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Hacking, Cloning, and other Chicanery

Santa Marty

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My fellow Christmas enthusiasts,

It is no secret that identity thievery has been, and is continuing to be a real threat to social networking.  Yes, even among those of the Christmas Community.  Not all things are sugar plumbs and candy canes in our community.

I can't recall how many times I have been cloned on Face Book, but it has been far too many.  I have had to abandon accounts, close accounts, and or otherwise just remove all the information on accounts (including friends lists) not because I wanted to, but because I can not afford to have a hard earned online presence be compromised this way.  I became complacent at one point, "just part of the networking thing" I told myself.  Well, I am not going to be complacent any longer.... especially in my Christmas Community Networking.  Some have noticed a distinct drop in my usual online presence and community involvement.  This cloning of identities is in large,  part of the reason I simply have not been "around" as much as usual.  Its a shame, because my involvement has, over the years become an important of my Santa Personae.  My improvement, over time, has been a direct affect of my interaction with others of similar interests, sharing ideas, ideas, and experience on line.  MOST of which has come right here, being on ClausNet.  ClausNet has always been a much "kinder and gentler" online community where people can share and learn from some of the best examples of dedicated men and women in our industry.

Over the last couple of weeks, there have been attempts by someone or someones trying to log into my account here.  Yes, here on ClausNet, you heard that right.  As far as I know, no one has been successful but the continued attempts have me rather peeved.  The IP of the person or persons attempting to steal their way into ClausNet have been coming from The Bay Area of California.  A place where I have spent many off season hours visiting family and friends.

Of course someone wanting to be me is completely understandable, who wouldn't? (Sarcastic comment)

In my nearly 9 years of involvement here on ClausNet, I have learned much.  More than you can at ANY Santa School, more than you can learn at any one specialized training session or seminar, online or in person.  At a point early on, I realizes just what a wonderful place ClausNet was AND is.  I have done what I can to contribute positively by offering advice, shared one on one, and open forum discussions.  I have made many friends here, some have generated some direct phone contact, as well as, when possible some face to face meetings and strong relationships.  A closeness if you will and surely a complement to my performances as a working Santa Claus.

As for myself, I felt I owed my friends an explanation and thus this blog post. 

For now, my involvement will be curtailed.  I can't say forever, because it is hard to stay away from something you love.  And I do love ClausNet. 

Thank you for your friendship, advice, and concern.  This is NOT a goodbye note, simply a note of respite from usual activities.  I sincerely appreciate your understanding.

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Legendary Santa Claus

Posted

Well written. Thanks for posting this food for thought.

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Santa Johnny Boy

Posted

Crazy to hear that things like this happen!  The Bible says to "guard your heart".  For me, I love everybody but I don't trust anybody.  There's a Santa in my business area who is trying to lead people into thinking that I'm him, trying to lead customers his way.  It actually worked in reverse, and his efforts led to more people finding me, some of who were his longtime customers.

Who would want to hack into Marty's Clausnet account?  Probably someone who wanted to take him down a notch, even try to curtail his involvement.

Hey! Wait a minute...

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Michael Rielly

Posted

Marty -- I am sorry this has happened. I will check our logs and respond in an email to you.

Everyone -- Let me be perfectly clear on this...

Any attempt to hack into this site will be taken very seriously and violators will be blocked from ClausNet.com and reported to authorities.

When we first launched ClausNet, we had a few instances where members were logging in using someone else’s credentials for nefarious reasons. Ten years ago, our back-end server tools for detecting this activity were not as sophisticated as they are now. Today, our server records every single device, operating system, browser, IP address, and other information when someone (or something) attempts to access this site. This includes successful and unsuccessful logins.

Even with all the tools at our disposal here, I still recommend that you change your password often. I change my passwords about once a month. When creating your password, be sure to make it difficult to crack yet, easy to remember. And be sure to use different passwords for different sites. If you feel like someone may be accessing your ClausNet account, please contact me or Felix immediately. We are here to help. We can block IP address, change your password, and even your username if necessary.

I have never understood why people do this. Maybe it’s because they have too much time on their hands. Or perhaps they have a poor self-image and spoofing accounts makes them feel better about themselves. I don’t know. But if a person's life revolves around hacking, spamming, or trolling, I feel sorry for them. Obviously, there is something going on in their lives that drives them to this behavior. In my opinion, anyone who does this, does not deserve the title of Santa or Mrs. Claus.

As I mentioned we have taken steps to greatly reduce this crap here on ClausNet. Sadly, a lot of this is still happening on Facebook. I think you would be surprised to learn how many “Santas” and “Mrs. Clauses” you may be interacting with in the various Facebook groups are not who they appear to be. This is one of the reasons why I have stepped away from most of these groups on Facebook. With all the recent news about Facebook, it should be obvious that Facebook Group admins do not have the same level of control or the tools to monitor this activity – nor will they ever. Facebook Groups are the property of Facebook, not you.

As always, if you have any issues, concerns, questions, comments, or complaints, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

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Felix Estridge

Posted

Sorry to hear of all this, brother.  Holler if you need something.

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Santa Marty

Posted

10 hours ago, Michael Rielly said:

This is one of the reasons why I have stepped away from most of these groups on Facebook. With all the recent news about Facebook, it should be obvious that Facebook Group admins do not have the same level of control or the tools to monitor this activity – nor will they ever. Facebook Groups are the property of Facebook, not you.

This has been an ongoing problem for me on FaceBook.  I can NOT count the number of times I have been cloned and or hacked.  Its even hard to get FB to close down your own account, especially when you've been cloned.... cause they don't believe its you!  LOL  It has nothing to do with the fact that they want to have BILLIONS of accounts for AD revenues.  

I have been lucky to tour much of FB corp offices in CA, and everywhere you look, there are posters..... "The Next Billion" as motivational materials for their employees.... Its a Corp Culture!

With the shear numbers of members, and many Christmas Community people on FB, it has become a necessary EVIL way to attempt to keep in touch.

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Jerry Nebel

Posted

Wow Marty. Who would have thunk??

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Grandpa Gus

Posted

Sorry to learn of this.

 

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Felix Estridge

Posted

I'm somewhat suspicious since it has happened multiple times.  @Michael Rielly...would you not think that since Marty has been attacked so many times on more than just one site that it would be someone who knows him and has it out for him?

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Santa Charlie G

Posted

On 5/16/2018 at 5:51 AM, Santa Johnny Boy said:

Crazy to hear that things like this happen!  The Bible says to "guard your heart".  For me, I love everybody but I don't trust anybody.  There's a Santa in my business area who is trying to lead people into thinking that I'm him, trying to lead customers his way.  It actually worked in reverse, and his efforts led to more people finding me, some of who were his longtime customers.

Who would want to hack into Marty's Clausnet account?  Probably someone who wanted to take him down a notch, even try to curtail his involvement.

Hey! Wait a minute...

I can understand this. I have had 2 other Santas in my area that have said negative things about me and to some of my clients. I lost one gig to another Santa that i ask to fill in for me due to him making negative comments. I do not appreciate that at all. But, I will continue to do what I do with the best of my ability and with a good heart. God knows and they will answer to him.

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Santa Johnathan

Posted

Such a headache. I truly hope things get better so that you feel comportable in your participation. It drives me nuts that there are those that just have to ruin everything. I personally miss seeing your presence online, helpful and friendly comments, and a nice helping of sarcasm to keep things fun and not too serious! 

Wishing you the very best my friend. 

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Santa Johnny Boy

Posted

On 6/8/2018 at 5:22 PM, Santa Charlie G said:

I can understand this. I have had 2 other Santas in my area that have said negative things about me and to some of my clients. I lost one gig to another Santa that i ask to fill in for me due to him making negative comments. I do not appreciate that at all. But, I will continue to do what I do with the best of my ability and with a good heart. God knows and they will answer to him.

I found that it is important to resist the urge to speak negative things back about them. Let God fight that battle.  If someone questions me about the other guy I'll respond, "I don't know much about that guy - he hasn't been in business that long." And then I let it go.

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Schwindy

Posted

4 hours ago, Santa Johnny Boy said:

<<<<<<<snipped;;;;;;;;;;
If someone questions me about the other guy I'll respond, "I don't know much about that guy - he hasn't been in business that long." And then I let it go.

Yepper just like Mom and Dad taught us, better to say nothing at all then to say something bad. ..... YES EVEN THOUGH THEY STARTED IT! GOOD for you Pop because I can't say I could do the same thing. I'd rather show up (if there close) and try to talk it out. BUT that being said has lead to a few worst decisions after showing up. (Obviously not talking Santa here.) BNo one would ever pretend to be me in a Santa suit! LOL! 

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