Public Databases Make Information Too Public

The Internet is the world of free information. Thanks to online public databases, people finder websites and social media networks, we have instant access to vast amounts of information at our fingertips. 

Because the Internet is such an open environment, we rely on it to not only make information immediately available, but to also handle our data securely. Personal information can be used to gain automatic access to certain programs, like using your Facebook credentials to play games or connecting your Gmail account to YouTube and other social media platforms. With the Internet boosting convenience and efficiency, some big information security questions remain:

What information of yours is available on the Internet? Where is it available, and to whom? How do applications use your personal information across different platforms? And, most importantly, how can you remove that information from the Internet?  Continue reading

Top Social Media Scams in 2016

Scammers are taking advantage of unsuspecting victims in the social media space. Social media scams can be especially daunting because they can take on many forms – from illegitimate friend requests to hacked profiles and malicious link attachments.

As the year draws to a close, let’s take a look at the most prominent social media scams of 2016 to prepare ourselves for the upcoming year.  Continue reading

Trolling: How to Combat Online Harassment

What is trolling? 

Trolling and online harassment continue to be problematic for users across various online channels. Whether it’s through social media platforms, blogs or forums, the Pew Research Center found that 73 percent of adult Internet users have witnessed some form of online harassment at least once. Trolling, by definition, is the act of deliberately instigating emotional reactions from others through inflammatory or offensive interactions online. Internet trolls target victims for a variety of reasons, and trolling topics can range from politics and current events to celebrity gossip and sports.

A poll conducted by Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, along with Rad Campaign and Lincoln Park Strategies, found that women, minorities, millennials and Democrats experience online harassment the most. The study also found that 63 percent of respondents said they had experienced harassment on Facebook, which was substantially higher than any other online channel. Furthermore, 61 percent of participants knew the person who harassed them online. Continue reading