Click for Larry Magid’s 1-minute CBS News & CNET segment about Facebook dropping the search setting
Facebook has eliminated a setting called “Who can look up your Timeline by name?,” which controlled whether you could be found when people typed your name into the Facebook search bar.
In a blog post, Facebook’s chief privacy officer Michael Richter said that the setting was “created when Facebook was a simple directory of profiles and it was very limited.” The feature also created a false sense of security because it gave some people the sense that they were hiding just because they couldn’t be found in search. Not true. There are many ways that people can find you on Facebook including links from other people’s profiles.
If you block someone, they can’t find you via search or any other way on the service.
Protecting what you post
While it may be hard to hide on Facebook, you can protect the privacy of your content. Every time you post you have the option to determine the audience. It can be everyone (Public), Friends, Friends of Friends or limited to a smaller group of people or even “just me.”
For more, here is Facebook’s privacy settings help page
Facebook’s blog post about the change
Disclosure: Facebook provides financial support to ConnectSafely and co-directors Larry Magid and Anne Collier serve on Facebook’s Safety Advisory Board.
Facebook on Wednesday hosted an Anti-Defamation League program on “Free Speech, Civility and the Challenge of Cyberhate” to address the issue of hate online hate speech. The panel was moderated by ADL Civil Rights Director Deborah Lauter and included privacy and Internet law expert Christopher Wolf, Susan Benesch, Faculty Associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, and Monika Bickert.
What follows is Larry’s 1-minute CBS News radio segment about it the panel, which includes a sound bite from Facebook’s Monica Vikert, and a link to the one-hour video playback of the event and
Larry’s 1 minute CBS News segment on Facebook cyberhate event
Content that attacks people based on their actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or disease is not allowed. We do, however, allow clear attempts at humor or satire that might otherwise be considered a possible threat or attack. This includes content that many people may find to be in bad taste (ex: jokes, stand-up comedy, popular song lyrics, etc.).
A recent survey from the Pew Research Center found at the more than a fifth (21%) of adults have had an email or social media account hijacked and more than a tenth (11%) have had information important information stolen, such as a social security number, credit card or bank account numbers.
The report, Anonymity, Privacy, and Security Online, is based on a sample of 1,002 adults interviewed by telephone in July, 2013. It has a sampling error of plus or minus 3.4%
Although 59% of those surveyed said that they don’t believe that it’s possible to be completely anonymous online, most people are taking at least some steps to protect their privacy. For example, 86% of Internet users have taken steps to remove or mask their digital footprints, “ranging from clearing cookies to encrypting their email,from avoiding using their name to using virtual networks that mask their internet protocol (IP) address.” More than half (55%) have done something to “avoid observation” by specific people, organizations or the government.
The survey found that 68% of Americans feel current laws :are not good enough in protecting people’s privacy online” while only 24% believe current laws provide reasonable protections. The Obama administration has proposed an online privacy bill of rights but, so far, Congress hasn’t acted on it.
Getting along. And not
I find bullet point #2 (trouble in a relationship based on posting) to be particularly interesting in light of all the talk about youth bullying. This is a survey of adults who — like teens and kids — use the Internet to socialize and interact with family and friends and — like all other forms of interaction — there are bound to be some touchy moments. Still, 3% is a fairly low percentage considering that it’s pretty common for people to have “trouble in a relationship” in the offline world.
Are your kids about to get a smartwatch? Probably not if they have their heart set on the new Samsung Galaxy Gear watch that was unveiled this week. It costs a whopping $299 and it only works with a single phone — the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. But, as a category, it could catch on with kids if the price drops to below $100. If it does, it will be the first time in awhile that people under 20 want to wear watches. Traditional watches are practically an endangered species thanks to phones telling time.
Fear mongering sure to follow
But, if kids do adopt to this technology, expect lots of interesting apps and a bit of parental consternation and media fear-mongering over what might go wrong. Clearly, the watches will be used for geolocation (ConnectSafely.org partner Glympse has already announced a location tracking app for the Samsung watch) but kids will also be able to use it to keep in touch with each other, perhaps through texting. And the Samsung watch has a camera which means photo taking is more convenient and more but potentially more secretive. Having said that, if smartwatches do catch on with kids, I’m quite confident that smart kids will use smartwatches smartly, as most do with phones and computers.
What follows is my first-look as published on Forbes.com
Samsung took the wraps off its Galaxy Gears smartwatch ahead of the IFA trade show in Berlin today, along with a new Galaxy 3 smartphone and a new Galaxy 10.1 tablet.
The phone and tablet have some interesting new features, but the buzz is all about the new watch. The day before the announcement Samsung invited journalists for a sneak-peak and a little hands-on time. Clearly, a few minutes with a pre-release product is not equivalent to a full review, but it did give me a sense of how the product works and why some people would — or wouldn’t — want to own one.
And before you get too excited about the watch, know that it’s an accessory to Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 3. It’s not a stand-alone device nor does it work with other smartphones or tablets, at least not yet. A Samsung spokesperson said it will likely work with other Galaxy phones at some point, but not on day one. So, if you’re thinking of getting “Galaxy Gear,” as they call it, you’ll also need to buy a new Note 3.
At 1.44 by 2.2 by .44 inches, weighing 2.6 ounces (1.6 inch diagonal screen), it’s not the most demure watch on the planet but it is about as stylish as you can get for a watch with a glass and metal case and a plastic band. The band comes in six colors: Jet Black, Mocha Gray, Wild Orange, Oatmeal Beige, Rose Gold and Lime Green.
Although the watch has some stand-alone features (time, pedometer and other downloadable apps), it’s mostly used as a companion to the soon-to-be-released Note 3 phone. When paired to the phone via Bluetooth, you can use it as a speaker phone (there are two microphones for noise cancelation and a speaker on the band). Voice commands allow you to use it hands-free such as when you’re driving or carrying groceries with both hands. There is also a mini-phone dialer that you can tap with your fingers. On my one test call, sound quality for both sides of the call was pretty good. Not quite as good as if you’re talking directly on the phone, but very close.
Galaxy Gear is expected to be available in the United States in October for $299.
The watch’s 1.9 megapixel still and video camera is pretty low resolution by today’s standards, but is convenient to snap a picture just by pressing an icon on the screen The lens is on the side of the band so you can take a picture while you hold up your hand, as if you were checking the time. Unlike Google Glass, the watch doesn’t light up while you’re taking a picture, which could become a privacy issue. Pictures can be viewed on the watch but are also transferred to the phone. The watch also has a voice recorder.
Mini dialer or voice commands let you make calls from Galaxy Gear
The watch can also be used to read emails and text messages and control music on the phone. The user interface consists of a home button and gestures like double tapping and swiping to bring up menus and swiping across the screen to go from one app to another. On the pre-release device I tested, the gestures weren’t as responsive as I would hope for, but perhaps that will improve with the final product as well as time getting used to it.
A number of apps, including Glympse location tracker and RunKeeper fitness tracker will be available at or near launch. Other third party apps include Evernote, Path, Banjo, eBay and Pocket (a way to save web content to view later on any device). See the chart on the next page for additional apps.
Battery and charging
As you might expect from a device with a radio, a processor, a camera and a bright screen, battery life will be limited. A Samsung executive told me that users will likely get about a day’s worth of use on a charge, depending on how much they use it and what they do with it. There is no direct port to plug in a charger but the watch comes with an optional dock that connects to a standard Micro USB charging cord. The charger is small and stylish but it is one more thing to carry. Personally, the battery issue is probably my biggest single problem with this and other smartwatches. It’s one more thing to have to remember to charge up everyday and its charger is one more thing to have to take with you when traveling.
As I said, a few minutes of hands-on is no substitute for a full review, but based on what I saw, it appears as if Samsung did a good job in creating a reasonably stylish smartwatch at a size and weight that will be palatable to many users.
My general thought about this and other smartwatches is that — while a nice accessory — it’s not yet a game changer. Based on the bundled apps, the watch doesn’t do anything that your phone doesn’t already do, so it’s main value as a phone accessory is allowing you to read your messages, snap photos or take calls without having to reach into your pocket to pull out your phone. As with all devices that run apps, the real value of the phone will be in what the apps bring to the party and, frankly, I’m just as excited about the pedometer and promise of other standalone apps as I am in how the watch acts as a remote control and screen for a smartphone. I’m also anxious to see what enterprise and professional apps emerge. I can imagine this watch coming in handy for medical professionals, repair people and others who need information while using both hands for their work.
The hassle of having to charge it daily dims my enthusiasm. I also question whether this or any other smartwatch solves a big enough problem to be universally compelling. After all, it’s not all that hard to take your phone out of your pocket. But I’m not passing judgement quite yet because I’d like to see how well the watch does in real-world tests and how useful it is when I have the chance to live with it for a few weeks.
What I can say is that I’m glad that Samsung was willing to take a chance. Not all innovations succeed in the marketplace but they do advance the bar and often lead to better ideas down the road.
GALAXY Gear Product Specifications (from Samsung)
Bluetooth®v 4.0 + BLE
|800 MHz processor|
|1.63 inch (41.4mm) Super AMOLED (320 x 320)|
|1.9 Megapixel BSI Sensor, Auto Focus Camera / Sound & Shot|
|Codec: H.264Format: MP4HD(720p) Playback & Recording|
|Codec: AACFormat : M4A|
|Atooma is a contextually aware horizontal intelligence platform that makes your GALAXY Gear smarter.Banjo gives you the power to see what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world.Evernote watch app makes it easy to remember things by quickly capturing images and memories and bringing important reminders right to GALAXY Gear.Glympse allows people to easily share their location temporarily and in real-time, letting recipients see their movements on a dynamic map.eBay app allows you to complete all your transactions on eBay with ease and in real-time.Line is a global messaging service available in over 230 countries worldwide.
MyFitnessPal tracks your nutrition and exercise, empowering you to achieve your personal health and fitness goals.
Path is the personal network designed to bring you closer to your friends and family.
Pocket, the leading way to save web content to view later on any device, brings text-to-speech article playback to GALAXY Gear.
RunKeeper is the personal trainer in your pocket, helping you track your runs, set your goals, and stay motivated
TripIt from Concur makes it easy to organize travel plans in one place.
Vivino Wine Scanner allows you to take a photo of any wine and get to know all about it instantly.
|Samsung AppsChatON: mobile communication service|
|Smart Relay, S Voice, Memographer, Voice MemoAuto Lock, Find My Device, Media Controller, Pedometer, Stopwatch, TimerSafety assistance: In case of emergency, press a power button 3 times continuously, and then user’s location information is transferred to the saved contacts with message.2 Microphones (Noise Cancellation), 1 Speaker|
|4GB Internal memory + 512 MB (RAM)|
|36.8 x 56.6 x 11.1 mm, 73.8g|
|Standard battery, Li-ion 315mAh|
The recent hacker attacks against The New York Times and Twitter are a reminder that the Internet has become a battleground for global conflict with businesses and consumers as collateral damage. It doesn’t matter whether the “Syrian Electronic Army,” which took credit for the attacks, has anything against those organizations. If its goal is to have maximum impact and get lots of attention, than going after a major media company or a highly popular social networking platform is certainly an effective tactic.
No one died in these attacks and, for the most part, there is little risk of loss of life from hack attacks as long as they’re are aimed at websites or social networks. But the millions of people who depend on those services for news, information or, in some cases, their livelihoods were impacted. And it brings up worries about possible cyberattacks on our physical infrastructure, such as power or water treatment plants, hospitals, transportation systems and emergency services as well as possible disruption of banking and financial services. Security researchers have even demonstrated how it’s possible for attackers to break into home security systems or — worse — attack implanted medical devices such as pacemakers and insulin pumps, so its not out of the realm of possibility for cyberattacks to be deadly.
It also reminds us about how our world continues to shrink. Like anyone who keeps up with the news, I’m of course aware of the fighting in Syria. But Damascus is nearly 7,400 miles from where I live, and as concerned as I am about the tragic loss of life in that country, the chemical weapons, bullets and bombs in Syria don’t affect me directly. Yet, the inability to access The New York Times or Twitter — however inconsequential as that might be compared to the loss of life and property suffered by people in Syria — is still something that impacts us directly. And that’s precisely why a party to that conflict might want to go after these highly visible targets that are used by millions of people around the world.
The motivation for going after The New York Times is pretty obvious. It’s not only a very popular website, but also a symbolic target as “the paper of record” here in the United States. An attack on that or any other major news outlet is certain to be noticed not only by those who can’t access that site, but by other news organizations as well as policymakers.
Twitter is not only popular, but has become an important breaking news source for millions of people and an essential megaphone for politicians, governments, influential pundits, businesses and news organizations. In some ways, it’s like those old Associated Press and United Press International terminals in newsrooms where bells would go off when a major story broke. But instead of just reaching journalists, Twitter reaches millions of people directly and instantaneously.
When AP’s Twitter account was hacked in April with a fake report on President Barack Obama being injured in explosions at the White House, the reaction was swift and profound, including an immediate 100 point drop in the Dow Jones industrial average, which quickly recovered after it was revealed to be a hack and a hoax. No one was physically harmed by that attack, but for people and institutions that sold stocks on the news and bought them back later at a higher price, the financial damage was real.
The day after the Times was attacked, a friend who works for one of the major Internet security companies said that the attack on news organizations reminded her of the early days of her industry, when computer security companies like McAfee, Symantec and Trend Micro were mostly combating computer viruses designed to disrupt and get attention. Today, she reminded me, most online attacks are financial crimes designed to steal people’s money or identity. To be most effective, those attacks are stealthy and quiet to attract as little attention as possible. The attacks on the news organizations and Twitter were just the opposite.
The take-away from all this is that media companies, social networking services and everyone else need to do all they can to shore up security.
I’m sure that the IT staff at The New York Times and other large site operators are huddling to figure out what they can do to prevent future attacks and I know that Twitter has recently beefed up its security by offering users the choice of employing two-factor authentication that makes it a lot harder for unauthorized people to sign-in to their accounts.
What you can do
The rest of us can do our part by making sure our passwords are secure and by being careful about falling for phishing attacks and other schemes to trick us into revealing our login credentials and personal information. None of that will eliminate risk, which is part of every aspect of life. But, like wearing seat belts and driving carefully, exercising caution with our use of technology will reduce chances of something bad happening.
This post adapted from Larry’s San Jose Mercury News column