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Bit.ly, Twitter, Security & You

...or What I did on my Twitter Vacation

..or, what I did on my twitter vacation the other day.  This brief break from 26 Short Topics about Security is brought to you by bit.ly, twitter, security and You.  I’ve been using bit.ly for a little while both to shorten links and be able to track clicks placed on twitter (and other social sites) – as many of you do.  When the twitter outage hit last week, and many folks found themselves ‘lost’ without it, I decided to review my stats on the bit.ly links I’ve sent and found something interesting; or frightening.  :-)  (Incidentally, there was a another DDoS attack yesterday that took twitter down for about 20 minutes)

To set this up: as you might know, I cover Security within the Technical Marketing Team (Lori, Alan & Ken round out the TMM group – and we’re all interested in Security) at F5 and usually find 1 or 2 interesting ‘security’ stories that I actually tweet.  In recent weeks it’s been things like Texting Hacks, Hacking Parking Meters, and The Weak link in Security:People, along with my blog, and F5 video and audio updates.  Sometimes I find a slightly weird story like the poor guy who fell into a vat of chocolate.  Now, many of my followers/I’m following are security folks and the exchange of information is awesome.  I often see stories that I probably wouldn't have gotten to as we all try to read the entire internet on a daily basis.

So, as I looked through my entire list of links, one jumped out: Fancy Fast Food.  Makeovers of fast food and as the site says: ‘Yeah, it’s still bad for you – but see how good it can look!’  This bit.ly link, by a decent margin, was my most popular.  Even the ‘out of’ stat (which is the total of all bit.ly’s going to that long URL) was close to 8000 clicks!  Conclusion?  Folks want fun fast food, not security.  (tongue in cheek) In seriousness, I think there is a really good piece in the fact that, on a day to day basis, people would rather see what some chef can do with a Wendy’s hamburger or Dunkin Donuts that about security.  That doesn’t mean we’re not interested in security but when you’re immersed in it all the time, a little Daily Distraction is a welcome change.  Helps us clear out those PCI headaches, bloodshot breaches and endless string of Identity Theft incidents.  At first I was a little miffed that what I found interesting wasn't so much to others, but then I realized I had actually found something that everyone found interesting not just the security minded.  And it started conversations – true social media.

ps

  • * No bit.ly links were used in this blog as to not artificially increase stats
  • * If you’re so inclined – F5 can be followed @f5networks and me @psilvas

More Stories By Peter Silva

Peter Silva covers security for F5’s Technical Marketing Team. After working in Professional Theatre for 10 years, Peter decided to change careers. Starting out with a small VAR selling Netopia routers and the Instant Internet box, he soon became one of the first six Internet Specialists for AT&T managing customers on the original ATT WorldNet network.

Now having his Telco background he moved to Verio to focus on access, IP security along with web hosting. After losing a deal to Exodus Communications (now Savvis) for technical reasons, the customer still wanted Peter as their local SE contact so Exodus made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. As only the third person hired in the Midwest, he helped Exodus grow from an executive suite to two enormous datacenters in the Chicago land area working with such customers as Ticketmaster, Rolling Stone, uBid, Orbitz, Best Buy and others.

Bringing the slightly theatrical and fairly technical together, he covers training, writing, speaking, along with overall product evangelism for F5’s security line. He's also produced over 200 F5 videos and recorded over 50 audio whitepapers. Prior to joining F5, he was the Business Development Manager with Pacific Wireless Communications. He’s also been in such plays as The Glass Menagerie, All’s Well That Ends Well, Cinderella and others. He earned his B.S. from Marquette University, and is a certified instructor in the Wisconsin System of Vocational, Technical & Adult Education.

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