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Strengthening The Security and Privacy on Your Smartphone

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There’s a lot of personal data stored in your phone. Consider the instant messages you have sent via various apps. Have you wondered whether the service provider can read them? You would not be the only one.

After all, there are instances of companies reading their users’ messages. An investigation has exposed Facebook as one of the possible culprits. The research revealed that the company hires contractors to review WhatsApp users’ messages. But wait, isn’t WhatsApp end-to-end encrypted? Yes, until someone reports abuse. Then, the hired contractors review the content for potential misuse.

Your Smartphone is a Goldmine

You also use a lot of apps on your smartphone, don’t you? Well, you can’t fully trust these apps when it comes to data privacy. In many cases, you do not know how these apps monitor your behavior, or if at all. Of course, this might not be the app providers’ fault. After all, users rarely read the terms and conditions of each app they use.

Again, with technology evolving continuously, no protection is completely foolproof. Suppose the owner of the app changes hands: it could turn from one behaving well to the one you can’t quite trust.

You should take steps to protect your privacy and security, especially concerning the apps you use. You can delete the data about you that Google has stored and change the privacy settings in Android 12 and iOS 14 to prevent your tracking by apps. iOS 14 also comes with the “privacy nutrition label,” which helps you know what data of yours an app collects before you decide to download it.

However, data experts say that there’s still more you can do to boost your smartphone’s privacy and security. Here are a few tips they suggest.

Read Also: Jumia Celebrates A Decade Of E-Commerce Impact In Ghana

Use A Passcode to Lock Your Device

If you skip the first layer of protection, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to anyone picking up your phone accessing the apps and data in it. Therefore, you should set an appropriate lock on your phone. If your device has that feature, you will do well to set a “touch ID,” wherein your phone will open only after it has identified your fingerprint. You may also set a “face ID,” which would open your phone after its front-facing camera has recognized your face.

Keep Your Passwords Unique for Every Online Account

Avoid using the same password for all the accounts you have online. If you do, you give hackers the chance to break into every account with the single password they have managed to breach. It’s like giving hackers a master key. Or, if the password is easy enough, perpetrators can crack via brute force attacks.

Data experts suggest the use of password managers that let you create unique passwords hard to crack. They also help you remember your unique password for every account of yours. If needed, you may even write them down or use password manager software.

Update Your Software Regularly

You should take the time to update the software on your smartphone as it’s vital for the safety of the data stored in it. These updates are made to protect you from the latest techniques and technologies used by hackers. You should adjust the settings on your phone so that updates occur automatically.

You should know that the methods used by cybercriminals to hack into your phone are constantly evolving. Therefore, the ways to protect your data need to evolve as well. Those software updates are therefore important, and you should never ignore them.

Protect Yourself with A VPN

A VPN boosts your online security and privacy greatly by hiding IP address like 192.168.1.1, which keeps you anonymous online. You should use a VPN when you are on an open Wi-Fi network to keep yourself safe. After all, a Virtual Private Network encrypts your internet traffic, making it unreadable to anyone attempting to see it. As a result, you get to hide certain information from intrusive data brokers, advertisers, apps, and websites.

Conclusion

We live in unsafe times, and your online security is under constant threat from cybercriminals. Some are snooping on you. You should therefore do all within your means to protect your privacy and security. However, the methods we have suggested are still very effective layers of protection from hackers and other criminals. You should never let your guard down and do stay cautious.

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People & Lifestyle

How to Be More Confident on Camera as a Youtuber

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CONFIDENCE is very important. The more confident you appear, the more viewers will listen to you. (more…)

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Graduate who went viral for begging for a job with a placard says he’s received 50 offers since

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Isaac Kwame Addae, a young unemployed graduate who took to the streets with a placard, looking for a job, says he  has been offered opportunities by at least  50 different firms. (more…)

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Meta’s AI AI machine translation research helps break language barriers

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Today, Meta announced that it has built and open sourced ‘No Language Left Behind’ NLLB-200, a single AI model that is the first to translate across 200 different languages, including 55 African languages with state-of-the-art results. Meta is using the modelling techniques and learnings from the project to improve and extend translations on Facebook, Instagram, and Wikipedia.

 

In an effort to develop high-quality machine translation capabilities for most of the world’s low-resource languages, this single AI model was designed with a focus on African languages. They are challenging from a machine translation perspective. AI models require lots and lots of data to help them learn, and there’s not a lot of human translated training data for these languages. For example, there’s more than 20M people who speak and write in Luganda but examples of this written language are extremely difficult to find on the internet.

 

We worked with professional translators for each of these languages to develop a reliable benchmark which can automatically assess translation quality for many low-resource languages. We also work with professional translators to do human evaluation too, meaning people who speak the languages natively evaluate what the AI produced. The reality is that a handful of languages dominate the web, so only a fraction of the world can access content and contribute to the web in their own language. We want to change this by creating more inclusive machine translations systems – ones that unlock access to the web for the more than 4B people around the world that are currently excluded because they do not speak one of the few languages content is available in.

Read Also: Impressive! Ghanaian Rapper Dr. Pushkin Releases New App & Book ahead of “Outlandish” Album

“It’s impressive how much AI is improving all of our services. We just open-sourced an AI model we built that can translate across 200 different languages — many of which aren’t supported by current translation systems. We call this project No Language Left Behind, and the AI modelling techniques we used are helping make high quality translations for languages spoken by billions of people around the world. To give a sense of the scale, the 200-language model has over 50 billion parameters, and we trained it using our new Research SuperCluster, which is one of the world’s fastest AI supercomputers. The advances here will enable more than 25 billion translations every day across our apps. Communicating across languages is one superpower that AI provides, but as we keep advancing our AI work it’s improving everything we do — from showing the most interesting content on Facebook and Instagram, to recommending more relevant ads, to keeping our services safe for everyone,” said Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a post on his Facebook profile.

 

Language is our culture, identity, and lifeline to the world. However, as high-quality translation tools don’t exist for hundreds of languages, billions of people today can’t access digital content or participate fully in conversations and communities online in their preferred or native languages. This is especially true for hundreds of millions of people who speak the many languages of Africa.

 

“Africa is a continent with very high linguistic diversity, and language barriers exist day to day. We are pleased to announce that 55 African languages will be included in this machine translation research, making it a major breakthrough for our continent,” Balkissa Ide Siddo, Public Policy Director for Africa said while speaking about the launch of the AI model. “In the future, imagine visiting your favourite Facebook group, coming across a post in Igbo or Luganda, and being able to understand it in your own language with just a click of a button – that’s where we hope research like this leads us. Highly accurate translations in more languages could also help to spot harmful content and misinformation, protect election integrity, and curb instances of online sexual exploitation and human trafficking.”

 

While commenting on accessibility and inclusion in the pursuit of building an equitable metaverse, Ide Siddo added “At Meta, we are working today to ensure that as many people as possible will be able to access the new educational, social and economic opportunities that the next evolution of the internet will bring to future technology and an everyday living experience tomorrow.”

 

To confirm that the translations are high quality, Meta also created a new evaluation dataset, FLORES-200, and measured NLLB-200’s performance in each language. Results revealed that NLLB-200 exceeds the previous state of the art by an average of 44 percent.

 

Meta is also open-sourcing the NLLB-200 model and publishing a slew of research tools to enable other researchers to extend this work to more languages and build more inclusive technologies. Meta AI is also providing up to $200,000 of grants to non-profit organizations for real world applications for NLLB-200.

 

There are versions of Wikipedia in more than 300 languages, but most have far fewer articles than the 6+ million available in English. Following Meta’s partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that hosts Wikipedia and other free knowledge projects, modelling  techniques and learnings from the NLLB research are now also being applied to translation systems used by Wikipedia editors. Using the Wikimedia Foundation’s Content Translation Tool, articles can now be easily translated in more than 20 low-resource languages (those that don’t have extensive datasets to train AI systems), including 10 that previously were not supported by any machine translation tools on the platform.

 

To explore a demo of NLLB-200 showing how the model can translate stories from around the world, visit here. You can also read the research paper here.

 

 

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I single-handedly popularized Shea Butter in the United States – Margaret Andega

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According to Margaret Andega, a Kenyan entrepreneur in Atlanta, she was the driving force behind the commercialization of Shea Butter in the US during the late 90s. (more…)

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Ludwig Nii Jr urges information sharing in the creative space

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How are CBD Flowers and CBG Flowers Different?

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CBG flower and CBD flower are two types of flowers that are used for their respective health benefits. CBD flowers are known for their calming and relaxing effects, while CBG flowers are known for relieving pain and inflammation.  (more…)

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