Archive for February, 2012

Internet Attacks

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

In his article What Wikipedia Won’t Tell You Cary H. Sherman, chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America, wrote the following in response to public claims against SOPA and PIPA:

“Since when is it censorship to shut down an operation that an American court, upon a thorough review of evidence, has determined to be illegal? When the police close down a store fencing stolen goods, it isn’t censorship, but when those stolen goods are fenced online, it is?”

Sherman wrote for the less represented voice that ultimately cried about SOPA and PIPA. Arguments against this stated that the legislative terms used were not so clear and went beyond harvesting stolen works. Across the Internet, fears rose on what SOPA and PIPA could mean, and perhaps rightfully so. With the abstruse wording of legislation, lawyers are necessary to both write and then explain what legislation means.

Arguments against SOPA and PIPA claim that the wording isn’t definitive enough. Either way, it makes evident that a vast population lacks knowledge of what SOPA and PIPA could or could not do. When asked for thoughts about SOPA and PIPA the first response appeared as “I think it’s unfair that they wanna shut down Wikipedia and control the internet. It’s like basically controlling how we communicate. How many are against SOPA & PIPA? How many protested against them?” and the ‘Best answer’ was “I think its wrong and im against it.”

Outrage spread through major participants across the Internet didn’t show the intent of SOPA and PIPA but instead attempted to reveal a possible outcome. But the possible outcomes they portrayed seemed to form how many perceived the actual bill meanings.

Secure Social Networking

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Social networking sources are often utilized as strong ways to communicate. But when used irresponsibly, they can also risk your security.

By “checking in” or updating your location, many social network users find a fun way to show their travels and promote their locations. But next time you move to do this, be sure that you’re not sending the message that “no one’s home.” When you consider making a status update on a family vacation for example, maybe include a fake shout-out to your fake home sitter.

When registering for a social networking sites (or really any website) don’t provide your Social Security number. We can’t emphasize this enough, and yet it still happens. Think of what your Social Security number does and why this site would need it before you provide it.

Often a social networking site will ask for your phone number. Typically there is a skip button though you may need to search for it. Sometimes the site will ask for a phone number to confirm your account. If this is the case then you will likely also be able to delete your number from your profile after the confirmation. Removing your number will protect it from reaching strangers. Nevertheless, phone numbers are surprisingly easy to change.

Don’t upload pictures or videos if you’re not ready for the public to have access to these. Even if your security settings have viewer restrictions, there is nothing restricting those viewers from copying and then re-uploading the file.

You should always check your privacy settings and be open to editing them. This can prove to be especially handy for when you grant access to an application and later want to deny it.

Make passwords that cannot be easily guessed (don’t limit yourself to the the names of your children and pets). Strong passwords will utilize lowercase and uppercase letters and will include numbers along with symbols. Though these seem difficult to remember, it’s much easier than being hacked. Strong passwords will also be hard to memorize at first and writing the password on a slip of paper that you keep with you can prove tremendously handy.

Stay safe out there!

Internet Security Sounds Secure

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Security and privacy are concepts with remarkable favoring, when not associated with the Internet. Why does so much resistance to “Internet security” or “Internet privacy” exist?

-          Because of the freedom that the Internet allows for

-          Because of the restrictions that security and privacy can create

For many the notions of securing the Internet, protecting the Internet, and stopping online piracy, means actively censoring . At the same time, others take protecting and securing the Internet to mean that their works will no longer by illegally used or that false facts will no longer be published.

As a result of widespread outrage to concepts on limiting the open Internet, SOPA and PIPA were put on hold or moved for revisions. However, the movements for Internet security are proving to be relentless and look like they will turn into a major decade debate. Today, the Obama administration introduced the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights and the controversy has already emerged. Main points of the bill:

  1. INDIVIDUAL CONTROL:  Consumers have a right to exercise control over what personal data companies collect from them and how they use it.
  2. 2. TRANSPARENCY:  Consumers have a right to easily understandable and accessible information about privacy and security practices.
  3. RESPECT FOR CONTEXT:  Consumers have a right to expect that companies will collect, use, and disclose personal data in ways that are consistent with the context in which consumers provide the data.
  4. 4. SECURITY:  Consumers have a right to secure and responsible handling of personal data.
  5. ACCESS AND ACCURACY:  Consumers have a right to access and correct personal data in usable formats, in a manner that is appropriate to the sensitivity of the data and the risk of adverse consequences to consumers if the data is inaccurate.
  6. FOCUSED COLLECTION:  Consumers have a right to reasonable limits on the personal data that companies collect and retain.
  7. ACCOUNTABILITY:  Consumers have a right to have personal data handled by companies with appropriate measures in place to assure they adhere to the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.

This bill is with stated efforts to “protect individual privacy rights” but will the public reject it with the same passion used against SOPA and PIPA, or will they recognize the bill as a tool for their personal Internet security. The battle for or against seems crucial to the Obama administration as the pressure from both sides must be overwhelming.

One identifying factor for the “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” is its aim towards protecting the individual whereas SOPA and PIPA aimed at protecting larger parties.  This may allow for the bill to receive a more welcoming introduction.

Further Reading:

Obama Administration Seeks Online Privacy Rules

What Are SOPA and PAPA And Why All The Fuss?

Microsoft Wipes Privacy Sidestepping on Google, Why Not Facebook Too?

Fear Less, Fraud Fails

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Excessive worrying is frequently time consuming and unhealthy. Fraud possibilities seem endless because they are. Knowing this can easily overwhelm worrywarts (for lack of better words) that will never even be real victims. Yet with technology today some try to reason the necessity for excessive worrying. If you are not one of these reasoners, and you are ready to overcome fears of fraud by means of insight and intelligence then please read on.

First, find comfort with the knowledge that fraudulent businesses fail. How else besides a bailout would they stay in business? Don’t listen to rumors or fabrications on fraud, look at the facts. Part of business success entails utilizing opportunities that the competition overlooks. If these opportunities are spelled out for all to understand then the business innovator reaps no rewards. The creative entrepreneur will find that the less creative entrepreneur will reach their success through copying their methods, and thus the desire to be creative greatly decreases.

More than likely a business reaches success because they provide a quality service at a quality price. This does not mean that a company providing a free service is a scam or involved with fake business. A good example of a legitimate and tremendously successful company with free services for many of its users is Google. The company provides free services to help the public and profits from those looking to market to the public.

When communicating via the Internet always remember your street smarts.

Remember to keep your Social Security number secure. Don’t provide it or other personal information unless you know the need for its actual necessity (rather than just a company claimed necessity). If a stranger approaches you on the road and makes some claims about past due bills or unexpected winnings, would you trust them and provide your personal information? If so, this article may not be able to provide the assistance you need.

Understand the meaning of an investment and what it is that you invest in. Investments do not guarantee returns, and as an investor though you hope for returns you cannot rely on them. Good marketers will sell all of their investments with sounds of brilliance, profit, and enjoyment. Ask yourself if it’s the business person or product that you believe in, and if you don’t answer both then you can count on the investment disappointing you.

Be prepared, be smart, be fraud conscious, but don’t search for fraud unless you want fraud.

Alec Difrawi 1 Man Behind 1 Name and 1 Identity

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

There is a theory that illustrates Alec Difrawi as a businessman attempting to hide behind a myriad of fake names and corporate entities. This post is in attempts to clarify such accusations.

Alec Difrawi is always listed as a consultant in companies where he is involved. A few individuals have created the theory that Alec Difrawi does this to hide ownership from press, law enforcement, and to shield himself from liability. This is not true and there are two very simple and legitimate explanations for the way Alec Difrawi’s ownership and job titles are structured:

  1. As the nature of Alec Difrawi’s work is with marketing and technical consulting, he works with multiple companies. In the 1980’s Alec Difrawi started his own corporation (Difrawi Consulting) and has maintained employment with that company. When working with a new company, they pay Alec Difrawi through his consulting company.  This is legal, ethical, and recommended by many accountants.
  1. Alec Difrawi’s current business is essentially an incubator for internet businesses.  It consists of technical, legal, accounting, and customer support resources. The executive board invests resources into any idea found viable. Thus, if an outside individual or current employee has an idea they support, a business in that person’s name is created and a set amount of resources is invested into it.  If the business reaches certain success parameters they maintain an option to buy a percentage of it, or let the individual buy out their option.

These two legitimate practices have allowed for the accusation that Alec Difrawi is always trying to hide his involvement in a slew of companies. Countless hours have been spent by a few individuals to link the companies online and create a huge conspiracy illusion. In fact, Alec Difrawi has nobody he needs to hide his identity from, and he is relatively public in his life.

The Pathological Liar & The Internet Infrastructure

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Wouldn’t a pathological liar feel more secure in hiding their identity through the internet infrastructure?

While many will find extraordinary freedom in the Internet, for others the Internet may only feed into mental obsessions.

The Internet opens windows for copying identities, creating unique meanings, and then ditching these. It allows for the creations of whatever perception and with the ultimate opportunities for deception. It allows for the distortion of our own images or for the coping of another’s lifetime.

If as a pathological liar you are obsessed with and convinced of your lies, the Internet seems the ideal place to exist. Threats and legal action against such a person will be difficult if not impossible to carryout.

Research attests that easier and better lying occurs over the Internet rather than in person. In person, physical reactions to human lies make the phenomenon more obvious. But deception through the Internet occurs even when we try to avoid it.  Consider the instances where you communicate over the Internet and find the receiver oblivious to your intended tone.

Some signs of a pathological liar include obsession and distance from humane associations. A healthy author may attack even the worst of people through exposing some of the good that could have been (with their creativity or brilliance for example). They often attempt to reason why this individual grew to be so and then they often show pity for the lost soul.

A pathological liar on the other hand, will be disposed to only attack. They will not be able to identify with the human behind their villain. Thus the villain (to them) grows relentlessly more monstrous.

For the pathological liar, the Internet must be an awesome tool. It allows them to control feedback they wish to avoid, it grants them whatever illusion they can draw. The Internet provides endless sources for a mind that knows no limits to lies.

Be safe.

Related Articles:

Online Deception and Lies – The Reasons

Study: Lying comes easier on the Internet

Why People Are Better At Lying Online Than Telling A Lie Face-To-Face

Free Speech vs. Illegal Speech

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Freedom of speech is a true phenomenon across the (uncensored) Internet.

In countless ways the Internet allows us to discuss unbound topics and target distant audiences. It enunciates voices that otherwise may remain silent. It shares. It brings perspectives to new points allowing for research, discussions, and visuals as never before.

But through the same awesomeness, the Internet advances piracy and fact fabrication. It brings these issues of fraudulent and stolen work into new extremes. It alters the righteousness associated with free speech. It attests that not until the Internet phenomenon was the freedom of speech contemplated without the accountability of speech.

Should there be punishments for illegally published work on the Internet? Should there be restrictions or limits? Is the real punishment not defining your own judgment? Is the real tragedy misunderstanding?

Creating a Conspiracy

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

There are many reasons to create a conspiracy. Maybe you’re interested in harming a reputation, maybe you’re bored. You could sincerely become convinced of the conspiracy you created or you could be doing it for personal fulfillment. For whatever the reason, we strongly encourage you to consider other options. Conspiracies can be manipulative, undermining, and unbearably destructive. And the ways to spread them are countless. Outlined is one of these ways:

Utilize the Internet

  • For better or worse, it allows you remain anonymous

Create a fraud exposing website

  • Declare to be a fraud exposer and others will be less likely to accuse you of fraud

Attack appropriate companies and entrepreneurs

  • Companies with growing consumer bases
  • Not widely popular and trusted names
  • Polite enough to resist hiring a hit man

Create compelling fraud theories

  • Remind the reader that the company is in business to make money
  • Make as many connections as possible even when they seem impossible
  • Reopen old scars, no one learns from their own mistakes
  • Explain actual starting steps, confirm to new consumers that the scam has begun

Repeat theories until they become facts

  • Create different online profiles to self-publish these
  • Write complaints on as many consumer sites as possible

Call to action

  • Tell the reader that they’re lucky, they could have been a real victim
  • Remind the reader that it’s their duty to protect others
  • Help the reader, show them the best places to complain (AG offices, TV stations, and the BBB)

Return to the fraud exposing website

  • Post links for more information on the scam
  • Post links for more information on how to protect others
  • More credit to the website means more credibility for the website

Related Articles:

How to create a conspiracy theory: 4 easy steps

Three steps to building your own conspiracy theory