Thursday, December 27, 2012

5 Tips to Secure Gmail

These days Google accounts hold vital role in our day to day life. We use them to get registered at multiple websites, receive bank statements as well as to shop online. Especially Gmail is widely used in India.According to camscore reports.

Gmail usage in India
Credit :

However, very few of us use security enhancement options offered by Gmail. Thus, we leave opportunity for hackers to invade into our personal space. 

Here are 5 points that you must consider to make your Gmail secure.

1)Enable https://

Enabling https for gmail
Figure 1.1

On internet whenever you visit a website, its server communicates with your web browser using specific set of standards called Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).In simple language can say that it is a language used by server and your web browser to talk to each other. However, this language can be sniffed and interpreted by hackers to see what is communicated between your web browser and the server.

 HTTPS means ‘HTTP + SSL’ (Hypertext Transfer Protocol + Secure Sockets Layer). HTTPS is used to ensure website’s identity and to encrypt communication between your web browser and the server. So, no one can read what your web browser and the server is communicating, thus making your credit card numbers and passwords secured.

To change settings of your Gmail account use ‘gear like’ button on top right corner of your Gmail screen. Look for Browser connection under General settings and select Always use https option.
enable https for gmail security
Figure 1.2

2) Enable 2-way verification

Very few of us are actually using this innovative feature offered by Google. It adds another security layer to Gmail sign in process by asking you to add a verification code for every sing in attempt. You can opt to receive this verification code either through a text message, a voice call or by using Google’s authentication app

Here is setup to enable 2-way verification for Gmail.

3) Track your account activity 

Gmail lets you track your activity and keep an eye on when , where and by using which device your Gmail account was last accessed! You can view these ‘Details’ from the Bottom right corner of your Gmail screen. 

view Gmail account activity
Figure 1.3
Often check this activity log to trace any suspicious happenings with your Gmail. Figure 1.4 shows the details.

4) Logging out from other Gmail sessions

Sometimes ease of accessing Gmail using your friend’s or relative’s laptop or desktop can expose it to various security threats if we forget to sign out properly. Make sure to use Gmail’s Sign out all other sessions button from activity log.

Sign out of all Gmail sessions
Figure 1.4

5) Due to vast availability of Wi-Fi hubs in public places like airports and hotels people are usually tempted to check mails. Your laptop or tablet’s data can be compromised by packet-sniffing software when accessed through such public hotspots. So, it is wise to avoid such temptation and not to use public wi-fi hotspots.

Apart from these five points primary precautions like using proper passwords by combining alphabets and numbers must be used. I hope this effort of mine will help you enhance security of Gmail.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Fingerless gloves crochet pattern


I have been pinning a lot of crochet patterns these days however; I end up creating very few of them :( . Pinterest addiction is dragging me into another addiction of expanding my yarn stash!

Last week I tried my hands on crocheting finger-less gloves for my kids and it turned out best ever winter gifts for them. I found a super easy and free pattern at . It was really quick to work on this project. I have made these gloves especially to match with their school uniform.
Easy crochet finger-less gloves

My little one is 6 and finding it so comfy that he is not willing to take it off even after school hours. He is asking me to make another fancy pair of gloves to ware at home. 
Easy crochet pattern for finger-less gloves

For the elder one, being able to write while wearing these gloves is a major plus point!
Crochet finger-less gloves for kids

I am planning to make one lacy fingerless gloves for myself too once I finish my current crochet project scalloped scarf!

Wish you a very happy Monday!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Remember that ‘LIKE’ button is linked to your profile!

Hi again!

If you have a Facebook account you must have found at least one of your childhood friend with whom you were not in touch for many years! Thanks to the biggest social networking site on the planet that helped you find and reconnect with old friends.

I would love to share an interesting Infographis about Facebook statistics 2012 with you. According to this India is one of the fastest growing Facebook country! 

Facebook Like button
Facebook Statistics 2012

I thought of writing a post about ‘LIKE’ button of Facebook. 

Facebook collects much more information about all of us. A single click on Facebook ‘LIKE’ button can trigger many real life consequences. Here is a list of five things that one should know about ‘LIKE’ button.

  •      How ‘LIKE’ button is used by brands and products !

Do you know...

When you click on LIKE button on any Facebook page it will be reflected on your friend’s news feed. Thus, your friends will know that you like a particular page.

Mostly, people do this just to show what brand of shoes, cloths or even soaps they have recently purchased and liked.


True meaning of clicking a LIKE button on any Facebook page goes like this...

‘You are willing read and stay updated with everything that is posted on that page. Facebook Page could be about a brand, a product, a business or an interest! Thus, all those who have liked a facebook page of any particular brand end up seeing their own news feed with all the promotional updates from those brands.’

Infect, most of the times we see advertises in the right panel along with a list of our friends who have already liked a page. Thus, encouraging you to consider and like the page!

  •    LIKE’ button collects your information

There exist many Facebook pages about awareness on specific diseases or treatments. Be mindful before liking them because unknowingly you are providing data that insurance companies may use against you!

  •  ‘LIKE’ button can put you in embarrassing situations

Many a times clicking on ‘LIKE’ button can create embarrassing situations especially for those condolence messages, RIP status updates or earthquake news updates.

  • ‘LIKE’ button can catch lies!

 Don’t be surprised to discover...One of your friend who you knew as a pure vegetarian has liked a Facebook page about Chicken recipes! Or one of your relative you knew doesn't drink has liked a brand page of a best selling alcohol!

 ‘LIKE’ button can really help you find like minded people

From your profile page try to access your own ‘likes’. Facebook can help you find who else from your friend list share your interest. When I liked a page on ‘Alchemist  by Paulo Coelho’ I was thrilled to know that few of my cousins also liked it!

Facebook has become a place where  you can have your boss, clients, relatives, childhood friends, neighbours and ex-colleagues around. Someone’s good laugh can become an insult for the other one. So, be mindful before clicking that ‘LIKE’ button.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Easy crochet case pattern for any cell phone!


Slowly temperature is falling in entire north India. It is time to take out our woolens  For crochet lover like me, November is the time to pick up the hook and shape the yarn in something interesting!

I wanted to make woolen sleeve cover for my relatives and friends as a gift so, I tried searching internet for pattern. Some of them were too specific with crochet hook size to be used, yarn/wool specifications like crochet tension, 2ply, 4ply etc. Such details turned out totally confusing for me.

 I have had few beautiful left over woolen balls from previous projects. So, I made these free styled cell phone case. It took two days leisure time to complete these small projects!

Here are some tips for you to make simple cell phone cozies!

Make a chain as long as the width of your cell phone. You should be able to slide your cell phone once you join the chain and make a loop as shown in the figure below.
Crochet pattern for Cell phone

For the next round make Single Crochet in each chain. Once you complete your round do not join but, continue making single crochet in each stitch. Continue crocheting till you reach the length of your cell phone.
Crochet pattern for cell phone case

Turn the work inside out. Now, here is my own trick to make the bottom of the case.

Leave the outside loops and grab only inside loops on to the hook from top most ring of your crochet work.Join inside loops of each parallel stitches with a slip stitch!

Crochet pattern for cell phone case

Crochet diagram for making the bottom of cozy

Turn your work and your own cell phone cozy is ready!

I did some embroidery using yellow and green wool.

Crochet Cell phone Case

I also enjoyed making stripes on another cell phone cozy!Thanks to a wonderful tutorial found here for seam color change in making these beautiful stripes. 

I tried one more Bottle green colored cell phone cozy and made some leaves for camouflage style!  

        Crochet Cell phone Case with stripes

 Finally, I can say that I enjoyed making these tiny projects especially bottoms of these cozies!

Crochet pattern for Cell phone cozy

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Real voting Machine for Presidential Election 2012

Over the last decade Internet is playing a major role in our decision making process. We tune to Google maps to find most suitable route to our destination! We tune to internet for finding nearest restaurant for authentic food! Do you think voters for the Presidential election 2012 were using power of Internet?

Here are some facts that shows how voters were not far behind from using power of internet before deciding to whom to cast their vote.
Let us look back few months from now and see what information voters were looking for on Internet about their future President? 

If you look at Google trends over the past 12 months and compare how many people were looking for information about ‘Obama’ and ‘Romney’ you can find surprising facts! Throughout the period more and more people were interested in searching for ‘Obama’.

Similarly, Yahoo’s trend analysis data says people were more interested in searching information about ‘Obama’ over ‘Romney’!

Check out this Interesting Infographic from StateTech magazine about social media engagement. Mayoral and gubernatorial race winners for year 2010, 2011 and 2012 had close connection with their leader’s social engagement. The winners had more twitter followers and facebook fans than their opponents!

When President Barak Obama claimed his victory by posting a tweet ‘This happened because of you. Thank you,’ ,it became most popular tweet on the twitter. Moreover, a Facebook photograph posted after his Presidential victory became the most liked photograph on Facebook.

Now, can we say that Internet has became our new voting machine?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tips for Searching images on Internet

Many a times we need images or photographs for variety of purpose.

You may need it to share a funny message on Facebook with your friends in a creative way or just want to make a personalized greeting card with a nice image. 

Many a times clipart is not enough to convey a message in a presentation so you need to search more suitable image!

What ever the purpose may be however, our goal is to find best image that suits our requirement. So let’s explore some tips on searching Images on internet.

Google Image Search is a very powerful tool that allows you to filter your search in a variety of ways using advance search!

For example while searching for a recipe, key in your word in Google image search for more visual results. Here is my result page on Google Image Search for carrot recipes.
Searching Images in Google
Add caption
Google Image Search can help you in a detailed project research where you need to search for documents. For example it can readily give you an insight on ancient documents. 

Tips for Google Image Search

You can even narrow down your search result by selecting region from advance search. 

If you want to make a greeting card for your friend who loves purple color and you need to find pictures of flowers with shades of purple color only. Here is what Google Image Search can do for you! 

Key-in flower in Google Image Search and choose Advance Search from Settings.

Now, From option Colors in the image choose radio button this color to specify your color choice.
Search images with specific color
Result page will surely offer plenty options for you to choose. Now, Choice is yours to narrow down it by choosing specific flower names like rose or lily!

For example, you need inspiration for drawing a picture of flower ! Try using option Line drawing from type of image under Advance Image Search

Image Search by its type line drawing

You will surely be amazed with result page about what others have shared with you!

Line drawing image search tips

Similarly if you want funny dog picture to share a message on facebook or need a clipart for one of your presentation! Try searching for clipart in Advance Image Search.

filter image search for clipart only

Though you can enjoy most images on Internet look for its copyright.

Searching Images that you want to share or use commercially becomes easy with filters for creative commons in Google Image Search.
Creative commons image Search

Flickr image search is another favorite tool for finding images ! It lets you search for illustration or art on any given subject! Give it a try and you will surely enjoy it!

Here is what you can do with Flickr image search!

I don’t want to see just photographs of lion rather I want to look for illustration or art work shared by other for subject ‘lion’

Result page with variety of art work and illustrations on subject ‘lion’ is listed.

Apart from using Google and Flickr there are many more ways to find interesting images using flickriver, deviantart , imgur  and many free stock image sites.

Let me know your ways of finding interesting images too!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Searching the Internet for trustworthy information


From last few days I was thinking of writing something useful for few of my friends who loves Googling and searching internet.

I am actually very happy to see their reaction when they open Google in their web browser, key in a term and confidently press the search button. Choosing one website from a long list of websites from the result page is even more exciting for them! 

What next?

They just start reading the webpage religiously.

Google can flood our laptop screen with information on any topic. Now, let me ask you one thing; Have you ever thought that you might not be the first one looking for information on the topic? What you are searching on Google may have been searched many more times before.

How about finding webpages that many more people have already searched, found, read and liked? Those are the webpages actually worth reading.

So, how do you know what is most trustworthy information the Internet on any topic?

The answer is through social bookmarking cloud.

With cloud bookmarking services like or you can filter the best webpages on any topic of your choice.

Cloud bookmarks are nothing but a list of your favourite webpages that you can access from any ware and any time. Saving your bookmarks in a cloud means it is saved on a remote computer or server giving you freedom to access it either from your home computer or from office computer.

For example, I am a big fan of crocheting. Whenever I find any interesting crochet pattern I bookmark it using I also group them based on tags so later I can access them easily. I don’t even have to remember whether it was for kids or it was for home decoration; I just tag them with the term! 

Here is a screenshot of my diigo library with some of my favourite tags.

Interestingly, on these cloud bookmarking sites you can find many social groups based on your interest. You can bookmark webpages that you came across while surfing the internet and bookmark them as well as share it with specific social group. Every member in the group can share bookmarks and add it to the group’s pool.

Other members of the group can usually vote for new bookmarks just like facebook likes! Thus, filtering the best ones with more votes! 

So, searching through this pool of social bookmark can give you thorough insight of how many people have liked or voted a particular webpage! Here is an example, if you search a term ‘kids’ in you will get a list of webpages tagged with the term ‘kids’.

Another example, In my diigo library I follow home and garden group where I share whatever I find interesting related to home and garden as well as check out what other have found they feel is worth sharing on the topic. To stay updated I subscribe through rss button on the right most corner of the group page. 

Similarly has hundreds of subreddits on variety of topics. You can visit subreddits of your interest and look for webpages that are up voted the most.

Some of my favourite bookmarking sites are diigo, delicious, xmaks, Google bookmarks and yahoo bookmarks. All you need is an account with respective website and a browser extension to quickly bookmark your interests. If you have not yet installed that browser extension just grab one! 

Download and install Google Chrome extensions or Mozilla Firefox add-ons for bookmarking and start building your own bookmark cloud!

So, next time when you Google something do not forget to check the social bookmarking cloud of your choice!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Crocheted Cover for Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus

Recently I have been using pinterest for lovely crocheted items like flowers, pillows , bookmarks and many more items. I am collecting and pinning them all on my board crochet ideas.

Last week I made this lovely sleeve for my Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus. I just used yarn balls that I had (Royal blue and cream cotton yarn). It turned out so good that many of my friends want me to make one for them!

I am planning to make woollen sleeve too for coming winter!
Thank you for stopping by my blog. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

10 Best android apps I have found so far.

A Smartphone can really help you become smart!You can trun it into walkmeter, heart rate monitor or a scanner! Here a list 10 best android apps I have found so far. 

Google sky map :  My kids have keen interest in astronomy. Google sky map is a wonderful app that allows us to browse the sky and locate current position of planets , stars and constellations.

Being able to view current position of Mars and Saturn along along the horizon is breathtaking!  

Showing my kids RA/Dec  grid time by time is real fun! They love to locate planets early morning and late night to feel the spinning of earth!

Though my kids are small, they love to search their favorite constellations Pegasus, Ursa Major and Scorpius. Making them learn so much at such an early stage of life was just not possible without this app!

Cardio Trainer My favorite app that keeps me motivated for my evening walk! It counts every step that I take for enjoying better health! It even tell you the speed you are running at! It tracks number of calories burned during variety of workouts like pilates, aerobics, badminton and many more!

Instant heart rate: It may sound childish but, true that after every session of power yoga I do check my heart rate to know my workout intensity!

My favorite reading hub to hook throughout the day where you can get news articles directly from sites like Hindustan Times and  IBN live, business articles from Entrepreneur and Techdirt , Science and Technology articles from  PCWorld , CNET and TechCrunch , lifestyle articles from  Women’s Health, Lifehacker and yoga journal.

 Hold on!

These are just my favorites you can subscribe to many other interests in various categories from sports to politics!

Google reader : This wonderful app helps me stay tuned to my favorite blogs that I have subscribed to! I can read their latest post directly from my Smartphone! Hurre!

TOI:  My favorite newspaper’s digital copy along with local news from more than 30 cities of India. This is my very first app that I use with my morning cup of tea!

Indian Train Locator: Ours is train friendly family ! Every week one of our family members is travelling by train. This app helps a lot to find arrival / departure time as well as its running status!

Whatsapp: Must have app to share pics and videos with family and friends!

Yahoo Answers Launcher: Fun app that gives lot of satisfaction by helping people solve their problems!

Camscanner : Converts any documents into .pdf files like ID cards, news paper article. This app comes handy when I want to share recipes from my recipe book with my friends!

I am still missing a long list of my favourite games like Temple Run and Drop! Music and video players, FB, Twitter extensions and much more...

Dynamic android market is coming up with hundreds of new apps everyday!

Every popular websites need a makeover as an app interface. So, let’s wait and watch for much more exciting apps!

Please do let me know your favorite apps too. I would love to explore more in android market!

Friday, July 27, 2012

How to set up wifi for Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus

Very first thing that I did after purchasing my Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus was to set up Wi-Fi and access Internet! I have capture screenshots of each step to share it with you.

At home I have setup Wi-Fi access point that allows me to access Internet on my laptop without any messy wires!

I have chosen unlimited broadband plan to enjoy internet without worrying about data usage. So, why not set up Wi-Fi for Smartphone too!

Step by step configuration shown here is for Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus. However, once you understand basics of Wi-Fi set up, you can easily configure other Smartphone too.

First of all you need to turn on Wi-Fi for your Smartphone. 

Step-1 Tap on the bottom left Menu button. Screen as shown in the Figure 1.1 will appear.
Figure 1.1

Step-2 Tap on the Settings option. Options as shown in the Figure 1.2 will appear on your Samsung Galaxy mobile.

Figure 1.2

Step-3  Tap on the Wireless and network option, Options as shown in Figure 1.3 will appear.
Figure 1.3

Step-4 Tap on Wi-Fi settings. Wi-Fi Settings options as shown in the Figure 1.4 will appear. 

Figure 1.4

Step-5 Tap on the Wi-Fi check box to turn it on. Your screen will quickly flash a message “Turning on wi-fi...” as soon as your check box will get selected.

Step-6 It will take a few seconds to search for nearby Wi-Fi networks. Soon you will be able to see a list of available Wi-Fi networks.

In my case my home Wi-Fi network’s SSID( name of my wi-fi network) is ‘Omshanti’ at present. However, I keep changing it periodically! 

Figure 1.5

Step-7 Tap on Wi-Fi network you want to get connected to. You are done with your Wi-Fi configuration if you are connecting to an open Wi-Fi network.

In my case ‘Omshanti’ is Secured Wi-Fi network.

When you try to connect to a Secured Wi-Fi network it will as for Network Security Key(usually a 13 digit number). Once you enter it you are connected to your Wi-Fi access point!

You can even check signal strength from the top bar of your Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus as shown in the Figure 1.5.

Let me know if this little piece of information of some use to you! I would love to hear from you!

Thank you for stopping by my blog!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My first Smartphone took me to the world of Android!

Last week I bought my first smartphone – Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus & joined the army of smartphone owners accounting for India’s 9% mobile population.

I didn’t knew neither cared much about Smartphone. My previous mobile phone had a proper keyboard to key in text messages where as Smartphones just have one key! I was happy with my Dell Inspiron to get all my work done!

Now, I have a tiny device that can get most of my work done without even switching on my laptop.

What made me proud owner of this android run smartphone was its configuration. This tiny device has 1GHz processor! 5MP  camera with LED flash! 3 GB internal memory!

Holding a Smartphone in my palm and browsing through icons took me way back in 1996 when I had used Windows 3.11 for the first time! Times of using Windows 95, Windows 98 & Windows NT!

Times when I used to wait for next release of PC World Magazine which used to come with free CD loaded with lots of trial versions of newly released software , screen savers and other goodies. Those where proud moments of using speech recognition software for the first time in 1998!

Home screen of my Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus has Google Search with speech recognition. 

All I need to do is just tap on the microphone, say a search term & voila! 

In a moment Google search result with thousands of pages are available on your Smartphone! Isn’t it amazing?

Google Mobile apps like Maps, Gmail, Youtube and Google + are pre installed. Meaning I can check my mails without switching on my laptop, Checkout my Google plus stream updates on the go.

Even post new updates & +1 content that I like!

My first visit to Android Market, now called Google play was amazing! So many applications for almost every task! I am so excited about installing new applications & experimenting with them.

Thank you for stopping by my blog. Stay tuned with me as I start my journey to explore more & more Android applications. Do not forget to let me know your favorite apps too!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

SEO keyword tutorial using free tools

Keywords are most important words that are suppose to bring in visitors to your website or blog. Websites need to bring in visitors from search engine that are looking for specific product or services that they offer.
 There are thousands of web pages offering exactly similar product or service, in other words competitive web pages. Your SEO strategy for finding most suitable keywords along with other parameters will determine where your webpage stands in this worldwide competition!

Combining multiple free SEO tools like Google search insights and Adwords keyword research tool can bring you highly effective results.

Let me walk you through this SEO keyword tutorial to use them for your benefit.

Primary criteria for finding correct keyword is:

è  Keyword must be highly searched
è Keyword must have beatable competition level

Google search insights is a wonderful tool to find search volume for any specific keyword. It is also a great tool for finding rising search terms related to your keyword. Search volume tells you how many searches are done for a specific keyword as compared to other terms searched on Google. 

Now,  you need to narrow down your criteria for finding keywords to target specific product or service. You can narrow down geographic area for finding local search volume of specific keyword. You can even narrow down your search for specific date range.

Google search insights gives you comprehensive data about top search terms related to your keywordcas well as rising search terms related to your keyword! It also shows growth change in percentage.

Moreover, when you find “Breakout instead of percentage that means this particular search term has more than 5000% growth!

 So, using this technique make a list of keywords related to product or service you are offering. This is how we have found highly searched keywords!

Now, let’s check our keywords for its competition level against other similar web pages.
Google Adwords Keyword tool can help you in mining right keywords as well as expand your current keyword list.

Type in a few keywords from your list and hit the search button. For each search term you will get its competition level , Global Monthly searches & local monthly searches.

Look for keywords with low or medium Competition level. 

Note : Considering Approximate CPC parameter can help blogs running AdSense ads to increase their income.

Now, you have filtered your keywords according to competition level shown by AdWords keyword tool.

Finally, we will refine our keywords using tyron shum’s forumula for finding keyword difficulty level.
Having keyword in page title is very important for on-page SEO. So, finding number of pages already having the same keyword in page title will let you know real competition level.

To find number of pages having your selected keyword in page title use Google’s command line Allintitle as follows for each keyword and make a spreadsheet.

Now, off-page optimization level of web page can be determined based on another Google’s command line Allinanchor. Result shows number web pages that have your selected keyword as an anchor text of their back links.

Web pages having keyword in page title as well as anchored text as a back link are far strong competitors. Using a formula shown below, find keyword difficulty level for each keyword.

Keyword difficulty = ( (#allintitle + #allinanchor)+([#diffrence]*2))/1000
If your keyword difficulty is below 10, that means you have hit the correct keyword. Higher the keyword difficulty level you will need to work hard to rank on search engines.

Finding correct keywords for SEO is most crucial that is why it is called gold mining! There are no short cuts in finding keywords. Let me know if this piece of information was useful to you.

I truly appreciable your interest in reading this article and looking for your comments.