Highschooler Opens Bogus Twitter Account In School Directors Name

We’ve seen this before and it never ends good. This time it’s resulting in an identity theft charge  for Ira Trey Quesenberry III, an 18-year-old student at Sullivan Central High School. A few years ago this would have been looked upon as a victimless prank. But times have changed and as social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and others have morphed into much more than just recreational websites, it’s not just unacceptable, it’s a crime.

The Twitter account was created with the name and photo of Dr. Jubal Yennie, director of the Sullivan County school district. The account has since been deleted but the tweets sent in Yennie’s name were reported to be of an embarrassing nature and not appropriate for a school administrator. Why would an 18 year old do something like that?

The Smoking Gun reports “Yennie contacted sheriff’s deputies last Friday to report the phony Twitter account. After investigators linked Quesenberry to the account, the teen reportedly confessed to opening it. Quesenberry was booked today by sheriff’s deputies, and is due to appear tomorrow in General Sessions court.”

Grab your/companies name/products/services people. Sites like Knowem.com will do this for free or for a small fee. The worst thing you can do is nothing. There are millions of stupid 18 year olds out there to make you look stupid-er.

Robert Siciliano, personal security and identity theft expert and Advisory Board member to Knowem. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked! See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video. Disclosures.

Video: How to Create a Public Profile on KnowEm

June 15, 2012 · Filed Under Announcements, KnowEm News · Comments Off on Video: How to Create a Public Profile on KnowEm 

Today KnowEm is publishing an instructional video explaining how to create a free Public Profile membership on KnowEm.com. We decided to convert some of our most frequently asked questions into a video to help new users through the process of a signup.

For example, a lot of people have asked what is the best choice for a social media username; their personal name, or their brand. The answer is simple – it’s whatever you want to promote. If you’re a business, use your brand; if you’re a social personality, or simply use social media for personal use, then your real first and last name IS your brand and you should enter that. Using one strong username helps build brand continuity across the Social Web.

Another question which is commonly asked is how to add your social media profiles to your KnowEm Public Profile membership page so they are all linked in one central place, KnowEm.com/yourusername. This video will show you how to claim username accounts you own, how to go out to different social networks and create new ones, and also how to identify those social networks where your brand or username has already been taken. Once complete, you can download all your profile links into one Excel File (also available in Print-Friendly and RSS formats). Anytime you want you can come back to KnowEm to add more profiles and download another report!

If you have any other questions which haven’t been covered in this video, please feel free to contact KnoweEm Support.

Do I Really Need To Reserve My Name On Hundreds Of Social Media Sites?

One of the more common questions we get asked at KnowEm from customers and prospective clients is  “Why do we need to worry about all these social networks? I haven’t even heard of half of them; why do they even matter and how do they help my brand?”

Our response is simple.  No one knows when the next twitter, facebook, or foursquare is going to burst onto the Social Media scene and capture massive traffic growth.  I will never forget a phone call I had with one of our clients where I was going over all the new social media networks where we had reserved his brand name.  He specifically asked a question about a small little site called “Pinterest” — his exact words to me were “Why should we care about this site, it seems pointless! I doubt it will take off  and it feels like a waste of a signup.”

This phone conversation happened around the middle of June back in 2011. That was a little before the massive traffic explosion Pinterest experienced on its meteoric rise to become the major new contender in social media business marketing that it is today.  You can see the timeline of its growth on the compete graph below:

 

Pinterest is a perfect example of a social media site whose traffic blew up after we were already able to make sure our current clients’ trademarks were reserved on the site. Here’s one explanation I always like to give to clients when they inquire about these brand new social startups where their brand or username has been reserved. “If I told you 6 years ago that a site consisting of 140 characters of text would be in the top 10 most visited sites internationally, used by the fortune 100 (and just about everyone else) for customer support and major marketing campaigns, would you believe me?”  The answer is most commonly “No,” of course, because who could have predicted the Twitter revolution?  Well, except for the occasional know-it-all social media expert guru ninja master that is on the call and knows everything about social media and has 30k followers on twitter – but follows double that.

At KnowEm we realize not every player in the social media race is going to take off like the lucky ones, but that’s why we track so many (just about 600 right now).  There is a good chance you might never use some of the accounts that you’re signed up on. But are you ready to take the risk of not reserving your trademarked brand, product or username on the next Twitter?

Here’s another not uncommon example of a similar case study:  An unscrupulous competitor decided to target a well-known brand name on a new Latin social media network which was young enough to be under the radar for most people.   Using black hat SEO techniques they were able to get this site ranking for a variety of competitive terms that probably made them a lot of money selling counterfeit medication:

percocet ranking

If you notice the third result down, Lacoctelera.net  (translated, “The Shaker”) is a simple community / blogging related site where someone was able to reserve and claim the name “Percocet®” before the brand holder was aware the network even existed.  Doing some simple link building, the black hat was able to get it to rank for 7 or 8 different terms that we found, all of which were ranking in the top 5. (Hey Endo Pharmaceuticals, talk to us, we can help!).

The moral of the story, and the value in a service like KnowEm, is that no one can predict when the next big twitter, facebook or pinterest is going to hit.  So why not be safe than sorry?  It is much easier, cheaper and faster to preemptively claim a name than to bring in the legal team and try to reclaim it.

Sometimes it’s simply too late. We have new customer inquires every day from those that didn’t jump on the twitter bandwagon in time and now can’t reclaim their brand names on twitter even with legal help.  If the person who owns the twitter handle of a known brand or trademark clearly states that they are not related to the company and doesn’t tweet as the company – there is nothing the trademark holder can do (short of bribing the squatter or paying them off).  One of my favorite sodas, “Fanta®,” is a perfect example of this.  A person claimed the registered trademark on twitter before the actual company did (Coca-Cola®) and has followed the twitter guidelines to the letter.  As a result, Coca-Cola is unable to retrieve the name as long as the twitter member doesn’t attempt to represent Coca-Cola® or Fanta® in any way shape or form:

Fanta Twitter Account

Is your brand secure?  Does your brand run the risk of having someone take your name or intellectual property on a social media site? These are some serious questions you need to ask  before you decide the best plan of action for you to take to insure the safety of your brand. If you have a product that runs a high risk of counterfeit, registering your brand using one of our brand protection packages might just not be enough, and that’s why we strongly suggest also using our monthly brand protection service, where our team will continue to register your name on all new and emerging social media sites that we find.

This is the reason why we built out our enterprise dashboard — A centralized location where you can view, monitor and  manage all of your trademarks, brands, products and usernames on various social media networks.  If you would like a webex demonstration of the product and other services that KnowEm offers feel free to contact us.

 

Be an Intellectual Property Hero; Don’t Ignore Social Media

April 22, 2010 · Filed Under Intellectual Property, Social Media · 6 Comments 

In the Intellectual Property world, few things matter as much as a name.  Since the advent of the business name and the trademarked word, nothing has been used to identify quality and individuality more than a unique name.  A unique name, as obvious as it sounds, is how people know to buy your product instead of something else.  This was common sense back when there were only billboards, magazines, radio and television.  It was also manageable.

Whether you use Facebook, Twitter or FourSquare (or none of the above), you need to protect your name on all social media websites.  Our America Online screen names were all that we cared about ten years ago.  Five years ago, all we cared about was our Myspace profile name.  Then Facebook.  Then Twitter.  Now FourSquare.  Which will be the next big site tomorrow?  Today there are thousands of startups vying to be the next big social website.  Currently there are hundreds of sites gaining traction.  Will one of these be the next big thing?  Of course.  And there is no way to tell right now which one it will be.

I advise IP attorneys for a living and stress more than anything else that securing your client’s name on every possible site is the best thing you can do for them.  Some make money pursuing cybersquatters and negotiating purchases of user names.  But seriously, what could take a few minutes now can leave you to much more important tasks. And who doesn’t want to be the hero?

Rob Holmes is the CEO of IPCybercrime.com LLC, a full service trademark investigative agency.