Security Guide to Social Networks


Social networking sites are websites designed for human interaction. They enable users to meet others; keep in touch
with them; and share experiences, feelings, and opinions. They are all built on a similar foundation—the user builds
a network of contacts bound by an element of trust. The user then creates content for his/her friends and, in turn,
accesses the content they have created. This content can include such diverse things as holiday pictures, interesting
links, latest news, opinions, comments, and mood updates.

The potential for mischief and malicious activities arises when one or more of those contacts breaks your trust. When
that happens, a number of things can go wrong such as:

  • Your contact’s account was compromised and somebody else is using it.
  • You added somebody to your network that you thought you knew but, in fact, you did not.
  • You added somebody you thought was trustworthy but he/she turns out not to be.
  • Insufficient use of privacy controls caused you to share data with people you never intended.

This document (check link below) will cover the most common areas of attack using social networks and will recommend ways of minimizing risks. The goal of this paper is not to stop you from participating in social networks but to enable you to use them more safely.

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