Happy Birthday Text Messaging

Happy Birthday text messaging! Although text messaging could be traced all the way back to 1920 when RCA introduced the first “telex” service the text messaging we have all relied on for years was born on December 3, 1992. It was on this day that Neil Papworth used a personal computer to send the text message “Merry Christmas” via a Vodaphone network to a cellular phone.

Fast forward to 1995 when paging services starting appearing everywhere. It was during the mid and late 1990’s that text messaging really exploded. Just watch a movie or TV shows from this time period and you will often see the characters with pagers on their hip. These text messages were usually limited to 160 characters. Often after reading the text message the recipient had to then go find a phone. Just think about that!

As cellular phones became available and affordable in the late 1990’s “pagers” started disappearing as text messaging become a service of the cellular phone itself. The popularity of smartphones in the mid 2000’s ended the reign of pagers altogether.

Even with all the technical changes and enhancements since 1992 “text messaging” itself has continued to grow in it’s use and with many of us is actually used more then actually using mobile phones for their primary purpose, “talking”.

Services such as “Twitter” are an out growth of that very first text message way back on December 3, 1992.

Hackers, Spammers and Scammers all love a BIG story, and there certainly is no bigger news item now then the recent take down of Public Enemy Number 1, Usama bin Laden. These hackers and other bad eggs are using this news story to intice people into downloading a file in order to watch a video. This is a HOAX and if you follow the link, download a file from one of these messages you will infect your computer, or become a spamming machine. This hoax is especially active on Facebook at this time. Be aware that the United States Government has not released any photos or video from their recent operation. Often the message, either through an email or a social networking site such as Facebook will have a link to a website it wants to redirect you to. Often stating it’s an “official source”, such as CNN. This is a ploy. Ignore it. Also be aware that even the best anti-virus software can not prevent a human being from clicking on and downloading an infected file. Here is the official FBI news release in respect to this recent hoax

 Today we launched a companion twitter feed for the West Chester Employee’s Tech Blog. Please click below and sign up. The basic idea of hosting our own “West Chester Technology” Twitter feed is to provide everyone with an easy, fast and informative way of communicating not only with me but with each other about all things tech. You can post questions or ideas for everyone to see and comment on. Click the link below and sign up. https://twitter.com/westchestertech Once you sign up for a twitter account make sure to follow our tech feed and download the free twitter app for your smartphones and mobile devices.

Protecting Your Twitter Privacy

Twitter is quite different than Facebook in many ways. One of the biggest differences is that you do not have to ask to follow someone. Because of this you probably have many “followers” you don’t know. If you take a look at your followers closely you will probably find many people and companies you probably don’t want reading your “tweets”. Recently many companies and other persons have started following people on twitter in order to get an idea of your likes, dislikes, habits etc in order to target advertisements your way.

Protect your privacy and clean up your “followers” on a regular basis. Here are step by step directions to do this.

Step 1: Click the followers list on the right side of your Twitter page.

Step 2: You will see a list of all your followers. Review the list and click on each follower you wish to block.

Step 3: On the far right side, click on the settings wheel and choose “Block”.

Rinse and Repeat as necessary. This is an ever increasing problem on Twitter and I hope that eventually, like Facebook Twitter acount holders should be required to approve followers. Imagine, taking security lessons from Facebook. Amazing.

A special thank you goes out to co-worker Jay Ferriola for his question about this when he complained, “who are all these people following me on twitter!?”