Monthly Archives: August 2013

email privacy

NSA – The Ever Expanding American Privacy Nightmare

We’ve had  irrefutable proof  for a while now that the NSA collects and stores all of Verizon’s telephone call records. We now know, thanks to documents recently  declassified by President Obama that the government snooping extends to tens of thousands of emails and other online communications, dating all the way back to 2008, and against the will of the secret court that oversees the NSA’s data collection program. We know that they have built a network which monitors and records up to  75 percent of all web traffic. There are two things, though, that we don’t really know. We don’t know to what ends exactly the NSA is using all of the data it stores on us, though we can be pretty confident it isn’t to target ads at us, a la Google. We also don’t know exactly how much  Internet privacy  they intend to infringe upon and revoke from us for whatever exactly those (presumably nefarious, they are overseen by a secret court after all) ends are. Continue reading

social networks

How Can I Become More Aware of My Online Reputation?

No matter how large or small your company is, it’s clear that managing your company’s online reputation is more important than it’s ever been. Almost every company, from the local plumber, to the pizza shop that’s there when you don’t particularly feel up to cooking, to the mega-corporation that produces most of the electronics in your house, they all have a web presence, and that web presence for most companies is one of the largest and most important means of reaching out to prospective new customers. That presence, however, extends far beyond the scope of websites under company control. Many consumers turn to sites like [Yelp,] [Bing,] or more niched sites like Urbanspoon and TripAdvisor in search of reviews for the products they’re considering, and many still turn to forums and social networks they participate in looking for opinions before they make any purchase or commitment. These reviews are often considered to be more powerful than the conventional word-of-mouth spread of information, and staying aware of what is said about your business and knowing how to reach out to the online community are vital skills. Continue reading

computer hacking

Is Your Computer’s Camera Being Hijacked?

I’ve been thinking about how much more of my communication is done digitally lately. Long gone are the days of writing letters, reading the personals, and having to remember phone numbers. These things have moved aside to make room for emails, instant messaging, Craigslist, and my contacts list, with its seemingly infinite capacity to remember exactly how to reach everyone I’ve ever made eye contact with. I then got to thinking about how glad I am to be able to Skype my family, and all of the fun videos I’ve made with my son on photo-booth, pretending to be deep-sea diving or on a roller coaster. I remember growing up and watching The Jetsons, dreaming of the day live video calls were possible. Now they are, and they’re wonderful, but they all interact with the camera that’s spending most of the day right in front of my face. I had to stop and wonder how much Internet privacy that little camera affords me, and what would happen if that was compromised? Continue reading

reputation management

Post Crisis Management- An Online Reputation Guide

Managing your online reputation is an essential part of running a successful business. Consumers often turn to the Internet now as their primary source of information when trying a new product or service, before things like the phone book, and appearing trustworthy and worth a consumers time and business is absolutely paramount. On top of appearing on their radar at all, which can be challenging enough in and of itself, you must make a strong first impression to potential customers, because when they search for whatever service it is you provide, not only do you ideally pop out at them, but so does a laundry list of your competitors. When first impressions and your public reputation both matter as much as they do when marketing online, doing a little (or a lot of) reputation management is nothing but a wise practice. Continue reading