Posts Tagged ‘internet’

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.

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

Online reputation management

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Online reputation management

Protecting one’s online reputation – personal or professional – is extremely important in this day and age. The power of the Internet should never be underestimated. Dissatisfied customers, bitter co-workers and disgruntled employees alike have the potential to seriously damage one’s image on the web.

In order to protect one’s reputation, it is crucial to exercise self-control and censorship when posting content to the Internet. Social networks are an easy place to get carried away and share comments or opinions that might later be used against a person.

One should never forget that content published in an online platform such as Facebook, Twitter or blogs can be viewed by anyone: This means potential employers, recruiters and clients. Most networks are directly associated with one’s name and will come up in an online search.

Many forget that content posted online cannot only be found, but it has the potential to stay there permanently.

Personal censorship is an easy thing to control online. If it seems like something that could be potentially embarrassing or damaging to one’s reputation, it is probably best left unsaid. But what other people have to say about a person or business on the Internet is an entirely different and much more difficult situation to manage.

The beauty of the Internet – and its inherent danger – is that anyone has the power to post anything they want. This means that satisfied clients can rave about a business or its products, whereas cynics and disgruntled customers can just as easily blow off some steam in a blog or review.

Businesses should monitor such online conversations to find out what people are saying about them and to discover which issues need to be addressed. After determining which comments could turn into potential problems, the next step is to resolve them.

A common solution in dealing with online criticism is to simply delete the comments. Although this might be an easy short-term answer to the problem, it’s not always the best idea. In doing so, this conveys to the online community that a person or business has something to hide.

The best thing to do in this situation is to respond to the critical commentary in an apologetic and understanding manner. The customer is always right, and unfortunately, this translates to the social sphere as well. Most dissatisfied clients will appreciate the time and attention they received with a response to their issue, which may even lead them to remove the comment and gain a new perspective on the issue.

Another way to respond to negative online comments is through a blog. Creating a blog with one’s name in the URL will create favorable search engine result pages (SERPs) when people look up the name of a person or business. This will help to push some of the negative content down on the list of results and keep the blog at the top.

Blogs also give the receiver of negative commentary a chance to defend him or herself in a respectable and legitimate online platform. Frequently updating the blog will help the positive content to be viewed before the criticisms. Google responds well to fresh content, and by tagging keywords that are relevant to the issues that need to be resolved, the content of the blog will be more visible in search engine results.

Ideally, all potentially reputation-tarnishing issues online could be resolved via direct communication with the person or organization that originally posted the comment. However, there are unfortunately a lot of people out there who are bitter and quick to jump at the opportunity to criticize.

If a problem can be solved through an apology or explanation, this is the best way to handle it. When you’ve exhausted all other avenues, however, the best way to increase your positive presence online is to create new, engaging content.


Berline, Amanda. “How To Protect Your Online Reputation” Accessed 10/17/11

Carracher, Jamie. “4 Ways to Protect the Reputation of Your Small Business Online” Mashable Accessed 10/17/11

Weinberg, Tamar. “Manage Your Online Reputation” lifehacker Accessed 10/17/11

Steve Jobs’s death provokes Internet scams

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Whenever tragedy strikes, Internet scammers are close on the trail with a new ruse to reel in the unsuspecting.

Fraudulent donation funds followed the natural disasters of the Haiti earthquake and the Japan tsunami. Amy Winehouse’s death in July prompted a slew of fake Facebook pop-ups. Most recently, Steve Jobs’s passing has given virtual conmen new fodder to work with.

Within just a few hours of the news breaking about Steve Jobs’ death last week, cyber criminals were hard at work littering the Internet with new scams. Facebook is a popular platform for such fraudulent activity, targeting users that are click-friendly and unwary of being duped.

One such Facebook scam involving the Apple co-founder announced the giving away of 1,000 iPads in commemoration of Steve Jobs. As with most scams on Facebook, users are asked to click on a link which then shares the post on their wall.

In order to be eligible for the iPad drawing, people on Facebook were redirected to an advertising site. Each time a visitor went to the site, the scammer’s earnings increased.

Another variation of the Steve Jobs scam asked users to complete an online survey before they could receive their free iPad or other Apple device. The survey required sensitive personal information, such as birth dates and even credit card numbers for shipping purposes.

The deceptive sites also infected computers with malware when users clicked the links. Some of these websites worked on commission, and with an increase in traffic, came an increase in revenue.

Most Internet scams work in the same fashion: They get people to click on links, share the post with others, and give away their sensitive information.

The Better Business Bureau put out a warning against the Steve Jobs Internet scam, and they urged people to be suspicious of any posts advertising free products and asking users to complete online surveys, especially those on Facebook.

Scammers often target Facebook users because of their click-happy and social nature. Facebook is considered to be somewhat of a community where friends share things. If a friend shares a link for free iPads, most assume that they can trust their judgment and sign up for the free stuff as well.

It’s unfortunate that evildoers out there prey on unsuspecting and trustworthy Internet users. To use someone’s death for monetary benefit is a disgraceful act, but it continues to happen each time a newsworthy event occurs.

Facebook has 800 million users, and in the eyes of scammers, they’re all potential prey and sources of income.

In order to steer clear of such situations, it’s important to follow a few key guidelines. Don’t ever give out credit card numbers or personal information, be wary of anything that looks suspicious, and above all, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.


Hart, Janet C. “BBB: Watch Out for Internet Scams Related to Steve Jobs’ Death” BBB Accessed 10/11/11

“Steve Jobs’ death spawns scams” Accessed 10/10/11

Microsoft Office 365

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011
Microsoft Word

Image via Wikipedia

On June 28, Microsoft publicly released its new cloud service, Microsoft Office 365.

Nerds everywhere were either excited for it or raging against it. I, on the other hand, didn’t really know what to think. Will its existence really affect my day-to-day life? Or is it just another passing fad and attempt to compete with Google?

After some research, I found out a little more about 365 and whether or not I should devote any of my time getting to know it better. Usually, when the rich dorks at Microsoft come out with something new, I tend to ignore it. I use Word and Excel; I have mastered pretty much all of the Microsoft Suite, and that’s all I really need to know.

All online publications making a big stink about 365 last week, as if it was going to drastically change our lives. I don’t know how much it will really affect me if I choose to implement it into my tech world, but it’s worth looking into.

Basically, it offers everything that MS Office does, but it’s all accessible via the cloud. The cloud is a somewhat new concept to me, so I will explain it to all you readers out there, as well. Not everybody is a computer geek, and therefore not everybody is up-to-date with the new jargon.

The cloud refers to all of the information that we used to store on our hard drives but now can save and access via the Internet. All of this data that we are so used to keeping on disks or hard drives is now accessible wherever we go, as long as we have a connection to the Internet.

It’s a pretty cool idea, but what gets me is the security factor. Say I have some really important files that may be confidential in some way. Do I really want that information floating around in the cloud?

When you check it out online, Microsoft boasts that their is totally safe and secure. But with hacking groups like LulzSec infiltrating government websites and big name corporations left and right, who can you really trust?

If someone were able to access my hundreds of pages of ranting blog material, it probably would not affect me horribly. But what if I had top-secret documents? I would most likely not store them on 365.

The other key issue that comes to my mind when considering the relevance of 365 is reliability. Have you ever tried to compose an email on Gmail and it’s slow? It’s super annoying, right?

What if the Internet is down? What if somebody bombs the World Wide Web? All my important documents and raving blogs will be obliterated. And then you, my readers, will never get to hear what I have to share about the next supposed technological revolution.

In conclusion, 365 seems cool, but for right now, I’ll stick to trusty old Microsoft Word, household phones, and those printers that take the paper that’s all connected in along sheet with the holes on the side to feed it through.