Posts Tagged ‘social media’

The use of Social Media in an organization: guidelines

October 29, 2012 1 comment

On September 27-28, 20012 E-Crime Expert was invited to Dublin, Ireland, as a speaker to the “Social Media in HR event, hosted by Flemings Europe.

The event was great; the representatives of Flemings Europe were extremely professional and well prepared. Top HR professionals from very important organizations were present in the audience. The Conference topics covered among others, the use of Social Media in organizations by HR professionals, the most effective use of the latest social medias, which are the most popular (by usage) social medias, the use of social media and privacy, etc.

You could have a look at this video which captures the event

If you would like to know what “Guidelines for using Social Media in an organization” means please have a look at my Presentation.

Click on the image bellow in order to have full access to my Power Point Presentation

If you have any question please contact us at:


LinkedIn new Scam: Upgrade free to LinkedIn Premium

August 8, 2012 15 comments

Today, E-Crime Expert encountered a new scam, related to LinkedIn this time.

How it woks:

I received an email on my regular email address which said that because I am a valuable LinkedIn user, they will upgrade my Basic accoun to a Premium one for free, for one month period.

Picture 1

I did not know that this is a scam so I proceeded with the upgrade. After I clicked “upgrade” I was promted to introduce my LinkedIn password. I did so, but nothing hapenned.

Then, I checked my LinkedIn account on a different webpage and still there my account appears “Basic”, so no upgrade done as promised.

Picture 2

Instantly I realize that this is a scam having as purpose the access of your valuable friends database with email addresses, phone numbers, professions, etc. The purpose of this scam is to retrive for free this valuable information that later can be used for identity theft, or spam, or aother related scams.


if you did upgrade your account, please change your password as soon as possible

If you received this message but did not upgrade yet, please don’t do it.

If you have further questions, please fel free to contact us at:

Leveraging Social Media in the Workplace & Being Aware of Risks from the Stakeholders’ Perspectives

E-Crime Expert welcomes Fleming Europe as a guest.  Please find bellow their announcements about a very interesting event held between September 27-28, 2012 in Dublin, where E-Crime Expert is invited as a speaker:

“In the corporate world, HR used to be the last to adapt to change. It was mostly because they are the keepers of policy, procedure, order, and the employee. They were though the keeper of the employee only until social media has taken over the world and changed the game in exposure, privacy and data protection.


Come to our event and adapt to these changes.

Request the agenda.


27 – 28 September 2012, Dublin


By joining us  for the set of the intensive days you will learn about…

Discovering the SECONDINTERNET : the social nature of the web


HR Handling Social Media EXPOSURE AND PRIVACY of future and current employees

SOCIAL MEDIA METRICS – Measuring Employee and Customer Feedbacks in the “Cyberspace”


SOCIAL MEDIA RISKS to avoid: lawsuits, regulatory violations, security breaches, etc.

ACHIEVING ALIGNMENT with Corporate Goals

TECH-SPOTLIGHTs: Employing Mobile Apps, Social Networks and Collaboration Models in HR

This premier cross-industry HR event is
aimed at Senior Executives responsible for Talent, Recruiting, Knowledge Management, Employee Engagement and Learning, Communication Executives responsible  forEmployerBranding, Internal Communication   andSocialMedia as well as at Data Protection Officers, Privacy Experts and E-crime Professionals!

Benefit from:

–      Award Winning Speakers

–      Getting in touch with the most innovative tools like Geo-Social Talent AttractionandAugmented Realitythat maximize the cadidate experience and the social impact of your company while offering digitalized info about erveything and everybody

–      Keeping the pace with innovation via interactive learning sessions on using social media externally & internally, social media risks and professional development of HR people via social media

–      Becoming a part of executive group of peers discussing different social media strategies and developing future business contacts

–      SPECIAL FEATURE: “Crowd Competence SourcingSession via a built-in UNCONFERENCE

Are you interested in exploring the most ‘viral’ social network issues?

Do you want to seize the opportunity to gain valuable contacts and useful information?

..or you are just curious how the ‘Big Brother’ will become ‘Big Social’?

Request the agenda!

Looking forward to meet you in September, in the Silicon Valley of Europe!

PeterNovak, Marketing Manager, Fleming Europe
Tel: +421 257 272 335  Fax: +421 255 644 490″

Support Nicole Basaraba as a Samsung Global Blogger – 2012 London Olympics

May 23, 2012 1 comment

This Professional Blog would have not came into existence without the tremendous help of Nicole Basaraba owner of Annotations Editorial, who helped E-Crime Expert with its online presence and social media platforms in order to deliver them in a coherent brand and as a precise and functional package. In this role, Nicole developed an overall communications strategy, designed, tailored and edited all the content (ex. blog posts, articles, pictures, videos, etc.). Nicole has helped implement E-Crime Expert’s website, this blog, YouTube tutorials, Twitter, and Facebook page.

I am glad and honoured to support Nicole as she is competing to be a Samsung Global Blogger in London for the 2012 Olympic Games. I am extremely positive that Nicole through her creativity and genuine dedication, will achieve great accomplishments in this role, and all of us will greatly benefit from being continuously updated and connected in real-time with the atmosphere of the 2012 Olympic games.

So if you’d like to show your support for Nicole as a Samsung Global Blogger please feel free to:

  • click the “thumbs up” support button on her video 
  • re-blog this post
  • spread the word/link on Facebook and to your preferred social networks
  • tweet & retweet the link to her video:

Support @NicoleBasaraba (#Belgium) as a Samsung Global Blogger: #samsungglobalblogger

Nicole’s second video entry will be up shortly. In the meantime, you can find her audition video and give it the thumbs up here:

Thank you to all!

Facebook changes and the Federal Trade Commission

October 1, 2011 Leave a comment

As expected after so many reactions from Privacy advocates to privacy bloggers (including myself in a blog post here), Facebook new changes (Timeline, Ticker) were brought to the attention of officials including the Federal Trade Commission, as the Washington Post Blog announced.

A significant help came from the Australian blogger Nik Cubrilovic who wrote on September 25, 2011 (read here) about a discovery he made while looking into Facebook’s code. This discovery points out how Facebook actually tracks users browsing and visited webpages by using cookies, even after they logged out of the network. Those “super cookies” have the ability to carry on after the user logged out of Facebook. If you remember, E-Crime Expert also posted a blog which exposed how cookies monitor and track users: Cookie monitoring?! No way…just a “coincidence”

Of course Facebook got in touch with Nik Cubrilovic and answered his concerns that: “the company has cookies that persist after logout in order to identify outside parties who may be trying to log in to a user’s account” (Cubrilovic’s Blog).

Facebook said there were a couple of bugs in their system that kept unique user information, but those bugs did not store users’ private information and that they already fixed this technical issue.

Besides these issues described above and identified by Nik Cubrilovic, Facebook practices “frictionless sharing,” that permits apps to post user activity to the network in real-time without requiring permission from account holders for every update (the new Facebook Timeline feature). Some of these apps are already using the new Facebook platform and are posting real-time feeds regarding other users’ information (wall updates, pictures, quotes, videos, music, etc) on Facebook. This brings with it some risks for cyber stalking, enforcement/prosecution or employment because with the new Facebook features, the information is much more easily followed by any interested party or entity, being displayed in a chronological order and categorized under individual users rather than being delivered in bulk.

Civil rights advocacy groups such as the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and the American Civil Liberties Union including another 10 groups brought all these issues to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) attention. They ask FTC to investigate the new Facebook changes in order to establish if those new changes are violating consumers’ privacy by encouraging users to share more information, because:  “For users who wish to maintain something approaching their old privacy settings, Facebook has offered solutions that are confusing, impractical, and unfair.

To conclude, those new Facebook changes (Timeline, etc.) are going to be aired to users during this weekend. Soon, after this, regular users will heavily test new changes and other privacy groups and advocates will be able to have better feedback on whether these changes have the impact described in this post.

Regarding my personal feedback so far, anyone with access to a user’s Timeline (which may have low privacy settings), could find in all the information about that particular user in chronological order which is neatly organized in one useful package for cyber criminals to copy in an instant. That could become a one stop-shop for identity theft or cyber stalkers. It can also bring risks when applying for a job (easy for a prospective employer to “scan” one’s social life) or when monitored by public authorities (i.e. when one posts pictures when driving with 200 km/h, repeatedly).

Until then, when using new Facebook privacy features it is important to stop posting everything on Facebook, think twice before doing so, research and review what these things are because as E-Crime Expert always stresses an informed user, makes an informed decision.

Also, I am looking forward to the FTC reaction and response on these alleged privacy vulnerabilities.

Any questions can be submitted to:

Additional information can be found at:

What do you think about these changes? Have you received them? What do you expect to be the FTC’s reaction?

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Facebook: introduced a new “way of living”

September 24, 2011 2 comments

On August 29, 2011, Facebook gave the false impression that it will offer better privacy settings by default and empower the user to control his/her audience and the information made available to other users (see: “How to adjust the new Facebook privacy settings”).

On September 23, 2011, Facebook announced its new “Read”, “Listened,” “Watched” and “Want” functions, which will certainly add more depth of user preferences for content published by media sharing applications as well as from retailers. However, this will also provide more specific monitoring and reveal more information about what users read, watched, listened to and wanted.

Who wins?

Advertisers and Facebook win the advantage because they will deliver advertising tailored to specific users and they will always know precisely what a particular user likes, wants in terms of content (i.e. topics, videos) and products (i.e. brand names, vacations, etc). And that will be broadcasted live as the new “Ticker” function will be providing through Live Feeds, what a user does in real time, likes, eats, listen to, walks, visits, etc.

But what does the user get? The user will receive advertising, Live feeds about his “friends” and more targeted group suggestions, but ultimately the same user even loses the small amount of privacy they had with only the “Like” button. For more details visit this page.

Furthermore, these new features – announced during the F8 Conference and called “Timeline” – are in fact a visual representation of the user’s online activity, which along with the live feeds brought by “Ticker”, a new Facebook feature, provide a very accurate profile of a particular user.

“Timeline can help you summarize all of your stories,” Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook) said during the F8 Conference. This statement infers that Facebook aims to scan the user’s activity and precise preferences by making it easier for him/her to voluntarily share their life events, the places they visited, the books they read, movies they watched and more information in a nice “container” and layout, which happens to be the user’s Facebook page. This layout will create a timeline, which basically represents a user’s life. Facebook pushes this visual timeline even further by including an image/icon of a small baby and includes the user’s date of birth. The user will even have the option to include where they were born…

(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

You could watch a video here. YouTube video produced by Facebook:

Read more

This visual timeline – or better-said user’s Chronicle – along with the place and birth date and other highly private information are huge data protection risks. Identity theft uses date of birth as one of the main sources of private information needed to commit this crime.

Anyone with access to a user’s Timeline (which may have low privacy settings), could find in all the information about that particular user in chronological order starting with the date (and maybe even picture) of when he/she was born and then continuing on up the line with pictures from primary school, junior high, college/university, friends/family, pets and all the other things they choose to share and this information is neatly organized in one useful package for cyber criminals to copy in an instant. That could become a one stop-shop for identity theft.

Indeed Timeline helps users’ summarize their own life stories and at the same time helps advertisers and Facebook get more revenue by delivering the advertising tailored exactly to a specific user’s interests based on the pin-pointed places the user visited, liked, read, watched and so on.

Furthermore, the new Ticker function, presents also real risks for crimes such as: (cyber)stalking, rape or assault if we imagine someone posting in real time where he/she jogs or is located (at 10 p.m. in the dark park alone), where the criminal could come to mug, assault or rape them.

This is how Ticker looks under my personal Facebook page.

This idea could eventually be taken so far to the point where users will be showed/told what they like, how they dress, what to eat, and where to go and thus having less or even no control on their own preferences. Once advertisers know someone’s preferences, they will deliver that particular advertising as being the user’s choice and it would then no matter what a user actually wants or prefers because the choices will be limited based on their preferences (previous online activity).

E-Crime Expert would like all Facebook users to be aware and educated on what these new changes mean and what their implications could be. As the number of Facebook users continues to grow (from over 500 million users when I was finishing my LLM thesis in December 2010, to over 800 million in September 2011) we are witnessing the new trends in the online “life” environment, which is increasingly taking over and substituting offline life. Facebook is making everything available with one click and eventually users will find themselves clicking without thinking or asking questions first. With the higher online activity, come higher risks and occurrences of e-crime and paradoxically for traditional crime as well (identity theft, stalking, child pornography and abuses).

So with the roll out of new features, new setting and other flashing things on the internet, its important to stop, think, research and review what these things are because as E-Crime Expert always stresses an informed user, makes an informed decision.

For more information on how Facebook’s “Timeline” works please click here.

Note: these new features will be rolling out for regular users, starting with September 29. Now, they are only available for developers.

If you have any question, contact:

For more info, visit:

Have you heard about these changes? What do you think about these changes? 

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Privacy and the Internet

September 6, 2011 3 comments

E-Crime Expert presented and it will be further presenting on this blog, a series of posts that is summarizing the risks that might occur of not having appropiate privacy settings when using the Internet and the electronic environment. 

Privacy and the Internet

Currently, Internet users are “monitorised” by service providers such as Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and Twitter, which claim to offer a better user experience. No doubt they offer it by knowing the user’s preferences and habits. This is not about just the user himself, but about these service providers making more money for themselves. By having set up users’ profiles, they can develop a target audience (sex, race, age, food, cars, books, etc) and sell it better to the advertisers. What does the user get in exchange? Personalized web searches, classifieds within his geographical area, automatic login into websites (if you log on to Yahoo you are logged on Linkedin as well or if you log on to Google you are logged on to everything Google offers for users such as Maps, Sites, Gmail, Docs, YouTube, etc).

How it works:

Someone moves, for example, temporarily from North America to The Netherlands and there his Yahoo homepage or Google homepage changes automatically from English to Dutch, which for example might not be that user’s preference as he is an English speaker. But this change occurs by default as Google or Yahoo identifies the IP address from where a user logs in. Someone could adjust the settings but next time when the browser is opened again, the user will be taken automatically to the same Dutch webpage. What does it mean? It means that these service providers always know where a user is geographically located.

Also, the user’s privacy is questionable, when the history of the user’s searches on Google is kept.

If someone starts typing the first letter of as search, some suggestions appear on the search-box based on the previous search history of that terminal. So, if a user is a medical doctor, and while using his work computer he starts typing for example “hand”, suggestions such as “handguns” could appear as he or someone else might have searched this topic before from that particular terminal, even for research purpose (such as handgun wounds). Imagine if his colleagues or patients,  see this search suggestion as “handguns”, etc, how damaging for his image could be. Also, more harmful could be when a child could see the same suggested searches on his parent’s terminal.

Online Transactions

Another example when privacy is vulnerable on the internet is when a user wants to buy something from an online store; the user logs in, and first he is presented with the options related to his previous purchases and shopping history on that particular online store. This could be useful, but a user should be able to decide and use his own judgment rather than being “told” what to read or buy. This again demonstrates how users are monitorised over the Internet. The users should be given the choice between competitive brands for a better an unbiased online experience. For example one shops for nike shoes and all the online options are related to nike based on his preferences. Why there is not given any option regarding Adidas shoes for example, in order to help the user make her decision by comparing similar and competing products? This is called behavioral advertising because the users are monitorized for their web browsing preferences in order to be able to sell them specific products or advertising based on their known preferences (web history).

The problem is that the users do not always know they are monitorized, and as a direct effect, their privacy is breached.

Now, regarding purchasing special products (i.e. wine, cigarettes) from online stores, will comply with the age requirements for buying these products. Once someone wants to buy these products which are subject to specific age requirements, he is required first to log in (this step does not necessarily confirm the user’s legal age) but when in comes to make the payment automatically the bank details “informs” about the user’s date of birth, address, etc, and access is granted or denied (based on the user’s age).

Selling alcohol and cigarettes to under age individual was regulated better using these “architectural” website regulatory measures (i.e. one cannot make online purchases without following the required steps due to the website’s code, or technical structure), than any existing legislation. Regardless of the advantages of restricting purchases to those of legal age, it also comes in a package with negative implications because the details of personal data and private data are stored by these service providers who could rent, sell, or lend this private information for commercial purposes. Its very rare for users to do anything on the Internet without being logged in, providing username and passwords, bank cards, location, or having recorded their search preferences.

Thus, there are not many other options available:

  • the user must comply with these rules, which are imposed by the structure and technical features of the provided services or
  • they leave the site because they cannot move any further.

The point of this article is that all this private information or personal preferences are stored by the service providers (in the name of a better user experience) and could be sold, rented or borrowed for marketing  and advertising purposes and commercial gain, which comes against the user’s privacy, security and data protection. Secondly, why should a user be told what to do, what to buy, what to read, what to search for, what language to use and how the weather is in a particular location when he could use his own judgment to find out all this information? Why should everyone be in the same “pot” and dealt with in the same way? In reality, the user’s experience moves slowly towards a mass behavioral control, where the service providers think and take decisions and keep the users’ personal data in the name of this “better user experience”. As explained above, this is more about business and making money for the service providers than how the user’s experience matters in reality.

Why it works:

Because these services are provided for free. Google’s search engine is free, Yahoo’s services are free, Facebook is free, Twitter is free, and this is what users are looking for: free services. It is not charity but a very intelligent business model put forward and used very efficiently by these service providers. To not be misunderstood: their services are great, useful and come in handy, but some distinction between how and when to use them should be made. Driving the users blindly towards these services would be wrong because:

  • the users do not have other choices
  • their private information and personal data could be vulnerable, stored and manipulated by the service providers
  • nowadays information is the equivalent of power.

Soon, after enough users are dependent on these services, they could require payment or for example and they will restrict usage to only those who log in with their driver’s license or ID, even for browsing the Internet. This could eventually turn into the best regulatory model or most efficient controlling model of the Internet. At some point (I hope I’m wrong), the user will either have to conform to the rules or they will have to discontinue using the service, which is not convenient as now almost everything is happening on the Internet.

How the user could help protect their privacy:

  • decide whether an unified account for bringing together all these services (email, video, music, pictures, searches) is required or not (i.e. Google and Yahoo). I will suggest not;
  • clear the cookies (tutorial here) of your browser as regularly as possible in order to remove this stored information regarding your user behavior and preferences.
  • Clear the web history (tutorial here) and the browser cache (tutorial here)
  • clear the search history (tutorial here)
  • be careful and skeptical regarding what personal information should be provided on Social Networks
  • be aware of these service providers’ illegitimate affiliates. For example, all services provided by Google are done through Google, they do not use intermediaries, so if someone claims to work in Google’s behalf in order to provide its services, that’s not true. Don’t provide them with any personal information or make any payment.
  • ultimately set you own Internet (browser) preferences and settings, by deactivating Locations, or Weather updates, or Maps, or anything that deals with your personal data, identification and your location. Do not allow these services providers to decide in your behalf, if you want to protect your privacy.

 Any questions can be submitted to:

Additional information can be found at:

Do you find useful this post? Do you find useful the tips? Did you think that all those services are genuinely for free?

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