"Some Job Hunters Are What They Post"

But you already know this, right? If not, I recommend reading this article from LawJobs.com very closely (particularly if you're looking for a new job):

"Plug a prospective employee's name into Google or any other Internet search engine, and you might be surprised at what you find. Web pages may tell hiring attorneys that the person they just interviewed wrote for an undergraduate newspaper or belonged to a specific sorority, but the Web may also reveal the recent interviewee's drink of choice and dating status.

"The advent of social networking Web sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Friendster have added a wealth of previously personal information to the Internet, some of which job seekers may prefer to keep private and out of an employer's hands.

[snip]

"No more is an interviewer's information about a job seeker limited to a résumé, cover letter and professional references. Now, it seems that Google [& other search engines] can produce more information about a person than his or her FBI file. And therein lies the rub."

BTW, a perfect example of how easy it is to find information on the web is the answer to this detail: "Author Michael D. Mann is a litigation associate in the New York office of a major law firm that asked not to be disclosed."


"Deleting embarrassing e-mails isn't easy, experts say"

So, you think those embarrassing emails sent to the computer's trash can are truly deleted, right? Uh, no:

"If Karl Rove or other White House staffers tried to delete sensitive e-mails from their computers, experts said, investigators usually could recover all or most of them.

"The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is investigating whether the White House or the Republican National Committee erased 'a large volume of e-mails' that may be related to the firings of eight U.S. attorneys.

[snip]

"Deleting a document or e-mail doesn't remove the file from a computer's hard drive or a backup server. The only thing that's erased is the address - known as a 'pointer' - indicating where the file is stored.

"It's like 'removing an index card in a library,' said Robert Guinaugh, a senior partner at CyberControls LLC, a data forensic-support company in Barrington, Ill. 'You take the card out, but the book is still on the shelf.'"


"E-Griping: Not on My Blog"

Paralegals should take care when posting complaints about work online, says this article from LawCrossing:

"Everyone has bad days at work; with every job, there is some measure of discontent. (Why else would so many people be looking at job-placement websites?) Yet, often, such dissatisfaction can galvanize you by creating the motivation you need to propel your career upward.

[snip]

"Meeting a trusted friend for a happy-hour drink and exchanging war stories is one matter—while no promises of confidentiality are explicit here, it is safe to assume that your friend will not relate your woes to others. (If he does, he's no friend of yours!) To be similarly blunt and candid in email or the blogosphere is to enter a potentially dangerous gray area."

Privacy is important, so before you hit "send," remember that what you say online stay can stay around forever.


Can you search the Internet anonymously?

Well, no, not without some advance planning. But this article describes how it's done:

"Tor — an acronym for The Onion Router — is a freely available, open-source program developed by the U.S. Navy about a decade ago. A browser plug-in, it thwarts online traffic analysis and related forms of Internet surveillance by sending your data packets through different routers around the world. As each packet moves from one router to the next, it is encoded with encrypted routing information, and the previous layer of such information is peeled away — hence the 'onion' in the name.

"Basically, Tor is a way to surf the Internet anonymously. Someone looking up potentially sensitive information might prefer to use it — like a person who is worried about potential exposure to a sexually transmitted disease and shares a computer with roommates. Abuse survivors might not want anyone else knowing they have visited Web sites for support groups related to rape or incest. Journalists in repressive regimes with state-controlled media use Tor to reach foreign online news sites, chat rooms, blogs, and related venues for information."

Thanks to The Virtual Chase for pointing out the article.


"Browser Upgrade: Singing Opera's Praises"

Are you getting tired of IE? I tried Flock recently & was impressed. But Opera sounds even better:

"Since its debut in 1997, the Opera Web browser has sought to be faster, leaner, more stable and more flexible than its competitors. Its market share is certainly lean -- about 1 percent. Attorney and media consultant Robert Ambrogi takes in Opera's latest staging, version 9.1, and applauds.

[snip]

"First released in 1997 by the Norwegian company Opera Software, Opera has always sought to be faster, leaner, more stable and more flexible than any of its competitors. With the December release of version 9.1, it adds an improved layer of security and clever new features that further enhance its functionality, all in a free download that is only 4.9 MB in size.

"The big news in version 9.1 is Opera's greater protection against phishing -- fraudulent Web sites that try to steal your personal information. The latest versions of IE and Firefox also offer anti-phishing protection, but Opera is the only browser that teams up with both digital-certificate provider GeoTrust and phishing information clearinghouse PhishTank, a collaborative service that constantly collects data on suspicious URLs."


Paralegal fights identity theft

Read about this paralegal in an article titled "Good Cybercitizens Keep Watch Over ID-Theft Victims":

[snip]

"Janice Forster, 50, a paralegal in North Carolina, this year started FindMyId.com, a Web site devoted to educating consumers about ID theft. In the past week, she mailed more than 100 letters to North Carolina residents informing them that their personal information is available on the Internet.

"'I just want to make a difference,' says Forster, who had never before been involved in a grass-roots movement. 'In good conscience, I can't watch this happen to people.'"

You go, Janice!


"Taking passwords to the grave"

So, yet another unexpected impact of the Internet!

"William Talcott, a prominent San Francisco poet with dual Irish citizenship, had fans all over the world. But when he died in June of bone marrow cancer, his daughter couldn't notify most of his contacts because his e-mail account--and the online address book he used--was locked up.

"Talcott, 69 [link in article], a friend of beatnik Neal Cassady, apparently took his password to the grave.

"It's a vexing, and increasingly common problem for families mourning the loss of loved ones. As more and more people move their lives, address books, calendars, financial information, online, they are taking a risk that some information formerly filed away in folders and desks might never be recovered. That is, unless they share their passwords, which poses security threats.

[snip]

"But it's not a question of privacy rights so much as property rights, said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center [link in article].

"'The so-called 'Tort of Privacy' expires upon death, but property interests don't," he said. 'Private e-mails are a new category. It's not immediately clear how to treat them, but it's a form of digital property.'"


"For Some, Online Persona Undermines a Resume"

Just like posting [PDF link] to a blog, this article reminds people to consider how their online words might look to an employer:

"When a small consulting company in Chicago was looking to hire a summer intern this month, the company's president went online to check on a promising candidate who had just graduated from the University of Illinois.

"Tien Nguyen, a college senior, signed up for job interviews but said he was seldom contacted until he withdrew a satirical online essay.

"At Facebook, a popular social networking site, the executive found the candidate's Web page with this description of his interests: "smokin' blunts" (cigars hollowed out and stuffed with marijuana), shooting people and obsessive sex, all described in vivid slang.

"It did not matter that the student was clearly posturing. He was done.

"A lot of it makes me think, what kind of judgment does this person have?" said the company's president, Brad Karsh. 'Why are you allowing this to be viewed publicly, effectively, or semipublicly?'

"Many companies that recruit on college campuses have been using search engines like Google and Yahoo to conduct background checks on seniors looking for their first job. But now, college career counselors and other experts say, some recruiters are looking up applicants on social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Xanga and Friendster, where college students often post risqué or teasing photographs and provocative comments about drinking, recreational drug use and sexual exploits in what some mistakenly believe is relative privacy."


"Study finds companies snooping on employee e-mail"

Do you know about your firm or company policy?

"According to a new study, about a third of big companies in the United States and Britain hire employees to read and analyze outbound e-mail as they seek to guard against legal, financial or regulatory risk.

"More than a third of U.S. companies surveyed also said their business was hurt by the exposure of sensitive or embarrassing information in the past 12 months, according to the annual study from a company specializing in protecting corporate e-mail at large businesses.

"'What folks are concerned about is confidential or sensitive information that is going out,' said Gary Steele, chief executive of Cupertino, California-based Proofpoint Inc., which conducted the study along with Forrester Research.

"The top concern was protecting the financial privacy and identity of customers followed by compliance issues and a bid to prevent confidential leaks. Businesses ranked monitoring for inappropriate content and attachments as less important."