Connecting Technology and Business.

Ignore these 9 tips to stay safe online at your own risk!

The risk. More and more hours are spent online by us as there is proliferation of devices, availability of internet connectivity and usage of apps for everything – from official work to personal use, social networking and entertainment. These require a login so that we can have a better experience. The devices and apps require creation of an account most of the time to log in so that we can enjoy a better experience – downloading files, accessing premium features or content or moving to higher levels in a game. We need to be doubly careful with our personal information so that none of it is accessed by the device builders, app developers and hackers.

Here are some tips to keep ourselves safe from risks to our information that lie online.

  1. Password. First and the foremost is to have a strong password – a different one for each of our accounts or a single strong password under a single sign-on system that cannot be easily guessed. Avoiding dictionary terms and easily guessable words or a combination of words and figures would be good methods when choosing passwords.
  2. Multifactor Authentication. We might have multiple email accounts – one or more official and many personal too. Most email service providers also provide a second authentication mechanism apart from a login name and a password. Making use of this multi-factor authentication feature will require the user to provide an additional authentication factor in the form of an OTP (One Time Password) received in a mobile device or in an alternate email or a phone call. This available in also most of the social networking apps too.
  3. Apps. We are enticed by a lot of apps that keep asking for permission to access our content – contacts and personal information in our devices. We must be discerning as to whether we need to allow these apps to access such information unless the situations warrant it. If we had not been paying enough attention here, it is high-time we revisited our apps and removed such privileges to the respective apps.
  4. Social Networks. Almost every information we provide when we create our social networking accounts and subsequently post in our name are at risk of being misused by the service providers and sellers interested in pushing their goods and services. Even our likes or comments to others’ posts are at risk of being monitored and accessed for dubious usage like targeted advertisements and offers. There are also recommendations from various sources that we remove our Facebook accounts so that we can protect our privacy. Others would have to go to Ad preferences option in such accounts to minimize risk of being spied by intruders.
  5. Personal devices. We must be careful when we allow others to use our devices in which we not only store a lot of our personal information but also login to access our various accounts. It is better to log off and allow them to login with a different profile / account in the same device. This will keep them from away from our information.
  6. Browsing history. Our browsing history and stored cookies must be deleted as frequently as possible to keep our personal information private. This will delete our search history, passwords and other vital information we provide in web sites and apps - probably for file downloads or registering for events and webinars. It will also be better to use the in-private browsing option in browsers when we know that we might have to provide personal information or search for confidential information.
  7. Temporary files. All files and content of temporary / short term value must be deleted as soon as it loses its relevance so that any private content is inaccessible from these sources. Files of permanent value and longer relevance must be backed up and stored in secondary storage devices or cloud services locked up with strong passwords.
  8. Phishing and Ransomware. Anti-phishing tools and software that will guard us from zero-day attacks and ransomware are essential these days to help us remain protected from hackers and attackers who are after not only our information but also information about others stored in our devices like phone numbers and email addresses.
  9. Wi-Fi. While connecting to Wi-fi networks, we must be very careful as to who is the Wi-fi provider and whether it is a public network. Public networks that allow you to connect without a password or those that are provided in railway stations and airports are risky connections. They come with an added risk of exposing our content to others connecting to that network. Deny permission to make your device visible to others in the network if you are connecting to unknown networks.

Spam, Hoax and Phishing Messages

Unwanted messages come in many forms, such as spam, hoax and phishing messages. Phishing Scams come in many varieties. Some are personalized, i.e. ‘spearphishing’, but most are sent out to the widest possible distribution. All these types of messages are broadly defined as unsolicited messages that try to deceive you and prompt you to act in a certain way.

You may be the target of a deceptive scheme if any of the following describes a message you receive, via messaging apps like WhatsApp or email:

  • The sender claims to be affiliated with the messaging app / WhatsApp.

  • The message content includes instructions to forward the message.

  • The message claims you can avoid punishment, like account suspension, if you forward the message.

The message content includes a reward or gift, such as an extended or free subscription. Please note, most of these app vendors work on a yearly service subscription model.

Beware of Phishing Scams that Spoof Legitimate Web sites

One phishing email in particular is circulating the internet disguised as a notification from the popular messaging service, WhatsApp. This message looks legitimate. Of course, one sure way to tell it is fake is if you do not have a WhatsApp account. (WhatsApp says in its official page that it does not use WhatsApp to send messages to you. It also states that it also does not send its users emails about chats, voice messages, payment, changes, photos, or videos.

You can also hover your mouse over the button and see what URL it will take you to without actually clicking on it. The links embedded in the email direct your browser to a malicious or compromised website run by hackers. Once you’re on the malicious site, malware is downloaded to your computer.

Don’t Click the Links! – Dangerous Downloads

As you can see in this example, the button wants to take you to livetonline.com, a website that has no affiliation with WhatsApp. If you click the ‘Play’ button or any of the links contained in the email, your computer may become infected. The link will takes you to a webpage that is telling you that you need to download Adobe Flash Player before you can see the message. If you already have Flash installed, especially the latest version, this should be another tip-off that this is a scam. (Mac and iOS users cannot be affected by this, as it downloads an executable (.exe) file, which only runs on Windows. The file most likely contains a virus, but Apple products are not affected).

This strategic and clever tactic is typical. These scam emails started appearing only one week after WhatsApp launched its web client. Before that, there were similar phishing scams circulating, appearing to have come from a WhatsApp mobile user. However, the timing of these new scams makes them seem more legitimate.

This is just one particular example. There have been other emails circulating around that look identical or very similar to the one above, though they may try to get you to download something else malicious, or even display a login page to collect your email address and password (this is a phishing attempt).

Kuluoz is one of the malware downloads associated with such a phishing scam. Kuluoz is a Windows targeted virus designed to stealing documents in Microsoft Word and Excel format. It is also capable of stealing all passwords stored in popular browsers like Firefox and Opera.

The Android mobile platform

Because of its popularity, the Android mobile platform has become an extremely profitable target for malware creators. Many times Android targeted malware is distributed through phishing scams. Malware sites associated with the ‘WhatsApp Messaging Service phishing scam’ can detect Android users and download a virus targeted at Android mobile devices. One such virus is droidFennec.out. The droidFennec.out virus allows an attacker to send text messages, make phone calls and access the internet using your device. The droidFennec.out virus can also enable permissions which would allow a hacker to make payments using your accounts.

What to do if I receive these messages

Prevention is the Best Cure.

Block the sender, disregard the message and delete it. To avoid exposing your contacts to potential harm, please never forward these messages to them.  

If you think that your computer may be compromised, go to the Microsoft Malware Protection Center for information on how to detect and remove the threat.

A necessary defense against this type of threat is antivirus software. Android users should ALWAYS run antivirus software to help defend against the increasing threat of infection posed by Android targeted malware.

Malicious attackers are becoming more skilled at ‘spoofing’ legitimate emails and websites. If you receive an email notification from a website, go to the site by typing the URL in the address bar of the browser yourself! If the message is from a website for which you have no account or you think it may be fake, simply ignore it.

Key Yammer Spaces

Key Yammer Spaces

Home Feed, Inbox, Groups, and Profiles are the key spaces / pages.

Home Feed

  • Top: Algorithmic feed that shows different things based on your activity. (Proprietary algorithm which Yammer doesn't share, but is based on user activity)
  • All: Every public message in your network. All company/network + all public groups
  • Following: All messages in groups you belong to (public and private) + conversations that include someone you are following (does not need to be started by them) (except private groups you don't belong to
  • The usage policy contains the guidelines outlined by your administrators or community manager in order to ensure proper use of Yammer. Be sure to read this over and follow it at all times.
  • Messages posted here (to my "colleagues") will go to All Company by default; best practice is to go to the group and then post

Home feed is primarily for discovering what's going on around your company


Your inbox is where the most relevant messages to you are, so this is for work mode.

The following messages will show up in your inbox:

  • Announcements (from all groups you belong to)
  • Conversations you were pulled into by an @mention or cc:
  • Conversations you join or Follow
  • Private Messages

You can do two things with conversations in your inbox;

1. Mark as unread and move the messages to the top of the Inbox

2. Stop Following messages in your Inbox. Messages reappear if you are @mentioned or if someone replies to you


See Conversations, Members, Files and Notes posted to the group.

Groups act as folders and organize everything in Yammer and workspaces for organizing around teams, projects, and any other topics of interest.

All Company/Network is the default group and acts as the catch all.

The groups you belong to can be found on the left and are automatically sorted based on your activity so that your most interesting groups are at the top. The order of the groups gets much better when you are active in Yammer.


Review Yammer Profiles to learn who your colleagues are and what they do

  • Review the About, Info and Org Chart sections
  • Encourage your colleagues to complete their Profiles! Department, Location and Expertise are searchable fields and should always be populated.
  • See Conversations, Files, Images, etc., posted by your colleague to groups that you can access (things from private groups you're not a member of won't show up here)


Yammer provides the user with Inbox notifications via the mail symbol, general notifications via the bell symbol, as well as network notifications and group notifications with numbers.

Use Yammer effectively - it complements your SharePoint

Here are some more scenarios where Yammer might qualify as the best platform...

  • I am writing a biography of … Does anybody have info?
  • We are putting up a kiosk to help tax payers. Any volunteers to counsel? We will decide on the date and venue soon. Wait for an announcement...
  • Contribute generously to the welfare fund for the daily wage earners in our company...
  • We are in need of a person who can run errands for our employees. Any recommendations?
  • Did you read the latest book by the bestselling author XYZ? Here are some gleanings from the pages…
  • My son is looking for some material on Nano-technology for the textile industry for his thesis. Can someone help?
  • We are contemplating on bringing in a new leave approval policy. Please provide your inputs to make the process a democratic one.
  • We have made it a mandatory requirement to bring in a helmet if you want to use the two wheeler parking. Is this a good move? Please share your opinions here…
  • We are intending to enter into the Middle East market with our product. Would our product take off here?
  • I am thankful to Mr X who helped me with his expertise on pivot tables that made my job easy to analyze my sales report. Truly, Mr X is the Mr. Excel of our company.
  • Our quarterly get-together "The successful Q4" is planned for the 4th April 2015. We are intending to do a broadcast of this through Yammer. You will see real-time content shared like photos, interviews, comments and feedback on Yammer. Try your hand at participating here at this YamJam event with your inputs and shares and make it a memorable day.
  • I came across this feature in Word that will save a lot of time for all of us who work day in and day out in MS Word. Please try and share your comments here…
  • Anybody familiar with the vlookup function in Excel? I was told that it saves me a lot of effort searching for info in a table.
  • I am on an official trip to Amsterdam. I will be sharing some of the wonderful photos that I click at this place. If you are interested, follow me here.
  • I am floating a group named The Blood Donors. Interested to join? Invite others who would be interested.

Where can I use Yammer effectively?

​Many of us have a question – I have email for official communication, SharePoint Discussion boards and Document libraries for collaboration and I have Lync for IM and filesharing. Why should I use Yammer? Here are some scenarios where you can use Yammer effectively. I want you to notice that many of the scenarios given here are commonplace in many business enterprises today. And without Yammer, you will still be wondering what to do in such ecenarios.

Who can help me with this project?

I have taken up a new responsibility in my company just a few days before. I have been handed over a project that was revived from the yesteryears. The project report gives me very limited information. I have no clue on who worked on this project or who I can approach to get some inputs on this. Some might have left the company but many might be in still – though engaged in other projects or handling other responsibilities. Some might even be staying close by me but I cannot run around asking every individual about this. Some might very well be working from other locations – even abroad. I can't send a mail to all company – I have no permission to use this distribution list. And, even if I had permission, I cannot use this means to seek help as this mail might be a nuisance to many who are not concerned with it. Most mails sent to All Company group do not receive the attention that my project deserves. Where do I go? To the All Company group of Yammer - of course.

What is our protocol to engage with So & So?

I am the newly appointed Accounts Manager. I need to connect with one of the Accounts receivables. Who had engaged with the concerned person earlier? What kind of a person is this individual? Friendly? Egoistic? Is there a hierarchy in the client company that I need to engage with to connect with this person in the most effective way and with the least resistance? Does anybody in my company have some information about the customer that will be valuable for this engagement? Is there a means by which I can gather all this information from various sources inside the company? Yes. Yammer is the answer. The Finance and Accounts group might be the one I need to approach.

Who is/are handling this account?

I am a Customer accounts manager and have been given additional accounts to handle. While some of the accounts are familiar to me, many are new. One of the accounts, I am told, might close a deal of a substantial size very soon. But I need more information than just the name of the account and the numbers. What approach might be the best? This being a sizable deal, are there other approaches that might help close the deal faster? Who are the decision makers in the customer's business? Who are all the people who have handled this account in the past? Who all have additional intelligence on this account that might drive the opportunity towards the desired result? Will "Managed Accounts" group in Yammer help here? Bingo.

I am new to the company. Where can I find…?

I am glad that I have got a job in this company. My posting is in a city I know very little of. And, I am worried as to where I will stay. Thankfully, I have been given company accommodation temporarily – only for the first two weeks. I should find a place to live. Does some staff live anywhere around the office? Is there anybody who can help me find a decent accommodation somewhere close by the office? Has anybody noticed a To Let board? Please post this info here in this "Volunteers" group in Yammer. I will be very thankful to you. And we can also become friends.

Where can I find the latest Travel Policy information?

I keep travelling everywhere on business. I hear that there have been some changes to the existing Travel Policy. What are the latest changes? Would it affect the way I work and travel? Am I still qualified for travel reimbursement to such and such a place? Would I be allowed to travel Business class in flights? Has anybody noticed any fine-print that I had missed? When is this new policy coming into force? What is the last date I can submit my travel bills under the old policy? Hundred questions? Yammer might be the right place for this. Is there a "Mobile Employees" group?

Who is going to the conference?

I have been nominated by my management as one of the delegates to the conference being held in the US. An official announcement is on its way but this might not be too soon. This being my first trip to the US I feeling a bit jittery. I am eager to know who else is going. Who is taking care of the logistics? What are the things that I need to get ready of? Credentials? Papers? Travel baggage? What must/mustn't I carry with me? What would the company provide me on its part? Does anybody know what the weather in the US during the time of the conference would be like? Thankfully, there is a group named "International conference" in Yammer. I can approach this group for most of my queries, if not all. All Employees group might provide me rest of the info.

What are the common objections from prospects?

I am one of the Inside Sales Managers in the company. We have recently launched a new sales campaign. While the training and post-training instructions have been given to the teams that will be directly involved in the customer interaction, it would be helpful if there is a common forum where all of us involved in the campaign can come together to exchange ideas and share among ourselves the everyday challenges we face during our interactions with customer. How are the customers reacting to our proposal? Is our marketing strategy right? What are the various objections raised by the customers to our product? To our price? To our offer? How many wins are happening daily and who is leading the pack in sales? Let us start a group with the campaign name in Yammer and let us all get connected for real-time information.

The competition is up to this. What do we do?

I am a member of the strategic marketing group. I have market intelligence that there is a very heavy competition to our product – feature wise as well as price wise. At least two of our competitors are resolute on breaking into our market and topple our leader's position. Unfortunately, the decision makers of our company are spread across geographies and work in different time zones. We need to address this issue with severity ONE. Can we post our ideas here in Yammer? Let "Strategic Marketing" group be the place where we will brainstorm and come up with our valuable inputs to reframe our approach. Should we add a couple of features? Is tweaking needed anywhere? How far down can we bring our price? What is the optimal dealer discount? Are there new sales incentives we can announce? What are the drawbacks in our competitors' products that we can attack in our ad campaigns? Should we take it head-on?

Does anyone have experience with…?

I have joined as the facility management guy in this company quite recently. My responsibility includes managing the audio visual equipment. The Audio Mixer in the auditorium is very old and I have never seen this all my life. I searched for the user manual in vain. There seems to be nobody around me who is aware of the operations of this equipment. Help! Has anybody in this organization handled this equipment before? Does anybody have experience in using this Audio Mixer Samson MDR 1064 -10 channel audio mixer? Can anybody lend me a user manual? Best candidate for the All company group in Yammer?

Anyone knows a good tax-lawyer?

I am now is the process of filing my IT returns. But I have a lot of clarification to seek before I can finalize my returns. My auditor has migrated to a foreign country and has not been approachable ever since. I am badly in need of some professional help in this regard. Can anyone here in our company direct me to a tax-lawyer who is trustworthy and dependable? I need somebody with whom I can trust my confidential information.

More scenarios to come...

Can your Free Facebook account prove Costly?

If you already have a Facebook account, this post is for you.

Does Facebook threaten YOUR privacy?

Here is a collection of all Information Facebook has about YOU which it uses and shares with its affiliates and with who knows who?

Information YOU provide at account creation

(Items in italics are treated as content for public sharing)

  • Your name
  • Your user name and User ID
  • Your cover photo
  • Your networks
  • Your email address
  • Your birthday – (this is used for showing you age-appropriate content)
  • Your gender
  • Your telephone number (if disclosed)

Information YOU provide while sharing

  • Your status updates
  • Your uploaded photos
  • Your comments on others' content
  • You add a friend
  • You Like a page or a website
  • You add a place to your story
  • Use Facebook's contact importers
  • Indicate you are in a relationship

Information YOUR FRIENDS provide about you

  • When they
    • upload your contact information
  • Tag you
    • in a photo or status update or at a location
  • Add you to a group

Information YOUR DEVICES provide

  • About the computer, mobile phone, or other devices you use
  • Info about multiple users logging in from the same device
  • Network and communication information
  • Your IP address
  • Your Mobile phone number
  • Your internet service
  • You devices' operating system
  • Your location
  • The type (including identifiers) of the device or browser you use
  • The pages you visit
  • Your GPS or other location information

Facebook could request device information from your devices to improve how their apps work on your device.


Whenever you use or are running Facebook

  • When you look at another person's timeline
  • All Messages - Sent or received
  • Your Search for a friend or a Page
  • Your Clicks, Views or other interactions with things
  • Facebook mobile app usage
  • Purchases made through Facebook.

When you post things like photos or videos on Facebook,

  • Additional related data (or metadata) such as the time, date, and place you took the photo or video.

Information the game YOU PLAY, application YOU USE, or website YOU VISIT that uses Facebook Platform or a Facebook feature (such as a social plugin) provides

sometimes through cookies.

  • The date and time you visit the site
  • The web address, or URL, you're on
  • Technical information about
  • The IP address
  • The browser
  • the operating system you use
  • Your User ID if you are logged in to Facebook

Information Facebook's affiliates or their advertising partners, customers and other third parties provide

  • information about you (like how you responded to an ad on Facebook or on another site)

The End User License Agreement (EULA)

The EULA is a very important document that comes as a part of a software license (or license for any other products). This contains details of the terms and conditions that the parties to the agreement agree to comply with during the term of the license or as long as the agreement is in force. This might also contain some fine print especially in in click wrap license agreements - a common type of agreement often used in connection with software licenses. Such forms of agreement are mostly found on the Internet, as part of the installation process of many software packages, or in other circumstances where agreement is sought using electronic media. It allow companies to hide unfavourable conditions from their customers which might create some problems for customers in due course. But innocent or careless consumers don't read these clauses or terms and so end up signing agreements with terms and conditions that they don't really agree with. Here is an example to illustrate that end users don't read the EULA.

On 1st April 2010, Gamestation (currently owned by Game) temporarily added the following clause to its online sales contract:

By placing an order via this Web site on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010 Anno Domini, you agree to grant Us a non transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul. Should We wish to exercise this option, you agree to surrender your immortal soul, and any claim you may have on it, within 5 (five) working days of receiving written notification from gamesation.co.uk or one of its duly authorised minions. We reserve the right to serve such notice in 6 (six) foot high letters of fire, however we can accept no liability for any loss or damage caused by such an act.

If you a) do not believe you have an immortal soul, b) have already given it to another party, or c) do not wish to grant Us such a license, please click the link below to nullify this sub-clause and proceed with your transaction.

It wasn't just a gag though: the roughly 12% of customers who clicked the links were given a free £5 voucher. It's all in good fun, but it does demonstrate how dastardly EULAs can be.

An analysis of the terms of service of major consumer websites has found that they frequently contain clauses that impede consumer rights in substantial and often unexpected ways.

EULA new.png 


Moral of the story: Read the EULAs before you click on the "I agree" button when you buy a license to any product online.

Crowdsourcing - A shot in the arm for people looking for big data

Data for research and analysis aimed at quality of life is essential for the wellbeing of the society at large. Thankfully, data is available.

Data is available everywhere – in the devices we use – servers and desktops, laptops, tablet PCs, mobile phones, enterprise storage devices like SAN and NAS and individual storage devices like CDs, DVDs and pen-drives. Big data is available in the Cloud – the online service providers have invested billions to create datacentres that cater to the needs of enterprises large and small as well as government offices, educational institutions and non-governmental organizations. A huge amount of data of individuals is also in the cloud in the form of mails and social media content.

While technology today provides all ways and means to access all this data – more importantly data that is shared – no individual is authorised to snoop into others' data. The non-disclosure agreements signed at the very start of every data sharing endeavour does not permit the service providers to either access data themselves or allow other agencies to access the data of the tenants.

When researchers and analysts need data they are dependent on the owners of this data. Again, just data from one person will not serve the purpose. They will need huge database to arrive at credible results. The larger the sample space, the more reliable the conclusions of such research and studies. So, the people in need of such data venture out the users through various means – currently the social media is a good approach path. They call for users to share their information voluntarily and participate in their studies. If the cause for which a particular study is carried out interests them, the users share information which in turn would help in better analysis and interpretation of data. This is crowdsourcing.

Right from studying the preferences of end users of products (software, hardware, consumer products and commercial products) to choosing the winners of competitions held through various media through voting to verifying the validity of a claims by individuals of agencies, crowdsourcing has become a very powerful means of predicting risks or evaluating facts. Even the medical research has got a shot in the arm in the form of crowdsourcing.

A typical example for crowdsourcing enabled study - Recently a claim by the US government was found to lack credibility as a result of a study conducted by The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School.

Get your customers to work for you!

Get your customers to work for you!

Impact of social media on all aspects of our life has been discussed to death. The question is, have you integrated social media into your customer outreach channels? If you have, then congratulations, you have direct mindshare of your customer. Your interaction with your customer has moved beyond the structured parameters of business communication dictated by normal business hours, organizational roles and hierarchies and most importantly the interaction is customer driven. This is exactly why smart businesses are already engaging their customers using social media. Data generated by social media analytics is central to the way your products are developed, bug fixes are prioritized and the manner in which your firm reaches out to various demographic segments.

As in everything else, for leveraging social media optimally it is essential to know your customer. Demographic profile will dictate whether your customer is using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare or WhatsApp. Customer engagement can take various forms like obtaining feedback, disseminating information and promotion of events. The structure of the platform will of course impact the manner in which you engage with your target audience. While Facebook is ideal for creation of special interest groups to engage with each other thereby driving brand loyalty, Twitter is focused on reaching out to customers to resolve their issues, address their concerns and event promotions.

Social media has the ability to affect all aspects of your customer's lifecycle and tackling all aspects of Social CRM may prove a bit intimidating initially. You need to determine which phase(s) you want to tackle first and accordingly develop a plan which clearly defines objectives, responsibilities, milestones to be achieved and their timelines. Creating awareness within the organization is mandatory for optimal results.

Also you can use social media to increase intra organizational communication two-way dialogues, driving engagement throughout the whole organization by getting your employees on the same page and streamlining communication between them. We can break down communication barriers across cultures, geographies, and levels to accelerate innovation.

Social analytics can help you by enhancing your understanding your customers and employees much better than the competition. It facilitates direct interaction with the customer and enables collaborative decision making by sentiment analysis and study of customer behavior. Software offerings from premier companies enable you gain deeper understanding of customer needs to enable you to target new offers and products and enhance customer experience and ensure a consistent brand experience across all sales channels.

How Quadra can help?

If you are serious about connecting with your customer, you cannot ignore social media. However, like all CRM initiatives, engaging your customer base through social media needs is to be carefully planned and executed keeping in mind both the customer and the social media platform. This is where Quadra comes in. Our experience and expertise in working with portals and content management systems can help your organization leverage the extremely powerful capabilities of this medium in the most effective and risk free manner. We have expertise on major enterprise social collaboration tools, and help you to evaluate options, decide on a platform and technology, and devise the most effective way to harness this medium within and outside the organization. By increasing knowledge sharing and leveraging experts across an organization, regardless of location, we can help you to innovate rapidly, speed up decision making and achieve your business goals. When it comes to interfacing with the external world, our 360 degree services help you in technology evaluation, media monitoring, market research, competition analysis, while ensuring that it is in tune with your business objectives and corporate culture.