Are you using the right protection?

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I’m really glad I made it a point some time back not to be greedy and lust after freebies. Because you never know when threats might lurk behind such freebies.

I’m sure some people still don’t know about the notorious iPad scams that surfaced in early 2010, so let me talk about it a bit.

After Apple announced the launch of the iPad, ads suddenly started appearing all over the Internet inviting people to sign up to be iPad beta testers, after which the tester would get to keep the iPad.

 

Scam #1:

Free iPad scam

 

Scam #2:

Free iPad scam

 

Scam #3:

Free iPad scam

 

Scam #4:

Free iPad scam

 

There were more like these.

They were all scams.

There never were any free test iPad sets.

 

Scammers profitted from these in a number of ways.

For one, victims were asked to key in their e-mail and password so that the company could access their contact list and send invites to all their friends to receive free iPads.

(You’d think people ought to know by now NEVER to give their passwords to anyone!)

For another, victims were asked for their phone numbers, which were then used to subscribe to a phone service that automatically added USD10 to their phone bill every week, until the victims realised it and manually opted out of the service.

Crazy, right?

In fact, there were even scamming websites that pretended to warn people about free iPad scams, then go on to invite people to sign up with their company to receive free iPads, providing impressive-sounding (but bogus) reasons to explain why theirs aren’t a scam like the others.

People who fell for that ought to be spanked, I think. You can’t believe that people will fall for it, right? But they do. And they will continue to, unless they read this following message!

 

FORTUNATELY…

 

There’s now protection against these kind of scams, and more.

Even if you think you’re really savvy, I think it’s still good to have protection just in case you have an off-day.

I have always been careful but, a couple of years ago, I still contracted an MSN virus by unthinkingly clicking on a stupid link supposedly sent by one of my friends.

I wish I had used the right protection then!!

So, here are a few facts everyone should know:

 

  • Today, there is one threat online every 1.5 seconds.
  • By 2015, this number will be increased to 7 threats per second. (Estimated figure.)
  • Just visiting a malicious website is enough to allow viruses into your PC.

 

The solution to all these problems is simple. Get an Internet security software to protect yourself.

Now, I know what most people are going to say. They don’t like these software because their PCs get slowed down and they get interrupted in the middle of work or playing games or something.

So, then, the solution is…

 

Trend Micro Titanium

 

Trend Micro Titanium!

This global Internet security leader has made every effort to provide maximum protection without the inconveniences.

Using the Trend Micro Cloud Security Technology, users are only required to download 20% of signature files (as opposed to 100% for other anti-virus software), which are updated frequently and unobtrusively. All Internet threats are identified at the cloud before even reaching users’ PCs.

In layman’s terms, this just means that TrendMicro Titanium will not slow down your PC because it uses less memory while offering maximum real-time protection against current and future threats. Virus definition files are updated frequently without you even knowing or feeling it.

 

Trend Micro Titanium

 

  • Lowest in memory.
  • Best in protection (detection rate) against latest new threats which are created every 1.5 seconds.
  • Test results are conducted in a live environment with Internet connection turned on. This is more accurate as 92% of new threats come from the web.

 

So, who needs this software? Everyone, I think. Following, I present you a scary list. I mean scary considering that scams and viruses are lurking in every corner in our lives.

 

Top 5 threats we are vulnerable to:

  1. Banking Trojans
  2. Botnet Warfare
  3. Personal Data Theft
  4. Targeted Attacks using e-mail
  5. Search Engine Poisoning

 

Trend Micro Titanium addresses all these threats and more. I’m sure we all know the importance of having proper protection!

Now, besides protection, what’s equally important is also the usability of the software. I found it easy to install and once there, it just sat there quietly and did its work without bothering me.

Well, unless it was to inform me that I was about to do something dangerous that would potentially infect my PC.

 

Besides all that, here’s something else that might interest you very much.

Would you like to enjoy a private movie screening where you can invite up to 63 friends?

YES VERY MUCH!

If you answered yes, which I’m sure you did, then here’s your chance to win one such luxury!

 

Trend Micro Titanium Contest

 

All you have to do is Like the Trend Micro Singapore Facebook Fan Page.

Then click on the contest tab to answer a simple question, then follow instructions!

 

Trend Micro Titanium Contest

 

It’s really fast and easy, just like how installing Trend Micro Titanium onto your PC is also fast and easy!

So, good luck with the contest (if you win, you will invite me to your screening, right? :P) and make sure you’re using the right protection, always!

A Banking Babe is Born: Chapter 3

A Banking Babe is Born

 

Synopsis

Sheylara is a bimbo who enjoys shopping, playing games and Facebooking. She’s always late in paying bills because she thinks banking and accounting are tough, boring tasks. But she will soon find out how wrong she is!

 

Cast of Characters

Breeze Cast of Characters

 

Previously

Cutie Prime succeeds in convincing Sheylara that paying bills through Breeze on the iPhone is fun. A delighted Sheylara sends her first eCheque — to herself. She also finally pays her phone bills and Cutie is relieved.

 

Chapter 3: Wishes do come true

“I’m bored!” declared Sheylara suddenly one afternoon, “I want to do something fun!”

Startled, Fluffy the 2nd jumped. The screensaver that had been idly scrolling on her screen flicked off as the pretty Macbook blinked in consternation.

 

Fluffy jumps

 

“Let’s play a game, Fluffy!” said Sheylara.

Fluffy replied, “Let’s log in to Breeze and I’ll show you something cool.”

Sheylara frowned.

 

Sheylara frowns

 

“It’s good for your soul,” said Fluffy.

“Are you kidding me?”

“No. C’mon, you’ll see.”

“Fine…”

 

Fluffy shows Sheylara cool stuff

 

Fluffy shows Sheylara cool stuff

 

Fluffy shows Sheylara cool stuff

 

Fluffy shows Sheylara cool stuff

 

Fluffy shows Sheylara cool stuff

 

Fluffy shows Sheylara cool stuff

 

With that, Sheylara whooped and ran around in circles in excitement. The thought of shopping always got her going.

“What can I buy today?!” she asked, barely able to contain herself.

“You can buy your Juicy Couture sunglasses.”

“Woooooooot!”

Sheylara was out of the house in five seconds flat.

This time, she remembered to grab Cutie Prime on her way out.

 

Cutie Prime is traumatised

 

“Cutie Cutie I’m going shopping!” yelled Sheylara happily.

“Right, right, what else is new,” yawned Cutie.

“OH NO!” Sheylara suddenly cried out.

“What, what?!”

“I don’t have enough cash on me!”

“Then go get some.”

“What a bummer. I don’t remember where the nearest ATM is.”

Cutie Prime’s eyes brightened as she remembered something.

 

Cutie Prime to the rescue

 

“What now, Cutie?” inquired Sheylara. The girl always thought her silly phone was a little bit too melodramatic for her own good.

 

Cutie Prime to the rescue

 

Cutie Prime to the rescue

 

“Cutie, you are brilliant!” cried Sheylara.

“Well, it’s not all me,” said the iPhone shyly, “There’s Breeze. It does all the work.”

“Alright, alright,” conceded Sheylara, “You ladies have got me. I love Breeze, okay? It shall be my handy companion forever and ever!”

Cutie blinked. “What about me?” she said, still shy.

“You’re my sexy mobile secretary, remember?!” laughed Sheylara.

 

Cutie Prime to the rescue

 

So, the happy bimbo did her shopping and bought her stuff and danced her dance and then lived happily ever after with Fluffy the 2nd, Cutie Prime and Breeze.

Well, stories have got to have a happy ending, don’t they?

Even if they’re about banking.

 

Sheylara and Breeze

The End.

[Read Chapter 1] [Read Chapter 2]

A Banking Babe is Born: Chapter 2

A Banking Babe is Born

 

Synopsis

Sheylara is a bimbo who enjoys shopping, playing games and Facebooking. She’s always late in paying bills because she thinks banking and accounting are tough, boring tasks. But she will soon find out how wrong she is!

 

Cast of Characters

Breeze Cast of Characters

 

Previously

Cutie Prime worries about being cut off because Sheylara keeps procrastinating her phone bill payment. So, Fluffy the 2nd comes to the rescue, enticing Sheylara with the Wishlist feature in Breeze! Sheylara now thinks banking could be fun, but her phone bill still remains to be paid…

 

Chapter 2: Sexy mobile secretary

One day, Sheylara was playing a game on Cutie Prime.

Actually, it wasn’t only one day. Sheylara was always playing games, if not on Cutie Prime, then on her PC or iPad or DS or Xbox 360 or PS3 or Wii….

You’d think she wouldn’t have time to go shopping or indulge in any of her hobbies, what with all this game-playing.

As Sheylara played on, Cutie Prime, as usual, was fretting over the unpaid phone bill.

 

Sheylara playing on iPhone

 

Meanwhile, Fluffy the 2nd sat at the side, rolling her eyes at this. She decided that it was time to give Cutie Prime a big hint. She edged closer and whispered to the dejected iPhone.

“Cutie, get her to download Breeze for iPhone. Tell her it’s a new game.”

Cutie’s eyes brightened.

“Why didn’t I think of that?!”

 

Sheylara playing on iPhone

 

Not to be deterred, Cutie Prime forcefully showed Sheylara the app and made her download it.

 

Breeze on iPhone

 

Cutie Prime gritted her teeth and tried to ignore the protestations of the impatient bimbo.

Just as Sheylara was about to turn the app off and continue with her game, Cutie Prime quickly flashed the most attention-grabbing thing in Breeze she could think of.

 

Breeze on iPhone

 

Happy that her effort was beginning to show some fruit, Cutie Prime continued to appeal to the novelty-loving gene in Sheylara.

“It’s very clever. You can send a cheque to anyone at all without actually sending a real cheque!”

“Huh?”

“You just type the details in me and Standard Chartered Bank will send a real cheque on your behalf to whomever!”

“Oh,” said Sheylara, trying to puzzle it out.

“Why don’t you try it now?!” cried Cutie Prime before Sheylara had time to lose interest.

 

Sheylara is confused

 

Delighted, Sheylara set to work sending herself a cheque as Cutie Prime ran her through the steps.

 

Sheylara sends herself a cheque

 

Sheylara sends herself a cheque

 

“Hey, hey, hey!” Sheylara suddenly yelled out, “What was that icon thing? I want to send another cheque to someone else so I can make another icon!”

“Oh, that!” said Cutie, “You can personalise all your payees, whether it’s for sending a cheque or paying a bill or transferring money to a friend!”

“Oooh!” said Sheylara, “Show me again!”

With that, Cutie smiled slyly and said, “Why don’t we make one for your phone bill?”

“OKAY!”

 

Sheylara makes a phone bill payee

 

Encouraged by Sheylara’s interest, Cutie Prime went for the winning shot.

“Let’s pay your phone bill now!”

“OKAY!”

Cutie Prime grinned widely and gave Fluffy a high-five.

 

Sheylara pays her phone bill

 

At this, Fluffy the 2nd felt that it was time to pipe in. She was a bit jealous for not having appeared much in the entire chapter.

“Look, Sheylara!” she said.

Sheylara looked.

“I’m making a monthly reminder in your Breeze so that you’ll remember to pay your bill every month!”

 

Fluffy makes reminders

 

“Wow, you’re like a secretary, Fluffy!” said Sheylara, excited.

Fluffy beamed happily.

“What about me?” said Cutie.

“You’re a mobile secretary!” said Fluffy.

“A sexy one!” said Cutie, striking a pose, although she looked the same no matter what pose she tried to strike.

Suddenly, Sheylara cried out, “THAT REMINDS ME!”

 

Sheylara remembers

 

“Bye girls!” Sheylara yelled, and was out the door in five seconds.

Fluffy sighed.

“That girl. You can never keep her doing something serious for two minutes!”

Cutie rolled her eyes. “And she forgot to take me again. She’ll have to come back to grab me.”

“LOL,” said Fluffy.

“We’ll convert her yet!” declared Cutie Prime suddenly. She was feeling confident now that the phone bill was finally paid.

“She’ll be logging in and using Breeze all the time once we’re done with her! Then she’ll become smarter and less ditzy!”

Fluffy didn’t respond and even looked a bit doubtful.

Can a bimbo truly become a banking babe? What will Fluffy and Cutie do next?

Find out in Chapter 3, coming next week!

[Read Chapter 1]

A Banking Babe is Born: Chapter 1

A Banking Babe is Born

 

Synopsis

Sheylara is a bimbo who enjoys shopping, playing games and Facebooking. She’s always late in paying bills because she thinks banking and accounting are tough, boring tasks. But she will soon find out how wrong she is!

 

Cast of Characters

Breeze Cast of Characters

 

Chapter 1: It’s like a game!

Once upon a time, a bimbo named Sheylara was fast asleep in bed at nine in the morning, dreaming of toy poodles and ice cream, which are random items of no consequence in this story, but the author just thought would make Sheylara appear more ditzy.

 

Sleeping Sheylara

 

Little did she know, as she was dreaming, that someone was gossiping about her! (She wouldn’t have minded had she known, though, because Sheylara was amicable like that.)

 

Cutie Prime worries about being cut off

 

Annoyed with Fluffy’s secrecy, Cutie Prime hopped onto Sheylara’s shoulder and started playing her favourite alarm ring tone, a certain catchy song by the Wonder Girls.

Nothing happened for a whole minute.

Cutie was just about to check whether Sheylara was still breathing when the sleepy bimbo began to stir.

“Mmmph,” said Sheylara.

“Wake up!” said Cutie Prime, bopping on her shoulder impatiently.

“Mmmph,” said Sheylara.

 

Sheylara wakes up

 

Inspired by Cutie Prime and her catchy ring tone, Fluffy the 2nd also started hopping in excitement.

“Come look, Sheylara!” she chirped, “I have a new game!”

“Huh? What game?”

“It’s called ‘Make a wish now and go shopping later’!”

“Huh?”

Sheylara walked to Fluffy and sat down in front of her, rubbing her eyes.

“What are you up to?” the still-sleepy girl asked suspiciously.

 

Fluffy is excited

 

At the thought of shopping, Sheylara woke up instantly.

“Stuff I want to buy? Oooh! That’s easy!”

She started rattling them off like a submachine gun riding on a roaster coaster at the speed of a bullet train.

 

Sheylara is excited

 

“Eeeks! Enough!” cried Fluffy, intimidated. “Check this out first!”

The cute and illustrious Macbook loaded up a website, winked at Sheylara and said, “We’ll tell it to your bank account and make your wishes all happen!”

“Huh?”

“Here. This is Breeze.StandardChartered.Com! This is where you can do fun stuff with your bank account!”

“Huh?”

“Look!”

 

Standard Chartered Breeze

 

Fluffy made a few excited gestures at the confused Sheylara.

“Are we playing Charades?” asked the bimbo.

“No, no. I’m just excited. Look, let’s just sign you up quickly.”

“What?”

“Click on ‘Get Breeze’!”

“What? Where’s the game?” Sheylara complained.

“Be patient! You need to type in your online banking username and password first.”

“Okay, okay.”

 

Standard Chartered Breeze

 

While Sheylara was typing in her details, Fluffy winked at Cutie. She was certainly in a good mood today, doing a lot of winking.

In no time, Sheylara was done. At least she was sensible enough to remember her passwords.

“Good girl!” said Fluffy, “That’s all you need to activate Breeze! Here, your Standard Chartered bank accounts and transactions are shown in easy-to-understand formats. Even a bimbo can understand them!”

Sheylara narrowed her eyes and looked at Fluffy suspiciously.

 

Sheylara is impatient

 

Clearing her throat, assuming Macbooks have them, Fluffy began to explain in the simplest terms she could manage.

 

Fluffy introduces Wishlists

 

Next step!

 

Fluffy explains Wishlists

 

The thought of shopping always excited Sheylara. She loved the idea of saving money for many different items concurrently.

She thought she would make a little game, have a little competition for her items to be the first to have a full slider bar.

Of course, no one was going to tell her she would have to decide on the winner for herself, eventually.

 

Fluffy explains Wishlists

 

With that, Sheylara gave Fluffy a little kiss on her pink bow.

“This is kinda fun but I want to go play games on my iPad now. See ya, Fluffy!”

Now, while all this was happening, Cutie Prime had been watching quietly at a corner. As Sheylara walked off, the angsty phone went postal.

She marched up to Fluffy and shrieked.

 

Cutie Prime goes postal

 

Fluffy clucked pacifyingly.

Well, as much as clucks can be pacifying.

And as much as Macbooks can cluck.

“All in good time, sister,” she said sagely, “You’re just as impatient as the girl!”

 

Cutie Prime goes postal

 

Fluffy clucked again.

 

Fluffy assures Cutie

 

Well.

That was that.

Cutie couldn’t wait, but there was nothing she could do at this point of time.

So.

How is Fluffy the 2nd going to make Sheylara pay her phone bill on time? Or will Cutie Prime have to be resigned to having her line cut off once a month?

Find out in Chapter 2, coming next week!

Converting SIM card to MicroSIM free

I got my iPhone 4 last night but I didn’t get a MicroSIM card. I won’t explain why because it’s a long, boring story. But I was going to have to visit a SingTel shop the next day to convert my SIM into a MicroSIM.

The Goonfather said, “Why pay $18 for the conversion? Just cut it yourself!”

I really thought he was joking. But he wasn’t. Apparently, many people do it. Just Google and you’ll see.

We were having dinner at The King Louis when Unker Kell started cutting up his SIM card with his steak knife, using his new MicroSIM as a template (his MicroSIM wasn’t activated yet.)

SIM card and MicroSIM card

It worked perfectly! His newly-cut SIM card fit into his iPhone 4 and he was able to make calls and surf the net.

I wasn’t ready to cut up my card yet because I didn’t want to break out my iPhone 4 outside. So I got the Goonfather to make markings on my SIM card using Unker Kell’s MicroSIM as template.

I gave him a pen to make the marks, but he decided to use his steak knife.

What’s with boys and knives?

SIM card and MicroSIM card

Once we got home, he used a pair of normal scissors and cut along the lines. One minute later, I had one perfectly functional MicroSIM card at no extra cost!

SIM card and MicroSIM card

SIM card and MicroSIM card

SIM card and MicroSIM card

It’s not a perfect fit for the MicroSIM tray, but it still works fine.

The iPhone 4 is sooooo good to use. I couldn’t imagine anything could be smoother than the iPhone 3G, but Apple has done it.

I’ve named her Cutie Prime because my iPhone 3G was Ms Cutie. The “Prime” is from “Optimus Prime”, so used because the iPhone 4 looks more high tech.

It was Kerrendor’s idea actually. When I said I was going to name my Alienware Fluffy (because my pink MSI Wind is also named Fluffy), he said, “Why not Fluffy Prime cos you need a more high tech alien-sounding name?”

He was actually joking but I really liked the idea so I used it.

iPhone 4

The Goonfather named his iPhone 3GS iGoon. He’s still deciding whether to get an iPhone 4.

Now I just need to think of a name for my iPad when it arrives!

Update

If you don’t have a MicroSIM to use as template, you can get one here: Print out this PDF at 100%. This website also has very detailed instructions if you need.

If, after you cut up your SIM card and decide you want it back to original size, you can buy an adapter at Sim Lim Square to fit your card in to turn it back into regular size.