There have been several incidents when social media has proved itself a boon; be it dealing with a crisis or emergency and sometimes even saving a life. There are various groups and communities formed on different platforms that work as a support system of communities.
‘My Pincode’ is one such group on Facebook that was launched by the NGO Social Media Matters in April when the entire country was confined in their houses. It is about local groups on Facebook to virtually connect, communicate, collaborate and create a support system for each other in their respective pincode areas. These groups bring together users, community leaders, subject matter experts, resource points and organizations at a very hyper-local level to provide immediate support, relief, and share critical information.
Blood donation, ration supply, repair work, daily essential information, government advisories are the highlights of My Pincode as these demands top the charts across posts made by users. Partners like Sarvahitey, Akshay Patra Foundation, Blood Bank were fundamental in their roles to look into all the requests and take immediate action.
Shantanu Garg, who lives in West Delhi, posted on the group requesting for a blood donor on behalf of a friend. Within a few hours, moderators of the group who tagged all volunteers and other admins and started reaching out to other blood donor agencies were able to arrange the required amount of blood. There have also been other instances of such donor requests. Sajal Bhateja’s request for urgent requirement of blood on South Delhi Group was also addressed in two hours.
Other topics that are being discussed on the groups are:
Which is the nearest clinic I can visit?
Where can I get emergency help?
What does the situation look like right now on the roads?
What are the queues like at the shops?
How much longer will supplies last?
Are courier services working in the area?
Which are the nearest Government and Private Testing Centres?
Can I visit the police stations?
Are postal services working in the area?
How do I obtain a curfew pass?
What is the situation at the hospitals?
Are there any blood donor requests?
In an attempt to bring together communities from 170 hotspots of India across 17 states (as identified by the Central Government of India in April 15, 2020) and crowdsource help, open groups have been formed and are being managed by moderators and group admins, trained by the NGO. It will be further extended to 32 states and union territories.
Each state has a moderator and several admins who have been moderating the discussions and letting users connect with each other for essential and verified information as to keep fake profiles/information away.
Every day the lead moderators sift through all the groups to look for any inappropriate content that is posted/approved/queried. As soon as users post on the group, the network of admins gets activated and they look into the prime information or request made by the user. Once that is identified, the request is verified and then the network gets activated to resolve the request. (IANS)
Two United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Indian expats started free online coaching for children who have dropped out of after-school private tuition because of the coronavirus pandemic, Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) news reported.
Simran Kanal and Mehak Lalchandani, who have been best-friends from their Dubai school days, were running their newly-founded ‘#PandemicCamp’ to provide free online coaching for CBSE students whose parents can no longer afford private tutors, reports Gulf News.
Pandemic Camp is offering free Zoom lessons in English, Maths and Hindi for grades one to five, taught by the two former CBSE students Kanal and Lalchandani, both 2014 alumni of The Millennium School in Dubai.
“We’re both very compassionate, both as students and as teachers. We came across parents who have had to withdraw their children from private tuition, so this camp is a way we wanted to give back to society,” said Kanal, a freelance journalist and writer who works for an online marketplace platform.
Lalchandani, a finance degree holder, said: “Since we’re very familiar with the CBSE curriculum, that is why we chose CBSE and are catering to primary school grades.”
She said the sudden switch to distance learning has not been easy for students, teachers and parents.
“In a classroom, you have 30 students and you have to personally go to a student and see what they’re doing in their book. But when you have 30 students online, then it’s very difficult for that one-on-one help,” Gulf news quoted Lalchandani as saying.
Kanal said compared to her school days, students today in grade four or five have “tremendous assignments” that often need close help by parents, who themselves have to learn new digital skills. (IANS)
Highlighting the need for storing passwords, cybersecurity researchers have found that that 83 per cent of online users are thinking up their own, weak passwords, while 54 per cent say they are unaware about how to check if any of their credentials have already been leaked.
Passwords are the most common method of authentication, but they only work if they are hard to crack and confidential.
With an increasing number of apps requiring them, it can be hard to come up with new ideas for complex passwords and keep them all in your mind ï¿½ especially when users may be required to change their passwords regularly, according to a Kaspersky report.
“In addition to this challenge of creativity for users, it’s becoming more vital to store passwords securely and look out for possible instances when these credentials could be leaked,” said the report.
According to the findings, 55 per cent of users claim they remember all of their passwords – which can be difficult if security requirements such as password complexity and uniqueness are to be satisfied.
One in five (19 per cent) keep them written in a file or document stored on their computer, while 18 per cent use the browsers on their computers, smartphones, or tablets to store their passwords.
“Consumers can monitor the spread of personal data, including which passwords might have been leaked. And this is not only for the sake of “just being aware”; it also allows individuals to take the right action to minimize any invasion of privacy,” said Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky.
There are some ways to check if your password has been leaked.
For instance, services such as ï¿½Have I Been Pwned?’ maintain a database where users can check if their passwords have been included in public leaks or data breaches without visiting the sketchier parts of the web.
“Minimise the number of people you share account login information with and never leave passwords where others might find them ï¿½ be it on paper or on a device. Keeping them on sticky notes or a pad might be tempting, but it will also be just as easy for others to access things you don’t want them to,” said the researchers.
Use strong and robust passwords generated by a reliable security solution, said Kaspersky. (IANS)