Tag Archives: Social network

Facebook Vanity

Morning has broken. You are ready to face the world with renewed  vigour –  surely today has to be better than yesterday on the productivity front. You settle down to breakfast, and in between mouthfuls you fire up the Facebook application on your smart phone.

“Let’s see if there’s anything creative on Facebook aside from the usual literary quotations everyone seems to be posting these days,” you say to yourself.

Facebook finally loads up and voilà! you have lost another five friends. Your friend tally has gone down from 999 yesterday to 994. Cupping your face in both hands you let out a sigh. Getting your friend tally up to 2000 is proving a lot more difficult than you ever anticipated and you are beginning to take this knock back quite personal. Vanitas, your “real life friend,” has already reached the Facebook friend limit of 5000 friends. Better still, she recently set up a Facebook fan page to accommodate the army of friends still trickling in.

You feel so dejected.  It doesn’t really matter to you that Vanitas doesn’t even know or communicate with the vast majority of her Facebook friends. As far as she’s concerned, Facebook friends aren’t like “real life friends.” You really don’t need to know them or network with them, you simply collect them like one would collect shoes or handbags. After all, having an army of Facebook friends does wonders for ones online credibility.

Get a grip of yourself buddy! People may “unfriend” you on Facebook for a variety of reasons. They may have decided that the friendship wasn’t worth maintaining or they may have shut down their account altogether.  Believe me, some people will even “unfriend” you simply because of your friendship with someone they aren’t  comfortable with (for instance, their ex partner).  Big deal? Vanity upon vanity equates to compounded vanity.

The advent of Facebook mirrors that of the mobile phone. Before its evolution, we didn’t think we needed it. But now that we have it, we almost cannot live without it. We even sometimes wonder how we ever coped without it in the first place.

Unless you use it to promote your business, Facebook and other social networks shouldn’t be taken too seriously. So what if your Facebook friend tally isn’t rapidly moving north? What’s this got to do with the price of crude oil?

You’re so vain, I bet you think this post is about you…………………


The Thrills of Facebook

I don’t particularly think that Facebook is the best thing since sliced bread, although I do think it has its uses. It certainly is a good platform for reconnecting with long-lost friends, meeting people with whom one shares a common interest and general cyberspace mingling.  As we know, all types are represented on Facebook. There are the political aspirants, social commentators, hawkers, real celebrities, wannabe celebrities, sport pundits, political critics, cyberspace revolutionaries, jokers, hogwash peddlers, music video jockeys, propagandist and downright show-offs.

Although I wouldn’t consider myself a Facebook addict, like most people, I check in with Facebook on a daily basis mainly for the ‘feel-good’ element. Reading the updates of the political critics, cyberspace revolutionaries and hogwash peddlers can be highly amusing sometimes.

For what it is worth, I have recently been initiated into the Facebook ‘poke’ world. Approximately three weeks ago, an unknown friend of a Facebook friend poked me on Facebook. Not knowing what else to do, I simply poked back. The instigator poked back and ever since we have gotten into an intense poke war.

To some people a poke war is harmless fun, flirting or even Facebook sex. But when you really think about it, a poke war really is infantile. It’s a bit like two pre-school kids having a ‘my mummy is bigger than your mummy’ fight. There is no tangible end game, but yet, no one wants to back down first.

Some Facebook buffs claim to been engaged in poke wars that have gone on for years.  But seriously, isn’t that taking things a bit too far? Where is the excitement in a protracted, albeit, virtual war? Real life drawn-out wars like Afghanistan and Libya are bad enough.

Anyway, being in one poke war already, I thought I might start similar virtual wars with President Obama, Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey and Donald Trump – on Facebook of course.  I soon found out that these media savvy personalities had disabled the relevant poke application. Too bad.

I am sure a real life poke war between President Obama and Donald Trump would have real entertainment value. Colonel Gaddafi versus President Obama would definitely be a classic.

If you fancy instigating a poke war check out the official rules and then get poking.  All work and no play …………….

The thrills of Facebook.

My Facebook Account Under Attack

From Iceland With Love

Facebook recently notified me of an attempt to log into my account from Iceland and advised me to reset my account if I had not made the attempt. As I live 1,130 miles away from Iceland and have  never been there in my life,  someone was obviously trying to hack into my Facebook account.  But why?  It’s only a Facebook account not an American Express Platinum Card account or a Coutts bank account.   Anyway, I reset the account straight away.

Ten minutes after resetting my account I had another message from Facebook informing me of another attempt on my account from Iceland. Again, I went through the process of resetting my account. Of course, at this point I started to try and make sense of these events.  I started to think about Facebook’s security arrangements and whether they were robust enough. My thoughts also featured the risks I and other users are exposed to by virtue of our affinity for the social networking site.

As someone who works in the Risk Management industry, there are some risks I am willing to accept, but most I would rather mitigate.  Without further ado, risk assessment mode kicked in and all my thoughts were now prefixed with different ‘what ifs.’

What if Facebook was under attack, how long would it be before this cyberspace fortress surrenders in defeat? What would then happen to the personal details of over 400 million users?

What if Facebook employees have sold my personal details, and those of other Facebook users, to trade rivals, criminals or other unscrupulous types?  Afterall, there is precedent for this type of behaviour.  A few days ago account details of iTunes customers were on sale for 10p each in China.  In November 2009, a T-mobile employee sold thousands of customers details to a rival firm. In August 2008, over a million American Express, Royal Bank of Scotland and Natwest Bank customer details were sold directly on ebay.

What if Facebook really has links with the CIA and Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is snooping on us all. Afterall, Mark has previously been accused of hacking into the systems and emails of the Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss – the brothers he is alleged to have stolen the idea for Facebook from, and to whom he paid $65m in an out of court settlement.

I also then remembered a story I had previously read about Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook accounts.  According to  Silicon Alley Insider (SAI), “on at least one occasion in 2004, Mark used private login data taken from Facebook’s servers to break into Facebook members’ private email accounts and read their emails–at best, a gross misuse of private information.”

Ultimately, my risk assessment led me to conclude that I needed to take steps to mitigate the security risks posed, not only by  the cyberspace terrorists, but also by Facebook staff, Mark Zuckerberg himself,  as well as, other Facebook users.

Please look out for my follow-up post “Mitigating My Facebook Risk Exposure” coming soon.