Protip: Don’t forget your data when you’re deleting apps and accounts.

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Over the past day or so, there’s been quite a bit of, “I’m going to delete this app!” in my Twitter timeline. Outraged by the comments made by an Uber executive about waging a million dollar smear campaign against a female journalist, people are deleting the app in droves to sever their connection with the company.

I hate to break it to you, everyone, but this is not how it works… I’ll explain. … 

 

On #edsec: Education’s massive security problem

Dinosaurs are a very important part of the security conference experience.

Dinosaurs: a very important part of the security conference experience.

A few months ago, I gave a talk at BSidesLV on the state of edtech security. My talk, #edsec: Hacking for Education isn’t a hacker talk in the truest of senses— I had no l33t, sophisticated hacks to show off, no beautiful backdoors into well-maintained code to make my point. Instead, I went the route of discussing the lack of security standards, the dire state of security awareness among educators, the deplorable state of school infrastructure, and the security-averse attitude of developers within education technology.

I should have written this post months ago— I am thankful for alot of people who helped me get through my first-ever talk at a national conference— but I’ve been struggling to overcome an awful, awful feeling that in the pit of my stomach after I finished my week away at hacker summer camp. After being surrounded by people who discussed securing the critical infrastructures that make our web work, protecting medical devices from attack, and preparing for the Internet of Things that is to come, I realized that I didn’t go far enough.  … 

 

A rant: Twitter, your 2-factor Authentication Sucks, or Why #Brands Get Hacked On Twitter

For the past six years, I’ve worked in online marketing. As such, I have been the holder of ALL the keys to the social media accounts for many brands I have worked for and worked with in the Silicon Valley and beyond. My biggest nightmare as the holder of the keys is waking up in the morning to find my company on the frontpage of Mashable as the latest of the #brands (I mean that hashtag ironically) who had a social media account hacked via phishing, spearphishing, or something worse. To prevent the worst from happening, I’ve implemented a variety of multi-layered security strategies over the past few years  to protect myself and my brand’s self to foil any attempts of account takeover.

Today, I logged in to my brand account to reconfigure one of these layers of security on Twitter. When I finally got to the spot in account settings where I can enable 2-factor authentication, however, I was informed that Twitter only allows use of 2factor authentication with one phone number.

Thanks, Twitter but no: THIS IS NOT OKAY. … 

 

This is bullshit: A rant on hacking, passwords, security and usability.

Over the weekend, a major news story broke about an iCloud attack in which hackers broke into the accounts of 100 female celebrities to steal compromising nude pictures. Every. single. time there’s a “hacking” incident, the media coverage is awful— and the security advice is even worse. Case in point:

In all of the discussion of the incident,

… 

 

On safety + personal space while being a woman

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Last night, I took to Twitter to yell about something complicated, anger-inducing, emotional and downright frightening: the recent, persistent violation of my personal space that I’ve endured in San Francisco. Sometimes when I have a problem that needs solving, quick, short bursts of concise text help me get to the center of the issue: in this case, I’ve lived here for a few years now, but have never felt as physically threatened and violated as I have in finding my way through its streets as of late.

Until just a few weeks ago, I’ve been lucky– I’ve walked the streets of this city relatively unimpeded for 3.5 years, purposely blending in and not sticking out from the crowd. After yet again having a person lay his hands on me without my permission and without good reason for the sixth time in a month yesterday evening, I couldn’t bottle it up anymore.

So I let loose… … 

 

This is why your “Women in Tech” event sucks

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A few weeks ago, my friend Leah wrote a thoughtful post about how to get more women into technology and STEM careers. In her post, she says:

Enticing women to tech isn’t about making it “diva-fied” or “girlification.”… Reducing women in tech from engineers to “web divas” pushes us into superficial territory and marginalizes our skills and contributions.  Instead of looking up to women in tech as problem-solvers and visionaries we get looked down upon as interlopers far from home.

Women are not all the same.  We don’t all want pink and flowers and glitter.  We don’t all think the same. We aren’t one dimensional creatures who will be drawn to the tech world because someone sent us a flier with pretty purple letters and butterflies.  We don’t all enter the tech world the same way and any strategy that relies on all women being alike is doomed to fail.

… 

 

A must-read for educators: privacy, ethics, and educator responsibility in #edtech

There are some exciting tools out there that allow students to do amazing things, but test them out first of all with a dummy account and cast a critical eye over the ethics of the service before you encourage students to start using it.

If you’re an educator, this post by Cameron Hocking is a great place to begin thinking critically about the tools you use and the responsibility you have in protecting your students data: Educational Conferences and the ethics of EdTech.

 

STOP! Don’t even think about upgrading to iOS 8 today!

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If you were on earth today and you use technology, you might be excited about iOS 8 because you read about it on a tech blog or heard something about it on the news. You might even want it now, because there are tons of blog posts telling you how you can get iOS 8 right now. You’re wondering if it’s worth $99 to sign up for that developer account and see if all of those tech bloggers know what they’re talking about, and if the future we’re being promised on our Apple devices is really as great as everyone says it is.

I’m here to tell you one very important thing: DON’T. Don’t do it, gurl, don’t do it! Do not upgrade to the developer version of iOS 8 unless you’re a developer working on an app or something else for the platform.

Developers are a highly-evolved species of skilled digital nitpickers (ed note: I mean this with love) who are well equipped to give feedback, find security vulnerabilities, and report bugs that will affect their own software creations before this release finds its way to the public. I’ve worked for and advised a few iOS developers, and have upgraded twice to beta versions of iOS software in the past.

I am here to tell you that you don’t want iOS 8 because iOS 8 isn’t ready for your jelly you just yet. Here’s why:

1) Beta software is notoriously buggy– because it’s a first draft of a piece of tech that hasn’t yet been put through the ringer, and then shined and polished for its intended audience. There are lots of buttons and interactions that just won’t work, because the lines of code that make them run still need a bit of work to make magic happen.

2) There’s no going back. Once you upgrade to the beta version of iOS 8, you’re stuck there– there’s no way to roll back the install and revert to fully-functional iOS 7 if you decide that you can’t handle it.

3) Your most loved and frequently used apps weren’t built to work with iOS 8.  If you’re the kind of person who wants to watch  your apps CRASH CRASH CRASH until the full release, you’re more than welcome to upgrade– for everyone else, just don’t do it.

4) Your phone could lose major functionalities for the unforseeable future. Last year, I was unable to use my camera for an entire weekend and couldn’t open Mail to save my life for three days. And that doesn’t even touch the intermittent issues that popped up with both Bluetooth and wi-fi in the beta period.

5) Security. New software and programming languages are, by definition, full of security problems. Apple does an audit before they release something into the wild… but do you really want to use something before white hat hackers have had a couple of months to sniff out all of the operating system’s 0day vulnerabilities and other potential weaknesses? (In case you’re wondering, “No” is the correct answer to this question.)

6) iCloud problems, you’re gonna have them. In this particular release, iCloud is changing everything– and that means it will probably be changing server environments, too. It’s very highly likely that your device, if upgraded, will stop synching/communicating with Mavericks and iOS 7 devices. No bueno!

Today’s WWDC keynote was a show-and-tell session of some pretty exciting stuff, a, but it’s important to note that Apple’s iOS 8 was released to a community whose feedback, over the next three months, will help them polish and refine the work they’ve been doing since last Fall’s public release.

Still thinking about downloading that hot new OS? You’re not going to get to the singularity or any other fully digitally connected cyborg future by downloading the latest operating system before anyone else has it, and by putting yourself through unnecessary pain to boot. So cool your heels, put down the credit card, and wait to install iOS 8 with the rest of us when it is in full release this Fall.

We (the regular people) will need all of the help we can get crashing Akamai’s servers (if Apple hasn’t replaced them with their own CDN)  two years in a row ;)

Did I miss any other good reasons to wait before updating? Let me know in the comments!

 

What To Do When You’re a Teacher Being Cyberbullied #edsec #edtech #edchat

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A few days ago, a good friend approached me about a difficult situation taking place in her classroom. After noticing that a student had given her a disparaging nickname in an email, she was devastated when she came across numerous mean-spirited, false comments made about her by that student on a social network.

This wasn’t the first time it had happened in her school– but it was the first time it had happened to her, and she wasn’t sure how to bounce back from something that has marred the last few weeks she had with her students this year. What should she do to protect herself from this in the future? … 

 

Teachers cyberbullied by students and their parents

This piece is a must-read for educators as it has especially helpful advice for documenting abusive behaviors from students and parents on social media.