Phishing is the act of using a fake and malicious link to lure the user into giving away private account information to a hacker. Often the user doesn’t even need to send their password to the hacker, with a dangerous link in a tweet or email users can give up account passwords in just one click.
Basic phishing schemes are becoming more difficult for hackers as more websites add a two factor log in system. Gmail and Amazon both ofter the more secure system. As the two factor log in system becomes the industry norm, it is even more surprising that the social networking site Twitter continues to use the single password system. While industry sources are pointing in the direction of more complex security, twitter has yet to commit to changes in their current password system.
Twitter has been in the headlines recently for the large number of hacks a group calling themselves the Syrian Electronic Army has been committing on news agencies twitter accounts. One recent example was the group hacked the British newspaper The Telegraph. The hacked accounts were controlled through the Twitter website and proxy servers. The hacker then assumed the online identity of the twitter account holder and used the personal branding that they have cultivated against them. When the Syrian Electronic Army hacks a Twitter account often its agenda makes the hack immediately clear. Yet this is not always the case. When the AP News Twitter account was hacked and broadcasted false information about an attack at the White House, the Stock Market took a steep dive in what Forbes called “the priciest tweet in the world”. Twitter has become a mainstream media outlet and therefore hacking a well respected Twitter account can cause the same shock waves as legitimate breaking news.
Do the recent hacks cast Twitters credibility into question? Do you use social media as a news source? Why or why not?
Social media and reality television is a terrible combination for those who hope to fly under the radar. This is a lesson that the “stars” of the latest episode of “Kitchen Nightmares” have yet to learn. The show featured Arizona restaurant Amy’s Baking Company, the premise was that their failing restaurant would bring in celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay to critique and aide in its recovery. During the episode the owners yelled at customers and Ramsay alike refusing to take his advice. After the episode, users of the social networking site Reddit flocked to the restaurants’ Facebook page leaving negative comments. It’s no surprise that the internet can bite back and that ignoring trolls can be easier said than done. The owners of Amy’s Baking Company exacerbated the situation by sharing their frustration by behaving unprofessional in multiple posts on Facebook. On May 14th, the restaurants’ page went from 600 to 30,000 likes as the story went viral. The explosion of negative press steaming from their negative reactions over social media reached a much larger audience than the original episode of the show. The story has since been featured in Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, Forbes and many other news organizations.
Forbes has compiled a list of seven “lessons” from Amy’s social media disaster. These include telling the truth, not responding to every comment and learning when to walk away. Social media gives everyone the opportunity broadcast their thoughts and opinions to the world. The trick is organizing your online presence in a positive and productive manner. Amy’s Baking Company could have used its facebook to defend and rebuild brand identity. Instead they took the low road resulting in a public relations nightmare.
What would have suggested to Amy’s Baking Company to avoid this backlash? Is it ever better to hide out than defend your online persona?
The mobile app Snapchat continues its atmospheric rise in popularity. As of April, 150 million “snaps’ were sent daily. The majority of these snaps are little more than silly expressions, breakfast shots or fashion critiques. The success of Snapchat is built on the idea of sending trivial photo messages to friends without leaving a trace. Consequently the continued attempts by the tech community to reconstruct erased images are worrisome to more than those who have used Snapchat for sexting.
A forensic computing company in Utah has cracked the code on finding and reopening received snaps. The images remain saved in the phone and are saved with a .nomedia file name. This extension can be ignored using downloadable forensic tools and image can be reopened.
Currently Decipher Forensics can only discover snaps that have been sent to Android phones but they are working on developing a similar solution for IOS. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are created to share information with as many people as you have on your network. Snapchat markets it’s self on more personal one to one sharing. While your snaps certainly have more privacy than your status updates, this discovery proves once again that nothing on the internet is private and anytime you trust a third party with your information you risk losing control over it.
Shane Dingman wrote about this discovery in the Globe and Mail using language which was nothing less than hyperbolic. For example the scenario of “Snaps detailing a criminal conspiracy, and[then] that device fell into the hands of the police”, might not be the main user demographic of Snapchat. Nevertheless, Snapchat isn’t a fail proof system. So go ahead, keep sending those quirky up the nose shots but think twice before sending anything that could harm your digital identity.
Do you use Snapchat? Are you concerned about the privacy of your photos?
In a recent article, the Digital Tattoo Project reviewed the controversial topic of online privacy and how the concept continues to evolve with the advent of new technology and applications. However, social media isn’t the only source of privacy concerns for digital citizens today. Website tracking refers to the act of archiving existing website history and data, and then tracking changes to these visited websites over time. Different businesses apply this technique in various ways, such as tailoring specific information to potential customers. To learn more about website tracking, cookies, tailored advertisements, and what they mean for your online privacy, check out our latest addition to the “Think Before You Ink (TBYI)” series below!
Have you noticed advertisements being tailored to your previous searches? Where do you draw the line with what activity should be private? Do you feel comfortable having your activity tracked online?
Facebook wants you back. The worlds largest social network understands that it’s novelty is fading. Recent statistics show that the percentage of teens who rank Facebook as the number one most important social network has shrunk dramatically in the past year. The theories behind this are many. Are teens sick of using their parents social network, aka the new classmates.com or is the nature of public sharing becoming passe? A 2012 study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project revealed that teens are equally concerned about their online privacy on social networks as their parents. These results shouldn’t come as a shock for social networks such as Google or Facebook who have been losing user engagement to Snapchat, Vine and other start-ups. The new social networks are creating new ways to connect with your friends, not all 500 of them but a small social group of close friends. Remember them?
Video Credit: Verge.com
Facebook isn’t blind to this shift towards privacy and personal interactions. The company hopes to emphasize the platforms ability to broker private interactions. In the press video for Facebook’s new mobile platform Facebook Home, the developers talk about Facebook’s ability to create private groups and explain the importance of a constantly running private chat function. At one point a developer even name checks Shapchat, which is a clear message of whose path the company hopes to follow. The question is, will a shift toward private channels of communication keep the social network from becoming stagnant?
A recent article on Forbes.com calls the year 2013 the year privacy goes mainstream. Do you agree? Is 2013 the year of Google Glass, #watertown and reddit, also the year of protecting personal privacy?
Students commonly use Google image search to find images to use in their projects and presentations. They don’t believe they are infringing on copyright law as long as they don’t profit financially from the images use. This is not the case, as all images used need to be cited. As all uses of text must be cited, the same rules applies to copyrighted images.
When creators graciously share their work under a creative commons license it doesn’t give the user a free image to take and claim for their own. All CC work must be cited when it is shared or used in any fashion. Watch the embedded clip below which will guide you on how to find and then properly cite open access images.
In our video we here at Digital Tattoo discussed the implications of the new Facebook graph search. It appears that this was just the tip of the iceberg for Facebook’s new search functionality. Sources are reporting that Facebook is looking into the addition of hashtags. Hashtags (or pound signs for the rotary phone generation) have been used extensively on other social networking sites such as Tumblr, Instagram and of course, twitter.
The addition of hashtags would have large implications for Facebook’s privacy features. Insiders from TechCrunch think the hashtags will line up with graph search making status and comments easy to search. Clicking a hashtag could take the user straight to indexed graph search results. The next question is Facebook’s silver bullet, privacy. Would clicking on a hashtag pull up all statuses with that same hashtag, like Twitter, or would it be restricted to open profiles? Will clickable discovery help you browse from wall to wall or #will #it #bog #down #the #fb #experience?
We all know people who currently use hashtags on Facebook despite their lack of function. It appears they did understand Facebook all along, they were just a little ahead of the curve.
Do you use hashtags in your social networks? Would you use them if they were added to Facebook?
In a recent blog post, we discussed common personality types that exist across a variety of social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These personalities, as illustrated in MyLife’s Infographic, are derived from common online behaviour and poor social media etiquette among users.
Based on our diverse experiences in the realm of social media, the Digital Tattoo student team has compiled five top social media types for you to reflect upon and enjoy.
Do you recognize any of these common social media personalities? Do you judge others based on what they share online? What do your social media profiles say about you?
The New York Times recently published a piece on the new direct to Netflix hit, House of Cards. The political thriller stars Kevin Spacey and is directed by The Social Network’s David Fincher. The show has become a smash hit and is Netflix’s most streamed content in over forty countries. The key to the shows success is more than a top notch cast and crew, it’s the hints from the big data gathered by Netflix on its users watching habits.
Image courtesy of Netflix
Netflix tracks data on not only which programs you chose to watch but when you pause, rewind or quit watching a program halfway through. This information is compiled to create a perfect concoction of television. This creative use of data collection doesn’t stop there, Netflix targeted different users with different ads for “House of Cards” depending their entertainment choices. The New York Times writes that, “[f]ans of Mr. Spacey saw trailers featuring him, women watching “Thelma and Louise” saw trailers featuring the show’s female characters and serious film buffs saw trailers that reflected Mr. Fincher’s touch.” This next level of complete personalisation depends on the users agreement to share their personal likes and tastes with the search algorithm.
Advertisements geared toward individual users is nothing new. As any GMail user knows ads are targeted toward individual users search history. Netflix users might be unaware of how much data the company is collecting and this affects the users individual experience with the product. In February 2012 the U.S District court charged Netflix that it couldn’t legal hold on to its customers data for over a year. This is according to the Video Privacy Protection Act which was “signed into law in 1988 by then-President Ronald Reagan after a Washington, D.C. newspaper outed Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork’s Blockbuster rental history during his Congressional approval hearings.” The Toronto Star confirms that this ruling also applies to Canadian users.
What does this mean for your digital identity? While your personal viewing history won’t be shared outside of those who have access to your account. The interactions you have with a company like Netflix is molded to your tastes. As this customization becomes more integrated it becomes more important to have a positive digital identity as it changes not only how others see you but how you perceive others.
Do you notice more personalisation in your interactions with products? Do you think it is possible to build the “perfect product”?