tonkin longmire porn name Photo Steve DavisThis is likely to be the quirkiest but most important WordPress Wednesday article ever.

It will show how a little fun and time wasting here and there can rob you of your business or house or income or online reputation.

And I’m writing this under my porn star non de plume, Tonkin Longmire.

What is your porn name?

I’m sure you’ve seen these fun apps and websites where they ask you for the name of your first pet and the name of the street you grew up in.

Did you know that these and all the other silly quizzes can be powerful tools by cyber criminals?

As I type Tonkin and Longmire into the fun fields they provide, I am helping a hacker learn the answers to some of those ‘pesky’ security questions that banks ask you so they can check your ID online.

Now do they sound familiar?

Ethics online?

Yes, ethics does and should exist in everything we do online. Furthermore, it should exist when we run experiments involving other humans.

Enter Facebook.

You are unlikely to have missed the reporting in recent weeks that in 2012 Facebook altered the content many of us saw in our timelines or newsfeeds by removing positive words from some users and negative words from others so they could watch the emotional and pschological impact.

I talked about the findings in, Always blog on the bright side of life: What science tells us about social media marketing, and the Guardian is one of many papers to report on the ethical fail of such research in, Facebook fiasco: was Cornell’s study of ‘emotional contagion’ an ethics breach?

Do you recall any changes to your behaviour and decision making during that time?

Cyber safety for you and your business

These threads all tie together due to the way that our digital lives interleave with our physical lives and livelihoods.

I know of business owners who are computer illiterate and have unknowingly clicked through on links in fake emails losing thousands of dollars.

Imagine if your fun in finding out your porn name leads to your bank accounts being drained or access to your business’ online data being shared with hackers because you unwittingly gave away your security credentials.

Or imagine if a manipulated Facebook newsfeed set you off with a negative or overly optimistic mindset on a critical day in your business, leading to poor decision making.

I’m not arguing for us to retreat from online marketing or social networking. Indeed in my experience the benefits far outweigh the risks. What I am arguing for is taking computer and online literacy seriously; making it a core competency at all levels of an organisation, especially the top levels.

In fact, my argument is that all the time, effort and insight you and I have placed into our online marketing, and the building of our reputations, demands that we stay alert to online tricks.

Please make sure that if your manager or boss is not computer savvy that you show them this article so they can ask you to either be a sounding board or hire in expertise to make sure they learn the basics of staying safe online, for everyone’s sake.

As an aside, it’s one of the nice things about client relationships here at Baker Marketing; if in doubt, we can check it out.

And right now I have to respond to an email from one of my colleagues, Sassy Parade!

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