By Lonnie Cruse
Is your face on Facebook? Mine is. Well, okay, my book cover is. As well as MySpace, Squidoo, Crimespace, and Shelfari. And others. Are you there? Are we friends?
This weekend I saw a warning on the Internet that some of these public Internet spaces, particularly Facebook, are under attack by hackers. They somehow manage to take the profile of one person, and using that person's "friend's list" send emails to those friends urging them to click a fake YouTube link. IF you click on the link, you receive a warning that your FLASH abilities need to be updated and to click this link. DO NOT click on any links like this. It installs a worm or virus on your computer and to date there is NO cure for this virus.
Given the economy and the cost of promoting any author's books, the Internet is currently the best and cheapest way to promote our books and for readers to find/connect with us. Practically every author I know puts up information on these types of websites. And then they connect with other authors to become "friends." But doing so puts us all at great risk for damaging and disabling the very computers we depend on to do business, be it selling books, ordering items, or paying our bills. Scary. Dangerous. But, sigh, necessary.
So, do you subscribe to any of the above social networks? And if so, how do you protect yourself? Please share with us, we'd love to hear from you.
Incidentally, I'm in a mood to celebrate. I've just signed a contract with Five Star to publish the second Kitty Bloodworth mystery, FIFTY-SEVEN TRAVELING, due out July 2010. Share your thoughts on keeping us all safe on the Internet, and particularly on these social networks, and I'll draw a name from the comments section tomorrow morning and send the winner a free copy of my first in the series, FIFTY-SEVEN HEAVEN. OR if you happen to have that book already, I'll send you a copy of any of the four books in my first series, the Metropolis Mystery series. If you are named as winner, please be sure to email me your address. Click the email link on my homepage, http://www.lonniecruse.com