Thursday, March 26, 2015

Revenge Porn

Relationships. They take a lot of work to keep it together. Part of that effort might involve a webcam or a camera, where couples "get naughty" with each other and use the pictures to spice things up. But what happens when that relationship goes sour. What happens to the images then?

Statistics show that the divorce rate in the United States and Canada ranges from 40 to 50 percent. There are no real numbers as to the solvency of non-married relationships.

Because we know a lot of breakups end badly, because it is so easy for a disgruntled partner to use the Internet for payback, the many of the United States have specifically introduced Revenge Porn as part of legislation. This is an effort to try and protect people from having unwanted images published without their consent. Even social media is stepping in to take action against those who use intimate images as a revenge tactic.

It's a big problem. Spouses are using the threat of publishing compromising photographs and videos to get what they want in a divorce proceeding.

Enter the social media prenuptual, which is actually takes care of the postnuptual should the couple separate or divorce. More and more couples are spelling out in black and white with a notarized signature that they will not engage in revenge porn should the relationship end.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Monica Lewinsky Is Patient Zero From Adult Cyberbullying

"Imagine walking a mile in someone else's headlines."

For over 20 years, Monica Lewinsky has been branded worldwide by Internet "stone throwers." That is what she calls those who continually and relentlessly publicly humiliate her about something that happened when she was 22. A lot of us have done what she did. Only for the rest of us, it may not have been plastered throughout the 24-hour news cycle or joked about on every television comedy hour and stand-up routine.

At age 25/26, I had an affair with my married boss that lasted over a year. I was fresh out of a divorce, in a new job and city, and was about a year into my singlehood. Unlike Lewinsky, I don't think I was in love with him. I might have been 22, when I married the first man I met after a volatile courtship that became only more capricious after the ceremony. I sewed my oats, big time, once the Decree Absolute was served. I was unabashedly brazen for at least 20 years.

When you look at Lewinsky's story in context, now that you know better and are not being influenced by the late-night comics and the pundit news media that gets its advertising dollars from piling on someone's misfortune and shame, you see just how tragic it is.

I remember when her nightmare started. It didn't sit right with me that it was her so-called friend, a confidant, who secretly recorded their private conversations and shared them with the world. I needed a shower after just hearing that. There can be no greater betrayal. I'm fortunate that a lot of my escapades were done before the Internet. However, who knows if someone had some sort of recording device or secret pictures that are now circulating on the deep web.

A lot of people can relate to Lewinsky's Internet experience. Just ask anyone who has been cyberbullied, who have had their personal reputation disparaged by a dedicated web page or had their private moments and words shared publicly without permission and without context.

Kudos to Lewinsky for finding her voice. She has become my personal hero as a result. Her message is clear and echos what I have been working on for the past couple of years: clean up the Internet one post at a time. How you do that is a) post positively and b) report bullying.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

If I Say I Don't Like You Is It Bullying?

Disliking someone doesn't give you the license to be mean.

Cyberbullying behavior has less to do about how an individual feels about another and more about how they feel about themselves.

Even so, when someone pees in your Cornflakes, you don't have to eat out of that bowl.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Stop Being Dumb About IT

Target, Home Depot, Sony, and many more have something in common. Someone inside their networks, either internally or via a third-party supplier, opened the door to give free reign to hackers.

Of course, anyone who clicks an unsuspecting malicious link hasn't deliberately put their company at risk. It also does the boss no good if he or she singles out and punishes the employee.

What will lessen the chance of this happening is if your company actually invests money into its IT, rather than just pay lip service with an anti-virus here and a firewall there. That may be okay for one computer but if you have more than one synced to a server, installing more than one level of security will make it more difficult for the bad guys to sneak in.

The other thing you can do is train your staff to be more diligent about what might be construed as a phishing link, whether it is in their social media feeds, email, or from an online search for information. They should also be trained on the art of making up a password. If you have to tattoo it to your elbow to remember, so be it, but the simpler and more obvious the password, the wider the door has been left open.

Alex Holden sniffed down a group of Russian hackers who infiltrated 420,000 websites, stole the credentials, and used them for their spam campaign. In an interview with +Mitch Jackson on +Human.Social  he lists steps you must take if you think you've been hacked.

1. Assess the situation. What was taken? How was it taken? Was there more than one entry point?
2. Preserve the evidence.
3. Get the right people to advise you.
4. The process of recovery is a delicate one and cannot be rushed.

Here is the entire interview.