Every year, at this time of year, I take the time to look back over the year that has just finished and check-in on my progress towards my ultimate dreams. It's a time when I remember the little wins that I might have forgotten in the wake of the chaos of life. And just like every year, 2022 was definitely filled with chaos.
Facebook has changed in a BIG way… Update your security settings!
Are you a Facebook users? Because if you are, you have likely noticed a significant number of changes to the platform during recent months. The user interface has had a massive overhaul. The way you interact in groups has changed, with tagging of posts and "featured" posts now available. Facebook has become heavily intertwined with other social media sites, like Instagram (both platforms owned by Meta). Public pages are now being treated as though they were profiles of their own. And the list goes on.
All of these changes are things that you can see; they're on the surface. But it's the stuff that's under the hood that can open up our accounts to external attacks if we're not careful.
Today, I'm going to highlight some of the security features hiding in the backend of the site (the parts that we don't often dive into) and show you some of the things that you might want to do to protect your accounts.
Should Social Media be an Adult-Only Zone?
Every so often, I encounter another teenage nightmare unfolding on the internet. It starts out innocent, but as the social media machine takes over, it's an avalanche that threatens to bury everyone alive. And I sit on the sidelines, watching all the chaos as society spirals down into another hate-fest.
For years, I've been obsessed with how social media has taken such a hold of our everyday lives. The writer in me is watching every worst-case scenario play out within the digital world, and I keep asking how it could get worse. (Because as any writer can tell you, it can always get worse.)
In the beginning, social media was a brilliant concept. It was a place where people could connect with each other and form working relationships with people who were on the other side of the planet. But as its popularity grew and more people flocked to various platforms, the social dynamics changed. In some cases, the interactions descended into a toxic cesspit needing a HazMat suit with breathing apparatus to even enter. At which point, another platform would seem to spring forth with the promise of a safe-and-inclusive environment.
Regardless of what social media has become, social media and the internet form a huge part of the world we now live in. My children have never known a life where the internet didn't exist—and my oldest is now in his 20s.
Two decades. So much of our world has changed in those two decades.
So, when I see the teenage nightmares unfolding on social media, it's not surprising to me that there is an outcry of people wanting to make social media an adult-only zone. I can understand where the viewpoints are coming from that want to classify social media usage in the same way we do alcohol and driving. But as the number of these negative events grow—sometimes, resulting in the death of yet another teen—there is only one thought that goes through my mind:
Where are the parents teaching their children how to socially behave on the internet?
If you're willing to stick around, I'll do the best I can to explain why I feel that the deplorable nature of social media is actually the responsibility of parents and how I went about teaching my children to cope with the social media cesspit.
It's an interesting tale, involving Scouts, my children, my writing, and my obsession with social media and online behavior.
Daylight Savings… Curse you!
Every six months, the clocks change by an hour. And every six months, I go mental as I try to reconcile the clock changes on my daily and business life.
It might be only an hour, but that's only if you focus on the one time zone. If you are like me, you live your life based on multiple time zone (having an international business), so it's not just one hour that changes. Nope. It's one hour one month as Daylight Savings starts in one time zone, but it's another hour the next month as Daylight Savings ends the next month. And by the end of it, the clocks have moved two hours and you lose total track of everything.
Every six months, I face this two-hour shift, and sometimes the results are me grumpy because I'm up at all godly hours in the morning.
Let me tell you of my crazy when the clocks shifted in New Zealand earlier this month.
How wide spread is your email address?
There is no question about it, internet scammers are morons.
On a frequent enough basis to be noticed, I get an email from some scammer trying to get me to click a link, send them money, or send them bitcoin—or anything else that they want me to do. And 9 times out of 10, they are badly worded, trying to sound official, but really have no clue about how English grammar actually works.
And they expect "me" to fall for the scam?
I will grant you that I'm not your typical internet user. I know better. And I know the tricks of the game that your average internet user doesn't know.
But seriously, dudes, you could at least learn how to use MS Word's grammar checker. I know it's not the best, but at least it would deal with the lack of capitalizations in your emails.
While I can spot the scammer a mile away, there will be many unsuspecting people out there who will be gullible enough to fall for the scam. It may be only one in 10,000 people, but it's statistically significant enough for the scammers to keep doing it.
And a scammer's favorite playground is email. Far too many people get emails and blindly click on the links without understanding what they're clicking on.
Of course, the first question that people ask is how did the scammer get your email in the first place. Well, let me tell you exactly how they got it.