“Privacy snafus are to social networks as violence is to football. The whole point of social networks is to share stuff about people that’s interesting, just as the whole point of football is to upend the guy with the ball. Every so often, someone gets paralyzed, which prompts us to add padding to the helmets or set new rules about tackling. Then we move on.”
— Nicholas Thompson
I worry a lot about privacy. Partly because people’s behaviour toward personal privacy is a great barometer for their attitudes about information security generally. In a business context, this is incredibly important. Not just for the superficial reasons – like over-sharing –that the HR department cares about … “Did you see Tom from accounting on Facebook? Those photos of him in the red light district are disturbing.” Read more…
Have you had a call from a Super Computer Technician about the virus on your home PC?
We had a pretty good laugh at the lunch table last week about the companies that are calling home computer users telling them that their home computer has viruses or is running without important security updates. Everyone knows someone that this has happened to. My wife had this a few weeks back and walked me through the call. She knows me well so she played along with the call taking notes on their pitch. Even though she professed to work at an elite IT company that focuses on security, they said they were far better and there was no way anyone at our company knew what they knew. They insisted our home computer had issues. She then asked which computer (we have several). He said that’s not important – and repeated that we had issues. She asked for the computer name – he must know the name, right? – he again said that it wasn’t important – that our computers, data, and credit cards were at risk and we must quickly sign up for a program that would resolve all our computer problems. She then said she was going to conference in her computer security expert and the gentleman hung up.
Some of the other stories spoke of these Super Tech’s having a message on their screen regarding the issues with home computers or even people being told ‘I am looking at your computer screen right now and you have issues!’.
All great scare tactics and at the lunch table we found it quite funny…
BUT – then these super techs crossed a line – this weekend they called my Mother! Now, thankfully, my Mom has been schooled – over and over about the pop ups that warn of viruses and promises to speed up her computer….she knows they are BS….so she too successfully dodged the super tech’s assault. I high fived her and explained how her judgement was sound and why (she was so proud!)….but it made me concerned for all the people out there that would bite on these attacks….make sure you pass the word that these calls are happening and are a scam – even though you might know they are – about 1/5th of people will bite…see link:
Things to come?
What is the value of information? What about the value of personal information? For advertisers, there is nothing more valuable … and they are willing to pay great sums for it. The more they know about you, the easier it is to persuade you to buy whatever they are selling. On the one hand, the more others know about me, the better they can tailor their offerings to my particular wants and desires … which is great for me as a consumer. On the other hand, I don’t want people snooping, prying, or baiting me for my personal information. How do we keep a healthy balance in this age of information and immediate gratification? I don’t pretend to have the answers … But I have a good idea about what the future might hold for us.