Common Sense

While it's not something I can say I have always possessed, Common Sense seems to be something that the world in general is bereft of.  You read the news and you see parking tickets being issued to people sat dead in their car, you see the the sun is out and people are moaning about the heat, and you see that no matter who is voted for in government, they always seem to mess things up.

But I digress.

Todays Common Sense moaning from Chez 0ddness is a different kind of common sense.  The sort that seems to have suddenly escaped a massive wedge of the population.

Many years ago, people started communicating by email, in chat rooms, over instant messenger, and as the web became more popular, more idiots came out and made life difficult.  Viruses crept out, and yet people didn't protect their systems, and wondered why their computer was dead.  Then it was spyware, and people didn't protect their systems, and wondered why there were a million popups on their screen.  Then it was the scammers out there, and people didn't learn to ignore the offer of free money, and wondered why they were thousands of pounds out of pocket.

I've always made a point of trying to help people when it crops up.  If you aren't protected, you'll end up either inconvenienced, or have a damaged/dead computer, or be out of pocket or worse.  I've always banged on about privacy, antivirus, antispyware, new browser and general online safety.

Then Facebook and the world of Social Media appeared, and it's like everyone took every drop of common sense they'd learned over the years and thought "Naaah stuff it" and plunged back into the pool they struggled to drag themselves from.

Facebook is still full of privacy holes and if you don't plug them yourself, you will get stung.  I'm sure you've heard of Identity Theft...  Think to some of the secret answers you have to fill in on a bank account...  First School, Mothers Maiden Name, Street Grew Up On...  This information is quite precious - but everyone happily shares it with everyone on Facebook.

Without even batting an eyelid.

There was a hacking convention in Las Vegas last week, Black Hat.  A lot of it made for very interesting reading, and using JUST someones name, they found everything about them, bank details and everything else, simply because he did not have his privacy settings on Facebook set to private.  Home & Work Address, Bank Details, Kids School, Partners details...

Guys, look.  If you've not set yourself to Private, then you - and a lot of your details - can be found through Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask - pretty much ANY search engine.  Then there's those that are set to Friends or Friends of Friends.  If one of your friends is set to public, some of your info is visible through their profile.

Which leads me to the newest nark of them all.  Remember a few years ago, those emails everyone sent - Company X will donate £y to Z Charity every time you forward this email.  I'm sure you've seen it.  The other - even MORE annoying - was the "Forward to ten people, and something will pop up on your desktop!"  No, it f$cking won't.  No company will track the email and make a donation, nothing will appear - all you've done is clogged the worlds email servers.

Facebook is doing it now.  Not directly, but idiot dickhead application writers.  This week, it's been "Like This story, and see the shocking hidden explicit thing in Toy Story 3!" which then asks you to publish it to your wall, and smear it all over yourself like chocolate goo.  There is NO HIDDEN THING in Toy Story 3.  You won't get anything appear, nothing will tell you a joke, all you will do is irritate the 200+ friends that are seeing it for the 200th time.

And here's the BEST BET.  By clicking Like you are adding yourself to the stupidly massive list of people that have clicked Like.  Which ANYONE ELSE can go through an see who has an open profile.  Not saying that is what they are doing, but as proved a fortnight ago by the guy that collected the information of 100 MILLION Facebook users, your data is easily accessible.

Clicking like does NOTHING funky, nor fancy, nor interesting.  It just shows you're actually more gullible than you think you really are.

Look at it this way.  You're in the pub with ten friends, and someone comes up to you and says "I can do something really funny, all you have to do is give me your name and addresses first..." you wouldn't do it, would you?  BUT here's the trick, because the ten of you are all friends, and five of you are more trusting, if one of those five more trusting (ie, open to all) gives the stranger their info, they are giving them YOUR info too...

Scared yet?

Remember, set your privacy settings to private, don't trust people you don't know, don't expect something for nothing, and think about it this way - the stuff you're sharing, would you share it with someone you didn't know in person.

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One Response to “Common Sense”

Anonymous said...

Does that mean i should 'unlike' your blog? Or am i safe? :D My FB is completely private! My pictures etc are for my friends and family not random snoopers! Maxine