Technology was the main topic at the December 30 meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club (PCEC). Members Bob Dooley and Ren Lexander emphasized technology enhancements one should embrace in the coming year. This was followed by a brief presentation from Member Darrel Vaught on how to navigate the PCEC’s new website.
Bob has 30 years’ experience designing, managing & securing state of the Art Information Technology Infrastructures working in some of the world’s most complex infrastructures in 5 continents as a Systems and Network Engineer and Cyber Security Expert. Ren is an Australian with a PhD in philosophy and a varied work career, including running a large property-development business. He is the author of seven books and is well known to our PCEC audience as the Club member who arranges for our many great speakers. Darrel is on the Club’s Governing Board and is responsible for the content in the Club’s Weekly Newsletter and Website.
First up was Bob Dooley whose talk was about how to understand and safely use technology devices and their services at your fingertips. It was geared toward those who feel technically challenged or technology resistant. With the aid of many slides, he briefly mentioned the important aspects of how to better protect your personal information in a rapidly changing world; important tools to use these devices and services safely; and know the risks involved.
These aspects were too many to list here other than the highlights. Bob emphasized you should use your phone to keep your resolutions. One being to install applications to help you monitor and improve your health, learn Thai, handle online investments, etc. He said using the right Apps for you can improve the quality of your life.
He pointed out that while technology is becoming more unavoidable, it is becoming easier and a more positive experience than in the past. He cautioned that you need to learn to use your personal devices safely. You should know the risks of being online, and how to minimize them; use the right tools for your needs, to make life easier; and overcome concerns of technology by gaining more knowledge about it.
In the area of security, Bob pointed out no one was safe, but precautions can be taken. He presented a short You Tube video from the US news show 60 Minutes about a 12-year-old boy with the title, He Can Hack It. He then discussed some of the misconceptions about tech security and steps to take to greatly reduce your risks. He mentioned the following as the best defense from data comprise: Awareness; Knowing what data to protect; Understanding security threats; and Have a tested data recovery plan.
Further, you should understand your personal device security including: Physical Security; Password Security; VPN Security; E-mail Security; Website Security; and Browser Security. In the area of Email security, he emphasized DON’T open emails from people you don’t know and DON’T click on attachments if you not sure what it is.
He explained about Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and when to use them, an item of interest as evidenced by the audience’s questions. Further, he noted that Social Media can be dangerous. For example, he mentioned that linking Social Media accounts to Facebook can be giving hackers the key to invade your privacy and strongly cautioned, don’t use Facebook to log into other social media services.
Ren was next up, beginning his presentation by asking the question, “What is the number 1 New Year’s Tech Resolution you must make?” He then proceeded to explain the dangers of living alone and the need for a “Chat” group to keep tabs on your wellbeing. He said, Step 1 is to start a daily check-in chat group; three people being the ideal number; at least one of these living nearby and has keys to where you live; and have everyone to check in by a certain time everyday… or make a donation to charity if they forget. Step 2 was to set up SOS emergency call on your phone. He said you can go to YouTube and search “Set up emergency SOS on [name of your smartphone].” If that doesn’t work, do the same search on Google.
Ren’s NY’s Tech Resolution #2 was: “I will look after the person who depends on me the most (which may mean me).” He asked, what happens if you are incapacitated or die? He said you should share your ATM number with your most trusted friend. They should be on your daily contact chat group so they will know if something happens to you. Further, their having your ATM number is okay as they will not have your card.
His Tech Resolution #3, was: “I will subscribe to the PCEC’s YouTube Channel.” Do this by going to YouTube and search for ‘PCEC Club’, and then hit ‘Subscribe’.
Last up was Darrel Vaught who mentioned the PCEC had recently inaugurated a new website platform which can still be accessed using previously set up “favorites” in your browser. He then presented slides showing the contents of the website and then showing how easy it is to navigate. He emphasized the “key” was to “hover” your cursor over a topic title, or subpage title, and then clicking on the page you want to see.
After the presentations, MC Judith Edmonds brought everyone up to date on latest events including the likelihood that future meetings will be canceled until further notice based on the Chonburi Governor’s order issued on restrictions to contain the current outbreak of COVID-19.
This was followed by Les Edmonds conducting the Open Forum, where attendees can make comments or ask questions about Expat living in Thailand, especially Pattaya.
For more information visit the PCEC’s website at https://pcec.club/. To view a video of the presentation, visit: https://youtu.be/kS881Xgi3p4.