UNIT Security Update: Social Networking
Social networking sites are one of the most exciting and powerful technologies on the Internet. These are virtual, online communities allowing people to connect to each other from around the world.
Each of these sites (such as LinkedIn or Facebook) are set up differently, but they are all designed to allow you to decide what information you want to share, how often, and with whom. Some people update their sites daily or even hourly, posting what they are doing, where they work and their interests. What makes these sites so powerful is how easy it is to share with others and to watch and learn what others are doing. However, with these capabilities come many risks you need to be aware of.
1. Sharing Your Information
Social websites allow you to post and share a tremendous amount of information. The concern is, if you’re not careful, sharing this information can harm you.
§ Criminals may look for highly personal information and based on details you’ve shared, they may be able to guess passwords, impersonate you online, or even steal your identity. Never post personal details such as your birth date, home address, or identification numbers.
§ In addition, organizations hiring new employees or universities reviewing new students often do background checks on popular social networking sites such as Facebook. If a posting is something you would not want your boss, future employer or family to see, you should not post it.
2. Others Posting Information About You
Even more challenging to control is information others publish about you. Photographs, videos, or online chat sessions can easily be shared. Always inform your friends what information they can and cannot share about you. Some social network sites will notify you if others have posted information about you. In addition, many social networking sites have an abuse contact, if someone will not take down personal information about you, then contact the website’s abuse center.
3. Third Party Apps and Games
Some social websites have additional third-party programs, such as games you can install. These programs are not always developed or reviewed by the social networking website and can be potentially harmful to your computer or may grant access your private information.
4. Trusting Others
One of the exciting features about social networking is the ability to quickly and easily interact with others.
§ The issue is these websites make it easy for attackers to impersonate people you trust. Only accept friends or contacts you know.