Social Network Users Fail At Security

After the explosion of social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Multiply, Friendster and others, the Internet and its netizens were never the same again. The impact of Web 2.0 in the corporate world and personal lives of people was so tremendous that hackers are turning their attention to these sites.

The danger/threat is not a myth, they are for real but a study made by AVG and the CMO Council reveals that while the social networking community has serious concerns about the overall security of public spaces, few are taking the most basic of steps to protect themselves against online crimes.

The survey shows that while the majority of social networking users are afflicted by web-borne security problems, less than one third are taking actions to protect themselves online. Participants indicated concern over growing phishing, spam and malware attacks, and nearly half of those surveyed are very concerned about their personal identity being stolen in an online community.

The survey was conducted online during the second quarter of 2009 and gathered responses from a random sampling of more than 250 consumers. According to the poll results, despite widespread use (86%) of social networks at home and/or at work, most fail to perform the following basic security measures on a regular basis:
– Changing passwords (64% infrequently or never)
– Adjusting privacy settings (57% infrequently or never)
– Informing their social network administrator (90% infrequently or never)

Despite the apparent security risks and dangers of engaging in social networking sites, respondents identified several common practices that could cause harm to unprotected users:
– 21% accept contact offerings from members they don’t recognize
– More than half let acquaintances or roommates access social networks on their machines
– 64% click on links offered by community members or contacts
– 26% share files within social networks

As a result of this widespread proliferation of links, files, and unsolicited contacts, users have experienced high levels of breaches and threats:
– Nearly 20% have experienced identity theft
– 47% have been victims of malware infections
– 55% have seen phishing attacks

My advice is all of us can have fun while online, we have socialize online but do it with caution, because whether you like it or not, online dangers are real. God Bless us all!

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