In case you have lived under a rock, social networks are very popular. LinkedIn (LNKD) has over 100 million users; 1 billion tweets are posted on Twitter each week and Facebook is approaching 1 billion users.
Despite these numbers, they also open users up to more computer viruses and online threats according to a report from Webroot on Help Net Security.The article details a few of the threats social network users face include:
Bogus e-mails from “friends”: The blog warns that hackers lure users into taking actions they shouldn’t by making it seem as if a friend within their social network has sent them an in-network e-mail – only the e-mail is from a hacker who’s hijacked the friend’s account.
Malicious links or bait: This type of scam involves personal messages to users that encourage them to click on a link. Doing so can do a number of things including sending users to a fake website, where they’re prompted to download and install an executable file that turns out to be a virus that infects the user’s PC explains the author.
Identity theft: Social network users who share personal information with their entire network of friends such as birth dates, addresses, pets’ names and other details leave themselves vulnerable to hackers who may guess their passwords and access their profiles based on the personal information they shared reports Help Net Security.
Be skeptical – E-mails, friend requests, Web site links and other items from sources you do not know could be malware.
Use privacy settings – Social Networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, offer privacy settings that let you control who sees your posts and personal information. Use them to control who access to your page, contact information, etc.
Protect your password – Choose your passwords wisely, incorporate numbers, letters and special characters, and never use the same password at more than one site.
For those who may need new internet security software, you should select a program that has a multi-level security program to:
* Block viruses, spyware, spam, Trojans, worms, rootkits and keyloggers
* Make your PC invisible to hackers
* Encrypt passwords and remember them for you
* Offer multi-layer identity protection
* Provide firewall security.
- Avira Teams with secure.me for Facebook Security (pcworld.com)
- Social Network for Activists Resets 18 Million Passwords Following a Security Breach (pcworld.com)
- ‘Ramnit’ malware targets Facebook, steals 45,000 passwords (business.financialpost.com)