Tag Archive for social media

Things You Should Never Share on Facebook

Facebook has millions of Americans sharing their photos, favorite songs and details about their class reunions, but there are a handful of personal details that you should never share or post if you don’t want criminals — cyber or otherwise — to rob you blind.

Furthermore, many an ill-advised Facebook post can get your insurance cancelled or cause you to pay dramatically more for it: home, auto, fire, flood, life or other forms of insurance included. Almost everybody knows that drunken party photos can cost you a job; and now experts say debt collectors are switching from phone books to trolling social networking sites to find deadbeats.

Facebook No NosYou can certainly enjoy networking and sharing photos, but you should know that sharing some information puts you at risk. What should you never say on Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking site? Read on…

Your birth date and place. Sure, you can say what day you were born, but if you provide the year and the place you were born too, then you’ve just given identity thieves a key to stealing your financial life. A study by Carnegie Mellon showed that a date and place of birth could be used to predict most — sometimes all — the numbers in your Social Security number.

Home BurglaryVacation plans. There’s no better way to say “Rob me, please” than posting your vacation countdown or your moment of departure or arrival at the airport. Post the photos on Facebook when you return, if you like, but don’t invite criminals to your home by telling them “I’m not home!”

Home address. Great follow-up to the last item, eh? So many people do this though. A recent study by the Ponemon Institute found that social media users were at greater risk of physical and/or identity theft because of the information they shared. In fact, some 40% listed their home address; 65% didn’t even attempt to block out strangers with privacy settings; and 60% said they weren’t confident that their “friends” were really the people they know, or even that they fully trusted them either way.

Katie Furlong 2009 FacebookConfessionals. You may hate your job; lie on your taxes; or be a recreational drug user, but Facebook is not the place to let it all out. Employers commonly peruse social networking sites to determine who to hire and who to fire.

Need proof? Just last month alone there were two such cases. In the first case a prison guard at the Lebanon Correctional Institution in Ohio was fired after posting a threatening comment about the state governor; and in Winfield, West Virginia the mayor fired the local police chief after his son posted a disparaging comment about a teenager who had been struck by a train. Last year a NYC teacher was fired after posting a comment that she thought some of her school kids should drown. (A Manhattan judge recently ruled she should be given her job back).

A 2009 Proofpoint study showed that 8% of companies with over 1,000 employes had fired someone for “misuse” of social media.

Password clues. If you’ve got online accounts, you’ve probably answered a dozen different security questions, telling your bank or brokerage firm your Mom’s maiden name; the church you were married in; or the name of your favorite song.

Got that same stuff on the information page of your Facebook profile? Are you playing games where you and your friends “quiz” each other on the personal details of your lives? You’re giving crooks an easy way to guess your passwords.

Maybe it’s time to review your social media profiles?

Can Anybody Find Me Somebody To Follow?

Twitter web site

Twitter web site

Okay, so you joined Twitter, and you just “didn’t get it”. So you stopped using it. Join the club.

Maybe you’ll go back after you read this whole article about WeFollow.com with a bonus paragraph about GeoFollow.com.

Lots of people hear about Twitter, they try it out, and they stop using it after a month or less because they “don’t get it”. (Read Twitter Quitters Just Don’t Get It) A Nielsen study shows that 60% of new Tweeters do just that: quit.

Why? Maybe you weren’t following the right people? Did you follow anyone? Did they have anything interesting to say?



That’s the key to Twitter: Finding somebody interesting to follow, and maybe even follow you back. And this is where WeFollow.com comes in. WeFollow.com bills itself as “A User Powered Twitter Directory”. At WeFollow.com, Twitter users can categorize themselve with up to three “tags”, and then other users can browse or search through tags to find people to follow. Be aware, getting listed is a manual process, Twitter users must add themselves, it isn’t done for you automatically.

Getting Listed On WeFollow.com: The Easy Way

There are two ways to get listed on WeFollow.com. The easiest way is through your Twitter account. Login to your Twitter account and send the following update message:

@wefollow #tag1 #tag2 #tag3

…and replace the tags with one word tags that describe you. For myself, I sent the following update:

@wefollow #blogger #webdesign #longisland

I chose these three because I am a blogger (or I like to think so), a web designer (a developer, actually), and a Long Islander (all true).

Regardless, the update goes out into the Twitter public timeline (a wild and crazy place that will drive you mad) where it is picked up by WeFollow.com and their system adds you to the WeFollow directory.

There’s a second way to get listed which I will discuss later in this article. Actually, I used the second method. It’s more calculating. (Evil maniacal laughter rises).

Find Me Someone To Follow

Now, if you’re looking for someone to follow — someone interesting, funny, witty, informative, what have you — you can go to WeFollow.com. Once there you can browse through the popular tags shown, or you can search for tags of your own choosing.

The home page prominently displays the top 5 Twitter users listed on WeFollow.com in the  top 6 most popular tags. The top 5 Twitterers are determined by the number of followers they have. The most popular tags are determined by the number of Twitterers who chose that tag as one of their three tags. The most popular tags are currently #celebrity, #socialmedia, #news, #entrepreneur, #tv, and #music.

celebrities-wefollowThe sidebar shows the top 20 most popular tags and the top ten Twitter users (those with the most followers).

You can click your way through the tags, and when you find somebody to follow, you can click their user name to be directed to their Twitter profile page. Using the example from WeFollow.com shown at right, I can see that Ellen Degeneres show has a Twitter user name of “TheEllenShow”, and her Twitter account has 1.26 million followers, and the excerpt from her Twitter bio says, “Find Ellen’s monologue, celebrity photos and videos, games, giveaways, ho…” (Twitter apparently does some fact checking from time to time for the big name users. Fake or unconfirmable accounts are frequently disabled.)

Getting Listed On WeFollow.com: The Calculated Method

As mentioned earlier, there is a second more calculated method for tagging yourself on WeFollow.com. Using this method you can find out how popular a tag is before you choose it. Then you can decide if you want to be a fish in the ocean, a fish in the pond, or a fish in the fishbowl. Or maybe you want to be the fish on the plate. You decide.

  1. First go to http://twitter.com and login to your Twitter account.
  2. Then go to http://wefollow.com/add next.
  3. First you have to “Verify your identity on Twitter” by clicking “Authorize WeFollow!”
  4. Since we logged into Twitter first, all we need do at this point is click “Allow” to allow WeFollow access.
  5. Now we can add the three tags in the boxes (fields) provided.
  6. Last we click “Send! – Add me to WeFollow”, and that’s it.

Now at step 5 is where the calculating comes into play. As you enter your tag a list will appear under the field and will show the top 5 most similar tags along with the number of Twitter users on WeFollow.com who are using that tag. So, in my case, I was going to use the tag webdeveloper but found that less than 350 people were using that tag, while over 2,600 people were using webdesign. So I chose the latter so that more people would be likely to find my Twitter profile.

Similarly, while I am a techblogger, no one was using the tag techblog, and only 4 people were calling themselves a techblogger, but over 21,000 people were using the blogger tag. (Blogger is the 11th most popular tag.  Oooo, almost made the top ten there!) So, I chose to be a fish in the ocean there, and went with blogger.

Bonus: GeoFollow.com



A similar service to WeFollow is GeoFollow.com.  They use the three tag system, but since it is a separate site from WeFollow, you can use three different tags if you wish. From your Twitter account you can send the following update:

@geofollow Your City, Your state ZipCode #tag1 #tag2 #tag3

5 to 10 minutes later you will also be listed on GeoFollow.com. As you can see GeoFollow also allows you to list yourself by geographic location, so that people from your area can find you, too, and vice-versa.

So go out there and find yourself somebody to follow, and get back to Twitter. You could always follow me.

What is Twitter all about?


A few weeks ago, someone asked, “Twitter. I don’t get it. How does it work? And what’s the point?”

I’m not going to pretend to be any sort of expert here but here’s what I had to tell them at the time. Perhaps I’ll elaborate more later, but I’d be happy if those of you who use Twitter would post your thoughts and answers to this question in the comments area below.

Anyhow, on to my answer.



There are many ways to use Twitter. One great thing is it is free to use. You can use it to keep in touch with friends or you can use it as a simple business communication tool. You can SEND and RECEIVE short messages either with your cell phone (SMS Text), from the Twitter web site, or from stand alone tools such as TweetDeck.



The mobile phone option is great if you’re on the go and can’t get to a computer. Some people worry that they’ll get too many text messages, but Twitter allows you to control who can contact you, what sort of messages get through, what time of day they are sent, and what’s the most messages you want in a day. Personally, I find SMS aspect to be too slow, so I use the Twidroid app for Android on my T-Mobile G1 smartphone. On the iPhone, Twitterific is a popular choice.



Plus Twitter allows you to receive messages through an email account in addition to or as an alternative to your cell phone.

Another advantage is there’s no address book to manage with Twitter and no need to update addresses. Twitter coordinates the connections between you and your followers for you. And people can opt in or out whenever they like. And your contact info is private.

Services like TweetLater.com allow you to have a summary of your daily messages and replies emailed to you.

Using the friends and cell phone option, let’s imagines you’ve registered your cell phone with your Twitter account. Then your friends could choose to “follow” your Twitter account. So let’s say you’re meeting a group of friends one day, and you have a change of plans, you could send one text message to your Twitter account, and then Twitter would forward a copy of that message to all your friends.

Or let’s say you’re producing a play, and you want to create some “buzz” about your latest production. You could tell people to “follow” your Twitter account to receive updates about the show on their cell phone or by email. So let’s say 300 people are following your Twitter account, you send out one message to Twitter and it forwards it to all 300 people. And if all goes well some of them will forward or “Retweet” to their friends and followers.

There’s more to it. You can send messages to everyone or to specific people.

But you can only communicate with people who chose to follow you, and whom you permit to follow you.

So if you want to talk to strangers, you can, but all they know about you is your user name and what you say in your messages. Even if you are sending messages from your phone, no one sees your phone number.

Some celebrities use Twitter to let their fans hear what they are up to. Many of them setup their accounts so their fans can receive messages from them, but can’t send messages to them.

So readers and Tweeters, what have you to say on the subject?  Please comment below or send me Tweet. List your Twitter address, if you like.

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