Verification: Your Defense For Protecting Your Contacts

After going through a number of these, I thought it might be best to put up a version of it, for not only me to refer to, also my contacts.

The verification process (which thankfully doesn’t involve you handing over a copy of your passport or driver’s license — no need to reveal your date of birth, phone, or address) comes in different forms and have been a means of dissuading the temptation to ‘catfish‘.

ZooskΒ uses a video to verify an account holder in relation to the photos they have provided. While on Reddit it has a variety of forms which mostly have a Redditor holding up a piece of paper with their handle.

1.) Move to a secure communications app

My current preference is Wire because it doesn’t limit you to a phone number (or the kind of device you can use the app) and they not only bring in an external auditor, they also make the audit reports available publicly.

A recent alternative for me is Keybase. The advantage it has over Wire is that it works similar to blockchain (your devices are connected, and you essentially use them to verify another if one gets stolen).

2.) Request a verification photo

If you’re a Wire user, request your conversation partner to print something like this on a piece of paper:

“If you’re not seeing this as my digital fingerprint, you might be chatting with someone else: (insert string of letters and numbers here — it’ll be a total of 32 pairs: a number or a letter and a number)”

You can find their device ID and fingerprint by clicking their username (the one at the top of your chat screen rather than in your contacts). If your conversation partner is wanting to know where you got those numbers, mention that it is accessible via settings (under devices).

(This is also a good time to check if the devices you are using currently reflect what’s listed —- if there is an extra…just take it out.)

Then ask for the sign to be crumpled then to take a photo with it (it’s going to be a challenge…but hold fast and make sure that you’re satisfied that your conversation partner is in the photo!).

 

Alternates:

  • If using two devices (or more!), you can use one to take a selfie to include your conversation thread (you just have to copy and paste the fingerprints)
  • Ask the person to paste the string of numbers in a word processor and use that to take a selfie with
  • Writing their digital fingerprint manually (they still have to crumple the piece of paper before taking the photo)

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#selfieofaselfieofaselfie @joshcardmusic @spinamusic

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3.) Ask for social media feeds

Twitter and Instagram would be the best ones to go for (something with their name and photo posted publicly). Remind the person that it is about everyone involved….that if you can have something to get an idea of how they think (even if tweets are all of cute animals — at least if you get something different than it…you’ll be alerted that someone else may be in control of the account)

The pros of getting this information is that if something has happened to their Wire account, they could easily use a tweet to give a heads up.

Want an even extra layer? As the person to tweet out a phrase (or answer a question uniquely).

View this post on Instagram

Scroller #infinitescroll #nyc

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Whatever happens, stick with your guns! Remember, you’re searching for your fifteen! πŸ™‚

For me all three applies no matter what media presence my conversation partner has. I think going through the verification (particularly a photo with their key fingerprint) is even more essential for those who lead a public life (no matter what degree) as they have at least one of their photos out in the world. Remember that no one is immune to hacking, even those with verified Twitter accounts (Vice’s post has a tweet embedded from Geraldine that borders on the ‘M’ spectrum).

Yes, your conversation partner may try to attack you on the complications your asking them to do. Interestingly, if they do…what does their behaviour communicate now? Just remember to be patient and answer questions. If you feel baited at any point just move on.

More reading material here and here! πŸ™‚

Disclaimer: Yes! There is still a risk when you’re trading verification photos (since your conversation partner would likely request one of your too), your photo might get stolen in transit (which is why the use of a more secure app like Wire or Keybase), or you might accidentally share it online…and someone uses it to be you (though I’m not sure how they could wiggle their way on explaining that their fingerprint doesn’t match the one on their device!).

It also doesn’t mean that the person you’re speaking to is 100% trustworthy. Remember to still stick to your privacy protocols. Whether it’s as small as giving them Give them little testsΒ while you are getting to know them.

Writer’s Notes:

  • Thanks to Roy (I’m waiting for his go ahead before I share a link to either his site or any of his social media feeds) for encouraging me to do a stand-alone verification piece.
  • A version of this piece had been published on Buzzfeed. They recently had implemented changes on the content policy for contributors, which meant that that piece and all of my other pieces no longer fit on the platform, and have since been taken down.

What kind of verification and privacy protocols do you have in place? Tweet it out to me at @LeighLim (Or you can reply to this, this, this, or this)


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The Search For ‘Curiosity Searchers’ Continues

The biggest challenge with getting the right people on board while a project is in development is being to show them something tangible.

 

When I started pitching the idea of doing a series that focused on activities that could help curiosity bloom, some of the things I received from respondents were:

  • Which company did I represent?
  • Is the post for business audiences?
  • Where would it be published?
  • Will I link to their site?
  • Can I tell them more about the project?

 

The moment I get asked which company I represent…that is a sign that this person is worried about a possible conflict of interest (and from experience — if that’s a big worry, it’ll be an ongoing issue…no matter how much I address their concerns).

 

Though not having that initial post to refer to as a sample, it was the biggest opportunity as well. The initial respondents that I’m going to include in the series. (I will not readily identify them — and it does not mean that those included in the first few posts of the series are from that first pool of individuals. Though if you want to know if a particular person is….let me know….and I’ll check in with them)

 

 

The other huge hurdle I had to clear was ensuring each group had a unique activity to share. With juggling those that I already had, my strategy was avoid generic things like: ‘play music’ or ‘spend time with friends’.

 

It was definitely daunting, and whenever I felt overwhelmed with the immensity of it — I’d just remind myself that it’s a small number. 365 is no big deal. And for that side of me that worried about double ups — well….I think about that post about the inevitability of duplicates (TBA for the link —- Scott Adams mentioning that readers noticed some of his strips looked quite similar).

 

Though I’ve got my pitch email tweaked now to make it easy for the right people to ‘get it’ — and the wrong people to stick out more. I do have that second step that attempts to help those out who have veered more in the generic territory.

 

 

So if you are staring at your screen reading through my pitch email…and have absolutely nothing. That’s okay. There’s another way you can go about it: take a week or two to test out activities, and see at least one of those activities would ignite those ‘curiosity neurons’ (is there ever such a thing?)

 

Here are some to get you started:

  • Participate in Inktober
  • Get a friend to pick the next film you see. (Okay…you can give some requirements — I’m not going to advocate you going to watch something graphic if those kinds of films are ones you specifically avoid)
  • Attend a film festival.
  • Ask your bestie what would be an almost impossible project she would like to see brought to life
  • Do 10 days of NaNoWriMo — then send out what you have so far to be evaluated.
  • Find a mentor for an activity that you keep rescheduling.
  • Ask your favourite client what you can improve with your service.
  • Use GIMP to produce an illustration.
  • Look for a publication that you can submit your writings to. (Have those pieces that really haven’t found a home yet?)
  • Commission a composer to write a song for you. (Get involved in the process as much as you can)
  • Work with an arranger to structure your pieces for a chamber music quintet.
  • Upgrade your beatboxing skills
  • Take voice lessons
  • Go through your contact list and find ten people who you can introduce to each other.
  • Work on a 1,000 piece puzzle
  • Sell something on Etsy
  • Create your logo. (Maybe you’ll even find the right graphic designer to make it happen)
  • Print a limited run of business cards.
  • Find the next evolution of your wardrobe.
  • See how you can apply minimalism in your life.
  • Sample various playlists in Deezer to find what helps you focus more and get things done. (Maybe you even have a different playlist when you are doing activities that you hate: like reviewing and updating business expenses).

 

 

 

Apparently the Tumblr post I link to gets shut down every now and then (though I don’t think it’s because of the content of the post) so…I went through one of them (it’s been reblogged a number of times that it’s easy to find versions of the post) and thought of ideas based on the list.

 

In its simplest form. It’s to name an activity that helped you get to your next idea. Whether it is the best way to restructure your company during the exit process, choosing your business partner, helping you be more patient with your adolescent kids, understanding a client more….

 

 

Oh….and have you tried boredom? My go-to activity is doing laundry and washing dishes. A way to step away from my workstation and just let my subconscious free while I sort out some suds and make a couple of floormats huggable again. I know that’s more of idea generation —- at least you are left with the an idea even if you couldn’t clearly recall the web of connections that got you there.

 

I’ll be updating this post as each post of the series gets published:

  1. TBA

 

 

Are there activities that you discovered recently that I should add to the list? Tweet it out to me at @LeighLim (Or you can reply to this, this, this, or this)

 


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Thrive And Beyond

As I continue to set free written pieces out in the world. I noticed that sometimes I do get ideas for posts that don’t specifically fit in any of my feeds. So rather than just shrug the ideas off (even when they get distracting, I believe that each time an idea comes — it should be noted in some form), I continually collect them as they ‘hit’ me.

 

One category that pops up every now and then is relationships. I know it’s sort of close to a bit on what is on Thrive, yet I get the feeling they should be curated in a separate one.

 

The next step is to find the right sites, so I’m currently reaching out to contacts (both old and new!) to get their help on finding the right publication to publish.

 

Looking at the stats for some of the sites where my pieces are published:

 

I’ve included a breakdown more topic related here.

 

I can either go for equivalent sites:

  • Huffington Post – 137.67 M
  • Elephant Journal – 2.56 M
  • Thought Catalog – 17.95 M
  • Tiny Buddha – 2.6 M
  • Mental Floss – 15.74 M
  • She Knows – 14.64 M
  • Primer Magazine – 800 K
  • Made Man – 1.03 M
  • Entrepreneur – 18.52 M

 

 

Or next level ones:

  • The Verge – 64.59 M
  • The Atlantic – 40.08 M
  • The Washington Post – 227.76 M
  • Wired – 29.16 M
  • CNet – 176.91 M
  • Techcrunch – 31.32 M
  • Inc – 20.87 M

 

One thing I enjoy about being a contributor for Thrive is how the pieces themselves look when they are published. I don’t need to worry about page load times (or ads that ruin the reading experience).

 

I know I can’t always have that freedom whenever other sites publish my written pieces, it’ll just be a nice bonus.

 

Are there publications that you discovered recently that fit your pieces? Tweet it out to me at @LeighLim (Or you can reply to this, this, this, or this)

 


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The Benefit Of A Repeat

It’s amusing to think that everytime I stuff up (forget to save — or not notice I’m not online when I hit save on a webpage), I get annoyed whenever I lose things and have to retype them.

 

However there are times when I do want a redo. But wouldn’t be able to get a chance to. Either because of time or maybe because a lot of events have folded itself into it and to change that event would be…equivalent to finding the right approach to solve the ice epedemic.

 

It happened with this entry (Link TBA — I’ve sent it off for publishing.) when I had issues with my word processor and the darn thing wouldn’t let me open a new file (hush! I have a process!). The post I was typing up was being developed as I went along, so there was no draft to work on (I have maybe 20 files waiting to be published on thrive…after maybe some tweaks).

 

My usual process is: ‘pick a draft’ work on it, and save the new version in the word processor. I have a folio that has handwritten drafts on it (and now with a mix of short story ideas), and it is steadily growing. For my entry, because the idea popped up right when I had the opportunity to allot some time to write it….I made sure to sketch up some sort of a structure.

 

Thankfully, the writing process has gotten significantly easier now that I have this structure to refer to. If you don’t see a structure…that was me. Yes, you can give me a reminder why I would risk wasting my time (and time does slip through my fingers really quickly and next thing I know, I’m in a rabbit hole!).

 

 

So now…I have to remind myself to smile and say: ‘I don’t usually get a chance to do this’ — whenever I am ‘forced’ to redo something.

 

Are there specific incidents that you tend to look back on that make you glad that you had a chance to ‘redo’? Tweet it out to me at @LeighLim (Or you can reply to this, this, this, or this)

 


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Digging Deep With Sam And Kent

It’s quite funny how the things I least expect are the ones that stay with me for quite awhile.

 

I previously mentioned that ‘Before I Fall’ is the least likely film I’d watch. If I’d seen the trailer before picking it up, I would have surely thought: ‘Oh…that was THAT film…’ — and just move on to other films.

 

Now here I am months later after falling into the rabbit hole (okay maybe ‘visit’ rather than ‘fall’ is a better term), and I’m still finding out things to explore. That is after reading (leafing through then eventually reading more and more bits) the book, writing a pilot pitch (I’m in the process of updating the next draft), having an iteration of Kent appearing in a post about finding the right connections, and three tracks will eventually appear in 2017’s album release (TBA for link and track details).

 

The post that triggered yet another exploration is this one about ‘the heart‘. I found it while sending a fellow writer some questions I think I should be asking while in the process of finding the best version of my pilot pitch.

 

Then I started to wonder about the kind of stories that have pulled me in:

  • Homeland – Carrie continually trying to find her best self (through lots of frustrations and betrayals) while adding value to the world in doing what she does best (unearth terror plots). I initially thought it was the storytelling (which I realise is of course common in stories I feel drawn to), and not I’m reminded that it’s a surface thing, that there’ll always be something that runs deeper that keeps me watching.
  • The Good Wife – How dangerous it is to sit on the fence, and not make a decision. Which means you’ll likely lose out on something special. Alicia has made a number of decisions through the 7 seasons of the show, but seem to hesitate to make ones relating to her marriage (stay or go?).
  • Better Call Saul – what’s it like when you don’t have your suit of armour yet? It now makes it easier to see why ‘Better Call Saul’ would appeal to me more than ‘Breaking Bad’…it’s because the characters in ‘Breaking Bad’ mostly had their ‘suit of armour’ (for Jimmy it was having ‘Saul Goodman’ as his persona). Another thing I enjoy about the show is Jimmy coming up with different (creative) solutions to the challenges life throws at him.
  • Rectify – Daniel journeys to find himself (while getting out of his self-destructive mindset because he has let other people define who he is…which sometimes makes him blind to the people who care for him and who are willing to give him a leg up) and understand that he is worthy.

 

 

As for Sam and Kent. I think there is something magical about having someone in your life who is able to tell you (without fear) that you are better than what you’re doing right now. Someone who’s able to give you a different (usually more helpful) perspective on events.

 

Here’s an exchange from the film:

Sam: Is that the one we used to sit in?

[Kent looks behind him at the trees outside his window. He smiles and nods]

Kent: Yeah. Yeah we did.

[He looks back at the trees again]

Kent: Do you uh…remember climbing up it? And then you jumped out and sprained your ankle?

Sam: I was stupid.

Kent: It was very ambitious

 

Sam certainly has gone through something slightly different than Daniel (though still brings it’s own trauma), so I think that’s one of the things that I wanted to explore (other than: ‘well I just wanted to know what happens to Sam and Kent when they are both 44’) was how she would get over ‘not being good enough’, particularly as Kent’s life partner.

 

As with the saying ‘jokes contain a modicum of truth in them’, I’m keen to apply that perspective in future viewings (and readings!), not only to help understand what goes on in my head a bit better — also connect better the people I cross paths with….so I can approach incidents like this much better than I have in the past.

 

Are there specific TV Shows (or films) that reflect the things about yourself that you are currently exploring? Tweet it out to me at @LeighLim (Or you can reply to this, this, this, or this)

 


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The Best Way To Stay Present

While in the process of writing the second draft of a guest post about my thoughts on my spiritual journey in relation to the film ‘Stranger Than Fiction’ I caught myself before getting fully lost in my own thoughts: ‘Wow…I’m not thinking of any other thing at the moment. I’m totally immersed!’

 

Whether that means that I might drop off the time spent on making music….I don’t know. I do know that music is still a bit part of my life. I recently felt my heart swell a tad while listening to an arrangement of Adele’s ‘Hello’ by an orchestra (I couldn’t find the version I saw on SBS though this one sounds similar to that arrangement).

 

Could that mean that I’ll be more of a listener (maybe the music discovery project might take the front seat more?)? For now, I think what I’m supposed to do with that reminder is to keep track of those moments when I am able to easily be present in what I’m doing

 

It’s one thing to find out that I need solitude to recharge, and another to find out what kind of ‘activities in solitude’ helps the most. It may turn out to be a combination of G rated clips from The Graham Norton Show and running through my to-do list (particularly the ones that have me working with specific constraints: may it be addressing notes from an editor or trying to mesh two ideas together to birth a unique one)

 

 

 

 

 


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Would You Rather…?

A Β£200m trust fund that came with a parent that didn’t really think you were good enough? Or look after teens (13-25) for 15 hours a day for the rest of your life?

 

Whether it be a difficult choice or easy, I find that playing this particular game could be connected to a person’s state of envy. It would be quite easy for me to think that Alain de Botton has been set for life because of his hefty financial cushion. Though noticing the key phrase (“untouched Β£200m trust fund“) could lay the key to understanding Alain a bit (would he choose the second option?).

 

Here’s something you can use as a spring board to come up with five of your own (Rating M: Some swearing). Quite handy to get to know someone a bit deeper, and help you decide if they are part of your fifteen. πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 


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What Is A Hero?

I like how the more I ponder on something, the more likely I’d understand it.

 

As I was listening to Clay Scroggins’ talk, a thought came to me. Then I found myself wondering who’d I consider a hero.

 

It would be someone who is:

  • Able to hold back their biting comment — and wait for the right time to share it (maybe after arranging it as a ‘not so biting’ comment so the recipient wouldn’t be so defensive)
  • Alert to their surroundings, so much that they are able to notice when someone is not okay — and take the time to ask.
  • Taking an hour out of their day to report unhelpful comments on Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram (you’ll be surprised how much inappropriate posts there are on popular tags)
  • Intentional in creating margin — so if they spot someone in need they can just stop. And not worry about being late to the next thing on their calendar.
  • Mature enough to redirect their energy when it is being used wastefully (like complaining and plotting ways to ‘get even’) and find ways to lift up someone in their circle.

 

 

 

 


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The Best Thing For Today And Tomorrow

Do I want to spend two hours and be heard by 5 people or 300?

 

I would have thought my daily choices point to the latter (thereby leveraging my time). But after a quick audit of my activities, I still have a tendency to pick broadcasting to 5 over 300.

 

While watching a documentary earlier today…I got a stark reminder that I am one of those drivers Danny Kahneman was talking about. The scenario was that even if Taxi Drivers know that they get more passengers during rainy days vs sunny days, they don’t make it a point to work more hours on rainy days (and take a day off during sunny days). What’s worse, is the Taxi Drivers stop working once they hit their daily goal (which is the same during sunny days) even when there are tons more earning opportunities.

 

So, in addition to my daily time tracking sheets — I am aiming to pause every few hours to ask the question: ‘Should I continue? Or do I need to pivot?’

 

I know it’s a different scenario for the Notes of Encouragement (which is personalised…and I aim to send each an every one of them myself). But for the Q&A and building the mailing list. There’s an option of guest posting, rather than spending my time on Twitter interacting with individual tweets that are amusing or engaging.

 

Put in another way by Charles Duhigg: “Productivity is not about doing things unthinkingly. Productivity is about pushing yourself to think more about the things that matter…We know that the people who are most productive tend to spend more time thinking about what their priorities ought to be. Instead of getting into their office and just automatically answering emails, and then working on their expenses, and then returning phone calls. Instead of going on auto-pilot….What the most productive people do is they sit down and they say: ‘Okay look, I know I did that yesterday, but is that the best use of my time today?’

 

 

 

Additional Readings:

 

 

Note: The Battle In Your Mind is available for purchase if you’re looking for viewing for your conference attendees.

 


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The Zone and Flow

I was reminded of one of the optimal ways I can get myself to that place where not only do I have the ideas flowing, I also have the motivation to carry me through the activity (however many of them).

 

Surprisingly, it’s using a REALLY old tablet (until I figure out how to root it so I can ‘up’ the system storage), which due to its age…I only am able to keep a limited amount of apps. One I use often is Opera Mini (somehow even less resource exhaustive than the native browser app) to collect posts that would remind me when it is time to create content (either for public consumption — or for clients).

 

Maybe it’s while having a meal (I’m okay eating near phones or tablets — but not a laptop of desktop…) or while cooking.

 

Does one activity come to mind that just gets you there?

 

Additional Readings:

 

 

 

 

 

 


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