One in five online consumers has been a victim of cybercrime in the past two years. Social networking is a direct link to the problem. While social networks allow you to keep in touch with family and friends, there are issues to be concerned about.
Most concerns revolve around online reputation management, identity theft, or physical security issues. Social networking creates a risk of posting content that will be damaging to yourself, your profile being hacked or your credentials being compromised, or inviting burglars to your home by publicizing your whereabouts.
Facebook faces a security challenge that few companies, or even governments, have ever faced: protecting more than 500 million users of a service that is under constant attack. I’m a huge proponent of “personal responsibility,” and that means that you are ultimately responsible for protecting yourself.
Keep your guard up. Cybercriminals target Facebook frequently. Every time you click on a link, you should be aware of the risks.
Be careful about making personal information public. Sharing your mother’s name, your pet’s name, or your boyfriend’s name, for example, provides criminals with clues to guess your passwords.
Technology can help make social networking more secure. The most common threats to Facebook users are links to spam and malware sent from compromised accounts. Consumers must be sure to have an active security software subscription, and not to let it lapse.
Get a complimentary antivirus software subscription from McAfee. Simply “like” McAfee’s Facebook page, go to “McAfee 4 Free,” and choose your country from the dropdown menu to download a six-month subscription to McAfee’s AntiVirus Plus software. The software protects users’ PCs from online threats, viruses, spyware, other malware, and includes the award-winning SiteAdvisor website rating technology. After the six-month McAfee AntiVirus Plus subscription period, Facebook users may be eligible for special discount subscription pricing.
Robert Siciliano is a McAfee consultant and identity theft expert. See him discuss hackers hacking social media on Fox Boston.