ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Facebook beggars?

Question #1: Have you received an email from a friend lately saying something like: "I am in Bangkok and lost my wallet and passport. Can you please wire me urgently $200?"

Question #2: Is your friend also your "friend" on Facebook?

If the answers to both questions are "YES", then most likely your friend's Facebook account has been hacked, and your friend is nowhere near Bangkok. A few of our friends have already fallen or nearly fallen into this trap - the lucky ones tried to call their friend's mobile first, and were surprised to hear that they are in their Thimphu office.

Take a glimpse at any computer screen in Thimphu today, and you will mostly see an open Facebook page. The Facebook craze has definitely swept Bhutan like the rest of the world. Now that everyone has more "friends" that they can remember, hackers have found a way to take advantage of your social network. This same scam has been used with hacked email accounts.

To avoid getting your account hacked, make sure to choose a non-trivial password and keep it private. When you receive a "help me! please send me money" request, even if it appears to be from your cousin's genuine email address, it is best to double-check with your cousin using "low tech" such as a phone call.

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