Get Free Images for your Blogs

As bloggers, many of us often tend to be looking for images which befit our blog topic. This often happens with me and therefore i thought of sharing with you websites from where you can get images free of cost for your blogs.

Get Free Images for your blog

[Image Source: Flickr ]

1.) Flickr: Flickr has a huge resource of Pictures. However, we need to be using images that are governed by the Creative Commons license that fits with what you intend to do. Creative Commons is a non-profit that offers an alternative to full copyright.

2.) Stock.Xchng: Stock.xchng has a database of some very good free images that you can use for your blog. Search for the images and check for the availability of the photo. You might need to take permission from the photographer for certain photos. Also, in order to download the photos, you will be required to register and login to the site.

3.) Free Graphics Centre: Free Graphics Centre was formed in 2008. Their goal is to provide the best quality stock photos, graphics, images and illustrations totally cost free. It lets you download any and all of the images on the site absolutely free of charge

Related reads: How to Create Professional Business Logos for Free.

You can also follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/vaibhav1981

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Cheers

Vaibhav

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Email Spoofing and How to protect your online identity

Recently one of my friend got a mail from his bank, asking him to update his account information. He clicked on the link to fill out the information, and just a few days later, his bank account was emptied. Does this story sound familiar to you? This is called Spoofing / Phishing. In this post, i will explain you the process as to how this works and how you can ensure that you don’t end up revealing your online identity to phishers.

Spoofing Websites enact as Original Websites

[Image Source: Flickr]

Email spoofing definition as obtained from the Wikipedia goes like this

E-mail spoofing is a term used to describe fraudulent email activity in which the sender address and other parts of the email header are altered to appear as though the email originated from a different source. E-mail spoofing is a technique commonly used for spam e-mail and phishing to hide the origin of an e-mail message. By changing certain properties of the e-mail, such as the From, Return-Path and Reply-To fields (which can be found in the message header), ill-intentioned users can make the e-mail appear to be from someone other than the actual sender. It is often associated with website spoofing which mimics an actual, well-known website but are run by another party either with fraudulent intentions or as a means of criticism of the organization’s activities. The result is that, although the e-mail appears to come from the email indicated in the “From” field (found in the email headers) it actually comes from another e-mail address, probably the same one indicated in the “Reply To” field; if the initial e-mail is replied to, the delivery will be sent to the “Reply To” e-mail, that is, to the spammer’s email.

Earlier, i had written a post from an educational perspective teaching the readers how to spoof a Yahoo Mail user. Today lets discuss another form of Spoofing and how it works. The example scenario is the same which my friend faced ( wish he had read my blogpost on phishing earlier 😦 )

The figure below, has a snapshot (click on the image to enlarge) of the mail sent to me by the phisher pretending to be from a leading Indian Bank, AXIS Bank. The email also contains a link which should be clicked to carry out the needful.

How Email Spoofing can phish your bank details.

This URL might look to be safe from the look of it, as it has all the key features we have always been taught to check: Check for the domain ( in this case, the domain of the bank; axisbank.co.in), check for https. However, what we usually tend to forget that what we are seeing on the screen is not the actual URL but the text to be shown to the user. The actual URL will be revealed only once you click this link or hover your mouse on it.

Once the user clicks on the link, he is taken to the site which is an exact replica of his bank’s site; thereby not giving a single slice of doubt to the user.

You must see that the Fake Website looks like an exact replica of the Original Axis Bank Website

Whenever you click on a URL from a email or any other page and land onto a site pretending to be your bank site, the first thing to do should be to check the URL of the landing page again. Look for the domain again; Does it look like your bank’s domain? (www.axisbank.com) Does it have an important security ingredient https on the logon page ? If not, beware, chances are that you are getting spoofed.

Below are the steps from my earlier post on Phishing, which describes the steps to follow to stay away from Phishing Scams.

  • Always go through the URL of the website. A closer look at the URL can certainly give you clues about the fraudulent websites.
  • Never reply to emails asking for your bank account number, internet user details etc. Remember NO BANK asks you for such information. If they do, change your bank )
  • The old saying “When in doubt, talk”, holds true here as well. If you are in a doubt about the email/website, just take the phone and call up the call center of the service to get an explanation on your doubt.
  • Forward spam that is phishing for information to spam@uce.gov and to the company, bank, or organization impersonated in the phishing email. Most organizations have information on their websites about where to report problems.
  • Don’t open email attachments sent to you by strangers. Email attachments can have programs which can affect your computers once opened.
  • Always follow steps to a healthy PC. You can read my previous post 4 steps to a Healthy PC to learn more on this.
  • Always keep your Anti Virus Softwares, Spywares and Firewalls updated. You can use Update Checker which happens to be a free service for this. Also read my previous post Use Update Checker to Keep your Softwares UPDATED.

You can also, check this link for more information.

Related Posts:

Spoofing a Yahoo User.

Anti Spyware Applications: Here goes the ranking.

Top 3 FREE Antivirus Applications

[How-To]Bypassing Passwords in Windows

You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/vaibhav1981

Do stay tuned to Technofriends for more, one of the best ways of doing so is by subscribing to our feeds. You can subscribe to Technofriends feed by clicking here.

Cheers

Vaibhav

[How-To] Use Gmail to Remote Control your PC

Its a known fact that Gmail is the most popular email service available today. Though, utilities for using Gmail as a disk space were out pretty long back; there is another interesting utility called GCALDaemon which can be used to remote control your PC using Gmail.

GCALDaemon is an OS-independent Java program that offers two-way synchronization between Google Calendar and various iCalendar compatible calendar applications. GCALDaemon was primarily designed as a calendar synchronizer but it can also be used as a Gmail notifier, Address Book importer, Gmail terminal and RSS feed converter. GCALDaemon uses very less memory ( ~ 10-20 MB) and runs in service mode on Windows NT/2000/XP.

GCALDaemon, when initially installed, is not configured to do anything. Based on the services you wish to use, it should be configured. In this post, we shall be using GCALDaemon to remote control our PC. As a practical implementation, this scenario can be useful to users who have a very protected network but still wish to do certain tasks with it. It assumes that port 80 of your computer is open. 🙂

GCALDaemon can be used to remote control your PC

GCALDaemon’s ‘mailterm’ service enables Gmail users to remotely control their PC by sending an email to their Gmail account. This management service keeps checking a Gmail inbox regularly, if it finds an email from a trusted sender and with a secret subject, it reads and executes a specified script file. Then GCALDaemon sends back a response, which contains the script’s output. Most mobile carriers and recent phones have built-in support for sending email through SMS gateways, therefore a simple cellural phone should be enough to manage a computer.

In order to configure ‘mailterm‘ service follow the steps mentioned below

1.) Install GCALDaemon. You can download GCALDaemon from here

2.) Enable IMAP on your Gmail. Check my previous postGmail gets IMAP Support for further information on this.

3.) You will need to encode your Password by starting out the Password Encoder application. This application takes in your Gmail Password and encodes it. Copy the encoded password.

GCALDaemon-Password Encoder feature encodes the password

4.) Open ‘gcal-daemon.cfg’ and edit the same with your favorite text editor. On Windows, this file is located in C:\Program Files\GCalDaemon\conf\gcal-daemon.cfg as part of the default installation. In case, if you have chosen to change the installation path, please look for the file in the respective location.

A) Set the ‘mailterm.enabled’ property to ‘true’
B) Set the ‘mailterm.google.username’ property to your Gmail address
C) Set the ‘mailterm.google.password’ property to your encoded password

Configuring Mailterm in GCALDaemon

5.) At the time of setup, you may choose your own unique email subject for mailterm. This subject must be at least 6-8 characters long and contain a combination of letters and numbers. Basically, you do not want any word or number which can be associated with you, or typical in ordinary messages. The subject is case sensitive. Start the password encoder again, input your mailterm subject and press ENTER. Copy the encoded subject.

Cinfiguring Mailterm on GCALDaemon- Part2

6.) 6) Edit the ‘gcal-daemon.cfg’ with text editor.

GCALDaemon- Configuring Mailterm Part3

A) Put the encoded subject for the variable ‘mailterm.mail.subject’.
B) Put the list of the trusted e-mail senders for the variable ‘mailterm.allowed.addresses’.

7.) Create a new script file (BAT or SH) and save this file into the mailterm’s scipt folder (e.g. ‘/scripts/ls.bat‘). The folder’s location is determined by the ‘mailterm.dir.path’ property in the gcal-daemon.cfg file.

Configuring Mailterm on GCALDaemon-4

8) Setup finished – launch GCALDaemon.

9) Create a new mail message, put your mailterm subject for the mail’s title, and enter you mailterm command in script name [optional parameters] format. You can use either a single quotation mark (‘) or quotation marks (“) to enclose script parameters.

Configuring Mailterm on GCALDaemon - Part5

10) Click on ‘Send’ button. You will receive the script’s output within 10 minutes after submitting your mail.

Configuring mailterm on GCALDaemon - Part7

You can further do some fine adjustments to this installation. Please visit the official page of GCALDaemon for further details.

Also read: Interesting Gmail Hacks

How-to Exclude Chat from Gmail Search Results

How-to show unread mails at the top in your inbox in Gmail.

You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/vaibhav1981

Do stay tuned to Technofriends for more, one of the best ways of doing so is by subscribing to our feeds. You can subscribe to Technofriends feed by clicking here.

Cheers

Vaibhav

Using Twitter to track your FedEx, UPS or DHL Shipments

Twitter is an amazing service and i must confess, i am kind of addicted to it. There are so many things you can do using Twitter. From adding events directly to your Google Calendar using twitter to Publicizing your blog using Twitter.

Twitter

To track your FedEx, UPS, DHL, USPS shipments using Twitter, follow the steps mentioned below.

1. Follow @trackthis

Since @trackthis uses direct messages, you must follow it so it can send direct messages to you. @trackthis will follow you back immediately so that you can send direct messages to it.

2. Send a Direct Message to @trackthis like: 123456789123 New PC

Just send a DM with the FedEx/UPS/USPS/DHL tracking code first, followed by a nickname for the package. Click here to send your message.

Example: 123456789123 Macbook Air

3. Sit Back and Wait!

Use Trackthis to track your shipment status using Twitter

You’ll receive a direct message each time your package changes location. You should receive the first message within twenty minutes.

Check out more at http://trackthis.pb30.com/

Also read: How to Search for tweets in Twitter?

What is Twitter?

TweetStats: Check your Twitter Stats

You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/vaibhav1981

Do stay tuned to Technofriends for more, one of the best ways of doing so is by subscribing to our feeds. You can subscribe to Technofriends feed by clicking here.

Cheers

Vaibhav

OCC Meet Summary ( Co-Founders) ; 27th April 2008

Open Coffee Club Bangalore meets up every alternate Sunday to discuss about Entrepreneurship. The group focuses on working at the grass root level by giving a platform to Entrepreneurs, Wannabe Entrepreneurs and Venture Capitalists connect with each other. The theme of the meet today was Co-Founders, a topic often discussed and thought about individuals planning to venture out.

Open Coffee Club Bangalore discusses about the role of Co-founders in a startup

Close to 25 people turned up at 11 AM today, to discuss about Co-founders and also share their experiences on this subject while working on their idea/ venture. The group aimed to discuss about the various parameters which one should look in a Co-Founder and how co-founders can actually make or break the success of the Startup.

Prateek Dayal who is also the co-founder of Muziboo, a music sharing website, described his experience while working on his previous venture. The core points which Prateek focussed on as part of the characteristics of co-founders were around the seriousness of taking the startup to the next level; making your startup big. Prateek also discussed about the benefits of starting out alone and eventually looking for a co-founder.

Rakesh who also happens to be the Co-Founder of Crederity Inc. also shared his thoughts on Commitment and expectations within the co-founders. Harsha, another regular at OCC and the co-founder of Adventure described his process of starting up right after the college. Harsha says ” When co-founding, Dont let the ego come in between and respect the co-founder as an individual human being” . He believes a co-founder should have the courage and the aura to take the task to the finish line.

Rahul whose company works in the Mobile space, went ahead to add to the discussion. He said ” Commitment, Accountability, Focus and Openness towards feedback are the parameters one should look in a co-founder“. He also added and i quote ” Arguments within the co-founders in a startup is not a bad sign. Its a healthy sign and helps remove the blockages. Such startups tend to fight out to success“. His thoughts were well appreciated by the group.

Amongst the others who also shared their views on this topic were Vimali Swamy, from SiliconIndia.

The takeaway of this meet was pretty straight ” Perfect Harmony between the co-founders might not happen, but success has to happen. Ensure that conflict is handled in a way that it leads to success in the end.”

The next Open Coffee Club Bangalore meet shall happen on 10th May 2008, Sunday. Stay tuned to the group and Open Coffee Club Blog ( http://bangaloreocc.blogspot.com) for further details.

Also read:Opencommune: Bringing you coworking

Introducing Bangalore OCC Blog

Next Open Coffee Club Meet to be held on 27th April 2008

You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/vaibhav1981

Do stay tuned to Technofriends for more, one of the best ways of doing so is by subscribing to our feeds. You can subscribe to Technofriends feed by clicking here.

Cheers

Vaibhav

Styles introduced in Google Docs

I have been using Google Docs quite often since its launch sometime last year, since then, the service has gone through pretty good number of changes, like addition of forms feature in Google Docs Spreadsheet application. The latest in the series is the addition of Styles.

From now on, you can edit the CSS of your document in Google Docs to add some styling. However, the point to remember is that CSS editing is an advanced subject and you should play with it only if you happen to be an expert in it. If you are new to the subject of CSS, a simple google search for “CSS Examples” or “CSS Tutorials” is a good place to start.

Google docs introduces CSS editing.

Post from Google Docs group says

It’s important to note that CSS is something that takes advanced knowledge and we don’t recommend utilizing this functionality unless you’re comfortable and familiar with it.

Templates, Styles and Better Formatting had been amongst the most requested Google Docs features. With the introduction of CSS Editing feature, users can now apply their own CSS to the docs. This leads to the fact that now users can technically make their own templates. Soon we might see Google releasing a few templates for us to use as well.

For a more detailed explanation of how CSS Editing works in Google Docs, click here.

Now users have the ability to apply CSS to their documents — this means users can technically make their own templates if they are ambitious enough. I don’t think it will be long before Google gives us a bunch of templates to choose from.

Related read:Google Docs adds Forms Feature to Spreadsheets

You can also follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/vaibhav1981

Do stay tuned to Technofriends for more, one of the best ways of doing so is by subscribing to our feeds. You can subscribe to Technofriends feed by clicking here.

Cheers

Vaibhav

TwitterCal: Tweet your Google Calendar

TwitterCal is another interesting Twitter Application which you must give a try. It’s a free service that connects your Twitter account to your Google Calendar. Add events in a snap from your favorite Twitter client.

TwitterCal- Twitter and Google Calendar Integration

Follow the 5 steps procedure to get started.

1.) Register for a free Twitter Account.

2.) Add gcal as your friend. gcal is a bot that process and forward messages to your Google Calendar.

3.) Grant access to your Google Calendar account.

4.)add any events by sending a direct message to gcal

d gcal metting with paul tomorrow at 7pm

Google-Calendar event integrated with Twitter.

Also read: How to Search for tweets in Twitter?

How Twitter can help you publicize your Blog

What is Twitter?

TweetStats: Check your Twitter Stats

You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/vaibhav1981

Do stay tuned to Technofriends for more, one of the best ways of doing so is by subscribing to our feeds. You can subscribe to Technofriends feed by clicking here.

Cheers

Vaibhav