Tag Archives: social networking

Recovering Your Online Privacy – How To Delete A Bebo Account

Last year you may have read a post on here about a friend of mine who had a job interview cancelled because the employer carried out a social media check and found something on her Bebo account that they didn’t like. She hadn’t used Bebo in around 8 years and never for one second thought that someone would take the trouble to look on there when screening for an interview.

Naturally she then tried to delete the account but found that while her profile was still publicly viewable, there was no way to login and edit or delete it. We both emailed Bebo asking them to deleted our accounts in September 2013, but I didn’t hear anything until February, when they said:

Hey Andrew,
Totally understand your concern. Please know that we have received your request and are building a tool as we speak to get this done for you asap. Thanks for your patience.
Thank you for your email,

Bebo Support 

Anyway, they have since got back to me this week, saying that my account had actually been deleted – as per my request – a while ago:

deleting a bebo account

So if you wanted to delete a Bebo account, we can tell you that there is a way. From my own experience, if you simply send an email to bebo@monkeyinferno.com asking them to delete an account they can do this for you. You’ll probably have to prove that you are the one who owns the account, but in my case I just emailed them from the address used to create the account in the first place, and they didn’t ask me for any further information.

Here at SocialSafe we absolutely believe in holding on to your past and cherishing the memories you create online, but at the same time we’ve all said things online that at some point we later regret. We know a number of people had commented on the original article about this, so hopefully this will help anyone looking to delete a Bebo account.

How Well Do You Know Your Way Around Your Data?

As we continue to make improvements and add new features to SocialSafe, there are more ways to view and do more with the content backed up within your library. We’ve put together a video showing you the main ways to interact with your content and how to find particular items.

While this video is primarily aimed at new users who have just installed SocialSafe for the first time, this video should help anyone that has been with us for a while and who may not have fully explored all of the features of SocialSafe:

We’ll be continuing to make more of these videos over the coming weeks and months, and would really appreciate any feedback you have so that we can make them as helpful as possible to you, the users. Feel free to let us know what you think about the videos, or anything else we do, by contacting us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.

#NoMakeupSelfie Campaign Raises £8m+, But Some Money Got Lost

Earlier this year social media was maligned for the ease with which it allowed the #neknomination drinking game to spread, and seemingly encourage irresponsible and dangerous acts of rapid intoxication. By being able to tag others in posts, the craze spread incredibly quickly, leading to an enormous number of people posting videos of themselves trying to out-do each other in terms of drinking bravado, sometimes with fatal consequences.

However, the notion of tagging people in posts and asking them to carry out a particular task before passing on the proverbial baton to other friends has taken a benevolent turn. As of last week, women have been posting a #NoMakeupSelfie along with a mobile screenshot of their text donations in aid of Cancer Research UK, and then challenging their female friends to forego their makeup and follow suit by tagging them in the post.

So far the movement has raised over £8m, although not all of the money pledged has ended up going to Cancer Research UK. As messages are relayed many times over, something is bound to get lost in translation. In this case, simply texting the wrong word when making a donation has seen money inadvertently diverted to other causes.

The text keyword for Cancer Research UK is ‘BEAT’, however many people texted the word ‘DONATE’, which is designated solely for the use of Unicef. As a result, Unicef has received over £18,000 worth of ‘accidental’ donations. But the errors didn’t end there…

A number of people also fell foul of their phone’s autocorrect feature, which changed the word ‘BEAT’ to BEAR. They then received thank you messages from the World Wildlife Fund after the word ‘bear’ automatically triggered the initial process for adopting polar bears. However, WWF’s Director of Fundraising – Kerry Blackstock – was quick to allay fears of people being signed up to a longterm commitment:

“Any texts sent to us instead of Cancer Research [UK] would not result in any donations going to help protect polar bears as WWF relies on human operators calling people back to confirm adoptions, so no money would have changed hands.”

But setting aside the minor admin errors made by both man and technology, the whole story is a great example of how significant change can be affected by the use of social media, and how simple it is for acts of good will to gain momentum and a critical mass when people share an idea online. Long may it continue.

As More Police Departments Use Social Media, What Are The Compliance Risks?

Social networks have increased the speed and scope of our communicating ability so much that it is little wonder businesses and organisations are rapidly adopting these channels. One area that is proving to be a fertile ground for building relationships is law enforcement.

A 2013 survey in the United States found that 96% of police departments used social media in some capacity. Facebook was by far the most popular platform, with 92.1% of the police departments using social media having a presence on the worlds largest social network. The next most commonly used channel was Twitter, with 64.8% of the police departments using social media having an account on the micro blogging platform.

While police departments are predominantly using their social network accounts to aid the solving of crimes by asking local residents to come forward with information, having a social network presence is also improving the relationship between communities and their law enforcement agencies. Lynn Hightower, communications director at the Boise Police Department says:

“People can communicate with the police department, it’s no longer that 800-pound gorilla that no one knows how to communicate with.”

It’s great to see the positive changes that can arise from the use of social media by individuals and organisations, and if you read the end of the Mashable article Police Turn to Social Media to Fight Crime, Dispel Rumors, there’s a feel-good story.

However, if you are a business or a public or government body using social media, it’s worth being aware of any regulations that might apply to your particular industry or sector. You will likely have certain responsibilities when it comes to records retention, and more often than not it isn’t enough to simply rely upon being able to find something on the social networks themselves.

We recently produced a White Paper that looks at some of the legal risks posed to businesses who use social media as part of their marketing and communication efforts, and how those risks can be best minimised. You can download Minimising the Legal and Regulatory Risks of Social Media in Business for free now.

Twitter Outage – How To Access Your Tweets, DMs, Mentions and More…

Last night saw another Twitter outage affecting users of both the mobile app and the web version of the social network. For some people the outage lasted almost and hour, but the issue was resolved by around midday PDT.

The disruption was an unfortunate side effect of some maintenance work being carried out by Twitter, as the company explained:

“During a planned deploy in one of our core services, we experienced unexpected complications that made Twitter unavailable for many users starting at 11:01am. We rolled back the change as soon as we identified the issue and began a controlled recovery to ensure stability of other parts of the service. The site was fully recovered by 11:47am PDT. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

While the outage was scarcely more than three-quarters of an hour, it was still an inconvenience for many, and could have had caused serious problems for some individuals and businesses. With more and more of us using Twitter as the first line of communication, not being able to access the information contained in our tweets, mentions, DMs and more could leave you missing an all important phone number or email address right we need it.

As reliable as social networks are on the whole, there is no getting away from the fact that they do have occasional difficulties and experience periods of downtime. In order to avoid any potential problems caused by such outages, it’s advisable to keep a local copy of your social network content.

SocialSafe allows you to take control of your content by downloading your Facebook messages, tweets, DMs, wall posts and much more to your own library that your own and store. So whatever happens to the originals online, whether they are deleted forever or just become temporarily unavailable, you’ll always be able to access your content if it’s in your SocialSafe library.

Facebook Removing @Facebook.com Email Accounts In March

You can now finally kiss goodbye to your @facebook.com email address after the social network announced that it would be shuttering that particular service over the next few weeks.

You’re probably all thinking the same thing right now: Do I have a Facebook email address? Yes, yes you do. These were created back in 2010, and were issued to every user. They were also issued to everyone who signed up after this point, and were linked to your public user ID:

Facebook email addresses

However, they never really caught on, as people quite understandably already had perfectly functioning email addresses, and therefore it would have been a wholly unnecessary transition that would undoubtedly have caused friction. But that didn’t stop Facebook from trying to shoehorn them into our lives…

Back in 2012 Facebook managed to anger a number of users by swapping out whatever other email address they had listed publicly on their profile in favour of the Facebook email address. Despite the backlash, the company stood its ground saying that they’d announced these changes back in April of that year.

However as they say, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Facebook email accounts never really caught on, and the social network is finally pulling the plug, saying instead that it will focus on improving its mobile messaging experience for everyone.

When the changes go into effect in early March, any emails that were being received by your Facebook email address will now be sent to the primary email address on your account. There will also be an option to turn this forwarding off.

Did you ever use your Facebook email address? What will the impact of this move be? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Is Your Email Provider The Skeleton Key Hackers Are After?

In the case of protecting your social network accounts, it’s not necessarily the individual networks that may be the weak link in the chain. When you think about the mechanism by which you log in to all of the different services and networks that you use on a daily basis, there is usually one common denominator – an email address.

Today you may have read the story of how Naoki Hiroshima was extorted into giving up his Twitter username worth $50,000 after an attacker had managed to change the account settings on his GoDaddy domains, which his personal email stemmed from. Without reprinting the whole story here, things went from bad to worse for Naoki before he eventually gave in to the demands in order to prevent complete disaster that would have befallen him if he’d lost control of his domains permanently.

It’s well worth reading the his blog, as it highlights some issues with PayPal and GoDaddy that you’d be well advised to familiarise yourself with if you use either service:

My $50,000 Twitter Username Was Stolen Thanks to PayPal and GoDaddy

Going back to the broader issue of using the same email address (and password) to log in to a variety of different services and networks, if that email becomes compromised, you could be in a lot of trouble. While there may be ways to prove to your email provider that your account has been hacked (many ask you to provide a second email address for just such eventualities), the turnaround period can leave plenty of time for the imposter to wreak havoc through your digital life.

Social networks, online shops and a plethora of other services usually have a ‘Forgot Your Password?’ button, which will send a password reset link to your registered email address. If you aren’t in control of that email address at the time, it would be very easy – as Naoki discovered – for an attacker to change the login details on your network or other accounts. So even when regain control of your email account, it may be too late to salvage the other parts of your online life.

At SocialSafe, we may not be able to help you with adding an extra layers of security to your networks or other online accounts, but we can help you to preserve your content should anything happen to the original networks. Use SocialSafe to download your Facebook Messages, photos, wall posts, updates, tweets, Instagrams and so much from your social networks, and store it on your own machine in your own personal data store. So whatever happens to your live accounts, your memories will be safe forever in your own personal library, that you control.

What Does A Facebook ‘Like’ Really Say About You? Why Fragmented Data Is Wrong

The significance associated with ‘Liking’ something on Facebook can vary greatly depending on who sees what you Like, and what they already know about you.

First of all, you may ‘Like’ a page purely for the purposes of staying up to speed on a brand or public individual’s activity, even if they were a competitor or your ideological polar opposite. Think about a Greenpeace activist ‘Liking’ Shell, Chevron or BP, just so that they know what they are up against. They don’t necessarily ‘like’ (with a small ‘l’) what the company is doing, but Liking (big ‘L’) on Facebook gives pseudo-endorsement thanks to the arbitrary name given to consciously opting in to see updates from that company, politician, brand etc.

Then there’s the issue of whether or not you actually ever clicked Like in the first place…

Just over a year ago an article on ReadWrite highlighted many instances in which people were seeing promoted posts, suggested pages and news stories indicating that their friends ‘Like’ certain products, brands of pubic figures. The author followed this up with some of his friends who – according to Facebook – had given their tacit endorsement to some very unlikely pages, and they were left scratching their heads. Most of them had no recollection or staunchly denied having ever clicked Like in the first place.

When asked about this, Facebook fell back on human error, with a spokesman saying that people can “Like” things by accident, perhaps by inadvertently pressing a button on the mobile app. The author of the article, remained skeptical however, saying that the frequency with which so many of his friends could make the same ‘mistake’ was just too suspicious, although it could be the work of third-parties selling Likes to pages.

Whatever the reasoning behind the Likes, this story demonstrates that if someone is supposedly showing their support or endorsing particular brands on Facebook, it might not necessarily be an accurate picture of them. Singular aspects of an individual’s different online profiles – when viewed in isolation – may paint them in a certain light, but it’s only when all of the component parts of their online self are brought together that the picture become clear and complete.

These days people use a variety of services to engage in lots of activities, creating data about themselves that is fragmented and stored by a multitude of different networks and companies. At SocialSafe we believe that that the individual should be the biggest single owner of their own data, which is why – starting with social networks – we are enabling our users to created their own aggregated personal data store.

Some of the most successful sports teams, bands and other groups have been described as ‘greater than the sum of their parts’.  The power of several otherwise unremarkable or average members combining into something that performs at a level far higher than simply adding up the achievements or skills of all the individuals when operating separately. Surely the same could be true if you brought together all of your fragmented personal data?

LinkedIn Intro – An Own Goal In Terms Of Privacy?

Last week LinkedIn released an iOS app that has caused quite the privacy debate online. ‘Intro’ allows users to route their emails through LinkedIn’s servers, and adds data to outgoing emails if it detects the intended recipient is a LinkedIn user.

There are obvious networking benefits to this, in that it will presumably give both parties a gentle nudge to connect on LinkedIn, but if you’re already emailing somebody in a professional capacity then the chances are that you’re probably going to connect with them eventually.

However, it seems that most people are focusing on the ‘hang on, you want to scan all of my emails?’ aspect of the situation. Given LinkedIn’s somewhat chequered past when it comes to data storage and security, many are saying that you’d be wise to think long and hard about using Intro. Last year LinkedIn was the victim of a very public hack in which 6.4 million user accounts were compromised. Just think how much more of a target it will now be if people are routing their emails through LinkedIn.

Even if things don’t go wrong, there are still some issues to consider when using Intro. For example, Attorney-client Privilege. Marcia Hoffman – former Senior Staff Attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation – reminds internet users that:

“If you let a third-party have access to your privileged email, you could be waiving important legal protections.”

Bishop Fox, The Verge and plenty of other sites are writing about all the reasons you wouldn’t want to use the app, while the network itself has written a blog post hoping to clarify some of the confusion that it believes has led to the negative press surrounding LinkedIn Intro.

At the end of the day, it will come down to how much you value your privacy. One thing that should be considered is just how important your own data is. If it is considered valuable by hackers, then it should be considered valuable by you too.

A lot of your digital life exists on social networks, where you don’t actually hold the data yourself. SocialSafe is the social content organiser that gives you complete control of your data by storing it on your own machine. To get started, download the free trial now,