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Social Networking Can Be A Dangerous Thing

I was reading an article today about the dangers of friending anyone on Social Networks like Facebook.

So very true. Here’s a tidbit of what he said:

First, cybercriminals will increasingly leverage personal information on social networking sites to more closely hone their attacks to their targets. This leads to the second trend, which is that the amount of socially engineered spam will skyrocket. Oh, and data breaches will help the cybercriminals.

The latest trend in data security is risk management, which can be equated to, “If I lose that much data, what will it cost me?” Enterprises can then do a calculation of the cost-benefit ratio and figure out whether or not the risk is worthwhile, much as Ford did with the Pinto, that tin can which was a ball of flame waiting to happen.

Then, stock scams will rise. Pump and dump scams will seem like nothing; Avert Labs researchers expect cybercriminals to falsely advertise security vulnerabilities in software or management changes at a public company.. Makes one wonder if the recent, untrue report of Steve Jobs having a heart attack was a scam, doesn’t it?

Lastly, the bad guys will capitalize on users’ desire to protect their PCs by faking security updates. McAfee has seen an increase in malicious software posing as applications from security vendors. Click on them and you’ve just gone on the highway to a very warm place. Source.

I especially liked the comment immediately below the post:

I heard this sound advice at a recent seminar I attended, “Don’t do something on-line that you wouldn’t do in person.” This includes throwing sheep, poking people on Facebook and similar behavior on other social networking sites. This article is another good example that unless you’re Clark Kent and have more than one valuable identity, it’s better to exercise caution.

Amen. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Like Jonah I don’t enjoy preaching the end of the world, but somebody has to raise the alarm. There’s just too much opportunity for abuse by the cyber creeps to not care.

So here’s a tip from your friendly Blog Bloke. Please take all necessary precautions to protect your online identity, unless you intend to enter the FBI Social Networking Witness Protection Program.

Tell them Guido sent you. Ciao!

Written October 19th, 2008 by | 196 Comments | Filed under: Featured Tips, Miscellaneous Blog Tips, Security Tips, Social Media Tips ,

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196 Responses to “Social Networking Can Be A Dangerous Thing”

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  1. 1
    Dennis Edell Says:

    It started with message boards and chat rooms and only gets worse from there my man.

    Dennis Edells last blog post…Comment Issue Temporarily Fixed - That’s Where The Good News Ends

  2. 2
    Dennis Edell Says:

    CommentLuv acting up again.

    Dennis Edells last blog post…Comment Issue Temporarily Fixed - That’s Where The Good News Ends

  3. 3
    Shruti Says:

    As long as we take general precautions, things will not turn so bad.

    Shruti

    Shrutis last blog post…Spiritual Quotient

  4. 4
    Blog Bloke Says:

    Prevention is worth a pound of cure they say. Or like I said on another comment:

    Nobody wants to believe that it can happen to them. Well it can … and it will. So don’t wait until it’s too late.

  5. 5
    Nutri Says:

    I am trying to use social media to help build my business but it’s worrying how much info you need to give them… I try and keep my facebook as closed as possible.

  6. 6
    Vid Digger Says:

    Nutri, social networks is about keeping in touch with people you know, and for the needy, bumping up their friend count with strangers who will never visit them again.

    Starting a blog using Wordpress or Blogger will do more for your business than any social network can. Through blogging, you’ll be able to connect with people without giving any personal information away.

  7. 7
    Vid Digger Says:

    “Through blogging, you’ll be able to connect with people without giving any personal information away.”

    Talk about bad grammar. Guess it’s time I hit the sack.

  8. 8
    ben leefield Says:

    Ah! The scary internet, blogbloke - its not that bad, and reading some of your other posts, you don’t believe it either!

    The reason this is of direct interest to me is that I run a website called WikiWorldBook which is a Global Address Book and People Search engine, where people can be easily found by old friends and colleagues using a search engine like Google and then emailed without having to expose their contact details. In fact all you need to display is a name, at its most basic. Our site also has a social element to it, but it is primarily an address book, with an extremely powerful spam filter, so you don’t get plagued by people you don’t want to hear from.

    I really don’t believe the web is that dangerous, if you are as careful as you described above. Online conversations, such as we are having now, are perfectly safe, but if you start giving away personal information like your date of birth or arranging to meet a total stranger in a stange part of town after dark, then that is something completely different.

  9. 9
    Blog Bloke Says:

    Hi Ben.

    It’s like anything else. You have to be sensible with the information you disclose. You have to understand that everything you write is gobbled up by the search engines and the Social Networks. It becomes public information and you can’t take it back.

    The problem is a lot of people (especially young people who think they will live forever) have a tendency to throw caution to the wind. I just keep harping so that sooner or later it sinks in. ;-)

    I like your idea of a global search engine for social networks. I’ve bookmarked it just in case I need to find myself. :-)

  10. 10
    Blog Bloke Says:

    I couldn’t agree more.

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