Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Internet Safety Issues with Joel Gabel of Google


SafeSearch settings that can be adjusted on the Google toolbar directly
– by default, all users have moderate safesearch turned on
– phishing and malware are biggest threats we see on the internet
right now, so we have worked on developing tools to fight them
– we dont release what OS’s we run to reduce the possible impact of
threats, it harder to find something when you dont know where to look
– we try to develop applications which can assist users

Bank of America fake website example
– Google prompts with message: “Suspected Web Forgery”
– Google toolbar or the FireFox browser will bring up these features
– website covers much of this
– within Firefox you can report a web forgery
– we do get numerous requests for legit websites, so we require the
user to validate the submital

How to avoid phishing
– don’t reply to or click on emails that ask for personal, financial,
or account information
– instead of clicking the links in emails, go to websites directly by
typing the web address into your browser, cut and paste or use
– if on a secure page, look for https at the start of the URL, and the
padlock icon in the browser
– keep your computer’s antivirus, spyware, browser, and security
patches up to date and regularly run system scans (Have a schedule to
do this)
– review your accounts regularly and check for unauthorized activity
– use a browser with a phishing filter (Firefox, IE or Opera)

always think in a public environment about people who come after you,
who try to access the websites you’ve accessed

Malware used to be called spyware
– many people would consider these viruses
– all have intent to steal information or damage your equipment
– good website for more ifo at
– we want our users to feel safe when they search the web
– we have some warnings integrated into our search tool, “This site
may harm your computer”

Removing malware from your computer, we recommend these tools
– Spyware Doctor (starter edition is included for free with the Google Pack)
– Sunbelt Software Counter Spy

– more…

– it is free Internet phone
– Well used product
– doesn’t cost anything, but it can tie up public computers and use up
a lot of your bandwidth

Tools to combat abuse
– community flagging tools, like those on YouTube
– community flagging lets you select reasons to flag: sexually
explicit, mature (over 18), other terms of use violation, graphic
violence, and hate speech)
– now we have a computerized system for flagging videos, but we still
have the human system

Orkut is our equivalent of Facebook, has other report abuse buttons
integrated into it

Product safety features
– key pieces of info about you: your name, your city,
– If you went to a banking site
– aliases were created on the internet to give a level of anonymity
– it is VERY important that you can trust the people you talk to on the Internet
– real world incidents are happening as a result

GMail features
– spam filtering
– search mail
– organize
– chat built in
– label, filter, star
– mobile access
– storage
– good ads
– save time
– all for free

At google we use all our own products (including Gmail)
– always log out

Safety features built into GMail
– report spam
– also has a built-in spam filter
– there was a bad virus a few years ago that said “I love you” so
sometimes messages with that text gets dropped into spam as a result
of previous threats

Algorithm changes and grows for spam identification based on user spam reports
– we are not about saying we know everything, we don’t
– we need your (the users) help to identify new trends as well

Google is always trying to get input from users to improve products
– have new warnings now: “This message may not be from whom it claims
to be. Beware of following any links in it or of providing the sender
with any personal information. Learn More.”

Google Checkout
– Google’s equivalent of PayPal
– we do our best to protect your sensitive data
– we want to make sure once you submit it to us we do what is right to
protect your information

Child Safety on the internet
– we have really gotten involved
– is really interested in helping anyone, our philanthropic arm
– Google responds to legal requests with a dedicated staff

Family safety guide

Educating users through our products
– we provide users with tips and articles for staying safe and
protecting their privacy while using our products

We grant up to 10K to non prophet companies in the Google AdWords program
– free advertising for NFP this includes some of the Internet safety
education sites

Organizations that parner: NCMEC, CEOP,, Common
Sense Media, the fAmily Online Safety Institute, i-Safe, iKeepSafe,
Net Family News, more…

Getting the message out on YouTube
– we are working with CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection and others

a LOT of people watching YouTube every day, we should ask our
employees what they are doing
– YouTube is free
– we can help push lots of information out on our channels
– this is about a global impact

Recognition software on YouTube is brand new
– millions of videos are viewed
– we do our best to make all information available on the internet
– we do our best to not post things that are evil

Google wants to have 100 employees by the end of construction in Oklahoma
– in Jan 2009 will open for limited testing, and production later in 2009
– There are 4 Google employees now in Oklahoma


Using Google analytics is giving good information to librarians
– web browsers DO log the referring URL for all websites

We should be talking about IT etiquette
– email can be taken the wrong way, I re-write many emails at least
twice, I want to get my message across correctly
– show your family/students what is right

If my laptop gets stolen, I am worried about what someone may do with
my laptop, I do everything I can to protect my data

Great case of a young girl talking to someone online
– she gave her name and the city where she lived
– he asked what her school mascot is
– now that person had enough information to find that little girl
– we need to educate our children about those kinds of situations, how
that type of info can be exploited by someone with malicious intent

The internet is so global, and there are people with bad intent, all
those people existed before the Internet– but the Internet has changed
how they communicate

Question from a librarian from city of Stillwater
– thinks their email filtering is great
– knows someone working for a state agency who has terrible email filtering
– they should direct their issues to their IT department
– Antispyware and antispam can be very expensive, its often hard to
move after investing in a product for a businesses

Google is an analytics company, we analyze data

I will not say what I use to log what my son does online, but I use a
commercial product.

Question from a librarian about cartoon pornography
– people are likely not finding that by accident
– need to make sure safe search is turned on
– content filters don’t always work with other forms of media requests
– please help us by reporting those images and video’s

Re-image is the best way to return a PC to a working state if you get malware
– this is done all all the time
– often easier to keep a single image for quicker recovery

Keep yourself safe

you do not want to leave your bluetooth on unless your using it.
– people can detect bluetooth devices at 10 to 15ft

if you are not using wifi on your laptop, turn it off
– in a public place, that can be very dangerous

don’t click “keep my password” on anything
– that can save you from many headaches
– even on your home computer – problem is, many people leave their
computers on when they leave the house

I recommend you change your passwords often and randomly, not every 90 days
– some people change every 17 days, because that is impossible to
track on a calendar
– don’t use anything as a password that someone can find in your house
(not pet name, relative’s name, etc)

Remember what you put on the internet IS public

You too have to be a geek now, because there just aren’t enough geeks
to go around! Knowledge is the key to Internet Safety.

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5 responses to “Internet Safety Issues with Joel Gabel of Google”

  1. Jim Avatar

    Wes, could you relay to Joel the idea of a “Schoogle” (school + google) website where the safest level of searching for websites and images is automatically on? Kind of like a yahooligans.

  2. Wesley Fryer Avatar

    Joel says he will forward this off to his guys to see if there is an “edu version” like what you are describing. I know there are proxy server solutions that can enforce strict Google searching for images. I’ve heard some tech directors talk about how they have used that in the past. It would be great if there was a way for schools to configure their network to just do safe/strict Google searching tho.

  3. Nevin Avatar

    Not only should you turn off your wireless device when not in use in public, you should turn of your bluetooth. Bluetooth is more dangerous and it is easier to read information off of a bluetooth device–whether that be your laptop or mobile phone. Most people don’t use their bluetooth device often so make a habit of turning it off. Also, if you are working in a public area then start thinking about your physical security. Don’t leave your laptop on table at a coffee shop when you go to get a refill or use the bathroom. Take it with you!

    Also, why are you entering your credit card details to make a web purchase without a privacy filter? Be smart and pick up a viewguard privacy filter ( so you don’t let everyone around you see your credit card details or your online banking/investment account details.

    Lastly, Avast is an awesome free spyware/malware tool. I think it is the best I have used.

  4. Cathy Nelson Avatar

    Not finished processing yet, but one thing that stands out to me–Google uses their own operating system…WHAT? You mean they are not a devoted loyal user of Linus, Windows XP, MAC, or Gasp, Vista??? Speaks VOLUMES all by itself.

  5. Wesley Fryer Avatar

    Indeed. That caught my attention as well. I guess that is a good way to make sure you don’t get viruses – run your own operating system! I didn’t ask but if I had to make a bet, I’d think they are running a custom distribution of Linux.