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Social Media and Online Security

Enable Twitter Two-Factor Authentication Today

Howdy Partner! Ya'll may want to beef up your Twitter security with  2 step authentication.

Regular readers of this column will be familiar with my statements on the importance of using two-factor authentication for social media properties like Facebook. You also are likely familiar with the recent Burger King Twitter hack in February where I said that Twitter lacks two-factor authentication and advised some steps you can take to better protect your Twitter handle until two-factor authentication is available for Twitter. Today, I’m happy to write that Twitter has (finally) provided a Two-Factor Authentication mechanism. So today I’ll briefly advise you on what to do with this and help you understand some of the ramifications. …

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Protecting Your Good Name: What to Do When Your Email or Website are Flagged as “Dangerous”

Protecting Your Good Name: What to Do When Your Email or Website are Flagged as “Dangerous”

As a social media marketer, you know the importance of your company’s reputation. You spend a lot of time working to build up and maintain a good name through Twitter, Facebook and possibly your blog and website. You know that in the age of social media direct engagement is key to building customer trust and loyalty. But sometimes you may think you’re doing all the right things and still experience a hit to your reputation. Unexpectedly, you may get word from one of your customers or contacts that your latest email campaign is being flagged as potential spam or that …

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Social Media and Online Security: Whose Pictures Are They Anyway? (Part 2)

Social Media and Online Security: Whose Pictures Are They Anyway? (Part 2)

Back in February, I talked about the question of who “owns” the pictures and content you post on the Internet. I closed the article by saying from a technical point of view that once you post information to the Internet, you don’t “own” it like you own physical copies of your information. Because online information is intangible and the technology is built with sharing in mind, you don’t have the near-total control over online information that you do with physical information. I said though that you shouldn’t necessarily take this to mean you shouldn’t post anything. Good security is about …

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Social Media and Security: Have it Your Way – What the Burger King Twitter Hack Tells Us

Social Media and Security: Have it Your Way – What the Burger King Twitter Hack Tells Us

We interrupt this month’s planned part two of Social Media and Online Security: Whose Pictures Are They Anyway? to focus on a more immediate, newsworthy event: last week’s hijacking of the Burger King Twitter handle (we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled column next month). The Burger King Twitter hijacking isn’t the first instance of Twitter hijacking. But it is good to examine now because it’s part of a broader trend of sustained assaults on password protection mechanisms and account hijackings. In looking at this latest event I would argue it’s time for everyone to stop looking at two-factor authentication …

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Social Media and Online Security: Whose Pictures Are They Anyway?

Social Media and Online Security: Whose Pictures Are They Anyway?

Some of you may have followed the recent uproar over the Instagram Terms of Use (ToU) that went into effect on January 19, 2013. If you didn’t catch it, the short version is that in mid/late December, the social media photo sharing site Instagram announced a change to their terms of use (which is basically the contract between them and their users). Of particular concern was language that read to some like Instagram asserting ownership over the content and a right to use pictures that users uploaded for things like advertising. This led to an uproar of complaint that led …

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What You Need to Know About Facebook Graph Search

What You Need to Know About Facebook Graph Search

Happy New Year and welcome to 2013. From the standpoint of online security and privacy and social media, 2013 is getting off to a start by continuing what is an increasingly common tradition: a new Facebook “feature” that’s causing all sorts of privacy worries. As we start of the new year with this new feature coming out, let’s take some time to understand what this new feature is and what you need to be aware of as a social media marketer. The latest feature is what Facebook is calling “Graph Search”. While we’re all familiar with web searches through Google, …

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Three Big Lessons from Social Media and Online Security in 2012

Three Big Lessons from Social Media and Online Security in 2012

As 2012 draws to a close, it’s a good time to look back and take stock of what we’ve learned over the past year in terms of online security and social media. The past year has been an exciting one in social media and online security. Pinterest came on strong to turn social media on its head by introducing a new paradigm that sent social media marketers scrambling to capitalize on, competitors to learn and copy from and attackers to find new targets with. Attackers continued their quest to hijack social media accounts en masse to use them to send …

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How You Can Find Security in an Insecure Social World

Social Media and Online Security: Are your social media profiles and pages secure?

Last month I examined whether social media has dispensed with privacy.  Since influencers in the social spaces suggest that success in new media increasingly will be enhanced by your willingness to extend your personality into the Great Wide Open, privacy probably has been disrupted – as the social thought leaders are wont to say – forever. If there is a flip side to privacy, it’s security.  Even the casual participant in social streams has probably experienced Twitter accounts that have been hacked, which often then send Direct Message (DM) spam with colorful messages or alarming warnings coupled with links that …

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Brave New World: Understanding Security Risks Around Mobile Devices

Brave New World: Understanding Security Risks Around Mobile Devices

For this month’s Social Media and Online security column, we’re going to get a bit more techy and talk about hardware. Specifically, this month, I want to focus on the topic of security and devices. Or put another way: I want to cover some of the risks you face using something other than an old-fashioned PC or Mac. While this topic isn’t social media per se, security issues with the tools you use to access social media have a direct impact on the security of your social media channels and sites. And while we all have a pretty good idea …

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Halloween Social Media Security Risks: What You Should be Most Afraid of

The “oldest and strongest” risk to social media security and what you can about it.

The leaves starting to turn outside my office window and the small pumpkin on my desk tell me that we’re getting into one of my favorite times of the year: the Halloween season. Halloween is holiday that plays on fears. The American horror writer H.P. Lovecraft calls fear “the oldest and strongest emotion” and fear of the unknown “the oldest and strongest kind of fear”. Security ultimately is about eliminating fears by making unknown dangers (risks) known. Once we know about risks, we can take steps to address them. We transform them from nebulous fears of the unknown to problems …

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To Host or Not to Host: How Vulnerable Is My Blog to a Security Breach?

To Host or Not to Host: How Vulnerable Is My Blog to a Security Breach?

For this month’s column on Social Media and Online Security we’re taking a look at what is arguably the first and still most important form of social media: the blog. As a social media communications professional, I’ve always said that a blog forms a central anchor for your social media strategy. While other social media channels enable you to engage and interact with your customers directly, it serves as your true “channel”: your blog is where you can speak most directly and at length with your customers. From this point of view, it’s also a critical part of your public …

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Understanding Security and Privacy in Google+

Don't monkey around with your Google + security.

I don’t use Google+, why should I care? In my first column, I said that one challenge with social media from a security and privacy point of view is that “[i]t’s an axiom in security that you can only secure that which you can understand. It’s also the nature of new technology that it’s not known, certainly not to a level most security people are comfortable with.” Except maybe for Pinterest, these days this statement can best apply to Google+. It is been with us for just about one year now. While a year is a long-time in the social …

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What to Do about Passwords: 5 Tips for Password Management in a Social Media World

What to Do about Passwords: 5 Tips for Password Management in a Social Media World

In last month’s column, I talked about what to do if your social media channel is hijacked. In starting that column off, I mentioned the then-recent announcement that by LinkedIn that up to 6.5 million user account credentials were breached. Since then, we’ve seen announcements by a number of big social media sites of similar issues. Last.fm, Formspring, and and Yahoo have all had to announce that user passwords have been lost and have put users through the process of resetting those passwords. In general, the main impact of these events has been an increase in spam and a lot …

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Recovering from the Worst: What to Do When Your Social Media Channel is Hijacked

Recovering from the Worst: What to Do When Your Social Media Channel is Hijacked

By now we all know that LinkedIn recently disclosed that up to 6.5 million user account credentials were breached. LinkedIn has claimed that no accounts have been compromised as a result of this incident. LinkedIn is primarily a site that your employees use personally and so isn’t one that CIOs necessarily need to worry about. Nonetheless it’s forced a lot of people who don’t normally worry about online security incidents to think about what to do when it happens. For a social media marketer, there’s probably nothing worse than finding one day that you’ve lost control of your social media channel. …

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Are YOU the Weakest Link? Two Things to Do TODAY to Keep Control of Your Facebook Page.

Are YOU the Weakest Link? Two Things to Do TODAY to Keep Control of Your Facebook Page.

When it comes to social media presences for companies, Facebook is still the king. Even though upstart Pinterest is clearly giving Facebook a run for its money, the Facebook page is still the anchor for most companies’ social media strategy. Compared to other social media channels, Facebook is where the eyeballs are and that puts it at the center of the social media universe. For example, Coca-Cola’s Facebook page has 41,679,113 “Likes”, but their Twitter handle has 533,194 followers. Odds are good that your experience mirrors this. The great thing about this is that it makes it easy for social …

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To Pin Or Not To Pin: 5 Security Risks Businesses Should Understand Around Pinterest and What They Can Do About Them.

To Pin Or Not To Pin: 5 Security Risks Businesses Should Understand Around Pinterest and What They Can Do About Them.

There’s a lot of interest in Pinterest now. Not only is it is a new social media channel, its approach is fundamentally different from other social media channels. It has the “sharing” quality that makes Twitter and Facebook powerful. But its focus is visual first and foremost. From focusing primarily on sharing images to the “pinboard” layout, Pinterest is a truly visual social media channel. The revolutionary nature of Pinterest makes it exciting for Corporate marketing. There’s a real buzz and excitement to Pinterest and marketers are flocking to it to understand how they can leverage it for their industries. …

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Social Media meet Security. Security meet Social Media.

Social Media meet Security. Security meet Social Media.

Staring across the fence at each other Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. Cobra and mongoose. Corporate marketing and security. These are examples of age-old adversaries constantly locked in battle. These days, that battle between marketing and security is showing itself most readily in the area of social media. Smart corporate marketers have learned that social media isn’t a fad or a option: it’s a necessity. If you use social media, there’s no one in your organization (except maybe your legal group) who seems to have as different an outlook, purpose, approach and goals as your security group. You need to …

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