Advice to My 10 Year Old Regarding SnapChat Hack

SnapchatSnapChat was recently hacked. 4.6M user account names and their associated phone numbers were accessed and published on the web and put on dozens of torrent and mirroring sites. Users will be exposed to tons of additional spam and phishing exploits.

This prompted me to give my ten year old budding social media maven the following decidedly boring parental advice:

  • The more accounts you have out there, the more likely this is to happen – it is better to be selective and strategic about which services you and your friends are going to use rather than trying out every single one and then getting bored 5 mins later and leaving a residue account to be hacked.
  • Now that your account info and telephone number are out there, people may call your number or send you messages designed to trick you – they will look like messages from friends, etc. This is going to suck, and you are going to have to be very careful what you click on. I’d strongly suggest confirming by text any link a friend sends you before clicking on it.
  • If you cannot confirm it, never, EVER, click on a link someone sends you in some sketchy way.  99% of the time it is phishing designed to steal from you.
  • Ask a grown-up if you are at all uncertain – talk to your parents or go and INITIATE a separate note to the person (i.e. don’t reply to the orginal one) and ask them if they sent you something.
  • Close down any accounts you are no longer using on a very regular basis – yes, I know this will be a tragic loss for your 3 followers on that system.  Trust me, they will get over it -it is more fun to be mysterious anyway.
  • Now is the right time to change all the passwords on all your accounts (now you understand my advice about having fewer dormant ones, huh?).
  • Digital life sucks and it will almost certainly get worse before it gets better through biometrics or some other means, so be smart out there and try always to tell the difference between something that USEFUL and something that is merely NEW. You are the first generation growing up on the internet where strangers with bad intentions can get right into the least expected places – like your pocket, your purse, your chat stream with friends. Be careful out there.
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If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy my other posts on Apple / Google / Amazon / Big TechCyberSecurityInternet / Big Data / Internet of ThingsMobile / GadgetsSocial Networking, or my recent curated links you might have missed on: Big Tech & Mobile, or  Internet, IoT, Social, CybersecuritySubscribe – To get an automatic feed of all future posts subscribe to the RSS feed here, or to receive them via email enter your address in the box in the upper right or go here and enter your email address in the box in the upper right. You can also follow me on Twitter @cmirabile and on Google+.

Dave McClure – Angel Video Interview Series

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[This post is part of an on-going series of video interviews with members of the start-up community – see a list of links to the full series here.]

If you have seen Dave McClure do any public speaking, you have been in a room of people at least mildly shocked by what he had to say. Dave is nothing if not colorful in terms of how he expresses himself, both in person and in writing. I always get a kick out of watching him do his stuff, so it was a natural priority to add him to the Angel Video Interview Series.

Dave is a very well-known super-angel and the founder and general parter of 500 Startups, an internet seed fund and accelerator based in Mountain View, California. He’s an engineer and a marketer, working in both roles at PayPal, and has personally invested in 60-70 companies on his own, including some big name companies: Mint, SlideShare, Twilio, Bit.ly, and Jambool. Through 500 Startups, he has done almost another 500 or so more.

Dave spent some time running the seed activities at Founders Fund and running the Facebook Fund fbFund. In recent years Dave has turned his focus to the international market announcing 500 Startups expansion into Mexico and India. For a globe trotting venture captialist, he is a pretty fun, hilarious and down-to-earth guy. We talked in April 2013 in San Francisco. Here’s what he had to say. (Email subscribers, click here for the video).

Comments, questions or reactions to this post? Leave a note below and I will respond to your questions.

If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy: Angel Video Interview SeriesThe Long Road to Instant SuccessThoughts on Crowdfunding,  The Crowdfunding Interview (Frank Peters Show), Pattern Matching Can Cause BlindspotsGetting Off The Ground; Early Formation EconomicsPitch Clinic at MassChallenge (Video)Why Angels Chase ElectronsBoards vs. Advisory BoardsDelusional EconomicsTen Rules For Navigating in The Age of OutrageThat Vision ThingThe Power of An Advisory BoardLoch Ness, Unicorns & The First-Mover AdvantageAre Entrepreneurs Wild Risk-Takers?Top 20 Dos & Don’ts with Angel Groups & Early Stage FinancingWhat I Look For In An EntrepreneurThe OvertureDo The Right ThingOpen Forum with Angel, Seed and VC Investors (Video)Should I Wait For A Technical Co-Founder?, and 20 Bootstrapping Ideas.
Subscribe – To get an automatic feed of all future posts subscribe to the RSS feed here, or to receive them via email enter your address in the box in the upper right or go here and enter your email address in the box in the upper right. You can also follow me on Twitter @cmirabile and on Google+.

Instagram’s Turn for a Face-Palm

Homer - D'Oh!

Yep, we’ve stepped on the rake again.  In what is becoming an almost weekly ritual, we’ve had yet another user revolt and PR fiasco because of revised user terms and conditions.  Instagram’s turn this week. The line in the damage control note from Instagram Co-Founder Kevin Systrom today that grabbed me was: “Legal documents are easy to misinterpret.”

This statement is stupid in so many ways.  For starters, [Read more…]

AT&T Sucks Too

[New Update: The latest outrage is equally offensive: making you pay extra to use communication services like Apple’s FaceTime over cellular (link). You are already paying for bits by the drink on a capped data plan. Bits are bits. Why on earth should you have to pay a surcharge for certain types of bits?  (I know, I know, it is high bandwidth traffic that taxes the network and demands low latency.  But you know what?  Not my problem.  Invest the capital to make the network work. That’s the business telcos are in.]

[Original Post]: Quick rant to observe the utter stupidity [Read more…]

Customer Crowdfunding: Not So Fast, Entrepreneurs

Wil Schroter is the co-founder and CEO of Fundable.com which is a crowdfunding platform for startups, so it is not entirely surprising that he would pen a very pro-crowdfunding piece in GigaOM recently. In the piece, he righty calls out a few of the advantages: customer-sourced funding does allow you to test the market before you build, and it does allow you to fund the product before it is built avoiding the need to amass dilutive capital on a speculative basis, and it does allow you to engage with and build buzz amongst your potential customers even before they are your customers. (The recent hysteria about the Pebble Watch is a good example of this.) But what is totally misleading, even disturbing, about Schroter’s GigaOM article is that it so utterly and completely misses the bigger picture.  [Read more…]

Crowdfunding: You Cannot Make This Stuff Up!

Follow-up on my Crowdfunding post. For a great truth-is-better-than-fiction story on the dark and crazy side of crowdfunding, check out the Bloomberg article “Crowdfunding and the Greatest Investment Opportunity EVER!!!”  In a deliciously ironic twist, a Florida entrepreneur (or a cynic with a great sense of humor) posted a solicitation for an “atomic water engine” investment opportunity. Where did they post it?  On the SEC website in the section reserved for comments on the new crowdfunding rules. Few choice snippets from Rocketjet’s hilarious pitch: [Read more…]

It’s Official: Murdoch has Ruined the Wall Street Journal

I am appalled at how far the WSJ has sunk in recent years. The editorial and opinion section have always struck me as ludicrous, but that is just a matter of personal ideology, and it has always been this way, so it shouldn’t count for the purposes of this rant. But their transparent link-baiting does count, as does their total lack of journalistic integrity. [Read more…]

Kick-Starting the Make Economy

Adrian Gonzalez, a third party logistics (3PL) expert and friend of ScratchPaper, has written an excellent follow-up piece to my post Why Angels Chase Electrons. In the piece (Entrepreneurs, 3PLs, and Angel Investors: Kick-starting the Make Economy), Adrian points out that, while it is true that manufactured products still involve more capital than software products, the gap is narrowing every day. Because of the increasing ease of working with contract manufacturers, logistics service providers and out-sourcing all sorts of non-core activities, manufacturing-oriented companies are more capital efficient than ever these days. He makes some excellent points. The days of every company needing to be good at everything are over. Are you doing enough to leverage best-of-breed contract partners for the non-core aspects of your business?

Comments, questions or reactions to this post? Leave a note below and I will respond to your questions.

If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy: What I Look For In An EntrepreneurAre Entrepreneurs Wild Risk-Takers?,  Top 20 Dos & Don’ts with Angel Groups & Early Stage FinancingDelusional EconomicsThe OvertureThat Vision ThingThe Power of An Advisory BoardLoch Ness, Unicorns & The First-Mover AdvantageShould I Wait For A Technical Co-Founder.

Subscribe – To get an automatic feed of all future posts subscribe to the RSS feed here, or to receive them via email enter your address in the box in the upper right or go here and enter your email address in the box in the upper right. You can also follow me on Twitter @cmirabile and on Google+.

Lessons From the Start-Up Genome Project

Stanford & Berkeley entrepreneurship professor Steve Blank did an excellent write-up about the new report published by Startup Genome Project (report here; free registration required). I want to call attention to Steve’s write-up because it is fun reading in terms of the crazy origins of the project. And the report itself is a must-read for every entrepreneur and early-stage investor out there, but as a teaser,
here are fourteen of the key conclusions reached by phase one of the study in looking at 650 very early stage web companies: [Read more…]

Groupon is Still Radioactive

I am on the record on this one: Groupon is Radioactive. Perhaps I am old-fashioned, but I just don’t have a good feeling about this company. Today’s news does nothing to change my mind:

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Technology Alert from The Wall Street Journal

5PM Friday March 30, 2012

Groupon said it was revising lower the financial results it reported [Read more…]