Posts tagged "Social Networking Expert"
A report was recently published claiming that nearly 100,000 Facebook apps have been leaking access codes belonging to millions of users’ profiles. Symantec released the report and said that an app security flaw may have given apps and other third parties access to users’ profiles. Facebook maintains that they have no evidence of this occurring.
In their report, Symantec wrote:
We estimate that as of April 2011, close to 100,000 applications were enabling this leakage. We estimate that over the years, hundreds of thousands of applications may have inadvertently leaked millions of access tokens to third parties.
These “access tokens” help apps interact with your profile.They are most often used to post updates from the application to your wall. When you add the applications to your profile you, as the Facebook user, is giving the apps access to your information by accepting their conditions. According to the investigation, these tokens were included in URLs sent to the application host and were then sent to advertisers and analytics platforms. If the recipient recognized the codes (meaning they have to be qualified to read and write HTML code), they could gain access to the user’s wall’s and profile.
At this point, we are all pretty used to the classic Nigerian Scam. Someone who is recently wealthy needs your help to gain access to the funds. They will let you keep $1 million if you will simply send them your bank account number so he can transfer $30 million to you. Its a dream come true to most!
What happens when that same scam is used on Facebook by one of your friends, by someone you trust? The results can be disastrous. One woman was scammed out of $366,000 because she felt sorry for the scammer’s sob story. The woman contacted the local authorities after realizing she had been conned by her Facebook “friend”. Police arrested six male suspects in Kepong, all allegedly connected to the Facebook scam: two Nigerians, two Bangladeshis, and two Malaysians. Investigators only managed to recover $5,000 in cash of the victim’s money, although they also seized 18 ATM cards, seven cell phones, and a laptop.
Geotagging allows others to track your location even though you don’t know it.
With the increased use of Internet-enabled mobile devices such as the Blackberry, Droid and iPhone, geotagging has seen a huge increase in popularity. When social media users take a picture or video and upload it to their page, they are probably transmitting far more data than they think. With the ability to quickly add GPS information to media, smartphones make geotagging a simple task.
So What is Geotagging?
Simply, geotagging is where location or geographical information, such as your GPS coordinates, are added and embedded to different types of media (.jpg, .mov files, etc.). Invisible to the naked eye and the casual observer, geotags are part of the meta-data, or underlying data about the data, that accompanies each file. Examples of meta-data include when the file was created or modified, by whom, using what device and software. This data is often loaded on to your computer along with the original file. Browser plug-ins and certain software programs can reveal the location information to anyone who wants to see it.
According to a Wall Street Journal investigation, Facebook apps are sharing more about you than you think.
The Journal stated in their article, Facebook in Privacy Breach, that many of the most popular applications on the site are transmitting personal information about you and even your friends to third party advertisers and data companies. Apps such as BumperSticker, Marketplace, or Zynga’s Farmville (with over 50 million users) can be sharing your Facebook User ID with these companies. This can give as little information as your name, or as much as your entire Facebook Profile. In some cases, your data is being shared even if you have set your Facebook privacy settings to disallow this type of sharing.
According to the Journal:
I received an email last night from a well-known TV anchor wanting my input on a new Facebook issue. He’d read that when calling Facebook Headquarters, the automated attendant comes on and gives you options to reach each department, and the second option was to press 2 for “law enforcement.”
It could seem odd to many, but it’s true. If you call the Facebook Headquarters (650-543-4800) and reach the switchboard, the 1st option is “For customer support, press 1″ and the second option is “For law enforcement, press 2″. Law enforcement comes ahead of business development, marketing, press, and employment verification in the list of options.When you press 2, the next message says: “This message is only for members of law enforcement. Please note that due to a very large volume of incoming calls, the current call back time is two to four business days. For a faster response, please leave your work authorized email address… A member of Facebook’s security team will email in a timely manner.” Which means that Facebook is very busy fielding calls from law enforcement.