Sunday, September 16, 2012

Techniques to Protect Yourself on Social Networks

Security tips from ISACA Journal

Vigilance continues to spearhead the security and, thus, the privacy of the information. It can be broken down into a few techniques that are simple but could make all the difference:

Choice of “friends” and contacts—Users should be extremely careful in their choice of friends on these networks. It is common practice to accept contact from friends of friends who are frequently complete strangers. This can lead to one’s private life being exposed to potentially harmful individuals.

Restricting private content to close friends and family only—Social networking sites are increasingly allowing their users to configure restrictions on access to their information. It is, therefore, important to use these restrictions and to ensure that they are properly configured, given that our information is public by default.

Careful choice of information to be broadcast—The key to the protection of privacy is, in fact, what information one broadcasts. Name, surname, date of birth, place of birth, photos, videos, comments and opinions should be carefully screened prior to being posted. Keep in mind that information posted on a network may one day be used against its author.

Awareness—Every sector of the population should be made aware of the need to protect themselves against the risk that the use of social networks may entail. In the business world, this awareness must form part of the IT security program.

Finally, social networks are a great way to express oneself and share with others. They help users lift the barriers of space and time and communicate with the world. However, there is another side associated with the proven dangers of user privacy violation.

These dangers are even more of a threat now thanks to the increasingly widespread trend of registering on several sites using a single user account. In response to this situation, each Internet user must remain vigilant and governments must put more pressure on the operators of these sites to safeguard the security of Internet users.

Read Guy-Hermann Ngambeket Ndiandukue’s full article, “Social Networks and Privacy—Threats and Protection,” in the current issue of the ISACA Journal, in which you will also find additional coverage of timely and relevant issues affecting the ISACA professional communities.

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