The Art of Explanation by Lee LeFever (Lessons To Take From)

With years of experience in creating explanations for organization and educators, Lee Lefever has discovered that inviting people to care and be motivated to learn more about our ideas is a challenge.

With the mistakes and techniques that he learned from building his own company, stories of other people, and doing projects with high-end companies, he was able to accumulate strategies and advices that would lead us into better explainers.

Lee pointed out that we all take explanation for granted. Because it is a natural part of us growing up, while in fact it is a skill that we can definitely shape up as a tool for accomplishing our goals.

This article will be spoiling you with some of the juicy advices that you find in the book. But need not worry, this is a peek into the mystery of the book, there are so much more depth, so much more invaluable insights in the book that this post will never do it justice.

Great explainers have the ability to picture themselves in another person’s shoes and communicate from that perspective.

To create an excellent explanation requires us to imagine ourselves in the audience’s shoes. By seeing the world from their point of view, we help them feel at home. For example, tell direction to a foreign tourist.

Explanations Answer the Question “Why?”

As Lee said, explanation is not just a package of facts, but a presentation that tell us why they should care, why twitter is so popular, why it makes sense to save for retirement.

The idea behind the curse of knowledge is that when we know a subject very well, we have a difficult time imagining what is it like not to know it.

Assumption of just one person’s level of confidence in the subject being explained would not cause much of a bias. However, explaining to a group of people new information, you have no choice but to assume their level of knowledge in that subject. And more often than not, the mismatch to what they actually really know is every common.

For example, if you work in a financial field, then words such as amortization, depreciation and vesting would become part of your language, and pretty much the same to your colleagues. The words, the language, they have become part of your culture, and subconsciously, we start to lose touch with how they might be unfamiliar to others. Therefore, it would not be incredibly wise to use these words at family or friends reunions.

The need to appeal to experts also has the potential to make our explanations fail.

It is undenying productive to be inspired by experts, most of us idolize those professionals, and of course want them to see our work. However, by the need to look smart to those individuals, we ignore our ability to make everyone in the room feel smart, and that would unfortunately lead to explanation failure.

What makes an explanation so insidious is that it has the power to ruin the best, most productive, life changing ideas in just a few sentences.

A story of Andre, an IT graduate from Stanford University, involving him starting up a product with other competent engineers, who put effort and passion to overcome problems in the journey. However, a few months after the launch day, less and less people used his product. When he set out to find out why, he discovered that the marketing of the product had an explanation problem. And to solve the problem, they need a plan.

The “explanation scale”, a simple A-Z scale model created by Lee to help visualize the audience, account for their needs, and move them from misunderstanding to understanding via a carefully crafted explanation.

When encountering an explanation problem, ask yourself these questions:

  • Where are you on the scale regarding a specific idea?
  • Where is your audience?
  • What assumptions are making about their level of understanding?
  • Are your current explanations accounting for everyone on the scale?
  • Should they?

Stepping outside the bubble

Andre and his team are smart people. In his of explanation, he prefers to express himself in a vernacular way, showing his knowledge and intelligence. However, this style of conveyance only speaks directly and comprehensively to the experts, the people at the Z level of the explanation scale. Therefore, with all the technical words, shortcuts and acronyms in his message, it only makes sense to the people within the bubble of experts. Thus, he needs to step outside the bubble and imagine his users at the “A” end of the scale.

They need to control their urge to look smart and rather make targeted audience feel smart.

The solution to that problem– is packaging.

What goes into the packaging?

Essential elements for packaging ideas to account for the audiences’ needs:

  • Agreement— this builds up more confidence and connections with the audience. For example: “We can all agree that gas prices are rising.”
  • Context— transit to the points where you think why it matters to the audience. For instance, you can say ” More of your income is going to pay for the transportation.”
  • Story— narrate a person who took the chance and experience a change perspective and emotions. “Meet Sally; she’s tired of paying so much for gas and needs alternatives. Here’s what she found.”
  • Connections— connect the story with analogies that people already understand. “Sally could see that taking the bus is like multitasking because she can work and commute at the same time.”
  • Description–focuses on how versus why. “Sally found that she could save more than $20 a week by taking the bus three times weekly.”
  • Conclusion— wraps up and provides the next step with the focus on the audience. ” The next time gas prices get you down, remember…”

CONTEXT

As important as ideas and facts, context plays a major role in explaining what those ideas and facts mean.

Whether it is explaining the topic of discussion to a friend, doing a presentation about your research, teaching something to a student, or presenting your new product, it is crucial that we build the context first before we jump into the details.

As Lee put it, ” To talk about the forest first and then about the trees”.

To dig down to the metaphor, here are 2 of Lee’s examples:

Example 1:

Imagine you arrive to your friends who are in deep conversations. And for a while, you gathered some information pieces such as Chelsea and Arsenal, and you thought they were talking about English Premier League Soccer. Then you other names such as Barcelona and Juventus, which then confused you and you can’t make sense out of it all.

And then your friend says “Oh, sorry, we’re talking about UEFA Champion League, which brings together the best teams of Europe. Specifically, we’re talking about the English teams and how they are doing in league play.”

Example 2:

Angela who has been very interested in business, she loved working with numbers and has great attention to details, which are the skills needed to be accountants. So she decided to attend an accounting workshop which picked up from an ad in her local newspaper. For an hour with the accounting instructor Mr. Tidwell, as he was pointing the tools and terms such as credits, debits, revenues, and expenses, Angela started to question her ability to be an accountant. She didn’t understand how that would apply in real life.

However, after meeting with a different teacher that her friend introduced, Ms. Stowe, who asked her to talk about her experience in business, about her previous jobs, explained to her well about how business runs. For an adequate amount of time with Ms. Stowe, she didn’t hear the work debit once. She was first taught about the basics, how the money flows in the business, how businesses make profit. As Angela has now learnt about the basics of business and why accounting is important for management of the business, she is more excited and can make sense of what the details.

Context in Explanation – We Can all Agree

Starting your explanation with declarative, non-controversial statements that everyone would agree on is not only a good way to engage the audience, but also a help in explaining the forest and enhancing the credibility of what about to come next. Here are a few examples:

“The web is becoming more social. Forrester research says that…”

“More applications are being moved to the cloud. Examples include…”

“Video is a growing form of communication on the Web. YouTube has grown by X amount.”

Context and Pain

The storytelling that depicts pain plays into human emotions, which therefore creates more understanding. The storyline goes with a character wants or needs something, and must endure pain to get it.

Example:

Meet Bob, he has a problem and feels pain

He discovers a solution and tries it

Now he feels happy

Don’t you want to feel like Bob?

Overall, in building a context, we have to do a good job in explain why? As in why should they care?

STORY

Storytelling is appropriate for every situation, however specific kinds of storytelling can make a difference in the understandability of an idea.

The goal is to of course- create an explanation people remember because it made them feel something.

Here is an example of explaining blogs in 2 different ways:

A blog is a personal journal published on the WWW consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first. Blogs are usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often are themed on a single subject. — Wikipedia, 2012

And…

Meet Allison. She recently created a website where she posts information about her experiences raising a puppy. Her website is an online journal, or blog, where she posts a new entry that appears at the top of her page every few days. The stream of entries has enabled her to connect with dog lovers from around the world.

Stories, in the context of explanations, need facts. And facts can be explained much more effectively in the form of a story. By adding a person to a narrative, we make the facts more meaningful and interesting.

Personification and Story

You’d guess that stories are often a good fit for explanations where the main subject is related to human actions or experiences. To your surprise, that’s not necessarily the case. But how to we tell a story about the formation of a comet though? The answer is: personification.

Personification is applying human traits to objects. Utilizing personification can make complex ideas seem more human and real, by relating the idea in terms of emotion, desires, and needs.

CONNECTIONS

Let’s say your uncle Jed just immerged from the wood after being lost for 30 years. He was not exposed to the modern technology, and therefore was curious about e-mails. Of course, e-mailing has become second nature to you, thus you would have work on putting yourself in uncle Jed’s shoes. Explaining to him the details of the email is exacting talking about the trees, hence you have to realize what Jed already knows. In this case, he is familiar with the traditional way for sending letters and mails with a physical mailbox via a postal service. This serves a perfect connection for your explanation to say that e-mails are essentially “letters via computers.”

Another example of explaining Netflix:

Few can afford to have a giant library of DVDs, so it makes sense to rent them. But your local movie rental store suffers from a lack of selection and inconvenience . You make a trip to the score to buy a DVD and found out that  your choices are sold out.

Building-on versus Establishing

Connections can be built on existing knowledge rather than trying to establish a completely new idea. As simple as it sounds, it is easily forgotten in the context of explanation. When we’re asked to explain something, we often approach it in a new idea perspectives, as we assume the idea is new to the audience.

Analogy, Metaphor and Simile

Using analogy, metaphor and simile can aide us in establishing a connection between two ideas, which is key in making ideas easy to understand.

One example of metaphor here, “My classroom is a zoo”, meaning my classroom is unruly and the members are wild.

DESCRIPTION

On an explanation scale, someone at B might want to see the why of an idea then how. Yet someone at R, who already already understands the big picture of the big idea may need explanation that put more focus on the how. This individual would have more interest in the details and tactical information which is the tree.

SIMPLIFICATION

A tech-savvy adult who was asked to explain what virtualization  means, from his perspective, it is next to impossible to explain it to a person with elementary knowledge about computers.

Explanations from experts would tend to be:

  • Accurate but incomprehensible
  • Detailed but ineffective
  • Filled with new words
  • Presented without context or application

However if you as an expert want to really help a person who is not expert to understand the concept, here are some advices:

  • Do not make assumptions about what people already know
  • Use the most basic language possible
  • Zoom out and try to see the subject form the broadest perspective possible
  • Forget the details and exceptions and focus on big ideas
  • Trade accuracy for understanding
  • Connect the basic ideas to ideas the audience already understands

CONSTRAINTS

Imagine you’re going into a tie shop to buy a tie, which something very simple. Then as you walk into the store, the incredible variety of colors, shapes, fabrics and patterns is just overwhelming. One might think that having every option available on the table would be liberating, which is misleading.

In this situation, you are faced with the “Paradox of Choice”, which prevents you from feeling happy with any choice.

Dealing with issue, an approach to this would be to limit your choices before you visit the shop. Lets say you chose a specific color, simple design, this will help you make the right decision with focus and confidence.

This would apply in the same manner for crafting explanations. Not every ideas and styles can fit into one explanation. You have to take some ideas behind the shed and murder them. Limiting your choices and eliminating others would serve to shape your explanation to move forward.

Here are the constraints that we consider in explaining an idea:

  • Timeline
  • Duration
  • Location
  • Format
  • Idea volume
  • Language (how technical are the audience)

Preparing for and Writing an Explanation

Writing is a logical step in the process of transforming an idea into something useful. The key to better explanation is having your script written down, where they can evolve before being presented.

Big ideas- with specific goals, focus on the title  of the explanation, look for potential to fill a gap, to create an explanation where none exist or where one exists in less usable forms.

Research and discovery – as important as packaging existing facts into new, more understandable forms, we also need to look at how they are communicated or explained in the past. Instead of explaining the idea that could mean differently to different people, it is more innovative and creative to think of it in terms of metaphor, and focus on why people should care.

Script writing – this is where the ideas come to life and take shape. It is a rule thumb to know your script limit. For example, you want your explanation to be 1 minute long, you would better be preparing a maximum of 150 words script.

Here is an overview of the elements of a basic script, in order:

  • Agreement
  • Context- problem/ pain and vision of solution
  • Story
  • Connection
  • Description
  • Realization of solution – how6yyy
  • Call to action

BRINGING AN EXPLANATION TOGETHER

In giving reasons to support an idea or a plan, ask yourself why for each of the reason that you make that people should care about. Start out by making accurate, noncontroversial statements that everyone can agree on, then package the ideas in a way that appeals to the audience. Solution is to come up with stories unrelated to the idea, characters, metaphors, analogies, etc.

COMMON CRAFT’S LESSONS LEARNED

Ten lessons learned:

  • State your intentions early – by stating your intention early, by building context is essential for achieving your specific explanation goal.
  • Solve problems – work around the what the explanation lack, whether it’s the why  part or the how  part
  • Keep it short – people in this era are busy nowadays, therefore their attention spans short designed to only grab a handful of ideas
  • Reduce noise – we are too surrounded by noise in our lives which is the reason why most of the things we here are not too pronounced to grab our attention. Therefore, it is wise to explain in an environment or setting that is quite enough for people to focus their attention on our explanation.
  • Use visuals – many people can grab more through visuals. By combining visuals and audio, we can maximize our ability to effectively explain to the audience.
  • Embrace imperfection
  • Slow down
  • Be timeless – make your explanation as valuable in the future as it is today, don’t emphasize on temporary trends or brand in your explanation.
  • Be accessible – find a medium through which your materials are accessible to people.
  • Have fun! – be creative! You can use unexpected visuals, hand gestures, humor, or even sarcasms.

RIGHT MEDIUM FOR THE MESSAGE

There’s a reason why there’s a lack of cooking shows on the radio. They exist but are few, because the medium is the best fit for the message. Cooking is best when it’s visual, or ever better, live. One of the keys to getting the most out of an explanation is being deliberate about the media in which you choose to present it.

Explanations, by definition, are meant for sharing. In isolation, they wither and die.

This chapter devoted to giving your explanations an opportunity to flourish and potentially, live forever.

In communication your ideas to others, you have multiple options at your disposal. To think through these options, it helps to group evaluate them in terms of pros and cons:

  • Media options
    • Text
    • Image/graphic
    • Audio
    • Video
    • Live demonstration
  • Presentation modes
    • Documents
    • Presentation/ slideshow
    • Website
    • Webinar
    • Video
    • Web-based presentation apps
  • Recording and distribution options – undoubted in a face-to-face method of explanation, the idea is communicated, the time has passed, there’s no going back in time to review the explanation again. Therefore, other than the audience presented, no one hears or know about the idea, unless,  the explanation was recorded in some way, be it documents, books, audio, or video, etc. that people can share for their friends and family.

VISUALS

Words don’t do the idea justice.

It is often overlooked how much a simple visual can capture a way to communicate a powerful and transformational idea.

Just a simple chart of two axis, and a curve representing the demand can be interpreted and applied to many different concepts.

To strategically explain an idea or solve a problem, we dissect the idea into 6 problem clusters, each represents a piece of a pie chart:

  • Who and what the problems- what is the problem and who does it affect
  • How much – measuring and counting
  • When problems – scheduling and timing of the challenge
  • Where – pointing out directions and how things fit together
  • How problems – shows how things influence one another
  • Why problems – see the big picture

For further detail, we can creatively add more visuals to each of the cluster, for example:

  • Who and what problems: create a portrait for each who could have the problem
  • How much problems: use a chart to represent goals and progress
  • When problems: use a timeline chart to display the each phase toward achieving the goal
  • Where problems – use a map to show how things connect together or work
  • How problems – use a flowchart with yes or no questions and instructions to help solve the problems
  • Why problems – use a multiple plot speculations of the outcome from different approaches

Mastering all the techniques provided above, you can make explanations more visible and interesting, whether it’s among colleagues, your family, or your friends. When you’re asked to explain something, see it as an opportunity to develop, evolve stories and connections that are more powerful than any answer you’ve given before.

Seize the opportunity! Seize the day!

Click here to go to Lee Lefever’s Common Craft‘s website.

The Summary of the Internet for People in a Hurry- Part 1

Do not expect a five-sentence summary.

This is the internet explained in the simplest explanation possible.

Note: We do not own any copyrights of these contents. The context is below is a research on the we. Refer below for sources.

Alright! No preamble, let’s get started!

What is the Internet?

  • Internet is a network that allows computers to talk to one another which pretty much works like postal services. Originated from the ARPAnet, created in the 1960s, for the purpose of researchers and scientists in different universities communicating with each other, and for military purposes.
  • To communicate with each other, every device need an IP address, short for Internet Protocol address, just like building and home addresses, IP addresses differentiate one device from the other.

And an IP address??

  • IP addresses are needed when using the internet, just like how we need to attach our home addresses, and the receivers’ home addresses, to the letters we’re about to send. IP addresses are numbers uniquely formed into a string of numbers like this:
    • ‘nnn.nnn.nn.nnn’ or
    •  ‘nnnn:nnnn:nnnn::nnnn’. or whatever
  • But when we want to access websites, we don’t look them up with their IP addresses, because obviously who does that? We normally look up the domain name of the sites we want to visit in our web browser, for example, http://www.carpediemintelligently.com, and the DNS servers would translate that into nnn.nnn.nn.nnn IP address and find it for us. Okay we’ll get to know the  types of IP addresses in a moment.

DNS server?

  • A DNS server can also be called a name server, nameserver, and domain name server. It is a house, of IP addresses and their FQDN, it is the translator between the two. Read more about DNS serverdns-and-how-it-works
  • FQDN stands for ‘Fully Qualified Domain Name‘, ‘qualified’ here basically means ‘specified’.  FQDN is written with the hostname, the domain name, and the top-level domain, separated by dots- [hostname].[domain].[top-level domain].
    • So for example in this FQDN: http://www.tesla.com, “www” is the hostname, “tesla” is the domain name, and “com” is the top-level domain. or in this ‘mail.google.com’, then “mail” is the hostname, “google” is the domain, and “com” is the top-level domain.
    • See, we most of the time have provide the FQDN, not just the hostname, not just the domain name because otherwise the DNS server wouldn’t be able to find the exact location of it’s IP address with its system. Thus, the search engines such as google, bing, yahoo and so on, help us with that. We type in the domain name, or the content we want to search about in the search engines, and it in turns, provides us with the FQDN and we click on that.
    • But sometimes we can also use PQDN, which is just another acronym for ‘Partially Qualified Domain Name‘, its just a domain name that is not fully specified. It is used for convenience, but only for well-known websites, for example, we can just type ‘en‘, and the engine would assume it’s “en.wikipedia.org“. Read more about FQDN and PQDN here
  • Malware & DNS Servers

    It is recommended to install an antivirus program as it shields your computer against malware that mostly causes trouble such as changing the DNS server settings. Under legitimate DNS/web server like Google, bing or Yahoo, accessing your bank’s URl would load the correct website and you can log in your account safely. But with a malware infected the corrupted server might direct you to a completely deceitful website, and you could incautiously give away your credentials to scammers, or a website full of advertisements that might trick you into buying fake programs.

    Although the malware can redirect our websites, we can also do that with our DNS servers with a feature called “OpenDNS”. The feature are usually used for maintaining how web is used, mostly in a good way, such as blocking adult websites, gambling websites, social media, etc.

Different types of IP addresses

IP addresses are used differently according to their types. There are private IP addresses, and public IP addresses.

1. Private IP addresses

Private IP addresses are used within your own private network, like the one you probably run at home, and it’s not connect to the outside world, which is the internet. These types of IP addresses are used to provide a way for your devices to communicate with your router (refer to the bottom of the page for explanation) and all the other devices in your private network such as your wireless printer, file server, etc.

Private IP addresses can be set manually, (which would get you static IP addresses) or assigned automatically by your router DHCP without overlapping one another (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol), which would get you dynamic IP addresses. In most homes and small businesses, the router acts as the DHCP server.

In large networks, a single computer might act as the DHCP server. As your private IP address is only used with your router, it does not need to be unique, there are millions of devices out there having an IP address exactly the same like yours.

2. Public IP addresses

Public IP addresses are used on the “outside” of your network, and can’t be used in your private network and are assigned by your ISP using NAT (Network Address Translation).

NAT is a system used to convert private IP addresses into public addresses by keeping a table with its records, in order to send and receive data to the right devices. It allows the devices within the private network to use one unregistered public IP address with its “port number” to connect to the internet. The port number represent the specific device, apps or tabs in your web browser, etc.

The public IP address is the main address that your home or business network uses to communicate with the rest of the networked devices around the world (i.e. the internet), so the devices with the same network would be given ‘one’ public IP address. This acts like a firewall that protects your computers by hiding your personal IP addresses behind one public address. The Demonstration of IP addresses in Private and Public Network

What is a Router?

Other than issuing private IP addresses to different devices in the internal network, a router can also act as a form security to the devices from attack as it serves as a border between the private IP addresses and the public IP addresses. Most routers are manufactured by companies like Linksys, 3Com, Belkin, D-Link, Motorola, TRENDnet, and Cisco, but there are many others.

This is the end of “The Summary of the Internet for People in a Hurry-Part 1”. Thank you for reading. Stay tuned for part 2.

Sources:

http://www.lifewire.com

http://www.cisco.com

http://www.quora.com

http://www.siliconindia.com

http://www.searchenterprisewan.techtarget.com

 

A Girl’s Letter to Her Missing Peace

It’s almost all the time that I feel this prickling tingling at the back of my neck, the intensifying goose bumps encompassing my whole body, the butterflies in my stomach, swarming conspiring with each other to take away my sanity for good.

It shakes up my sense, filling it with adrenaline, making a smoothie of nervousness that would win me over again as it always has for quite a while now. It gets on my nerves to just think about going out to just have fun, and enjoy life, I get tensed when actually going out, I get worried and feared of not being liked by others, even my own friends, I get annoyed by little things, I have too much emotionally-attached opinions, I get offended and discouraged by possibly anything.

My days are spent trying to fight this anxiety upon the cursed awareness of the acceleration of time passing by each day, the sound of the clock ticking, and changing colors of the sky. It is just too fast and overwhelming. The awareness of yourself aging every second that has pushed me once too often into this abyss of the paralysis of thoughts and actions, having me trapped and stuck in this figuratively zero-gravity space.

Eyes closed or not, you feel like you’re not attached to any items, to any particular thoughts,  just an abstract body floating in darkness, in whiteness, in peace, waiting for something, for her sense to come back maybe, for her beginning? for her restart? or maybe just maybe her damnation to come and end her. I do imagine it would be ultimately and comfortably relaxing if we can actually float like that.

1311766-girl-floating-in-space

My days are spent striving to hold on to a surface, to just grab a hold on to something, to have a solid thought, a purpose, a goal to just keep my mind calm, to keep progressing, to have some sense of security that I really need. The security of friends, the security of family, the security of not losing people, the security of good friends being good friends no matter what, how do we not lose people? How do love people forever? And how do people not change? How do families stay together? How do we not mess up like ever How?

Do some people have this kinda thoughts too? Do they feel it too? Is this why people smoke weed? Became alcoholic? Do self-inflicted harms?

“What is this? What are you trying to say? Can you try to make more sense? Are you out of your mind?”, these are how most people typical people are going to react to these kind of thoughts, this is how they would comfort us and take care of us, and will always be there for us, as they always claimed. In reality, who cares, except your psychiatrist because you’d have to pay him/her for it.

 

How Vulnerable are You to a Hacker?

In one of these days, each and every one of us, without a doubt have stumbled upon, at least once, an article or a video of a particular person, a business, a government site, a corporation being victims of data breaches from anonymous hackers either for good intention or vicious self-gain. Throughout the history there are countless breakout of these incidents, these criminal activities, and some of those are known and made available of the public eyes, but what about those that are not found out, those hackers who got away harming other people? Somehow that already crossed your mind about all of this things that’s happening in the world, or some might say this is obvious.

But it also crossed your mind, why does it matter? besides, you got nothing to hide, and the chance of you being targeted is nothing compared to a celebrity, or a politician. Well, my friend, you got everything to hide from a hacker.

THE CURRENT ISSUE:

1. Social media

The issue is that users of social networks, as uninformed as they may be, take this issue very lightly. Most, as vulnerable as they may be, take it with a grain of salt of how vulnerable they are to potential hackers out there. With the perks of being able to communicate and share general  or  personal going-ons to their friends and family to see, folks tend to undermine the importance and safety of their privacy. It’s not opinionated to say that some get recklessly negligent on their security like passwords for instance, not just ordinary people but also cyber security professionals.

rsa_report_17.jpgAnother of the things that are taken for granted most of time is how advanced technologies has become nowadays, and how untrustworthy they are. A certain lot of people are too generous, and too trusting on social media, for example conforming to log in their Facebook or email accounts on a game app to invite friends, giving in to completing random quizzes about your personal interests or opinions to just volunteer more information about themselves to unreliable websites.

It’s hard to break this to you but even statuses, pictures, locations and other voluntary information that you put out there can also be harmfully used against you.

People use Facebook to contact each other privately, whether to their family, friends, colleagues, and their bosses, and unless you are a very conservative person (as you should moderately be on the internet), it is natural that you have sent and received a lot of personal information, confidential and non-confidential stuff about yourself and others, and your opinion on things in your private messages. And imagine what could happen if someone gets hold of your accounts, not so private now, are they?

One case of a cyber-crime involved a hacker who used just Facebook status updates, pictures, and other personal details posted publicly to hack email accounts, and then posted embarrassing photos of the victims on Facebook, and most of the victims are females. Terrified yet?

Reported a while ago, 0.06% of the billions users of Facebook are hacked daily. Now that doesn’t sound like much right, but wake up! it’s 600,000 accounts being hacked ‘daily’. And the report was seven years ago, when technology and IT studies were undoubtedly advanced than now.

On top of that here’s a reminder of recent incidents…

87 million Facebook users affected by data breach

Beginning since 2014, Cambridge Analytica was found to have collected Facebook users information without their consent, for the purpose of influencing the US presidential election.

The company which was alleged to conspire with Donald Trump’s election team, has said to be compiled millions of US citizen’s data, to experiment their propaganda strategy and influence voters. According to Zuckerberg, the number of users affected has reach 87 million. Read more>>

However, it’s not only Facebook accounts that have hacked, reported in 2017, about six million Instagram accounts have been tragically uncovered on the internet

A bunch of hackers created a dark web forum selling data of personal information database of personal information, revealing private phone numbers and email addresses.

According Telegraph, “photo hacks soared after an incident of compromised photos of the singer Selena Gomez.

Claimed by the UK security research that hundreds of contact details of celebrities including Emma Watson, Taylor Swift and Harry Styles were found on the dark web.

There were even sales of personal data that could be accessed for a price of $10 per search.

2. Emails and Cloud storage hacks

The cases involving the hacks of social media accounts such as Facebook and Instagram are barely the tip of the iceberg. Regardless, those are less than a fraction of what they can do with the information they got from your social media accounts. Those vicous hackers with their vicious wit can ‘phish’ out bits and bits of details, and use those compiled details to get the gist of answers to security questions and answers or even passwords to your email account.

The ‘phished’ details might include birthdays (even if you don’t put it on your profile, they can still scroll through your wall posts or pictures, trust me, it’s easier than you think), your address, your mother’s name, the town you met your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse and so on. And it’s even worse if you put out your email that you use for your cloud storage, banks, credit cards and other important, financial related platforms, it’s so much less of a pain in the neck for those cyber criminals, you’re just basically asking for it. And if your social media profiles are an aquarium, your emails are the ocean! No, I’m not exaggerating!

iCloud Photos of Celebrities Hacked, 2014

Jennifer Lawrence

And as more people are increasingly using the cloud to keep their personal and confidential data. With the emails hacked they could get their hands on a lot of useful information for their own gain. And of course people with high profiles stand very high chance of being targeted by those culprits, as seen by what fell upon an Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence one day in 2014.

The famous actress had involuntarily became one of the several celebrities who had learned it the hard way that storing your nudes in Apple iCloud probably wasn’t the best idea. It was just a part of a huge leak of nude and nearly nude photographs of Rihanna, Kate Upton, Kaley Cuoco, Adrianne Curry, and almost three hundred other celebrities, most of them women, whose smart phone images had been accessed remotely. Just imagine one day, waking up in one summer morning having to face the ‘seemingly impossible’ incident of your nudes splashing around on the net, for everyone to see, including everyone you know, your friends, your family. It is the nightmare of every single human being.

Nonetheless, Apple, who barely ever provided any details on security issues, did not own the blame on their part. Instead, they claimed the breach was a “very targeted attack on user names, passwords, and security question” and added that “none of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud or Find my iPhone.”

500 million Yahoo accounts were stolen

Nothing could be as catastrophic as an infiltration into a big company and seizes a billion passwords of users. Despite the fact that this large-scale is thankfully very hard to maneuver, it still happens.

Yahoo Voice hacked, 400,000 yahoo passwords leaked

Back in 2014, the biggest email hack  in the history of the world was revealed. Almost half a billion users of Yahoo accounts were compromised with unencrypted security questions and answers which are mostly link to other accounts as well as. Therefore, users were forced to change their passwords and basically everything else related to security on other networks.

LinkedIn Lost 167 Million Account Credentials in Data Breach in 2012

linkedin-blunders1.jpg

According to Fortune, 6.5 million encrypted passwords were seized by a Russian hacker, who goes by the name “Peace” was selling 117 email and password combinations on the dark web for bitcoins, which was about $2,300. Read more>>

Here are the top five other major data breaches:

1.  Adult Friend Finder

Impacted for than 412.2 million accounts. Datas included names, email addresses and passwords.

2. eBay

145 million users compromised. Names, addresses, dates of birth and encrypted passwords were exposed.

3. Equifax

Personal information (including Social Security Numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some cases drivers’ license numbers) of 143 million consumers; 209,000 consumers also had their credit card data exposed.

4.  Heartland Payment Systems 

134 million credit cards exposed through SQL injection to install spyware on Heartland’s data systems.

 5. Target Stores 

Credit/debit card information and/or contact information of up to 110 million people compromised.

And the list goes on and on and on…..So the next time you’re about to post things on social media, send emails, setting passwords, or taking pictures, think about how much nuisance you stand to face, if shit happens.

See also:

The summary of internet for people in a hurry – Part 1

How to protect your credit/debit card

The summary of the dark web for people in a hurry

Advices from Kevin Mitnick

 

 

 

Why I Created This Site

Have you ever at some point, in the midst of any tasks you’re occupied with, stopped and asked yourself, with a frown on your face, WHY? what am I doing? why am I doing this? who am I doing this for? is this it? or does my life have a bigger purpose? a purpose that no one expected of you? a purpose to make an impact on this world? to help people? to them smile? laugh? Or do I exist to just curl up and disappear into a horrifying abyss of oblivion?! By far to this day, I’ve discovered, that if so, I would just be as useful to this world as a gender studies degree to a college graduate (Jokes intended, lol).

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘what are you doing for others?’ ” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

So on this day, at this hour, at this point, at the time I am writing this post (or have written this post as you are undeniably reading this at anytime in the future), after throwing myself into a pool of existential crisis and self-doubts, swimming through excuses after excuses, debates after debates, internally,  I have decided to break up with my invisible life for good. And just out of the blue, it dawns on me that life is not about waiting for the right time, or waiting to be ready, or worse yet! thinking you need more time, because TIME, time is the luxury we don’t have. It is rather about MAKING IT THE RIGHT TIME, MAKING YOURSELF READY, AND HELPING OTHERS IS HELPING YOURSELF, both mentally and spiritually. Dare to make change, dare to take the journey, not just for yourself, but also for the things that define you, for the people you love, for your friends and family, because for goodness sake, they need that spark of light too, whether it’s bright enough or not for them to see, they need it, the motivation, the hope, the inspiration to be something different, to know they can be anything if they want to, to be brave! At the end of the day, you are owner of your life, you only have your self to blame for the dreams that are killed, the hopes that are faded. So BOTTOM LINE: It’s now or never!

According to Denis Waitley, ” There are two primary choices in life: to accept the conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.”