Thursday, April 19, 2012

No One Is Spreading Rumors About You...

...probably.

Twitter is a fantastic place to connect with other educators and join in conversations like #EdChat to share ideas and resources. However, Twitter isn't a walled garden by any stretch of the imagination. There are plenty of opportunities for unscrupulous people to spread harmful links. Lately, I've been seeing a slew of direct messages that contain a message along the lines of, "Hey somebody is spreading nasty rumors about you" followed by a link. It might seem obvious, but don't click that link! David Wees explained here what clicking that link will lead to, it's not good.

Applications for Education
These Twitter scams provide a reminder of why we need to teach students to be discerning users of web services. Unless you're Delonte West and you just gave another NBA player a wet willy or you actually have said some inflammatory things on the web, there probably isn't someone spreading nasty rumors about you (yes, I just wanted to work-in that weird story about Delonte West). That said, it's still a good idea to manage your online reputation by setting up Google Alerts for your name, variations of your name, and keywords or phrases commonly connected to your name. For example, I have a Google Alert for "Richard Byrne Free Technology for Teachers."

Along the same lines as the Twitter scam, you should also be aware of "free coffee on Facebook."