Monday, May 6, 2019

Stay safe Online

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When dealing with cyber crime, an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure. Cyber crime in its many forms (e.g., online identity theft, financial fraud, stalking, bullying, hacking, email spoofing, information piracy and forgery and intellectual property crime) can, at best, wreak havoc in victims’ lives through major inconvenience and annoyance. At worst, cyber crime can lead to financial ruin and potentially threaten a victim’s reputation and personal safety.
It’s always wise to do as much as possible to prevent cyber crime by following the Online Safety Basic steps given below:

Spam and Phishing

Cyber criminals have become quite savvy in their attempts to lure people in and get you to click on a link or open an attachment.

Malicious Email

A malicious email can look just like it comes from a financial institution, an e-commerce site, a government agency or any other service or business.
It often urges you to act quickly, because your account has been compromised, your order cannot be fulfilled or there is another urgent matter to address.
If you are unsure whether an email request is legitimate, try to verify it with these steps:
  • Contact the company directly – using information provided on an account statement, on the company’s official website or on the back of a credit card.
  • Search for the company online – but not with information provided in the email.


Spam is the electronic equivalent of junk mail. The term refers to unsolicited, bulk – and often unwanted – email. Here are ways to reduce spam:
  • Enable filters on your email programs: Most internet service providers (ISPs) and email providers offer spam filters; however, depending on the level you set, you may end up blocking emails you want. It’s a good idea to occasionally check your junk folder to ensure the filters are working properly.
  • Report spam: Most email clients offer ways to mark an email as spam or report instances of spam. Reporting spam will also help to prevent the messages from being directly delivered to your inbox.
  • Own your online presence: Consider hiding your email address from online profiles and social networking sites or only allowing certain people to view your personal information. 


Phishing attacks use email or malicious websites (clicking on a link) to collect personal and financial information or infect your machine with malware and viruses.
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Spear Phishing

Spear phishing involves highly specialized attacks against specific targets or small groups of targets to collect information or gain access to systems. For example, a cyber criminal may launch a spear phishing attack against a business to gain credentials to access a list of customers. From that attack, they may launch a phishing attack against the customers of the business. Since they have gained access to the network, the email they send may look even more authentic and because the recipient is already customer of the business, the email may more easily make it through filters and the recipient maybe more likely to open the email.
The cyber criminal can use even more devious social engineering efforts such as indicating there is an important technical update or new lower pricing to lure people.

Spam & Phishing on Social Networks

Spam, phishing and other scams aren’t limited to just email. They’re also prevalent on social networking sites. The same rules apply on social networks: When in doubt, throw it out. This rule applies to links in online ads, status updates, tweets and other posts. 

Tips for Avoiding Being a Victim
  • Don’t reveal personal or financial information in an email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information. This includes following links sent in email.
  • Before sending or entering sensitive information online, check the security of the website.
  • Pay attention to the website’s URL. Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (e.g., .com versus .net).
  • If you are unsure whether an email request is legitimate, try to verify it by contacting the company directly. Contact the company using information provided on an account statement, not information provided in an email. Check out the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) to learn about known phishing attacks and/or report phishing.
  • Keep a clean machine. Keep all software on internet-connected devices – including PCs, smartphones and tablets – up to date to reduce risk of infection from malware.

What to Do if You Are a Victim

  • Report it to the appropriate people within the organization, including network administrators. They can be alert for any suspicious or unusual activity.
  • If you believe your financial accounts may be compromised, contact your financial institution immediately and close the account(s).
  • Watch for any unauthorized charges to your account.
  • Consider reporting the attack to your local police department, and file a report with the Federal Trade Commission or the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
  • Protect Yourself With These STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ Tips
  • When in doubt, throw it out: Links in email, tweets, posts and online advertising are often how cyber criminals try to compromise your information. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete or – if appropriate – mark it as junk.
  • Think before you act: Be wary of communications that implores you to act immediately, offers something that sounds too good to be true or asks for personal information.
  • Make your passphrase a sentence: A strong passphrase is a sentence that is at least 12 characters long. Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember (for example, “I love country music.”). On many sites, you can even use spaces!
  • Unique account, unique passphrase: Having separate passphrases for every account helps to thwart cyber criminals. At a minimum, separate your work and personal accounts and make sure that your critical accounts have the strongest passphrases.
  • Lock down your login: Fortify your online accounts by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device. Your usernames and passphrases are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media. 
  • Malware and Botnets
  • Viruses
  • Viruses are harmful programs that can be transmitted to computers and other connected devices in a number of ways. Although viruses differ in many ways, all are designed to spread themselves from one device to another and cause havoc. Most commonly, viruses are designed to give the criminals who create them some sort of access to the infected devices.
  • Spyware
  • The terms “spyware” and “adware” apply to several different technologies. The two important things to know about them are that:
  • They can download themselves onto your device without your permission (typically when you visit an unsafe website or via an attachment).
  • They can make your computer do things you don’t want it to do, such as as opening an advertisement you didn’t want to see. In the worst cases, spyware can track your online movements, steal your passphrases and/or compromise your accounts.
  • Botnets
  • Botnets are networks of computers infected by malware (such as computer viruses, key loggers and other malicious software) and controlled remotely by criminals, usually for financial gain or to launch attacks on websites or networks.
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  • If your computer is infected with this malware and part of a botnet, it communicates and receives instructions about what it’s supposed to do from “command and control” computers located anywhere around the globe. What your computer does depends on what the cyber criminals are trying to accomplish.
  • Many botnets are designed to harvest data, such as passphrases, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, addresses, telephone numbers and other personal information. The data is then used for nefarious purposes, such as identity theft, credit card fraud, spamming (sending junk email), website attacks and malware distribution.
  • Ransomware
  • Ransomware is a type of malware that accesses a victim’s files, locks and encrypts them and then demands the victim to pay a ransom to get them back. Cyber criminals use these attacks to try to get users to click on attachments or links that appear legitimate but actually contain malicious code. Ransomware is like the “digital kidnapping” of valuable data – from personal photos and memories to client information, financial records and intellectual property. Any individual or organization could be a potential ransomware target.
  • Protect Yourself With These STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ Tips:
  • Keep security software current: Having the latest security software, web browser and operating system is the best defense against viruses, malware and other online threats.
  • When in doubt, throw it out: Links in email, social media posts and online advertising are often how cyber criminals try to steal your personal information. Even if you know the source, if something looks suspicious, delete it.
  • Protect all devices that connect to the internet: Along with computers, smartphones, gaming systems and other web-enabled devices also need protection from viruses and malware.
  • Plug & scan: USBs and other external devices can be infected by viruses and malware. Use your security software to scan them.


Thursday, April 18, 2019

10 Ground-Breaking Scientific Discoveries

Scientific Discoveries

 Scientists from all over the world work day and night to improve our lives, and they are slowly achieving positive results that can certainly change the whole world. Want to know exactly what these results are and how your life will change in the near future? 

Learn about the 10 most recent scientific discoveries in various fields.

1. An electronic device that helps the disabled walk again

A group of neurophysiologists from the United States and Russia did what seemed impossible until today - they gave a person who is paralyzed from the waist down the possibility of walking again! They did this with the help of electronic equipment intended for a completely different purpose - to reduce pain - but it turned out that the technology allowed people, paralyzed from the waist down, to move their lower extremities, even if the nerve damage in the area was very serious. According to neurophysiologists, the process of rehabilitation took 44 weeks, and as of writing, the person on whom the experiment was conducted can already stand on his own and walk on the treadmill.

2. The first full-color x-ray
Scientists from New Zealand have created the world's first 3-D full-color X-ray using a device based on the original X-ray machine. The new device uses particle detection technology called Medipix, which was also used in the large particle accelerator on the Swiss-French border used to find the Higgs boson, whose existence was only theoretical until 2012. MediPix technology works like a subatomic camera that provides high contrast images. Color x-rays clearly show differences between muscles, bones, and cartilages, as well as size and location of cancerous tumors.

3. A vest that warns of a heart attack a few days in advance

This smart vest looks like a simple vest, but inside there are sensors and electrodes that do ECG, blood pressure and pulse tests 24 hours a day without the need for a doctor. The information derived from the tests is sent directly to one’s smartphone using an app. According to the inventor of the vest, there is even the possibility of predicting heart attacks two days in advance by identifying abnormal cardiac activity. The vest has already been tested on volunteers and has shown good results, and we can expect it to be available for purchase in the next few years.

4. Eye drops that remove the need for glasses
This development comes from Israel, and these days researchers at Shaare Zedek Medical Center and Bar Ilan University are working on eye drops that can fix the cornea of the eye. This means that using these eye drops on a daily basis can permanently remove the need for glasses, and the product has already been tested and shown great results. The drops are effective for both nearsightedness and farsightedness, and according to one researcher, David Smadja, they can even prevent cataracts and make our vision better than it naturally is.

5. First flying cab

At first glance, Aerocar EHang 184 looks like a drone, but it is much more than that. This is a flying vehicle that can drive 2 people up to 15 kilometers away at a speed of 130 kilometers per hour, but this isn’t the most surprising thing. This flying vehicle doesn’t require a pilot because it is completely autonomous and has already been successfully tested in China. According to the developers of the flying vehicle, all passengers have to do is set their destination and off they’ll go.

6. An external hand skeleton controlled through the power of thought

Scientists from the EPFL Research Center in Switzerland have succeeded in creating a prototype of a hand that can be controlled with the power of thought. In previous versions, electrodes had to be attached to the hand under the skin of the body, but now these electrodes are kept in a helmet that just needs to be worn on the head. It is very easy to control the hand and the learning process takes only a few minutes. The device was tested on people with spinal injuries and those who have had a stroke. Now engineers are working on improvements to make this hand good enough for mass production.

7. Editing genes to treat diseases

In August 2017 experts at the University of Oregon in the United States succeeded in successfully modifying fetal genes that are responsible for the development of heart disease. With that being said, the significant innovation in biological engineering is that gene editing can also possibly be used in adults. A 44-year-old with Hunter’s syndrome – a rare genetic disorder - has undergone genetic modification to erase the disease, and researchers are still waiting to see the results of the process, and if they are positive, it will be possible to treat a host of serious genetics-related diseases through gene-editing.

8. The cure for cancer is just around the corner


Modern medicine is making huge strides in making the word "cancer" much less threatening. Although cancer can’t be cured completely, for the time being, it is possible that in the near future overcoming the disease will be much easier and simpler. As early as 2017, a number of people who had been battling cervical cancer received advanced treatment, in which a special drug was sent to the uterus using sperm. As a result, 90% of cancer cells were completely removed, and this method appears to be more effective than chemotherapy and may even replace it.

9. Water was found on Mars
Science has long known that the red star was once full of liquid, and indeed has ice reservoirs, but researchers were still on the lookout for evidence that Mars has liquid water and they found it in July 2018. The Italian space agency found an underground water reservoir using advanced radar, according to them, they found a lake 20 km wide and 90 cm deep. This gives great hope to the future settlement on the planet, which is scheduled to start in the year 2022.

10. Birth control pills - soon for men too
For years scientists have been trying to develop birth control pills for men, but the problem is that they have always been found to have severe side effects, such as causing extensive damage to the liver. However, in March 2018 researchers at the University of Washington announced that they may soon release the first anti-pregnancy pills for men which actually work and aren’t harmful. 

In pills, there is a combination of hormones that suppress sperm production, and like the pills that exist for women, they need to be taken regularly once a day. In addition to being effective, the subjects reported only minor side effects that did not impair their daily routine. One of the most prominent side effects was changes in cholesterol levels, but it is not yet a phenomenon that will rule out the possibility that these pills will be available for purchase in the near future.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Income Tax Slab for the Financial Year 2019-2020 (Annual Year 2020-2021) for Individuals

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The income tax slab is a table that shows the threshold limit beyond which a specific tax rate is applicable and various deductions are made as per the applicable rate. As per the union budget below are the various slabs for Individuals according to which income tax is assessed in various categories.

Income tax slabs for resident Individual below 60 years of age
Taxable income slabs           Income tax rates and cess

Up to Rs 2.5 lakh                      Nil
Rs 2,50,001 to Rs 5,00,000      5% of (Total income minus Rs 2,50,000) + 4%  
Rs 5,00,001 to Rs 10,00,000    Rs 12,500 + 20% of (Total income minus Rs 
                                              5,00,000) + 4% cess
Rs 10,00,001 and above          Rs 1,12,500 + 30% of (Total income minus Rs 
                                             10,00,000) + 4% cess

Additional Components
  1. Surcharge: In case income is more than ₹ 50 lakhs and less than ₹ 1 crore, the surcharge is applicable at a rate of 10% of the income tax. For income, more than ₹ 1 crore, a surcharge of 15% is applicable on income tax on the amount exceeding ₹ 1 crore.
  2. Health and Education Cess: “Education Cess” and “Secondary and Higher Education Cess” will be replaced by “Health and Education Cess” at the rate of 4%, on the amount of tax computed, inclusive of surcharge.
  3. The interim budget 2019 has provisioned to provide a full tax rebate to individuals having a net taxable income (income adjusted after eligible tax deductions) upto Rs 5lakhs. It means that the maximum tax rebate provided under section 87A has been increased from Rs. 2,500 to Rs. 12,500. Individuals having net taxable income upto Rs. 5lakhs can claim the tax rebate under 87A and thus effectively pay zero tax.
Eligibility Criteria for Claiming Tax Rebate Under Section 87A
In order to claim tax rebate under section 87A, you should be meeting the following conditions:
  • You must be a Resident Individual. The rebate can only be claimed by the taxpaying individuals. It cannot be claimed by HUF, firms or companies.
  • Your net taxable income for FY 2019-20 (income after deductions) should not be more than Rs. 5 lakh.
  • The maximum rebate that can be availed under section 87A is Rs. 12,500. It means that if the total tax payable is less than or equal to RS. 12,500, full tax rebate can be claimed.
Income tax slabs for resident individual between 60 and 80 years of age (Senior Citizen)
Taxable income slabs     Income tax rates and cess
Up to Rs 3 lakh                                Nil
Rs 3,00,001 to Rs 5,00,000     5% of (Total income minus Rs 3,00,000) +  
                                                    4% cess
Rs 5,00,001 to Rs 10,00,000     Rs 10,000 + 20% of (Total income minus  
                                                    Rs 5,00,000) + 4% cess
Rs 10,00,001 and above                Rs 1,10,000 + 30% of (Total income minus 
                                                    Rs 10,00,000) + 4% cess

Income tax slabs for resident individual above 80 years of age (Super Senior Citizen)

Taxable income slabs      Income tax rates and cess

Up to Rs 5 lakh                                Nil
Rs 5,00,001 to Rs 10,00,000            20% of (Total income minus Rs 
                                                     5,00,000) + 4% cess
Rs 10,00,001 and above                  Rs 1,00,000 + 30% of (Total income 
                                                     minus Rs 10,00,000) + 4% cess

Source and for other details :