Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Prevent Your Twitter And Social Media Accounts From Hacking

Today, another major hacking occurred to a trusted news source, the Associated Press. This particular hacking was not light in its messaging. A tweet stating “Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured” was sent at 12:13pm CST resulting in thousands of RT’s, the stock market briefly crashing 143 points, and a world fearful of another potential terrorist attack.

Quickly, White House and AP staff confirmed the tweet was baseless and a result of a hack.

This is not the first time a major brand has been hacked. Burger King’s twitter account was hacked in February, and numerous Major League Baseball accounts were compromised in 2012.

How does this happen? Often times, hacking results due to weak passwords. This is not the sexy, technical answer expected. Other reasons include giving permission to third party applications to find out various pieces of information about your account: who isn’t following you back, top connections, your Twitter crush, etc.

In the Associated Press case, this could have been a focused initiative by an unknown group who first attempted to steal AP journalist passwords. Mike Baker, AP reporter tweeted “The AP Hack came less than an hour after some of us received an impressively disguised phishing email.”

There is another side to this story: Twitter appears extremely vulnerable to hacking. Earlier in 2013, Twitter reported 250,000 account passwords had been compromised by hackers and issued no further comment. In June 2012, popular professional networking site LinkedIn endured a security breach impacting 6.4 million users and their passwords.

Quick tips for users to prevent hacking

  • Change your passwords every 90 days
  • Avoid using the same password for all of your accounts
  • Avoid using a family members name that someone close to you could easily guess
  • Use numbers, upper and lower case letters, and symbols (when allowed)

All social networking sites must be serious about preventing what feels like constant hacking. Two-factor authentication is one solution. This would enable the social channel to send a text verification code to your phone or email after you log in to ensure you are the owner of the account. Adding an extra layer of security may prevent numerous hacking attempts, until the hackers find another way.

Have you been hacked or compromised before? Share your story in the comment area below.


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The Role of Social Media and Technology in the Boston Marathon Tragedy

April 16, 2013 2 comments

April 15, 2013 is a day which will not be forgotten for generations to come. A terrorist attack occurring at mile 26, near the end of the Boston Marathon has changed countless lives and altered history. 

Social media played a significant role in the tragedy. That was not the surprising part. Many people found out about the evolving tragedy on a social media channel (including myself). Quickly, images of the first and second explosion surfaced followed by images of the seriously injured. Video of both explosions were spreading fast through Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. Vine videos even made an appearance. 

The act of sharing photos and videos was not a surprise. The location of the blasts coupled with the mass amount of people watching the final steps of the marathon looking for loved ones with their phones and cameras out created a perfect storm for documenting the tragedy. The average person became a journalist by chance with their device acting as their publishing tool. While there are risks that come from sharing content from non-authoritative people, most of what was shared was accurate. There was a New York publication that egregiously missed the post. 

What was and has been a surprise to me: how social media was used to communicate the situation from law enforcement accounts. The Boston Police used their Twitter account request video of the finish line, update the situation at the JFK library which was briefly linked to the bombings, and give instructions to people near the area. The fact that Boston Police chose social media as a viable option in a moment of crisis is a big deal. I will argue social media took a step forward in becoming even more mainstream and trustworthy. 

The FBI is currently asking for any and all photos and videos from the crime scene to aid in their investigation. This is similar to the JFK assassination where the FBI asked for all video from the murder scene. However there are more than a few cameras compared to what was present during the JFK assassination. Will there be a Zapruder equivalent with this tragedy? 

Additionally, Google released a people finder exclusive to the Boston Marathon where you were given two options: check on a loved one, or submit information on someone. This helped near 5,500 people be accounted for in a very chaotic time. 

The events on April 15 were unfortunate on unimaginable levels. With the assistance of social media and technology, relevant information was able to spread quickly possibly saving lives, and potentially finding the terrorist who committed this unthinkable act. 

I was on 96.3 KTWIN in Minneapolis this morning discussing this topic. Listen to my thoughts about social media’s role in the Boston Marathon tragedy

Thoughts are with those impacted. 


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Kenneth Cole, Meet Celeb Boutique!

Early February 2011, popular fashionista Kenneth Cole tried to be witty by comparing the uprising in Cairo, Egypt to the release of his 2011 spring collection. Kenneth Cole tweet fail
Lessons were to be learned, right?

Fast forward to July 20, 2012. A day that will be remembered for the horrific events in Aurora, Colorado where at least twelve have died in attendance of The Dark Knight Rises after a gunman went on a frenzy. Celeb Boutique appears to have done something similar to Kenneth Cole’s tweet fail. See below (image from Joel Feder).

Clearly, nothing was learned here.

Minutes ago, @celebboutique came out with a response and apology (below).

This response took almost two hours. And the tweet was blamed for not checking why Aurora was trending? Unacceptable.

This is a perfect example of why people who run social accounts for brands, whether it is internal or through an agency, training is necessary. People need to listen first before posting. LISTEN! Had that been done, there would not be the uproar against Celeb Boutique.

Have we finally learned our lesson, social media folk?

My thoughts are with the people impacted by the tragedy that unfolded earlier this morning.


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Welcome Back, Hellos and Goodbyes from Jason Douglas

April 21, 2011 10 comments

Welcome back, hello and goodbye, all in the same sentence? Yes. Everything in that sentence and title applies to everything that’s been happening in my life. Let me explain:

Welcome back refers to my tenth return to the blogosphere. It has come to my attention that when I posted new content on here, people actually read it. Add that knowledge to my passion for writing, and that equals me promising to make more time for writing. It makes sense to spend more time doing things you love and are passionate about. If you read it, I will write it. I thank you all who have, will and continue to read my content.

Hello refers to a few new additions and changes in my life. First: I have a new phone. I switched from the iPhone 3gs to the HTC Inspire. With the relationship I and many others have with their phone, this was a big move to make. I am enjoying the android network and have already sold my iPhone on Craigslist for a significant profit.

Hello, new apartment! I am very happy to report a move that is long overdue. At the end of this month, I will be moving to Golden Valley to a newly renovated apartment. Highlights include new laminate wood flooring, new stainless steel appliances, an incredible amount of closet space, a third floor view of the pool, and no roommates 🙂 With my new place located under a mile away from the West End area, I expect to become a regular at Crave, Cooper and Pei Wei. An apartment warming party is already in the works.

Goodbye is something you say when you are leaving. With that said, I am very proud to report a move that came out of the blue. Today marks an end of an era, as I am leaving my role as the Online Marketing Manager at Spyder Trap Online Marketing.

Hello is what you say when you start something new. I will be joining the team at Nina Hale as their Search Marketing Manager starting April 25.

I am extremely proud of my time at Spyder Trap, spanning over the last two years. I have been able to work with great clients, including Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Shock Doctor, UnitedHealth Group, among others. I am very lucky to have led the search marketing and social media marketing groups to where it stands today.

When I started at Spyder Trap in March 2009, I was the second salaried employee in the history of the company. Two years later, Spyder Trap has 14 employees. 700% growth speaks for itself. I am very proud to have been a major player in the company’s growth. It is something I will be able to look back on and always be proud of.

I am extremely proud of the work I completed at Spyder Trap. Despite some individuals beliefs, the quality of work I completed was good very good great. Fortunately for myself and the clients, the numbers support the claim and make that statement indisputable. It is one of the main reasons why I love the online marketing industry: the numbers do not lie.

I will miss the relationships and the clients at Spyder Trap. However, there are opportunities that come around that are too good to pass up. Spyder Trap was that opportunity in March 2009. Nina Hale is that opportunity in April 2011. I am very excited to start at Nina Hale on April 25. There is no limit to the success I will have at Nina Hale.

I want to thank Mike Rynchek and Spyder Trap for giving me the opportunity. Looking back, I consider this to be a rare relationship where both parties won. I wish Spyder Trap nothing but the best in the future.

New phone. New living space. New job. There’s a saying that bad things happen in threes. So do good great things.

We’ll talk soon, friends. I promise.


Minneapolis, St. Paul, Thank You! Now, Let’s Collaborate!

March 18, 2010 5 comments

Yesterday was one of the more interesting and fulfilling days I have had as a professional. Most of us know about #Unfollowgate. If not; check out my previous post on #Unfollowgate and its impact on the Minneapolis and St. Paul online community.

Between the hundreds of views, 18 comments, numerous public tweets, re-tweets, even more direct messages, and even some text messages and calls, the outpouring of support for me was astonishing. Thank you all very much for that.

I want to get away from #Unfollowgate and move onto the larger issue: how to make the Minneapolis and St. Paul online community more collaborative, more unified, and considered as a true leader in the online marketing space.

I have been going over what Chris Brogan said when he was here at the Minnesota Business/Reputations event, about our shortcomings as a community. It would have been easy for him to say ‘Minneapolis/St. Paul, y’all are great! Keep Truckin’!’ for a cheap pop. He did not do that, and I thank him for that. For him to say (paraphrasing) ‘you have the talent here, you don’t have the collaborative atmosphere’, and to call out Pittsburgh as his numer one community was gutsy. He travels and connects with enough people from each community where I trust his opinion more than others.

This should be a wake up call for our community. We do have the talent, we have the case studies, we have the clients, we have the passion (as was shown yesterday). How do we combine all that and more to help our community move to the head of the online marketing class?

Let’s start a discussion answering a few questions. As a community:

  • What are we doing right?
  • What are we doing wrong?
  • What are your concerns about the state of online marketing?
  • What do we want to do?
  • Where do we want to go?

Minneapolis, St. Paul, metro area, Minnesota: your thoughts?

When Is Swearing or Cursing OK?

February 1, 2010 11 comments

I was watching the Grammy’s last night when Drake/Eminem/Lil Wayne performed something. I wasn’t sure what they performed because over half of it was censored by CBS. The moments of silence were appreciated, as I was working on a different blog post.

It inspired me to send out two tweets:

“Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Eminem, Drake, lil wayne; combined, you owe me 11 minutes, 28 seconds of my life back. When can I collect on that?” (still early, but no response from any of the involved parties)

“Why do people swear/curse in tweets? I’ve unfollowed some who choose to do that. You lose a lot of legitimacy when you do that #NotNecessary

The second tweet started a good conversation amongst my following. Many agreed with me; some asked what words were appropriate; one sent me a direct message and apologized for a curse in a recent tweet (it’s ok… I’ll let it slide this one time :)), and one person suggested I write about my thoughts on swearing. So, here I am.

Swearing in social media does not make sense to me. Why anyone needs to say the F-word, N-word, C-word, B-word in a tweet or Facebook status update is beyond me. I have unfollowed people that have used those types of words, as I do not want to be associated with those types of people.

In most situations, swearing makes you appear as one with a low intelligence level. F this, F that, F you! Would you say that during an interview? A presentation? No, unless you wanted to be unemployed or fired.

Imagine saying that on a first date, or any date for that matter. Does that really sound attractive coming out of anyone’s mouth? No, no it does not. Women: do not try to sound like one of the guys. Men: do not try to sound edgy by swearing. It doesn’t matter who it’s coming from: it’s gross.

Would you use that language around strangers at a networking event, where you are making your first impression on fellow industry people, or potential employers, or potential business leads and future clients? No, no you would not. Do not try to say that you would either. We all know better.

Then why should it be in a tweet?

I have never sworn in the social media world. Offline is a different story. No, I do not sound like a trucker. There are times I replay what I just said and wonder ‘was that necessary?’

Does swearing or cursing add value? I am curious to hear your thoughts. (keep it clean :))


Social Media & Social Networking: What is too much?

There has been a lot on my mind lately. Some of it is personal, some is trivial. Here, I will choose to share something that should interest each reader of this blog.

By reading my blog, or any blog, you become part of the social media and social networking world. The social media world is a new and evolving arena at the same time, which means the rules for social media are being created as we speak. Rules that are not set are difficult to follow. Common sense rules apply: create and contribute meaningful conversation, don’t create too much noise, show your personality while keeping your thoughts clean enough that you could tell your mother, etc.

There’s a problem: not everyone has common sense.

As a person that has grown up in the social media and social networking era, I am on facebook, MySpace, twitter, LinkedIn, digg, flickr, I blog for the online marketing blog at work, I blog for personal reasons (as you’re reading right now). There are so many social networking sites out there beyond the list above. It can be difficult to keep track and actively participate in all of the above networks.

For over a year, MySpace has been losing its grip on the top social networking site. Facebook, recently surpassing 225 million users, and twitter growing at a ridiculous rate, show that social networking is here to stay, and you should be a part of all that you can be.  99% of people I know are on Facebook, 90% of people I know are on twitter. I have noticed, based on my ‘top friends’ on MySpace, that people are deleting their MySpace accounts.

This led me to think of a few questions that I need answered by you:

  • What would make you quit ‘social media’?
  • If you left one site, does that mean the other sites you are on satisfy your needs?
  • What is your favorite social networking site? Why?
  • What purpose does social media/social networking serve in your life?
  • Is there too much social media/social networking?

I look forward to a good discussion with you.

~Jason Douglas

twitter: @jasondouglas

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