Thread: Facebook

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    Does your dept have a facebook page?...and if you do what are some things that are posted to it.
    I was going to make a page for my dept and post pictures, fire safety tips, any call info( time, address, nature of call, etc.) that would normally go into newpapers and public appearances or fund raisers.
    Also might use it to remind members of special work nights, drills, etc.
    "If I'm not back in five minutes.. wait longer."

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    Our Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php...7779950&v=wall

    The admin clears all pictures with the Chief prior to posting them.

    I know of another department in my region that runs their Facebook group as a private group for Fire department members only. They post all training information, drill schedules etc there.

    If someone has a question about an upcoming event, they ask there.

    I think a private group like that would be useful if it was used.

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    My department has a facebook page.
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Buckfi...t/306175044641

    A friend and I who are younger more tech savvy members of the dept. created the page. The chief liked it and a some of the other members like the idea and the page, for a number of reasons such as: the ability to post meeting and training times ahead of time for everyone to see, the ability to inform the public of fund raisers and dept. sponsored events that will be going on. To give the public information on things they might not otherwise know about. and to post pictures and such of our department in action to give the public a view that they might not normally see, or to see what their money is buying. Its also an extremely easy and effective way to reach alot of people very quickly.

    A few of the older members of the department absolutely despise the page and think that it needs to be deleted immediately because we could spread a negative view of the dept, and that its inappropriate to post pictures of us in action. I feel that as long as pictures that do not show any victims, or other people that pictures would be ok to put up with permission from the FFs or people that they are taken of.

    Its also slightly comical that these members do no like the facebook page, we used every single bit of information posted on the towns website to make the page, and these members like the page alot.
    oh well cant do anything right.

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    The city officially has a FB page, but the FD (we are paid career) does not. However, we have a group where membership has to be approved, but I don't think I ever see much come out on it. Out union does have a FB group (again, must be approved) and they usually send out special event messages and the such.

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    Other than being the fad of the moment, what benefit, or purpose, do you see in having a "facebook page" if you have a website?

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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    Other than being the fad of the moment, what benefit, or purpose, do you see in having a "facebook page" if you have a website?
    Totally agree, Brother.

    Too much private infomation being posted on that venue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    Other than being the fad of the moment, what benefit, or purpose, do you see in having a "facebook page" if you have a website?
    I think it's safe to say that FB has long passed the "fad of the moment" stage. A FB page has some advantages and built-in features that are difficult to duplicate on a typical free website and not every department has a resident computer geek to run an advanced website or the budget to pay someone else to do it.

    A good public relations campaign makes use of multiple media outlets to get the most reach with their message. Even if one considers FB a "fad," it's a very popular fad at the moment and can reach a large audience with minimal investment. It's just one tool in the PIO's toolbox.
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    We've got a FB page on which coming events and a few pictures are posted.

    Our dispatch text messages are also forwarded there, although it's just the first line. I'll usually go in later and comment a few more basics, as appropriate (ie, no specifics for EMS calls, often just "EMS").

    Gives our "fans" a taste of what we're up to.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    Other than being the fad of the moment, what benefit, or purpose, do you see in having a "facebook page" if you have a website?
    Facebook has moved far beyond the fad of the moment. It's become a mainstream media outlet for many businesses, industries, non-profits, and the like.

    Our VFD maintains both a website and a Facebook page. The website allows us to customize things more than the Facebook page, go into more detail, and things off that nature. However, the Facebook page is viewed far more often than the website, and it's brevity is more appealing to a lot of people who want an idea of what the local FD is doing and then move on from there.

    The articles on the website tend to be written in more of a technical jargon sometimes since we've found it's mostly fire department folks reading the website, where as the Facebook page has a much broader reach, so those articles are written to appeal to the public.

    Our statewide fire training & administration agency started doing all of their press releases via Facebook last month, for what it's worth.
    Last edited by BoxAlarm187; 07-12-2010 at 12:42 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    Other than being the fad of the moment, what benefit, or purpose, do you see in having a "facebook page" if you have a website?
    Not to sound rude but, how many people do you honestly think would check the website of a small volunteer dept. with 20 or so members and covering about 2500 people. If i wanted people to know we were having a fundraiser, or were going to be checking hydrants a particular day i would get the information to far more people with the facebook page, than i would by posting it on the website. I would put a wager on the table that many of the people in my town had no idea that there was even a Fire dept website. Not to mention the website isnt kept up to date much of the time. I think that if you keep the facebook page professional and keep it clean it is a valid and great way to spread information.
    I know that a dept near mine posts daily on their facebook the daily fire conditions and class days and gives the availibility of burn permits. They also post severe or abnormal weather updates as they come in.
    There really are alot of things that you can do with facebook if you keep it clean.

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    My department has a FB page. Ironically, FB is also blocked by the department's firewall...
    So you call this your free country
    Tell me why it costs so much to live
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    Facebook actually represents a huge security risk and is blocked by many organizations for just that purpose. Also, many organizations have a policy that states the computers and equipment are to be used for official use or business use only. This is also done to prevent users from going to potentially malicious sites or even innocuous or benign sites (ie News sites) that have been infected. Sites such as eBay, Google, and Yahoo to name a couple have been known to host malicious content from time to time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Facebook actually represents a huge security risk
    Not really. Typically when FB is blocked it's by businesses not wanting their employees off surfing on social websites; not because of security concerns.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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    If the city I worked in or lived in had a FB page for the FD or PD, I'd like it. That way, I could get updates about things in the community IF the dept is handling it well. Post stuff once or twice a day and keep it short and relevant.

    - Increased vehicle thefts from the Ralphs on Main St... don't forget to lock you cars.
    - Single Family Fire on Apple St at 4:38 am. 17 FFs responded in 8 apparatus and the fire was under control in 30 min.

    Partly b/c I'm nosy and I like to know what's going on. But it would still be a good PR idea too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    Not really. Typically when FB is blocked it's by businesses not wanting their employees off surfing on social websites; not because of security concerns.
    Actually it is highly vulnerable to XSS as well as the problem associated with running other applications in the context of the user. It is very easy to write an application that when executed gives a malicious user complete control of your system. This is true of many social networking sites and Skype as well. You can believe me as an authority on this one, many businesses and government offices block these sites do to the security risk they pose.

    And as an after thought- Here is a link discussing this very issue Facebook security issues

    In fact; not to long ago my account got hacked. And I use a strong password - 12 characters, Upper case and Lower case, numbers, and special characters. At any rate , I got up one morning around 7, logged not my system, and my facebook page was up. Some body was chatting with my friends who were online telling them I was in London and needed money.
    Last edited by ScareCrow57; 07-12-2010 at 05:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zzyyzx View Post
    If the city I worked in or lived in had a FB page for the FD or PD, I'd like it. That way, I could get updates about things in the community IF the dept is handling it well. Post stuff once or twice a day and keep it short and relevant.

    - Increased vehicle thefts from the Ralphs on Main St... don't forget to lock you cars.
    - Single Family Fire on Apple St at 4:38 am. 17 FFs responded in 8 apparatus and the fire was under control in 30 min.

    Partly b/c I'm nosy and I like to know what's going on. But it would still be a good PR idea too.
    A better idea is for the agency or city to maintain its own web site. Of course this means putting pertinent information on it and keeping it up to date. This is usually done by a Public Relations person.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Actually it is highly vulnerable to XSS as well as the problem associated with running other applications in the context of the user.
    No offense, but I'm not an internet n00b. I've been online since before it was called the internet. I don't buy into "the sky is falling" scenarios.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    No offense, but I'm not an internet n00b. I've been online since before it was called the internet. I don't buy into "the sky is falling" scenarios.
    None taken. However I am a cyber security consultant with the number security company in the world, in addition I am a CISSP. There is a lot more to the internet than just surfing. Understanding the whole TCP 3-way handshake, buffer over flows, XSS, and SQL injection ro name a few are my job. If you would like to give me your IP address I can take over your machine relatively easily. It isn't as hard as you think. Just for fun, look up script kiddies.

    It is people with that attitude that the cyber crooks count on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    None taken. However I am a cyber security consultant with the number security company in the world, in addition I am a CISSP. There is a lot more to the internet than just surfing. Understanding the whole TCP 3-way handshake, buffer over flows, XSS, and SQL injection ro name a few are my job. If you would like to give me your IP address I can take over your machine relatively easily. It isn't as hard as you think. Just for fun, look up script kiddies.

    It is people with that attitude that the cyber crooks count on.
    So since you are such a security hero, please explain this:

    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    In fact; not to long ago my account got hacked. And I use a strong password - 12 characters, Upper case and Lower case, numbers, and special characters. At any rate , I got up one morning around 7, logged not my system, and my facebook page was up. Some body was chatting with my friends who were online telling them I was in London and needed money.
    Either you left your computer running without being physically present next to it, or you are simply lying. If someone in Africa was hacking your account and scamming people, you would not find yourself physically logged in to your computer. Unless of course somebody somehow got remote access to your computer, but that would never happen to a smart security guy like you. Of course leaving your computer running and having someone use it while you are gone would also never happen to a smart guy like you.

    But stealing a well know scam that has been covered by every major and minor news outlet, and passing it off as some "personal experience", now that I could see happen....
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    A huge number of people in your community have facebook. By establishing a presence on facebook, your department becomes visible and popular with the people you protect. You can show who you are and what you do. It's free PR. Websites are only good if the people want to search for it. With facebook, it lands in their lap with suggestions and news feeds. If you do it officially and in an intelligent controlled manner, it is excellent PR.

    The Explorers in our department use it as well, since nobody actually communicates by phone or in person anymore.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    And as an after thought- Here is a link discussing this very issue Facebook security issues
    That article hardly raises to the level of "afterthought" since it's totally irrelevant to the subject at hand. It's about user issues with FB; predominantly posting private information that shouldn't be posted anywhere. About the only vaild secority advice on that site is to run current anti-virus and anti-malware software on your computer,
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    None taken. However I am a cyber security consultant with the number security company in the world, in addition I am a CISSP.

    Good for you. It's your job to make your customers unnecessarily paranoid. Some of us know better.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    If you would like to give me your IP address I can take over your machine relatively easily.
    130.215.36.61

    Let me know how that works out for you.
    Last edited by DeputyMarshal; 07-12-2010 at 10:13 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusKspn View Post
    So since you are such a security hero, please explain this:



    Either you left your computer running without being physically present next to it, or you are simply lying. If someone in Africa was hacking your account and scamming people, you would not find yourself physically logged in to your computer. Unless of course somebody somehow got remote access to your computer, but that would never happen to a smart security guy like you. Of course leaving your computer running and having someone use it while you are gone would also never happen to a smart guy like you.

    Actually, the person who hacked the account did it remotely, I was actually watching the chat sessions as this person typed.

    Here is a URL that talks about it Facebook Scam: I'm Stranded In London. Send Money! And yes, I ALWAYS lock my computer when not at the keyboard, it's just a good practice.

    It was in fact a Face Book issue, I verified this by doing a Netstat and looking at who was connected to my machine.

    But stealing a well know scam that has been covered by every major and minor news outlet, and passing it off as some "personal experience", now that I could see happen....
    You apparently don't know anything about social engineering and the wealth of information about you that is freely available. There are tools, techniques, and methods that people use all the time to steal an identity.

    You don't have to take my word for it. Contact your local Information Security Officer (ISO). Most laypeople are quite clueless as to just how vulnerable they really are.
    Last edited by ScareCrow57; 07-13-2010 at 02:59 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Actually, the person who hacked the account did it remotely, I was actually watching the chat sessions as this person typed.
    IOW, they probably didn't "hack" your facebook account at all. They used remote access software, which could have entered your system through any number of means other than facebook, to compromise your poorly secured laptop and then accessed facebook normally from there.

    Odds are you left facebook logged in with a persistant cookie so they didn't need your account nor password to access your account; you thoughtfully supplied it for them. (If they actually hacked your facebook account -- far more difficult to do -- they would most likely have logged into it from somewhere else and you wouldn't have witnessed the chat at all.)

    BTW, how are you making out with my IP? No nibbles at this end yet.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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