Tag Archive

Tag Archives for " Facebook "

Staying safe and minimizing risk while using social media

Do your friends make questionable decisions on social media? Yes, because many of our friends actually help scammers share their message, many because they are not well-informed. But just in case you’re in any doubt about how important it is to proceed with caution on social media, consider these three factors:

  1. The web is a dangerous place: The security company Sucuri scanned about 10 million websites and found 26% of them were compromised (hosting malicious injections or otherwise blacklisted).
  2. People are sharing more personal data than ever: That’s not just a hunch, that was the finding of a seven-year study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University: Silent Listeners: The Evolution of Privacy and Disclosure on Facebook.
  3. Consumers are not the only victims: Criminals conducting cyber attacks against companies are finding social media a great resource (there are several social media attack scenarios in the recently published Trustwave 2013 Global Security Report).

Continue Reading

Facebook: False Rumors Spread About Cartoon Characters

There are a number of rumors spreading about the purpose of the new cartoon character meme on Facebook, including rumors that the trend was started by a “group of pedophiles” which used the technique to “get children to accept their friend requests faster”. This rumor and others are false.

We also received emails this morning that the new meme was in support of “violence against children”. None of these rumors are true. In November the cartoon character meme began spreading around Facebook and there was no knowledge of the source. While Cartoon Network jumped on board and began promoting the activity via their Facebook page, it isn’t quite sure that they are the original source. Since then, a number of organizations have tried to take advantage of the meme and suggest users switch their profile pic.

The most recent organization was the “Campaign to end violence against children“, although it’s not confirmed that any official organization created this page. In the meantime, the following status update has been spreading around Facebook:

ATTENTION! JUST HEARD THIS on 60MINUTES: if you have a cartoon character set as your default, please romove it. This “support to stop Child Abuse” is a scam. The idea was started by a group of pedophiles to get children to accept their friend requests faster. It was just on TV and will be on the news tonight! Please post this as your status to spread the word and warn others!

The bottom line is that the rumors are false, however that isn’t stopping thousands of users from spreading false information about the cartoon character facebook meme.

Adapted via All FaceBoook

  • 12/06/2010
  • OS

Guard yourself from Firesheep and Wi-Fi snooping

The abundance of free/cheap and open Wi-Fi networks in restaurants, airports, offices and hotels is a great perk to the traveling user; it makes connectivity and remote access much easier than it used to be. But you need to be informed and understand the risks.

Unfortunately, most of those “Open” networks don’t employ WEP or WPA passwords to secure the connection between device and hotspot, every byte and packet that’s transmitted back and forth is visible to all the computers on the wireless LAN, all the time. While certain sites and services use full-time browser encryption (the ones that have URLs beginning with https:// and that show a lock in the browser status bar), many only encrypt the login session to hide your username and password from prying eyes. This, as it turns out, is the digital equivalent of locking the door but leaving the windows wide open.

Firesheep is a Firefox extension which makes it trivially easy to impersonate someone to the websites they log in to while on the same open Wi-Fi network. It kicks in when you login to a website (usually in a secure fashion, via HTTPS) and then the site redirects you to a non-secured page after login. Most sites that operate this way will save your login information in a browser cookie, which can be ‘sniffed’ by someone on the same network segment; that’s what Firesheep does automatically. With the cookie in hand, it’s simple to present it to the remote site and proceed to do bad things with the logged-in account. Bad things could range from sending fake Twitter or Facebook messages all the way up to, potentially, buying things on ecommerce sites.

The solution

USE SSL/HTTPS only if the website supports it — is quite simple: after you connect, the site should keep your session secure using SSL or https. Some sites, including most banking sites, already do this. However, encryption requires more overhead and more server muscle, so many sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) only use it for the actual login. Gmail has an option to require https and has made it the default setting, but you should make sure that it’s enabled if you use Gmail (Google Apps has a similar feature). This also doesn’t necessarily help if you’re using an embedded browser in an iPhone or iPad app, where the URL is hard-coded.

Protecting yourself from Firesheep if you use Firefox or Chrome is possible with extensions like the EFF’s HTTPS Everywhere, Secure Sites or Force-TLS. These work by forcing a redirect to the secure version of a site, if it exists. The obvious problems with these solutions are: a) you have to install one for each browser (and we have not yet found one for Safari), and b) it only works if a secure version of the site exists.

Even better.

A) Don’t use open networks.
B) Use a SOCKS proxy and SSH tunnel.
C) Use a VPN.

adapted via tuaw.com

  • 10/26/2010
  • IT

Top 10 Facebook Fixes

Facebook may be the de facto social network of, frankly, almost everyone, but that doesn’t mean you have to use Facebook exactly the way its creators, or your Farmville-addicted friends, want you to. Here are 10 tweaks to make Facebook better.

10. Access Facebook Chat Through Your Preferred Client
Feel free to set that little box in the lower-right hand corner of the Facebook page, the chat box, to “Go Offline.” If you really want to have even more up-to-the-second chats with your Facebook contacts, you can do so through your own favorite client: Pidgin, Adium, iChat, Trillian, Digsby, whatever you’d like.

9. Back Up Your Account with SocialSafe
There’s a whole lot of data, and photos, in your Facebook account, and getting them all out is no small feat. SocialSafe, which costs just $3, lets you save all your photos, friends, photo albums, and even friends’ photos that you’re tagged in, along with your status updates. It doesn’t grab everything in and around your account, but enough to liberate you from feeling chained to the service.

8. Have a Plan for Your Account After Death
It could be more than a little awkward for friends, distant relatives, and others to leave you messages on your Facebook account, then find out you passed away. Even more awkward for those around you when people go digging through your account, or when your account can’t be deactivated. All pause for thought, and a motivator to set up a post-mortem plan for Facebook. There are services that offer professional account-after-death services, like Entrustet and Legacy Locker, but really, just thinking through a system where somebody you trust has the keys to your account and instructions on what you want done with it. Officially, Facebook offers a “memorialized” account for relatives that can prove their loved one is deceased, but won’t hand over the keys to anyone on their own part.

7. Prevent Sites from Auto-Customizing Content with Your Facebook Login
You can turn off Facebook’s “Instant Personalization” service in your settings, but the reality of your Facebook login status following around the web, and occasionally allowing less scrupulous sites to glom on, is still there. Shut down access to your Facebook credentials from anyone except Facebook using Adblock Plus and custom filters.

6. Filter and Compress Your Activity Alerts
If you let Facebook dictate how it emails you about status updates, replies, “Likes,” and other changes, it will overwhelm you. If you leave it to yourself to check, you can just as easily overwhelm your willpower to avoid distraction. Compress all your Facebook notifications into one or two emails per day with NutshellMail, a social media aggregator that we recommended for filtering and managing your online social life and never missing important events—that last one set up so that event invitations come through right away, but friends tagging you in old college photos waits for your end-of-day web checks.

5. Find Out When Anyone Else Logs into Your Account
Maybe you left yourself signed in at a friend’s house. Perhaps you found out too late that you should have given your old cellphone a better wiping clean. However it is that you’re concerned about other people getting access to your account, you can wipe the slate clean and pin it down from your Facebook settings. As the Trouble Fixers blog explains, there are settings to get email or SMS notices whenever your account is accessed from a “new” device, be it a browser, phone, or other gizmo, once you wipe the slate clean and register your computers and phones as authorized.

4. Get Back the Basic Privacy You Signed Up For
If you’d wanted everything you posted to be public, you’d use Twitter. If you wanted all your co-workers to see it, you’d send it over email. You signed up for Facebook to give a select group of friends access to the more private side of your life and thoughts, and you can get back to that kind of small-circle feeling. We’ve previously posted guides to Facebook’s simpler privacy controls, as well as getting back to what you first signed up for. Even with Facebook’s latest round of comprehension improvements, it’s still worth looking at what you might not know you’re sharing.

3. “Quit” Facebook While Still Staying in Touch
Facebook can be more trouble than it’s worth, especially for those who have anything approaching privacy concerns. Still, it’s becoming the world’s phonebook replacement, and some people still want to get messages and sign in for events when necessary. So go ahead and quit Facebook without actually quitting Facebook, by wiping out one account and building another with very limited access to prying eyes.

2. Strip Out Annoying Facebook “Games,” Quizzes, and Other Cruft
Sure, you can click on every single one of your friends’ indulgences to hide them, but there will always be another questionnaire, turn-based addiction machine, or other viral thing right around the corner. Wipe them all clean from your account with F.B. Purity (technically “Fluff Busting Purity”), a user script that installs on nearly every major browser and cleans away all those status updates you never want to see again.

1. Stop Your Friends from Revealing Your Location
Facebook’s new Places feature? Yeah, it’s a lot like Foursquare, Gowalla, and other I’m-here-right-now apps. The big difference is that your Facebook friends can, by default, check you in somewhere without your knowledge. To prevent letting everyone else publish your social calendar, you can disable Facebook Places, or just disable your friends’ ability to geo-tag you.

adapted via lifehacker.com

  • 09/03/2010
  • OS

How to Avoid Friend Spam on Facebook

With Facebook’s ever-growing popularity, it’s not surprising that fake accounts are after your online friendship. Here are some tips for detecting and avoiding friend spam.

Check Recent Activity
When you receive a friend request and you’re not sure if it’s real, check the person’s profile to see their recent activity. If they’ve added an inordinate amount of friends very recently, there’s a good chance they’re spam.

Do You Have Friends in Common?
One good thing Facebook does to help you out is let you know who else is friends with anybody else. If you don’t know who someone is but your friend approved the request, send them a message to find out before you add this person to your list. Perhaps your friends know them and can give you some background information, or maybe they just added him or her arbitrarily. Either way, it’s a quick means of finding out who might be at the other end of the request.

Be Wary of Suggested Friends
People You May Know is Facebook’s way of identifying some possibly worthwhile friends. While it’s been pretty accurate for me about half the time, the other half is filled with people that seem to have sprouted out of nowhere. Inevitably you’re going to have a friend who has a friend who’s really just spam. As a result, you’re going to get friend spam suggestions here and there. Be sure to check out people you don’t know before you add them.

Be Wary of Actual Friends
While a lot less common, spammers have actually taken data from real people and repurposed it in a fake account. When you receive a friend request from somebody you know, it takes about ten seconds to visit their page and see if anything looks a little off. If it does, send them a message first and make sure it’s really them. Chances are this isn’t going to be an issue you run into very often, if ever, but it’s always a good idea to check out friend requests before you approve them.

adapted via lifehacker.com

  • 09/02/2010
  • OS

Un-Hide Friends from your Facebook feed

If you have hidden a friend from you Facebook feed and want to see them again just follow the steps below.

  • On your home page, click the filter in the left-hand panel that says News Feed.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the News Feed, it may “automatically” expand, just continue to scroll.
  • Click the link that says “Edit Options”.
  • A box will appear labeled News Feed Settings.
  • In the column labeled “Hide” find the friend(s) you want to un-hide.
  • Click the X to the right of their name.
  • Click Save.
  • Your Done :^)
  • 08/26/2010
  • OS
1 2 3 5