social media

Most of us don’t treat our passwords like we do Social Security numbers or credit card numbers. But we should. Just because we can change passwords at will—or sometimes by policy—doesn’t mean these secret codes aren’t valuable on the dark web. On the contrary, pairing a username and password is a powerful tool in a malicious hacker’s toolkit. Use a stolen credit card number or someone’s unique numeric identifier, and transactions are likely to shut...

Don’t Treat Passwords Lightly

Most of us are familiar with the term catfished, thanks to a documentary and cable TV show about people who engage in romantic relationships based on fraud. What isn’t as well-known are people catfished at work. Such was the case for employees who took virtual jobs with a British startup and worked for up to six months without receiving payment. Dozens of people who lost their jobs during the pandemic eagerly accepted job offers from...

How to Avoid Being Catfished at Work

A company trying to impress customers and competitors inflated its annual sales figures on its website, claiming it made $2,000,000 in revenue when it actually was closer to $200,000. When caught, it blamed poor proofreading for not catching that extra zero. This example from a recent cybersecurity conference points to something beyond public relations problems when a company is caught making false claims. When we inflate our images or fail to fix inaccurate information, we...

Want to Avoid Ransomware? Stop Boasting Online.

I just learned the hard way that personal cybersecurity involves more than password management. Here’s my story in the hope you learn a lesson more easily. This weekend I went online to check on my favorite websites. Only I couldn’t get access to many of them—including the one for Twirling Tiger Media. No matter which browser I used, I kept getting told the sites were insecure. I contacted our web developer, and our SSL certification...

Personal Cybersecurity Involves More than Passwords

Pandemics tend to bring out both the best and the worst in people, and the one we’re current living through is no exception. With almost 40 million U.S. citizens thrown out of paid work within the first two months of forced quarantines, people are desperate to earn income. That desperation did not go unnoticed by Maggy Laguna. That’s the name someone used to email a freelance copyeditor with a writing assignment. It was a “cold...

Beware of the ‘Maggy Lagunas’ of the Phish World

The other week a client asked me to craft a message to customers after the company made a major pivot. The change in direction meant unusual partnerships and new priorities. It also meant layoffs and inventory shortages in coming weeks. “Make sure it reflects sensitivity and compassion,” a key executive urged. A lot of companies continue to do something similar in their respective regions and industries. Their messaging is clear: We’re still open for business,...

Watch What You Say During a Pandemic

I’m going to wade into waters our company typically avoids: politics. Today is Super Tuesday, which means qualified voters in 14 states will be casting ballots for their preferred candidates vying for U.S., state and local offices. There has been a lot of concern over election interference, which is why 80% of the nation will be using paper ballots despite advances made in electronic voting come November. That’s according to Christopher Krebs, the head of...

Let’s Make Every Vote Count

If you are on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or a number of niche platforms, like TikTock and Snapchat, then you are likely being bombarded by brands, not just through direct marketing and digital advertising, but through brand ambassadorships. There are laws governing how companies can market online to consumers. What hasn’t gotten as much attention are federal regulations surrounding social media users who peddle productsthrough personal posts. Many of these are non-celebrities flattered that a company wants...

Under the Influence: How to Spot Social Media Violators

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