Tuesday, December 8, 2009



Seriously, duck AND cover.

Uncle Pat and Andy were kind enough to open the Climategate discussion in a private email thread. Andy is 27 years old and Pat is my older brother, so I felt like I could let loose on them, so I did. In fact, Andy may still be crying in a corner, if you see him, give the little guy a hug. :| This has nothing to do with YAPR #6, but it may explain why I am so militant about it. :) Andy and Pat got me all worked up.

I can not stress this enough, but I will try again. You really need to be more careful on Facebook, recall my earlier article regarding online surveys. They are not doing these surveys for altruistic reasons, they are doing it to make money. MAYBE they are making money honestly, like by placing ads on your screen that are highly targeted. YAY! BUT, maybe they are trying to steal your private info.

Sophos did a study where they tried to friend Facebook users and get their personal data and the results were alarming.  You can read the results if you like. Yes, I get that these were friend requests, and YAPR #3 is all about online surveys and games, but the data is similar. If you blindly play games (accept friends) on Facebook you are compromising your online security.

“But PaulC” you ask “why do I care if the bad guys know my email address, date of birth and mothers maiden name?” Because they can then call your bank and say “Hey, this is Suzi, my date of birth is <blah> and my mothers maiden name is McGuillicutty, please give me access to my bank account.”

“Wow, good point, ok, no more surveys for me!” Good, but not good enough. You know those cute little games that you play on Facebook? “oohh! look a <kitty, farm, cow>” yeah, when you give them permission to access your data so that you can play, you are giving them full access. And again, I suggest that you consider quid pro quo; do you really think that these companies are saying “Hey, lets create a game for free and not worry about revenue!” prolly not. They want something in return, and they are getting it, trust me.

Look, I get that you get bored and are looking for a distraction online. So go to http://www.google.com/reader and keep up on what ever interests you; cats, farm animals, electronics, trucks, politics, whatever. And if you want to play free online games (and really, who doesn't?) then go to kongregate or one of the other flash game sites and play their great games. You don’t have to register, but if you choose to, you don't have to give them any private information.  So how does kongregate make money? Off of the ads that they show.


  1. I deleted all of my facebook games. I was spending too much time on them anyway. Now about google reader....

  2. P.S. I would like to see the climate-gate discussion!

  3. Paul,

    Can you move climategate to wave and include me? I have invites if anyone needs them.