I’ve started writing a book called "Social Security – Protecting Your Identity on the Social Web"

I realize the title may confuse some people with the other Social Security – but I still like the title, and I think the subtitle makes up for any confusion.

What do you think? Confusing, or not?


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  1. Dwayne – thanks for the suggestions!


  2. While I thought your title was confusing, I also thought it would not take much to clarify it. I personally like “Social Networking Security – Your Identity on the Web.” If I wanted to be more creative I might come up with something like “The Internet Extrovert – An Online Social Life Guide”

  3. OK – after sitting on the title for a while I decided that while I do still like it, the current working title is probably not going to help me get people to read the book. So I am entertaining new titles. Maybe I’ll put up a poll for help, or run a contest or something.

    My (potential) publisher proposed: “Social Networking – 101 paths to Identity Theft” which I absolutely hate – the book isn’t even about identity theft. Well – that may be part of it, but it’s not an accurate title.

    So I’ll keep mulling it over. If you have an idea for a title, please share it here. At the very least if you come up with a great title you’ll get a free copy of the book – autographed if you want (my autograph is meaningful only to my mortgage company!)


  4. Confusing. No doubt. I’ll leave it to you to call your book whatever you like of course but I’d think about this title more.

  5. I think it’s a great idea for a name, but I fear that it will get lost online and dismissed because the first part says ‘Social Security’ and then you’ve lost the browser.
    How about ‘From Social Networks to Social Security’

  6. Paul, you KNOW how much I hate confusing you.. but in this case, I like the name and I think it will stick.


  7. I like it

  8. I think it IS confusing.

    Why not call it “The OTHER social security”

  9. Below is the working Forward to the book – keep in mind nobody has edited any of this yet. It’s a project I just started. Feedback is very welcome.

    I think I’ll but up a WiKi here, and try and write this publicly – we’ll see what my (tentative) publisher thinks about that.


    Social Networking is a compelling part of our every day online experience. Even among long time Web users I find that most belong to at least two, if not as many as 6 different Social Networking web sites. Newer users of the Web (seemingly regardless of age) usually belong to even more Social Networking sites than long-time Internet users.
    It gets more and more confusing to remember not just what information you shared – but where you shared it. And who it is shared with.

    Eventually I think Social Networking sites will address this issue through open API’s and shared data – so you won’t need to remember numerous logins for multiple sites – you will only have to remember the credentials for one site. And the information from your other Social Networking sites will promulgate to whatever site you choose to make your “primary” site.

    That being said, it’s still extremely important that you monitor your own personal data -– only you can do it.
    Throughout this book I will be using real-world examples that every day users have shared with me – about mistakes they made with their identities, and how you can prevent the same mistakes with your data.

    This book is based on my opinions on online safety. I am not an expert. I have run public networking sites since the very early 1990’s – starting with a public access multi-line BBS called BIOS II BBS that was popular both in the Bay Area in California, and later in San Antonio, TX. I am not an expert, but I am experienced.

    Even in the early 1990’s, before the Internet existed as we know it, social networking existed. So did blogging. Even WiKi’s.

    Social Networking isn’t new – the ease of use and plethora of options is new though – and that gives a lot more people the opportunity to make mistakes when it comes to sharing their personal data.

    Foremost, Social Networking is almost completely free now. No monthly fees (like the old AOL). No long distance charges (like you often got when dialing into BBS’s). It’s just easy. And that makes it easy to share not just too much personal data – but often the wrong personal data.
    For example – my research shows that people rarely use their real name on Social Networking sites. But they will use their real address, email address, share their identities on other social sites, etc. Somehow people feel some level of comfort provided by a pseudonym – however misdirected that comfort level may be.

    Finally – I don’t aim to tell you what information to share or not share. All of us have different comfort levels. All of us have different personal situations that may call for more or less online paranoia. But if you want to stop reading this book now, but still take the most important advice away from it, then remember this: “You cannot be paranoid enough” when it comes to your online information. The more you withhold, the safer you are. The more you disclose, the more personal risk is assumed. From stalkers to Identity Theft to Spammers – the more information you share, the better the chances of you being violated.

  10. Sorry – I clarified the title. Yes – this is a book I have started writing. I have a lot of good notes, and stories, and experience. I just need to find the time, and keep the momentum going.

    Thanks, Chris.


  11. Are you writing this book? I’m slightly confused about that!

    Regardless, I like the title, it’s a nifty play on words. Looking forward to more…