MySpace, Facebook Virus Risks
Social networking poses download hazards
12 Oct 2006
Things to think about when reading this article
People who are ordinarily Internet savvy enough to avoid identify theft, scams, and other nasty online problems are dropping their guard when they use social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook. According to a study by NCSA-CA released in early October, an alarming 83 percent of adults using these sites have downloaded files from user pages or profiles, opening their computers to viruses, spyware, and other technological harm. Though 57 percent are worried about becoming a cybercrime victim, they don’t seem to realize they’re often the ones giving away their information through websites like these.
- Failing to act safely online isn’t a "teen" problem; it’s everyone’s problem because social networking has gone mainstream. The NCSA-CA study shows that 48 percent of adults now use social networking sites and over half of these are 35 or older.
- To protect yourself from malicious downloads, install and keep protection technologies up-to-date including a firewall and anti-virus, anti-spam, and anti-phishing programs. (Better yet, subscribe to services that can help you keep them up-to-date automatically.)
- But you must also understand that tools alone may not protect you. The choices you make about what you share and download online will largely determine your level of safety or risk. Read the article.