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Showing posts from January, 2010

Simple tips on how to identify a phished website

Suppose you check your email one day and find a message from your bank or better yet from your email provider such as yahoo. You've gotten e-mail from them before, but this one seems suspicious, especially since it threatens to close your account if you don't reply immediately. What do you do?

This scenario be-fell one of the reporters of K24. This was a surprise considering her profession; an IT savvy journalist. To me, she ought to have been extra careful in replying to such spoofed emails. Nevertheless,it has happened to many Kenyans. I have also been a victim.

Kenyans have no clue what security concerns this phished website can have in their lives. To some, coining a password is like doing calculus. Calculus was one of those subjects never liked by many esp considering it had lots of symbols and less of the 'ABC' and '123' characters. For example, rather than using "123456" or the ever popular "Password" to protect your account; which is…

Ways to Save Money on Clothing

The holiday seasons are over, now back to the reality of the hassle and bustle of life. As, I pass through the shop exhibitions of 'Imenti' building down town Nairobi, Kenya. I realize the pairs of jeans I bought recently is fading away. As usual, being the Kenyan I am. I started blaming the clothes retail seller and wish for the beggars to ride if at all, all wishes were true. Contemplating a change to other retail shops.

Clothing is one of life’s basic necessities. But for many of us, it is also one of our biggest expenditures.

This is especially true if you’re working in a white collar job. In these professional and social environments, how we physically present ourselves are often as important as our personal skills. The adage, don't judge a book by its cover doesn't suffice in this situation.

In case of individuals with children (alike my bros), then their clothing bills are probably sky-high as kids tend to outgrow their clothes fast.

So how are you when it comes…

Friends and money part 2

This is part 2 of when to say YES or NO when handling friends who borrow money.

To read the previous article please click  friends & money part 1

You can prepare yourself for the worst case scenario first, by picturing what would happen if your friend doesn’t pay you back? How will it affect your relationship? What if he comes back to you to borrow more money which you could no longer afford to give, are you prepared to say “no” this time?

If you can't make up your mind from the previous questions , then I suggest that you reconsider your decision and perhaps try to help your friend through another way. It may also help to be honest and open with your friend and ask how exactly is he planning to pay you back. Where will he get the money? Will he be paying through installment or as lump sum? What will be the payment schedule?

When the amount is considerably big, it’s best to get everything in writing. More than often memory loss creeps into Kenyans whenever they borrow money. …

Make computing Cheaper; Download free software

Do you download software whether 'copyright' or 'copyleft' from the internet? If not, I suggest you do because there are a lot of free obtainable, high quality software that can leverage your day to day computing.

Open software (yes, these are the copyleft applications) can legally be obtained and used for free, the issue of cost and quality would seem an easy call. Obviously, nothing is less expensive than free.

Most Kenyans involved in computing would agree that any application is not without cost - such as maintenance and/or training.

Contrary to popular belief, these free software programs are not weaker versions with limited capabilities of their expensive counterparts.

Therefore, I would like to caution you on using pirated serials, activation keys and cracks. These illegal applications can corrupt your system and affect the performance of your computer hardware.

As a result, instead of downloading or buying illegal software versions and licenses, just search th…

Friends and money part 1

You've managed to improve your personal finances and proud of your achievement so far. Then one day, a friend confides to you about his money problems and hopes you may lend him some.

What do you do?

Do you immediately dig into your pocket and help your friend? Or like many Kenyans, do you simply keep quiet and pretend you didn’t hear anything and change the topic of the conversation?

If you find yourself in this situation with someone you barely know, to me, the best advise is to simply say, “I’m sorry, but as a rule, I don’t lend money to friends.” This statement is straightforward and gives your message without attacking the character of the person.

How about the friends you’ve known for years? Do you treat them the same way or do you give in to their request for the sake of friendship? You know “Friendship is more important than money; it takes time to gain friends but money, you can easily earn with your income.”

I agree with the adage, but I also believe that in most cases…

Frugal or just cheap?

Recently, my friend and I had an argument. She branded me cheap for buying 'Afia' to 'Delmonte' juice. Later that evening, I thought to myself: if both of the products are apple juices, have the same taste, same quantity. To top it all, Afia is cheaper than Delmonte. So why not?

Surprisingly, when I confronted her concerning my thoughts about this, she had various explanations.

What’s the difference between being frugal and being cheap? I believe only a handful knows the correct boundary which separates the two. Personally, I believe that one of the main reasons why most people don’t practice frugality is because they fear that their friends will label them as cheap, stingy, miser, mean. In Kenya, you may be branded with negative words such as M'ngumu, m'choyo and 'real kikuyu'. Now who would want to be called that?

So what’s the difference between being frugal and being cheap?

Cheap people measure things in terms of its price cost while frugal people …