Saturday, August 21, 2010

Facebook "Places" for iPhone could risk users

A new feature for the iPhone allows users to easily "check-in" their location through Facebook Places. Using the GPS on the mobile device, Facebook logs where you are when you check-in and even allows you to tag friends that are with you. As Facebook learns more locations, checking in while at friend's houses will intelligently connect your location to that friend. Currently only the iPhone will have this feature, but soon enough other smart phones with the Facebook app will catch up.

Seemingly, the decision to share your location is up to you, but considering Facebook's history I'm not sure I should trust that.. than again maybe they've learned. Of course, again in Facebook history the privacy of it's users is being brought into public scrutiny even though other websites such as Twitter already offer location features like this as received much less flak.

There has always been privacy concerns with the internet all the way back to simple bulletin board websites then chat rooms. The simple solution is to limit the information you put online and assume anything you do is available to more people than just who you gave it to. Although internet security has gotten better, more people are flaunting their personal information around the web then ever before giving scammers and identity thiefs a lot of incentive and material to work with.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Facebook has your information, and who else?

A few weeks ago, Facebook added an option to disallow websites from getting your private data. Although the option empowered the users, it stirred some controversy over your private information's security. Apparently people like publishing their information online and not having it public at the same time (Cake anyone?).

If you are one of those people worried about their privacy, here's a dosage of reality. Facebook application developers have ample information about you, the only thing they need is for you to add the app. According to the Facebook Application Programming Interface (API) documentation (, the following possibly sensitive information is shared: first name, last name, gender, email (though not direct), "about" blurb, birthday, work history, education, hometown, location, significant other, political & religious views, your profile picture, and who's on your friends list.
Even if you don't add every app that comes your way, your friends might. Via a friends profile, they can find out your name and possibly more.

    The photo albums this user has created. Requires the user_photos or friend_photos permission

This means that unless your friends block photo permissions to apps, it is still available to people out there.

Even more information (even the subject lines of your inbox) is available to the applications if your setting allow for it, but the good part is that you get to modify your privacy settings to keep some of your information private. Some people may be comfortable with sharing their information, but others may want to highly consider changing their privacy settings.!/settings/?tab=privacy

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

iPhone Browsing Security

iPhone jailbreak website,, uses a hole in the security to modify the iPhone firmware so that you can install themes and apps that Apple has not approved. Although most consider this security exploit handy for the jailbreak system, the implication is that other clever developers will be able to exploit the iPhone vulnerability to install spyware or other malicious firmware modifications. states on their website that they cannot jailbreak iPhones with firmware versions 4.0.2 and greater. As an iPhone owner, you must choose to update your phone past 4.0.1 and have the security benefits, or leave your phone vulnerable but take advantage of the jailbreak benefits.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Get Onto Social Networking

Almost every person in America has access to the internet, most of them use it regularly. The most visited websites are search engines and social networking sites. Internet users are sharing information and media around the world, sharing with their friends and distant acquaintances what they like and don't like. Your best strategy to get your website out there on the web and seen is to promote to thousands and even millions!

Facebook & Twitter
Make a Facebook and Twitter profile for your business, organization, or individual self. Start by adding your friends and asking them to suggest you to their friends for Facebook. This will get hopefully a basis of at least 50 people on your friends list. By posting helpful information about your market or interests on Facebook and Twitter, users will "share" and retweet your information. Always remember to plug your website wherever possible so that they know where the information is coming from. Back your information as articles or blog posts on your website so that the reader can get more information on the topic meanwhile discovering your website.

The New Style of Viruses

This is a quick lesson in some of the new threats going around.
I use the word "virus" loosely, much of it is actually general "malware" which includes spyware. Most of the new threats going around present themselves as being a anti-spyware program that has found some absurd amount of threats on your computer and they want you to purchase there software's full version in order to remove the threats. These programs are also called "Blackmail-Ware".
Here is a guide to what you should do if you get one:

  1. Identify that you have one of these new viruses. If anything but your installed anti-virus software pops up saying you have viruses. This includes "Windows Security Alert" telling you that you have infections.

  2. Unplug internet activity from your computer. This will prevent the virus from talking to it's buddies or pulling up porn sites.

  3. Turn off your computer. This will prevent the virus from spreading... they commonly do get worse as they sit around.

  4. Contact your nerd. You all have one, if not, than you don't realize who's not you are reading now!

  5. If you are your nerd, here's some tips

    • These new malware programs are good at keeping you from running programs to kill them, you'll need to run rKill (find through google) but only in early stages of the infection and it needs to be ran as soon as windows will let you run it (while startup programs are still initializing).

    • MalwareBytes is the toughest anti-walware you have in your free arsenal. The new viruses and spyware will try stopping you from running it though, that's where rKill comes in.

    • SuperAntiSpyware is also handy for some versions out there.

    • Tip: you won't be able to download these from the infected computer, so get them onto a flash drive.