Category Archives: FaceBook

Social Media As A Business Tool – First, Engage You Buyers

This guest post is contributed by Grady Winston. Grady is an avid writer and Internet entrepreneur from Indianapolis. He has worked in the fields of technology, business, marketing, and advertising – implementing multiple creative projects and solutions for a range of clients.

imageIs there a better way of getting your brand, product or service out to people? In our ever-expanding world of digital advancement, the ability to find and share content has grown by leaps and bounds. Businesses in the know understand social media isn’t just for teens and college kids anymore.

While businesses are capitalizing on the impact a strong social networking presence can have, there’s still a hard line when it comes to actual interaction.

Many businesses still work on the premise of “if we build it, they will come.” Though this approach may have worked in the past, people aren’t just interested in what you’ve built, but what’s inside. The point of social media isn’t just to keep talking about your company and its services; consumers want to know what makes you tick.

If you’ve made a video that promotes your company, employees or services you provide, consider including a behind-the scenes look at making the video, including a gag reel or bloopers. Marketing data and spreadsheets mean little to the average consumer. Show your customers the heart, soul and human side of the company they choose to support.

“Going viral” is a popular turn of a phrase related to the sharing of pictures and videos across social networks. Thanks in part to sharing, “Gangnam Style” made Korean rapper Psy a sensation in the United States.

Memes are another one of those viral cases, in which something is elevated through the use of pictures or words. Former presidential nominee Mitt Romney had at least two of his awkwardly worded statements turned into viral memes as the 2012 presidential race heated up.

Why did these videos go viral in the first place? The case could be made that Romney was famous, being a former governor and presidential candidate, but Psy was an unknown singer and rapper.

While something to strive for, going viral isn’t just about putting up content for people to find. Anyone can upload a video; the difficulty is in knowing what that content should be and how to attract viewers who ultimately share it. It goes without saying that social media is one of the biggest pushers of content, from Facebook to Twitter to rising star LinkedIn and newcomers like Google+ and Pinterest.

Understanding these platforms is first and foremost the most important thing when trying to get people to your business. Facebook is not Twitter and, despite their perceived boxing match, Google+ is not Facebook. Being on just one social media site isn’t enough; a business needs to be on all platforms that will work towards its business and customers.

Another crucial step is learning about your customers. Many businesses try to market to everyone without regard to their actual consumer base. Why market material of scantily clad women on top of cars when a customer base is mostly women? Or senior citizens? To this end, not only is it important to know your consumer but, know what they will like and most likely share. As the saying goes, “content is king” and, not having interesting and engaging content is a deal breaker for many.

Memes are popular because they make current events humorous. Animal videos, from cute kittens snuggled together to pandas getting wellness checkups, make people happy and more productive. Clearly not all marketing will benefit from the use of a meme or a video of a hedgehog toddling across a countertop, but interesting content spurs people to share with their friends, family and coworkers.

However you market to your customer base, be sure to engage your buyers. Social shares can drive sales and bring great success to a company that invests time in learning its customers’ interests and the kind of media that will make them go “Aww!”

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Filed under Business Development, FaceBook, Guest Writers, Interconnectivity, Twitter

Put BitDefender Safego Between You And Facebook, Twitter Scammers

It’s an awesome summer day here, and the sum-sum-summer time lazies have gotten a stranglehold on my motivation to stay connected. Since it won’t be all that long until it’s back to snowstorms and blizzards, today is a day to just hang out, crash in the sunshine – and maybe pour a jar or two – or three.   Smile

So, in order to assuage my guilt somewhat (feeling guilty over disconnecting from the Internet – who knew?), I though I’d rerun a post from August of last year – BitDefender Safego – A Free Social Network Cyber Criminal Defense System – since, it’s as timely now, as it was then.

imageNo matter my own thoughts on Facebook and Twitter (which are not entirely positive), it’s impossible to ignore the impact social networking has had on how we communicate.

It’s hardly surprising then, that Facebook and Twitter, and sites like them, have proven to be the perfect channel for cyber criminals to “communicate” with potential victims.

In the past hour alone, over 25,000 articles dealing with Facebook malware have been posted to the Net – as the following screen capture indicates. Ponder on that – 25,000 articles dealing with Facebook malware in one hour! That number certainly reaches the threshold of what I consider an epidemic.

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Just for a reference point – the “any time” total, using the same search string, is 44 Million results.

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My usual skeptical observation:

You might think, given those numbers, that a typical social network user would take minimum precautions to ensure that their privacy, and computer system security, are protected against compromise by employing a sound safety strategy. But no, typical social network users’ are #####, ********, !!!!!!!!!! , ………… Unfortunately, given that this is a G rated blog, I’ll have to leave the expletives deleted.

Still, for the sake of fairness, I will note – cyber criminal craftiness should not be underestimated. The video below is just one example of how an unaware user can be misled; leading to a perfect storm of malware issues.

Click on the following graphic to play the video.

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There is no perfect safety solution in an open system like Facebook, or Twitter – but, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood that cyber criminals will successfully disrupt your piece of mind.

A few months ago, Bitdefender released a free application – Safego for Facebook- which has just been updated to offer the same level of protection to Twitter users. If you are a Twitter or Facebook users, I urge you to checkout this free application.

From the Bitdefender site:

Bitdefender Safego for Facebook:

Using in-the-cloud scanning, Bitdefender Safego protects your social network account from all sorts of e-trouble: scams, spam, malware and private data exposure. But, most importantly, Safego keeps your online friends safe and …close.

By installing the BitDefender Safego app, users will receive:

Privacy protection – users are warned when they should modify their Facebook privacy settings so personal information isn’t exposed

Automatic scanning –users simply press the “scan now” button to get a snapshot of their Facebook security status

24/7 protection– Facebook accounts are protected even when users are not logged in to Facebook

Protection for friends – users will have the ability to warn their friends about infected links in their Facebook accounts

Bitdefender Safego for Twitter:

Initially launched for Facebook users, Bitdefender Safego is now ready to protect Twitter accounts as well. Bitdefender Safego uses the Bitdefender antimalware and antiphishing engines to scan URLs in the cloud.

Bitdefender Safego keeps your Twitter account safe by:

Checking unknown users before you follow them
Checking the accounts you are following
Scanning your direct messages for spam, suspicious links or highjacking attempts.

See BitDefender Safego in action on YouTube.

BitDefender Safego dashboard shown below.

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For additional information on BitDefender Safego, please visit the BitDefender Safego app page on Facebook, or the app page on Twitter.

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Filed under BitDefender, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, FaceBook, Freeware, Malware Protection, Twitter

You’ve Been Archived By The Internet’s “Wayback Machine” – Maybe

imageWe hear it said repeatedly, so it’s generally taken at face value – The Internet is forever; Once it’s out there, it’s out there forever; Everything posted online is there forever, even after it’s been deleted.

Forever, of course, is – until the end of time. I can’t really get my head around “until the end of time” – so, I’ll stick with “the foreseeable future”. That’s a concept I can work with.

Despite the fact that “it’s out there forever” is commonly believed – I’ve yet to see verifiable evidence that it’s true in all instances. In the short term – OK, I’ll buy into this. So should those who like to air opinion, perspectives and their dirty laundry (intentional, or not), on social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and so on.

But long term – as in “forever” – balderdash! I say this, having had the experience of writing and posting a series of articles to a blog in which I documented my experience in dealing with a “crazy neighbor”.

Having resolved the issue to my satisfaction (shining a light on aberrant behavior was worth the effort), I took the site down. Within 12 months, no references to the site, the neighbor (who was repeatedly named), or the issues brought to light, were indexed anywhere on the Internet. So much for “forever”, or even “the foreseeable future”, for that matter.

It’s fair to say though, that in the example I’ve used here, the situation was within my control. Just as deleting my Facebook page back in 2007 was within my control. Again, no references to this deleted page are available on the Internet. However, that page is still being stored on a Facebook server and is available to me – should I chose to access it.

On the other hand – references that are outside my control (or yours), are another matter. Let’s say, for example, that I choose to shut down this blog. As opposed to deleting the “crazy neighbor” blog, mentioned previously, which disappeared without a trace – Tech Thoughts would not disappear – it would leave traces – substantial traces at that. The Internet Archive’s “Wayback Machine” has made sure of that.

Quoting the site: “The Internet Archive Wayback Machine puts the history of the World Wide Web at your fingertips. Browse through over 150 billion web pages archived from 1996 to a few months ago.

To start surfing the Wayback, type in the web address of a site or page where you would like to start, and press enter. Then select from the archived dates available. The resulting pages point to other archived pages at as close a date as possible.”

Here’s an example –

The Wayback Machine has indexed this site (Tech Thoughts), 163 times …..

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going back to November 10, 2007 – as shown below.

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A capture dated December 3, 2008. A pretty gaudy theme but……..

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not quite as “in your face” as I progressed through my colorful phase……

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before getting down to serious business.

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The Internet Archive – of which the Wayback machine is just one component –  is full of surprises, and is definitely worth a visit. Some of the available resources include:

Moving Images – 635,268 movies.

Live Music Archive – 100,665 concerts.

Audio – 1,210,381 recordings.

Texts – 3,331,892 texts.

10 Comments

Filed under FaceBook, Interconnectivity, Recommended Web Sites

The Paralegal in You: Protecting Your Privacy from Social Media

imageMore than 800 million people around the world share their photos, their latest activities and their innermost thoughts on Facebook on a daily basis and Twitter has more than 100 million active users. While no one can deny the power of social media to connect people with friends and family and to advance political causes, individuals still need to be wary of their personal privacy when using social media.

The obvious concern for many people is that employers and potential employers can gather information that could hurt their careers. Since employers even tend to discredit applicants with online paralegal certification versus an applicant with certification obtained through a more traditional means, there is no telling how having privy to your social media persona could hurt your chances of securing a job.  Not only should individuals be careful of posting inappropriate party photos online, but they may also need to remember not to post their golf score from the day they called in sick to work.

More troubling for many people is that Facebook and other Internet sites use their searches and posts to create a profile that can then be used by advertisers to direct their appeals to their interests. According to a New York Times article, Facebook says they do not share personal data with advertisers. The Federal Trade Commission, in a settlement in November 2011 with Facebook, now requires Facebook to subject itself to regular privacy audits for the next two decades. Facebook will also need to keep its users informed about how their personal information is shared.

While Facebook says it does not share personal information with them, advertisers have embraced social media as a prime method of reaching potential customers. According to The Washington Post, Facebook earned a profit of $668 million in 2011 and had revenue of $3.7 billion, most of it from ads that target users based on their personal data.

In addition to advertisers and employers, other organizations may be trolling Facebook and Twitter for unprotected information. Police departments and detectives have found suspects through their use of social media. Some experts believe life insurance companies may begin searching social media for information about the habits of insurance applicants to be sure they are not lying about avocations such as sky diving.

Consumers of social media can take steps to protect their privacy, but these steps will not necessarily prevent the storage of personal information about individual’s search habits, online shopping or shared photos. In an article in PC World, several steps are recommended for social media users to protect their privacy. First and foremost, everyone needs to think carefully about the information they share in the context of who may be reading it. Even with privacy settings, it is best to assume that anyone can read anything posted in social media and that the information will stay available forever. Avoiding embarrassing or obnoxious comments should be rule number one for every social media user.

Some users assume that when they post something on Facebook, only their friends will see it. However, if a friend comments on your post, a friend of that friend can often trace back the conversation to the original post. Reviewing and frequently updating the privacy settings on a Facebook account provides a barrier to others easily accessing information, but will not prevent information from leaking out to those who are determined to see it.

Guest Author Bio:

Fiona Causer is currently a student pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies.  She enjoys writing and seeks to use it as a vehicle to convey ideas and engage others in discussing relevant issues of our day.

1 Comment

Filed under FaceBook, Guest Writers, Privacy, Twitter

Exfoliate – Automates Removal Of Facebook Content

imageI like the idea that technology makes it easier to stay “connected”, but Facebook , Twitter and the like, take that connected feeling well past my comfort zone. While I do have a Facebook account, that account is dedicated to professional use only.

On balance, social networking is a good thing – it’s opened new doorways of opportunity to stay connected. But, with those positive opportunities, comes a new set of problems. With Facebook, those problems include a corporate philosophy that includes unethical behavior and bullying.

It’s unfortunate that Facebook users make the assumption that Facebook is essentially safe, and harmless – despite the fact that it’s anything but. Facebook is a scam and malware magnet without parallel.

Look, it’s natural for we humans to communicate, be friendly, and generous – and, Facebook is certainly a vehicle for that. But, the lack of privacy controls – or, perhaps more accurately – the ever changing privacy controls on Facebook, are cause for concern. There’s little doubt that Facebook’s privacy settings are a continuing source of controversy.

Regular reader, and good friend John B., recently pointed me to an application – Exfoliate (currently priced at 99 cents) – which can automate the removal of content from Facebook – content that perhaps you now regret posting.

From the site:

Exfoliate helps you remove old content from Facebook(tm). Content on social networking sites is a potential threat to your privacy. Removing this content by hand is tedious, and practically impossible. On your wall, Exfoliate can remove any post, comment, like, or photo, whether made by you or by others, older than a time you specify. Exfoliate can remove your own posts, comments, likes, and photos, from your friends’ walls too. You can choose the age of items you wish removed, and Exfoliate will remove any items that are at least as old as your selection from any of your selected content areas. It is important, though, to understand that Exfoliate truly deletes the content. It is not backed up and it is not recoverable – well, that’s kinda the point.

Exfoliate is easy to use. Here are the three simple steps:

1. Set your preferences. Indicate the age of the items you wish removed, from where (your wall and/or friends’ walls) you want the items removed, and the type(s) of items you want removed (posts, comments, likes, photos).

2. Log in to your Facebook account using Exfoliate.
3. Start the automatic cleaning process.

Application screen shots:

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System requirements: Android: 2.2 and up.

Download at: The Android Marketplace

5 Comments

Filed under Android, Connected Devices, downloads, FaceBook, Privacy

OMG! Mark Zuckerberg Sent ME An Email!

What a rush! Mark Zuckerberg knows I exist and, even better than that – he just gave me $200. Yes! $200! Thanks Mark; I’ll get right on that.   Smile

You don’t believe me I hear you saying – then, take a peek at this email from my Gmail spam box. Oops, I’ve just given myself away – haven’t I? The email is in my SPAM box. With good reason, of course.

While it’s true, that in this particular case, spam filters have isolated this email as both spam and a probable fraud – do not rely on filters as the ultimate safeguard. That’s your job – you are your own best protection.

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Click to expand.

As an experience and educated surfer, you’re quite use to navigating over the rough trails of the “Wild West” Internet. You know, that this email is just too preposterous to be taken seriously. Although, as difficult as it is to believe, there are those who are gullible enough to  respond.

If you’re a regular reader here, please forgive me for repeating the following same old – same old – advice.

Be kind to your friends, relatives, and associates, particularly those who are new Internet users, and let them know that there is an epidemic of this type of scam on the Internet. In doing so, you help raise the level of protection for all of us.

A technical approach to protecting yourself against fraudsters:

Check whether the email was authenticated by the sending domain. Click on the ‘show details’ link in the right hand corner of the email, and make sure the domain you see next to the ‘mailed-by’ or ‘signed-by’ lines matches the sender’s email address.

Make sure the URL domain on the given page is correct, and click on any images and links to verify that you are directed to proper pages within the site.

Always look for the closed lock icon in the status bar at the bottom of your browser window whenever you enter any private information, including your password.

Check the message headers. The ‘From:’ field is easily manipulated to show a false sender name. Learn how to view headers.

If you’re still uncertain, contact the organization from which the message appears to be sent. Don’t use the reply address in the message, since it can be forged. Instead, visit the official website of the company in question, and find a different contact address.

How gullible can people be? When Michael Jackson passed, I wrote a piece entitled “Hey Sucker – Read This! Michael Jackson’s Not Dead!”, simply as a test of “curiosity exploitation”.

The results that followed were astonishing – within days, this article was getting thousands of daily hits. Even today, this article continues to get hits. Talk about gullible people!

14 Comments

Filed under Cyber Crime, cybercrime, Email, email scams, FaceBook

BitDefender Safego – A Free Social Network Cyber Criminal Defense System

imageNo matter my own thoughts on Facebook and Twitter (which are not entirely positive), it’s impossible to ignore the impact social networking has had on how we communicate.

It’s hardly surprising then, that Facebook and Twitter, and sites like them, have proven to be the perfect channel for cyber criminals to “communicate” with potential victims.

In the past hour alone, over 25,000 articles dealing with Facebook malware have been posted to the Net – as the following screen capture indicates. Ponder on that – 25,000 articles dealing with Facebook malware in one hour! That number certainly reaches the threshold of what I consider an epidemic.

image

Just for a reference point – the “any time” total, using the same search string, is 44 Million results.

image

My usual skeptical observation:

You might think, given those numbers, that a typical social network user would take minimum precautions to ensure that their privacy, and computer system security, are protected against compromise by employing a sound safety strategy. But no, typical social network users’ are #####, ********, !!!!!!!!!! , ………… Unfortunately, given that this is a G rated blog, I’ll have to leave the expletives deleted.

Still, for the sake of fairness, I will note – cyber criminal craftiness should not be underestimated. The video below is just one example of how an unaware user can be misled; leading to a perfect storm of malware issues.

Click on the following graphic to play the video.

image

There is no perfect safety solution in an open system like Facebook, or Twitter – but, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood that cyber criminals will successfully disrupt your piece of mind.

A few months ago, Bitdefender released a free application – Safego for Facebook- which has just been updated to offer the same level of protection to Twitter users. If you are a Twitter or Facebook users, I urge you to checkout this free application.

From the Bitdefender site:

Bitdefender Safego for Facebook:

Using in-the-cloud scanning, Bitdefender Safego protects your social network account from all sorts of e-trouble: scams, spam, malware and private data exposure. But, most importantly, Safego keeps your online friends safe and …close.

By installing the BitDefender Safego app, users will receive:

Privacy protection – users are warned when they should modify their Facebook privacy settings so personal information isn’t exposed

Automatic scanning –users simply press the “scan now” button to get a snapshot of their Facebook security status

24/7 protection – Facebook accounts are protected even when users are not logged in to Facebook

Protection for friends – users will have the ability to warn their friends about infected links in their Facebook accounts

Bitdefender Safego for Twitter:

Initially launched for Facebook users, Bitdefender Safego is now ready to protect Twitter accounts as well. Bitdefender Safego uses the Bitdefender antimalware and antiphishing engines to scan URLs in the cloud.

Bitdefender Safego keeps your Twitter account safe by:

Checking unknown users before you follow them
Checking the accounts you are following
Scanning your direct messages for spam, suspicious links or highjacking attempts.

See BitDefender Safego in action on YouTube.

BitDefender Safego dashboard shown below.

image

For additional information on BitDefender Safego, please visit the BitDefender Safego app page on Facebook, or the app page on Twitter.

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2 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, BitDefender, Cyber Criminals, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, FaceBook, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Internet Safety Tools, Malware Protection, Software, Twitter