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How to Keep Your Video Calls Private
Amid the continuous data breach and digital privacy shattering, no platform can guarantee you safety about privacy & security of your sensitive info. And in the digital world, the most prerequisite is the data security so you can be assured that you & your data is absolutely safe.
Normally, you don’t talk to the familiar people on video calls, let alone stranger ones. However, if needed to, you’d want to keep them as private as the conversations can be. So you wouldn’t feel that someone was eavesdropping on your conversations. Let’s find out various ways to make secure video calls & keep them as private as possible:Ways to Keep Video Calls Private & Secure
A lot of video meetings (video conferences) come with an invitation link that helps you directly connect with video call members. Just ignore or keep yourself away from posting the links on social media platforms, email groups, or any probable place for misusing the link.The Content You Share on Video Call
This goes without say and isn’t limited to video calls only. In the digital world, you should be quite sure about what content you are sharing as there is nothing called “security”. Being digitally secure is a myth that has been proved by companies many times over the years.
For a video call, stop yourself from showing content that isn’t part of the call purpose as it may work against you. For example, Zoom video conferencing app has different virtual backgrounds & Skype lets you blur the background with a toggle switch (simple as that).End-to-End Encrypted Video Calling Service
I think all the digital communication platforms including all the social media stations need to be end-to-end encrypted. So your first attempt to while looking for video call services, check out the end-to-end encrypted apps so that whatever you write or say, is just a bunch of random codes for third parties.
Apple’s FaceTime & Google Duo, are two of the video call apps that are end-to-end encrypted services. Apart from these 2 above, WhatsApp & Signal help you send instant messages with the same feature.
Recently, Zoom has started end-to-end encryption service after the blunder the application has made in the recent days.Constantly Keep Updating Your Video Calling Software
Every update brings something new that can be an amazing experience for the user as well as vice versa. Just to keep yourself updated with the latest bug problems & use the most updated apps would be quite safe for the user. Keep yourself away from the potential security holes by updating the device you are running on the software or the app.
You also need to keep yourself updated with the news around the app you are using as it may actually help you in various ways. For example, video conferencing apps like Zoom have rolled out many updates in recent weeks that have been useful for many users all over the world.Start Using Additional Privacy Features
Similarly, Google Duo has the Knock Knock feature that lets you show your video to the contacts when you call them, before they answer the call. If you don’t want that to happen, tap on the burger menu on the right corner of the Duo app interface, go to Settings and turn off the Knock Knock feature.Wrapping Up
The surprising need in the video calling services due to the COVID-19 lockdown has made things a bit stressful for the users. No app is giving you a security guarantee; however, all of them are trying their best to provide us ways to make secure video calls. For now, let’s not fully rely on the companies & try to keep ourselves updated with what we can do on our part.
Let’s follow the above pointers to determine if we are on the right track of not becoming a victim of digital world freedom.Quick Reaction:
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Since the invention of the transistor, silicon semiconductors have been king. But now silicon-based transistors are nearing the limit of their potential. Excess heat and manufacturing hurdles are impeding the development of ever-faster and -smaller processors. Advances in materials and chip design to resist extreme heat and move huge amounts of data, quickly, will be crucial. Experts are exploring three technologies to overcome these challenges: spintronics, graphene and memristors. They are what will someday make ultra-energy-efficient supercomputers small enough to fit anywhere—even in the palm of your hand.Rebuilding RAM
Memristors will store large amounts of data and could make your computer boot instantly
Accessing data, whether stored in a spinning hard drive or in flash-based memory, is a time-suck and a power hog. The dynamic RAM that rapidly delivers data to the processor is almost maxed out. “Both technologies for the magnetic hard disk and D-RAM are within a few generations of hitting brick walls,” says R. Stanley Williams of HP Labs’s Information and Quantum Systems Lab. He believes that circuits called memristors could be the solution. Memristors recently joined the resistor, capacitor and inductor as the fourth fundamental circuit element. But unlike the others, a memristor has the unusual ability to remember the last resistance it held, even when the power is turned off. When the current starts up again, the resistance of the circuit will be the same as it was before, providing instant-on computers. After the memristor had spent some 30 years as a theory, Williams and his team designed the first one earlier this year. Five years from now, he says, the chips could sit in computers between D-RAM and hard disks to eliminate the boot-up process. Further down the road, memristors, which have higher storage densities than the best flash memory and faster write times than D-RAM, could supplant both technologies in one fell swoop.
Carbon Futures: Graphene is a single layer of carbon atomsDitching silicon
Graphene sheets could trump silicon for small, fast devices
Heat is one major stumbling block to smaller, speedier processors; as heat increases, it becomes harder for electrons to move through most materials. But a novel twist on an age-old material might prove to be the key. Graphite is made of thin layers of interconnected carbon atoms. Four years ago, researchers at the University of Manchester in England tested the electronic properties of a single sheet of this carbon, known as graphene, sparking interest in what may be an entirely new branch of semiconductors. This past April, they built the world’s smallest transistor—one atom thick and 10 atoms wide—with the material. Unlike electrons in silicon, those in graphene can travel unimpeded for long distances. This efficiency, which is up to 100 times that of silicon, allows for ultrafast electronic devices that don’t overheat (collisions cause heat). In addition to transistors, researchers hope to develop graphene wires that would transport electrons from one area of a chip to another much faster than current materials can.
Detecting electron spin in siliconMaking electrons carry information
An electron’s spin could encode more data for heavy-duty, low-power processing
Most electronic devices read data—the 1s and 0s of binary code—by measuring the presence or absence of an electrical charge. In the past decade, however, scientists have suggested that individual electrons could be turned into single 1s or 0s. Every electron has a magnetic pole and corresponding “spin.” But instead of clockwise or counterclockwise, researchers distinguish electron spins by their orientation: up or down, 1 or 0.
Until recently, scientists had been able to control and detect electron spin (which allows the devices to operate at lower power) in semiconductors such as gallium arsenide, a material used in laser diodes, but not in silicon—a major hurdle because the entire infrastructure of computer manufacturing is still ruled by techniques used with silicon. Finally, last year Ian Appelbaum, now a physics professor at the University of Maryland, shot groups of electrons with aligned spins across 350 microns of silicon and determined the final angle of their spin. In another development, Igor Zutic and his colleagues at the State University of New York at Buffalo have shown that if you align the spins of electrons in a semiconductor laser, it operates at lower power. Such lasers could transfer up to 1,000 times as much data between different parts of a computer as the copper wires used today.
Right Stuff: Only electrons that have the proper “spin” get through to the end, where their charge is detected
The spin injector comprises two metals, one of which is magnetic, separated by an ultra-thin insulator. Apply a voltage between the two metals, and the electrons tunnel from the non-magnetic metal to the magnetic one.
The electron continues only if the spin matches the direction of the magnetic material. If the alignment doesn’t match, the electron will “scatter.”
Electrons travel 350 microns through silicon while maintaining aligned spins—crucial because electrons need to travel between intrachip devices.
shunted elsewhere (a “0”).
It’s one thing to talk about Mount St. Helens erupting in science class. It’s another thing altogether to watch a video of the mountain’s summit exploding into dust. Teachers all across the country are finding that judiciously chosen videos help students engage more deeply with the subject matter, and recall the information they’ve learned longer.
“A lot of students these days expect information to be presented in a flashy, entertaining way, so videos can help draw them in,” says Larry Sanger, executive director of WatchKnowLearn, a site that collects education-related videos. High school student Patrick Greaney still remembers a photosynthesis video he watched in class at Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, in Haverhill, Massachusetts, that featured a catchy tune. “The song stuck in my head and made me remember the process better,” he recalls.
Your YouTube Primer
Though YouTube is blocked in many classrooms because of inappropriate materials on the site, there are many valuable videos that do further learning. The site lists an ever-growing collection of excellent educational content, everything from President Obama’s weekly addresses to algebraic demonstrations.
In fact, in late 2011, YouTube for Schools was introduced, an opt-in program that allows schools to access thousands of educational videos from vetted YouTube channels like PBS, TED, and Khan Academy in a safe and controlled environment; the teachers and admins choose what videos are available to their students.
Short of joining the YouTube for Schools program, here are a other few ways to separate the wheat from the chaff:
Limit your searches to respected sources. Most established newspapers, museums, libraries, radio stations, and institutions have specific channels on YouTube where they collect their content. Just search by the name of the outlet on YouTube (say, the Teaching Channel), and that organization’s channel will pop up. From there, you can search exclusively within the Teaching Channel’s content.
Check out the teachers channel on YouTube. It starts with a ten-step tutorial on how to use YouTube in your classroom, with many more tips available if you join the YouTube Teachers Community and sign up for the e-newsletter. Teachers and students can upload videos here or create playlists from those already available, which range from Khan Academy’s explanation of the Cuban Missile Crisis to a rap about the Krebs cycle.
Try the YouTube education channel. It allows users to search within it for videos on a wide range of academic subjects. Most of the content is aimed at university-level students, but may be accessible for younger ones, too.
When choosing clips for the classroom, keep them short. This gives you time to discuss what you’ve just shown and its significance to the larger lesson. Once you’ve identified a video, there are several ways to bring it to the classroom.
If the content you’re interested in doesn’t come with a Creative Commons tag, it helps to know that the fair use clause in the Copyright Law of the United States allows the use of works without permission for teaching. Still, the user must adhere to some key regulations that can be vague and confusing.
One thing is clear, though: Any material first published after 1978 is copyright protected. You can find the U.S. Copyright Office’s educational-use guidelines (PDF) in Circular 21. The University System of Georgia links to a fair use checklist; you can also email the video’s maker for permission.
YouTube doesn’t typically offer a way to download and save most videos directly. But if you have permission and would like to download from YouTube, there are a variety of ways the resourceful user can download videos:
If you use Firefox, you can use the free DownloadHelper extension, which makes most videos downloadable and convertible to several formats.
Convert the video to your playback format of choice (mp4, FLV, HD, AVI, MPEG, 3GP, iPhone, PSP, mp3, GIF) and store it on your laptop or PDA, which lets you access it at any time, even if it’s removed from the site.
Other Educational Video Websites
Some choose to skip YouTube entirely and go to teacher-specific online video sites, of which there are many. SchoolTube is a moderated video-sharing website just for schools. TeacherTube and WatchKnowLearn aggregate thousands of videos from educators, YouTube, and the rest of the Web. In essence, they are clearinghouses of educational videos that cover most school subjects, categorized by subject and education level. WatchKnowLearn has a review panel of educators and educational video experts that vet videos from first-time submitters before posting. The Teaching Channel bills itself as “a video showcase of inspiring and effective teaching practices,” and publishes great original videos with tips and lesson plans, searchable by subject, grade level, and topic. SnagLearning is the educational branch of SnagFilms, and offers hundreds of high-quality documentary films to be used as educational tools.
More Edutopia Resources
With Screen Time for iOS, you can get a better understanding of the amount of time you’re spending each day using apps, visiting websites, and more on your devices. Here’s a look at how to use it and why it could become beneficial in your life.Keep your iPhone usage under control
The Screen Time tool allows you to keep track of the amount of time you spend on your devices each day. You can also use the tool to track your kids’ time online.
To use Screen Time to track and manage your device:
1) Go into the Settings app on your iOS device and tap on the Screen Time option.
On the main Screen Time page, you’ll notice three main sections. In the first, you’ll see a chart showing the amount of time you’ve spent on your device today and how. The second section includes tools you can use to customize and restrict your device usage. The final section is where you will find monitoring tools for your kids’ devices.
Let’s take a look at each of those sections.The Screen Time Chart
The chart on the Screen Time page offers a breakdown of how much time you’ve spent on all of your iOS device where the tool has been activated.
1) Tapping on the chart reveals further usage information, including:
The category of apps you’ve been using on your device the most, such as Gaming, Productivity, or Reading & Reference apps.
The longest amount of time you’ve spent on your device in one sitting.
The apps you’ve used the most by time or category.
The number of times you picked up your device today.
How many notifications you have received and by which apps.
Note: You can view Screen Time data for Today or for the Last 7 Days.
As you can see in the example below, iPhone usage across all devices today totaled one hour and 53 minutes. For the week, Screen Time totaled seven hours, 38 minutes. At the bottom, you can see a breakdown of the time spent by category.
The most used categories apps or websites were Settings, Safari, and the LongScreen app.
Meanwhile, pickups totaled 16 per hour, or 194 during the day, while notifications numbered 752, or around 63 per hour. (Yes, this is a lot of iPhone usage.)Customization and Restrictions
On the next section of the Screen Time page, you’ll see four settings: Downtime, App Limits, Always Allowed, and Content & Privacy Restrictions.Downtime
During Downtime, calls, messages, and other apps you want to allow can still be used. Everything else, including notifications, will be turned off. Ideally, think of your Downtime schedule as the time you plan on being in bed each night.
2) Once you activate Downtime, you’ll be asked to create a Start and End time.
In the example below, the Downtime is between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.App Limits
Next, you’ll see the App Limits page. From here, you can set daily time limits for apps and categories you want to manage. After the limit has been reached, your permission will be required to allow more time.
1) To get started, tap App Limits from the main Screen Time page. Next, select Add Limit.
In the example above, the Entertainment and Social Networking categories are limited to two hours of use per day.Always Allowed
Under Always Allow, you’ll find a list of the apps that you want available even during Downtime. By default, the allowed apps are Phone, Messages, and FaceTime.
In the above example, the apps 1Blocker and Activity were added to Allowed Apps while FaceTime was deleted.Content & Privacy Restrictions
Finally, you’ll see the Content & Privacy area. In this section, you can restrict explicit and mature content in the iTunes and App Stores, Music, and websites.One final note
Obviously, you don’t have to use Screen Time. Nonetheless, it’s an eye-opening experience that might make you think twice before picking up your iPhone yet again today. Seeing your iPhone usage each day might be just enough of a push for you to consider cutting back. And isn’t that’s the point?
If you took a poll at a national park you’d find the grand majority of visitors have a bear sighting at the top of their camping bucket list. But those who don’t know how to store their food properly when spending the night outdoors will get a much closer encounter with these animals than they’d wished for. Because when bears sneak up right outside your tent looking for a midnight snack, they look a lot less cute.
In the best-case scenario, they steal your backpack full of vittles, leaving you without a morsel for breakfast. But in the worst-case scenario, your carelessness might result in personal injury and a bear that has to be euthanized.
This is why it’s crucial to be responsible when storing your food and anything else that might attract bears. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to go about it that don’t require installing an electric fence around your campsite.Food storage is important business in bear country
One free meal for a bear may not seem like a big deal as long as no one is hurt. But it’s still problematic because even if it’s the bear’s first offense, it almost certainly won’t be its last.
Lana M. Ciarniello, research scientist and co-chair of the Human-Bear Conflicts Expert Team at the International Union for Conservation of Nature, explains that as soon as you reward a behavior, you condition the bear to seek out more of the same opportunities. This is especially true for bears who are used to humans.
[Related: Bears can run at surprisingly fast speeds—here’s how they vary by species]
So when bears frequently pop up in camping sites it’s not the animal’s fault—more often than not, it’s the humans’. And these encounters usually don’t have a happy ending, as bears that do this are considered a threat and are likely to be euthanized.
This is why proper storage techniques are paramount to safety in the outdoors. But not just yours—the bears’, too.Bears are not only attracted to food
It’s not just your stockpile of instant oatmeal that requires protecting. Food is the first thing you should store safely and out of bears’ reach, but Ciarniello says you should also put away what she calls “attractants”. Translation: Anything that might smell, even if it’s imperceptible to you.
While bears’ olfactory abilities are difficult to measure, experts at the National Park Service assure us they’re good. Really good—better-than-a-bloodhound good. That means these animals can detect the faintest of smells from farther away than you think. This includes your unscented deodorant or lip balm.
So even if an item is sealed (like wet wipes), or its label says it’s odorless, be safe and put it in the stash pile. Once you know what to put away, toss everything in a stuff sack, gallon-sized zip-top, or another durable bag, and get ready to store it.Use a food locker
The easiest storage solution to keep bears away is food lockers. Many parks have installed these large, metal, cemented, bear-resistant structures in front-country and developed campgrounds, but they’re also popping up in backcountry sites where these animals roam.
So before you resort to more complicated solutions, make sure to check with staff at your destination to see if lockers are available.Make a bear hang
Perhaps the most well-established method of protecting your food from bears with the munchies is the classic bear hang, where you stash all of your snacks in a durable bag, tie a long cord to it, and hang it in a tree.
Sounds simple, but “it is a pain in the ass,” Ciarniello admits. That’s because you can’t just throw a rope over any old tree limb, tie it off, and call it a day. Contrary to popular belief, bears are excellent climbers, so if you hang the bag less than 8 feet away from the tree trunk, they’ll scurry right up and chow down. And if you don’t hang the bag high enough, bears may be able to snatch it down without breaking a sweat.
How high you need to hang your food will depend on the type of bears native to the area you’re visiting. If black bears are your only concern, a bag hanging 10 feet off the ground will do the trick, but in grizzly country, the ideal height is closer to 12 feet. So before you set off on your camping trip, make sure to ask a ranger what lives nearby and hang your food accordingly.
Tom Smith, a professor of wildlife sciences at Brigham Young University, says there are two main ways to make a bear hang: the single-tree hang and the double-tree hang. The single-tree hang is the simplest of the two.
Start with a line about 25 feet long and tie one end around a weight, like a rock or a hefty piece of wood.
Toss the weight over a sturdy tree limb at least 15 feet off the ground. Make sure you hang on to the other end of the line, as you don’t want the rope to make it all the way over.
Once the line is over, remove the weight and tie that end of the rope to your food bag.
Pull the remaining end of the rope until your stash is at the desired height.
Tie the rope off to the tree trunk.
The two-tree hang is more involved and requires a longer cord, closer to 60 feet. But this method is more secure as bears are less likely to swat or chew on the down line.
Pick two stout trees with limbs at least 15 feet high.
Attach one end of the rope to a weight. Again, a rock or a hefty piece of wood will do.
Toss the weight over one of the limbs.
Remove the weight and secure the line by tying it around the corresponding tree trunk.
Tie your weight to the opposite end of the rope and repeat steps 1, 2, and 3 with the other tree. Make sure you leave enough slack in the middle so the rope can droop to the ground. You want it to form an “M” shape.
Use a carabiner to attach your bear bag to the droopy center of the rope.
Pull on the loose end of the rope and hoist the bag. When it’s high enough, tie off the rope securely around the second tree trunk.
[Related: Bears can count, take selfies, use tools, recognize supermodels, and even open car doors]
Alternately, Smith explains that if there’s a cliff or escarpment nearby, you can hang the food below the rim and secure the rope to a tree or bush. This approach will require you to be confident in your knot skills and extra careful when retrieving your grub, as slippery hands can result in having to forage your dinner or an early trip home.Get some bear canisters
If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of a bear hang, you can use a bear canister or safe.
These typically roundish containers are built to withstand impact and are nearly impossible for a bear to open, as they don’t have opposable thumbs. Some have twist-on tops, while others feature screws to secure the lid, but they’re all designed to fit in a large backpack for easy —albeit heavy—transportation into the backcountry.
“Bears have been known to bat them around, playing kickball with them deep in the woods, making it very difficult for campers to find them,” Smith says.
Make sure to add stickers or reflective tape to help you identify your canister in high-traffic areas. This will be incredibly helpful if you’re packing up before sunrise.
Whatever method you use, make sure you store your food wisely while in bear country. It’ll help keep you and these majestic animals safe. And don’t forget the bear spray.
In a world where swindlers and sniffers look out for their next victim, they use any means to achieve their aim. And that includes buzzing your phone with spam calls and messages.
Knowing how to prevent such people from contacting you is essential. You can achieve this by blocking spam calls on your iPhone. Besides strangers, you might also want to avoid specific people’s calls at a particular time.
In this article, I’ll show you how to block spam calls on your iPhone and stay in your lane.
Note: While you’ll still be able to call and message a blocked contact, you won’t receive calls, FaceTime, or messages from it anymore. However, the blocked number can drop you a voicemail if you want, which you can only listen to when you visit your voicemail inbox.
How to block unwanted calls on iPhone
Blocking unwanted calls is straightforward on the iPhone.
You’ll consider two scenarios when blocking a phone number; you’ve already stored the number on your contact, or it’s strange (probably a spammer) not in your contact book.
Open the Phone app.
Go to Contacts at the bottom of the screen.
Select the contact you want to block.
Open the Phone app.
Go Recents towards the bottom-left corner of the screen.
Tap the (i) icon to the right of the number you want to block.
How to send spam calls to voicemail
If you want to block someone but still want them to reach out, you can send them to your voicemail instead. Well, that’s easy:
Go to your iPhone Settings → Phone.
Next, tap Silence Unknown Callers.
Toggle on the switch to the right of Silence Unknown Callers.
Best apps to block spam calls on your iPhone1. T-Mobile Scam Shield
You can also use the T-Mobile Scam Shield to avoid unwanted calls if you’re a postpaid customer of the T-Mobile network. The app helps you report suspected scams and unwanted calls. And you can do a reverse number lookup for unknown calls, transfer a blocked contact list over to a new device, and block call categories if you opt for the premium plan.
Download2. Verizon Call Filter
Verizon Call Filter also helps you block suspected spam calls based on risk level. It works by alerting you if it suspects likely spam calls. You can then choose to block the number if you want. It also features blocked call logs, where you can unblock calls. It also allows you to identify your unknown callers, customize the blocked numbers list, and assess the risk level of potential spam calls if you opt for the paid Call Filter Plus plan.
Download3. Robo Shield Spam Call Blocker
Robo Shield Spam Call Blocker features filtering technology for blocking pre-recorded calls and other identified robocalls automatically. With this app in hand, you can choose the categories of calls you want to flag, and it blocks them automatically. It also has a lookup feature that lets you unveil unknown numbers. And you can report spam or scam calls to the Federal Trade Commission directly from the app.
Download4. RoboKiller: Spam Call Blocker
RoboKiller is an intuitive spam call blocker that responds intelligently to your spam callers. It identifies potential spam and scam calls from a database of over 1.4 billion analyzed calls. If you want to hand your scam caller a payback, RoboKiller redirects them to a pre-recorded robot voice before blocking them. You can customize the app’s spam call identification sensitivity, so it doesn’t block calls naively.
Download5. Truecaller: Block spam calls
Truecaller is one of the best spam calls and SMS blockers out there. It uses a database of organically reported spam calls to identify potentially faulty calls. However, I found this Truecaller comprehensive review helpful if you want to dig further into how it helps deliver a better calling experience.
Q. Is there a setting to block spam calls on the iPhone
While there’s no inbuilt setting to identify and block spam calls automatically on the iPhone, you can block them manually or better install third-party spam call filters from the App Store. Any of the apps I recommended earlier works. So you might want to check them out.
Q. What is the best spam call blocker for iPhone?
Picking the best spam call blocker depends on your preferred features. There are many of them out there. Some are network-specific, while others work, regardless of your network provider. You can pick from any of the apps I recommended above.
Q. Why do I keep getting spam calls on my iPhone?
You’re more exposed to receiving frequent spam calls if your phone number is all around the place online or if you share it with anyone you’re unfamiliar with. Someone might’ve also shared your number in a public place. To prevent this, you should avoid leaving a personal contact number on your public profile on social media like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, among many others. But if you must drop your contact, you can use your business phone number instead.
Q. What to do if I keep getting many spam calls?
One of the best ways to block spam calls from individuals and robocalls is to use spam call filters. You can also take action from your end by blocking such contact outright. Contact your network provider to report suspected spam calls if things get out of hand.
Blocking spam calls on the iPhone is easy since Apple provides an easy way to go about it. And thankfully, as I pointed out earlier, third-party spam call filters make the process smoother if you don’t want to keep reinventing the wheel.
Idowu is an avid tech writer and a software surfer who loves covering knowledge gaps in consumer software, including anything related to iPhones. Well, when he’s not reading and learning new things, you’ll find Idowu losing gallantly on a solid chessboard or virtually on Lichess.
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