Meetup.com Find groups of people participating in activities. Group-Centric
Flickr Entire community based around one activity (photography) User-Centric
Benefits (Summary) Stay in touch with people you know Find others with similar interests Share your life with your friends Share your interests with the world
Social Network Dangers There is no real security on the Internet Internet is World-Wide, laws are not What is secure today, can be hacked tomorrow. People who are your friends today, might not be tomorrow.
We Endanger Ourselves US Government study showed the following; A belief the Internet provides anonymity Lack of physical proximity provides false sense of security Information tailored for friends, forgetting who all might see it Attempts to impress others
No Anonymity There are certain points that all traffic must pass through, where it can be tracked. Your local connection Your ISP The remote ISP The remote site
Transparent Internet The Internet was not designed for security Encryption is a modern addition to the Internet Most sites do not use encryption Even if your traffic is encrypted, I can still tell who you are, and who you are talking to. I just cannot see what you are saying.
FireSheep Many sites use encryption to protect your login, but then do not encrypt the traffic after that. A cookie is used like an ID card, so that you do not have to keep sending your login. That cookie can be copied, and your account hacked.
Physical Presence Talking big when the threat is away. The Internet gives the feeling of being away from everyone, but really makes them closer than ever. We feel safe in our homes, but the Internet brings the outside world into our homes.
Faith the Web Can Keep Secrets User-centric Web sites offer controls to protect our data. We select who can see it. The bigger the site, the bigger the target for hacking. Each one of your friends could be tricked into revealing their login, and then a hacker can know what they know.
Instant Bullhorn Never has it been so easy to say something at a moment of stress, to the whole world, that you immediately regret. Be careful what you say in an attempt to impress someone, or in response to something that upset you. It will be on record forever.
No 'Undo' Button Once something is on the Internet, there may be no taking it back. You can go back to the site and delete what you wrote, but you cannot be sure it has not already been archived somewhere, or that someone else has not saved a copy for their own records. Post nothing you would not want to see on a billboard along the Interstate.
Mistakes We Make Over-sharing Activities Mixing Personal and Professional 'Tweet' Rage Connection Competition Password Sloth Trigger Finger Endangering Others
Over-sharing Activities The more someone knows about you, the better they are at convincing you or your friends that they know you. Do you want everyone to know where you are all the time? Do you want to want everyone to know when you will be away from the house for extended periods (Vacation)?
Personal and Professional Sitting at the computer at home can lead you to being less formal. Be aware of posting to professional sites when in this mindset. Many employers will search the social networks to find out about potential employees.
Tweet Rage (Flame War) It is so easy to fire off a quick and witty response to someone who has just upset you. This generally invites a response. This process can quickly get out of hand. Use caution when your emotions are running hot.
Connection Competition It is natural to get pulled into competitions The more connections you have, the more people who can read the stuff you post. This may in many cases include not just your direct connections, but their friends as well Makes it easy for scammers to get into your network
Passwords The best password is the one you cannot remember. :-) Avoid 'dictionary' words Use a two-part password Short random combination with a letter, number, and symbol, plus another easy pattern (song lyric, etc)
Passwords (Continued) Do not use the same password at more than one site. Otherwise, if any site is hacked, then the hacker has the password to ALL of your sites. Change passwords regularly at sensitive sites. Secret Question / Answer is a password bypass.
A Danger to Others Be careful what you share. Not only about yourself, but also about your family and friends. Even if I am not a member of Facebook, my friends could be posting pictures of me.
Be Careful What You Share Avoid posting enough information to make you specifically identifiable My Name - OK My City - OK My Name AND City - NOT OK The more I know, the easier I can scam you, your friends, or businesses (Utilities, Cable, Stores, Banks, etc..)
Summary Social Network sites can be very useful, and a lot of fun. The Internet is a dangerous, lawless place. Use it wisely. Be careful who you invite to see your information Be careful what you put out into the world
Thank You! Thank you for coming! Questions? Brian Oswald Headgeek@anykeymail.com