Without getting into the technical details of the kinds of shady methods used by hackers and viruses to get at your email user-ids, passwords, bank account numbers, online banking password etc., let me just assure you that there is a plethora of methods being employed by the bad guys – and most of our home computers are sitting ducks.
The list of hacking techniques that you could fall victim to is endless. Phishing, Key logging, Screen shotting, Browser Hijacking, Session Hijacking, Drive By Hacking, Spoofing, Sniffing, Viruses, Worms are just a few of them.
While I personally try my best to ensure I have a ‘clean’ computer to do all my online banking on, I am always looking for ways to secure it further. Trusteer is another little gold nugget I have found in this quest. The product has a sole purpose – “End-point Centric Fraud Prevention”. This is security speak for preventing fraud via a home computer that you and I would normally use to do our online banking from.
To start with, your bank recommends it. Most Canadian banks (TD Canada Trust, ING Direct, Scotia Bank) are proactively suggesting that their clients install and use Trusteer. It is also being used outside of Canada in the Continental US (Bank of America and others) and Europe (Royal Bank of Scotland and others).
It keeps your computer clean of:
The company is owned by IBM – the technology provider to almost every major bank on the planet. So that’s added comfort.
How does it tell you when you are safe to bank?
Once you install Trusteer on your computer, it works behind the scenes with your browser. The browser URL window will show a green colored icon indicating that your session is safe on the site you are on. See the image below with the icon circled in red.
If you accidentally typed a variation of your bank’s web address/URL, and went to a phishing site, the URL window will not display the green icon and you should know something is amiss. Trusteer partners with most banks in North America, so you would see the green icon the moment you are on their site. Trusteer will also warn you proactively when it detects any other activity on your computer that is potentially malicious; for e.g. consider a scenario where some malware in your computer is attempting to capture your web banking id or password or any details when you are on your bank’s site.
So go ahead and install it and be a little safer.
Hope you enjoyed this post; Don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family – post it on Twitter/LinkedIn/Facebook or all three! Thanks for reading and be safe till my next post.
When I decided to write this post on program management, I was tempted to follow the routine format of any other blog post but then decided to do it bit differently. There are so many variables and angles to program management that it is probably best addressed as a Q&A. So here goes.
Que.: What is a program?
A program is a collection of projects that are usually done to meet a strategic need or objective of the organization. The projects in the program will have inter-dependencies between some of them. While an individual project may meet one or more objectives, the program when delivered successfully, will be broader in benefit and help meet an overall organizational strategy or objective. Another way to look at it would be – a single project may not yield all the benefits that a collection of projects would.
Que.: What are the basic elements of Program Management?
Any aspect of program management will fall under one of the following five key elements of program management.
Que.: Why do we need to run so many projects in parallel – why can’t we do them in sequence?
It is definitely far more complex to run a multitude of projects in parallel as a program; the reason we run these projects in parallel is for a number of reasons:
Time: Time is of the essence when it comes to executing a program; a program is almost always designed to meet a strategic need of an organization that has “time” as one of the cornerstones. For example, your program may require putting in place all the processes, people, and systems to support your organization’s strategy which may read something like: “to become the second largest provider of solar LED panels in the Eastern United State by the year 2019”. There is little chance of meeting this aim if you do all the projects required to meet this strategy in sequence.
Economies of scale: It is far more cost effective to handle projects in parallel where resources can be shared across projects and where the knowledge on one project often becomes critical to another due to the interdependencies between the projects in a program. Resource utilization is maximized and down-time is reduced.
Change: Managing change in an organization is always tricky. Staff resent change; you can gear up your staff for a major change as long as it is promised to happen for a reasonable/finite period of time after which staff knows that the organization will settle back into steady state with the promised benefits that the change will bring about. Doing projects in sequence results in staff experiencing what seems to be a never ending cycle of change resulting in burn-out due to project-fatigue.
Que.: Why do I need a Program Manager; can’t a Project Manager oversee the program?
A project manager is used to playing a role where they are focused on the specific deliverables of a project. Project managers work on detailed planning at a task level, identifying and assigning tasks to the right individual, managing a plan, and ensuring tasks are completed on time so that the project deliverable is met. Their scope of functioning is far narrower and a lot deeper than a program manager.
A program manager is a leader in the true sense of the word. The program manager brings clarity and structure to an otherwise chaotic scenario normally associated with multiple projects each vying for attention and priority. The program manager will be able to set the relative priorities for all the projects in the program by understanding the interdependencies, comparative benefits of each project, and alignment of these projects with respect to the overall goals and strategic objectives of the program. A program manager may often have to make tough decisions around diverting resources from one project to another in the overall interests of the program. A program manager’s role is strategic and macro in focus versus a project manager who tends to be more objective and micro in focus.
To know more about program management, project management, and other technology related information, follow my blog.
Thanks for reading and be safe till my next post.
Hi everyone… over my 20 plus years of managing programs, projects, and project managers, I have developed and reviewed hundreds of project cost-estimates and proposals. Here are a few takeaways that I continue to bear in mind and hope you might find useful when it comes to costing for your projects.
As a rule, make sure that the project manager you hire is aware of these common mistakes. You can use the list (1 to 16) as a checklist when reviewing any cost proposal whether it is by your internal project manager or a vendor who is submitting a proposal.
Thanks for reading. Be safe till my next post.
So let me explain how:
1) Select the MUSIC app on your Blackberry (Q10, Q5, and Z30 only – sorry Z10 users – you do not get the FM radio)
2) Make sure you connect your headphones (they act as the antenna)
3) Select the radio icon at the bottom of the MUSIC app. (see the screen shot alongside)
You are done. Now you can manually select your station or simply do a auto-scan to pick up all local FM stations.