Facebook privacy and YOU – watch those apps!


While concerns of privacy and content ownership are old news for Facebook users, a recent mix up with Facebook advertisers has gotten more than a few Facebook fans on their heels.

A scenario:   Imagine being a loving husband who is going about his day, sipping his coffee, checking his Facebook updates and then… pow!!!… up pops a photo of his wife on a dating site ad.   Unhappy much?   Yes, we think so.

Long story short, (some) Facebook advertisers stepped out of line with Facebook advertising policy and used photos of users (without their permission) in their ads – happily married or not, this poor couple had no say in how their images were used on the network.   YIKES!!!

The good news is that Facebook has just announced a new ad policy which will keep your private user data out of the hands of scheming 3rd party networks.   Nice to see Facebook taking a stronger stance, we certainly hope they maintain this aggressive approach – privacy is beyond important and maintaining their users’ trust should be the utmost thought in any software developer and Community builder’s mind.

  • http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2009/07/facebook-ads.html
  • http://www.allfacebook.com/2009/07/facebook-advertising-policy/

In a post on his Public Relations and Web Marketing blog, our fearless CEO, Ed Schipul, made a further interesting recommendation for Facebook users – UFAID! :

We propose September 1st 2009 as Uninstall Facebook Applications Internationally Day (UFAID).

Not all applications mind you, just the ones you don’t trust or recognize.

To uninstall your Facebook Applications follow these steps:

  1. Login to Facebook
  2. Click on your ‘Profile” link at the top of the page.
  3. Scroll down to the ‘Applications” link on the lower left. Click it.
  4. Click ‘Edit Apps” link which should take you to a page like this: https://www.facebook.com/editapps.php
  5. IMPORTANT Change ‘Show” from ‘Recently Used” to ‘Authorized”!
  6. Click the ‘X” next to the applications you want to remove.
  7. Confirm.
  8. Repeat until all cruft and untrustworthy applications are removed.

Find any applications you did not realize were installed? Yup, thought you would. Put them in the comments below so we can see the sneaky ones?

Photo thanks to Flickr user Cortnie.dee

Google spelling bee – why your spelling matters to online Security

Photo blogged from bksecretphoto's Flickr stream

While this post might give you 2nd grade flashbacks to spelling quizzes and vocab sheets, we wanted to give you a heads up on a Google Analytics malicious code notice that’s been flying around online.

Sounds crazy-scary right?   So what does it mean?

Thousands of legitimate Web sites have been discovered to be injected with malicious Javascript, obfuscated code that leads to an active exploit site. The active exploit site uses a name similar to the legitimate Google Analytics domain (google-analytics.com), which provides statistical services to Web sites.

No Schipul clients have had their sites affected by this malicious code (Security is our first and middle name, we work hard to keep you safe and sound), but as a Web surfer this is good information for you to be aware of.

If you do visit an infected site, you might be asked to download some software.   Exploited computers run the risk of having malicious viruses installed – read more about code injection here.

Here are our tips for you:

  1. Spelling bee time!!   Don’t click on links to unauthorized Google Analytics sites with misspellings in the name.   This goes for ANY link that wants you to log in or go someplace – in an email or on a site.   Pay special attention to bank, Paypal and EBay-type email ‘notifications’ and never, ever, ever give your password to ANYONE.
  2. The real actual Google Analytics doesn’t want to install software on your machine.   So don’t do it, plain and simple.
  3. As always, keep your virus scanning software up to date and your passwords secure.
  4. Paranoia is a good thing – if something feels a little ‘off’ to you, it just might be – so err on the side of caution.

Still have concerns or want to double check on a virus scan notice you’ve received or a site you have questions on?   Give our rocking   Search Engine Marketing team a call to calm those nerves.   We’re here for you, even if you just need some help with your spelling homework.   (281) 497.6567, ext. 533

Happy Safety Month from Schipul!

Photo thanks to Tuttletree

The arrival of June kicks off National Safety Month and, if you live near the Gulf as we do, it also marks the first day of Hurricane Season.   A pretty good combo if you ask us!

Given that our CEO, Ed Schipul, is an Eagle Scout and that we have a crazy culture of Security and preparedness, we’ve decided to make June our very own Schipul Month of Safety!!

Stick around for the next month as we feature some great guest Blog posts, great tips and tricks on safety, security and preparedness.   Whether surfing on the Web, in your office or around your house we’ll be sharing useful tidbits to keep you and your’s safe and sound.

In the meantime, here are some handy safety-focused links to check out: