Bitly finally starts taking privacy seriously

by @edent | # # # | Read ~174 times.

I’ve been ranting about Bitly for years! The ubiquitous link shortener had an interesting “feature” – add a + to the end of the URl and you could see all the statistics for the link. How many clicks, referers, location of users. Here’s a blog post I wrote about it way back in 2011. I…

Continue reading →

Bitly Emoji Links

by @edent | # # | 2 comments | Read ~167 times.
Weird symbols in the bitly dashboard.

Popular URl shortner Bitly allows users to customise its links. This means you can have all sorty of weird and wonderful character in there. For example: bit.ly/󾰀󾰀 You can also use Emoji! bit.ly/☹ bit.ly/♐ Well, OK, not all Emoji. If you try to use most of them, the Bitly system craps out and generates broken…

Continue reading →

Anatomy of an Amazon Phishing Attack

by @edent | # # # # | 3 comments | Read ~248 times.

Phishing is the devious practice of tricking users into giving away their usernames and passwords to fraudulent sites. It is big business, and the best defence against it is constant vigilance. I’m going to walk you, step-by-step, through a scam that targetted me today. Along the way we’ll see how to avoid falling prey to…

Continue reading →

Who is @GCHQ's "barneyrooster"?

by @edent | # # | Read ~455 times.

The British intelligence service GCHQ has been on Twitter since January 2016 – however they only sent their first tweet today. Hello, world. https://t.co/SROtSsE8KB — GCHQ (@GCHQ) May 16, 2016 As I never tire of saying, Bitly is a terrible at keeping your data private. Simply add a + on to the URL and you…

Continue reading →

Would you fall for this Twitter phishing attack?

by @edent | # # | Read ~1,077 times.

Journalist Dave Lee pointed out a disturbing new spear-phishing attack on Twitter. The phony account looks for people who are Tweeting their dissatisfaction with Lloyds Bank – one of the largest and oldest banks in the UK – and sends them messages urging them to log in to a fraudulent site. The tweets have some…

Continue reading →

Don't Use Bit.ly To Advertise Your PGP Key

by @edent | # # # # # | 2 comments | Read ~2,774 times.

I had dinner with the outgoing editor of The Guardian the other night. Clever chap, sure he’ll go far in life. The Guardian is very hot on security. Many of their writers have PGP keys which they publicly advertise. In theory, that’s great (complaints about PGP notwithstanding) – but the reality shows just how tricky…

Continue reading →

Inferring Facebook's Mobile Use Via Bit.ly

by @edent | # # | 3 comments | Read ~186 times.

Analysts estimates are always interesting to read – especially if you know the real statistics which they are trying to prophetize. Even when someone releases “official” statistics, they’re usually hard to verify independently, and even harder to analyse by region. Benedict Evans – who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting at Mobile Monday – published…

Continue reading →

No One Scans QR Codes – Apart From These 25 Thousand People

by @edent | # # # | Read ~573 times.

Earlier this year, I blogged about seeing these QR codes appearing on some train tickets. The campaign itself wasn’t that great – a poor call-to-action and a decidedly mobile-unfriendly site – but I was interested in how many people had scanned them. Thanks to bit.ly’s practice of exposing everyone’s statistics, we can see exactly how…

Continue reading →

Facebook's Mobile Adverts – Real Stats

by @edent | # # # # # | Read ~158 times.

Facebook has been getting a lot of criticism for its lack of mobile revenue. A fact it tried to hide from its IPO. Much ink has been spilled, but is it really necessary for Facebook to worry? Here’s a quick case study. Facebook has, in its infinite wisdom, decided that I would be interested in…

Continue reading →

I Haven't Quit Twitter – Twitter Quit Me

by @edent | # # | 29 comments | Read ~13,591 times.

It’s the height of self-indulgent wankery to blog about why one is flouncing away from a social network. So, here’s my rant. There are many like it – but this one is mine. Let me start by saying something which I hope is obvious. Twitter belongs to Twitter. It’s their game and they can take…

Continue reading →