Identity Theft- Where Have You Done Your Photocopying?

I have often tell my clients and friends that if they sell a computer to take the hard drive out of it, so as not to risk identity theft of possible information of clients on it… Erasing it is not good enough, as there is software out there for rebuilding the data on those hard drives… Where you do your photocopies of your personal information might be an easy place for the possibility of identity theft… Until a friend of mine in Cyber Security sent me this video “Copy Machines, a Security Risk?” by CBS News, I hadn’t really given it much thought…

Knowing full well that Digital Photocopy machines use a scanner and scan the paper image to a hard drive or have files sent to them through an internal business LAN or even through an IP address, then schedule it for copies to be printed when needed, to do this documents must be saved and stored to the copier’s hard drive… A great time saving feature that is very convenient for employees and for increasing company efficiency… But how safe are those personal files, those ones of your license and social security card you make at work or secure files that you do at the local photocopy business?

Xerox Copy Machine

Copy Machines Celebrates it’s 50th Anniversary in March 2010, with the first plain-paper copy machine that was sold and shipped by the Haloid Xerox company of Rochester, New York…Little did any think then that a whole new world of printing and copying would begin, and where it would lead… Today, Photo Copies have even gotten to the point where they are giving printers a run for their money and many print shops have closed because of new trends in photocopying with it’s ease and convenience… 50 years later, it’s hard to imagine life without them…

Now when a businesses replaces a one of these Digital Photocopy machines, sometimes the company sends them to e-waste centers. Some Business will sell them to a wholesale warehouses or local business supply and equipment auctions, online business equipment buyouts companies or even selling them on e-bay.

What’s so bad about this you might ask? You have to take into consideration all those photocopies are still in that digital Hard drive inside of the Photocopy machine/s if the business and/or their IT staff isn’t Tech Security Savvy… And it is fairly easy to get the programs needed to download them and search for personal information…

Criminals are always looking for a new ways to commit identity theft. With the cost of identity theft on the rise, many companies and people are blind to the damage thieves can do with out-of-date company copiers.

What can you or your company does to protect its private information? One is hiring a company to erase those digital files… Another is to take the hard drive out of the photocopier this is the safest bet!!! And for personal use, DON”T USE THE PHOTOCOPIER AT WORK FOR YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION!!! And you might not want to be using a business photocopy service anymore to copy your personal information, as how do you truly know where that photocopy machine will end up…

You also might want to think to buy a photocopier for yourself… I took a look at Amazon for New Photo Copiers and found some nice priced ones for small business and home use… A personal home use copier like the Canon PC 170 Personal Copier for $139.99 through Amazon: http://amzn.to/9j3Gad would be my recommendation to help protect yourself from Identity theft!!!

I came across this article too, which could be of interest about how the Government is starting to look into Digital Copy Machine Privacy:

FTC to Investigate Digital Copy Machine Privacy Risks: http://bit.ly/b7DvLW

Social Media- Cyber Facades and Virtual Masks, Which Do You Paint?

Fa·çade or Fa·cade

1. The face of a building, especially the principal or front face showing its most prominent architectural features

2. The way something or somebody appears on the surface, especially when that appearance is false or meant to deceive

Italian facciata, from faccia, face, from Vulgar Latin *facia, from Latin facies.

Mask

A covering worn on the face to conceal one’s identity, as:

1. A covering, as of cloth, that has openings for the eyes, entirely or partly conceals the face, and is worn especially at a masquerade ball.

2. A grotesque or comical representation of a face, worn especially to frighten or amuse, as at Halloween.

3. A facial covering worn for ritual.

4. A figure of a head worn by actors in Greek and Roman drama to identify a character or trait and to amplify the voice.

French masque, from Italian maschera, from Medieval Latin masca, specter, witch, mask.

I believe all people paint their own facades, masks or persona in one way or another to be behind at one point or another in life…  Be it to be polite, to be politically correct or of a poker face to not reveal what their thoughts or intentions are to others looking upon them be it honest in being polite with a smile or dishonest in trying to sell something that truly isn’t worth what they are selling…  But what mask or façade do you paint upon yourself in Social Media and Networking for busines

In one way now, we have a new form of Façade or Mask that Technology has offered, “Cyber Façade” or “Virtual Mask”…  It could be a small business trying to portray them selves as being larger then they truly are, or people living out a fantasy and some being false in their promises of the items or products they sell online…  Sometimes it is just being nice, a virtual smile or agreement in views or insights that one normally wouldn’t agree with, just to be polite…

Do you paint an honest representation of yourself online; are you truly candor in your descriptions and experience? I see so many that use a statement in their Bios on Twitter as Expert or Guru- but are they, are you?

I’ve been online and using the internet since 89-90, when it was just a links between colleges and universities that had government funding for the exchange of ideas and concepts mainly for government research and remember how it started to grow after it started using HTML, TCP/IP and Hypertext…  I even started using a lot TCP/IP for networking back then for many Macintosh computers, then saw it grow further into what we now know as the Internet…  But I rarely call myself an Expert or Guru, except in jest with many of my friends in a town with no stoplight as being an Internet Guru or Expert, even with over 20 years of being online and using Chat, video and imaging or what we now call Social Media…  But I would never call myself this in Business, there is always more to learn and this is ever a changing business, there is no room for those who think themselves as Expert or Guru…  To me it is a sign of being unprofessional if someone defines them selves as an Expert or Guru…  If you have a lot of years of Experience in one field or another, then state it, be honest and open about it!!!

I try to be as open and honest as I can be often too open I have been told, or talk too much in social media…  Some have even told me I should raise prices or try to portray myself as being a larger business then I truly am…  But this doesn’t sit well with me, to lie in my book- it gives me rotgut and doesn’t allow me to sleep well, so I found a long time ago it is a lot easier to just be honest…  It might be one thing to be polite to an older person or woman in saying they appear younger or more beautiful then others might honestly feel they are, but in Business I feel honesty is key and a major foundation to the building of a relationship…

Why paint Masks, as an artist or what I call a “Visual Problem Solver” with many years of experience in creating visuals- artwork, photography, graphic design web site design and marketing with degree’s in Illustration, commercial arts, past experiences of being an art director freelance photographer and creating advertising in many formats… I live in a small town without a stoplight named Candor, NY…  My business name is ArtWorks of Candor but my brand is not the business name but truly my own name and my own abilities…  The art studio is located behind my family farm’s house in an old chicken shack I renovated into a studio back in 1992 and the computer part of it I am renovating an office area inside my house, so I can keep the computers and art work separated some, mostly because of space…  This is about as honest and open as one can be, or Truly Candor…  But are you honest about your experience and abilities?

Using tweepsearch.com, I found that 9,249 have Guru, 17,517 for Expert and 2,099 for “years of experience” in their Twitter Bio’s… Why is it so few highlight how many years of experience they have, are they the few that are honest and share this?  Seems to me that there is a lot of Cyber Facades or Virtual Masks that some are painting upon them selves when you look at numbers like this…

When you wake in the morning, what “Cyber Façade” or “Virtual Mask” do you paint for all in this virtual world to see?

Bloggers are you using NetworkedBlogs? You should be!

NetworkedBlogs is a Facebook Application with NetworkedBlogs.com being an extension of the FaceBook application… It is a directory of blogs organized by topic and geographical locations…  The application for FaceBook is great as it allows you to import your blog feed to your profile or fan page, so that you can share your articles or articles of blogs you follow to your friends or fans…  It is also listed by category and subject matter within this directory, allowing people using it to quickly find blogs of interest…

NetworkedBlogs currently only provides a subset of the information that is offered inside FaceBook. With time they plan to add more features and more information.  They plan to make their user-generated blog directory accessible outside FaceBook and provide more exposure to the blogs that use this service.

The web site, NetworkedBlogs is still in its early stages, but is getting better and better and growing in popularity…  When I first started using them almost a year ago, they had 70,000 blogs, now they have over 300,000 blogs in less then a year of growth…  It is also the most popular blog application on FaceBook

FaceBook plans to soon announce a user base of over 500 million users by the end of June 2010… NetworkedBlogs has over 1,187,381 (as of June 8th) monthly active users on FaceBook… With that may users doesn’t it seem obvious to use a blog application that is already the most used within FaceBook?

NetworkedBlogs Blog Profile area showing Blog Description Controls and latest Blog Feed Entry list

NetworkedBlogs works on both FaceBook Profiles and  Pages and you can add a link to the page that shows your viewers the Blogs you follow…  On your Blog you can also add a widget that allows viewers to follow your blog and the application also keeps track of those followers for you in your NetworkedBlogs profile…What is really nice is you can import your blog feed to your profile or fan page, along with other articles from Blogs you follow too…

NetworkedBlogs News Feed showing the latest Blog Articles posted by Date

What I find really nice about this application, I can open the NetworkedBlogs app and be able to browse the latest updates of all the blogs I follow, I follow a fair amount- over 120+ Blogs and always finding more of my interests…  Not all Blogs update daily or weekly, so this I find as a nice way to view the highlighted new articles that have been posted…  This also gives a brief intro of the article  from the first couple sentences and links to the first opening photo of the blog too making it nice to quickly scan the many articles…

NetworkedBlogs View of Blog from list allowing controls to “Like & Post to FaceBook and/or Twitter

Then once you open an article to read, on top you can “Like” it and post the article to your FaceBook page or Twitter account to share with your friends…

Getting set up is easy, just add your Blog URL, and fill out owner name, subject and a little description of your Blog subject matter…  Then you can either post the NetworkedBlogs Widget on the Blog or have 10 people certify that you are the Author and wal-la, you’re on the list…  You’ve a choice of three Widgets to choose from that can be on you Blog page too, where people reading your Blog can also follow from…

NetworkedBlogs Invite Friends to Follow your Blog

Inviting people on your list or within FaceBook friend’s list is easy, just open up “Invite People to follow” in your Blog Profile, and it gives you an easy list of all the people that you have as friends on FaceBook, it even add the ability to add those that aren’t using FaceBook by giving a space for e-mail addresses too…

One even shows a list with photos from their FaceBook page of the people who are following your blog…  Once you have 20+ followers you are then shown on the full open list of the subject matter of your Blog, but there is also a list of those blog with less then 20 too in one link, but they highlight more those with 20+ followers…

So, if you’re the owner of a blog, either for business or interests I highly recommend connecting to NetworkedBlogs so you can share your articles with the many people on FaceBook that are using this great application…

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