How Safe Is Your PIN? [Infographic]

How Safe Is Your PIN?
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The aftermath of the misbehaving LinkedIn group member

The aftermath of the misbehaving LinkedIn Group member

First, let me share some great posts from my academic and other friends:

Should a brand use a porn star’s tweet?

You answer the question.  LoJack did successfully in this tweet I shared this week:

The Hatfield Clan of the Hatfield-McCoy-feud.

The Hatfield Clan of the Hatfield-McCoy-feud. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LinkedIn group member aftermath

Last week, I wrote a post entitled How to deal with a misbehaving LinkedIn member at Part 1. Within that post, I reference another blog post a member wrote regarding the same topic.

The way I ended the conflict is I offered a flag of truth. I stated that continuing the discussion is like “beating a dead horse.” An alternative statement (see Wiki at dead horse) is “flogging a dead horse.” The main person who started the conflict – fictional Craig from my first post – agreed to end the discussion. But I also mentioned I wouldn’t get involved in off-site email conflicts between him and other members.

In case you missed it last week, his absurd statement was, ” ‘I’m a copywriter, do you know what a copywriter does? They work for ad agencies. Do you work for an ad agency?”

Here’s some things I noticed:

  • Many folks who responded to his absurd statement were professionals themselves. Many had decades of marketing and copywriting experience.
  • The main instigator Craig seemed to strive on emotional responses. So the angrier they got – like the incredible Hulk – the better the results for him.
  • I did play “theater of the absurd” charades with him throughout the dialogue.
  • Craig sometimes went off on tangents – like serving in the military, for which he was proud of. He had no “stated” respect for those who didn’t want to serve. He also didn’t agree with being a conscientious objector, even though there is US military policy and legal system precedents to address the topic.
  • When a newbie asked for copywriting advice, some of those professionals arguing against Craig stepped forward. Craig didn’t offer any advice of his own – except he did state what he did to get where he was, in a prior response.
  • Another respondent I call Witty, seemed to get off on the humor – like my playing “theater of the absurd” charades. He said something humorously in passing – if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, etc. I did notice this person and his wife started their own ad agency. So by making this statement, he is an ad agency member not agreeing with Craig.
  • What you do or say in social media can come back to haunt you. Craig appears too enamored with his own self ability to worry about this aspect – but he really should.

    Foto de David MacKenzie Ogilvy

    Foto de David MacKenzie Ogilvy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Once I did respond to another member and mentioned David Ogilvy in passing. Since I got the name spelling wrong in a cut and paste operation, he accused me of knowing nothing about Ogilvy. I had to respond he was making an illogical conclusion. Then I did supply external references confirming David had different failed careers before he entered advertising – at least, from the perspective of others.
  • Craig claimed to be a devote Christian. Yet I haven’t witnessed identical behavior in my other Christian based membership groups. I have seen similar behavior exhibited when someone defends a “Sola scriptura” (see Wiki at Sola scriptura) position through a narrowly focused and legalistic denominational lens. An example would be a fire and brimstone view of hell, instead of either an annihilation or universal reconciliation position.

My position was that his statement was not self-evident. I also stated this philosophical riddle: “If a tree falls in a forest, and no one’s there, does it make a sound?” If you can answer that riddle, you have a good idea what the thread was all about.

English: A Venn diagram analysis of major phil...

English: A Venn diagram analysis of major philosophical approaches. It is possible to categorize philosophers according to three dimensions: those who see the essence of virtue as (1) wisdom (2) love (3) power. It is possible to describe different philosophers in this context which allows mixtures of different approaches. Source of diagram: here (see public domain declaration at top). Questions: write me at my Wikipedia talk page or email me at (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyway, the modern rendition of the Hatfield and McCoy feud is now over. Members can get back to normal discussions.

Sure, I run the group. I’m not a decades old agency member and I basically just tap into direct response and inbound marketing stuff. But I can still give members some answers, like I did for the following question:


So here’s the challenge: Come up with a header for affordable cellphone/mobile phone contract deals without using the word cheap or affordable!

My answer:

Have you ever played with the Visual thesaurus ? You can play with the tool free.

Why are you putting affordable cellphone/mobile phone contract deals in the header? Is this a client need? If not, embed it in the body of the copy deck somewhere.:

  • Find some psychological element that appeals to the demographic user group (i.e it makes them feel smarter, sexier, etc.).
  • Come up with a leading benefit it provides (i.e. with XXX you save 20% on bills over leading competitors, etc.).


  • As an exercise, trying making a list of 100 different headlines. You will find it gets the creative juices flowing.

Much of what I have learned and imitated comes from paying careful attention to how direct response copywriters like Clayton Makepeace, Brian Keith Voiles, Ben Hart, etc., approach problems like this. Never learned the fancy Image or Brand stuff – probably never will.



Email hacking, true quick picks and big mystery

Let me start out with some great articles you would enjoy:

Stargate used hieroglyphs for passwords.

Stargate used hieroglyphs for passwords. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hacking email

I was the victim of an email hack attack. Someone hacked my Hotmail and AOL accounts. They then proceeded to send out junk email to my contacts lists. This was done while I run WinPatrol, Norton Security Suite and run behind a Linksys router.

I decided to let my Hotmail account go into limbo, due to the high volume of junk in it. The AOL password was changed and everything was back to normal.
Here are some great articles from About on email hacking:

Sessions@AOL (The Veronicas EP)

Sessions@AOL (The Veronicas EP) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How secure are these free email accounts? There is a good review at the following sites:

The TopTenREVIEWS shows that Hotmail is medium in security, when compared to others like Yahoo, Gmail and AOL. There’s an interesting set of emails shared with Readers Respond: Why Did You Close Your Windows Live Hotmail Account? At Readers Respond: Why Did You Close Your Windows Live Hotmail Account? .

Let me share some good sites for great password generators. They are better than using common names that are easy to guess. Please try these out and be sure to write the passwords down somewhere.

Mega Millions logo

Mega Millions logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Truly random quick picks

Recently Illinois entered the realm of online lottery sales. You can pick tickets for either Mega Millions or Lotto. Yet if you generate a quick pick, the results are not truly random.

But you can generate truly random numbers, from the Random dot Org site at Random dot Org site. They have a quick pick for common lotteries off the link at quick pick. These numbers are based upon data from atmospheric noise. Other sources can be radioactive decay. This service is provided by a professor of Statistics at a university in Ireland. You can read all the gory details of randomness at randomness.

Big Mystery

Now for the big mystery. I went to the grocery store Aldi and the Dollar General. My search was to secure some salad dressings, which are about one-third the cost of conventional names like Kraft. I found all the standard varieties except one – French. It’s not that they were out, as I couldn’t find any empty shelf space. I do know that French dressing is still made, since I can order it as an option at McDonald’s. What happened to the cheap versions of French dressing?



Give me you Facebook password, your money and forfeit this job

First some good articles

I did promise some friends I will share a couple of good articles with you:




Surrender your Facebook password at work – identify theft?

Have you followed the news recently? Then you heard that some interviewers are asking for Facebook passwords. They want to make sure you haven’t posted anything illegal, immoral or fattening on Facebook. But there are some things that would prevent me from getting a job.

Mind you – only if I kept some things private. Since all my posting is in the public domain, it wouldn’t be an issue. But if I did have private data, what would happen if:

  • I back Obama and the interviewer likes Romney?
  • I root for the White Sox but the interviewer likes the cubs?
  • I’m non-partisan and the interviewer is Democrat or Republican
  • I believe in dialogue and working together with members of non-Christian religions and philosophies. The interviewer is a Christian fundamentalist who feels his point of view is the only right one.
  • I believe in heterosexual relationships but the interviewer is gay.

Actually, Facebook and other social media companies can easily fix this problem. How you ask? Just add a line or two to their policies that passwords are not to be shared. Then the job application just needs to point the interviewer to the social media company policy

Then there is the problem of identity theft. What’s to prevent the interviewer from stealing your info? Mind you, I wouldn’t want to work for a company employing such a person. But it is a problem.


Social Media Outposts


Then ABC News mentioned a new scam

Scam artists monitoring social media accounts call an individual – parent, grandparent, friend, etc. They give some story where they are in big trouble – they need money. This happened to me before. Someone stole my Facebook password. They contacted a friend and had a story where they were in London. They were mugged and couldn’t get back to the US.

How did my friend know it wasn’t me? He took some writing courses with me at COD. He asked the person in trouble for the name of the instructor. The scam artist couldn’t give it. It also took me a few days to convince the Facebook tech support staff I wasn’t scamming my friends. I was a victim of identity theft.

ABC news recommends to have a code word that only family members and friends know.

Ask the person for info on items only the two of you will know.

  • Who won the last chess game you played and what was the winning move?
  • Which of the new 52 DC comics do you like best and why?
  • Who is you favorite slap stick artists – W.C. Fields, Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, the Marx Brothers, the Keystone Cops or Buster Keaton?

You get the picture – so does ABC news.