The Internet, Social Networks, and Privacy

I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again. Nothing on the internet is temporary, and nothing is private.

And yet people really do seem to expect things that they say on social networks, such as Facebook, to remain private. There have been articles after articles on people complaining that they have been skipped over for promotions, not been offered a new job or even lost their jobs due to things they have said online. And yet they wonder why?

Facebook is a great example. Back in the day, when they obviously had not thought about any privacy concerns, everything was open. Things improved after complaints, and the media spotlight was brought to bear, and information became restricted to friends of friends only. Now you can actively control where your information goes (well, more or less) – and there are warnings when you add applications that it will have access to your information. And yet people still add them, and even the rogue data collection spam ones too. Why? Is it the social network’s fault? Or is it user education? Or is it both? Or even, something else entirely?

I get tired of trying to tell people that what they post on the internet will not disappear (for example, my very first company died out a long time ago … and yet the Way Back machine can STILL dig up the website cache for you to view!). You delete things on Facebook, and you think they are gone. Then just go and try their “download user data” option and check it out. Nope, your information is still there. All those messages that you thought were deleted … are there. Hope you didn’t say anything incriminating!

I’m not advocating a police state style managed internet, but I’m advocating user education – and sensible web app construction. Privacy and Security should NOT be an after thought, but should be deeply ingrained in your design and architecture.

And people really do need to stand up and take any aftermath of things they say. Free speech is still alive yes, however, remember to put your brain into gear before you mouth. There are too many people out there that can probably read your social network page, blog or newsgroup posting to just rant off about something – especially if it’s something about a company or person that you would not want to say to their face!

And, please people, stop adding those damn rogue apps on Facebook. They drive me nuts.

If only users would actually read some of the articles on security blogs, such as Naked Security by Sophos, we might have a slightly safer digital world. But then again, that would assume that people actually understand their personal digital security …

There has to be a better solution to this. Maybe Apple have the right idea with their App Store after all – trying to prevent rogue app introduction by vetting every submission …

The road to IPV6..

What with all the news about IPV4 addresses running out on the public internet, it got me thinking about my internal setup.

Ok, first off, I really don’t need to run IPV6 internally at the office or at home – we don’t have that many devices lurking on our networks, but it would be an interesting test case for our network linked products.

However, we have been thwarted.

Our Cisco router happily will work on IPV6 after having latest IOS images loaded.

But our network printers will not. Bugger.

Ironically, both printers are HP and one isn’t even that old.

Come on HP. Wake up and smell IPV6.

Clicky Dashboard; a desktop window on your Clicky Web Analytics

On the first of February my company released a small, very simple, companion application for use alongside Clicky Web Analytics.  The app in question is called Clicky Dashboard (yeah, I know, its original Smile).

What does it do?

It simply pulls information down hourly and presents the pertinent parts of your Web Analytics on a desktop client – letting you keep working while still keeping an eye on your website performance.

At the moment, the application is extremely basic as it was never really intended to be released – it was built for internal use; however, we thought that there might be a need for the application by others.  Instead of pushing forward developing it in various directions that might not actually make sense, we though that we would open it up “as is” and get YOUR feedback. What would YOU want it to do. What statistics do YOU want it to display.

So why not download it, have a play (with the fully functional 30 day trial version) and give us your feedback?

For details on Clicky Dashboard, please click here