A small survey (“250 consumers”) found that, while a majority of social networkers are “afflicted by Web-borne security problems,” less than a third of them are doing anything about it, its press release said. The sample is small (more on that in a moment), but the results are suggestive of where social networkers run into trouble as far as computer security’s concerned. More than a fifth (21%) of social site users “accept contact offerings [friend requests] from members they don’t recognize”; 50+% “let acquaintances or roommates access social networks on their machines”; 64% “click on links [which can lead them to malicious sites] offered by community members or contacts”; 26% “share files within social networks.” The study, sponsored by security firm AVG and CMO Council, also found that, in spite of that risky behavior, 64% infrequently or never change their passwords, 57% “infrequently or never” use privacy settings, and 90% “infrequently or never” let the site know they’ve had problems. Even so, nearly 20% “have experienced identity theft”; 47% have been “victims of malware infections”; and 55% have “seen phishing attacks.” But besides the small sample and limited detail on the study, there’s another important caveat: “To say that users of social-networking sites have been exposed to phishing and malware would be like saying that most people who eat spinach are likely to have had measles when they were children. There is a correlation, but no evidence of causality,” ConnectSafely co-director Larry Magid, wrote in his CNET blog. See his blog for some good security advice, and check out ConnectSafely’s tips for rock-solid passwords.
Social networkers’ computer (in)security habits: Study
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- Pretty faces in social media vs. mass media
- Risk implications of kids going mobile: Research
- A positive, insightful new book for schools on bullying
- Students called heroes in this 6th-grade class
- In the face of school violence, what do we default to?
- Popularity: The other kind of vulnerability
- FB & Oculus VR: The potential of a virtual-reality platform
- What’s (importantly) different about Snapchat
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- Anonymous apps and services are not synonymous with ominous
- Facebook’s ‘Nearby Friends’ feature: What you need to know
- Identity theft a problem from cradle to grave — Kids most vulnerable
- How to protect your family from Heartbleed security flaw (slideshow)
- Beware of Heartbleed inspired phishing scams
- Are sites you use vulnerable to Heartbleed security flaw?
- Microsoft ends support of Windows XP: Machines highly vulnerable to security risks
- The evolution of online safety: Lessons learned over 20 years