All dongles aside, the incident over remarks that included one of those (I had no idea it looked like this for real) by a perky-eared bystander who snapped and posted an image to Twitter of alleged offenders behind her and subsequently jobs were lost over the conundrum (breath), has caused all sorts of crazy cyber-bullying against the female bystander and one of my peers who wrote about the incident.
- Mark W. Schaefer’s blog post
- The letter from Anonymous; however, do not go to its website via Google search as it’s completely full of viruses. (I know, I just tried.)
- A wiki, Geek Feminism, with what appears to be a sequential unfolding of the debacle.
And, you know what really sucks? We don’t know the truth; we don’t know who is ultimately responsible — perhaps it’s Anonymous and perhaps not.
Stop Being Naive
What I do know is that we the people can no longer be naive that what we say online is protected and without recourse; that what we do in public surroundings when involving strangers is innocent. It’s not and it’s not.
The scare tactics of hacker groups are real; it is cyber-bullying extraordinaire. Reputations and businesses that don’t play according to cyber rules are being ruined; it’s survival of the fittest and who can survive a cyber attack?
As I was explaining to Amber-Lee Dibble of Pioneer Outfitters on Google+, it’s time to pick the battles, choose carefully how to tread online, know with whom you’re engaging, and throw caution into every word.
Ever wonder how to fight a cyber-attack during which a website crashes and the spam bots destroy the back end with waves of onslaught? I would not have the financial resources or time to devote to managing this type of crisis; in fact, there’s nothing I would be able to do but call in the troops and borrow from the IRA (that’s not the Irish Republican Army).
In a Facebook discussion today, Ms. Kittie Walker, Founder and President of Indigo Girl in London said, “It takes for people to stand up and stand up en masse to fight that kind of bullying. There are plenty of rival sub-culture organizations fighting against Anonymous, but they are employing the same tactics. The global security services and police are fighting Anonymous and they’ve made some inroads, but for every hacker they arrest, a new one pops up.
What’s the likelihood of the masses standing up to them – not big; they are currently seen as modern day Robin Hoods and those that don’t see them that way may take the road that you did when bullied over a review. So whom do you side with? The Government and their agencies that want to restrict the internet in ways that you can’t even imagine (crushing your business just as surely) or the anarchists. Seems to me to be a bit of a loose-loose situation. (Kittie also mentioned she respects Anonymous and I should be prepared to stand by my research.)
Pick your battles carefully – not just the ones that you can win – but where you can make a difference.”
Fighting Cyber Attacks
Pay careful attention to your passwords. The previous school of thought was to do random characters, yet none of us can remember them. The now school of thought is to take a story, the dog ate my homework, and use it as your password e.g. DogAteHomeHah. These resources below are worth a read.
Books on Cybersecurity You May Want To Read