How To Be Safe And Smart On Social Networking Sites

April 2011
a publication of Business System Solutions, Inc.
How To Be Safe And Smart
On Social Networking Sites
Did you know*… Inside This Issue…
What Are QR Codes And How Can
You Profit From Them In Your Business?........……………….................Page 2
More than 90,000 registered sex offenders were removed from one popular social networking site…and those were only the ones who used their real names.
According to the Al Qaeda Handbook, terrorists search social net‐
working sites for “government personnel, officers, important person‐
alities and all matters related to them (residence, workplace, times of leaving and returning, children and places visited).
Social networking sites have become a haven for identity thieves and con artists, and social networking viruses are on the rise.
Shiny New Gadget Of The
Month……………………………...Page 2
Client Bill Of Rights #10………...Page 2
How To Spot An E-mail Hoax.....Page 3
On The Lighter Side……...............Page 3
From Bill’s Desk...………..……....Page 4
Think about it: Facebook, Twitter and other social media web sites have become the world’s largest database of personal information, all served up intentionally by the user. It’s practically every scammer’s dream come true! 9 Smart Tips To Stay Safe Protecting yourself requires some awareness of how cyber criminals use the sys‐
tem against you. Here are a few things you need to know: 1. Keep your firewall’s security and anti‐virus software up‐to‐date.
Business System Solutions
specializes in providing
management level
responsibility for all the
technology in your business.
This includes support for
your computer network
and working with
other hardware and
software vendors whose
technology you use.
We do this with
friendly, proactive, and
responsive service.
Our services can lower
your costs, and we
guarantee our work!
2. Never log in from public hotspots. Social networking sites generally do not have secure logins available (that’s the https with the lock icon in the search bar). That means your username and password can be swiped at any time. Log in only from trusted wireless networks.
3. Use strong passwords that contain a mix of upper‐ and lowercase let‐
ters, symbols and numbers.
4. Remember the golden rule: If you wouldn’t do it or say it on a public street, don’t post it online.
5. Be wary of all links and files. Hackers often post links in comments to try and trick you into downloading an “update,” “security patch” or “game.”
6. Keep an eye on what your friends post about you. Many people have been fired or lost an important client because of online pictures and content.
7. Be careful who you ‘friend.’ Yeah, it feels great to have hundreds (or thousands!) of friends, but the reality is, you really know only a frac‐
Page 2
Volume 4, Issue 4
tion of those people.
8. Be wary of all add‐ons. Many of the games and plug
‐ins are written by third‐party companies, not the social network itself.
9. Do a search on yourself. You might be surprised at just how much information comes up! If it’s more than you feel comfortable with, restrict your profile online.
What Are QR Codes And How Can You
Profit From Them In Your Business?
The last time you were flipping through
your favorite magazine, you may have noticed a small, digital-looking image on one
or more of the advertisements. What is it?
A “Quick Response” code or QR code for
A QR code is a specific matrix barcode (or twodimensional code), readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones. The code consists of black modules
arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The
information encoded can be text, URL or other data.
This concept was initially created by Toyota for tracking
parts in vehicle manufacturing; however, QR codes have
been largely adopted by advertisers that want to target mobile phone users (known as mobile tagging). QR codes can
be used to display text to the user, to add a vCard contact to
the user's device, to open a URL or to compose an e-mail or
text message. Users can also generate and print their own
QR codes for others to scan and use by visiting one of several free QR code–generating sites.
So how could you use this? Some companies are smartly
using this technology to drive sales by allowing people flipping through a magazine or waiting at a bus stop to get
more information on a product, connecting the dots to get
people to buy much faster than these types of media originally offered. Others are putting QR codes on permanent
coupons or on their business cards to allow would-be prospects an instant way to get more information about a business. You can get a free QR code by going to: http://
Shiny New Gadget
Of The Month
Who doesn’t want to be more organized?
You’re less likely to forget important projects, dates and tasks, which in turn will reduce your stress and wasted energy.
But if you think getting (and staying) organized is tough, maybe you just haven’t
found the right tool. If so, you should check
out WorkFlowy.
WorkFlowy makes capturing and organizing your ideas, projects and “to-do” list
simple. It's based around the idea of outlines. Just pick a topic to organize and start
typing. The outlining is handled almost
automatically through its intuitive interface.
You can create outlines within outlines
and break up a large project into smaller actionable tasks. It's great for multi-step processes or even planning your week. Best of
all, it's all online so you can access it from
anywhere. All you need to do is create a free
account and install Google’s Chrome
browser. Since it’s free, you’ve got nothing
to lose for giving it a try!
Client Bill Of Rights #10
You have a right to a single
point of contact for all your
technical issues or concerns.
We pledge to help with and IT
related issue in your business,
such as helping with any vendor you use, and with all technologies including anything IP
based or connected to the computer, phone system and service, security, etc.
Page 3
Volume 4, Issue 4
How To Spot An E-mail Hoax
With the Internet and e-mail providing a free, viral platform for
online scammers, hackers and cyber criminals, there’s no doubt
that at some point you’ll receive an e-mail hoax. Some are harmless, but many can lead to virus infections, identity theft or
worse. Here are some common themes to watch out for:
∗ Supposedly free giveaways in exchange
for forwarding e-mails
∗ Bogus virus alerts
∗ False appeals to help sick children
∗ Pointless petitions that lead nowhere and accomplish nothing
∗ Dire, and completely fictional, warnings about products, com-
panies, government policies or coming events
Probably the most common indicator that an e-mail is a hoax is
the "Send this e-mail to everyone in your address book" request.
Hoax writers want their material to be spread as far and wide as
possible, so almost every hoax e-mail will have this request built
into the message. In some cases, e-mail hoaxes will even give you
a specific number of people to send the message to in order to
collect a prize or get something for free.
Another surefire indicator that an e-mail is a hoax is that they
don’t provide a checkable reference to back up claims. Genuine
competitions, promotions, giveaways or charity drives will almost always provide a link to a company website or publication.
Real virus warnings should only come from your installed antivirus software. E-mails containing government or company policy information are likely to include references to checkable
sources such as news articles, websites or other publications.
A third indicator is often the actual language used. E-mail hoax
writers have a tendency to use an emotive, "over-the-top" style of
writing peppered with
words and phrases such
as "Urgent,” “Danger,”
“Worse virus ever,” and
so on. Another indication is that these messages contain ALL
added emphasis. When
in doubt, don’t forward
the message or take the
action requested.
The Lighter Side…
While YOU would never use a lame
excuse like one of these, according to, these are a few of
the reasons employees have given
their bosses for skipping work:
• Employee said a chicken
attacked his mom.
• Employee had a bad
hair transplant.
• Employee called in sick from a bar
at 5:00 p.m. the night before.
• Employee had to mow the lawn to
avoid a lawsuit from his home
owners’ association.
• Employee’s finger was stuck in a
bowling ball.
• Employee fell asleep at his desk at
work, hit his head and had a neck
Attorneys go to college for years to get
a degree. But here are some court
transcripts that will leave you
wondering what they actually
Attorney: “Doctor, how many of your
autopsies have you performed on
dead people?”
Witness: “All of them. The live ones
put up too much of a fight.”
Attorney: “How was your marriage
Witness: “By death.”
Attorney: “And by whose death was
it terminated?”
Witness: “Guess.”
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West Lafayette, IN 47906
Phone: 765-742-3440
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From Bill’s Desk
It’s a common enough story. In order
to save on software costs, a business
just installs the free version of a
popular antivirus program on all its
computers. It’s up to each user to
run periodic system scans and updates.
Invariably, somebody forgets to run a
system scan. Or they get so frustrated with the performance hit to
their computer when a scan is running that they stop it before it’s complete. Their system goes without the
proper updates for a while, and eventually the user accidentally visits the
wrong web site or clicks on the
wrong email attachment and
downloads a nasty virus.
Or consider this scenario: a company
leaves one employee in charge of running backups. That employee goes on
vacation or stays home sick one day,
so the backups don’t run. And that’s
the day the server fails.
ness stays safe and up-to-date no
matter who’s in the office and who
remembers to do what.
As odd as it sounds, you cannot rely
solely on human effort to keep your
computer systems safe. You must
automate if you’re going to have consistent, reliable updates to your security software and backup systems.
And you need processes to run independent of any particular individual.
Business System Solutions can automatically run system scans, software
updates, virus and malware definition updates with our Total Care
managed services plan. We also offer
automatic data backups as part of the
BSS Datavault backup and disaster
recovery service.
Call us at (765) 742-3440
or visit
to find out more.
If you’re a business owner, or if
you’re the person in charge of running updates and performing regular
maintenance, it can be hard to relinquish control. But you’ll free up untold amounts of time and spare yourself endless headaches if you aren’t in
charge of everything. Automatic updates and scans, deployed systemwide, ensure that your whole busi-
“Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Ephesians 6:7