Spam Alert – Spammers Have Jumped On The Pinterest Bandwagon
All well-trafficked social media sites draw spammers trying to reel in unsuspecting users, and Pinterest is no exception. In fact, because of its rapid growth and heavy retail focus, Pinterest is especially attractive to spammers. (In case you're unfamiliar with Pinterest, it's a virtual bulletin board where you can "pin" images, share things you like with others, follow people you like, and have others follow you.)
In recent months, Pinterest users have reported receiving a surge of spam emails. Many of these emails are relatively benign—more annoying than harmful—and often attempt to get the recipient to visit a Pinterest board that links to a page about weight loss plans or retail deals. However, for legitimate businesses that use Pinterest, the influx of spam on the site can have more serious ramifications. For example, spammers can copy and attach viruses to a business's pin, causing its reputation to diminish.
Pinterest addresses this issue in its Terms & Privacy—Acceptable Use Policy. It reads, "You agree not to engage in any of the following prohibited activities: Send any unsolicited or unauthorized spam and spam comments on posts, advertising messages, promotional materials, email, junk mail, chain letters or other form of solicitation..."
Fortunately, Pinterest provides an easy way to report this type of spam. Simply click on the "Report Pin" button next to the image on the Pinterest site.
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11 Tips For Social Networking Safety
Social networking websites like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and Windows Live Spaces are services people can use to connect with others to share information like photos, videos, and personal messages.
As the popularity of these social sites grows, so do the risks of using them. Hackers, spammers, virus writers, identity thieves, and other criminals follow the traffic.
Read these tips to help protect yourself when you use social networks.
- Use caution when you click links. that you receive in messages from your friends on your social website. Treat links in messages on these sites as you would links in email messages. (For more information, see Approach links in email with caution and Click Fraud: Cybercriminals want you to 'like' it.)
- Know what you've posted about yourself. A common way that hackers break into financial or other accounts is by clicking the "Forgot your password?" link on the account login page. To break into your account, they search for the answers to your security questions, such as your birthday, home town, high school class, or mother's middle name. If the site allows, make up your own password questions, and don't draw them from material anyone could find with a quick search. For more information, see:
- Don't trust that a message is really from who it says it's from. Hackers can break into accounts and send messages that look like they're from your friends, but aren't. If you suspect that a message is fraudulent, use an alternate method to contact your friend to find out. This includes invitations to join new social networks. For more information, see Scammers exploit Facebook friendships. To avoid giving away email addresses of your friends, do not allow social networking services to scan your email address book. When you join a new social network, you might receive an offer to enter your email address and password to find out if your contacts are on the network. The site might use this information to send email messages to everyone in your contact list or even everyone you've ever sent an email message to with that email address. Social networking sites should explain that they're going to do this, but some do not.
- Type the address of your social networking site directly into your browser or use your personal bookmarks. If you click a link to your site through email or another website, you might be entering your account name and password into a fake site where your personal information could be stolen. For more tips about how to avoid phishing scams, see Email and web scams: How to help protect yourself.
- Be selective about who you accept as a friend on a social network. Identity thieves might create fake profiles in order to get information from you.
- Assume that everything you put on a social networking site is permanent. Even if you can delete your account, anyone on the Internet can easily print photos or text or save images and videos to a computer.
- Be careful about installing extras on your site. Many social networking sites allow you to download third-party applications that let you do more with your personal page. Criminals sometimes use these applications to steal your personal information. To download and use third-party applications safely, take the same safety precautions that you take with any other program or file you download from the web.
- Think twice before you use social networking sites at work. For more information, see Be careful with social networking sites, especially at work.
- Talk to your kids about social networking. If you're a parent of children who use social networking sites, see How to help your kids use social websites more safely.
Free online safety brochures
These downloadable brochures tell you how to help prevent and correct privacy and online safety issues related to social networking.
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Two To View – A Couple Of Amazing Videos You Don't Want To Miss
Movie Trailer Proposal
This groom-to-be used the big screen for a big proposal. Matt's girlfriend, Ginny, thinks she's about to see a movie trailer, but instead there's a film of Matt asking her father for her hand. Matt soon appears in the theater with popcorn—and the ring!
The Dirty Car Artist
You've seen those cars in parking lots—the ones covered with what looks like an inch of dirt. What most of us view as eyesores, Scott Wade sees as canvases. Also called the "da Vinci of Dust," he turns them into mobile art galleries.
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This Month's FAQ – How Can I Tell A Legitimate Email From A Hoax?
Question: I have friends that frequently send me important-sounding emails that I'm supposed to forward to people I know. How can I tell if the messages are legitimate or a hoax?
Answer: Good question. It's pretty simple. There are five signs that an email is a hoax:
You'll see lots of exclamation points and words in all caps like URGENT!!! and WARNING!!!
- "Tell all your friends"
There will always be a request that you share this "important information" by forwarding the message to everybody in your email address book or to as many people as you possibly can.
- "This isn't a hoax"
The message may include a seemingly sincere premise like "My neighbor, who works for Microsoft, just received this warning so I know it's true. He asked me to pass it along."
- Dire consequences
The text will predict dire consequences if you don't act immediately—a missing child won't be found, or someone won't be able to die happy.
Look for lots of >>>> marks in the left margin. These indicate that people who fell for the hoax have forwarded the message countless times before it reached you.
When in doubt, do your homework on a particular email at www.hoax-slayer.com, www.snopes.com, or www.scambusters.org. It's worth a few minutes of your time to avoid spreading misinformation to others.
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Sites Of The Month – Great Sites To Check Out In August
What's Everybody Doing Tomorrow?
zapaday.com – You may know what's on your calendar but what about everyone else's? This site tells you what's scheduled to happen tomorrow or another future day all over the world, in several categories including politics, culture, business, science, and sports. It's the most comprehensive public calendar on the Web.
Just Peachy Recipes
gapeaches.org – August is Peach Month and here's a site that celebrates this delectable summer fruit. Browse around to learn about the health benefits of peaches and pick up new recipes ranging from Peach and Prosciutto Pizza with Blue Cheese to Peach and Blackberry Pecan Crumble.
Back to School for Parents Too
schoolfamily.com – Children aren't the only ones going back to school. If you're a parent, you need to stay educated about your child's curriculum and other school issues. Here you'll find tips for parents of children from preschool to high school on promoting learning at home, working with teachers, using technology, and more.
Be a Smarter Shopper
consumerreports.org – Consumer Reports is a smart place to visit before you make major purchases. It offers consumer news, product recalls and safety notices, buying guides, price ranges, and other valuable information—all to help you make more informed choices and get the best value for your money.
Quick! Find a Quote!
quotesdaddy.com – Just the right quote can make your next presentation more impactful or a friend's tough day more tolerable. You'll find quotes galore on this site, organized by topic and author. You can also sign up to get quotes of the day, share great quotes via Facebook, or add a random quote to every email you send.
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Short Tutorial – How To Stop The @facebook.com Address From Showing Up On Your Timeline
Facebook recently began shifting the default addresses of its almost 900 million users from the email addresses they chose when signing up on the site to their Facebook addresses, which are the "firstname.lastname@example.org" ones. This has many users concerned, in part because some security experts believe those @facebook.com addresses are even more attractive to spammers and other cyber-criminals.
You do, however, have the ability to decide which email address will be displayed on your Timeline. Simply follow the steps below.
- Log in to your Facebook account.
- Click on "About" under your contact information.
- Scroll to "Contact info" and select "Edit."
- Switch the crossed out circle symbol to a full circle for the email address you want to appear on your Timeline.
- If you want to deselect your Facebook email account and hide it from your Timeline, switch it from the full circle to the crossed out circle. (Note: The Facebook email address cannot be deleted, only hidden.)
- When you've completed your selections, press "Save."
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