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social networking

School security says social networking can invite crime to campus

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

There's probably no sector of the population who embraces social networking more than college students. After all, mega-sites like Facebook were originally created as a network site for Harvard students and then expanded to other colleges. Plus, having the ability to Tweet out your every thought and observation to a drove of "followers" is right in line with the self-indulgent, the-world-revolves-around-me attitude of many college-age folks - followed closely only by high school students, I'd say.

But some school security folks have found that this surge in social networking has some serious security implications. This article found that social networks often provide too much information about a student's whereabouts and personal life.

"It used to be walking down a darkened street at night and being aware of your surroundings," said security expert Norman Bates. "Now that darkened street is in the computer. You might not be aware of who is listening figuratively or literally and gathering your information, stalking you."

(First of all, this guy is simply referred to as a generic security expert? Hmmm, questionable source at best.)

Anyway, the article points out that students often post about events or parties they plan to attend, making it easier for others to track them down.

But it's not just about students telling too many people where they are or where they're going to be, but social networking sites also makes it hard for campus security officials to know who belongs on campus and who doesn't.

"It presents more of a challenge for campus security or police officers to challenge someone who may be on the property who doesn't belong there, who may have ill designs," said Bates.

Do you think social networking poses security threats? Take our poll here to weigh in.

Public profiles

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

So, with Facebook's new home page comes the ability to make your profile public. Now, if you so choose, everyone on Facebook can see what you're up to, how many photos you have of your dog and how many late-night bar hopping runs you've been on that have been memorialized by your friend's rabid photography skills (OK, maybe that's just some people).

A lot of those social media mavens on Twitter are applauding this. I have to admit I'm on the fence. I suppose it would be good for professional means — such as having a Facebook site for SDN — but isn't that what LinkedIn is for? Maybe a celebrity or someone in the public eye might benefit from having a public profile? But who else? Someone trying to sell something, perhaps?

I have been thinking about this because I wrote my April editorial on the how the security industry is starting to embrace online social media sites. Personally, I think LinkedIn is great for professional use, Facebook fits the bill for my personal life and Twitter is mostly professional but sometimes I throw some of my personal opinions is as well.

But I just can't imagine making my personal profile on Facebook public — that leaves my information open to a heck of a lot of people. Can I say it's a bit of a security risk? I don't want some stranger to know what network I am in, where I work and what my dog looks like. And if I had a 12-year-old daughter, I wouldn't want her to have a public profile either for obvious reasons.

I'm going to be giving Facebook a call to see what their thoughts are on this but what about you? Is the capability to have a public profile a plus or a minus?

What's the value of video?

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

I found this ASIS video on You Tube that gives an overview of the group's 2008 conferences.

I couldn't find any other videos from security associations on You Tube, and the few ASIS videos that are up there are provided by the video's producer as part of his demo roll. Many manufacturers are jumping on board as Sam pointed out yesterday, and I do like Honeywell's Security Stories series. But I can't help but wonder if this is a useful medium for security practitioners. Have you used video such as these to research technologies or opportunities?

(I guess if you don't, you are not going to bother to read this blog entry, huh?)

On one side, it is far easier (and less expensive) to watch a product demo from the comfort of your office than it is to attend a trade show. But on the other hand, who has the time? And aren't you watching enough video from your surveillance system anyway?

Another way to get the word out

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Another way to get the word out

I'm not exactly sure what the value to using Twitter is yet, but
this organization has found a way for this social networking site to work in their favor. What a great idea.

Jumping on the social networking bandwagon

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Even though I consider myself fairly tech-savvy — I, until yesterday, owned every iPod there is, are desperately in search of my own iPhone and an AirBook and I'm the one in my household that programs all the electronics and fixes the computer issues — I have been slow to jump on the social networking bandwagon. Facebook and MySpace scare me. I have enough "friends," why do I need to have more? But lately, I've noticed that I am the only one I know without a foot in this "alternate" universe. I think even my two-year old niece has a MySpace page (and she can use it!)

But there may be some muscle behind these habits from a professional viewpoint. You can build a brand, say Security Director News, or yourself in a professional capacity. In the last six months I've developed by own LinkedIn page, which I find extremely useful. And this week, I launched a Twitter account for SDN. I'm not really sure how this whole thing will work out but I figured I had to give it a try (I've heard its the hottest new application out there) and CNN and MSNBC are using its as well.

So, I'll use Twitter to let my "followers" know when a new blog is posted, when a breaking story hits my desk, who I'm meeting with at conferences or site visits or whatever I have to say, in 160 characters or less, when I am delayed at some airport. I promise I will not inform you when I've had a bad cup of coffee — this will focus strictly on the news angle, just as SDN does on a monthly basis.

This is an experiment and I'll be sure to let you know how its going along the way. Thanks to my two followers who have joined me since Monday. Anyone else want to join up?