Friday, August 19, 2011

Security risks increase on social networking sites because of natural human gullibility

A story by Steve Ragan in Tech Herald maintains that “many social networking platforms are still a gold mine for criminals online”, link (website url) here

The report cites a study by Webroot (tweeted yesterday), which examines the natural tendency for people to trust their “friends”.  But you can’t know a thousand people well enough, and that’s where the crooks can get in.

People who use the web more as a publishing platform and who network passively seem to be at less risk.

Younger adults -- professionals and college students, especially talented, attractive or popular “kids”, often attract hundreds of friends or followers.  So do people whose business is to build client leads and sell to them, like insurance agents.   The problem is that among so many people, a few will be untrustworthy.  It can be dangerous, for example, to announce vacation plans or when you will not be home.

Webroot reports that over 18% of social networking users have been infected by Koobface viruses.

Pew did a study on the perception of Internet users on their friends’ “trustworthiness”.

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