Hi. My name is Leanne Lieu and my computer and primary e-mail account had been hacked. The novel that I had been working on for four months was stolen late October 2014. It had over 1000 pages of writing, research, and translation. I left a kind message for it to be returned, and had been waiting. It was worth a try. So now I will publish my novel through here for free.
This blog has evolved beyond my novel, Elle’s Adventure in China; now I post current events that are related to China from reputable news sources. Topics vary, but topics that are more popular or concerning happens with time, such as protests in Hong Kong. When I spot a positive story, I post it, especially since most of what I seem to post are interesting but there is always some concern for normal people, like you and me. Mostly I refrain from my opinion because these articles are supposed to inform you so you can form your own opinions.
Here are some ways to protect yourself.
Complicated passwords. Put complicated passwords on your important documents and e-mail and social media accounts. Good or hard passwords are at least 20 characters long consisting of
- Uppercase and lowercase letters (hAHa)
- Numbers (1234567890)
- Symbols (!@#$%^&*()_+-=,./)
- Using a long phrase as your password that only you know (helps to alter it to contain the factors listed above)
Changing your passwords frequently – such as every three months – is also a good way to protect yourself.
Bad passwords. Bad passwords are passwords that make it easy for others to hack your accounts. Bad ones are
- Less than 20 characters long and do not consist of what I listed above
- The name of a pet, loved one, etc. that can easily be found through your social media account(s)
- Using the same password for every account
Updates: check your updates! If your computer or program is not updated frequently, it gives hackers the opportunity to find a security flaw and take advantage. I recommend checking for updates, download the ones you need, and install them. Those updates are useless if you do not install them.
According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), turning your internet router off and turning it back on stops the malware from interfering with your web browsing, collecting your info., and possibly disabling your device. Then change your Wi-Fi passwords. An estimated 500,000 routers in 54 countries were infected by the malware.
Five Tips to Keep Your Phone Safer from Hackers
After Jeff Bezos’s (Amazon CEO) phone was hacked, here are five tips to protect your phone. A couple on the list seem old-school, but still relevant and necessary.
- Don’t “jailbreak” your phone and install dubious apps. “Jailbreak” is to alter your phone so you can install often questionable apps from non-mainstream app stores. By jailbreaking your phone, you are making it easier for hackers to get into your phone, look at everything your phone contains, as well as everything you’ve saved digitally (passwords to bank and email accounts, cloud, etc.)
- Install all operating system updates. App developers are also trying to keep up with hackers, so install updates on your apps. Phones that are five years and older usually don’t receive updates for their phones anymore, so it’s vital to update apps to keep your info. as protected as possible.
- Beware of questionable links and attachments. Apps with messaging capabilities, such as Facebook and Instagram, could contain messages with links and attachments from hackers. Once you click on the link or download the attachment, it compromises your phone. Moreover, hackers can hack an account of someone you know and trick you into clicking on those links and downloading those attachments, as well as trick you into giving your personal info. Furthermore, hackers can hack into your phone, get into your bank account, change your phone number and passwords to a phone number the hacker controls, and you can’t get in.
- Protect yourself from SIM-swap attacks. Don’t use your phone as a way to verify your identity. A SIM-swap attack is when a hacker takes control of your phone number and steals/controls all your personal info. Hackers can trick the phone company by saying that you lost your phone and need to transfer your phone number to the phone that the hacker controls. Once the hacker has your number, they can do whatever they want, because your phone number is linked to many or all of your accounts, and many companies use your phone number as a way to verify your identity. Experts suggest to use two-step verification with an app or hardware key (a piece of hardware that connects into the USB port of your computer, and it will run only if it contains the appropriate code).
- Be weary of public Wi-Fi when travelling abroad. When connecting to a public Wi-Fi network, and it prompts you to download something, such as an app, don’t do it.
Phones are getting more and more difficult to hack. However, once a hacker gets in your phone, everything in you have is much more vulnerable. They could send malicious links to everyone in your contact list, and they, too, can be hacked. By protecting yourself, you are protecting others.
My Novel – Elle’s Adventure in China (EACh)
I have not even finished my novel, let alone decide on a title. My original title is Across an Ocean, and I decided to keep it until I messed-up the process for changing my web address, so now I cannot have it. It is about an educated American named Elle who is already in China for a job teaching English after college. The very famous and talented singer, song-writer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, JZ, scours the country for her, at first to get her into bed, but her resistance shows him that he wants more than just sex in the short time he gets to know her. He soon hires her as his newest song-writer and you all will see how he (and she) uses her employment to his (and her) advantage, and read what she produces.
Genre. Since the beginning, I had trouble deciding on the genre. I thought I would classify it as “adventure,” but since the main characters do not really go anywhere for the majority of what I had written, I felt it was misleading. Then I thought I would determine this novel mainly as “romance,” but romantic feelings are more often one-sided than mutual. Readers, you can determine what genre it fits in most. I know that it has a bit of everything: action, adventure, romance, drama, humor, etc.
Goal. My goal for this novel is to educate my readers in what modern China is like, on Chinese culture, and how similar the West and China are, to hopefully bridge the cultural gap between the West and China. (If you find mistakes, please let me know and I will correct them, and much appreciated in advance.) Please read this novel with a grain of salt. Most of what I have written so far takes place in JZ’s studio and most of the people involved are his employees – people hire others they like, and they tend to like people who are like themselves.
Moreover, I would also like EACh to be the springboard for people who do not like to read. I did not like to read up until a professor suggested a book for an assignment. I read it and enjoyed it so much that afterwards I would read for pleasure.
Writing. EACh starts out rough, like trying to slide on pebbles. Now that I think I am a better writer, I keep Book 1 the way it is originally to show my readers that my writing has improved as the trilogy goes on.
Recommendations: It starts out slow, like all the movement tectonic plates make before they collide and cause a really strong earthquake. Big stuff starts happening on Book 1, chapter 10, part 5.
Book 1, Chapter 12, part 8 is a little funny and recaps that chapter.
Book 2, chapter 1, part 1 will immediately grip you.