Online Reputation Management - Weapons of Myth Destruction?

By Carl Weiss

You worked long and hard to build your reputation and your business.  Years of planning and tens of thousands of dollars have gone into building your brand.  You have achieved a level of trust among your customers that is beyond reproach.  Or so you think.  But all of that can be undone with the click of a mouse by a disgruntled customer or by a wily competitor.  Welcome to the age of digital reputation management.

In today’s wired world everyone has become information junkies.  Whether you like it or not, all kinds of 
information about you and your business is floating around in cyberspace waiting to be found by anyone perusing a search engine, a social net or any kind of portal that deals in reviews of businesses.  This means that anything derogatory about you, your business, an employee, or a product on your shelves is fair game.  Was a customer served a plate of linguini in your establishment that we beyond al dente?  That can be broadcast on any number of review sites in realtime.  Have you or one of your employees been charged with DUI?  That can make the rounds of the social nets with alarming speed.  Unlike in the past, where a local company run by shady operators or offering shoddy customer service could ply their trade with impunity, today the emperor wears no clothes.  This means that you can run, but you can’t hide in the information age.  This is a good thing for consumers and reputable businesses, since who wants to get tarred with someone else’s brush.

However, there is also a dark side to reputation management that all too many reputable businesses find out about the hard way.  Like it or not, it is all too easy for your reputation to be damaged or even destroyed by erroneous or malicious information.  Does your business have a name similar to a competitor with a less than sterling reputation?  Then it is not impossible for a disgruntled customer to file a complaint on a review portal or social network that targets your business by mistake.  Does someone else in your town have the same name as you?  If they get into trouble with the law there is a high probability that your good name can be dragged through mud along with theirs.  Have you recently fired someone in your employ?  If they feel in the least way slighted by the termination, this can open an ugly can of worms that can take on a life of its own in cyberspace.

60 Minutes
60 Minutes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Think this can’t happen to you?  In a broadcast on 60-Minutes this past Sunday, a businesswoman had her credit destroyed by a mistake on her credit report that was clearly a case of mistaken identity.  Not only did the report list a different name than that of the responsible party, but the attorneys for the guilty party even provided a letter stating that the businesswoman was not responsible for the outstanding debts of the other party.  Yet even after all this the credit reporting agencies refused to remove the erroneous information and restore her good name until they were sued in federal court.  The 60-Minutes piece went onto inform the public that this was not the exception but the rule in the credit reporting industry where you are presumed guilty even if you have proof of your innocence. 

The online reputation industry operates under a similar set of rules.  Once a complaint has been filed, it is nearly impossible to redress, let alone remove.  This makes it exceedingly impossible for legitimate businesses to operate, since as the saying goes, “You can’t please all the people all the time.”  Trying to get a bad review removed from a social net or review site can be all but impossible.   With many review sites and social nets there is no way for you to pick up the phone and call customer service because there is no customer service number.  Ever tried to call someone at Facebook?  There is no such number.  While you can place a call to Google, being able to get them to remedy or erase an error can take weeks or even months.  (It took nearly three months for our company to get Google to change the address of a client of ours who had moved his business from one county in Florida to another.)

Worse yet is the fact that an underhanded competitor can use this very loophole to attack your business.  Ever see an online complaint against a business that had been posted anonymously?  There is a high probability that it was posted by a competitor.  When it comes to mudslinging, politicians are not the only people who know how to play the game.  With the current lack of checks and balances on most social networks and review portals, it is all too easy for the competition to turn a system that was meant to protect the consumer into one that can be used to attack any business with impunity.

#bdi Social Reputation Management Conference N...
The other salient fact is that with hundreds of places to dish dirt online, it is a Herculean task to police your 
reputation.  This has spawned an entire industry called reputation management that is tasked with monitoring and identifying posts about client businesses.  This also means yet another expense for participating businesses since these services charge anywhere from $99 per month to $999 per month depending upon the level of service selected.  Even paying top dollar doesn’t guarantee that these firms can steam clean your online reputation, since they are forced to play by the same rules as everyone else. 

All that you or I or any high-priced consultant can do to mitigate damage is try to contact the offending party to try to convince them to remove the negative post, or to post a large number of positive reviews to push the bad review off the first page.  The problem with reviews are that one bad review is more powerful than ten good ones.  The other problem is that most businesses do not have a protocol in place that encourages satisfied customers to post positive reviews.  Therefore even one complaint sticks out like a sore thumb.  None of these tactics will redress a choreographed smear campaign by a disgruntled former employee or underhanded competitor.  I have even seen entire websites commissioned by competitors that were designed to besmirch the reputation of a targeted business.  Try getting that turned off with anything short of a lawsuit and a court order.

The bottom line is that if you hope to protect your bottom line you as a business owner need to take reputation management seriously and do whatever it takes to defend your turf and protect your good name before one of these weapons of myth destruction sneaks up on you and does irreparable harm.

Carl Weiss is president of W Squared Media Group a digital marketing agency based in Jacksonville, Florida.  You can share your views with Carl every Tuesday at 4 pm Eastern on his Working the Web to Win radio show.
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The Borg in Your Boardroom

By Hector Cisneros and Carl Weiss

Have you noticed all the new cybernetic devices coming out lately? Prosthetic legs that allow you to run 
star trek borg docking station
star trek borg docking station (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
faster than normal, artificial eyes that see and bionic ears that hear?  Add to this such things as augmented reality, and the ability to use avatars for remote sensing and to do work and the question is not one of, “Do we have a brave new world just over the horizon?”  It’s more a question of is it here already? If you’re wondering if there is a biological upgrade in your near future, read on and find out what’s likely to happen once there is a Borg in every Boardroom.

Being a big Star Trek Fan, I am always amazed at all the wonderful inventions we see coming to life that were first envisioned in the Star Trek TV series. Recently my partner and I wrote about how cell phones can trace their history to the communicator from the original series and how 3D printing is the precursor to the Replicator that also debuted on that series. But of those episodes, none were as frightening or as exciting as the Borg episodes. These are the episodes that made the phrase “Resistance is futile” an everyday saying!

So what does all this have to do with internet marketing and online commerce? Plenty! The year is Star Date 2013 and we already have hundreds of cybernetic augmentation devices currently being peddled in retail stores as well as online. 

One of the world’s largest corporations (Google) is spearheading a new means of cybernetic communications called Glass. Private citizens (even teen agers) are building their own cybernetic limb replacements with 3D printers. Cochlear implants are common place. Cybernetic eyes are already in experimental use. We have had pace makers to control heart function for decades. Artificial Heart’s have been in use to bridge the gap between transplant surgeries and have been around for a number of years. We regularly replace joints (knees, hips, shoulder etc…, tendons, bones, teeth, skin, hair and so on with their manmade counterparts. We have devised implants to stimulate parts of the brain in order to control epilepsy, hunger, and even the sex drive. The military is already using many types of remote sensing, defense and augmented battle devices to help soldiers survive the fog of war.

Some of the most amazing newcomers to cyber augmentation are: Computer controlled prosthetic limbs which help people to walk with cybernetic legs or pick up objects with cybernetic arms and hands all controlled by the wearers own muscle movements and thoughts. Soldiers in the field routinely use robots and aerial drones to scout, defuse bombs and enter dwellings.  Scientists are even working on creating a cloaking device to make the wearer invisible.

Right now most of the cybernetic ear implants are designed to help people regain lost hearing. But hearing enhancement devices have been used by hunters and solders for many years. The next step will be implanting augmented hearing permanently in your head.

Cybernetic eyes are on their way. We have been using many forms of vision enhancements for years. We have all kinds of telescope, microscopes, binoculars, light filtering devices, night vision goggles and cameras
Google Glass
. Now Google has married a computer to many of these of devices and create Google Glass a wearable computer that interacts with the wearer using voice commands much just like the computer on the original Star Trek series. We already use computers as extensions of our mind and bodies via the internet. It won’t be long before people start implanting cybernetic enhancements in order to expand their perception of the real world much like the character in the Next Generation named Jordie did.  In fact there is already a term for the implantation of transhuman technology into the body.  It’s called bio-hacking.

In fact there are a number of people who have already begun experimenting with bio-hacking:
Rich Lee was a mild-mannered salesman from St. George, Utah until one day he was bio-hacked to have headphones installed into his head, thus increasing his ailing vision with the sonar power of a bat while enjoying his own soundtrack through the power of magnets. Lee is a self-described “grinder”, a group that believes in the enhancement of the human body through technological modification – or ‘biohacking’. The Utah resident’s surgical procedure was carried out by “the godfather of body modification,” Steve Haworth, who has been experimenting with biohacking since 1998.

There is even a newly released Hollywood motion picture called Elysium that stars Matt Damon in which he has a robotic exoskeleton grafted onto his body to help him regain function lost after an industrial accident.  I won’t spoil the flick for you, with the exception of telling you that while the movie is set in the year 2154, the exoskeleton technology described is already being developed to assist paralyzed people to walk. 

Also known by the term Transhumanism, Wikipedia describes the genre as an international cultural and intellectual movement with an eventual goal of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.  The term itself was coined in the 1960’s by author and futurist Fereidoun M.Esfandiary, who among other things correctly predicted such things as invitro fertilization, teleconferencing and genetic manipulation. He also legally changed his name to FM-2030. 

While much of the technology involved seems just as out there as changing one’s name to FM-2030, bear in mind that everything from the Star Trek communicator (a flip phone) to a Tricorder (smartphone) to a
Replicator (3D printer) to a Shuttlecraft (Space Shuttle) has come to pass.  Besides in this highly competitive world anyone who wants to succeed has been and is going to utilize most every technology to gain an advantage.  So when you walk into that board meeting in the not too distant future only to encounter a biologically enhanced human sitting across from you, remember this one piece of advice, “Resistance is futile!” 

Hector and Carl are the enhanced humans who manage W Squared Media Group in Jacksonville, Florida.  Join them every Tuesday at 4pm Eastern as they host Working the Web to Win on Blog Talk Radio.
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Thinkin LinkedIn 2

by Hector Cisneros

It has been some time since we discussed how to leverage the online marketing potential of LinkedIn.
Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...
This powerful business-to-business social network has a number of new features that are designed to connect you to other business owners if you know how to access them. In this article I will discuss the four must do daily tasks that every LinkedIn pro takes advantage of.  I will also cover three new features that can make LinkedIn life easier and keep your momentum going and lastly I will provide links to other articles that give even more comprehensive information to help you master LinkedIn.

In my last article about LinkedIn, entitled "How to Leverage LinkedIn for Business & Career Enhancement", I gave a broad overview of the top features available on LinkedIn. LinkedIn like all social networks follows unwritten rules of social etiquette and protocol. In this article I want to start off by discussing the absolute minimum of tasks you need to do on a daily basis. These four tasks are the 80/20 rule you have heard about, where 80% of your productivity comes from 20% of the functions you use.

Let's begin by keeping your profile up to date. 

The first thing a person sees when they look you up on LinkedIn is your profile. This is the first place you need to put your best foot forward. Never accept mediocrity by leaving your profile incomplete. More importantly make sure you let your audience keep up with the changes that are happening in your business. You can always add new successes, projects that you've started, product launches, add company pictures etc… The benefits of keeping your profile up to date are: 1. You put your best foot forward.  2. You get free promo's from LinkedIn. That's right, LinkedIn sends out a daily list of people who have updated their profiles. This helps keep you in front of your peers and potential clients and it's promoted by LinkedIn, so it isn't considered as spam!

Next lets discuss posting articles relevant to your industry and position. 

Try doing this daily if at all possible. If you have lots of followers you can up this to say 3 times a day. If you're scientific about it you will measure what day of the week and hours of the day get the most reads. You can do this by tracking your posts with Hootsuite or some other software program. I can't overemphasize the importance of providing useful content to your peers and prospects. Posting lots of information about yourself or your products/service will hamper your progress. If you want to provide information that builds your credibility, write quality articles and blog posts about your industry and mix them with posts from industry leaders. Make sure the content is useful and written grammatically and technically correct. If you lack this skill find someone who can ghostwrite for you. Your cost can be as low as $50 for a short blog post to $300 for an article length document. The best way to look like an expert in your field is to show off your expertise in writing. Blogging or self -publishing is a great start. Getting published in industry related magazines provide its own advantages and raises your credibility to a new level. A third way of building your credibility is actively participating in Groups. Again be ready to help others out. Don't act like a rookie salesperson ready to pounce? Act like a host, ready to help. Here is where providing useful content can also pay off. People will follow you if you are in their group and you are posting quality information that they find useful.

Third, endorse others and post testimonials to people who have helped you. 

Providing other businesses with testimonials allows you to leverage the law of reciprocity. This law is alive and well and still works in the 21st century. The likelihood of someone reciprocating and endorsing you back is very high. LinkedIn offers three ways to endorse others. First, you can create a testimonial and post it in their recommendation section.  Second you can endorse them for a specific skill set by clicking on that specific skill or expertise in that section. And lastly you can post something positive about a person or company in the "Share an Update…" field on your home page or activity field in LinkedIn.  Endorsing others is a great way to beginning a relationship with a referral partner, customer or prospect. I would add that genuinely endorsing others fulfills a need that can't easily be fulfilled in any other way. On top of that LinkedIn automatically asks for reciprocation when it announces to the recipient that they have been endorsed by you.

Of the three methods a written testimonial is the best and most powerful way to endorse others. The second most powerful is a posted endorsement in the timeline of the newsfeed. A message of congratulations or positive statement of endorsement goes a long way here. Clicking on a skill or expertise is the least powerful but does have some advantages that make it different from the other kinds of written endorsements. For one it's quick and easy. A click or two and you're done. It also prompts LinkedIn to contact the person being endorsed with the statement "You have been endorsed"! You’ll get noticed in a flattering way to say the least.

Fourth, engage members in gracious and useful correspondence. 

The reason I say gracious and useful correspondence is that most of the correspondence people receive in LinkedIn are solicitations of some sort.  These solicitations cover the gamut from tacitly asking to connect to our right cold sales calls. A way to be gracious is to say thank you whenever possible to anyone who connects with you, likes your post or mentions you in anyway. A way to be useful a correspondent is to provide useful information like needed links, free white papers on your industry and be willing to help other with questions they post asking for assistance.  If you do this in a way that beneficial it will get noticed. Not everyone is going to jump up and say thank you back but a good portion of the recipients of your help will remember you. The law of reciprocity will kick in and what goes around will definitely come around, and you will eventually be the recipient of someone asking for your help as a customer.

New features worth Noting:

LinkedIn now has sponsored ads in their newsfeeds and they have also added video ads in the Pay Per Click model. Anyone can sponsor ads in the newsfeed time line just like you can for the 
header ads. It's easy to setup and can be initiated from your own sponsored updates (your posts) or via Ad manager. Once you have chosen a post you want to sponsor you then select the demographics you're looking for. You can choose from location, companies, job title, schools, skills, groups, gender and age. You can also add filters for title, name and category (industry, function, seniority etc…). This is very powerful targeting. Next, choose whether you want to pay on a cost per click or cost per impression basis. Set your budget and the length of the campaign and start. It's that simple. The system will suggest minimal bid prices and daily budgets. I have been able to gets clicks for as little as 90 cents. However most will come in close to the suggested bid rate.!

LinkedIn introduces new company page analytics.  In July LinkedIn introduced their new Company page Analytics which allow the subscriber to better understand what is driving the traffic on your pages. This new service allows you to identify which updates are driving the most engagement. It will allow you to filter engagement trends by type and time period.  It will provide more detailed demographic data on your followers and it will allow you to visualize your follower growth and benchmark your growth against similar brands. This enhancement is also easy to understand because it also utilizes the new built-in help feature which can be accessed by highlighting the question mark symbol. Check out their help video for their analytics.

LinkedIn goes mobile.  LinkedIn’s new mobile app allows for greater customization plus it comes preloaded with the handiest features already setup in the customizable navigation page. This new app also helps emphasize localization. Since 64% of LinkedIn's growth is overseas they have also added additional native language support for 15 languages in total. Click here for LinkedIn own story.

In this article I have shown you four things you need to do on a regular basis in order to be successful with LinkedIn. I have also introduced you to three of LinkedIn’s latest features. You can never go wrong by following these suggestions. Yes there are other things you can add but leaving out these four activities will hurt your chances of success. The new features are worth your investigation, especially if you like using pay per click ads.  If you feel this article was helpful, pass it on to your friends. If you have a something to add to this discussion enter it in the comment section. It been my pleasure share my thoughts on what important and new in LinkedIn. I look forward to reading yours.

Hector Cisneros is a partner, COO and social media director for WSquared Media Group based in Jacksonville, Florida. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+,  LinkedIn, and YouTube. He is also the co-host of Blog Talk radio’s “Working the Web to Win,” where he and Carl Weiss make Working the Web to Win simple for every business. Hector is a syndicated writer for EzineOnline and is an active Blogger, (including ghost writing). He is a published author of two books,  60 Seconds to success (on sale at Amazon and B&N) and Internet Marketing for the 21st Century which you can get free by clicking on the link at

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In an Age of Cyber Surveillance, Can You Protect Your Privacy?

Listen to internet radio with workingthewebtowin on BlogTalkRadio

By Carl Weiss

Like him or loathe him, Edward Snowden let the cat out of the bag when he revealed that the NSA was using digital surveillance including phone and internet monitoring of millions of Americans.  While some people label him a traitor, others including Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) call him a whistleblower. The Michigan Republican himself admitted that were it not for Snowden’s revelations, Congress as well as the public was in the dark as to the breadth and scope of the NSA’s nefarious activities.

English: Congressman Justin Amash
English: Congressman Justin Amash (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“Without his doing what he did, members of Congress would not have really known about [those 
programs],” Amash said. “Members of Congress were not really aware on the whole about what these programs were being used for and the extent to which they were being used. Members of the intelligence committee were told, but rank-and-file members really didn’t have the information.”

While this revelation comes as something of a surprise to the public at large, what is even more shocking is the fact that the NSA isn’t the only government agency known to be digging up dirt on Americans.  A recent newsfeed has revealed that a DEA surveillance unit known as the Special Operations Division has been passing information gleaned from its own wiretaps, informants and metadata to the FBI and Homeland Security, among others.  Like the NSA, the DEA has been cutting corners by illegally sharing information that is has nothing to do with potential terrorist threats.

In a recent article by Reuters entitled, “SecretiveDEA Surveillance Unit Makes NSA Look Like Happy 
Hour,”  investigative Journalists John Shiffman and Kristina Cooke discovered that the DEA blatantly instructed other agencies to cover up where they received their information.

English: The Seal of the United States Federal...
One federal agent from a different agency who worked with the Special Operations Division told Reuters, "You'd be told only, ‘Be at a certain truck stop at a certain time and look for a certain vehicle.' And so we'd alert the state police to find an excuse to stop that vehicle, and then have a drug dog search it." 

The question that every American should be asking is not “What other agencies are busy eroding our freedom?”  What they really should be asking is, “Who is watching the watchers.”  It certainly isn’t Congress or the White House.  Just as important if not more so should be the proviso, “If the government isn’t going to protect my privacy, what can I do about it?”

This is a question that has a number of possible solutions.  In the first place, don’t make it so darned easy for every peeping G-Man to glean your personal information.  Below are several measures that every citizen can employ with ease.

      1.      Open a Private Session in Chrome or Firefox – If you are logged into Google literally every keystroke is 
      monitored and stored by Google.  Want to give Google the shake?  Simply click on the Customize and Control button at the far right on Chrome that looks like three diminutive orange bars stacked one atop the other.  The third option from the top reads, “New incognito window.”  By clicking on this, or by hitting Control+Shift+N, Chrome will pop up a new tab, along with the following:

You've gone incognito. Pages you view in this window won't appear in your browser history or search history, and they won't leave other traces, like cookies, on your computer after you close all open incognito windows. Any files you download or bookmarks you create will be preserved, however.

Going incognito doesn't affect the behavior of other people, servers, or software. Be wary of:
  • Websites that collect or share information about you
  • Internet service providers or employers that track the pages you visit
  • Malicious software that tracks your keystrokes in exchange for free smileys
  • Surveillance by secret agents
  • People standing behind you
Learn more about incognito browsing.
Because Google Chrome does not control how extensions handle your personal data, all extensions have been disabled for incognito windows. You can reenable them individually in the extensions manager.

Google Chrome
Google Chrome (Photo credit:
      2.      On the same Customize and Control button a little further down is an option that is labeled “History.”  Hitting this option brings up all your latest web browsing along with a button that reads, “Clear Browsing Data.”  By hitting this button, you will also clear your download history, delete cookies along with other plug-in data and empty the cache.  You should do this on at least a weekly if not daily basis if you want to erase your online footprints and flush out any cookie-based adware.  Cookies by and of themselves are not malicious by nature.  They are merely text files that can be used to store and share information.

In a search of, a blog entitled, “Do Cookies Compromise Security?,” states that,
 If you have ever returned to a site and have seen your name mysteriously appear on the screen, it is because on a previous visit you gave your name to the site and it was stored in a cookie so that when you returned you would be greeted with a personal message. A good example of this is the way some online shopping sites will make recommendations to you based on previous purchases. The server keeps track of what you purchase and what items you search for and stores that information in cookies. Web sites will often use cookies to keep track of what ads it lets you see and how often you see ads.

Cookies do not act maliciously on computer systems. They are merely text files that can be deleted at any time - they are not plug ins nor are they programs. Cookies cannot be used to spread viruses and they cannot access your hard drive. This does not mean that cookies are not relevant to a user's privacy and anonymity on the Internet. Cookies cannot read your hard drive to find out information about you; however, any personal information that you give to a Web site, including credit card information, will most likely be stored in a cookie unless you have turned off the cookie feature in your browser. In only this way are cookies a threat to privacy. The cookie will only contain information that you freely provide to a Web site.

     3.      Antimalware Programs – No matter the platform or operating system all computers, including Smartphones are vulnerable to viruses and malware.  While malware is designed for a number of purposes, 
ad-aware_07 (Photo credit: b1ue5ky)
      including identity theft, corporate espionage, spamming, creating unwanted popup ads or other malicious designs, the best way to stop cyber thieves from robbing you blind is to stop them before they walk through the door.   This is what antimalware programs are all about.  While there are a number of highly touted antimalware creators out there, all of them share one vital trait: They are all designed to block malicious software from entering your system in the first place.  They also need to be updatable since malware continually evolves. If your antimalware package has expired and you have neither renewed nor updated it in more than a month, then you are leaving the door wide open to malware.  Worst of all is the fact that there a number of ways that your system can be breached, including the following:
How Malware Gets On Your Computer
Malware, spyware, and other junk software makes it onto your computer for a number of reasons:
·         You installed something you really shouldn’t have, from an untrustworthy source. Often these include screensavers, toolbars, or torrents that you didn’t scan for viruses.
·         You didn’t pay attention when installing a “reputable” application that bundles “optional” crapware.
·         You’ve already managed to get yourself infected, and the malware installs even more malware.
·         You aren’t using a quality Anti-Virus or Anti-Spyware application.
·         You’ve using Apps on your Smartphone or Tablet that’s are not protected with antivirus/malware software and you’re computer is being back door hacked through shared files.
·         You’re letting your kids run amuck on your computer system by not teaching them proper computer safe usage and what to avoid?

     4.      Encryption – While encryption software that is able to withstand NSA snooping is readily available, hardly anyone uses it.  Moreover, it’s nothing new.  Even as far back as 1995, the government knew that it was possible for the average citizen to add encryption software to any computer system. 

“The ability of just about everybody to encrypt their messages is rapidly outrunning our ability to decode them,” a U.S. intelligence official told U.S. News & World Report in 1995. By the end of the Clinton administration, the government conceded that the Internet had made it impossible to control the spread of strong cryptographic software. But more than a decade later, the cypherpunks seem to have lost the war. 

Better still, the same encryption algorithms that can keep prying government agencies at bay would certainly prove deterrent enough to thwart cyberthieves.  While they might be able to hack into your system, if they didn’t possess the decryption key al they would come away with was a bunch of nonsense.  With everyone clamoring for privacy, why hasn’t encryption come bundled into every computer, tablet and Smartphone on the planet?

One of the reasons that encryption systems have not received widespread use is due to the fact that anyone you wished to email or text would also need the decryption key in order to read your message.  Other wildly popular email and messaging systems would also be affected.

Take Gmail, for example. “If you wanted to prevent government snooping, you’d have to prevent Google’s servers from having a copy of the text of your messages,” Halderman says. “But that would make it much harder for Google to provide features like search over your messages.” Filtering spam also becomes difficult. And end-to-end encryption would also make it difficult for Google to make money on the service, since it couldn’t use the content of messages to target ads.
A similar point applies to Facebook. The company doesn’t just transmit information from one user to
Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase
 another. It automatically resizes users’ photos and allows them to “tag” themselves and their friends. Facebook filters the avalanche of posts generated by your friends to display the ones you are most likely to find the most interesting. And it indexes the information users post to make it searchable.

      5.      Use better usernames and passwords. This might seem like a small item but many usernames and passwords are easy to guess. Especially if you have hacking software to help you crack the code. Make your user name longer and unique. Also make sure your passwords are at least 10 characters long and include upper and lower case letters, at least one number and at least one special character. This type of password is many times more difficult to crack than the 8 digit all letter ones that most people use.

The bottom line when it comes to security, the American public needs to decide which is more important, privacy or convenience.  Because in this wired world of ours, you can’t have it both ways.

Carl Weiss is president of W Squared Media Group, a company that specializes in digital marketing.  You can hear Carl every Tuesday at 4 pm on Working the Web to Win.
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