Are your phone camera and microphone spying on you?
Apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Viber
Felix Krause described in 2017 that when a user grants an app access to their camera and microphone, the app could do the following:
- Access both the front and the back camera.
- Record you at any time the app is in the foreground.
- Take pictures and videos without telling you.
- Upload the pictures and videos without telling you.
- Upload the pictures/videos it takes immediately.
- Run real-time face recognition to detect facial features or expressions.
- Livestream the camera on to the internet.
- Detect if the user is on their phone alone, or watching together with a second person.
- Upload random frames of the video stream to your web service and run a proper face recognition software which can find existing photos of you on the internet and create a 3D model based on your face.
For instance, here’s a Find my Phone application which a documentary maker installed on a phone, then let someone steal it. After the person stole it, the original owner spied on every moment of the thief’s life through the phone’s camera and microphone.
- Edward Snowden revealed an NSA program called Optic Nerves. The operation was a bulk surveillance program under which they captured webcam images every five minutes from Yahoo users’ video chats and then stored them for future use. It is estimated that between 3% and 11% of the images captured contained “undesirable nudity”.
- Government security agencies like the NSA can also have access to your devices through in-built backdoors. This means that these security agencies can tune in to your phone calls, read your messages, capture pictures of you, stream videos of you, read your emails, steal your files … at any moment they please.
Hackers can also gain access to your device with extraordinary ease via apps, PDF files, multimedia messages and even emojis.
An application called Metasploit on the ethical hacking platform Kali uses an Adobe Reader 9 (which over 60% of users still use) exploit to open a listener (rootkit) on the user’s computer. You alter the PDF with the program, send the user the malicious file, they open it, and hey presto – you have total control over their device remotely.
Once a user opens this PDF file, the hacker can then:
- Install whatever software/app they like on the user’s device.
- Use a keylogger to grab all of their passwords.
- Steal all documents from the device.
- Take pictures and stream videos from their camera.
- Capture past or live audio from the microphone.
- Upload incriminating images/documents to their PC, and notify the police.
And, if it’s not enough that your phone is tracking you – surveillance cameras in shops and streets are tracking you, too
- You might even be on this website, InSeCam, which allows ordinary people online to watch surveillance cameras free of charge. It even allows you to search cameras by location, city, time zone, device manufacturer, and specify whether you want to see a kitchen, bar, restaurant or bedroom.
more on privacy in this IMS blog
more on surveillance in this IMS blog
Howard, H. A. (2018). Academic Libraries on Social Media: Finding the Students and the Information They Want. Information Technology and Libraries
(1), 8–18. https://doi.org/10.6017/ital.v37i1.10160
In his book Tell Everyone: Why We Share and Why It Matters, Alfred Hermida states, “People are not hooked on YouTube, Twitter or Facebook but on each other. Tools and services come and go; what is constant is our human urge to share.”1 Libraries are places of connection, where people connect with information, technologies, ideas, and each other. As such, libraries look for ways to increase this connection through communication.
Academic libraries have been slow to accept social media as a venue for either promoting their services or academic purposes. A 2007 study of 126 academic librarians found that only 12 percent of those surveyed “identified academic potential or possible benefits” of Facebook while 54 percent saw absolutely no value in social media.2 However, the mission of academic libraries has shifted in the last decade from being a repository of knowledge to being a conduit for information literacy; new roles include being a catalyst for on-campus collaboration and a facilitator for scholarly publication within contemporary academic librarianship.3 Academic librarians have responded to this change, with many now believing that “social media, which empowers libraries to connect with and engage its diverse stakeholder groups, has a vital role to play in moving academic libraries beyond their traditional borders and helping them engage new stakeholder groups.”4
The project focused on three research questions:
1. What social media platforms are students using?
2. What social media platforms do students want the library to use?
3. What kind of content do students want from the library on each of these platforms?
survey using the web-based Qualtrics
The social media platforms included were Facebook, Flickr, G+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Qzone, Renren, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, and Yik Yak
The second survey also lasted for three weeks starting in mid-April of the spring 2017 semester. As a participation incentive, students who completed the initial survey and the second survey had an opportunity to enter a drawing for a $25 Visa gift card.
we intend to develop better communication channels, a clear social media presence, and a more cohesive message across the Purdue libraries. Under the direction of our new director of strategic communication, a social media committee was formed with representatives from each of the libraries to contribute content for social media. The committee will consider expanding the Purdue Libraries’ social media presence to communication channels where students have said they are and would like us to be.
Good news, Snap investors. By
- Some 79 percent of U.S. 13- to 18-year-olds surveyed said they have a Snapchat account, more than any other type of social media. Of that age group, 73 percent have an Instagram account and just 57 percent say they are on Facebook.
- Respondents had to choose only one social network they could keep if they were “trapped on a deserted island.” This time, 44 percent of teens picked Snapchat, ahead of Instagram (24 percent) and Facebook (14 percent). One year ago, for RBC’s same survey question, the percentage of teens who insisted on keeping Snapchat on a desert island led with 28 percent — suggesting the app is still growing in necessity/popularity among young people.
more on Snapchat for education in this IMS blog
more on social media in this IMS blog
Using Snapchat to Reach Library Patrons Workshop
A two-part workshop running 90 minutes each session on Thursday, August 24, 2017 at 2:30pm Eastern/1:30 Central/12:30 Mountain/11:30am Pacific and Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 2:30pm Eastern/1:30 Central/12:30 Mountain/11:30am Pacific
Snapchat is one of the 10 most downloaded apps in the world and a key means of communication for individuals aged 13-34. Emerging quickly onto the social media scene, Snapchat has left many librarians wondering how to incorporate it into their outreach strategy. In this two-part workshop, social media expert Paige Alfonzo responds to this question and teaches you how to successfully leverage Snapchat as a marketing tool—one that can be used for readers’ advisory, promotion, information dissemination, and a variety of other marketing purposes.
In part one, Alfonzo covers the ins and outs of the platform—from teaching you the basics of setting up an account, adding friends, and sending snaps to demonstrating how to annotate snaps, incorporate filters, and use Snapchat Stories and Memories. In part two, Alfonzo delves into the specifics of how to make Snapchat work in libraries by discussing how librarians have successfully used Snapchat to promote their services, then she provides you with an opportunity to participate hands on with Snapchat by sending snaps to each other. The workshop will leave you with useful approaches to get creative with the app and expand your social media strategy.
more on social media for the library in this IMS blog
These days, the preferred formats are content marketing and influencer marketing.
the old “sell without selling” idea.
In your content marketing, give Millennials something for their time, attention, and (hopefully) loyalty. They’re more likely to trust your brand if you show a genuine interest in educating them with a how-to, for example.
more on social media in this blog:
more on Millennials in this blog
more on social media in this IMS blog