Social networks are growing with new members daily. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Digg and others are the latest way to converse and share your most intimate secrets and details. Some people, unfortunately, add too much detail and information, which can backfire in many ways, from identity theft to a potential employer discovering your personal habits. Think about that little tidbit the next time you post pictures of you and your personal gang of friends on a weekend drinking contest excursion. Females, keep the nude pictures to yourself. You never know where they will end up, and come back to haunt you. When recriminations and ‘I wish I never . . .’ comes to mind, it is already far too late. Damage is damage.
Even though you, the user, is promised the utmost in social network security, a recent report in the Wall Street Journal found out the same sites you are posting information is sharing that data with advertisers. Information that can identify you. You may not care, but think about the security of the advertisers. How secure is your data on their servers, behind their firewalls and networks? Do they even practice information security policies?
How do the advertisers get your information? The last page you viewed before you decided to click on their ad was transmitted to them. This process happens on the web all the time. Usually the data cannot be tracked back to the user in question. Unfortunately, in the instance of social networks, the data intelligence on the previous page you were browsing discloses more personal data, such as your user name, or perhaps any profile ID numbers someone could utilize to discover who you are. It only takes just enough data released in a public format to unveil who you are, where you live, your real name, and from there, other information.
Social networks have the capability and aptitude to hide your user handle and profile ID from the advertisers. They just don’t do it. It turns out Facebook had let loose profile information. Other sites disclosed user names and profiles when the ads were clicked. Scary.
On a professional level, CISSP CBT training as a certified information security expert alerts you to the many areas where security is broken on a daily basis. Acts as the above happen in the workplace, and open the flood doors to office intrusion. It may sound like a minor threat, but how many times has an email with the unfunny joke or not safe for work picture attached to it, been passed around the entire enterprise email system, creating impairment as the attached Trojan or other harmful payload brought down the network infrastructure?
What’s the answer on a personal level? Be careful in choosing the sites you visit. Some very embarrassing information could be attached to you, your user name, or your profile. If you aren’t Internet savvy, an online training course and K Alliance training is the solution to bolstering your computing knowledge. At the very least you will gain knowledge in specific fields, areas of study and increase your professional skill sets.