Tuesday, July 31, 2012

ASMR Poll: Do you Experience a Tingling Sensation?

This has been a popular if not controversial topic that has arisen over the past while in several places online, like Reddit, the forum and even the Facebook group. Is it possible to experience ASMR without a tingling sensation?

This has long been listed as one of the most common (if not the most) sensations to accompany ASMR. We’re still not sure or agreed on what the sensation is or how it is caused – whether it’s in the brain, triggered by events, similar to how we perceive pain, or on the scalp and skin, perhaps caused by the flexing of hair follicles, which is reportedly experienced during bouts of frisson. Others have suggested it is Goosebumps. While these are theories and all possibilities, this tingling sensation is much more pleasant and intense than Goosebumps, which is why perhaps we are not satisfied to just leave it at that.

But not everybody experiences this tingling sensation. More and more people have come forward about this, and it’s hard to judge whether or not someone experiences ASMR because they lack this. Perhaps ASMR experiences are unique to the individual, and not all the same. People tend to experience it in differing levels of intensity. Triggers that will work reliably for some, may not work at all for others. Some have suggested that ASMR lies on a spectrum.

Some have experiences while watching trigger videos or are affected by events in real life, and claim to feel the positive, and sometimes even negative, effects of ASMR. They feel calm, and relaxed. There is a response of some sort – that’s for certain. But is it ASMR?

So this poll isn’t so much about whether one can experience ASMR without tingles. And it isn’t one that is answered with simply “yes” or “no” – that would be too simple. This is a poll to see just how varied and unique ASMR experiences can potentially be. We don’t want to shun people, or tell them they don’t have ASMR. We can’t really know for sure. The community tries to be as accepting as it can be, and welcomes anyone, even people who don’t experience ASMR but support those who do – so why not people who lack some of the “symptoms”? I think we need to approach this with an open mind. There’s nothing wrong with healthy debate, however. Remember that we know nothing for certain for the time being.

So the options for the poll are:

Do you experience a tingling sensation when exposed to triggers?

a) Yes, in or on the head/scalp region – you experience a tingling sensation, but it rarely, if ever, travels past the head and maybe the neck.

b) Yes, but in other parts of the body other than the head – you experience tingling sensations in the stomach or the legs or arms when exposed to triggers, but not the head. It could be one area or several, but it doesn’t include the head.

c) Yes, all over my body, right from the head down to my toes – this could be due to a high level of intensity; a stronger than usual ASMR event, especially for people who mainly experience the sensation in or on the head. So we have to be careful with this option. But perhaps you consistently experience tingling all over the body without fail. If you honestly experience a full body tingling as a standard response, as in at least 99% of the time, then vote for this. If only rarely, or not at all, consider one of the other options.

d) I don’t experience any tingles whatsoever – you may experience some sort of response to triggers, but there is no tingling sensation at all in any part of the body.

As per usual, 3 months or 90 days left to vote in this poll, which is on the sidebar to the right, before it closes and the results displayed here on the blog. Happy voting! Please feel free to add comments to help explain your choice and express your opinions.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

How to Protect Your YouTube Account from Being Hacked

There was an incident that occurred recently where a trigger video maker over on YouTube had their account hacked. And other members may have since been threatened to have their accounts hacked.

TheWaterwhispers even went to all the trouble to make a lengthy video earlier on this month (over 20 minutes long) about the situation and what to do to protect your account from being hacked.

So I finally decided to put up a few pointers even though this post has almost nothing to do with ASMR; things that are most important to take in to account to protect any account online, never mind just YouTube:

  • Always have a firewall and have internet security programs including a trusted and proven anti-virus program or two on your system – only one should have real-time protection enabled. Scan frequently – at the very least once a week.
  • Use a secure browser like Firefox or Chrome.
  • Always keep your operating system and programs on your system up to date.
  • Use program virtualisation tools like Sandboxie, especially with your browser.
  • Don’t click on links if you don’t trust the website being linked to. Try and stick to trusted websites. Avoid questionable or potentially dangerous websites.
  • Don’t download anything or open attachments that are from an unknown source, via email, messages, and the like.

The tips above will help to keep your system free of malware, and will help prevent cyber criminals from gaining access to your account by way of keyloggers or other such malicious software. As for account security, let’s look at the following tips:

  • Keep your passwords stored securely either in a safe if written down or a program on your computer like a password manager. KeePass is one such program.
  • Change your account passwords frequently. Say at least twice a year – preferably 3 or 4 times. Some do it every month!
  • Think about using an anti-keylogger program or a virtual keyboard like Neo’s SafeKeys, particularly if accessing accounts from a friend’s system or an internet cafe.
  • Don’t enter usernames or passwords on apps or third-party websites that are not trusted. Neo’s SafeKeys is trusted.
  • Where available, enable other security features on an account, like security questions, login notifications (applies to Facebook), OTP (one time password) and 2-step verification. Google has a 2-step verification feature – I strongly suggest that you turn this on as far as YouTube is concerned (YouTube is a Google product). Even if a hacker guesses or knows your email address/username and password, they’d still need the numeric password sent to your mobile in order to access your account.
  • Erase cookies, especially when surfing from a public computer, say at an internet cafe. It’s my personal recommendation that you do not access important accounts from internet cafes or other systems that are not your own. Yes, buying a PC or a mobile device may cost you a bit initially, but it’s a worthwhile investment. Also make sure to keep your devices away from others if you do important activities on them.
  • Have a strong password for your administrator and limited accounts.
  • Don’t give out account information to anyone who you have no business with. Don’t fall for phishing scams.

When making a password for an account, also remember the following:

  • The password must be at least 12 characters nowadays, preferably more, in my opinion.
  • It must have lower and upper case letters,
  • numbers,
  • special symbols,
  • punctuation marks,
  • spaces,
  • must not be too short,
  • must not be something easily guessable,
  • must not have characters that are the same consecutively.

There. Hopefully that will help you increase your account security and overall security. TheWaterwhispers specifically wanted to know of ways that a hacker could hack in to a YouTube account – there are so many ways a hacker could gain access to an account. Using malware, including spyware like a keylogger, is one of them. Guessing the password or trying a dictionary attack could also be used. Phishing scams are also to blame for a lot of account compromises – in this case the victim handed over information to person who didn’t have their best interests at heart.

Those are just a few – but the more likely ones in the case of an individual account being hacked. As for entire websites and servers being hacked – there are even more complex methods that I won’t cover here as firstly, I’m not all that knowledgeable on the subject, and secondly, even if I were, it would take too long, and this blog post isn’t really related to ASMR as it is. I’m really just doing it as a service to the community; a public service announcement of sorts.

Stay safe everyone!

Monday, July 23, 2012

ASMR Poll Results: Is There a Negative ASMR?

Well, I’m pleased to see that this latest poll has by far been the most popular, and the results aren’t as mixed as previous polls that have been run on the blog.

All in all, 92 people voted within a time frame of approximately 90 days, or 3 months. A whopping 65 people (70%) voted for option a, which was “ASMR is accompanied by positive sensations and emotions only”.

27 People (30% – even though it reads 29% on the sidebar) voted for “There is a positive and a negative form of ASMR” – which was option c in the poll. So that leaves option b, “ASMR is wholly negative in the sensations and emotions it produces”, completely vacant. Nobody voted there at all. So obviously nobody seems to think that ASMR is totally and utterly bad. Please feel free to leave any more thoughts on this in the comments section.

Thanks to all who voted, and the next poll should be up soon, so watch out for that.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The 30 Day ASMR Challenge

I came upon something interesting the other day over on tumblr. One of the regular ASMR bloggers there, who goes by the username of “violetthebatasmr”, came up with something called the 30 Day ASMR Challenge – as you would have guessed by the post’s title.

There’s a list of 30 questions, and every day you try to answer one of them to the best of your ability. So far, a couple of people are having a go at this from what I can see.

The questions range all the way from what you think ASMR is and what your favourite triggers are, to how you first discovered ASMR and your first memory of it.

As it is, this was created at just about the right time seeing as is it’s early July, so you can spend a little time of each day of the month answering one of these questions. But you can just start at any time – you don’t have to skip the first few questions if you come late to the party, so to speak. Maybe you might even prefer to answer them at your own leisure, instead of day to day. The topics might give you a bit of inspiration on what to write when it comes to talking about ASMR, and generating a bit of conversation; participation – which is always a good thing in a community of any sorts.

In a way, it’s a survey, but one that’s just for a bit of fun.

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