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‘.

Zooskย 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).

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Scroller #infinitescroll #nyc

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Whatever happens, stick with your guns! Remember, you’re searching for your fifteen! ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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 testsย 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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First time visiting? It’ll be great if you head here after reading. ๐Ÿ™‚

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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)

 


Did this post spark something that you’d like to talk about more? Go for it! Send me a quick note so I can learn about your bumpy (yet exciting!) adventures.

Wait…

Was it was an action!?

Better do that first before sending me that note!

First time visiting? It’ll be great if you head here after reading. ๐Ÿ™‚

Comments: You’ll have to reach out to me to let me know that you are keen on posting a comment. At the moment, WordPress has this weird comment system that uses cookies from other sites, so until they fix it that only cookies come from within the WordPress domain…I am unable to view new comments when they come in.

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)

 


Did this post spark something that you’d like to talk about more? Go for it! Send me a quick note so I can learn about your bumpy (yet exciting!) adventures.

Wait…

Was it was an action!?

Better do that first before sending me that note!

First time visiting? It’ll be great if you head here after reading. ๐Ÿ™‚

Comments: You’ll have to reach out to me to let me know that you are keen on posting a comment. At the moment, WordPress has this weird comment system that uses cookies from other sites, so until they fix it that only cookies come from within the WordPress domain…I am unable to view new comments when they come in.