If you think emails and web sites are coming under attack from the dark side of online activity, then you don’t want to get too close to social networks like Facebook and Twitter. For this is where the cybercrooks are really turning up the heat.
Sophos’ Security Threat Report: 2010 is a huge, significant review of what we really don’t want to think about – the awful mess that resides underneath on line activity.
There were over 70% more spams on social networking sites last year than the year before, and 36% more malware attacks – and the numbers are rising daily. The biggest security risk is seen to be Facebook, followed by MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Despite the risks it seems that most companies allow staff to use Facebook etc on line at work. And although LinkedIn is not the highest rated risk, this is probably only because fewer people use it. Those in the know say that LinkedIn poses the biggest security risk and Sophos says that by publicly posting information there, companies make it easier for criminals to launch targeted attacks on a corporate directory.
In short, social network use poses a threat to companies, and very few companies have much awareness of how much danger they are in.
Meanwhile, there is widespread awareness that there is a huge threat to companies through the vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer – and yet despite this most firms keep using it – even though it is so simple to switch to Firefox or an alternative free browser. It is important however to consider and download free antivirus software online to help protect your computer against the prevalent threats that exist online. Considering all the risks highlighted in the sophos report, it is important to have antivirus software ready.
The overall answer is simple: don’t allow social networking on your firm’s computers, don’t be tempted to join LinkedIn, and delete Internet Explorer from your computers (although do set up an alternative browser before you do!)
These opinions are of course just mine – but if you want some background here is the full report.
Full report: http://www.sophos.com/sophos/docs/eng/papers/sophos-security-threat-report-jan-2010-wpna.pdf
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