15 August 2013

A STROLL WITH NINA DEVANI (For World Internet Appreciation Day)

     “The internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow” ~Bill Gates

Image Credit: BBC
Have you ever forgotten your password?  Has your social media account ever been hacked? Have you ever been scared or worried about your personal data online? Well, worry no more oh earth! Somebody is here to save us. (hehehe) Ladies and gentlemen, meet Nina Devani.
Nina is one of the youngest entrepreneurs in the world today. At only 14, she’s the founder & CEO of Prompt Me Nina—an application designed to help people remember all their passwords without ever giving them away. Which is totally awesome I must say; and considering the rising tension in the world lately as regards cyber security, I decided to take a stroll with Nina for today’s World Internet Appreciation Day.

She told me about how Prompt Me Nina works and how she plans to expand her idea, about what she thinks of the recent cyber security challenge the world is facing, and lots more. Here’s my stroll with Nina:
Ebenezar: Hello Nina Thanks for making out time from your busy schedule to have this stroll with me.

Nina: You’re welcome Ebenezar, it is great talking with you.

Ebenezar: You know you make an awesome story, and you're a great motivation to teens all around the world. 14 year old female programmer and entrepreneur! Doesn't sound like what we hear everyday. It's really inspiring... How did you start programming and when did you learn all these entrepreneurial skills?

Nina: I actually didn’t program the App myself as I never had the opportunity to learn how to code like that. Instead I decided to hire developers to code the App, while I did the designing. I’ve always been interested in business from a young age especially due to having a dad who owned his own businesses. I’ve always wanted to have my own and make change.

Image Credit: PromptMeNina
Ebenezar: Oh! Okay, you designed it. That is still awesome though. Let us talk about your App now. It's a wonderful idea! You got the inspiration for it when your dad's Facebook account was hacked, and right now the invention is not just helping your dad, it's helping many other people. For those who haven't used Prompt Me Nina before, can you explain a little bit of how it works?

Nina: Well, Prompt Me Nina lets users set prompts to give the user a hint on both their usernames and passwords for each of their online accounts. This means people can keep different passwords for all their accounts, without forgetting them.

Ebenezar: Okay, Today is World Internet Appreciation day; and for a couple of years Cyber Security has been an issue in countries like America and China. What do you think about this issue? Don't you think you can solve this problem on a larger scale with 'Prompt me Nina'?

Nina: I think that whenever you create something so large and useful, like the internet, there will always be people trying to exploit it and make it better for themselves, but worse for others. I think that Prompt Me Nina can help this because it means people are much safer with their online accounts. This is because if one account is compromised, the others won’t be because people will have set different passwords for their other accounts. Prompt Me Nina encourages users to do that because there is no worry of forgetting them.

Ebenezar: Do you have any mentors or role models? Because I know there are few female tech-entrepreneurs... So who do you look up to?

Nina: One of my role models is Sheryl Sandberg who used to work at Google, and now Facebook. I feel that there is a rise of women entrepreneurs in the tech industry, and we need to keep encouraging more to show their talent. 

Image Credit: ontopinternetmarketing.com
Ebenezar: I usually talk about the internet with my friends and how it has made the world smaller and smarter. Although I know of many people who feel otherwise about this, but what do you think? Is the Internet a blessing or a curse? Do you think Earth would've been a better place without it?

Nina: I think the internet is a great thing, even though there are people who try to exploit it. On the whole it has been very useful, allowing us to get information quickly, contact people and even share media. It has made life easier for a lot of people, however what can have a negative impact is when people over use it and become addicted. As long as we use it in moderation and not to just be lazy, then it is a blessing.

Ebenezar: Do you think hacking can be converted into a force for good? Because my younger brother Melvin claims to be a hacker, and all he does is hack our phone accounts, mobile chat accounts, and make us scared of him... I really don't see any economic benefit in that (Lol). What do you think?

Nina: No, I don’t see any benefit of hacking right now as it invades personal data and doesn’t respect privacy. 
Image Credit: PromptMeNina

Ebenezar: Finally, I know silicon valley is every tech-entrepreneurs dream. Is it your dream too? And apart from programming, do you have other talents we don't know about? Maybe like singing or dancing (hehehe :)

Nina: Yes, I would love to get my business to Silicon Valley and expand my App and other ideas. I enjoy doing things most teenagers enjoy; listening to music, reading, shopping and socializing.

Ebenezar: Thank you so much Nina, for making this Stroll a reality.

Nina: Thank you Ebenezar, it was a pleasure.

For more about Nina(@PromptMeNina)  and to download the Prompt Me Nina application, click here

The internet has really been a blessing to me. In fact, I feel it’s one of the greatest inventions of all time! I’ve been strolling around the world, learning about Biomimicry , and meeting some incredible people via the internet. I know I might not have the right to make policies for the governments of North Korea, China, and other countries that restrict the internet, but I’d just like to advise;

Please let the internet work in your country; and though it has disadvantages—but what doesn’t have disadvantages?—I strongly believe that the advantages outweigh the negatives. I hope you guys give it a rethink... and please can communists stop arresting bloggers? Huh? What happened to freedom of speech and press freedom? Stop the injustice today!

Till my next stroll; thanks for reading.Jesus loves you.

Ebenezar Wikina (@poeticjazz)


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