Is your smartphone too clever?

Smart phones are amazing. 50 years ago who would have predicted that you could hold a device smaller than your hand that could:

  • Take pictures
  • Connect with your car
  • Listen to music
  • Send text messages (SMS)
  • Make a video call with someone on the other side of the world
  • Track your location
  • Surf the internet
  • Understand your voice commands
  • …and loads loads more

Notice anything that could be a security risk from the list above? Well if you listen to the news, you will probably have heard the bad PR iPhone have got themselves by discovering a glitch which showed everywhere their owners had been!

Is the iPhone Safe?Apple have denied that they have been tracking users, but if someone got hold of an iPhone they would be able to download a list of every place that that phones (and probably it’s user) had been to, via the use of GPS.

Do you think that all these flashy features come at a price? Is the security of our private information being exposed more and more in this modern-day ‘technology powered’ world?

The thing is, it isn’t just the iPhone – the iPad has also been tracking users locations!

If you want to find out more, check out this online Q and A page on Apples website.

Another privacy issue…

A few days later Sony announced that it was taking down its PlayStation Network service, due to hacking which affected 77 million gamers!

Sony say that that the data might have fallen into the hands of an “unauthorised person” following a hacking attack on its online service. This data it thought to include things like names, passwords, addresses, date of births and email addresses. Another reason why it’s very important not to use one password for everything.

If you think you might have been affected by this other breach in security, check out Sony’s blog post on the issue.

Your views

Are we too dependant on technology? Do we give away too much information (often sensitive) about ourselves? Do firms really need all this data from us, and do they need to take a greater responsibility in implementing more measures to keep our info safe?

How to be a great commenter

Do you read a lot on the internet? If you do, the chances are that you read in places where there is the ability to comment, be it on a blog (the most obvious place) or even a forum or website.

Why should you bother commenting?

If you have a website or blog yourself, then promoting this would be a good idea… But there are other reasons!

If you are an individual you may just wish to build your own personal reputation (or brand if you like) to make yourself more popular for social or employment, or other reasons.

Why I add comments

As an author of multiple blogs and sites, there is not much in the way of blogging that pleases an author more than a genuine (not spam – they are pesky!) comment. Bloggers describe this in many different ways, I like to say it gives bloggers a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

Funny comment - Someone on the internet is wrong!So I comment to make blog owners feel good – among other reasons. I also comment to promote my website and blogs.

But we are missing the big reason why I comment!

The main reason I comment is because I love to add my opinion. If I agree with someone, I will tell them. If not I will ask them why they feel/think like they do, and I will tell them how I think/feel on something. Debate is the fuel of the blogosphere!

How can you be a great commenter?

There are a few simple rules I follow to make sure that I am a great commenter

  1. Don’t always agree – so many people think that they are a great commenter if they agree with all the points raised and don’t challenge the author. Often authors like to be challenged, that’s why they write!
  2. Don’t just add a comment, interact with other commenters – I would guess that 99.9% of people just add their comment. Read and reply to others comments too. This helps to build a great commenting community – something highly promoted on this blog. I am quoted for saying once that ‘comments often are more valuable than the article itself!’ this is due to so many brilliant people adding great contributions improving the article, giving it support, etc.
  3. Don’t just go looking for a link or PR boost – take some time to carefully craft your comment.
  4. Don’t comment on everything you read – just make your contribution on articles that matter to you.
  5. Read the article! Far too many times, I have seen so many people on so many blogs who have read the title and then gone straight to comment. It doesn’t work, and often your comment will end up being deleted, or worse, your name put on a spam list.

Commenting tools and traps to look out for

KeywordLuv and CommentLuv are two fantastic commenting tools to look out for if you own a website or blog. They really help you promote your blog when commenting, by allowing you to use your keywords, and feature one of your latest articles.

One final thing to watch out for is nofollow blogs, AKA the greedy (I was going to use scum, but that’s a bit strong) people in the blogosphere. These are people who run blogs which do not give you dofollowed or as they are also known followed links. This means that the link to your blog doesn’t pass on any link juice to the contributor.

It’s simple, no readers or commenters, then there is no point in writing. Treat your readers with respect, and they will return the favour.

Our comments…

Being a community blog we are 100% dofollow, meaning that you can guarantee you are getting great quality dofollow comments, every time 🙂

Happy commenting!

Facebook is safe – isn’t it?

Hello, my name is Christopher Roberts. I am a trustworthy individual. I kindly request you to go to my websites contact page and send me a message which includes: your full name; your date of birth; a list of your best friends; your holiday snaps from last summer; your mobile number; what TV programs you like; where you work; and what you were doing on Tuesday morning.

Silly request, as nobody will do it (at least I hope they won’t) as I am asking for extremely sensitive, private information.

Let me put a different hat on.

Paul Bulcke here, chief exec of Nestlé. Same request as above, please send me your DOB, New Years party snaps, home address, a list of your favourite films etc.

Again, you probably wouldn’t do this, but stick with me, I am going somewhere…

Hi there, my name is Mark Zuckerberg and I am the founder of Facebook. What about now, what are you going to tell this massive multinational company? Everything?

Mark Zuckerberg founder of FacebookYes you can set your profile to private, but what does the company Facebook know about you? Pretty much everything – this obviously depends on what you tell it. Mobile phone numbers, holiday snaps, what you ate for dinner yesterday etc. are common things for people to tell Facebook and similar social networking sites, would you not agree?

This sort of data is used in targeting adverts on such sites, so that you are more likely to pay attention to them – is that not an exploitation of your rights?

Have you ever really though about what information you put into Facebook? Yes there are probably laws in most countries to stop Facebook disclosing any of your information, but what if it gets hacked? It’s happened before. Last Wednesdays breakfast may not be that useful, but your name, address and phone number could be very useful to help track you down or set up a bank account in your name.

Who says Facebook has to be hacked, if a rouge employee decides to steel half a million peoples emails, what can you do?

I urge you to seriously contemplate what you tell the internet, as you never know it may one day come back to haunt you.

So what do you think, am I extremely sceptical of social media, or do you believe that we give the internet far too much personal data?