Bad Week for Social Networking

4. March 2009 – 21:32 by Susie Ruston

Facebook has had a bad week with five different security issues coming to light.  Hackers are coming up with new ways to steal valuable data from users by manipulating the trust and social links that drive the network.  The latest being the posting of a fake YouTube link within profiles which releases a malicious malware when clicked. (

So how do we stay social online whilst protecting ourselves? A 2006 study by Awad and Krishnan noted that whilst users will express very strong concerns about the privacy of their personal information, they will be less than vigilant about safeguarding it. A statement that possibly reflects my own use. As a non-techy-type I know not to include my date of birth in a public online space, but am I being too trusting by providing other personal information in the pursuit of social interaction?

With the upsurge of these hard-to-spot attacks, do I need to do more to protect my own data, or do we need Social Network sites to have higher levels of protection mechanisms and policies to protect members?  Or, will measures like these affect the use of the sites?

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