Craig Peterson here. I was on with Chris Ryan on NH Today. We talked about how you can stay secure and private while being online and how Facebook works. We also discussed Gen Z’s propensity for sharing everything on social media and why that is not the best idea. Here we go with Chris.
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Automated Machine Generated Transcript:
Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] Hey, good morning. I was on with Chris Ryan this morning, the new host over at WGIR. And my gosh, I think I’m on like six different stations simulcast all over the place. Anyway, we chatted this morning about your security. How to keep your info safe, a little bit safe, from at least prying advertisers this morning.
So here we go.
Chris Ryan: [00:00:23] I’ve often said here on the show that we use our phones to spy on ourselves. That could be in many different circumstances, whether you are, writing things that shouldn’t be written on social media. Whether it’s your searches. Whether it’s, you don’t realize, how your searches are being detected. My phone has done way too much spying on myself, I’ve determined.
Welcome to the program right now. Craig Peterson, who hosts a tech talk here on news radio, 610 and 96.7.
Craig, how are you?
Craig Peterson: [00:00:50] I am doing well. Yeah. They’ve cut all kinds of new sensors in them, including these back hair centers. It’s amazing.
Chris Ryan: [00:00:57] How does my phone know that I have back hair?
Justin McIssac: [00:00:59] How much did Chris have talk about his back hair, in order for the ad to pop up?
Craig Peterson: [00:01:03] Okay. This will never end.
Chris Ryan: [00:01:07] It’s crazy. But in all honesty, we have these ads which are targeted towards us or this ad is clearly just mistargeted, obviously. We are constantly putting in information. I think a lot of times individuals don’t realize how much they’re putting in.
I remember back when the internet first came in back in 1995 and you had the AOL thing and you hit the button down for three seconds, and then you went finally connected to the internet. Parents always said We’re not going to put anything of any significance on the internet, our credit card numbers, and social security. You’re never going to do anything like that because it could have bad things to happen.
Now we’re constantly putting in information. We’re buying things on Amazon. Our credit cards would appear to be available on online, as well. So what are we giving away in this trade-off for more information? For more access. What fail-safes are there?
Craig Peterson: [00:01:59] This has become really something very old, I think everyone’s heard by now. We are the product, right? If you’re using a free app, it is not free. If you’re using a free site, like Facebook, it is not free. The only thing that really is free out there, are some of these open source products. What are we giving away? Things like our credit cards, you mentioned we’re putting online.
Look at what GoDaddy did with some employees last fall. They wanted to have employees stop[clicking on these phishing emails that are sent out to get you to do something that you really shouldn’t be doing. So they sent a thing out to about 500 employees in emails saying, Hey guys, it’s time for the annual bonus. If you click through here, you’ll get the $560 bonus, you just got to fill it out.
So these people working there for GoDaddy clicked on that email and they filled it out. They gave all of this personal information, Chris, and then all of a sudden they were in trouble. Now that’s evil. That is frankly evil. That was the company doing it. To them, this is a big problem.
If you look at a generation Z, they have security in mind, just so much, that they’ve done some studies and found the generation Z will give away personal information, like their email address and their name in exchange, for a donut.
That’s all it takes, Chris.
Chris Ryan: [00:03:27] So let’s take a look at, say Facebook as an example, or what is the business model for Facebook? Obviously, they have some ads that run. This is a multi-billion dollar company and, you don’t see when you’re going through Facebook, the mechanism by which they would be able to generate the type of revenue that they do.
So take us through what the business model is for Facebook, and how they go about having success with that model.
Craig Peterson: [00:03:57] For everyone’s information, I have worked with clients who advertise on Facebook and I have set up the Facebook pixels all the way through, just the whole thing. Okay. So I do understand this.
The advertising mechanism inside Facebook tracks you, what you’re saying within Facebook, and all of Facebook’s properties, which by the way is why people are concerned about WhatsApp, which is a secure messaging platform that Facebook is messing with. They not only track you on their own properties, they also track you when you are on other parts of the internet.
They know where you’re going. They know what you’re doing on websites that aren’t owned by Facebook or affiliated with Facebook.
The reason that happens is these third- party websites also want to know what your interests are. So that the marketers can now put it all into a big pot and stir it up and say, Oh he was over at this website. He was looking at this and he was looking at that and he went here, he went there.
So Facebook now gives these advertisers the ability to retarget these people that are visiting other websites.
So if you went to a website and you look to purchase something, an advertiser on Facebook can say, Oh, he was at my website earlier today. So now when you go to the website or any of the advertising properties and Facebook is helping to provide advertising on it will now show you an ad specifically for you and it’s gotten so good, Chris, that people think that their phones are listening in on their conversations.
They think that somehow they’ve been listening on a phone call or just on the other side of the room. No, it, most of the time these ads are popping up for us because of the tracking, the mechanisms, the artificial intelligence behind it, being able to know basically everything you’re doing online, putting into a pot can predict before you even want it.
Amazon is using similar mechanisms right now where they pre-ship things. They think that you, Chris Ryan, are going to buy. They shipped them to a distribution center near you. So their business model is to know everything about everyone. Be able to predict what they want to buy and then sell that information to interested advertisers.
That’s how they’re making billions of dollars. They really have a corner on that market.
Chris Ryan: [00:06:32] They really do. It’s incredibly smart and intelligent. The algorithms are good. From an advertising standpoint. You look at just where digital advertising is at this point, what they’re able to do? What they’re able to focus on? It’s flat out remarkable.
So let’s say that I wanted to avoid being tracked, but I still want to use the same products, but I don’t want back hair ads popping up in my feed. How do I go about doing that? Can I do that? Can you Google things? Cause Google is another big one, as well. Can you go and do your searches and not be inundated with ads that kind of freak you out.
Craig Peterson: [00:07:10] There are some ways to do some of this right now. Our friends over at Mozilla who make a browser called Firefox, have a special mode in their browser that kicks in automatically when it comes to Facebook. For example, So if you’re using Firefox Mozilla, and there’s a couple of issues with that, but generally speaking, it’s a good internet browser.
It actually builds a wall around Facebook. So that Facebook can start poking around saying, what else is he doing? Okay. Where else is he going? So that’s your first trick out there is to put that in place.
Apple has gone a long way now they have a special advertiser ID. Facebook and Google are really upset with Apple right now because of this release of Apple’s operating system iOS, which blocks them from doing most of the tracking and tells you exactly what they’re doing and will ask you if it’s okay.
If Facebook is tracking you while you’re looking at your favorite Zappos site shoes and whatever you might be looking at online. Firefox combined with something like Signal.
If you are trying to communicate with someone, Signal and iMessage are great ways to go. I Message is very simple its Apple-centric. Obviously, they don’t track you. Apple does not make money off of you by selling your information, which is a big deal.
There’s a few other things that you can do.
I do some training on some plugins that you can put into your browsers to block what is called cross-site keys. That’s a big one as well.
Justin McIssac: [00:08:51] I’ve got some friends convinced that they’ve got to throw a couple of weird searches in there now, and then just to disrupt the algorithms. So they’ll look up like a Scandinavian candy shop. They’ll Google that now just to try and throw Bezos off, but I don’t think that works.
Craig Peterson: [00:09:05] No it does actually to some extent.
Yeah, Justin, you, there is a plugin that will automatically put random searches out there into Google to do exactly what you’re talking about. It does it automatically. Don’t use Google use duck go, which is hard to say, that’s Duck Duck Go something search engine. Yeah, and it doesn’t track you. It doesn’t tie into the Facebook trackers and particularly when you’re using Firefox. We’re being tracked everybody.
Chris Ryan: [00:09:37] Craig has always, appreciate you joining us for the show.
We shall chat again next Monday.
Craig Peterson: [00:09:41] All right. Take care. And I’ll be back of course, Saturdays at 1130,
Chris Ryan: [00:09:45] 1130 tech talk here on news radio, 610 and 96.7
I am Chris Ryan.
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