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Monday, 3 September 2018

Social Media

Facebook, MySpace, Google+ , Linkedin, Instagram and Twitter, etc. are used by millions yet the risks are not fully understood or appreciated. Apart from the obvious threats from Trojans, viruses, stolen passwords and other malware, there is also the human risk of hurried messaging which has resulted in embarrassment and security threats to organisations. The big problem with social networks and email to the same extent is that once sent, the message or information is 'in the wild' and could, if the experts are to be believed, stay on the internet in one form or another indefinitely. How many of us had wished that they could recall an email, or photo once sent?

There are many people who believe that these social sites are secure. If you are foolish enough to publish details of your address, interests and other personal information you are providing sufficient data to allow your identity to be stolen or misused. If you post that you are going away on holiday, it is tantamount to inviting a break-in while you are away. Unfortunately, the information you post today, about a subject you hold dear, may very well haunt you in years to come. A future employer may 'Google' your name and all that information could be recovered. This might be the difference between getting that job or being rejected.

Many companies are barring employees from using these networking sites as it has been shown that some company sensitive bits of information end up being discussed on these sites. During the last war the enemy used to gather information by listening in to casual conversations in pubs and sporting venues. A little bit here and a little bit there soon added up to a considerable amount of data once collated.

 I always advise my clients that the internet is about as secure as writing the same information on a piece of paper and fixing it to a public notice board in the middle of a busy town. In short it is not secure at all, unless some elaborate encryption is used.

Clearly if everyone encrypted all email and other posts, the internet would grind to a halt. However, it is sensible not to put yourself or your company at risk by assuming that the information you post is not being used for the wrong purposes.

Don’t give away sensitive information

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