Social Networking Security Threats

Tips and best practices

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Protection strategies for social networking

Facebook has its own Facebook Security page. But we also recommend reviewing the Sophos best practice guidelines for Facebook privacy settings with your organization’s staff and setting up ongoing security training and awareness. You can also keep up to date with the real threats on Facebook by encouraging all users to join the Sophos Facebook page. Our Facebook page alerts you to the latest rogue applications, scams and malware attacks threatening social network users. You can also learn how to clean up your Facebook profile after a survey scam in this Sophos YouTube video.

Facebook security best practices: A summary

  • Adjust Facebook Privacy settings
  • Read the Facebook Guide to Privacy
  • Think carefully about choosing your friends
  • Show “limited friends” a cut-down version of your profile
  • Disable options, then open them one by one

If you’re a victim of rogue Twitter applications, you can remove their rights by going to the Twitter website and visiting Settings/Applications and revoking the offending app’s rights. Twitter also has a Safety Center within its Help center and blog posts on how to Avoid Phishing Scams. You can get regular status updates on Twitter by following @safety and @spam. And, be sure to follow @SophosLabs to get regular updates to protect your business.

LinkedIn’s blog discusses security issues and includes posts such as Protecting yourself from hackers and Quick tips on Security and Privacy.

Consider working with your communications team to put a Social Media Policy in place for your company that includes not only how to communicate using social media, but also how to protect yourself on these sites. Also realize that some sites let you broadcast your messages between different social networks. For instance, you can choose to have all of your LinkedIn updates also sent out as tweets, but remember that your audience on Twitter can be anyone, whereas only your own network can view LinkedIn updates.

Finally keep your antivirus software up to date, install the latest security patches and if you’re looking for news, go to the legitimate news websites, rather than clicking on a link that sent by a friend.

For more information or to read the Sophos Security Threat Report Mid-Year 2011 in its entirety, download now.

Download full report