Featuring Old Clayburn’s CEO, Willis Turner, CAE
On July 2nd, 2011 I encountered my first (known) online identity theft. Someone successfully hacked into my Facebook account using a Mountainview, CA IP address and proceeded to impersonate me using my Facebook messaging and posting to Facebook friend's walls. They also setup a fake Yahoo email account using my name in the email address and solicited Facebook friends whose email addresses were available from their Facebook profile.
The solicitation emails claimed that I was injured in a car accident while attending a conference on climate change in London, my cell phone was lost in the accident and I needed money for hospital bills and airfare to return home.
Fortunately no one that I know of fell for the scam, however one person did engage in a conversation using Facebook messaging in an approach towards responding out of concern for me. Some Facebook friends saw it immediately for what it was and responded very firmly telling the hacker to get lost, knowing that I would never send an email solicitation like that.
Facebook security locked my account within 1 hour of the occurrence and required that I use their security system to verify my ownership of the account before I could get control back.
Here are 7 lessons I learned that you might find helpful:
- If this ever happens to you, immediately change the password to any email account that you have associated with your Facebook account. Hackers usually gain access to your email first and then move on to your Facebook account.
- Verify that your forwarding rules have not been changed in your email account. Hackers who gain control often change the forwarding rules so that they can access your incoming emails.
- Setup and adhere to a regular schedule for changing your on-line passwords.
- Use alphanumeric passwords whenever possible.
- Use different passwords for email accounts and social networking sites.
- Be wary of 3rd party applications that connect to your Facebook or other social networking accounts in order to share information on your wall. Some of these applications may in fact disclose your password to cyber criminals.
- Hide your email address(es) on your Facebook information tab. Hackers who gain entry to your Facebook Friend's accounts will be able to harvest your email address to use in their cyber criminal efforts.
I have personally heard from more than one person who lost the access to some of their social media accounts and profiles because they only associated a company email address with their account. Not a great idea if you lose your job or leave the company. Your employer owns your email account and usually deletes it when you leave.
For example, if your company email address is the primary and only email address associated with your LinkedIn profile, you stand to lose your profile access and all of your network contacts. Here is a tip right from the LinkedIn site:
You can change, add or remove email addresses on your LinkedIn account from the Settings page. We strongly recommend that you have more than one email address on your account. This will allow you to sign in to your account if you lose access to your primary email address. Your primary email address is where you want LinkedIn communications to be sent.
To see your current email settings:
- Move your cursor over your name in the top right of your home page and then click Settings.
- Go to the Personal Information section and click Email Addresses.
It is clear that the recent revolutionary activity in the Middle East can be attributed in part to the role that social media has played in creating communication channels for citizens to express their malcontent and to rally others around a cause. Some are even calling it a digital revolution, while in China, the term "Jasmine Revolution" has been blocked on the country's Internet and even the seemingly business minded LinkedIn has been banned because the group function can be used to spread information about a cause.
There is one key ingredient that takes a revolution to the streets, and that is passion for the cause. If people believe strongly in the cause, they will even take risks to their own life in order to see the fruit of their passion. So, thanks in part to social media, dictators have been put on notice.
So, let's examine the parallel between the dictator powered regimes and the association world. Organizations who do not operate transparently are in danger of being overruled by individuals who care deeply about the organization's cause. Even a hint or perception of a tight network of "cronies" running an organization behind a veil of secrecy is cause for a revolution.
While social media has the potential of doing great things, perhaps one of the greatest benefits is the pressure that it puts on organizations to operate transparently. Your organization and its leaders may not have any intention of wrong doing, but may be overcome by just the perception. Now is not the time to "block out" the network. Rather it is time to listen in and hear what your caring community is talking about.
Erik Qualman, the creator of the original viral video, "Social Media Revolution", has done it again with his latest video, "Social Media Revolution 2".
The need for the video to be revised just 10 months after its original debut is an example of the speed at which social media is developing, growing, and improving constantly.
So how are YOU using this explosive tool to reach your association market?
I've been using Gist for a few months now and I'm really getting to the point where I find the information that it provides invaluable. If you haven't used Gist, you may want to check it out, and I'm providing you with a brief video overview which may help you understand the program more effectively than I can put in words.
What I like about the program is that it creates a side-bar for MS Outlook and also plugs into gmail. It provides you with a real time synopsis of how you are connected with the individual and if they are using social media, it provides you with their latest updates. If I get an inbound email from an individual, the latest information about that contact is immediately displayed in the side-bar. Your website account allows you to add details to your imported contacts and create annotations, groups and more.
I can really impress someone who is on the phone when I call up that information with a simple click. It is also displayed when I start typing an email address in a new mail message. How cool is that?
And of course, there is an app for that. Gist has just announced a new i-phone app that you can use to help develop your memory when it comes to names and faces. It will randomly call up the faces of your contacts (pulled from their social media sites) and quiz you to see if you can match the face with a name.
I recently gave a presentation on Social Media entitled "Rowing Harder with a Little Help from your Social Network", relating the fact that in today's economy we need a network to help ease the pain of working harder. This was presented at the National Society of Professional Engineers Conference to the SSEC group in St. Louis, MO, July 2009. A few have asked me to share the presentation slides, so here they are.
LinkedIn has a beta feature called "Company Profile". This facilitates building out a company profile with some similarity to a personal profile. If you find a company or organization name on LinkedIn, even your own, that doesn't have an official profile it may already be hyperlinked to a page that is somewhat pre-populated based on the personal profiles of that company's employees.
Only company employees with an email address at the company domain can complete the profile. I brought this to the attention of one of my association clients and prompted them to complete their profile. After all, it is complimentary and undoubtedly a good community building strategy. Not having a presence probably says more about an organization than having one.
The response I got was quite interesting, similar to my last post about opening a Twitter account, but not the same organization. Here is the response, verbatim but with names removed  to protect the innocent:
First I think [legal counsel] needs to have a chat with some
of our younger (translate: younger than any of us) [members] to make certain we really
understand the issues so that we don't open [association] to liability or worse, end up
weakening our intellectual properties. [They] may come back to sound the "all clear" but I have a
suspicion there's more to it than first meets the eye.
So it is not surprising that I couldn't find this person on LinkedIn.
I recently asked a very well respected thought leader in the CRM space if they had a Twitter account, as I wanted to follow them. At first blush I found their response quite astonishing: "No, we don't have a Twitter account, but we're looking at setting one up in the next quarter." Well guess what, your preferred Twitter handle could be taken in the 30 seconds it took you to tell me that!
I wholeheartedly support developing a strategic approach to social media while at the same time I would admonish those whose speed to adopt could be considered Jurassic. What I'm really hearing is "No, I don't really have a social media strategy and I'm struggling to get it all figured out." That I have empathy for. Social media tools are coming at us with blazing speed and it is already hard enough to manage all of the messages coming through email and RSS channels without monitoring keywords on Twitter, being friendly on Facebook and nurturing our network and groups on LinkedIn.
Gotta run, I just got poked!
I've been watching the changes in the way individuals and companies have become less reluctant to share and publish content in the public domain. While there is a growing trend to publish content, there are still some people who are hanging onto their corporate firewalls for dear life with the great fear that someone is going to get their "stuff" for free.
I recently experienced this as I was producing SMEI's Social Media Road Show. We invited all of the thought leaders presenting to share their PowerPoint presentations on Slideshare. The Slideshare site offers free hosting of files and is especially good at converting your PowerPoint into a flash file that you can embed as a presentation on your website. In today's social media sharing world, getting your content into the conversation is as easy as that.
Most of the presenters were quite willing to share their material. Some even have there own Slideshare accounts and provided us with access. One presenter in particular responded "For proprietary reasons we don’t publish our presentations or hand out copies during the presentation. We typically are on the cutting edge of Internet marketing, advertising, and public relations technologies and don’t want competitors to gain easy access to what we’re doing and how we’re doing it." While I may have bought that argument a few years ago, trends and ROI on content publishing indicate that things have changed and that if a company is truly on the cutting edge today, they are going to be publishing a lot of content. Maybe not their trade secrets, but there are compelling reasons why they may want to rethink their strategy.
For example and education, I'll share one of the presentations here by Paul Dunay: