Monday, February 22, 2010

Facebook Status as an Alibi

I was checking out some of the latest news on social networking and ran across an interesting article I thought I would share. Back in November of 2009, a young man was accused of committing a robbery in Brooklyn. His defense in his recent trial was that his facebook status was updated one minute prior to the accused robbery, and it was sent from a computer with an IP address in Harlem. The charges were dropped. Aside from asking a friend to update his facebook status, there are other ways he could have accomplished this himself by using services like or that allow a user to operate the computer remotely. Take a moment to check out the article below.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Google Search Tip #1: site operator

Many are not aware that Google has many advanced search operators to optimize the Google experience. Most people simply visit, type in a single word or phrase and click search. For the next few weeks, I will feature an advanced search strategy in each new posting.

So let's get started...
Tip #1 is the site operator. This operator is great to use if you only want your hit results to come from a certain site.

Scenario #1:

Let's say you have just set up a gmail account. You are having some issues and want some assistance. As many of us are aware, there are many sites and forums around the world where people are discussing any topic imaginable...look at my blog as an example. We want to ensure that the information and help we receive is actually supported by Google. In this scenario, it would be useful to incorporate the site operator into our search.

The search might include the following:
gmail help

Notice the first half of your search is the phrase one would normally conduct..."gmail help," but there is also an additional operator. The "" part of the search asks google to only return results on the google domain, which ensures we get only results from their experts on their website. **Note: There is no space following the "site:" operator.

Scenario #2:

Let's say you are at the local coffee shop and overhear some bystanders discussing a story they saw about green jobs on CNN. You are interested in checking into green jobs, especially with the green aspect invloved with the stimulus package. How do you access this story? Using the site operator, you can search: "green jobs"

Take a moment to click on the images below. When you look at the results, notice all the website addresses (urls) are within the specified site. Notice that the cnn search also included adding an option for latest articles.

I hope this tip is helpful in your future online research. Happy Googling!!
:-) DW

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Social Networking

The majority of us do it. We have that Facebook account set up so we can spend a few hours a month checking up on our friends and family. Have you ever stopped to think about social networking and just how much information we are sharing? Although Facebook & Twitter have great advantages, such as allowing us to network with friends, family, and co-workers, there are a few disadvantages we should note.

My privacy is of great importance to me, as I am sure many of you agree. So why do we share our most intimate secrets with hundreds of strangers? Admit it...only a select few of your friends in Facebook are actually more than acquaintances. We should think twice about updating our status when it sends signals about going out of town for the weekend or going to a concert at a certain time.

Check out this article: Man Robbed After Posting His Vacation on Twitter ( We are sometimes too trusting. Stalking is also an issue, especially for teenage and college-age girls. This is a great way for a stalker to keep track of your where-abouts every day.

To protect yourself from the above:
(1) Do not post private information such as: cell phone, address, schedule, social plans, etc.
(2) Utilize the privacy settings on your Facebook account. You can adjust your privacy settings so as to control who has access to your personal information.