Two words are increasingly surfacing in discussions of an internet that becomes more and more social each day: 'privacy' and 'security'. The reason: the
social web seems to be increasingly eroding personal privacy and introducing new
online security concerns.
Many groups believe that something needs to be done, and it appears
that governments are starting to eye action of their own. But is it too
Last week, Blippy, a Twitter for purchases, created quite a stir when
it was revealed that the company had exposed the credit card numbers of
The company's co-founder, Philip Kaplan, sought to downplay the
severity of the mistake but as more and more individuals cozy up to the
growing number of services that encourage 'oversharing' of
financial-related information online, a number of parties involved with
commerce will be affected.
Chances are you've heard of Chatroulette, the clever website that pairs users up for random video web chats. It's one of the hottest websites on the internet right now.
It reportedly receives upwards of 500,000 visits each day and its creator, Andrey Ternovskiy, a 17-year-old high school student in Moscow, is now being courted by some of the world's most recognizable technology investors, including Russia's DST, which owns stakes in hot American social networking companies like Facebook and Zynga.
I wrote an article recently about the use of e-commerce trustmarks and how important it was for sites to display trustmark logos.
Though they may help some sites, trustmarks alone are not the answer, and factors such as brand trust, price, usability and good design all combine to reassure customers about making a purchase.
A recent post on the FutureNow blog makes this point, and argues that the need for 'costly' security indicators, can be avoided with good cart / checkout design.
Trustmarks are the images or logos that retailers can place on their websites to show that they have passed various security and privacy tests, and reassure customers that it is safe to shop on the site.
But how relevant are these logos from organisations like Verisign or McAfee? Have customers even heard of them? Would other security reassurances do the same job?
What do Facebook, Gmail and iTunes have in common? By 2015, they might be dominant online payment providers.
At least that's the thinking of Dave McClure, a Silicon Valley startup
investor. In a post the other day (caution: heavy profanity), he argued
that "in 2015 the default login & payment method(s) on the web will
be Facebook Connect, Google Gmail, or Apple iTunes".
If you run a website, there's a good chance that you store data that you wouldn't want falling into the wrong hands. At the same time, there's also a good chance that you're increasing the odds of that happening by not following basic security best practices.
Unfortunately, the cost of data breaches is growing every year. A new study released by the PGP Corporation and the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach incident in 2009 was 6.75 million compared to 6.65 million in 2008. The largest data breach in 2009 cost just under $31m to clean up.
In the wake of the highly-publicized hack attack on Google and other large companies, which some are blaming on Internet Explorer, Germany and France have decided enough is enough. Both countries have warned their citizens that Internet Explorer is not safe and advised them to download alternative browsers.
Somewhat surprisingly, it appears that a good number of citizens are heeding the message. According to the Wall Street Journal, all indications are that the message is getting through. Mozilla, which is behind the Firefox browser, is reporting a "significant surge in downloads" in Germany since the German announcement. Numbers for France are not yet available.
Despite all of the tools that are brought to bear in the War on Spam, spammers continue to ply their trade successfully. The most prolific reach millions upon millions of people and are adept at adjusting to new weapons that aim to shut them down.
The truth is that defeating spam doesn't require more technology but changes in human nature. Here are 10 common sense ways to avoid spam that are forgotten or overlooked far more often than we'd like to believe.
Over the weekend, reports surfaced of a seemingly widespread attack targeting older versions of the popular blogging software WordPress. The attack leaves WordPress installations severely compromised and appears to be part of a campaign to spread spam and malicious code.
Numerous bloggers found themselves victims. One of those bloggers was popular tech personality Robert Scoble. He claims that two months of his blog's content was lost and that his site was booted from Google's index because of malicious code that had been inserted (ouch).