Watch Over

Stay Safe Online

By Tom Cheshire, Technology Correspondent

Millions of eBay users were asked to change their passwords on Wednesday after the site’s security was compromised. Here are some top tips and what to do to tighten up your online security.

Change your password

Even if you haven’t used your eBay account, change your password – especially if you’ve used that password on other sites.

It’s a pain, but it’s worth changing your major passwords – especially anything tied to financial and sensitive personal information – every few months.

Change your password in the browser

When changing your password, don’t do this by following an email prompt.

Instead, go the website directly by pasting its URL into the address bar in your web browser.

More generally, never click on links on emails unless you’re completely sure it’s from a trustworthy source. Even a friend sharing an amusing cat video may have been hacked.

Choose the best possible password

What makes the best password is subject to hard fought debate online.

The most secure passwords are also the hardest to remember, and any password is a trade-off between security and convenience. A long, unintelligible string of alphanumeric and special characters is strongest, but not practical for everyday use.

Instead, use a memorable combination of words – not culled from a famous phrase or book.

If your phrase is anywhere on the web, chances are it’s known to hackers – so ‘itwasthebestoftimesitwastheworstoftimes’ isn’t much better than ‘eBayPassword679’.

Don’t use easily guessable information. Choose a nonsense phrase that you’ll remember, and swap in some numbers and special characters.

Something like ‘InApril1EnjoyThrowingDucks!n1ntoTh3R1ver’ is good, then come up with a variation on that for each site.

Again, don’t use the same passwords across different sites.

Use a password manager

If you do prefer to use a stronger password, but struggle to keep track of them, consider using a password manager.

These collect all your passwords into one place, so that you access all the different passwords with one master password.

Because there’s only one point of failure, that password needs to be very secure – and also very well protected.

KeePass, LastPass, Password Box and Dashlane are all good options.

Consider two-step verification

For your most important online accounts – banking, email and social networking – two-step authentication is a very good way of making yourself more secure.

This means that when you log into an unusual computer, you’ll have to authenticate yourself using your mobile phone or another means of verification. Most major web sites offer this now, and it’s less of a hassle than you think.

Pay attention to iTunes

If you suspect you’ve been hacked, pay close attention to your outgoing finances.

Hackers will often use very small amounts to test the water with stolen financial information.

Pay close attention to iTunes especially – hackers will make tiny purchases worth pennies here, to see if a credit card works. So make sure you check your iTunes statements.

Scan for malware

If hackers have your email address and other personal information, there’s a good chance they can access your personal devices.

Install malware protection from a reputable source and scan your computer.

Be patient

Everyone hates passwords and, thankfully, they may not be around for much longer.

Many companies are working on software that uses behavioural monitoring – the way you type, click around a website and generally interact – to uniquely identify you.

Others are looking at biometrics – like Apple and Samsung’s fingerprint readers on their smartphones.

Future technology might use facial recognition, or heartbeat pattern detection.



ExchangeTransport Rules

Understanding How Transport Rules Are Applied

Exchange 2010

Applies to: Exchange Server 2010 SP3, Exchange Server 2010 SP2

Topic Last Modified: 2010-01-25

In Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, transport rules allow you to apply messaging policies to messages in the transport pipeline. Actions such as redirecting a message or adding recipients, rights-protecting messages, and rejecting or silently deleting a message can be taken on messages that match the conditions and none of the exceptions defined in the rule.

Given the scope and potential impact of transport rules on messages, it’s important to understand how transport rules work. To learn more about transport rules, see Understanding Transport Rules. For a comprehensive list of transport rule predicates and actions available on the Hub Transport server and Edge Transport server, see Transport Rule Predicates and Transport Rule Actions.

Looking for management tasks related to managing transport rules? Check out Managing Transport Rules.


Transport Rule Scope

Transport Rule Replication

Order in Which Transport Rules are Applied

Transport Rules and Group Membership

Transport Rule Scope

Although the procedures used to create and modify transport rules on each server role are the same, the scope of transport rules on each server role is very different.

Transport rule scope

Transport component

Hub Transport server role

Edge Transport server role

Agent Transport Rules agent Edge Rules agent
Transport event OnRoutedMessage EndOfData
Rule storage Active Directory domain controllers Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) (local)
Rule replication Active Directory replication No automated replication between Edge Transport servers
Rule scope Entire Exchange organization Local to each Edge Transport server
Message types All messages except system messages All messages
Lookup distribution group membership Yes No
Lookup Active Directory attributes Yes No
Inspect or modify Information Rights Management (IRM)-protected message content Yes (requires transport decryption) No

Rule Storage and Replication

The transport rules you create on a Hub Transport server are stored in Active Directory and are available after Active Directory replication on all Hub Transport servers in your Exchange 2010 organization. This allows you to apply a consistent set of rules across the entire Exchange organization.

Transport rules created on an Edge Transport server are stored in the local instance of AD LDS. No automated replication of configuration information or transport rules occurs between two Edge Transport servers. You can use distinct sets of transport rules on different Edge Transport servers. For example, if an organization uses a different set of Edge Transport servers for inbound and outbound messages to and from the Internet, different rules can be used on these servers. Rules created on the Edge Transport server apply only to messages that pass through that server. However, if applying the same set of transport rules on all Edge Transport servers is a requirement, you can also clone the Edge Transport server configuration, or export transport rules from one Edge Transport server and import it to other Edge Transport servers. For more details, see Understanding Edge Transport Server Cloned Configuration and Export and Import Transport Rules.

Message Types

On Edge Transport servers, rules apply to all messages. On Hub Transport servers, rules are applied to messages that meet the following criteria:

  • Messages sent by anonymous senders   Transport rules are applied to all messages received from anonymous senders. E-mail received from the Internet falls under this category.
  • Messages sent between authenticated users   Transport rules are applied to the following types of messages sent between authenticated users:
    • Interpersonal messages   Interpersonal messages that contain a single rich text format (RTF), HTML, or plain text message body or a multipart or alternative set of message bodies.
    • Encrypted e-mail messages   Messages that are encrypted using S/MIME. Transport rules can access envelope headers contained in encrypted messages and process messages based on predicates that inspect them. Rules with predicates that require inspection of message content, or actions that modify content, can’t be processed.
    • Protected messages   Messages that are protected by applying an Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS) rights policy template. With transport decryption enabled, the Transport Rules agent on a Hub Transport server can access the content of protected messages. Messages must be published using an AD RMS cluster in the same Active Directory forest as the Exchange 2010 server. With transport decryption disabled, the agent can’t access message content and treats the message as an encrypted message.
    • Clear-signed messages   Messages that have been signed but not encrypted.
    • Unified messaging e-mail messages   Messages that are created or processed by the Unified Messaging server role, such as voice mail, fax, missed call notifications, and messages created or forwarded by using Microsoft Outlook Voice Access.
    • Read reports    Reports that are generated in response to read receipt requests by senders. Read reports have a message class of IPM.Note*.MdnRead or IPM.Note*.MdnNotRead.


Transport Rule Replication

Transport rules configured on Hub Transport servers are applied to all messages handled by the Hub Transport servers in the Exchange 2010 organization. When a transport rule is created or an existing transport rule is modified or deleted on one Hub Transport server, the change is replicated to all Active Directory domain controllers in the organization. All the Hub Transport servers in the organization then read the new configuration from the Active Directory servers and apply the new or modified transport rules. By replicating transport rules across the organization, Exchange 2010 enables you to apply a consistent set of rules across the organization.

Replication of transport rules across an organization depends on Active Directory replication. Replication time between Active Directory domain controllers varies depending on the number of sites in the organization, slow links, and other factors outside the control of Exchange. When you configure transport rules in your organization, make sure that you consider replication delays. For more information about Active Directory replication, see Active Directory Replication Technologies.
Each Hub Transport server maintains a recipient cache that’s used to look up recipient and distribution list information. The recipient cache reduces the number of requests that each Hub Transport server must make to an Active Directory domain controller. The recipient cache updates every four hours. You can’t modify the recipient cache update interval. Therefore, changes to transport rule recipients, such as the addition or removal of distribution list members, may not be applied to transport rules until the recipient cache is updated. To force an immediate update of the recipient cache, you must stop and start the Microsoft Exchange Transport service. You must do this for each Hub Transport server where you want to forcibly update the recipient cache.
Each time the Hub Transport server retrieves a new transport rule configuration, an event is logged in the Security log in Event Viewer.

Transport rules configured on Edge Transport servers are applied only to the local server on which the transport rule was created. New transport rules and changes to existing transport rules affect only messages that pass through that specific Edge Transport server. If you have more than one Edge Transport server and you want to apply a consistent set of rules across all Edge Transport servers, you must either manually configure each server or export the transport rules from one server and import them into all other Edge Transport servers.


Order in Which Transport Rules Are Applied

Transport rules are applied in the following order:

  1. Message scope   The first check performed by rules agents is whether a message falls within the scope of the agent. Transport rules aren’t applied to all types of messages.
  2. Priority   For messages that fall within the scope of the rules agent, the agent starts processing rules based on rule priority in ascending order. Rules with lower priority are applied first. Transport rule priority values range from 0 to n-1, where n is the total number of transport rules. Only enabled rules are applied, regardless of priority. You can change the priority of rules using the Exchange Management Console or the Exchange Management Shell.
  3. Conditions   Transport rule conditions are made up of predicates.
  4. Rule with no conditions   A rule with no predicates and no exceptions is applied to all messages.
  5. Rule with multiple predicates   For a rule’s action to be applied to a message, it must match all of the predicates selected in the rule. For example, if a rule uses the predicates from a member of distribution list, and when the Subject field contains specific words, the message must match both predicates. It must be sent by a member of the distribution list specified, and the message subject must contain the word specified.
  6. Predicate with multiple values   If one predicate allows entering multiple values, the message must match any value specified for that predicate. For example, if an e-mail message has the subject Stock price information, and the SubjectContains condition on a transport rule is configured to match the words Contoso and stock, the condition is satisfied because the subject contains at least one of the values of the condition.
  7. Exceptions   A rule isn’t applied to messages that match any of the exceptions defined in the rule. Note, this is exactly opposite of how the rules agent treats predicates. For example, if the exceptions except when the message is from people and except when the message contains specific words are selected, the message fails to match the rule condition if the message is sent from any of the specified senders, or if the message contains any of the specified words.
  8. Actions   Messages that match the rules conditions get all actions specified in the rule applied to them. For example, if the actions prepend the subject with string and Blind carbon copy (Bcc) the message to addresses are selected, both actions are applied to the message. The message will get the specified string prefixed to the message subject, and the recipients specified will be added as Bcc recipients.
Some actions, such as the Delete the message without notifying anyone action, prevent subsequent rules from being applied to a message.


Transport Rules and Group Membership

When you define a transport rule using a predicate that expands membership of a distribution group, the resulting list of recipients is cached by the Hub Transport server that applies the rule. This is known as the Expanded Groups Cache and is also used by the Journaling agent for evaluating group membership for journal rules. By default, the Expanded Groups Cache stores group membership for four hours. Recipients returned by the recipient filter of a dynamic distribution group are also stored. The Expanded Groups Cache makes repeated round-trips to Active Directory and the resulting network traffic from resolving group memberships unnecessary.

In Exchange 2010, this interval and other parameters related to the Expanded Groups Cache are configurable. You can lower the cache expiration interval, or disable caching altogether, to ensure group memberships are refreshed more frequently. You must plan for the corresponding increase in load on your Active Directory domain controllers for distribution group expansion queries. You can also clear the cache on a Hub Transport server by restarting the Microsoft Exchange Transport service on that server. You must do this on each Hub Transport server where you want to clear the cache. When creating, testing, and troubleshooting transport rules that use predicates based on distribution group membership, you must also consider the impact of Expanded Groups Cache.

Create a Public Folder Mailbox

Create a Public Folder Mailbox

Applies to: Exchange Server 2013, Exchange Online

Topic Last Modified: 2013-02-14

Before you can create a public folder, you must first create a public folder mailbox. Public folder mailboxes contain the hierarchy information plus the content for public folders. The first public folder mailbox you create will be the primary hierarchy mailbox, which contains the only writable copy of the hierarchy. Any additional public folder mailboxes you create will be secondary mailboxes, which contain a read-only copy of the hierarchy.

For additional management tasks related to public folders in Exchange 2013, see Public Folder Procedures.

For additional management tasks related to public folders in Exchange Online, see Public Folder Procedures in Exchange Online.

What do you need to know before you begin?

What do you want to do?

Use the EAC to create a public folder mailbox

  1. Navigate to Public folders > Public folder mailboxes, and then click Add .
  2. In Public Folder Mailbox, provide a name for the public folder mailbox.
  3. Click Save.

Use the Shell to create a public folder mailbox

This example creates the primary public folder mailbox.

New-Mailbox -PublicFolder -Name MasterHierarchy

This example creates a secondary public folder mailbox. The only difference between creating the primary hierarchy mailbox and a secondary hierarchy mailbox is that the primary mailbox is the first one created in the organization. You can create additional public folder mailboxes for load balancing purposes.

New-Mailbox -PublicFolder -Name Istanbul

For detailed syntax and parameter information, see New-Mailbox.

How do you know this worked?

To verify that you have successfully created the primary public folder mailbox, run the following Shell command:

Get-OrganizationConfig | Format-List RootPublicFolderMailbox



The word complacency is often hurled, in a rather scornful manner, at people who are unwilling to be political. It connotes a sense of ease and contentment with the status quo.

It is a rare thing to hear the word complacency used in a purely positive way; there’s always a sense of scolding to it. At best it’s used to convey a person’s satisfaction: “Oh? No one asked you to the prom? I’ve been asked three times,” she said with smiling complacency. More usually, however, it takes on a political tone, as with large bodies of people who are unwilling to protest corruption because it doesn’t touch them: “He preached and argued, but it was impossible to jostle the students from their complacency.

Constant vigilance is the price of safety in operations. The trouble is that people cannot be constantly vigilant. Can you be constantly vigilant? Do you believe your coworker can be constantly vigilant? “That will never happen to me” could be a statement of confidence in one’s abilities. It could also be a step toward complacency. If something abnormal can happen in a job or task, it will eventually happen. One issue with complacency is that things happen when we least expect it.Think about the tasks you perform day after day.

Is it possible you are now performing those tasks without much thought?

One cause of complacency is constant repetition of similar tasks without any abnormal events or bad outcomes. We seldom become complacent with tasks that are performed rarely. Another cause of complacency is the reliability of automated systems that are used for controlling and monitoring operational tasks. As technology evolves and each step in a task is performed by software or hardware, we may not pay as much attention to the steps in the task because the equipment is highly reliable. Over time, we may be lulled into a false sense of security. When the automated system fails, the controller or operator may not be prepared to respond. The worst case scenario is that the person may not know how to respond properly.

Learn from a pipeline controller who was working on a newly installed automated system. The controllers had been admonished to “trust the system.” The problem was the system still had bugs, and could not be trusted. My observations on shift led me to ask one controller how he was doing his job. His reply was an excellent way to combat complacency. He said, “I always expect it to work, but I am never surprised when it does not.”

Fatigue also contributes to complacency, because fatigue leads to passiveness and a desire to ignore people and other stimuli. We don’t want to be bothered.

Doesn’t it seem as if fatigue has a number of negative consequences?

What are some effects of complacency? Do any of these ever happen with you? What can you do to avoid them?

  • Inattention or letting your mind wander.
  • Taking shortcuts and omitting steps.
  • Getting in a hurry.
  • Thinking that everything will work perfectly.
  • Working too long without a break.
  • Thinking that safety is someone else’s job.
  • Performing a task without procedures or required equipment.
  • What happens in our brains that lead to complacency?

First, we have a mental bias that allows our past experiences to guide present expectations. Therefore, we don’t use our brains fully in the situation since our present circumstances

normally match our past circumstances. We devote our brains to more interesting parts of a task, or to a more interesting task. Do not let complacency lead to chaos or catastrophe in your job, or your life. It is difficult to overcome complacency. Use these safety valves and teach them to others.



Always practice simple risk assessment (ask these

five questions).

1. Why am I doing this task?

2. What could go wrong?

3. How likely is it to happen?

4. What effect can it have on others or me?

5. What can I do about it?

  • Use STAR with every task.
  • Practice independent verification.
  • Follow all policies and procedures.
  • Train continually and review often.
  • Create mental challenges for yourself.
  • Sustain a questioning attitude.



Windows 8.1 Makes a Case for Ditching the Desktop

Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 (Photo credit: Javier Domínguez Ferreiro)

With Windows 8.1, Microsoft is finally getting there.

By Jared Newman @OneJaredNewmanJune 27,

When Microsoft first revealed Windows 8.1, many pundits fixated on what they saw as backpedaling. The fact that Microsoft was bringing back a Start button, and making it easier to stay within the confines of the desktop, they said, was a sign that Microsoft had gone too far in pushing the new, touch-friendly side of Windows 8.

While Microsoft has made some concessions for desktop users, the company hasn’t stopped pushing. Windows 8.1 is full of major improvements to the modern-style interface (formerly known as Metro). Apps that were previously cheap imitations of their desktop counterparts are now capable alternatives. Tasks that once required you to visit the desktop have migrated to the new interface. And although Microsoft hasn’t duplicated the windowing system of the classic desktop, it’s created a new one that’s in many ways simpler and easier.

As an experiment, I’ve been trying to do all of my work today within the modern-style interface, using the preview build of Windows 8.1. This isn’t something that everyone can do–lots of people rely on specific software that isn’t available through the Windows Store or a web browser–but since my primary work tools are web-based, working with modern apps isn’t a problem. While there are things I miss about the desktop, Windows 8.1 makes a strong case for doing everything within the modern-style interface. It’s the first version of Windows in which the new interface can become a replacement for the desktop, rather than a supplement.

New Kinds of Windows

The biggest improvement in Windows 8.1 is the expansion of Snap, a neat trick that lets you run multiple apps side-by-side on the screen. Windows 8.1 increases the number of apps you can snap on the screen at once from two to three, and the size of each frame is now fully adjustable.

While working in Windows 8.1, I’ve been using Snap to keep an eye on e-mail and Twitter in their own separate frames, and using a text editor to write in a third frame. Occasionally, I’ll open Internet Explorer in the main frame to check on the TIME Tech chat room or to read news stories. On a laptop, it almost feels like I’m working with multiple monitors.

There is a bit of a learning curve to Snap, especially now that you can have three apps open at once. Juggling multiple apps can be a hassle, because there’s no simple way to swap the order of open frames. Still, it’s easier to set up several snapped apps than it is to place multiple windows side-by-side on the desktop. And while desktop applications aren’t always designed to run in small windows, most Windows Store apps support Snap, and will adjust automatically as you change the size of the frame.

Jared Newman /

Desktop-esque Web Browsing

One of my biggest problems with the modern-style interface in Windows 8 was the lack of a window structure for web browsing. I spend a lot of time in the browser, with lots of tabs open at once, and on the desktop, I’m used to grouping these tabs into windows. (One for e-mail and other communication, one for writing, one for various articles and research.) Most tablet operating systems–including Windows 8–don’t allow this kind of organization.

In Windows 8.1, you can open up to three separate instances of Internet Explorer 11 by right-clicking or long-pressing on a link or open tab, then choosing the option to open it in a new window. This gets a little tricky, because the second window opens up in Snap view (see above), but if you then hide that window, you can still access it through the tabs menu or the recent apps list.

Another big change that makes IE11 more like a desktop browser is the option to always show the address bar and open tabs. Enabling this option in Settings creates a permanent bar on the bottom of the screen, so you can quickly switch between tabs.

These two new features go a long way toward making the modern-style Internet Explorer feel like a desktop browser. This is the first time I’ve felt comfortable using the app for serious work.

Work to Be Done

Windows 8.1 still has its fair share of rough edges. The Mail app, which received a big upgrade in March, still needs an easier way to navigate through messages, such as swiping or up/down arrows. I’d like to see multiple window support in more apps, such as the new Calculator (so you could calculate two things separately). And while the Photos app now includes a basic image editor, Microsoft should really do a full-blown, modern-style overhaul of Paint–something that could compete on a basic level with Photoshop.

Also, though it’s no fault of Microsoft’s, the near-complete absence of Google services is still a drawback. Google has only offered a basic all-purpose app for Windows 8, and it’s no better than accessing the company’s services through a browser. There’s no Gmail app to stand in for the default Windows Mail app and no Google Drive integration, and in lieu of an official YouTube app, the Windows Store is rife with imitators. Google is not opposed to being on other platforms, but has shunned Windows 8 because the audience isn’t big enough. Hopefully that will change as Microsoft makes the modern-style interface more alluring.

Then there’s the biggest missing piece of all, Microsoft Office. Microsoft knows the cursory touch-optimizations in Office 2013 aren’t enough, and the company does plan to release a true modern-style version of the software. But it won’t be ready until 2014. Until then, the modern interface of Windows 8 will have no chance of replacing the desktop for a lot of people.

Why Modern-Style Matters for Productivity

Using Windows 8.1′s modern interface wasn’t just an experiment for experiments’ sake. The PC I’m using has a touch screen, and I’m warming to the idea of using it more regularly. All the apps I’ve been using are designed for touch, and reaching out to tap or swipe has its perks: I can zero in on opposite ends of the screen faster, and it’s more enjoyable to swipe through web pages than it is to scroll with a trackpad. I still loathe the idea of giving up mouse input entirely, but devices where the trackpad is secondary–like Microsoft’s Surface or Sony’s Vaio Duo 11–are starting to make more sense.

The challenge for Microsoft, then, is to create a better touch-centric productivity platform than iOS or Android. The booming iPad keyboard market is proof that tablets can be used for work (no matter how often people try to deny it), and while the desktop helps Windows stand out for productivity, on touch devices the modern-style side of Windows needs to be just as capable, if not more so.

With Windows 8.1, Microsoft is finally getting there. The whole concept of the modern-style interface has plenty of detractors, but for those who don’t want to confine themselves to the desktop, Windows 8.1 is a glimpse at what’s possible.

Stay tuned for more on Windows 8.1 in the days ahead. We’ll be looking at more of the modern-style interface, and yes, at the desktop too.

Writing Skills

Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation

Correct grammar, punctuation and spelling are key in written communications.  The reader will form an opinion of you, the author, based on both the content and presentation, and errors are likely to lead them to form a negative impression.

If you are unconvinced about the importance of accurate writing, think of the clues we use to identify spam emails, “phishing” websites, and counterfeit products: poor grammar and spelling.  Similarly, some employers state publicly that any CV containing spelling or grammatical mistakes will be rejected immediately, whilst a BBC news article quotes research that calculates spelling mistakes cost online businesses “millions” in lost sales.

In addition, checking for poor writing and spelling mistakes should be seen as a courtesy to your readers since it can take them much longer to understand the messages in your writing if they have to think and re-read text to decipher these.

Therefore, all written communications should be re-read before sending to print, or hitting the send button in the case of emails, as it is likely that there will be errors.  Do not assume that spelling and grammar checkers will identify all mistakes as many incorrect words can indeed be spelt correctly (for example, when “their” is used instead of “there” or “principle” instead of “principal”) or entire words may be missing.  If at all possible, take a break before re-reading and checking your writing as you are more likely to notice problems when you read it fresh.

Even if you know spelling and grammar rules, you should still double check your work since our brains tend to work faster than our fingers can type and accidental typographical errors inevitably creep in.

Improving Your Writing Skills

A trick to checking your work and improving your writing skills is to read your work aloud.  Reading text forces you to slow down and you will pick up problems with the flow that your eye would otherwise skip over.

Another way to improve your writing skills is to read.  However, the best way to improve is to write.  Try writing practice pieces that you do not even need to show anyone else.  As your confidence as a writer grows, you may feel happy to show your writing to friends or others and, when you do, ask for their honest feedback and constructive criticism.  You might even find a friend or colleague willing to act as a writing mentor to work with you as your writing skills develop.

Find more at:


Stress management

positive thinking

Positive thinking helps with stress management and can even improve your health. Practice overcoming negative self-talk with examples provided.

By Mayo Clinic staff

Is your glass half-empty or half-full? How you answer this age-old question about positive thinking may reflect your outlook on life, your attitude toward yourself, and whether you’re optimistic or pessimistic — and it may even affect your health.

Indeed, some studies show that personality traits like optimism and pessimism can affect many areas of your health and well-being. The positive thinking that typically comes with optimism is a key part of effective stress management. And effective stress management is associated with many health benefits. If you tend to be pessimistic, don’t despair — you can learn positive thinking skills. Here’s how.

Understanding positive thinking and self-talk

Positive thinking doesn’t mean that you keep your head in the sand and ignore life’s less pleasant situations. Positive thinking just means that you approach the unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst.

Positive thinking often starts with self-talk. Self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head every day. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Some of your self-talk comes from logic and reason. Other self-talk may arise from misconceptions that you create because of lack of information.

If the thoughts that run through your head are mostly negative, your outlook on life is more likely pessimistic. If your thoughts are mostly positive, you’re likely an optimist — someone who practices positive thinking.

The health benefits of positive thinking

Researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. Health benefits that positive thinking may provide include:

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

It’s unclear why people who engage in positive thinking experience these health benefits. One theory is that having a positive outlook enables you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful health effects of stress on your body. It’s also thought that positive and optimistic people tend to live healthier lifestyles — they get more physical activity, follow a healthier diet, and don’t smoke or drink alcohol in excess.

Positive thinking: Reduce stress by eliminating negative self-talk

Identifying negative thinking

Not sure if your self-talk is positive or negative? Here are some common forms of negative self-talk:

  • Filtering. You magnify the negative aspects of a situation and filter out all of the positive ones. For example, say you had a great day at work. You completed your tasks ahead of time and were complimented for doing a speedy and thorough job. But you forgot one minor step. That evening, you focus only on your oversight and forget about the compliments you received.
  • Personalizing. When something bad occurs, you automatically blame yourself. For example, you hear that an evening out with friends is canceled, and you assume that the change in plans is because no one wanted to be around you.
  • Catastrophizing. You automatically anticipate the worst. The drive-through coffee shop gets your order wrong and you automatically think that the rest of your day will be a disaster.
  • Polarizing. You see things only as either good or bad, black or white. There is no middle ground. You feel that you have to be perfect or that you’re a total failure.

Focusing on positive thinking

You can learn to turn negative thinking into positive thinking. The process is simple, but it does take time and practice — you’re creating a new habit, after all. Here are some ways to think and behave in a more positive and optimistic way:

  • Identify areas to change. If you want to become more optimistic and engage in more positive thinking, first identify areas of your life that you typically think negatively about, whether it’s work, your daily commute or a relationship, for example. You can start small by focusing on one area to approach in a more positive way.
  • Check yourself. Periodically during the day, stop and evaluate what you’re thinking. If you find that your thoughts are mainly negative, try to find a way to put a positive spin on them.
  • Be open to humor. Give yourself permission to smile or laugh, especially during difficult times. Seek humor in everyday happenings. When you can laugh at life, you feel less stressed.
  • Follow a healthy lifestyle. Exercise at least three times a week to positively affect mood and reduce stress. Follow a healthy diet to fuel your mind and body. And learn to manage stress.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. Make sure those in your life are positive, supportive people you can depend on to give helpful advice and feedback. Negative people may increase your stress level and make you doubt your ability to manage stress in healthy ways.
  • Practice positive self-talk. Start by following one simple rule: Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to anyone else. Be gentle and encouraging with yourself. If a negative thought enters your mind, evaluate it rationally and respond with affirmations of what is good about you.

Here are some examples of negative self-talk and how you can apply a positive thinking twist to them.

Negative self-talk

Positive thinking

I’ve never done it before. It’s an opportunity to learn something new.
It’s too complicated. I’ll tackle it from a different angle.
I don’t have the resources. Necessity is the mother of invention.
I’m too lazy to get this done. I wasn’t able to fit it into my schedule but can re-examine some priorities.
There’s no way it will work. I can try to make it work.
It’s too radical a change. Let’s take a chance.
No one bothers to communicate with me. I’ll see if I can open the channels of communication.
I’m not going to get any better at this. I’ll give it another try.

Practicing positive thinking every day

If you tend to have a negative outlook, don’t expect to become an optimist overnight. But with practice, eventually your self-talk will contain less self-criticism and more self-acceptance. You may also become less critical of the world around you. Plus, when you share your positive mood and positive experience, both you and those around you enjoy an emotional boost.

Practicing positive self-talk will improve your outlook. When your state of mind is generally optimistic, you’re able to handle everyday stress in a more constructive way. That ability may contribute to the widely observed health benefits of positive thinking.

World Cup Preparations


First and foremost I would like to congratulate Chipolopolo for the stunning win at Levi Mwanawasa Stadium last Saturday; Am saying well done guys! The criticism that was imposed on the team prior to face Lesotho from the soccer fans was just okay. The funs know the potential of the Zambian team and if the team is not living according to its potential then funs have the right to come in and criticize it heavily.

Wining a team with that margin is superb; I mean it’s very encouraging to the players as well us, the funs. But we should not get carry away that we’ve got it all. In all honesty we cannot make a solid conclusion that our team is strong in just one match. There is need to work extra hard and keep focusing. The team must always have in mind tougher opponents in the likes of Brazil, German, USA, Germany and other World Cup material teams in mind when preparing. I am saying this because we have hope and chance of qualifying to the world cup.

Lesotho win is history now let’s forget it and focus on wining Sudan. It will be better to win this match by whatever margin but wining by a bigger margin will just add the needed confidence in our boys. Let’s approach the next game with all the seriousness and aggression it deserves. Then we can prepare to face Ghana to top the group as Ghana has all what it takes to qualify for the World Cup.

We need to improve with our tactics, ball control and composure, set pieces, let’s also train our boys psychologically because at this stage it’s not only skill and having good tactics but psychological fitness is needed to be examined provided that the last game will be played away from home. Otherwise I strongly feel we have not got it all but we are on the right track keep working hard guys.

Player Rater: Zambia v Lesotho



ImageZambia demolished Lesotho 4-0 to reclaim top slot in the Brazil 2014 World Cup Group D Qualifiers.

In a game where more than four players are contenders for man of the match, takes a look at hoh the players fared.

Danny Munyao-6.5-Did not look fazed coming in for suspended Kennedy Mweene. It helps that in 2007 the Red Arrows goalkeeper was at the World Youth Championship in Canada. Munyao was getting into company he was familiar with and territory chartered by his mind. He dealt with everything thrown at him comfortably. In the second half, he got down very well to stop a low shot. He even lifted his right leg in showmanship. Munyao was that at home.

Davies Nkausu-6-The SuperSport Utd defender had a decent game. He was comfortable on the ball and superior in aerial tussles. Nkausu moved in front well too. He whipped in some wicked crosses in the Lesotho area. He looked what his potential demands.

Chisamba Lungu-7.8-Again deployed as a makeshift left back but passed with flying colours. The Russia based showed his sultry skills. He started from the back. Drifted into midfield when need arose. He was tight in the tackle. Until, he has a place in midfield, no one will complain if Chisamba continues to thrive in defensive positions. This time he did not take eternity on the ball but used it well. He provided an assist with a pin-point cross that Chris Katongo nodded home for Zambia’s second. When Fwayo Tembo came on, it was party time down that left flank.
Hichani Himoonde-6.5-He was the most experienced member of the back four. He mopped well. Himoonde’s criticism in the past was that he hides his deficiences in the injured Stophila Sunzu. But Himoonde despite not getting a lot of game time at his Congolese club Mazembe, showed he is his own man. Clinical both in the air and on the ground. Assured performance.

Kondwani Mtonga-6.5-Converted from his holding role in his club football to central defence just like the newly enamored Sunzu he replaced. The Zesco Utd skipper gave a performance that left doubting pundits purring with satisfaction. He looked slow but commanding. Never really tested one on one, but Mtonga headed well, cleared his lines smartly and moved the ball upfield brilliantly. This performance will stand Mtonga in good stead against a much stronger Sudan.
Nathan Sinkala-8.2-Every time Nathan Sinkala is given full marks comparisons with his more illustrious elder brother Andrew who turned out for European champions and treble winners Bayern Munich abound. Nathan has come out from the shadows of his Germany based sibling. It helps that Nathan comes from a family that breathes football. His dad Moffat Mutambo was a general of the game. Nathan was masterful here. His mixed it up. Guile, vision, sometimes keeping it simple but effective. Given that the opposition was limp, I may over exaggerate just how good Sinkala was, but he was superb.

Mukuka Mulenga-8.5-my joint man of the match alongside Jacob Mulenga. Football was called the beautiful game because of its ability to thrill. Mulenga embodied that. He was exciting to watch. On the back foot, he looked tactically sound, on the front foot, Lesotho wished he the Power Dynamos play maker had not been born. He was a constant threat threading seamless passes and quick change of pace on two legs that looked like powered by subsided fuel. If scouts watching at Estadio de la Levy they could have fallen over each other  scrambling for Mukuka’s signature particularly on his second half showing. Did somebody say Rainford Kalaba was missed? Mukuka is here.
Noah Chivuta-6-A surprise starter that did not cover himself in glory. Chivuta is a committed worker with a lovely sweet left foot. But his best days look like are now in the archives.His passing was erratic and had to be substituted by Fwayo Tembo. Why Herve Renard decided to play with a handbrake by starting Chivuta as a deep lying midfielder with Sinkala-effectively duo defensive midfielders against such modest opposition beats the mind. Overall, he whipped in a drew balls for Mbesuma and Jacob

Chris Katongo-7.6-the captain’s best game in Chipolopolo colours since the 1-0 win over Ghana at this same stadium. He was lively through-out. No doubt Katongo has been a hardworker even when his performances have plummeted but this is the sort of performance that earned him the vote for 2012 Africa BBC player of the year. He scored an excellent header and set up the opening goal and was everywhere. If Chris had been playing like this no sane fan can call for his retirement. Keep the levels high Katongo!
Collins Mbesuma-7-Not his best match. The Orlando Pirates born again striker is slim by his huge frame body structure and was full of endeavour without threatening as well as he can. He got a poacher’s goal with his left foot after a rebound from substitute James Chamanga’s excellent work. Moments later Mbesuma could have had a brace but planted the ball over the bar when it looked easier to hit the net on 87 minutes.

Jacob Mulenga-8.5-definite most valuable player on the pitch. He was almost ostracized after the disastrous 2013 AfCON outing. When played in the centre-his favourite position-and not the flanks-Mulenga showed his quality. His first goal was classic. As good as a goal one can see anywhere in world football. The Utrecht star now the all-time Zambia goal scorer surpassing the great Kalusha Bwalya, received the ball from the ingenious Katongo. With his back leaning on the last Lesotho defender, Mulenga unleashed an unstoppable bicycle kick that flew in the net. The floodgates opened on forty minutes. The second was a good shot in the area in a melee. Doubter ate humble pie. Subbed late on but that hardly mattered, the lad coveted by Spanish La Liga teams had spoken on the pitch.


Fwayo Tembo-7-The Romania based showed he can be and should have been a starter in this match. He litterally took over the right flank with strong movement and dribbling. It looked like Fwayo was given the freedom to frequent and bamboozle Lesotho. One can only fathom his impact had he  had played from the first whistle. Fwayo is direct. The lethargic first half cried for players to take the game to Lesotho not making sideward passes and fluffing passes!

Bornwell Mwape-too late to classify but had two good chances to write his name on the score sheet. A good move to play him even if it was a cameo. His confidence will soar.

James Chamanga-7- in that one move that saw him round the keeper and rattle the post the China export showed he has plenty to offer yet. Even if I had expected to see Emmanuel Mayuka who is the future, and not Chamanga, who is nearing his past, the Lusaka groomed justified his selection. It was a tough one considering that Mayuka had arrived earlier in camp but Chamanga has been in a rich goal scoring form in China.

Herve Renard-8-The Frenchman, Africa Cup winner 2012, eased pressure on himself after some indifferent run of results lately. This is win ranks among his best as Zambia boss. I was surprised with the cautious approach of playing the defensive minded Chivuta ahead of Tembo.

The first half was not so good as a result-Renard. But credit for converting Mtonga. The former Ghana assistant coach-or physical trainer- is superb at this. He turned Sunzu into a world class defender. Not Mtonga is the next in line from the Frenchman’s factory.

The subs were spot on this time. Now football is a pressure game. Criticism will come in the wake of poor results. Take it on the chin and respond with results like the 4-0 win over Lesotho. Even the very best in the business “Big Phil” Luis Scolari is lampooned in Brazil when the World Cup winner shows indecision in team selection and poor man-management.

That is the nature of the game. Zambians love Renard and respect his getting the first and only major trophy in the Africa Cup. Let the high standards be maintained starting with Sudan this Saturday and then getting a result in Kumasi against Ghana. World Cup qualification is in within sight especially if Zambia plays as well as the second half against hapless and little Lesotho.

The 43 year old Showed loads of love in training to players he retained in camp. That was cardinal. Moral was high. Not being austere all the time. Crucially, playing Jacob Mulenga in a central attacking position. That was the difference between the Afrisports groomed in Utrecht and Chipolopolo colours. It was like seeing Jacob Mulenga at Angola 2010. Let Renard smile a bit now. He did his job and Zambia is happy. Merci.
Fans -9-Special mention of  the fans who turned up and supported the team. First class. More against Sudan. Estadio de la Levy must be made a hostile hunting grou

We believe, says Zima-Ndola fans


Zambia national soccer team has been shaping up and intensified its training ahead of this weekend’s crunch encounter against Group D basement side Lesotho.

Though Lesotho are considered as  one of the Southern Africa minnows wise, their back to back home draws with Sudan and Zambia, has again brought out a common footballing niche ‘there are no smaller teams.’

But the perception in the Copperbelt headquarters Ndola City is different. Zimandolans as the people from the quiet Zambia’s third largest city are called is different.

Rambling around from Broadway to President Avenue in town then to Itawa and Chifubu, and finally Kansenshi townships, one can notice the belief in most Chipolopolo faithful.

The fans have been bubbling with confidence when asked to predict the final score line.

“4-0 to Zambia,” was the response of a barber man earlier on Thursday morning.

Another fan said, “Boss, It’s Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.” The atmosphere inside the Stadium is nothing compared to what the Lesotho players are used to.

“For those who have watched games from that Stadium, they attest to the fact there’s a funny echo. And that will be the weapon because when we scream from the first to final whistle, they will think it’s 80,000 fans. I don’t know how the Chinese did on that echo but it makes the atmosphere incredible,” he added.

Heading inside Shoprite, one is greeted to morale boasting songs. From Sakala brothers’ ‘Puteni Ichimwela’ song featuring the legendary commentator Dennis Liwewe to Mozegater’s ‘Are you ready boys?


The boss has been relaxed the whole week and looks ready for the clash

What about Tribal Cousins’ Chipolopolo 2000? And Mimbulu family’s Vuvuzela? They all played and one had to delay shopping and wondered around so that all the songs are played and luckily it ended with Kopala finest and their own Mark 2’s ‘Vikamo Ichimwela’ with the ‘feeling feeling’ instrumental.

‘Mu goal muli Ba Mwine ba Mweene……Kalaba talaba efimweba Renard.’ Unfortunately both Kennedy Mweene and Rainford Kalaba are out through suspension and injury respectively.

After Shoprite, one jumps on a taxi and the man on the wheel predicts another emphatic victory but he is not too sure with what is happening in the goalkeeping department.


Key men: Kalaba and Mweene are out while Fwayo will be playing his first match at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium

“I hear Titima has been recalled but the other ones I don’t know them.

And when asked about his preferred choice, the taxi driver responded, “I don’t know. For the goalkeepers, we are praying they do a good job.

Then comes the prediction for the goal scorers, many as expected and if you are betting man, put your man on Collins Mbesuma. That’s the message from the host fans –Zimandola faithful.

At this hour, It’s all systems go, full support and not time to point fingers or find faults. It’s Zambia’s maiden appearance at a FIFA World Cup at stake. Fans and all stakeholders have to be united and rally behind the Copper Bullets.

While many international pundits have already earmarked the final Group D clash in Kumasi between the 2012 African Champions Zambia and the Black Stars of Ghana as the match to decide the destiny, it is this sort of matches which shape destiny.

Ghana have a tricky tie away in Khartoum and the Sudanese are not pushovers at home. A draw in Khartoum and a win for Zambia tomorrow will be enough to keep the nation’s dream.

By ZamFoot

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