberbullying can also include leaving hurtful messages on a victims blog. From threats of physical harm to willfully disclosing personal data and photos to many other internet users, the harmful behavior perpetrated by cyberbullies tends to defame and embarrass victims. The cyberbullies of today tend to be the victims of yesterday, and bullies and victims trade roles on a fairly regular basis.

Cyberbullying can occur directly or indirectly. In the case of direct bullying, one bully communicates with just one victim. The messages they trade back and forth are only between the two of them. In the case of indirect bullying, others are involved with the process. Often adults are involved, and few of the bullies know the victim. Whether they manage to get the victims IM account or blog banned or they encourage others to post horrible information about the victim, the danger is very real because so many individuals are ganging up on the victim. With more bullies comes more power and more damage.

Just One Example
On October 17, 2006, teenager Megan Meier committed suicide. Soon after opening a MySpace account, Megan had begun to correspond with an individual whose screen name was Josh Evans. While the two spend some time corresponding, the tone of the correspondence changed dramatically in October. Josh Evans sent several hurtful messages to Megan. The final one read, The world would be better off without you. Megan hung herself that evening. Federal prosecutors are currently considering charges of both wire fraud and cyber fraud against the cyberbully who called herself Josh Evans.

The Causes of Cyberbullying
Cyberbullies tend to be motivated by many different things. From anger at their victims to frustration with the world around them, cyberbullies often have a jumble of emotions that lead them to harass victims. Some cyberbullies even attack victims for entertainment or power. With so many aspects of technology at any given bullys disposal, cyberbullying is neither difficult nor uncommon.

Unfortunately, experts dont think all of the causes of cyberbullying are related to the causes behind traditional bullying. Studies have show that both the type of communication that occurs and the demographics involved with cyberbullying tend not to correlate with those of their offline counterparts, leaving lots of parents, school officials, and researchers in the dark as to the exact causes.

What You Can Do About It
The best way to handle cyberbullying is to prevent it from ever occurring. Educating potential victims and creating awareness campaigns can help to stop the process. Ensuring that both schools and parents are involved with internet use as a whole may also help to prevent it from occurring. Teaching kids to keep their information safe while online is another way to prevent cyberbullying.

If it does occur, it is essential that it be addressed immediately. While it may not be a case for law enforcement, getting the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and/or host site involved is probably a good idea. Keep in mind that every cyberbully attack is different, so helping the victim to clearly communicate the type of threat, the frequency of messages, the potential sources, and the nature of the threat will help to ensure that proper action is taken.

In some cases, law enforcement must be involved. Contact members of the police department if a threat of physical violence is present, if the material involved is obscene, or if physical harassment is taking place as a result of the cyberbullying. At times, civil prosecution may be an option as well. Should the victims rights be infringed on during the bullying, it is a good idea to contact an attorney.

Potential victims must know how to respond to a cyberbully should they encounter one while online. In case of an incident, the victim should:

Ignore the emails, messages, or postings that use harmful language.
Not forward bullying messages to others.
Ignore emails, messages, and postings from known bullies.
Block the addresses of known bullies.
Show the messages to trusted adults including parents, teachers, or counselors.

An increasingly serious problem in todays technology based world, cyberbullying must be addressed on an ongoing basis.

Data Backup – Do You Have A Backup And Data

Data Backup – Do You Have A Backup And Data Recovery Plan In Place

Data backup is rarely a part of a home computer users or business IT administrators plans, we all say it will never happen to me or my company, but in reality we are just mentally preparing for the time we lose our data. Its like trying to stop smoking, we all know we should do it but will find every excuse not to. So be honest with yourself and ask yourself the question, do you have a backup plan for your data, or more importantly, do you have a restore plan which will protect your business should something go wrong? All business leaders and owners will now tell you that computers are way past being a useful part of our lives, but now they are an absolute necessity. We acknowledge the data which resides on our computer infrastructure is the most important asset of any organization. I ask again, what would happen if you lost your data and what are you doing to protect it?

The reasons for data loss are endless, human intervention, hardware failure, software failure, natural disaster, loss, theft, we can go on, but we can be sure of one thing, as time goes by the list will get longer and longer.
Ever had anything stolen or lost anything before?

I have been in the IT industry for some 25 years now, and as you can imagine, I have heard some bizarre stories of how computers and servers have been stolen. Laptops stolen from back seats of cars (data lost), a colleague forgot he left his laptop on the roof of his car; problem is he realized when he was 160 miles down the road (lost data). My friends office was broken in twice in two nights, first time resulted in loss of desktop computers and totally trashed alarm system (some data loss), and second night was to take the servers along with the backup device and media! Apparently the heavy stuff was stolen the second night as the thiefs had more time due to the alarm not being repaired quickly enough (total data loss and company ceased trading within 8 months). Save yourself money; prevent data loss in the first place by implementing a data backup plan.

Hardware Failure
If you have managed to never lose your laptop or have you whole IT infrastructure stolen then well done, so now lets prepare ourselves for hardware failure. There are mainly only three mechanical parts within a laptop, computer or server; 1) hard drive, 2) backup drive 3) CD or DVD. Hard drives do fail and if it has not happen yet it will. Dont get me wrong, if you take a failed drive to an expert, they will probably get most of your data back (phew) but expect to pay in excess of 5000 for the pleasure (not phew). Save yourself money; prevent data loss in the first place by implementing a data backup plan.

Fire or Disaster (natural or not).
I live in the UK, its a lovely place as we dont have issues with forest fires, earth quakes, and hurricanes etc. so there will never be any large natural disaster which will wipe out the majority of a city. This is what I thought until the Bunsfield oil refinery blew up and flattened everything within a 3 mile radius. There are a million and one reasons and scenarios I can give you illustrating why you should backup your business data. We all know the practice of data backup is nothing more than good common sense. Mission critical or sensitive data you don’t want or can not afford to lose should be secured. PROTECT YOUR DATA! If you honestly think you do not need to backup your data because you will never lose it, please stop reading this article now and go and do something less boring.

Lets talk about the various ways of securing your data and other backup services. If you take the following on board you will be able to find the solution which will best suit you or your company.
Backup to CD solution.

To backup your file data to CD is easy, it may be time consuming to do this every night and you will have to be disciplined to put up to an hour aside to carry out this task every night. To backup data to a CD drive is not an automated process and we all know people get busy. Once you have backed your data to CD please always verify that the data is actually on the CD and then take it home with you. There is no point leaving it to be stolen or destroyed by fire along with your hardware.

Please do not us a CD to archive data (safe documents for a long time) as I would not expect this form of media to remain stable for more than 2 years.
Backing up to CD has many limitations but it is certainly better than not backing up your data at all.

RAID Not backup but will protect your server disks.
All servers should be given every opportunity to stay alive, running a RAID configuration will help prevent data loss due to hard drive failure. If you have 3 drives running in a RAID 5 configuration, your server will tolerate a single drive failure. RAID will not protect you from fire, flood, theft or any other disaster waiting to happen, but does offer business continuity.
This solution doesn’t usually protect you from theft as the extra hard drives for RAID storage are usually installed in your computer or in other equipment on site. It usually won’t protect you from fire either so this method does have its limitations.

Secure Offsite Data Backup and Recovery via a third party organization.
Offsite Backup or Backing up via the Internet methods are usually associated with larger enterprise companies. In the past the high cost of high speed connectivity has been prohibitive to smaller companies.
This method of data backup is now become totally accepted and is gaining momentum around the globe. The main reason for such grown is because the price of high speed internet connections has greatly reduced, virtually every business and home is connected to the internet via a minimum 2MB pipe as a result it is now possible to backup high volumes of data to a secure offsite data centre.

For me, the best element of an offsite backup solution is not the high encryption security levels in place, the price or the purpose designed replicated infrastructure where your data is stored, but it is the fact that an offsite backup solution is a totally automated process. Set and forget, once you have set the software to backup your data at a certain time of every day you can just forget it and let it get on with its job of protecting your data.
If I controlled your backup process, I would implement all three of the options mentioned. A RAID system for business continuity, offsite backup to securely protect all my business data, and to enable a quick restore, a CD backup of just my mission critical data which will keep my business running.

To find out more information about secure offsite data backup solutions, please visit

Whats Inside Your Mobile Phone

The latest smartphones can be used to perform all manner of tasks from taking pictures to providing us with GPS navigation and from connecting to the internet with wireless technologies to listening to the radio.

But, have you ever wondered what makes your phone tick?

Here we take a look at the main components that make up a mobile phone.

Mobile phone components

NAND flash is a memory chip that does not require power to retain data. Write and read cycles are however finite so memory is slowly lost over time. To combat this manufacturers often purchase this component with more memory than is described in the final products specification.

DRAM is another memory component where information can be stored and read from any position as opposed to a memory that is read in sequence. DRAM requires an electronic charge every few milliseconds to retain its information.

Display – The visual interface of a smartphone.

Application processor – This chip is designed to support the mobile operating system by controlling elements such as graphics processing, multimedia decoding and memory management. Popular examples include the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor which is used to run the Android operating system.

RF and FEM – This is the front end module that consists of a radio frequency antenna, transceiver and power amplifier. Simply put it is the component that lets the smartphone talk to the mobile phone networks cell towers.

Baseband is a chip that manages the telecommunication radio signals. It manages the functions that require an antenna excluding Bluetooth and Wi-FI.

PMIC is the power management component in a mobile phone that regulates the voltage and controls battery charging.

Power amplifier – This is the element that converts the low power radio frequency signal into a larger signal with greater power. This is used in the smartphone as part of the process for transmitting and receiving both voice and data communications.

Touch controller – This is a precision controller that identifies and tracks the users contacts with the screen whilst intelligently ignoring unintended touches.

GPS – Needs no description

Image sensor – This is the advanced image technology used to capture images and video on a smartphone. Examples include the Samsung CMOS image sensor which encompasses low-light technology and high speed frame rates with low power consumption.

Combo chip Wi-Fi/FM/BT is the chip that controls the wireless technology in a mobile phone such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and FM radio. Some of the latest versions of this chip also include GPS providing a single chip solution for manufacturers.

So those are the main components that you will find inside any modern smartphone.

Defining The Frames For Effective Communication

Sometimes we do not get the response we need from people. The responses we get from our parents, clients, children, partners or any other person may not be what we want. It can even be inadequate, hence, leaving us unsatisfied. The goal of good communication is to pass information accurately and get appropriate responses.

One of the approaches to this is to know how to use a framework of communication appropriately, and probably provide several options. This is to have an impression on the other party that they have free choice.

For example, if you ask the question: When do you prefer to date/meeting?

The only thing that is implied by this question is that the meeting will take place, however, that meeting may be delayed indefinitely because we did not set a precise framework. If you don’t put a precise framework, people often tend to delay because we send them a message that we will adopt to their preference. The disadvantage of this is that it results to delays, procrastination and indecision.

On the other hand, consider the following framework: When do you prefer to have a meeting this week? In this example, the exact frame is set thus making it clear that the choices have been limited. That is to say, although you have been given the freedom to make a choice, the choice you will make will be limited to this week. The framework (or the box) has been set to some limits as opposed to the previous framework.

Consider another question:When would you like a meeting this week? On Wednesday at 3:00 PM or on Friday at 09:00 AM?

In this question, we have defined a very clear framework. First: the meeting will be announced this week. Second: the meeting can only be conducted in either of the time periods specified. In this case we are only providing two options. The framework is quite clear and specific here.

People always interpret information in a way that suits or favors them. So, if we present a wrong framework, we get responses that are unfavorable. It is therefore, critical to narrow the framework to as few choices as possible. This works wonders because, people are under the notion that they have free choice while in the actual sense, their choices are limited. This is what we call the illusion of choice.

When I am lecturing to a group of students,I always ask the question before the students break for lunch: How many minutes of break would suit you, 45 minutes or an hour?

Imagine what would happen if I asked the whole group: How long would you like to take a break I would get X different answers. Wouldn’t I?

The same pattern can be observed in telephone sales. When are you comfortable with the next call / presentation, on Tuesday at 17:00 or Thursday 19:00? You get it?

You can also apply a variety of ways to communicate with your child: Would you like to do your homework before lunch or after lunch? Both cases imply that the task will be written, and this is the outcome you want, isn’t it?

Remember, the answer you get from your respondent largely depend on how you ask the question (the box). If the box is set too loose, the result is procrastination, delay and indecision. However, if the question is too tight, you may encounter resistance. For example: Can you clean your room now? The answer may be YES or NO. (Probably NO, right?)

To provide the right framework, you can frame your question like this: when can you clean your room, right now or after your homework? The framework is flexible. Giving choices and removing possible resistance.

This is a simple yet effective tool you can use to get the correct response, and there are many situations you can apply it.