Tips On How To Be Cyber Secured

We always hear experts say that in today’s cyber-age, it is NOT always enough to just simply review your privacy settings every three months and create a strong password. Why? Simply because these cyber criminals do that too – they are wiser in being able to obtain data from people. So, aside from being vigilant, here are few more tips on how to be secured while being active online.

  • Never post any identification numbers and travel documents as we would not want to end up victims of identity theft.
  • Do not give away home, school and office addresses that may cause security harm.
  • Avoid sharing or posting eye-catching pictures of your properties and rich possessions.
  • Do not divulge information to people you only met online.
  • Refrain from sharing your exact location.
  • Set your social media account posts (as much as possible) to either private or friends only.
  • Deactivate the social media accounts you are not using.
  • Protect your password resets. You can turn on the feature where you are required to enter a personal information to successfully reset the password.
  • Do not underestimate how much your browser’s cache knows about you, clear it often.
  • Lastly, add two-factor verification. This is available for you to set up in most online accounts now.

My Instagram account has been hacked recently. My account has been used to like and follow people I do not know. I was looking for a particular image I have liked in the past and that is when I found out about it – I saw likes that I can’t even recall to have made. I had to change my password immediately and turned on the two-factor verification feature. When someone else tries to login to my Instagram account  this time, a 6 digit code has to be entered. Who else has the code but me only, because it will be sent to my mobile number. My Instagram profile being hacked somehow scared me and I also kind of felt angry and dismayed. I had to unlike a lot of images and videos – I’m not done yet actually, really upsetting.

I do hope that these tips would help you all. It is also best to refrain by being too excited in using and sharing but take time to also explore and learn more about the applications we are using. Be safe online every time, everyone!

Janine Berdin; A Genuine Star of this Generation

Young and talented Janine Berdin is a semi-finalist for the 4th quarter of Tawag Ng Tanghalan in It’s Showtime. She instantly got my attention and admiration the first time I saw and heard her sang during the daily round. Her talent and X factor made me say: “this girl will make it to the semis and even to the finals.” I even got the same feeling I had when I saw Sarah Geronimo, Charice Pempengco (now Jake Zyrus) and KZ Tandingan perform years ago in their respective singing contest performances. Janine Berdin will definitely go a long way. It is evident as all her performances get standing ovation from the judges, gives viewers the goosebumps and make us teary-eyed, clap and exclaim “hanep, ang galing!”

Besides all the praises she get every after her performances, Janine remains kid-like and humble. I saw her Facebook account and started following her even before the semis and found out that she is actively mingling with fans and keeps them, us updated via Facebook Live too. I once commented while she’s doing FB Live and she actually read my message. I decided to send another message/comment few minutes before she ended the video and she once again got to read it. The last comment was actually for my daughter Keanna, they are born the same year. So, Keanna was all smiles when the Janine Berdin greeted her as she end her live update.

If you have not seen her performances in YouTube, let me share it here. These are the ones I consider my favorites of her performances since she joined Tawag ng Tanghalan. I only have 4 videos here but who knows, her performance today might be included in my fave list.

‘MAGASIN’, her first performance at the show:

Janine rocked the stage with her rendition of Eraserheads’ ‘Ang Huling El Bimbo’ for Semis Day 3 (Awit ni Idol theme):

Her Semis Day 4 got a standing ovation from the judges with her rendition of Yano’s ‘Banal Na Aso'(Judges pick theme):

Semis Day 5 performance was Kamikazee’s ‘Narda'(OPM theme), this has left Ogie Alcasid teary-eyed:

With her awesome and obvious talent, Janine Berdin is indeed a genuine talent in this generation. She has made her mark in the industry already, even if she has not won yet. Her talent is just oozing and it is as if it keeps on growing every time she performs. I really wish she make it to the finals. We are voting for her, actually. Go girl!

Mother and Daughter; Plus The Best Friendship in Between

Mama was a widow at her early forties. I was only seven then and being an only child, I think I made the initiative to mature a little faster as Mama raised me single-handedly. I have seen how she has mastered multi-tasking and positivism even it was really hard. She was prayerful, warm-hearted and friendly. Her energy is so beautiful – enough to gain customers that turned into friends who brought few more customers. I grew up selling different kinds of what Filipinos call merienda – banana-que, turon, lumpia, kamote fries, kikiam, fish balls, squid balls, pancit Bato and the famous halo-halo. Mama was a sewer and beautician too. She has too much in her hands but never short of being a mother and friend to me at the same time. 

When she sent me to her mother and sister’s care in Buhi, Camarines Sur, our love for each other deepened. We would exchange mails on ordinary days and special occasions. She would take me with her to our home in Quezon City during summer vacation and she would visit the province during my birthdays and Christmas too. That was our arrangement for three years during my primary school years. She took me back in when I was in 6th grade. That was the only time I asked her (without any regret) why she had to live alone. Her answer made me love her more. It was a sacrifice she bravely faced. Within those years, she has faced failure on her own – I was away to hug her and assure that it is okay and she can try again. Mama was suppose to work overseas (in Hong Kong) but it did not push through for many reasons even after her long wait. She was only able to work overseas when I was already in sophomore year in high school. Her sister who took care of me then came to live with me here in the metro. We were afar from each other for another three years. It was harder but the same years made our mother and daughter relationship stronger.

Our friendship became a hit when she arrived home, I was already in my first year in college. A number of my friends expressed their admiration of how sheis to me as a mother and best friend at the same time. She was even a confidant to some of my friends. Our relationship has evolved many times but it always end up better. Life trials – health-wise, finances, first heartache, college woes and part time job mishaps, made us love and support each other many notch higher. We have grown to respect and condone each other’s shortcomings. I can say that my failures and heartaches did not leave me deep scars because of her positive attitude towards life. She has showered me with great advises and has passed on me optimism, independence and sense of humor. This exactly is why my dedication to my daughters is a lot like hers, she is my role model after all.

                

Mama passed away two months after my younger daughter turned one. Our struggle during her sickness was not at all easy but her heart stopped beating right beside me with a smile in her lips. That was the most hurtful emotion I have felt but it seemed like I can not express it – I had to be stable and strong.

My elder daughter has a lot of memories and stories about Mama. She would normally tell stories to her sister, including the lessons she learned from her grandMama. Now that she is gone, as I watch my kids grow, I have come to discover what she would tell me when I was being stubborn during my younger years — that I will know the feeling when I become a mother myself. True enough, it is difficult for a mother to let go or just let loose the invisible string our children are attached to our heart. Letting go is definitely a hard phase to go through. But I am sure that Mama’s most important though challenging role (her favorite) is being a grandmother. She once told me that my daughters are like my substitute – she instantly became a new mother again. She enjoyed learning new things as she face that new role in this generation. The fact the we were hand-in-hand in both our roles made it more valuable and happier. If we can call and talk to her now in heaven, she would happily express that she would not trade that for any other role. We may have let go of her presence but she is in our hearts forever. My daughters brought so much unexplained joy in our life and I am so glad that Mama experienced that too. It is her birth anniversary today, so, we are sending her our love and many thank yous.

May 2018 FMS Photo A Day Challenge Prompt

I have once shared here that I got featured by Little Moments App on their Instagram account as part of the FMS Photo A Day Fab Four, March 14: Clouds prompt. Now, I am sharing the FatMumSlim’s prompt list for May 2018.

Got the image from FatMumSlim’s website. I’m quite excited to share my photos for this month as May brings a lot of memories to me, be it good and the not-so-good ones. May is both my parents’ birth month. Since they are both gone now, we only get to celebrate it by simply offering prayers, candles and flowers. It is also the month of “fiestas” that I really look forward to when I was a child. May 1st is the feast of St. Joseph the Worker and this is celebrated in “Royal” (Barangay Apolonio Samson), where I spent most of my childhood and teenage years. It is a chance for cousins and other relatives to get together and chit-chat over good food. May is also the month where in Buhi (Camarines Sur) town celebrates their fiesta. Buhi is my Mom’s provincial hometown where I studied 3 years of grade school. A number of beautiful cousins also celebrate their birthdays this month. Indeed a lot of celebrating to do, right? Great number of chances to capture a lot of photos that can be shared in Instagram – and include in the Photo A Day challenge.

Join us too and challenge yourself in bringing out creatives juices in you – and photography skills that you may already have but has yet to discover. The hashtags to use for these prompts are also posted in my Instagram account, @stef0930.