Facebook: Your Privacy + The Latest Scam Luring in Thousands

by Erin on May 18th, 2010 in Industry and Security News.

Facebook, the world’s largest social networking site, has taken a lot of heat recently over its attitude towards the privacy and security of its 400 million users around the globe. Criticism has been prompted by changes to the site’s privacy settings, including an ‘instant personalization’ feature that allows approved third party sites (like Yelp and Pandora) to automatically import profile information.

This debate on Facebook's privacy policy has caught the attention of privacy advocates and even legislators. United States government officials, as well as privacy groups, have criticized Facebook for not doing enough to protect the privacy and personal information of its users, and have called on the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to protect consumers of social networking sites. The FTC has been asked to examine privacy issues on Facebook, as well as to issue privacy guidelines in order to guarantee that social media companies protect personal information.

Meanwhile, frustration is mounting among many users, with calls for people to delete their Facebook accounts and even a ‘Quite Facebook Day’ set for May 31. While the numbers joining these online campaigns are a drop in the bucket compared to Facebook’s millions of overall users, the movement is said to be gaining momentum.

Need more information about these latest changes to Facebook’s privacy settings, and how your personal information may be affected? To learn more and find out steps you can take to tweak your settings, take a look at IT World’s article, “How to Keep Your Privacy Safe(r) on Facebook.”

While the privacy debate on Facebook has been taking center stage lately, security issues remain a growing cause for concern. Facebook is a great tool to connect and keep up with friends but, at the same time, its notoriety and functionality make it vulnerable to cyber criminals that are able to leverage it to carry out scams and spread malware, viruses, and spyware. This week, there’s a new warning out to Facebook users to beware of a ‘Candid Camera Prank’. This latest trick, which is said to have lured thousands to install malware, cons Facebook users into clicking a link to watch the “sexiest video ever”. In order to watch the video, the user is told that they need to download a video player – which is actually Hotbar adware. It’s another reminder to be cautious about the links you’re clicking on your favorite networking sites. Read the full details about this latest social engineering scam via InformationWeek.