Can Social Networking cause identity theft?

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So, can social networking really cause identity theft? This was an interesting topic that was the subject of a breakfast group meeting I attended recently. It really got me thinking how much someone will know about you when they see your Facebook, LinkedIN, or even Twitter account.

They know what your name is, your date of birth, physical location, who your relatives are, marital status, your friends, what things you love to do, and so much more! All of this information can give scammers a great opportunity to take advantage of you.

We were told about a woman who took a phone call from a man who said that he was the son of one of her uncles. He was posing as a desperate relative who needed some money for an operation for a heredity complaint. She was skeptical at first but after questioning him, he knew so much about her family and history that she ended up sending him some money to help him out. It turned out it was all just a scam.  I can’t help but think would I have fallen for something similar.

Well I have some tips on how to avoid this happening to you and it doesn’t mean you have to give up social networking, it just means you need to be careful on how much information you are giving:

  • Remove your date of birth, physical address and mothers’ maiden name from your Facebook profile.
  • Set your profile on private and be very careful of who you give access to your profile.
  • Remember that once you post information online, you can’t take it back. Even if you delete the information from a site, older versions exist on other people’s computers.
  • If a social networking site doesn’t look safe or you can’t figure out the privacy settings, don’t use it. Go somewhere safe.
  • Do not discuss holiday/travel plans online. No one needs to know when you’re going on holidays or even on business trips. Tell all about the trips AFTER you return. And don’t ask others about their plans, either, encouraging them to post their private info.
  • Watch what you do list online, regardless of privacy settings. A thief can take your digital photo and all other info and use your identity. Don’t give them all that ammunition. Upload a favorite animal or flower image, for example, instead of your face. List the nearest large city instead of the small town where you live. Use a nickname, maiden name or other identity listing.

Yours in design,

Bell-asaurus

The Power of Twitter

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Well it should be common knowledge by now that Julia Gillard has taken the top position as Australia’s Prime Minister. If you did not know of this fact until now, then I guess you have been living under a rock since last Thursday evening, or perhaps you just don’t have a Twitter account.

According to this ninemsn story , the news of our new PM wasn’t broken in a tv, radio, online or print bulletin – it was in fact broken by News Ltd’s Samantha Maiden through one simple tweet: “Labor Mp text: it’s Julia no ballot”. This message of less than 140 characters, as well as other messages tweeted by fellow journalists spread like wildfire through Twitter-land.

I was on Twitter on Thursday night and I have to say, there were tweets popping up left, right and centre about the new PM. I’ll be honest; I didn’t watch the debate (was the debate even televised?), but I didn’t have to. Thanks to the “Tweeties” I follow, I was well informed about the goings on of the debate, and the outcome. It’s amazing how a simple social media tool can keep one so well informed during an episode of Law & Order: SVU.

And it’s not just the news of the new PM that I have heard about before a news bulletin! For example, I knew of both the Haiti and Chilean earthquakes hours before news bulletins even surfaced here in Australia. The power of Twitter is very much underestimated.

To those who think Twitter is a pointless social media website, I urge you to think again. While there are certainly tweets along the lines of “I ate a cupcake for breakfast” and “I love Justin Beiber”, there’s also a lot of very informative and up-to-the-minute information on Twitterland that you just can’t get anywhere else right now!

Tweeting always,
…Paul-saurus

Who’s looking after the kids?

In executive boardrooms across Australia there are very few women sitting at the head of the table in the top positions, but today marks an important day for women around Australia. It’s an inspiring day that proves it’s possible to lead from any chair.

On 24 June 2010 Julia Gillard became our nation’s first Deputy Prime Minister and has now become the first Aussie female to snap up the top job as Prime Minister.  Julia joins other leading Australian women, like our first female Governer-General Quentin Bryce, and the long list of successful women who have claimed the nation’s top leader positions.

I found this story about why top jobs elude women, I have a close relation to this story as a mother of two I have struggled to sustain a solid career path.  I’m now at the age of 31 and I’m studying part-time whilst working full-time to give myself the opportunity to achieve my career goal. I think today marks a very important milestone for all women across Australia.

Yours in design,

Kat-radactyl

RED-i Design to unveil new Brand 9th July!

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Unlike other controversial talk of unveilings (yes, we’re referring to you MP Fred Niles who this week introduced a bill to parliament to seek to ban the wearing of the burqa and other face veils in public), here’s an unveiling that’s for the creative good of the community!

RED-i Design will unveil our new brand and direction on Friday 9th July! We’re bursting with excitement! It’s pretty big news in our world.

This ambitious leap is much more than a name change. Check in after the 9th to find out why!

Could art be imitating life in Daybreakers?

Who would have thought there was room on our video store shelves for yet another vampire movie?!

Daybreakers is an Australian epic, filmed at Gold Coast’s Warner Brothers MovieWorld. It’s a visual piece of art by the Spierig brothers, Michael and Peter. Michael is a graduate of Graphic Design and Peter a Film graduate. Teamed up as ‘The Spierig Brothers’, Daybreakers is their second film together.

Not only were the visuals awesome and the technologies thought up for a vampire world fascinating, what else appealed to me was the sense of metaphoric reflection of art imitating life. The metaphor being the vampires are depleting the human race by farming them for blood, likewise—just to pick one from our long list—we are overfishing to the point of adding more fish species to the evergrowing extinction list.

The vampires had a choice to save their race by choosing to intake a blood substitute, as we humans have the choice to go the vegetarian route (or a smarter approach to the way we’re currently living) to save our world’s ecosystems from deteriorating…

Daybreakers is out now on Blueray and DVD.

Yours in design,
Amber-saurus

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Happy 30th to Australia’s First IVF Baby

Hitting the 30 mark is a definite birthday milestone for anybody. But what makes Candice Reed’s birthday today so super special is that Candice is Australia’s first IVF conceived child (and the world’s third IVF baby!), so it’s a milestone for IVF in our country as well.

Candice was born in Melbourne on 23 June 1980 following the work of specialists from Melbourne’s Royal Women’s Hospital and the Queen Victoria Hospital.

Since Candice’s birth, 85,000 IVF babies have been born from assisted conception in Australia.

To mark this tremendous milestone, our client Queensland Fertility Group in collaboration with IVF Australia and IVF Melbourne came to us to help them celebrate Candice’s 30th. The creative and digital teams at RED-i Design built the Happy Birthday Candice landing page. Check it out!

Happy Birthday Candice!

From the team at RED-i Design

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The appeal of user generated content

Don’t you love those seminars that stay with you for days, even weeks, after you attend? Recently I sat in on an informative seminar on content, and why it is still king – especially for the online arena. We’re not just talking well written copy, but the images, video, podcasts and fresh posts that communicate in the most up to date way to your target audience, while also aiding SEO benefits, particularly if you’re a knitting-in-keywords pro.

The speaker that left a lasting impression – and not just for his wit – was head of editorial for Lonely Planet Digital, Vivek Wagle. We learnt how Lonely Planet grew a much-appreciated online presence for the very successful book titles. Blessed with a wealth of existing content on hand to play with, it made so much sense to reshape this content to appeal to the online audience who has an entirely different need for this content, as they’re generally on the go and more likely to respond to peer-reviews/content. Which leads me to the whole point of today’s blog. How opening up your online platform to co-creation, allowing users to give their own voice to your voice, can be value-adding. Especially when the user’s content competes!

Here is a great example Wagle presented. Both are hilarious. Both are brilliant. And both work equally as well. It’s safe to say the co-created content definitely added value.

Lonely Planet content: The Insane Taxi Driver

Co-created content: The Hanoi Hustle

Yours in design,

Julia-saurus

New BP Logo

So, after the debacle of the BP oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico recently it was inevitable that us arty type of folks were going to take things into our own hands and give BP some advice!

There is an online competition to see who can design the next BP logo. Visit www.logomyway.com

I’m not sure that BP will need a logo soon though with their share price falling and still having to pay to clean up this mess. Regardless of how much money they spend on the clean up the fact is that the environment in this area will NEVER be the same.

Here are some of the most recent examples that have been entered, some of them are very clever!

If you have some ideas of your own why not let us know!

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If you are interested to know how large this oil disaster is go and have a visit www.ifitwasmyhome.com and you can see how this would affect you in your local area. Very cool!

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Yours in Design,

Paul-oceratops

Jasper Goodall

I was recently lucky enough to attend Semi Permanent, Brisbane, and was truly inspired! It’s always a good reminder that as designers, we should never be lazy with our work and fall back to traditional designs. One particular speaker, Jasper Goodall, proved that pushing the boundaries can produce cutting-edge work. He played a major part in the resurgence of illustration that has been so prevalent in the design world in the last decade.

I recommend you check out his portfolio if you are not already familiar with his work – www.jaspergoodall.com

Get ready to be inspired!

Yours in design,

Tar-rannosaurus

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*images sourced from creative agency bigactive.com

Time’s Top 10 Tech Trends for 2010

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I stumbled upon the Time website the other week (which is fantastic by the way) and found their list of Top 10 Tech Trends for 2010. This list gives a very basic snapshot of some of the amazing applications that are changing the way we live.

The list highlights FourSquare, Facebook Connect, Social Games like Farmville and Bejeweled, Cloud computing for music downloads, Twitter conversations forming the ‘Back Channel’ of a program, Venmo’s new mobile phone technology that allows you to bump your phone with another to issue a payment, user-generated barcodes by Stickybits, Apple’s Flash snub in favour of HTML 5 and of course the iPad.

Check it out for yourself: Time’s Top 10 Tech Trends for 2010

Yours in design,
Janet-eratops