Benefits Of Program Records That May Change Your Perspective


You may have heard that not all records are created equal. And while there is some truth to that, it’s important to remember that at the end of the day they are records — they keep your program on track, provide you with valuable insights into what is and isn’t working, and allow you to make better decisions. Programs used to secretly record an individual’s activities on the internet are called “honeypots,” and they are designed to catch those who attempt to illicitly access information.

In 2009, a group of hackers were caught trying to retrieve a list of United States military personnel with security clearances (a “top secret” classification) from the Department of Defense (DoD). Although this program wasn’t strictly for the purposes of espionage, it does show that if you’ve got something to hide, you probably will find a way. However, because it was an internal DoD application, the program’s existence was not made public until 2011 (five years later). In other words, there wasn’t much benefit in keeping it secret.

The program’s goal was to motivate “white hat” hackers (those who find vulnerabilities in order to assist with improvement) to help the government identify weak spots in its systems. In other words, they wanted people to attempt to hack the system in order to find security holes, so they could be fixed. However, the hackers weren’t looking for ways to help — they were looking for information that would benefit them financially or otherwise.

By using a honeypot program the government was able to see how easy it is for a hacker to get access and what type of information is available on public facing websites (information that anyone with enough money can buy).

Benefits Of Program Records That May Change Your Perspective :

1. Eliminate The Guesswork

A few years ago I worked with a non-profit to help them create a program that would allow them to better serve their audience. The program began as a relatively simple concept, but after working with stakeholders it was decided that they should split the existing program into two separate offerings. So what did we do? We decided to hire a developer who could create two different websites — one for each desired program — and we split the traffic between them. In addition, we created records for both versions of the site so that we would have an accurate way to determine which ideas worked and which did not.

A few months after launching, we realized we had made a mistake. We had been testing our assumptions by using test analytics and program records — and we had learned something important. What seemed like a brilliant idea at the time resulted in a broad audience that was not as engaged as they could have been if they had been given the information they needed to make this decision.

2. Prevent False Advertising

When I worked with one of my previous clients, I discovered shortly after signing them up for their first control that they were claiming to be a certain type of defensive instrument when they weren’t (and everyone else in the industry was doing exactly the opposite). This was unethical and could have put their customers at risk.

While there are not a lot of gray areas when it comes to false advertising, I like to believe that my work on this program helped me prevent a company from misleading their customers.

3. Show The World How Awesome You Are (Without Saying A Word)

When United States Secret Service agents tracked down an online hacker who had stolen information from the Pentagon in December 2014, they discovered that he had taken credit for breaking in and posting a message to the group’s website urging other hackers to target US military systems. Using program records the government was able to track him down and arrest him before he could post another message (and potentially cause more harm).

Program records like this can demonstrate the power of your program and capture the attention of your peers, customers, and potential customers. In this case the government wasn’t trying to keep it a secret – they were simply waiting for an opportunity to use it to their advantage.

4. Help You Prioritize

Program records are also great for prioritizing in areas where you’re struggling. For example, finding out exactly how much traffic a site has and what that traffic looks like can help you know whether or not it’s worthwhile to collect more information on a particular topic area. Also, if you have existing records of activity but transition to a new program, these records can be invaluable since they will help you determine whether or not the change was successful.

5. Keep Up To Date

Even if you are not a government agency, you can still benefit from program records. By setting them up correctly they will help you keep track of your changes and transition to a new program. You can also use them to measure the impact of your communications — if you discover that your audience has modified their behavior based on the content of your messages, it’s likely because they took action as a result of what they read in those messages.

6. Identify Programming Issues

Program records allow you to identify programming issues more quickly and give managers the ability to get involved when there is something going on that needs their attention.


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