Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Survey Shows Users of Social Networking Sites Tend to Reveal Their Personal Info

Social networking users could be putting themselves at risk of identity theft by giving away personal details too easily, research out today suggests. Two in five people who use the social networking site revealed personal information to a stranger, according to a snapshot survey. They gave email addresses, dates of birth, addresses and even phone numbers to an unknown user.

Technology firm, Sophos, set up a profile page on the website with a picture of a green frog called Freddi Staur – an anagram of I.D. fraudster. Sophos then sent 200 “friend requests” to Facebook users from the frog. It got reactions from 87 people, of which 82 gave away some of their personal information.

Of the 41% of respondents who leaked personal details, 87% gave their education or workplace, 84% listed their dates of birth and 72% gave one or more email address. Nearly a quarter (23%) even listed their phone numbers, Sophos found.

Facebook users can either accept or reject incoming “friend requests”. Users can also choose whether to let the sender see all their details or a limited part of their profile.

In most cases “Freddi” had access to the respondents’ photos of family and friends, likes and dislikes, hobbies, and other personal information.

Sophos senior technology consultant, Graham Cluley, warned: “What’s worrying is how easy it was for Freddi to go about his business. He now has enough information to create phishing emails or malware specifically targeted at individual users or businesses, to guess users’ passwords, impersonate them or even stalk them.”

Some of the respondents who did not accept Freddi’s friend request replied with messages such as “Who are you?” and “Do I know you?”. Even these brief replies gave Freddi access to the respondents’ Facebook profiles in most cases.

Sophos praised Facebook’s privacy settings, saying they were better than many of those offered by other social networking sites. The firm urged users to make full use of Facebook’s privacy features and to be wary of unsolicited messages received via the website.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Cybercrime, Computer Hacking, and Spyware Attacks: Trend, Tragedy, or Opportunity?

The more I study and learn about the dark, criminal side of the Internet, the more convinced I become about the opportunity it presents to offer a base of services for my loved ones, friends, and acquaintances via direct security services and online education. That's why, as an Internet Safety Advocate and Educator, I devote the bulk of my time educating them and the public about the dark side and the protective steps they can take.

On a campaign for Internet safety awareness and protection, my mission is to bring critical awareness to individuals, families, and small business owners, and provide access to the necessary tools and ongoing expertise to secure their computer and help them stay protected. I have taken on this mission so that they can help take back the Internet, making it safe for themselves, their children, and their children's children.

Internet threats to our families, our businesses and our country have already reached epidemic proportions. And according to the federal government and leaders in the Internet and computer industries, it's only going to get worse. There's been a 543% increase in reported cyber-attacks in the United States since the year 2000.

And more than 27 million adults in the United States are now victims of credit and identity theft. This is a extremely significant problem for every Internet user. With almost 3 million new Internet users coming online every month in the United States alone, personal Internet security is the hottest new upcoming trend in the technology industry. There is an enormous need for the Internet security solution!

Ever wish you could have owned Microsoft or iPod stock from their early days? Do you have any idea how rich you would be today? Success in business has a lot to do with timing. You just need to be in the right place at the right time. Internet users are just now starting to realize the need to do something about protecting their online privacy and security. Everyone you know who uses the Internet is just now beginning to think about the whole security problem.

Soon, the demand for Internet security products and services will reach a frantic pace, and Internet security will become a fundamental part of using a computer. In the future, security-in-a-box will go away, and Internet security services will become a giant industry, much like phone, cable, power, and other utilities. Everyone will have their own personal Internet security service.

I encourage you to use this opportunity right now to get involved in the next great technology wave ­ Internet protection services. Take advantage of this opportunity to get in on the ground floor of an entire new industry. You can only begin to imagine what the upside potential is by getting involved with an industry pioneer!

Four Strong Reasons to Become Involved:

  1. Become involved as you pioneer the future of Internet security with the first and only comprehensive Internet protection service for families and small businesses ­ a truly revolutionary solution to an epidemic problem.

  2. Become involved with a pioneering company that is in the direct sales industry as well and is becoming the first and only Internet security company to leverage the power of network marketing.

  3. Become involved with a pioneering company that is becoming the most powerful name in Internet safety and protection, and will be recognized as the first company to successfully help the masses become aware of the threats and get the protection they need.

  4. For your family, your business, your community, and your country, become involved with a company that has launched the industry's first and only Campaign for Internet Safety Awareness and Protection. Together with your input, help protect 10 million families and small businesses from the terrible onslaught of global cyber-attacks against our personal privacy and security.

Although the Internet basically provides a positive and productive experience, cyber-attacks against our personal privacy and security are reaching epidemic proportions. These attacks are occurring in our own homes and businesses. Our own computers are being used are being used as zombies to attack other people, businesses, and even our nation itself. As an average Internet user, you may not be aware of these threats nor have any idea about the dramatically increasing risks you face when connected to the Internet.

I invite you to join the many thousands of others who have tested their computers, discovered these threats are real, and taken the necessary steps to protect themselves.

Now that you have become aware of these issues, I encourage you to share this vital information with your families, friends and communities. Together, we can reach many millions of people and inform them about the threats to their privacy and security, and help them get the protection they desperately need.

Remember: When you help others to say "No!" to hackers and spyware, everyone wins! When you don't, we all lose!

© MMVII, Etienne A. Gibbs, MSW, Your Internet Safety Advocate and Educator