Book Review: The All Seeing Digital Eyes by Neville J Kattakayam


Genre: Non-Fiction

Publishers: AshNel Inc

Price: Rs. 220/- (I got the book for review from the author)

Behind the Book

A Guide to Privacy, Security & Literacy!

This book is the result of all my experiences, and my research into what I should tell my 13-year-old daughter, as she is taking her first steps online, flying solo. When I was explaining to her why she would not get her first smart phone until she turns 18, why she cannot have a social media account when all her friends have one and why she has restricted access on our family PC and no personal laptop; I found it relevant to convert all this content into a book, which could help many others in decision making regarding their life online.

My daughter’s current cellphone has a small display, a number pad and no internet; she can text her friends and call them if needed, but I guess, she is feeling some peer pressure. She wants a social media account, but we told her she needs to turn 18 to be “Spiderman” – with great power comes great responsibility. Social media carries great power, you should grow up and be a responsible adult to start using such powers.

My nature of work requires me to spend a lot of time online, but I always try to ensure that my digital footprint is minimum. I value my freedom of speech and my right to privacy, which has encouraged me in writing this book.

This book's objective is to educating technology users about safety, security and privacy. Inside you’ll find research-based safety tips and tools, advise, parents’ guide and commentary on different aspects of tech use and policy.

This is not a technical book, even if many tips and tricks are shared to secure oneself.

The book is written in 3 parts with each part having specific objectives around Privacy, Security and Literacy. Part 1 and 2 serve as a guide for novice internet users (children and teens) and people affected by cyber exploitation on how to safeguard yourself. It would also teach the ‘Digitally Literate’ population on what is going on behind the scene, when you use technology. Part 3 adds value with guidelines in setting up a positive and professional online persona. It brushes on Media Literacy and Critical thinking, and finally concludes with parental tips on how to handhold their children onto technology.

The book is structured with each chapter being independent, and continuous reading is not required to understand the fundamental concepts.

I do not intend to dictate to you what to do or what not to do with your electronic devices. The purpose here is to give you relevant information, so that you could take intelligent decisions, about your privacy and security.

I believe…

… with digital surveillance, no one can escape “the All-seeing Digital Eyes.”

… there is no magic formula to protect yourself from the digital eyes. This book would disappoint you, if you are looking for one.

… good understanding of this book would help you manage your electronics and data better.

… social media is designed to be addictive, it thrives on our desire for fame and feedback.

… digital literacy has created a vast number of novice consumers, who are being exploited and manipulated.

… your online persona is as important as your bio-data.

… media literacy is essential for consumers and creators alike.

… critical thinking is a philosophy. It is easy and hard at the same time.

... critical thinking can be taught but needs constant practice to master.

… you can be the guide for your generation to come.

~You can grab your copy from here~

About the Author

Neville is a "Jack of many trades, but King of none." His first book - "The All-seeing Digital Eyes" was release in Sept 2018. He is currently working on his second book - "Everything they've ever told you is a Lie." Neville J Kattakayam is an IT professional with over 20 years in the Industry. He did his Masters in Business Management from XLRI. Neville is certified in 'Critical Thinking' from University of Michigan. Neville is also professionally certified in 'Lean Six Sigma' and 'Change Management.'

Reading this book was an experience in itself. For me, it was as close as possible to reliving my own experience with hacking, cyber bullying, impersonation and blackmail. I had goosebumps as those scenes came alive before my eyes, those seven months spent in acute darkness not knowing where life was headed to next, of battling all the suicidal thoughts to stay alive and of being alive today to look back and wonder how on earth did I let that happen. Yes, a teeny weeny part of me still believes it happened because I allowed it to happen. But this book made me see things in a different light altogether.

I like how the author has put together his research in such a lucid manner for even a layman to understand what is happening around us. In the name of smart phones and AI we have actually given up on a lot of privacy and are accommodating to quite an extent on that front without realizing that we are.

The author's quest started with his young daughter turning a teenager and as a protective father he wanted to give her nothing but the best. He wanted to warn her about all the various ways technology could be harmful and in a way it would not be wrong to say that all his warnings turned into this book.

This book is like an eye opener as it not only introduces you to a plethora of internet crimes lurking out there but also suggests you ways to avoid it too. Backed with extremely strong research the author talks with facts, statistics and most importantly data which backs his warnings in a manner that you just cannot ignore it all. It is all right there, staring back at our faces and we conveniently turned our faces in the opposite direction. This book is one that will ensure you not only pay attention but also make sure you do something about all that is happening around.

The book is complete in every sense - be it the content, the presentation, the narrative, the description or the explanation. It is a well researched book, exceptionally well presented, one that makes you sit up and take notice of the facts presented within. Honestly before I began I was a bit skeptical as to if the author would get too preachy, however much you enjoy non fiction books no one likes preachings beyond a point. And to my surprise, the author made sure of that till the last page. There is not a single page or passage where I can claim that he sounded preachy or was forcing down his opinion/thoughts on his readers. All throughout the book he has presented his observations in a neutral fashion allowing the readers to draw their own conclusions. His honest efforts clearly reflect in those pages.

I won't be surprised if the readers of this book actually want to gift it to the children of the family this festive season - because THIS is the need of the hour!

P.S: Strongly recommended !

Foodie Verdict

This book is like Acchappam - Crunchy, crispy, sweet enough to make you feel ticklish from within and savoury enough to give you a foodgasm!

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