Twitter: it’s all about me

I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m still getting quite a lot of requests  to "follow" me on Twitter on an account that’s "protected". So I’m going to explain in a little more detail how this works. Or at least how it works for me…

At the beginning of the year, it was suggested that it would be useful if I had an account on Twitter, so that colleagues would know not to send me urgent requests for input on some issue or other while I was flying over Iceland or Iran or somewhere else beginning with an "I". Or whatever.

That made sense to me, so I opened an account, strictly for the convenience of people that I work with. (Actually, I opened it in Dallas in February during an ice-storm, which felt a lot like Iceland at the time.)

Being a paranoid sort of person (that’s not unusual in the security industry, I’m afraid) I "protected" the account, which means that anyone with a twitter account can request to follow me, but it won’t happen unless I actually accept the request (much the same as approving "friend" requests on a million and a half other social networking sites, though this sort of mechanism goes way back (in principle)  before "Web 2.0" to earlier connectivity providers like AOL and Compuserve.

However, "follower" requests on Twitter often don’t actually tell you much about the requester. In fact, more often than not, they don’t give you a means of contacting the requester unless you actually approve them. But I don’t usually go that far on a first date. ;-)

So, if you find and want to follow the ESET Twitter account with my name in it, I’m afraid you’ll have to email me first with your account name, if I’m not likely to recognize it). However, I won’t approve anyone for that account that I don’t work with in an ESET context. That’s because once in a blue moon information goes over it that shouldn’t go to anyone outside ESET or our partners. Which occasionally puts me in the embarrassing position of telling close friends, family etc. that I can’t approve them for that account unless they get a job with us. :-)

However, there is an @ESETblog account. That’s the one I use to share information, acquire information from other researchers, publicly announce blogs etc, and so on, and it isn’t protected.  Except by the fact that I rarely check on who’s following me, so I’ve no idea how many gorgeous Russian women are hoping to make my acquaintance (I live in hope, but I think Graham Cluley has cornered the market there) or whether Mikeyy Mouse is squeaking away to get my attention.  So anyone is welcome to follow me there, and you’re missing very little on the other account.

But if you want to be sure of getting my attention, email is still the best route: I don’t follow many people. If you don’t have any of my email addresses (and several of them are public enough to use as spam honeypots!), leave a comment here. Blog spammers not welcome, but those are pretty well flltered anyway. :)

Director of Malware Intelligence

Author David Harley, ESET

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