Tech Corner

Tech Corner

Social Media: A Powerful Tool To Be Used Wisely


Fr Anil enjoys chatting with friends on Messenger, Skype and IMO till late in the night. Sr Meena usually goes to bed on time, but as soon as she wakes up, she compulsively checks FaceBook and WhatsApp on her mobile for new messages, photos and videos. Jason and Ivy, college students, check messages on their phones every few minutes. They are more in touch with their Facebook and Twitter contacts than with their parents.

We are familiar with such scenes. How can we learn to use this powerful tool wisely?

Technology helps us to contact people around the world, update ourselves and have access to a vast amount of information. This enables us become more efficient and prompt in managing many tasks. Digital devices permit us with minimal effort to organise a conference call, deal with online correspondence and communicate with persons on other continents, also cut down on the use of paper.

At the same time, social media also leads users to cross certain boundaries that are there for a good reason.

Some of the situations that could arise are:

  • contacting persons beyond set time limits
  • access of inappropriate content
  •  neglect of regular responsibilities
  •  unauthorised sharing of information, documents or media
  •  development of inordinate relationships
  •  compromising confidentiality of the institute

These dangers/risks are real for all, whatever our age or setting. Technology has a fascination all its own. Given that access to these media is easy, affordable and can often be done anonymously, they become a powerful, but dangerous tool.

Young people are habituated to the regular use of social media. Thus, candidates to religious orders are familiar with them even before they begin their formation. Some of them find it almost a need, and a few use smart phones without authorization. We need to face such situation, and train people to an honest and responsible use of social media.

Senior and middle-aged persons—whether lay persons or religious or priests—often shy away from using digital devices and social media, because of certain preconceived notions, or because they are not savvy. However, they will do well to learn to use digital devices and social media, and see how to use them for doing good.

Religious, priests and lay persons can make good use of social media to broaden their reach and improve their effectivity in various areas, some of which are mentioned here. Creating or forwarding attractive media posts and message are an effective means of evangelising and diffusing values, especially among the young. Social media is a good tool for spreading institutional propaganda, enhancing public relations and can even be useful for vocation promotion.  Consecrated persons can use the internet for updating their knowledge, obtaining resources, and also share their own digital resources (documents, images, music, videos, presentations, etc.) through social media or media sharing services.

In his message for World Communications Day 2013, Pope Benedict XVI urged consecrated persons to play a role in assuring the balanced use of social networks. How? By:

  • fostering dialogue, debate and critical thinking on social media forums;
  • inculcating respect for privacy and concern for each person;
  • encouraging honesty in the dissemination of news by verifying their authenticity;
  • promoting harmony between persons and groups;

Pope Francis adds that the Church’s concern is to use these new forms and expressions in communicating Christ to the ‘digital continent’. His own presence in social media is well-known, with a gigantic outreach.

How do you see these media? How do you use them? Technology, like any tool, can be used for good or evil. May we master its use, and use them for making our world a better-connected and more caring human family.

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Tech Corner

Be Safe Online


Hacking, phishing, data theft, identity theft, fraud—and the list goes on—sounds scary, especially if you are clueless about how to protect yourself. It can be dangerous in terms of exposing your private data or getting defrauded, but with some simple precautions we can navigate the digital world safely. Today I will talk about Phishing—a very common form of online fraud which unsuspecting users very easily fall prey to.

“Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and, indirectly, money), often for malicious reasons, by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.” – Wikipedia

The word “Phishing” sounds similar to fishing, and for a good reason. In fishing a bait is put in the water for the fish to bite. Some incentive is given to the user to click on a link or perform some other action in order to get sensitive information. The most common examples of this are emails which claim to be from bank websites or mails talking of unclaimed fortunes waiting to be claimed. So, too, links which appear to be for some shopping website sale or lucky dip.

How do we identify these traps? Well, we need to keep a few points in mind:

  • The “from address” in a mail can seem to be from a genuine source, but may not be so. Just as we can write a wrong ‘From Address’ on an envelope, so can the ‘From Address’ be changed on an email or message. Banks don’t ask for sensitive information by mail. So don’t give It, nor click on the mail claiming to take you to the bank website.
  • Always check the actual link address in a mail or webpage which is doubtful. The text displayed on the screen may not be the actual link. To check the link, hover over the link with the mouse pointer, and the link will appear at the bottom of the browser or in a small pop up in some other applications. Alternatively, you can right click (careful: not left click) the link and select “copy link” (or an equivalent) and paste it in a text editor and verify it.
  • Do not open attachments from untrusted sources. Files with extensions .com, .exe, .bat, .scr and .msi can be very dangerous. Even Microsoft Office documents (.doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx) can contain computer instructions or commands called macros which can be exploited by malicious parties. Microsoft Office opens documents downloaded from internet by default in ‘Protected View’ with execution of macros disabled. This is indicated by the yellow bar on top saying ‘Protected View’. Do not switch to non-protected mode unless you are sure the document is really safe.
  • Understand the domain address. As an example, look at the following link:

You might think this is related to some sale on, but in reality this link is not related to You see, we have to read from right to left for this part of the web address. The ‘.com’ or ‘.org’ being the top-level domain. The link in this case is for the site and which has created a subdomain called ‘amazon’ which is not related to So you need to look at the name that appears just before the ‘top-level domain’ that is .com, .org, .net etc. That is the actual website. So in this case the actual website is So if the link is trying to appear like something that it is not, don’t click it, no matter how tempting it looks.

Please note that these things can happen via Whatsapp / SMS or other instant messaging apps also.

Knowing these dangerous steps can help us stay safe while using modern technology to your advantage.

-Mithun Davis, is a Jesus Youth leader and software engineer

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Tech Corner

Useful Catholic Apps


We Introduce a new feature to help all of us—especially those more into mobiles, computers and the Net—to make better use of current technology. Science and technology are tools to be used for doing good, not demons to run away from.

The latest report from a CISCO study reveals that the number of Smartphone users in India grew to 239 million by the end of 2015. Another study says that 13 per cent use their smart phones for mobile app downloads. With many gaming, social media and shopping apps occupying space in your mobile phone, what about having some catholic apps that will build our faith and help us in our spiritual journey? With over 4 million apps available on the Apple App Store and Google Play, to select some useful and best Catholic Apps from them will be difficult.

Here are some suggestions on some Catholic apps you can have in your smart phones.

[For Apple and Android]

Laudate (Free)
Laudate touts itself as the No. 1 free Catholic app. It’s a must catholic app on your mobile device given all its many useful Catholic resources from Daily Mass readings, Podcasts of Daily Readings and meditations, Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), Liturgy of the Hours, Traditional Roman Breviary, Chaplet of Divine Mercy, Stations of the Cross, Confession preparation, Different versions of the Bible and various Church documents etc.

The Pope App (Free) If you are fan of Pope Francis, you will love this app. We can get the photos of various Papal events, videos of the Pope’s addresses, read transcripts of his speeches and check out the Pope’s upcoming schedule of events etc. The Pope App also has a News section, links to Pope’s Twitter account, various Vatican news sources, etc. You can also watch the live streaming videos.

Catholic Mega App (Free) This App links to popular Catholic blogs and web sites, pro-life-resources, youth ministry resources, link to the CCC and many prayers. We can also find a few interactive social media options like a prayer wall, discussion board, a photo gallery input option, and links to Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest accounts of the Catholic celebrities – Pope Francis, bishops and EWTN. You have to be connected to the internet to use most features of this app

Truth & Life App (Free) The Truth & Life Dramatized Audio Bible is a celebrity-voiced “radio drama” of the entire RSV-CE New Testament, complete with movie-quality sound effects and an original music score. This app has revolutionized the way we read and hear the word of God. This award-winning audio New Testament is endorsed with an Imprimatur from the Vatican. In the free version, one can access the audio for the Gospel of Mark and free selection from the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible for the Gospel of Mark.


[For Android ONLY]

Ignio (Free)
This Android app helps you live, share, and track your Catholic faith with a group of eleven close friends, the “Ignio Circle”, creating a unique space for Christian community on a mobile app. Ignio helps us live our faith by reminding us to pray, read Scripture, go to Mass, and much more. Also, Ignio tracks our spiritual progress via a personalized spiritual graph, and a virtual flame

Family Rosary [Rs 65]
Travelling alone and far, do you miss your family and kids? This paid app developed by Ethicoders, India, promises a solution to this. Family Rosary is a unique way of recording your loved ones, families, friends or leader’s prayers (rosary) and use them to pray along. The app can then be used to complete the prayer along with your voice in a turn-based fashion, making it so real as if you are praying in the physical presence of the desired one

– Antony A. J

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