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How Social Media Is Ruling Your Life

Posted on 23 September 2010 by SlimboCA

Does social media enhance or stifle your ability to be productive?

Does social media enhance or stifle your ability to be productive?

Being constantly connected to social media can cause users a whole host of problems, a new study has revealed.

Increased stress, strain on personal relationships, and even loss of sleep, are but a few of the shortcomings caused by social media. A United States university took a week-long break from Facebook, Twitter, Instant Messaging (IM) and other social media, and found that the pervasive technology had hidden pitfalls.

Students at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in central Pennsylvania have realized that social media, particularly Facebook and IM, can take over their lives. College Provost Eric Darr called for the ban to see how the technology affects students and the various faculties.

Most students complied with the week-long experiment and found how easy it is for technology to rule their lives. One student checked Facebook 21 hours a day and blocked posts between 2 and 5 in the morning just to get some rest. Students or faculty staff who felt forced to feed their social media addiction did so via smartphones, but most complied, and some were quite surprised by their finds.

The majority of students behaved much like smokers who sneak cigarettes after class, says Darr. He says many would sneak off to check their updates on smart phones. Darr reveals that many students found more time to do constructive things and discovered that they were less stressed because they were not able to constantly check their status updates.

The week-long ban also encouraged face-to-face meetings instead of communicating exclusively via social media. Student Amanda Zuck says she isn’t a heavy user of Facebook but was “a little irritated” by not being able to use the site.

Zuck wrote in an email that she didn’t see much advantage in the project for herself but she added that it had probably helped her facebook addict friend catch up on college work. The project allowed all members of the college community to reflect on how social media tools affect their lives.

Many workers are also getting fired for either abusing social networks during work time, or posting harmful comments about their employers online.

Does social media enhance or stifle your ability to be productive? Share your thoughts by posting a comment below.

Popularity: 18%

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Angry Twitter App-Developers Chat About How to Replace Twitter

Posted on 14 April 2010 by SlimboCA

twitter-dead-2How do you access Twitter? Do you go directly to Twitter.com or are you like me and use some type of Twitter app on your cell phone or computer that access Twitter for you?

Did you know that many of the developers behind those Twitter apps are rather upset due to the way Twitter is acting? For example, Fred Wilson, Twitters top investor, called many of the developer apps for Twitter “hole-fillers” and that Twitter would be better off making them for itself. Well, it does not quite sit well with the developers and it has prompted them to become angry and plan secret meetings on how to replace Twitter. Ultimately, Twitter is planning on using its popularity to crush the developers instead of supporting them.

You can’t replace Twitter or can you? The developers and investors feel like they are the reason Twitter is as popular as it is today. Two of the sources that are involved with the Twitter app have explained to sources that they plan on having a secret meeting to discuss “an open alternative” to Twitter. This secret meeting will take place before Twitter holds its first ever developers conference this week.

The code name for the meeting is called “Project Shark” or “Angry shark eat big fat #fail whales” as the source explains. The purpose for the meeting is to first get more coordinated at the opposition, then talk about things they want from Twitter which is better access to the API and more transparency, and then finally talk about an open alterative.

Do you think this will initiate the demise of Twitter as we know it?

Popularity: 7%

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Spam and Cybercrime Attacks on Twitter and Facebook Have Tripled in 2009

Posted on 02 February 2010 by SlimboCA

Malware, spam and spyware attacks are on the rise on social networks such as Twitter, MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn.

In the last year, 57 percent of users report they have been spammed via social networking sites, an increase of 70.6 percent compared to last year. Furthermore, 36 percent of users claim they’ve been sent spyware via social networking sites, which is a rise of 69.8 percent from last year.

On the other hand, CEOs of companies are concerned that their employees’ usage of social networks is posing a security risk for their company. Sophos has surveyed more than 500 organizations, discovering that 72 percent of them think social networks are a danger for their companies, with 60 percent of them tagging Facebook as the biggest security risk, followed by MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Facebook is the biggest threat because it’s the biggest social network out there, but some of the blame can be placed on Facebook’s own privacy rules. When Facebook rolled-out its new recommended privacy settings late last year, it was seen largely a backwards step, encouraging many users to share their information with everybody on the Internet.

Cyber-criminals are now also selling hacked usernames and passwords online to make hundreds of dollars. One Twitter account was offered at $1 000 in an underground hacker forum.

Hackers have maliciously been creating Internet data-stealing spyware since 2005. Now it’s becoming a growing problem on the Internet as these programs become more sophisticated. Some corrupt programs seek banking passwords, others hunt for online gaming credentials. But according to online security experts, the fastest-growing data stealers are generic spying programs which steal as much information as possible from their victims.

Cybercrooks are starting to realize that they can do more than simply swipe credit card numbers. In 2009 about 70,000 of these programs were identified, twice as many as the year before, and almost three times the number of banking password stealing programs.

Gmail accounts have been compromised and are put up for sale on Russian hacker forums, asking price 2500 rubles, or $82. RapidShare accounts going for $5 per month, as well as Skype, instant messaging and Facebook credentials being offered. The prices vary depending on the one who owns the account and the number of followers the person has. Attackers usually look for a trusted stepping stone from which to send malicious Twitter messages and infect more machines. A Twitter account, with just over 320 followers, has been offered at $1,000 in an underground hacker forum. Compared to MSN accounts, which have been seen priced at €1 (USD$1.40), the price for Twitter accounts is really high.

When the value of stolen credit cards and other types of credentials are added up, hackers can easily take in $1,000 worth of data after hacking just one computer.

Popularity: 28%

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