Stephan, M. J., Pennington, S., Krishnamurthi, G., & Reidy, J. (2009). Identity Burgulary. Texas Review Of Law & Politics, 13(2), 401-418.
Facebook users continue to grow and so does the amount of time that these users spend interacting and networking. In February of 2012, Peter Cohan, a contributing author for Forbes.com, (Forbes: 2/2012) estimated that Facebook could be negatively impacting America’s working output by nearly 10%, which he equated to nearly $1.4 Trillion in U.S. GDP. That’s a significant number! When broken down, it really equates to an average use of 68 minutes/day, used each day across a 30-day month. An average 5-day work week would lose 5.6 hours to Facebook use.
Considering that Facebook is accessible through our smartphones, tablets and any internet-connected computer, it’s not difficult to tally 68 minutes of Facebook time each day. The scary part? The average use is growing, exponentially. In the same aforementioned Forbes article, Cohan cites a Nucleus Research study that showed Facebook users increased their average use time by 626% from 2009 to 2012. In a nutshell, Facebook is quickly becoming a time-sucking habit, sweeping across the nation.
However, the truth of the matter is; human beings are social creatures and therefore are dedicated to creating and participating in social networking in order to express and share their ideas. With the rise of the internet people began merely satisfying this natural urge for online communities through internet forums. In all actuality, the very same company (Forbes) that is used to argue, that Facebook and other outlets of social media are contributing to the downfall of society, is the very same company that uses Facebook to captivate and maintain successful business people in the world, in addition, attempt to recruit add-ons.
Indeed, the previous statistics appear to be big numbers and percentage signs that might throw the reader off the rocker, but it should also be noted that Mr. Nathan Forbes and Mr. Michele Jacobs, both Managing Partners and Corporate Director of Marketing Forbes have benefited from social networking when they exceeded over 738K site hits since February of 2012.
As with any social networking site, the use of Facebook carries concerns and risks around privacy. And privacy is a two-fold concern: 1) privacy of information and photos that are shared online – protecting those from wandering or unauthorized eyes, and 2) that Facebook has too much access to private (or sensitive) information; Facebook’s ability to monitor, mine and sell specific consumer data is significant.
Back in March of 2013, Facebook launched a new Facebook interactive platform named “Home” which became integrated into the entire smartphone device. This erupted concerns that Facebook would have more access to the user’s device and all other interactions that the device is used for: texts, calls, website visits, etc. The Home platform has much higher security concerns than the traditional Facebook App, since Home is “always on” and is tracking all of the smartphone interactions. With traditional Facebook, tracking ability is turned on/off simply based on when the user is logged in/out. Regardless of your stance on privacy, if you use Facebook, you have shared information that is at risk. In the digital age, any interaction and/or information is stored on a server and will always be accessible.
Through a different perspective, Facebook has maintained a valuable role in contributing to society. Though one may argue that its apps such as the “Home” app created in 2013 could violate public privacy, it’s more important to be safe than to be sorry. Reading the article written by EMS1 staff, they write: “New Facebook Apps help friends and family connect through Facebook when major catastrophic emergencies happen such as hurricanes and earthquakes” (EMSI, 2012).
Secondly, reading Police Embrace Social Media As a Crime Fighting Tool authored by Heather Kelly in fall of 2012 wrote a piece about a gang member named Melven Colon of New York who posted public photos of weapons and narcotic-related crimes and now have been taken into custody by the NYPD on charges of murder. Colon was turned in by one of his “Friends” on Facebook that agreed to let the police access his “private” information (Kelly, 2012). So the question now is; how can Facebook save your life either financially, economically or physically? Or better yet, how has Facebook changed your life and influenced others? A world without the creation of Facebook is a world full of chaos and anarchy.
Clearly, these two topics and how they relate to Facebook introduce a wide range of perspectives. Is Facebook increasing productivity by way of increasing networking activity, or is it simply draining valuable time away from primary work functions? With regards to privacy, is Facebook too risky for users to trust information shared, or can it be trusted and is this simply the next step in the evolution of privacy in a Facebook-driven world? Without stronger imperial data to suggest otherwise, Facebook seem destined to continue to steal away valuable productivity and to slowly leach away user privacy, one policy and one picture at a time.
Cohan, P. (2012, February 8). Retrieved from www.Forbes.com: http://www.forbes.com/sites/petercohan/2012/02/08/is-facebook-slicing-1-4-trillion-out-of-u-s-gdp/2/
EMSI. (2012, June 5). EMSI . Retrieved from New Facebook Apps Support Personal Preparedness for Emergencies : http://www.ems1.com/ems-products/technology/articles/1297175-New-Facebook-apps-support-personal-preparedness-for-emergencies/
Kelly, H. (2012, August 30). CNN.com. Retrieved from Police Embrace Social Media As A Crime Fighting Tool : http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/30/tech/social-media/fighting-crime-social-media/
Social Baker . (2013). Retrieved from The Most Interesting Soical Networks : http://www.socialbakers.com/resource-center/808-article-the-20-most-interesting-social-networks
Use a strong password or phrases for access to your data by any device whether in your home or office. Employing the strongest reasonable passwords on your devices will ensure that your data remain secure and uncompromised. When logging into different websites, it is highly recommended to use a different password or phrase for each site. Many people like to use the same or one other password for several websites so that they can make it easier to remember those passwords. By doing so, if the passwords get accessed by an unwelcomed user, your secure data will be compromised.
Another way of
securing passwords is a completely random combination of characters.
One may also have lengthy passwords using numbers, symbols, and
alphabetic characters of both upper and lower case letters. If
you fear the challenge of remembering the different passwords,
another option is to store the passwords or phrases in a safe place
such as a special notebook and securing it in a drawer at home.
Online communication greatly depends on one’s ability to keep the words they write as their own. Hacking attempts and leaked databases indicate that someone else might be able to take over your account. Once accomplished, the intruder could write something that is contradictory to everything you have built online. Keeping your password safe and unique is a difficult task with the many threats that are presented in today’s digital age. Additionally, recording all the websites someone uses can make using a unique password a full-time job in itself. Others have seen this issue and responded by creating an open sourced password manager called KeePass.
As suggested above, it is ideal for passwords to be unique and different for all websites. The following scenario supports this: say a hacker gains access to a secure site and downloads the user database that houses all of the usernames and passwords for the site. Clearly, this site is now compromised and the data is free for the hacker to use. Something that many hackers might try is to use the username and password combinations on other sites to gain access to them as well. If one of those username/password combinations was yours, and you used the same combination repeatedly, this single point of intrusion has now given a hacker full access to your digital life. In addition to using different passwords on all your regularly visited sites, you should use unique and long passwords. An example of a highly secure password follows:
“the quick brown fox jumps over the fence”.
One would think this phrase, in its entirety as a password, is strong. According to www.passwordmeter.com it ranks at a 67%. But, keeping the same phrase but changing a few letters will help make the password near impossible to crack:
“Th3 qu1ck 8r0wn foX jumps 0v3r th3 f3nc3!”.
This password ranks very strong and scores 100%.
KeePass is a piece of software that houses all of your login and password info into an encrypted database for safe keeping. Now let’s talk about how to store all the unique passwords for each site that you have. KeePass was developed to help users close the gap between using passwords that are just long enough, to using maximum character unique passwords that would take super computers hundreds of thousands of years to crack. KeePass will allow users to auto generate passwords for whatever account they create a password for. This helps to keep passwords unique for each individual site. This also helps to keep the user from having to rest every password on every site, should they have the same password on multiple sites. KeePass uses an encrypted database to store all of your passwords and requires a user to have a very long and unique password to unlock the encrypted database. This program was first developed with intended password storage for the personal computer, but it has been expanded to adapt to this continually evolving digital age. The KeePass program can now be used on both iOS and Android devices with a rumored Windows Phone app coming soon, allowing users to keep their passwords unique and safe for each app that requires one. KeePass is a very popular option in password management but there are many others out there so try one that fits you requirements.
Installation of KeePass is very simple. Once downloaded from their website, run the installation package selecting the defaults. Now that the program is installed, run it for the first time. It will ask you to create a password key for unlocking the database file for KeePass. This password you want to be super strong as it will protect all other passwords. Once this is set up, you can now add websites to KeePass. Add the website URL and then the username. The next step you can have KeePass auto-generate the password and then you just need to update the websites stored info or you can try in your current password. I found the more secure option was to auto-generate the password. Click save and the site is now set. Now when you visit the site you can fire up KeePass right click on the website save password to clipboard and paste into the password field.
With your logins for all your websites unique and different, you are now safe from any leak or attack on online companies you deal with. Just remember that if a site you use gets compromised, your password will need to be reset and updated in your password manager. I have personally used KeePass for the past year or more and find that the changes and enhancement made best suit my needs for password management. I use both the desktop and mobile apps to keep my passwords safe and secure no matter where I’m at.
The federal, state, and local government implemented policies and initiatives to improve cyber security. Individuals have become more dependent on technological information and devices. Individuals have moved on to acquiring organizational information on personal devices. According to Asllani, et. al (2013), “The doctrine of cyber security as a public good necessitates the financing of cyber security through taxes and justifies the role of government in its attempt to enhance cyber security. The doctrine demands that federal, state, and local governments provide a comprehensive legal, social, ethical, regulatory, and liability framework to protect individuals and organizations from the threat of cybercrime or cyber terrorism” (p. 10). Other means of providing enhancements to cyber security through the government is providing education, improve the criminal justice system to fight cyber security, fight and prosecute in cyber terrorism, protect digital rights, and regulate compliance in cyber security.
Through their efforts, they were able to attain “sensitive data” such as credit card numbers, passwords, private customer details, etc. as a way to prove their hacking abilities. The group’s main goal, as described by “The Independent”, was to publically demonstrate their hacking abilities and become notorious in their efforts (Johnathan 2013). Hence their name “LulzSec”- from the internet terms Lulz and Sec; Lulz meaning laughs and Sec referring to security (Tabuchi 2011). These criminal attempts were accomplished in the bedrooms of these young men through highly sophisticated computers by controlling a “network of up to a million ‘zombie’ computers”. In other words, the young men were able to remotely login and access data from the customers directly from the network. The attacks were discovered when both FBI and CIA websites suffered a huge crash and decided to dwell further into the security breech (Johnathan 2013).
Sony, lost the details and personal information of about 26.4 million customers (Ogg 2012). Unfortunately, the article only focuses on the effects LulzSec had on the security breech rather than the financial statistics of the companies’ losses. Lulz Security’s motto is “"The world's leaders in high-quality entertainment at your expense", "Laughing at your security since 2011"(Tabuchi 2011). Hence their main intentions, as it claims, are to embarrass high end companies by publically revealing their security system flaws; rather than using the sensitive data to commit other criminal offences (Pepitone 2011). In addition, because these companies were very powerful and well established, LulzSec’s security breech, to me, only seemed to help the companies rather than negatively affect them (Tabuchi 2012). For instance, their security breech only revealed the holes in today’s security systems. By bringing these holes to light, LulzSec helped the company identify the holes and improve them for a stronger system; and in my opinion, I think the companies took an excellent action in trying to identify and improve their security (Pepitone 2011).
In the case of this news articles, the companies that were affected were so large scale that it was only a matter of attempting to find the holes in their security and fixing them (Tabuchi 2012). LulzSec seemed to act as a “white hat” (term that refers to hackers that hack to test the strength of a security system for non-criminal reasons) for these companies to help them identify and fix their systems (Tabuchi 2012). But in the case of smaller organizations, through my past experiences, the companies I worked for used a couple of requirements and means for testing its products’ level of security. The three that stood out to me are- trying to identify and address the level of risk for a security hole, backing up our data at night, and of course creating a plan for what actions to take in the case of a security breech.
Trying to identify an issue is important when you are trying to statistically reason what kind of threats can invade your software within cyberspace. This method is important in determining how strong your software is and how strong it needs to be in order for it to be trusted and used by public users, especially when it would be entrusted with users’ private details. Backing up company data, user data, user passwords, etc. from cyberspace into a virtual storage facility provided by a physical machine at night is a precaution that all engineers should be taking in regards to their work, because things can be deleted, manipulated, or in this case- stolen. It is always a good idea to back up important data so that you can recover it in the case anything happens to it. Creating a plan for continuing a business is very important after a security breech. You need to always have a plan as to what actions you can take to ensure the company can get back on its feet; this also helps you and your team to maintain a stable work environment. This last step is most important to me because if you are an IT company, security breaches always happen and the first question that is asked to the company is “what will you do next”. A company that has the next steps all planned out and prepared will most likely be able to maintain its customers as well as its finances in comparison to one that doesn’t. What’s important to the public and the customers is how the company will handle its security and what will it mean for its customers; a company that has a plan will have the power to reassure its partners/ customers.