C Tann-Starr's Outside Blog


Hack Attack Social Networking?

The Official Google Blog is an interesting read. They help track flu trends, provide spanking analytics (like YouTube Insights), and you can even see Ancient Rome reborn there as an animated YouTube video. My fave is their collections of hack attacks. They have these really cool competitions where they sponsor Code Jams. If you are a techno geek virtual junkie like me then you know exactly what I am talking about. If not, let me introduce you:

I quote: "Code Jam is one of our most famous traditions. Programmers compete to hack and solve complex programming challenges in a very short time, and the winners are awarded fame, cash prizes and the opportunity to intern at Google." You can read up on this here (Space Jam), here (It's Jam Time), and here (Code Jam).


At this point in time you may be wondering why a Realtor is talking about hacking.

Well, why not? There is a difference between a good hacker and a bad hacker in more ways than one.

Did you know that some hackers infiltrate social networks to mess around with your e-mail and identity? Did you know that lazy habit some of you have of blindly accepting friend requests on social media sites from total complete strangers who are not your friend may actually be jeopardizing my relationship with you because they now have my information because you let them have it with your lax security habits?

So what if we supposedly have 30 friends in common? 6 degrees of sep is not always a reason to ask to be friends with someone you don't know. It would be so much nicer if people took the time to send an e-mail to their real friends introducing their third party friends so we'd have an idea who was friend or foe.

It would be even nicer if we took the time to figure out who some of these people contacting us, and that we decide to contact, really are. Maybe we shouldn't rush to associate just for association's sake. Maybe we should take the time to go read some tweets, blog posts, check out their other social media accounts or just Google 'em. The cool thing about ActiveRain, Trulia, AgentGenius and Juicy Red Apple is that if you spend enough time in these stellar sites (and others) it is a little more  easy to accept new people as a potential friend on Facebook or MySpace because you've crossed virtual paths with them on a daily basis.

If you are not reading, writing and crossing paths with people, why are you automatically clicking yes in MySpace and Facebook? Some of your bad habits are aggravating me. Yesterday my Google alerts went off. Guess where? Linked to 5 porn sites because one of you let the wrong person in and they started stealing your Google juice by running a real estate RSS feed in the background as a ticker-tape next to a bunch of hoochies. I am not amused or pleased because my innocent comments on your blog dragged my name into a place it should not be. I saved that e-mail because I am still trying to figure out who to complain to. I've already told Google it was not relevant but I'm seething with anger.

Hackers are your foes. Be careful who you let into your social network people. Those nice people entering Google competitions are probably not the same people stealing your friends information while they collect yours because all you care about are the point system numbers or appearing to have hundreds (if not thousands) of friends.

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Comment balloon 15 commentsC Tann-Starr • November 16 2008 04:22PM


Carolyn, if we don't have enough problems with spam now the hackers are mucking up the works. Sorry to hear the bad luck you had with the links.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 12 years ago

Gary, that really whomped. I didn't know what was going on until it was too late. I always check to see what's going on with my office, my name, my posts and my videos. It's bad enough I have to ask people to take down my stolen photographs but now I gotta see our members RSS feeds being abused by baseball card sellers and hoochies? Puh-leeze. It's not like my last name is common or popular like Smith for crying out loud. I have a very unusual last name. 150 countries, only one Tann-Starr. This was something that I didn't think would ever come up in a conversation... (LOL)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

I hope nothing happened to you. I just wrote a post about Spammers getting into Facebook. Be careful.

Posted by Shane OnullGorman, Eau Claire Wisconsin, Real Estate Agent & Realtor- Buy or Sell (Eau Claire Realty, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

I had no idea about this. I'm usually pretty careful about who I accept as a friend on these sites. Crazy ****!

Posted by Lizette Fitzpatrick, Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes (Lizette Realty - Richmond KY) almost 12 years ago

Shane, so far it just got my dander up. I was chatting with LG about an e-mail she received warning her not to accept a friend request from a person who was hacking social sites. Imagine my surprise when I started having to deal with issues I didn't realize existed related to this same issue. I promised her I would talk about it but hadn't figured out how to present it until this nonsense happened to me.

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Lizette, I try to be careful and check several fave spots before I accept or ignore people. I'm lucky that a lot of people I do follow have been virtually introduced to me by my friends. Sometimes I'll get an e-mail and a CC member will suggest to invite or follow a particular fave of theirs and I am always happy to go do a bit of recreational reading and oblige them. Once in a while I'll just let the requests pile up because I really don't have the time to figure out who they are and where any of it is going. I have made a few mistakes in this regard, but nothing serious has come of any of it. I'd like to keep it that way. 

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Great information to know. My tech savyness...you could put in a teaspoon.. So always happy to learn these things.

Posted by Sherry Scales, Realtor, for Austin, TX and surrounding areas (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) almost 12 years ago

I'm glad that you found it useful, Sherry. ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

"stealing your Google juice by running a real estate RSS feed in the background as a ticker-tape next to a bunch of hoochies" 

That is my favorite line from your post!  I know you were not laughing but it made me laugh (sorry).  You make a great point here and I'm glad I have held off on the 14 Facebook friend requests I've yet to confirm because I have no idea who they are.  Before approving connections, I click on that person's profile and search around a bit to see who they really are.  Pretty much everyone in real estate gets approved because it makes sense for my profession.  But I'll now be heading over to press "ignore" for those who I have zero in common with!

Posted by Jasen Edwards (Creator, Good Selling Formula™) almost 12 years ago

I have created the habit of not opening, reading or accepting any invitations from people I do not know.  By reading what you have gone thru I think it was a good idea.  Sorry you had to have this experience.

Posted by Carla Rocha - RochaTeam, Talk To Us (United Realty Group) almost 12 years ago

Jason, I don't mind if you laugh. Saying that line out loud actually cracked me up (LOL). Real Estate Hoochies is not exactly a common conversation. ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

C - Great post. Lots of great info. Thanks in more ways than one.

Posted by Lisa Glowacki, Real Estate Broker - RI & MA (Lisa Glowacki - Rhode Island & Massachusetts) almost 12 years ago

Lisa G, thank you. :-)

Rocha Team, I actually stayed out of FB for a few days (LOL). My next move is to whack all of those B-day info requests.

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

What a whompalooza!  I joined facebook Saturday night and have since been hit with all sorts of friend requests by people I don't know.  Don't these people know I haven't been keeping in touch with my real friends lately?  Maybe not.

Anyway, I think it's great that you posted about this outrageous behavior. My biggest beef with the adult entertainment industry is that they won't play in their sandbox while the rest of the world plays in theirs.

Posted by Amanda Evans, Real Estate Broker - Fort Worth Texas (DFW Living) almost 12 years ago

Amanda, my love. Very well said.

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

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