BeWare the Ware Wearers

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In response to recently discovered “did you know” info…

With the many laws, policies and proclaimations of safe surfing as we see posted around the web on a daily basis, it might surprise you to know we are being attacked right infront of our eyes.

There is a craze of facination between community networks and advertisers (both good and not-so-nice) whom have discovered a new medium to market. Online social networking communities such are quickly being saturated by sales pitches of all types.

One of the most innocent appearing, yet most harmful of these ad-posters is the friendly tool sharing buddies.

These are the folks that sign up as a user on sites such as MySpace and pass information as a “friendly freebie from your favorite unknown friend”. The ol’ “hey friend, look at the neat thing I found… and because I like you SOOOO much, I’m sharing it with my *friends*”.

These buddies come in, smiley as can be, invite us (and our children) to indulge in freebies; Free screen savers, free videos for our profiles, share free pics, etc. Meanwhile we download the tools and ignorantly install extra unwanted “watchers” on our computers. In some cases these programs do little harm to our own machine… they merely invade our privacy and follow us around like lost puppies with no leash.

Recently found is a denied, cross excused and pile of fibber-roos between .

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Now, one might assume that there’s only one bad guy here (not to point fingers of course)… the so called “friend”. Leaving MySpace as merely the victim of service abuse. WRONG. Just because a company says “excuse me, this here activity is um, against our Terms of Service, and um we don’t like, allow, nor encourage this here stuff”… doesn’t mean they enforce it. Not to accuse or say this is the case in this particular example. However, TOS can and often times does come pretty close to BS for many companies. It’s words; a written policy. Enforcing is an entirely different bag-o-beans, and one must really consider the source of the service and past examples of handling “sticky situations” before believing everything a TOS supposedly stands for.

In this case the story ends with a happy smile. Dispite Zango’s pleas of innocence, they were pulled from MySpace. But this is only one victory, with one company and one *friend*. The story, I’m sure is yet to be over. Content providers claim not to have control over what their users use their content for, and social networks claim to not be able to control what content their users display… do the word problem yourself there.
We as a community, the internet community, really do need to stay on top of the game the bigger boys are playing to ensure our families are protected from *their* profit gaining plans.

Bottom line is, there are “evil-doers” around the web and it is our responsibility, moral duty, or maybe just our parental priority to be aware and be the super heros our kids believe us to be.

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SO, with this thought in mind, here are few handy dandy tips…

Note: the following applies to you, the reader, as well as all members of one’s computer usage list — in other words: if you be a grown up and your kids be users… pass this on with anti-chocolate threats attached.

1. Keep an eye on where you visit online, what you’re downloading and what you’re installing. Just because someone is on your “friend list” doesn’t automatically make them your real friend.

2. Don’t just click buttons because they look neat and interesting… “I got distracted by shiny things” won’t pay your computer repair bill nor will it qualify the issue as a warranty use opportunity.

3. Read. Know the source you’re getting your freebies from. Also be aware, sometimes a true friend may pass something your way without checking out whether it’s ok or not… just look and think before you click.

*Basic rule of thumb – if you wouldn’t just open your door and invite the person in to sit down and each cupcakes… don’t automatically assume it is ok for you to click, signup, or otherwise interact with bells and whistles on any website.

Even paid advertising on a well established website can (and has) had issues regarding the security of the clicker. I’ve seen it, I’ve reported it and I’ve watched the wheels churn as one party points the finger at another. — just be careful when you click.

oh YAY! You can share it…(free, without wares)
Now look here… please share this information with your friends and family. You can even send this message without having to click one darn thing.

Help spread the awareness
Say NO to the Tango…

Copy the html below and send it off to as many people as you can.

<a xhref=”http://www.BSmartBSafe.com” mce_href=”http://www.BSmartBSafe.com” >BeWare the Ware Wearers</a>

Thanks in Advance for Your Support!

The above article was inspired by these great reads:
YaHoo News, VitalSecurity.org, Digg, Technorati, Internet News, TechDirt

[tags]Social Networking, MySpace, Zango, Adware[/tags]

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