Pleaserobme.com is a social media website "listing all those empty homes out there". The website aggregates all Twitter tweets which have location based information or information telling others that the user is not home. The website explains its purpose with this little explanation in their "Why" section:
"The danger is publicly telling people where you are. This is because it leaves one place you're definitely not… home. So here we are; on one end we're leaving lights on when we're going on a holiday, and on the other we're telling everybody on the internet we're not home."
Here are some recent feeds from the site; although I've protected them by leaving out the tweeter's information:
- @xxx I'm at http://4sq.com/9i…..
Have you noticed the #spon hashtag on Twitter? Has it confused you? The first time I saw it, I did a double take but as soon as I read the ad I was able to deduce that it was an ad and that the twitter user was doing his part in disclosing to the general public that it was an ad.
So what's a #spon hastag again? It's a tweet which is or has an advertisement.
This new hashtag was in response to nwe guidelines released by WOMMA, the word of Mouth Marketing Associaton in response to the Federal Trade Commission's call for bloggers to be more explicit in disclosing their endorsement of a product in exchange for compensation.
I searched on ""#spon" and found a lot of tweets now contain this new hashtag which goes to prove that new taxonomies and trends are easily adopted on social networks; well, especially on Twitter.
It's handy when you can shorten your urls when on Twitter, given that you only have 140 characters to work with, right? Well, the tool that becomes handy also leaves all of us more vulnerable to a cyber attack. That's because you can't tell where the shortened url is going to take you and so you can end up going to malicious sites or downloading malware that can infect your computer.
So what to do?
Well, one easy way is to use a twitter tool like Tweetdeck which offers you the option to preview shortened urls. When you enable that option, you can see the url's destinate page title as well as the entire url to determine if you want to visit that site or not.
You can also install a URL-preview plug-in that is offered by most browsers. When you use url shortening tools such as ExpandMyURL and LongURLPlease you can also enable plugins which can verify the safety of the full url.
I get a lot of DM's (direct messages) where someone or the other wants me to go to a certain site to view something. I rarely click on those urls in the first place. But when I do, I make sure that I know the person sending me the url, preview the url, and then only open the site. If someone posts a url link with a news item, rather than clicking on the link, I do a Google search on the news item and find my information that way.
We can never be too careful these days what with all the robots and cyber criminals that have invaded social networking sites. Taking simple precautions can go a long way in protecting your computer and your data so make the time to implement these simple safeguards today.
Online profiles offer a load of personal information to anyone who knows how to search online. Besides your profile on social networks, have you considered the information you are posting online?
Online users in their need to "connect" and "interact" are sharing so much information only that it's making them vulnerable to criminals. The Digital Criminal, published by a reformed burglar Michael Fraser, provides some very eye-opening statistics which I am sharing below:
- Approximately 38% of users publish their holiday plans on Twitter and Facebook. I used to be one of those 38% until last year.
- 33% of people have posted status updates telling everyone that they were away for the weekend.
- 17% of users can see other people's residential information on totally public profiles
Michael Fraser is correct when he calls social network statuses as "internet shopping for burglars". People are not only telling others that they are out but are also providing coordinates of where they are. Do we even realize what we are doing when we are baring all information for others to see.
Are you connecting with perfect strangers? Is your personal information easily viewable? Are you giving out details about vacation and travel plans readily?
So friends and colleagues, THINK whether you are giving out TMI meaning TOO MUCH INFORMATION.
Here are some other findings from the Digital Report – remember, a little is a lot on social networks!
- Younger people share more information with perfect strangers – parents beware
- 34% of study participants shared that they seen personal phone numbers on people's profiles
- People are sharing cell phone and home addresses with perfect strangers
- Men are more open with their information than women
Next time you tweet or update your Facebook or Buzz status, think whether the information can make you vulnerable to a criminal activity.
Every 2-3 minutes, over a 15-20 minute period, I kept trying to load Twitter and nothing would load. So I thought oh perhaps my internet connection is down. But no, everything else was working and all other sites were coming right up.
Then I went to google alerts to see if anything was reported on Twitter being down. Again, no news so I just ignore it. Then I asked a friend in India if Twitter was coming up for him and he said no. He dug around and found a "developing" story on Techcrunch.com about Twitter being hacked.
Techcrunch.com reported that Twitter was hacked and the following message was posted on it:
Iranian Cyber Army
THIS SITE HAS BEEN HACKED BY IRANIAN CYBER ARMY
U.S.A. Think They Controlling And Managing Internet By Their Access, But THey Don’t, We Control And Manage Internet By Our Power, So Do Not Try To Stimulation Iranian Peoples To….
NOW WHICH COUNTRY IN EMBARGO LIST? IRAN? USA?
WE PUSH THEM IN EMBARGO LIST
Hmmm……….Twitter hacked? Twitter, everyone's beloved, the favorite child of Social Media Marketers, the one that is in the limelight. That Twitter with it's big name geniuses can't protect itself from hackers?
Twitter's back online now and it's interesting reading all the tweets on what happened when the defacement message appeared on Twitter. All I can say is this is embarrassing!
Twitter is what I would call the "favorite child" in the social media world. Oh how it has just become the apple of the eye for social networkers! And as Twitter has grown its user base; it has also begun creating added value for its users. Twitter is now an important component of the online marketing strategy of major brands like Coca Cola, Dell, and Ford. Dell has even claimed that Twitter has generated millions of dollars in sales.
Twitter understands its own value too and is seriously focusing on growing it with partnerships around the social media landscape. Recently, Twitter announced a partnership with LinkedIN, one of the most respected business networking websites out there. Now you can link your twitter and Linkedin accounts; peep into your LinkedIN status updates and have your tweets sent to your LinkedIN connections.
This Twitter-Linkedin partnership can lead to enormous exposure for those tweeps who will focus on crafting their tweets in such a way that they would appeal to the very-business oriented LinkedIn users. I’ve yet to try the features out but I’m sure I’ll give it a TweeIN soon!