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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mobile numbers, addresses on Facebook 'a security risk'



A security expert has warned that users should remove their home addresses and phone numbers from their Facebook accounts.

Graham Cluley said the website now gives third parties access to that information.

The website said in a blog post at the weekend that it would give developers of applications access to the contact information of users who install their apps.

"These permissions must be explicitly granted to your application by the user via our standard permissions dialogs. Please note that these permissions only provide access to a user's address and mobile phone number, not their friend's addresses or mobile phone numbers," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Facebook's Jeff Bowen as saying.

However, Sophos security expert Cluley, has raised doubts over the move.

"You have to ask yourself - is Facebook putting the safety of its 500+ million users as a top priority with this move?" he said.

"It won't take long for scammers to take advantage of this new facility, to use for their own criminal ends."

Cluley advised that users should take personal info such as home addresses and mobile numbers off their pages.

"You can imagine, for instance, that bad guys could set up a rogue app that collects mobile phone numbers and then uses that information for the purposes of SMS spamming or sells on the data to cold-calling companies," he said.

Facebook may have leaked your personal information - Symantec




Facebook users' personal information could have been accidentally leaked to third parties, in particular advertisers, over the past few years, according to Symantec Corp's official web blog.

Third-parties would have had access to personal information such as profiles, photographs and chat, and could have had the ability to post messages, Symantec's web blog said.

"We estimate that as of April 2011, close to 100,000 applications were enabling this leakage," the blog post said.

" ... Over the years, hundreds of thousands of applications may have inadvertently leaked millions of access tokens to third parties," posing a security threat, the blog said.

The third-parties may not have realized their ability to access the information, the blog post said.

Facebook was notified of this issue and has confirmed the leakage, the post said.

The blog also said Facebook , the world's largest social networking website, has taken steps to resolve the issue.

Facebook was not immediately available for comment.

Facebook has more than 500 million users and is challenging Google Inc and Yahoo Inc for users' time online and for advertising dollars.

5 things you should never share on Facebook




Almost every user likes to share everything on their Facebook page but certain updates can lead to criticism, embarrassment and even job termination.

So here's a shortlist of what you shouldn't share on the social networking site, reports CBS news.

1.That your job sucks.

If you say this, you could be fired.

2.That you hate your ex.

In the event that you and your boyfriend get back together, or you and that friend you had a falling out with start talking again, you'll look like a total sucker. It's okay to let your emotions govern your thoughts but keep your feelings off your Facebook until you've started to think clearly about said ex.

The important thing to remember about social networks is that although you have the option to delete your comments, sometimes it can be too late. It's immediate and someone might've laid eyes on it before your retraction.

3.That you're going on vacation and then give the dates you're away.

You could be robbed. A recent study found that thieves scan social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter for folks in targeted neighbourhoods before they strike.

4.That you love yourself.

In fact, don't give any indication that you're your biggest fan. Your followers will only think the opposite. It's the biggest barometer of insecurity. Researchers at the University at Buffalo also found that women who base their self-worth on appearance and what people think of them tend to upload pictures very frequently.

5.That you're mean.

Saying mean things about people can only make you undesirable-for potential employers, dates, friends and strangers.