The tyranny of the social media filter bubble

In this picture taken on Tuesday April 4, 2017, Syrian man Abdul-Hamid Alyousef, 29, carries his twin babies who were killed during the suspected chemical weapons attack, in Khan Sheikhoun town, in the northern province of Idlib, Syria. (AP Photo/Alaa Alyousef)

Two days ago one of the worst crimes against humanity in recent years took place in Syria. The government of Bashar al-Assad carried out an aerial bombing on the town of Khan Sheikhun, targeting defenseless residents of the town with the sarin nerve agent. At least 70 people were killed—tormented to death—among them children.

Meanwhile, social media platforms didn’t think this would be something I should know about. Facebook insisted I should rather be following funny animal videos and other silly posts on pages I’ve liked (TBH, I don’t use the platform very much, and I’m happy about it). Twitter, on the other hand, fed me with a rich list of the latest tech news and innovations and some promotional tweets that I ignored as usual. Continue reading

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Dealing with social engineering at times of uncertainty

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Human failure is the single biggest contributing factor to security incidents, hacks and data breaches. Social engineers, cybercriminals that invest in human errors rather than technical vulnerabilities, are always on the lookout for exclusive opportunities to incite strong feelings in their targets and prod them to make a fatal mistake.

The anxiety and uncertainty surrounding the immigration ban in the U.S. provides the perfect climate for social engineering attacks, a fact that is largely ignored while the political aspects of the ban are being highlighted and fanned with ample frequency by the media. Continue reading

Why I’m giving up on Twitter conversations

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I love Twitter, have been using it for years, and my Twitter account is much more active than my LinkedIn or Facebook. I use it regularly to share my latest articles with my followers, share links to other scoops and articles that are worth reading, post amusing comments on others’ posts, or simply vent my frustration when a particularly complicated article is giving me a hard time.

But Twitter gets frustrating as soon as exchanges start to get technical and lengthy in nature. And my latest episode happened yesterday, after VentureBeat ran my latest article, which explored the intersection of blockchain and cybersecurity. Continue reading

Is social media helping or stalling democracy?

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A lot of people are blaming last week’s victory of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the U.S. presidential elections on social media, namely Facebook and to some extent Twitter, and their lack of control over the propagation of fake news.

Long story short, despite the results, they believe the American people wanted to elect Clinton, but propaganda and fake news sites promoted on social media led to Trump becoming the next president of the United States. At the very least, what it did was make things murky enough to disrupt the democratic process and trigger widespread protests across the country. Continue reading

Social media security can no longer be an afterthought

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By Mike Raggo, Chief Research Scientist at ZeroFOX

In today’s threatening age, it’s impossible to navigate the web without crossing paths with some sort of virus, threat or scam. In the past few months especially, we’ve seen social media become a prime vector for scammers to target individuals, going after everyone from the CEO of Twitter (through his own platform mind you) to 117 million innocent LinkedIn individuals. In fact, in just May and June of 2016, five major social networks – LinkedIn, Tumblr, Myspace, Twitter and Russia’s VK – all suffered leaked user credentials. Continue reading