Some would say there’s something narcissistic about googling your name. However, it’s a good idea occasionally to see what appears on the first couple of pages of Google results.

Last week I had a nasty surprise when the first page of results from a google search for my Jaiku username returned a link to a profile page on a dating site. Although I see nothing wrong with dating sites, I should state that I am happily married and have never needed the services of the formentioned. Moreover my social networking is purely professional, I do not carry out my personal life on the internet. When I browse to the profile in question I note that although the profile picture, username and feeds are mine, the “About Me” information is invented.

There is no way to sign in to the site in order to delete the profile. Further checks reveal that other Jaiku and Twitter members have also been victims of this bogus site.


It seems that a Spanish company known for shady practice has been scraping RSS feeds from Jaiku and Twitter by way of an application for Google IG. Unfortunately neither Twitter nor Jaiku have announced this to their users.

In an attempt to prevent further “hijacking” of my information I have made my Jaiku and Twitter updates private and suggest others do the same.

To check if your feed has been hijacked type the following URLs.



I'm interested to know just how many of us have been "stung" maybe we could use group pressure to influence Jaiku and Twitter to deal with this problem.

Tags: jaiku, privacy, rss, scam, twitter

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Thanks Sylvia for these great ideas for tracking our names etc.
Thanks for this dialog Susan as certainly we need to discuss these balances between openness, sharing and connectivity and privacy, especially when abuse and personal security are involved.

I just made a mega EduMashup Madness flash badge that pulls all my feeds (including friends) .. now that IS SCARY, Now if I can just get the links to work!!!!
Great name! Hope you get it to work. If we're talking scary, have you seen spokeo.com which will find feeds from anyone who happens to be in your email contact list.
As I think I already mentioned , one thing that worried me was the thought that my family, students or employer could have (theoretically) found that profile before me. Had that been the case I would not have had the relevant information to prove that "there is smoke without fire"

Maybe it would be an idea to keep some kind of list of bogus sites - (not with links to the offending sites so as not to provide them with more traffic, possibly screenpics or the like.)
While profile stealing is an issue that I"m concerned about and I wish I had more control over. I wish we also had control over who had access to our rss feeds through twitter, my blog, etc., as it is too anonymous for me. Maybe it is time for the technology to adapt and give us control over who has access to our rss. Has anyone contacted twitter about their hijacked feeds?

BTW - Thanks Sylvia for the great ideas. Google alert is one of my favorite tools and I wasn't even using it to alert me about me. :)
I had never heard of Jaiku until I read this post, Twitter I already have. I'll join Jaiku as it looks fun. I think though that the message on their homepage that Google is going to buy them is a little worrying. There used to be a website www.jot.com that created wikis and stuff and since Google bought them out nothing has happened with their site, registrations are all closed off and have been since the buyout. I read online that Google has done this with other sites to kill them off so they could promote their own versions of the sites. I hope this isn't happening here too. I am curious if you guys use Twitter or Jaiku with ESL students and what you use them for. I work in Brasil as and English teacher and getting my students to look at stuff online other than Orkut is hard work. I had some success with some Wikispaces I set up for them. I really like the idea of using the internet with my students as it give opportunities to do more than just the classroom stuff.

Oh :-( I just read that they closed off registrations in Jaiku, shame :-(
I read that one way to deter criminals from impersonating you is by creating and maintaining online profiles in all the major social networks, so that they won't be able to.

According to the Annual Threat Report, the amount of information available on the web is like grease on wheels for fraudsters. It makes impersonating and misrepresenting personal and business identities easy.

Also, another tip is to be careful who you add onto your online networks. Some fraudsters set up fake accounts. Contact the administrators of the sites in the case where you suspect this happening.

I also agree that you should take the appropriate measures to avoid hijacking situations of accounts and identity misrepresentation. But with all the new technologies that are being developed, the risk of hijacking won't be measured by how many RSS feeds you have out there. Have you all heard of the tool designed to allow people to take control of Facebook accounts? It analyzes the communication that Facebook has with computers in addition to cookies. Also, there's the Twitter security risk where anyone can authenticate an account via SMS spoofing services. There are so many holes in social network sites that leave you vulnerable to hacking.

If you want to read a little more on identities and social network risks, here's an interesting article of ours on how someone can de-anonymize identities across social network sites using a simple algorithm! http://kiwicommons.com/2009/04/internet-anonymity%E2%80%93no-such-t... Again, the message in the article is the same as Susan's hijacking experience: Be careful what personal information you are putting out there on the Internet. Including what you fill out on registration forms and profile pages.

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