Facebook has been the target of cybercrime for some time now, largely because…well, it’s a big target, easy to hit, and not protected. A big target because there are 500 million Facebook users who regularly fire up their computers and spend time on the Facebook.com site. Easy to hit because most Facebook users are, on average, very social, friendly, trusting, and not particularly aware of the perils of cybercrime. See Facebook Ranked #1 Riskiest Social Media Application: Internet déjà vu? And because the malware threats are “presented” to the user in a different form than the norm, most anti-malware programs don’t expose them.
That being said, I ask “What’s to be done?” to reduce the malware and make Facebook, and other social networking sites, safer for their users?
I’ve written a handful of articles over the last couple of years on the subject of Facebook, their users, etc., and the general theme of them has been there’s a threat and the users need to better protect themselves. However, there’s not been much improvement. In fact, it’s gotten worse. It occurs to me that maybe we computer-experienced, cybercrime knowledgeable guys have been asking the Facebook user to do something they’re not capable of doing.
Because they are very social, friendly, trusting, and not particularly aware of the perils of cybercrime, perhaps they are not at all equipped to do what’s needed to avoid cybercrime; be less social and friendly in sharing personal information and communicating with anyone who sends them a request or status; less trusting; and yes, they need to educate themselves in the practice of Internet security…to the extent they can. So…”What’s to be done?”
Facebook.com, the other player in this environment, has been tremendously successful targeting…there’s that word again, the social user described above. They’re making loads of money servicing the 500 million users. My suggestion to Facebook.com is to take some responsibility to protect their users; because they’re very social, friendly, trusting, and not particularly aware of the perils of cybercrime and desperately need their help. Facebook.com has made security improvements to allow their users to better secure the information in their profiles, but nothing much has been done in the areas of malware-laden apps and anti-malware control. In my opinion, they have barely scratched the surface of the problem. Take some responsibility.
What do you think? Have you any suggestions on “what’s to be done?”
As always, I appreciate your comments on this subject…so please do. And be careful out there…it’s extremely dangerous these days.
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Home computing is a blast…keep it safe, productive and enjoyable.
lubicp(at)yahoo.com and @paulsinternet on Twitter.