Estimate Departure and Arrival Times in Google Maps
The most popular app for maps—Google Maps—now has estimated departure and arrival times built-in. What it means is that, if you are planning to leave by car, tomorrow at 11am to go to a certain destination, you will get an estimate of your arrival time today. Conversely, if you have to reach a certain destination at 3pm for a meeting next Thursday, you can get a prediction of when to leave, based on the traffic conditions normally found on that day of the week and time. Of course, it will not be able to predict any major incidents/ blockages that may actually occur on that day.
 
Once you select the departure and destination locations, the ‘set depart and arrive time’ option is available under the ‘menu’ icon (three dots) at the top-right corner of the Google Maps app. 
 
Now, plan your trips sensibly and always arrive in style, on time!
 
 
 
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How Not To Be a Victim of Fast Forward Viral Messages
The growing popularity of social media platforms, including WhatsApp, has led to an upsurge messages that go viral. While some messages are fun, many can be harmful. Many users simply forward any or all messages without even realising implications of doing so. 
 
The main reason for this is 'illiteracy' and this applies to both digital natives (young generation) and digital migrants (older people). “Social media might have originally promised liberation, but it proved an even more useful tool for stoking anger. The manipulation was so efficient and so lacking in transparency that the companies themselves barely noticed it was happening,” a report from The New York Times had said. 
 
Many users get easily fooled and keep forwarding messages just by reading the name and not even reading or understanding the link or web address in the message. For example, every month, someone forwards a message on WhatsApp about Amazon giving top-ranked mobile phone at dirt cheap rates or at a huge discount—of as much as 90%! The link may contain the word Amazon, but the domain is not owned by the ecommerce platform. People who create such messages are, often, found to collect a huge amount of personal data from users using a web page that looks like a replica of the original portal.
 
A few months back, there was one message going viral on WhatsApp: Canon DSLR camera at just Rs199 against the normal price of over Rs30,000. Here is the link that was used in the viral message http://amazon.big-sales-offer.in. However, this website, which mimics Amazon design, is not owned by, or even distantly related with, the online platform. 
 
In this web address, the domain name is not ‘amazon.com’ or ‘amazon.in’, but big-sales-offer.in, which has now become inactive. However, when it was active, it must have collected a huge amount of personal data from gullible or ignorant users. In addition, the user was asked by the website to share the link with 10 of her contacts so that she can buy the product at ‘promised’ and cheap rates. 
 
Another message that instantly becomes viral is (morphed) photo or (re-edited) video of any famous personality, including politicians. However, before forwarding such message to everyone in your contact list, wait for a second and do a background check. It just takes a few seconds to do this. There are several free tools available that will tell you whether the photo or video you are about to forward is genuine and original or fake. 
 
Google offers reverse image search to verify photos or images. You can upload a photo to Google Images and, almost instantly, it will show you related images used on other websites and also different sizes of the same photo. For mobiles use https://reverse.photos/ for uploading and verifying the photo. In case of videos, you need to take a screenshot of the video and upload on these websites. 
 
For the Sherlock Holmes among us, there is one more useful tool that finds out every possible detail of a photograph. This tool is called ‘Jeffrey's Image Metadata Viewer’ and is available online at this URL http://exif.regex.info/exif.cgi
 
On this page, you can either share the URL of the photo or upload the photo. This tool shows the exact device from which the photo was clicked along with its orientation, date and time (for original and modified, if any), global positioning system (GPS) date and time, megapixels, lens used, colour mode and file format, among other technical details. 
 
Both these tools will clearly tell you whether the photo or video you had received on WhatsApp is genuine or morphed and, thus, may be fake. For videos, you can use free online exchangeable image file format (exif) viewers that reveals hidden metadata of the video or image. These exif viewers can also show meta information like codecs, video and audio streams in container formats like audio-video interleave (AVI) or MP4 (a file format created by the Moving Picture Experts Group -MPEG as a multimedia container) as well as location where the video was recorded. 
 
Use these tools and tips to safeguard yourself and others. Your small precaution can go a long way in protecting gullible users from frauds.
 
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COMMENTS

Arunkumar A Vijayan

3 months ago

Thanks a lot sir, for this article.

G SANTANU KUMAR DORA

3 months ago

Very well. Thanks for the info..

Google restricts apps from using access permission via SMS, calls
Google has now restricted the use of high-risk and sensitive permissions via SMS and phone calls for apps on PlayStore as part of its recent policy change that now requires apps to be verified manually by the search engine giant.
 
The company has declared March 9 as the deadline for developers whose apps already include these permissions to either file a declaration confirming their app requires these permissions for core functionality, submit a request application for more time allotment to bring their app into compliance, or remove the permissions from their apps immediately. 
 
"Apps that fail to meet policy requirements or submit a declaration form may be removed from Google Play," the company wrote in a post late on Monday. 
 
While cases where Google is allowing access to these permissions include an app being the default handler for calls, SMS, Google Assistant queries, the other use cases are expected to request a temporary extension and work to find an alternative way.
 
This means that eventually the SMS and calling permissions used by many apps today will no longer be valid for anything but default call, SMS and Assistant apps, leaving the question of how other apps that use those permissions for core functions will continue to operate, Android Headlines reported. 
 
This step comes as a security measure to prevent users from getting involved in questionable apps that could use the access permissions to send out premium SMS and calls, fake two-factor authentication or steal secured accounts.
 
The company has already received "tens of thousands" of declarations from developers hoping to be allowed to use the permissions and if Google keeps scanning for apps that use the permissions there will not be any non-compliant apps in the PlayStore by the March 9 deadline, the report added. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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