by Chérmelle Edwards Each morning Lenworth McIntosh—who also goes by Joonbug—opens his Fresh Kaufee Instagram feed with hand-drawn letterings and illustrations that simply say “Good Morning.” The simple gesture is…
Windows 8.1 might have enhanced its built-in security features compared to its predecessors, but you might still need third-party apps that are optimized to help you secure your sensitive data to get the job done right. To that end, we will be listing 10 Windows 8.1 security apps that are primed to keep your images, messages, email and data in general, safe from prying eyes.
There are apps that help you encrypt data for transfer, password generators, hash generators, deletion software (that really wipe out your deleted data, making them exit no more) and more options to help you secure your data online.
NOTE: Download links provided in this article opens the app’s page on the online Windows Store. If you’re using Windows 8.1, then it also opens the app’s page in the Windows Store application on your system.
Recommended Reading: 20 Useful Microsoft Windows 8.1 Tips & Tricks
DirectPass is a password manager from the security company, Trend Micro. It’s not just a password manager though, there are many more tools in the same package – password generator, password rating tool, form filler, secure browser, secure notes tool, anti-keylogger and cloud sync tool. It’s even available for other popular platforms: Mac OS X, iOS and Android.
Aside from storing and managing passwords, the password rating tool informs you about unsafe passwords. The secure browser offers a security-enhanced browser for sensitive financial websites to keep you safe from phishing and other attempts to intercept your financial transaction.
Cloud sync tool backs up and synchronizes all your passwords, notes and form-filling information to the cloud and makes them available on your other devices.
Most cloud storage providers have opted to not provide file or disk encryption options for your sensitive files. Boxcryptor is a silent, behind-the-wall file encryptor you can use to overcome that disadvantage for your cloud storage. Boxcryptor provides fast and easy encryption, and its unlimited version is available for all major cloud storage providers, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, SugarSync, Box.net and many others.
Its free version only supports Dropbox but there’s also a “Boxcryptor Classic” which supports Dropbox and Skydrive. Moreover, it’s also available for other platforms: Mac OS X, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, etc.
Keeper is an innovative password manager software, with a multi-layered security approach and that’s why, you can simply trust this software for protecting your logins and passwords. It can handle all of the login forms because of its user-interactive password capture mechanism. Your login data gets organized in folders and can also store an attached note.
Auto-Logout feature automatically logs you out after a specified time so that no person can access your sensitive information while you’re not around. Self-Destruct feature automatically destructs (deletes) the offline password database after 5 failed login attempts. Keeper offers a free service for one offline device. Its premium version offers more features such as cloud backup and sync, data sharing option, web access and many others.
4. Private Hub
Private Hub is your private secrets keeper, where you can store all sorts of super-sensitive data. It is an encryption program which encrypts your personal data and protects them from prying eyes. It keeps your data secure and safe from unauthorized access.
It has a simple interface and its opening screen displays the list of things which can help you lock up: photos, videos, passwords, accounts, notes and files on your system. It is opened using a master password. Without it, nobody – not even you – can access the locked data. Even if someone get his hands on the encrypted data, he won’t be able to view or open the data without the correct password.
5. My Personal Crypto Pad
My Personal Crypto Pad implements the OpenPGP data encryption standard into a metro-styled application. It’s developed to solve the two basic problems of computer security: data integrity and data security. Data integrity means verifying that the data is actually sent by the sender and the received data is the original data; data security means providing only authorized access to the data.
My Personal Crypto Pad enables people to check data integrity using digital signatures and secure their data using encryption. You need to create keys and then use those keys to sign or encrypt data and files. It can be tricky at first but the app can improve your online security once you get the hang of it.
6. Secret Tidings
Secret Tidings is a data security tool which implements steganography to protect your data. Steganography – which means the art of hiding – is a mechanism to secure data by hiding it inside pictures. The idea behind this mechanism is simple – hide the sensitive data inside not-so-sensitive data and thus prevent it being seen. Secret Tidings can be used to create unassuming pictures which you can lock (and unlock) messages and images in, using a password.
The generated picture can then be easily shared or sent via email to a recipient and the recipient can view or unlock the sensitive information inside it using the correct password. This creates two levels of security – one, obscuring the fact that there is a sensitive data being hidden, and two, password-locking the access to it.
HashMe lets you create hashes using more than a dozen hash functions. It’s very hard to check the integrity of a file that is transferred over the Internet. Integrity here refers to whether the received file is exactly the same as the sent file or if it had been altered halfway through the transfer by a cracker. The best method to check for integrity is by use of hashes.
HashMe supports creating hashes for text as well as files. Some of the popular hash functions supported are MD5, SHA1, SHA256, RIPEMD, Whirlpool and Tiger. HashMe can be used to check integrity of files sent over email or shared through online storages. It can also be used to check the integrity of downloaded files where the file’s hash is given.
TXTcrypt, as its name implies, is a text encryptor. It serves a simple function: to work as an encryption tool which lets you send secret messages to a recipient. It has a pretty simple and straight-forward interface and you can use it to send secure messages via SMS, email or instant messaging services.
TXTcrypt can be used to encrypt textual data and messages with a password. Then the encrypted message can be sent to anyone and nobody else can see the real message even when using any known snooping method. The person with the password will be the only one capable of deciphering the encrypted message and viewing the original, plain message.
Shredder8 is a secure-delete software, packaged as a metro-styled application. It solves the problem of deleting old yet sensitive data. Any digital data, if simply (or insecurely) deleted, can be restored from the disk using a data restoration/retrieval software.
Shredder8 can be used to shred sensitive files or create free space on your storage disk with a thorough data wipe. It supports many secure-delete algorithms such as U.S. DoD, Russian GOST, British HMG IS5 and German BSI VSITR.
10. Advanced Password Generator
Advanced Password Generator solves the problem of creating strong passwords. No matter how strong the security measures your system has, if it has a weak password, it is an easy entry for people who intend to breach the system and your data enclosure.
However, creating strong, random passwords that you can remember for a long period of time is also hard and time-consuming. Use Advanced Password Generator to generate strong passwords for you. It’s a quick and easy-to-use program. Otherwise you can opt for these other password generators and managers.
Have we missed any of your favorite security app for Windows 8.1? Let us know at the comments section.
A mysterious new horror game for PlayStation 4 — simply titled P.T. — was revealed last week during Sony’s Gamescom press conference in Germany. Not only that, it was in development by the wholly unknown 7780s Studio… and a demo was available right then on the PlayStation Store. Something seemed off.
Does this sound familiar?
If you follow the work of Mr. Hideo Kojima, the celebrated game designer behind the Metal Gear franchise, you may recognize some of these tricks from his Metal…
Complete guide to web typography you’d find useful for your visually appealing designs.
WordPress themes are rapidly becoming more common these days. More themes get released every day to incite the designers. Most designers store many themes in order to be able to build a perfect design quickly. Flat designs always remain in fashion because they provide continuity to the project making them look timeless and very appealing. Flat WordPress themes definitely have a quality about them which represents them as sophisticated and elegant. Themes can include tutorials, plugins and positively provoking designs.
A great flat WordPress theme with artfully arranged information over it can work wonders for your project bringing in the desired audience traffic which will take your creation to the next best level and set its own standard. Here is a collection of great flat WordPress themes, these can be free and of cost but these will surely ignite your mind with powerful ideas. These themes are clean and elegant in their own right and will help you in making your own project look stand-out-in-the-crowd. Go ahead, have alook and download as many as want!
Duena is a Bootstrap template designed specifically for personal blogs. Being Bootstrap-powered the template provides lots of opportunities for editing and tuning. Bootstrap is web developer’s ‘mana’ with all those HTML elements, components and other cool stuff. Even though Bootstrap templates are mostly flat, the gradient on the background creates depth effect that makes content blocks float in the air.
Themia Lite for WordPress is one of the easiest themes to build your Web Presence in 10 Minutes. The Theme is highly customizable and you can change Logos and Social Icons easily through the Themes Options Panel, You can have your own branded new Website for your Business or Personal Use in Minutes. Features Templates for Blogs, Fullwidth Page without sidebar.
WP RootStrap is a flat and minimal design theme powered by TwitterBootstrap 3.0. It has unique designed for SEO optimization with faster page loading. It can be used as a started theme for development of any website. It has lots of theme hook to help developer for further development.
A simple, clean and responsive theme build with HTML5 and Twitter Bootstrap. Designed to be starting point for your Website with unlimited possibility for customization, with Theme Customizer and Theme Options ready, you won’t get any trouble modifying most part of the theme.
Highwind is a lightweight, free WordPress theme designed to showcase content. It features a clean, responsive design with a strong focus on typography, plus a bunch of presentational options and widgetised regions allowing you to give your site a unique touch. View Documentation.
On top of its powerful blogging features, Murmur is a portfolio theme for showcasing web design and photography projects. It can also manage your team/staff member profiles. Portfolio projects and team member profiles are handled via custom plugins made specifically for Murmur.
There is an old saying in photography: “If you don’t make mistakes, you’re doing something wrong!”
Professional photographers take thousands of pictures of just one event, sometimes hundreds of pics of just one door. Photography is all about practice, knowledge and more practice. Getting that perfect shot will be much more complicated than you may believe at first glance.
In order to help you out, let’s simply get the mistakes out of the way, or at least the most common ones. Obviously, we cannot go through all of them. However, we can easily help you by highlighting some mistakes that professionals and beginners make. Let’s start with the beginners! We’ll then move on to the professionals and offer some extra advice to help you on the long run.
Photography Mistakes That Beginners Make
1. Never Using Flash
This is not the most common beginner mistake but it is one that is a lot more common than you may think. The regular reason behind the choice stands in the fact that pop-up flash is bad. This is quite obvious. However, this does not mean you should not use flash in your photos. It just means that you need to be careful and choose the correct flash type for your camera.
2. Using Incorrect ISO
It is really easy to forget your ISO on a specific setting. In many situations we see beginners with an ISO of 100 on most photographs. This leaves under exposed and dark areas. The good news is that with a little practice you will get rid of this problem. Just remember that you need to check ISO before a photography session. Write it down on a small notebook until you actually memorize it. This may sound stupid but it is not. It will help you out a lot more than you may believe at first glance. Use the notebook technique whenever necessary.
3. Wrong Focus Mode
You cannot fix focus during post production. The problem is that you may need to take a photograph fast as something happens right in front of you. Whenever you have a wrong focus set, the camera will try to refocus or will not track the subject you have. Make sure you learn how to fix focus problems and never underestimate the importance of focus.
4. No Backups
Your work as a photographer is important. You need to properly protect your photos. Buy 2 backup hard drives if you have to. One thing that you never know is when a hardware error will lead towards you losing all the pictures you ever took. When that happens, you can kiss your portfolio goodbye! Many of the beginners that read this article will have no backup.
5. Shooting Just In JPG Mode
You have access to so many extra options when you shoot in RAW. Shooting in JPG automatically means that the camera applies sharpening, compression, contrast, white balance and many other things. You will find yourself naturally not knowing what you are missing when you use JPG. If you do not know what to do, you can always shoot in both modes at the same time. You will instantly notice the differences.
6. Choosing Wrong Lenses
As you understand optics and aperture, you quickly realize exactly what a wrong lens can do. You are tempted as a beginner to choose a lens that is something like 18 to 250 mm. Learn about lenses so you can choose those that are the best for your type of photography. There are countless tutorials that are available online so why not read all of them?
7. Using Free Photo Editing Software
You will quickly learn that this is seen as sin in photography. Free software is never as good as professional software. Since you will end up investing a lot of money in equipment, you should never try to save money on software. If you cannot afford to pay at first, it is not a problem. As time passes, you need to be careful that you buy everything that you need. This does not only mean equipment. You should also buy all the necessary software.
Photography Mistakes That Professionals Make
Taking your photography skills to the next level is usually what every beginner photographer desires. The problem is that over 80% of photographers end up out of business in the first 5 years. In many situations the difference between a professional and a novice is not about work quality. Usually we are faced with common mistakes that are made by pro photographers. Let’s see what you need to always avoid. You will quickly notice that most professional problems are not actually associated with photography.
1. Sharing All Photographs Made
So many photographers post too many pictures from a shoot. Professionals can easily end up making their portfolio look like that of an amateur when photo overload appears. Always choose the very best photographs that you take and be really careful with the selection process. The portfolio of a photographer is a storefront. You need to be sure that the world only sees the very best that you can offer.
2. Not Updating The Website Often Enough
We, of course, assume that you already have a blog/portfolio/website where you showcase your work. Different moments in life can lead you to completely forgetting about updating the online portfolio. Never make this mistake! You have to be sure that the site has content and the visitors have to see that you are not out of business. Take the necessary time to update the site with new, fresh content. Set up a weekly schedule and always stick to it!
Many photographers believe that they will be able to make it alone. This is incorrect. When you use networking, you are guaranteed that you find new opportunities that would not be available without knowing the right people. Through networking you can expand contacts and meet new potential clients. Always go out and meet other professionals. Network with the best vendors so that you can have new clients!
4. Underestimating Business Costs
Doing professional photography work is not cheap. Unfortunately, many professionals end up underestimating costs. That leads towards inadequate pricing. If you do not correctly estimate expenses, the pricing strategy will be incorrect. Calculate estimated yearly expenses as accurately as possible. This includes advertising, taxes, upgrades and supplies.
5. Always Buying New Gear
It’s not a bad idea to want something new for beginners and professionals. However, so many photographers believe that they actually need new gear to take really great photographs. Remember that new gear is not going to make you a better photographer. A really good photographer will never let gear hold him back. Think about your business. See if the extra purchase is merited instead of buying new gear as an attempt to get new work.
6. Letting Passion Die
One thing you may not understand is that there is such a huge difference between taking photographs as it is your passion and taking photographs as it is your job. Pro photographers often lose enthusiasm as they start taking pictures for a living. In order to combat complacency, simply take some time off from working and do projects that are 100% yours. When you do not have client specification boundaries, you can let your creativity run wild. This brings in inspiration.
Dumb Mistakes Happen – You Want Them To Happen!
Mistakes are only human. DO NOT think you will make no mistakes. For instance, how many times did it happen till now that you forgot to add a memory card in the camera? Maybe you forgot about changing your ISO. It is possible to make so many mistakes and as already mentioned, when you do not make mistakes, there is a pretty good possibility that something is wrong.
Here are some steps that you can take in order to improve yourself based on the mistakes that you make:
1. Recognizing Mistakes
We noticed that there are many photographers out there that do not actually admit that they make mistake. If you do not admit that, it is obvious that you cannot learn from the mistakes you make. In most situations people prefer to believe that they do not make mistakes. Unfortunately, most of those that fall into such a category stand out as mediocre photographers.
Analyze your photographs constantly. When you notice mistake, write them down and see how you can improve.
Keep all the photographs you take, at least for some time. Only not do this when you have limited card space and you have to take many photographs. Never delete photographs while in the field. It is really important to remember this since you will definitely be tempted to go through the pictures on the LCD screen and delete some that do not appear right. If you do that, you will end up with many different good photos at the end of the day and you will not be able to criticize the work in an objective way.
In many cases a photographer takes thousands of pictures so self-critique time may not actually exist. However, when you delete images before you actually get to see them on a large resolution screen, opportunities for improvement are missed.
As soon as you get home, copy the images to the hard drive. Go through them. Skim over the images that are technical failures or that are highly similar. If you see photographs that are not perfect, try asking yourself why that is the case. Is it the position of the subject? Maybe the lighting! Sometimes there is way too much background noise or motion blur. Analyze all your work with objectivity in mind so that you can be sure that you do not make a mistake. This is what improves your work on the long run.
Extra Tip: Overedit!
You can correct some of the pictures that you do not like through post processing. However, you should never overuse editing just to solve some problems. Through editing you can actually become aware of the various problems you may have missed. However, everything starts with self-critique. Never end up being dependent on editing to fix errors that appeared. You will lose a lot of time and this is definitely not productive.
Knowledge Is Power
Whether you are a professional or a beginner, knowledge is what counts a lot at the end of the day. The photographer will always learn. This is something that few people understand. You cannot simply keep taking photographs and expect to get better as time passes. This is just a misconception. In reality, the more knowledge you have about photography, the better you will be.
We should also add that it is a very good idea to talk with other photographers. That will help you as you can exchange tips and tricks. You never know when you learn something new. It is vital that you keep learning and knowledge is what helps you out the most at the end of the day. You have to keep learning. Avoiding mistakes is only the start. Learning how to fix them is the continuation.
Never believe that you know everything. You can be the best photographer in a region and remain surprised as someone does something that is unexpected. Never be arrogant and acknowledge the fact that you make mistakes. After all, you are just human.
Re-read the mistakes that were highlighted above and make sure you never forget about the power of self-critique. Let technology help you and gain access to all the data that is necessary to improve your current skills. It is something that will aid you a lot more than you may believe at first glance. Never hurry when you take photographs or when you process them. Well, at least try to allow as much time as possible towards improving your work!
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Read more about 6 world-class ads by the winner of D&AD’s President Award at CreativeBloq.com
Acknowledged as one of the UK’s most respected and acclaimed art directors, Alexandra Taylor has gained an international reputation for her prolific award-winning work in advertising. With over 200 entries into the D&AD Annual, Alex was this year presented with the D&AD President’s Award. Here she takes a look back at six of her favourite campaigns from her illustrious career…
JumboZilla: Thousands of Super Premium Design Resources worth $11,227 – Only $90.30 (With Our Coupon)
We write quite a lot about Inky Deals, and have spoke very highly of them in past articles and for good reasons. Inky Deals is one of the leading design deal websites in the world – In my opinion, their the best (and I don't get paid to say that). They're the only guys to […]
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It’s been decades since the world realized the danger that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs, formerly found in products like aerosol sprays, refrigerants, and solvents) posed to the Earth’s ozone layer. But despite the fact that the CFC known as carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) was banned way back in 1987, a new study from NASA shows a troubling amount of the compound in our atmosphere — something that presents a continued threat to the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica.
“We are not supposed to be seeing this at all,” said NASA’s Qing Liang, lead author of the study. “It is now apparent there are either unidentified industrial leakages, large emissions from contaminated sites, or unknown CCl4 sources.” Between 2007 and 2012, studies showed…