How Not to Use Social Networking

Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and countless iPhone/Android/Palm/WinMo apps. All of them allow you to post things like where you live, what your hometown is, who your relatives are, etc. Many people don’t realize how much a security risk this really is. Many password reset questions ask for Mother’s Maiden Name. If you happened to list your mom as a relative to you on Facebook, guess what… well, I’m sure you know the rest.

You may have also seen status updates and Tweets about going out and about. There are also mobile device apps that will track and report your location. Well, one web site has capitalized on PUBLIC INFORMATION that has been placed on the internet for all to see, and has organized it.

The website? A pretty appropriate name: Check it out.

Remember, if you are going to use social media, just be careful as to what you put out there. If you are using a mobile device, pay close attention to the privacy settings. It does not behoove oneself to share everything.

A Personal Story, A Day in the Life of Me

I was at a client site today to investigate why a certain gentleman’s PC Card wasn’t working correctly. I have never met the guy before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. As I walked in, I saw this guy who pretty much reminded me of a mix between Grizzly Adams and ZZ Top. He had long grey hair and an equally long and grey beard. He was looking quite dashing in his flannel shirt, Cabela’s vest, blue jeans, and untied boots. I introduced myself to him and we began to look at his issue.

I first tried to release the card from the slot with the button. After several attempts, this did not prove to be working. I then tried to get a hold of it with my fingertips, but couldn’t grasp the card. I told the gentleman that I might have to take the laptop apart to get it out. He then informed me that “that’s not necessary!” and pulled out his trusty pocket knife. At this point, I knew what was about to happen, but like watching a car wreck, I just stood in amazement. He put the pocket knife between the case of the laptop and the edge of the card and pried at it until it came out. It was at this point that I realized numerous marks where he had done this before.

After inspecting the card, it was clear that it was not made to go in that slot. I explained this to him and he seemed fine with that. The odd thing was, he seemed to think that prying into his laptop case was a completely normal way to handle the situation.

I have heard stories like this before about users. You know, the one’s about someone using a CD tray as a cup holder, but I never really thought they were based on any fact, just something a geek made up for a good story. Now I wholeheartedly believe it.