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Your Top 10 Social Networking Risks

by Neal O'Farrell on July 30th, 2010

At last, it’s here. The list you’ve been waiting so long for (at least I have). A major network security company has just released what it regards as the Top 10 risks you can expect if you’re a fan of social networking.

Now I have to caution you, so you’re not too disappointed, that the list probably doesn’t contain anything we haven’t brought to your attention before (you’re welcome). But we thought it might be useful if you had a simple list of the most dangerous traps all in the one place.

So here are some of the more obvious threats, and not in any particular order:

• Worms, like Koobface, that try to spread to as many of your friends and connections as possible so they can spam them a lot.

• Phishing, especially emails that tell you that you’ve been locked out of your favorite online haunt and need to change your password in order to reclaim your life and friends.

• Trojans, always a nasty threat, will usually try to get you to click on a link or watch a cool video, while the real intent is to sneak on to your computer and rob you blind. Of your data, at least.

• Data leaks – not security breaches by sites like FaceBook or MySpace, but data giveaways by people just like you, revealing too much information about your family, friends, job, and life.

• Shortened web links like bit.ly and tinyurl can easily be used to hide the true identity of the web site you’re visiting, and instead lead you into a dark alley in a very bad part of town.

Those were the easy and obvious ones, so now for the less obvious:

Botnets, networks of hijacked computers and online identities that are used for all kinds of nefarious acts, from spam to porn distribution, are actively targeting places like Twitter to launch their attacks and trick more unwary users.

Lessons learned?

• Make the most out of social networking, but always use these sites with your scam sensor turned to high.

Read the full list of the Top 10 Social Networking Threats

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