Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Be Fun With Your Social Network, Yet Beware Your Security on It!


Is anyone who connected to internet don't have one of facebook, twitter, myspace or another social network accounts? I will surely say "No, it is not!". It is obvious that in this last decade that social networking is very common in our life. Moreover, it becomes our lifestyle since as like I see, We just can't be separated from it in our daily life. It sounds terrifying. Well, it is.

The question is, Do we ever think that someone is spying us and intend to do bad things to us? No? Unfortunately, it does happen. Sometimes, I heard that there was a kidnapping as a victim of Facebook. Some of young people trusted others easily and as the result they were just disappear from the family. And, can facebook be blamed for the kidnapping? I don't think so since they were willing to have an account in Facebook which has privacy policy to protect its users. Probably users are not comfortable enough to fill the privacy form. They just feel that it is much wasting time to understand all of boring writing of policies. Or maybe they think it is quite fine to not have an attention on it because of thoughts that there will not be a bad things whenever the security is regardless. From this point of view, the one who is considering about security on social networks is not only the provider but also the users.

Basically, as we know, social networks are very helpful for us. We have short time to meet each other and by them we can keep in touch-socialize. For you people, they can share unimportant stuff as they always do, make friends, and even share information related to their studies. In some cases, they are also have affection to our business. To have a new connections, to maintain the connections, to publish our products since it is promising market.

Starting from now on, it is strongly recommended for you-users to pay attention what you do on your accounts. It suppose to be not selfish and think that you can do anything on them since they are owned by you. Actually, any risk that you take are not only threatening for yourselves. It may also threaten the provider or anyone else who is connected to you.Be smart users! And don't forget that there are so many incident caused by the lack of awareness in securing our account.

Here are some tips to be a smart users (taken from focus.com) :
  • Be Discreet - Never type anything into a profile page, bulletin board, instant message or other type of online electronic form that would expose you to unwanted visitors or the possibility of identity theft or malicious threats. This includes personal and business names and addresses, phone numbers, job titles, birth dates, schedule details, daily routines and business or family information. It's far better to communicate in generalities than to reveal information that unscrupulous individuals may someday use against you.
  • Be Skeptical - Social network sites are full of useful business information, as well as to substantial amounts of useless disinformation. Treat anything you see online -- stock tips, advance news, personnel gossip and so on -- with a high degree of skepticism. Some people will lie in order to boost their own agenda, while others will spout unsubstantiated rubbish out of stupidity or sheer ignorance.
  • Be Thoughtful - Nobody likes a loudmouth, but the Internet has a curious way of releasing personal inhibitions. Never type anything online that can come back to bite you. This includes outrageous claims, slander, obscenity and insults. Be cool and professional, and always think twice before typing.
  • Be Professional - If you're posting a picture or video to a social network site, make sure it presents you in the best possible light. Dress professionally and, above all, don't disrobe or wear a funny hat.
  • Be Wary - People on the Internet are not always who they seem to be. The CEO you're chatting with in Denver may actually be a 14-year-old kid in Milwaukee -- or a prisoner in Romania. Until you can independently verify someone's identity -- using the same business tools that you would turn to to screen a new hire or confirm a prospective business partner -- never, ever reveal personal, business or financial information.
  • Check Privacy Policies - All major social network services have specific privacy guidelines that are published on their Web sites. Take the time to read and understand these documents, since they include the types of information that they will reveal -- or sell -- to other parties (including spammers). If you don't like the terms, don't use the service.

Beside tips for the users, i have some opinion for the provider of social network as well. I think it has to be considered as well since most people dont really understand around the security. And as one of the user, here is my suggestions:
  • Provider must checked users account whether they have fulfilled security stuff. Make it in a list what aspects that have been done and what not. And always remind the users related to the list.
  • Mention the effect of each aspect if they are not done well. If possible, give facts about effect of insecure account.
  • Make an attractive tutorial to fulfill the security aspects. Provider probably can make a video or maybe animated interface whenever fill the form rather than small and lots of words which is quite boring.

This article are not written to inhibit you in using social networks. I do agree for using social network since it is undeniable helpful. I just want to warn that there is any possibilities for any crimes happened. As there are always bad people, bad things are possible to be exist. Be wise for things are going to be written, be responsible for things that have been written.

P.S.: This article is written in order to fulfill the mid-term substitution exam of Network Security Subject.

References:
http://www.focus.com/fyi/it-security/security-risks-social-networks/
http://www.itsecurity.com/features/social-network-security-hazards-072507/
http://edittag.typepad.com/.a/6a012875b0995e970c0134846f71d9970c-800wi