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.
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:
Finding dropped items
Describing pictures or paintings
Matching or explaining colors
Reading labels on products
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 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.
Two-factor authentication (sometimes called 2FA) is a way to increase the security of websites/social media/apps that we use online by making it so that you have to do more than providing a password to login.
Before we get into the details, let’s explain what authentication is, and the different types of authentication.
What is authentication?
Authentication is best described as the ability to determine that someone is who they declare to be. When we are using a website/social media/app that requires a log-in, we provide credentials that verify we are who we say we are in the form of a username and a password.
Types of authentication
There are three main methods of providing authentication when we log into a website/social media/app:
Something you know – this would be a password
Something you posses – this would be pass-code that is provided to you at log in (I’ll explain in a moment)
Something you are – this would be a bio-metric method of authentication. Some smart phones/devices are able to read our fingerprints, etc.
Most websites/social media/apps require only one of these forms of authentication to login – a password. This can be problematic for several reasons. Many people choose to use the same password for everything or choose a weak password that can be easily guessed. Even if they are using a strong password, hackers are getting better at mass-password theft.
To protect yourself it is wise to use an additional method of authentication along with your password.
Most websites/social media/apps have an option in their settings to send you a code via text message when you log in. Once you enter your password you will be prompted to enter the code that was just sent to your phone. Once you have entered that code, you will be able to log in as normal.
Doing this means that even if someone else has your password, they will not be able to access your account unless they also have your phone.
Adding this extra security step is just one thing that you can do to help keep yourself from being victim of cyber theft. Want to learn more? Check out our upcoming classes for other ways you can help protect yourself and keep your information safe.