SECURITY TO THE CORE

The top 7 mistakes Facebook users make..


With over 520 million active users at the time of this post’s release, half of which log in at least once per day, Facebook is at the top of the website food chain. About 42% of users in the Internet are on Facebook. In my experience, the majority of people on Facebook are super friendly and they do not care about their privacy.

Over the past few months, I have noticed a massive increase in the number of Facebook accounts being hacked or hijacked by hackers using Phishing and Clickjacking (Likejacking) attacks. When people enter into the Facebook universe, they are unaware of the rules and even do not READ privacy guidelines and end up making many mistakes.

Here are some common mistakes that users make on Facebook and other social network websites:

1. Unsafe password practices

The password that you use to access your Facebook account is a gateway to your online life.

Many Facebook users use weak or unsafe passwords. If you use a weak password that a hacker can easily guess, you are asking for trouble. It is always a good practice to use different strong passwords and change it often. There are many free tools available on the internet such as Microsoft’s Password Checker, which is an application designed to Check Your Passwords’ Strength.

2. Exposing too much of yourself

Many users share their personal information like telephone number, email address, the location of their home, date of birth, etc. on Facebook, which makes them victim of identity theft.

3. Configuration Dilemma

Another common mistake most Facebook users make is not configuring their Facebook privacy settings. Mind your privacy settings, or anybody and everybody can easily see your whole life story. For example, keep you photo albums private and only share them with friends.

4. Use of untrusted Facebook application

Many users install applications they do not need. Every time they do that, they are showing an implicit trust in whoever wrote the application, which offers a green-field of opportunity for hackers and online predators and makes them capable of plundering their account information, swiping their "friends," or locking them out of their own account.

5. Over-friending

According to a recent survey commissioned by a Security Company, 31% of respondents said that they generally accept strangers’ friend requests. Most of them may not realize that by accepting friend requests from people they do not know, they are potentially opening themselves up to identity theft or related crimes. DO NOT trust anyone. Be suspicious of all users even if they claim to be a friend of yours.

6. Unwanted Clicks

Many unsuspecting Facebook users are tricked into clicking on bogus/malicious links that either redirects their web browsers to a phishing site or to other malicious sites in an effort to compromise their account as well as their system.

Do not just click on advertisements or any suspecting links on your Facebook page. Some of the ads can contain malware and will infect your PC. Be sure you have an up-to-date Anti-Virus or Internet Security Software.

7. Lack of awareness

Many users do not inform their friends about potential security threats. Your security is only as good as your friend’s security. Many Facebook users put too much trust in messages and posts that appear to come from friends’ accounts but they do not realize that if a friend’s password/profile is hacked, it can bring his friends (and you) in danger.

Many Facebook users have the burning desire to click on a tempting link that a Facebook friend suggests to them or one that he/she has ‘LIKED’. However, they always tend to forget that this could be a malicious link or may be a Clickjacking/ Likejacking attack.

You should be extremely cautious about clicking on links and whenever you have a doubt about a particular link on a Friend’s Facebook profile, do not click on it at any cost.

Remember, “It’s better to be Safe than Sorry”

While social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or Orkut can be fun, productive and profitable services, it is also important for users to be aware of the risks that they pose. By using some common sense and easy precautions, user can ensure a seamless experience to the bright side of social networking sites, and not become yet another victim to the cyber-crooks.

I hope that the tips I’ve provided are helpful and informative.

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One response

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention The top 7 mistakes Facebook users make.. « Tєchno Nxt -- Topsy.com

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