Social Media and Security Back in the News

Facebook has certainly put the issue of privacy into the limelight lately. 

By Sue Poremba | Posted May 20, 2010
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Facebook has certainly put the issue of privacy into the limelight lately. But I think many in the media have the story wrong. Users are always able to control privacy; it is security protection that is being taken from us.

For example, as a Facebook user, I can choose to add a link to my page that might provide third-party users with information about me, or I can choose to steer my friends to the story in a different way. I can decide whether or not to approve third-party applications. I don't have to include my birthday and other personal information.  And so on.  Truth be told, the local grocery store chain probably knows more about me thanks to my affinity card.

Of course, we've learned that social media is an excellent way for enterprises to spread the word on their products and services, as well as learn something about the people who are using their products and services. Obviously, their take on privacy is going to be different from the average person who uses social media to connect with friends. 

The bottom line, as I said, isn't privacy as much as security. Once that information is released into cyberspace, I (and everyone else, I'd assume) want to feel safe that I posted on a safe place and the information isn't landing in the hands of hackers and oher bad guys.

Facebook seems to understand that. A Chicago Tribune article announced the social media site has added two new security features:

Users will now find an option in their account settings tab, called Account Security. That option, if enabled, will send users notifications via e-mail and, if desired, SMS, whenever their accounts are accessed on a computer or mobile product other than the device they're logged into.

Facebook will also start requiring users to input more authorization besides a password whenever it feels suspicious activity is occurring with an account. The first step of that process will require users to verify they're human and not a bot, by typing the letters found in a scrambled CAPTCHA image. From there, they will be asked a personal question, such as their birth date. They might also be asked to identify a friend in a personal image.

On the other hand, it appears that Twitter still has struggles with security. F-secure reported a malware issue on the site. The Gulf oil spill is the hook. Oil spill is hashtagged to make it a trending topic:

The shortlinks in the Tweets point to a page under pc-tv.tv, which uses a Java exploit to drop a keylogger / banking trojan combo to your system.

 

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