App Spotlight – Be My Eyes

Be My Eyes is an amazing app that connects blind or low-vision persons with sighted volunteers who offer virtual assistance through the app’s video call. There are currently over 2,000,000 volunteers registered through the app.

Video demonstration of Be My Eyes

How it works

When a blind or low-vision person needs assistance, they simply open the app and initiate a live video call.

The call goes out to several volunteers at the one time and a notification appears on the volunteers smartphone. The first volunteer to respond is connected to the person requesting help.

The blind or low-vision person simply asks the volunteer for their help and points their phone at what they need help with. Once the task is finished, both parties can disconnect.

Common uses for Be My Eyes

There are lots of reasons a blind or low-vision may use the Be My Eyes app. Here are some examples:

  1. Finding dropped items
  2. Describing pictures or paintings
  3. Matching or explaining colors
  4. Reading labels on products
  5. Reading the best before dates on food

Where to get the app

The app is available to download for both Apple or Android devices. Simply visit the app store and search for “Be My Eyes” or click the links above.

Passwords tips and tricks

Passwords are the key to all of our personal and private information. What makes us most vulnerable to online attack or hacking by criminals is having a weak password. Use these three tips and tricks to ensure that you are less likely to become victim to online attack.

Make your password long

The longer your password, the more difficult it will be for a hacker to guess. The most common way hackers will discover your password is through a “brute force attack” where a computer program is used to run through different combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols to guess the password.

Simply put, the longer your password is, the more difficult it is for these computer programs to guess.

While there is no standard number of digits your password should be, many experts recommend it be at least 8.

Include numbers, symbols, uppercase, and lowercase letters

Adding different symbols and numbers, and having both upper and lower case letters make it more difficult for your password to be simply guessed or cracked via a brute force attack.

Some simple changes you can do to existing passwords to make them more difficult to crack would be:

  • Change the letter “o” to the number “0”
  • Change the letter “s” to the number 5
  • Change the letter “a” to the symbol “@”
  • Change the letter “s” to the symbol “$”
  • If your password is a phrase, consider capitalizing the first letter of each word

Don’t reuse passwords

Many of us use the same password for everything. Even worst, many of us use the same email address and password to log into many of our online accounts.

It is becoming more and more common for email providers to be victim to large scale attacks and it is possible that users email address’ and passwords can be compromised or published.

If this happens and you use the one password for every account you have, this means that hackers can now gain access to all of your accounts. That is why it is crucial to use unique passwords for each account.

It is important to learn how to protect yourself from online attacks. Taking courses like those offered by techKNOWtutors can help prepare you. Check out our upcoming classes for other ways you can help protect yourself and keep your information safe.