About 3 years ago I attended a security luncheon seminar at a press club hosted by a national telecom carrier and moderated by popular CBC broadcast journalist Wendy Mesley. I bet people went, yours truly included, to see Wendy in person ; after all, she is a topnotch TV anchor with a vibrant, engaging and pleasing personality (my all time favorite anchorbabe is Erica Hill, formerly of CNN and now with CBS, who is still stunning after making it to the People Magazine’s 100 most beautiful people list in 2006 [#35]). Wendy was definitely a show on her own but the seminar wasn’t bad at all. Former hackers turned G-men and RCMP crime busters were on the podium sharing their experiences , both from the conman and G-man side of the fence , likewise taking questions from the audience . At one point everyone froze momentarily, instinctively groped for their back pockets and wallets when the security experts hurled an unexpected question to the crowd “ have you ever tried googling your VISA or Mastercard account number ? If it shows up it is likely compromised as hackers may have sold your card number to scammers over the internet . Credit card numbers are sold from anywhere 10 cents to a dollar per number by cyberthieves. “ Everyone was silent, perturbed by the thought that their credit cards may have been compromised. In that brief moment of anxiety, Wendy Mesley turned from Snow White to evil Cruella de Vil for being a bearer of potential bad news 😦 We left sensitized with the importance of awareness and vigilance but at the same time apprehensive with the thought that danger lurks in cyberspace and that as implementors and users of technology we must be one step ahead of the underworld elements when it comes to protecting valuable information.

Even with seemingly innocuous social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn danger lurks in the background – not in the criminal sense but because of the incautious manner we expose our identity, advertise our pursuits, even our sentiments. We have heard of Facebook fiascos where people get fired from their jobs for inadvertently exposing the ills of their employers. Twitter wars can bring about embarrassment to people who tweet with abandon like they’re arguing inside a chat room, celebrities included. Talking about celebrities or people of stature, recently Canadian Federal Minister Tony Clement had to swallow his ego and apologize to a 15 year old teen follower he called a jackass. Clement slammed the kid with his impulsive retort when the teen criticized him for failing to spell the word tonight (spelled tonite) properly in his tweet.

If you are surprised why you received tons of email from sources you never knew existed, it could be a result of data mining. These days enterprising companies deploy software applications that scour or mine the social networking sites for morsels of information that could potentially translate into a tip, a lead and hopefully a sale. To put it very plainly, it you tweeted that you are interested in buying a condo in the west end of your city, don’t be surprised if you receive and email or even a phone call from a real estate company or a mortgage broker wanting to do business with you. Data mining mainly works in the public domain but is a little scary when you think about its capacity to intrude in your preoccupation. For now the onus is entirely on you. If you are overly concerned about a breach to your privacy, remove all forms of your public profile from the net and stay anonymous.


At the top ten segment of the American Idol 2006 contest, judge Simon Cowell told then contestant Kellie Pickler ” you look good on paper but you must prove it” …or something to that effect. Pickler replied.. ” huh ? Am I good on paper ?” It was obvious that country girl Kellie Pickler had no penchant for reading between the lines and figuring out idiomatic expressions 😉 Tell the cowgirl like it is when you talk to her – don’t beat around the bush ( oops that’s an idiom too) 🙂 Pickler moved on quite well from the Idol days and is now a successful country singer cutting her own records. She took a stab at Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader show and looked like a clone of Miss Teen South Carolina who called her countrymen ” U.S. Americans”. Looks like both girls have an utter disdain for geography, finding the subject too repulsive to learn 😉 But what the heck. You’re a hot looking blonde and who really cares if you can’t figure out France from Europe or Hungary enough to gobble up a Turkey. No man in his right mind would go out with you to play scrabble Kellie :mrgreen: Stay just the way you are and keep them records coming 😉

26 Responses

  1. I love Anderson Cooper and Erica Hill. They’re cute together.

    I’m, not into social networking. I don’t Tweet. I know friends who want to close their Facebook account.

    LOL on Kellie Pickler. She sounds so innocent 🙂

    • true.. but Erica is now married with 2 kids..

      Me too, I’m only networking anonymously. Ok, I’m on LinkedIn for real 😉

      Innocent… that’s a very mild way of putting it 🙂

  2. […] Cyberwoes Be Sociable, Share! Tweet This entry was posted in Internet & Telecom and tagged […]

  3. credit cards with chip and pin makes it difficult to scam. I’ve seen people using Facebook to argue with each other.

    Miss Carolina could be right. If we have South Americans and Latin Americans, shouldn’t we have U.S. Americans too ? 🙂

    • agree.. pin is more secure than signature.

      U.S. Americans… LOL… as usual the center of the universe is America and everything else revolves around them. When you say America, it is them 😉

      • I think, I’ll agree with natez1 here, bro. Continent-wise, Canadians are also Americans, so to be specific, “U.S. Americans” may be right. Besides, I think, Latin countries refer to US as “Norte Americanos” and not just “Americanos” to differentiate US from them, South Americans.

        • By definition – “North America, the planet’s 3rd largest continent, includes (23) countries and dozens of possessions and territories. It contains all Caribbean and Central America countries, Canada, Mexico, the United States of America, as well as Greenland – the world’s largest island”

          The NAFTA ( North American Free Trade Agreement) includes the US, Canada and Mexico.

          Colloquially, we refer to the US as America and its citizens as Americans who seem to be considered as being on the top of the food chain as far as “the Americas” ( North America, Central America, South America) is concerned 😉

          • you know bro, until now, the definition of “island” is vague to me. if it means “a body of land surrounded by water” then australia is not only a continent but also a strong candidate as “the world’s largest island”. 🙂

  4. the cyber shit is scary but it is totally true. in the past i was not really careful and i used to get a lot of lectures from my man. it has lessen these days though, i’m glad. i like kellie. she’s sweet. so what if she cannot beat einstein? that is why she is a singer 🙂

    • the more aware we are of what we can and can’t expose, the better for us.

      she’s got that naive complex in her which defines her from others 😉

      • that’s true. when i realized what we are doing in facebook i shifted gears dramatically. it’s crazy!

        • so true… as I’ve said I’ve seen couples quarrel on FB 🙂 But hey, FB is probably the best social networking tool but you got to configure it properly and be very selective of your social circle.

  5. just to be on the safe side:
    I don’t have a credit card, I pay cash most of the time.
    My fb is as boring as a white wall paint. I only opened one because of our coming high school reunion.
    I don’t make “friends” in fb if I don’t know the guy even if we have similar surname.
    And lastly, I don’t go shopping in the internet.

    re: Kellie Pickler
    Stereotyping blonds again, eh bro. >: D

    • Good for you -better to be safe than sorry they say. My wife has FB so I’m in it somehow 😉

      I shop on the net because of convenience but I have a low limit credit card specifically for online purchases that if gets compromised, it’s not as bad. Have you ever used PayPal ? It is OK too. It is a direct debit to your bank account. You could also reserve the amount of funds you want to use for PayPal. It’s not going debit more than what you have reserved. I use it mainly to purchase small items like tablet apps and Itunes stuff, and if I buy anything on Ebay.

      Nah, she just happened to be blonde, that’s all 🙂

  6. oh you bearer of bad news …. just kidding. i needed to hear that about the credit cards 🙂

    hope the new year is treating you fabulously.

    • hehe.. the prophet of doom 🙂 I was edgy when I heard it too.

      New Year has been great so far and will be very busy but starting next month, I will be driving to work. My office has relocated to another city. Darn, I’m going to miss the convenience of the train 😦

  7. So true, some of my officemates are in danger of losing their job because they have created a facebook page for our company’s employees bearing the logo of our company. their rants in the site have reached management and they are told to explain why they use the company logo without authority. i just hope that management woul take a more humane stand.

    kellie pickler? i love her 🙂

    • ouch.. that would be a bummer 😦 Depending on the nature of your job, esp if you are in management, you could be fired instantly for irresponsible behaviour.

      I heard of a girl who asked to work from home ( remote office) x number of days in a week so she could babysit her young child. Her boss however found out she was busy updating her Facebook while working from home. She got the boot 😦

      I like Kellie too 😉

  8. scammers hide in countries where the internet police have difficult access like Russia, North Korea, China. Facebook is heavily censored in China. playing field is not the same. police do not have enough access to investigate in these countries.

  9. and this post explains why I receive tons of email from unknown senders! data mining. a very interisting post.

    i’m back after 15 years. haha. better late than never. merry christmas and a happy new year! 🙂

  10. oh gosh, i meant – “a very interesting post.”

    puhleaasseee…don’t call me a jack ass! hahaha

    • hey bro, really great to her from you again 🙂 Yep, just beware of phising and scammers who “pish” for your info.

      same to you… hope you have a wonderful year .

  11. you just have to be really careful of what you post online… yun lang… mahirap ng mapaso…

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