Social media is like guns in the hands of civilians in dysfunctional democracies. It feeds hatred,
hubris, mental illness, the naïveté of privileged spoiled brats/grown-ups addicted to superhero
culture and conspiracy theory, plus the pungent attitude of opinionated ignoramuses. The type
that hurl “fake news” at established media with journalistic integrity to uphold because they'd
I have a great African friend who reads this blog, that you can't find online. Fulfilled, married,
gainfully employed—with children, pets, and a great social life—when you google her, nothing
comes up. She's never needed Social Media. But some of us do. And yet with billions in global
revenue at stake, Social Networking is now all about algorithms designed to keep us hooked;
Spending, and seeking reinforcement through both hardware and software—as the addicted
are stupefied—businesses included. Quite unfortunate. Because, as Mitch Joel appreciates:
“Social Media, at its core is about making whatever you're doing as shareable and findable
as possible. That's what makes it social.” Except, all these amazing technologies and so-
called “rich experiences” have a high security, productivity, social, and mental health
price tag. Your data, privacy, and identity may not be a big deal to you. Like others,
you may have said: “Even if they get my data I'm not important enough. What are
they gonna do with it?” You may have heard of False Personation attacks. If not,
consider the trauma of waking up with falsified information about you or your
business floating in Google searches and around the Internet. Whether nude
terrorism. Malicious social hackers as below, only have to be lucky once.
Neglect your privacy (see below), and it's only a matter of time before
someone crazy, wicked or greedy gets lucky with your precious data.
Then game over. Your identity or reputation likely now irreparable.
Which is why Social Media Security is just as important as mobile
phone, gaming, App or Tech Addiction in general. Speaking of
which, a 2018 global study found that apart from, allegedly,
Chinese CEO Wang Jian, 259 others reportedly died trying
to capture the perfect shot or selfie, between 2011 and
2017. How far would you go to win 'imaginary Internet
points' in your quest to make “whatever you're doing
as shareable and findable as possible”? In Part 1 we
learned how Brain Hacking works, how algorithms
are conditioning billions of consumers. And yet,
conditioning via Social Engineering is rampant
to the point where one can't seriously speak
of Cyber, or Social Media Security without
factoring in multilayered threats to both
personal & business data. For example
Identity Theft isn't always traditional
financial fraud/scam-related. That
recruiter who wants you to be on
LinkedIn can't protect you from
account hacks or likely knows
what Account Security even
is. Identity Theft is among
the hardest cybercrimes
to protect against but
being tracked sucks
& leads to theft &
awful things. So
plug the holes
① Loneliness is the price of self-indulgence.
② Mental Illness; even suicide, the ultimate price.
③ Ignorance tells people social media is just for passing time.
Meanwhile, deep fakes will soon be terrorizing anyone. Not just women. Click or tap below.Technology never ceases to expose us to those out to exploit our vulnerabilities and digital footprint. And Tristan Harris is right about consumers being conditioned and enslaved by unregulated, highly addictive algorithms and persuasion architectures. And in many cases, parents are as guilty as unethical or overzealous businesses. Which is why whenever I'm asked how best to protect loved ones online, I say: Basic rule: Know what Doxxing is. The rest is as follows:You Don't Have To Be Online, Or On Social Media To Be Unsafe
Just knowing or coming into contact with bad, dumb, or careless folks is enough. And while the commentary on the above video of President Obama's daughter is equally dumb and stereotypically American, my advice to concerned good parents who find themselves in such situations is:
Immediately take steps to drastically and culturally change the child's environment. If the problem is Cyber Harassment or Bullying, begin here or talk to me (see below). However, given my upbringing and others I know, I cautiously maintain that while ideal, siblings don't always have to grow up together.
If a wayward kid is in America say, and being genuinely determined, you're willing to be creative, plus money isn't a problem, send them away to a school in a different State. Or if a little culture shock can help, why not Saudi Arabia or a carefully chosen African or Asian school for a few years. Then watch what happens to their penchant for smoking rings, elevated perspective, or idea of “normal” after a year or more. Because being safe online requires good judgment. And for some, less, rather than more exposure to addictive technologies and their associated baggage. Alternatively, you can continue hanging out with the same (family) friends who tell you “it's normal” teen behavior. But the fact is, I know families and people who implemented the above advice with excellent results.Zoom Out. It's Not All about Tech, Parents: How NOT To Use Social Media
In one Hong Kong home, a Filipino friend who previously worked in the Middle East recounted in vivid detail sitting together happily to eat. And the shock of watching her Hong Kong boss couple and their 2 kids staring down at mobile devices as meals get cold. In America meanwhile, a relative I helped failed because his own wife doesn't share his web addiction and security hygiene concerns and values. The good news is that in 2018, evidence of Facebook scandals and other data privacy breaches made even the naive data-aware. Deleting Facebook is peanuts. Click below to learn more via #iTHiNKLabs.It's easy to forget that there's thing called “libraries” — which you can creatively build at home — and web-enabled “public libraries” whose networks prohibit addictive socially corrosive content. Libraries where you'll find real people of all ages including mentally stronger folks (click image above) quietly engaging and building. Where kids and students are likely to meet high quality friends. And where with the right creative parenting and role modeling, you could actually reliably know how much time they spend there. Addiction to, or ignorance of trashy TV shows, trashy hashtags or memes, sensational (tabloid)/trending news, don't make loved safer in cyberspace.
It is the search for reinforcement online that makes us vulnerable. So, model your own house rules on internet safety and be sure your spouse is on board before trying the following 3, or you'll fail: First, be assertive. Let your money, actions and personal leadership set the culture. Watch this:
Do your kids really need an iPhone or the latest shiny Android phone when some parents I know insist on old “dumb” phones ONLY until the kids can earn those gadgets through gainful employment? Do they have tablet devices like iPads built for consumers, or every device your money gets them was built for creators, like a Surface Pro? What performance metrics are tied to their data, phone and other allowance? Do you know or discuss the content on their Social Media profiles, walls; timeline?
ISIS recruits and pedophiles aren't the only vile folks making cyberspace a bad neighborhood. No matter how busy you are, how your money is spent in cyberspace and on Social Media is your responsibility. Saying “I'm not tech savvy” or “I'm busy” is no excuse. Reach out and ask for help.
Secondly, teach your family to avoid rowdy kids and people who are always filming. Because as above, they always get themselves and those around them in trouble. Plus, the internet never forgets.
Thirdly, I've addressed Social Media risks, solutions and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) in detail. Read:
Click the image above for Privacy vs. Hidden Cameras: Winning The Covert & Overt Surveillance Battle. And don't forget to bookmark it. Because you're going to need to return to it from time to time. Any questions, ask me here, on Twitter, or as above. But teach your loved ones that unless they want to be famous at all cost or don't mind being a trending hashtag on Social Media for the wrong reasons or being easily tracked, blackmailed, framed or fired for being associated with the wrong people, it's best to be super stingy about sharing real name, ID(s), personally identifiable information including date of birth, photos and even CV/resumé. Because like everybody else, HR and job agencies are being hacked. The following are zoomable:ICYMI: Cyber Security Made Easy (Part 1)
Security doesn't use birth control. Like the hacking stories you read about or see on the evening news, it easily multiplies and gets “complicated and too overwhelming” for most as it permeates every field, subject and industry imaginable.
This is why I started by attempting to disabuse you of the assumption that cyber security is a set-and-forget, defeat 'em once and for all affair. Same reason billions of dollars and thousands of lives lost some sixteen years following the U.S. invasion, the Taliban now threatens 70% of Afghanistan.VPN, Next-Gen AV, Anti-Ransomware, Ant-Keyloggers & Security Extensions
You and your loved ones absolutely should always use a VPN. Why? Click or tap above. Or here.
Whether you're a globe trotter, student or simply the budget-conscious type, make sure you and your loved ones have Opera browser with built-in VPN regularly updated and turned on, on all your devices. The worst time to look for a good VPN is AFTER you arrive in police states like China. Fortunately, this list accurately reflects the best VPNs as of February 2018.
Know-it-alls keep telling users AV (Antivirus software) and email is dead. Yet many detected and blocked the #WannaCry/#WannaCrypt Ransomware. The thing is, and Neil Rubenking is right: “Malware these days is about making money, and there's no easy way to cash in on spreading a virus. Ransomware and data-stealing Trojans are much more common, as are bots that let the bot-herder rent out your computer for nefarious purposes.” Which is why last year, I tweeted after the #SynCrypt Ransomware was missed by most AVs: “Forget AVs. Get Ransomware solutions” now. If you don't want your data or your loved ones' devices held ransom at the worse possible time, click here for free, detailed Anti-Ransomware solutions.Speaking of data, these offer the best backup services I can, at the time of writing, think of. For anti-keyloggers and anti-screen capture protection, see this 2018 review. If on budget, QFX Software Corp's KeyScrambler is probably enough. Moreover, Phishing — also defined above in the glossary — is how most high profile hacks begin. And for the best Anti-Phishing tech, see this list.
Robust Account Security also matters. But coming back to Antivirus software, avoid Russian AVs for now. For value, I recommend Avira's free AV, Avast Free Antivirus, or Microsoft Windows Defender. Otherwise, for paid versions and rigorously lab tested AVs, the best for 2018 are listed here.
Further, AVs aren't created equal. Many can expose you and your loved ones to cyber attacks. So, be careful. And by all means, seek out, read, and share books and other media on Social Engineering.Social Engineering is why Americans are notoriously easy to dupe. And not just by Russians via Social Media. To be threat smart today is to have a good nose for rot. You and your loves ones. See #6-8.
With regard to extensions, with all the buzz about Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies cyber criminals are hard at work stealing others' computing resources to mine their crypto coins AKA, Cryptojacking. To prevent this, make sure you or your loved ones install the No Coin extension, or similar apps. Other must-have security and privacy extensions you should ensure your loved use include: uBlock Origin, Privacy Badger, and HTTPS Everywhere.3 Ways To THiNK Like A Security Expert
#1-5 taught you the fundamentals. Clicking or tapping the image above takes you to my 3-part blog revealing the mindset required to stay ahead of hackers. All 3 images there are hyperlinked, mind you.Why You or Your Loved Ones Don't Want To Be Cyber Crime Magnets
In case you find yourself teaching or explaining to skeptical loved ones why all the above matters, you can use either the above zoomable graphic, or click/tap to access the 3-part blog.How To NOT Get Hacked
Bottom line: You WILL get hacked, and likely already did perhaps, and several times too. Because security is that porous and difficult. Yet the goal needn't be to drive yourself crazy over cyber security. Rather, like the superstar who wears a disguise, you want to teach your loved ones to be as uninteresting to cyber criminals as possible, remembering that just because it has “smart” attached to it, doesn't necessarily mean it's good for your security or privacy. For mobile security, see my microblog, which handles that daily. Engage, or follow me.