Another thing I remember my mom and dad telling me was how important it was to choose friends wisely. Today, with “cyberfreaks” stalking social media, it’s even more important than ever to do so. Not only for the safety of our business dealings, but also for our children and our family. Here’s to good friends.
If you’re inadvertently revealing too much of yourself because your zipper’s open, you may be in for some severe embarrassment. Now, I’m not asking you to check the zippers on your clothing (although, it’s not a bad idea!). In this case, the zipper I’m talking about is the mouth. When I was a kid, my parents told me to “zip it”, when they wanted me to be quiet. Even as an adult, I found early on that keeping my mouth zipped and paying attention was a good way to learn more than I knew.
When I started working, I repeatedly heard the phrase, “Loose lips sink ships”, which was, obviously, taken from the Navy and used by business people to help us remember to be careful about revealing proprietary information when we spoke with others — because we’d never know who was listening on the elevator, in a restaurant, or wherever.
Today, in the Facebook era, where we often “friend” anyone who asks, we have to be even more vigilant about what we say online. Our indiscretion on Facebook, or other social media sites can destroy — in one sentence — to a vast audience — what we’ve worked hard to build over months or years.
Here’s a brief excerpt from an article about corporate espionage that caught my eye (you can read the whole thing here: (Forbes_the spy who liked me). It tells the cautionary tale of an open zipper better than I can:
“When a financial director at a privately held New York company received a friend request from an attractive blonde on Facebook, the recent divorcé eagerly accepted it. As they chatted over the course of a few days, his new friend mentioned the possibility of visiting him for New Year’s Eve and asked a few innocuous questions about his business, such as how much revenue his company had. He told her he couldn’t disclose that information, but a few days later, having grown more comfortable with her, he admitted that the figure was $6.5 million.
“The curious stranger wasn’t a single-looking-to-mingle. “She” was a (male) security consultant for a company called Cyberoam in Bangalore, India, that is finding out how easy it is to exploit social media for corporate espionage. The loose-lipped director’s New York firm was one of 20 companies that Cyberoam targeted over a six-month period, stalking employees on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to find leaks of sensitive information. The Cyberoam spies were able to predict a bankruptcy filing for a Singapore company, based on employees’ tweets about the company’s belt-tightening measures and its vice president of operations announcing on LinkedIn that he was job-searching.”